Posted on 12 Comments

Potato Halves or Skins Fabulous Side dish or appetizer!

These were absolutely amazing! I couldn’t believe that we had made them at home! We didn’t have any chives or I probably would have sprinkled a few on top. I served these with baked chicken last week and roast beef hoagies Monday night. You can serve them with whatever you want though!

Potato Halves

 

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes (depends on how many you are feeding, my 2 eat 3 potatoes).
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Garlic Powder
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chives
  • Black Pepper

 

Click here for directions and more images!

Your finished product!!
Your finished product!!
Posted on 15 Comments

Easy Doritos Chicken Strips

I invented this recipe after seeing the idea online  for breading chicken tenders with crushed Doritos. I was pressed for time and didn’t have time to make the casserole or the traditional method, as I had to go from raw chicken to dinner on the table within an hour, preferably less. Did I mention the chicken was still partially frozen?

Anyway, the only thing to do was precook the chicken. And I was limited on options. You could use precooked tenders, or you could cook your chicken in broth. If you have the luxury of time, then just skip ahead to the buttermilk and crumb dredge step, and oven bake. I sliced my chicken breasts in half to make thin cutlets for fast cooking, and precooked in teriyaki sauce. 

buttermilk ranch

You will need:

chicken breasts. I have a family of 4, so I used 4, cut into 8 cutlets. You could also use tenders, strips, or nuggets

buttermilk, about 1/2 cup

prepared ranch dressing, about 2 tablespoons

1 bag nacho cheese flavor Doritos

chipsThe method is simple. Set your oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix the buttermilk and ranch dressing in a bowl. Put the Doritos in a zip top bag and crush into crumbs with a rolling pin. If you don’t own a rolling pin, a soft drink bottle will also work. Place the crumbs in a separate bowl or dish. (Pie pans work great for dredging).

Dip your chicken pieces into the buttermilk and ranch mixture, turning to coat. 

dredged chicken

Transfer the chicken to the crumbs, cover with crumbs and press gently to adhere. 

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes until your “batter” is nice and crisp. If you are starting with raw chicken, please ensure you use a long enough cook time to cook the chicken all the way through. 

chicken and crumbsAnd now it’s ready to serve! We just served with some steamed asparagus, but this versatile dish goes well with anything. It’s easy, fast, kid friendly, and a great way to sneak some protein into your game day or party appetizer. 

Posted on 6 Comments

Roasted Garlic & Kale Hummus

Hummus

So, this didn’t start out specifically as a “roasted garlic and kale” hummus recipe.  It started out as a standard, although exceptionally awesome, hummus recipe using all the standard ingredients.  But normally hummus has parsley in it, which I didn’t have on hand.  And while normal hummus has plenty of garlic in it, you can only make garlic better by roasting it, and adding more of it to something, so here is one of those recipes that happens when you don’t have everything you quite need, but magic somehow happens.  I will also post the original recipe below.  This is one recipe you can certainly tweak however you like- add bacon, scallions, extra garlic, less garlic, more lemon, extra cayenne, you get the picture….

Hummus

You will need:

3 heads of roasted garlic (for instructions, see the recipe for “Roasted Garlic Parmesan Pasta” here on the blog)

2 cans of chick peas (I used low sodium, but use what you prefer) – drain them, but save the liquid to thin the hummus if needed

A couple of large kale leaves- I used about 1/2 cup

2/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup tahini

1/3 cup lemon juice- I used the juice of 2 large lemons

cumin, about 1/4 teaspoon

salt

pepper

hummusIn a food processor, put your roasted garlic, kale (ribs removed), and some of the olive oil and lemon juice, process til smooth.  This ensures an even distribution of those flavors throughout the hummus.  Then throw in the tahini and chick peas, process til smooth.  It will probably be very thick, so add the rest of your lemon juice and olive oil.  If it is still too thick, or not processing well, add some of the drained liquid from the chick peas.  Once it is about the consistency you like, add the salt, pepper and cumin- I used Himalayan pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper, but use what you’ve got.  You can also add a pinch of cayenne, but I was going to serve this to a nursing mama whose baby had a sensitivity to cayenne, so I left it out. 

This hummus is the BEST I have ever tasted, and now I’m totally ruined for storebought hummus for life.  My kids, ages 2.5 years and almost 1 year, were eating it by the spoonful.  While use of a spoon is a perfectly fine serving method, it’s even better served with crudites, pita chips, on sandwiches….we generally just snack on it with baby carrots straight from the bag.  Hummus

Another serving suggestion, which is so good I might live on it for a while, is to slice a ripe avocado in half, peel it, and stuff the cavity with hummus.  Delicious doesn’t even come close to describing that taste sensation!!

The original base recipe is below:

Again, adjust to your liking…

1/4 C parsley

1 head of roasted garlic

2 cans chick peas, drained, (but save water it will help thin if needed)

2/3 C olive oil

1/2 C tahini

1/3 C lemon juice

1/2 tsp cumin

dash of cayenne, salt & pepper

Put the parsley & garlic in food processor and mince, then add rest of ingredients and process until smooth.

Feel free to customize and have fun with your hummus too! I made some the other night that was a little skimpy on tahini because I ran out.  I added avocados and topped it with bacon and while they were kind enough to let me eat the bites with bacon on them, my kids were literally trying to grab handfulls of it and shove it in their mouths.  YUM!

Posted on 5 Comments

Sweet Potato Fries Easy Oven Baked!

A trend that I’m SO excited to see popping up at restaurants lately is a food that’s been a favorite of mine for years: sweet potato fries.  They are SO delicious, and better for you than plain old russet fries since they’ve got antioxidants and beta carotene in them.  But how do you get that amazing flavor at home? And how can you make them a little healthier than frying?

In your oven.  And what’s even better, is that they are EASY. 

halved sweet potatoFirst you’ll just need some sweet potatoes.  Sometimes marketed as yams, but usually in the US anything called a yam is really a sweet potato anyway (unless you’re shopping an organic foods store).

Preheat your oven to 375*.  First, you’ll need to cut it up.  I go for a size a little smaller than ‘steak fries”. 

Slice the potato in half, then with the flat side down (sweet potatoes are HARD, so be careful), cut thick slices.  Slice the skin off, and slice into your fries.  cut up fries

Throw  them on a baking sheet and toss them with a little oil, or just mist them with olive oil if you have a mister.  Spread them in an even layer on the sheet.  Let them bake for about 15 minutes, then stir them around a bit and redistribute.  Continue doing this until they are soft and, if you desire, crisp on the outside. 

fries in the ovenOnce they are done you can serve them immediately, as is. 

Or you can take it one step further and toss them in some brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cumin and a pinch of cayenne when they are hot from the oven for a sweet and savory treat!!

cooked fries

Posted on 11 Comments

3 Ingredient Pizza Rolls!

baked pizza rolls

If you’re a busy family on the go, movie on the couch buffs, entertain a lot or find yourself invaded by hungry kids on a regular basis, then this is the perfect recipe for you! It goes together super quick, and tastes 100 times better than those pizza bites you can buy at the store. The best part is that you only need 3 ingredients, and there is a good chance you already have them on hand.

pizza roll ingredients

things first, you will need the following:

2 cans of refrigerated croissant dough

1 package pepperoni

1 package string cheese

(You could make these 4 ingredient pizza rolls by adding a little pizza sauce if you wanted to as well)

You will also need a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan

Preheat the oven according to the directions on the croissant dough. Open up the cans of dough and unroll them. Take 4 pieces of string cheese, and cut each into 4 pieces, for a total of 16 (I have to cut up extra for my 2 year old as she always wants to sample). Starring at the wide end of one of the dough triangles, place 2 pepperoni slices on the dough. Top with a chunk of cheese, and another pepperoni slice. If you are using sauce, put a drop of that on the dough before the toppings.

Then fold each of the bottom corners over the filling and roll it toward the tip so it all forms a neat little packet with all the goodies concealed inside. Pinch any holes closed. Set it on your baking sheet.

Repeat with the remaining 15 pieces. Once they are all arranged on the sheet, I spray with a mist of olive oil or other oil spray, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning.

raw pizza rolls

Bake according to the croissant directions. I usually find I need to let them bake about 2-3 minutes longer than the directions call for. Once they are done, they are ready to serve. You can eat them as is, or with some pizza sauce to dip in.

Enjoy!

Posted on 5 Comments

Kale Chips- ‘Hippie Food’ that is shockingly good!

whole kaleI’m sure no one can argue the health benefits of cruciferous veggie like kale. But let’s be honest, some of them taste *really* green, and just aren’t everyone’s cup of tea.  I myself love spinach and chard, but generally find kale, collards, turnip and mustard greens a bit too strong tasting to really enjoy.  And getting my husband to eat anything green at all is a challenge, strong tasting green stuff is next to impossible to get anywhere near him. shredded kale in bowl

Until I found out about kale chips.  I’d been hearing about them for years mind you, and didn’t really give them much thought.  Until more and more of my friends told me things like “just try them, you’ll see” and “you have GOT to just TRY them”. Okay, I thought, fine.  I’ll try them.

I was BLOWN away!! Not only are they easy, but they are delicious.  Not just “I can eat these” good, but “I can’t STOP eating these” good.

You will need:

1 bunch kale (I used the curly stuff, because that’s what they had at the store)

1 bottle Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

a bit of oil, I used olive oil in a mister

First you’ll need to wash and spin the kale, to get all the grit and water off.  Ideally you should blot it dry too, the less moisture, the better.

braggs

Tear the leaf part from the ribs-  you can probably get away with just removing the central stem, but if any of the other veins are big you’ll want them gone too.  You can just tear it off in chunks, no need for perfection here.  Throw them all in a large bowl, throw out the stems.  Then lightly mist the kale with a light covering of oil, and about 4 sprays of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.  Yes, I really do believe that the Bragg’s is essential to this recipe, but you could probably use soy sauce in a pinch.  Toss to distribute evenly, and turn out onto a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet- ideally something with a bit of an edge.

Bake in a 300* oven for 15 minutes.  At this point you’ll be smelling the green smell of the kale.  Pull it out, stir it around, redistribute into an even layer and put back in the oven for 10-15 min.  Repeat until all of the kale is evenly crisp.  Usually I find that about 30 minutes total does the trick.  they will be *crisp*,kale on pan

Now you’re ready to enjoy- prepare to be amazed!  These chips are light as air and delicately flavored.  And get this- not only do I love them, but my husband, my 2 year old and my 9 month old all can’t get enough!! I make kale chips several times a week!

Like I said, I know it sounds like Hippie Food, but this is one snack that I think will really surprise you. They may look a little odd at first, but It’s definitely worth trying, especially if you’re looking for new ways to serve kale, or sneak healthy food into your family’s diet.kale chips

done kale