Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Italian Sliders...




It does not seem like I have been blogging for three years!

I really don't have a special blog post for my anniversary this year, as I've been extremely busy with my daughter's parent teacher organization and I caught a cold. Bummer.

Anyway, with the upcoming Super Bowl...... GO BRONCOS!!!...... there was absolutely no way I was going to leave you hanging.

I love sliders, and they just so happen to be a fabulous Super Bowl party food. They are perfect because you can make many different variations.

I decided to go with classic italian flavors: mozzarella, basil, and sun dried tomatoes. Simple, yet tasty.

These did not disappoint! Make them for your Super Bowl party. You'll definitely be glad you did...


Italian Sliders

For the Sun Dried Tomato Spread:

  • 2/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Cup, plus 2 Tablespoons Sour Cream (Light Sour Cream works, as well)
  • 1/4 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil, Roughly Chopped
  • Finely Ground Sea Salt, To Taste
  • Coarsely Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
For the Sliders:

  • 1 Pound 80% 10% Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Pound Ground Pork
  • 1-1/2 Teaspoons Finely Ground Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Fresh Basil, Roughly Minced
  • Olive Oil, For Grilling 
  • Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced
  • Half and Half Blend of Lettuce, or a lettuce blend of your choice 
  • Red Onion, Sliced (Optional)
  • Slider Rolls/Buns
Combine all the sun dried tomato ingredients in a small food processor or blender. Pulse until blended. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Place into a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a stove top griddle, grill side up, on medium/low heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the beef, pork, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil. Mix, using your hands, just until combined. Do not over work the meat. Pat the meat into 2 to 3 inch rounds, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick. 

Brush the hot grill with olive oil, so the patties do not stick. Place the patties onto the grill and cook for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until done. Place a slice of fresh mozzarella onto the cooked patty.

To assemble:

Take a roll/bun and separate. On the bottom, place some of the lettuce blend. Add the onion, if using. Top the lettuce with a cooked patty. Dollop about a tablespoon amount of the sun dried tomato spread onto the cooked patty. Finally, add the top piece of the roll/bun. Makes 8 to 10 sliders, depending upon how big you make them. Serve with potato chips or french fries. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake...




Need a simple recipe?

It combines all the flavors of a chicken enchilada with a creamy white sauce and flakey crescent rolls.

An immensely epic, combination.

Epic, I say.

If you are busy, as we are.... basketball season.... you will appreciate a dinner that  takes really no time at all to throw together.

It calls for cooked chicken. You know what I'm thinking, right?

Left-over usage. Score!

I love it when I can repurpose left-overs into another recipe, especially since they tend to sit in the fridge until I clean it out before my weekly shopping trip. It's waste full, and I am trying to become less waste full.

So, make this dish. I think you'll like it. Become less waste full, like me.

Unless, of course, you are already less waste full. I bow down to you.


Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake

  • 3-4 Boneless and Skinless Chicken Breasts, Seasoned and Cooked
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Finley Ground Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 4oz. Can Mild Green Chilies
  • 3 Tablespoons Flour
  • 16oz. Light Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth, Hot
  • 8oz. Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 1- 8oz. Canister Flakey Crescent Rolls
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees (F).

Once your chicken is cooked, shred or dice it; set aside.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil on medium/low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the chilies and continue to cook a few minutes to blend the flavors. Sprinkle in the flour and stir, coating well. Next, stir in the sour cream. 

Increase the heat to medium/high. Continue stirring until the sauce begins to thicken, 5-8 minutes. A little at a time, add in the hot chicken broth, allowing the sauce to thicken a bit before each addition of the broth. Stir in the cheese, remove from the heat, and add the chicken, coating it well with the cheesy sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste. 

Finally, open the crescent rolls, trying as best as possible to keep the dough in a large rectangle. If it breaks apart, don't worry. Top the chicken mixture with the rectangle of dough. If you prefer, add each triangle of dough on top to make four smaller rectangles. 

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the dough has become flakey and golden. Makes 6-8 servings. 

Top with a dollop of sour cream and salsa.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Scones...

 

So... how is everyone doing on their New Year Resolutions?

Do you make New Year Resolutions?

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. Just depends on how I'm feeling. I made a couple for 2014. I know you are just dying to hear them, right? Ok...

The first one is to get in shape and eat healthier. I'm happy to say that I am doing well with that one. It was a bit hard when baking these scones, though. Taste testing for me can lead to face scarfing... kinda dangerous.

The second one is to create more recipes for the blog. At least one post a week the entire year. Yeah... kinda failed at that one already... I didn't post at all last week. So, I thought I'd make it up to you by baking some awesomely delicious scones.

And by awesomely delicious...... I mean awesomely delicious.


Lemon Blueberry Scones

Scones:

  • 2 Cups Flour, Plus Some For Dusting and Rolling the Dough
  • 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream, Plus a Few Tablespoons for Brushing the Scones
  • 2 Whole Eggs, Room Temperature 
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Fresh Blueberries, Rinsed and Dried
  • Zest of One Lemon
Glaze:

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • Juice of One Lemon
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees (F).

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Zest, then juice one lemon; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine and whisk the flour, powder, salt, and sugar; set aside. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the cream, eggs and vanilla until just combined and the egg yolks are broken up. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together with a wooden spoon; it will be a sticky dough, so don't worry. 

Add the blueberries and lemon zest and mix until just incorporated. Next, dust a clean working surface with some flour. Enough so the dough won't stick. Turn the scone dough out onto the surface. Dusting the dough with flour, pat it into a ball. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out to about 1/2 inch thick. 

Flour a biscuit cutter, or round cookie cutter, and begin cutting out the scones. Continue to dust and re-roll the dough out until most or all of the dough is used up. Place the scones about an inch apart on the parchment lined cookie sheets. Brush the tops of the scones with a bit of the heavy cream, using a pastry brush. Bake for 15 minutes or until done. Cool a minute on the cookie sheets, then transfer to cooling racks.

Combine the powdered sugar with the lemon juice and whisk, until smooth. Once the scones are almost completely cooled, drizzle or spread the glaze on top. Allow the glaze to dry, then store in airtight containers or on a plate under a cake dome. Makes 20-22 scones.

Enjoy!

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