Monday, November 23, 2015

One Pan Ranch Chicken and Veggies

Yes, I have been a cooking fool the last couple/few days. I love being creative in the kitchen and the last few days, the creativity bug has bitten. As most everyone does, I have had a few inspirations come from Pinterest and this latest recipe is one of those. 

When looking for something crazy/different to do with Chicken thighs, I stumbled upon this beauty from Damn Delicious's website: One Pan Garlic Ranch Chicken and Veggies. I made a few alterations/modifications based on what I had on hand, and also the fact that the hubs likes his chicken REALLY crispy...and I mean really. The pics you will see actually look like the skin is burned. I can assure you it isn't, but the brown sugar did get a bit over done for my liking, but when you are trying to please the taste-buds of your go with it :)


8 teaspoons brown sugar, divided
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 medium yams, cubed
3 large carrots, halved, then halved again

10 Brussels sprouts, halved
1 small onion, quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Ranch seasoning mix (you can use the Hidden Valley package, but I didn't have any so I made my own; recipe is below)
7 cloves garlic, left whole
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Ranch seasoning mix:

1 tbsp chives
1 tbsp dill
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


For the ranch seasoning mix, combine all ingredients and mix well. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray. Using your fingers, work the brown sugar, about 1 teaspoon per thigh, onto both sides of the chicken.
Place chicken on top of the veggies onto the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Ranch seasoning mix  and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place into oven and roast for about 25 - 30 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.* Then broil for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelized and slightly charred. 

**Please note, depending on your desired consistency for the veggies, you may want to start cooking the veggies first, for about 10 minutes, then add the chicken for 25 - 30 minutes more. We like the veggies cooked on the crispy side, my parents like them very it is your personal preference!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Harvest Turkey Chili

This recipe is a play on a recipe sent to my by a girlfriend of mine. She was given it by a dear friend of hers. He uses a red sauce when making it but the ingredients just screamed white sauce to me. I altered the recipe slightly and it turned out fantastic. It just felt "fally" and with autumn/winter full blast it was a perfect fit to our meal rotation. I hope you enjoy!


3 slices smoked bacon
1 large shallot, diced
2 jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and chopped
1 poblano peppers, de-seeded and chopped
3 mushrooms, chopped
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 tbsp cumin
2 bay leafs
1 teaspoon salt
½ tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
15 oz can red kidney beans
8 oz jar diced tomatoes
1 large apples
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 cup whole milk
1 ½ cups apple cider
3 tsps liquid smoke


Fry bacon until crispy, removing from pan and crumbling after it has cooled. Add the ground turkey and cook until brown. Remove and drain the grease. Chop up onions, peppers and mushrooms and sauté in the about 1 tbsp olive oil until tender, about 7 – 10 minutes. Add tomatoes to deglaze the pan and scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the cumin, bay leafs, salt, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, and garlic powder and mix. Add the butter and flour and stir gently to create a paste like consistency (you are making a roux). Pour in the milk and whisk continually to make sure no clumps form or the milk doesn’t curdle. Add the apple cider and the liquid smoke. Add in the apples, ground turkey and the kidney beans and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes or until the apples become slightly tender. Add back in the crumbled bacon and serve.

Cheddar Cheese Stuffed Meatballs w/Barbecue Sauce

Two more recipes! These turned out so yummy and I didn't even use a slow cooker. We actually used our homemade sour cherry barbecue sauce, but feel free to use whatever barbecue sauce you wish. These little round bundles of cheese filled joy were fantastic when mixed with the barbecue sauce. Hope you love them!



1 lb hamburger
1 lb ground pork
¼ of an onion, minced
1 tbsp chipotle powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
3 mini peppers, sliced
8 oz jar of BBQ sauce (your favorite)
6 oz can of pineapple juice
1 cup beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste



In a large bowl combine the hamburger, pork, minced onion, chipotle, paprika, parsley, salt, pepper and egg. Mix until well combined, making sure you do not handle the meat mixture too much. Prepare a baking pan. Cover with tin foil. Lay a drying rack on top and spray with Pam. To form the meatballs, take enough of the mixture to form about a 2 inch meatball. Press the mixture flat in your hand. Take a small pinch of the cheddar cheese and place in the middle of the flattened meat, and form into a ball, making sure you cover the cheese completely. Place on the drying rack. Repeat until all meatballs have been formed. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 – 15 minutes. The meatballs will be transferred to the sauce, to continue cooking.


In about a tbsp of olive oil, sauté the shallots for about 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add the peppers and continue for about 5 more minutes or until the peppers have softened. Deglaze with the beef stock. Add the pineapple juice and the BBQ sauce. Let simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce. When the meatballs have finished in the oven, transfer to the sauce, and let simmer for about 5 – 7 more minutes or until the meatballs have cooked through. 

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Now who doesn't love a loaded baked potato? We switched things up a bit and mashed them till they were a creamy bowl of goodness. I failed to take a picture of these beauties, so I had to find a stock photo and "borrow" it so if the owner happens to stumble upon the footage of this my apologies. But you get the jist of what they looked like. These potatoes are all the goodness you can and want to throw into them. If you wanted to spice it up even more, you could actually bake the potatoes, slice in half, gently scoop out the centers and make twice-baked loaded potatoes. Just a thought. But here is the goodness we called loaded mashed potatoes!


5 potatoes
8 oz sour cream
3 bacon slices, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1 tbsp horseradish
1/4 cup cheddar cheese


Peel the potatoes and dice. In a pot of salted water, add the potatoes and let cook until tender. Reserve a 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the potatoes. Place the potatoes back into the pot and on the stove (if your protein is still cooking, put the burner on warm or very low to keep the potatoes warm).

With a potato masher, mash the potatoes until they are at desired consistency. Fold in the reserved potato water, sour cream, bacon, chives, horseradish and cheddar cheese. Mix until well blended. Serve.

Roasted Chicken Breast

Hi folks. Long time no cookin! It has been busy over here, but I am sure you all can relate. I have been cooking, just haven't been able to write things down. Apologies! I did however, start working with a bestie and her 16 year old son and have been showing him the apron strings around the kitchen so to speak. We meet once a week to walk through easy to make recipes. I have been jotting these recipes in a One Note "cookbook" for him so I thought I would share some of them with all of you. Hope you enjoy!


Butter or olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp chili powder


Heat the oven to 400°F and prepare the pan: Heat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle position. Spray the pan  with cooking spray; this prevents the chicken from sticking.

Prepare the chicken: Pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika and the chili powder.

Transfer to the baking dish: Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish, spaced slightly apart. You can also tuck herbs or lemon wedges around the chicken for extra flavor.

Cover with the parchment: Lay the parchment, butter-side down, over the chicken. Tuck the edges into the pan and press the parchment down so that it's snug around the chicken. The chicken breasts should be completely covered with the parchment.

Bake until the chicken is 165°F: Transfer the chicken to the oven until the chicken is completely opaque all the way through and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer. Start checking after 25 minutes; total cooking time is usually 40 minutes, but does depend on the thickness of the chicken breast.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chicken Meatballs w/Roasted Red Pepper Pesto & Yogurt Sauce

Wow...looking back at my posts, I just realized the last I posted was July of 2014. Goodness, it has been awhile! It hasn't that I haven't been cooking, it just that life has gotten away from me and I have been just so busy!

Well, today, finds me submitting a recipe for the Chopped at Home Challenge. You have to use 4 ingredients they select and supplement with your own. It was fun coming up with a recipe and and taking pictures as I went along. I am pretty sure I don't stand a chance in Hades in winning but it was sure fun to go through the motions!

The ingredients I had to use were: chicken breasts, Sargento 6 cheese Italian blend shredded cheese, red peppers and Greek yogurt.

I hope you all enjoy!

1 cup milk
½ ciabatta bread, cubed
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup Sargento 6-cheese Italian shredded cheese
10 oz pkg frozen spinach
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 egg
1 tbsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Cube bread and soak in milk for about 10 – 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly. While, soaking, in a food processor (or grinder), grind the breast of chicken to a hamburger consistency. Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Don’t overly mix, or your meatballs could become dry. Roll meatballs to about one inch in diameter, place on a greased cooling rack over a drip pan. Preheat a convection oven to 345 degrees (or a regular oven to 350). Cook for about 30 – 35 minutes or until cooked through.


2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup White wine – Pino Grigio
2 garlic clove minced
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 large crimini mushrooms
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup Sargento 6-cheese Italian shredded cheese
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Pepper

While the meatballs are cooking, in a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil and butter. Sauté shallots in olive oil and butter for about 5 – 7 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 – 3 minutes until the garlic becomes aromatic. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 4 – 5 minutes until the mushrooms become tender. Add the rice and brown. Deglaze with the cup of white wine. Set the stove to medium and slowly cook the Arborio rice, stirring occasionally. Add a cup of the chicken stock. Stir occasionally until the stock has been incorporated into the rice. Continue doing this until you have used up the 4 cups of stock. At each incorporation of stock, add at least 1 tsp of salt and pepper to season. In the last 5 – 7 minutes, sprinkle the cheese in and make sure it is thoroughly incorporated into the rice (not clumping).

 Roasted Red Pepper pesto and Yogurt Sauce

6 red peppers
1 3 oz pkg pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup Olive oil
1 cup Sargento 6-cheese Italian shredded cheese Pine nuts
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Pepper
6 oz plain Fage Greek yogurt

You will be roasting all peppers, but two will be reserved for plating. Roast four peppers on a grill (preferred) or broil in the oven keeping a close eye and turning often. Remove peppers from grill (oven), de-skin (paper skin), cut off tops, de-stem and de-seed.  The two reserved peppers slice four 1-inch rings out of the two reserved peppers and grill lightly (the rings should still be firm). In a food processor, put in the four red peppers, garlic, pine nuts, and olive oil and blend until mixed well. Add in the cheese and pulse again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add in the yogurt (you want to make sure it doesn’t curdle since the peppers are still slightly hot) and continue to pulse until well blended.

To plate: Put the 1 inch pepper ring in the middle of the plate. Scoop the risotto into the center of it. Place 2 – 3 meatballs on top. Drizzle the roasted red pepper pesto and Greek yogurt sauce and garnish with parsley and pine nuts.