Sep 27, 2011

Honey-Dijon Chicken Tenders

honey mustard chicken tenders 2

As a child – I hated anything with mustard with a passion.  I wouldn’t even attempt to like it – I turned my nose up and walked away.  I’m still not a huge mustard eater – but I like it enough to try out dishes with mustard in them.   They addition of honey really helps to balance out the mustard flavor.   It also helps that these chicken tenders have a nice crispy panko crust.   Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner!  Enjoy!


  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken tenders


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lay a baking rack over a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a shallow dish, combine the panko, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne.  In another dish whisk together the butter, mustard, and honey. 

3. Working one chicken strip at a time, dip the chicken first into the mustard mixture, then press into the panko until fully coated.

4. Place chicken tenders on the baking sheet, and cook 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden-brown and the chicken is cooked through.

Source: Pink Parsley

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Sep 23, 2011

Almond Joy Bars

almond joy bars

I love coconut – and almonds – and chocolate.   This is only similar to the candy bar with the same ingredients– but it really is better because you can use bittersweet chocolate and the crunchy graham cracker crust that holds everything together.  

These are a decadent treat – and super simple to make.  I can definitely see myself making them for many occasions – they are sure to be a hit!  Enjoy!

almond joy bars 3


  • 1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips


1. Melt butter and stir into sugar and graham crackers until evenly combined.

2. Press into the bottom of a 8x8 inch pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

3. While the crust is baking, mix the sweetened condensed milk with the coconut until incorporated.

4. Remove crust from the oven and spread coconut filling over the crust. Sprinkle the almonds over the filling.

5. Bake the bars in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

6. Take the bars out of the oven, turn off oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bars. Return to oven for a few minutes until the chips are melted enough to spread with a knife.

7. Cool completely and then cut into squares.


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Sep 21, 2011

Tomato Cucumber Salad


There is nothing better than ripe tomatoes off the vine.  As you can see – I managed to get plenty (from my sisters garden).  I really wish I could get free tomatoes all year long!   So along with BLTs and tomatoes in salads and on sandwiches – I decided we needed to be eating tomatoes with every meal.  It was my lucky day when I looked in the fridge and had a cucumber, left over feta cheese and green onions.  This salad was destined to be! 

tom cuc salad 1

You can definitely adjust the ingredients to suit your taste – but I loved this combination.  This would also be a super simple side dish to bring to a party – Enjoy!!

tom cuc salad 2


  • 3 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber - peeled, quartered lengthwise, and chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Source: Allrecipes

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Sep 19, 2011

Peach Brown Sugar Ice Cream

peach brown sugar ice cream 3

I know for some people its late in the season for peaches and they are already moving onto pumpkins.  Well, I like to savor summer as long as possible – and I was still able to buy fresh local peaches at the market, as of yesterday.  But I know that time is running out to enjoy my favorite fruit.  Other than at least one peach a day in my yogurt for more than the last month – I didn’t make anything with them this year yet. 

peach brown sugar ice cream 2

Well, I could not let summer go by without a fresh peach ice cream.  Last year I made honey peach ice cream – so this year I tried this brown sugar peach ice cream.   Honestly – anything with peaches is going to be delicious to me.  This is rich, creamy and perfectly sweet – I’m sure you are not surprised anything with peaches and cream is going to be amazing!  Enjoy!

peach brown sugar ice cream 1


  • 4-6 ripe peaches (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Peel and slice the peaches into small pieces.  Place in a medium saucepan and combine with the sugar and lemon juice.  Cook for about 15 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally to mash up the peaches.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. Combine the milk and 1/2 cup light brown sugar in a medium saucepan and heat on medium until bubbles form around the edges.

3. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and remaining sugar together in a medium bowl.

4. Place the cream in a separate large bowl, with a strainer set on top.

5. Pour the hot milk into the eggs in a steady stream, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.

6. Pour the mixture back in the saucepan and place back on stove. Cook on medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens slightly and coats back of a spoon – it should reach 170 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.

7. Strain mixture into the cream and stir to combine and add in vanilla.

8. Chill in an ice bath until it reaches room temperature. Stir in the peaches and chill mixture in refrigerator overnight.

9. Freeze in ice cream maker per manufacturer’s instructions.

Source: Dessert First

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Sep 12, 2011

Grilled Blueberry BBQ Salmon

grilled blueberry bbq salmon

I am definitely the type who is not sure of fruit mixed with my fish – but I have tried it before and loved it.  But I still had my doubts as I was mixing together ketchup and blueberries to make the sauce (seriously – you have to admit it’s a strange combo).  But it was completely worth it to veer from my usual staple salmon recipe and try this out.  The sauce was sweet and savory – but not overpowering.  I served this with some simple risotto and green beans.  Enjoy!


  • 2 salmon fillets
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. grated onion
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch red pepper flakes


1. Pat the salmon dry and season liberally with salt and pepper.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the blueberries over medium-low heat until they begin to soften and burst, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the ketchup, vinegars, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes.  Stir well to combine and break up the blueberries, then increase heat to medium.  Stirring often, cook until the mixture begins to bubble, then lower the heat to medium low.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened, another 10 minutes. 

3. Use a paper towel and tongs to oil the grates of the grill well, then lay the salmon, flesh-side-down, on the grill.  Cook 5 minutes, then carefully flip.  Brush the salmon with half the BBQ sauce, then cook an additional 3-5 minutes, or until it is mostly cooked through but still pink in the center (130 degrees F).  Remove from grill,  brush with remaining sauce, and serve.

Source: Pink Parsley

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Sep 8, 2011

Crockpot Stuffed Peppers

crockpot stuffed peppers 2

It’s starting to be that time of year where the temperatures are perfectly warm during the day and the evenings are nice and cool.  It’s this time of year that I like to start to use my crockpot again.   These can be prepped the day in advance or you can make them the same day – since they are not in the crockpot for that long.   These definitely require some prep – so consider that when doing your meal planning.

crockpot stuffed peppers 3

I will tell you this though – they are totally worth it!   I loved the rich tomato sauce paired with the perfectly cooked rice and sausage.   The peppers were soft but not mushy.   If you’ve got a few peppers left from your garden this year – I highly recommend you try this recipe out. 

crockpot stuffed peppers


  • 4 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup Arborio rice
  • 8 oz. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil


1. Cut 1/2 inch off the top of each of the bell peppers.  Discard stems and seeds.   Chop pepper tops into 1/4 inch pieces; set pepper cups aside.

2. Microwave chicken broth and rice in a covered large bowl until liquid is absorbed and rice is nearly tender – 13 to 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook sausage in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up into small pieces until browned – 6 to 8 minutes.  Transfer cooked sausage to a paper-lined plate once cooked.

4.  Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of fat from skillet (or add some oil if needed – I used lean chicken sausage).  Cook onions and chopped pepper until softened and brown – 8 to 10 minutes.  Stir in garlic, oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Add tomatoes and bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

5. Combine 1 cup of sauce, sausage, 1 cup parmesan cheese and rice.  Transfer remaining sauce to the slow cooker. 

6. Poke 4 holes in the bottom of each pepper cup, using a skewer or knife. Fill each pepper with rice mixture and place upright in a slow cooker.  Top pepper with remaining parmesan cheese.

7. Cover and cook on low until peppers and rice are tender – 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

8. Transfer peppers to a plate.  Stir basil into sauce and season with salt and pepper.   Spoon sauce over peppers to serve.

Source: Cook’s Country Aug/Sept. 2011

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Sep 6, 2011

Blueberry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

blueberry crumb bars 2

I love fresh blueberries – just like strawberries, they taste so much better when they are grown locally.  What I love even more about blueberries is how easy they are to freeze – nothing like the work involved with hulling quarts of strawberries.   I reserve most of my blueberries for my morning yogurt – but I wanted to make a few things with some fresh ones while they lasted.   I loved these blueberry oatmeal crumble bars – they were simple to make and delicious.  They were indulgent enough for dessert, yet wholesome enough that a piece for breakfast also seemed ok too.  Winking smile 


blueberry crumb bars


Blueberry Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • zest of 1/4 lemon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Crumble and Crust

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened and cut into 6-8 pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1. To make the filling: combine the blueberries, lemon juice and zest in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the berries are soft and tender, 8-10 minutes.  Add the sugar, salt and cornstarch to the berries, and bring to a boil.  Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until thickened.  Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 8x8 inch baking dish.

3. To a food processor, add all the ingredients for the crust and crumble topping.  Pulse in 1-second intervals until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Reserve 3/4 cup for the topping, then press the rest of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

4. Spread the berry filling over the crust.  Use your fingers to squeeze together clumps of the remaining crumble topping, and sprinkle evenly over the berry filling.

5. Bake until golden-brown, 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Source: Pink Parsley

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Sep 2, 2011

Santa Fe Burgers

santa fe burgers 2

These burgers were the perfect easy summertime burger recipe.  They are filled with cheese, salsa and crushed tortilla chips – an oddly perfect ingredient that I wish I had thought of.  We are always crushing up tortilla chips in our tacos – so why not cook them inside the burger? Ingenious. I only had Frontera Chipotle salsa on hand – but you can use any kind of salsa you may have.  I found the the chipotle really gave these burgers a great taste though.  My husband is seriously obsessed with the Frontera salsas – I can barely keep the house stocked with them.   I went to two of Rick Bayless’ restaurants in Chicago recently (if you don’t know who he is by now you are missing out!) – and I am still thinking about the food – so fresh, so flavorful and so so delicious. It really has inspired me to cook some more adventurous Mexican dishes.  I topped these burgers with some extra cheese, fresh sliced avocados and some more salsa.  Y.U.M.M.Y!  Enjoy!


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup salsa, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 4 burger buns
  • sliced fresh avocado, for serving


1. In a medium bowl, combine the beef, shredded cheese, salsa, tortilla chips, green onions, chili powder and garlic salt. 

2. Shape into 4 burger patties. 

3. Cook on the preheated grill for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cook through.

4. Place on buns and top with additional cheese and salsa.  Top with fresh avocado slices.

Source: Pennies on a Platter

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