Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Creamy Mustard Chicken French Bread Pizza

I love how easy french bread pizzas are to pull together and I love the texture of the crunchy yet soft bread with the toppings. I've made a few before, but this one was definitely the most flavorful.
French bread, a creamy/mustard spread, marinated chicken, mushrooms, cilantro and a honey dijon sauce take this "pizza" to a whole new level.
You'll think you're eating at a fancy restaurant and your family/friends won't believe what you've created.
This is definitely a richer pizza with the cream cheese base, but that's what makes it unique and tasty.

Creamy Mustard Chicken French Bread Pizza
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
1 chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups THINLY sliced mushrooms
6 oz. cream cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
Cilantro garnish 

Honey Dijon Marinade/Sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 Tbsp.yellow mustard
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Cajun spice
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Whisk Honey Dijon Marinade/Sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add two tablespoons marinade to a freezer bag along with chicken. Marinate 30 minutes – 8 hours. Refrigerate unused Honey Dijon Sauce separately.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until cooked through. Stir in one tablespoon reserved Honey Dijon Sauce. Set aside.
4. Microwave cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until completely smooth. Whisk in 2 tablespoons Honey Dijon Sauce. Spread this Honey Dijon Cream Cheese evenly over each half of french bread. Evenly top with mushrooms, followed by chicken, then cheeses.
5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden.

6. Drizzle each french bread with any remaining Honey Dijon Sauce. Garnish with cilantro.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Asiago Bisque

I am an asiago cheese fan through and through. Asiago bagels are my absolute favorite and I will try one at every bagel shop I walk in. They are still on my food to make bucket list as we speak so hopefully one day I'll get around to actually making them.
Anyway, I am also a huge fan of cheesy soups so I knew this one would be an absolute hit. I don't think there is anything much better than a creamy, cheesy, veggie soup with some good dipping bread.
This bisque was so easy to throw together and has a classier flavor that is sure to wow your family.
And don't for get some good bread to slop up all that cheesy goodness. Oh and the bacon doesn't hurt either. ;)

Asiago Bisque
Adapted from Chef-In-Training
Makes 4-6 Servings
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped carrots
3 Tbsp. butter
2 cups chopped and peeled potatoes, cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup shredded Asiago cheese
salt and pepper
6 slices of cooked bacon, chopped

1. In a large sauce melt butter and sauté onions and carrots until tender. Add potatoes and chicken broth. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
2. Add half-and-half and cook another 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the Asiago cheese.
4. With an immersion blender, blend soup until creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Garnish with bacon and more Asiago cheese.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Roasted Asparagus and Lemon Pasta

I am all about lemon pasta sauce you guys. And adding a roasted vegetable?? That is one of my all-time favorite pairings. (See this similar tasty recipe.) This dish is incredible and when I saw that asparagus was on sale a couple of weeks ago I knew I had to buy some before the price shot up. (Which it did as always.)
This recipe is extremely easy to follow and the dish comes together in no time. This is my favorite way to eat asparagus and the lemon pasta is divine.
And even if your kids won't touch the green stuff, they won't be able to deny their love for this light, lemony pasta.

Roasted Asparagus and Lemon Pasta
Adapted from Creme de la Crumb
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
8 oz. bowtie pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice + 1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups milk
salt + pepper to taste
parmesan for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they're thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, spray a large pan with cooking spray. Add butter and garlic to pan and stir for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant. Add flour and stir until mixture forms a ball or clump. Slowly whisk in milk until mixture is smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest and bring sauce to a light boil, whisking occasionally. 
4. Once boiling and slightly thickened, remove from heat and stir in the cooked pasta to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Top with roasted asparagus pieces and grated parmesan before serving.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Meatless Mushroom Bolognese Sauce

This is another one of those recipes that once I saw it pop up in my Bloglovin' feed, I knew I wanted to make it right away. While I try really, really hard to like hamburger, I just don't. I'll make meals with it and then almost start gagging once I take a few bites. Ha. The only time I truly liked and even craved it was when I was pregnant with my first. And then the craving died completely.

But here we are with the most delicious meatless sauce that is healthy and basically only consists of pureed tomatoes, carrots and mushrooms. And honestly you can't even tell that there isn't any meat by looking at this dish. The mushrooms are magic. I LOVE mushrooms and loved them in this sauce.
What I'm trying to say is, this might be my new favorite food ever!! So much flavor! And you must have some kind of bread to slop up all of the extra sauce because that completes the experience. ;)

And my husband, who is the king of wanting meat for every meal, even said that I could make this again without meat. And that's a big deal my friends.

Meatless Mushroom Bolognese Sauce
Adapted from Annie’s Eats
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped carrots
14 oz. whole peeled tomatoes (I pureed a 28 oz. can and saved the other 14 oz.)
1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. tomato paste 
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
3/4 lb. fettuccine or linguine, cooked according to package directions
grated parmesan, for serving

1. In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until the pieces are no larger than ½-inch. (Do this in batches if necessary so that they are evenly chopped.) Transfer to a large bowl. 
2. Place the carrots in the now empty food processor and pulse until finely chopped, 5-7 pulses. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juices to the food processor and pulse until pureed. Set aside separate from the rest of the vegetables.
4. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has evaporated and vegetables begin to brown, 12-15 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and sugar to the pot and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the processed tomatoes, vegetable broth, soy sauce, salt, and pepper and bring the mixture to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce has thickened but is still moist, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.

6. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Outrageous Banana Bread

Oh man, oh man, oh man. This banana bread is out of control! I could eat this every day for the rest of my life and be a very happy person! The cream cheese filling? The streusel on top?? It's all incredible.
I've made a resolution to start using the few cookbooks I own and "The Girl Who Ate Everything" was my first pick. Let's just say that so far her recipes have not disappointed.

I made some modifications to this recipe and personally miss-measured the streusel topping, which wasn't actually a bad thing. I didn't half the sugar and flour so it kind of became more of a sugar topping, but what's wrong with that??
Anyway, the correct measurements are listed below and while this takes a little extra time than normal banana bread, it is completely worth it! Enjoy!

Outrageous Banana Bread
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/4 cups flour

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 egg (see how to measure here) - About 1 1/2 Tbsp.

Streusel Topping
2 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter, softened

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and spray a 9.25x5.25-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Cream the butter, eggs, brown sugar and bananas with a mixer. Add the baking soda, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and flour. Mix well.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
For the Filling:
4. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and egg until well mixed. Spread mixture over bread batter.
For the Streusel:
5. Combine all of the ingredients and mix well until crumbly. Sprinkle over the top of the cream cheese mixture.
6. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (Cream cheese filling may stick, but the bread batter should be firm.) Cover with foil if the top is beginning to brown too much.