Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki and Flat Bread

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Quick Post: Greek night is one of my favorites and the leftovers taste even better :) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

 

Chicken Gyros – adapted from Elly Says Opa

  • 1.5 to 2 pounds chicken breast, split
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3 TBSP
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping TBSP Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP dried oregano
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup tzatziki sauce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • salad greens
  • crumbled feta
  • flat bread

Directions -

Combine garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl – then pour over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the grill (or broiler, pan, ect.) Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and cook until done – about 5-7 minutes a side. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing.

Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki, tomatoes, feta and onions. Roll up and eat!

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Tzatziki – adapted from Culinary Cory

  • 2 (7 oz) containers of Greek yogurt
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and unpeeled
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbl. white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbl. fresh dill, minced (*I used about 1 tsp. dried*)
  • 1 ½ Tbl. garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • assorted fresh vegetables
Directions -
Shred the cucumber with a grater and squeeze out the excess liquid. Add the dip ingredients to a medium mixing bowl. Stir until well combined. Garnish with any remaining dill. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables. Makes approximately 2 cups of dip.
bread
Flat Bread – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Wrap bread

  • 3 cups AP flour (361 grams)
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup potato flour OR 1/2 cup potato buds or flakes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast

Directions -

1) To make the bread: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and the remaining 1 cup of flour with the salt, oil and yeast.

3) Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough. Note: You can allow the dough to go through the entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it’s not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled.

4) Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.

5) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

6) Roll each piece into a 7″- to 8″-circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat (about 325°F in an electric frying pan or on an electric griddle) for about 1 minute per side, until they’re puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out.

7) Transfer the cooked breads to a rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool completely before storing in a plastic bag. Note: If you plan on making these into folded sandwiches, gently fold them in half when you take them off the griddle, rather than laying them flat. That way, they’ll retain that folded shape as they cool, and will be easier to make into sandwiches.

 

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Cafeteria Sloppy Joes

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Yum! These are the least fussy sloppy joes that I came across in my search. The flavor was kid friendly without too sweet or bland – I loved it and happily ate leftovers the next night. My picky eater quickly ate her portion without any coercion from me – that almost never happens and that is a win in my book ;) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Brown 1 pound ground beef in a large skillet with olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons each ground cumin and smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. Serve on slider rolls with potato chips

Hamburger Potato Buns

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Quick Post: Once you have made homemade buns, there will be no going back to store-bought! These are fluffy, flavorful and substantial enough for all your toppings. Thanks for reading, enjoy! :)

Hamburger Potato Buns – adapted from King Arthur Flour

**Recipe modified for a double batch**

  • 4 cups AP flour (5oo grams), hold back about 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (240 grams), hold back about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups milk, warmed

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Directions -

1) Combine all of the dough ingredients and mix and knead them — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it’s almost doubled in bulk.

3) Turn the dough onto a lightly greased surface, gently deflate it, and divide it into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

4) Place the balls into the greased cups of a hamburger bun pan, flattening gently. Or place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 2″ to 3″ between them; flatten gently.

5) Cover and let rise until the buns have doubled in size, 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

6) Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re light golden brown.

7) Remove them from the oven, and brush them with melted butter, if desired.

8) Transfer the buns to a rack to cool. Store buns, well-wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Hungry for More?

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Mashed Potato Burger Buns

6

Brioche Buns

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Beautiful Burger Buns

Stromboli

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If you couldn’t tell, this family loves pizza and “pizza-ish” recipes! This is a simple and satisfying meal and makes for easy school lunches :) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Stromboli – adapted from The Spiffy Cookie

**I made two with this recipe**

  • 2 lbs pizza dough, divided (I used this one)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce, plus more for dipping
  • 2 cups grated cheeses (*I used mozzarella, Monterey jack, Romano and Parmesan*)
  • 5 ounces pepperoni (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • 4 ounces of deli ham (*I used Applegate Farms*)
  • Olive oil, garlic powder, pizza seasonings and salt for topping, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line large rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Spread pizza dough out on baking sheet to be approximately 10×16. Spread pizza sauce over 2/3′s of the dough lengthwise, leaving a 3×16 rectangle of plain dough along one of the edges. Top sauce with half the grated cheese, pepperoni and ham.
  3. Roll up like a jelly roll lengthwise starting along the long edge of dough topped with all the fillings and ending with the plain strip of dough on the bottom of the roll. Repeat for the second dough ball.
  4. Brush the entire Stromboli with oil and sprinkle the top with seasoning if desired, and gently cut slats in the top of the dough every 1-2 inches. Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes and slice into pieces. Serve with more pizza sauce.

Hungry for more? 

veggiepizza

Portobello and Kale Pesto Pizza

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Pizza Bites

One Big Pizza

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As I rolled out this batch of dough, I realized it would not fit on my stone. Rather than split it in two, I pushed it into the perfect sized rectangle for my half sheet pan. I’m glad I did, and this pizza was so stinkin’ good. I used this Italian chicken sausage that I crisped up in a large skillet, while the crust was par-baking in the oven. I used at least four types of Italian cheeses on this and flavored the crust with olive oil and other seasonings. My family loved this pizza and my son requested it for his birthday dinner :) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

One Big Pizza - 

For topping the crust:

  • olive oil
  • garlic powder
  • kosher salt
  • dried oregano

*Optional Equipment – pizza stone and a silicone pastry brush

Directions -

Preheat oven to 475. Place a pizza stone on a rack placed on the lowest level of the oven.

Roll out dough onto parchment lined sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 5 minutes.

Top the crust with pizza sauce and bake for another 5 minutes.

Spread about 1/2 the shredded cheese on the top, and bake for another 5-7 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, paint the crust with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and kosher salt, sprinkle with oregano all to taste. Top with browned sausage and the remaining cheese, bake until golden brown and bubbly – about another 7 minutes. Take a peek at the bottom of the crust to make sure it’s golden brown – if not, continue baking until it’s done.

Chicken and Potato Soup

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Quick Post: Florida is experiencing 80 degree temps lately with ridiculously high humidity – but I know you Northerners could still use some warming soups. This is perfectly comforting, rich and creamy; and I wish that it was cooler here so I have a good excuse to make some. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken and Potato Soup – adapted from Damn Delicious

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, (*fresh if you have it*)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth (*I used homemade chicken stock*)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Directions -

  • Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in thyme until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in chicken and cheese, a handful at a time, until smooth, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed.
  • Serve immediately

Mushroom, Caramelized Onion Macaroni and Cheese

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This isn’t something that I get many chances to make, so as soon as I saw it I sent a text to my vegetarian food-loving friend. As expected, she was all in for this fancy mac and cheese! It was so good – full of savory flavors from the caramelized onions and meaty mushrooms. Don’t substitute any of the cheeses; they’re worth every penny – besides, when I make her lunch I get a date night :) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Mushroom, Onion Macaroni and Cheese – adapted from Joy the Baker

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, for cooking the onions and mushrooms
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced in semi-circles
  • half a pound of button or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 scant teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 pound pasta shells, boiled until just undercooked
  • 1/3 cup panko crumbs

Directions -

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.  When heated, add the sliced onions and saute until translucent, stirring occasionally.  Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, and reduce the heat to low.  Continue to cook until the onions are completely browned and thoroughly cooked, about 10-15 minutes. Spoon caramelized onions into a small bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the quartered mushrooms and stir to coat in fat. Allow the mushrooms to soften and brown, about 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper , and remaining thyme and reduce the heat to low. Cook until mushrooms are browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until mixture is combined. Add the milk and whisk together until mixture has thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add scant teaspoon of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, beat the egg. Add a few tablespoons of the warm cream sauce to the egg and whisk together. Once the egg is warmed, add it back to the cream sauce and whisk well to combine. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheeses. Stir until melted and combined. Add the cooked pasta, onions and mushrooms and stir until all is coated in cheese sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a  a 9×13-inch pan, and scoop the pasta mixture into the greased pan then top with panko crumbs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the bread crumbs are browned and the pasta is sizzling. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
**Pasta can be made a day ahead and left in the fridge unbaked. Just add the bread crumbs just before baking.

Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs and Coconut Rice

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Quick Post: It doesn’t look like much, but my family enjoyed it. I really loved the coconut rice – it doesn’t taste like coconut, but the coconut milk makes the rice rich and creamy. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Orange Glazed Chicken Thighs – adapted from The Stay at Home Chef

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 1 cup orange juice (about 4 oranges)
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
 Directions -
1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray. If you want to be fancy, line the bottom of the pan with orange slices (optional).
2. In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, orange zest, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Place your chicken thighs skin-side up in the prepared baking dish. Pour half of the glaze over the chicken thighs.
4. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take the remaining glaze and pour it over the chicken.
5. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The skin will get nice and crisp and browned.

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Coconut Rice -

  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk, plus enough water to make 2 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste (optional)

Directions -

In a medium saucepan, add water and coconut milk and rice. Cover and bring to a boil, then add salt – stir to dissolve, reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15-18 minutes.

 

Honey Chipotle Chicken Salad with Lime Quinoa

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Quick Post: This salad was everything I wanted it to be – sweet, spicy, smokey, tangy – perfect! The chicken soaked up all the flavors of the marinade and once grilled, it caramelized and became it’s own finger-licking-good sauce. The surprise hit for me was the lime quinoa – I cooked it in homemade chicken stock with a little salt and pepper. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Lime Quinoa – adapted from How Sweet Eats

honey chipotle chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard (*I used this recipe*)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

salad

  • 6 cups spring greens
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (*I had Roma tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro (*the store didn’t have any*)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced

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Lime Quinoa 

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well (at least 3 times, or until the water is clear)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced and zest freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions -

Add the chicken breasts to a baking dish or Ziploc bag and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, adobo, honey, mustards, cilantro and garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken, covering it evenly. Place it in the fridge and marinate for at least 2 hours, or even overnight.

When you’re ready to make the meal, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tiny bit of olive oil and add the chicken, then cover the skillet and cook until the chicken is deeply browned on both sides and cooked in the center, about 6 minutes per side.

To make the salads, add the greens in a large bowl and toss them with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add the chicken on top along with the quinoa, the tomatoes, cilantro, green onions and avocado. Drizzle the bowl with the lime juice, olive oil and honey. Serve!

lime quinoa
Add the quinoa and stock (or water) to a saucepan over high heat and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the coconut oil (you can swap butter), lime juice, zest, salt and pepper.

Buttermilk Baked Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Homemade Creamed Corn

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I’m all for eating healthier in January to sort of make up for all the rich foods that I made during the holidays…but sometimes it’s hard to quit the comfort. All of these recipes were delicious, but the cream corn had me swooning and will definitely be a repeat offender in this house! Thanks for reading, enjoy :)

Buttermilk Baked Chicken - adapted from Food Republic

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed (*I used garlic powder*)
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 cups panko (Japanese-style) breadcrumbs
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
Directions -
To prepare the marinade, in a large mixing bowl whisk the buttermilk, mustard, hot sauce, paprika, salt, onion and garlic together to combine. Put the chicken in a plastic storage bag, add the buttermilk mixture and smoosh the chicken around to thoroughly coat in the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, preferably up to 2 days.
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the marinade, wiping off any excess buttermilk, and discard. Season both sides of the chicken breasts lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the breadcrumbs out on a flat plate. Press the chicken breasts into the breadcrumbs to completely coat all sides, shaking off the excess.
Put a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is shimmering, lay the chicken in the pan – you may have to do this in batches. Sear for 3 minutes on each side. Nestle the seared chicken breasts side by side in the skillet. Transfer the skillet (and chicken) to the oven and bake for roughly 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden.

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Home-Style Mashed Potatoes – adapted from Pass the Sushi

      • 2 pounds potatoes (I had Russett)
      • 2 TBSP butter
      • 1/2  cup heavy cream
      • salt

Directions -

Scrub and peel the potatoes. Dice into even 1/2″ cubes to even out cooking time. Place in a large Dutch oven with just enough water to cover. Salt the water and bring to a boil. Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork pierces the potatoes easily.

Drain the potatoes and return to the Dutch oven. Add the cream and using a blender or a masher, mash the potatoes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and mix until incorporated. Add more cream if needed (starch may very from potato to potato). Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to entice friends and family into extra big spoonfuls.

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Homemade Creamed Corn – adapted from Fabulously Fugal

      • 20 ounces frozen corn thawed
      • 1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 2 T sugar
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 2 T butter
      • 1/2 cup milk
      • 2 TBS flour
      • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Directions -

Heat first 6 ingredients together in a large pot. In a separate small bowl, wisk separately  the 1/2 cup milk and 2 TBS of flour (this is what will help thicken the cream).

Stir into corn mixture and cook over medium heat (stir often so the cream doesn’t burn) until mixture is thickened and corn cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.