Friday, August 1, 2014

Easy Apricot Chicken

Just because I love to cook, doesn't mean what I cook has to be complicated. I found this recipe after searching for an easy chicken dinner idea because who doesn't love easy dinners?
While I'm sure this is a long-time family favorite for some, I had honestly never tried apricot chicken.
It sounded easy enough so I had my husband grab some apricot preserves on his way home from work, "made" the apricot sauce and let the oven do the rest.
Easy, tangy, sweet and so delicious. Serve over rice and you've got one of the best no-fuss dinners around.

Easy Apricot Chicken
Adapted from AllRecipes
3 chicken breasts
1 cup apricot preserves
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
rice (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place the chicken breasts in a 1.5 qt. sized baking dish. Combine the apricot preserves, vinegar and brown sugar. Pour the preserves mixture over the chicken; cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 10 more minutes.
3. Slice and serve over rice if desired. Spoon extra sauce over top.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Ham and Cheese Sliders with Poppy Seed Sauce

I'm sure almost everyone has seen these little babies floating around Pinterest at least 10 times and I have always intended to try them, but for some reason it took me forever.

I wasn't sure if I would like the heaviness of the mayo and poppyseed sauce, but I couldn't be more wrong. 

These sandwiches are amazing and totally worth the calories. They would be perfect for a big family gathering and would be a total crowd pleaser.

Ham and Cheese Sliders with Poppy Seed Sauce
Slightly Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
12 white dinner rolls
12 slices of ham
12 small slices of Swiss cheese
1/3 cup mayonnaise

Poppy Seed Sauce
1/2 Tbsp. poppyseeds
2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 Tbsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1. Spread mayonnaise onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Place very close together.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You may have extra sauce so use just enough to cover the tops.
3. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Chicken Stir-Fry

Growing up, stir fry was one of the few meals my dad would contribute every now and then. It was delicious, but he didn't have an actual "recipe" for it. And while I have previously tried my hand at making a delicious stir fry, it never worked out. The sauce was runny, it wasn't flavorful and the veggies were too crunchy.
Then a month or so ago I decided to try out a highly rated recipe on All Recipes. It turns out those people knew what they were talking about.
This stir fry is easily adaptable with a perfect sauce that is completely addicting. You will definitely want seconds, which isn't a bad thing considering how healthy it is.

Chicken Stir-Fry
Adapted from All Recipes
Serves 4
1 1/2 - 2 cups white rice, cooked
1 large chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. sesame oil, divided
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced

Sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. dried ginger
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried onion
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes

1. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Mix ginger, garlic, dried onion and red pepper flakes into sauce; coat chicken with marinade and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
2. Heat 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir broccoli and carrots  until just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from skillet and keep warm.
3. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving liquid. Heat 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir chicken until slightly pink on the inside, about 2 minutes per side.
4. Return vegetables and reserved marinade to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve over rice.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pizza

This is one of the best pizzas I have ever made and one of the prettiest, too. Oh and this is coming from a has been/maybe still am tomato hater. I don't know what it is about it, but the flavor combination of this pizza still has my mouth watering.
You'll be surprised to know that this pizza doesn't have an actual sauce, just a garlic oil base under a layer of 3 cheeses and garlicky tomatoes. It is so good that I made it twice in 2 weeks.
It's one of those beautiful things I never would have expected. Again, coming from a tomato hater.

Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pizza
Adapted from Oh Sweet Basil
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 roma tomatoes, sliced
1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4-1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (I use the Sundried Tomato and Basil variety from Smith's)
1 tsp. dried basil

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
2. Prepare pizza dough and spread into greased pizza pan.
3. Bake for 3 minutes to avoid a soggy crust.
4. Stir together olive oil, garlic and salt; toss with tomatoes. Let marinade for 15 minutes, but no longer than 20 minutes.
5. Brush pizza crust with tomato marinade.
6. Sprinkle pizza with mozzarella, parmesan and feta cheeses.
7. Place tomatoes on top of cheeses and sprinkle basil evenly on top.
8. Bake pizza for 15 minutes and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Banana Bread Granola

I have honestly been on the lookout for a perfect homemade granola recipe for years and finally hit the jackpot with this one!
It really does smell like banana bread is baking in your oven and it tastes like it, too. The combination of cinnamon and banana, yes a whole banana, makes this granola unique and delicious.
Top it on some yogurt layered with strawberries and blueberries, or any berry of your choice, and you'll have yourself a perfect and healthy snack. Or just eat it plain like I have been the last few weeks because it's that good.

Banana Bread Granola
Adapted from The Novice Chef Blog
1 large overripe banana, mashed
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine banana, cinnamon, salt, butter, vanilla extract and maple syrup with a fork.
3. Fold in oats, stirring until well combined. (You'll want to make sure the liquids are evenly distributed.) Spread mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet. (The less clumps, the crunchier the granola will get.)
4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through baking.
5. Allow to cool completely at room temperature. The granola will harden as it cools.
*Store in an airtight container for up to a week.