Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pan-roasted Chicken with Root Veggies

I have a SIL that is such an amazing cook that she has turned my brother into a food snob! :)  She recently shared this recipe with us (from Cooks Country) and I made it the other night and it was to die for! In fact, it was so good I am actually making it again tonight! This is a super delicious and super easy dinner.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!



We halve the chicken breasts crosswise for even cooking.  Use brussel sprouts no bigger than golf balls, as larger ones are often tough and woody.

3/4 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3/4 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 pound shallots, peeled and halved
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, thick ends halved lengthwise
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoons sugar
Salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (2 split breasts cut in half crosswise, 2 drumsticks, and 2 thighs), trimmed

1.  Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.  Toss brussel sprouts, potatoes, shallots, carrots, garlic, 2 teaspoons thyme, oil, 1 teaspoon rosemary, sugar, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together in a bowl.  Combine butter, remaining 2 teaspoons thyme, remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in second bowl; set aside.

2. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt & pepper.  Place vegtables in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet, arranging brussel sprouts in center.  Place chicken, skin side up, on top of vegtables, arranging breast pieces in center and leg and thigh pieces around perimeter of sheet.

3. Brush chicken with herb butter and roast until breasts register 160 degrees and drumsticks/thighs register 175 degrees, 35-40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through cooking.  Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.  Toss vegetables in pan juices and transfer to platter with chicken.

Serve and Enjoy!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Caramel Corn Puffs

Or Caramel Corn Crack, as I affectionately call it.  While I have not personally tried crack, I am pretty sure since it's so good this stuff is just as a addicting and dangerous as the real stuff.  My friend Hayley introduced me to this ridiculous recipe, and my life will now never be the same. It is going to knock you socks off, and you will never go back to traditional carmel corn.  I took it to my friend Caroline's  Halloween Playgroup and it was a hit.  

Carmel Corn Puffs

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup corn syrup
1 can sweeten condensed milk.
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 baking soda

In large sauce pan melt and combine sugar and butter.  Stir in corn syrup and bring to a low boil.  Add the milk and bring back to a low boil for about a minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and soda.  The soda will make everything foam up so make sure it is in a large pan (learned this the hard way).  Pour over a 15 oz bag of "Corn Pops".  It is not the cereal.  It looks like Pirates Booty but it isn't flavored.  I found mine at Harmon's but I hear Walmart has it too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

I always get excited about going to a baby or bridal shower.
I mean, who doesn't love a social gathering where they get to visit with friends while eating a sampling of various people's favorite recipes.  Because you know when you are asked to make food for a shower, you always make something that you love and that you think others will love to.
It was at a baby shower for one of my cousins that i was introduced to this beautiful quinoa salad.  One bite and was I like, oh man, I am going to need that recipe a-sap.
So many great flavors and colors in one dish.  Eat it with pita chips or just dig in with a spoon.
Thanks, Amber, for sharing this recipe!!

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled to room temp
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium mango, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, diced (or you could use tomatoes)
4 green onions, diced (or 1/4 cup diced red onion)
frozen white corn (take a handful and run it under warm water to thaw)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
1-2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1/2 packet of Good Seasons Italian dressing mix
1 ripe (but not squishy) avocado, diced
salt and pepper to taste

*Put everything together in a bowl, in the order listed above.  Stir well and add avocado last so it doesn't get mushy.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors combine.

*This recipe is very adaptable.  You can improvise on any ingredient depending on what you like.  I added 2 mangoes instead of 1 and more cilantro than it asked for.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


I read a LOT of recipe blogs! Every time I see one I think I might be remotely interested in--I copy it. My recipe file is HUGE. And who am I kidding? There are some that I will NEVER make but they sounded good and interesting at the time. Will I ever really make Salted Caramel-Filled Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes? No--probably not, but they sounded delicious and the photo was gorgeous. However, I read a lot and have and will continue to make many of her recipes. She is a darling girl who lives in New York City, just got married and cooks in a REALLY tiny kitchen. This Apple Spice Crumb Bread caught my eye and I happened to have some apples that needed to be used.  I must say--delicious!! Credit goes to Audra from her blog.

makes one 9x5 inch loaf

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cup all-purpose flour (I used 1 whole wheat, 1 white)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 medium sized apples - peeled and cored. 2 of them chopped and 2 grated.

crumb topping
1/8 cup flour
1/8 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter- cut into small bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Make crumb topping by mixing all ingredients but the butter, and then cutting the butter in with a knife until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the oil and sugars until smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Mix into the sugar mixture. Stir in the buttermilk until moistened. Fold in the apples. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake 60 mins in the preheated oven, with a cookie sheet on a lower rack to catch any over-flow. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note- it always takes me a good 15 minutes longer to get a loaf of quick bread baked all the way through. If after 60 minutes it still seems gooey, check it in 5 minute increments.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trader Joes Gnocchi

I love it when people introduce me to new food I have never tried. I had heard of gnocchi but didn't really know quite what it was. I'm not a very adventurous eater so this wasn't surprising. My friend made this for us and we loved it. Then when she told me how easy it is, I loved it even more! Its from a Trader Joes recipe book so you can buy everything you need from TJ's. Another great perk!

Potato Gnocchi

1 (17.6 oz) bag dry Potato Gnocchi
1 cup Organic Vodka Sauce, or combine ¾ cup marinara with ¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tbsp bread crumbs

1.) Preheat oven to 400 F
2.) Bring salted water to a boil and add gnocchi.   When gnocchi float to the top, they are done.   Drain.
3.) In a medium bowl, combine sauce, peas, basil, and ¼ cup parmesan.  Stir in gnocchi.  
4.) Lightly spray or oil a small casserole dish (8 inch oval). Transfer gnocchi mixture to casserole.   Top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs.  
5.) Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mini Chocolate Chip Cheesecakes

A few weeks ago, Megan posted a recipe on Betty for mini cheesecakes that I couldn't stop thinking about.  I knew I had to make them soon, but I also knew that I had to somehow incorporate chocolate into them since I don't like pie filling.  They turned out really yummy and chocolatey and satisfied my cheesecake craving.  Thanks for the recipe, Megan!

2 8oz. packages cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

1 bag mini chocolate chips
24 Oreo cookies
24 cupcake liners

*Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans and place one Oreo in the bottom of each.  Set aside.  Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Add chocolate chips and mix until blended.   Scoop onto Oreos until cupcake liner is about half full.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I don't like the chicken salad from Costco--large chunks of chicken, too large pieces of grapes and/or craisins and way too much dressing. There--I said it. If you like it we are still friends! My wonderful friend Brooke came up with this recipe for a bridal shower a few years ago and it is a favorite at our house. I frequently make it to keep in the fridge so my hubby can make his own lunch!! Good idea, no?

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  (or skip this step and used canned chicken--I don't like)
Place breasts in a pan and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Add:
   1 stick of celery--cut into a few pieces
    1/2 of a medium onion, cut into chunks
    a few mini-carrots

Bring the chicken to a boil and turn heat to simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes until chicken is tender.  Remove the chicken from the broth and let cool. Discard the broth or save it for a recipe that needs chicken broth. It's tasty. Make sure it has enough salt.  Shred chicken.


equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream
  Amount determined by how much dressing you like
One medium apple, peeled and diced small or grated
1/2 c. slivered almonds (or pine nuts, walnuts or pecans)
2-3 diced green onion--diced very small
salt and pepper to taste

Optional add ins:
  Diced celery
  Diced red pepper

Mix altogether with shredded chicken. Refrigerate and serve on croissant rolls, or any good sandwich bread. Is good with crackers or on celery sticks also.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...