Dinner Menu: Buffalo Chicken Bites and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

For the Super Bowl this year, we kept it simple: pizza, super nachos and ice cream. I toyed with making wings, but in the end, it seemed like too much work after a very long week.

But I found myself craving Buffalo chicken all week, so finally I cubed up a large chicken breast and made this super simple, yet flavorful dinner.

I served over shredded lettuce with ranch dressing, along with Instant Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and of course, carrot and celery sticks.

Skillet Buffalo Chicken Bites

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • extra light olive oil
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp of each:
    • salt & pepper
    • garlic powder
    • cayenne pepper
    • adobo seasoning
  • buffalo wing sauce
  • bleu cheese or ranch dressing

skillet Continue reading

Full Dinner Menu: Washday Beans and Rice

Photo from JeffreyW

I’ve been craving beans and rice for quite some time. On my birthday, we were going to go to our favorite restaurant and have their signature dish, but alas, they had closed, permanently. My craving would go unabated for quite a while.

Fast forward and a friend’s birthday is coming up and I invited her over for dinner and she requested beans and rice and buttermilk cornbread.

Who am I to deny a request?

On the board tonight:

  1. Washday Beans & Rice
  2. Sliced Steamed Zucchini
  3. Corn Bread
  4. Blueberries & Raspberries w/whip cream

Washday Beans & Rice

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 14oz can red kidney bean
  • 4 links Italian or Andouille sausage (sweet or spicy) – slice each link into 4 pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbsp Cajun Creole Seasoning (start with teaspoon and work your way up to taste)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato diced (or 14 oz can)

2-quart saucepan and skillet Continue reading

Dinner Menu: Garlic, Garlic, Garlic Chicken

I know this sounds like a crazy recipe, but the Garlic, Garlic Chicken is a keeper.  The garlic roasts to a nice, nutty, sweet flavor, perfect with a slice of bread.

The salad works because each pepper has a different flavor. I didn’t want to do much to overwhelm that, but you can add sliced onion if it appeals to you.

Get a really good Artisan bread and you’ve got a dinner that takes less than 20 minutes to prep.

On the board tonight:

  1. Garlic, Garlic Chicken
  2. Loaf of a good crusty Artisan bread
  3. Sliced Pepper Salad
  4. Sliced apples with caramel dip

Garlic, Garlic Chicken

  • 5 lb roasting chicken
  • 1/2 cup of wine*
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth,
  • salt & pepper
  • 40 cloves of garlic (unpeeled).

 Wash and dry the chicken, remove any giblets.  Add all ingredients into a roasting bag and roast for about an hour (follow cooking bag instructions, usually about 350 degrees, use a meat thermometer to check chicken temp).  Remove chicken to a platter and place garlic and sauce in a serving bowl.  The garlic can be squeezed out of the skins at the table onto the fresh bread.  Alternately, you can take the broth, reduce it and then add the peeled garlic into that. It makes a very nutty, garlic-y kind of gravy.

*I substituted 1/4 cup of a good whisky this last time with good results (I upped the broth to 3/4 cup).

Sliced Pepper Salad

  • 1 each: red, yellow, orange & green pepper, washed & sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 head bib lettuce, washed, dried & torn

Toss peppers and vinaigrette dressing and let marinate 30 minutes.  Serve on a bed of bibb lettuce.

Shopping List:

  • 5lb Roasting Chicken
  • 40 Cloves of Garlic (about 4 bulbs)
  • 1 loaf Artisan Bread
  • 1 each: Red, Yellow, Orange, Green peppers
  • 4 oz vinaigrette dressing
  • 1 head bibb lettuce
  • Caramel dip
  • 4 apples

Also: chicken broth, wine, salt, pepper

September Grilling: Cantanzaro Chicken and Tuscan Panzanella Salad

Tonight’s menu features the Cantanzaro spice mix. Cantanzaro is a city in Italy.  So there are a lot of herbs this Italian girl recognizes: marjoram, basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano. And garlic, lots of garlic. But the kicker is the lemon and lemon peel.

It’s all very fresh for late summer/early fall harvest and great for grilling. Then I’ve added a fresh take on how to use the last of those fresh tomatoes. And just because I’m feeling ambitious, I included Gelato recipes.

On the board tonight:

  1. Grilled Cantanzaro Herbed Chicken Breasts
  2. Grilled Potatoes and Peppers (recipe here)
  3. Tuscan Panzanella Salad (recipe here)*
  4. Gelato (recipes here)

*the recipe calls for bread bowls, but with this meal, I served it over a bed of bibb lettuce.

Continue reading

Holiday Dinner Menu: Flank Steak Pinwheels

What’s on your plate for this holiday weekend (how did that happen)? Are you sad summer is waning or is fall more your season? Most importantly, whatcha cookin’?

This steak is easy to make in the oven, but I thought I’d try it on the grill this time. Works great – just remember to cook it away from the coals or turn the grill off if it’s electric, like mine.

Flank Pinwheel Prep Final

This steak can be prepped the day before, just wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap. Makes it great for a date night, anniversary or small dinner party. I pan-seared and finished in the oven/on the grill in the same pan, because of the cheese. The reward was great pan drippings when I was finished, which I drizzled over the potatoes before serving.

Flank Steak Pinwheels Final

On the board:

  • Flank Steak Pinwheels
  • Grilled Sweet Corn
  • 4-Minute Potato Salad (recipe here)
  • Fresh Sliced Peaches

Flank Steak Pinwheels

  • 1 large flank steak, butterflied
  • salt and pepper
  • crushed garlic (at least 2 cloves)
  • 8 oz sliced provolone cheese
  • 1 bunch washed and dried spinach leaves
  • 8 wooden skewers
  • olive oil

Cast iron skillet Continue reading

Farmer’s Market Dinner Menu: Garden Fresh Pasta

It’s my favorite time of the year for cooking when I can choose fresh ingredients from my garden or the farmer’s market. It so easy to toss pasta with fresh produce and have a quick, light dinner.

On the board:

  1. Garden Fresh Pasta
  2. Steamed Zucchini
  3. Crusty loaf
  4. Sliced Peaches (add a touch of sugar to bring out the juices)

Garden Fresh Pasta Sauce

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed garlic (start with one, add more as desired)
  • 4-6 medium to large tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves – more as desired
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves (I like a cute little leaf called ‘pizza oregano’) – more as desired
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes if you desire some heat

saucepan & pasta serving bowl Continue reading

Dinner Menu: Spicy Lime Cilantro Chicken w/Mexican Rice

It’s been unseasonably warm here after our early snow in September, so grilling is on the menu.

On the board:

  1. Spicy Lime Cilantro Chicken
  2. Mexican Rice Medley
  3. Green Beans
  4. Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe here)

Spicy Lime Cilantro Chicken:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup sliced pickled jalapenos and juice

 Place ingredients in a zip-lock bag and marinate 1 hour or overnight.  Broil or grill for 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until breasts are cooked to 165 degrees. Continue reading