Thursday, June 28, 2012

Peppermint Ice Cream

I had this several times at Christmas time.  So, so good!  Make sure you use hard peppermint candies, NOT candy canes.  We made that mistake and ate ice cream that tasted like toothpaste!
Peppermint Ice Cream
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ice Cream Maker Time: 25-30 minutes
Makes: 1 1/2 quarts
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups  heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
3/4 cup crushed hard peppermint candies
1/2 cup chocolate chunks (optional)
Mix milk and sugar together until the sugar dissolves completely.  Add heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and peppermint extract and stir until completely blended.
Pour this mixture into your ice cream maker.
Add crushed hard peppermint candy to churning mixture.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grilled Island Chicken

pic courtesy of Mel's Kitchen Cafe

I made this last week and it was really good! It was different from the regular old soy sauce-type marinade (even though this has soy sauce in it). It's a great summer meal.

Grilled Island Chicken
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe 

*Serves 2-4, depending on how many chicken breasts are marinaded

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1-2 lemons)
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2-4 chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients except chicken in a mixing bowl or large airtight plastic bag. Whisk or shake well until the marinade is well mixed. Add the chicken breasts to the bowl or plastic bag so that they are covered by the marinade. If using a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap. If using a plastic bag, press out all the excess air and seal the bag tightly. Refrigerate and marinate up to 10 hours (I would suggest marinading for at least 3 hours at the minimum).
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. Grill the chicken for 6-7 minutes per side (depending on how thick the chicken breasts are), until the chicken is no longer pink in the center (if you have a meat thermometer, the chicken should register 165 degrees). Tent with foil and let the chicken rest for about five minutes before serving.
Alternately, the chicken can be baked using the following directions:
When ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 350° F. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and pour the excess marinade over them. Bake in the oven until cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165° F, about 45 minutes (exact baking time will depend on the size of your chicken pieces.) Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Orange Dream Fudge

photo from realmomkitchen
Imagine a creamsicle that doesn't melt at room temperature.  You got it-amazing!

Orange Dream Fudge
Recipe from realmomkitchen

o    3/4 cup butter
o    3 cups sugar
o    3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
o    1 (10-12 oz) package vanilla or white chips
o    1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow crème
o    1Tbsp orange extract
o    12 drops yellow food coloring
o    5 drops red food coloring
1.       Line a 13×9 in. pan with foil and grease with butter; set aside.
2.      In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, heavy cream, and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved (this is a key step)
3.      Once sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil over medium heat; cook & stir for 4 minutes.
4.      Remove from heat; stir in chips and marshmallow crème till smooth.
5.      Remove one cup from the mixture and set aside.
6.      Add orange extract and food coloring to remaining mixture; stir until blended.
7.      Pour the orange mixture into prepared pan.
8.     Drop reserved marshmallow mixture by tablespoonfuls over the top; cut through with a knife to swirl.
9.      Cover & refrigerate until set. Using foil, remove from pan and cut into squares.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

Pic courtesy here

I can't believe I'm just now getting around to posting this recipe. It was SO good. I love cilantro and I love tacos and this was perfect for satisfying both!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
from "What's Cooking Chicago"

cooking spray for sauteeing
2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup cilantro lime pesto (recipe follows)
flour or corn tortillas
preferred taco garnishes (salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc)

Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute chicken over medium high heat and cooked through. Toss cooked, seasoned chicken with the pesto. Fill tortillas with chicken and top with preferred garnishes.

* To make ahead/freezer meal - Cook chicken as directed as above and cool. Place chicken in freezer bag. Prepare cilantro lime pesto as directed below. Place a 1/2 cup of pesto in a small storage bag then place inside the freezer bag with the chicken. Freeze. When ready to prepare, defrost and heat chicken. Toss chicken with defrosted pesto. If desired, heat chicken and pesto together before filling tacos.

Cilantro Lime Pesto
recipe adapted from Food Network

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (do not include stems)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup shredded asiago (Parmesan or Romano can be substituted too)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken broth

Using a blender, mix together the cilantro, olive oil, almonds, garlic, lime juice, asiago, salt and chicken broth on low speed for 2 minutes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Baked Potato Wedges and Fry Sauce

photo from

I really loved the flavoring of these wedges.  The parmesan cheese made all the difference.  And fry sauce....yum!  We used the bbq sauce instead of the ketchup!

Baked Potato Wedges

Recipe from 

4 to 5 small potatoes
olive oil
Johnny's Seasoning Salt (or any kind of seasoning salt)
Parmesan cheese

Scrub potatoes well, slice into wedges and place in a large plastic bag.  Add a little olive oil and toss to coat then transfer to a foil-lined baking sheet with the skin side down. Sprinkle potatoes generously with seasoning salt and parmesan cheese. Bake at 450-degrees for 30-35 minutes (or until cooked through and golden brown). Do not stir while cooking.  Serve with ketchup, fry sauce, or ranch dressing.

Fry Sauce

1/3 c. ketchup (if you want to make it more like Red Robin you can substitute BBQ sauce)
2/3 c. mayonnaise
optional: 1 tsp mustard (just for a little added zip)
(If you want it like In-n-Out's special sauce: add some pickle relish)

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Eat with fries or chicken nuggets. Enjoy (I know you will)!