Quick. Easy. Delicious. These are the words I like when doing a weekday dinner. This moist delicious chicken is all three. I make it all the time. It’s one of my go-to “I don’t really feel like cooking tonight” meals. Throw it in a dish, dump sauce over it and done. No chopping, no prep really at all. I usually serve this with some pasta, but it goes great with potatoes or rice as well.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you think chicken breasts are dry and tasteless it’s because you are cooking them too long. The magic number you’re looking for is 160° F. That’s it. Then get those babies out of the oven.
And enjoy every single perfectly succulent morsel.
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste, and place in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika, and parsley. Mix well. Pour 1/2 of this mixture over the chicken, and brush to cover.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and brush with the remaining 1/2 of the honey mustard mixture. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear (temp should be 160°). Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
I’ve heard stories about the appetites of teenage boys for many years. All of my friends with older man-children talk about the heaps and piles of food they plow thru. I have to admit, I didn’t really believe all the tales. Then, I had my 14-year-old nephew stay with me last week. I’m a new convert of the “Holy cow, teenagers must have hollow legs or a second stomach…how can they eat so much?” crew.
Nicholas (my nephew) is helping us out with some yard work. He started by powerwashing and scraping our fence. It’s about 300 feet long. This week, provided the weather clears up, he’ll be painting it. Tom Sawyer style. I know, aren’t I the best aunt ever? I’m not sure if it was the deliciousness of these subs, the fact that he’d been working outside all day or pride in knowing he helped me make them (bonding time = shaping meatballs together), but whatever the reason, the teenager hunger was on full display that night at dinner. It was amazing. Good thing I made up the full recipe of 2 pounds of meat.
These are full of meaty goodness on toasted buttery buns. Drenched in sauce and covered with cheese, they may leave you wondering in embarrassment “Who ate that entire sub so fast?”. Hint, if there’s a teenager in your house, make sure you take the full number of subs you want right away. There might not be any leftover by the time you are done with your first…no matter how quickly you wolf it down.
Meatball Sub Sandwiches
adapted from Taste of Home Potluck Cookbook 2011
For the meatballs:
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 gloves garlic, minced fine (I shred mine thru a microplane zester)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 pounds ground beef
1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
Additional Parmesan cheese, onion or green peppers for topping, optional
For the buns:
10 sandwich buns, split
1/4 cup butter
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and place it in the oven while preheating.
In a medium bowl, mix together all meatball ingredients using your clean hands.
Using melon baller/ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into 1-2 inch meatballs. Place about 1 inch apart in the hot baking dish.
Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for about 5 more minutes, or until somewhat crispy on the outside.
While meatballs are cooking, bring jar of spaghetti sauce to simmer in a large pot over low heat. When meatballs are done, add them to the warmed sauce and stir to coat.
Spread sandwich buns with butter and sprinkle with garlic powder and seasoning salt. Turn oven on to broil and place buns on cookie sheet under the broiler. When golden brown, remove and top with meatballs, sauce and additional Parmesan cheese, onion or green peppers (if desired).
It’s grilling season! Woo-hoo! This tasty marinade is quick and easy and will turn just about any cut of meat into a tender, flavorful mouth party. I know, it’s supposed to be meatless Monday. And obviously that’s a picture of steak. Be patient.
I love to soak some big chunks of steak and chicken in this glorious saucy goodness and then grill them up as kebabs. Mmmmm. Kebabs. Meat on a stick. Does anyone else hear Liam Neeson saying “Sam! I’ve done chicken kebabs!” in his gorgeous “Love Actually” accent? Sometimes, I wish my name was Sam. Anyone?
It’s also incredibly delicious on veggies. But I only bathe them in the marinade for about 15 minutes. Don’t want them to lose their fresh bright flavor. There. That counts right? Meatless veggies on a stick.
Also, am I the only one who keeps my veggies on different skewers? Maybe it’s because I like crisp veg and if they share a stick & stay on the fire long enough to cook my meat, the mushrooms are mostly just mush and the peppers have lost their pep. And that is just wrong. Veggies get their own stick in my house. You gotta keep em separated.
Great. Now I have scenes from Love Actually & the lyrics of “Keep Em Separated” running thru my head simultaneously. Bet that’s never happened to anyone in the history of the world. Since the movie is about a bunch of people getting together, and the song has pretty much the exact opposite goal.
Speaking of getting people together, have a BBQ, make this marinade and cook up some flavorful moist and marvelous meat. Your friends will love it! So will you! It’s fantastic and delicious! Oh, if you don’t have any teriyaki sauce, no worries – I love that I can use up the little bit that’s left at the bottom of my bottles when making this, but it’s great sans the bottled stuff too.
1 1/2 cups oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 – 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (I use a 1/2 cup measuring cup and fill it almost to the top)
3-4 cloves fresh minced garlic
1/3 cup store-bought teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup honey
Put all ingredients into a blender, food processor or a ziploc bag. Blend, pulse or shake the crazy out of the bag until combined.
This recipe makes 3-1/2 cups of marinade, but may be stored in the refrigerator tightly covered in a glass container for up to 3 weeks.
Pour over your favorite cut of meat for 2-24 hours. Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, venison etc…can be used on almost anything!
Smothered is such an excellent word. Say it slowly with me. Smothered. Mmmmmm. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I love meals that have so much good stuff covering your plate, you can’t even really tell what kind of meat is underneath.
Careful not to overcook your pork (that is what’s hiding under all those shrooms and onions). You do NOT want it to be grey in the middle. Grey = overcooked, tough and dry. Pork is perfect with just the slightest of pink inside. The USDA recommends cooking pork until it is registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Keep in mind that larger cuts of pork (like roasts and tenderloins) can be removed from the oven at roughly 135 degrees, covered, and allowed to rest, during which time the temperature will rise by at least 10 degrees. Be sure to check the final temperature before serving to make certain that it reaches 145 degrees.
This dish is overflowing with sweet caramelized onions and tender sautéed mushrooms. All that goodness along with perfect pork chops swimming in a delicious gravy that is simply delightful atop mashed potatoes. Use my gourmet red smashers, they are ah-mazing.
Smothered Pork Chops
4 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup milk
2 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
Season pork chops with salt & pepper to taste.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Brown the chops on both sides. Remove to plate and tent with foil.
Add onion and mushrooms to the same pan and saute for two minutes, until onions are slightly translucent. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds then deglaze pan with the wine, scraping up any brown bits.
Add milk and cream of mushroom soup to the pan and stir to combine with mushrooms and onions. Place pork chops back in the pan. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Cover skillet, and reduce temperature to medium-low. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until chops are cooked through.
You could eat an old shoe with this marinade and it would be delicious. Which is perfect, since that’s how some people think of mushrooms anyway. In my quest to have a meatless meal once a week, I stumbled upon these meaty mushrooms. They would be an awesome substitution for your burger, or sliced up on a salad. I just had them aside some fresh green beans and roasted potatoes. Absolutely delicious.
Obviously mine got a little too much love from the grill. My poor hubby is so used to steaks that the Portobello were a new kind of animal for him. Hee-hee, a new kind of animal. The insides were still gorgeous and full of flavor though so no complains from me. All those onions and garlic just melt into the mushrooms as the grill. Yum, yum!
Do you want to know why your steak at a restaurant is a taste explosion drenched in awesome and your BBQ beef is just passable? Come on. You know you’re dying to find out. It’s because chefs aren’t afraid to douse your meat in butter and most of us home cooks think it’s beyond decadence to do so to a steak coming off our grill.
It’s true. Don’t believe me? Try this recipe. One bite of perfectly pink, sinfully scrumptious meat and you’ll forget you’ve ever needed to visit a steakhouse for your carnivorous cravings. Whoa. I’m going a little crazy with the alliteration today.
You won’t whittle your waistline with this meal, but you’ll wonder how you’ll ever eat another steak without this sauce on top. It is ah-mazing.
Meatless Monday strikes again! This is one of my very favorite pasta dishes. Full of veggie flavor and rich creamy pasta. It comes together quickly and is good for parties, potlucks or just an evening at home with the family.
Not the most photogenic dinner in the world but oh so tasty. Enjoy!
14 oz of Orecchiette Pasta ( or short pasta)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Cup of Chopped Onion
3 Cloves of Garlic ( Minced)
1 Cup of Sour Cream
4 oz of Cream Cheese ( Room Temperature)
3/4 Cup of Parmesan Cheese
10 Oz of Spinach ( Make sure to squeeze excess moisture, after it has been thawed of course)
13.5 Can of Artichoke Hearts rinsed and chopped
1 Cup of Mozzarella
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Preheat Oven To 425°
Cook pasta according to the box. Keep 1/4 Cup of the Pasta Water before you drain the cooked pasta.
Heat oil in pan and cook onions for 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
In a large bowl – Mix Sour Cream, Cream Cheese, Parmesan, onions, and garlic. Add Pasta and mix.
Stir in spinach, artichokes, 1/4 cup of cooking liquid from the pasta, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and 1/2 Cup of Mozzarella
Place mixture into greased 2.5 – 3 qt casserole dish and place the rest of mozzarella cheese on top
Place in the oven till golden brown on top – about 10 – 15 minutes.
My first experience with fish tacos was in Maui. My husband and I went to a little dive in Kihei and drank Mai Tais and enjoyed numerous fish tacos. It was bliss. I was hooked (ha-ha-ha) at first bite (ok, I’ll stop now). Since returning from our second honeymoon, I’ve tried recreating the delicious spice and zest of the original tacos I fell in love with, but never quite got it right. Until these. Oh, baby.
First of all, let me calm your fears. Fish tacos are not hard. In fact, they are super simple. And absolutely incredibly delicious. Flaky light fish drenched in a spicy marinade gets grilled up and topped with fresh veggies and a creamy cilantro lime sour cream. I totally forgot to bring the avocado to my mom’s BBQ and these were still gobbled down by everyone I shared with.
The fish is so flavorful with just the right heat. Topped with a cool but BOMB dressing — oooh they are just divine. For a truly Hawaiian experience, I served these with Mai Tais. More on those tomorrow! I highly recommend corn tortillas for these – and, heat them up over the grill! Yuuuuumy!
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay™
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1 (10 ounce) package tortillas
3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 avocado, cubed
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 small head cabbage, cored and shredded (or a bag of coleslaw mix)
Shredded cheese (optional)
2 limes, cut in wedges
To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended. Place the tilapia in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
To make the dressing, combine the sour cream in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder, seafood seasoning. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate. Set grate 4 inches from the heat.
Remove fish from marinade, drain off any excess and discard marinade. Grill fish pieces until easily flaked with a fork, turning once, about 9 minutes. Or, bake in a 350° oven for 9-11 minutes.
Assemble tacos by placing fish pieces in the center of tortillas with desired amounts of tomatoes, cilantro, and cabbage; drizzle with dressing. To serve, roll up tortillas around fillings, and garnish with lime wedges.
Honestly? These are kind of like homemade hot pockets. At least that’s what the hubby tells me. I’ve never personally had a hot pocket. Just add it to the list of things “all” children of the 80′s have eaten that I haven’t. Also included are pop tarts & hamburger helper. What can I say? My childhood was full of home-cooked awesome. I don’t know the origin of hot pockets, maybe a vindictive evil genius in a basement discovered they were the perfect vehicle for scalding the mouths of children across the country? It’s possible. Empanadas on the other hand originated in Spain and eventually made their way around the world in various forms. The name comes from the verb empanar meaning to wrap in bread. Some countries fill the dough with meat, some with sweet fillings or vegetables. I decided to combine the standard fare of the midwest (BBQ) with the Spanish tradition of empanadas. The result? Buffalo chicken awesomeness.
Start by cooking up some chicken, bell pepper and onion.
Then add a hit of BBQ sauce. I’m a big fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s cause it’s so thick and delicious – but you can whatever brand you like.
Roll out some buttermilk biscuits and then start filling. First, some of the saucy chicken mixture.
Topper of cheese (jack, co-jack, pepper jack…all are awesome).
Then fold it up.
And press the edges to seal in all that BBQ goodness. Bake and enjoy!
You can hold these right in your hand and munch away. Glorious! A pocket of bready barbecue goodness.
Mmmmmm. Filled with cheesy, chicken deliciousness.
1/2 cup sour cream or ranch salad dressing, if desired
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Sautee onions, pepper and chicken in large skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Add barbeque sauce; mix well. Remove skillet from heat.
2. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Press or roll each to form 6-inch round. Spoon beef mixture evenly onto half of each biscuit round. Top each with a sprinkle of cheese. Fold dough over filling; press edges to seal. Place on ungreased large cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 375°F. for 12 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream or ranch for dipping and a mexican salad.
I got this recipe out of a BHG magazine and I absolutely love it. Kick up your standard boring coleslaw with the addition of sweet apples, tender chicken and a great dressing. It all comes together in a flash, perfect for the 4th of July and summer BBQ’s!
This is also an incredibly light meal with less than 300 calories in about two cups of salad! Enjoy!
Sweet and Sour Chicken Slaw
12 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
4 cups packaged shredded cabbage with carrot (coleslaw mix)
1 cup fresh pea pods, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup raspberry or strawberry spreadable fruit (the all fruit jam)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 red apple, cored and chopped
1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cabbage, pea pods, apple and onions; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together spreadable fruit, oil and cider vinegar.
3. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
4. Salt and pepper to taste if desired.