Happy Friday! I must be in a giving mood this week. If you read my blog, you know I had a Crate & Barrel Valentine’s Day Giveaway kick off on Monday. It’s still open, so if you haven’t entered yet, you still have time! Click here to sign up and (hopefully) win!
On to giveaway #2 for the week…
I’ve teamed with Wine & Glue and a fabulous group of bloggers to treat 1 lucky reader with a Kindle Fire & $50 Amazon gift card.
This Kindle Fire has a 7″ LCD display, Wi-fi, and 8GB. How awesome is that??!! I’d totally love to enter this giveaway! (but I won’t because I’m a host.) I have yet to buy a Kindle for myself but it’s on my list of things to get. I love the Kindle commercial of the girl reading by the pool on vacation and she’s totally schooling the guy on how awesome her Kindle is. You can totally be THAT girl! Just sign up below and the winner will be announced next Friday.
In the comments section, let me know what would be the 1st thing you would download onto your new Kindle Fire. Good Luck!
I think I could eat just about anything wrapped in a tortilla… but quesadillas are one of my favorites. I’m always trying to think of new quesadilla recipes. And with every quesadilla, there must be salsa. (Another one of my favorite things!)
I’m cooking for 1 this week. The hubby is out of town so I find myself wanting more appetizer/snack meals. I originally planned to make Shrimp quesadillas on Saturday but instead I ate a bag of BBQ popchips. Ooops..
So I made this little appetizer for dinner last night and it was perfectly filling! I filled the quesadilla with shrimp, onions, tomatoes, corn, cilantro and pepperjack cheese. Spicy Mango Salsa recipe is something I make pretty often, as I can easily eat chips and salsa for dinner any night of the week. I like to add avocado, jalapenos, cilantro and onion to my mango salsa. Its sweet, spicy and has a creamy texture from the avocado.
I’m totally in love with this quesadilla recipe and I’ll definitely be making it again!
If you haven’t already, remember to sign up for my Valentine’s Day Giveaway! I created a cute gift pack with products from Crate & Barrel. I’d loooove to keep it for myself but I’ll be nice and give it to a lucky reader. Sign up now!
Shrimp Quesadilla with Spicy Mango Salsa
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 cup corn
- 20 cooked shrimp, tails removed
- Cumin, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups pepperjack cheese, shredded
- 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 4 tortillas, burrito size
- 2 cups mango, diced
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt, to taste
- Tortilla Chips
- Saute over medium heat oil, onions and garlic. Stir and cook until onions are soft. Add tomatoes and corn, cook for 1 min. Add shrimp, cumin and salt. Cook for 1 more minute.
- In a clean skillet, place tortilla in pan. On one 1/2 of the tortilla, sprinkle cheese & shrimp & veggie filling. Add a dash of cilantro and more cheese on top. Fold the empty half over the filling. Cook for 3-5 minutes and flip. Brown the other side of the tortilla for 3 minutes. Slice into triangles and serve with salsa and chips.
- To make Spicy Mango Salsa – Add mangos and the next 5 ingredients into a bowl. Add a dash of salt and taste. Serve right away or store in an airtight container.
Yay yay yay!! I can’t decide what I’m more excited about — healthy breakfast muffins or my 1st giveaway!? Let’s start with the muffins…
I hope all of the new year’s resolutions you’ve made to eat better are still on your mind… if not, no fear, these muffins are pretty good for you but they don’t taste like light muffins. We’ve all tried a store bought “”light” muffin, right?? I’m sure after your first bite (you might have gagged) and then threw it straight into the trash. This has been my experience… I’ve tried multiple light muffins from the grocery store, all have the same result. I guess I’m easily fooled by cute packaging.
My breakfasts lately have been smoothies, so I wanted to switch it up & still keep it healthy. Muffins are the perfect breakfast when you need eat something while running out the door. Adding oatmeal to the muffin batter makes it a bit more dense and provides texture. I love using a mix of berries instead of just the usual blueberry. Since it’s January in Chicago, I used a frozen cherry berry medley from Trader Joe’s. It had cherries, blueberries and blackberries. So good!
If you’re looking for a healthy, good muffin – give them a try!
Very Berry Oatmeal Muffins
- 1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
- 2/3 all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 2 large eggs
- 16 oz frozen berry medley
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a food processor, add oats and pulse until it’s like a cornmeal texture.
- Add oats and all dry ingredients (up to salt) into a large bowl. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, add buttermilk and the rest of the liquid ingredients (through eggs.) Pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until moist.
- Combine berries with 2 tablespoons flour. Add berries and fold into batter. Spoon batter into 24 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Inspired by Cooking Light
Besides having a love for muffins, I LOVE Crate & Barrel! They always have the cutest stuff. I think I registered for every item in the store when I got married. The C&B catalog arrived the other day and they had adorable Valentine’s Day decor. I promised once I was done with my blog design makeover, I’d celebrate with a giveaway. Today is the day!! Here is what you could win:
*** The giveaway will run until Sunday (midnight) and is open to those who live in the United States. GOOD LUCK!!!
For all of my Sriracha and spice lovers, you’re gonna love this recipe…
I’ve been making my version of this meatloaf recipe for a couple of months. Sorry I’ve been greedy and not sharing it with you. This isn’t your everyday meatloaf recipe but trust me, it’s really good!! It’s a bit healthier — I used ground turkey instead of beef & pork. I know ground turkey can get dry pretty easily but I’ve added sauteed onions and mushrooms to the meatloaf mixture to keep it juicy. By adding soy sauce and sriracha to the mixture and the glaze on top, it gives this meatloaf a great Asian flare.
If you don’t like spicy foods or can’t find sriracha, you can leave it out. I think the recipe will still provide a lot of flavor and you won’t have many leftovers.
If you do have leftovers, it warms up great! I can only imagine what a wonderful spicy turkey meatloaf sandwich this would make. I would’ve tried that for lunch today but we’re all out of bread in our house. DOH!
Tomorrow’s blog post will be back to my usual Friday thing — #followfriday. I can’t wait to share with you one of my favorite blogging buddies recipes AND crafts. (Yes, crafts!!)
If you haven’t subscribed yet to The Tasty Fork, you’re going to want to so you won’t miss my 1st giveaway!! It’s going on next week, so sign up to get my blog updates via email or like me on facebook to stay up to date!
Sriracha Turkey Meatloaf
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt & pepper
- 8oz sliced mushrooms
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1.5 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp sriracha
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups ketshup
- 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 .5 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a saute pan, add oil and when it’s at a medium heat, add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper. Saute until onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Let the veggie mixture cool off for 5 minutes.
- Add the veggie mixture, ground turley and the next 6 ingredients to a bowl. Mix the meatloaf with your hands. Spray a medium size casserole dish or broiler pan with cooking spray. Form meatloaf into a 9×5 inch rectangle.
- To make the glaze, add all of the ingredients and stir until smooth. Taste and add more sriracha or soy sauce if needed. Top glaze over meatloaf. Cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until the internal temperature of the meatloaf is 180 degrees. Let the meatloaf set for 10 minutes before serving.
Inspired by Cooking Light
It seems like ages ago, but before Christmas, I went to a Holiday Theme Pinterest Party. Being a total pinning addict, this was such a fun party! Everyone made something to share and the recipes had to come from one of your pin boards.
I asked for help from my readers about their favorite party food pins. My friend, Maddie, gave me a great recipe from one of her pin boards. She said it’s always a huge hit anytime she’s made it. It’s super easy, no cooking required and it’s transportable.
I did make a couple changes to the recipe. I used reduced fat feta cheese (you can’t taste the difference!), replaced dried herbs with fresh oregano, parsley & basil and topped the dip with fresh lemon juice.
The dip was a huge hit! It was almost like a Greek style bruschetta since we ate it with bread. It’s definitely something I’ll be making again!!
Feta Dip with Fresh Herbs & Lemon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1lb Reduced fat feta cheese (buy it in a block, not crumbles)
- 3 -4 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 10 Green onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp Parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp Oregano, chopped
- 1 tbsp Basil, chopped
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 baguette, sliced
- In a large platter, pour olive oil. (it should cover the bottom of the platter.)
- Crumble feta cheese over platter. Add tomatoes, green onions and herbs. Mix everything together.
- Taste. Add red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.
- Top dip with lemon juice.
- Serve with bread. I bought a french bread baguette from the bakery section at my local grocery store and that was perfect with this dip!
Inspired by Clover Lane
I have a last-minute tip for all of you getting ready for Thanksgiving. Will you be having some kind of bread served with dinner? Make a compound butter. Compound meaning add some ingredients to a stick of butter. It’s really easy and delicious!
Here are the steps.
- Mix a soften stick of butter with your favorite ingredients. (This can be done with a spatula or with a hand mixer.)
- Spoon butter mixture onto parchment paper or plastic wrap.
- Roll into a tight log. Tie the excess plastic wrap at the ends of the cylinder into a knot, or just use little pieces of string to tie off the ends.Chill for 2 hours before serving.
Making compound butter is something you can do before Thanksgiving day. Leftovers can be stored in the freezer and used at a later date. I LOVE flavored butter. It’s something that adds an extra touch and a little elegance. (and with little effort!) Below are some of my favorite flavor combinations.
- Honey Butter – 1 stick of butter, 1/4 cup honey
- Maître d’Hôtel Butter (recipe used at steak house restaurants) – 1 stick of butter, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tsp lemon juice
- Breakfast Butter – 1 stick of butter, 1 tsp brown sugar, splash of vanilla extract, chopped toasted pecans
- Fresh Herb Butter – 1 stick of butter, 2 tbsp chopped chives, 1 tbsp chopped thyme
Taste butter and add a little salt & pepper if needed.
I won’t be posting on Thursday but be sure to come by on Friday to check out my #FollowFriday Blogger Feature.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
Chicken Tenders. Chicken Fingers. Whatever you wanna call it, I LOVE them.
I created this recipe to find a healthier option. Most chicken tenders are breaded & fried. I’ve seen recipes which are oven baked, but the crust of the tender is covered in breadcrumbs, eggs and cheese. No thanks.
I’ve been eating a lot of hickory smoked almonds lately. It’s the perfect combo of smokey & salty. Did you know if you’ve got a food processor or a good blender, you can grind nuts so they have a consistency of breadcrumbs? It’s true!
I made these chicken tenders for dinner, but I think they would be a great appetizer for a holiday party! I threw in some fresh rosemary, which is a perfect herb for the holiday season. Have some dipper options, like bbq sauce or honey mustard, and you’ll be all set!
I added about 1/4 cup of panko bread crumbs, but if you can’t find panko or wanting a gluten-free recipe, just cut them from the recipe.
Smoked Almond & Rosemary Chicken Tenders
- 1 cup smoked almonds
- 1/4 panko bread crumbs (optional)
- 2 tbsp rosemary, chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 8 chicken tenders
- Cooking Spray
- In a food processor (or strong blender), put in almonds. Grind until the texture is very fine, like breadcrumbs. Heat skillet to medium heat and toast panko until it’s slighty brown. In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, almonds and rosemary. Mix well.
- In a bowl, stir buttermilk, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper. Dip chicken one by one into the butter milk and then into the almond coating. Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Garnish with rosemary leaves, if desired.
Soooo, I know I’ve been neglected my blog duties for the last few months… My excuse – it’s a mixture of being busy & lazy. Does that make sense??
I had intentions of sharing all of the wonderful things I’ve been making. I took the time to take pictures of recipes…but no motivation to hop onto my computer and write everything down.
After being told my recipes were missed on the world wide web, I decided I needed to get back to something I truly love to do!
Are you ready?? Here we go!
I’m happy to report I’m finally cooking for two. Me & the hubby. I’m shocked he’s ok with me making healthy girlie salads. And it’s not like I’m pulling a fast one on him. He’s been going to the grocery store for me and sticking to the list. I think he’s on board with it!
This salad tastes like summer. Sweet grilled corn, juicy cherry tomatoes, spicy jalapeno and fresh basil. So good! Cooking the quinoa and adding it to the veggies & cheese makes the whole salad melt to together. It’s topped off with a zesty lemon & garlic dressing. Perfect to eat warm. It’s even better if you wait a day and eat it cold the next day.
Grilled Corn, Feta Cheese & Quinoa Salad, serves 4
- 2-3 ears fresh corn, husked
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups chicken stock or water
- ¾ cup crumbled feta
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (can be omitted)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 4-5 basil leaves
1. Turn on the grill. Rub olive oil onto corn and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Cook the on the grill for 8 minutes. Be sure to rotate corn so all sides get evenly cooked. When the corn is done, let it cool. When corn is cool enough to work with, remove kernels with a knife. I’ve found this method is easiest. You won’t be picking corn kernels off the floor.
2. Add quinoa and chicken stock or water to a sauce pan. Bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until all liquid has reduced. Fluff with fork.
3. Cut up all of the veggies and add them to the bowl with corn. Add chick peas. When the quinoa is done cooking, add it to the veggies mixture.
4. To make the salad dressing, add minced garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt & pepper. Pour salad dressing over quinoa & veggies. Top with feta cheese and fold into the salad. Top with basil.
Eating chili in May isn’t something I usually do. Chicago has been hit with rainy and gloomy weather the past few days. While the rain came down on Sunday afternoon, I was curled up on the couch enjoying this amazing chili.
It’s smokey. It’s cheesy. It’s crunchy. It’s like a nacho chili bowl.
I’m not going to go into great detail about this chili. We all know what chili tastes like… but there are two elements in this chili which make it a stand out. Pureed chipotle chilis and blue cheese. Never thought blue cheese would end up in my chili, but in this recipe it totally worked.
And like most chilis, it tastes even better the longer it sits. You’ll enjoy the leftovers.
Smoky Buffalo Style Chicken Chili, serves 4-6
- 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
- 2 pounds ground chicken
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 – 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 cups chicken stock
- A couple of handfuls thin blue-corn tortilla chips
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
- Pickled jalapeno chile pepper rings for garnish
- Heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook to brown, stirring to crumble. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 10 minutes or so.
- Place the chipotles and adobo sauce in a food processor or blender and puree. Spoon 2 to 4 rounded tablespoons into a small bowl and combine with the tomato sauce to make a chipotle-infused tomato sauce.
- When the vegetables are tender, stir in the chile-tomato sauce and chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes to thicken and combine the flavors.
- Meanwhile, switch on the broiler and position a rack in the center of the oven. Arrange 4 bowls on a baking sheet and fill with the buffalo chili. Top with an even layer of the tortilla chips, cheeses and jalapeno rings. Broil for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese and crisp the chips.
Turn off your oven! Make a pledge not to turn it back on until the fall. Summer is coming and no one likes a hot house.
It was in the 80′s today in Chicago…and for some reason I was craving stuffed mushrooms. Mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese and spinach. Usually I make stuff mushrooms in the oven, but there was no way that was going to happen today! I’ve got a grill — might as well use it.
I had my stuffed portobello mushroom for dinner, but this would be a great appetizer. Or you could slice it up and put in on toasted french bread.
The spinach and cheese provided most of the flavor, with the mushroom providing an earthy undertone and vehicle to get the filling from plate to mouth. I loved it! You will too!
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms on the Grill, serves 8
- 8 small portobello mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 nine-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
- 1 container goat cheese (5.3-ounce) with garlic and herbs, or Boursin cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Clean mushrooms and remove gills using a spoon. Brush all over with olive oil and set aside.
- Fire up your grill. While the grill is getting hot, mix the spinach, cheese, and garlic together in a bowl to make the filling. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each mushroom with a generous portion of the filling.
- When charcoal is fully lit and covered in gray ash, pour coals out and arrange them on one side of the charcoal grate, keeping the other side empty. (If you have a gas grill, don’t turn on all of the burners.) Clean and oil the cooking grate. Place the mushrooms on the cool side of the grill, stuffed side up, cover, and cook until filling is bubbling and the mushrooms are well seared, about 20 minutes. Remove from grill and serve immediately.