Citrus and Herb Roast Chicken

 

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This was so amazing! Perfectly seasoned and juicy – and not at all coconutty! I will make this again and again – even my daughter who practically drinks ketchup, said it was good without it! That’s a win in my book. I served this with steamed carrots and green beans, seasoned with salt, pepper and my fave Kerrygold butter. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Citrus and Herb Roasted Chicken – adapted from Practical Paleo

  • 1 – 3 to 4 pound whole chicken, rinsed and dried
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • Zest of one orange
  • Half that orange, sliced into fourths
  • One small onion, quartered
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (*or butter or bacon grease*)
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Kitchen string for trussing
  • Half sheet pan
  • Foil

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Remove and gizzards or organs from inside the chicken. Stuff the chicken with the onions, garlic, and the citrus, truss the chicken if desired. Brush the chicken with melted coconut oil, and sprinkle it with the chopped rosemary, kosher salt, orange zest, and black pepper, and roast about 55-65 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees. Cooking time depends on the size of the bird but is approximately 20 minutes per pound.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

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This dessert hits the spot and makes me feel like I’m cheating on my diet! It’s a great fake-out dessert because the frozen bananas create a thick, ice cream-like consistency. Even my husband and kids enjoy this – that’s a win for clean eating! 😉 I have made this at least five times in the last two weeks, actually, I could go for one of these right now 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Milkshake – adapted from Detoxinista

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ¾ cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ice cubes (about 2 handfuls)

Directions – 
Throw all of the ingredients into a high-powered blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately!

Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust

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Quick Post: I know I’m late to the game here, but this was our first year to “celebrate” Pi Day. This chocolate cream pie was amazing, and the flavor was even better with age. The first day, it was all mocha; but the next day it became the most perfect chocolate flavor – swoon worthy, amazingly rich, velvety and thick! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Chocolate Cream Pie – adapted from King Arthur Flour

Crust – *recipe link*

  • 24 Oreos
  • 4 TBSP butter, melted

Filling –

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for richer chocolate flavor
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups milk

Stabilized Whipped Cream – *recipe link*

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 tsp powdered gelatin
  • 2 TBSP water
  • pinch of salt
  • chocolate curls (optional)

Directions –

For the Crust – 

In a medium-sized bowl or a food processor, add the Oreo cookies and blend until the texture of coarse meal or crumbs. Add the melted butter and blend until well combine. Place the ground crumb mixture into a 9- or 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and press onto the bottom and up the sides evenly. Try to make the crust about 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) evenly all around. Refrigerate the crust for at least an hour before you add the filling of your choice.

For the Filling – 

1)Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk in the egg yolks.

3) Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.

4) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute.

5) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.

6) Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

7) Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.

8. Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly.

9. Pour the chilled pudding into the chilled Oreo crust and top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.

For the topping – In bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water. Scald 2 tablespoons of whipping cream and pour over gelatin. Stir until dissolved. Refrigerate about 15 minutes. Then whisk until smooth. Mix remaining cream, sugar and salt. Mix in smooth gelatin mixture stopping to scrape bowl twice.

Turkey Tetrazzini

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This was a great use for the leftover turkey breast  from Thanksgiving and it was so good! I might have to roast another turkey to make this again soon 🙂 This recipe makes at least 8 to 10 servings, but it reheats really well. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

Turkey Tetrazzini – adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 11 tablespoons (5½ ounces) unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces egg noodles
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups turkey stock (can substitute chicken stock/broth)
  • ¼ cup white wine (can substitute stock or broth)
  • 3 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (about ¾ cup shredded), divided
  • 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about ⅔ cup), divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish; set aside. Fill a large pot with water and put it over high heat to boil.

2. In a large, 12-inch skillet with sides, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

3. In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking occasionally, until the flour is browned and has a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes.

4. While the flour cooks, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook to al dente. While the noodles are cooking, continue on with the recipe.

5. Slowly whisk the milk, cream, turkey stock and wine into the butter/flour mixture. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

6. Drain the pasta when it is finished, then add the cooked pasta, mushrooms, turkey and peas to the sauce in the skillet, tossing everything together until it is evenly coated. Add half of the Gruyere and half of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

7. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. In a small bowl, toss together the bread crumbs, remaining Gruyere, remaining Parmesan and the melted butter. Toss with a fork until the bread crumbs and Parmesan are evenly moistened. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the tetrazzini.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken (or Turkey) Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuit Crust

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Chicken pot pie is comfort food at its finest: rich, creamy and hearty filling topped with a golden, flaky, buttery crust….yes, please! But if you’re too busy, or you’d rather not mix, chill, roll and hope it was all worth the effort; do yourself a favor and make this biscuit topping instead. These biscuits are so simple to make and you can even stir them up ahead of time and they bake up light, fluffy, and flavorful.

Verdict: So.Freaking.Good. I can’t wait to make this again; and I know I’ll have a good excuse to make it with leftover turkey next time. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie – adapted from Food.com

*6-8 generous servings*

  • 1 cup potato, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1  cup half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups roasted chicken breast or turkey, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions –

Preheat oven to 375°FSaute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for about 10 minutes. Add flour to sautéed mixture, stirring well. Cook one minute stirring constantly.Combine broth and half and half.Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.Stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and peas – stir to combine.Pour into one 13 x 9 casserole dish.

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For the biscuit crust – adapted from Just a Taste

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk

Directions –

*You can prepare the dough up to two days ahead of time*

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Add the cheeses and toss to coat. Blend in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles wet sand.

Add the buttermilk and stir just until a dough forms. Drop the biscuit dough onto the pot pie filling in small mounds, leaving spaces between biscuits.

Bake at 375 degrees until the biscuits are puffed and golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Re-Post: Pot Roast

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I often plan my meals basted on the local weather forecast and I was so happy when I learned the high today would be 71 degrees and the low 61. I know some of you might not think that is at all cold – but this is Florida after all…I’ll take what I can get! 😉 Anything less than 80 degrees feels like a treat here and what better way to celebrate this cooler weather than to make something warm and comforting? I love its simplicity and all the great flavor that it creates; this one is hands-down my favorite, especially when we serve it over a big pile of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Pot Roast with Vegetables – adapted from Tyler Florence

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 yellow onions, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 12 – 16 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

The Best Hot Fudge Sauce

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I have posted a hot fudge sauce before, but this once blows that one out of the water! It’s creamy, velvety and so rich and it makes just over two cups of sauce per batch. It will be perfect for gift giving this season, along with my very favorite salted caramel sauce. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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*swoon* The perfect complement to vanilla ice cream and our favorite triple chocolate cookie cake 🙂

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce – adapted from Baked by Rachel via My Baking Addiction

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Directions – 

1. In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of the chocolate. Bring the mixture to a boil. stirring until the chocolate pieces are completely melted.

2. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add in butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stirring until smooth. Allow the sauce to cool down before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Snicker’s Cake

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When it comes to making a cake (especially the three layer, super involved kind), I need a good excuse to make one. My husband on the other hand would have liked me to make this because it was a Monday – no real reason and no company to help us eat it. I know better! The last thing we need is a giant cake all to ourselves,  not to mention how selfish that would be 😉

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I have used this particular chocolate cake recipe many times before, so I knew it would be really good. Also, for quality control sake, I had to taste the fluff and salted caramel I made – so I knew those were also really good. This is definitely not a cake I would have wanted to make in one day because of all the components; also, it’s much easier to work with when the cake layers have been frozen. On Friday, I made the salted caramel and the chocolate cake – let the cake cool completely, wrapped them up individually in plastic and then placed them in the freezer. I made the fluff on Sunday, stored it in a glass container and let it sit on my counter. Monday I made the nougat and I decided to reduce the amount of peanuts added; but other than that modification, I made it as directed. Also, I totally forgot to add the salted caramel to the top of the nougat filling – boo! I figured no one would care especially once i poured ganache and more caramel sauce over the top 😉

Verdict: This cake tastes as good as it looks – maybe even better. All the guests at our Labor Day party really enjoyed it and we only have about 1/4 of it left! 🙂  I’m glad that all that work I put into it paid off, and I’m sure I will get requests for it in the future 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Snickers Cake – adapted from Punky Purls via Brown Eyed Baker

For the Cake:

  • 2½ cups AP flour (312 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil (*I used grapeseed oil)
  • 4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups marshmallow fluff
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted caramel sauce
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:

  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:

Directions –

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Homemade Marshmallow Fluff!

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(*crossing fingers*) I hope this works out! Hi, name is Shawna, and I’m a total food snob. I am compelled to make as much as possible at home, cause it soothes my soul! 😉

Verdict: I don’t even like marshmallows, let alone the “fluff” stuff, but this is amazing! Lightly sweet and, well – fluffy! Mission accomplished 🙂

Homemade Marshmallow Creme – adapted from Cooking Classy

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions –

  • In a small saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Heat mixture over moderately high heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip together egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed (I had to whip mine on high speed because the whisk attachment on my mixer doesn’t reach quite that low, so if your doesn’t either you may want to crank up the speed), until soft peaks form.
  • Once sugar mixture reaches 240 degrees, remove from heat, set stand mixer containing egg white mixture on low speed and carefully pour about 2 Tbsp of hot sugar mixture down the side of the bowl into the egg white mixture. With mixer running, slowly pour remaining syrup down the side of the bowl into the egg white mixture, increase speed to medium-high and whip mixture until stiff glossy peaks form, about 8 – 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla during the last minute of mixing. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to two weeks.

Grilled Steak Tacos with Chimichurri

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These are the best steak tacos I have ever eaten and chimichurri is a new surprise fave 🙂 I used this pico de gallo recipe, caramelized onions, and this tortilla recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Grilled Steak Tacos – adapted from Feasting at Home

Steak and Marinade-

  • 2 lbs Flank Steak ( or pounded skirt steak)
  • 1 sliced sweet onion for grilling (optional)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 C soy sauce
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 4 smashed, chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 C chopped cilantro (stems ok)


Directions:
In a bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade. Place steak in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, sealing and turning several times to coat well. Let sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally. ( Or marinate for up to 3 hours in fridge, bringing to room temp before grilling.) Grill steak on med high heat to desired doneness. A little char is good. Let rest 10 minutes, (grill the tortillas in the mean time) then thinly slice the meat across the grain.
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Cilantro Chimichurri-

  • 1 bunch Cilantro or about 1 cup packed (stems OK)
  • 1 bunch Italian Parsley- about 1 cup packed (thin stems OK)
  • 1/4 C fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C chopped onion
  • 2 garlic  cloves
  • ground cumin 2 tsp
  • ground coriander 2 tsp
  • salt 3/4 tsp kosher
  • jalapeño -1/2 a pepper

Directions:
In a food processor, place jalapeno, garlic, onion, and pulse several times until chopped. Add cilantro and Italian parsley, pulse again. Add oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until combined. Set aside in small serving bowl.