April 27, 2015

Better-Than-Takeout Baked Orange Chicken

I'm always up for trying new Asian-inspired chicken dishes, especially ones that are baked. I really don't like to deep-fry anything so baked is totally the way to go. When I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to try it right away and we were blown away with the results!
This was one of those meals where my husband and I kept commenting on how amazing it was. The flavor, the crispiness, the perfect amount of kick...This recipe honestly made me never want to order take-out Chinese food ever again. It takes a little bit of time to cut up and dip all of the chicken pieces into the cornstarch, egg whites and panko crumbs, but it is so worth it!
We will definitely be making this again and again in our house and I'm getting excited just thinking about eating it again! For real, you need to try this out for yourself!

Better-Than-Takeout Baked Orange Chicken
Adapted from Dash of Sanity
1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
3 egg whites, whisked

Orange Sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup white vinegar
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha (more or less for heat preference)
1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. ginger

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Dip chicken breast into the cornstarch and completely coat. Shake off extra cornstarch, then dip into egg whites and then roll into the panko until fully coated and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
3. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is a light brown and crunchy.
4. While chicken is cooking make the orange sauce. In a large sauté pan add in all of the sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch.
5. Over medium heat, whisk and cook sauce until it begins to boil. Once the sauce is boiling, whisk in the cornstarch and cook again until sauce boils and thickens. Set aside.
6. Once chicken is completely cooked, place the chicken in the sauté pan. Toss chicken in the sauce, making sure all of the pieces are covered. Serve over rice and enjoy!

April 23, 2015

Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Bake

Who doesn't love an easy and delicious Mexican meal baked in one simple dish?? I know I do. This recipe is flavorful yet simple and makes for a yummy weeknight meal.
It is really versatile and you could easily add more veggies, chicken or top it with other yummy garnishes to make it work for your family.
I know this will definitely be something we make over and over again in our house from now on. And maybe next time we'll even stuff some into a tortilla?? Sounds like a good idea to me.

Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Bake
Adapted from Carlsbad Cravings
1 large chicken breast, cooked and chopped or shredded
1 1/2 cups white rice, cooked (measured uncooked)
1 16 oz. bottle salsa verde
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies (optional) 
cilantro, for garnish

10 Minute Chicken Marinade
2 1/2 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cumin

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a very large bowl, whisk together the 10 Minute Marinade ingredients. Add cooked chopped chicken and let marinade for 10 minutes.
3. Mix cheeses together and add 1 1/2 cup cheese, salsa verde, rice, sour cream, green chilies and beans to the chicken. Stir until evenly combined. It will seem a little “wet” which is normal. Add chicken/rice mixture to a 9x13 casserole dish and top with remaining cheese.

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot in the center then broil until cheese is golden. Top with cilantro and serve.

April 21, 2015

Easy Buttery Drop Biscuits with Seasoned Sausage Gravy

So this recipe is a twist on an old favorite with homemade, buttery, delicious and addicting biscuits. Oh man these biscuits are amazing! And the sausage gravy?? It's divine.
Don't these biscuits just look heavenly? They are moist, flaky and quite possibly a hazard for your health. But they are worth it.
Just look at that crispy, golden bottom? Yum.
If you want to enjoy a delicious savory breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner you need to make these right away. You will not be disappointed!

Easy Buttery Drop Biscuits with Seasoned Sausage Gravy
Adapted from All Recipes
Yields: 12 biscuits
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter, diced
1 1/4 cups 2% milk

1. Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk a little at a time, stirring lightly between additions.
3. Drop even spoonfuls of batter onto a cookie sheet using a muffin scoop or large spoon (makes 12) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are golden.

Sausage Gravy
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste

1. Crumble and cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until browned. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. Cook gravy until thick and bubbly. Season with seasoned salt and pepper. Add more salt if desired. Serve hot over biscuits.

April 14, 2015

Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting (Makes 4)

So I am one of those people who really doesn't get the whole cupcake craze that went on a few years ago (is still going on?). I'm all about the donut craze though. We all have our weaknesses you know. Anyway, up until this recipe I had never made cupcakes from scratch and I'm here to tell you, it is a completely different ball game. These were amazing!! And the whole reason I tried this recipe in the first place is because I didn't want to make a whole batch of cupcakes. Who needs 12 cupcakes when there are only 4 people in your family? One of which only has their front teeth...
I made these for my son's third birthday a couple of weeks ago and they were a hit! They are dense, not too sweet and have an amazing vanilla flavor. And the best part is, you can easily half this recipe if you want a quick treat for you and a friend or to eat them both by yourself! These are a definite winner in my book.

Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes (Makes 4)
2 egg whites
4 Tbsp. sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 4 liners.
2. In a bowl, add egg whites and sugar, whisking until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter, stirring until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt, stirring until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 4 cupcake liners so they are about 3/4 full.
3. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 tsp. milk
food coloring, optional

1. Beat the butter in a stand mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar in batches, 1/4 cup at a time until well combined. Add vanilla and milk, adding more milk if necessary. Add food coloring and beat at a low speed until fully incorporated. 

April 6, 2015

Creamy Garlic Lemon Pasta with Roasted Broccoli

Well, I found my new favorite pasta recipe right here. I'm not even kidding. This picture is making me drool as we speak! I've always loved lemon pastas, but this one is the real deal. It's insanely creamy and flavorful.
And the roasted broccoli on top?? I've been making this roasted broccoli for years, but I couldn't have imagined how good it would taste paired with this pasta. Apparently lemon and broccoli are made for each other. The saltiness of the broccoli compliments the sweetness of the lemon so well.
And I also couldn't believe how easy all of this was to make. Easy and delicious! And be sure to use angel hair pasta because for some reason it soaks up all of the glorious sauce so much better than other pasta!

Creamy Garlic Lemon Pasta
Slightly Adapted from Oh Sweet Basil
8 oz. angel hair pasta
3 Tbsp. butter
3 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
shredded Parmesan, for topping

Roasted Broccoli
2-3 cups broccoli, cleaned and stems trimmed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place broccoli on a parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and then toss to combine to coat each piece. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until stems are golden brown and slightly crisp.
4. While broccoli is roasting, boil a pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.
5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and cook until melted and the butter begins to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour, whisking quickly. Allow to cook for one minute and then add the broth, half and half and milk.
6. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally cook until slightly thickened. Add the lemon zest and juice and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Once pasta is done, add the pasta directly to the sauce, adding a little pasta water if needed. Serve with roasted broccoli and parmesan on top and enjoy!