Fontina, Spinach & Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken

Fontina, Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken
Thank goodness for tomatoes. Whether in raw, in a sauce or in sun dried form, tomatoes just always seem to put me in a great mood. Now, out of those three options, the last one is the best in my opinion. My favorite recipe to use sun dried tomatoes in is Pasta With Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce. I was very tempted to make this recipe again; however, I decided to skip on the calorie-laden sauce of that recipe and go with something a bit more healthy.

I choose to make Chicken Breasts Stuffed With Fontina, Artichokes and Sun Dried Tomatoes. At first glance, this recipe didn’t seem that much healthier than my pasta option due to the copious amounts of cheese needed; therefore, I decided to use significantly less cheese and substituted out artichokes and put in some spinach instead.

Step 1: Chop Garlic, Sun Dried Tomatoes,
Fontina, Spinach and Basil

Fontina, Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken

Step 2: Mix Ingredients Together in a Bowl

photo (5)

Step 3: Pound Chicken Breast to Make Thin;
Place Filling on Top; Roll and Bake

Fontina, Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken

Step 4: Pair with Vegetables or Starches; Eat!

Fontina, Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken
To be perfectly honest, I was a bit skeptical of this recipe. I was worried that I was going to need a sauce to go with it or that the chicken might end up a bit dry. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The flavor from the sun dried tomatoes, basil and garlic really came through nicely for a mix of bold flavors. I’ll definitely be adding this into the usual rotation from time to time!

Cheers!

Fontina, Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken

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Chicken and Waffles

Authentic Southern cooking is one of my favorite types of food. Sometimes in another life, I totally believe that I was meant to live in the South just for the sake of cornbread, Carolina barbecue, Sweet Tea and peach cobbler.

Now although I can’t eat this food 24/7, I do enjoy indulging in traditional Southern food from time to time. Besides barbecue, one of other my favorite Southern meals that comes to mind is Chicken and Waffles. I actually already featured this recipe on this blog about a year ago; however, the pictures from that post definitely didn’t do it justice. Since I made it again this past weekend, I figured I’d put up some new pictures to share!

Although I didn’t make blackberry butter (or some other fruity combination with butter) this time, this recipe still tasted delicious. Usually I’m all about the sauces. In my opinion, these can “make it or break it” as it relates to recipes. But, in this case, it was all about the seasonings. We added a bit more than the recipe called for and I’m incredibly happy with the end result of tender and especially flavorful chicken by itself.

Besides the food, I appreciate the traditional Southern mantra and phrase of “Food is Love”. No matter what type of food is your favorite, I think all of you reading can agree with that one!

Cheers!


Peach, Nectarine & Blackberry Croustade, Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken and More…!

Normally, I can be very precise about my recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely experiment. But, usually (and especially with the first time trying a recipe), I measure everything specially out to a “T” and then some.

However, yesterday, I decided to go rogue (for me, at least) which consisted of not measuring exact amounts (gasp!) as well as taking just one look at a recipe and trying to replicate it (Although in hindsight, I should have done just a wee bit of research).

First, I knew I wanted to make a dessert involving fruits. Initially, my quest for a fruit filled dessert resulted in only one fruit in mind; however, all of the fruit at the grocery store started to beckon at me to be taken. So, one fruit quickly turned into two different fruits… and, at that point, I figured I’d just add one more! So, the end result? A jubilee of peaches, nectarines and blackberries in the form of a fruit-filled Croustade.

Peach, Nectarine and Blackberry Croustade

1. Make the dough from this Croustade recipe.

2. Cut fruit and combine with sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg in a bowl.

3. Flatten dough into a circle. Arrange fruit onto the top. Fold crust over so that it touches the edges of the fruit.

4. Brush edges with whipping cream and sprinkle sugar on top.

5. Bake at 400 degrees until crust browns and filling starts to bubble (eyeball between half hour to one hour).

6. Serve with ice cream!

Secondly, I saw a recipe for Chicken Thighs Wrapped in Prosciutto and Rosemary from the blog Stacey’s Snacks Online on Pinterest (by the way, side note – this is an amazing blog with plenty of very tasty recipes!). I took one look and knew instantly that I wanted to make it. But, my exuberance exceeded my judgement and I didn’t even check how to make it (As mentioned previously, I’m not sure that I’d quite recommend this tactic; however, I’m lucky that this recipe turned out well despite the odds!).

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken With Rosemary

1. Marinate chicken breasts in sauteed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

2. Place sprigs of rosemary onto the top of each chicken breast. Wrap in prosciutto over the rosemary.

3. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. During the last three minutes of baking, drizzle balsalmic vinegar onto the chicken. Check to make sure that chicken is done.

4. Eat!

The original recipe from Sarah’s Snacks Online calls for chicken thighs and to grill the chicken. Although this chicken tasted delicious baked and the rosemary added a nice touch, I’d like to try Sarah’s method or perhaps try sauteing for a minute or two on each side in a pan before baking to make sure the prosciutto morphs into its most delicious crispified (yes, this is a made-up word) state.

Both these recipes are fairly simple and broad enough that they can be modified to add many ingredients (croustade) or be prepared in varying ways (baked versus grilled chicken).

In conclusion, I’m glad that I tried something new, picked versatile recipes and fulfilled my stomach (and others) at the same time!


And… one last thing!

I am very appreciative that Posh Little Designs and Leslie the Foodie nominated my blog for the Versatile Blogger Award and the Liebster Blog Award. Thank you to both – I am honored. I follow both of these blogs and love seeing the content that they produce! If you haven’t checked out their blogs already, I highly recommend that you do 🙂

Cheers!

Southwest Chicken Burger and Lime Corn Salad

All right, the secret is out… I was so incredibly over Winter and it’s dreariness. In fact, I’m ready to skip Spring too and head straight for Summer a.k.a. Grilling Season. Nothing excites me more than the thought of charred burgers, grilled corn on the cob and oozing fruit-filled desserts. Oh, and the mouth-watering smoky smell of barbecue…but I digress!

So, with some sunshine this past weekend, those in the Northwest do what they do best: bring out the grill! Even though this might have been a little premature (yes, I did attempt to wear a dress and found I was a little bit too ambitious… it was still cold!), I was ecstatic to get my “grill on” even if that meant wearing a light jacket and pants.

For this weekend, we decided to make Southwest Chicken Burgers with Grilled Lime Corn Salad.

The best part about this recipe? No exact sizes of ingredients needed – just some good ‘ole eyeballing and taste-testing!

Southwest Chicken Burgers

Ingredients:

Ground Chicken
Corn
Black Beans
Garlic
Green Peppers
Red Onion
Bread Crumbs
Cilantro
Pepper Jack Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Directions:

1. Mix ground chicken together with garlic, black beans, green peppers, red onion, cilantro and corn. Add salt and pepper.

2. Form ground chicken mixture into patties.

3. Put onto grill. Grill on each side for a few minutes (test to make sure that it is cooked all the way through).

4. At the last minute of grilling, add a slice of pepper jack cheese and toast buns.

5. Assemble buns and chicken patties together. Add necessary other sauces!

Grilled Lime Corn Salad

Ingredients:

Corn
Lime
Olive Oil
Green Pepper
Red Onion
Cilantro
Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

1. Grill corn

2. Add grilled corn with chopped red onion, green peppers, cilantro.

3. Mix lime juice with olive oil to taste. Add dressing to corn mixture.

4. Serve immediately (with above chicken burger of course)!

I think the key in both of these items is the use of cilantro. It’s not often that I use it; however, when I do, it feels the same way that a fashionista would utilize a statement piece.

Overall, a nice change from the usual burger and a great mix of flavors!

Cheers to Grilling Season!

Chicken and Prosciutto Salad With Arugula and Manchego


I have a huge crush… on arugula. All of a sudden, I’ve developed a penchant for the peppery-garlic-earthy flavor of this salad green whether it’s on pizza, on it’s own or combined into a sauce. In my opinion, it makes eating a healthy salad just that much easier because I love the flavor (as opposed to eating a bland iceberg lettuce that needs calorie-laden dressings to make it bearable). As a result, I’ve been on the hunt for more and more recipes that utilize arugula to add to the usual rotation for dinner.

I was instantly drawn to this recipe after seeing it in one of the latest issues of Cooking Light. This recipe calls for Asiago cheese; however, I substituted Manchego instead. What I particularly liked about this salad is the fact that it uses arugula (obviously) and combines that with a mix of salty, sweet and tangy/citrus flavors through the prosciutto, tomatoes and lemon flavored dressing. Super simple, healthy, filling and a balanced meal!

Cheers and have a great Sunday evening!

Maple-Mustard Chicken

I normally would not think to combine maple syrup and mustard with chicken. In fact, this combination has never crossed my mind. But, in an attempt to be more adventurous, I decided to try this recipe from the latest issue of Cooking Light. In this situation, sweet + savory wins.

Step 1: Prepare Spices and Cut Garlic

Step 2: Saute Chicken for Two
Minutes on Each Side

Step 3: Combine Liquid Ingredients
to a Boil in Skillet; Add Chicken

Step 4: Bake and Serve

This chicken recipe was a good decision and in commitment to my New Year’s Resolutions. Even though this recipe is on the healthier side, it definitely packs plenty of noticeable flavor. I highly recommend you to try it!

Cheers!

Favorite Recipes of 2011

Bye bye 2011 – the year filled with various fruit-filled desserts, homemade pizzas and plenty of roasted chicken recipes. Throughout this past year, I definitely learned many new tricks including how to make pie pastry dough from scratch (and cut and assemble lattices for pies), how to properly clean and prepare a whole chicken for roasting and how to properly make quinoa, just to name a few!

In order to celebrate 2011, I just wanted to list a few of my favorites:

Strawberry Shortcakes

Cheddar Jalapeno Bread


Homemade Oreos


Roast Chicken With Chickpeas,
Tomatoes, Olives and Thyme


Sour Cherry Pie With Lattice Crust


Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs


Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With
Lemon Curd and Raspberries


Chicken Piccata


Blackberry Peach Crumble


Baked Macaroni & Cheese
With Garlic Bread Crumbs

Pumpkin Cake With
Cream Cheese Frosting

I am already excited for 2012: hoping to experiment more with pomegranates, mustard (yes, Epicurious predicted it to be a Top Food Trend for 2012), avocados and I would like to make homemade Pho. Join me in my adventure!

Cheers!