Monday, December 5, 2016

Simple Roasted Chicken with a Hint of Orange

My parents gave me this awesome Sicilian orange extra virgin olive oil.  I thought that would go great with chicken and I was so right! I don't know where they got it from, so if you can't find it, no worries, just some orange zest would do just fine.  The chicken is slowly roasted in the oven, then broiled to give the skin that nice, crunchy crisp.  Yum!  Enjoy!
 
Ingredients:
-4 Tbs Sicilian orange extra virgin olive oil OR the zest of a large orange plus 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
-1 Tbs salt
-1 Tbs pepper
-1 Tbs garlic powder
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Pour 2 Tbs of the oil on bottom of 9x13 pan.
Score the chicken (cut a couple of large slits on each thigh on the skin side). Generously season each thigh on both sides with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place skin side up on the bottom of prepared pan. Drizzle with remaining oil and orange zest, if using that method.
Place in preheated oven and roast for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.
Leave the chicken in the oven and switch the oven from baking to broiling on HIGH.  Broil for about 5 minutes or until skin is beautifully crisp and golden brown.
Enjoy with your favorite side and veggies!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Steak and Bacon Pasta Salad

This is a family favorite.  It's very quick to put together and super delicious!  I mean, how can you go wrong with bacon, steak and pasta?  😉 Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For salad:
-1 lb small pasta (garden rotini, shells, etc)
-6 slices bacon, cut into chunks
-1 lb steak, cut into small strips
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 (7.5 oz) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
-1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
For dressing:
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1/2 cup mayonnaise
-1/2 cup sour cream
-2 Tbs lemon juice
-1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain into colander and rinse with cold water.  Drain completely and add to large salad bowl.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon chunks until golden brown.  Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet onto plate lined with paper towels.
Return skillet with bacon drippings to stove.  Add the steak strips and season with the salt and pepper.  Cook until done to your likeness.
Add bacon and steak to the salad bowl, along with the chopped artichoke and bell pepper.  Mix well.
In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients.  Pour over pasta mixture.  Give it a good stir, scoop into bowls and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Spicy, Cheesy Corn Chowder

This is perfection in a bowl!  The flavors are absolutely amazing together.  My family and I love the kick to it too.  Delicious!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 Tbs salted butter
-1 onion, finely diced
-4 slices bacon, chopped
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
-1 orange bell pepper, chopped
-12 oz frozen corn
-1/4 cup flour
-3 cups chicken stock
-2 cups half and half
-8 oz shredded hot habanero and jalapeno jack cheese
Directions:
Melt butter in large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the bacon chunks and cook until golden brown, for about 4-5 minutes  Toss in the bell peppers.  Cook for a couple of minutes. Add the corn and cook for 3 more minutes.
Sprinkle flour on top and give it a good stir. Pour in the broth and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the half and half.  Give it a good stir, cover, and let it simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the cheese and stir until melted. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Simplified Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is super easy to put together and oh, so delicious.  Everything you love about chicken cordon bleu, but easier and faster. YUM!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into chunks
-8 oz diced ham
-10 oz small pasta (garden rotini, small shells, etc.)
-3 cups water
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp onion powder
-1/2 tsp dry mustard
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-8 oz shredded Swiss cheese
-1 Tbs salted butter, melted
-1/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
Directions:
Heat oil in large skillet or wok.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, for 2-3 minutes.  Add the ham, pasta, water, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard, salt and pepper.  Mix very well and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until all melted.
Preheat broiler to high.
Combine the melted butter with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top of pasta mixture.  Broil for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown.
Scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Pumpkin Caramel Poke Cake

Oh, I can't even begin to describe how delicious this cake is!  You get spice cake, with pumpkin spice pudding, whipped topping, caramel, toffee bits, chocolate...It's such an amazing combination! Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 (15.25 oz) box spice cake mix
-1 (3.4 oz) ox pumpkin spice instant pudding and pie filling
-1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
-1 large egg
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-2 tsp pumpkin spice
-1 (12 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
-1 (12.25 oz) jar caramel topping
-8 oz whipped topping, thawed
-1/2 cup toffee bits
-1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup caramel syrup
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray (the one with flour and butter).  Set aside.
In your electric mixer's bowl, add the cake mix, pudding mix, pumpkin and egg.  Mix well. Slowly, add the oil and pumpkin spice.  Beat on low for a couple of minutes.  Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove cake (in the pan) onto wire rack and immediately poke it everywhere with the back of a wooden spoon.
Quickly mix the milk and caramel topping and pour all over the "holey" cake. Let it cool for 1 hour on the wire rack.
Spread the whipped topping on top and sprinkle with the toffee bits and chocolate chips.  Drizzle the caramel sauce right on top.
Cover the cake and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Slice and enjoy!

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