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Showing posts from June, 2013

Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken

This may be the easiest spicy chicken recipe ever! Each of the 5 ingredients in this recipe plays a key role to the overall flavor. The chicken comes out of the slow cooker tender and juicy with a nice deep color from the chilis. The heat in the chicken is slow and smoky. As you begin eating, you don't really notice the spice, but as you keep eating, it begins to creep up on you like a smoldering fire. While we ate the chicken as is with a side of potatoes, I can see this recipe used as the base for chicken tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. The meat is so flavorful and tender that the possibilities are endless. 1 Large Yellow Onion, Sliced 3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Halved 3 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 7 Ounce Can Chipotles in Adobo 1/4 Cup Water 1. In a large slow cooker, line the bottom with sliced onion and garlic. Place the chicken on top of the onions/garlic. Top with Chipotles in Adobo. Use the water to rinse the can and pour into the slo

Veggie Stuffed Potato

Over the past year, my husband and I have been heavily focused on eating a more natural, less processed diet. We completely gave up drinking soft drinks, increased our consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables (which thrilled me!) and became much more intentional about our food choices. The result has been amazing. Once you begin filling your body with the goodness from nature, you find your skin to be clearer, your hair shinier, nails stronger, and even better digestive health. One of my major changes has been a consistent effort to consume lunches based in vegetables. I have always been a vegetable lover. As a kid, I was the one that would fill up on the salad bar and leave the meat behind. A key to eating a plant-based meal is to make sure the flavor is punched up in order to feel satisfied and not deprived. This recipe is one such meal. The filling is flavorful and hearty. You can make this recipe completely Vegan by substituting Vegan Cheese for the cheddar, if you like. I can

Southern Bacon Cornbread

As you may know, cornbread is a staple in the South. I have very vivid memories of eating my Papa Blackburn's cornbread as a kid; he would make a cornbread laced with fresh corn kernels, chopped peppers, and cheese. It was not until I was older that I realized it was a Mexican Corn Bread recipe and not just something my Papa be young and naive again. This recipe is a spin on this memory. Instead of peppers, I opt for crispy bacon. However, I will say that you must still have a hot cast iron skillet for baking. You cannot get the texture without this essential tool! The addition of the bacon really does make this an all-in-one meal, even though we still just enjoyed it as the bread with Sunday dinner. My husband already has plans for Fall tailgating, camping trips, and future meals. I think that I will turn this into individual cornbreads or corn muffins. Oh, the possibilities! 6 Ounces Bacon 2 Ears Corn 2 1/2 Cups Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix 1/2

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Pan Sauce

Okay, I have got it.....the BEST chicken recipe EVER ! I am serious! This meal was nothing short of amazing!!! Can you sense my excitement???  My original hope was to make something so spicy that my husband would get over his current obsession with heat, however, what emerged are a well-balanced, delicious recipe (spicy yet sweet) highlighted by tender, moist chicken and a beautiful pan sauce. So when I say this is the best chicken ever, I am not lying!! This recipe is also very budget friendly. For a family of 4, all you need it two boneless, skinless chicken breasts. That is definitely a budget-friendly meal!!  1 Tablespoon Butter 3 Tablespoons Minced Yellow Onion 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1/4 teaspoon Dried Mustard Powder 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 1 Cup Cider Vinegar 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar 2 1/2 Tablespoons Ketchup 1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard 1 teaspoon Worcestershir

Black Bean and Mushroom Veggie Patties

I love veggie burgers! While my Black Bean Burgers are my go-to, there are times when I want something a little different. By including carrots in this recipe, there is a slight sweetness to the dish. The mushrooms beef up the texture and body of the patties while increasing the potassium content. The best thing about this recipe is that not only is it delicious, but it serves 6! 15 Ounce Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed 1/4 Cup Grated Carrot 1/4 Cut Finely Chopped Button Mushrooms 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Baby Spinach 2 Tablespoons Minced Yellow Onion 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic 1 Egg 2 teaspoons Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/4 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil (for cooking) 1. In a large mixing bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to completely mash all of the black beans. Add the remaining vegetables, garlic, egg, chili sauce, and salt/pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly combine. 2. Ad

Weeknight Chicken Philly Sandwiches

Weeknight dinners can be a monumental task for families on the run. Late meetings at work, sporting events, or last minute shopping trips, there are tons are reasons not to have a homemade meal, but, savvy cooks know the slow cooker can be a home cook's best friend. This recipe is a spin on the traditional Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich. By using chicken breasts, the meal is instantly lightened. The great thing is that the meal cooks while you are away and you come home with a dinner for 6. Now that sounds like a good deal! 3 Tablespoons Butter 2 Small Yellow Onions, 1/4-inch Slices 2 Green Bell Peppers, 1/4-inch Slices 1.5 Pounds Chicken Breast, Cut into Tenders 1 teaspoon Sea Salt 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 6 Slices Pepper Jack Cheese 6 Hoagie Rolls 1. Layer the bottom of the slow cooker ceramic with butter, onions, peppers, and chicken. Sprinkle the top with the seasonings. Cover and cook on low fo

Dutch Oven Original Sin

What is more sinful that chocolate ???? When it comes in the form of a gooey brownie over rich Oreo's and topped with vanilla ice cream, I would say nothing in the food world can be more sinful. This dessert is perfect for camping trips or back yard parties. The texture of the brownie is devilishly gooey and full of fudge goodness. The Oreos soften into a delicious crust with warm cream filling. Just make sure you have people to share with when you make this dessert. The finished product is so good that you will want to keep it all for yourself, but it is so rich that you know you cannot make it through! S'mores??? Who needs them when you have Original Sin ?!?!  25 Oreo Sandwich Cookies 1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil 1 Cup Sugar 2 Eggs 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 1/4 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour 3 Tablespoons (Heaping) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder 3 Tablespoons Butter, Melted 1. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Dutch Oven with

Spiced Banana Nut Bread

Weekend mornings are a time for slowing down and enjoying a special treat for breakfast. Most Saturday mornings, I make muffins or breakfast sandwiches. While both are great, this morning, I needed to use up some bananas that did not get eaten this week. Immediately, I thought of the heavenly smell of warm banana nut bread filling the house, waking my husband from his long night's sleep. I will admit that I adore traditional banana nut bread, but I always feel as though there is something missing. In this recipe, I added cinnamon and nutmeg to provide a warmth and depth of flavor that cannot be achieved any other way. For those of you who say, "I do not like bananas," you should still give this recipe a try. My husband said that it reminded him of carrot cake! 10 Tablespoons Softened Butter or Margarine 1 Cup Sugar 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar 2 Whole Eggs 4 Egg Whites 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract 4 Very Ripe Bananas, Slightly Mashed 3 1/2 Cups All Purpos

Savory Grilled Corn

Summertime means warm days, long evenings, patio parties and fresh garden vegetables.  I love fresh vegetables straight from the garden! The sweetness from locally grown produce cannot be matched. Here in the South, fresh corn on the cob is already filling the store shelves. The tender, sweet kernels filled with milky goodness scream summertime to me. I have vivid memories from my childhood of sitting on the front porch with my brother having to shuck the corn, using an old sock to rub all the silk off the cobs. I hated the job when I was a kid. It seemed to take endless hours to get the entire harvest clean. However, now that I am an adult, I cannot shuck an ear of corn without thinking about that time on the front porch. In recent years, I have found that I love to grill fresh corn. The sweetness pairs perfectly with grill. This recipe is one that we often use while camping. By wrapping the cobs in aluminum foil, instead of their own husks, you don't have to worry about the

Spicy Mustard Grilled Chicken

My husband and I love to grill in the warm summer months. Whether it involves breaking out the smoker and making a delicious pulled pork or lighting up the charcoal for burgers and chicken, the grill is one of our favorite cooking tools. This past weekend, we decided to grill some chicken for Sunday dinner. As most people know, grilled chicken can become boring very fast. However, we love to put a spin on the standard chicken with new spice blends and marinades. This recipe provides a slight spice to the chicken without being overtly hot. By marinading the chicken, the flavors are allowed to fully penetrate the meat. By grilling over charcoal, an extra layer of flavor is added to the meal. 6 Chicken Thighs 6 Tablespoons Pinot Grigio 2 Tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce 1 Large Yellow Onion, Peeled and Quartered 4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled and Sliced 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1 teaspoon Sea Salt 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper

Mexican Campfire Beans

This past weekend, my husband and I took a well-deserved camping trip to a remote part of North Carolina. Nestled deep within the woods of the Appalachian Mountains, there was no thought of fancy dinners at a fine dining restaurant or even hitting the night scene at the hip new stop. Instead, we were back to a slower time. Back to times where we could relax under the trees beside a rippling river stream, spend the days beside a pond waiting for the fish to bite, and finish the day next to a roaring campfire with a wonderful campfire dinner.  The first night of our adventure, I decided to try a new recipe for beans. The prior week I had tried some Taco Seasoned Baked Beans at a lunch at work. Immediately, I asked for the recipe. I adapted the recipe for campfire cooking and Mexican Campfire Beans were born. There are several things about this recipe that are great. One, they taste AMAZING! Although there are nodes of the traditional baked beans, the seasoning is just different enough