Thursday, August 28, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas

Last weekend Eric and I made three dozen tortillas. After making my own--even though they are a bit of work--I just can't bring myself to buy tortillas from the grocery stores. Homemade ones are just that much better. And with Eric's help--one of us rolling out the tortillas, the other one cooking them--it went so much faster! Plus, it was fun cooking together. So after all our hard work, we had to enjoy a tortilla or two for dinner. I've been obsessed with buffalo sauce ever since I made buffalo chicken dip, so I made buffalo chicken quesadillas. Days later, Eric was still mentioning how good they turned out.

Ingredients: 10 ounces cooked chicken (I used canned chicken)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-4 tablespoons buffalo sauce (depending on just how spicy you want it)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Green onions, chopped (optional)
8 6-inch tortillas

Dipping Options:
Blue cheese dressing
Sour Cream (Eric stirs hot sauce into his sour cream)

Combine the chicken, cream cheese, and buffalo sauce in a bowl. Divide the mixture between four tortillas and spread it. If desired, sprinkle each tortilla with 1/4 cup cheese and with green onion. Place the remaining tortillas on top of each quesadilla.

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat. Cook each quesadilla for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the tortillas are browned and crisp.

Service with a side of blue cheese dressing or sour cream.



More Mexican-Inspired Recipes:
Homemade Tortilla Chips 
Chicken Enchiladas with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes 
Chile and Tomato Shredded Chicken with Cheese Sauce
Corn and Black Bean Skillet Chicken 
Margarita Chicken and Steak Fajitas 

Crockpot: Lemon Pepper Chicken

Lemon Pepper seasoning has become one of my favorite seasonings over the last year. Try it on corn; just trust me, it's delicious. I even have Eric hooked on it. I already have a hobo meal lemon pepper chicken; it was inevitable that I'd come up with a Crockpot lemon pepper chicken. So moist, so full of flavor. I actually wish I had made more so I had leftovers to eat.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed or frozen)
3 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
1/4 cup lemon juice

Spray Crockpot with cooking spray (this simply makes cleaning it easier). Add chicken breasts. Pour lemon juice over them then sprinkle with seasoning.

Set Crockpot to Low and cook 6 to 8 hours or set to High and cook 5 to 7 hours.



More Chicken Recipes:
Parmesan-Seared Chicken
Parmesan Chicken Casserole
Pesto Chicken Lasagna with Artichokes and Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
Pizza Inspired Chicken 
Potless Chicken Pot Pies
Provincial Chicken
Southwest Chicken Panini Sandwich
Spicy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe

Whenever we've done homemade pizzas, I've always used Jiffy boxed pizza crust. Tonight I hadn't planned on making pizza, but when I opened the fridge, I discovered that we had all the makings for a pizza--except the pizza crust. In truth, it's about time I made my own pizza dough. I have fallen in love with bread making over the last year--I've made tortillas, different types of rolls, breadsticks, and French bread--I should have my own pizza dough recipe, especially considering how much Eric loves pizza.

This is a pretty basic recipe that can easily be personalized to suit anyone's taste. I sprinkled my crust with Parmesan cheese and garlic powder. Next time I might add some Italian herbs. But regardless how you season it; the crust is soft and delicious.

Recipe adapted from here.

2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 packet active yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup warm water

Place water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. Add 2 1/2 cups flour, oil, and salt; combine. Add more flour until dough forms a bowl. Knead 5 to 7 times. Roll into a bowl, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or damp cloth. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease pizza stone with cooking spray.

Punch dough and place it on the pizza stone. Work it into a crust with a 12-inch diameter. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven and add sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.

Raw dough

After first bake





More Pizza Recipes:
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Homemade Pizza Rolls
Ricotta, Basil, and Sun-dried Tomato Pizza 
Pizza Inspired Chicken
The Pizza Quiche
Pizza Zucchini Boats

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sauteed Kale with Bacon

I love kale. I didn't know that I loved kale until I made this recipe. I had made kale chips before and liked them. But I could have eaten bowl after bowl of sauteed kale. When I had Eric tried it, part of me hoped he wouldn't like it so I'd have the whole batch to myself. But he fell in love with it too.

Recipe adapted from here.

1 1/2 pounds kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoon onion, minced
1/2 cup vegetable stock or chicken stock
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; cook until soft but not colored. Pour in stock and kale. Toss to combine.

Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring continuously until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in bacon. Drizzle with vinegar.

Sauteed kale with cheese stuffed chicken and corn.



More Side Dish Recipes:
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Tomato Zucchini Bake 
Twice Microwaved Loaded Potatoes
Very Simple Roasted Potatoes
Simply the Best Macaroni and Cheese

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Pull-Apart Pizza French Bread

I usually pack Eric a lunch for work during the week, and I'm the one who cooks dinner pretty much every night (sometimes that's a frozen pizza or a can of soup, but hey--I'm still the one heating it). On the weekends, I may make dinner, but he has to fend for himself for lunch. Well, last weekend I found him standing in front of the fridge, door open, trying to figure out what to make for lunch. I decided to take pity on him and made him this bread. He loved it! Of course, he loves pizza anything.

Recipe adapted from here.

1 loaf French bread (store bought or homemade)
1 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup pepperonis, cut in half
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup marinara sauce or pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Using a bread knife, slice your bread making each slice about 1-inch thick, but DO NOT slice bread all the way through; do not slice through the bottom crust of the bread.

In a small bowl, mix together melted butter and Italian seasoning. Carefully drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon of butter mixture into each cut. Next, gently stuff the mozzarella and pepperoni between the bread slices. Be careful not to accidentally tear the bottom crust. Brush or drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the top of the bread.

Wrap bread completely in tin foil and place on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread browns lightly. Warm sauce in the microwave and serve with bread.



More Bread Recipes:
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread in a Mug 
Grandma Betty's Banana Bread
Homemade Bread Sticks 
Homemade Flour Tortillas
Homemade Pita Bread
Only the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls 
Parmesan Onion Rolls 
Pull Apart Pizza Bread  
Pull-Apart Spinach and Cheese Bread
Pumpkin Bread!
Sour Cream Dinner Rolls 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cinnamon-Sugar Roasted Chickpeas

Most often I season my roasted chickpeas with garlic powder and onion powder, but when I want something special I make sweet and salty chickpeas and roasted pumpkin chickpeas. Since cinnamon-sugar everything is delicious, and I was craving something sweet, I made cinnamon-sugar chickpeas. Sooooo good. I seriously love roasted chickpeas.

Recipe adapted from here.

1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and sugar; set aside.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Using paper towel, dry the chickpeas well (this ensures they'll be crunchy). Roast chickpeas for minutes. Remove from oven and toss with olive oil then toss with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Roast for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container (but beware, they don't stay crisp for more than a day).



More Snack Recipes:
Baked Apple Chips
Buffalo Chicken Dip 
Fries with Garlic Cheese Sauce
Homemade Pita Chips 
Homemade Pizza Rolls
Roasted Peas

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Between my husband and the dog, peanut butter has become a staple in the house. So much so that I buy the huge 5 pound jar. A few weeks ago we ran out and it wasn't in the grocery budget to stock up on it. Eric and Arya had to go two whole weeks without their peanut butter, and I got plenty of complaints from Eric and sad eyes from Arya as she tried to give me her Kong toy (which usually gets filled with peanut butter). So when I finally bought a jar, Arya got her Kong full of peanut butter and Eric got these amazing peanut butter pancakes.

Recipe adapted from here.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup water (or milk, if you prefer. I actually like water better)
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat griddle or skillet to medium heat. Grease with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, combine water, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well-combined.Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour 1/4 cup portions onto the griddle or pan. Cook until little bubbles appear, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve with butter or syrup, if so desired.

Peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, and eggs with cheese, kale, and bacon



More Breakfast Recipes:
Blueberry Muffins
French Toast in a Mug
Homemade Hash Browns
Individual Bacon and Cheese Quiches
Monkey Bread Muffins
Only the Best Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Oatmeal
Quiche in a Mug
Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Sweet Buns Three Ways: Cherry, Blueberry, and Cream Cheese 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Soy Wax Beans with Sesame Seeds

I don't think I had a wax bean until my mother-in-law handed me a big bag of beans (we also walked away with garden fresh kale, cabbage, and cucumbers). I now had to figure out what to do with them. After looking through a dozen recipes, I finally just chose one, nearly at random. It must have been fate because Eric and I devoured our entire supply of wax beans and immediately wanted more so we can make these again.

Recipe adapted from here.

1 pound wax beans, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pinch ground ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, packed
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the wax beans with olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until beans are tender and browned in spots. Toss beans halfway through.

Mix together soy sauce, ginger, lemon, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add roasted beans and toss. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Soy wax beans with Melt-your-mouth chicken



More Veggie Recipes:
Parmesan Veggie Crisps
A Basic Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
Baked Potato Soup
Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
Cheesy Tomato Zucchini Bake 
Baked Parmesan Tomatoes
Alfredo Green Bean Casserole  

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chicken

I wanted a super simple chicken recipe with a lot of flavor that I didn't have to marinate first, and that's how I found this recipe. No marinating, not a lot of ingredients, and incredibly moist and tasty.

Recipe adapted from here.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used low fat)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally so you have 4 thin chicken breasts. Place the chicken in the baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread mixture over the chicken breasts. Don't put it on too thick.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Melt-in-your-mouth chicken with soy wax beans


More Chicken Recipes:
Pizza Inspired Chicken 
Potless Chicken Pot Pies
Provincial Chicken
Orange Chicken with Fried Rice
Parmesan-Seared Chicken

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cucumber Chips

So my in-laws' vegetable garden produced an abundance of giant cucumbers. They kindly shared their bounty with us. But I don't like cucumbers. Eric does, but he has only eaten them in salads. Even Eric couldn't eat enough salads to use up three huge cucumbers. So I got creative. Rather Eric did. Since I like to make veggies into chips, he suggested cucumber chips.

Well, I finally found a cucumber I like. Eric liked them too. I seasoned mine with lemon pepper seasoning, but you could use plain old salt and pepper, garlic powder, or if you want something spicy, cayenne powder.

Cucumber (I've found that smaller cucumbers work better)
Seasoning of choice
Cooking spray

Line a microwave-safe plate with waxed paper and spray generously with cooking spray.

With a mandoline slice your cucumber into rounds that are just a step above paper thin (I use the second setting on my mandoline). If you make your slices too thick, they won't crisp. 

Place your cucumber slices in a single layer on the plate. Sprinkle seasoning over the cucumber.
On high power, microwave for 4 to 6 minutes. Allow the chips to rest for 1 minute. Microwave for another 2 to 3 minutes or until light brown spots appear on the chips. Keep in mind each microwave cooks differently. My chips turned out best when cooked for 4 minutes then 3 minutes.

Remove from microwave. Beware, the plate will be very hot. Serve right away. Chips do not keep.



More Chip Recipes:
Baked Apple Chips
Banana Chips
Homemade Pita Chips
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Kale Chips 
Parmesan Veggie Crisps
Pepperoni Chips
Potato Chips in the Microwave
Snowflake Tortilla Chips
Yellow Squash Chips 
Zucchini Chips 2.0