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Oatmeal Muffins  {A Pretty Life}

Mom’s Oatmeal Muffins

My Mom’s Oatmeal Muffins are a delicious and nutritious muffin!  One of my family’s favourite recipes!

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If there is one muffin recipe that I could make and eat over and over it would be this recipe for my Mom’s Oatmeal Muffins.  In fact, I make a batch of these at least once a month, sometimes more.  I first had these muffins when I was a kid and my Mom would make them for us, so they’re basically comfort food for me.  Now I make them for my own family…family recipes really are the best.

Oatmeal Muffins {A Pretty Life}

This recipe is really uncomplicated and only takes a few minutes to assemble, which means that within about a half hour you can have a batch of fresh baked muffins ready to enjoy.  Love that.  But mostly I just really love how delicious they are…they’re tender, oat-y and so good!

Oatmeal Muffins {A Pretty Life}

These Oatmeal Muffins are perfect for lunch boxes and after school snacks.  Or invite a friend over for coffee or a spice tea, and plate of homemade muffins.  So good.


Yields 12-16

Mom's Oatmeal Muffins

10 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour (for extra nutrition, you can use 1/3 cup whole wheat flour and 2/3 cup white flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the oats and buttermilk, and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, soda and baking powder.
  4. In another bowl combine the oil, egg and brown sugar. Then add this to the oat mix.
  5. Then combine the oat mix with the flour mix.
  6. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
  7. Scoop the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups for 12 large muffins, or you if you want smaller muffins, spread the batter between 16 muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes.


I like to cut back on the wheat flour, so I often make these muffins with 1/2 flour and 1/2 cup oat flour. They're a little more crumbly and not as big, but they're just as good in terms of flavour.

Looking for more delicious muffins recipes?  Here are more of our favourites:

Banana Berry Bomb Muffins  {A Pretty Life} 
Blueberry Muffins  {A Pretty Life}1a
The Easiest Banana Muffin Recipe
Hearty Banana, Apple & Carrot Muffins  {A Pretty Life}
Have a delicious day!
Creamy Basil Chicken Pasta  {A Pretty Life}

Creamy Basil Chicken Pasta

This Creamy Basil Chicken Pasta is a quick and easy dinner recipe that can be on your table in under 1 hour!

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This week has been a trying week…on so many levels it has tested me.  Parenting is challenging, work is busy, everything in my house seems to be breaking down, sometimes it can feel like too much.  Thank goodness though, for a fresh start and a new day every day.  Thank goodness too for my kitchen, and that we are able to have a fully stocked fridge and pantry, for that I am so very grateful, because the kitchen helps me release my stress.  I’ve always moved to the kitchen during trying times.  The act of cooking and creating soothes my mind.

I also really enjoy putting comforting meals on the table for my family.  I know things can be stressful for them too…school, friends, work, and I feel like a warm healthy meal together at the end of a busy day is good for everyone.  It’s where we connect, talk about our day, and come together to remember what’s important.

Not all of our meal times are fancy and stress free.  I just try my best.  Some days it’s eggs and toast.  Some days it’s pizza.  And some days it’s a pasta dish or some type of home cooked meal.  The important thing is that at the end of the day, we are together.

Creamy Basil Chicken Pasta {A Pretty Life}

During this particular busy and stressful week, I did some baking, tried to clean my house (when I have a clean house I feel more calm too), spent time with the kids and Netflixed.  I also tried a few new dinner recipes, and one was tasty enough to share with you.

I like this dish because we all love pasta, but it’s great because the sauce is creamy and delicious.  And the whole thing takes less than one hour to make.  This means that I can start dinner around 4:30, and we can be eating by 5:30 which is so great.  Quick and healthy dinners are a life saver around here!

Creamy Basil Chicken Pasta {A Pretty Life}

Really simple ingredients make up this dish:  chicken, spaghetti noodles, stock, cream, spices and sun dried tomatoes.  Classic delicious flavours.  I hope you enjoy it.


Creamy Basil Chicken Pasta
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  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Onions & Mushrooms Mixture:
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Cream Sauce:
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half cream
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes (from a jar)
  • spaghetti noodles
  • green onion


  1. In a skillet heat up the olive oil and butter.
  2. Add the cut up chicken, and season it with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add the minced garlic.
  4. Cook until the chicken is cooked through, and no longer pink.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate and set aside.
  6. In the same skillet, add the chopped onion and mushrooms. If there is not enough oil left from cooking the chicken, add about 1 tbsp more.
  7. Cook until the onions are tender and the moisture is cooked off from the mushrooms.
  8. Once this is done, stir in the 2 tbsp of flour and cook for about 1 minute.
  9. Add the chicken broth, cream, dried basil and sun dried tomatoes.
  10. Add the cooked chicken.
  11. Simmer until the sauce thickens.
  12. Serve over spaghetti noodles.
  13. Garnish with green onion (optional).
  14. Enjoy!

Thank you for being here.  Have a delicious day!


Banana Berry Bomb Muffins  {A Pretty Life}

Banana Berry Bombs

 These Banana Berry Bomb Muffins are a great way to use up old bananas.  They’re loaded with banana flavour and healthy berries!

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Today is the kind of day that makes me want to get into my kitchen and bake.  It’s dreary and cold outside, which is perfect baking weather so I don’t mind it too much…it actually gives me the perfect excuse just to slow down.  I need to slow down.  Plus I had a bunch of bananas sitting on the counter slowly getting overripe, and getting on my nerves.  If I have brown bananas I just can’t throw them out, I have to bake with them.  It’s annoying.  But good too, because now there’s a fresh batch of Banana Berry Bombs ready for snacking.

Banana Berry Bomb Muffins {A Pretty Life}

These Banana Berry Bomb Muffins are from a recipe I got from a neighbour about 12 years ago…I actually can’t believe it’s been that long.  We used to get together when our kids were little, and have coffee and she would make these muffins.  I’ve always loved them.  They’re delicious and now they remind me of simpler times…sniff.

Banana Berry Bomb Muffins {A Pretty Life}

I like to sprinkle a little extra sugar on these muffins after they’re done baking!  So good.

This is a great recipe for using up any ripe bananas you may have on your counter, and any berries in your freezer.  They’re quick and easy to make, and they’re healthy too!  Loaded with banana flavour, summer berries and wholesome ingredients.  Bonus, they’re delicious and my kids love them!  Hopefully yours will too!


Yields 12

Banana Berry Bomb Muffins
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  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen berries (blueberries and/or raspberries)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the oats, flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the bananas, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Add the frozen berries to the dry mix. (This may help to keep the berries from colouring your batter too much)
  5. Then combine the 2 bowls.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Berrybomb-a-licious!  Have a delicious day!


What’s For Dinner? Beef Stew

This Beef Stew recipe is a classic!  Full of tender beef, seasonal vegetables and delicious gravy!  Enjoy with mashed potatoes or homemade popovers!
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I really love classic meals, the back-to-basics kinds like this Beef Stew.  Sometimes we forget to make and enjoy old tried and true recipes that have withstood the test of time.  But when we do create them, we are instantly taken back to the days of our youth, with the delicious smells of dinner simmering on the stove.  I love that.
You may have your own family recipe for a classic like Beef Stew,  but it’s always nice to have options right?  I thought I would share this delicious stew recipe that our family enjoys.  It is rich and very delicious.
Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}
I don’t like to overcomplicate my stew, so I keep the ingredients very basic…chunks of beef, garden fresh carrots, onions and potatoes.  Some celery and simple herbs.  But the key to a good stew is in the browning of the beef.  The browning and all the bits left in the pan after browning are what creates the rich, deep flavour for the gravy.  Make sure you scrape all those bits up when you’re sauteing your vegetables!
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Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}
This is a really flavourful and meaty dish that’s perfect for cold nights. The gravy is nice and rich, and wonderful on mashed potatoes or popovers!  Enjoy!
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Classic Beef Stew

20 minPrep Time

1 hr, 45 Cook Time

2 hr, 5 Total Time

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    Step 1: Browning Beef
  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (you will likely need more)
  • Step 2: Sauteed Vegetables
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Step 3: Adding Stock
  • 2 - 284 mL cans undiluted beef consomme
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Step 4: Adding Vegetables
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into chunks


    Step 1: Browning Beef
  1. Heat up about 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in the pot you are going to simmer your stew in.
  2. Season the meat with pepper, basil and oregano.
  3. Add the flour to a shallow dish, then dredge the seasoned meat in the flour. Shake off excess flour.
  4. Brown the beef, in small batches to avoid overcrowding.
  5. Repeat until all of the meat is browned. You just want to brown it, not cook it. Also you will find that you will likely need to add more oil with each batch.
  6. When the meat is browned, transfer it over to a bowl or plate to rest, and set aside.
  7. Step 2: Sauteed Vegetables
  8. In the same pan that was used to brown the meat, if needed, add 1 tbsp oil, and cook the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Stir up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan (this is where all the good flavour comes from!)
  9. Step 3: Adding Stock
  10. Once the veggies are cooked, turn the heat under the pot to med-high, and add the consomme, water, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves and browned beef. Bring to a light boil, then turn down to low-med heat, cover with a lid, and cook for about 1 hour.
  11. Stir as necessary so the mixture doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot.
  12. Step 4: Adding Vegetables
  13. After the 1 hour cooking time, add the big chunks of carrots, celery and potatoes.
  14. Simmer for 30-45 minutes more, or until the meat is tender and the veggies are cooked. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.

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Tips for the perfect beef stew!

As I mentioned before, make sure to scrape up all the bits left over from browning the beef, as they are what makes the gravy so flavourful!

As you brown your beef, make sure you are using enough oil, you don’t want the beef to stick and burn to the bottom of the pan.  Add more as necessary.

If you like, you can add parsnips to your stew.  If you do, you may just need to add a little extra water.

If the stew gravy ends up being too thin, add 1-2 tbsp of kneaded butter.  Kneaded butter is equal parts flour and butter, mixed into a paste.  This is a trick I learned from the Joy of Cooking.  Don’t add too much or your gravy will taste floury.

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Classic Beef Stew {A Pretty Life}
Then pour yourself a glass of red wine and enjoy!  Have a delicious day!
Fall Stovetop Potpourri  {A Pretty Life}

Fall Stovetop Potpourri

With this Fall Stovetop Potpourri you are 5 minutes away from your home smelling like the coziness of fall baking!

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So what are your thoughts on home smells?  For me, having a home that smells good when you walk in is really important.  That may sound weird, but I wouldn’t be able to stand it if someone came into my home and hated the smell.  I mean, our home is busy…I have 3 busy kids with friends who are here all the time, we have a puppy and a cat, so needless to say I worry that things could get a little stinky.

I like to have the windows and doors open (that’s the country girl in me), but there are times when I just want to get the whole house smelling a little fresher.  But I don’t like to use home sprays and things like that because I’m bothered by their intense smell, so I prefer to use more natural ways to add scent.  This is where homemade stovetop potpourris are really nice.

Homemade potpourris are SO easy to make, and most of the time the ingredients you need to make them are right there in your own home already.  Really, if you have some cinnamon and vanilla on hand, you have an instant home deodorizer.

For fall, this simple potpourri is great…when it simmers it smells like you have an apple pie in the oven.  The only problem with that is you will suddenly crave a slice of apple pie, but you won’t actually have one.  Sad face.  But at least your home will smell delicious and cozy!

Fall Stovetop Potpourri {A Pretty Life}


Place your potpourri pot on the back burner and let it simmer on the lowest setting.  Within minutes you will be enjoying the warm and comforting scents of vanilla and cinnamon. Potpourris are also great to make about a half hour before you have guests come over…your home will smell amazing.

Fall Stovetop Potpourri
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  • 1/2 lemon, sliced thin
  • 1/2 an apple, sliced
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
  • 2 tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • water


  1. Put all of the ingredients into a medium sized saucepan and top up with water.
  2. Simmer on the lowest setting and enjoy!


If you like this potpourri recipe, you might also like this recipe for a Christmas Stovetop Potpourri!

Happy Fall Y’all!



6 Easy and Delicious Recipes with Ground Beef

Cooked Ground Beef is a great staple to have on hand for your meal planning!  Cook it ahead of time for easy meal assembly.  Here are 6 Easy and Delicious Recipes with Ground Beef!

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Life is busy.  Kids are busy.  Work is busy.  Just trying to stay on top of laundry, schedules, appointments, and school is tough enough, but then we have to deal with meals!  But don’t worry, I want to help you.  By taking the time to do meal prep ahead of time, you can save yourself a lot of stress during hectic weeks.

When I can, I like to set aside an afternoon on Sundays and do some meal preparation.  I’ll cook up a batch of ground beef, prepare some cooked shredded chicken, chop vegetables for lunches, make a batch of cookies, all in an attempt to make our week ahead easier on everyone.  It can seem daunting, but the pay off is SO SO worth it.  The kids have ingredients at their fingertips for lunches, and I have meal prep taken care of, so when 4:00PM rolls around, I’m thankful I did most of my meal prep on the weekend…it’s such a relief.

Recently I shared how making shredded chicken ahead of time for meals was a life saver for me, and now I’m going to share another one of my favourite meal planning time savers…cooking ground beef ahead of time.  Ground beef is a staple in our home, especially on busy weeknights.  I like to have batches of cooked and seasoned ground beef in the freezer that I can take out and add to soups, stews, tacos and casseroles.  It’s so hand to have ready to use.


How to Prepare Cooked Ground Beef

I like to buy the big packages of lean ground beef (the ones with about 8 lbs of meat), and cook it with diced onion, minced garlic, salt and pepper.  That way when I need to use the cooked beef it’s already seasoned, and ready to use right away.  Once it’s cooked I will store it in ziplock bags or plastic containers and freeze it, usually 1 1/2 to 2 lbs per package, so it can go right into a recipe.

How to make a big batch of ground beef
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  • 8 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt & fresh ground pepper


  1. To a large skillet on medium-high heat, add the ground beef, onions, garlic and salt & pepper.
  2. As the beef cooks, use a spoon to break up the meat so it cooks evenly.
  3. Cook until the ground beef is no longer pink.
  4. Drain the fat.
  5. Now you can portion the meat into 1 - 2 lb portions and use accordingly.


6 Easy and Delicious Recipes with Ground Beef

Now that you’ve got all of this cooked ground beef, what are you to do with it?  Here are some of our family favourite recipes:

Cabbage Roll Soup {A Pretty Life}

Cabbage Roll Soup  //  This Cabbage Roll Soup is a hearty, healthy and delicious dinner…and it tastes just like cabbage rolls!  Ready in 1 hour!

Hamburger Soup {A Pretty Life}

Hamburger Soup  //  Hamburger Soup is a simple and delicious weeknight meal!  It’s hearty because it is loaded with seasonal vegetables and ground beef.  This recipe is great because it makes a big batch.

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce {A Pretty Life}

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce  //  This spaghetti sauce recipe is simple to make, and results in a big batch of sauce that makes enough for two meals (love that!).  It’s great served over spaghetti or in lasagna recipes.  So good!

Easy Ravioli Lasagna {A Pretty Life}

Easy Ravioli Lasagna  //  This Easy Ravioli Lasagna is just what it says…easy.  Taking a few simple shortcuts with the ingredients, and you can have this hearty and healthy dinner on your table in just over an hour.

Homemade Taco Seasoning {A Pretty Life}

Taco Seasoning  //  Homemade taco seasoning is so simple to make, and tastes so much better than the store bought packages.  Use it to season the ground beef for tacos on a taco night.

Best Beef Chili {A Pretty Life}

Best Beef Chili  //  Chili is one of our family’s favourite meals!  It’s easy to make, it’s filling, delicious and so versatile!  Serve it with homemade cornbread or rice.


Having cooked ground beef on hand makes dinner preparation easier than ever!  PIN it for later!


I hope you found some dinner inspiration here!

Have a delicious day!



Easy Cooked Shredded Chicken and 8 Recipes To Use It

Shredded chicken is a powerful dinner time ingredient!   Here is how to prepare Easy Cooked Shredded Chicken and 8 Recipes To Use It!

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If there is one ingredient that saves me the most at dinner preparation time, it would definitely have to be cooked shredded chicken.  If you have it prepared ahead of time, dinner planning is easier than ever, because it’s easily added to soups, stews, and casseroles.  I have to admit though, I used to hate the process of shredding chicken, but I have tried a new method and now I swear by it!  I use a mixer.

Easy Cooked Shredded Chicken and 8 Recipes To Use It

I’m sure you have seen various videos and posts about this method, you may have even seen one of my recent Instagram stories where I showed how it works.  Basically all you have to do is cook chicken breasts ahead of time, then when they’re cooked, you add them to a mixing bowl and use the paddle attachment to shred it.  Once it’s shredded you can portion it and freeze it for when you need it!

Easy Cooked Shredded Chicken and 8 Recipes To Use It

Here’s 9 second video I made just to give you a quick idea of how to do it:

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How to make Cooked Shredded Chicken

Easy Cooked Shredded Chicken
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  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • a little olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Bake:
  3. Lay 8 chicken breasts onto a sheet of tin foil.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Season with salt & fresh ground pepper.
  6. Wrap the foil into a tight package.
  7. Bake the chicken for 15 - 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  8. When the chicken is cooked through, it's ready to shred.
  9. Shred:
  10. Shred 2 chicken breasts at a time by adding them to your mixing bowl, and using the paddle attachment. Mix until the chicken is shredded (it's very quick). Don't mix it for too long or the chicken will get mushy and won't have the texture of shredded chicken.
  11. Transfer the shredded chicken into a separate bowl, or a freezer container (see below).
  12. Repeat until all of the chicken is shredded.
  13. Store:
  14. Once the chicken is shredded and cooled down you can freeze it in ziplock bags or plastic containers. I split mine into 4 containers.
  15. Use as desired!


8 Recipes with Cooked Shredded Chicken

Now that you have all that cooked shredded chicken, what are you to do with it?  Here are 8 of my favourite recipes:

Easy Cooked Shredded Chicken and 8 Recipes To Use It


Chicken and Rice Soup {A Pretty Life}

30 Minute Chicken and Rice Soup  //  This chicken soup is a great way to use up leftover chicken and vegetables from dinner the night before!  It’s especially delicious made with homemade chicken stock.

Cheesy Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Cheesy Mexican Stuffed Peppers  //  The original recipe for this uses ground chicken, but shredded chicken can easily be substituted.  These hearty stuffed peppers make for a delicious meal!

Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Easy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole  //  This enchilada casserole is quick to make so you can have it ready for your family in an hour!  Serve it with fresh salsa, slices of avocado, tortilla chips for dipping and a fresh green salad.  So good.

Coconut Curry Noodle Soup {A Pretty Life}

Coconut Curry Noodle Soup  //  This soup is hands down my family’s favourite soup!  It has all the flavours of Thai food…coconut, green curry, ginger, lemongrass…oh my.  A perfect way to use shredded chicken.

White ChickenChili {APrettyLife}

White Chicken Chili  //  This White Chicken Chili is hearty, full of beans and has a nice kick of spice.  SO good.  And it’s ready in less than 1 hour!

Summer Roll Salad with Peanut Satay Sauce

Summer Roll Salad with Peanut Satay Sauce  //  This salad is a deconstructed summer roll, which is so much easier to assemble than rolls!  Add shredded chicken and loads of peanut satay sauce…delicious!

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup  //  This soup is loaded with deliciousness…taco seasoning, cream cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, green chilies, shredded chicken and tortilla slices!  And on your table in less than one hour.

Creamy Chicken & Green Chili Enchiladas {A Pretty Life}

Creamy Chicken & Green Chili Enchiladas  //  This dish is creamy, cheesy and so delicious!  It looks complicated but you can assemble it in minutes, using shredded chicken, and have it ready to eat in under 1 hour.  Serve it with a side salad.

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I hope try this shredding method, it really is so easy!  And you’ll love having shredded chicken in your freezer to help you at meal times!  Enjoy.

Have a delicious day!