Monthly Archives: March 2012

Garlic Herb Breadsticks

Garlic Herb Breadstick Recipe

In continuing with my bread baking obsession I made homemade breadsticks to compliment my Three Cheese Raviolis at last weeks LA Family Dinner! The result was a thick, flavorful breadstick which was perfect by itself or dipped in my homemade Tomato Basil Marinara!

Garlic Herb Breadstick Ingredients

Ingredients – Breadsticks

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 package (.25 oz) yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbsp butter (softened)
  • olive oil cooking spray

Topping

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (shredded)

Start by combining the yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble.

Combine the salt and flour in a large mixing bowl then add the yeast mixture and stir well. Next fold in the butter.

Breadstick Dough Recipe

Once a solid ball of dough forms place it on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.

Breadstick Dough Recipe

Place the ball of kneaded dough in a large bowl sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.

Allow to set for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

Breadstick Dough Recipe

Now that the dough has doubled, separate into 12 equal sized ovals.

Homemade Breadstick Recipe

One by one stretch each breadstick out to about 12 inches in length.

Homemade Breadstick Recipe

Next fold in half.

How to make homemade breadsticks

Now twist the two sides together.

Homemade Twisted Breadstick Recipe

Once all 12 have been twisted, cover and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.

While they’re rising pre-heat the oven to 400° and prepare the garlic herb topping.

Start by melting the butter in a small mixing bowl, then add the remaining ingredients.

Garlic Herb Topping for Breadsticks

Mix well.

Garlic Herb Topping for Breadsticks

Brush the mixture over the breadsticks.

Garlic Herb Breadstick Recipe

Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

Remove when the garlic herb mixture starts to brown.

Homemade Garlic Herb Breadstick Recipe

Remove from baking sheet and place on a serving dish.

Homemade Garlic Herb Breadsticks

Serve these flavorful, scrumptious homemade treats with raviolis, chicken parmesan, pizza or whatever your favorite Italian dish is!

Homemade Garlic Cheese Breadsticks

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

Garlic Herb Breadsticks

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 12 breadsticks

Garlic Herb Breadsticks

Ingredients

    Breadsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 package (.25 oz) yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tbsp butter (softened)
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • Topping
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (shredded)

Instructions

  1. Start by combining the yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl.
  2. Let stand for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble.
  3. Combine the salt and flour in a large mixing bowl then add the yeast mixture and stir well.
  4. Fold in the butter.
  5. Once a solid ball of dough forms place on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  6. Place the ball of kneaded dough in a large bowl sprayed with olive oil cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Allow to set for 45 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.
  8. Now that the dough has doubled, separate into 12 equal sized ovals.
  9. One by one stretch each breadstick out to about 12 inches in length.
  10. Next fold in half.
  11. Now twist the two sides together.
  12. Once all 12 have been twisted, cover and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  13. While they’re rising pre-heat the oven to 400° and prepare the garlic herb topping.
  14. Start by melting the butter in a small mixing bowl, then add the remaining ingredients.
  15. Mix well.
  16. Brush the mixture over the breadsticks.
  17. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-garlic-herb-breadsticks/

Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Chang’s Sweet and Sour Chicken dish is recreated without frying and placed in lettuce wraps for a gluten free, delicious Chinese dinner recipe!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps {Little Leopard Book}

Sticking with the theme on the blog of giving fun twists to traditional favorites, I took my two favorite dishes from PF Chang’s and combined them!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps

This sweet and sour chicken tastes almost identical to the PF Chang’s version yet is lighter and healthier because it is not deep-fried!

PF Changs Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

While the ingredient list for the recipe is rather lengthy, most of the items are kitchen staples!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce (not pictured)

Start by chopping the chicken into large chunks. Prepare a shallow dish with the whisked egg and another with the corn starch and brown sugar.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Next, place the chicken into the egg then lightly coat in the corn starch mixture. Add the breaded chicken to a large skillet with the olive oil heated over medium-high heat.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Begin browning then add the bell peppers and onions.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Next, make the sauce. Combine all of the remaining ingredients (except the pineapple chunks and lettuce) in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Now, pour the sauce over the chicken.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Toss to cover the chicken and vegetables in sauce.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Cook for 10 minutes then add the pineapple chunks.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes then get ready to wrap!

Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe

Place the lettuce leaf on a plate then add the chicken on top.

PF Changs Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Yummy!

PF Changs Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I love the fun, light lettuce wraps but if you really feel the need for a more traditional sweet and sour dish, you can serve it with white rice.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This dish is perfect for a weeknight and can easily be cut in half for one or doubled for a large family!

PF Changs Sweet and Sour Chicken

♦ Gluten Free Option: Make sure the soy sauce is gluten-free.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Sweet and Sour Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce

Instructions

  1. Chop the chicken into large cubes.
  2. Prepare a shallow dish with the whisked egg and another with the corn starch and brown sugar.
  3. Place the chicken into the egg then lightly coat in the corn starch mixture.
  4. Add the breaded chicken to a large skillet with the olive oil heated over medium-high heat.
  5. Begin browning then add the bell peppers and onions.
  6. Prepare the sauce by combining all of the remaining ingredients (except the pineapple chunks and lettuce) in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken.
  8. Toss to cover the chicken and vegetables in sauce.
  9. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
  10. Cook for 10 minutes then add the pineapple chunks.
  11. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes then place the sweet and sour chicken in lettuce leaves.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dinner-sweet-and-sour-chicken-lettuce-wraps/

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

I have to give props to my friends at Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach for the idea for this recipe.

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

This sandwich is sweet, buttery and it comes with a warning: this will become your favorite grilled cheese sandwich ever!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 10 mini sandwiches)

  • 1/2 sourdough baguette
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large pear (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 oz brie cheese

Start by placing 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once butter has melted add the sliced pears to the skillet.

Caramelizing Pears

Then add the brown sugar to the pears.

Cook for 5 minutes or until pears are caramelized.

Mini Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

While the pears are caramelizing begin thinly slicing the baguette and brie cheese.

Prepare each sandwich by spreading the tops of each slice of bread with the remaining butter, then layering with a slice of brie cheese.

Mini Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

When the pears are ready place them on top of the brie cheese.

Mini Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Add another slice of brie cheese and buttered bread on top and grill on the stove top over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side.

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

After both sides are the perfect shade of golden brown, place on a plate and get ready to chow down!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Recipe

Now lets take a closer look at this amazing little sandwich of cheesy delight!

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Oh yeah, I want a bite!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

My mouth is watering just looking back at these pictures!!

Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Recipe

These sandwiches make for really fun little party appetizers or you can make a small plate of them for a decadent, cheesy lunch!

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese Recipe

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use a gluten-free baguette instead of sourdough to make this recipe gluten-free.

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

Caramelized Pear and Brie Grilled Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sourdough baguette
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 large pear (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 oz brie cheese

Instructions

  1. Start by placing 2 tbsp of butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once butter has melted add the sliced pears to the skillet.
  3. Then add the brown sugar to the pears.
  4. Cook for 5 minutes or until pears are caramelized.
  5. While the pears are caramelizing begin thinly slicing the baguette and brie cheese.
  6. Prepare each sandwich by spreading the tops of each slice of bread with the remaining butter, then layering with a slice of brie cheese.
  7. When the pears are ready place them on top of the brie cheese.
  8. Add another slice of brie cheese and buttered bread on top and grill on the stove top over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-lunch-caramelized-pear-and-brie-grilled-cheese/

Caprese Quesadilla

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

While I do love all types of food from Mexican to Thai and Brazillian to French, Italian will always have a large place in my heart. Sometimes I like to take a dish from another country and make it into an Italian masterpiece, such as this recipe, the Caprese Quesadilla.

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 flour tortilla
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1 cup marinara sauce

Start by slicing the roma tomatoes and topping the flour tortilla with the mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes.

Next, top with the basil and parmesan cheese.

Then fold the tortilla in half and place over medium heat on the stove top. Brown on the first side then flip.

Heat up the marinara sauce while the quesadilla is cooking. Once browned on both sides remove from the skillet and cut into slices.

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

Serve with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

A delicious new way to eat a traditional mexican dish, Italian style!

Italian quesadilla, caprese, recipes, food, vegetarian quesadilla, quesadilla, tomato basil quesadilla

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

BLT Caesar Wrap

Kale Bacon Caesar Wrap

Every once in a while an unplanned “what’s in the fridge?” meal turns into a new favorite and last week that most definitely happened!

I turned a classic favorite, the BLT, into a new, fun wrap with kale instead of lettuce and caesar dressing instead of mayonnaise!

BLT Caesar Wrap Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 2 tbsp caesar dressing
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 slices cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese (shredded)

Start by cooking the kale in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Next, add 1/4 cup of water and cover the skillet, steam for 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, spread the dressing into the middle of a tortilla.

BLT Caesar Wrap Recipe

Next add the cooked kale and bacon on top.

Bacon and Kale Wrap

Top with the tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

BLT Caesar Wrap Recipe

Wrap it up and dig in!

Kale Bacon Wrap

Oh my gosh, the crispness of the bacon with the mild bitterness of the kale and the creaminess of the caesar dressing, this was such a great, random concoction and I’m not going to lie to you all, I ended up making it two other times last week!

BLT Caesar Wrap Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon or substitute veggie bacon strips to make this recipe vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten free tortillas to make this recipe gluten free.

BLT Caesar Wrap

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 wrap

BLT Caesar Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 2 tbsp caesar dressing
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp shaved parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Cook the kale in 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of water and cover the skillet, steam for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, spread the dressing into the middle of a tortilla.
  4. Next add the cooked kale and bacon on top.
  5. Top with the tomatoes and parmesan cheese.
  6. Wrap it up and dig in!
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-lunch-blt-caesar-wrap/

Basil Pesto

Homemade Basil Pesto

When making my “Green Pizza” for St Patty’s Day I knew I had to use a pesto to make the sauce green to go with the theme of the pizza!

Basil Walnut Pesto Sauce

I made a pesto sauce in a Home Ec class in Middle School and that was the first and only time I had the sauce until a few years ago. Not a lot of pesto in Oklahoma 😉

So glad it is back in my life now and I wanted to make my own to top the super fresh and healthy “green pizza”!!

Basil Pesto Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 1/2 cup)

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Begin by placing the basil and garlic in a blender or food processor.

Basil Pesto Recipe

Next, add the walnuts.

How to make Walnut Basil Pesto

Blend well.

Food Processor Basil Pesto

Add the salt, pepper and olive oil.

Homemade Pesto in a Food Processor

Blend well, then add the cheese by hand.

Basil Pesto Recipe

Voila, a delicious pesto sauce for pizza, pastas and more!

Basil Pesto Recipe

I’ve used this delicious homemade pesto in recipes from Gluten-Free Green Pizza to Basil Raviolis!

Easy Basil Pesto Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: The recipe is gluten-free.

Basil Pesto

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1/2 cup pesto

Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Place the basil and garlic in a blender or food processor.
  2. Add the walnuts and blend well.
  3. Add the salt, pepper and olive oil, blend well.
  4. Stir in the cheese by hand.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-basil-pesto/

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes with Strawberry Kiwi Creamy Frosting

Cupcakes with Strawberry Kiwi Creamy Frosting

In continuation with my season of strawberry recipes I decided to make strawberry cupcakes.

Fresh Fruit Cupcakes

Then as I walked through the produce section of Trader Joe’s the kiwis started calling my name “Whitney, Whitney, put us in your strawberry cupcakes!”

Fresh Fruit Strawberry and Kiwi Cupcakes

I couldn’t say no to these cute little green guys so I picked some up and Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes were born!

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcake Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 24 cupcakes)

  • 2 cups strawberries (sliced)
  • 2 kiwis (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk, coconut milk or regular milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Start by peeling the kiwi using a vegetable peeler. (Thanks roomie for being my photographer in this shot!)

Next, slice the kiwis and strawberries.

Freshly Sliced Strawberries and Kiwi

Place the fruit in a blender or food processor.

Fresh Fruit in Food Processor

Blend into a puree consistency, set aside and begin to make the batter.

First, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt in a small mixing bowl.

Next cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, then add the eggs one at a time and mix well.

Then add the oil, almond milk, vanilla and fruit puree.

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcake Batter

Blend well then add the flour mixture.

How to make strawberry kiwi cupcakes

Combine all of the ingredients until a dark pink batter forms.

Now pour the batter into pre-lined muffin pans.

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes

Bake the cupcakes at 350° for 22-25 minutes.

Baked Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes

Now it’s time to make the frosting.

I used my cream cheese frosting recipe and added fresh strawberries and kiwi. Simple and delicious!

Creamy Strawberry Kiwi Cupcake Frosting Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 strawberries (diced)
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and diced)

Start by peeling and dicing the strawberries and kiwi.

Combine all ingredients with an electric hand mixer.

Strawberry Kiwi Creamy Frosting

Now place the frosting onto the cupcakes with a cake decorator or spread on top with a knife. Add additional sliced fruit as a garnish if you like!

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

I went a little crazy with the picture-taking because they were so pretty! Here are a few of my favorites!

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcake Tower

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes

Spring Cupcake Recipes

How cute are all the little spring-y accessories?  All from my favorite spot, World Market!

Spring Cupcake Tower

Strawberry Kiwi Fresh Fruit Cupcakes

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes

These cupcakes are perfect for spring, would be so cute at a picnic, birthday party or baby shower!

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes with Creamy Strawberry Frosting

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcake Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute gluten-free baking flour for traditional flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes with Strawberry Kiwi Creamy Frosting

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Strawberry Kiwi Cupcakes with Strawberry Kiwi Creamy Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups strawberries (sliced)
  • 2 kiwis (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk, coconut milk or regular milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Creamy Strawberry Kiwi Frosting
  • 2 8 oz packages cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 strawberries (diced)
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and diced)

Instructions

  1. Peel the kiwi using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Slice the kiwis and strawberries.
  3. Place the fruit in a blender or food processor.
  4. Blend into a puree consistency and set aside.
  5. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small mixing bowl.
  6. Cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.
  8. Add the oil, almond milk, vanilla and fruit puree.
  9. Blend well then add the flour mixture.
  10. Combine all of the ingredients until a dark pink batter forms.
  11. Pour the batter into pre-lined muffin pans.
  12. Bake the cupcakes at 350° for 22-25 minutes.
  13. Creamy Strawberry Kiwi Frosting
  14. Start by peeling and dicing the strawberries and kiwi.
  15. Combine all ingredients with an electric hand mixer.
  16. Now place the frosting onto the cupcakes with a cake decorator or spread on top with a knife.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dessert-strawberry-kiwi-cupcakes-with-strawberry-kiwi-creamy-frosting/

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

While seeking menu inspiration for my Superbowl Party I ran across a recipe for spicy, cheesy pull-apart bread, this is what gave me the idea to concoct this recipe a couple of months later.

Loaded Bacon Cheddar Potato Bread

I took one of the loaves of rustic potato bread I baked last week and packed it with all of my favorite baked potato toppings!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf)

  • 1 loaf potato bread
  • 4 bacon slices (cooked and crumbled)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)

Start by melting the butter in a small mixing bowl.

Loaded Cheesy Baked Potato Bread Recipe

Add the cheese, green onions and bacon.

Loaded Cheesy Baked Potato Bread Recipe

Slice the potato bread loaf both horizontally and vertically 3/4 of the way through.

Be sure not to slice all the way through, but enough to reach in there and stuff the loaf with your mixture of baked potato toppings!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread Recipe

Now use your fingers to stuff the topping mixture into the bread.

Loaded Cheesy Baked Potato Bread

Wrap foil tightly around the bottom and sides of the loaf, leaving the top exposed.

Add another piece of foil over the top and place in a 350° oven for 15 minutes.

Baked Potato Bread Recipe

Remove the top piece of foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

After the cheese is melted completely remove the bread from the oven and discard the foil. Place the loaf on a serving plate.

Loaded Baked Potato Pull Apart Bread

I served this with Baked Buffalo BBQ Chicken for a nice twist on a traditional southern meal!

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Simply pull the pieces away from the bread and enjoy!

Pull Apart Baked Potato Bread

♣ Vegetarian Option: Remove the bacon to make this recipe vegetarian.

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Loaded Baked Potato Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf potato bread
  • 4 bacon slices (cooked and crumbled)
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 cup green onions (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add the cheese, chives and bacon.
  3. Slice the potato bread both horizontally and vertically 3/4 of the way through.
  4. Use your fingers to stuff the topping mixture into the bread.
  5. Wrap foil tightly around the bottom and sides of the loaf, leaving the top exposed.
  6. Add another piece of foil over the top and place in a 350° oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the top piece of foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-loaded-baked-potato-bread/

Bacon Maple Muffins with Brown Sugar Crumble

Bacon Maple Brown Sugar Muffins

Bacon. Maple Syrup. Brown Sugar. Three things that when combined equal serious tummy satisfaction!

Maple Muffins with Brown Sugar Crumble

I’ve had bacon maple donuts before, but decided to skip the frying and turn these goodies into bacon maple muffins! Then I decided, why not add my favorite sweet ingredient, brown sugar, to take these muffins over the top!

Bacon Maple Brown Sugar Muffin Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 6 slices cooked bacon (crumbled)
  • 2 cups and 2 tbsp flour (separated)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Start by combining 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

Bacon Maple Muffin Recipe

Next combine the vegetable oil, milk and egg in a large mixing bowl.

Bacon Maple Muffin Recipe

Whisk together, then add the maple syrup.

Bacon Maple Muffin Recipe

Next add the flour mixture.

Bacon Maple Muffin Recipe

Mix together.

Bacon Maple Muffin Recipe

Crumble the bacon and add to the batter.

Bacon Maple Muffin Recipe

Mix the bacon in then spoon the batter into lined muffin tins.

Bacon Maple Muffin Recipe

I doubled the recipe and made half large and half mini muffins!

Mini Bacon Maple Muffins

Prepare the brown sugar crumble by combining the sugar, 2 tbsp flour and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.

Mini Bacon Maple Muffins with Brown Sugar Crumble

Fold in the butter and use your hands to mix into a course crumble.

Mini Bacon Maple Muffins with Brown Sugar Crumble

Sprinkle the mixture on top of the muffins.

Mini Bacon Maple Muffins with Brown Sugar Crumble

Place into the oven for 18 minutes (15 minutes for the mini muffins).

Bacon Maple Brown Sugar Crumble Muffins

I am completely obsessed with the way these muffins turned out!  I just love the way the crispy brown sugar shines on top of these amazing bacon maple filled muffins!

Bacon Maple Brown Sugar Muffins

Oh and the mini version of these muffins were so totally adorable!

Mini Bacon Maple Brown Sugar Muffins

♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon to make this recipe vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Substitute Premium Gold Gluten Free Flour to make this recipe gluten-free.

Bacon Maple Brown Sugar Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Yield: 9 large or 36 mini muffins

Bacon Maple Brown Sugar Muffins

Ingredients

  • 6 slices cooked bacon (crumbled)
  • 2 cups and 2 tbsp flour (separated)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Combine the vegetable oil, milk and egg in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Whisk together, then add the maple syrup.
  5. Add the flour mixture and combine well.
  6. Crumble the bacon and add to the batter.
  7. Mix the bacon in then spoon the batter into lined muffin tins.
  8. Prepare the brown sugar crumble by combining the sugar, 2 tbsp flour and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.
  9. Fold in the butter and use your hands to mix into a course crumble.
  10. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the muffins.
  11. Place into the oven for 18 minutes (15 minutes for mini muffins).
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-brunch-bacon-maple-brown-sugar-muffins/

BBQ Buffalo Baked Chicken

Baked BBQ Buffalo Chicken

This will probably be the simplest recipe I ever post on LLB!

BBQ Buffalo Sauce Chicken

I grew up eating the BBQ baked chicken version of this recipe, but you all keep asking for more and more buffalo chicken recipes and I love to eat them so I added the delicious buffalo sauce to make a delectable sweet and spicy chicken dish!

BBQ Buffalo Chicken Ingredients

Ingredients (serves four)

  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce

Place the chicken breasts in an oven-safe dish with lid, top with BBQ sauce.

Baked BBQ Chicken

Then add the buffalo sauce.

Mix the sauce’s together on top of the chicken breast.

Easy Recipe for Buffalo Chicken

Cover and place in the oven at 375° for one hour.

Baked Buffalo Chicken

That’s all! Just wait for it to cook and soak in all the sauces. After one hour, remove the lid and the sauce will be bubbling and chicken cooked through.

Easy BBQ Buffalo Chicken Recipe

Baked Buffalo Potato Wedges are the perfect side to throw in the oven along side the chicken!

BBQ Buffalo Chicken

Loaded Baked Potato Bread is also an awesome option as a side!

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Baked BBQ Buffalo Chicken

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Baked BBQ Buffalo Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in an oven-safe dish with lid, top with BBQ and buffalo sauce.
  2. Mix the sauce’s together on top of the chicken breast.
  3. Cover and place in the oven at 375° for one hour.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dinner-baked-bbq-buffalo-chicken/

Gluten-Free Green Pizza

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Not being a big fan of corned beef, I still wanted to keep with the holiday spirit and make something to celebrate St Patty’s Day, so I went with my Italian roots and made pizza!

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It started out as a cute idea and ended up as the most healthy and delicious pizza I’ve ever had! I’ve been wanting to try the pizza crust made from cauliflower that I saw on Pinterest about a month ago and this gave me the perfect opportunity to do so!

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I also finally gave in and jumped on the kale bandwagon! Throw in some green heirloom tomatoes and a homemade basil pesto and you have one fresh, veggie-filled pizza!!

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Ingredients (for crust – makes 3)

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Begin by pre-heating the oven to 450°.

Now turn that cauliflower into a flour like substance, prepare to be amazed!

Begin by removing the leaves and stems from the cauliflower and chopping the vegetable into large chunks.

Next, place the cauliflower into a food processor and blend until “riced”.

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Remember not to puree the cauliflower, yet “rice” the vegetable into a flour-like substance.  It should look like the picture above.

Now place the cauliflower in the microwave for 8 minutes, it will cook down to about 3 cups of “riced” cauliflower.

Add the mozzarella, eggs, basil, oregano, salt and garlic to the riced cauliflower and form into 3 individual-sized crusts.

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Brush the crusts with olive oil then place in the oven for 15 minutes.

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Now it’s time to turn this into a green pizza!

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Ingredients (toppings)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/4 cup basil or kale pesto
  • 3-4 mini green heirloom tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese (shaved)
  • 1 green onion (chopped)

Begin by cooking the kale in a skillet over medium heat with 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp olive oil.

Cover the kale and allow to cook down for 5 minutes. Meanwhile add the other toppings to the pizza.

Start by spreading the basil or kale pesto on the baked pizza crust. Next, top with the sliced green tomatoes.

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Oh aren’t those fun? And so yummy!

Next, add the chopped green peppers, parsley, parmesan and chopped green onions.

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Now add the kale on top.  This was my slight attempt at making my “green pizza” Irish since kale is a form of cabbage!

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Place in the oven for 5 minutes.

Beep, beep!!  That’s the sound of green pizza saying “eat me, eat me”!  Ok, maybe it’s just my oven, but I dream of one day having an oven that says “eat, me” instead of “beep, beep” when the timer goes off!  Wouldn’t that be kind of amazing??

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Ok this picture definitely screams “Eat me!” Who knew such a delicious, flavorful pizza could also be so healthy?

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Oh let’s do a little zoom action on that greenness!

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I could have definitely eaten one whole pizza myself, but as a good neighbor I shared half with the hungry man who lives upstairs 🙂

With a yummy side of parmesan topped kale it was the perfect lunch-sized meal! For dinner I would recommend one green pizza per person!

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♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian, like really vegetarian 😉

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free. Yay for gluten-free pizza!

Gluten-Free Green Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3 pizzas

Gluten-Free Green Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Toppings
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1/4 cup basil or kale pesto
  • 3-4 mini green heirloom tomatoes (sliced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp parmesan cheese (shaved)
  • 1 green onion (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°.
  2. Remove the leaves and stems from the cauliflower and chop into large chunks.
  3. Next, place the cauliflower into a food processor and blend until “riced”.
  4. Place the cauliflower in the microwave for 8 minutes.
  5. Add the mozzarella, eggs, basil, oregano, salt and garlic to the riced cauliflower.
  6. Form the mixture into 3 individual-sized crusts.
  7. Brush the crusts with olive oil then place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Add the kale to a skillet over medium heat with 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  9. Cover the kale and allow to cook down for 5 minutes.
  10. Spread the basil or kale pesto on the baked pizza crust.
  11. Top with the green tomatoes, green peppers, parsley, parmesan, green onions and kale.
  12. Cook in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-lunch-gluten-free-green-pizza/

Strawberry Kiwi Slush

Sonic's Strawberry Kiwi Slush Recipe

Am I the only person that continues to think about Sonic’s Strawberry Kiwi Slush on a regular basis even though it hasn’t existed for over a decade?

Sonic's Strawberry Kiwi Slush

I finally decided to re-create my favorite Sonic Slush of yester-year and the result was amazing!

Instead of artificial flavors or syrups I combined fresh fruit to make an icy cold, refreshing beverage that is perfect for summer!

Strawberry Kiwi Slush Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups ice

Add the strawberries and kiwi to a blender with sugar, water and lemon juice.

Fresh Fruit Strawberry Kiwi Slush Recipe

Blend for 30 seconds.

Fresh Fruit Strawberry Kiwi Slush Recipe

Add the ice and blend for an additional 30 seconds or until the ice has been crushed and a slush consistency has formed.

Fresh Fruit Strawberry Kiwi Slush Recipe

Pour into a glass for you and a friend (or an extra-large glass all for yourself!)

Strawberry Kiwi Slush Recipe

Garnish with a kiwi slice and enjoy the frozen deliciousness of fresh fruit!

Strawberry Kiwi Slush

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten free.

Strawberry Kiwi Slush

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2 16 oz slushes

Strawberry Kiwi Slush

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and sliced)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups ice

Instructions

  1. Add the strawberries and kiwi to a blender with sugar, water and lemon juice.
  2. Blend for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ice and blend for an additional 30 seconds or until the ice has been crushed and a slush consistency has formed.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-to-drink-strawberry-kiwi-slush/

Sausage Stuffing Balls

Sausage, potato bread, celery & sage are combined for a little taste of Thanksgiving all rolled up in these Sausage Stuffing Balls, perfect as a side dish or party appetizer!

Sausage, potato bread, celery & sage are combined for a little taste of Thanksgiving all rolled up in these Sausage Stuffing Balls, perfect as a side dish or party appetizer!

Finally, the most popular dish at my Superbowl Party gets a post on the blog!

Read the full post here!

Rustic Potato Bread

Homemade Potato Bread

For my fabulous Super Bowl Party I made the most delicious hors d’oeuvres ever, Sausage Stuffing Balls!

The two main ingredients for the dish are: sausage and potato bread.  The first time around I bought a loaf of potato bread at the store, but because my Rosemary Focaccia Bread came out so amazingly I have been on a serious homemade bread kick!  Thus, I made my own potato bread for the sausage stuffing balls!

Potato Bread Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)

  • 1 lb baking potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/4 oz packages active yeast
  • 6 cups flour (divided)
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp shortening

Start by peeling and chopping the potatoes into cubes.

Next, bring 1 1/2 cups milk and 1 1/2 cups water to boil in a medium saucepan.

Add the cubed potatoes.

Boil uncovered for 13-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

After potatoes are cooked, remove pan from the heat but do NOT drain the potatoes.  After they have cooled down to a warm, but no longer boiling temperature, measure out 1/2 cup of the liquid.

Place the 1/2 cup of liquid in a large mixing bowl and pour the yeast on top.

Next, mash the remaining liquid into the potatoes.

Add the mashed potatoes to the yeast mixture.

Next, add 2 cups of flour.

Then add the sugar, salt and shortening.

Beat with an electric mixer on high for 2 minutes.

Next, stir in the remaining 4 cups of flour by hand.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.

Next, place the dough in a large oiled bowl and turn to oil each side.

Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap.

Let rise for one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Remove the dough from the bowl, punch down and separate into two equal loaves.  Place each loaf in a loaf pan or shape into a loaf and place on a baking stone (I did one of each just to see how they would turn out, both worked great!)

Cover again and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 375°.

For the final step, remove the cover and place the bread in the oven for 40 minutes.

Homemade Potato Bread Recipe

This rustic potato bread recipe is thick and hearty, while still remaining light and fluffy inside!

Potato Bread Recipe

It is delicious dipped into our Taco Soup or Pumpkin Chili or turn it into yummy Loaded Baked Potato Bread!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

Rustic Potato Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

Rustic Potato Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 lb baking potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/4 oz packages active yeast
  • 6 cups flour (divided)
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp shortening

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into cubes.
  2. Bring the milk and water to boil in a medium saucepan.
  3. Add the cubed potatoes.
  4. Boil uncovered 13-15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat but do NOT drain the potatoes.
  6. After the potatoes have cooled, pour 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pan into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top.
  7. Mash the remaining liquid into the potatoes.
  8. Add the mashed potatoes to the yeast mixture.
  9. Add 2 cups of flour, 3 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp salt and 2 tbsp shortening.
  10. Beat with an electric mixer on high for 2 minutes.
  11. Stir in the remaining 4 cups of flour by hand.
  12. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes.
  13. Pace the kneaded dough into a large oiled bowl and turn to oil each side.
  14. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap.
  15. Let rise for one hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  16. Remove dough from the bowl, punch down and separate into two equal loaves. Place each loaf in a loaf pan or shape into a loaf and place on a baking stone.
  17. Cover again for 30 minutes.
  18. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  19. Remove cover and place bread in the oven for 40 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-rustic-potato-bread/

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

I don’t think I need to re-iterate my love for buffalo chicken, but just in case, I love it! And this recipe is so quick and easy to make, there is no excuse not to enjoy it yourself!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

On Sunday I used the pressure cooker to cook 3 chicken breasts, I then shredded the chicken and placed it in a plastic storage container in the fridge.  By doing this I was able to make the wrap for lunch in 5 minutes and enjoy all its buffalo amazingness!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1 cup chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1/4 cup carrots (shredded)
  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Start by pouring the blue cheese dressing in the center of a tortilla.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Next, add the spinach on top of the blue cheese dressing.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Now mix the shredded chicken with the buffalo sauce.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Add the buffalo chicken to the wrap.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Next, top with the sliced onions, shredded carrot and blue cheese crumbles.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Now you’re ready to wrap! Begin by folding in the sides.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Then wrap the tortilla tightly around the filling, slice in half and dig in!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Writing this post makes me want another one right now!  Good thing I have that extra chicken in the fridge 😉

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

You could even slice the wrap into quarters and serve them as appetizers at a party!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap Recipe

Or make a couple of wraps at the beginning of the week, toss them in the fridge and have a delicious lunch awaiting you during the week!

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute “veggie crumbles” for the shredded chicken.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use gluten-free corn tortillas instead of flour.

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 wrap

Buffalo Chicken Wrap

Ingredients

  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1 cup chicken breast (cooked and shredded)
  • 2 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1/4 cup carrots (shredded)
  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Begin by pouring the blue cheese dressing in the center of a tortilla.
  2. Next, add the spinach on top of the blue cheese dressing.
  3. Now mix the shredded chicken with the buffalo sauce.
  4. Add the buffalo chicken to the wrap.
  5. Next, top with the sliced onions, shredded carrot and blue cheese crumbles.
  6. Begin wrapping by folding in the sides.
  7. Then wrap the tortilla tightly around the filling, slice in half and dig in!
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-lunch-buffalo-chicken-wrap/

How To Make Canvas Wall Art

With the recent DIY Pinterest craze, I decided to take a break from cooking today to share an interior design project that I created over 2 years ago.  When I moved to LA I wanted to create a different bedroom space in my new home.  Although I knew I couldn’t buy a whole new bedroom set, I knew I could add new pieces to give it a different feel!

I went online and began looking at furniture and room designs I liked.  I actually found this room on Walmart’s website, of all places, and loved the simple black and white design!

After searching high and low for wall art similar to that on the left wall in the picture the only things I found were only sold online and more than I wanted to spend (like $50-100 per frame x 9 frames = too much!) At that point I decided to make my own for the bargain price of $5.00 per frame!

I’ve always considered myself somewhat crafty and creative but this was a new high for me! I traveled to three states and multiple cities to find nine different black and white canvas fabrics! But alas between Texas, Oklahoma, California, Hobby Lobby, Ikea, Walmart and Mood I found the nine perfect fabrics and my most prized DIY project to date.

Pretty good copy-cat right? Now I’m going to re-create one of the frames in, what else but leopard fabric, to show you all how easy they are to make yourself!

What you’ll need to make 9 frames:

  • 1 yard of canvas fabric (or 1/8 yard of 9 different fabrics)
  • scissors
  • 36 8″ wood “stretcher strips”
  • staple gun
  • 9 teeth and nails (if you want to hang them)

Start by sliding the wood strips together into square frames.

These can be purchased at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s or other craft stores and come in all different sizes so you can make the frames larger or smaller if you would like.

Next, place the frame on the fabric as a measurement guide.

Cut the fabric around the frame with about 2 inches of extra fabric on each side to wrap around the edges.

Now it’s time to put your construction hat on and grab that staple gun!

Put 2 staples on the first side, then wrap the corner tightly and staple.

Continue around the frame stapling each side and corner.

Now if you plan to place the frames on a shelf, they’re ready to go!

If you plan to hang them on the wall, you will need to add a tooth hanger with nails.

Time to put that construction hat on one last time and hammer in the nails.

Now the canvas frame is ready to hang!

Hang in a set of 4, 9 or just one large frame!

My black and white theme just got a little leopard addition!

My Cultural Foodie Adventures

I recently traveled to 4 different countries… via the farmers market at The Grove in Los Angeles.  I sampled cuisines from Singapore, Italy, France and Brazil! The video below takes you through my culinary journeys!!

Black Bean and Chorizo Fillo Baskets

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Last night these delightful Mini Fillo Shells were lingering around my pantry saying “fill me and eat me!” These were a spur-of-the-moment purchase while at Fresh and Easy last week.  My thought “these are cute, I can find something to put in them!” And last night I did! They became the appetizer before my yummy dinner of Chicken and Sweet Corn Tamales I made by special request for my Mom!

I decided to make a black bean puree to put in the shells with spicy pork chorizo and topped with Cotija cheese. What a great combination of crunch from the fillo baskets and creaminess from the black bean puree! They were a huge hit and gone before I could set the serving plate on the coffee table!

Ingredients (makes 15 baskets)

  • 1 box 15 mini fillo shells
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tsp avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 lime (juiced)
  • 1 package pork chorizo (12 oz)
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese

Start by pre-heating the oven to 350°F and line the fillo shells up on a baking sheet.

Next, drain the black beans and place in a food processor or blender to puree.

Then add the chopped garlic to the black beans and blend.

Next, add the avocado oil.

Then the seasonings and lime juice.

Blend until all ingredients are incorporated.

Next, begin cooking the chorizo in a small skillet over medium-high heat.

While the chorizo is cooking pour the black bean puree into the bottom of each fillo basket.

Fill half way with the puree, just be sure to save room for the meat and cheese, AKA: the happiness!

Now about that happiness, the chorizo should be cooked through at this point and ready to be placed on top of the black bean puree!

Thank you to Billy for being such a doll and snapping some shots of me in action!

Mmmm chorizo!  Now top with the cotija cheese!  This cheese is named after a town in Mexico and is a salty, crumbly cheese similar to feta.

Place in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the cheese on top.

Transfer to a serving plate and just try to make it to the table before they’re all gone!

A little close-up action…

You can also top with cilantro for a little extra flavor and color!

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute soy-chorizo for pork chorizo, available at most grocery stores. 

♦ Gluten Free Option: Instead of fillo baskets, use Tostitos Scoops which are gluten-free.

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Herb Crusted Turkey Breast

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast Recipe

This post has the greatest time-lag in the history of the LLB.  This is actually the turkey breast that I made for THANKSGIVING, but I got so busy during the month of December that I never posted the recipe!  It was so amazingly delicious though that I couldn’t sit by and not share it with you at all!

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast

Even though this was my Thanksgiving turkey, this could easily be made for dinner any time of the year!  The Potato and Celery Root Mash Topped with Roasted Sunchokes or the Twice-Baked Rosemary Blue Cheese Potatoes would be a great accompaniment to this main dish! The dish was originally adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe and was chosen because of its limited cook and prep time!  An hour out the door and you’ve got a delicious roasted turkey breast!

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 3 lb turkey breast
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 6 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a pan with foil or oil a roasting pan. Place the turkey in the pan and slide one sage leaves, bay leaf and rosemary sprig under the skin of the turkey, place another sage leaf, bay leaf and rosemary sprig under the breast. The heat will rise through the pan and release the flavors of the herbs up into the turkey breast.

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast Recipe

Next, place the onion and lemon zest into a food processor and chop. Then add 2 sage leaves, the parsley, olive oil and salt to the mixture.

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast Recipe

Pulse until the mixture becomes a paste.

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast Recipe

Next, rub half of the paste mixture under the skin of the turkey breast and the other half on top and around the sides of the breast.

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast Recipe

Looks messy, but comes out delicious!!

Now place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Remove the breast and baste with an additional 3 tbsp of olive oil.  Place back inside the oven and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer placed inside the thickest part of the breast registers at 170°.

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast Recipe

Transfer the breast to a cutting board for carving. Let rest for 10-15 minutes then carve into slices.

Herb Crusted Turkey

This turkey was the perfect main dish for my Thanksgiving feast with friends!

Thanksgiving Dinner in LA

There’s the turkey, in the righthand corner, about to be dominated by a hungry pack of pretty girls!! I love this picture because Gabby looks like she totally just got caught taking all the cranberry sauce!!

Herb Crusted Turkey

I would imagine this turkey would make great leftover sandwiches but I can’t tell you first hand because after these girls got a hold of it, there was nothing “left-over”!!!

Herb Crusted Turkey

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Herb Crusted Turkey Breast

Ingredients

  • 3 lb turkey breast
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley
  • 6 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  2. Line a pan with foil or oil a roasting pan.
  3. Place the turkey in the pan and slide one sage leaf, bay leaf and rosemary sprig under the skin of the turkey, place another sage leaf, bay leaf and rosemary sprig under the breast.
  4. Place the onion and lemon zest into a food processor and pulse.
  5. Add 2 sage leaves, parsley, olive oil and salt to the mixture.
  6. Pulse until the mixture becomes a paste.
  7. Rub half of the paste mixture under the skin of the turkey breast and the other half on top and around the sides of the breast.
  8. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove the breast and baste with an additional 3 tbsp of olive oil.
  10. Place back inside the oven and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer placed inside the thickest part of the breast registers at 170°.
  11. Transfer the breast to a cutting board for carving.
  12. Let rest for 10-15 minutes then carve into slices.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dinner-herb-crusted-turkey-breast/

Couscous Asparagus Tabouli

Couscous Tabouli with Roasted Vegetables

In an attempt to add more ethnic cuisines to my repertoire of recipes I made my own somewhat-authentic version of the Arab dish Tabouli.

Couscous Tabouli Recipe

The result was flavorful and delicious!  Next time I make it, I’m topping it with salmon! Yum!

Coucous Asparagus Tabouli Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1/2 lb asparagus
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 2 green onions (chopped)

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Start by cutting off the hard ends of the asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus Recipe

Chop into one inch pieces then arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet with the red pepper and onion.

Roasting Vegetables

Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with the black pepper and kosher salt. Place in the oven for 12 minutes.

While the veggies are roasting, prepare the couscous.

Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil.  Add in the lemon juice and 3 tbsp olive oil, then add the couscous.

Couscous Tabouli Recipe

Look at that couscous fly!

Remove the couscous from the heat and cover. Let rest for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.

Add the tomatoes and roasted vegetables to the couscous and toss.

Add to a bowl, top with green onions and dig in!

Asparagus Tabouli Recipe

♣ Vegetarian Option: Substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth to make this dish vegetarian (and vegan!)

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use gluten-free couscous.

Couscous Asparagus Tabouli

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2 (as meal) - 4 (as side dish)

Couscous Asparagus Tabouli

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb asparagus
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 5 tbsp Enzo Olive Oil (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 2 green onions (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Start by cutting off the hard ends of the asparagus.
  3. Chop into one inch pieces then arrange in an even layer on a baking sheet with the red pepper and onion.
  4. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with the black pepper and kosher salt.
  5. Place in the oven for 12 minutes.
  6. While the veggies are roasting, prepare the couscous.
  7. Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil.
  8. Add in the lemon juice and 3 tbsp olive oil, then add the couscous.
  9. Remove the couscous from the heat and cover.
  10. Let rest for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.
  11. Add the tomatoes and roasted vegetables to the couscous and toss.
  12. Add to a bowl and top with green onions.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-lunch-couscous-asparagus-tabouli/

Strawberry Mini Pies

Individual Heart Shaped Mini Pies

In continuation with my obsession of strawberry season I made my Mom’s amazing strawberry pie into scrumptious mini pies!

Mini Fresh Strawberry Pie

While my cooking passion comes from my Dad, my baking skills definitely come from my Mom!  She makes the most beautiful and delicious pies you have ever seen and this recipe is no exception!

Strawberry Mini Pies

This recipe also marks a milestone on the blog, it’s the first post including images from my new Canon SLR! I’m still in the process of learning all the amazing things it can do, but loving the results so far!

Strawberry Pie Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 12 mini pies or one 9″ pie)

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter (melted)

Pie Filling:

  • 6 cups strawberries
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Prepare the crust first by combining the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small mixing bowl.

Mix until it forms a buttery, crumbly texture.

Graham Cracker Crust

Now press the crust mixture into the bottom of a dozen lined muffin tins or mini pie plates. Both the super cute Mini Pie Plates and Red Re-Usable Silicone Baking Cups can be found on Amazon.

Place the mini pie crusts in the refrigerator while preparing the filling!

Begin by washing the strawberries then remove the top and hull them. Hulling simply means cutting out the inside white part of the berry.

Hulled Strawberries

Reserve a dozen of the best looking little berries to top each mini pie!

Slice the rest of the berries in half and place in a large skillet and mash.  I use a muddler to mash the berries, but a spoon, fork, your hands, pretty much anything will do!

Fresh Strawberry Pie Filling

Mash until you have a thick, slightly chunky berry consistency.

Fresh Strawberry Pie Filling

Now add the corn starch to the mashed berries, then the sugar.

Mix together then move the skillet to the stovetop over medium heat.

Once the strawberry mixture begins to bubble reduce the heat slightly and allow the berries to cook down to a dark, thick consistency.

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Allow the mixture to cool.  Once cooled, add a heaping tablespoon to each mini-pie.

Individual Strawberry Pies

Top each mini-pie with one of the reserved whole strawberries.

Individual Heart Shaped Mini Pies

Allow the pies to cool inside the refrigerator for approximately one hour.

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Oh my gosh, I’m not sure what I love more, the cuteness of my mini-pie or the amazing picture quality of my new Canon!

You can also use this recipe to make one 9″ whole pie. Make the crust the same way, just press it on the bottom and edges of the pie plate. Top with the strawberry mixture, then top with the whole strawberries and voila!

Fresh Strawberry Pie Recipe

What’s prettier, roses or strawberry pie? I’m leaning towards strawberry pie at this point!

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: The pie filling is gluten-free.  You would only need to substitute gluten-free graham cracker crumbs for the crust.  Whole Foods carries a graham style cracker by Kinnikinnick which can be crushed into crumbs and used. Yay for gluten-free dessert!

Strawberry Mini Pies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 mini pies

Strawberry Mini Pies

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter (melted)
  • Pie Filling:
  • 6 cups strawberries
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Begin making the crust by combining the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Mix until it forms a buttery, crumbly texture.
  3. Now press the crust mixture into the bottom of a dozen lined muffin tins or mini pie plates.
  4. Place the mini pie crusts in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
  5. Prepare the filling by washing the strawberries then removing the stems and hulling them.
  6. Reserve a dozen of the best looking strawberries to top each mini pie.
  7. Slice the rest of the berries in half and place in a large skillet and mash.
  8. Mash until a thick, slightly chunky consistency is formed.
  9. Add the corn starch to the mashed berries, then the sugar.
  10. Mix together then move the skillet to the stovetop over medium heat.
  11. Once the strawberry mixture begins to bubble reduce the heat slightly and allow the berries to cook down to a dark, thick consistency.
  12. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the lemon juice.
  13. Allow the mixture to cool.
  14. Once cooled, add a heaping tablespoon to each mini-pie.
  15. Top each mini-pie with one of the reserved whole strawberries.
  16. Allow the muffin tins to set and cool inside the refrigerator for approximately one hour, then remove each lined mini-pie from the muffin tin and serve.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-dessert-strawberry-mini-pies/

Note: This page contains affiliate links. I only link to products I use & love!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers with Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Aioli

I don’t think it’s normal for a main dish to come as an afterthought to side dishes, but around my kitchen it seems to be happening a lot lately!  I started with the Buffalo Potato Wedges and decided they would be a great addition to a burger. But being the little leopard book I could not let the main dish be trumped by the amazingness of the side, so the 1/2 lb grass-fed blue cheese stuffed burger with homemade roasted red pepper aioli and topped in avocado was born!

Let’s start by making that scrumptious homemade roasted red pepper aioli!

Ingredients (makes 1/2 cup)

  • 12 oz roasted red peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup fat-free plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
Start by draining and patting dry the red peppers.

Now chop the peppers and garlic.

Next, add the chopped ingredients to a food processor or blender.

Puree the ingredients, then add the greek yogurt.

I used fat-free plain greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise which is traditionally used in aioli’s.  I thought the sauce was just as good, if not better with the greek yogurt and saves you 26 fat grams and 213 calories per 1/3 cup!

Now add in the olive and grapeseed oils, salt and pepper. Blend together and the aioli is ready to go!

Oh my gosh, how good is that going to be on top of the mouth-watering burgers you’re now ready to prepare!

Ingredients (makes 2 burgers)

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp blue cheese
  • 2 ciabatta rolls
  • 1 avocado
  • homemade roasted red pepper aioli

First of all, let me point out a very important part of the ingredient list and that is the grass-fed ground beef!

The flavor of this meat is so amazing that you’ll never go back to the other stuff! If there’s not a Trader Joes in your area check your local farmers market, or even a lot of traditional grocery stores carry grass-fed these days!!

Start by pre-heating the grill to medium-high heat. Now get the burgers ready to grill by adding the steak seasoning to the ground beef.

Next, add in the worcestershire sauce.

Now separate the beef into two equal patties.

And it’s time to get stuffing!! Start by carving out a large, deep hole in each burger.

Place 2 tbsp of blue cheese in each burger.

Now wrap the beef tightly around the cheese so that you don’t lose any of the yummy cheesiness out of the middle while the burgers are on the grill!

It’s time to start grilling!

A little trick of the trade: a lot of people like to press their patties down with a spatula but that is a no-no!  Pressing down on the beef continually throughout the cooking process will press all those yummy juices out of the burger and dry it out… and nobody wants that!!! So let’s stick with using the spatula for one thing: flipping!

There’s something about those beautiful grill marks that just makes me so happy!

Now it’s time to slice the ciabatta rolls in half and add to the grill to toast.

Cook to your liking then remove from the grill and get ready to assemble the masterpiece!

Oh my gosh the juiciness, a little of the blue cheese peaking through, I can not tell you how hard it was to take all these pictures and not take a bite!!

I now added more blue cheese on top.  For two reasons:

  1. It looks good in pictures,
  2. I have a mild(ly serious) addiction to the smelly cheese!
I actually would not recommend the additional cheese on top as there is plenty in the middle of that baby!

Next, add the sliced avocado on top.

Now it’s time to drizzle that delectable homemade roasted red pepper aioli all over the beefy work-of-art!

Add the buffalo potato wedges on the side and you’ve got one incredible lunch!

Can I take a bite already??? My gosh! 😉 I’m cutting it open… getting closer!!!

Oh yeah, that’s a lot of cheese!!!! Excuse me while I devour this amazing piece of “food-art”!

♣ Vegetarian Option: Sub veggie ground protein for the ground beef.

♦ Gluten Free Option: Use gluten-free rolls or buns. Make sure the worcestershire sauce is gluten-free, Lea & Perrins is a gluten-free brand!

Buffalo Potato Wedges

Baked Buffalo Potato Crisps

In continuing with my Buffalo sauce addiction I am here to share with you another new recipe!

Buffalo Potato Wedges

This one came from the  simple fact that I had a large bag of potatoes and the buffalo sauce in the refrigerator was staring me  down, so I brought the two harmoniously together in this yummy new side!

Buffalo Potato Wedge Ingredients

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 lbs baking potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter

Start by pre-heating the oven to 400° and cutting the potatoes into wedges.

Sliced Potato Wedges

Next, add the potatoes to a mixing bowl and add the crushed garlic, olive oil, steak seasoning and buffalo sauce.

Buffalo Sauce Potato Wedges

Toss everything to coat then arrange the potatoes in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet or in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Chop the butter into small cubes and place throughout the potatoes.

Baked Potato Wedges with Buffalo Sauce

Now place the potatoes in the oven for 40-45 minutes. The potatoes are done when fork-tender and the sauce has reduced.

Buffalo Sauce Potato Wedges

I’ve served these as a side dish with both Baked BBQ Buffalo Chicken  and Blue Cheese Stuffed Cheeseburgers!

Buffalo Potato Wedges Recipe

They can also be served as an appetizer with toothpicks and blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Buffalo Sauce Baked Potato Wedges

 

Baked Buffalo Wedge Fries

♣ Vegetarian Option: This recipe is vegetarian.

♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten-free.

Buffalo Potato Wedges

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Buffalo Potato Wedges

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs baking potatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp steak seasoning
  • 1/4 cup buffalo sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°.
  2. Slice the potatoes into wedges.
  3. Add the potatoes to a mixing bowl and combine with crushed garlic, olive oil, steak seasoning and buffalo sauce.
  4. Toss everything to coat then arrange the potatoes in an even layer on a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  5. Chop the butter into small cubes and place throughout the potatoes.
  6. Bake the potatoes in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
http://whitneybond.com/whats-for-a-side-buffalo-potato-wedges/