Cheesy Corn Cakes w/ Avocado Salsa

Cheesy Corn Cakes w/ Avocado Salsa

I keep many running Pinterest boards of recipes and ideas for when we go to events, for holidays, and for when we host others at our home. Once it was decided that I would be taking the kids to my parents’ house for July 4th, I hit the Pinterest boards looking for something new. I had been wanting to try these cheesy corn cakes for ages, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The original recipe from Simply Delicious calls for 1 red chile to be added to the salsa- I am not of fan of spicy and, to be honest, the general consensus around the table was that it wasn’t needed. The flavors seemed to all do well together and it didn’t feel like it was missing anything. However, that being said, if you’re a spicy fan, go for it! Continue reading

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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!

 

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

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So, I keep a big binder full of all of my recipes, including the ones I hope to try. This one popped out at me as something a little different and incredibly tasty sounding, so I put it on my “dinner list” last week…for the record, it was Friday’s dinner. As it bears a resemblance to the chicken pot pie recipe I tried recently that I really enjoyed, it wasn’t much of a gamble that it was going to be good and it SO was. I’ll be making this again in the near future.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup chicken, cooked and diced
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (I used sharp white cheddar)
  • 1/2 package pie crust (I used Immaculate Bakery brand), thawed

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions, celery and broccoli and cook to soften about 3-5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and cook an additional minute, stirring constantly. Slowly add broth, milk, cream, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Use a whisk to combine, then add in cooked chicken. Heat over medium heat until warm, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. To make crust strips, unroll thawed pie crust (for one crust). Cut into strips and lay on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, until browned. Remove from oven.
  3. To assemble, Pour soup into individual ramekins and top with shredded cheese and pieces of pie crust strips.

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.

Chicken Fried Rice

imageThis is one of my favorite “fix it and have food forever” meals. I make this when I know the next few days will be busy and leftovers will be the thing that gets me through without starving. I love, love, love Chinese food and I’m pretty bad at making it, so when I found this super easy recipe I was excited to say the least. The original recipe is from Rachel Schultz…she just keeps popping up as a source of awesome recipes for me!

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rice, prepared
  • 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked (she recommends using slow cooker teriyaki chicken)
  • 1 cup peas and carrots, frozen
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Instructions

1. Prepare rice according to package instructions to yield 4 cups cooked rice.

2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat.

3. Add onion, garlic, peas and carrots. Stir fry until tender.

4. Crack eggs into pan and scramble, mixing throughout vegetables.

5. Add rice, chicken, and soy sauce to pan. Stir in soy sauce and remove from heat.

Cheddar Biscuits

image_2These are…so good. I love cheesy, garlic-y biscuits. When I made these to go with dinner I also wound up having 3 of them with breakfast the next morning…and honestly might have continued with them at each meal had there been any left. These are super easy to make and the recipe makes a decent sized batch so you’ll have plenty for a crowd. I made them a little smaller than advised in the original recipe and they turned out perfect for us. Husband said they tasted like what you would expect to get at a restaurant. Score!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
For the topping
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • garlic salt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, if using.

3. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and butter. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist. Gently fold in cheese.

4. Using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, scoop the batter evenly onto the prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. For the topping, whisk together butter, parsley and garlic powder in a small bowl. Working one at a time, brush the tops of the biscuits with the butter mixture. Top with garlic salt.

6. Serve immediately.

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.