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I tend to experiment with food, rarely following recipes. Sometimes it turns out good, Sometimes, well, not so much 😉
Today’s experiment was one of the more successful ones!
I took 5 chicken drumsticks and marinated them for about an hour in Realime lime juice, Coco Real’s cream of coconut, Roses’s sweetened line juice, and Pampered Chef’s Chili Lime Rub. I tossed in about a tsp of salt too.
I put about a tbsp of salted butter in my cast iron Dutch Oven, turned the flame to med-low and spooned the chicken, juice and all, into the pot. I covered it with the lid and left it to cook for about an hour, turning it once or twice.
The juice reduced to a wonderful sticky sweetness, creating delicious crunchy bites. This dish really turned out great by itself, but since I had a jar of Pampered Chef’s Spicy Pineapple Run Sauce, I figured “why not?”
I slathered the sauce over the chicken and took a bite with a bit of trepidation. Like I said, my experiments don’t always work out! My worries were unfounded. It was delicious!
I hope you experiment and experience success too 🙂
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Bacon, Cheese and Ranch Pull Apart Bread
- 1 unsliced crustily loaf of bread (round, or rectangle)
- 8 ounces deli sliced white american cheese
- 8 ounces deli sliced yellow american cheese
- 6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- green onion for garnish
- Ranch dip for dipping
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the loaf of bread on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Make cuts going across the bread, about 1 inch apart making sure not to cut all the way through the bottom crust.
- Make cuts going in the opposite direction, about 1 inch apart, making sure not to cut all the way through the bottom crust.
- In a bowl, toss the cheeses together. Stuff the cheese between each of the cuts on the loaf of bread.
- Sprinkle cooked bacon pieces over the top, making sure they fall into some of the cuts.
- Combine the melted butter with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and drizzle evenly over the loaf of bread.
- Cover the loaf of bread with foil and bake for about 15 minutes.
- Uncover and continue baking for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is all gooey and melted.
- Serve with homemade ranch dip on the side.
- 1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1 – 7 ounce jar marshmallow creme (not marshmallow fluff)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- *Optional – 1-2 tablespoons cherry juice from a maraschino cherry jar
- Use a mixer to combine the cream cheese, marshmallow creme, and vanilla together. Add in a tablespoon or two of cherry juice if you wish. Serve with your favorite fruit.
Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
BANANA BREAD CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 ripe bananas, cut into small pieces
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
PEANUT BUTTER CREAM CHEESE FROSTING INGREDIENTS
- 10 ounces cream cheese (room temp)
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup – room temp)
- 5 cups powdered sugar/confectioners sugar
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin tin by lining it with paper liners. With your mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add in sour cream and bananas and mix again, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is getting mixed well.
- In a large bowl sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth.
- Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way full. You should get about 15 cupcakes from one batch.
- Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. With your mixer, combine cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time. When all of the powdered sugar has been added and the frosting is light and fluffy, add in 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter and mix to combine.
- Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Store in an air-tight container.
Chicken Fajita Quesadillas
- Juice from 1 orange
- Juice from 3 limes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-3 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (depending on your heat preference)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon liquide smoke
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
FAJITA QUESADILLA INGREDIENTS
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6-8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- Juice from half of a lime
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- *Note: This recipe is easiest to make using leftover chicken and veggies from The Best Fajitas. If you are using leftover chicken and veggies, skip to step 5.
- Add all of the marinade ingredients to your blender and blend on high for a few seconds until you have a smooth marinade. In a large zip-lock bag, add your chicken and pour the marinade over it. Toss the bag around a few times to ensure that the meat is coated. Put the bag in the refrigerator for around 3-4 hours.
- When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat your grill pan (my favorite grill pan) to medium high heat and cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through to about 165 degrees. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing it into thin strips.
- While the chicken is resting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Saute’ the vegetables until tender. Season with salt, pepper, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, and the juice from half of a lime.
- Heat your grill pan to medium high heat and divide the chicken/veggie mixture equally into 6 portions.
- Sprinkle about 1/4 cup cheese on one tortilla. Top with 1/6th of the meat/veggie mixture. Sprinkle 1/4 cup more cheese on top. Add the remaining tortilla on top. Cook the quesadilla until it is golden brown on both side and the cheese is gooey and melted. This should take about 4 minutes per side.I like to use my spatula to press down on the quesadilla as it’s cooking to really smoosh everything together.
- Cut each quesadilla into quarters. Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
- Serves 6.
Ultimate Summer Salad
- 1/2 cup Kale
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup romaine lettuce
- 1 ounce Sargento® Chef Blends™ 4 State Cheddar Cheese
- 1/4 cup carrots
- 1 slice of bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
- Cucumbers, thinly sliced
- Grape or cherry tomatoes
- Handful of oyster crackers sautéed in a bit of olive oil (just a drizzle or two), and seasoned with black pepper
- 1/4 cup dijon style mustard
- 1/4 cup all-natural honey
- 1 tablespoon mayo
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Make the dressing: whisk together 1/4 cup dijon style mustard, 1/4 cup all natural honey, 1 tablespoon mayo, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Set aside and use as much or as little as you’d like on this salad. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Toast the oyster crackers: Heat a small amount of olive oil in a small skillet (just a drizzle or two). When warm, add in crackers and sauté’ for about three minutes, seasoning the crackers with black pepper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, place the kale, spinach, and romaine lettuce on the bottom.
- Top with Sargento® Chef Blends™ 4 State Cheddar, carrots, bacon, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, and oyster crackers.
- Drizzle the salad with homemade honey mustard dressing – use as much or as little as you’d like, making sure to store leftover salad dressing in the refrigerator.
One Skillet Cheesy Italian Chicken
MARINADE INGREDIENTS *optional
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1/4 inch thick)
- Salt, black pepper for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 ounces mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 6 ounces Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian
- Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- To make the marinade: in a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Place the chicken in a large Ziplock bag, and cover it with the marinade mixture. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. *Please note: If you are short on time, eliminate the marinade. While your chicken won’t be quite as tender, it will still be delicious.
- Season both sides of 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts with salt, and black pepper. I used about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Use more or less to taste. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with Italian seasoning.
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, making sure to wipe off any excess marinade with paper towels. Place the chicken in the pre-heated pan and cook for about 6 minutes per side, or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.
- Add a bit more olive oil if necessary. Add the mushrooms, diced bell pepper and diced shallot to the pan. Cook until tender, about four to six minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low. To the pan, add in 1/3 cup chicken broth and cook until mostly evaporated.
- Stir in 1/3 cup heavy cream and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Return the chicken to the pan. Sprinkle each piece of chicken with Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian. Place a lid on the pan for a minute or two to help the cheese melt.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.