Monthly Archives: January 2013

Top 6 Gluten Free Game Day Recipes

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There’s nothing I love more than some delicious “Game Day Grub”!  Make the grub gluten-free and you’re in for a healthier game day menu!  Going gluten-free for the “big game” also alleviates any issues of gluten-intolerant guests going hungry!

With the biggest game of the year right around the corner, these top 6 gluten-free recipes are perfect for this weekend!

#1 Squash Puppies

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#2 Sweet Potato Tots

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#3 Oatmeal Raisin Coffee Cookies

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#4 Chicken Parmesan Bites

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#5 Nutella Buddies

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#6 Buffalo Pickle Chips

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Wishing everyone a deliciously gluten-free, football filled weekend of fun!

Cast Iron Skillet Winter Vegetables

Snow peas, broccoflower, onions and carrots are combined in this simple side dish recipe for Cast Iron Skillet Winter Vegetables!

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Last week I had the pleasure of meeting fellow San Diego blogger, The Seaside Baker. She was sweet enough to bring me an amazing bag of fresh vegetables and herbs from her garden!

I couldn’t wait to get home and prepare a dish with the “Spiky Broccoli” also known as Romanesco broccoli or Broccoflower, a broccoli, cauliflower hybrid!

I combined the Snow Peas she brought me with the Broccoflower for a delicious winter vegetable side dish that went perfectly with my Coffee Crusted Tri Tip on Saturday night!

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup broccoflower (or traditional broccoli)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the snow peas, carrots, onions and broccoflower.  Saute for 3-5 minutes, add the garlic and saute an additional 2-3 minutes.

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Add the chicken stock and reduce the heat to low.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken stock has absorbed into the vegetables.

Serve with your favorite main dish! Seriously, it’s that simple!

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The chicken stock gives the vegetables great flavor without adding any fat or butter to the dish!

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Simple, scrumptious and healthy, that’s a combination we love in my house!

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5 from 1 vote
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Cast Iron Skillet Winter Vegetables

Snow peas, broccoflower, onions and carrots are combined in this simple side dish recipe for Cast Iron Skillet Winter Vegetables!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 88 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups snow peas
  • 1 cup carrots sliced
  • 1 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup broccoflower or traditional broccoli
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

  2. Add the snow peas, carrots, onions and broccoflower.

  3. Saute for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add the chicken broth and reduce the heat to low.

  5. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken broth has absorbed into the vegetables.

Red Velvet Puppy Chow Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes are topped with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting and Red Velvet Puppy Chow in this deliciously fun recipe!

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I am so excited to share a recipe from my childhood friend Sarah Beth Taylor!

Although constantly being engaged with social media can sometimes be exhausting, it can also be very rewarding! Last month Sarah found me on Instagram through a mutual friend!

I was so excited when she reached out to me as I have not seen her in at least 12 years!  We grew up taking dance classes together in Oklahoma, but lost touch in high school.

Funny enough, Sarah and I have led quite similar paths since high school.  I moved to Southern California, while she moved to New York, we both studied and worked in fashion design for some time, then both completely jumped the ship and went in another direction… food!

Sarah is about to graduate from culinary school as a pastry chef.  I was so impressed with her delicious looking baked goods on Instagram that I immediately asked her to guest blog for me!

If you would like to follow her delicious baked creations on Instagram her screenname is 5thavest or contact her by e-mail at [email protected] with any of your baking or pastry questions!

Check out how Sarah came up with the idea for her first recipe on the blog!

This cupcake idea is the fusion of two of my favorite deserts, puppy chow and cupcakes. I drew my inspiration from many of the deserts I’ve sampled from a bakery in New York called Momofuku Milk Bar. They have the most deliciously innovative deserts I’ve ever tasted and are constantly combining textures and flavors you might not expect. My challenge to you in making this desert is try not to eat all the puppy chow before you finish making the cupcake!

Ingredients – Chocolate Cake

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ cups dark cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • ½ c + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1 ¼ cup warm water

This is a dump cake style recipe meaning all the ingredients go in at the same time. Sift your dry ingredients together first then add the remaining wet ingredients. Careful not to over mix the batter! Also, remember to always use room temperature eggs/butter/milk unless the recipe tells you otherwise. Pour into cupcake tins and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup peanut butter

Start by cubing the room temperature butter into the mixer. Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy and white in color, this should take approximately 5-10 minutes depending on the mixers speed. Then turn the mixer to its slowest speed and add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Finally add the vanilla and peanut butter.

Red Velvet Puppy Chow

  • 1 bag milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • 3-4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp red powdered food coloring
  • 8-9 cups rice chex cereal

Begin by placing all of  the powdered sugar in a large bowl then add the red powdered food coloring with a whisk. It is somewhat tricky to find powdered food coloring but any baking supply store will most likely sell it. (Do not try to use any type of gel or liquid food coloring it must be the dry.) The powdered sugar will appear pink but will turn red as soon as the chocolate mixture comes in contact with it. Place the red sugar mixture into a freezer size baggie along with the cereal. Next temper the chocolate slowly over a double broiler or in a microwave. Finally add the melted butter and peanut butter to the chocolate and stir thoroughly. Pour the chocolate mixture into the cereal a little at a time and begin to shake the bag until all the cereal is covered completely.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, then top with the red velvet puppy chow!

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These are so adorably cute for Valentine’s Day!

Thank you Sarah for the deliciously sweet and adorable recipe!

Coffee Crusted Tri Tip with Balsamic Stout Reduction

Coffee Crusted Tri Tip steak is rubbed with fresh herbs and coffee, grilled to perfection and drizzled with balsamic stout reduction for the perfect dinner!

Coffee Crusted Tri Tip {Little Leopard Book}

“Tri Tip Saturday” came about after I picked up this delicious steak at the grocery store on Wednesday!

I had never grilled my own Tri Tip, but I knew I loved eating this delectable cut of meat, so I decided to take it upon myself to treat my roommates to grilled steak deliciousness over the weekend!

Grilled Tri Tip with Coffee Rub

And grilled steak deliciousness it was! My roommate Ryan said that I have to be “very descriptive” because the pictures alone can’t do it justice!

I have to agree.  This was one of the greatest things I’ve ever made.  I actually want to package the rub!

Grilled Coffee Rosemary Crusted Tri Tip

And y’all have to remember, I’m a Oklahoma girl born-and-raised so if I screw up a steak, I’m pretty much banned from ever going home!

I can honestly say that I’d be proud to serve this steak in my hometown!

Coffee Crusted Tri Tip Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup ground coffee
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3-4 lb tri tip
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Combine the coffee, brown sugar, salt, pepper, rosemary and fennel seeds in a small bowl.

Coffee Fennel Rosemary Steak Rub

I used a mortar and pestle to bring out the flavor of the fennel seeds. (I recommend it but not necessary!)

Next, trim most of the fat from the tri tip, leaving a thin layer for flavor.

Coffee Fennel Rosemary Steak Rub

Brush the olive oil on all sides of the steak, then rub with the coffee spice mixture.

Coffee and Fennel Seed Rubbed Tri Tip

Place on the grill for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle registers 145° (for medium rare).

Tri Tip on the Grill with Meat Thermometer

Remove from the grill and rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Coffee Crusted Grilled Tri Tip

In the meantime, prepare the Balsamic Stout Reduction.

Balsamic Stout Reduction Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup stout
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

My aforementioned roommate Ryan is what I like to call a “Beer Connoisseur”, he always brings home really unique beers to try.

Yesterday he found this great Chipotle Coffee Stout that was perfect for this recipe.  The chipotle was very mild, but the coffee flavor really came through!  Any stout will work for this recipe, but if you can find a Coffee Stout, even better!

Simply add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by almost half.  Serve drizzled over the delicious steak!

Coffee Crusted Tri Tip with Balsamic Stout Reduction

I know Ryan told me to be descriptive, but I’m honestly at a loss for words, it’s that good!

Coffee Crusted Tri Tip

The crust is crispy and flavorful, the meat inside tender and juicy, the reduction adds an element of sweetness and acidity, it’s just an all-around take-you-to-flavor-town kind of dish! (Pretty sure I heard Guy Fieri say that one time!)

Coffee Crusted Steak

Perfect served with Cast Iron Skillet Rustic Potatoes, Potato and Celery Root Mash with Roasted Sunchokes or Twice Baked Rosemary Blue Cheese Potatoes.

Spice Crusted Grilled Tri Tip

If you feel like getting a little fancy for Superbowl, throw this on the grill and I guarantee that your party guests will be impressed!

Coffee Rosemary Fennel Seed Crusted Tri Tip

If some way, some how there are leftovers, the sliced meat would make an awesome sandwich for lunch the next week!

Coffee Crusted Grilled Tri Tip

5 from 1 vote
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Coffee Crusted Tri Tip with Balsamic Stout Reduction

Coffee Crusted Tri Tip steak is rubbed with fresh herbs and coffee, grilled to perfection and drizzled with balsamic stout reduction for the perfect dinner!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 528 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup ground coffee
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3 lb tri tip
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Balsamic Stout Reduction

  • 1/2 cup stout
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine the coffee, brown sugar, salt, pepper, rosemary and fennel seeds in a small bowl.

  2. Trim most of the fat from the tri tip, leaving a thin layer for flavor.

  3. Brush the olive oil on all sides of the steak, then rub with the coffee spice mixture.

  4. Place on the grill for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the middle registers 145°F (for medium rare).

  5. Remove from the grill and rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. In the meantime, prepare the Balsamic Stout Reduction. Simply add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by almost half. Serve drizzled over the delicious steak.

Heart Shaped Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pies

Pie crust is rolled out and cut into heart shapes then filled with a Cranberry Pomegranate filling for delicious mini pies, perfect for Valentine’s day!

Heart Shaped Cranberry Pomegranate Pies {Little Leopard Book}

“Hello cuteness!”  Yes, that is exactly what I said as I made these pies!

While I’m not a frequent baker I do love making fun, seasonal food!

Cranberry Pomegranate Pies

I originally had Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pies on my list to make for the holidays. Cranberries, pomegranates, great winter fruits!

But alas, with all of the Mini Cannoli’s, Glitter Fortune Cookies and Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies, my dessert card was full over the holiday season!

Heart Shaped Mini Pies

Not to let this marvelous idea go to waste, I decided that I could make them heart-shaped for Valentine’s Day!

The filling was the perfect color for the holiday and the heart shape design took them to over-the-top cuteness!

Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pie Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1 pomegranate (seeds and juice)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Pie Dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter (quartered)
  • ½ cup ice-cold water

Begin making the pie dough by mixing all of the ingredients together either by hand or in a food processor.

Food Processor Pie Dough

Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, begin the filling for the pies. Combine the cranberries and pomegranates in a skillet over medium heat with ¼ cup water.

Cranberry Pomegranate Pie Filling

Once the cranberries begin to burst add the sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, honey and an additional ¼ cup water.

Mix together well, then add the cinnamon and lemon zest.

Cranberry Pomegranate Pie Filling

Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the burner and cool.

At this time, grab the pie dough from the refrigerator, roll it out on a floured surface and begin cutting it into heart shapes using a cookie cutter.

Making Heart Shaped Pies

Once the pie filling has cooled begin placing a spoonful on top of half of the pie hearts.

Making Heart Shaped Pies

Take the other half of the pie dough hearts and cover the filling.

Making Heart Shaped Pies

I used the edge of my pastry cutter to seal the edges, but a fork or your fingers will work also!

Making Heart Shaped Pies

Place the mini pies on a baking stone.

Individual Heart Shaped Pies

Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

Mini Heart Shaped Pies

Now look how adorable those little cutie-pies are!  (Get it? Cutie, pies! haha, I’m so clever sometimes 😉 )

Cranberry Heart Shaped Pies

I uploaded a picture to Instagram yesterday and they’re already a hit!

Cranberry Heart Shaped Pies

If you’re like me and don’t have a Valentine, I hear these pies are also very popular with roommates, family members, friends and co-workers! 😉

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5 from 1 vote
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Heart Shaped Cranberry Pomegranate Mini Pies

Pie crust is rolled out and cut into heart shapes then filled with a Cranberry Pomegranate filling for delicious mini pies, perfect for Valentine's day!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 Mini Pies
Calories 174 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 12 oz cranberries
  • 1 pomegranate seeds and juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Pie Dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter quartered
  • ½ cup ice-cold water

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pie dough by mixing all of the ingredients together by hand or in a food processor.
  2. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  3. While the dough is chilling, begin the filling for the pies.
  4. Combine the cranberries and pomegranates in a skillet over medium heat with ¼ cup water.
  5. Once the cranberries begin to burst add the sugar, brown sugar, corn starch, honey and an additional ¼ cup water.
  6. Mix together well, then add the cinnamon and lemon zest.
  7. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from burner and cool.
  8. Remove the pie dough from the refrigerator, roll it out on a floured surface and begin cutting it into heart shapes using a cookie cutter.
  9. Once the pie filling has cooled begin placing a spoonful on top of half of the pie hearts.
  10. Take the other half of the pie dough hearts and cover the filling.
  11. Use the edge of a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers to seal the edges.
  12. Place the mini pies on a baking stone.
  13. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

 

Chopped Challenge: Nopales, Green Chilies, Cashews and Black Beans

Chipotle cashew chicken, garlic lime black bean puree and nopale guacamole top these delicious tostadas with so much flavor!

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I want to start off by saying thank you, thank you, thank you to the four contributors to this weeks “Mystery Basket” on Facebook!

I loved this combination of ingredients from the moment I saw it and was so excited to cook with Nopales (aka cactus) for the first time!

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The basket was kicked off by DeAndre Matthews with Nopales, then followed up with Black Beans from Becca Rogers, Cashews from Nicole Whelan and finished off with Green Chilies from Momma Bond!

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My first thought was to use the cactus in a salsa, but then I thought about how fun it would be to continually say “Nopale Guacamole” (go ahead, say it!  Fun, right?) so guacamole it was!

I decided to toss the green chilies into the Nopale Guacamole, as well as a few other fun things that we’ll get to in a few!

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Next, I decided to make tostadas. Tacos have already appeared a few times on the blog, while tostadas have made only one appearance, anyone remember that recipe? Chocolate Bell Pepper Chorizo Tostadas with Quail Eggs, so much fun!

Then I decided to use the puree recipe from my Black Bean Chorizo Fillo Baskets to turn the black beans into a Garlic Lime Black Bean Puree for the first layer of the tostada.

Finally I decided to marinate chicken strips in  a spicy chipotle marinade, then roll the chicken in the cashews and bake them as the “meat portion” of the tostada!

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The result was a seriously delicious and complex dish with spicy, sweet, creamy, fresh and crispy components!

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Chipotle Cashew Chicken Tostadas Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced into strips)
  • 3 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups crushed cashews
  • 6 corn tostadas

Black Bean Puree Ingredients

  • 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)

Nopale Guacamole Ingredients

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 small tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4 avocados
  • ½ red onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh nopales (spikes removed/chopped)
  • 4 oz green chilies
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes (juiced)

Optional Toppings

  • cotija cheese
  • sour cream
  • cilantro

Begin the recipe by preparing the chicken.  First combine the chipotle peppers, cumin, honey, lime juice and olive oil in a food processor.  Once mixed into a puree, place in a bowl and add the chicken (a bigger bowl wouldn’t have been a horrible idea here!)

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Place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.  Next, place the cashews in a food processor until they are of a fine crumb consistency.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and dredge in the crushed cashews.

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Place the breaded chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

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Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 15 minutes.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the black bean puree by simply placing all of the ingredients in the food processor and blending until smooth.  Yes, that does mean I used (and washed) my food processor 3 times today!  What a well-used Christmas gift!

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Place the puree in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat for 5 minutes before preparing the tostadas.

In the meantime prepare the guacamole. Slice the red pepper, jalapeño and poblano chilis  into approximately 1 inch strips and place on a baking sheet with the whole tomatillos for roasting.

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I also roasted some cactus to decide which I liked better, raw or roasted, in the guacamole. I ended up going with the raw, but if you would like some roasted cactus, throw it on there, it’s delicious!

Roast under the broiler on high for 6 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes to make sure that everything roasts evenly.  (This is when a round baking stone or dish comes in handy!)

Remove from the oven and quickly place the jalapeños, poblanos and red peppers in a plastic bag and zip closed. (This makes them easier to peel!)

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Next, mash the avocados in a large bowl, then add the red onions, nopales (cactus), green chilies, cilantro and lime juice.

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Peel the roasted peppers, chilies and tomatillos, then add to the guacamole. Voila! A delicious, chunky, flavorful guacamole awaits your taste buds!

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At this point, things should be coming together and you can begin assembling the tostadas!

Start by spreading the black bean puree on each tostada, next place the chicken on top of the bean puree, then the guacamole on top of that.

You can also add sour cream, cotija cheese or cilantro at this time!  I ended up omitting the sour cream simply because I didn’t feel the need for it, but I like to give options, so there you have it! 🙂

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Nopales can be found at most major grocery stores in the jar, that was what I happened to find first, but was not necessarily my first choice for the recipe!

My motto is, “fresh is always best!”, so I ventured further to a large Mexican market where I found the-real-deal nopales and already de-spiked and cut nopales!

So basically I now have a ton of cactus!

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If I were the betting type, I’d place a nice little wager on more cactus recipes appearing soon on the blog!

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Although this seems like a complicated dish, each aspect is pretty simple, it’s just putting them all together that takes a little time, but I promise, it is well worth the end result!

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The guacamole alone is amazing and will definitely make an appearance on my “Gameday Grub” menu for the Superbowl!

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Now grab a fork (or in this case your hands will do!) and dig in!

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5 from 1 vote
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Chipotle Cashew Chicken Tostadas

Chipotle cashew chicken, garlic lime black bean puree and nopale guacamole top these delicious tostadas with so much flavor!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 Tostadas
Calories 856 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into cubes
  • 3 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups cashews crushed
  • 6 corn tostadas

Black Bean Puree

  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 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 tbsp lime juice

Nopale Guacamole

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 small tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 4 avocados
  • ½ cup red onion diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh nopales spikes removed/chopped
  • 4 oz diced green chilies
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp lime juice

Optional Toppings

  • cotija cheese
  • sour cream
  • cilantro

Instructions

  1. Begin the recipe by preparing the chicken. Combine the chipotle peppers, cumin, honey, lime juice and olive oil in a food processor. Once mixed into a puree, place in a bowl and add the chicken.

  2. Place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. 

  3. Place the cashews in a food processor until they are of a fine crumb consistency.

  4. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and dredge in the crushed cashews.
  5. Place the breaded chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

  6. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 15 minutes.

  7. While the chicken is baking, prepare the black bean puree by placing all of the ingredients in a food processor and blending until smooth.

  8. Place the puree in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat for 5 minutes before preparing the tostadas.
  9. In the meantime prepare the guacamole. Slice the red pepper, jalapeño, and poblano chili into approximately 1 inch strips and place on a baking sheet with the whole tomatillos for roasting.

  10. Roast under the broiler on high for 6 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes to make sure that everything roasts evenly.
  11. Remove from the oven and quickly place the jalapeños, poblanos and red peppers in a plastic bag and zip closed.

  12. Mash the avocados in a large bowl, then add the red onions, nopales (cactus), green chilies, cilantro and lime juice.

  13. Peel the roasted peppers, chilies and tomatillos, chop, then add to the guacamole.

  14. To assemble the tostadas, spread the black bean puree on each tostada. 

  15. Place the chicken on top of the bean puree, then the guacamole on top of that. You can also add sour cream, cotija cheese or cilantro at this time.

Top 7 Wingless Buffalo Sauce Recipes

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There’s no doubt in my mind that if you have ever read this blog, you’ve stumbled across a recipe or two containing buffalo sauce!

The one recipe that you will not run into on the site is buffalo wings. Nothing against the bar favorite, I just like to keep my buffalo sauce recipes new, innovative and wingless (less mess!)

These are my top 7 Wingless Buffalo Sauce Recipes, just in time for Super Bowl Sunday!

1. Buffalo Pickle Chips

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2. Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies

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3. Buffalo Chicken Burgers

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4. Buffalo Macaroni Salad

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5. Buffalo Artichoke Dip

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6. Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne

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7. Buffalo Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken

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Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe Sliders

Homemade sloppy joe beef is slow cooked in a crock pot, then placed on Hawaiian rolls and topped with crispy onions for delicious sloppy joe sliders!

Sloppy Joe Sliders {Little Leopard Book}

Let’s be real, growing up there wasn’t anything more fun and delicious than a Sloppy Joe!

Read the full post here!

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies

Mini buffalo chicken pot pies are a spicy twist on the traditional chicken pot pie shrunk into bite size treats making them perfect for game day & parties!

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies {Little Leopard Book}

Having great friends is one of the best gifts in life. Having great friends who buy you Williams Sonoma gift cards for Christmas, even better! 😉

Being the impatient person that I am, I couldn’t wait to use my gift card after Christmas! You see, “Balling on a Blogger Budget” does not generally allow for shopping at fancy kitchen stores such as Williams Sonoma on the regular, so when I had the opportunity I was beyond excited!

I decided to take an hour (maybe 2, who are we kidding!) and peruse the store to make sure I spent my gift card wisely! I wanted to take this opportunity to buy “fun things” for the kitchen that I normally wouldn’t splurge on. For example, this lovely little Mini Tart Baking Set.

Mini Tart Pan

At $29.99, I felt like the value was there and it still left room on the gift card to purchase other little goodies as well!

Now when most people purchase this Mini Tart Baking Set, they probably intend on bringing it home and baking a sweet little dessert in it.

My first thought?  Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies. Because traditional Chicken Pot Pies are so 1960’s!

Superbowl Buffalo Chicken Snack Pies

The spicy kick of the buffalo sauce and cayenne pepper  is delicious and the miniature-ness (did I just create a new word? I think I did, and I like it!) makes them perfect for snacks, parties and game day grub!

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients

Ingredients (makes 24 mini pies)

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup celery
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup blue cheese dressing
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp green onions (chopped) (optional topping)

Pie crust

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup cold butter (quartered)
  • ¼ cup ice-cold water

Begin by preparing the pie crust.  I used my food processor simply because it was a gift from my amazing parents for Christmas and I wanted to try out the dough blade 🙂 The dough can also be prepared by hand mixing.

Start by mixing the flour and salt.

Then add the butter and mix into a course crumble.  Next add the cold water. Start with about half the amount of water, then add as needed until a solid (but not sticky) dough forms.

Food Processor Pie Dough

Form the dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator while preparing the chicken pot pie filling (about 30 minutes).

To prepare the filling begin by pressure cooking the chicken breasts. (If you do not have a pressure cooker, simply boil the chicken.)

Next, remove the chicken breasts from the broth and use that broth to cook the veggies! (Totally better than spending $3 on store-bought chicken broth!)

Shred the chicken and toss with the buffalo sauce.

Bring 2 cups of the broth to a boil in a medium pot, then add the carrots, celery and peas.

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie Vegetables

Cook for 5-7 minutes.  In the meantime add the olive oil to a separate pan and sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the flour, cayenne pepper, celery salt and paprika, then add the veggies and chicken broth.

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie Filling

Cook for 5-7 minutes then add the buffalo chicken.

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie Filling

Then stick a fork in it, try a bite and attempt not to eat it all straight out of the pan! (This step is optional, but as I like to say, it’s optional-ly awesome!)

Next, prepare the mini tarts.

How to Make Mini Tarts

I’m not going to lie, if you want to splurge on something fun for the kitchen, this baking set is it!  I did a little happy dance while I made my first pan of tarts!

These could also be made by simply using a round pastry cutter and muffin pan.

Next, fill these babies up with a heaping spoonful of the buffalo chicken filling.

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies

Instead of topping these with another layer of dough, I decided to top them with panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese to form the top crust.

My first idea was to incorporate another one of my amazing Williams Sonoma purchases.

Creme Brûlée Torch

Because who doesn’t need a torch in their kitchen?

Unfortunately I didn’t have the best of luck with my first attempt at torching. There were more breadcrumbs on fire than the crunchy, crispy breadcrumbs that I had hoped for!

On the second batch I placed the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture on top before placing them into the oven and had much more success.  Probably more practical anyway, seeing as most people do not own a kitchen torch!

So for the final step of the Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie making process mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of each little pot pie.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Place into the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes.  The last two minutes of the baking process switch the oven over to broiler on high to get that nice crispy top crust!

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Sprinkle a few green onions on top for a little extra color and flavor!

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies

These are the perfect little bite-size for snacks or appetizers!

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

I can’t wait to serve them at my annual Super Bowl Party!

Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies

I’m adding these to my list of “buffalo chicken favorites” with Buffalo Chicken Cheesy Penne, Buffalo Chicken Dip and Buffalo Chicken Burgers!

Bite Size Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies

5 from 1 vote
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Mini Buffalo Chicken Pot Pies

Mini buffalo chicken pot pies are a spicy twist on the traditional chicken pot pie shrunk into bite size treats making them perfect for game day & parties!

Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24 Mini Pies
Calories 114 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • ½ cup carrots chopped
  • ½ cup celery
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup blue cheese dressing
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp green onions chopped (optional topping)

Pie Crust

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup cold butter quartered
  • ¼ cup ice-cold water

Instructions

  1. Begin by preparing the pie crust. Start by mixing the flour and salt.
  2. Then add the butter and mix into a course crumble. Next add the cold water. Start with about half the amount of water, then add as needed until a solid (but not sticky) dough forms.
  3. Form the dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator while preparing the chicken pot pie filling (about 30 minutes).
  4. To prepare the filling begin by pressure cooking the chicken breasts. (If you do not have a pressure cooker, simply boil the chicken.)
  5. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from the water, shred, then toss with the buffalo sauce.

  6. Bring 2 cups of chicken broth to boil in a medium pot, then add the carrots, celery and peas.

  7. Cook for 5-7 minutes. In the meantime add the olive oil to a separate pan and sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the flour, cayenne pepper, celery salt and paprika to the onions and garlic, then add the pot or carrots, celery, peas and chicken broth.

  9. Cook for 5-7 minutes then add the buffalo chicken.
  10. Next, prepare the mini tarts.
  11. Fill the tarts with a heaping spoonful of the buffalo chicken filling.

  12. Mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and sprinkle on top of each little pot pie.
  13. Place into the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes. The last two minutes of the baking process switch the oven over to broiler on high.

  14. Sprinkle a few green onions on top and serve.

Caramelized Pear & Pomegranate Baklava

Caramelized pears and pomegranate seeds add a delicious burst of color and flavor to this traditional Greek baklava recipe!

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It’s week 20 of “Chopped Challenge Thursday” and today is a delicious one!

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I try to play the “perfect hostess” card most of the time, but Sunday night “perfect hostess” I was not.

I planned a delicious Greek dinner for a few friends and was able to complete 3 of the 4 items on the menu, but when it came down to dessert I simply ran out of time to prepare the Baklava!

Since I had driven to 3 grocery stores to find phyllo dough, this dessert was still happening, just a little later than planned.

As I looked at my “Mystery Basket Ingredients” for the week, I thought “hmmm maybe I can incorporate these into my Baklava” and I did!

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This weeks mystery basket featured Pears from Michael Winger, Pomegranates from Allison Davis, Turmeric from Krista Lombardi and Eggs from Kristi Sellers.

I incorporated the pears by caramelizing them in a little cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and turmeric mixture, then mixed the caramelized pears with the pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachios for the filling.

I then used half butter and half egg white wash to brush the phyllo dough.

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The result was a sweet, nutty, tart, scrumptious dessert, that had so many levels of flavor and pure awesomeness in every bite!

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 pears (peeled, cored and sliced)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups pistachio kernels
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough
  • ½ cup butter (melted)
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pear slices. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Combine the turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.

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Add the spice mixture to the caramelizing pears.

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Cook for 3-5 minutes of until pears become soft, but not mushy!

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Place the pistachios in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.

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Chop up the pear slices, then add the pistachios and pomegranate seeds.

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Prepare the “Baklava Making Station” by laying out the phyllo dough, next to a bowl with melted butter and bowl with egg whites, a pastry brush and a 9 x 13 baking dish.

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Spray the baking dish with cooking spray or brush with the melted butter then one by one place the phyllo dough into the baking dish and brush with butter or egg white, alternating with each sheet.  After 10 sheets, place half of the filling on the dough.

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Layer 5 more sheets on top (still alternating egg wash and butter on each sheet) then top with the rest of the filling.

Finally, top the baklava with the last 5 sheets of phyllo dough (egg wash, butter, egg wash, butter, you get it by now!)

Next, slice the Baklava diagonally to form little diamonds.

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Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.

While the baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup to go on top.

Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Next, add the honey, lemon juice and vanilla. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to cool while the baklava finishes baking.

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Once the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top.

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Let the syrup soak in there for 3-4 hours, then serve!

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Not only was this dessert a delicious mid-week treat, it also helped me knock another item off the “food list challenge”  (I’m now at 72 of 100!)

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I also upped the ante on my “Valentines Day Challenge” by sharing this dessert with new friends!

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Grab a slice and dig in!

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5 from 1 vote
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Caramelized Pear and Pomegranate Baklava

Caramelized pears and pomegranate seeds add a delicious burst of color and flavor to this traditional Greek baklava recipe!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 24 pieces baklava
Calories 190 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 pears peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cups pistachio kernels
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 20 sheets phyllo dough
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the pear slices, cook for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Combine the turmeric, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg in a small bowl.

  3. Add the spice mixture to the caramelizing pears.
  4. Cook for 3-5 minutes of until pears become soft, but not mushy.

  5. Place the pistachios in a food processor and blend into a fine crumb mixture.

  6. Chop up the pear slices, then add the pistachios and pomegranate seeds.
  7. Prepare the “Baklava Making Station” by laying out the phyllo dough, next to a bowl with melted butter and bowl with egg whites, a pastry brush and a 9 x 13 baking dish.

  8. Spray the baking dish with cooking spray or brush with the melted butter then one by one place the phyllo dough into the baking dish and brush with butter or egg white, alternating with each sheet. 

  9. After 10 sheets, place half of the filling on the dough.

  10. Layer 5 more sheets on top (still alternating egg wash and butter on each sheet) then top with the rest of the filling.
  11. Finally, top the baklava with the last 5 sheets of phyllo dough (egg wash, butter, egg wash, butter)
  12. Slice the Baklava diagonally to form little diamonds.

  13. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.

  14. While the baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup to go on top.
  15. Bring the water and sugar to a boil. Add the honey, lemon juice and vanilla.

  16. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from the stove and allow to cool while the baklava finishes baking.
  17. Once the baklava comes out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top.
  18. Let the syrup soak in there for 3-4 hours, then serve.

Cucumber Prosciutto Greek Salad

Thinly sliced prosciutto & cucumber ribbons make the base for this delicious Greek salad topped with feta cheese & homemade Greek vinaigrette dressing!

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Since November, I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate this fun new kitchen gadget into a recipe!

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I first saw this amazing piece of kitchen machinery on Pinterest and thought “oh, I need one!”

A little Googling and $5 later, this baby was all mine!  Problem was, it was being shipped from Shanghai and “free shipping” on Amazon from Shanghai means 30 day shipping times!

No worries, I wasn’t in a rush, this was definitely a “for-the-fun-of-it” purchase rather than a “for-the-necessity-of-it” purchase.

So fast forward to yesterday and my decision to make a delicious Greek salad using my “Shanghai Slicer” (as I’ve lovingly named it).  You can imagine the excitement that has built up over the last two months, then this happened…

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You have got to be kidding me!  I then cursed myself for approximately 7 minutes over why I felt the need to buy the largest cucumber in the store, then proceeded by slicing the cucumber in half… and this happened!

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One. Big. Mushy. Mess.  In the words of Elf, “Son of a Nutcracker!”

Bound and determined to find something in my kitchen that I could turn into dainty little Shanghai spirals, I grabbed a small red potato… and this happened!

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Now that’s what I’m talking about people!  Too bad I was making a Greek salad, whomp whomp!

But don’t you worry, I placed my one little spiraled potato on a baking sheet and into the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of kosher salt to test for future posts.  They came out like little spiral chips of heaven!

It reminded me of those Potato Twister things you get at the fair. Aww fair food, the one day of the year where I eat fried food until my pants bust, regret it for a week, then forget about it a year later and do it all over again!

I digress. Back to that Greek Salad recipe you’re all here for! Never fear, it still happened, even without the use of the “Shanghai Slicer”, fortunately my awesome brother gifted me a new mandolin for Christmas (the kitchen instrument, not the musical instrument, I had some confused friends when  I told them I loved using my new mandolin in the kitchen, haha.)

I used the mandolin to thinly slice the cucumber into delicate ribbons and tossed it with thinly sliced prosciutto, feta and veggies for this delicious salad!

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Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber (thinly sliced)
  • ½ red pepper (thinly sliced)
  • ½ red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • 1 oz prosciutto (thinly sliced)
  • ¼ cup feta cheese (crumbled)

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Begin by thinly slicing the cucumber. As mentioned above, a kitchen mandolin works great for this!

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I then also used my mandolin to slice the red pepper and onion.

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Add the tomatoes and prosciutto.

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Toss well then top with the feta cheese.

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Prepare the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

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Pour on top of the salad.

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And dig in!

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Probably the lightest, most delicate salad I’ve ever eaten, yet still packs so much flavor!

This salad would be perfect as a side dish or appetizer with Moussaka. Switch up your salad today with this delicious, new Greek favorite!

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5 from 1 vote
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Cucumber Prosciutto Greek Salad

Thinly sliced prosciutto & cucumber ribbons make the base for this delicious Greek salad topped with feta cheese & homemade Greek vinaigrette dressing!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 338 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber thinly sliced
  • ½ cup red pepper thinly sliced
  • ½ cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 oz prosciutto thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbled

Greek Vinaigrette Dressing

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the cucumber, red pepper, and onion, then place in a large bowl.

  2. Add the tomatoes and prosciutto.

  3. Toss well then top with the feta cheese.
  4. Prepare the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

  5. Pour on top of the salad and serve.

Roasted Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Potato Hash

Flavorful roasted chicken is paired with a brussels sprouts and potato hash in this easy, comfort food recipe, perfect for fall!

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Welcome to Part II of “Chef Inspired Dishes” with Dustin Beckner of Quality Social!

Yesterday I introduced the Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash. Today I have a recipe for Roasted Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Potato Hash.

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This dish had so much flavor, I couldn’t put my fork down after I finished photographing it at Quality Social!

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Ingredients

Begin cooking the marinated chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet, then add 2 tbsp of cubed butter.

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Cook for 8-10 minutes, then flip.

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Cook the other side for 8-10 minutes then place into a 350°F oven to finish roasting for an additional 10 minutes.

While the chicken is roasting, prepare the vegetables by heating the olive oil in a skillet then adding the potatoes and brussels sprouts.Cook for 3-5 minutes then add the pancetta and 1 tbsp butter.

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Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the chicken stock and cranberries. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender.

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Place the vegetables on a plate and top with the chicken, sprinkle with lemon zest.

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A delectable dinner made in about 30 minutes!

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Check out Chef Dustin’s version at Quality Social!

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He used a bone-in chicken breast with skin which gave it that nice crisp brown on the outside.  I used a boneless, skinless chicken breast, but either would work!

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5 from 1 vote
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Roasted Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Potato Hash

Flavorful roasted chicken is paired with a brussels sprouts and potato hash in this easy, comfort food recipe, perfect for fall!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 883 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the marinated chicken breasts in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium high heat, then add 2 tbsp of cubed butter.

  2. Cook for 8-10 minutes, then flip.
  3. Cook the other side for 8-10 minutes then place into a 350°F oven to finish roasting for an additional 10 minutes.

  4. While the chicken is roasting, prepare the vegetables by heating the olive oil in a skillet then adding the potatoes and brussels sprouts.

  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes then add the pancetta and 1 tbsp butter.

  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the chicken stock and cranberries. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and the potatoes are tender.
  7. Place the vegetables on a plate and top with the chicken, sprinkle with lemon zest.

Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

This Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash recipe combines a risotto style mushroom barley stuffed in an acorn squash and topped with seasonal vegetables!

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Before the New Year I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing and cooking with Chef Dustin Beckner of Quality Social, Downtown San Diego.

I had the idea to incorporate “Chef Inspired Dishes” into the blog a few months before and after working with Quality Social on several Boys & Girls Club Events, like the Scavenger Hunt this summer, I was able to set up an interview with their extremely talented chef.

I’ve broken the two dishes we cooked together into two different posts, so here is the first “Chef Inspired Dish” recipe for Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash. Also check out the Roasted Chicken recipe here!

Here’s a shot of the ingredients at Quality Social and my ingredients at home.  I was able to pick up a couple of ingredients from Suzie’s Farm at the Little Italy Mercato this weekend, which Chef Dustin mentioned is where they get a lot of their produce!

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Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tsp basil oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts (steamed)
  • 1/2 cup broccolini
  • 1/4 cup spinach

Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side up on a baking sheet.

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Place in a 350°F oven for 25 minutes.

If you have trouble cutting the squash in half via either strength of arm or power of knife (I think my problem was a little bit of both 😉 )  then place the whole squash in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, slice in half, then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, begin preparing the barley, risotto style.

Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes.  While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil in another pot.

Add the barley to the pan and begin ladling the stock 1/2 cup at a time into the mushrooms and barley until the liquid is absorbed (just like risotto!)

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Continue ladling the stock into the barley until they are soft to taste, about 15 minutes.

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While preparing the barley, put your multi-tasking pants on and prepare the vegetables.

Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, then add the brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini and 1/4 cup of water to lightly steam the vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

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At this point, the squash should be ready to come out of the oven, barley should be cooked perfectly and ready to fill the squash and the vegetables should be ready to top the dish!

For the final step, drizzle an additional tsp of basil oil on top, then you’re ready to dig in!

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This was my version of the dish prepared at home!

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And this was Chef Dustin’s version that I photographed at Quality Social after he prepared it for me!

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Hopefully I made him proud with my re-creation of his delicious seasonal vegetarian dish!

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5 from 1 vote
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Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash

This Vegetarian Barley Stuffed Squash recipe combines a risotto style mushroom barley stuffed in an acorn squash and topped with seasonal vegetables!

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 2 people
Calories 377 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 3 tsp basil oil divided
  • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms chopped
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup carrots sliced
  • 1/2 cup pearl onions
  • 1 cup brussels sprouts steamed
  • 1/2 cup broccolini
  • 1/4 cup spinach

Instructions

  1. Slice the squash in half, remove the seeds and place cut side up on a baking sheet.

  2. Place into a 350°F oven for 25 minutes.

  3. If you have trouble cutting the squash in half place the whole squash in the oven for 10 minutes, remove, slice in half, then place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. While the squash is cooking, begin preparing the barley, risotto style.
  5. Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, add the chopped mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes. 

  6. While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the vegetable stock to a boil in another pot.

  7. Add the barley to the pan and begin ladling the stock 1/2 cup at a time into the mushrooms and barley until the liquid is absorbed (just like risotto!)

  8. Continue ladling the stock into the barley until they are soft to taste, about 15 minutes.
  9. While preparing the barley, also prepare the vegetables in another skillet.

  10. Add 1 tsp of basil oil to a skillet over medium heat, then add the brussels sprouts, carrots and pearl onions. 

  11. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the broccolini and 1/4 cup of water to lightly steam the vegetables. 

  12. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the spinach and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

  13. At this point, the squash should be ready to come out of the oven, barley should be cooked perfectly and ready to fill the squash and the vegetables should be ready to top the dish.
  14. For the final step, drizzle an additional tsp of basil oil on top.

Soy Chorizo Veggie Burgers

Soy chorizo, spicy tofu and cooked lentils are combined in this delicious recipe for spicy veggie burgers, topped with a raspberry avocado salsa!

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This weeks Chopped Challenge Thursday combined a scrumptious assortment of ingredients including Raspberries from my friend and fellow blogger Olivia Reyes, Chorizo from Rafael Ocampo, Ginger from Ronni Haragos and Tofu from Stephanie VandenBerg.

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I took these ingredients as an opportunity to create another wonderfully gluten-free and vegetarian burger for the new year!

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One of my favorite “Chopped Challenge” dishes to date is the Sweet Potato Quinoa Burger I created back in October.

The dish I created today is similar in that it is rich in fiber and vitamins, without the gluten or meat, yet it combines its own unique ingredients including red lentils and soy chorizo!

I also topped this delectable burger with a Raspberry Avocado Salsa with freshly grated ginger, lime juice and cilantro!

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Soy Chorizo Veggie Burgers Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 14 oz firm tofu
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 12 oz soy chorizo
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 red onion (diced)
  • 1 jalapeño (de-seeded and diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1/2 lime (juiced)
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup rice chex crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese (for topping)

Raspberry Avocado Salsa Ingredients

  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • 2 avocados (diced)
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lime (juiced)

Rinse the red lentils and add them to 2 cups of boiling water.  Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the tofu, chili powder and cumin to a food processor and blend until smooth.

(P.S. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my parents for the amazing Christmas gift pictured below, I’ve used it twice a day since I got it home and it is awesome!)

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Transfer the spicy tofu to a large mixing bowl and add the soy chorizo.

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Combine well, then add the cooked lentils, diced onions, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic.

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Add in the lime juice, cilantro, spinach, eggs and rice chex crumbs.

*Rice chex crumbs can be made by simply blending rice chex cereal in a food processor. Using these instead of breadcrumbs keeps the dish gluten-free!

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Combine well, then form into 12 patties.

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These can be cooked on the grill for 10 minutes per side.

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Or in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.

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Next, prepare the Raspberry Avocado Salsa by slightly muddling the raspberries.

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Then add the diced avocado, red onion and freshly grated ginger.

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Add the cilantro, black pepper, lime juice and drizzle with the olive oil.

Finish the burgers by topping with some cotija cheese.

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Then the salsa!

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This recipe makes 12 burgers, unless you are feeding a lot of people or are really really hungry, you can individually freeze any leftover burgers for a quick and easy dinner down the road!

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5 from 1 vote
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Soy Chorizo Veggie Burgers with Raspberry Avocado Salsa

Soy chorizo, spicy tofu and cooked lentils are combined in this delicious recipe for spicy veggie burgers, topped with a raspberry avocado salsa!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 burgers
Calories 256 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 14 oz firm tofu
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 12 oz soy chorizo
  • 1 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup red onion diced
  • 1 jalapeño seeded and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup rice chex crumbs
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese for topping

Raspberry Avocado Salsa

  • 6 oz fresh raspberries
  • 2 avocados diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Instructions

  1. Rinse the red lentils and add them to 2 cups of boiling water. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

  2. Add the tofu, chili powder and cumin to a food processor and blend until smooth.

  3. Transfer the spicy tofu to a large mixing bowl and add the soy chorizo.

  4. Combine well, then add the cooked lentils, diced onions, bell pepper, jalapeños and garlic.
  5. Add in the lime juice, cilantro, spinach, eggs and rice chex crumbs. (Rice chex crumbs can be made by simply blending rice chex cereal in a food processor. Using these instead of breadcrumbs keeps the dish gluten-free.)

  6. Combine well, then form into 12 patties.
  7. These can be cooked on the grill for 10 minutes per side or in a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  8. To prepare the Raspberry Avocado Salsa, add the raspberries to a medium bowl and slightly muddle the raspberries.

  9. Add the diced avocado, red onion and freshly grated ginger.

  10. Add the cilantro, black pepper, lime juice and drizzle with the olive oil.

  11. Finish the burgers by topping with the salsa and cotija cheese.

Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken

A creamy combination of blue cheese, buffalo sauce & cream cheese is stuffed in a chicken breast, then wrapped in bacon in this easy stuffed chicken recipe!

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We’re 8 days into 2013 and I decided it was about time for a new buffalo sauce recipe!

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I already slathered buffalo sauce all over chicken in my Baked BBQ Buffalo Chicken recipe so I knew I had to mix it up this time. I decided instead of putting the buffalo sauce on the chicken, I would put it IN the chicken!

But then what would go on the outside? Bacon of course.

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Searing this delectably meaty dish on the stove, then finishing it in the oven gives it perfectly crisp bacon and deliciously juicy chicken!

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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 1 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 3 slices bacon

Combine the cream cheese, buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing and crumbles in a blender or food processor.

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Slice a chicken breast through the middle and spread the mixture inside.

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Fold the chicken breast over the buffalo blue cheese spread.

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Wrap the chicken breast with the bacon and place it into a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.

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Sear for 5 minutes, then flip.

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Sear for an additional 5 minutes then place into a 375°F oven for 10 minutes. Flip, then cook in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until bacon is crisp on the outside.

Remove from the oven and place over a bed of mixed greens.

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Slice open and dig in!

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I prepared this delectable little dish for myself, but the recipe could easily be doubled or quadrupled to serve 2 or 4!

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5 from 1 vote
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Bacon Wrapped Buffalo Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken

A creamy combination of blue cheese, buffalo sauce & cream cheese is stuffed in a chicken breast, then wrapped in bacon in this easy stuffed chicken recipe!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 person
Calories 525 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp blue cheese dressing
  • 1 tbsp buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 3 slices bacon

Instructions

  1. Combine the cream cheese, buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing and crumbles in a blender or food processor.
  2. Butterfly a chicken breast without slicing all the way through, then spread the mixture inside the chicken.
  3. Fold the chicken breast over the buffalo blue cheese spread.
  4. Wrap the chicken breast with the bacon and place in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Sear for 5 minutes, then flip and sear for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Place into a 375°F oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, flip, then place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until the bacon is crisp on the outside.

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

Turkey is brined in white wine, rubbed with spices, roasted in the oven, then glazed with cranberry sauce in this cranberry glazed turkey breast recipe.

Cranberry Turkey Breast

I was lucky enough to travel back to my home town in Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my family this year.

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We had a wonderful time and even got a little snow!

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My good friend Michael and adopted member of our family had this amazing apron custom-made for me!

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It definitely got me excited to go in the kitchen and prepare our Christmas feast, which included this delicious Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast!!

I made this dish on Thanksgiving a couple of years ago along side my Herb Crusted Turkey Breast and my Mom loved it so much that she specifically requested it for Christmas dinner!

Although you do have to brine it the night before, it’s still super simple to make and only takes about 30 minutes of actual work time to prepare the brine, rub the turkey and make the glaze!

Turkey Breast Brining Ingredients

Ingredients (brine)

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-4 lb. boneless turkey breast

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Ingredients (rub)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme

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Ingredients (cranberry glaze)

  • 12 oz cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange flavor liqueur

Combine all of the brining ingredients in a large container, then place the turkey breast in the brine and place into the refrigerator overnight.

Remove the turkey in the morning and pat dry, then brush with olive oil.

Next, combine the spice rub in a small bowl.

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Rub the spices over the turkey and place in a baking dish. Roast the turkey in a 375° oven for one hour.

In the meantime, prepare the cranberry glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Wait for the cranberries to begin bursting, then stir well and allow the glaze to simmer over low heat for an additional 5-10 minutes.

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Strain the glaze with a mesh strainer.

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Glaze the turkey breast with a basting brush using the strained cranberry glaze.

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Serve the strained cranberries on the side as a cranberry sauce for guests to top their turkey with, if so desired!

Place on a platter with a sprig of thyme and a few whole cranberries for a beautifully presented dish!

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

This Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast is so flavorful, moist and scrumptious!

Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

Hope everyone had a delicious, fun, happy and memorable holiday season!

Thanks to Emeril Lagasse for the original inspiration for this recipe!

A boneless Turkey Breast is brined in a combination of white wine, orange juice and ginger, then rubbed with spices including paprika, thyme, oregano and garlic powder. The turkey is then roasted in the oven and glazed with a combination of cranberries, brown sugar and triple sec.
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Cranberry Glazed Turkey Breast

Turkey is brined in white wine, rubbed with spices, roasted in the oven, then glazed with cranberry sauce in this cranberry glazed turkey breast recipe.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Brining Time 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 354 kcal
Author Whitney Bond

Ingredients

Brine

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3-4 lb boneless turkey breast

Rub

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp thyme

Cranberry Glaze

  • 12 oz cranberries
  • ¼ cup ginger chopped
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup orange liqueur

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the brining ingredients in a large container, then place the turkey breast in the brine and place into the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Remove the turkey in the morning and pat dry, then brush with olive oil.
  3. Combine the spice rub in a small bowl.
  4. Rub the spices over the turkey and place in a baking dish.
  5. Roast the turkey in a 375°F oven for one hour.

  6. Prepare the cranberry glaze by combining all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
  7. Wait for the cranberries to begin bursting, then stir well and allow the glaze to simmer over low heat for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  8. Strain the glaze with a mesh strainer.
  9. Glaze the turkey breast with a basting brush using the strained cranberry glaze.
  10. Serve the strained cranberries on the side as a cranberry sauce for guests to top their turkey with.
  11. Place on a platter with a sprig of thyme and a few whole cranberries.