Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sweet Corn, Peach and Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Let's just call this summer in a bowl...

Or "one last hoo-rah to summer in a bowl".

Labor Day is just around the corner, the nights are getting a little cooler, and school is officially back in session.  That has end of summer/start of fall written all over it. 

Yes, I have shoved a lot of burgers, berries, and chicken salads in your face the past couple of months and my seasonal gears will be switching soon but before they do I had to share my favorite chicken salad recipe I have made all summer.  My favorite people.  Seriously. 

This one has a unique combo of corn, peaches, and fresh basil with a honey mustard-soy sauce dressing.  It's sweet and salty and has a wonderful balance of summer tastes and textures- the perfect bowl to cap off the season and take just a little more advantage of the produce.

Sweet Corn, Peach and Honey Mustard Chicken Salad

Makes about 3 cups

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cup sweet corn kernels
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash coarse salt
1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
1/2 peach, chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped 
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey mustard

Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add in corn kernels and sprinkle with pepper and salt.  Cook until warmed and golden (about 7 minutes).  Set aside and let cool slightly.

Combine cooked chicken, peach, corn and basil in large bowl.  In separate small bowl, stir together soy sauce and honey mustard.  Pour over chicken mixture and toss to coat.  Eat as desired!

Adapted from Running to the Kitchen.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Frozen Yogurt

I have ice cream every night.

Every. Single. Night.

But this isn't news to you.  I mentioned before how I like to have a little stash of frozen treats on hand at all times.  A coconut popsicle one night, a strawberry vanilla ice cream sandwich the next, a bowl of red velvet blue bell after that.  You get the picture.  (Yes, these are the current goodies that reside in my freezer).

This little fetish is nothing new, however.  Ever since I was a little girl I would cherish my nightly bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream after dinner.  That was the stuff.  (And it still is pretty awesome- Nathan will occasionally surprise me with a cone when I get home from work).  I would meticulously pick out all of the cookie dough chunks and eat the ice cream first, saving a milky pile of little chocolate chip balls until the very end- kinda like I find myself doing with this fro yo: picking out the chunks and eating them piece by piece.  Maybe it's a subconscious desire to be nine years old again, wearing my silky purple pajamas from Limited Too while sitting on the floor of my parents bedroom watching Nick At Nite.  Or maybe it's just an excuse to play with my food...

Either way, it's refreshing and wonderful and would be equally delicious using chopped golden oreos or graham cracker chunks.  Get on it.

Strawberry Cookies and Cream Frozen Yogurt

1 cup chopped strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
1 kingsize Cookies and Cream Hershey's bar, chopped

Place the strawberries and sugar in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until smooth.

Combine yogurt and strawberry mixture in canister of ice cream maker.  Freeze according to manufacturers' directions.  (The chopped candy will go in near the end of the mixing process!)

Chelsea Original :)


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Thai Chicken Pizza

I've got the place to myself...

Yup, Nathan is out of town for a couple of days.

That means parking in the middle of the driveway and sleeping in the middle of the bed.  It means "secretly" sneaking things onto his Honey Do List and "secretly" catching up on trash tv (aka Bachelor Pad- don't hate) in the privacy of my own home.  It means maybe, just maybe, remaking a mini version of this crazy good pizza we ate last week at 10pm on a tuesday night.

Alllll for my single gal self.  Just because I can.  And because it's AMAZING. 
That deserved all caps.  

Smothered with sweet chili sauce "marinara", zucchini "pepperonis", chicken, cheese, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs I could eat this pie every night.  (p.s. it's even great as a single gal's pizza bagel, just fyi)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Zucchini Pineapple Bread

You know you want a slice.

I have intended to make this bread for two years people.  TWO YEARS!  It was printed off and has been sitting in a binder since October 2010.  So what finally prompted this little loaf?  Well I'll tell you the story (because I know you're dying to hear):

It began the first night in Minnesota.  We went to a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint called Savoy, and after pouring over the menu and deliberating on our pizza selections, we came to two final choices:  The Savoy Special (aka a LOADED Supreme) and Pepperoni Pineapple (a combo suggested by my brother).  My brother apparently knows his pizza, because that PP got devoured so fast I only ended up getting one slice!

One thing was decided after that PP experience: this must be recreated at home. 

Fast forward 5 days later.  I arrive back in Texas and immediately head to the grocery store with two things in mind:  cilantro and pineapple.  [We don't waste any time when we want pizza.]  Fast forward three days later.  We go out to lunch to Palio's and order...you guessed it!  Pepperoni Pineapple.  It's apparently our new fav.  Tied with supreme anyway; gotta stay true to my love.

So, what to do with the leftover pineapple??  What to do, what to do?  I made this bread!  It was worth the two year wait.  Everything a zucchini bread should be- bursting with spices, moist, and flavorful. 

So have a slice!  (of both the bread and the pizza).  It's fruit and veggies, afterall :)

Zucchini Pineapple Bread

Makes one 9x5-inch loaf

2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, mix oil, eggs, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend in pineapple and zucchini. Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture. Pour batter into greased and floured 9x5-inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until set in the middle and wooden toothpick comes out clea.  Cool on wire rack.

Adapted from AllRecipes.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Greek Chicken Salad

Let's do lunch.

My treat!

Ok, well you'll have to do a little prep work, but I'll give you the recipe and the rave reviews and let you take it from there.

Isn't chicken salad wonderful?  Growing up I never really got into the traditional chicken/celery/grape/mayo dish, but I have now discovered chicken salad comes in many forms (why is it that growing up you tend to think of the things your mom made as the ONLY way to make them??).  So I'm finally discovering the versatility with chicken salad (you may remember the southwest version I made a couple of weeks ago) and you can eat it in many forms too!- in a bowl with a fork, tucked between two slices of bread, or nibble at it straight from the fridge (I chose to do all three). 

Oh, and eat it for lunch, snack, dinner, breakfast...? 

Greek Grilled Chicken Salad

Makes about 4 cups

1/2 pound chicken, cooked and chopped into small chunks
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/4 of a red onion, chopped
1/2 of a cucumber, copped
1/4 cup feta

for chicken dressing:
2 tablespoons greek dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 garlic cloves, minced

for quick tzatziki:
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cucumber
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper, if desired

30 minutes to 2 hours before servings, place cooked chicken in a ziplock bag or baking dish and cover with the dressing ingredients (dressing, lemon, zest, garlic) and let sit.

Meanwhile, combine the tzatziki ingredients (yogurt, oil, lemon, cucumber, garlic and dill) in a bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside or back in the fridge until ready to use.

In a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, onion and chicken. Add in feta. To bring the salad together, add the tzatziki.  Just continue to mix until the salad comes together. Eat as desired!

Adapted from How Sweet It Is.

Friday, August 10, 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

Betcha didn't know today's a holiday.

A verrrrrrry important holiday.

It's National S'mores Day!!

Ever wonder how s'mores got their name?  Well I wondered so I searched (ahh lovely google).

Apparently they were first mentioned in the Girl Scout Handbook in 1927 after a camping trip full of girls gathered around the campfire caused someone to yell "gimme some more!"  Those girl scouts are smarties.  But can we really blame them?  S'mores are simply wonderful.  And new twists are being created with the graham/chocolate/marshmallow combination constantly, turning it into bars, cookies, cakes, pies- you name it!

So today I bring you s'mores in cupcake form, because a celebration wouldn't be complete without cake.  Loaded with graham crumbs, chocolate chips, and gooey toasted mini mallows, it's the perfect cake replica of the campfire treat!

S'mores Cupcakes

Makes 11 cupcakes

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/4 cup shortening
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows

Heat oven to 325.  Line 11 cupcake cups with paper liners.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with a spoon.

In another large bowl, cream brown sugar and shortening with an electric mixer.  Add egg and egg yolk and mix well.  Blend in milk.  Gradually add graham mixture and mix until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows.  Divide batter into prepared cupcake pans.  Bake for 20 minutes or until set.

 Adapted from Group Recipes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shrimp Burgers with Chipotle Cream and Coconut Peach Salsa

Soooo I've been outta town.

And two things happen when you go out of town.

1) You get spoiled with delicious food other people prepare specially for you and served straight to your table three times a day, and 2) all of your plants die- sad day.

So I get home and all of my herbs are brown.  Apparently they couldn't survive 110 degree weather for five days.  I grieved, buried them (in the trash can nonetheless), and have officially decided that I will just have to buy fresh cilantro at the store for the rest of my life. 

So that's where I went next- to the store.  To buy cilantro.  Can't live without it in my fridge.  Because as you may remember I have a compulsive obsession with salsa.  And my obsession has begun to branch out beyond your standard tomato salsa.  Now we're talking fruit salsa! 

I've made three different salsas in the last 48 hours.  One being this crazy good coconut peach salsa.  And I put it on top of a shrimp burger topped with chipotle cream.  Wowzers - yes, I'm using this word.

The flavors of all this goodness packed between a whole wheat bun is incredible.  It's sweet from the salsa, spicy from the sauce, and savory from the shrimp patty.  They kinda made me feel better about the whole idea that vacation is over and I'm back cooking for myself again. 

So stop furrowing your brow at the idea of these, branch out from plain old ground beef on the grill, and take the plunge and try these already!

Shrimp Burgers with Chipotle Cream

Makes 2 burgers

6 ounces raw or cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp*
1/3 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg white
1 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons chipotle sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 whole wheat buns, toasted

Add shrimp to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add egg, panko, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder and basil. Mix until combined, then form into patties (form tightly with your hands, trying to prevent cracking). Heat a skillet oven medium heat and add a splash of olive oil or spray with cooking spray, then cook patties until golden on each side, about 3-4 minutes.  (I found my patties to be very fragile so be patient and gentle when flipping them).

In a bowl, stir together sour cream, chipotle sauce, lime juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on top of burgers, then layer with peach salsa!

*The original recipe calls for raw shrimp; however, I used frozen, cooked shrimp.  Cooking time in the skillet will remain the same.

Coconut Peach Salsa

1 ripe peach, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted coconut
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Stir ingredients together and serves on top of burgers.

Adapted from How Sweet It Is.