Category Archives: recipe

Citrus-marinated chicken thighs (via Bon Appétit magazine)

I recently got an issue of Bon Appétit mazagine from my mom and was immediately drawn to a delicious picture of chicken. I flipped a few pages and found the recipe, then decided I was making it for dinner. In two days. Here are the results! The recipe can be found on their website, where you can view the ingredients and recipe.

However, I wanted to share this with all of you through step by step pictures. I find they can be helpful when cooking. The only change I made from the original recipe was that I used green onions instead of scallions, but let’s be honest… I don’t see a difference. Sorry if I’m not enough of a food snob to care. Still delicious. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and tender stems only
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

Recipe

  • Set aside 1/4 cup sliced scallions. Pulse cilantro, garlic, citrus zests, citrus juices, soy sauce, oil, salt, and remaining scallions in a food processor or blender until a coarse purée forms. Set aside 1/4 cup marinade; place remaining marinade in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill at least 20 minutes. (I did ~2 hours)

before pulsing

pulsed

in bag

  • Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from marinade and place, skin side down, on a foil-lined broilerproof baking sheet; discard marinade. Broil chicken until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn; continue to broil until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 12–15 minutes longer. Serve chicken with reserved marinade and scallions.

skin down

skin up

skin up cooked well

one portion

This is wonderful, especially in the summer! My mom pointed out that it could also be grilled, if you’re not into using the broiler. They also go well with popsicles for dessert, like these blueberry-banana-yogurt pops I made recently, using this popsicle mold, which is awesome. I was inspired to buy it after seeing this post about 33 popsicle recipes on Buzzfeed.

blueberry popsicles

Hope you enjoyed the chicken recipe, and try it yourself! It’s easy, fairly quick, and tastes amazing. Also, go ahead and check out Bon Appétit magazine or their website if you’d like, because they have plenty of recipes that I know I’ll be checking out from time to time.

Post and photos by: Melissa


Cranberry Pecan Spinach Salad

First I thought I’d start this post off by sharing a bit of the lovely spring weather I’ve been lucky enough to experience lately…

lovely lake

And show your our ducks. It’s a Muscovy duck, I believe.

ducky

Anyway, I’ve been really busy lately and haven’t been cooking a lot, so I decided to try eating healthy by re-creating a salad that I had in a hotel restaurant over the summer during my road trip. The restaurant is Kahill’s Steak-Fish Chophouse in South Sioux City, Nebraska. It was the BEST restaurant we visited during the trip and even though if you know anything about me you know I’m not into salad or most raw vegetables, this was the best salad I have ever had. All I had to remind me of the ingredients was an at-best blurry picture of the menu.

tah-dah

So, without further ado, here is my take on this salad. This recipe is for TWO SERVINGS but ingredient amounts can be adjusted according to your preferences. Obviously to make this salad vegetarian-friendly you can just remove the bacon!

Ingredients:

4-6 oz. Baby spinach
1 pear
1/8 cup gorgonzola cheese
2 strips bacon
1/4 cup red onion
4 oz. spiced pecans (RECIPE HERE, or use own recipe, or purchase from store)
1/4 cup crasisins or dried cranberries
Cranberry vinaigrette (to taste. I couldn’t find this so I used raspberry pomegranate vinaigrette but I find that this salad doesn’t even need dressing)

Recipe:

1. Wash and drain spinach.

2. Chop pear into small cubes.

pear cubes

3. Cook bacon and crumble into desired size.

bacon-y

4. Finely chop red onion.

5. Add all ingredients to bowl and toss.

tossed

6. Serve with or without your vinaigrette.

salad complete!

with vinaigrette

7. Enjoy!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Vegetarian burger patty (quinoa, panko and garlic)

Although for one summer I was a pescatarian (which wasn’t horrible, although it lacked variety and did get very tricky to go out to eat/side note, wordpress tells me that pescatarian isn’t a word which seems awfully silly) I have never before attempted to make my own vegetarian burger patties, and have instead opted for the beefy variety. In case you’re unaware, a pescatarian is a vegetarian who eats seafood products (fish, scallops, crab, etc.) but not other meat (chicken, beef, pork, etc.)

But back on topic. I came across these burgers on one of my favorite food blogs, which I’ve previously mentioned in posts, How Sweet It Is. I happened to already possess most of the ingredients, and I was sold on the idea of a veggie burger with garlic and red bell pepper in it, as those are two of my favorite ingredients to cook in just about anything. So, without further babbling or praise for my favorite food blog, I’ll share the recipe because these turned out delicious and were rather easy to put together.

Ingredients (for 4 patties):

1 can (15 oz.) white cannellini beans
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped red peppers (the recipe calls for roasted, but I didn’t have time for that. I’m sure it would add to the flavor.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon flour
Olive oil (for cooking)
Other desired toppings (lettuce, tomato, whatever. I like my burgers plain. Cheese or bacon would be a good addition though, in my opinion. Unless you’re actually a vegetarian. Also optional: buns)

Recipe:

1. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.

mmmm

2. In another bowl, roughly mash beans with a fork until smooth. This is not going to look pretty.

appetizing right?

3. In large(ish) bowl, combine beans, quinoa, garlic, and red peppers. Stir to combine. Add the bread crumb mixture and your beaten egg, and combine again. Finally, add the flour (I almost forgot!) as this is an important step to ensure your patty doesn’t crumble and fall apart when you cook it.

combine that stuff

ready for patty-cake

4. Form 4 roughly equal-size balls of…veggie patty. It’s ok if not all your beans are smashed.

play ball

5. Coat a medium-large pan with olive oil and heat to medium-high (about 7 on my stovetop.) Add your patties and flatten, making sure you press the sides with a spatula so it sticks together rather than crumbling at the edges. You may cook them all at once, but I did choose to do it separately, as it was my first time trying this and I didn’t want to ruin all of them at the same time.

patty

After about 5 minutes (depending on temperature) flip, and it should be golden-brown and crispy. Cook the other side to the same crispness and then remove from heat. Repeat for all patties.

crispy~

6. Enjoy!

mmm crispy patties for me!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Asiago garlic bread (loaf)

Since I had already tried making asiago bagels I decided to do something different this time, and bake a loaf of asiago cheese bread. I chose to add garlic to mine because that’s always a winning combination. The recipe calls for optional rosemary, which I think would be a great choice too. It should be noted that this recipe takes SO long for the dough to be ready to bake ~3 to 3.5 hours, with steps in between wait times. But let me just tell you that it was so worth it. This bread is light, cheesy and flavorful. It would’ve been crispier if I could’ve baked it a little longer but you may know by now that I get very paranoid about burning my baked goods.

Ingredients:

3-3.5 cups of bread flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package dry active yeast
1.25 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons of rosemary or thyme (optional) and/or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1.25 cups asiago cheese or other firm cheese, cubed (swiss, gruyere, etc.)
Cooking spray (like Pam)

Recipe:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1.5 cups flour, the sugar and yeast and mix. Add the 1.25 cups of warm water (about 120 degrees Fahrenheit) and stir until all combined into a ball. Let stand about 1 hour, until bubbly.

first

bubbly

2. Stir in the oil, rosemary (or other herb/garlic) and salt with a wooden spoon. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is soft, easily leaves sides of bowl, and is easily handled. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit 15 minutes.

handle that

3. Sprinkle flour on flat surface (counter or cutting board) and place dough. Knead the dough, pulling toward you, pressing away with your palm and rotating 1/4 each time between pressing. Sprinkle more flour if the dough sticks. Knead in 1 cup of the cheese. Spray a bowl with the cooking spray and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover and let rise 45-60 minutes, until about doubled in size.

cheesy

poof cheese

shiny

4. Deflate your dough with your fist. Spray a cookie sheet with the cooking spray. Gently form your dough into a football shape, about 12 inches long. Coat loaf with flour. Let rise in a warm place, covered, another 45-60 minutes until about doubled in size.

dough ready!

5. Place an 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan halfway filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. Heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Sprinkle or spray your loaf with water and sprinkle desired amount of flour. Cut a line in the middle of your bread lengthwise about 1/2 inch deep and fill with remaining cheese.

full of cheese

7. Place in oven on middle rack, above the water-filled pan’s rack. Bake about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake another 20-25 minutes, until browned and cheesy. At your own risk, bake a bit longer to get it really crusty. I was unable to do so, but this bread is still delicious and will get harder if left on the counter.

yum

8. Enjoy! Experiment with your own combination of spices, cheese, garlic, onions, whatever! I think this is a versatile recipe that you can easily customize. 🙂

cheese holes!

Post & photos by: Melissa


Pizza dough (totally from scratch!)

If you’re a long-time blog reader (are there any of you out there?) you’ll know that the first summer of this blog’s existence we made grilled pizzas from scratch. But this is going to be like the one I made with store-bought dough, except I made it myself. 🙂

This post will include the recipe for the dough I made (which makes enough dough for 2 medium pizzas) and the finished result of each pizza. The recipe claims this will make dough for 4 pizzas, but seriously unless you’re feeding children I’d say it makes 2 medium pizzas unless you like the crust super thin and then maybe it could make 4, but they won’t be substantial.

I used this recipe for the pizza dough, but used 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 2 cups of bread flour instead of 3 cups of all-purpose flour. Keep reading to see my results!

Ingredients:

1 package of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(desired pizza sauce, cheese, & toppings!)

Recipe:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.

yeasty

2. Combine the flour and the salt in another bowl.  Add the oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 3/4 cup of warm water and combine until it forms a dough ball. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead 2-3 minutes until smooth and firm.

dough ball

3. Cover dough with a clean, damp towel and let rise for about 2 hours. Divide into 2 equal dough balls and knead these 4-5 times each until smooth. Place under towel and again let rest for about an hour.

stored

covered

risen

4. Roll out your dough on a greased pizza pan, or press dough for a thicker crust.

pizza rolled

5. Top with sauce, cheese and toppings! Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (may take more or less time depending on thickness and toppings, and desired crispness of crust.)

pizza~

And here is my second pizza.

meaty

Dough will keep in the fridge for about 2-3 days. If you’d like to freeze it, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store this way for up to a week.

Post & photos by: Melissa


Easy panko-breaded chicken

This is just a quick, simple dinner idea for any cut of chicken (leg, breast, thigh, wing, etc) you happen to have an excess of. All you need is your choice of chicken, some egg, flour and breadcrumbs. Parmesan cheese might be a nice addition and this can be served with pasta, rice, veggies, or any other side of your choosing. You can also salt and pepper the chicken but I didn’t find that necessary.

Ingredients:

~1 pound of chicken (I used chicken breast)
3/4 cup of breadcrumbs
1 egg
1/2 cup of flour
Oil for cooking

Recipe:

1. Pound your chicken out to tenderize it with a tenderizer or the back of a small frying pan. 

2. Set out a plate of flour, a wide bowl of egg (mixed), and a plate of breadcrumbs. Dip each chicken piece in the flour, coating both sides, followed by the egg and then press in the breadcrumbs.

flour

egg

breadcrumbs

breaded woooo

3. Coat a pan in oil so it covers the bottom about 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch. Place each piece of chicken in the pan and cook until golden-brown and crisp and then flip to cook the other side. Remove from oil and place on paper towel-ed plate to cool. Enjoy!

delicious

Post & photos by: Melissa


Strawberry banana smoothie

This isn’t going to be the longest (or best, or most original or most interesting) post but if you’re interested in a quick, easy breakfast or snack and you possess a blender, keep reading!

I used to be a person who never ate breakfast. At other times I would eat cereal, fruit, eggs, toast, or a full breakfast of eggs, hash browns and bacon/sausage. Lately, I’ve been making this smoothie. Not every day, and not always as breakfast but sometimes as a snack. It’s really simple but tastes amazing, almost like a dessert.

The interesting thing about this smoothie is the chia seeds. They really add a nice texture and make this a lot more substantial than just some blended fruit. The greek yogurt adds a nice thickness and the vanilla adds some flavor (though you could use plain if you wanted, I prefer the added flavor and sweetness.) You can, of course, use regular yogurt if you don’t like greek yogurt and adjust the amounts to your liking.

Ingredients:

1 banana, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup-1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4-1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
(water if needed for blending, less water will make a thicker smoothie)

Recipe:

1. Add all to blender.

lookin good

2. BLEND!

mmmm

3. Enjoy.

yay

Post & photos by: Melissa