Chicken recipes food

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tomatillo enchilada casserole

Cheesy Chicken Salsa Rice

Tomatillos are one of those fascinating and underused ingredients in your everyday kitchen. I can understand why. They have an odd papery husk, they’re sticky as all get out, and are almost inedibly sour when served raw (confession: for many years I believed that raw tomatillos were poisonous – don’t ask me where or how I gleaned this “knowledge”.) They’re just, well, weird. But also incredibly delicious, tart, and a staple in Mexican cuisine.

I baked these up on a Sunday afternoon and have been eating them off and on all week. Like any good casserole it reheats beautifully (even with the sour cream on top) and the whole thing comes together pretty easily. The flavor is tangy and refreshing, but still hearty with the chicken and tortillas melting together in one awesome layer. It’s a light casserole, perfect for an 80 degree fall day.

vietnamese chicken drumsticks + sriracha ‘ranch’

Sriracha is one of those running jokes amongst people in the food & beverage industry. You can walk into any kind of restaurant kitchen – Italian, French, Latin American, etc, – and more than likely, a bottle of the green-lidded fiery red sauce will be found somewhere. For some, it’s a substitute for everything from ketchup to mayonnaise, and will be poured on any and everything they eat. I always think of the episode of Top Chef when Casey put it into her Cold Stone Creamery ice cream. I’m not that hardcore, but it is delicious. It’s simply a paste of chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. Spicy, sweet, and commonly seen with Thai or Vietnamese food, it’s well-loved (and rightly so).

So when I saw a recipe for buttermilk sriracha salad dressing a few months ago I kept it in the back of my mind, waiting to use it until the right idea struck. And finally, it did.

I’m a big fan of indulging in spicy chicken wings dipped in ridiculously rich and cooling sauces, so the idea of chicken drumsticks dipped in this srirarcha buttermilk ‘ranch’ seemed perfect. Making a Vietnamese-themed marinade (I know I know srirarcha is Thai but it’s right there on the table at any Vietnamese restaurant, too!) and grilling the chicken makes this a fresh and fun summer dish and great to serve at parties. You can go with wings and legs (or even breasts), just use whatever chicken you like best. It’s all good.

orzo salad with feta + balsamic bbq chicken

Orzo Salad with Tomatoes, Basil and Feta

Long time, no post! Sorry bout that, folks – took some time to get my new life organized but hey! Lease is signed, moving truck is packed, and I’m almost ready to go. One last dinner at home first, though.

I’ve never been a huge fan of spring. It’s my least favorite season, mostly due to the rain, mud, flip-flopping weather, and return of allergy season. The one saving grace is that the best produce of the season is finally en route, gardens everywhere finally start blooming, and better yet, summer is almost here!

You must to see these amazing hot ladies from milfnextdoor going off on each other, very very hot.
And the girls from money talks porn needed to make more money for school or for other bills.
Our boy could never resist her gorgeous big natural tits and he decided to see how far he could go before she could no longer take it.
Tow truck drivers NEVER get tips so I thought that would be pretty sweet to see adorable hot sexy fuck scenes.
Next we see mature girls om ftvmilfs trying some deep penetration using a toys and several dildos.

This is my favorite summer dinner and I made it a little early to celebrate my new job with my family. The orzo salad is a bit fussy and has lots of side steps (plus it’s best made a day in advance), and the chicken is also best marinated for at least a day, so the whole meal is something you really can’t just throw together, but it’s so worth the wait.

Tangy feta and and sun-dried tomatoes tossed with crunchy arugula and pine nuts (plus orzo), this side dish is so refreshing and summery, plus open to any interpretation or additions, it really is my favorite side dish of the season. And although I am usually a complete Arthur Bryants devotee, making a special BBQ sauce for a special dinner can be fun, and I’ve always loved this tangy and sweet version from Giada deLaurentiis. Reduced balsamic vinegar is one of the best things on the planet, so incorporating it into BBQ sauce… well… it’s just plain awesome.

white bean chicken chili

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

Okay, it’s not the most photogenic thing in the world, but trust me – the ugliest foods always taste the best.

My buddy Clif recently asked me about making green chile chili and ever since I gave my tips, I couldn’t get it out of my head. And then as I was cleaning out the seemingly bottomless cabinet of appliances I have under my sink, my crock pot was staring me in the face, practically glowing with the suggestion to use it.

So here is quite possibly the easiest recipe I have on the site so far – even easier than the 2-ingredient ‘ice cream’! Only one step! This is the greatest set it and forget it kind of meal, and it reheats superbly, which is exactly what I need right now. Thick and rich from the beans and their natural starch, plus packed with flavor from all the spices – it could be served on a cold winter’s day with hot cornbread, or a warm summer afternoon with chips and guacamole.

 

Cookies

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no-bake lemon drops

No-Bake Lemon Drops

Every time I come home I am expected to do a few things. Make dinner, fix problems on my mom’s iPhone and laptop, etc. Making my mom a lemon drop martini every night is also on the list. I’m happy to do it – playing bartender for my mom has a very fun Christina Crawford feel to it. Making lemon drop inspired cookies is even better.

I tried these weeks ago during a shoot at work and immediately photocopied the recipe for my own use. Finding a really really delicious no-bake treat is hard, in my opinion, and this one is fantastic. Just the right balance of sweet and tart, plus oddly refreshing since they’re chilled. There’s no vodka in them (sadly!) but instead crushed up lemon drop candies, my all-time favorite treat. Be sure to use the rough, cheap drug store-type lemon drops. The kind that make your tongue feel like sandpaper after having too many. Yummy!

double raisin oatmeal cookies

On the twelfth day of Christmas my oven gave to me… 4 dozen awesome oatmeal cookies!

Okay I know the twelfth day of Christmas is technically January 5th but it’s 12 days until Christmas right now and I can’t help it. It’s inevitable. The holidays roll around, I get insanely festive, and the baking bug bites me bad (try saying that 3 times fast!) Even after a full day of cooking and styling I still want to come home and just listen to Bing Crosby and make cookies. That is the power of Christmas. And that is why I love it so.

These cookies are a riff on my favorite oatmeal raisin by using some golden raisins and pecans, two things I had sitting around and just sounded fun to toss in. I’m such a fan of scooped cookies – rolls you have to chill and then slice seem so tedious and not at all what you want to bake after a hard day’s work. So throw these together and enjoy! You can even freeze the dough balls and bag them up to bake in the future. Not a bad present to save for yourself, if I do say so myself!

chocolate-dipped macadamia nut cookies

The Test Kitchen is swamped with cookies right now. Every few hours it feels like a new batch appears. Millionaire’s shortbread. Madelines. Pear bars. A new cookie book is in the works and you’d think it would make my desire for cookies wane, but oh no, the exact opposite has been happening. I just want cookies more now.

I whipped these together after reading the recipe in Everyday Food. I love macadamia nuts and the idea reminded me of one of my favorite guilty pleasures, the Sausalito cookie from Pepperidge Farms. Toasted macadamia nuts, bittersweet chocolate, and just the right texture of a moist inside with a delicately crisp bottom.

The chocolate is pretty thick so I didn’t dip so much as paint on the portion that is chocolate. I was tempted to break out the pastry bag and tips and do pretty designs but yeah, delusions of grandeur and laziness got the better of me. Lack of frills aside, these are still delicious and soul satisfying.

oscar party (amputated roasted chicken wings & popcorn-raisinet cookies)

It’s time for… Oscar Oscar!

This year I’ve gone all out. I mulled over the idea of throwing an Oscar party and finally decided to go ahead and do it when I found this recipe for Popcorn-Raisinet Cookies I just about died over. Me being me, I had to embrace my old nickname of The Hostess with the Mostest and really have fun with the menu. The fact that the majority of my guests tonight will be my coworkers (aka great cooks but also junk food indulgers) made it extra fun. I wanted to theme everything served around a Best Picture nominee and here’s what I came up with:

Refreshments:
Whiskey Sours (True Grit)
Pinot Noir (The Kids Are Allright)
Finger Foods (Should be handless food, a la Winter’s Bone):
Cucumber-mint tea sandwiches (The King’s Speech)
Amputated Roasted Chicken Wings (127 Hours)
Pizza Rolls & Mountain Dew (The Social Network)
Black (Bread) & Blue (Cheese) (The Fighter)
A dip within a dip within a dip (Inception)
Favorite childhood candies (Toy Story 3)
Black & White Swirled Brownies (Black Swan)
Popcorn-Raisinet Cookies (party favors)
Almost everything was easily made in advance – the only things requiring real “recipes” were the chicken wings and the cookies, which I’ve given below. I learned from Ina that the best hostess makes as much in advance as possible – that way you can enjoy the party, which I plan to do! So I’m off to finish getting ready. I hope you all enjoy the show and I must cheer on Colin Firth, Michelle Williams, and my sci-fi heart is secretly rooting for Inception even though I’ll be happy if The King’s Speech or The Social Network wins.

cowboy cookies

Sometimes you just have to bake cookies at 11pm on a Saturday night. And sometimes they just have to be chocolate-oat-pretzel cookies.

I got the Baked Explorations book for Christmas and this is the first thing I made out of it. I love the writing style of the Baked duo and their absolutely meticulous borderline OCD/Rose Levy Beranbaum way of explaining how to bake something as simple as cookies. Use cool (but not cold) butter, use a scoop this exact size, press down on the cookies but don’t smush them, etc. As much as I love to cook on the fly, sometimes it’s more relaxing to just follow instructions to the T. And this T stands for Totally awesome cookies.

Everyone knows I’m a sucker for salty sweets and so the pretzels are of course a fabulous element I love in these. Still, I wish they were even more salty. So in the ingredients listed below I’ve added a bit more salt and say you should use bittersweet chocolate. I think the cookies would just really benefit from it. They would go from totally awesome to super totally awesome. If there is such a thing.

 

Breakfast recipes

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light banana bread

During a hair cut yesterday my stylist asked what I was working on lately at work. “Christmas cookies” I replied. She groaned “Oh my Goddd, how do you not weigh 800lbs? Being surrounded by all that all day?” This is something that comes up occasionally when people first find out what I do. I am by no means a skinny girl, but I’m also not that overweight. My answer: lots of working out, everything in moderation, and cutting as many corners as I can during my non-work hours eating.

This light banana bread is a great example. Cue Sunday morning: lazily waking up and brewing a pot of coffee, seeing I have a bunch of overly ripe bananas on my counter. Banana bread is the #1 solution, but I always try to eat super healthy at home, so I start to backpedal. But reconsider, and attempt to make it healthy..er.

Starting with a Cooking Light recipe is a great foundation. But theirs was portioned out to 20 slices. 20 slices? They would be paper thin. I need a REAL slice, thank you. So I futzed. I played. And this bread slices into 12 pieces at 155 calories a piece. Victory! Plus it tastes delicious to boot. Fragrant and spicy from the cinnamon and unbelievably moist considering the low amount of fat and dairy in it. It’s all about cutting corners in everything but flavor in the end. And this does it perfectly.

rolled spinach omelet

I woke up this morning to sun, a blue sky, and 71° temps outside. I was grinning ear to ear as I rolled out of bed and decided to make myself a little something special for a real spring Sunday brunch.

I’ve had this rolled omelet bookmarked for a couple weeks because I always have some version of the ingredients around and knew I could throw it together at a moment’s notice. I used only one package of frozen spinach and added a little more Dijon because I’m a mustard addict, but it was still deliciously fresh and light, but paired with some hearty toast, a nice filling brunch. Making omelets can be such a pain so this dish would be fabulous to serve to a group without fussing with a lot of individual pots and pans. Or just one person with a hearty appetite and a love of leftovers.

oatmeal raisin scones

Scones are tricky things. They’re one of those rare baked goods that should be dry, but not too dry. The texture should politely request to be dipped in tea, but not cry out for it.

I had to keep telling myself these things as I made these. I had a craving for oatmeal raisin cookies but wanted to try something new so I went with scones instead. King Arthur’s recipe is a great foundation to start from and I edited from there, and made myself resist adding more milk, more butter, etc. The first time around the texture was, ahem, less than ideal (and the taste of baking powder was unbelievably overwhelming), so this batch had a little more butter, little less baking powder, and brown sugar.

They’re super hearty and dense, but in that good scone way. Be sure to use sprinkling sugar (or some kind of sugar) on top – the texture really completes them. Served with a cup of good tea, they’re perfect.

oat soda bread

It’s been so long! I can’t believe it had been almost 2 weeks since I’ve baked something but it’s sadly true. Last weekend I got sucked into my new part-time job of working in a wine dept at a local gourmet grocer (best PT job ever!) so I had no time to cook. I made sure to make time this weekend to relax and play in the kitchen, and this bread was the counterpart to a wonderful soup I whipped up (and will be posted later this week!)

Chalk it up to St. Patrick’s Day being around the corner, but a quick soda bread sounded like just the ticket when I was perusing some bread recipes online. Easy, fast, and using ingredients I had on hand (the buttermilk was from the soup), I’m so glad I chose it. The bread is hearty and filling with tons of texture and flavor. As I ate it I thought “This is the kind of bread you eat as a meal, not as a side.” Especially slathered in warm, salted butter. Delicious.

On a different note, it feels selfish and almost silly to be posting about bread and complaining about my lack of time to post. The disaster in Japan is unbelievable and things that are larger than life like this really make you value what time you have and how you use it, so please take the time to donate to the millions in need: Red Cross Donation. Keep Japan in your thoughts and prayers, they are going to need them more than ever.

buttermilk cheddar biscuits

These are biscuits that will drag your tush out of bed on a Sunday morning.

Ok, maybe not on a Sunday morning (more like an afternoon for me), but still, they’re pretty damn tasty. Homemade biscuits are just one of those wonderful things that uses all cold ingredients (no waiting for butter to come to room temp) and comes together so quickly, you should always make them fresh. As much as I love plain buttermilk biscuits, throwing in a few handfuls of shredded sharp cheddar cheese only makes them better. So grab some buttermilk at the store in the next few days and whip these up on Sunday… whenever you manage to get out of bed.