Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Chicken

If you know the real me then you know that I am not a major fan of cooking.  You would think that with all the Food Network shows I watch I would have a home cooked meal on the table every night, I’m just not that type of woman.  Well after getting bashed and teased about how I’m not a ‘normal’ girl because I don’t like cooking I finally decided to make my man a meal.  Now I’m no Betty Crocker but if you give me a recipe then I can sure as heck follow that recipe to a T and make a great meal.  I was craving chicken that night so I searched and searched and searched for an easy meal because I knew that Ry was gonna be home within the next hour.  I finally found the perfect chicken to try.  It’s a roasted red pepper, mozzarella and basil stuffed chicken.  The picture is what sold me on the recipe, so I put my little invisible chef hat on and headed to Publix.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes
Total Time:  50 minutes

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers sliced into 1 inch pieces (about two whole red peppers if you roast your own)
1 bunch of basil, whole leaves
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9×12 casserole dish.  Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing into the long side of the breast, stopping just about 1/4 of an inch from the opposite side.  Lay chicken breast in casserole dish opened up.  Sprinkle the exposed insides of the chicken breast with 1/2 of the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.  Stack the roasted red pepper, basil, and 1 slice of the mozzarella on the bottom side of the chicken.  Fold the top flap of the chicken over, tucking in the mozzarella, basil and roasted red pepper as necessary.  Sprinkle with the remaining Italian seasoning.  Bake chicken for 30-40 minutes (until chicken is no longer pink).  Pull chicken out of oven and turn the oven to a high broil.  Top chicken with remaining mozzarella slices and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Broil until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Now normally if I do attempt to cook Ry doesn’t normally like it (he is a VERY picky eater but won’t admit it), however, I will mark the day that I made this chicken because Ry actually admitted that he liked the chicken and would eat it again.  HALLELUJAH!  This is for all you ladies (or men) that get teased because they don’t cook, you CAN do it.  With Pinterest’s help, ANYTHING is possible.
xoxo, H
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Making Marlins

Most of my followers may not know this but last weekend was the Pensacola International Billfish Tournament.  My boyfriend took 2nd place in the Tuna category weighing in a 107.4 pound tuna.  He took home a plaque and some new lures for the boat.
The third place winner we were a wee bit jealous of because they got this amazing piece of artwork that represents what fish they caught and placed with that weekend.

So, my boyfriend woke up and came up with the idea that he was going to start making some of the same artwork for our home (currently we don’t have anything on the walls because we are picky).  Right now he is making a piece of artwork for the man cave.  Below are pictures and step-by-step instructions on how he has made this piece of artwork.

Step 1:
Get a pallet board.  Once you have your pallet board you need to carefully take apart the boards on the outside (for our Marlin he only used 3 pieces of the pallet and we will save the rest for another project.)  After we have the pieces off you are going to want to use the center piece of the pallet to use as your base and nail your 3 pieces (or however many you used) so that way you wont have to worry about messing with wood glue or anything like that.

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Step 2:
For the second step we went ahead and googled an outline of an Marlin.  We printed it out and laid it next to our pallets so we could look at it and place our beer caps, yes that’s right, we used beer caps to outline the Marlin.

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Step 3:
Lastly, once you have your beer caps placed all you need to do is grab a hot glue gun and glue those beer caps down and, BAM, you’re done.  All you need to need to do now is hang it up and wait for all the compliments and questions about how you made it.

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xoxo H

p.s. If you aren’t crafty but you love this item, comment and let me know and we would be able to make one and get you a great deal on it, especially for my fellow bloggers (:

Pan Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

Good morning from beautiful Pensacola Florida!

Well fishing season is officially upon us, whoot whoot!!  So please be prepared for the fabulous recipes using fresh yellowfin tuna, blue wahoo and much more.  It won’t get much better than this ladies and gents.  I may even venture out on writing a blog on some of the best fishing gear and fashions while out on the open water.  So keep an eye out.

In my hometown, Scallop season is going to open up in about a month an a half which means some really yummy scallop recipes are about to head your way.  To start the Scallop trend here is a recipe for pan seared scallops with bacon and spinach.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach

Ingredients:
3 center-cut bacon slices
1 1/2 pounds jumbo sea scallops (about 12)
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, sliced
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
4 lemon wedges (optional)

Preparation:
1.  Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; coarsely chop and set bacon aside.  Increase heat to high.
2.  Pat scallops dry with paper towels.  Sprinkle scallops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Add scallops to drippings in pan; cook 2 1/2 minutes on each side or until done.  Transfer to a plate; keep warm.  Reduce heat to medium-high.  Add onion and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add half of spinach; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Add remaining half of spinach; cook 2 minutes or just until wilted, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Divide spinach mixture among 4 plates; top each serving evenly with crumbled bacon and 3 scallops. Serve immediately with lemon wedges, if desired.

I highly encourage the lemon wedges being added to this fabulous recipe.  Freshly squeezed lemons just add a little zest to fresh seafood.

xoxo, h

Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Dried Apricots/Honey Yogurt Dressing

Quinoa Salad with Chicken and Dried Apricots
Makes: 4 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 23-27 minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 cups butter lettuce, torn
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan bring broth and salt to a boil.  Add quinoa.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken.  Cook 8-12 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees (F), turning once halfway through cooking.  Slice chicken; cover and keep warm.
3. In a large bowl combine quinoa, apricots and onion.  Add Honey Yogurt Dressing.  Toss to combine.
4.  To serve, line a large serving platter with lettuce.  Top with quinoa mixture and sliced chicken.  Sprinkle with almonds.

Honey Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plain yougurt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
In a small bowl whisk together.  Cover and chill up to 24 hours

Clementine Delights

On my weekly shopping visits to Publix (southern grocery store), I always pick up the ‘Publix Family Style’ magazine.  It’s right in the front by the sales ad and the best part is that it is 100% free.  In this magazine there are always great cooking tips and tricks and of course the best part, new recipes to try.  New recipes are either a hit or a miss between my boyfriend and I.  There are two specific recipes that I am going to share for my fellow bloggers who may not be able to access a Publix in their hometown.  Clementines are a big hit in the south during winter, I’m not quite sure what it is but they are juicy and delicious.  These two recipes have to do with, you guessed it, Clementines.

Clementine-And-Honey-Glazed Pork Chops

Makes: 4 Servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Marinate: 2 to 24 hours
Broil: 9 to 11 minutes

Ingredients:
6 Clementines, divided
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
4 8-ounce bone-in pork chops cut 1 inch thick

Directions:
1. Zest, then juice 3 clementines. (You should have 1 tablespoon zest and 6 tablespoons juice.)  In a medium bowl combine clementine zest, juice, honey, vinegar, rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.2. Place pork chops in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow dish. Pour honey mixture over pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 24 hours.
3. Preheat broiler. Remove pork from marinade. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan; set aside. Quarter the remaining 3 clementines.
4. Place the pork chops on the rack of an unheated broiler pan. Season both sides of the pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
5. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 4 minutes or until the glaze darkens and any exposed parts of the pork chops turn brown. Turn over pork chops and add the clementine quarters to the pan. Broil 5 to 7 minutes more or until pork registers 145 degrees F on an instant-read themselves.
6. Meanwhile, heat reserved marinade over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes or until reduced by half.
7. To serve, spoon honey reduction over pork chops and broiled clementines.

A meal is not complete without dessert.

Dark-Chocolate-Dipped Clementines

Makes: 54 segments
Start to Finish: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
6 clementines
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon shortening
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

Directions:
1. Line a large baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Peel and segment clementines.
2. In a small heavy saucepan heat and stir chocolate and shortening over low heat until melted and smooth. Dip clementine pieces halfway into chocolate, letting excess drip off. Place on the prepared baking sheet. While still warm, sprinkle with ginger. Let stand until set. Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

Don’t forget to comment with how you like these recipes and to tell me your favorite recipes.
XOXO, H

Strawberry Lemonade Moonshine

Strawberry

Yields: 6 quarts plus a half pint (if you use 5 cups of Everclear)

Ingredients:
4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice
12 cup Water
4 cups Sugar
1 liter Strawberry Puree
1 Daiquiri/Margarita mix for the Strawberry Puree
5 cup Everclear

Directions:
1. Low heat mix water and sugar till dissolved
2. Cool to room temp
3. Add lemon juice and strawberry puree
4. Add Everclear
5. Stir well
6. Strain out the pulp
7. Jar it, and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of weeks (the longer it sits, the better it becomes).

You can use 3-5 cups of Everclear, up to you and how much alcohol content you want.

Shirley Temple Cocktail Cupcakes

Shirley_Temple_Cocktail_Cupcake

The non-alcoholic Shirley Temple cocktail has a reputation for being super sweet, so it’s no surprise that it translates well into cupcake form. I also really like the grown-up Shirley Temple Black cocktail, which has all the ingredients of the original version, but with a shot of Kahlua (or Campari. Or dark rum, some would argue). So, I decided to make these cupcakes both ways.

The cute little bows on top of the cupcakes are plastic ring birthday party favors. I think they make adorable toppers for Shirley Temple cupcakes. To differentiate the two cupcake flavors, I gave the non-alcoholic cupcakes a pink bow and the Kahlua-flavored cupcakes a black bow.

Alcoholic_Nonalcoholic

Yield: 15 cupcakes
Prep: 40 minutes, total time about 1 hour 30 minutes

This recipe is written assuming that you want to make both Shirley Temple and Shirley Temple Black cupcakes. If you want to make an entire batch of original cocktail Shirley Temple cupcakes, just replace the Kahlua with grenadine, and for an entire batch of Shirley Temple Black cupcakes, vice-versa. I like to give my cupcakes a stately crown of frosting but not everybody is into that much on one cupcake. Feel free to half the Grenadine Buttercream recipe.

Cake:
1/2 cup/113g butter softened
1 cup/200g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups/ 223g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup/122g sour cream
1/2 cup/ 4 oz. Sprite soft drink or ginger-ale
1/4 cup grenadine
1/4 cup Kahlua liqueur
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Line one cupcake pan with 12 paper liners and another cupcake pan with three liners. I used 8 pink liners for the regular Shirley Temple cupcakes and 7 black liners for the Shirley Temple Black cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup Sprite soda and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).  Add flour and Sprite mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
  3. Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter.  Bake for 17-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely. When cupcakes are cool, fill a flavor injecting syringe with roughly 1 teaspoon of grenadine. Place the needle in the center of a cupcake and push the plunger as you gently pull the needle up and out of the cupcake.  Repeat with 7 more cupcakes. Wash the syringe and repeat process with Kahlua and remaining cupcakes. Set cupcakes aside while you make the frosting.

Grenadine butter-cream:
 1 lb/452g of unsalted butter, softened
2 lbs (one 32 oz. bags/ 453g) confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tablespoons grenadine, or more to taste
Milk or heavy cream, if needed
15 maraschino cherries
White nonpareils for sprinkling

  1. Mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly and then increase to high and beat for 5 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the grenadine 1 tablespoon at a time; add more grenadine to taste if desired. Beat frosting again for another 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and mix again on the highest setting for 3 minutes.
  2. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is piping consistency.  Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip. Pipe frosting onto each cupcake in two large swirls and top each with a maraschino cherry. Sprinkle over the white nonpareils.
  3. Store cupcakes loosely covered in plastic wrap or in a plastic cupcake-keeper.

Shirley Temple cocktail recipe with variation
Yield: 1 serving

6 oz. lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite (can use ginger-ale)
1 1/2 tablespoons grenadine
Maraschino cherry for garnish

  1. Pour the lemon-lime soda into a Collins glass filled with ice.
  2. Add grenadine. Garnish with a cherry and a fancy straw.  Stir drink just before sipping.

Shirley Temple Black variation: Add  1 to 2 oz. Kahlua and an additional cherry.