Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Green Chili Sour Cream Enchiladas

I’ve made enchiladas a few times before and they have always been so easy and turned out so great.  Another great thing about this is you can prepare them the night before and then stick them in the oven to heat them and melt the cheese right before you serve.  When I saw Heather’s Dish post this recipe on Twitter they sounded so tasty!  I decided to try to skim mine down a bit and add some shredded chicken & black beans.  The recipe that follows is mine adapted loosely from Heather’s.  Thanks for the inspiration Heather!

Green Chili Sour Cream Enchiladas with Chicken & Black Beans

2 – 3 chicken breasts
1 can black beans (or pinto beans)
1 can light cream of chicken soup
½ cup milk
4 oz can chopped green chilis
½ cup sour cream
1 ½ cups shredded cheese (I used pepper jack)
7 – 8 wheat tortillas
Salsa Verde (optional)

Cook chicken breasts and shred.  Drain and rinse black beans.  Heat cream of chicken soup, milk, and green chilis over low heat in a saucepan until warmed through and bubbly.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.  Spread ¼ cup sauce over the bottom of 13 x 9 inch pan.  Assemble enchiladas with chicken, beans, small amount of sauce & cheese inside, roll and lay in pan.  Top with remaining sauce then cheese.  Heat in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes until cheese melts.  Once they come out of the oven, top individual enchiladas with salsa verde & additional dollop of sour cream if desired.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Orange Glazed Salmon Salad w/ Orange Balsalmic Vinaigrette

OK, let me just start off by saying this has been my favorite salad I've made to date.  Every single bite was followed by a Mmmmmmm!  But we are big salad people in my house so that’s not too different from the normal!  Corey said he liked this other salmon salad better, but I loved the sweet orange glaze that caramelized on the salmon coupled with the orange balsalmic vinaigrette of this one.  Feta cheese, crunchy walnuts, and orange segments finished it out perfectly.  Last weekend on vacation, Corey's mom, sisters, & I shopped at a huge outlet mall in Texas.  The William's Sonoma outlet had a Grill clearance aisle where we found maple wood planks for $1!  The smoky flavor from the wood added another dimension, but it is totally optional! 

1 cedar or maple wood plank 
2 salmon filets
1 Orange
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Salt & Pepper
2 RomaTomatoes
Lettuce (I used a 50/50 Spring Mix/Spinach)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Walnuts
¼ cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

Soak wood plank in water for 2 hours prior to cooking or overnight (this keeps it from catching on fire on the grill).  Mix equal parts honey & fresh squeezed orange juice for ¼ cup with 1 teaspoon orange zest.  Place salmon filets on wood plank & brush with honey orange glaze.  Grill for about 15 minutes, brushing with glaze halfway, or until flakes easily with a fork.  Assemble salads in bowls with lettuce first.  Whisk together dressing by combining almost ¼ cup olive oil, 3 splashes balsamic vinaigrette, 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon honey, and salt & pepper to taste.  Taste dressing and add more honey, orange juice, vinegar, or S&P if needed.  Drizzle over lettuce and toss to coat.  Next add diced tomatoes, feta, orange segments, and walnuts around the sides.  Place salmon filet in the middle and serve.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Greek Salad w/ Garbanzo beans

Who doesn't love a big greek salad?  Well this is something I make pretty regularly at our house, but have never shared the recipe.  I pretty much figured that everyone knew how to make it.  Then I realized that the dressing is what is key!  And that is not so obvious.  (Plus, my sister-in-law, sounds weird to call her that, Laura asked me to put the recipe up here!)  Me and Cor both worked at a pizza place in town called Greeks back in high school & college, and my sister still works there now.  Well along with the best pizza, they also make a fabulous greek salad that you absolutely can't forget when you order pizza from Greek's.  While this dressing recipe is a little different that theirs, we still think its great and hopefully you will love it too!  I decided to throw in garbanzos, but you can absolutely leave them out.

Chicken breasts
Lettuce of choice
Feta cheese
Red Onion
Garbanzo beans, drained
Black Olives
Dried Herbs
Salt & Pepper
Red Wine Vinegar

Season both sides of chicken with S&P, herbs of choice (I use rosemary, basil, garlic, and whatever else I grab in that "italian" realm), and a bit of sugar (the sugar helps it to caramelize and adds a sweetness to the chicken).  Sear on both sides without moving about 5 minutes on each side in a skillet and cook through.  Slice chicken once cooled down some and dice all veggies.  Assemble your salad in a bowl by topping lettuce with chicken, veggies, & garbanzos.  Next mix dressing in a small bowl by whisking together 3 parts Olive oil to 1 part Red Wine Vinegar and season with a touch of sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper.  You can even squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice if you have it.  Drizzle salad with dressing and serve. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hawiian Pizza with a Twist

This pizza was inspired first by this AMAZING chipotle honey grilled chicken I found on Our Life in the Kitchen, which I made a while back and we loved.  Then I included it in these skewers with fresh pineapple and mango.  After we devoured those, Corey made the best comment ever…we should totally make a pizza with this stuff!!!  Then we started thinking and decided to go the hawiian route with ham, pineapple, bbq sauce, & this awesome chicken!  Let me tell you, this pizza was so good!  I decided to go with pre-packaged pizza dough to make things easy and kept the toppings pretty simple.  Once I took it out of the oven I sprinkled it with some fresh cilantro & diced green onions that I had in the fridge, but those are completely optional and mainly just make the pizza that much prettier! 

2 chicken breasts
1/2 of 7 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (freeze the other 1/2 for later!)
3 tablespoons honey
2 fresh pineapple rings
2 slices ham
1 red onion
1 tablespoon diced cilantro
1 tablespoon diced green onion (white parts included)
1 can refrigerated pizza dough (pepperidge farm works great)
BBQ sauce
Olive Oil
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Marinate chicken in chipotle peppers & honey overnight (or for at least an hour).  Slice onions and caramelize in a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over low heat (they take the longest so start them first).  Grill chicken breasts & pineapple.  Dice chicken, pineapple, and ham.  Roll out pizza dough on a cookie sheet & cover in sauce of choice, we did half of the pizza with olive oil and half with bbq (you could even use marinara).  Cover in cheese, then top with chicken, pineapple, ham, and caramelized red onions.  Cook for 13 to 17 or per pizza dough package directions.  Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions when pizza comes out of the oven.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Strawberry Nutella Muffins

This was one of those recipes that I saw and immediately knew I needed to make ASAP.  I LOVE nutella, and when I say love, I mean it!  I sort of buy a small jar and eat it non-stop until I am sick of it, then repeat the cycle in a few months.  These muffins were incredibly tasty, however I think I would make them differently next time.  I had issues with my nutella coming out the sides while baking, making a rather messy muffin with not a whole lot of nutella left inside (well at least not enough for me).  I think it was due to the thickness of the batter.  Next time I make these I think I will skip adding the nutella prior to baking and instead cut out a hole after they cool to stuff with it, or cut them in half and slather them with nutella (sort of the way one would with butter in a muffin).  Seriously though, the strawberry-nutella combination is ridiculous.  I found myself dipping strawberries in the jar while making these, just sayin.

Strawberry Nutella Muffins
courtesy of Two Peas in Their Pod - yields 9 muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup Nutella
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
3. In a small bowl, combine canola oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla together. Use a fork or whisk and mix until well combined.
5. Incorporate the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Add slowly and gently stir, you don’t want to over mix. The batter will be thick. Carefully fold in the strawberries.
6. Fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Next, add a small spoonful of Nutella to each muffin cup. Cover the Nutella filling with the remaining batter. Sprinkle each muffin with turbinado sugar.
7. Bake muffins for 17-20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

This is one of Corey's favorite meals from growing up!  He is the one who makes this dinner in our house because I don't want to touch it and make it differently than his mom always made it.  It is the ultimate comfort food in our house and is easy to whip together on a Sunday night because I typically have the ingredients in our house already.  Rough estimates, make sure you make the sauce how thick and creamy you like it!

1 package egg noodles
1 pound lean ground beef
1 onion
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
milk (1/2 can full)
sour cream (1 can full)

Cook noodles per package instructions.  Brown beef & diced onion together and season with salt & pepper.  Once beef is cooked, drain if necessary, then stir in soup, milk & sour cream.  Let it simmer while your noodles finish.  Combine noodles & sauce and serve!  Easy enough!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Crispy Honey Lime Tilapia w/ Blueberry Lime Salsa

So last night, I totally made something for dinner and didn't tell my husband what was in it until he had his first bite.  He is not a very picky what-so-ever, but for some reason claims he hates blueberries (I know, right???).  Last night I made this awesome salsa with two main ingredients: blueberries & lime...opps!  I was dying to try this recipe the minute I saw it on How Sweet and debated whether I wanted to waste the time & ingredients if Corey wouldn't eat it.  But I am convinced that he doesn't really "hate" blueberries, he just thinks he does for some odd reason.  I was sure if he just tried this he would like it and not even know what was in it!  Well I was right!!!  I love sneaking blueberries into his diet because they are a super fruit and so good for him!  This recipe did not disappoint!  The lime in the salsa was so fresh and the avocado was a great add in as well.  The salsa almost acted like a chutney on top of the crispy honey lime fish with just the right amount of sweetness.  Just make sure to make extra because we were wishing we had more when it was gone!!!  I slightly adapted the recipes below for convenience.

Crispy Honey Lime Tilapia
makes 5 fillets
5 fresh (or thawed) tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
garlic powder
salt & pepper
1/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying

Sprinkle fillets with salt, pepper, & garlic powder.  Add flour to a bowl and set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Dredge each piece of tilapia through the flour until you have a very light coating. Making sure the pan is hot, add tilapia to the oil and cook until flaky and crispy on each side – about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove tilapia from pan and let drain on a paper towel for a few minutes. Mix honey & lime juice & drizzle over fillets, then cover in blueberry lime salsa (recipe follows).

Blueberry Lime Salsa
makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup fresh blueberries
5 medium strawberries
1/4 red onion
1 teaspoon lime zest
juice of two limes (I only used one because it was large and full of juice)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
1/2 avocado, chopped

Combine blueberries, strawberries, onion, lime zest, juice and cilantro in a food processor or blender and pulse. The consistency is up to you but I like to leave mine a bit chunky, so I only pulse it about 5-6 times. Taste and season with salt and pepper and sugar if desired. Scrape salsa into a bowl and fold in chopped avocado. Serve on top of fish or chicken.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies (Homemade Do-si-Dos)

Here's another recipe I've had save for MONTHS!  Corey's favorite girl scout cookie is the Do-si-Dos so I knew I had to give these a shot!  I was in the mood to bake something last Tuesday and was scrolling through my bookmarked recipes when I stumbled upon these.  I thought it would be the perfect thing to make and bring over for our bible study group that night.  They were a hit!  Very easy to make and taste even better than the real thing!  My strong suggestion is to follow the recipe to a T.  I for some reason did not believe they should only be a teaspoon of batter per cookie, so mine turned out a bit large, which I regretted.  I also did not believe they would take a whole 10 minutes, and ended up doing a lot of taking them out of the oven prematurely only to put them back in. 

one lone cookie left at the end of the night to photograph!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
Recipe courtesy of A Cozy Kitchen

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats
For the filling:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Add in the egg and beat together.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine. Stir in the oatmeal.
Use a teaspoon measure to spoon dough onto a greased cookie sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until cookies are light brown.

To Make Filling:
Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream.

Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches (don't be shy, that stuff is tastey!).

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pad Thai w/ Spicy Peanut Sauce

Pad Thai is the first thing I ever ordered at a Thai restaurant and it will forever remain my favorite.  I love the spicy peanut sauce and all the crunchy bean sprouts, green onions, and peanuts on top!  My sister Brooke and I took our dad out for Thai food a few weeks ago for a late father's day celebration.  I ordered one of the best Pad Thai's I've had to date and ended up bringing some leftovers home for the hubby.  He had never had it before and didn't stop raving over it for the next week or so.  I finally gave in to his begging for me to recreate it for him (he always has so much faith in me, ha!).  All of the recipes I found online required me to purchase a number of new sauces that we didn't own already.  And then I landed upon this one from the Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen.  She must have known I wasn't trying to spend a fortune on this one meal.  The recipe looked simple enough and I only had to purchase one additional item, score!  We actually thought the sauce was pretty spicy, and we both love spicy food, so the recipe I'm sharing below is modified for the average person who doesn't want to burn their tongue off (with about 1/2 the Sriracha sauce)!

I am very sorry, but I don't have any pictures for you!  I made this during a busy Thursday night right before I was heading out of the house and Corey ate the rest of the leftovers Friday before I was able to catch any pictures.

picture courtesy of tasty kitchen (link above)


1 package Pad Thai Rice Sticks, 8 0z
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Or Canola Oil
3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, Cubed
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
1 whole Medium Yellow Onion Sliced
1 whole Colored Pepper Of Your Choice, Sliced
1 cup Shredded Carrots
2 Tablespoons Ginger Paste (you can use less powdered ginger, or buy fresh ginger and mince it) 
1 cup Bean Sprouts
1 dash Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 bunch Green Onions, Chopped For Garnish
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
For the Sauce
2 teaspoons Hoisin Sauce
3 Tablespoons Peanut Butter, Crunchy Or Creamy
3 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

Cook noodles according to package instructions.
For the sauce, mix the hoisin, peanut butter, soy sauce and sriracha (we like spicy, so I used roughly a tablespoon) to form a paste. Set aside.
When the noodles are done soaking, drain water and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok over HIGH heat for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes then add the onion, bell peppper
Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped green onions, peanuts & cilantro.

I also wanted to share some photos from last weekend!  Me and Corey celebrated our 2nd Anniversary in Cincinnati.  We decided to take a last minute get away and had a blast zip-lining & catching a Reds game. 

Cor coming in from one of the lines

the views were beautiful

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spinach, Artichoke, & Goat Cheese Salmon w/ Lemon Basil Sauce

Back in April around my birthday, my girlfriends and I went out to Bonefish Grill one night to celebrate.  One of the menu specials that night ended up being ordered by two of the girls who loved it.  I wrote it down that night (I know I am a crazy) so I would remember to try re-creating it at home!  The dish was actually a chicken dish and I can't remember what it was served with, but I decided to make ours salmon and served over linguine!  I was wishing I had some white wine at home to include in the sauce, but I just went with a simple olive oil, butter, garlic, lemon, & basil sauce.

2 salmon fillets
salt & pepper
6 oz jar artichokes
5 oz fresh spinach
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 box whole wheat linguine
2 lemons, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 or 4 cloves garlic
handful of fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly

Start by boiling pasta per package directions. 
Season fillets with S&P and place in small casserole dish.  Steam spinach either in sauce pan or microwave until soft.  Mix spinach, artichokes, & red onion and top salmon fillets.  Crumble goat cheese over salmon & sprinkle with dried basil or other seasonings if desired.  Cook at 375 for about 12 to 15 minutes until flakes easily.
Start making sauce right before pasta and salmon are finishing up.  Add olive oil to sauce pan and start heating over low-medium heat.  Mince garlic & add to olive oil.  Season with salt & pepper.  Once garlic starts getting fragrant, add butter and lemon juice.  Once butter is melted add in basil.  Add sauce over your drained pasta and stir to coat pasta.  Serve in low bowls, top with salmon.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Curried Chicken Salad

Me and Corey met up at a restaurant downtown called Barcelona Tapas for one of our lunch dates a few months ago.  They randomly had a lunch buffet that we decided to try that included a fabulous curried chicken salad.  Neither of us had ever had it before and loved the sweetness of it.  Needless to say, I have of course been wanting to attempt it at home since it was so yummy!  I make chicken salad every once in a while because it is so easy and tastey.  I googled curried chicken salad and read a few recipes to get some ideas on what other ingredients I could include.  I went on to wing it based on what we had at home already and got the big husband approval!  Recipe measurements below are estimates so make sure you taste yours and add whatever else you might like!  (Inspiration came from:  Ina & Simply Recipes).

3 or 4 small chicken breasts
1/3 cup light mayo
1/2 fuji apple, diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries/cherries or raisins, diced
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1 tablespoon diced cilantro
2 green onions (white & green parts), diced
1 tablespoon finely diced red onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
salt & pepper

Boil chicken breasts until cooked through.  Chop chicken, apple, cranberries, pistachios, cilantro, green onions, and red onions.  Combine all ingredients.  Taste & add additional seasonings to your preference.