ORANGE BRAISED CHICKEN

ORANGE BRAISED CHICKEN
2 bone-in chicken legs
2 bone-in chicken thighs
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup sliced fennel
1 small red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Bragg’s amino acids
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 navel orange, half juiced – other half sliced into half moons
Fennel feathers for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Heat coconut oil in oven proof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sear chicken pieces 8-10 pieces until golden on all sides.
  • Transfer chicken pieces to platter and keep warm.
  • Add onions and fennel to sauteing 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Add orange juice to pan and deglaze.
  • Add amino acids and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add chicken pieces and orange slices and coat well.
  • Place pan in oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes or white rice.
  • Garnish with fennel feathers.

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PAN SEARED SWORDFISH with LEMON SAUCE

PAN SEARED SWORDFISH with LEMON SAUCE
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground mixed peppercorns, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon (packed) grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 1-inch-thick swordfish fillets (about 6 ounces each)

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Mash butter, parsley, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon ground mixed peppercorns, and lemon zest in small bowl.
  • Season to taste with salt.
  • Heat butter in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle swordfish with salt and ground mixed peppercorns.
  • Add swordfish to skillet, cooking until browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Turn swordfish over and transfer to oven.
  • Roast until just cooked through, about 10 minutes longer.
  • Transfer swordfish to plates.
  • Top with Lemon Sauce

LEMON SAUCE
1/3 cup butter
2 green onions, finely minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup FRESH squeezed lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1/4 cup hot water
a couple drops Tabasco

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter.
  • Add green onions and sauce a few minutes.
  • Whisk in the paprika, sugar, salt, pepper and cayenne.
  • When well blended add lemon juice, hot water and Tabasco.
  • Add lemon zest just before serving.

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GENERAL TSO CHICKEN

General Tso’s chicken is traditionally a sweet, deep-fried chicken dish that is served in Chinese restaurants. It is often seen as  General Tse’s chicken. The dish is named after Zuo Zongtang (Tso Tsung-t’ang), a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader.

This baked version of General Tso Chicken is baked for a lighter and much healthier version that actually tastes BETTER to us than the original version AND it is so much easier to prepare. The sauce is sweet and savory and best of all is poured right over the raw chicken for a one pan supper that tastes better than ANY restaurant quality meal.

GENERAL TSO CHICKEN Yield 4-6 servings

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins or  chicken breasts, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, finely minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (add more for a spicier dish or omit for a mild dish)
¼ cup peanuts
Optional garnish: sliced green onions, toasted sesame seeds

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Spray a medium (9×6 or 11×7) baking dish with cooking spray.
    Place chicken in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss to coat.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together chicken broth, brown sugar, Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, salt, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
  • Pour sauce over chicken and stir to combine.
  • Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir, return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and sauce has thickened.
  • Remove from oven, stir in peanuts. Season with additional salt and red pepper flakes, to taste.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds just before serving.

NOTES:

1) Serve the General Tso Chicken over rice with plenty of extra sauce spooned over top. We love it with steamed broccoli!


2) If you’re just cooking for 2 the ingredients cut in half really well.  I like to prepare it in individual 5×5 Le Crueset baking dishes.

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COCOA FUDGE BROWNIES

COCOA FUDGE BROWNIES
These brownies are crisp on top, have a bottom that holds together and are gooey and chewy in the center. They are also super versatile. Add walnuts, heath bar pieces, peanut butter chips or a ribbon of caramel depending on your flavor needs at the moment.

2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 LARGE eggs, at room temperature
3 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup QUALITY unsweetened cocoa powder
7-8 ounces roughly chopped chocolate (I use Bakers)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray an 9×9 or 8×10 baking pan with cooking oil spray. Line the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the melted butter, oil and sugar.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla; beating another minute until light in color.
  • In another bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  • Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until JUST combined DO NOT OVER BEAT – this will make them tough if you do and DO NOT OVER BEAT your batter especially after the flour and cocoa powder are added. Doing so creates air pockets in the batter which will give you cake-like textured brownies.
  • Fold in 75% of the chocolate pieces and walnuts.
  • Pour batter into your prepared pan, smoothing the top out evenly, and top with remaining chocolate pieces.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the brownies in the pan no longer jiggles and is just set to the touch (the brownies will keep baking in the hot pan out of the oven). When testing with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out dirty for fudge brownies.
  • Cool for 10 minutes and then carefully remove them from pan.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.

NOTES:

  • Store at room temperature for 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. These brownies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Changing your chocolate flavor can alter your flavors.

 

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CHICKEN or BEEF SHORTCAKES

I found this recipe in a pile of grams old recipe pamphlets and it sounded so easy to update while still being really tasty. I made beef today, but will make chicken next time and add celery, onions and carrots to make it more like Inside Out Chicken Pot Pies.

CHICKEN or BEEF SHORTCAKES makes 8
3 cups rotisserie chicken pieces* OR beef rib eye cubes
8 warm biscuits (made from scratch or Pillsbury canned)
1 quart chicken or beef broth
1/3 cup butter
scant 3/4 cup flour
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • In a saucepan bring all but 1/2 cup of the chicken broth to a boil.
  • In a separate small saucepan melt butter.
  • Add flour and whisk until golden.
  • Add in reserved broth and whisk until well blended making a roux.
  • Slowly add roux to broth and combine well.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add chicken, salt and pepper to taste, stirring to coat chicken well and heat through.
  • Split biscuits in half.
  • Ladle chicken mixture onto biscuit and replace top.

NOTE: *I usually buy a rotisserie chicken each week at Costco to eat off of so always seem to have one around for quick recipes like this.

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COOKING & CRAFTING with J&J AT Julie’s Creative Lifestyle, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY at The Dedicated House, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, MERRY MONDAY at Where The Smiles Have Been and Our Crafty Mom, MIX IT UP MONDAY at Flour Me With Love, SHOW and SHARE at Coastal Charm, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY at Lou Lou Girls, TAKE OUT TUESDAY at The Painted Apron, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY at Memories by the Mile, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST at Stone Cottage Adventures, DELICIOUS DISHES at Walking On Sunshine, SHARE YOUR CUP @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson, FAVORITE THINGS at Katherine’s Corner, FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage, BLOGGERS PIT STOP at The Blogger’s Lifestyle, HOME MATTERS at Life with Lorelai, KITCHEN FUN & CRAFTY FRIDAY at Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY at Coffee with Us 3, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME at Everyday Home, SWAY SHAREFEST at The Sway Life

BALSAMIC BAKED MOZZARELLA CHICKEN

BALSAMIC BAKED MOZZARELLA CHICKEN serves 4
adapted from CafeDelites.com

4 skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons lemon olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix
FRESH ground salt teaspoon salt, to taste
FRESH ground black pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounce jar marinated artichokes, drained well
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 LARGE shallot, sliced
1/4 cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
3/4 cup fresh shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped Italian parsley
1 tablespoon FRESH chopped basil

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and drizzle with lemon olive oil.
  • Mix together Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Rub seasoning all over each breast.
  • Arrange the tomatoes, half of the garlic, shallot slices and red onion slices around the chicken in the dish.
  • Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, sugar and remaining garlic in a jug to combine.
  • Pour over the chicken breasts, flip each breast in the sauce to evenly coat.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken breasts), or until no longer pink in the middle.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and broil for 4-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden.
  • Garnish with parsley and basil.
  • Serve over pasta
  • Drizzle with the pan juices.

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HAWAIIAN HASSELBACK CHICKEN

I’m working on a Italian Pizza, Buffalo Chicken and Mexican Taco version too!
HAWAIIAN HASSELBACK CHICKEN adapted from The Painted Apron
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs**
3-4 ounces thinly sliced tavern ham from the deli
1 LARGE can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved **
1-2 cups King’s Hawaiian ORIGINAL BBQ sauce

  • PREHEAT oven to 375°.
  • Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Slice thighs grid like, cutting about 2/3 way down DO NOT CUT ALL THE WAY
  • Tuck a piece of tavern ham in between cut areas.
  • Arrange chicken pieces close together, but not cramped together.
  • In a small bowl fold together the BBQ sauce and pineapple pieces.
  • Spoon pineapple mixture over chicken. Use additional BBQ sauce as necessary to make sure chicken is completely coated.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes until cooked through, basting with pan juices 1/2 way through baking time.

NOTES:**

  • Breasts work too, but require less cooking time. DO NOT OVERCOOK or they will be dry!
  • I also  throw in a small can of drained pineapple chunks just because hubby likes them and it adds a bit of texture to the dish.
  • You can prep this dish in the morning to cook when you get home from work. It refrigerates well to be baked later.

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TIE-DYE EASTER EGGS

Using ordinary materials (vinegar, food coloring and whipping cream) you probably already have on hand to decorate gorgeous Easter eggs is so easy and fun too! You will want to wear gloves so as not to dye your fingers.

TIE-DYE EASTER EGGS
INGREDIENTS
Bowl of Vinegar
Whipped cream
Food coloring
Hard-boiled eggs

  • Boils eggs and cool to room temperature.
  • In a bowl large enough to hold all the eggs (or work in batches) place the eggs in the bowl and cover with vinegar for 20 minutes. The vinegar allows the dye to adhere to the egg shell better.
  • Dry the eggs and set aside.
  • In a large baking dish fill it with a thick layer (about 1 inch deep) of the whipping cream.
  • Generously dot the cream with various colors of food dye coating most of the surface fairly close together.
  • Drag a skewer or chopstick through the cream to create a tie-dye design, kind of like you’re making a marbled cake.
  • Place a layer of paper towels on a cookie sheet and set aside.
  • Put on gloves to protect your hands from the dye.
  • Gently place an egg on the surface of the whipped cream.
  • Slowly roll the egg over the surface to coat the shell.
  • Place the egg on the cookie sheet and repeat with remaining eggs. DO NOT WIPE ANYTHING OFF!
  • Let dry 20 minutes.
  • Fill a large bowl with water. The water will remove the excess cream leaving the design on the egg.
  • Gently submerge the egg and then GENTLY dry with paper toweling. DO NOT RUB HARD as you might rub off the design.
  • Store eggs in refrigerator.

NOTE: This can be done substituting shaving cream for whipped cream, but then they are for decoration only and NOT edible!!

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PEACH BLUEBERRY CRISPS

PEACH CRISPS
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen diced peaches
1 1/2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
pinch salt
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 tablespoons rolled oats (NOT instant)**
4 teaspoons flour
2 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/4 cup raspberries or blueberries or ???

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Lightly spray 2 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Toss peaches, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, cornstarch, lime juice and salt together. Set aside.
  • In a small food processor, pulse oats until a fine crumble.
  • Add 2 tablespoons sugar and flour to oats and pulse until well blended.
  • Cut in butter with pastry blender until a coarse meal.
  • Stir in vanilla and walnuts.
  • Divide peach mixture between ramekins.
  • Divide raspberries over each ramekin.
  • Sprinkle each ramekin with oat mixture.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  • Cool 5 minutes before serving – that fruit is HOT!
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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CREAMY BASIL CHICKEN

CREAMED BASIL CHICKEN
Skillet Basil Cream Chicken has always been one of my favorite recipes. Creamy sauce made with buttermilk and cheese, breaded chicken, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and more make up this super easy, delicious, and fool-proof chicken dinner. ADAPTED from Becky Hardin – The Cookie Rookie

¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4-5 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons avocado oil
¼ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 cup heavy cream
1 shallot, sliced thin
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 (4 ounce) can pimentos, drained OR 2 small sweet peppers, diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained (optional)
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons garlic & herb cheese, like Boursin
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • Place chicken breasts in a shallow dish and cover with buttermilk for 10-15 minutes.
  • Pour breadcrumbs in another shallow dish.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
  • Dredge chicken pieces in the breadcrumbs and place in the hot skillet.
  • Cook 5 minutes or until bottom side is crispy and golden brown.
  • Add remaining butter and oil and flip the breasts over.
  • Cook another 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add shallots to pan, cooking until soft.
  • Add mushrooms, cooking until starting to caramelize.
  • Add chicken broth and sherry to the skillet to deglaze, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Add the cream, pimentos or peppers and tomatoes.
  • Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Reduce heat to low and add Parmesan cheese, garlic-herb cheese, basil and black pepper.
  • Simmer and cook until sauce reduces by half.
  • Add the chicken back into the sauce and heat through.
  • Serve over pasta with sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Linking to  DISHING IT & DIGGING IT at Rustic & Refined, SUNDAY’S BEST at Mother 2 Mother, SUNDAYS AT HOME at Celebrating Everyday Life and My Soulful Home, CELEBRATE YOUR STORY at Celebrate & Decorate,
COOKING & CRAFTING with J&J AT Julie’s Creative Lifestyle, MAKE IT PRETTY MONDAY at The Dedicated House, MELT IN YOUR MOUTH MONDAY at Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, MERRY MONDAY at Where The Smiles Have Been and Our Crafty Mom, MIX IT UP MONDAY at Flour Me With Love, SHOW and SHARE at Coastal Charm, LOU LOU GIRLS FABULOUS PARTY at Lou Lou Girls, TAKE OUT TUESDAY at The Painted Apron, TREASURE BOX TUESDAY at Memories by the Mile, TUESDAYS WITH A TWIST at Stone Cottage Adventures, DELICIOUS DISHES at Walking On Sunshine, SHARE YOUR CUP @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson, FAVORITE THINGS at Katherine’s Corner, FULL PLATE THURSDAY at Miz Helen’s Cottage, BLOGGERS PIT STOP at The Blogger’s Lifestyle, HOME MATTERS at Life with Lorelai, KITCHEN FUN & CRAFTY FRIDAY at Kitchen Fun with My Three Sons, PRETTY PINTASTIC PARTY at Coffee with Us 3, SHARE IT ONE MORE TIME at Everyday Home, SWAY SHAREFEST at The Sway Life, WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY at Eclectic Red Barn