Chicken & Waffle Sliders

The recipe I am about to share with you will blow your mind. Whether you can cook or not cook, this is the perfect item for you to make that will be a huge party hit. It is only three ingredients and the most prep work you have to do is drive somewhere in your car and use a toaster oven. Say what?

INGREDIENTS:

  • Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets
  • Eggo Waffle Minis
  • Syrup

DIRECTIONS:

Call your local Chick-Fil-A and order a small party platter or pick up a few orders of chicken nuggets depending on how many you need to make. Toast waffles, place chicken on top, pierce together with a toothpick, and display with bottle of syrup so guests can top themselves. Yep, this is not a joke, it is that easy!

I love to serve these at parties because it is one dish that takes hardly any prep work. I typically heat the chicken nuggets in the oven for a few minutes right before serving. However, they are just good at room temperature.

Custom Football Picks from @hooraypartyco 

Continue Reading

Bacon & Goat Cheese Quesadilla

We eat quesadillas {almost} everyday for lunch around here. I think I am just burnt out on sandwiches from taking them in my school lunch everyday when I was a child. My one year old loves quesadillas too. It’s so easy to sneak in healthy ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, beans, avocado, etc. I’ve been getting creative with my quesadillas lately to mix it up. Here is one of my favorites!

BACON & GOAT CHEESE QUESADILLA

Makes 1 half-size quesadilla

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Burrito Shell (I used wheat)
  • 3 tablespoons Goat Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Havarti Cheese
  • 1 slice of cooked Bacon, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 sliced Avocado
  • 6 slivers of Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup Spinach
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil

Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once warmed up, toss in spinach and onions to cook. Remove spinach when slightly wilted and onions when softened, set aside. Spray skilled with olive oil.  Place tortilla on skillet. On half, place goat cheese, havarti, bacon, cooked red onion, and wilted spinach. Cover with other half of tortilla shell. Cook until slighted browned on each side. Remove from heat, open shell and place avocado pieces in. Cut into wedges to serve.

 

Continue Reading

Margarita Mimosa

This might be one of my favorite drinks of all time. How awesome is this concept?! Love to serve these during my brunch fiestas. I use champagne in mine, but if you want to take it up a notch or two, substitute tequila for the champagne. I add the mini champagne bottle for fun, but not a must. And I highly recommend the lime flavored salt. It compliments the orange flavor of the mimosa nicely.

MARGARITA MIMOSA RECIPE

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 4 cups Ice (I used empty can from juice)
  • 2 cups Champagne (OR 1 cup tequila if you are feeling extra spicy!)
  • Lime Salt 
  • Optional: Lime or Orange Slices for garnish

Fill bowl with ice water. Dip edges of margarita glass in ice water then in the salt so it makes a pretty salt rim. In a blender, combine orange juice concentrate, ice, and champagne. Blend until desired consistency. Serve in margarita glass. Optional: add the mini champagne bottle to each margarita glass. Garnish with lime or orange wedge. 

IMG_2220

Continue Reading

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

This is one of my go-to dishes when I need to take a side dish somewhere. It’s so simple to make. Minimal ingredients, easy to transport, and absolutely delicious. You can easily triple, double, quadruple the recipe to make larger quantities. It is also a great side dish to make when you are hosting a dinner. It gives you plenty of time to focus on cooking other dishes.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES

Servings: 4-6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and scrub potatoes in water. Peel skin with a carrot peeler.  Chop potatoes into chunks. Line baking sheet with foil. Place potatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Bake for 35-45 minutes until tender and browned. You may need to flip potatoes once during baking time so potatoes roast evenly.

Continue Reading

Pesto alla Genovese

I don’t think I have ever purchased a jar of pesto from the grocery store. My mother and grandmother have always grown basil plants. Throughout the summer they harvest their basil and makes large batches of pesto to freeze for the winter months. That’s the awesome thing about pesto, you can freeze it! Your basil plant will never go to waste. I typically freeze it in baby food freezer containers, ice-cube trays, or cupcake liners. Pesto is delicious on more than just pasta or chicken… it can be used on bread, sandwiches, pizza, lasagna, dips, appetizers, vinaigrettes, vegetable marinade, etc. It is a great sauce to have on hand to add flavor to any dish.

As I was making this batch of pesto with my grandma we were discussing its origin. While it is definitely an Italian sauce, my grandmother whose parents were from Italy, said she can’t remember her mother ever making it. She said her mom always had a basil plant and chopped it up to put in dishes, but never the smooth consistency of a sauce.

My curiosity got the best of me and I did some research on the history of pesto. It was born in Liguria, Italy which is northern Italy. The recipe today calls for parmigiano-reggiano (parmesan cheese), but it is interesting to note that some versions of original recipe call for formaggio d’olinda (gouda cheese). The maritime commerce with northern Europe made gouda almost more readily available. Also, seasonal shortages of basil sometimes required marjoram or parsley to be substituted. Obviously they did not have food processors back then to make it like we do today. The traditional way of making pesto is chopping the basil by knife and mashing all the ingredients together.

Maybe pesto was not a traditional Italian dish for my great-grandmother who was from southern Italy. Or maybe her form of pesto was a chopped, more rustic look. Anyway, sorry for getting sidetracked, there’s your history lesson for today! For the sake of time, I make my pesto in a food processor, but more power to you if you chop and mash it by hand.

PESTO ALLA GENOVESE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons graded parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic

Add all ingredients except parmesan to food processor. Blend until smooth. Add cheese and process again until blended. (Feel free to add more parmesan if you like your pesto more cheesy.) Serve on pasta, chicken, flatbread, pizza, etc.

Make sure to keep pesto refrigerated or frozen.

 

Continue Reading

Homemade Croutons

I love to cook, but firing up the oven on these 100 degree summer days make me cringe. I opt for creating more salads for summertime dinners.  The great thing about salads is you can change up your ingredients and it is basically always going to turn out good.  You can’t go wrong with salad ingredients. To spice up my barbecue chicken salad, I like to add in yummy cheeses like feta or goat cheese, make homemade ranch dressing and homemade croutons. Very simple things that add an extra touch. Today I am sharing with you my crouton recipe. Enjoy!

IMG_1791

HOMEMADE CROUTONS

Servings: 2

INGREDIENTS:

2 slices of artisan bread

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

salt & pepper to taste

 

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut bread into chunks. Melt butter in microwave for around 15 seconds. Stir in garlic powder, parsley and a dash of salt & pepper to melted butter. Dredge bread pieces in butter melted until thoroughly soaked. Place bread on foil lined baking sheet. Bake for around 20 minutes or until crispy.

Continue Reading

Chicken, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Pizza

There’s something about fancy restaurant pizzas that just always hit the spot. Maybe because it’s typically a pizza you know you could never recreate at home. You know the ones I’m talking about…the ones with fancy ingredients like “caramelized onions” and “figs” and “goat cheese” with some type of special sauce. Well I am so excited to let y’all know that the code has been broken! The code aka fancy pizza recipe. Tonight I created a fancy pizza in my own kitchen! It was not hard at all…nor did it use any ingredients I didn’t already have on hand – another big plus. I paired it with a simple spring mix salad and glass of wine for an upscale take on good ol’ pizza night!

CHICKEN BACON AND CARMELIZED ONION PIZZA RECIPE

  • 1 pre-made pizza crust
  • 1 piece of chicken
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon torn into pieces
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 medium red onion sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Cut into cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Throw in diced chicken. Turn until cooked thoroughly, set aside. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Throw in spinach. Cook until slightly wilted, set aside on paper towels. Squeeze out any excess water from spinach. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in same skillet on medium heat. Add thinly sliced onions. Allow onions to cook down for around 10 minutes, stirring as necessary. Add in sugar and toss to coat evenly. Let onions cook down for another 10 minutes. After they have cooked, add balsamic vinegar to onions and toss to coat. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Add minced garlic and flour while stirring. Continue to stir as you add in the warm milk. Add parmesan cheese and nutmeg while you are still whisking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce starts to bubble, remove from heat. Brush edges of pizza crust with olive oil. Spread the sauce over pizza, leaving a 1/2″ lip around edge. Sprinkle on 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese. Then add spinach, caramelized onions, and cooked chicken. Finish topping with remaining mozzarella, feta, and bacon. Bake pizza for 10-15 minutes.

Continue Reading

Watermelon Feta Blackberry Skewers

I love these simple, 3-ingredient skewers. A perfect cool, sweet bite on a hot summer day. They make a great appetizer, side dish, or dessert to take to a party and are pretty easy to transport. Bonus: they look pretty!

WATERMELON FETA BLACKBERRY SKEWERS RECIPE

Servings: 9

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 watermelon pieces cut into squares
  • 1 block of feta cheese
  • 9 fresh blackberries
  • 9 toothpicks or skewers

Cut block of feta into 9 square pieces. Assemble skewer with one piece of watermelon, one piece of feta, and top with one blackberry. Pierce with toothpick or skewer. Repeat.

Continue Reading

Nashville Hot Chicken

If you have ever been to Nashville, then you know what I am talking about. If you haven’t, then trust me when I say you WANT to know about these. Nashville is famous for it’s “hot chicken.” It’s a fried piece of chicken with a spicy kick. Served on a bun with pickles. Do not make this recipe unless you have the pickles. Seriously. The pickles make the sandwich and add the perfect bite of sweetness with the hot chicken.

There are two levels of spiciness you can choose between. If you like REALLY spicy foods, use paprika. If you prefer a milder kick, use chili powder. I personally prefer the chili powder.

IMG_1297

 

NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN RECIPE

Servings: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups vegetable oil (give or take based on size of skillet)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika OR chili powder (see comment above)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 sandwich buns
  • shredded cabbage
  • 12 bread & butter pickle chips

Cut chicken breasts in half to make 4 smaller pieces. Set up a dredging station by mixing milk and apple cider vinegar together in one bowl. Place flour in another bowl. Place panko crumbs in another bowl. Start by dredging each piece of chicken in the milk, then flour, back in milk, then panko crumbs until completely covered. Repeat with each piece of chicken and set aside. Pour vegetable oil in cast iron skillet until it is around halfway full. Heat oil on medium heat. Once oil is heated, add chicken to skillet. Let chicken cook, turning every 4-5 minutes. Cook for around 20-25 minutes or until chicken is crispy, brown and a meat thermometer registers 165 degrees. Remove chicken from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Place butter in a bowl and microwave until melted, around 30 seconds. Mix in salt, paprika OR chili powder, garlic powder, and sugar with melted butter. Brush mixture onto fried chicken making sure to cover all sides. Shred cabbage into little strips. Place cabbage, fried chicken, and 3 pickles on sandwich bun to serve. Enjoy with an ice cold beer!

Continue Reading