Tuesday, July 31, 2012

California Pizza

 I'm sure this doesn't really count as pizza. Who cares! (Consider it a California thing.) It's absolutely delicious! And I do believe fairly healthy too! Don't quote me on that! And don't laugh at the crusty brown glob up in the corner. That's a hunk of burnt cheese...and it was FANTASTIC!! Burnt cheese = YUMMY!

   I love making this for lunch when I'm home by myself and craving something "foofy." That's another term for "girl food." At least that's what my husband calls it...as he's cutting himself another slice. But we won't talk about that right now. (winks)

    Top it with what ever veggies make you smile! I like thinly sliced zucchini, some red onion, and tomato. You could even toss some leftover chicken or steak on there. Or go meatless...like me!  Beautiful and delicious! Enjoy!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

B L T Chicken Salad

The name says it all! Two of my most favorite foods coming together to create one INCREDIBLE dish!

I have it pictured here on a sandwich roll, but it's also excellent on a pita or even over a bed of fresh greens. Served warm or chilled, it's DEE-LISH!

8 slices of bacon
2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/2 of a tomato, chopped (can use more if you like)
4 large leaves of romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
2 Tbs mayonnaise
pepper and salt, to taste (I really don't use salt. The bacon is plenty salty.)

In a large skillet, cook bacon until nice and crisp. Set it aside to cool on some paper towels, reserving about 2 Tbs of drippings in skillet. Pound your chicken breasts between two sheets of wax paper to about 1 inch thickness. Season with pepper and a small amount of salt. Cook over med/high heat in the reserved drippings, about 4 minutes each side, or until no longer pink in the middle and juices run clear. Let cool just a bit. 

Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and add to a medium size mixing bowl. Add in your mayonnaise and pepper, stir to combine. Crumble your bacon and add it to the mix. Fold in your lettuce and tomato. *Sometimes I use less mayo and add a few tsps of the bacon drippings instead. It gives it a lil' extra bacony kick!

Just LOOK at all that yummy goodness! Eat and enjoy! Serves four.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crispy Tortilla Bowls/For Dinner Or Dessert

How awesome is this! Make your own taco salad bowls at home by following a few simple steps:
1.) Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
2.) Warm up some flour or corn tortillas (fajita size) in the microwave; about 20 seconds.
3.) Lightly spray with cooking spray (You can also just moisten them a bit with a small amount of water)
4.) Turn a muffin pan upside down and nestle the tortillas between the muffin cups
5.) Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy, as shown below:

Voila!...And no deep frying! Let cool a bit and then fill with your favorite taco salad goodies. Who doesn't LOVE a crispy, crunchy, taco bowl? You can even make them mini-size for the kiddos! Just use taco size (6 in") corn/flour tortillas for mini taco bowls.

This idea is super fun when used for dessert! All you need to do is make a few changes to the list of instructions above:
1.) Only use FLOUR tortillas for dessert bowls
2.) After you warm them in microwave and lightly moisten them, simply sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. * 1 cup sugar to 2 Tbs cinnamon; mixed in a small bowl or shaker and then sprinkled on tortillas. (You will have leftover sprinkle mix. Just store it away for another sweet treat.)
3.) Nestle your sweetened tortillas between muffin cups and bake as directed
4.) Let cool completely; fill with ice cream and sundae toppings of choice

The whole family REALLY loved having ice cream sundaes like this! Kinda made me feel like a super hero.
Idea inspired by: Pinterest
Crispy Tortilla Bowls will be participating in these fantastic Link Parties
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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bell Pepper Scoops

This is more of an idea than it is a recipe. I found it on a FANTASTIC blog I stumbled upon the other day and just had to share!

Rather than using tortilla chips to dive into your favorite taco dip, cut up a few bell peppers instead. They are far more refreshing, compliment most dips, have almost ZERO carbs, and just about every cut makes the perfect scoop!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Avocado, Bacon, & Basil Pasta Salad

I am a firm believer that you cannot have too many pasta salads. Honestly, the flavor combinations are endless! This one has been on "heavy rotation" in my kitchen lately, so I thought I better share.

I love how it has such a basic list of ingredients, but packs maximum flavor! Bacon. Avocado. Basil. (You really can't go wrong!) Toss it all in a simple dressing with some fresh Parm...Yes! Yes! And...Oh yes!

8 oz dried bow tie pasta
2 medium avocados, halved and chopped
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2/3 cup chopped fresh basil *or 1 1/2 tsp dried
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano Cheese *Plus extra for garnish


1.) Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.
2.) Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine your basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper; gently whisk to combine. Fold in your avocado and bacon. Add your cooked pasta and Pecorino cheese, toss to combine. Garnish with extra cheese if you like. Can be served warm or chilled. Serves 4.

Recipe Adapted From: recipe.com
Avocado, Bacon, & Basil Pasta Salad will be participating in these fantastic Link Parties

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Lemon Granita

My daughter has been making this lovely treat for us for a few years now.  As I have told you before, we have this wacky lemon tree that produces fruit year round, so we are always making lemon based dishes. (Not complaining!)

Anyway, she has always referred to this as a sorbet (I'm thinking because that's how she originally saw it labeled in a book.) But really, this is a Granita; an Italian/Ice type of dessert or pallet cleanser that originated in Sicily. I almost felt like I needed to add that to my post for fear that a true Sicilian may read this and think I have no clue. (I have a few clues...No matter what you call it, it's refreshing and delicious!

 Lemons are a Winter fruit, but thanks to our kooky tree, we enjoy this confection all year long! Super cute when served in parfait cups or in hollowed out lemons, like I have featured here. Just cut a small section off the bottom to get them to sit right. Enjoy!

3 cups boiling water
1 cup sugar
2 tsp grated lemon rind (I cut the rind into strips, so I can remove it after it steeps)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Combine boiling water and sugar in a large bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add lemon rind and juice; let steep for about an hour. Remove lemon rind and pour mixture into a 9-inch square pan; cover and freeze until firm.

Remove from freezer and let stand about 5 minutes before serving. To serve, I scrape a large spoon across the surface and spoon into hollowed out lemon halves. *When spooned, mixture should be light and almost flaky. Not big ice chunks. I have also used a rimmed cookie sheet instead of a deep dish when freezing. Just depends on how much room I have in my freezer that day. Garnish with sprigs of mint. So pretty!

Recipe Source: Miss Melanie
Lemon Granita will be participating in these fantastic Link Parties

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Layered Tortellini Salad (With Pesto Dressing)

This (GORGEOUS) Layered Tortellini Salad wraps up my posts this week. (My list of dishes I have never tried before.) It's easy to see that I saved the best for last. What an amazing Pinterest find! I have made this salad TWICE in the past week! And each time my family SERIOUSLY "ooh'ed" and "ah'ed" over it. So pretty to look at, and even more delicious to taste! It's safe to say I have found a new favorite for potlucks and parties.

The Finished Dish
I cooked my own chicken for this, but you can substitute with a rotisserie chicken from your grocery store deli. That, combined with pre-packaged pesto, makes for a FAUXBULOUS dish indeed!  Bottom line, this is very simple to put together, with HUGE results! Pesto. Chicken. Tortellini. Fresh veggies. Amazing!!!
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fruit Salsa (With Baked Cinnamon Chips)

This dish is just ridiculously delicious! It's the second of three recipes I've never tried before. (Obviously I need to explore cooking pages more often.) I make cinnamon chips all the time but have admittedly never thought to dip them in a fruit salsa. What an  ingenious idea this is!  Absolutely delicious!

I make my chips from raw tortillas. If you can find them in your area, (usually in the same vicinity as refrigerated pizza dough ), I highly recommend them over regular flour tortillas. They crisp better and also kind of "puff" which makes for a lighter, more airy, bite. So good!

2 kiwis, peeled and diced
1 apple, cored and diced (can peel if you prefer)
2 nectarines, skin on, diced
8 oz raspberries
8 oz blueberries
1 (16 oz) carton of strawberries, diced
1 Tbs white sugar
2 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs fruit preserves (I used strawberry)
10 (10 in) flour tortillas
Cinnamon Sugar:
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs cinnamon
Mix in a small bowl or shaker and set aside

Place all of your fruit into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with both white and brown sugars. Give it a few good stirs to make sure that fruit is evenly coated. Stir in fruit preserves and chill in fridge while you make your tortilla chips.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush each side of tortilla with melted butter. Cut into triangles and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mixture. I kind of toss them around as I'm doing this to make sure everyone gets coated. Arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. (You most likely will need to do this in batches.) Put chips in a nice size bowl so they stay airy. Serve with chilled salsa. *Fruit salsa is best served the same day you make it. It becomes very syrupy the longer it sits.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cheesy Cauliflower Pancakes

I'm always in the mood to taste something new. (Restless Foodie Syndrome) So I hit the pages of Pinterest last week and found a few dishes that really caught my eye.

This week I will be featuring 3 dishes I have never tried before. One is savory (of course), one is sweet, and one is Fauxbulously simple, but has a pretty big "Ooh La La" factor. (Saving that one for Friday.)  You'll want to stick around for it. So good...my family has already asked when I'll be making it again. 

Anyway...on to today's feature  -  The minute I read this recipe I knew I had to try it! I did have a few questions though, so I read all the comments under it. So glad I did! I was able to make a few changes, follow a couple of tips, and bring to you a "spot on" dish! This is an awesome alternative to serving the standard baked potato with your steak. (That's exactly what I did.) And it was followed by HUGE raves from my family! What a great find! Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lime Shrimp Salad

This salad is as delicious as it is beautiful! It's what I call a "company worthy" dish. Perfect for when you're in the mood for a light summer dinner. If you plan on serving more than four people you will want to double the recipe. Cool, crisp,and so, so good! Enjoy!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chicken Burritos (Slow Cooker)

I like to keep my kitchen cool in the summer by using my slow cooker. So I thought I would share with you my converted version of chicken burritos. (Typically this is a stove top dish.) Incredibly delicious and very simple to make!

You can use this mix for burritos or tacos. I went with burritos, that way there are no shells to fry. (Keeping things cool.) Sometimes my husband  likes to serve it over rice. And when it's REALLY hot out, I like to serve it in lettuce wraps with some black bean and corn salsa. Put a dab of sour cream on top...Oh Doctor!! So good!
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Monday, July 9, 2012

Sandwich Wrap With Garlic & Herb Cream Cheese Spread

I made these for lunch the other day and thought I'd share. Not so much the wrap recipe, this is your basic turkey wrap with some lettuce, tomato, and sprouts. (The usual suspects of sandwiches.) The secret ingredient that really makes these "pop" is my herb cream cheese spread.

I know I could just as easily go out and buy any variety of flavored cream cheese spreads. But I like making my own. You can put this on toast, bagels, crackers, and all kind of sandwiches or wraps. It super simple to make and adds SO much flavor. Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Broccoli Beef (Stir Fry)

I love cooking with my wok! Getting dinner on the table is almost never as easy or as quick. Seriously! All you need to do is some minimal prep work. Get your pan nice and hot. Toss it all in. Just minutes later, your family is looking at you like you're some sort of FOODIE super hero. (We all have a cape and phone booth on hand, right?)

This dish is a compilation of recipes I have found in various magazines, restaurants, and websites, over the years. I have been constantly tweaking it to suit my taste. I think I have finally come up with the right combination of ingredients. My family seems to agree. Enjoy!

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Mexican Caesar Salad (With Cilantro Pepita Dressing)

Hello! And Happy Friday to you all! This past week has been so good to me! I hope it has been equally as good to each of you! (There is goodness all around, you just need to be looking in the right direction.)

My Friday's are usually all about being Faux. But I thought I'd change it up a bit today and share one of the most FAB salads ever! A little bit of grilling, a little bit of mixing and measuring. When all is said and done, this dish is nothing short of incredible! An instant favorite! Fresh and refreshing! Enjoy!

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Artichoke Dip Stuffed Mushrooms

Good morning! Can you believe it's already July? This year is just flying by!

I wanted to let you know that I will be taking a break from my blog for the next few days to spend time with my family. While I'm away I am having some changes made to the layout here. So if you happen to stop by and things seem out of place, no worries! It'll all be back to normal shortly and with a brand new look! I'm so excited!!

In the meantime, I think you're really going to love these mushrooms! They make an excellent appetizer or side dish. You can even serve them as a main dish with some garlic bread and salad on the side. Ridiculously delicious!

I use my own recipe for Baked Artichoke Dip, but that is not necessary. If there's a store brand that you love, I am sure it would work just the same. Enjoy!

20 Cremini mushrooms, washed and stems removed
Artichoke Dip, prepared as directed
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled *optional
small amount of olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Spray the bottom of  a 9x13 baking dish (you'll needed 2), or 1 rimmed cookie sheet, with cooking spray. Brush each mushroom with a small amount of olive oil and lay in rows open side up. Fill each mushroom with prepared artichoke dip. Sprinkle each mushroom with a small amount of bread crumbs and top with a small amount of Parmesan Cheese. Bake at 375 for about 10 - 15 minutes. Just until the top of each starts to brown and cheese melts. Remove from oven. Garnish with bacon crumbles, if desired. Serve immediately.

I know these last few posts have involved  a dash or two of bacon. My friends don't call me "Bacon Bits" for nothing! (That's a whole other story for another time) Hope you all enjoy your week! And for those who will be celebrating, have a super fab 4Th!
Blogs I have shared my dish with: The REAL Housewives Of RivertonMichelle's Tasty CreationsThe Grant LifeCrumbs And Chaos
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