Roasted Chicken

Cast Iron Roasted Chicken

The husband made this one. I’m not looking up the recipe in my texts. It’s very similar to this one. (Updated: So similar that it is actually the recipe used.) It’s lemon and garlic and doesn’t take very long to make. It was so tender and juicy and delicious. We’re not the most delicate when it comes to carving and presenting it, but you can take our word for it. The hardest part is cleaning up my cast iron pan.

Prosciutto and Mozzarella Appetizer

Prosciutto and Mozzarella Appetizer

This doesn’t really have a recipe. I saw a photo of it on Pinterest. You can really make it whatever you want. I didn’t even buy anything fancy. It was just prosciutto and mozzarella from the grocery store. I rolled the meat into little bunches and sliced the cheese into medium-sized matchsticks. Then, I drizzled with bottled balsamic glaze (though you can omit or make your own).

It’s very low effort and looks very impressive – my favorite kind of recipe!

Hot Cocoa Pudding Shot

Hot Cocoa Pudding Shot

This recipe is delicious. I made this the night before in a big bowl and then transported it to the party. There, I scooped into the individual shot glasses. Yes, this would be prettier if you made individual shots when the pudding was a liquid, but this worked and was easier to chill in the fridge. I happened to have some Salted Caramel Bailey’s which is delicious. I also used Dark Chocolate Hershey’s pudding and Dark Chocolate cocoa mix. This helped balance out all the added sweetness, too. The cocoa is optional on top, but it broke up the whipped cream and marshmallow whiteness. Because it was a party where people staggered in and out, we made them to order, and they weren’t appetizing in a plastic food storage container, we had to force them on people, but once people took one, they were a hit!

Hot Cocoa Pudding Shot

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3.9-oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 (.73-oz) packet hot cocoa mix
  • 2/3 c.  whole milk
  • 2/3 c. Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • Cocoa powder, for serving
  • Marshmallow bits, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine chocolate pudding and cocoa mix with milk. Whisk until fully incorporated. Add Baileys and vanilla and whisk again. Pour into cups and refrigerate until thickened, 2 hours.
  2. Top with whipped cream, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, and marshmallow bits. Serve.

Granola Bar

Baked Granola Bars

Look, I had this new bar mold from Pampered Chef. We made those s’mores bars that fell apart so I thought I”d try some baked bars next. I happened to have the ingredients for these. I think I baked them too long. They tasted fine, but I think I burned the sugar a bit. I definitely cooked like 5 minutes longer. Also, I used a medium scoop because I only have a small and medium. Next time, we’re trying frozen yogurt bars.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
  • 1/4 c (60 mL) agave nectar or honey
  • 3 TBS (45 mL) brown sugar
  • 2 TBS (30 mL) oil/melted butter
  • 1 c (250 mL) total add-ins: chopped nuts, dried fruit, chocolate morsels, crushed pretzels, crushed cereal, and/or sweetened flaked coconut

You can store finished granola bars in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Combine the oats, baking soda, and add-ins. Add the oil, honey, and brown sugar, and mix well.
  3. Use the large scoop to transfer the mixture into the wells of the snack bar maker andpress down with the mini nylon serving spatula.
  4. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until the oats start to brown.
  5. Remove the snack bar maker from the oven to a cooling rack. Cool for 5 minutes on a cooling rack. Cover with the lid and chill in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator until set.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

This one has no recipe. The photo above is actually missing a usual ingredient as it is. I slice tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and usually red onion. I dice the ends of the tomato and an equal amount of cheese for the center just so nothing goes to waste. I added fresh basil. Then, I drizzled olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper. Sometimes, I just do salt and pepper. It really depends on what I remember to get at the store. It is so easy and pretty on the plate. Plus, if there are leftovers, you can put them on a sandwich or that garlic bread on the previous post.

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

I know. Garlic bread is easy. We usually just spread some butter, throw on some garlic salt and sometimes cheese and call it a day, but this is just a hair better than that without being too garlicy. It’s a good recipe without going too herby or garlicy, but you can also mix it up for preference, too – more herbs, add spice, etc. Sidenote – I only use mozzarella and not the cheese mix. Otherwise, I make it exactly as instructed. The stick of butter makes 2 loaves for me with a light spread. If you do this, you’ll need to double the cheese for the second loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Loaf French bread
  • 1/2 cup salted butter softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup Colby jack cheese shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
  • fresh chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your French bread loaf lengthwise and place on top of a baking sheet.
  • In a small bowl combine softened butter, garlic powder, minced garlic, Italian seasoning and shredded cheese. Spread evenly on each side of the garlic bread. Top with Colby and mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until butter is melted an bubbly. You can also broil the top for 1-2 minutes at the end to give it a more crisp top.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped parsley if desired.

Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyère

Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyère

This Braised French Onion Chicken with Guyere has been on my Pinterest page for awhile. Last weekend, the oldest asked if we could make it. It doesn’t take a ton of ingredients and is super easy. However, it’s not a fast recipe. It got a thumbs up from 2/3 of us. The youngest liked the chicken and cheese, but he didn’t like the soup part and, at the end of the day, he basically just wanted noodles and red sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken or beef broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 (4-inch) fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 5 ounces)
  • Coarsely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 325°F. Cook the onions and chicken while the oven is heating.
  2. Melt the butter in a large, heavy bottomed oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and baking soda and cook, stirring every few minutes with a wooden spoon, for 15 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring more frequently and scraping up the browned buildup that forms at the bottom of the pan, until the onions are a deep golden-brown, 10 to 15 minutes more. Meanwhile, sear the chicken.
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working in batches as to not overcrowd the pan, sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. As each batch is ready, transfer the chicken to a large plate.
  4. Add 1 cup of the broth to the chicken pan and scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add the mustard and vinegar and whisk to combine, then simmer until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. When the onions are ready, add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 cup of broth, scrape up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan, and simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove and discard the thyme and rosemary stems.
  6. Transfer the chicken on top of the onions in an even layer and add any juices on the plate. Pour the mustard sauce over the chicken. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven, then turn the oven up to broil. Sprinkle the chicken evenly with the cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and golden brown on top, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley if desired and serve.

Note: I did not use rosemary in mine. I had trouble finding thyme as it is. I also used mozzarella instead of gruyere because it’s a family preference (though I am not as particular with my cheese). Third, I’m always looking for a reason to use my cast iron skillet to justify the purchase. It’s just getting to the point where it’s perfectly nonstick which is lovely. Last, we also ate this over egg noodles. Fusilli would be less slippery, but it was tasty.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Seeds

SRoasted paghetti Squash Seeds

I made spaghetti squash last week (let’s not talk about it). While I cut it open, the youngest asked if we could eat the seeds so I said we could try. I washed and dried them and then put them in the air fryer. I put them in at 360 for like 10 minutes. I sprinkled them with a mist of olive oil and some kosher salt. It was only one small squash so it was a good little snack.

CHICKEN!

General Tso’s Chicken
Parmesan Chicken Strips

I basically bought 2 packages of chicken and air fried them up. For the first, I cut 2 breasts into small bite-sized nuggets. I soaked in buttermilk, dipped in plain panko, egg bath, panko again and then air fried at 400 for 8 minutes or so (checked at 5 and then until done). For the second, I did the same but cut into strips, soaked in buttermilk, dipped in seasoned panko AND parmesan cheese, egg bath, panko again and then air fried for the same amount of time.

For the first, I kept half nuggets plain and then tossed the other half in a store-bought General Tso’s chicken sauce. It was really good, a little spicy but not too sweet. I am super picky about my General Tso’s. We ate it more as an appetizer, but I’m going to make some rice for leftovers.

We’ve been eating leftovers all week. The kids have had it for dinner plain with a side of fries and fruit. I ate some nuggets with dipping honey. I made some strips into chicken parmesan. Fairly easy, versatile and cooked once on Sunday and ate all week – my favorite kind of cooking.