Honey Mustard Chicken with Crispy Bacon

Who doesn’t love a great piece of chicken, crispy bacon coupled with creamy sharp cheddar cheese. As you know I love taking ingredients we use everyday in the kitchen and create something fresh, new, and absolutely delicious! Juicy chicken thighs and a tangy honey mustard marinade will make this recipe a keeper for your family! Let’s get started!

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Ingredients:

Marinade-

Chicken-

  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 ½ C. mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp salted butter
  • 2 C. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped

 

Directions:

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whip until blended, about 30 seconds.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in a zip lock bag and pour 2/3 of the marinade over the meat, seal and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Place the remaining marinade in a container and place in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove from the chicken from the marinade solution and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Place an oven proof skillet on the stove top and heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil over medium high heat.
  6. Sear the chicken in the pan until golden brown on each side, 4 minutes each depending on heat.
  7. Remove the PAN from the heat and brush the chicken thighs with the RESERVED  honey mustard marinade.
  8. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  9. In a separate pan, heat 2 Tbsp of butter and sauté the sliced mushrooms.
  10. Top each chicken thigh with equal portions crumbled bacon.
  11. Top each chicken thigh with equal portions of saute mushrooms.
  12. Divide the sharp cheddar cheese and place on top of each chicken thigh.
  13. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese is melted.
  14. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the parsley garnish and serve.
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Quinoa Tabbouleh

So I love finding eclectic foods and giving them a whirl! This recipe starts off with a couple of definitions because I know trying new foods can sometimes be a bit intimidating (yes as adventurous as I am there are some foods even I am afraid to try).

Let’s start with Quinoa! Yes,  it looks unusual and not many people have tried it, but it is a DEFINITE power house food! Quinoa is categorized as a grain, but it’s actually an edible seed.  It’s lower in carbs than most grains, loaded with protein, and the same caloric value as brown rice.   With all of these benefits, why not give it a try?

Then there’s tabbouleh! Tabbouleh is an arabic salad traditionally made of bulgur although sometimes bulgur has been substituted with couscous.

If you’re looking for something new to try that’s absolutely healthy give this recipe a try as a main vegetarian course or a healthy side dish!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 C. quinoa, rinsed
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ C. olive oil
  • 1 large English hothouse cucumber, cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ C. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ C. fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thinly

Directions:

  1. Place the quinoa, ½ tsp kosher salt, and 2 cups of water to boil over medium high heat in a medium saucepan.
  2. Lower the heat, cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.
  4. After fluffing, spread the cooked quinoa on a large baking sheet to cool throughly.
  5. When cooled, placed quinoa in a large mixing bowl.
  6. While the quinoa is cooling, mix the lemon juice and minced garlic in a bowl.
  7. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add ¼ C. of the lemon dressing.
  9. Add the vegetables, herbs, and scallions to the quinoa. Toss.
  10. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Serves 6

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 

Greek Pizza

Fridays are made for pizza and what’s better than pizza made at home! If you haven’t noticed many of my recipes are very versatile meaning you can add or change any of the ingredients. If you’re watching your diet, yep this pizza is for you especially since studies show the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets you can eat! Get creative and let each family member “create” their own pizza!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 package flat bread
  • 2 C. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 8 oz cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • ½ C. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ¼ C. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts or pine nuts, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried oregano, crushed OR 1 ½ tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary, crushed, OR 1 ½ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¹⁄³ C. Red Wine Vinaigrette*recipe follows

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place the flat bread on a large baking sheet.
  3. Add the spinach, chicken, tomatoes, feta cheese, nuts, and spices.
  4. Drizzle the pizza with the Red Wine Vinaigrette.
  5. Bake the pizza 10-15 minutes until the pizza is warm and serve.

 

 

 

The Classic Meatball

I though I knew meatballs until 3 years ago. Typically, meatballs of my past were overworked, dry, and flavorless. Any hope of a delicious meatball would be to drown it in some sort of sauce and hope for the best.  You’ll find the texture is light with fantastic flavors of fennel and oregano that’s sure to make you rethink the meatball.  During the busy workweek or prepping for a party you can’t get much easier that tossing them in the oven to cook!

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Ingredients:

2 lbs lean ground beef

1 c. ricotta cheese

2 large eggs

2 Tbsp canola oil

½ c. italian seasoned bread crumbs

¼ c. fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. fennel, ground

2 minced garlic cloves

1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

5 c. crushed tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees and coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking pan with canola oil
  2. Combine the grounded beef, ricotta, eggs, italian bread crumbs, parsley, oregano salt, crushed red pepper flakes, and fennel in a large bowl and mix by hand until blended.
  3. Shape the meat into 1½ inch sized firmly packed golf ball sized meatballs.
  4. Placed the meatballs into the prepared baking dish so that they fit tightly so that they are touching both in  rows and columns.
  5. Bake the meatballs for 20 minutes or until the meat thermometer reads 165 degrees from the center of the meatball.
  6. While the meatballs are cooking, heat the crushed tomatoes, fresh minced garlic, and fresh basil in a sauce pan to heat, stirring occasionally.
  7. Drain the cooked meatballs of any excess grease and add the heated tomato sauce.
  8. Return the meatballs and sauce to the oven and continue roasted for another 15 minutes.

Yields 2 dozen

Adapted by The Meatball Company

Chicken with Basil Dumplings

I’ve never needed a good reason to enjoy a warm soothing bowl of soup. While searching for a new way to give chicken thighs a makeover, stumbled across a delightful dumpling recipe from Dawn Vezina,  my daughter aka “the palate” recommended the basil twist and a star was born!

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If you prefer dark meat over the traditional chicken breast, you will find this recipe exceptionally tasty and combined with the light, fluffy dumplings this soup is perfect to combat the winter blahs and the dreaded flu.  The REAL perk is this soup is even BETTER the next day!

Ingredients:

Soup:

2 chicken leg quarters, cut

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 cup carrots, julienne

1 large onion, diced

1 can chicken stock (14 ½ oz)

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp beef bouillon granules

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 ½ tsp salt

1 twist fresh ground pepper

Dumplings:

2 c.  flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp basil

1 tsp salt

¾ c.  milk

4 Tbsp canola oil

Directions:

In a large stock pot, combine the chicken, celery, carrots, onion, chicken broth, parsley, minced garlic cloves, beef bouillon granules, salt and pepper.  Add water to completely cover the chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat , cover, and simmer for 2 hours or until the chicken is cooked through to the bone.  Remove the chicken and let stand until it is cool to the touch.  Remove the skin and tear the meat from the bones, returning the skin to the soup.

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Return the soup to a simmer. Meanwhile, combine the dumpling ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until a stiff dough is formed.  Drop the dough one tablespoon at a time into the simmering soup.  Cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately

Corn Caprese Salad

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Doesn’t this salad SCREAM fresh, vibrant, and delicious? Ok so just a quick confession… I LOVE CORN! Cob, creamed, steamed, in pancakes (you’ll get that recipe later), in salads, you name it, I LOVE IT..whew ok I’m better.

I ran across this recipe 5 years ago by Cuisine magazine, and after a couple of tweaks, it has been my FAVORITE HANDS DOWN. I decided to share this recipe during a “‘Girls Night In” and after a couple of bottles  glasses of wine, the ladies not only cleaned their plates, but I believe they may have been licking of the plates as well. Take a few minutes to create this easy breezy masterpiece, I’m sure it will be your favorite too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 c. fresh or frozen corn (fresh is always best)

2 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

1 c. fresh mozzarella, chopped (you may also use shredded if you’re in a pinch)

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

pinch of sugar (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Blanch the corn in boiling water for 3 minutes drain and cool.  Combine tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and corn in a large mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, sugar then toss with the corn mixture. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

201 calories per cup

Glazed Carrots with Dill

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If you have a can of lemon-lime soda and a carrot, you have the beginning of an unexpected side that’s perfect for a busy week night or an elegant meal. As a lover of vegetables, it doesn’t take much for me to eat my veggies. A recent trip the farmers market in Charlotte lead to long conversations over the different types vegetables from India, how they look, and how to cook them. Any who…back to the carrots and soda. If you love glazed carrots, but you never master the art of the perfect sugar or honey ration to water, lemon-lime soda is the answer! Take a peek at this gourmet recipe made easy and leave your comments! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 lbs. carrots, sliced

12 oz. lemon-lime soda

1 Tbsp butter

¼ tsp fresh dill weed

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice the carrots uniformly to promote even cooking. I prefer a mandolin, yes this is one of my favorite kitchen tools ♥. In a medium sauce pan, add the carrots and lemon-lime soda over medium-high heat cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and continue to eat for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook until the carrots are tender and the liquid is almost evaporated.  Add the butter stir until melted and add seasons.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 cups. 110 calories per ½ cup