Monday, March 27, 2017

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs


It's March Madness! With the final four coming up, I thought it would be good to present a fun appetizer/game watching snack. These Buffalo Chicken Meatballs are lighter fare than wings, but taste just as good! When you serve them with a drizzle of blue cheese and some celery sticks, they're sure to be gobbled up quickly.

These take a little prep work before you heat them through in the crock pot, but it takes only minutes to form the meatballs and give them a quick baking. Then you can let them bathe in the wing sauce while you prepare additional snacks, shoot some hoops yourself, or take a nap.


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Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
3/4 cup Panko
1 egg
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup buffalo sauce
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing

In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, egg, garlic and onion powder and green onions. Season with salt and pepper, to taste; stir until well combined. Roll the mixture into 1 1/4-to-1 1/2-inch meatballs, forming about 24 meatballs.

Place meatballs onto a parchment or baking mat-lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for 5 minutes, or until all sides are browned.

Place meatballs in a crock pot. Add buffalo sauce and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Serve immediately, drizzled with blue cheese dressing, if desired.

Recipe Source: Damn Delicious

Monday, March 20, 2017

Swedish Pancakes {with Blackberry Sauce}


I have loved Swedish pancakes ever since I was a kid. And luckily, they are so easy to make that even kids could do it! I'm not very talented at making "regular" pancakes; mine are always mis-shapen and inconsistently cooked! But it's easy to be good at Swedish pancakes since you make one at a time in a small skillet, similar to crepes.

They have roughly the same consistency as crepes, too. And they are wonderful topped with a simple fruit sauce. Of course, lingonberries would be the traditional fruit to use but they aren't readily available. So blackberries are a great substitute. You could use raspberries or strawberries or blueberries or any other fruit topping too.

However you choose to top these (regular syrup is also good!), I'm sure you will enjoy them. They're great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!


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Swedish Pancakes

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup floud
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 tsp. almond extract
dash salt

Blackberry Sauce

1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

For the blackberry sauce, in a small sauce pan, combine the berries and sugar. (Add about 1 Tbsp. water if using fresh berries.) Cook and stir over medium low heat until the berries start to release their juices, about 3-4 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, lemon juice and 1 tsp. water. Whisk well, the slowly add to the berries, stirring until thickened.

For the pancakes, in a medium bowl, combine the eggs and milk and whisk well. Stir in the melted butter, flour, almond extract and salt, just until combined.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, pour in a ladle-full of pancake batter and tip the pan so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan. (Similar to making crepes.) Let cook for about 1 minute or until the pancake starts to release from the pan. Then carefully flip the pancake over and cook on opposite side for another minute. Remove from pan, and repeat until batter is gone.

Serve pancakes by rolling them up and plating them and then spooning blackberry sauce over the top.

Makes 7-8 pancakes.



Monday, March 13, 2017

Creamy White Chicken Chili {Crock pot or Stove top}


Until now, I have never made white chili. And I am not exaggerating when I say that while eating this for the first time, I looked across the table at my family and said "WHY HAVE I NOT MADE THIS BEFORE? THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS I'VE EVER EATEN!" I made the same exclamation while eating the leftovers at work the next day, and made the chili again for my work team the next week. And I'm making it again tonight since THE SNOW IS BACK.

This is really, really delicious stuff. White beans, corn, chiles, chicken, the perfect amount of spices. Not only is it SO good, but you can let it cook in your crock pot all day or you can easily whip it up quickly on the stove top after a long day of shoveling. I've made it both ways and it's wonderful either way.


You can garnish this any way you like - I love it with some diced avocados. Other members of my family like a little tomato and cilantro. We don't always use cheese, but that's an option too.

I like to serve this with corn muffins. And be ready, cause everyone will ask for seconds. And then they'll ask how soon they can eat it again...

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Creamy White Chicken Chili

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
2 - 15 oz cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 - 4 oz cans green chiles
2 - 15 oz can corn, drained
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
small handful fresh cilantro chopped
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup half and half

TOPPINGS:
diced roma tomatoes
diced avocados
dollop of sour cream
minced fresh cilantro
tortilla strips
shredded Monterey jack or Mexican cheese

For the crock pot:

Add chicken breasts to bottom of slow cooker, top with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Top with diced onion, minced garlic, great Northern beans, green chiles, corn, chicken broth and cilantro. Stir.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Remove chicken to a cutting board, shred, then return to slow cooker. Add cream cheese and half and half, stir, then cover and cook on high for 15 minutes, or until chili is creamy and slightly thickened. Stir well and serve with desired toppings.

For the stove top:

Used cooked and chopped chicken, or cook chicken separately, cool and then chop or shred.

In a large Dutch oven, saute onion in a small amount of olive oil for 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder and cayenne and stir to combine.

Add chicken broth, corn, beans, diced chiles and cilantro. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then reduce heat to low. Add chicken, cream cheese and half and half and cook over low until slightly thickened. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Recipe Source: The Chunky Chef

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shrimp Burgers with Creamy Avocado Sauce


If you're eating more fish during this Lenten season, or just eating more fish in general, then this is the dish for you! Actually, this is the dish for you even if you're not eating more fish. This is a dish for anyone who loves shrimp and avocados.


These shrimp burgers are a fun way to use shrimp (besides in an app, in a dip, risotto, stir fry, in pasta, in soup, on pizza, in a curry, and on flatbreads!)


Be sure to plan this when you have adequate time to let the burgers chill before pan frying them - that is the key to helping them stay together. Even after chilling, they're a bit "tender" and can fall apart easily, so treat them with loving care. It will be worth it.

Topped with a creamy, slightly kicky sauce, these shrimp burgers will liven up any Lenten supper. Or any supper any time of the year.

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Shrimp Burgers with Creamy Avocado Sauce

12 oz. large cooked shrimp
1 egg
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup Panko
1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/3 cup red pepper, chopped small
3 Tbsp. canola oil

Avocado Sauce:
1 avocado
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (or 1/2 tsp cayenne)
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

For the Avocado Sauce:

Scoop the avocado pulp into the bowl of a food processor, and set the pit aside. Add the sour cream, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Transfer to a dish, and place the pit inside to help prevent browning. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

For the Shrimp Burgers:

Remove the tails from the shrimp, and ivide the shrimp in half. Coarsely chop one half and set aside.

Place remaining half in a food processor and grind to a coarse puree. Add egg, onion, cilantro, jalapeno and garlic to processor. Process until smooth. Sprinkle mixture with breadcrumbs and process again.

Transfer contents of food processor to a large bowl; add coarsely chopped shrimp and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Form into patties and chill for 1 hour (covered).

Heat oil in a heavy skillet. When very hot, fry the shrimp burgers until golden, about 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Drain on paper towels. Place burgers on a bun of your choosing and top with avocado sauce. Makes 4-5 burgers.

Recipe Source: Adapted from The Kitchen Whisperer

Monday, February 27, 2017

Dinner Party Green Beans


I came up with this recipe when I wanted to take my usual side dish of green beans up a notch - a little more dinner party worthy, if you will. There's nothing wrong with "regular" green beans, but the addition of sweet and spicy almonds and a sprinkling of blue cheese makes these really special. Not too special for a weeknight dinner, but certainly special enough for guests or a fancy party. (If you don't have many fancy parties, don't let that stop you from making these! Make them for a Thursday. Thursdays can be fancy!)


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Dinner Party Green Beans

16 oz. package frozen green beans
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

In a small skillet over low heat, combine the sugar and cayenne pepper and almonds. Cook and stir constantly until the almonds are coated with melted sugar and are toasted. Remove to a plate and let cool.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and the green beans (frozen). Stir until all the green beans are coated with the melted butter. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Transfer beans to a serving platter and sprinkle with blue cheese. Break up the almonds if they are stuck together and sprinkle on the beans. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Broccoli Cheese Soup


I like broccoli cheese soup. But I don't like it if it's TOO cheesy. I also don't love it when you can hardly tell there's any broccoli in it, or when the broccoli has been pulverized and it's all just green flakes in yellow soup.

SO, all that to say, that for me, this is the PERFECT broccoli cheese soup. First, it's not YELLOW! The mix of cheddar and Swiss cheeses not only makes for the perfect cheese taste, but it's lovely to look at. And the broccoli is not pureed, it's in big chunks, and is steamed to perfection BEFORE getting added to the soup, not cooked into oblivion in the soup.


All of this adds up to a wonderful, beautiful, delicious soup, chock full of good for you broccoli! Try it today - I hope you love it as much as we do!


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Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3 cups chopped broccoli

Simmer chicken broth and chopped onion for 15-20 minutes in a covered small saucepan, until onions are soft.

Heat milk in microwave for 1-2 minutes.

In a separate medium-sized stockpot, melt butter then add flour, salt and pepper. Cook together, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then whisk in warmed milk. Stir and heat together on medium heat until soup starts to thicken, about 5-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, place chopped broccoli in a medium glass bowl and cover with cling wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes to steam the broccoli.

Add warmed chicken broth to the soup base and continue to stir until well blended. Add cheeses and stir until completely melted. Stir in steamed broccoli. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Monday, February 13, 2017

Almond Crunch Cookies


Oh, these cookies. Brimming with crunch from cereal and sliced almonds, and deliciously sweet from almond bark topping, I can guarantee they won't last long at your house.


While these aren't Valetines-y to say the least (I suppose you could tint the almond bark pink!), any cookie, made with love, is perfect for the holiday. Or any day.


Let's not limit love through cookies to just one day.


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Almond Crunch Cookies

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups Chex or corn flakes, lightly crushed (or Rice Krispies, uncrushed)
4 oz almond bark
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Using an electric mixer, beat shortening until creamy; gradually add white sugar and brown sugar, beating well. Add eggs and almond extract; beat well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; stir until blended. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture mixing until just blended. Slightly crush cereal, only to the point there aren't large pieces. Carefully stir in oats and cereal.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop dough on a cookie sheet 2" apart. Bake at 325 for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place almond bark in a glass bowl and melt in the microwave using 50% power, in 45 second intervals. Drizzle melted bark on cooled cookies. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Allow cookies to set up on wire racks, or place in the refrigerator for a quicker set up.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Call me PMC
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