Friday, July 6, 2018

Chicken Caesar Salad

This is a perfect summer night dinner. No need to heat up the house for this hearty meal.

2 garlic cloves
2 Romaine hearts
2 Red tomatoes
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 oz grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
3/4 oz white wine vinegar
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Hold romaine hearts at root end and chop coarsely.
Halve tomatoes lengthwise and slice halves into half-moons.
Pat chicken breasts dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tsp Olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium high heat. Add chicken to hot pan and cook for 5 - 7 minutes per side.  Allow chicken to rest for five minutes.
Combine mayonnaise, garlic, white wine vinegar,  the rest of the Parmesan cheese, and 1/2 cup of water. Mix well and season with a pinch of pepper.
Add Romaine lettuce and tomatoes. Toss to combine.
Slice chicken and serve on top of the salad.
Top with croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Make Your Own Croutons

What could be better than fresh croutons?  This recipe is so quick and easy, you'll never buy croutons again.

1 baguette
2 tsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt and pepper

Halve the baguette and cut into 3/4" cubes.  Place cubes on a prepared baking sheet and toss with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread in a single layer. Bake at 425° for 7 - 9 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Easiest and Best Pulled Pork & Baked Beans

I don't often buy processed food, but I made a couple of exceptions this week, and I'm sure glad I did!

Kraft Slow Cooker One Step Sauce -- Brown Sugar Pulled BBQ
It is just what it's name says it is. One step. And ... It's so good. On Sunday evening I put a 3 lb pork loin roast in my small Rock Crock and seasoned it with salt and pepper. I poured one jar of the Brown Sugar Pulled BBQ sauce over the roast, placed the lid on the crock and put it in the refrigerator.

Monday morning I called my hubby at 10:30 and had him put the crock on the base and start it on low. By the time I got home from work, it had been cooking for 7 hours.   I turned off the crock and let the roast rest for 15 minutes before moving it to a cutting board to shred it using two forks.   I put the shredded pork back in the sauce in the crock and set it on warm while I made some baked beans.

Member's Mark BBQ Baked Beans with Brisket -- This is where the second exception comes in. I bought two tubs of them and just heated them for about 20 minutes. In the oven. Wow!  These are Awesome! Best baked beans ever!  I highly recommend you give them a try.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Beer Can Chicken with Roasted Veggies

Looking for something to make for a special dinner?  Want to make something that just looks as good as it tastes?  This recipe is impressive . . . and it's easy!

This can be prepared on the grill or in your oven. Preheat your grill or oven to 350°.

2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temp
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic (medium to large), minced
1 lemon, juiced
1 4 lb chicken, remove from refrigerator one hour before cooking
Fresh cracked black pepper

1 1/2 lbs russet or red potatoes
1/2 lb baby carrots
3 shallots sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 zucchini sliced
1 yellow squash sliced

In a pinch bowl combine celery salt and kosher salt. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the butter, red pepper flakes, garlic, half the lemon juice and half of the celery salt mixture.

Pull the skin of the chicken slightly away allowing yourself to smear the butter mixture under the skin. Spread it evenly over the skin and place mixture inside the cavity as well. Place your buttered chicken onto the can of your beer can chicken pan. Season the inside and outside of the chicken with the rest of the celery seed mixture and pepper.

Combine the potatoes, carrots and shallots. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Put this in a baking dish and place on lower rack of oven. Place the beer can chicken pan on the upper rack directly above baking dish. The melting butter and seasoning from the chicken will drip onto your veggies.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Slice your zucchini and yellow squash.  Toss them in a bowl with salt, pepper and the remaining olive oil. Add to the potatoes and carrots and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Increase oven temp to 400° and bake for 10 minutes. Remove chicken and veggies from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Best Pork Tenderloin Ever!

I love a good pork tenderloin, and this recipe is the best ever!  The tenderloin is marinated with a rub flavored with lots of spices.  The dry rub penetrates all the way through and bakes into a sticky, sweet glaze.  Start the night before and you won't be disappointed. 

Image result for glazed pork tenderloinIngredients: 

2 1/2 lb pork tenderloin or boneless pork roast
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves

Mix brown sugar and spices in a bowl.  Rub spice mixture over pork and place in Zip Lock bag and refrigerate overnight. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place tenderloin in 13 x 9" baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven until pork is slightly pink (about 160 degrees). -- about 1 hour.  Let rest a few minutes before slicing. 

I serve it with roasted potatoes and green beans.  Such a good meal in a short amount of time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Grandma's Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Image result for fried chicken, mashed potatoes and corn

There is simply nothing better than Grandma's fried chicken.  Add mashed potatoes with gravy and corn and this meal is wonderful for weeknights or weekends.

Ingredients:  (for 2 - 3)
4 Tbsp butter
8 oz light cream
2 green onions
4 russet potatoes
6 oz Canola oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 oz Miracle Whip
1/2 cup seasoned flour or chicken breading
12 oz corn kernels
2 tsp water
Olive oil

Cut potatoes into 1/2" dice.  Place in sauce pan and add 2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until fork-tender (12 - 15 minutes).

Trim and thinly slice green onions on an angle.

Pat chicken breasts dry and season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Combine Miracle Whip and 2 tsp water in a mixing bowl.  Place seasoned flour in another bowl.

Dip chicken breast in the mayo-water mixture, then in seasoned flour, coating completely.  Shake off excess and place on plate.  Repeat with additional chicken breasts.

Pour Canola oil into medium fry pan.  Lay chicken breasts in oil and cook.  Flip every 3 - 5 minutes until golden brown and chicken reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees.  (10 - 14 minutes)

Remove cooked chicken and place on a towel-lined plate.

Cook the corn in a small pot over medium heat.  Add 1 tsp  of olive oil .  Stir occasionally until   warmed through (4 - 5 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper.

Place green onions and 4 oz cream in a saute pan.  Bring to a simmer and stir until gravy thickens to coat the back of a spoon. (3 - 5 minutes)  Remove from burner and add remaining butter. Season with pepper.

Drain potatoes in a colander and return to pot.  Add 2 Tbsp butter and 2 oz of cream. Mash until potatoes reach desired consistency  season with salt.

Plate chicken, potatoes and corn.  Top chicken and potatoes with gravy.


Monday, October 30, 2017

Pan-Seared Chicken with Autumn Veggies

I love fall!  My interest in food returns as the weather cools.  This recipe is perfect for an early fall night.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thighs would work too)
1 Granny Smith apple
4 red potatoes
1 Butternut squash
1 bunch Sage
2 Tbsp butter
1 shallot
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 475°
Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out and discard pulp and seeds. 
Peel and then medium dice squash.
Medium dice potatoes
Pick leaves from Sage and roughly chop (I use the Pampered Chef herb grinder -- it's perfect)
Place squash and potatoes in bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper
Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray
Place squash and potatoes on sheet pan and roast for 16 - 18 minutes
Quarter and core the apple and dice in 1/4" pieces
Peel and thinly slice the shallot
Place shallot and apple in bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper
Add to sheet pan of roasted vegetables - stir to combine
Roast 9 - 11 minutes

While veggies roast ...
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper (both sides)
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in non-stick pan
Add chicken and cook for 5 - 7 minutes on each side until done
Transfer chicken to a plate to rest

Add butter to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Stir butter until it smells nutty - scrape any chicken bits from pan - don't burn
Add Sage, vinegar, and 2 Tbsp water
Cook for 1 minute stirring constantly

Divide the finished veggies and cooked chicken between dishes.  Top with brown butter sauce.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Orange Chicken with Broccoli

Truth is . . . I love Chinese Food.  But, I've never been able to make it.  Sure, I've tried many times using countless recipes, but none of them ever turned out to be nearly as good or look as appetizing as restaurant dishes.  A couple of weeks ago I ran across a recipe for Orange Chicken and I thought it looked pretty simple.  I made it for the second time last night, and with a few little tweaks, we had a winner.  This was really good!

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1" chunks
1 lb broccoli crowns cut into florets
8 cloves fresh garlic
4 Tbsp salted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup dry coating mix for chicken or fish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Cut your chicken into 1" chunks and place in a bowl with a lid.  Add your salt and pepper and shake well to season the chicken.  Add the coating mix and shake again to evenly coat all of the chicken chunks.  Set aside

Cut your broccoli crowns into florets and place them in a 9" x 9" baking dish and salt lightly.  Finely dice all 8 garlic cloves and divide evenly.  Place 1/2 of the garlic in a small dish with 4 Tbsp of butter.  Cover the dish and melt butter in the microwave.  Evenly spoon the butter and garlic over the broccoli.  Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

While your broccoli bakes, prepare your sauce.

Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 Tbsp white cooking wine
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp water
3 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch mixed with 1 Tbsp water

Place oil in small saute pan with the remainder of the garlic.  Cook over medium heat until garlic begins to brown.  Add the ginger, red pepper flakes, orange zest, orange juice, cooking wine, soy sauce, water and sugar.  Let this simmer slowly for about five minutes.

When broccoli is ready, remove from the oven and let it sit while you fry your chicken chunks.

Heat about 4" of cooking oil in a frying pan or wok.  Personally, I like the wok because I can use less oil.  Drop your chicken chunks in small batches into hot oil.  Don't overcrowd your pan and your chunks will not stick together.  Remove them from the oil when they are a nice golden brown and place them on top of the broccoli.  When finished, return to your sauce.  Mix your 1 Tbsp of corn starch with 1 Tbsp of water and then add to the sauce.  Stir well until sauce thickens.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli.  Stir gently and return to the oven for five minutes.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Stuffed Mushrooms

This is one of my go-to favorites when I need a yummy appetizer or a nice side.  They are alway a hit!

For six Portabella caps

3 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
6 oz Johnsonville sasage patties
1/2 cup shredded cheese - I like the Kraft Italian 5-Cheese
1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp Pampered Chef 3-Onion Rub or another seasoning of your choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash mushroom caps and remove buttons.
Place in baking dish.  Salt both sides lightly and bake (button side down) for 15 minutes.
Crumble and cook sausage.
Combine sausage with room temp cream cheese, shredded cheese, onion flakes and seasoning.
Mix well.
Stuff mixture into partially cooked mushroom caps and return to oven for 15 minutes.

Note:  I like to use medium sized caps and really overstuff them.  They look appetizing and they taste really good!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

S'mores Dip

In our house we love football. And, along with that, we love football food. I found a new recipe on Facebook last week and today we gave it a try. This one certainly didn't disappoint.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter chips to a cast iron skillet.
I added 2 tsp of Vanilla and stirred the chips to even them out in the skillet.
Top the chips with marshmallows.
Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes.
Marshmallows should be brown and melted.


The original recipe said to bake at 450. I did that and the marshmallows were brown at 4 minutes and not quite gooey enough.  I turned off the heat and left it in the oven a few more minutes and this was perfection.

The vanilla was not part of the original recipe, but it was a great addition.