Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BBQ Turkey Burgers

Ok, so my immune system has officially left me to fend for myself. I had a horrid cold that started the last week of January and lasted about 2 weeks. Everything was fine and dandy until this past Sunday when what feels like the same cold is back! Ugh! I'm so miserable. The runny nose, congestion, aches, coughing...it sucks. I'm going to be a hermit this weekend and just stay in and focus on getting better. I think I picked this cold up with all the flying I did last weekend going to Maine. Airports and airplanes must be a breeding ground for bacterie...eww.

When I'm sick I have the strangest cravings. Two days ago I wanted Kraft Mac n' Cheese for dinner and mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert (has to be the green ice cream, not white). I also usually get a craving for a juicy burger. I know, I'm weird. I don't understand it but since I'm cranky enough when I'm sick, it only makes sense to give in and satisfy my cravings. I had this recipe for a BBQ turkey burger in my huge stack of printed recipes and I decided that this was the time to make it. This was so good! I definitely made a few modifications, but overall this is a great way to jazz up a turkey burger. I really want to stress to not over cook these, ground turkey can get dry very quickly. And don't be shy with the BBQ sauce! It will help keep it moist. I served this with some extra sauce for dipping.



Ingredients
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon onion powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 Tbsp brown sugar
-1 lb ground turkey
-5 Tablespoons BBQ sauce, divided
-1/2 sweet white onion, sliced into strips
-Colby-jack cheese

1. Heat frying pan over medium heat.

2.  In a bowl, combine the ground turkey, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and brown sugar. Stir in 3 tablespoons of BBQ sauce.

3. Cut onion into small strips. Saute onions in frying pan with a dash of BBQ sauce.

4. Shape into 4 even burgers. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Flip burgers; continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, brush with BBQ sauce. Reduce the heat to low, position the cover slightly ajar on the pan to allow steam to escape, and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes longer, flipping once if necessary, and continue to brush with the remaining BBQsauce.

5. Top burger with cheese and onion strips. Serve with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.



Source: Sunny Side Up in San Diego

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Strawberry Vinaigrette Salad with Feta and Pecans

Last night was one of those rare occasions where I got to be an actual guest at an event, rather than the event planner! My husband had a Sysco cocktail party to go to and it was so much fun! We ate so much food and we stumbled upon something that I'm determined to recreate: Buffalo Chicken Mac n' Cheese. It was basically a delicious combination of the infamous Crack Dip (Buffalo Chicken Dip) and Mac n' Cheese....I'm thinking a clever name will be Crack Mac? Ok, I'm coining that now so no one else use it.

I had made this salad about 2 weeks ago for our girl's night dinner we do once a month. It was my job to bring the salad. I wanted to do something really fresh and a little more depth than just a garden salad. I found a recipe for a Strawberry Vinaigrette salad and the ingredients sounded so good I knew I had to try it. I kept the salad the same as the original recipe, but the dressing recipe seemed to be lacking so I searched around a little more until I found a recipe that sounded like what I was looking for. I increased the amount of balsamic vinegar, since after I made it according to the recipe it wasn't what I would consider a dressing...it was thicker and lacked the tanginess of the vinegar. After those modifications, it was a delicious hit!


Salad Ingredients
-1 large bag baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries
- 3/4 cup crushed pecans, toasted
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Combine spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, and pecans in a large bowl and toss with strawberry vinaigrette dressing.
 
Strawberry Vinaigrette Dressing
-1 cup olive oil
-3/4  cup strawberries, halved
-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
-1 teaspoon white sugar

1. In a food processor, mix olive oil, strawberries, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. Blend until smooth.

              All Recipes

Monday, February 20, 2012

Crispy Honey Chicken

So I had an amazing time in Maine! York, Maine has always been a little getaway spot for my family and I feel like I appreciate the area much more now that I am older. It's such a quaint and beautiful New England coastal town with tons of shopping and some of the best seafood you could ask for! I know I've mentioned this before, but the York Harbor Inn has the best seafood chowder I've ever had. Unfortunately, the chef revealed that it's his secret recipe, so I'll never get my hands on it! Although, I don't think I'd want to recreate it anyway, I like knowing the only place I can really get it is there! Here are some photos from Maine!

Nubble Lighthouse


View from the hotel room

Ok, now onto the recipe for today! My husband had lunch at PF Changs a few weeks ago and told me he ordered a crispy honey chicken dish and he really liked it. I decided to try my hand at recreating this popular Asian dish. The flavors of this were really good, I love the sweet honey paired with the tangy rice wine vinegar. The only thing I'd recommend is to actually use a deep fryer for the chicken if you have it.  I pan fried my chicken pieces and as you can tell from the photo, the crispy breading didn't stay on as much as I would have liked. I included instructions below for both deep frying and pan frying.  Overall, a hit and something I'll definitely make again!




Ingredients
-2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
- Oil (for deep fryer) or about 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil for pan frying
Batter
-4 tablespoons cornstarch
-¼ cup flour
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-½ cup water
-½ teaspoon salt
-1 egg
-1 egg white
Sauce
-1 ½ tablespoons oil
-1/8  teaspoon ginger
-2 tablespoons minced garlic
-1 teaspoon salt
-3 tablespoons honey
-1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
-½ cup water
-1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)

1.  In a large bowl mix all batter ingredients together until smooth. Cover and allow the batter to site for at least 30 minutes. Add the chicken to the batter tossing to coat, let sit for a few minutes.

2.  Heat a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry chicken bits in patches for 2 minutes or until batter becomes firm. Drain on paper towels. OR: To pan fry, heat the vegetable oil in the frying pan. Add coated chicken into pan and fry about 5-6 minutes, flipping pieces and frying another 5-6 minutes. Remove and place on plate.
3.  To make the sauce, heat 1 ½ tablespoons of oil in your wok. Add garlicand stir fry for 30 seconds.  Add salt, ginger, honey, vinegar, and water, whisk to combine. Combine 1 teaspoon of water with 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Add to the sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add chicken and stir to coat. Serve over rice.

 

Source: Blog Chef

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

If my mom ever sees this post she is probably going to fall out of her chair when she reads this; this recipe is made with canned chicken. That's right, the canned chicken right next to the canned tuna fish. Ok, I'll wait a few moments as I allow her to regain composure. Don't get me wrong, I was very skeptical and a little grossed out at first of the thought of using the canned chicken. But after eating this, I quickly out those thoughts out of my mind. There's a reason why Buffalo Chicken Dip is referred to as Crack Dip, this is extremely difficult to stop eating! With the help of my brother-in-law and my husband, this is our rendition of the Buffalo Chicken Dip. Not too spicy, but just enough kick that is manageable. Just don't blame me when you get addicted to this stuff.

Speaking of my family, T minus 3 days until I'm up in Maine enjoying a family weekend! I know there is going to be some delicious food I'll have to share with everyone when I get back!



Ingredients
- 2 12oz cans premium white chunk chicken
-1 block cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup ranch dressing
-1 package shredded Mozzarella cheese
-1/3 cup hot sauce (I use Texas Pete)

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, ranch dressing, hot sauce and chicken. Stir until smooth. Add the bag of Mozzarella cheese, saving about 3 tablespoons.

3. Smooth dip into a 9x13 baking dish and top with the 3 tablespoons cheese. Bake 20 minutes. Change oven to broil and place dip under broiler 5-6 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let cool and serve with tortilla chips. (Dip will thicken as it cools).


Monday, February 13, 2012

Peach Chicken

I know I've said this before, but I really love the flavor combination of fruit and meat. I think it's such a refreshing combination and if done right, can be quite impressive as well. My mom used to make a dish of baked chicken breasts with peach slices on top. I always loved that flavor of the warm peaches and the chicken. I wanted to take that concept and take it one step further and put my own spin on the dish. I give you the Peachy Keen Chicken.

To start the dish off, I knew I wanted some kind of breading on the chicken but didn't want to use actual bread crumbs. I decided to crush up some pecans and use that on the chicken to give it some texture and a nice flavor that marries well with the peaches. I also was trying to make a peach sauce for the chicken. I did this by placing a whole can of peaches in the food processor and adding some EVOO, a little extra sugar for sweetness, and some salt. Next time I'll add a pinch of corn starch to thicken it a bit. Overall, this was a big hit and relatively easy to put together!


Ingredients
-2 butterflied chicken breasts
-3/4 cup cruched pecans
-Flour and egg for dredging
-1 can peach slices (I used Lite and added sugar as needed)
-1 tablespoon butter
-1/2 tablespoon EVOO
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon white sugar
-1 teaspoon corn starch

1. Heat butter in frying pan over medium heat. Dredge the butterflied chicken breasts in the flour, then the egg, then the crushed pecans. Cook 6-7 minutes per side, or until no longer pink.

2. In a food processor or blender, empty the contents of the can of peaches (including syrup). Blend until smooth. Add the EVOO, brown and white sugar, and salt. Add more white sugar until desired sweetness is reached. Place mixture in pot and add corn starch, heat to simmer and thicken.


A Seasoned Greeting Original Recipe


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Coffee and Nutella Chocolate Cupcakes

So every time I come across a recipe for a chocolate cake or cupcake I say to it, "What makes you different?" "Why should I choose you over other recipes?" I ask this because time and time again I try a new recipe and really the only difference is the ratios of flour and cocoa powder, or maybe the addition of sour cream, (which doesn't really 'wow' me). I try the finished product and although it may be good, it's not what I would call 'worth the calories'. Maybe I'm just super picky when it comes to my desserts. I really want to be impressed when it comes to cupcakes. It's so depressing when the flavors are over powered by just an intense sweetness of powdered sugar.

When you look at this cupcake and ask what makes it different, you'll be pleasantly surprised by the addition of coffee and brown sugar to the batter. I wanted to try something new with the icing to make it unique. I decided to add Nutella and coffee to a traditional chocolate icing to really send this over the edge.

What I like most, is the cake part isn't overly sweet. This is more of a rich and decadent cupcake. Enjoy!


Ingredients
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup coffee (I used a hazlenu K-cup)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease cupcake pan.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar and cocoa. .

3. Add the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Add the coffee and whisk until blended. The batter will be thin.

4. Fill tins about 3/4 full, and bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops are springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. You don't want to over bake these! Nothing sucks more than a dry, over baked cupcake. Cool completely before frosting them.

Chocolate Icing
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup cocoa
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
-5-6 tablespoons Nutella
-3 tablespoons heavy cream
-1 tablespoon coffee

1. Over a double boiler, melt the butter, Nutella, and cream and stir to combine.

2. Combine the cocoa, powdered sugar, and flour. Add the Nutella mixture and 1 tablespoon coffee, if too thick add more cream in 1 tablespoon increments until smooth. Stir to combine.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

There's nothing better than a deliciously cheesy, garlicy, and buttery biscuit as a side item. I've been making these for a little while and finally got around to snapping a photo for the blog. I actually first made these when I made my Cheddar Bacon Breakfast Biscuits. I had found this recipe for a basic garlic cheddar biscuit using my All Recipes Dinner Spinner app on my phone. For the dinner version of my breakfast biscuit, I add a little more cheese and add a whole clove of minced garlic for an extra kick. I also bake the parsley in the biscuit instead of just using it as a garnish. My husband loved these! They are also really easy to reheat and either eat for lunch or dinner the next night.



Ingredients
-2 cups flour
-1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-2/3 cup milk
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 clove garlic, minced
-3 tablespoons butter, melted
-2 teaspoons dried parsley

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cheese, minced garlic, parsley, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Stir in milk. Drop batter  onto prepared cookie sheet.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush biscuits with the remaining melted tablespoon of butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.


Source: All Recipes

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Creamy Parmesan and Garlic Chicken

So I have to start this post out with a major cooking vent. For the life of me, I can't make a successful mousse!!! I first tried to make my mom's recipe for an amazing chocolate mousse a few months ago. I doubled the recipe and who knows what I did wrong, but it never set and stayed very liquidy. The flavor was there, but it was soupy. So last night, I had a recipe from a Taste of Home magazine for a Nutella mousse. I've been wanting to make this one for a few weeks and finally attempted it last night. I followed the recipe and again, it didn't set!!! It stays so soupy! Ugh, I have no idea what is going on!! I'm really hoping that third time's a charm for when I make my last attempt at my mom's chocolate mousse recipe in a few weeks. If it doesn't come out right I swear I'm resigning myself to never making another mousse again!!

Ok, on to the recipe. I came across this recipe and knew it would be right up my alley! I only made slight modifications, like reducing the amount of garlic I used and eliminating the sun-dried tomatoes and spinach, and it was a huge hit with the husband!


Ingredients
-1 whole garlic bulbs, peeled
-Flour, egg, Italian bread crumbs for dredging
-2 tablespoons EVOO
-1/2  teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper, divided
-3 tablespoons butter, cubed
-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1. Butterfly chicken. Dredge chicken breasts in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.  In a large skillet, heat the EVOO and saute chicken 6-7 minutes per side until no longer pink.

2. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper. Transfer to a blender and add the garlic cloves.  Cover and process until smooth. Return mixture to pot and simmer 5-6 minutes.

3. Pour sauce over chicken and top with more Parmesan cheese. Serve over pasta.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Classic Belgian Waffles

My husband thinks I'm weird for it, but no matter what time of day I wake up I need to start my day with breakfast. It doesn't matter whether is 10am, noon, or 2pm....I've got to start out with a good cup of coffee and decent breakfast food. I absolutely love waffles and my awesome waffle maker that my brother and sister-in-law got me a few Christmases ago. For a while I had just been using the waffle batter recipe that came with the maker, but this time I wanted to try something new that would deliver a thicker waffle with more of a crisp outside. I love a slight crunch on the outside, but a soft waffle on the inside. After searching around I finally came across Emeril Lagasse's recipe for Belgian Waffles. Whenever I'm making a recipe from a website, I read through the comments to see what other people thought and things they did differently to potentially enhance it. A few people mentioned that the waffles did not have as much flavor as they had hoped. So in my rendition, I increased the amount of vanilla, added some sugar to the egg whites, and topped them with a cinnamon sugar mixture. This is an excellent Belgian Waffle recipe and a great way to start the morning!


Ingredients
-2 cups cake flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 large eggs, separated
-2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 teaspoon sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-4 tablespoons butter, melted
-2 cups milk
-1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar mixture

1. Preheat your waffle iron and spray with a little cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved and eggs have turned a pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter, and milk to the eggs and whisk to combine.

2. Combine the egg-milk mixture with the flour mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not over mix. In third bowl, beat the egg whites and the 1 teaspoon sugar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the waffle batter. Do not overmix! Pour enough batter in iron to just cover waffle grid. Close and cook  until golden brown, I had to do mine about 5 minutes for that crispy outside.

3. Top waffles with the teaspoon of cinnamon sugar mixture, butter, and lite syrup. Serve immediately.

  

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken with Basil Lemon Butter Sauce

So ya know what would be great? If this cold would go away!!! I'm sick and tired (no pun intended) of constantly blowing my nose, coughing, and having no voice. I'm also angry that this cold totally messed up my new workout routine. I swear this happens to me every time I get the momentum going in a workout routine! I had been doing good since about the end of December, and finally worked my way up to making a full lap around our development and BAM! Here's the cold. Its only been a full week that I haven't been able to workout, but I'm hoping by Wednesday I'll be able to start something again. And of course with my luck, this cold has not suppressed my appetite whatsoever! Jeez, if I'm going to have to be lazy and laying around on the couch at least I could have no desire to eat, but that would be too easy.

Last week we had a couple over for dinner before heading out to see an 80's cover band we like. I mean, is there anything better than a little 'Livin' on a Prayer' and 'Don't Stop Believin"?!? I think not. A few years ago I waitressed at a Carrabba's restaurant when I was trying to save money for our wedding. I really liked a lot of their meals, especially since they made almost everything fresh every morning. They even homemade their salad croutons every morning! One of my favorite meals there is called the Chicken Bryan. Its a pan seared chicken breasts topped with a delicious basil lemon butter sauce and then a medallion of goat cheese. So so good! The only thing I'll change for next time is making the sauce a little thicker, so I'd recommend doing that if you give this one a try. But overall, this was a hit!


Ingredients
-Flour, egg, and Italian bread crumbs for dredging
-2 chicken breasts, butterflied
-1 clove garlic, minced
-2-3 tablespoons butter or EVOO
-1 small log goat cheese
-1/2 cup white wine
-1/3 cup lemon juice
-5 tablespoons butter
-1/4 cup fresh cut basil
-1/2 teaspoons salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. In a frying pan over medium heat, heat the 2-3 tablespoons butter or EVOO. Add the minced garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Add a dash of milk to the egg and whisk. Dredge the butterflied chicken in the flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Place in frying pan and cook 6-7 minutes each side, or until fully cooked.

2. In a sauce pan, melt the 5 tablespoons butter. Add the wine and the lemon juice and simmer to reduce. Whisk in the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil. Simmer 5-6 minutes more.

3. Plate chicken and top with a medallion of goat cheese and top with a generous portion of the basil lemon butter sauce. Service with angel hair pasta.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Basil Crusted Fried Goat Cheese

On a bad note, I woke up not feeling well at all. The plus side of that is at least I'm getting this cold out of the way before I head up to Maine in 2 weeks for a family getaway. I've been up there sick before and it is absolutely miserable! I stopped off at CVS this morning to stock up on Halls and tissues so I'm hoping to kick this thing before it gets any worse. I also have some handy dandy Nyquil to help things at night. I took some before I went to bed last night and boy was that a great night's sleep!

For this dish, I had a few slabs of leftover goat cheese from a meal I made over the weekend. I've really been wanting to try fried goat cheese, but I also came across a delicious sounding recipe in the Taste of Home February/March 2012 issue my mother-in-law mailed to me for a warmed goat cheese over a marinara sauce with basil in it. I took the elements of two recipes and combined them for my own creation: Basil Crusted Fried Goat Cheese. I really thought it would be delicious to have the basil fried right onto the goat cheese, not just an added ingredient to the marinara sauce. These were really good and pretty easy to make, especially if you freeze the goat cheese first so it is easier to slice.


Ingredients
-1 small log goat cheese, placed in freezer for 10 minutes
-2 tablespoons EVOO
-Italian bread crumbs for dredging
-1 egg, whisked with dash of milk for dredging
-Flour for dredging
-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 cup marinara or pasta sauce, heated

1. In a medium frying pan, heat the EVOO over medium heat. Remove goat cheese from freezer and slice into small medallions. (Sometimes you can find pre-sliced logs)

2.Combine the bread crumbs and the chopped basil. Dredge the goat cheese medallions in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumb and basil mixture, making sure it is well coated.

3. Place medallions into the frying pan and fry 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on that side. Flip, and sprinkle with the garlic powder. Fry 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve in marinara sauce.

Source: Taste of Home-February/March 2012 Issue  
               The Hungry Mouse