Happy New Year!

Now that we are a couple weeks into the new year, it’s time to get back to business! I’d like to first start by wishing all of you a Happy New Year! From my family to your’s, I wish nothing but happiness and joy in the new year.

I was beyond happy to spend Christmas back in Pennsylvania with my family. It was great to see everyone to have time to just catch up and relax for a week.

The holidays came and went so fast. And I actually did some cooking over the past few weeks, regardless of the sickness that had plagued our house again. My coworkers and I had another potluck lunch. For this I made my aunt’s deviled eggs and baked corn. I also made the chocolate and M&M pretzels that I had made for our Thanksgiving potluck.

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Merry Christmas Circles Printables
Striped Paper Printables

While I was home in Pennsylvania, I took the time make dinner for my parents, brothers and their families. On the menu was…..slow cooker Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and roasted green beans. Recipe for the Salisbury steak to posted later this week.

I have also made a few meals for my family since being back in Tampa, including Alfredo stuffed chicken breast and stove top macaroni and cheese. Recipes also to be posted later this week.

One of my favorites was the slow cooker chicken tacos we had for dinner last night. So simple and quick to put together. The hardest part was setting up all the fixings buffet style for us to assemble our tacos.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 jar mild chunky salsa
1 cup chicken broth/stock

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, salsa, and chicken broth. Lay chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker. Pour salsa mixture over chicken. Cover, and cook in high for 3-4 hours, until chicken shreds easily with a fork.

**Recipe credit: Guilt or guilt free?

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Serve along with any toppings you and your family like. We had lettuce, tomato, red onion, corn, black beans, taco sauce, sour cream, shredded cheese, as well as store bought chipotle and ranchero dressings. I also served a combination of hard and soft shell tacos.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. Looking forward to leftovers tonight!

Don’t forget to check back later this week for more recipes that I have made over the holidays.

ENJOY!! 🙂

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Chicken Piccata(ish)!

There is no significant story behind tonight’s dinner. Other than the fact that I laid some chicken out to thaw before I left for work this morning. Initially I had planned to make plain baked chicken, but for some reason I was not content with that!

I took to Pinterest to find something delicious, and came across the recipe below. The original recipe was a typical chicken piccata, but I changed it up a bit

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Baked Chicken Piccata

Ingredients:

8 chicken pieces (I used 2 thighs and 6 drumsticks)
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 cup plain bread crumbs
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 cup Flour, Plus 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Red Chili Flakes
2 whole Lemon, juiced
1 whole Lemon, sliced thinly
1 1/2 cup Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Tbsp Butter, softened
Cooking Oil Spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray foil-lined baking sheet.

In non-stick skillet over medium heat, heat up 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour in both panko and plain bread crumbs and toast until golden brown. Stir often to avoid burning. Pour into shallow bowl or plate. Stir in 1 tbsp dried parsley. Let cool.

In two other separate bowls, place 1 cup flour and 1 whisked egg. Salt and pepper flour to taste (I just did a few turns of my salt and pepper mills).

Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, covering throughly. Then dip into egg wash, coating throughly. Then transfer and coat with toasted bread crumbs. Place onto prepared baking Sheet. Repeat with other chicken pieces.

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside.

In large non-stick skillet heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add in garlic and cook until about 30 seconds. Stir in chili pepper flakes, lemon juice, lemon slices, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer. Cook until reduced by half.

When the liquid is reduced, in small bowl stir together 1 1/2 tablespoon of flour and softened butter. This will create a thickening agent for the sauce. Whisk into reduced sauce pan and bring to a boil. Continue to stir until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.

**Recipe adapted from: Country Cleaver

This was yet another simple weeknight meal. It would also be great to entertain guests!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Repeat Recipe!

Thanks to very little time and preparation this morning, dinner was mostly ready to serve when I got home from work.

This slow cooker chicken curry requires only a few ingredients, and is easy to throw together before you leave the house in the morning.

Last time whenI made this I used all boneless, skinless chicken breast. This time, I used a combination of chicken breast and thighs. ENJOY!!!

cookingwithatwist

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I have always been a fan of different cuisines. Since meeting my husband, I have fell in love with Indian food, although I wish I knew how to cook it really well. This recipe is a slight nod to my husband’s ethnicity and his family. It’s a novice cooks way to introduce a little cultural cuisine to their family.

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-16 oz. jars chunky salsa
2 onions, chopped
4 tbsp curry powder
2 cups fat free sour cream

Directions:

Place chicken in slow cooker.

Combine salsa, onion, and curry powder in a bowl.

Pour over chicken. Cover with lid.

Cook on low 8 to 10 hours (or on high 5 hours).

Transfer chicken to a plate. Cover to keep warm.

Add sour cream to slow cooker, and stir until well incorporated.

Serve over chicken with rice or steamed vegetables. I also…

View original post 92 more words

Tailgate success!!

Yesterday was our first official tailgate of the football season. With a little one now, it’s a little more difficult to organize and pull it off, but yesterday we had a babysitter, and took full advantage of it!

With some help from the grocery, as well as some of my fellow tailgaters, we put together a great spread! We had burgers, hotdogs, macaroni salad, hummus and pita, black bean-corn salsa, brownies, cookies, and my favorite……

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

2 lbs ground chicken
1 large egg
1 cup plain bread crumbs
4 tbsp wing sauce
2 tbs milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce:
3 cups buffalo wing sauce (I used Ken’s)
1 1/2 cups light ranch dressing

Directions:

Place ground chicken in a large bowl, add in egg, breadcrumbs, wing sauce, milk, salt and pepper.
Mix well with your hands.

Form into balls (not to big) and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

In a large pot combine wing sauce and Ranch dressing, heat it through, stirring often.

Once meatballs are out of the oven add them gently to the sauce and heat through for a bit (about 10-15 minutes).

I then transferred them to a foil pan, and covered with foil to take to transport to the game. Once we got to the game and unloaded everything, I placed the covered meatballs on the grill over low heat just until warm.

**Recipe inspiration: Soufflé Bombay

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Along side, I served some celery sticks and additional ranch dressing. They were a huge hit!!

Unfortunately, my team did not win, but we had a great time at our tailgate!

ENJOY!! 🙂

I couldn’t resist!!!

Tonight’s dinner is a repeat from a previous post. I honestly think the two recipes in this post are the best recipes I have ever made. That’s why, when we were in Trader Joe’s, amongst what seemed like the entire Tampa Bay area, I just had to buy the fresh Brussels sprouts I spotted!!! Do you remember the recipes I’m referring to???

Click here to find out!

I did do two variations from the original post. First, I decided to roast (at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through) the Brussels sprouts instead of sautéing them, and I also omitted the garlic (but that was an accident).

Both the chicken and Brussels sprouts were just as delicious, if not more delicious, than the first time!!!

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I also have to confess……

I think this is the fourth time I have made these Brussels sprouts since I first posted the recipe. They are THAT GOOD!!!!! If you haven’t made them yet, it is worth giving a try!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Deconstructed Burrito….with Quinoa!

With the start of college football last week, that has been my main focus!! I look forward to it starting again every year right after the National Championship game.

With that being said, it was time for me to get back to cooking, and more importantly, posting on here for you all to see. I had started by laying out boneless, skinless chicken breast earlier today. I really had no idea what I was going to make. And honestly, I did not know what I was making until about 15 minutes before I started cooking.

So, I took to Pinterest and looked through some recipes I had pinned. I had come across a recipe for black bean burrito bowls. I did not have all the ingredients to make it as in the original recipe. Below is my version.

Deconstructed Burrito

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Directions:

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in a mesh strainer, and drain. Pour quinoa into a saucepan along with 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring the quinoa to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover. Let the quinoa simmer for about 20 minutes until it becomes tender and all the liquid has been absorbed.

While quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Pour minced onion into the saucepan and saute for a few minutes till it softens. Add the minced garlic sauté 1-2 minutes. Be sure not to burn the garlic.

Add the black beans and thawed corn to the pan of onions along with 1/2 cup chicken stock, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for 15 minutes till the liquid is mostly evaporated. Stir in 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.

When the quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Use the fork to mix in 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.

Place desired portion of quinoa on plate, and top with some of the black bean mixture. I also then topped with a spoon of store bought salsa.

I served this along with baked taco chicken with avocado cream sauce, as I had made in a previous post.

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This was a delicious, quick meal!! It would be great for when you are limited on time through the week.

ENJOY!!!

Chicken Corn Soup….simplified!

One of my fondest childhood memories is my grandmother making a huge pot of Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup or buying it from a Christmas church bazaar. It makes me smile every time I think about it!

About a year ago, I found a great chicken corn soup recipe online, but it tends to take some time to prepare and make it. Therefore, I typically only made the soup on a Saturday or Sunday. But….what if I want it on a weeknight?? There is no way I would have time, especially since I often do not decide what I’m going to make for dinner until I wake up in the morning and sometimes not until I’m at work.

Tonight I tried to recreate the delicious Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup that I’m used to, but with a few short cuts. Below is what I created. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Quick Chicken Corn Soup

Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
4 cups of water
4 cups of chicken stock
5 ears of corn, corn cut from cob
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, put in the chicken breasts and water. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling about 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken and place on a plate to cool. Strain cooking water and return back to pot. Add chicken stock.

While the water and stock come to a boil, cut or shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Add to stock and water.

Then add both the creamed corn and corn cut off the cob. Stir. Cook about 10 minutes.

In a continuous stream, add the lightly beaten eggs. (I actually had an extra egg white that I had added as well.). Cook about 5 minutes, until egg is cooked.

Salt and pepper to taste.

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With the soup, I served a grilled (baked) turkey and cheese sandwich as I had done previously.

Little man loved the soup as well, but could not get him to eat the grilled cheese!

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ENJOY!!!

Chicken Enchilada….a healthy version!

When I was completing my clinical fellowship a couple years ago, there was a Mexican restaurant near by that a coworker and I would go to often. And we always ordered the same thing….the chicken enchilada! They were so yummy!! For some reason, I thought they were really difficult to make and very unhealthy. Well, I was wrong on both!

Thanks to Pinterest I found a great recipe!

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Healthy Chicken Enchilada

Ingredients:

16 oz. fat free sour cream
1 can fat free cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup water
1 tbls. fresh chopped cilantro
1 rotisserie chicken
1 can Rotel with green chilies
1 medium size onion, chopped
10-12 small corn tortillas
1 cup low fat shredded cheese
1 can diced green chiles
Cooking spray

Directions:

Combine sour cream, chicken soup, water, and cilantro in a sauce pan and heat through. Keep an eye on it, it will bubble quickly.

In a sauté pan with cooking spray, cook chicken, onion, Rotel, green chilies until onions are transparent.

Warm tortillas wrapped in a damp paper towel for 45 seconds in the microwave.

Fill each tortilla with 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture. Top with a pinch of shredded cheese. Roll the tortillas tightly and place seam side down in greased 13×9 baking dish.

Repeat until the baking dish is full. For me this was about 12 small tortillas. If you use a bigger tortilla, it will be about 8.

Pour sour cream and soup mixture over tortillas. Making sure they are covered.

Top with desired amount of shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

**Recipe credit: Skinny Mom

Along with the enchilada, I served a black bean and corn salsa that I typically serve with tacos or make to have at a BBQ. I have been making this for a few years now, and I have not strayed much from the original recipe. Tonight (thanks to Pinterest), I made one change. I added edamame to make it more substantial. So it could be more of a side dish rather than just a salsa. I have now made my parents and many other family members fall in love with this salsa.

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Black Beans, Corn, and Edamame

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 pkg frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1 pkg frozen edamame, shelled and thawed
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 envelope GOOD SEASONS Garlic & Herb Dressing Mix
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/4 tsp ground cumin

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes before serving. It’s even better if you make it the night before!

**Recipe inspiration: Kraft Recipes

Finally, I used some leftover corn tortilla to make some tortilla chips like I had done in a previous post, White Chicken Chili.

ENJOY!!

Quick tip!!

Always try to find a way to re-invent the wheel! Meaning, even if you buy some packaged foods, try to find a way to change it up and make it your own.

For example, I rarely have the time to prepare my own bread crumbs to make baked chicken. I often buy bread crumbs or coating mix already packaged at the store. Then when I decide to use it, I think about how I can change it and add more flavor.

Tonight I did just that! I took one package of coating mix, added about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper to taste. For me, that’s a lot of pepper! Then just bake it according to the package directions. Typically, that’s 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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You can serve it with any of your favorite side dish. Tonight I took a bunch of fresh vegetables from my refrigerator (broccoli, asparagus, zucchini), and quickly sautéed them in olive oil and crushed garlic. At the very end, I added the juice of half a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Yummy! It was the perfect compliment to the baked chicken.

But….you can add almost anything to bread crumbs or coating mix. As in previous posts, I have made a taco baked chicken by adding some taco seasoning. I have also made a buffalo ranch chicken by adding dry ranch dressing to buffalo flavored crumbs. That was my favorite!

Experiment with it, and add any spices or favors that suit you and your family!

ENJOY!!!

Ode to my father!

This past weekend when we were in Charlotte, actually before we even got there, my dad was already requesting to eat at a particular restaurant. He kept raving about their Brussels sprouts! He said he was going to get 7 orders! Haha…WHAT?!?! I knew they had to be fantastic for him to say that.

I have to admit, I was not too excited about these Brussels sprouts. My mind immediately reverts back to my childhood when my parents would serve them for dinner and make us eat them. And that terrible smell!!! Well, after eating them this weekend, I was certainly proven wrong. I could not get enough of them.

Below are the recipes for what we had for dinner. Both the chicken and Brussels sprouts use lemon and garlic. So, I thought they would be a great pairing.

Garlic-Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. lemon zest (for me, this was about 3 lemons)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (also 3 lemons)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. pepper
2-4 lbs. of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (I used 6 drumsticks and 4 thighs)
Cooking spray

Directions:
Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag.

Seal the bag and shake well to blend.

Place the chicken pieces in the bag with the marinade, removing any excess air. Refrigerate and let marinate for 1 hour (The original recipe recommended marinating for 2 hours. Unfortunately, I just did not have that much time).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in a lightly greased baking dish. Reserve the leftover marinade. Spray tops of chicken with cooking spray (to help it brown and get crispy).

Bake uncovered about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, and pour the reserved marinade over the chicken.

Bake another 25 minutes, until the skins are crispy and well-browned.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and cover with foil. Let it rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

**Recipe inspiration: Annie’s Eats

Lemon-Garlic Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

2 lb Brussels Sprouts
4 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 tbsp asiago cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Clean the Brussels sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling the outer layer of the sprout off. Cut each one in half.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once heated, add the halved brussel sprouts to the pan and saute for about 7 minutes on each side until the outer part is a caramelized and the inside is tender.

Add the garlic half way through the cooking.

Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Top with cheese just before serving.

**Recipe credit: What’s Gaby Cooking

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After I took this picture, I sent it to my dad via text. I knew he would appreciate it! He first replied, “I think you missed your calling!” He then said, “Can I move in?” I guess on my parents next visit in a few months I will be making this for them. But….I have a feeling, we will be having these delicious recipes for dinner several times before my parents get here!

ENJOY!