Monday, November 23, 2015

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers

My husband gets the credit for coming up with most of this recipe. It was very simple but amazing!!

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Skewers

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 lb of bacon
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  1. Heat your grill to approximately 400 degrees
  2. Dice the chicken while you soak wooden skewers.
  3. Put the pieces of chicken on the skewer while wrapping the bacon around the chicken
  4. Brush the skewers with maple syrup
  5. Use a fork to push the minced garlic into the chicken
  6. Grill for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Chicken Pad Thai

We were looking to try some new recipes and found this one on Pinterest and modified it slightly to fit the ingredients we had. The flavors turned out great!

Chicken Pad Thai

Ingredients for sauce:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 oz fish sauce
  • 2 oz soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Thai peanut sauce
Ingredients for chicken:
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 oz soy sauce
Ingredients for stir-fry:
  • Rice noodles
  • Frozen vegetable mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts 
  1. Soak the rice noodles for 30 minutes in cold water.
  2. Boil a large pot of water. 
  3. Steam the frozen vegetables over the boiling water. 
  4. Once water is boiling, add rice noodles and turn off the heat. Allow the noodles to soften for 5 minutes then drain and rinse with cold water.
  5. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce.
  6. In a medium bowl, slice the chicken and combine with corn starch and soy sauce. 
  7. Add a small amount of oil to a large wok and add minced garlic for a couple minutes. 
  8. Next, add the chicken to the wok and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove chicken from wok.
  9. Whisk milk and eggs together. Then add egg mixture to the wok and stir until scrambled. 
  10. Finally, combine everything to the wok: chicken, sauce, noodles, and eggs. 
  11. Serve with crushed peanuts on top. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Summer Salmon Packets

I spent some time cleaning out parts of the garden today and decided to use the produce as inspiration for dinner.  It wasn't your usual salmon dish, but i combined a couple other ideas and came up with my own recipe.


 4 salmon pieces
1 cup tomato diced (or 1 15 ounce diced canned tomatoes)
4 sprigs of thyme
12 basil leaves
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 clove garlic diced
1 small summer squash
1 small eggplant
1 teaspoon your favorite mixed seasoning (I used Spicy Honey Habaneno for a little bit of a kick!)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
First cut 4 cookie sheet size pieces of parchment paper.  Fold in half and cut into a  big heart shape.
Next place 3-4 slices of summer squash on the parchment paper, close to center, but on one side of the fold.
Place 2-3 slices of eggplant on top.
Next place one piece of salmon on top of the eggplant.
Make 3 slits in the salmon fill the slits with diced garlic and 1 rolled basil leave for each slit.
Spoon diced tomatoes on top, then drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, your favorite seasoning and salt and pepper and a sprig of thyme.
Top with a slice of lemon
Fold parchment paper in half and crimp the paper all around your salmon and veggies
Repeat the process on the other three salmon pieces
Place on cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to rest out of the oven for 5 minutes.  Be careful when opening the packets so that you are not burned by the steam.  Enjoy!


Oiled parchment paper

Summer Squash and Eggplant placed on parchment
Add caption
Salmon placed on top with garlic and basil put in the slits
Tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme added on top

Lemon placed on top

Parchment folded and then crimped around the edges

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes and then Enjoy!

Sunday, September 6, 2015


With all the great available produce at this time of year.  I looked at a few panzanella recipes where I could take advantage of the fresh produce in the garden.  I combined a couple different recipes to come up with one that fit the bill for my family.

2 cups day old bread cubed - I used sour dough bread
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tomatoes, cut into one inch pieces
2 cobs cooked corn, sliced off the cob
1 cucumber sliced
1 can white beans, rinsed
2 green onions, sliced - white and green parts
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and  fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh basil

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan,  add bread cubes and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with garlic powder.  Cook, stirring occasionally until the cubes are slightly browned.

In a large bowl combine tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, onions, and thyme.  Drizzle 3 tablespoons of oil and the vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat.

20 minutes before serving, add toasted bread and tear basil leaves.  Toss to incorporate.


Ingredients (plus corn and garlic powder)

Toasting Bread Crumbs with EVVO and garlic powder

Finished Salad - Great for a hot day!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Chicken and Veggies

With all the wonderful summer vegetables starting to come in, I decided to take the "treats" I got from my parents garden and turn them into some kind of dish.  I really liked the taste and would make this one again.  We had it as a main dish alone.  I could see this as a nice sauce over either pasta or rice as well.  Thanks Mom and Dad for the ingredients for a delicious dinner!


2 chicken breast, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1  small zucchini, sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1 small bunch of broccoli, cut into small sections
1/2 cup baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
6 tablespoons Greek Salad dressing
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Mix Greek Salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, honey, and red pepper flakes  - whisk together and set aside.

Add olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. 
Add half of the dressing to coat chicken, then take remove chicken from pan and keep warm.

Stir fry all veggies with remaining dressing until carrots are al dente.  Add chicken and warm.

Serve and enjoy - as I said earlier, this dish would be delicious over rice or pasta.

Grilled Steak Salad

It's summer time and grilling out is a fun way to keep your kitchen cool.  Salads are also a good way to eat light in the hot summer weather.  This salad had a nice flavor and was easy to put together.


1 pound flank steak
6 tablespoons olive oil, split
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, minced and split
1 cup day old bread cubed
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 English cucumber sliced
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup kalamata olives sliced

In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon cumin, and 2 garlic cloves, minced.  Pour the mixture in a zip gallon plastic bag.  Marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400.  In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 garlic cloves.  Brush on the slices of bread before you cube  them.  Bake bread cubes for 5 minutes stirring once.  Let cool.

Grill steak - 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes, then slice thinly.

In another small bowl, mix yogurt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon cumin, and salt to taste.

In a large bowl, mix salad greens, tomato, red onion, cucumber and olives.  Add sliced steak and drizzle with dressing.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Quinoa Salad

Here is a fresh summer salad.  You can mix up the fruit to suit your likes, but the recipe I used is as follows:


1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

6 cups spinach
2 cups fresh strawberries - cleaned and sliced
1 cup blueberries
1  11 ounce can mandarin oranges
1 nectarine, diced
1 mango, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup quinoa, cooked according the package

Mix all dressing ingredients together and chill while preparing the salad.

Combine all salad incredients.  If you want the recipe to work the next day as leftovers, serve the dressing on the side, otherwise toss with the dressing right before serving.  Enjoy!


Dressing mixed

Salad Ingredients Mixed

Finished Salad

Monday, May 25, 2015

Black Bean Soup

We've been reading the Blue Zone Solution  lately and have been looking for vegetarian meals.  I took the Black Bean soup recipe from that book and updated it to suit my tastes.  Below is the recipe.  We ate it with light whole wheat buns and it was a delicious meal!


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 ribs of celery, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups cooked black beans plus 2 cups of cooking liquid from the black beans
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 can pineapple chunks, liquid drained and dried on paper towels

Warm oil in a large pot, add onion, garlic, celery, bell and jalepeno peppers.  Cook for about 8 minute until soft.    Add tomatoes and cook 3 additional minutes.  Add all the other ingredients except for the pineapple.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

When there are about 10 minutes left, heat a small amount of canola oil in a sauté pan.  Add pineapple chunks that have been dried with a paper towel.  Cook 3 minute on each side or until lightly browned.

Use and immersion blender to partially blend soup.  Serve with pineapple chunks and enjoy!

Sweating the veggies

Finished Soup

Grilled Flank Steak and Mushroom Pizza

During one of our summer cooking clubs, we made grilled pizza.  I really enjoyed the taste so Tim and I tried to recreate the steak and cheese pizza over Memorial Day weekend.  It turned out delicious and was a fun adventure to cook together as well.  (Big thanks to Kim for providing the recipe!)


Pizza Crust - You can use the recipe from the blog located here, or even get a mix from the store, your preference.  Prepare dough according to the directions.

1 pound flank steak
1/4 cup Italian salad dressing
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Pound steak flat, mix other three ingredients and marinate for about an hour
Grill steak medium rare and slice thin across the grain.

16 ounces mushrooms - sliced and saute'd in olive oil

Garlic White Sauce
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and saute garlic 2-3 minute until tender,  Add flour and whisk to form a roux.  Whisk in milk and simmer for 5 minutes til thickened, then add parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

1 cup smoked gouda cheese
1 cup fontina cheese

Forming the pizza

Roll out the pizza crust and brush with olive oil on both sides.  Have all other ingredients by the grill (steak, mushrooms, garlic white sauce, cheeses).    Grill pizza crust 2-3 minutes on a grill sheet or pizza grill pan until lightly brown.  Take off the grill and flip pizza crust.  Now assemble the pizza - garlic white sauce, steak, mushrooms, and finally the grated cheese.  Grill pizza for 2-3 more minutes, cover to help the cheese melt.  Indirect heat will help to ensure the crust doesn't burn.

Enjoy the pizza!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mexican Chopped Salad

I found the base recipe on the website the and then made my own modifications to suit my family.  The feedback from my family is that it's delicious and could also be used as a sweet salsa (I'd omit the spinach if you choose to do that).


1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (or 1 clove)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper to taste and salt, if desired

Mix all ingredients together and chill in the fridge while you make the rest of the salad

Tortilla strips:

6 6-inch tortillas, corn or flour, your choice
1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut tortillas in half and then cut into thin strips (I used a pizza cutter).
Transfer strips to a baking sheet and drizzle with oil.  Sprinkle with salt and then toss to coat.
Bake 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.  Set aside to cool.


4 cups spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 medium red onion, diced
4 roma tomatoes, diced (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
1/2 jicama, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini diced
4 ears of corn, cooked and corn sliced off the cob
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

Mix all salad ingredients.  Add dressing. Stir to coat.  Serve with Tortilla strips and Enjoy!


Finished Salad - Delicious and Fresh!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Shrimp and Clam Chowder

I found an interesting recipe in the February 2015 edition of Better Homes and Gardens.  I took the basic recipe and added a couple of my own twists - I like a little more heat so I added a jalapeno, and I also enjoy lots of seafood, so I added a can of clams in edition to the shrimp.  In the recipe below, I reduced the water by 1/2 cup because I found it was a little runnier than I'd like for chowder.  The recipe cooked quickly and I enjoyed the taste.


2 Tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 green pepper chopped
1 jalapeno pepper chopper
2 tablespoons flour
16 ounces of clam juice
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 can of clams - liquid drained
2 ~ 12 ounce bags of shrimp, tails removed
1 15 ounce can of corn
1 3.5 ounce jar of capers
8 ounces of mascarpone or cream cheese
Fresh basil leaves, optional

Heat butter in a large sauce pan.  Add celery, onion, and peppers; stir for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Stir in flour to coat.  Add clam juice, water, Old Bay seasoning, and dried basil, bring to boiling, then reduce heat.

Add shrimp, clams, corn and capers.  Cook 2-5 minutes until shrimp turn pink.  Remove from heat.  Stir in mascarpone.  Serve with fresh basil leaves, if desired


Cooking the celery, peppers, and onions in butter

Adding the liquid

Adding the mascarpone cheese and fresh basil

Soups On!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bangers and Mash Quiche

We hosted a St. Patrick's Day party at our house that also coincided with Pi day so what would be better for brunch than a "bangers and mash" quiche in a pie? I found this recipe for a roasted potatoes and sausage quiche (modified slightly) that was delicious! I forgot to take a picture when it was still in full pie form but got a few afterwards.

Bangers and Mash Quiche

  • Pie crust (I bought pre-made refrigerated crust)
  • 1 bag of frozen potatoes and green beans mix
  • 1/2 pound of breakfast or Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees and place pre-made refrigerated crust in oven for 8 - 10 minutes until it begins to brown. 
  2. Brown and crumble sausage. If making it with mushrooms, add them now.
  3. Heat frozen potatoes and beans according to package directions (microwave 5 1/2 minutes).
  4. Remove pie crust, push down any edges that bubble up with fingers or spoon. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. 
  5. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, half and half, salt, and pepper together until well blended. 
  6. Once meat is cooked, drain grease and add cooked potatoes and beans. Mix together. 
  7. Place the meat, potatoes, and beans mixture into the pie crust. 
  8. Sprinkle with cheese.
  9. Pour egg mixture over the top.
  10. Bake 40 - 45 minutes until eggs are set.