4/19/18

What To Do With Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts: Cajun Rub


Do you wonder what to do with skinless boneless chicken breasts? If you, like me, just can't get yourself to eat the supposedly more flavorful and definitely less expensive chicken thighs, and instead buy skinless boneless chicken breasts and then fear ending up with dry as rubber protein, I have an incredibly easy, juicy, and flavorful recipe for you.

Yesterday I twitted for suggestions on quick and easy recipe ideas to make with chicken breasts, and the Watermelon Board people gave me a great idea for Cajun chicken! I did not have the ingredients to make the watermelon salsa, but absolutely loved how the Cajun spice mix worked out.

What To Do With Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts: Cajun Rub
Slightly adapted from Watermelon Board

Ingredients

1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons bourbon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon salt
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions
1. In a small bowl combine the first 7 ingredients. Save half of the spice mix for later and pour the other half into a shallow dish.
2. Coat chicken breasts with the Cajun rub on both sides.
3. Heat oil in a nonstick pan and saute chicken breast for 5 minutes on each side. Cover the pan and cook chicken breasts on medium heat until they reach 165F degrees. Depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts, it could take 5 to 15 minutes.

SO much flavor. The chicken breasts were juicy and perfectly tender on the inside. You can use them as the main course or mix into salads. I served mine on a bed of white bean puree with radishes, feta, white onion and basil. Sort of random, but it worked.

4/16/18

Boozy Strawberry Shortcake With Thyme & Black Pepper


Need a quick and easy dessert you can make in advance? I present Boozy Strawberry Shortcake With Thyme & Black Pepper. I used the recipe for the biscuit part from Food Network, but spiked up the strawberry mixture with rose and added thyme and black pepper for a modern and savory touch.

If you aren't as adventures as I am when it comes to dessert, stick to the original strawberries + sugar mixture.

Boozy Strawberry Shortcake With Thyme & Black Pepper
Adapted from Food Network

Ingredients
For the biscuit part
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons sugar in the raw

For the strawberry mixture
3 cups strawberries, diced
2 cups rose, or more as needed
4 sprigs thyme, leaves only
black pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, whipped

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. 
3. Add heavy cream and mix to combine. The mixture will look a bit clumpy. Don't worry.
4. Add the mixture into an ungreased 8" baking pan, sprinkle with sugar in the raw, and bake for 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, macerate the strawberries in rose and thyme for about 20 minutes.
6. Strain the strawberries (drink the wine) and add black pepper to taste.
7. Once the biscuit part is baked, take it out of the oven and allow to cool on a cookie rack. Cut out round shapes using a biscuit cutter and layer a mixture of strawberries and freshly whipped heavy cream.


I really liked how easy this recipe was. If you have a large sweet tooth, you will want to increase the amount of sugar and make sweetened whipped cream, but as I mentioned earlier, I enjoyed the savory feel of this dessert.

If you want to make this dessert in advance, keep all of its components separately and toast the sliced biscuit before serving.

4/13/18

Sunday Supper: Garlicky Turkey & Ricotta Meatballs From Julia Turshen’s Small Victories


Whether you are staying in this Friday the 13th, looking to make a Sunday Supper, or want easy meals to prep for the week, I highly recommend Garlicky Turkey & Ricotta Meatballs From Julia Turshen’s Small Victories. Garlicky is actually not in the title of the official recipe, but that's definitely a very important flavor in the meatballs.

I made these over the weekend because my twin mentioned them, and have eaten them for several meals, shared some, and have a container with these balls in the freezer.

Turkey can be somewhat blah, but with the addition of basil, parsley, garlic, and ricotta, these balls are bursting with flavor and are unbelievably tender. They are also a breeze to make.

The only change I'd make would to beef up the tomato sauce. I followed the recipe, but the sauce wasn't thick enough and could have used more flavor. I suggest you use your own favorite recipe, which can definitely come out of a jar ;)


Yes, meatballs are usually served with spaghetti, but I had mine with a side of roasted potatoes. These would also be awesome on top of mashed potatoes or in a sub.

And as an extra, because you'll have extra ricotta, make Ricotta and Avocado Toasts!

My resolution of making more of other people's recipes is going strong! Let me know if you have a favorite recipe I should try next.

4/9/18

Quick & Easy Meatless Monday Lunch: Smashed Potatoes With Kale, Roquefort & Crispy Chickpeas


Need a quick and easy Meatless Monday lunch or dinner idea? I have just the recipe for you. Potatoes. Kale. Chickpeas. You don't need the exact quantities: use as much of each ingredient as you wish.

If you want to make this dish vegan, leave out Roquefort. 

Smashed Potatoes With Kale, Roquefort & Crispy Chickpeas

1) To make chickpeas: heat the oven to 430F. Dry the chickpeas really well n(I used the ones I made in a pressure cooker, but you can use canned), drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and cayenne, and roast in a single layer for about 20 minutes.

2) Smash boiled red skinned potatoes with a bit of sunflower oil. Season with salt.

3) Saute thinly sliced kale in olive oil until it is cooked through. Add to smashed potatoes.

4) In a bowl, add potatoes with kale, top with crumbled Roquefort, and crispy chickpeas. Sprinkle with chopped parsley

Sooo good!!! You can definitely use milk instead of sunflower oil to make this into more of mashed potatoes texture. Don't like kale? Use spinach or even arugula.  

4/3/18

Halva & Tahini Brownies Adapted From Sweet Cookbook


Who wants gooey brownies filled with halva, tahini and topped with flaky salt? You do? But you are afraid it'll take too long to make? Don't worry! I have an easy recipe adapted from Sweet for you.

A few weeks ago I received samples of Hebel & Co halva, which is hand made in Los Angeles and happens to be organic. The packaging is adorable, the aroma is divine, and the taste brought me back to my childhood and eating halva with tea when I was a little girl in Russia.


I'm saving the pistachio and hot cocoa flavors to eat later, but incorporated the vanilla flavor in an adaptation of Tahini & Halva Brownies recipe.

Halva & Tahini Brownies Adapted From Sweet Cookbook
Ingredients
1 box brownie mix (I used Ghirardelli's Double Chocolate premium brownies with chocolate chips) including the number of eggs, water and oil needed for the mix
6-8 ounces halva, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/3 cup tahini
2 teaspoons flaky salt

Directions
1. Prepare the brownie mix as instructed on the box.
2. Carefully fold in halva cubes and pour into a prepared baking dish.
3. Drizzle tahini on top and swirl it into the brownie mixture with a butter knife or a chopstick. Top with flaky salt.
4. Bake the brownies according to the instructions for your mix.
5. Allow the brownies to cool before cutting into them. 


These were rich, decadent, and indulgent. I froze most of the brownies for later, but shared a few with my sister and friend on the trip to LA.

Disclaimer: I received the halva samples free of charge but am not compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.