Tag Archives: frozen

Chocolate Chip Cookie HEAVEN…

13 Jul

As you can tell, I hardly ever bake. If I bake, it’s for a purpose or a super random craving. I was reading a few blogs the other day, came across this recipe, and decided I HAD to try it. It calls for brown butter, which, until now, I had never attempted. I always see Giada tossing noodles in brown butter and she always makes it look sooo good! Since I’ve always wanted to try my hand at browning butter, I thought using it as an ingredient in a cookie batter, instead of as the star of a pasta dish, would be my best option. You know, in case I botched it.

As it turns out, browning butter is a cinch! All you do is heat it up and stir until it becomes fragrant and brownish in color.

These cookies are amazing. I really have nothing much to say other than that. They have a toffee flavor that is unmatched in any other chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever made. I baked a few and then I froze the rest of the pre-baked cookies to use another day.

They taunt me. Every time I open the freezer, there they are, calling to me. “Please bake me until I’m ooey and gooey. Couldn’t you go for a tall glass of milk right about now?” No cookie, EVER, has ever had a hold on me like these. If you don’t try them, good for you. Way to stay strong. Because I’m telling you, once you make these cookies, your life will forever be changed, and so might your pant size…

Kari, over at Culinarication, is responsible for  posting this recipe. She got the original recipe from America’s Test Kitchen but she tweaked it a little. Kari, I thank you and I curse you. Thank you for this ridiculously delicious cookie recipe but curse you for making me cookie addicted…

Light Chocolate Chip Cookies

(recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen and Kari from Culinarication)

Servings: 18 – 24
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Medium

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. packed light brown sugar

1/3 c.  chocolate chips

Set your oven rack to the middle position and set the temperature to 350°. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together, and set aside. Mix the brown sugar, vanilla and egg together in a bowl. Over medium-low heat, melt and brown your butter. When it cools slightly, mix it into the sugar and butter mixture. Stir it until combined, and then let it sit for a few minutes. Repeat 1 or 2 times. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips. Portion the dough into 1-inch balls (a level tablespoon’s worth) and split them between two parchment lined baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 9-11 minutes until centers are set.

Let them set on the sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Store any leftovers, if there are any, in an airtight container. These are best when eaten within a few days. Yum!

Tips
– Freeze the unused dough after portioning it (stick them on a plate for a few hours until hard, then store them in a freezer bag). When the cookie craving strikes, bake as many cookies as you want in a 350° oven for about 15 minutes or so, and then let them set for 5 minutes on the sheet. Fresh cookies, anytime you want them!

 

Grilled Apple Pork Burgers with a Maple Mustard Glaze

30 Jun

Tonight was an adventure. I wasn’t really sure where this dinner was taking me but I knew I needed to use up the ground pork I had in my freezer. Pork chops and apple sauce is a classic combination so I figured ground pork and chopped apples would have a similar flavor. Everyone loves a good burger… so I went for it.

What became of this burger was nothing short of delicious. An interesting combination of flavors, to say the least, but it was both savory and sweet and very well balanced.

Grilled Apple Pork Burgers with a Maple Mustard Glaze

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Medium

1/3 – 1/2 lb. ground pork
1 small apple, peeled and diced into small pieces
curry powder, a good sprinkle
garlic powder, a good sprinkle
ground cinnamon or nutmeg, a good sprinkle
ground ginger, a good sprinkle
paprika, a good sprinkle
1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1/2 tbsp. maple syrup

Mix pork, apple, and spices together.

Form meat mixture into two patties.

Either on the grill or in a grill pan, grill burgers for 4-6 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, mix together mustard and syrup. Baste burgers while cooking with mustard glaze.

Yum!

Tips
– Serve alone or on whole wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Perfectly Roasted Chicken – Comfort Food At It’s Best!

29 Jun

Whew. What a looong weekend/week. After everything we’ve all been through, I thought we deserved a little R&R and a deliciously comforting meal. This roasted chicken takes about 10 minutes to prepare so it’s in the oven in no time. It also makes your entire house smell like a cozy diner on a winter’s day.

While it roasted away in the oven, I got in a load of laundry, took the dogs on a w-a-l-k, (can’t say it in front of them, ya know) and took a much deserved bath. This is my go-to recipe for roasted chicken and it delivers time after time. I hope you like it.

The two of us can typically get about 4-5 meals out of one chicken so buy them when they’re on sale and keep them in your freezer to roast later. You can also freeze the cooked meat. That’s what I did tonight. We ate the chicken legs for dinner and I froze a bag of the breasts and two bags of shredded meat. That will come in handy later on when I’m in a hurry and need to make a quesadilla or a quick casserole.

Perfectly Roasted Chicken

Servings: 8
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes total
Level: Medium

1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs.), thawed
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, cut into thirds
1 Tbsp. margarine
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chicken seasoning (such as Weber’s Kick’n Chicken)

Preheat oven to 400°. Remove innards from chicken. Dry off chicken, inside and out, with paper towels. Fill cavity with garlic, onions, celery, and margarine.

Rub outside of chicken with oil. Sprinkle seasonings all over. Tuck wings and tie legs together with kitchen twine, if desired.  Place any leftover onion or celery pieces in the bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Place chicken on top.

Roast in the oven, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 180° when inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Remove from oven, let rest for at least 15 minutes, and serve. Yum!

Tips
– If you don’t have kitchen twine, you can use unwaxed and unflavored dental floss or upholstery thread.
– Instead of using chicken seasoning, use your favorite fresh herbs, like rosemary or thyme.

The BEST Breakfast Pizza You’ll Ever Eat (And You Don’t Have To Eat It For Breakfast!)

7 Jun

Upon the  suggestion by a fellow foodie and friend, we recently went to brunch at Hi-Tone in Memphis. Hi-Tone is not a typical place you would ever think of going to brunch. When you walk in, you get the instant vibe that the night before (well, probably even that very morning) the stage was rocking and the dance floor was packed with young hipsters having a great night.

How do you know they had a great night? Well they are still there, sipping on mimosas and bloody mary’s, and eating the most delicious brunch I’ve had in a while.

I can’t attest to anything else (besides the bloody mary’s…yum!) on the menu at Hi-Tone, but the breakfast pizza is legit. So legit, that I decided to try to recreate it at home. The result? Straight up awesomeness.

We ate this pizza for dinner and then ate the leftovers the next day for breakfast. I wish we still had some…

Breakfast Pizza

Servings: 4-6
Time: 30 minutes
Level: Medium

1 box pizza dough mix, made according to package directions (I used Jiffy)
1 package of peppered gravy, made according to package directions (you won’t use all of the gravy)
1/2 c. sharp cheddar, shredded
5-6 slices of bacon, crumbled (I used turkey bacon)
1/3 c. peppers and onions, frozen
5 eggs
1 tbsp. milk
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out dough as thinly as possible. Bake for 3-4 minutes. Remove pizza dough from oven and top with prepared gravy, enough to cover like regular pizza sauce would.

Top with 1/2 of the shredded cheese and all of the bacon.

Bake pizza for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on the edges and cooked in the center. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, sauté peppers and onions until thawed. Add whisked eggs and scramble. When pizza is done, top with scrambled eggs and then with remaining cheese. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until cheese melts. Yum!

Tips
– Try using sausage or ham instead of bacon.
– The peppered gravy package can be found on the same isle and section as taco seasoning packets, chili starters, and pesto/other pasta sauce starter packets.
– You WILL have left over gravy… stay tuned to see what I made with mine!
– Use egg whites to make it healthier.
– Make it vegetarian by leaving off the meat or adding Morning Star sausage.

Hash Brown and Ham Upside Down Quiche

22 May

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This morning, we woke up with brunch on the brain. But, seeing as how the Mississippi River has already flooded and dear ole’ Mother Nature decided to grace us with another torrential downpour and what The Weather Channel calls “deadly cloud to ground lightning strikes,” we didn’t quite think going out for brunch was in our cards today.

The solution? An impromptu quiche-ish dish  that turned into something it wasn’t supposed to be. A nice surprise, in fact, because oh, gracious was it good.

Hash Brown and Ham Upside Down Quiche

Servings: 4
Time: 25 minutes
Level: Easy

1 1/2 c. hash browns, frozen (or shoestring potatoes)
4 eggs
1/3 c. milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c. ham, cubed (or bacon or sausage or even make it vegetarian and add juiced and seeded tomatoes)
1/3 c. bell peppers and onions, frozen
fresh spinach leaves
1/3 c. cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400°. On a cookie sheet, bake hash browns for 5 minutes.

Transfer potatoes to a greased pie plate or cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together.

Top potatoes with ham, bell peppers and onions, and spinach.

Pour egg mixture over top, sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning, and bake for 20 minutes.

Once removed from oven, invert onto a plate, allow to cool, and slice. Yum!

Tips
– Instead of using Italian Seasoning, try cumin and chili powder.
– Top with salsa if desired.
– Use leftovers to wrap in a tortilla with tomatoes and extra spinach leaves for a quick lunch.
– You don’t have to invert the dish. You can leave it in the pie plate if you want.

Oriental Pork and Cabbage Stir Fry

20 May

I wanted to cut down on the carbs tonight so I decided to try using cabbage in place of noodles or rice when making my stir fry. It worked out great! We didn’t miss the noodles or rice at all.

As I’ve said before, I LOVE stir fry. It is one of the easiest ways to incorporate a ton of vegetables into a perfectly simple one-dish dinner.

You should try this version and see if you like it as much as we did. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers tonight. That is, if my husband doesn’t eat all of the leftovers for lunch!

Oriental Pork and Cabbage Stir Fy

Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

ground pork (it only took about 1/2 lb. or less)
1 head of cabbage
2 radishes, chopped
1 handful of broccoli, chopped
1/2 – 1 c. vegetables, frozen (I used an Oriental veggie mix from the freezer section)
1/3 c. sweet green peas, frozen
1 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
sprinkle of red pepper flakes
sprinkle of garlic powder
sprinkle of ginger powder
sprinkle of curry powder
1/3 c. cashews or peanuts
1 tbsp. Sriracha

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook meat until no longer pink.

Add cabbage and water directly to the skillet with cooked meat. Stir frequently, until cabbage begins to wilt. Add soy sauce and all vegetables.

Sprinkle mixture with spices, enough for your tastes, and continue to stir until cabbage is wilted a little more and vegetables are cooked.

Add nuts and Sriracha and stir until heated throughout.

Yum!

Tips
– Try using cubed or ground chicken or shrimp instead of pork.
– Try adding a little Chinese Five Spice to the ground pork mixture.
– Use different vegetables. Whatever you have on hand would work! Carrots and red bell peppers would have been great in mine! Bean sprouts, anyone? Yum!
– Leave out the meat or add tofu for a great vegetarian dish.

Mexican Tortilla Pizza

16 May

I was going to make quesadillas… but then I figured it would save me almost 100 calories if I left off the top tortilla. Ahh, Mexican Tortilla Pizza is born.

Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips make this dish super quick and easy. I use these pre-cooked chicken strips a lot!

I’ll be making this pizza again, for sure!

Mexican Tortilla Pizza

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

1/3 c. Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips
1/4 c. corn, frozen
1/4 c. peppers and onions, frozen
1/4 c. mushrooms, sliced, optional
1 tbsp. jalapeños, diced, optional
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. chili powder
salt, to taste

2 tortillas
1/2 c. refried beans
1/3 c cheese, shredded
salsa, to top
sour cream, to top

In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook chicken, vegetables, and spices, until chicken is completely thawed.

Turn oven to Broil. Spread refried beans on each tortilla, top with chicken mixture, then sprinkle with cheese.

Broil in oven until cheese is melted and tortilla is crispy.

Top with salsa and sour cream, if desired. Yum!!

Tips
– Try using different veggies, meat, or spices to mix things up.
– Leftover taco meat, enchilada sauce, or fajitas? No problem! This pizza would be good topped with any of those leftovers.

Chicken Torta

9 May

A torta is basically a sandwich. This Cuban/Mexican sandwich can be made using any type of protein. Chicken, steak, pork, and even scrambled eggs can top this veggie packed delight.

I decided to try and recreate this delicious torta after eating one with friends at Las Delicias. Las Delicias makes the BEST tortas. The one I had the other night was made with eggs… yum!

Tonight’s version is made with chicken. Either way, it is oh so good and you MUST try one soon.

Chicken Torta

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy

chicken, cooked and shredded (enough for 2)
1/3 c.  enchilada sauce
1/4 c. refried beans
sour cream
2 soft but crusty rolls or baguette
avocado slices, optional
tomato slices, optional
onion slices, optional
jalapeño slices, optional

Heat chicken with enchilada sauce. Cook until meat is thoroughly saturated with sauce.  Spread refried beans on one side of the split bread and spread sour cream on the other. Toast until slightly crispy. Top bread with meat and veggies.

Yum!

Tips
– Try different meats and sauces. You could use leftover fajita meat that has been marinated and cooked… that would be yummy.
– If you choose to use scrambled/omelet eggs, you can omit the enchilada sauce. Add a little hot sauce or salsa to your eggs instead.
– I topped mine with hot sauce.
– I used a whole wheat baguette but it wasn’t soft enough and made the sandwich messier than normal.
– I served mine with a side of corn, bell peppers, onions, and  jalapeños seasoned with a little salt, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder.

In Honor of Cinco de Mayo…

3 May

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Cinco de Mayo… Ahh, what a delicious holiday. Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s a holiday that celebrates  Mexico’s victory over the French on May 5, 1862.  But, dang, celebrating  their victory with a delicious dinner is just fine by me. Our neighbors to the south know what their doing when it comes to their amazing cuisine and I’m not ashamed of how much I love it!

If your going to be staying in this Cinco de Mayo or if you are planning on having a blow out fiesta with friends, check out these recipes below. I took a look back at my recipe collection and my love is clearly evident… I can’t say that ANY of these recipes are even slightly  authentic but they are definitely inspired by south of the border flavors.

Grab yourself a basket of chips and a bowl of salsa, maybe a margarita or two, and celebrate!

Enchilada Pie 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas (vegetarian and vegan)

Steak Fajitas

Mexican Cornbread

Quinoa Salsa Side Dish

Gringa Tostada

Fiesta Fritata

Baja Shrimp Tacos with a Corn and Radish Salad

Thai Peanut Sauce and Thai Chicken Pizza

27 Apr

You MUST try this peanut sauce. It is SO versatile. You can put it on this delicious Thai pizza, dip chicken or beef in it, and even toss it with hot or cold spaghetti noodles.

The noodle idea really is a great one. You just take boiled spaghetti noodles, frozen peas, and shredded carrots and you mix them all together with the peanut sauce. The next day, you can eat your leftovers cold, straight from the fridge. De- freakin- lish.

Seriously, try it… But this post is mostly about the pizza. Jason absolutely LOVES this pizza. He had 3 1/2 slices tonight and tried to get another one before he realized that eating another slice would be eating over 1/2 of the entire pizza.

This pizza is chock full of veggies and the cabbage and crushed peanuts add a nice, unexpected crunch. I hope you make this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do.

Thai Peanut Sauce

Servings: 1/3 – 1/2  cup
Time: 5 minutes
Level: Easy

1/3 c. peanut butter, all natural
1 tbsp. soy sauce, low sodium
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. Thai chili sauce, sweet, hot, or garlic
1 tsp. Sriracha
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. curry powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients together.

Yum!

Tips
– This sauce freezes well. After thawing, just add a touch of water to help it become creamy again.
– You can leave out the Thai chili sauce if you want. Just add a little more of the other liquid ingredients.

Thai Chicken Pizza

Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless
sprinkle of curry powder
sprinkle of ginger powder
sprinkle of cayenne, optional
pizza dough
1/3 c. Thai Peanut Sauce
1/4 c. peas, frozen
1/4 c. carrots, shredded
1/4 c. cabbage, shredded
1/4 c. onion, sliced (optional)
1/4 c. peanuts, crushed
1/3 c. cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400°. Butterfly the chicken breast by slicing it in half lengthwise, making it thinner. Sprinkle curry, ginger, and cayenne over chicken breast. In a pan over medium-high heat, cook chicken breast until no longer pink. Set aside to cool and then dice it into bite sized pieces. In a baking pan, roll out dough and bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and top with diced chicken and remaining ingredients, beginning with the Thai Peanut Sauce.

Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until crust becomes golden brown. Yum!

Tips
– I dip mine in extra Sriracha.
– You can also use hot peanuts.

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