BUFFALO CHICKEN MUFFINS or MEATBALLS

BUFFALO CHICKEN MUFFINS or MEATBALLS
yields 12 muffins or 24 meatballs

2 pounds ground chicken
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery minced
1 mini red pepper, minced
2 green onions, minced

1/2 cup blue cheese or Gorgonzola cheese crumbles
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • For meatballs line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with non-stick baking spray. For muffins LIGHTLY spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, onions, celery, red pepper, cheese crumbles, salt and pepper.
  • Portion and shape into 18 or so meatballs.
  • Arrange in a single layer on your baking sheet.
  • For muffins divide mixture into 12 muffins. If making muffins prepare sauce before baking.
  • Top each muffin with a scant 1 tablespoon of sauce BEFORE baking.
  • Bake 12-15 minutes.

1/4 cup Frank’s original hot sauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon chopped chives

  • Melt butter in small saucepan.
  • Add hot sauce, to taste and blend well.
  • Pour sauce evenly over meatballs, turning to coat well.
  • Garnish with chives.

CORN SALSA SALAD

CORN SALSA SALAD
5 ears fresh corn, 1 1/2 cups
2 cups lettuce (optional)
1 SMALL red pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, seeded & diced, or 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup red onion
1/4 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
1 cup bite size pineapple pieces
1 cup bite size watermelon pieces

2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 limes, juiced
6 ounces pineapple juice
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon green Tabasco, to taste
1/4 cup salted & roasted sunflower seeds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

  • Boil corn 5 minutes JUST until tender.
  • Rinse under cool water.
  • Cut kernels from the cobs.
  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients except the lettuce and sunflower seeds, tossing until well mixed and coated.
  • Whisk together the lime juice, avocado oil, pineapple juice, Tabasco, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Chill until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, add lettuce and sunflower seeds, tossing to mix well.

NOTE: If you are in a hurry, a QUALITY defrosted frozen corn or even cans of Green Giant Mexican corn niblets substitutes easily. AND if you have enough time charring the corn on the grill before hand adds another depth of flavor 😀

TOMATO CUCUMBER SALAD

TOMATO CUCUMBER SALAD

1 cucumber, quartered lengthwise and chopped into pieces
1 LARGE box cherry or grape tomatoes, washed and halved
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup FRESH chopped cilantro
1/4 cup FRESH chopped parsley
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2 tablespoons QUALITY balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk together the oil, vinegars, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, cilantro and parsley together.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over top and toss together.
  • Chill in refrigerator for AT LEAST 2 hours before serving.

SHEET PAN SWEET & SPICY BBQ CHICKEN

SHEET PAN SWEET & SPICY BBQ CHICKEN serves 6
2 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup QUALITY honey
1/4 cup chiles in adobo sauce, chopped small
1/4 cup yellow mustard (OPTIONAL) see notes
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
12 bone in pieces of chicken (legs and thighs work best) see notes
2 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
1 bunch green onions, FINELY minced
1/4 cup avocado oil

  • Whisk together the ketchup(s), brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, Chipotle peppers in sauce, mustard if using, salt, pepper, garlic salt and onion salt until well blended.
  • Place chicken pieces in a large ziploc bag.
  • Pour marinade over chicken pieces and seal tight.
  • Marinade in refrigerator for AT LEAST 4 hours.

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line baking sheet with heavy duty foil.
  • In a small bowl toss together the avocado oil and onions.
  • Spread the onion and oil mixture onto the foil covered baking sheet.
  • Remove chicken pieces from the bag and place on top of the onion oil mixture in a single layer.
  • Brush with marinade.Reserve remaining marinade.
  • Bake 45 minutes.
  • Brush with reserved marinade again and bake 5 minutes more.
  • Let rest 5-10 minutes.

NOTES:

  • I’m deathly allergic to mustard so I substitute a jalapeno ketchup that works quite well 😀
  • Boneless, skinless pieces can be substituted, BUT be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly! And I cover them for the first half of time with aluminum foil.
  • This recipe adapts to the grill quite easily also!

TEX MEX BACON CHEESEBURGER CASSEROLE

This is the ultimate cheeseburger experience FULL of your favorite flavors from a standard cheeseburger with a TEX-MEX flair, WITHOUT the carbs from the bun AND is gluten free!!

TEX MEX BACON CHEESEBURGER CASSEROLE

1 pound ground round
1 bunch green onions, sliced and separated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Pampered Chef taco seasoning

1/2 pound bacon, diced, cooked and crumbled
4 LARGE eggs
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 LARGE can green chiles, drained WELL OR 1 can original ROTEL, drained WELL
1/3-1/2 cup der Weinerschitzel chili OPTIONAL
1 1/2 cups SHARP grated cheddar cheese
Mexican sour cream
Salsa

  • Spray 9×9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Add beef and onion whites to a large skillet over medium-high heat, browning 5-7 minutes until crumbly and cooked through.
  • Sprinkle with taco seasoning.
  • Add garlic, stirring a minute more until fragrant.
  • Drain off excess grease.
  • Fold in bacon pieces, rotel tomatoes or green chiles and chili if using. Set aside to cool.
  • Whisk together the eggs, heavy cream and FRESH ground salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add half the cheese.
  • Fold cooled meat mixture into the egg mixture, blending well.
  • Spread into prepared baking dish.
  • Top with remaining cheese.
  • Bake 35-40 minutes or until top is golden.
  • Garnish as desired with green onion tops and ENJOY!
  • Add a dollop of salsa or sour cream for an added OOMPH!

NOTES:

  • ANY creamy non-bean chili can be substituted.
  • This recipes double or even triples easily for a crowd.

CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN THIGHS

CILANTRO LIME CHICKEN THIGHS

¼ cup avocado oil
2 LARGE limes, juiced and zested
4 cloves garlic, FINELY minced
3 tablespoons chopped FRESH cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon chili powder
+/- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground cumin
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Lime wedges, for garnish serving

  • In a mixing bowl or LARGE ziploc bag combine oil, lime juices, lime zest, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, honey, chili powder, salt, pepper, and chili flakes flakes, tossing until well until well combined. 


  • Remove 1/4 cup of the marinade and place it in a small bowl. Set aside for later.

  • Add chicken thighs to the marinade and toss to coat well.
  • Seal and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or in the fridge for up to 2 hours.
  • Set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter and heat it until hot.
  • Add the chicken thighs to the skillet – be careful, they will sizzle – discard the remaining marinade. Cook the thighs for 5 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom; flip and continue to cook for 6 to 8 more minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Brush chicken thighs with reserved marinade.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

OVEN BAKED CHICKEN & RICE

OVEN BAKED CHICKEN & RICE

Buttery, garlicky, tender and made entirely in the oven! Dish is flavored well without the gravy, but I highly recommend the super quiclk, easy and flavorful gravy to take it over the top.

6 boneless, skinless chicken thigh fillets or 3 LARGE breasts, halved
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup FINELY chopped carrots
2 cups frozen corn
3 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice (see notes)
1 1/2 cups HOT homemade chicken stock
1 1/4 cups HOT water

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Scatter onions, carrot pieces and garlic in a LARGE 10×15 inch baking dish placing butter in the center.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, stirring mid way to coat well with the melted butter.
  • Meanwhile, mix together the Chicken Rub.

CHICKEN RUB (see notes)
1 teaspoon SMOKED paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

GARNISH
Fresh thyme leaves or finely chopped parsley, if desired

  • Sprinkle on both sides of the chicken with the rub, coating well.
  • Remove baking dish from the oven.
  • Add rice and corn thoroughly mixing with the onion carrot mixture.
  • Whisk together the chicken stock and water.
  • Pour stock mixture evenly over rice, stirring together.
  • Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes more.
  • Remove foil and place seasoned chicken pieces on rice. Replace foil and bake another 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil, brush chicken with melted butter.
  • Return to oven uncovered and bake for another 20-25 minutes more or until ALL excess liquid is absorbed.
Stand for 5 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and fluff up rice.
  • Garnish with parsley or thyme.
  • Serve and enjoy!

GRAVY
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon or 2 “cubes”
2 1/4 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Whisk in powder or crumble cubes into boiling water, mixing to dissolve.
  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in flour, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • While constantly stirring, slowly pour in half the liquid until well blended.
  • Add remaining liquid and whisk constantly 2-3 minutes – it will thicken quickly.
  • Adjust seasonings if needed.

NOTES:

  • The Chicken Rub can be substituted with any seasonings you want! Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Italian Herb Mix…
  • Chicken breast tenders are also a great substitute. This recipe is VERY forgiving!
  • Rice – Any normal white rice works great here. Long grain white rice will yield the fluffiest rice. Short and medium grain will work fine too but by its very nature, is a bit stickier. Basmati and jasmine are terrific too. If using brown rice add an extra 1/2 cup hot water and bake covered for 1 hour before adding the chicken. DO NOT USE MINUTE RICE or RISOTTO!!!
  • The BIGGEST secret tip is the baking of the onion with garlic with the butter before adding the rice, liquids and chicken! You can short cut this step, but it adds a great flavor base!

 

BBQ MEATBALLS & BACON CHEDDAR BAKED POTATOES

BBQ MEATBALLS & BACON CHEDDAR BAKED POTATOES serves 4
This quick and easy, but also budget friendly meal is flavor packed for a quick weeknight meal.

MEATBALLS
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup FRESH breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons + 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 cup beef broth
1 LARGE egg
1/4 cup FINELY chopped red onion
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped parsley, + more for garnish

  • In a large bowl combine ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, red onion, 2 tablespoons parsley and 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce gently mixing JUST until combined.
  • Divide into 12 meatballs.
  • In a large ovenproof skillet melt butter over medium high heat making sure to coat sides also.
  • Add meatballs and brown 5-7 minutes until all sides are browned.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the 3/4 cup BBQ sauce and beef broth.
  • Pour into skillet around meatballs. Turn meatballs to coat.
  • Bring to a LOW boil, reduce heat and cover, simmer 5-7 minutes until sauce is heated through and meatballs are well coated.
  • Heat broiler.
  • Sprinkle cheese evenly over meatballs.
  • Broil 2 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
  • Garnish with parsley.

POTATOES
4 LARGE Yukon gold potatoes
2-3 slices bacon, diced
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup FULL fat sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, divided and softened
2 green onions, FINELY diced

  • Preheat oven 400°.
  • Line baking sheet with foil.
  • Wash potatoes and pierce with fork.
  • Add potatoes to baking sheet.
  • Bake 1 hour until tender.
  • While potatoes are bacon, crisp up bacon in skillet and drain on paper toweling.
  • When potatoes are tender, slit them open.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of butter to each potato and generously sprinkle with
  • FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Add bacon pieces and cheese.
  • Increase heat to broil.
  • Add potatoes, broiling 2-3 minutes until cheese melts and becomes golden.
  • Add a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with green onions or chives.

CHERRY CRUMBLE BARS

CHERRY CRUMBLE BARS

BARS
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 LARGE eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon PURE almond extract
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cans (21 ounce) COMSTOCK cherry pie filling (see notes)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup honey nut granola, crushed

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a large (12×17) jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Cream together butter and sugar, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add salt, eggs, and vanilla and almond flavorings and continue stirring until fully incorporated.
  • Add flour and baking powder and mix until just combined. Reserve 1 3/4 cup of dough.
  • Spread and gently press half the dough into the prepared baking pan.
  • Top with cherry pie filling.
  • To the remaining 1 3/4 cups batter add in the brown sugar and granola pieces.
  • Drop remaining batter in small pieces over the cherry filling.

  • Place pan in the oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown.Turn pan halfway.
  • Remove from the oven and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Cool completely before glazing.

GLAZE
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk

  • 

Whisk together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth and drizzle over the bars.
  • Cut into squares and serve.

NOTES:

  • This recipe works well with apple, lemon and peach also as well as the apple/cherry or apple/blackberry combinations.
  • This can be made in 2 9×13 pans to stretch farther. When I do that I use a 3rd can of pie filling.

CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA

CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA yields 2-3 servings

4 ounces linguine pasta
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast steaks
2+ teaspoons Cajun seasoning (SLAP YO MOMMA) (+/- according to your heat level)
2-4 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced

1 LARGE red bell pepper, half sliced thin and half small chopped
+/- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets

4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
2-3 green onions, minced
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ teaspoon dried basil (FRESH is better, but not necessary)
1/3 cup FRESH chopped Italian parsley
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
Juice of a SMALL lemon
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

  • Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguini pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.

 Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.
  • Season chicken with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Coat chicken with Cajun seasoning.


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  • Saute chicken 3-4 minutes per side until cooked through. Set chicken aside to rest.
  • Add bell pepper, garlic,  sliced mushrooms and green onions; cooking for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Slice chicken into bite sized strips.
  • Add heavy cream, basil, FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper blending well.


  • Fold in chicken pieces and lemon juice and adjust seasonings to taste.
  • In a large bowl, toss linguini with sauce.
  • Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Serve with cornbread.

SLOW COOKER BEEF TIPS & GRAVY

SLOW COOKER BEEF TIPS & GRAVY

This is THE perfect comfort food! Serve it over mashed potatoes, pasta noodles or your favorite roasted potatoes and veggies.

BEEF
1½ pounds beef round roast, cut into small chunks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 SMALL yellow onion, chopped
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig FRESH thyme

  • Season beef roast with salt and pepper.
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the beef. Allow it to sear for 4 minutes on each side to give it a nice caramelized coating.
  • Add the seared beef tips to slow cooker.
  • Top with onions, minced garlic, and thyme.

GRAVY
½ tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
1 pinch salt
1½ cups water
½ tablespoon beef base I use Better Than Bouillon

  • Reduce the skillet heat to medium and melt butter.
  • Add sliced mushrooms with a pinch of salt and stir to coat with the butter., sauteing for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Stir occasionally, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add water and beef base to the skillet and stir to blend.
  • Add gravy mixture to the slow cooker with the beef tips.
  • Cover crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for 2½ hours, until the beef is fork-tender. If you have time, cook it slow for 5-6 hours for even greater flavor.

1 tablespoon red wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Once the beef tips are done cooking, whisk together red wine and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Stir into the gravy.
  • Turn heat up to high and cook for 20 minutes to thicken the gravy.

NOTES:

  • A nice caramelized searing coat on the beef adds to the depth of flavor.
  • Beef base will give the gravy a deep rich flavor, however, you can also substitute beef stock (NOT beef broth) in place of the water/beef base combination for maximum flavor results.

ARROZ con POLLO con QUESO

ARROZ con POLLO con QUESO Servings 4-6

A Mexican food lovers dream comes true with this abbreviated short cut version PERFECT for any weeknight meal, but as satisfying as grandma’s Sunday dinner. I serve this with charred corn, but many times everyone just mixes it all together 😀 YUMMY!

4 slices bacon, diced
1 tablespoon avocado oil (if necessary)
4 large boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bit sized pieces
1 tablespoon KINDERS taco seasoning
1 tablespoon KINDERS fajita seasoning
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups INSTANT white rice
1 cup ON THE BORDER queso blanco
1 cup ON THE BORDER salsa
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 can HATCH chopped Green Chiles
3 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups Mexican taco blend cheese

  • In a mixing bowl, toss chicken pieces with taco and fajita seasonings until well coated. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat cook bacon until crisp.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper toweling.
  • Add oil to bacon drippings (if necessary) to equal 2 tablespoons.
  • Add chicken pieces and all loose seasoning to sizzling skillet, sautéing until cooked through and tender.
  • While chicken is cooking, add heavy cream and rice to a saute pan, stirring to combine. Bring JUST to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add quest, salsa, green chiles and cilantro, simmering 5 minutes until rice is tender and fluffy.
  • Stir in most of the bacon pieces, tomatoes and green onions. Saving the remainder for garnish.
  • Nestle chicken pieces into the rice.
  • Top with cheese.
  • Broil 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.
  • Garnish and serve.