Dijon-Chili Dipping Sauce

This sauce is so good. I dipped some Parmesan-crusted zucchini sticks I made the other day in it. A great combination of zest!

Ingredients:

  • 2 T Heinz chili sauce
  • 1 T Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)

Directions:

Combine!

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Rosemary Chicken with Butternut Squash and Sweet Onions

Happy third birthday to my blog! To celebrate, I am posting a very tasty one-dish chicken dinner I found in a magazine. I made this in a large deep Pyrex, but the recipe calls for a rimmed baking sheet. I like the Pyrex better because it holds more juice.

Ingredients:

  • 3 (or 4) skinless chicken breasts (about 2.5 lb)
  • 2 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 lb cipollini (sweet) onions (small)
  • 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • More salt
  • More pepper
  • 2 T apricot preserves
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard (Grey Poupon)
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

Directions:

Position rack in lower third of oven. Heat oven to 400F. Season the chicken breasts with 1 T chopped rosemary, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

In a bowl, combine the cubed butternut squash with 1 tsp olive oil.

In a second bowl, combine the sweet onions with 2 tsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp olive oil.

Coat the Pyrex (or baking sheet) with Pam. Place chicken breast side up. Spread the squash and onions in a single layer around the chicken. Sprinkle the vegetables with 1 T chopped rosemary, more salt, and more pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.

In a third bowl, combine the apricot preserves, Dijon mustard, chopped ginger, chopped garlic, and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. Flip the chicken breasts. Brush with the apricot sauce. Turn the vegetables. Roast another 15 minutes, until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165F.

Note: I had to roast mine for an extra 10 minutes, so 40 minutes total. It was cooked just right when I took it out.

 

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Posted in Balsamic vinegar, Butternut squash, Chicken, Dijon mustard, Garlic, Ginger, Onion, Rosemary | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cocoa-Chili Pork

So, I found this rub recipe somewhere…I don’t remember. It might have been an old issue of Women’s Health…a very old issue. I clipped it and put it in a binder and used it for this week’s meal. This is a cocoa-based rub and I decided to use it on pork. It was very mild and browned nicely on the grill.

Ingredients:

  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 T chili powder
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 pork medallions, about 1/2-inch thick

Directions:

Smear the rub onto the pork right before grilling. Grill on medium high 5 minutes per side, until internal temperature reaches 165F.

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Pureed Parsnips

When I had surgery a few years ago to remove my wisdom teeth, my mom prepared a bunch of pureed foods because I couldn’t chew on anything solid for over a week. She made everything taste good somehow by pureeing it in the blender…black beans, plantains, potatoes, even a whole pot of chicken soup! I was inspired by her pureed culinary creations and have decided I want to learn how to puree every kind of vegetable…and more.

So, I have started with parsnips. Usually I like to roast my parsnips with carrots, which brings out their flavor nicely.  But this is very light and tasty. Season it up even more if you want!

Ingredients:

  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks (about 1.5 pounds)
  • 1.5 T butter
  • A pinch of salt, pepper, and smoked paprika
  • 2 T water

Directions:

Boil the parsnip pieces in salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Add the butter, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and water. Process until it is smooth.

Sorry about the picture…I’ll post a better one later. Just wanted you to see what the combination looks like.

 

photo(10)Ah, here is a better picture, with the cocoa-chili pork I made last night. The parsnips are the pureed vegetables on the left.

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Marshmallow White Chocolate Brownies (from a box)

After making these brownies, I do not think I will ever make brownies from scratch again! There are tons of websites out there that instruct you on how to add things to your brownies from a box to make them taste richer and better.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (13×9 family size, 18.3 oz) Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
  • 1/2 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

Prepare the brownie mix as the box suggests. Add the marshmallows, walnuts, and white chocolate chips. Bake for the amount suggested on the box plus 1 minute.

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Flank Steak Fajitas with Bell Peppers and Onions

Tacos. Fajitas. Whatever you want to call these. They are amazing. Some people prefer flour tortillas, I prefer corn. After all, my family is Nicaraguan, and I grew up smelling the aroma of fresh-made corn tortillas…the original Maseca recipe. Some day I will get a tortilla press and make them, because I just can’t seem to perfect the recipe using my hands.

This recipe is fantastic. I found it on The Pioneer Woman’s website. Her photos are spectacular, her recipes are delicious. I will visit her website a lot more in the future.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound beef flank steak (this serves 2 people)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (I used 1/4 cup)
  • 3 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 whole medium onions, halved and sliced (I used one)
  • 4 bell peppers, sliced (red, orange, yellow, green) (I used two)
  • Oil for frying
  • Tortillas, warmed
  • Crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese

Directions:

In a dish, combine the olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Pour half of the marinade into a separate dish. Place the steak in one dish with the marinade, turning it over to coat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours. In another dish, place all the vegetables and coat with the marinade. Put in refrigerator for several hours as well. I combined my ingredients in plastic Ziploc bags so that they would absorb everything better.

Meanwhile, prepare the tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro, for serving. I like to serve this with pico de gallo.

When you are ready to cook the steak, heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes, about 5-6, until slightly browned. Remove and set aside.

The Pioneer Woman recommends heating the same skillet over high heat and drizzling in some oil, then cooking the meat 2 minutes per side for medium rare. I used my indoor grill on high heat. I cooked the meat about 4 minutes per side for medium rare-medium, and it turned out great.

Remove the meat from the heat and let rest on a wooden cutting board for at least 5 minutes. Slice the meat with an electric knife or serrated knife, against the grain, into long thin strips for the fajitas. You always want to let meat rest for at least 5 minutes so that the juices do not run out and dry the meat.

Tips for heating tortillas:

Use the faucet to moisten a piece of paper towel. Place the paper towel on top of a microwaveable plate. Place a tortilla over it. Place another wet paper towel over the tortilla, and continue to layer tortillas. Microwave 1 minute. When finished, wrap the tortillas in a moist clean kitchen towel and place inside a dish with a lid.

Here are the steak fajitas:

photo(8)And the finished assembled taco/fajita. That’s queso fresco, a very tasty type of cheese!

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Posted in Bell peppers, Chili powder, Cumin, Fajitas, Garlic, Lime, Meat, Onion, Sugar, Tacos, Tortillas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cranberry Strawberry Grape Salad

I modified the Orange and Basil Salad I had posted a while ago. I’ve actually never tried the basic recipe…we always modify it. Some day I will make it, because it does look delicious. Here it is, modified yet again:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup grapes, sliced in half
3 strawberries, quartered
1 slice red onion, chopped
1 T slivered almonds
1 T crumbled feta cheese
1 T dried cranberries
1 cup mixed greens
2 tsp salad dressing (see below)

Famous Dressing: makes enough for several salads
Ingredients:
1/4 cup (4 T) olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T lemon juice
Pinch of salt and pepper
You can also add minced garlic if you want

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Posted in Cranberries, Grapes, Onion, Salad, Salad dressing, Strawberries | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment