Thursday, March 29, 2012

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken & Onion Rings

This chicken turns out super juicy and couldn't be easier. The baked onion rings are the perfect side. The recipe calls for Ritz crackers for the breading, but I think panko breadcrumbs would also be delicious!

Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken
3 large chicken breasts
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. smoked paprika (key ingredient!)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 bottle beer
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

Place chicken in crockpot and sprinkle with seasonings. Add beer and 1/2 the bottle of bbq sauce. Cook on low 8 hours, stir occasionally. Shred chicken with 2 forks and add remaining bbq sauce or more to taste. Serve on fresh buns.

Baked Onion Rings
1-2 large onions, peeled and sliced thick into rings
Approx. 40 Ritz crackers (crushed, or Panko breadcrumbs would be good)
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. + 2 T. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray large cookie sheet and set aside.
Mix cracker crumbs or panko in one bowl with cayenne pepper.
Mix buttermilk, salt, pepper, and 2 T. flour in another bowl.
Place remaining flour in a large resealable bag and add all the onions and shake to coat.
Dip each ring in buttermilk, then crumbs (try to keep one of your hands in the dry bowl and one in the wet bowl). Place on cookie sheet, and spray all the rings with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes and sprinkle with salt while hot.

BBQ Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas

I used the leftovers to make this:

BBQ Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas
8 tortillas (I used whole wheat)
Fresh pineapple, cut in small chunks
8 oz. monterey jack cheese, shredded
Leftover bbq chicken
Jalapenos, chopped (optional)
Butter or cooking spray

Spray or lightly butter a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tortilla and lightly crisp on one side. Flip over and add a sprinkle of cheese, bbq chicken, pinapple pieces, jalapeno (if you want some heat), and another sprinkle of cheese.
NOTE: Try not to add a lot of the juice from the chicken, otherwise it gets too juicy in the pan and your tortilla won't get crispy.
Top with another tortilla. When brown, lift up quesadilla and add another spray or a little more butter and gently flip over. Brown on the other side and remove from pan when both sides are brown & crispy.

Creamsicle Fruit Dip

I've been trying lots of recipes off Pinterest lately, so I'll post the ones we loved! This is the perfect summer dessert, enjoy!

Creamsicle Fruit Dip
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
7oz. jar marshmallow fluff
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1 orange, juiced and zested

Mix until light and fluffy and serve with assorted favorite with this dip was fresh pineapple!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mexican Pulled Pork Stew

Muy Delicioso! This stew has awesome flavor and is so good spooned inside some warm corn tortillas. It takes a little time to make, but is SO worth it in the end. Leftovers will just get better in the fridge, and I'm sure this will freeze well so make a whole batch. Give it a try!
Inspired by Rachael Ray with my twist and tweaks.

Mexican Pulled Pork Stew
2-3 lb. pork shoulder/butt
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 T. smoked paprika
1 t. oregano
1 t. garlic powder
2 onions, 1 sliced thin; 1 chopped
1 bottle beer, I used Negra Modelo
1 T. oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. cumin
1 T. corriander
1 26oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 4oz. can fire-roasted chopped green chilies
1 small can mexican tomato sauce (I use El Pato brand in a yellow can; omit this if you don't want any spice)
1 quart chicken stock
1 can hominy (mexican corn), drained
1 can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
For Serving:
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Cilantro, chopped
Lime wedges
Warm corn/flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place pork in roasting pan and liberally sprinkle with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder. Lay sliced onions over the top of pork roast. Pour beer into pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake for about 4-5 hours (or you can use your slow cooker for this step). Discard any pieces of fat and shred meat, reserving the juices from the pan.

Place oil in a large soup pot and add your other chopped onion. Saute until they start to soften and add garlic, cumin, and corriander. Puree tomatoes and green chilis in a food processor and add to pot along with the mexican tomato sauce, chicken stock, hominy, and pinto beans. Add shredded pork and reserved pan juices. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour until stew thickens and flavors are combined.

Serve in bowls with a squeeze of lime over the top, lots of cheese, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Serve with warm corn/flour tortillas.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Broccoli Mac & Cheese Soup

This is a pretty quick and easy recipe that I just kind of made up. Use whatever cheeses you like and make it your own, but don't use the pre-shredded junk for this soup! You can use all sharp cheddar if you want, or swiss, or a mixture of whatever you have, or dare I say...velveeta (is that really cheese)?! Whatever your family likes :)

Broccoli Mac & Cheese Soup
1/2 stick butter
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large head of broccoli, steamed (or frozen florets, thawed)
1 32oz. carton vegetable or chicken stock, low-sodium
1 c. heavy cream
3 c. milk
1/4 c. cornstarch
8 oz. sharp cheddar, grated
8 oz. gruyere, grated
1 c. elbow macaroni, cooked
Salt & pepper

Place butter in large soup pot. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Saute until veggies start to soften. Add chicken stock, cover and simmer until veggies are tender.

Whisk cornstarch into milk. Add cooked broccoli (steam or microwave covered for a few minutes to soften broccoli), heavy cream, and milk/cornstarch mixture to soup. Stir and bring back to a boil. When mixture starts to thicken, lower heat and simmer until thick and bubbly and broccoli is tender.

With an immersion blender (or in small batches with a regular blender), slightly blend everything together - I like to leave chunks, but you can blend this to the consistancy you want. Add cheeses to soup and gently stir until cheese is melted and soup is thickened. Add cooked macaroni. Taste, and season with salt & pepper.

Sprinkle each serving with additional cheese if you want, and serve with some warm bread or rolls.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baked Dijon Salmon

My favorite way to cook salmon is on the grill. But in the winter months, I'm always looking for other options. This picture does not do this recipe justice. The tangy dijon with the sweet honey with the crunchy panko breadcrumb topping was amazing! I had 1 large salmon fillet, so I cut this recipe in half and it was plenty. So quick, easy, and delicious!
Another good recipe on my blog is Parmesan Salmon Sticks:
click here.

Baked Dijon Salmon
1/2 stick butter, melted
3 T. dijon mustard
1 1/2 T. honey
1/4 c. panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c. finely chopped pecans
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
4 salmon fillets
salt & pepper to taste
Lemon wedges, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In small bowl, whisk melted butter, mustard & honey together. In another bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, pecans, parsley, salt & pepper.

Brush or drizzle each salmon fillet with honey mustard mixture and sprinkle the top with the breadcrumb mixture.

Bake 15-20 minutes until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

What a great easy alternative to the regular taco night! These are delicious - and baked, not fried. This recipe makes about 12 taquitos. Serve with rice, beans, and chips & salsa and you've got yourself a little mexican fiesta!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. green salsa verde (Trader Joe's has the best if you can get your hands on a jar)
1 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. chili powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
2 green onions, minced
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 c. shredded cooked chicken
1 c. grated pepperjack or cheddar cheese
12 flour tortillas
Cooking spray
Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
In bowl, mix together cream cheese, seasonings, green onion, and cilantro. Add in the chicken and cheese and combine well. You can make this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.

Place 3 Tablespoons of the chicken filling on the lower third of the flour tortilla and roll tightly. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet. Spray tops of taquitos lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake 15-20 minutes until light brown and crisp.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crockpot Tomato Vegetable Soup with Chicken

This soup is one of my favorites, and it's a GREAT way to hide lots of vegetables into and awesome tasting soup!

Crockpot Tomato Vegetable Soup with Chicken
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1 zucchini, cut in chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 - 32oz. cartons low-sodium chicken stock/broth
1 chicken boullion cube
1 t. Italian seasoning
1 - 28oz. can diced tomatoes
1 - 15oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 c. ditalini pasta (or any pasta you want)
Fresh baby spinach (optional)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Place diced onion, celery, carrots, zucchini and garlic in the bottom of your crockpot. Lay whole chicken breasts on top and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt & pepper. Pour in chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Add bullion cube and cook on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken and cut in chunks (it kinda just shredds apart).

Cook pasta according to package directions and add to the soup towards the end, along with some fresh baby spinach to give it an extra nutritional boost and great color.

I like to serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top, and some warm crust bread for dipping.

Big Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

When it's super cold out - nothing really is as comforting than a warm cookie!

Big Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups flour
1/2 t. baking soda
Pinch salt
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
Drop cookie dough by BIG spoonfuls at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart; dough should make about 2 dozen big cookies.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Another awesome PW recipe...I love mushrooms more and more the older I get. These are awesome!

Stuffed Mushrooms
24 oz. white button mushrooms
1/3 lb. hot sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1/2 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. dry white wine
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
3/4 c. grated parmesan
salt & pepper, to taste

Wipe off your mushrooms with a damp washcloth or paper towels to clean them. Note: you should never run mushrooms under water to rinse cause they are like sponges and they absorb water!
Remove stems, and chop them up.
Brown sausage in skillet, and set aside to cool.

In same skillet, saute onions, garlic, and chopped mushroom stems for a couple minutes until they start to soften. Pour in wine to deglaze the pan and allow liquid to evaporate.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese, egg yolk, and Parmesan. Add cooled sausage and sauted onion, garlic, & mushrooms.

Scoop a good amount of the mixutre into cavity of each mushroom, mounding the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.