Sunday, October 30, 2016

Slow Cooker Creamy Bacon Ranch Chicken

Here is why you should make this recipe:

1. 4 ingredients.
2. Slow cooker.
3. It's delicious.
4. It's versatile.
5. Bacon.

Sound good? Good.

Creamy Bacon Ranch Chicken

1-2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 packet ranch dressing mix
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)

1. Plop the chicken, cream cheese, and ranch dressing in a slow cooker.  Cook 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
2. Shred chicken using 2 forks, add bacon, and mix until all ingredients are combined.

We had this chicken in a sandwich topped with crispy jalapenos.  It would also go great in a taco or served as a dip with chips or crackers.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Kimchi Pork Fried Rice

I was recently gifted some homemade kimchi! Yes, I know, not many of you would be that excited to get a Tupperware of stinky fermenting cabbage. That is why I'm the food blogger, and you are here for the food porn.

Note that the kimchi is not going to make or break this recipe so if your Korean friend's mother didn't whip you up a batch, don't worry.

Kimchi Pork Fried Rice
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground ginger, or 1 tbsp fresh grated
1 clove garlic, minced

3 tbsp oil, sesame if you have it
3 eggs, beaten
4 slices bacon
1/2 lb pork loin sliced into bit sized pieces* 
4 cups cooked rice
1 cup cubed pineapple
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup kimchi
salt and pepper to taste
sesame seeds, optional

1. Mix up the first 5 ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup. Set aside
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet or wok. Cook eggs until soft and set. Remove from skillet and set aside.
3. Cook bacon in same skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cooled.
4. Cook your meat in bacon fat with about 2-3 tbsp of the sauce you made.
5. Add pineapple chunks, kimchi, and vegetables and cook until heated through.
6. Add rice, eggs, bacon, and remaining sauce. Stir to combine. Serve topped with sesame seeds.

*You can use any meat you like here. I had the pork in the fridge from a previous meal.

FYI: This is a ton of food which is totally fantastic because you are going to love eating it for lunch all week long.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese Calzones

YES! You read that title right! Buffalo chicken! Mac and cheese! Calzones!!

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat! YES! All the things!

I am going to let you guys in on a MAJOR secret here.  You can make pizza dough in about 10 minutes with no resting and waiting for it to rise! And it tastes exactly like it should. This dough recipe is a serious game changer. Make it with whatever toppings you like or mix up some buffalo chicken mac and cheese  calzones like I did.

Quick No-Rise Pizza Dough
From The New York Times

1 package fast rising yeast
1 cup hot water (120-130 degrees)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix yeast and 1 cup flour in a large bowl. Stir in hot water. Stir in second cup of flour and salt until a dough ball forms.
2. Using some of the last cup of flour, dust your kneading surface. Knead dough for 5 minutes, slowly adding in the remaining flour as needed.
3. THAT'S IT! Can you believe it!?

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese

1 box mac and cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 cups shredded chicken
2 tbsp hot sauce of your liking (like it hotter? add more as you see fit)
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup blue cheese

1. Boil mac and cheese according to package directions, drain, stir in milk and butter and cheese packet.
2. Mix in chicken, scallions, and blue cheese.

The dough recipe makes enough for 4 calzones.  The mac and cheese recipe gives you plenty of extra for lunch the next day.

Bake the calzones in a 500 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  Serve with extra hot sauce and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Ok, I need to be done with this post because it is making me want to cook these up again...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Cake

Hooray for fall! Let's make pumpkin spice everything!  Even Bailey knows that pumpkin and cinnamon come together to make the kitchen smell amazing.

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Cake
From Picky Palate

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup pumpkin spice chips (or cinnamon or chocolate)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13x9 pan.
2. Mix cake mix, butter, and egg in a bowl.  Stir in pumpkin and chips. Spread into prepared pan.  Top with sugar and additional cinnamon.
3. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares.

I made these for my co-teacher's birthday and they were a huge hit! Plus, they are such a piece of cake to put together. Make it happen before pumpkin goes out of style, Christmas has already taken over the stores!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Chicken Tetrazzini

From the looks of it outside, you could use a nice creamy cheesy baked pasta dish today.

It's also great because you can chuckle about the clip from Maury.

Chicken Tetrazzini
Adapted from Simply Recipes

12 ounces of mushrooms
8 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
12 oz noodles, I used spaghetti and broke it in half
1 3/4 cups half and half
2 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (hey don't forget about my shredded chicken)
1 cup green beans
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper
grated nutmeg
1/3 cup bread crumbs
chopped parsley

1. Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according on package directions.
2. In a large pan saute mushrooms in 3 tbsp of butter 5-7 minutes. Remove from the pan, set aside.
3. Melt 4 tbsp of butter in the same pan. Stir in flour, cook for about 3 minutes.
4. Add half and half and broth.  Cook, stirring constantly, 5-8 minutes over medium-low heat.
5. Add drained pasta to the sauce along with mushrooms, chicken, and green beans. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan and 1/3 cup Swiss cheese and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of grated nutmeg.
6. Pour pasta mixture into a buttered 13x9 casserole dish. Top pasta with remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs.  Dot with cubes of remaining butter. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

This recipe is comfort food at it's best.  I have wanted to have chicken tetrazzini ever since that Maury clip. It did not disappoint.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Shredded Chicken

A lot of times a recipe will call for already cooked shredded chicken.  It is generally a major disappointment when I'm reading a recipe.  They always the recipe sound so quick and simple.  But if you don't have cooked chicken just laying around your house, it adds extra time and effort.

I'm going to share with you a quick and simple way to make a huge batch of shredded chicken that you can portion and pop in the freezer.  This way you will have chicken on hand for the next time some recipe tricks you into thinking it's a piece of cake.

Shredded Chicken

3 chicken breasts, I have used 5 in the past because that's what comes in the value packs at Stop and Shop
some garlic
maybe an onion
salt and pepper

1. Place the chicken in a large pot or dutch oven.  Pour in enough water to cover the chicken in the pot. Season with salt and pepper.  If you are using an onion or garlic plop those in now too.
2. Boil covered for about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  If you have a lot of chicken in the pot it might take longer, less chicken, shorter.  You get the idea this is not an exact science.
3. When the chicken is cooked through I'm going to tell you about a trick to shred it that will change your life.  Get out your stand mixer with paddle attachment.  Plop chicken in the bowl and turn on the mixer.  Voila! Chicken shredded right before your eyes!

I packaged my shredded chicken into 2 cup portions and popped them in the freezer.  Now I have 4 recipes worth of cooked chicken ready and waiting for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

National Taco Day!

Hey guys word around the street is that it's National Taco Day and taco Tuesday all in one magical 24 hours.

I have collected all of my favorite recipes to ensure you have the tastiest taco day ever. 

You're welcome.

Wishing you all the most delicious taco day ever!