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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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

Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts

Hey y’all!
It’s been so long since I have posted anything and I am missing it dearly.  I have been beyond busy and life has been super crazy.  I am on a whirlwind roller coaster and I absolutely love it.

I have been testing out new Pinterest recipes and I intend on posting the ones that Ryan and I absolutely love.

Perfect Baked Chicken Breasts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Oven temp: 450 degrees F

Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless preferred
Olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line a baking dish with foil
2. Spray or brush both sides of each chicken breast with olive oil, and sprinkle with the seasonings
3.  Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, flip to the other side and lightly spray/brush again with olive oil and bake for 8-10 more minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.
4.  Transfer the baked chicken breasts to a platter.  Loosely cover with foil and allow to rest 5 minutes before serving.

I normally serve this with garlic bread and my favorite vegetable, brussels sprouts.  I love quick easy meals and this is one of them.

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

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Pumpkin_GingerBread_Trifle

Ingredients:
  • 2 (14-ounce) packages gingerbread mix
  • 1 (5.1-ounce) box cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping
  • ½ cup gingersnaps, optional
Instructions:
  1. Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool.
  3. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, sugar, and cardamom into the pudding.
  4. Crumble 1 batch of gingerbread into the bottom of a large, pretty bowl.
  5. Pour ½ of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping.
  6. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping.
  7. Sprinkle of the top with crushed gingersnaps or gingerbread crumbs if desired.
  8. Refrigerate overnight.

Turkey Minestrone

With my current health issues I am now not allowed to eat beef or anything that resembles beef.  Normally, minestrone is made with ground beef (which is absolutely delicious) but I decided to make this soup with ground turkey.

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I am a absolute southern girl, with that being said I shop at Publix so this was a BOGO (buy one get one) deal.  You don’t have to add anything to this mix except for 8 cups of water (I add a little extra because the noodles absorb it) but being the over achiever that I am I add extra things.  Add a little salt and olive oil to the water to help the water boil a little faster.  Once the water has come to a roaring boil you add the soup mix.

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While the water is boiling go ahead and brown either the ground turkey or the ground beef that way it is ready to be put into the the soup when ready. If you use ground beef then be sure to drain the grease and pat all of the grease out of the meat.

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About 8 minutes after the minestrone is cooking go ahead and add this pasta (you don’t have to add this specific type of pasta, I only bought it because I thought the stars were adorable).  Let it keep simmering on about medium heat until the carrots are nice and soft and easy to eat.

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To help make the soup last longer I went ahead and made some garlic bread, I am a cheese lover so I add extra cheese while they are baking.

This is the perfect type of meal to have when it becomes freezing cold outside.  I keep these sorts of soups on hand in my pantry when it becomes chilly outside.  This brand makes about 5-7 different types of soups that all you do is add some water and let them cook.  My boyfriend and I love them when the cold weather comes.