Best Chicken Rub Ever

photo(25)I am a huge fan of cooking whole chickens in the crock pot. Plop some veggies in the bottom, throw some citrus in the chicken and slather it liberally with the right rub and (obviously) tons of minced garlic…heaven. This recipe continues to be a hit in our home and given how easy it is, I see it being a staple on our dinner menu for the foreseeable future. Of course, the most critical part of this is the rub. I make my own rub and haven’t found one from the store I like better…like, ever. The proportions I give here make enough for several birds so you won’t have to mix a new batch every time. So here is the super simple recipe that will have your whole family licking their fingers after every bite. Continue reading

Advertisements

Bacon-Apple Chicken Burgers

bacon apple chicken burgerI’ve returned from my hiatus! Husband and I took a couple of weeks to travel and so I took some time away from blogging (and cooking for that matter). Now I’m back and ready for ever more creative culinary adventures! We’re attempting to cut out some of the gluten and dairy from our diet (though not entirely…because we also love those things) and so you may notice that reflected in the upcoming posts. The original Bacon-Apple Chicken Burger recipe from The Paleo Mom is ridiculously good. I tweaked it when I made it to just make two burgers. Although it does take a little prep work, the first words out of Husband’s mouth after his first bite were, “this is delicious”, so I consider it worth the work. We served this with a mixed greens salad topped with almonds, sunflower seeds and strawberries and they were wonderful together.

Ingredients (Maple-Cranberry Sauce)

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  1. Combine cranberries, maple syrup and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer.
  2. Simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the berries have popped and the sauce has thickened.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to eat (or at least 1 hour).

Ingredients (Bacon-Apple Chicken Burgers)

  • 2-2 1/2 pounds ground chicken or ground turkey
  • 8 oz bacon (if using 2 1/2 pounds ground turkey, you can use 10oz of bacon)
  • 1 large apple (good cooking varieties are Granny Smith, Fuji, and Rome Beauty)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place bacon in a cold frying pan and then turn on the heat to medium-high.  Cook, flipping once or twice, until bacon is crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, very finely dice onion and apple (you could also grate the apple if dicing is too much work).  Chop the rosemary.
  3. When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan and add the onion to the bacon fat in the pan.  Saute 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to soften.  Add the apple and rosemary and continue sauteing until onion is browned and both onion and apple are soft (about 5-8 more minutes, depending on how finely diced your onion and apple are).
  4. Once bacon has cooled enough to handle, chop into small pieces (think bacon bit size).
  5. Combine ground chicken, bacon, apple and onion mix, and salt in a bowl.  Mix well with your hands.  Form into patties.  If your pan cooled down, heat it back up over medium  heat (if it’s still hot, just turn the element down to medium).  You may want to add a tablespoon of cooking fat (more bacon grease would be great, but you can use whatever cooking fat you have on hand).  Add the patties to the pan (you might want to cook in batches).
  6. Cook patties, flipping once half way, until full cooked (internal temperature should be 160F and I definitely recommend checking with a meat thermometer).  This will take 15-25 minute total, depending on the size of your patties.
  7. Serve with chilled maple-cranberry sauce!

 

Homemade Chimichurri Sauce

image_3Hmm…if there’s one thing Husband and I can’t get enough of, it’s cilantro. This cilantro and parsley heavy sauce is therefore, our favorite. I had it for the first time at Bonefish Grill and ever since then have always hunted it out whenever I was at a restaurant that offered it. While I was surfing Pinterest, I found this recipe from How Sweet It Is for a Garlic Brown Sugar Flank Steak with Chimichurri and was on my way to the grocery store with recipe in hand before the ink had time to dry on the paper. While I did make the flank steak (which was quite tasty), the real star of the meal was the chimichurri, so that’s what I’m sharing with you in this post! It’s pretty easy to make and goes great on a variety of things (as Husband and I adequately tested at dinner).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

1. Combine the parsley, cilantro, oregano and garlic in a food processor and pulse until small leaves and pieces remain.

2. Add in the vinegar and pulse once more.

3. With the processor going, stream in the olive oil and mix until just combined.

4. Stir in the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Taste and season additionally if needed.

5. Store sealed in the fridge for up to a week or so.

Fresh Strawberry Gelato

strawberry_gelatoI know this is insanely out of season, but since Husband’s top request was to have homemade ice cream waiting for him when he got home, this is my post! This is a super simple recipe from Epicurious that yields an incredibly tasty result. I could not stop eating it out of the ice cream maker. It’s not over the top sweet, so if that’s what you’re going for, tweak the sugar content to your taste. As per some reviewers of the original recipe, I’ve added 1 tablespoon of vodka which helps lower the freezing temperature, keeping it from developing ice crystals so quickly after you put it in the freezer.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar (preferably organic)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/4 cups sliced hulled strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon vodka

Preparation

1. Stir sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in milk and cream. Whisk over medium heat until gelato base thickens and begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Pour into bowl. Cool over ice, stirring occasionally.

2. Puree strawberries in processor. Strain into gelato base. Mix in pomegranate juice and vodka. Chill 3 hours. Process in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container. Cover; freeze until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

White Chicken Chili

White chicken chiliAs the snow thickens outside my door to over 5 inches deep, I definitely find myself craving something warm and savory to help keep the cold away. This chili was the perfect fix. I found the original recipe from Add a Pinch months ago and never found time to try it. With this weather settling in over us for what seems to be forever, I was finally prompted to try it out. Honestly, I was a bit skeptical at first, as white beans are not my favorite- but this recipe has me hooked. I wound up topping it with some shredded sharp white cheddar cheese and could not stop eating it. So good.

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, with liquids from beans
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilis, with liquids from chilis
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Instructions
  1. Add chicken and chicken stock to slow cooker. Cook on high until chicken is cooked through and tender. The timing here varies greatly (mine takes about 2 hrs) from slow cooker to slow cooker. If yours does not get up to a high heat very quickly, you can do this part in a pan or Dutch oven. Shred with forks once tender.
  2. Add garlic and onion to slow cooker, white beans, green chilis, dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh oregano. Stir until well-combined. Taste for flavor and adjust to your preference.
  3. Continue cooking for approximately 2 hours. Remove from heat and serve.

“Fried” Honey Bananas

-3

I stumbled onto this recipe from Rachel Schultz on Pinterest (of course) and was intrigued. I’ve recently fallen back in love with bananas and Little Man has fallen in love with them for the first time 🙂 He just loves the way they squish between his fingers, haha. I’m sure one day he’ll like the way they taste as well! These were so easy and tasty. They’ll be a great sweet treat for Little Man when he’s a little older and I don’t think I’ll be able to stay out of them myself! They would be fantastic on some french toast or waffles too…hmmm.

Ingredients:

  • 1 slightly under-ripened banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • cinnamon
  • olive oil

Instructions:

1. Lightly drizzle olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Arrange banana slices in pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together honey and 1 tablespoon of water. Remove pan from heat and pour honey mixture over banana (shown above).

3. Allow to cool and sprinkle with cinnamon.

-2

Gluten Free Almond Butter Cookies

-2When you’re hunting for gluten free recipes, it can often be a test of endurance to find good sweet treats. I found this recipe from one of my favorite bloggers, Mommypotamus. You can do many modifications to this recipe to adapt it to a variety of food allergy concerns. When using coconut sugar (sooo good!), they won’t come out as strongly sweet as they would if you use cane sugar. You can substitute those freely depending on what you’re going for. I topped mine with hazelnut butter for a bit of extra sweetness- I say it was an excellent call. As I ran out of my last bit of store bought vanilla extract making my Cream Cheese Peach Cobbler, this recipe was an excellent excuse to break out the homemade extract I got for Christmas- woohoo!

Ingredients

Yield: approximately 28 tablespoon-sized cookies

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or rapadura/sucanat
  • 1 cup almond butter, preferably raw. Either crunchy or creamy is fine. (I used maple almond butter.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Combine coconut oil, sugar and almond butter in a bowl, blending well with a whisk or spatula. Whisk in egg, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until smooth. Add the almond and coconut flours to the mixture, and incorporate well. The dough should be somewhat firm.

3. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough onto a greased cookie sheet, shaping it into round balls with your hands. Using the back of a fork, press down on the balls in a cross-hatch pattern. We like to do about 2 to 3 presses horizontally and then 2 to 3 presses vertically. The pattern will go across the whole cookie, somewhat flattening it. These cookies won’t expand so feel free to get as many on the sheet as you can without them touching.

4. Bake cookies at 350° for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Use a spatula to place them gently on a cooling rack. Note from Mommypotamus: Be aware: when they’re still warm, these cookies will break easily. But once they’ve cooled, they will be solid… and delicious either way!