Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Taco Loaded Sweet Potatoes


This is one of the best sweet potato recipes I have ever made. I am always in love with Mexican food flavors and this recipe doesn't disappoint! This is a vegetarian dish and so filling even my husband couldn't finish it. I added over-easy eggs on top but if you don't eat eggs, leaving them off won't change the awesomeness at all. The soft potato, spicy beans, crunchy fried tortilla and sour cream give this dish all of the textures and flavors that make a dish amazing. they only took about 15 minutes to make since they are cooked in the microwave and just finished in the oven, and they are the perfect comfort food for the cold rainy/snow season!


Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes
2 6 inch white corn tortillas, halved and cut into thin strips
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and fine diced
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, rough chopped
1 Tbs. Taco seasoning
1 c. shredded white cheddar
Sour cream
* Optional: 2 Fried Eggs


Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork multiple times on the outside of the sweet potatoes. Microwave them for 10 minutes (or more) until the outside of the potato is easily pierced with a fork. While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.


Layer a small plate with a piece of paper towel. In a medium size frying pan, heat a pan over medium-high heat add 3 Tbs. of olive oil. When the oil is hot add in the corn tortillas and continually stir until the color turns a golden brown and they are crunchy. Scoop out of the oil and place to cool on the paper towel. Sprinkle with a small amount of salt.


In the same pan (no need to wipe down), add the shallot and jalapeno. Cook until the onions are softened, which is about 3-5 minutes. Add in the beans, half of the taco seasoning and 1/2 c. water. Cook until the water has evaporated (another 5 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat.


Cut each sweet potato in half 3/4 of the way down, and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil and cooking spray. Sprinkle the insides with the remaining taco seasoning and half of the white cheddar. Bake for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

Place each potato on your serving plates. Divide the bean mixture in half and spoon into the middle of the potatoes. Top with the fried egg (optional), cilantro, tomato, sour cream, the remaining shredded cheese and last but not least, the fried corn tortilla strips.

Spooky Cream Cheese Brownies


It is midnight and officially Halloween! I am terribly late with all, or any of my recipes this season but here is a ooey gooey brownie recipe that is sure to make your Halloween even sweeter!

Ingredients:

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 c. veggie oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream Cheese Layer:

8 oz. whipped cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Orange food coloring


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking dish with tinfoil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium size bowl, mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder together. Add in the eggs, oil and vanilla until well combined. Reserve 1/2 c. of the brownie batter and spread the remaining batter in the pan.


In another mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir together until most of the lumps are gone. Add in the food coloring and stir until you reach the color orange that you like. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownies and spread evenly. Dollop with the remaining brownie batter and swirl with a knife.


Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cream cheese mixture is firm. Let cool fully before cutting into bars. Top with pumpkin sprinkles if you need more decoration.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chicken Scaloppine



Ingredients:

6-8 oz. Cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested and halved
2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, 1 inch thick or pounded out that way
5 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked al dente, reserve 1/2 c. pasta water
2 oz. white cooking wine
4 oz. light cream
1 c. shaved Parmesan cheese


Place a medium size pan over medium heat and add 2 tsp. olive oil. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the heated oil. Cook for 6 minutes undisturbed (do not touch them!), flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. Set the chicken aside and place the pan back on the heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and mushrooms, and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the shallot and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add in the wine, and juice from half of the lemon. Cook for 2 minutes. Add in the cream and pasta water and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn back down to medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes.



Add the cooked pasta and half of the Parmesan back into the sauce and stir together. Season the mixture again with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the pasta and sauce among two plates. Slice the chicken and place a chicken breast on top of each pasta mound. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with lemon zest and the remaining shaved Parmesan cheese.


Bloody Blondies


It's that time of year again....my favorite time of year that is. It is now officially sweatshirt, bonfire, pumpkin spice weather! Along with this season comes my favorite holiday of all time which is Halloween! I have been in the process for the last few months moving into a new house (well, a new, used house) which has taken up most of my husband and my time currently. I have over one hundred recipes to update, and over 60 restaurants to review for my other blog Small Town Girl, Foodie World and I am literally backed up since this past May. Yikes! Hopefully I will slowly be able to catch up, but for now, enjoy this spooky and easy to make treat!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix
1/4 c. veggie oil
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
1/8 tsp. burgundy food coloring gel (or red liquid food coloring)
Spooky sprinkles! (Bloody Bones Sprinkles)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with non stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, veggie oil, egg and milk together until it is a sticky paste-like substance. Use a butter knife to scoop out about 1/8 of a teaspoon of the burgundy food gel and scrape it into the bowl. gently mix the batter with the gel. I wanted a marbled look, but if you want it fully mixed in, that is also okay. Spread the batter out in an even layer in the pan. Top with a few scattered bloody bone sprinkles (they will melt in the cooking process to give it a shiny random surface). Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges of the bars are golden brown. While it is still hot, sprinkle a few more bloody bones on top! Wait for the bars to cool before cutting and serving.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Creamy Taco Chicken Dip


This is a quick and easy dip recipe that takes about 5 minutes to put together and uses most ingredients that are in your kitchen already. If you don't have canned chicken but have chicken breasts, you can always boil and shred them and add them to the dip. If you don't have chives, you can use chopped green onion, and even the taco sauce can always be replaced with mild salsa. This dip is very versatile, and very, very delicious!

Ingredients:

1 large can, canned chicken, drained and flaked
1 c. mild taco sauce
8 oz. cream cheese
3 slices Colby cheese (or 1/2 c. shredded), cut in pieces
*Chives (for garnishment, optional)

Combine the above ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl with lid (or paper towel on top). Microwave for approximately 2 minutes, stir together, and zap again for another 30-45 seconds just until the cheese is melted and the dip is hot. Sprinkle a few chives on top and you have an amazing, creamy chicken dip!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Best Baked Mesquite BBQ Chicken


If you need a great juicy BBQ chicken recipe but don't feel like firing up the grill, then look no further!

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 Tbs. mesquite seasoning
3 oz. sweet baby ray's
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a pan with tinfoil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Season chicken breasts with the mesquite seasoning on both sides. Place in the prepared pan and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes, only browning the outside.

Place the chicken on the prepared pan and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Chicken Diane



Ingredients:

1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 large bunch green beans
6 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, small diced
2 bone-in, with skin chicken breasts
4 oz. light cream
4 Tbs. sherry wine
2 tsp. chicken base (liquid)
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
Olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with tinfoil sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Add chopped potatoes to a medium size pot and pour water until it covers the potatoes. Boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Drain, place back in the pan and mash while adding half of the cream, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid to keep warm while the chicken is finishing.

While your potatoes are boiling still, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a pan and heat to medium-high. Add chicken skin side down to brown, cooking for about 5-7 minutes. Flip over and place onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 18-20 minutes. Rest the chicken.

To the same pan the chicken browned in, add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shallots and cook for another few minutes. Add the sherry, cream, chicken base and Dijon and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until thicker.

Boil the green beans in a pot for about 3-4 minutes until just cooked and a vibrant green. Drain and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on two serving plates. Divide the potatoes in half, and the green beans and place next to the chicken. Top the potatoes with chives. Pour half the sauce on each plate next to the chicken, so you don't make the crispy chicken skin soggy.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Baked Honey Salmon



Ingredients:

2 12oz. salmon fillets
1 Tbs. honey
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and spray with non stick cooking spray. Set the butter in a small bowl and let soften. Place a large non stick pan to medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil to the pan, season the fillets with salt and pepper, and place the fish flesh side down. Sear 3 minutes, flip, cook 1 minute and then place on the prepared sheet. Bake for 6 minutes.


To the butter, add the honey and mix until smooth. Place a slice of salmon on each plate and divide the butter in half, letting melt on top of both fillets.

Grilled Chicken with Pear and Goat Cheese Salad


Sweet pear, tart cherries and goat cheese, and perfectly grilled chicken. What combination could possibly go better for a summer salad?

Ingredients:
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 Red Pear (Anjou), quartered and thinly sliced
3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. honey
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed
2 Tbs. chopped walnuts
3 oz. spinach (i prefer stems trimmed)
1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 Tbs. dried cherries, chopped
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with non stick cooking spray. Spread out the sliced onion on the prepared sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the balsamic, 1 Tbs. olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Set aside. Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Set a grill pan on medium heat. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil (about 1 tsp. each) and place on the grill. Cook for 5 minutes on each side and let rest while gathering the salad ingredients.


In a small skillet, toast the walnuts on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Place the spinach in a bowl and add 1 Tbs. of the balsamic mix; toss together. Divide the spinach onto two serving plates. Top with the sliced pear, chopped walnuts and cherries, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle with more fo the balsamic dressing. Slice the chicken into strips and place next to the salad. (Serve with a small bowl of the dressing instead of drizzling if you are worried about the spinach wilting.)


Deconstructed Pot Roast


Ingredients:
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 oz. sour cream
2 large carrots, trimmed and chopped
2 sirloin steaks
2 tsp. beef demi-glaze
1 tsp. pot roast seasoning
6 oz. butter
1/2 c. fresh peas
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with non stick cooking spray. Add the potatoes to a medium size bowl, water salted, and boil for 15-18 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes back to the pot. Mash in the sour cream, salt and pepper until smooth. Cover and set aside. Add the carrots to the prepared sheet and bake for 16 minutes. Add the peas and continue to roast 2-3 minutes.

While the potatoes are boiling, and the carrots are roasting, season the steaks with salt and pepper. In a medium size pan on medium-high heat, add 1 tsp. olive oil. Cook 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the steaks to a plate and let sit. To the same pan, add 1/2 c. water, glaze and seasoning and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and return the steaks back to the pan. Cook for another 1-2 minutes per side. (Add more water if necessary depending on sauce amount.) Remove the steaks from the pan again and let sit. Add the butter to the pan and swirl in the butter.

Place the mashed potatoes on your serving plate and if you wish, top with extra butter and chopped chives. Place the steak next to the potatoes and pour the sauce, divided in half, on top of each steak (after slicing). Serve with a side of the carrots and peas.