Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sweet Chili Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

Sweet, spicy, crunchy salad alert! This salad is so super tasty, you can almost forget that it's a salad. Which is, quite frankly, the best way to eat a salad. 

My Sweet Chili Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing is packed with so many flavors and textures that are ta-dieee for! I'm sure I've mentioned once or twice before that my favorite type of salad is one in which there is very little lettuce. That's why. although this recipe starts with a bed of mixed greens, it's the extra accoutrement that separate it from the rest!

Let's talk about the veggies quick. Lots of good ones, including cucumber, carrots, red bell pepper, scallions and sprouts. Big crunch factor, and each one will hold up well to our addicting-ly thick and creamy peanut dressing. This dressing is so simple to make and a little goes a long way. It's just creamy peanut butter mixed with soy sauce, lime juice, a pinch of red pepper flakes plus some water to thin it out. I give it a quick zap in the microwave to make sure it's totally combined and perfectly pourable.

This salad, however, is nothing without this sticky, spicy and sweet chicken. I used a very similar method to the chicken in this super popular ramen recipe. The key is to really caramelize the chicken, which marinates for just a few minutes in a sweet chili glaze. I start by searing it on the stove in a cast iron skillet for about 5 minutes on each side, then transfer it to the oven to cook through (and brown a bit more). Because we are really cooking the meat, chicken thighs are much preferred as they aren't as prone to drying out as chicken breasts.

You could also cook up the chicken out on your grill, which makes this an all-around summer recipe winner in my book. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Recent Eats - Volume 5 and Memorial Day Recipes!

Raise your hand if you're excited for the long weekend! *Raises hand super high*

My husband and I have a long list of house to-dos, and we will probably be spending an absurd amount of time in the garden center at Home Depot. I've never done much landscaping or gardening, but luckily we have that little thing called the internet (speaking of, how did anyone own a home, plan a wedding, or cook anything before the internet?!) It's been a little quiet around here, but I have been doing a bit of cooking and eating! Check back next week for new recipes, and see below for Memorial Day Cook Out inspiration!

It's totally acceptable to make your own birthday cake

Last weekend, we had some friends over for a joint birthday party and housewarming party, and I whipped up a homemade funfetti cake to celebrate. No matter what cake I'm making, I always use this easy yellow butter cake from The Kitchn and Joy the Baker's classic buttercream. I added about a cup of sprinkles to the batter and viola! Funfetti!

Grilling season!

I got the most ah-mazing birthday present from the hubs--a new gas grill! I had been saying how badly I wanted a grill now that we have a backyard, and now those dreams have come true! For the maiden voyage, I grilled up some beautiful bone-in pork chops and simply brushed them with BBQ sauce in the last 10 minutes of cooking. I also made grilled corn on the cob, which our friend smartly taught us is even better when slathered in butter and sprinkled with lemon pepper! Seriously, you have got to try this! What's your favorite meal to cook on the grill?

Doughnut Mastery

A friend and I recently took a doughnut-making class at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts where we learned how to make 3 different varieties of doughnuts! Baked, fried, berliner, the works! I had never eaten doughnuts for dinner until then..,and wow was it delicious! I have a whole packet of doughnut recipes to get through, but these Boston Creme Doughnuts were so addicting. I mean...

Memorial Day Round-up!

As the unofficial kick-off to summer, it's very important that we jump into Memorial Day Weekend with some super tasty recipes. Here are some of my favorite summer cook-out recipes and I think you'll love them, too!

Fresh Corn and Pesto Salad

Watermelon, Feta and Spinach Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad

Creamy White Bean Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Hummus Dip

Spiked Ginger Tea Lemonade

Lemon Bars

Vanilla Coconut Macaroons

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beef, Zucchini and Spinach Enchiladas

Is there really a more beautiful sight?

I am so obsessed with this recipe and I hope you will be, too! These are Beef, Zucchini and Spinach Enchiladas, and they are equal parts creamy, cheesy, spicy and dreamy.

Every now and then (read: fairly often) I get these random dinner cravings that will haunt me for days and days until finally I am speeding down to the grocery store to whip it up for dinner. This week, that craving was enchiladas! Who would have thought in the second week of May, when the sun is supposed to shining and spring fever is supposed to be upon us, I'd be craving this ultimate comfort food?!

Well, here in Boston the weather has been every bit as confusing. Warm and sunny in the morning, gray and cool in the evenings. To deal with this, I decided to load up my rich and wonderful enchiladas with one of spring's best vegetable bounties - zucchini!

When I make enchiladas at home, there are a few basic components I hardly ever change. First, I like to use whole wheat flour tortillas. There are two reasons for this - first, they have just enough extra girth compared to their white counterparts and are far larger and more pliable than corn tortillas, making them the perfect vessel for chunky, rich, saucy fillings. Second is, when using the taco size, I find that 6 enchiladas perfectly fill up my 9x13 pan. The other thing I always do is make a homemade enchilada sauce, usually a red sauce, that is so so easy it would be foolish to use those canned sauces from the store! Not only does this guarantee that the spice level is up to snuff for my family, but it also means I know exactly what my enchiladas are swimmin' in, and that is such a win-win these days!

As for the creamy and cheesy factor, this particular batch of enchiladas is not lacking in any way. If I may, a bit of cream cheese (*heart eyes emoji*) and sour cream get stirred into our beefy filling (which also happens to be PACKED with vegetables but trust me you could hardly tell). Then to top it all off - grated. pepper. jack. cheese. So much yes! No cheese melts as beautifully as a jack cheese, and the extra kick from the peppers in the cheese balances everything just right.

This makes 3 servings of 2 enchiladas each, that is if you're willing to share. If you snuck a third roll, your secret is safe with me - I know, they are impossible to resist.