lattice chicken pot pie
Mexican street corn pasta
chicken Ghiveci
creamy chicken tortilla soup, jalapeno jack popovers
butter basted ribeyes, twice baked potatoes, broccoli
brisket tacos, pinto beans
pork souvlaki, naan

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Nutella Swirl Muffins

Nutella Swirl MuffinsHappy Halloween everyone! We are taking Miss F out trick-or-treating as Dino.  As soon as I saw these on What's Cookin Chicago, I knew I had to make them. The silliest thing about that is that I am allergic to tree nuts.  It was an adult onset allergy, so no Nutella for me.  I do remember loving Nutella when I first had it in England when I was in grade school.  Since i could not partake, these muffins were perfect for sharing with friends and with C, who loves Nutella.  I cannot give these my personal stamp of approval, but C enjoyed them, so I can go ahead and recommend them highly. 
Nutella Swirl Muffins

¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking power
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup vegetable oil
¾ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with baking cups and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and egg until combined. Add in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg, mixing to incorporate into a batter. Add in vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract.

Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full with batter. Add a teaspoon of Nutella to each muffin cup and using a knife, swirl it around a few times to stir in. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes or until center comes out clean when checked with a toothpick. Allow muffins to cool before serving.
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Monday, October 29, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Mango Salsa

Mango SalsaIt's time for the Secret Recipe Club once again. This month I received Enriching Your Kid to make one of her recipes. I was drawn to her recipe for Mango Salsa since I had a ripe and juicy mango on my counter. This salsa is a refreshing alternative to traditional tomato salsas and would be lovely on grilled chicken or fish. The only problem I had was chopping the mango, those things are SO darn slippery.  Be sure to check out all the amazing submissions for this month's Secret Recipe Club below.
Mango Salsa

1 ripe mango
1 large ripe tomato
2 shallots
A handful of fresh cilantro
juice of a lime

Wash and skin and cube the mango. Wash and cube the tomato. Peel the shallots and slice finely. Separate the shallot slices. Chop the cilantro. Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over top and stir to combine. Serve with chips or overtop of grilled chicken or fish.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Crockpot Coq au Vin

Crockpot Coq au VinIt is still 90 degrees plus in Houston, but after a long weekend in Jackson Hole, I was ready for a warm, comforting fall dish. I have a crazy amount of chicken thighs in my freezer, I think I accidentally bought an extra pack at Costco instead of getting chicken breasts. This recipe is inspired by the Coq au Vin recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I adapted it a lot and changed it to cook in the crockpot. This dish is perfect for fall, even if fall means 90 degree days better suited for a day at the pool. At least I can pretend we are still in Jackson Hole.
Crockpot Coq Au Vin

3 slices of bacon, chopped
4 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons flour
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup quartered mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup red wine
½ cup chicken broth
½ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried parsley
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

In a sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat. Remove the bacon to a dish with a slotted spoon when crisp. Coat each chicken thigh in flour, salt and pepper. Saute the chicken thighs in the bacon grease for three minutes per side. Remove to a plate and set aside. Saute the carrots, onions and mushrooms for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds more. Transfer the vegetables to the crockpot and top with the chicken thighs. In a two cup measure, mix together the wine, broth, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken thighs. Sprinkle the bacon over top of the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

Pumpkin GingerbreadI adore big slices of gingerbread cake. I also enjoy pumpkin gingerbread. So I decided to combine the two, at Miss F's request, to make pumpkin gingerbread cake. The whole inspiration to making gingerbread came from Disneyland. We were riding through the Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion and there was a wonderfully good smelling gingerbread house in one of the rooms. Miss F has wanted to make gingerbread for her lunchbox ever since we got home. This gingerbread is a little more Halloween than Christmas, I adore it.
Pumpkin Gingerbread

¾ cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup water
1 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch square pan. In a large bowl mix together the sugars, oil, eggs and water. Beat in the pumpkin and the spices. Slowly add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir just until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Red Snapper Tacos with Cucumber Slaw

red snapper tacos with cucumber slawI love fish tacos, especially ones with snapper. I wanted something lighter for dinner after eating our way through Disneyland for five days. These tacos fit the bill perfectly. The slaw is light and provides a great crunch to contrast the delicate fish. I much prefer corn tortillas with fish tacos, not sure why, I think the flour tortillas can often be too heavy.  Any firm white fish would work perfectly with these tacos, they would also be amazing with grilled snapper. 
Red Snapper Tacos with Cucumber Slaw

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 pound red snapper filets
1 lime
1 cucumber, sliced thin
1 carrot, shredded
½ cup shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon hot sauce
8 corn tortillas

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, cumin, cayenne, pepper and juice from half of the lime. Rub the seasonings over the snapper filets. Saute the fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Remove and set aside.

Toss together the cucumber, carrot and cabbage with oil, vinegar, hot sauce and the juice from the remaining half of the lime.

Warm the tortillas on the hot skillet.  Slice the fish.  Top the tortillas with a slice of snapper, top with the slaw. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
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Friday, October 19, 2012

Recipe Swap: Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Cinnamon Roll MuffinsIt's another Blogger's Choice Swap, which means I got to troll through Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations to find whatever recipe I wanted to make.  I instantly gravitated to her recipe for cinnamon roll muffins, I loved the idea of making them in muffin form and not needing to use yeast.   These were quite a breakfast treat, Miss F was a huge fan and I was equally impressed.  They had all the components of a good cinnamon roll: warm cinnamon, gooey icing and they were messy to eat.
Cinnamon Roll Muffins

1 cup buttermilk
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 eg
3 cups flour

Filling Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Icing Ingredients
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons milk or cream

Measure the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and egg into a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk, then the flour; stir until thoroughly combined into a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. Roll the dough into a 12x24 inch rectangle and spread with the butter. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough into a log beginning with the wide side. Stretch slightly. Cut into two-inch pieces and put these pieces into greased muffin tins or cupcake liners. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thai Sweet Chili Salmon

Thai Sweet Chili SalmonOne of my favorite sushi places for a girls' happy hour has a fried calamari that is amazing. What is most amazing about the dish is the sauce it comes with, it is a spicy version of Sweet Chili Sauce. This recipe brings those same flavors out on my most favorite fish, salmon.  As usual, adjust the Sriracha to your own personal taste level.  I probably added more than a tablespoon of it.  Thanks to Once Upon a Chef for the wonderful recipe.
Thai Sweet Chili Salmon
1-1/2 pounds (or four 6-ounce pieces) salmon, skin on
6 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 to 3 teaspoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

Set oven rack 5-6 inches from the heating element and preheat broiler.

Make marinade by combining sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, Sriracha and ginger in a shallow baking dish. Spoon ¼ cup marinade into a small dish and set aside. Add salmon fillets, skin side up, to remaining marinade and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer salmon fillets to prepared baking sheet, skin side down, and drizzle a bit of the marinade over top. Go easy — you don’t want it to pool too much on the baking sheet because it will burn in the oven. Broil salmon for 6-10 minutes, or until browned in spots and almost opaque in the center. Transfer salmon to serving platter and pour reserved sauce over top. Serve.
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Crabcake Sauce

Crabcake SauceOn of the spoils of having crabs at my parents' house is the batches of frozen crab meat we pick after everyone is full. My most favorite thing to make with the meat are crabcakes.  I can eat them on a sandwich, between saltine crackers or just plain.  Lately, the most enjoyable way has been with this sauce that is my mom's recipe.  Originally it was a recipe to dip steamed artichoke leaves into, but we decided it shines as a sauce for crabcakes. 
Crabcake Sauce

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

few pinches cayenne pepper, to taste

pinch sugar
pinch salt

lemon zest, to taste

Whisk all ingredients together in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least one hour.
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Crockpot Tortilla Soup

Crockpot Tortilla SoupOn Mondays, Miss F has ballet and tap class after school, which means there isn't much time to cook dinner after. I am not a huge fan of most crockpot meals, I like stews, shredded meats and soups, that is about it. I love chicken tortilla soup, so I decided to try and make it in the crockpot. It was a total success! C did complain about the fried tortilla smell, "so much smell for such little strips," but the dinner was delicious. Even Miss F was a huge fan, though she opted not to have avocado on hers. Which I found quite strange because she loves guacamole.
Crockpot Tortilla Soup

4 cups chicken broth
1 roasted Poblano pepper, chopped
1 package frozen corn
1 can Rotel tomatoes and jalapenos
1 to 2 chipotles in adobo, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
1 avocado, chopped
½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 lime

Stir together the broth, Poblano, corn, Rotel, chipotles, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in the bowl of the crockpot. Add the chicken breasts. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred with two fork, return to the crockpot.

Slice the tortillas in half and then into strips. In a small sauce pan, heat two inches of oil over medium high heat. Fry the tortilla strips in batches until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve the soup garnished with the tortilla strips, avocado and cheese, along with a squeeze of lime juice.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Salmon with Avocado and Tomato Salsa

Salmon with Avocado and Tomato SalsaSalmon is my most favorite fish. I buy it at the fish market near my parents house then break it down into individual filets to make whenever C is out for the evening. This recipe was inspired by Corn Cakes with Pulled Pork and Avocado-Tomato Relish.  This dish is absolute perfection in my eyes.  The tart vinegar pairs perfectly with the rich salmon and avocado.  The relish would also be fantastic on tilapia or red snapper.  I added one teaspoon of the Sriracha to my single serving, so feel free to increase if you like things a touch hot.
Salmon with Avocado and Tomato Salsa

4 6-ounce salmon filets
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 avocado
2 roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha

Preheat your broiler. Line a pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay each salmon filet skin side down and brush with one tablespoon of the oil. Salt and pepper each filet. Broil for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon filets.

Chop the avocado and tomato and place in a small bowl. Pour over the remaining tablespoon of oil, vinegar and Sriracha. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve each filet with a large spoonful of the avocado and tomato salsa.
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Monday, October 8, 2012

Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chewy Chocolate CookiesThese cookies are amazing. I cannot stop eating them, they are rich with chocolate and perfectly chewy.  Miss F was a great helper baking the cookies, her favorite thing to do was to scoop the cookies, but I think she was mainly in it to sneak tastes of the batter.  Thank goodness most of the cookies will be sent with Miss F in her lunch box.  These cookies would be perfect to use in any kind of sandwich cookie. Thanks to Dine and Dish for the amazing recipe.
Chewy Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs then add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 9 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies will be soft and still look slightly doughy. Let set and cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes then remove from sheet onto wire rack to cool completely.
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Recipe Swap: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Oats and Strawberries

whole wheat strawberry and oat pancakesThe theme of this week's recipe swap was breakfast. I am always game for new breakfast recipes since I try to make a hot breakfast for Miss F a few times a week. These pancakes from Becoming Pigzilla are fantastic and quite good for you. Miss F doesn't eat syrup on her pancakes any longer, so I did dust hers with powdered sugar. They are quite filling and would work with blueberries or bananas just as easily as with strawberries.  I submitted my recipe for Apple and Cranberry Baked French Toast for the swap.  Thanks to Taste of Home Cooking for hosting the swap.
Whole Wheat Pancakes with Oats and Strawberries

1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
1 ¼ cup less 1 tablespoon milk
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup strawberries, sliced small

Add vinegar to liquid measuring cup. Add milk up to the 1 ¼ cup mark. Pour into medium-sized bowl and add oats. Set aside and let sit for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Using your stand mixer and whisk attachment, add egg whites to mixing bowl and whisk to soft peaks on medium until frothy and fluffy.

Heat griddle pan over medium heat and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add vanilla extract to milk and oats. Whisk in dry ingredients until just combined. Add sliced strawberries and fold in egg whites. Using a ladle, add about 1/3 cup of the batter to the pan. Use the ladle to spread the batter so the pancakes don’t get too thick. Once they start to bubble around the edges, they are ready to flip, about 2-4 minutes on each side. Serve with additional strawberries and maple syrup.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bacon, Roasted Poblano and Corn Pasta

Bacon Roasted Poblano and Corn PastaThis recipe was actually adapted from a recipe I posted awhile back. The amazing Tide and Thyme had the grand idea to add roasted Poblano peppers to Pasta with Bacon and Corn. I saw her blog update while we were on vacation in Hawaii and I made it our first night home, that is how delicious it looked.  It did not disappoint.  My only regret was that hatch chile season had already passed, because they would be amazing added to this dish.  I love adding peppers to dishes, especially since they add so much flavor and cost so little.  I promised I would try to eat less after our vacation, but the leftovers won't last long in my refrigerator.
Bacon, Roasted Corn, and Poblano Pasta

3 ears of corn, or 3 cups frozen kernels
1 poblano pepper
1 pound dried linguine
6 slices bacon, chopped
¼ cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon flour
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
2/3 cup cream

Char ears of corn and poblano pepper over an open flame on the grill, in the broiler, or on a grill pan for several minutes. Turning to evenly char all sides. Place the peppers in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam. Set aside for 10 minutes before peeling, seeding, and dicing. Cut the kernels off the cobs and set aside.

Prepare pasta per package instructions. Meanwhile, in a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add shallots and sauté until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add the wine and chicken stock and deglaze pan with wooden spoon, simmer for 1 minute. Add the corn and poblanos and simmer for 5 minutes more. Stir in the cream and simmer for another minute. Stir in the bacon and pasta.
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Monday, October 1, 2012

Pulled Mango Chicken Sandwiches

Pulled Mango Chicken SandwichMy friend Courtney took a trip to Grand Cayman a bit back and she brought me back a bottle of Mango Ginger Sauce. The sauce is has a sweet, vinegary flavor and it is great on meat. I decided to make a recipe for pulled chicken based off of the flavors of the sauce.  This sandwich would also be amazing with grilled fresh mango slices on it, though I always struggle with slicing a fresh mango.  Those slippery devils are near impossible to grip!  Of course I served it on my favorite roll, Brioche Buns.
Pulled Mango Chicken

½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup mango nectar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon mango ginger sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha
½ teaspoon ginger
4 buns
1 avocado, sliced

Add the onion and ginger to the bottom of the crockpot. Lay the chicken overtop. In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, nectar, oil, soy sauce, mango ginger sauce, Sriracha and ginger. Pour the broth mixture over the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the crockpot and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve on toasted buns with avocado slices.
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