Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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This soup is so comforting and delish. As new parents we are ALL about meal prep…IE: what can we make a lot of and toss in the freezer for quick meals on week nights? Soup is an amazing option for lunches, dinners, period. Its my new favorite food!

Before my husband heads to work he pulls a mason jar of soup out of the freezer and places in the fridge. When home – pour it into a pot on the stove, heat it up and eat. Voila! Its much better for you and comes with much less guilt than ordering a pizza or hitting the BK drive-thru when exhausted after a long day and sleepless night before. We also made it over the Christmas holiday with my family and it was a big hit.

This soup is SO easy to make and I know you’ll love it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice blend
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into 1 tbsp chunks
  • 2 clove minced garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp of each dried thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary
  • 1 rotisserie chicken – shredded (or you can shred chicken breasts or chicken thighs on your own)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare rice according to directions listed on package.
  2. As the is rice cooking, in a large pot, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté until slightly tender, about 5 minutes
  3. Add in garlic and sauté another minute or so
  4. Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile reduce heat to low and add cooked rice.
  6. Add shredded chicken to soup. Keep on low temperature.
  7. In a separate medium saucepan (you can just rinse/wipe the rice pan), you will start the roux by melting the remaining 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat.
  8. Whisk in flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Then, while whisking vigorously, slowly pour milk into butter/flour mixture.
  9. Stir this roux constantly until it thickens. Add the roux/milk mixture to soup/broth mixture in pot and cook about 5 minutes longer, or until soup is thickened (you can simmer the soup for a longer period of time if you want the rice to soften more, just cover with lid first and stir occasionally. **I don’t use all the roux every time, pour in as much as you like or don’t like to satisfy the texture you prefer — up to you!
  10. Stir in heavy cream and serve warm.
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Carrots, celery, & onion chopped

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The wild rice blend we used

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Rotisserie chicken shredded

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Cooked wild rice

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Broth poured into cooked vegetable mix

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butter and flour – ready for roux

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roux (milk mixture)

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Soup mix after roux is added

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Final product once all ingredients included

EASY Pesto Bruschetta Chicken

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YUMMO!

This chicken is so easy. Like SO easy and really yummy. I can’t really say much else. I cooked this with roasted cauliflower and balsamic glaze – which you can make yourself by reducing balsamic vinegar, but I buy it in bulk since I use it so often. You can buy it at most grocery stores already ‘glazed’ up with all the work done for you!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pesto sauce (purchased or made from scratch. Here is my pesto sauce recipe.)
  • 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes b/c that’s what was in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Your choice of vegetable side

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut any excess fat off of chicken
  3. Cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap and pound until they are thin and the same thickness.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on both sides of the chicken breast
  5. Heat olive oil to medium heat
  6. Place chicken breast in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove from heat
  8. Spray a small glass or metal baking dish with non-stick spray or oil
  9. In the pan, place both chicken breasts.
  10. Top each chicken breast with 1/2 cup of pesto. Spread out across the breast evenly.
  11. Cover with foil and place in oven for 25 minutes
  12. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes
  13. Check temperature of chicken, it should be at 165 when using a thermometer.
  14. When complete, pull from oven. Sprinkle each chicken breast with half of the cheese.
  15. Uncover. Place back in oven on low broil for about 1-2 minutes until cheese is brown and melted. Keep your eye on the chicken as you don’t want to broil too long and dry out the chicken.
  16. Pull from oven and let rest for a few minutes.
  17. Plate and top with tomatoes, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.
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Chicken searing in pan

 

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Chicken in pan, covered in pesto

 

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Chicken baked in pesto for 25 minutes

 

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Chicken post-cheese broil

 

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Final product – served with roasted cauliflower

 

 

Crispy Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos

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I saw this recipe online…and for all the recipes I find, I always do a bit of tweaking to make them my own, suit my flavor preferences, and just doing it exactly the same as someone else is cheating! 🙂 Changing them is much more fun anyways. This is a really delicious recipe, and the chicken itself would be great just for a meal or an appetizer. This is also a great way to fry chicken breasts without dropping into frying oil. I know this isn’t qualified as ‘health food’ but its better than a deep fryer, that is fo’ sho’. These tacos will appeal to everyone, no matter their taste bud likes. I think you could easily turn this into a salad if you removed the tortilla. Lots of fun ideas for this super crispy, sweet & spicy chicken. Hope you love these as much as we did.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs (no seasoning)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs – whisked
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce – pull two small peppers from can and puree in a food processor
  • 1 tbsp siracha or your preference of hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (unsalted butter)
  • non-stick spray
  • corn tortillas
  • ranch dressing
  • avocado slices
  • chopped cilantro – about 2 tbsp
  • 1 lime cut into 4 wedges
  • extra salt & pepper on the side

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick spray
  3. Cut each breast into three long strips. Then cut those strips in half. You should end up with about 12 total strips give/take.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken strips lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Find three shallow bowls. In #1: combine both bread crumbs. In #2: pour in eggs. In #3 pour in flour, measured salt & black pepper and cayenne pepper
  6. Starting with your right hand, pick up a chicken tender and drop into the flour. Turn around to coat well. Drop into the egg bowl but do not touch the eggs w/ your right hand.
  7. Now with your left hand, turn the strip around in the egg until coated well. Continuing to use your left hand, remove from the egg and drop into the bread crumb bowl. Using your left hand still, coat the strip in the breadcrumbs pressing down to ensure they stick. Remove from bowl and place on baking sheet.
  8. Continue with right hand/left hand process to keep your hands from getting totally sticky with all the ingredients. Keep lining the baking sheet w/ chicken strips leaving space in between them.
  9. Once all strips are breaded and on the pan, wash hands and you are now done with the bowls.
  10. Take melted butter and pour all around the chicken strips, directly onto the baking sheet.
  11. Put in oven and set timer for 10 minutes.
  12. In a sauce pot on the stove top, add the following ingredients: honey, ketchup, chipotle puree, garlic, hot sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, onion powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. (A ‘pinch’ is how much you can pick up between your thumb and pointer finger – its about 1/8 teaspoon)
  13. Turn heat to medium-high and whisk until ingredients are combined well.
  14. In a small bowl whisk together corn starch and water. Set aside for now.
  15. When timer goes off, using tongs, flip the chicken onto the other side and set timer for 8 minutes.
  16. When sauce is bubbly and thick, add in the starch mixture. Continue whisking as the sauce becomes thick.
  17. Add in chicken broth and turn heat to low.
  18. When chicken is done, remove pan from oven and turn oven off. Allow chicken to cool for about 5 minutes so the crust sets up.
  19. Heat tortillas in cooling oven or in microwave. (I usually wrap in damp cloths in microwave or oven to keep them moist)
  20. Using tongs, drop fried chicken strips one by one into the sauce. Moving around until they are covered – about 10 seconds. Pull from sauce and set on a plate.
  21. Continue until all chicken strips are ‘dipped’ and on the side plate.
  22. Pull tortillas from microwave or oven.
  23. Put 2-3 strips on each tortilla (sometimes I doubled up the tortillas if they were too thin)
  24. Top with avocado, ranch dressing and cilantro. Squeeze a bit of lime juice onto the top and serve on the side too.
  25. Enjoy!

HELPFUL NOTE: You will have sauce leftover, so I put it in a small mason jar to freeze so I can do this again with sauce that is already done! (I’m a smart cookie sometimes).

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This is gross…but fun

 

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Breading the chicken

 

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Chicken breading assembly line

 

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Chicken after its breaded…ready for oven

 

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Sauce ingredients – before cooking

 

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Chicken done cooking

 

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Dipping chicken in sauce

 

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Chicken post-dipping

 

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Final product!

 

Sour Cream & Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

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Mmmmm cheesy chicken gooeyness

Chicken Enchiladas are my jam. Yes, I am 34, hip and so cool that I can use phrases like ‘my jam’.These enchiladas are SO good. Honestly, the best part about chicken enchiladas is how they taste on DAY #2! Wait for it…they get better. So if you aren’t a leftover person, you are missing out my friends. I have been making these for a very long time, but just changed up my approach to the chicken and it is so much better!

Now, I wouldn’t lie to ya’ – these should not be filed in the ‘healthy’ recipe section. I’ve just gotten back into my major gym routine and I barely eat all day due to my crazy work routine, so my dinners can be calorie bombs and I deserve it! 🙂  By making these choices you can decrease the fat/calorie content: use corn tortillas, not flour. use low fat cheese and reduce the overall quantity of cheese. You can remove the cheese within the tortillas and it won’t taste that much different. Use light sour cream (never use fat free, that tastes like children’s craft paste). User buttermilk instead of heavy whipping cream.

This recipe makes 10 large enchiladas. I usually make one pan to serve that night, then I freeze a batch for later. If you do freeze a batch, you shouldn’t cook them first, just wrap tightly, freeze, thaw and THEN bake. Keeps them from getting mushy.

I have two options for how to cook your chicken so be sure to read through the instructions first to see how you want to attack the chicken. So, now that I’ve built this up…vamos! Lets make enchiladas!

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 medium sized chicken breasts
    • 1.5 cup chicken broth
    • 10  tortillas – small
    • 1 large onion diced
    • 4 small cans green chiles – chopped
    • 1 whole jalapeño – remove seeds and finely chop
    • 4 gloves of garlic finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 3 tbsp flour
    • 1 1/4 cup light sour cream
    • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
    • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Your favorite salsa (optional garnish/side)
    • chopped cilantro for garnish (about 3 tbsp)

Marinade for chicken breasts

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Grated zest from 2 limes
  • Juice from 2 limes, about 1/3 cup
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix marinade ingredients
  2. Poke fork holes in the chicken breasts
  3. Place chicken breasts and marinade in Ziploc bag or container with tight fitting lid.
  4. Turn/toss bag to coat chicken and let marinate for at least 3 hours, no more than 24 hours. If you don’t have time, just start marinading when you start cooking and that will just have to do.
  5. Heat grill to medium heat.
  6. Cook chicken until heated 165 degrees through. Takes about 7-10 minutes. Ensure its cooked through but not dry. Check often to ensure its not overcooked!
  7. Another option for cooking chicken if you don’t grill:
    • Simmer the non-marinated (plain) breasts in hot water on the stove-top. Pull from hot water when cooked. (You can pull the breasts out and cut them to see if they are done cooking, if not just toss back in the water until cooked – aka: no pink).
  8. Pull from grill (or hot water) and immediately shred. Using two dinner forks, pull and shred apart the chicken discarding any cartilage or fatty parts. (If you did the boil method, add in all the marinade ingredients to the shredded chicken). Set the shredded chicken aside.
  9. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
  10. Toss the onions, garlic and jalapeño and 2 cans of chiles in the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until onions and jalapeños are soft. Don’t burn the garlic!
  11. Remove 1/2 of the vegetables and place in a small bowl. You will use these in step 16.
  12. Add in chicken into the pan with the remaining 1/2 of veggies, and toss until all is mixed well. About 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in another bowl.
  13. In same pan, melt the butter (medium heat). Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth.
  14. Slowly add in heavy cream, then 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 tsp paprika.
  15. Add in the other 2 cans of green chiles and the rest of the paprika (1/2 tsp)
  16. Add in the cooked vegetables from step 12.
  17. Add in sour cream
  18. Add in 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese
  19. If the sauce is too thick, pour in the remaining chicken broth and continue to stir until the sauce is a thick consistency.
  20. Stir until thick, melted and slightly bubbly.
  21. Toss in about 2 pinches of salt and about 1-2 tsp of pepper. (this is how I like it so you can add s&p for yourself and adjust as needed)
  22. Turn off heat and stir occasionally to prevent ‘milk film’ on top and to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  23. Stack the 10 tortillas, wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds until heated through. Leave in microwave.

Assembly & baking of the enchiladas:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly oil the bottom of two baking pans, I used 9×13 glass
  3. Pull the tortillas from the microwave
  4. in the center of the tortilla place a small amount of cheese
  5. Top with the shredded chicken mixture
  6. Roll tightly and place seam side down in the baking dish
  7. Continue until all enchiladas are rolled
  8. Pour sauce over the enchiladas – be sure to slowly drizzle to cover all areas. You may have to lift one end of the pan and then the other to spread sauce around evenly if you missed a spot.
  9. Top each pan with the remaining cheese and place in oven
  10. Cook for 30 minutes
  11. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes
  12. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over enchiladas
  13. Serve with your favorite salsa on top!
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Grilling the chicken!

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Shredding the chicken

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Shredded chicken

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Cooking onion, jalapeño, and garlic

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Adding chicken and green chiles to the pan

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All chicken mix ingredients

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Cooking the sauce – butter and flour mix

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Adding chiles and paprika to the sauce

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Cheese on tortilla

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Adding chicken mix on top of cheese

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Enchiladas rolled, cheese covered, and baking

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Final product w/ cilantro on top!

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Final produce with a fresh grilled veggie salad

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Leftovers on Day #2. Reheated enchiladas with a fresh tomato on top!

Steak & Chicken Fajitas

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Fajitas = deliciousness. When I visit Mexican restaurants, 90% of the time I order fajitas. It may not be the most complicated of dishes, but I love being able to create my own combination with as much meat, guacamole, peppers, cheese, rice, beans, and salsa as I want. I will tell you this though, when you get crappy fajitas, its the worst. Its important to marinade the meat, grill it well, and cut it against the grain.  Most importantly you must have fresh, quality ingredients to maximize your fajita flavors.

Its April here in KC, and spring is in the air. We are still dealing with ridiculous swings in temperatures, but this Friday evening its 78 degrees, sunny, our friends are coming over with their dogs, and we are ready to fire up the grill and eat FAJITAS!

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Sun, friends, hoops, and grilling out!

 

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Our next door neighbor Paige giving us a wave

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LuLu loving her stick and the warm weather

Tips:

  1. Be sure to marinate your protein for at least 24 hours before grilling.
  2. Make the guacamole, and rice/beans just before you eat.
  3. Pay attention to how you grill and cut the meat.

All details are listed below, the portions enough for about 6 adults.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lb flank steak
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts – place between plastic wrap and pound until chicken is even in thickness. Should take a few quick wacks.
  • 1 small white onion – sliced into rings
  • 1 bell pepper – slides into strips
  • 1 lime juiced
  • corn or flour tortillas
  • 2.5 tbsp cumin
  • 2.5 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 jalapeño – finely diced
  • 1 small shallot – finely diced
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 box of Mexican rice (Rice a Roni or Knorr sides)
  • 1.5 cusp shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups guacamole – recipe here
  • salsa
  • light sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Marinate the steak: place steak into long shallow container with a tight-fitting lid. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the top and bottom of the flank steak. Mix 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp cumin, 3 tbsp cilantro, lime juice, and 2 tbsp garlic and pour over the steak. Attach lid and shake gently for about 15 seconds. Place in fridge for at least 24 hours.
  2. Marinate the chicken: place chicken into small container with a tight-fitting lid. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over the top and bottom of the chicken breasts. Mix 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp chili powder, and onion powder. Pour over the chicken. Attach lid and shake gently for about 15 seconds. Place in fridge for at least 24 hours.
  3. Cook rice according to package directions. Keep an eye on it and ensure you turn to low heat when rice is done.
  4. Heat half tbsp olive oil, half tbsp garlic, diced shallot, and diced jalapeño in small saucepan for about 4-5 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  5. Pour in contents of can of black beans, half tbsp of cumin, and 1 tbsp of chili powder into pan.
  6. Bring beans to high simmer, then cover and simmer on low.
  7. Heat grill to medium high heat.
  8. Lightly toss onion slices and peppers in half tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place into foil packet. Place on grill and cook until soft.
  9. Place chicken grill for about 4-5 minutes each side, until internal temperature reads 155 degrees. Be sure to rest chicken for at least 5-7 minutes to ensure it finishes cooking all the way through when resting.
  10. Place steak on grill, and with flank steak, you need to cook it quick and over high heat. Low and slow will turn this into RUBBER! Cook 5 minutes on one side, flip, cook for another 5 minutes and then pull of grill to rest for about 5-7 minutes. Temperature should be between 135 and 140 degrees when you pull it off the grill (medium rare to medium). Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  11. Turn heat off under beans and strain off liquid from beans/veggies.
  12. Mix beans/veggies/rice together in pan, sprinkle with 1/2 cup shredded cheese, cover and set aside.
  13. Warm tortillas in the oven or microwave.
  14. Set out all fajita fixins: guacamole, salsa, sour cream, remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese, tortillas, and rice/beans.
  15. Slice meat against the grain – check out this link.
  16. Set out the meat and build your fajitas!!
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Steak marinade

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Chicken marinade

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Chicken, steak, onions & peppers on the grill (along w/ pork chops to be eaten later in the week) 🙂

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Beans, jalapeño, shallot, cumin, chili powder, garlic

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Me – cutting the meat against the grain

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Rice/beans with shredded cheese on top

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Delicious final fajita deliciousness!

Restaurant Redo: Hideaway Pizza – Chicken Florentine

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DSC_0052 I was born and raised in Tulsa, Ok and went to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Ok. Hideaway Pizza is a pizza chain that began in Stillwater in 1957, and about 20 years later moved to other cities state-wide. Their culture was set by the owner/creator Richard Dermer who was a pizza loving hippie who wore tie-die and was seriously into flying kites. He even had a fleet of VW bugs as delivery vehicles. So cute! This laid-back, ‘keep employees happy’, try new flavor combinations, chill place is where SOOOO many delicious pizza creations were born.

I worked there for about 6 years through high school and college, and loved EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. I never got tired of pizza, still to this day I recreate them at home. Some of the friends I’ve met there have followed me through to adulthood (insert shout out to Jen Glenn and KQPierce). If you are ever in Oklahoma, you MUST go check them out.

The chicken florentine is one of my favorite pizzas on the menu, I could NOT get enough. I ate it at least one a week for like a year. I do the exact recipe here minus feta cheese. If you love feta, then add it. I just didn’t put it on this time around.  And here we go…

INGREDIENTS:

  • One ball of pizza dough – recipe here
  • 3/4 cup pesto sauce – recipe here
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup light Italian salad dressing
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried and stemmed
  • 1.5 cup light mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 16 inch pizza pan

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Place into container with a tight closing lid.
  2. Cover chicken with Italian dressing and balsamic vinegar. Close tight and shake. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat grill to medium, grill chicken breast about 5-6 minutes on each side or until internal temp registers 160-165 degrees . Set on cutting board, do NOT cut until ready to place on chicken. This will ensure it remains juicy.
  4. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  5. Begin to build pizza by placing the dough onto your pizza pan. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick unless you want a thin crust pizza – but if you do want thin crust…I would cook the dough for a couple of minutes before putting on toppings to ensure it cooks all the way through.
  6. With a fork, poke holes about every inch or so around the pizza – even on the crust to ensure the dough doesn’t bubble.
  7. Using the back of a metal spoon, spread pesto sauce all over the pie leaving about a 1 inch edge for the crust. Be sure not to use too much, pesto is oily and can keep the bottom of the pie from cooking all the way through. 3/4 cup should be enough if you spread it out to a thin layer.
  8. Top the pesto with the spinach leaves, do not overlap.
  9. OPTIONAL: I top the pesto and spinach with a light layer of cheese. If so you may need a bit more than called for above – your choice but my husband loves cheese.
  10. Next, thinly slice the chicken breast – like 1/8 inch or less – and place on the pie.
  11. Top with mushrooms.
  12. Sprinkle the pie with mozzarella cheese.
  13. Sprinkle with minced garlic. This sounds like it will be crazy garlicky…but its not. If you like garlic – do it. If you don’t just leave it off. 🙂
  14. Bake in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown but still fluffy.
  15. Remove, and let cool for about 2-3 minutes.
  16. Slice & serve!
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Marinating Chicken Breast

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Pizza toppings

 

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Spreading pesto sauce on pizza

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Adding spinach leaves

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Optional step: Light cheese before other toppings

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Slice the chicken breast

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Top pizza with chicken breast

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Top with mushrooms

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Top pizza with cheese

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Sprinkle w/ garlic

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Final product!

Restaurant Redo: The Mighty Cone from Austin

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My first mighty cone at Austin City Limits 2011

Austin, TX. What isn’t there to love about this place?! I have been visiting this city for at least once a year for quite a few years. Between friends who used to live there, or friends who live there now – I am fortunate enough to have plenty of reasons to visit Austin. Even if you don’t have a personal connection to Austin, just go check it out. It’s one of the most fun cities I’ve ever been to. Its domestic, SW Airlines flies there for CHEAP, and its a great getaway for a quick weekend or a full week. I’ve traveled down to the lone-star state for music festivals, concerts, weekends on the lake, college reunions, or relaxing and spending time with friends. There is something for everyone! Promise.

Austin is an active place mostly due to the weather.  The rivers, parks and lakes IN the city also help quite a bit. Everyone is Austin is always out and about. Just doing stuff. Being active. The whole population seems to always be outdoors, running, walking, hiking, swimming, boating, paddle-boarding, you name it. These people work hard, workout hard and they play hard. yay! Tons of fun bars, restaurants, live music venues, food trucks, events, and people who want to just live it up.

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Us with ‘finger mustaches’ at ACL

When visiting the ACL music festival a couple of years ago I experienced nirvana when I ate my first ‘Mighty Cone‘. This is a food truck born/raised in Austin that serves a unique batter blend for fried chicken, shrimp, avocado or combinations of these three wrapped in a tortilla, with mango jalapeño salsa, and dressed with ancho chile cream. H E A V E N. They serve this legal drug combination in a paper cone to make eating easier and less messy. Brilliant! Every time I go to Austin now, we must get a mighty cone. MUST!

I found a recipe at Food & Wine where I made a few tweaks to my liking – less sugar, less salt, more mango, more lime zest – other changes like that. I didn’t put them into cone shaped paper like they do in the food truck, I basically made burritos. This recipe takes some time for sure, but its worth every minute! Its a consistent blend of spicy and sweet and savory. It is SO good!

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Final product – Chicken ‘cones’. 🙂

Ingredients (for 6 persons):

Chicken/Avocados:

      • 12 Chicken tender strips
      • 2 avocados
      • 6 cups corn flakes
      • 8 tablespoons sesame seeds
      • 12 tablespoons slivered almonds
      • 8 tablespoons white sugar
      • 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
      • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
      • 6 eggs
      • 1 cup skim milk
      • 3 cups AP flour for dredging
      • Oil for frying (soy, peanut, vegetable – your choice)
      • 5 flour tortillas

Mango/Jalapeño Slaw:

  • 1 bag shredded cole slaw mix
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 3 jalapeño peppers – seeded and chopped
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp diced shallot
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup light mayo
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro

Chipotle cream sauce:

  • 1/3 cup adobo sauce
  • 8 oz light sour cream
  • 2 tbsp lime zest
  • 2.5 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

Directions: (make sauce and slaw first)

Chipotle cream:

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Add more honey, lime juice or cream if too spicy. Pour into squeeze bottle with a 1/4 inch or smaller spout. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Chipotle Cream Sauce

Slaw:

  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, water, mango, jalapeño & shallot in a small sauce pan.
  2. Warm over low heat for about 20 minutes until mango begins to break down.
  3. Pour into blender or food processor. Pulse until mixed well.
  4. Pour mixture into mixing bowl – add mayonnaise and sour cream. Whisk well.
  5. Add cilantro and finish with one last mixing to incorporate everything.
  6. Pour over cole slaw and mix all together. Add by 1/2 cup at a time to ensure the cole slaw doesn’t end up too soupy. Slaw should be covered but not sitting in excess sauce. If you have leftovers you can freeze for future use.
  7. Refrigerate until ready you use.
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Mango, Jalapeño, Shallot, Vinegar, Sugar, Water – In sauce pan over medium heat

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All ingredients cooked down

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Sauce pureed, with sour cream, mayo & cilantro added

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Pouring slaw dressing onto slaw mix

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Slaw after completely mixed

Chicken/Avocado Cones:

  1. Place ripe avocados in fridge for about 2 hours prior to frying.
  2. Pull from fridge and cut each avocado in half, then each half into 4 slices = 8 total per avocado. 16 slices total per 2 avocados.
  3. Heat fryer or skillet with oil to approximately 350 degrees.
  4. Pour corn flakes, salt, sugar, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and almonds into a food processor.
  5. Pulse until coarsely ground and place into bowl.
  6. Whisk eggs and milk together, place in  bowl.
  7. Pour flour into small bowl.
  8. Set up ‘frying station’ so that you first dredge items in flour, then egg mixture, then corn flake mixture, then into hot oil.
  9. Start with avocados in batches of 4 and and follow the step 8 dredging process from flour, to egg mix, and so on into the oil for frying. I recommend starting w/ avocados so the batter doesn’t pick up the chicken salmonella. I didn’t follow this advice – but you definitely should.
  10. Pull avocados from oil and place on paper towels to dry. Repeat until all avocado slices are completely fried.
  11. In batches of 4 strips each, follow the dredging process outlined in step 8. Place final chicken strips into oil and cook for about 7-8 minutes until coating is a caramel brown color.
  12. Pull from oil and place on paper towels to dry. Repeat until all chicken strips are completely fried.
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Dredging chicken in flour, egg mixture & corn flake mix

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LuLu waiting for crumbs to hit the floor

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Chicken is a-fryin’!

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Chicken fried, avocados on deck

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Hands are super gross! Use left hand to dredge in flour and egg with the right hand in the corn flakes and oil

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Avocado fresh out of the fryer

To assemble cones:

  1. Warm tortillas in microwave or oven.
  2. Start with one tortilla and follow the process until all are completed for your meal/diners.
  3. Lay open tortilla and line the middle with slaw.
  4. On top of slaw place 2 chicken strips and then two avocado slices.
  5. On top of chicken and avocado, drizzle with chipotle cream sauce.
  6. Fold and serve in a cone (like the food truck) or eat like a burrito.
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Tortilla with slaw – topping w/ chicken

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Tortilla w/ slaw, chicken, avocado and topped w/ chipotle cream

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final ‘cones’. Mine are more like burritos – but TASTE amazing. OMG OMG OMG. Nailed it.