Friday, November 29, 2013

Pesto Chicken Pillows

Pesto Chicken Pillows

I found this on It was super easy to make, and my kids really liked it.

Yield: 8 pillows
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages Pillsbury® Crescent Rolls
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups seasoned Panko crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl add the cream cheese, pesto, green onions, and chicken. Stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Unroll the crescent dough. Take two triangles and press them together to form a rectangle.
  4. Spoon about ½ cup of the chicken mixture in the center of the rectangle and bring the corners of the crescent dough together, pinching to seal.
  5. Place the Panko crumbs on a plate. Dip each chicken pillow in the melted butter (or brush it on using a pastry brush) and roll it in the Panko crumbs.
  6. Place the chicken pillows seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken pillows have turned golden brown.
Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything


Chicken Gyros

I found this on We tried this the other day it was pretty good. The Tzatziki Sauce really does need to be made in advance. It tastes much better after it's had some time for the flavor to blend together.

Chicken Gyros

For the Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
For the chicken:
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
To assemble:
Pita bread
romaine or spinach leaves
Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Red onion, sliced thin
feta cheese crumbles
  1. For the the tzatziki sauce, shred the cucumber or you could chop in a food processor. Be sure to wrap the shredded cucumber in a towel and squeeze to remove as much water as possible. This is VERY important!! Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Now for the chicken: combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Add sliced (or cubed) chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour but overnight is even better!
  4. Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, spinach or romaine, diced tomatoes, feta crumbles and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I found this one on "My Kitchen Escapes"  It was really really good BUT  I found that you have to take the time to let the juices boil down to a thicker liquid or the favor isn't as strong and it's not as good.  But if you do that it is super yummy!

Pork Carnitas

(recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
4 pound boneless pork butt, fat trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
2 Tb fresh lime juice
2 C water
1 medium orange, juiced and keep the spent halves

1.  Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 300 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven, including the spent orange halves and juice.  Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered.  Once it simmers, cover pot and transfer it to the oven.  Cook until the meat falls apart when prodded with a fork, about 2 hours.
2.  Remove the pot from the oven and turn on the broiler.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and place it on a large foil-lined jelly roll pan.  Remove and discard everything from the pot except for the cooking liquid.  Place pot over high heat on the stove and boil until thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes.  You should have about 1 C of liquid remaining when it is finished.
3.  While the liquid is reducing, use two forks to pull each cube of pork into three equal sized pieces.  Once the liquid has become a syrup, gently fold in the pieces of pork into the pot.  Try not to break up the pork any further.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper.
4.  Spread the pork back onto the foil lined pan and evenly spread the meat around so there is a single layer of meat.  Place the jelly roll pan on the lower middle rack of the oven and broil until the top of the meat is well browned and edges are slightly crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes.  Using a wide metal spatula, flip the pieces of meat and broil the other side until well browned and edges are slightly crisp, 5 to 8 minutes.  Serve immediately in a tortilla with all your favorite toppings.
I found this one on  Jamie Cooks It Up!  We really liked this one.

Crispy Won Ton and Chicken Asian Salad
Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6-7 servings

***Note: This salad is best served in individual portions. I like to lay all of the components out on my counter and let my family make their own salad. It would also work fabulously  for a ladies luncheon. Please invite me at your earliest convenience. :) If you want to take this salad along to a pot-luck, bbq or party I would recommend leaving out the brown rice and mixing the other ingredients together in one big bowl, just before it's served.***

5 C cooked brown rice (tutorial found here)
5 chicken breast (about 2-3 pounds)
olive oil
Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 (12 ounce) package Won Ton wrappers
6 green onions
1 red bell pepper
2 (10 ounce) cans mandarin oranges
1 head romaine lettuce
Light and Creamy Toasted Sesame Asian Dressing (recipe below)

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. Put some brown rice on the stove to cook. You can find a recipe and tutorial for that here.
3. Make some fabulous Light and Creamy Toasted Sesame Asian Dressing and toss it in your fridge. Recipe and tutorial found here.
4. Place 5 (completely thawed) chicken breasts out on a cookie sheet you have spray with cooking spray.
5. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of each breast.
6. Sprinkle some Montreal Steak Seasoning over the top of each one. You want to be pretty generous with the seasoning.
7. Place the pan in your oven and let the chicken bake away until the insides are no longer pink. Should take about 25-30 minutes.
8. Grab a package of wonton wrappers. You can find these in the produce section of your grocery store. They are usually kept with the refrigerated veggies. Lay them out in two piles on a cutting board. Take a sharp knife and cut them into strips.
9. Heat up some canola or vegetable oil in a  deep skillet over medium high heat.  You will need about and inch and a half of oil. When the oil is hot carefully place some of the won ton strips into it. You won't be able to fry all of them at once, you'll have to cook them in 3-4 batches depending on the size of your skillet. Let them cook for about 3 minutes per batch,  or until golden brown. Take them out of the oil and place them on a plate that is covered with a paper towel. Give them a little sprinkle of salt. Alternatively, if you don't want all of the fat and calories that deep-frying gives us :) you can spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray, lay the strips out and spray the tops of them with cooking spray as well. Then pop them into a 400 degree oven and let them bake for about 10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on don't want them to get too dark. (Like the strips you see in the far left corner of this picture!) Baked or Fried...the strips are tasty either way. It just depends on your own personal preference. Do as you please. :) Also, if you feel like cooking a whole grundle of won tons is going to send you over the edge into a frazzled state of madness...don't make them, man. I feel your pain. Some days are not meant to be spent frying up wontons. I totally get it! Just find yourself some crunchy Chinese Noodles and add those instead. It will still taste great. Not as killer fabulous as eating fried won tons...but still great.
10. Set out all of your salad ingredients and let your family, friends or relatives  build their own salads. Place some brown rice on a plate, chop up some chicken and lay it on top of the rice. Add some lettuce, mandarin oranges, red pepper and green onion. Add some crispy won tons, pour on some Light and Creamy Toasted Sesame Asian Dressing and dig right in!

Light and Creamy Toasted Sesame Asian Dressing

***NOTE: This dressing will store in the fridge for up to a week.***
Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2 cups
3/4 C mayonnaise (I use Best Foods Light)
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C soy sauce
3/4 C sugar
1/2 t salt
2 T minced garlic
1/2 C peanuts (dry roasted)
1/4 t sesame oil
1 T toasted sesame seeds
pinch red pepper flakes
1. Grab some mayonnaise. I like to use this Best Foods Light. It has much less fat than regular mayo and tastes great. Measure out 3/4 cup and spoon it into your blender.
2. Add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3. Peel and roughly chop 2 tablespoons of fresh garlic. Add it to the blender.
4. Mix everything together for about 1 minute.
5. Add 1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, cover the blender and let it mix for several minutes, or until the peanuts are finely chopped and have blended in a bit. You will still have a few  tiny pieces, that's okay.
Add 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Mix just for a few seconds more and you are ready to roll. 
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

My kids even liked this one :)

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup corn
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded BBQ chicken
1 avocado, chopped
2 tbsp White Cheddar cheese, shredded
2-4 tbsp BBQ sauce
2 scallions, chopped
cilantro for garnish

In a large bowl, toss together the quinoa, corn, black beans, chicken and avocado. Season with salt and pepper
Transfer mixture onto a bowl and top with shredded cheese, BBQ sauce, scallions and cilantro.
Serve warm or at room temperature

This recipe calls for already cooked chicken so plan ahead! I prefer to cook my chicken in the crockpot, using 6 chicken thighs, 1 white onion sliced and 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce. I cook on low for about 6-7 hours and then shred and refrigerate for later.

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

We really liked this one!  I added Black beans as well :)

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock
1 tablespoon chicken soup base
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1 (8 oz). can tomato sauce
1 (19 oz.) can enchilada sauce (or two 10 oz. cans)
6 small corn tortillas*, minced
16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
1 cup co-jack cheese, shredded
1 22 oz. bag Tyson roasted and diced chicken, thawed
1 can whole kernel corn**, drained (optional)
Garnishes: pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheese, crunchy tortilla strips

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and saute' the onions until they are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook another minute or two, then scrape the onions and garlic into your crock pot. Add all the other ingredients, except the chicken and corn. Cook over high heat for two hours or low for four. Whisk until smooth (you may wish to use a stick blender). Add the chicken pieces and corn and heat through, maybe another 30 minutes to one hour. Check seasonings, and garnish as you like before serving.

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

This is another Our best bites recipe, I seriously love almost everything I try from them.  This one is good.  I usually make a pork, doing the Kahlua pork here and then use left overs on this.  I cover the pork with our favorite BBQ sauce and we are good to go :)

BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

As pizza is an easily adaptable dish that can be customized to the creators liking, exact measurements are not given here.  Eyeball it for the specific size pizza you are making.

Pizza Dough, either homemade or store-bought
vegetable or olive oil
Leftover BBQ Pulled Pork
BBQ Sauce (Use the same one you used to cook your pork)
1 part smoked cheddar
2 parts Mozzarella cheese
thinly sliced red onion
diced pineapple, fresh or canned
chopped parsley or cilantro

Prepare your pizza dough.  When it has just 5-10 minutes of rising left, preheat outdoor bbq grill to medium-high heat.  Place all other prepped ingredients on a tray so they’re ready to go and easily accessible.

Divide dough into 4-6 pieces.  Roll out each piece on a floured surface to about 1/3 of an inch thick.  Lightly brush with oil.

Bake according to dough recipes instructions :)