Monthly Archives: October 2012

Southern Style Salmon Patties 2.0

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If you are thinking along the same lines that Kevin did you are asking yourself why in the heck I named this dish Southern Style Salmon Patties 2.0. Well, the reason I named it that was because this is my “Upgraded” version of the Southern Style Salmon Patties I learned how to make when I lived in North Carolina. I learned how to cook those first Southern dishes from my ex Mother in Law. That woman is a seriously good cook, but what was so funny is that (and I found out later is quite the norm for many cooks in the south) she didn’t use measurements. It wasn’t a cup of this and a tablespoon of that. It was a bit of this and a pinch of that, etc. When she taught me how to make cornbread one of the instructions read “add enough to make it the thickness of pancake batter”. I was a bit confused at first and had a lot of trial and error. But eventually caught on and still consider those recipes some of my favorite ones

So I am in no way saying that the original way I was taught to make them is wrong. No way, those were some seriously good salmon patties! Those patties had a ton of crushed up Saltine crackers in them that, while they tasted fabulous, added a lot of calories and sodium. Plus they were fried in a lot of oil. I wanted lighten them up and let the salmon flavor to shine with a few other flavors in the supporting cast. So that is where this recipe comes from.
Of course if you want to eat them “Southern Style” you need to have beans and coleslaw and cornbread right? Well I did make the coleslaw lighter, but had to make pinto beans (although in the south we had shelly beans which are OMG sooooo good!!). Even though I have been subbing black beans for pinto beans in all of my recipes lately, you just need pinto beans for the right flavor in my mind. The cornbread was left out (sadly) as I was trying to lighten the menu. But trust me it will make appearances occasionally. There is no way I could forgo corn bread forever!!
I realize this picture is not as pretty as the others but I had to show you how to put it together if you have never eaten them this way. WOW that picture makes me seriously hungry. This is one of the meals I could eat every week and I never leave leftovers!!!

Southern Style Salmon Patties 2.0
3 6-ounce cans of boneless skinless pink salmon (I get mine at Costco in a 6 can bundle)
4 green onions, chopped (whites and greens)
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (reserve about 1 tablespoon for garnish if desired)
Zest of a small lemon
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Coleslaw (see recipe below)
15-ounce can of Pinto beans (I used Bush Beans)
Add salmon plus the juice to a large bowl and flake with fork. Mix in the green onion,parsley, lemon zest, and eggs. using your hands combine. Add your bread crumbs (may need more if the mix is not thick enough to form patties). salt and pepper to taste.
Spray a large flat bottomed skillet with Non stick olive oil spray, coating it well. Heat over medium to medium high heat (depends on your stove, I hate my electric ggrrrr). Form into 8 patties. Working in batches fry the patties on one side until golden brown, flip and repeat.
Spicy Coleslaw:
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix from produce area (green and purple cabbage and carrots)
  • 3/4 cup light or fat free mayonnaise
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, grated (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard (a palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt and pepper. Pour mayonnaise mixture over coleslaw mix and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to meld.

Ladle a scoop of pinto beans onto a plate. Place 2 salmon patties on top of them and the top the patties with a scoop of coleslaw.

ENJOY!!!
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Tipsy Tuesday – Vampire Kiss Martini for #Halloween

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What and awesome day for Tipsy Tuesday! I love Halloween parties so of course I was tickled to no end to be able to come up with a special spooky drink to celebrate with. I had this awesome martini glass that was my Mom’s and knew it would be perfect for a Halloween style martini. Then I set to work thinking of cool Halloween drink names. Being a huge zombieholic I of course thought I would go in that direction, but I had just been watching one of my favorite TV shows “Vampire Diaries” and it just seemed so right. I mean Vampires Kiss sounds like a great name for a martini right? Not so much Zombie Blood. Naaa that is more of a shot drink name I am thinking.

I know I have told you that, for the most part, my son is the one that comes up with the drinks for Tipsy Tuesday He is a wonderful bartender and loves the opportunity to stretch his imagination and come up with new goodies for our alcohol consumption. But this time I actually came up with the main idea. Of course he tweaked it for me when he came over. I used a bit too much Chambord and it was very sweet. That is not necessarily a bad thing. If you like a sweeter drink I would say to double the Chambord. But I like my martinis with a hint of flavor. That is what is so great about this drink. So easy to personalize it depending on who is drinking it! 
However you make it, this drink should be on your Halloween party planner!! 
Vampire Kiss Martini
1 1/2-ounce Vodka
1/2-ounce Chambord
1-ounce cranberry juice
Ice
Place ice, vodka, Chambord, and cranberry juice in a cocktail mixer. Shake well and strain into a martini glass.
ENJOY!!!

Manic Monday Party #15

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Hi everyone, it is that time of the week again. It always seems to sneak up on us doesn’t it? It is Monday, what in the heck am I making tonight???? Luckily I planned a head for a change and thawed out some forzen marinara sauce I had and picked up some turkey sausage. So spaghetti is on the menu tonight. Simple and easy! I was going to make some bread today, but that would require a shopping trip and I am not really wanting to go. To much to get done here today!!
Last Monday our Manic Monday had it’s normal entries for last minute meals, but we also had a Halloween theme. We had some terrific posts for both. But these are the top 3 viewed/voted for posts.
Embalming Fluid from Noshing with the Nolands
New York Style Pizza Crust from Sumptuous Spoonfuls 
and we have an extra feature this week because there was a tie!
Loaded Cajun Deviled Eggs from Inspired by eRecipeCards
Some great posts last week!! I had a blast Sharing them on Facebook and Twitter, and pinning on Pintrest. So let’s do it again this week? I am shooting for a new high so make sure to post up to 3 posts and tell your friends. The more the merrier!!
Here we go…..
As usual you can post your meal ideas for Manic Mondays but today I thought we would have a Thanksgiving side dish theme as well, so post away. Share your favorite side dishes for the holidays!!
Now, As for the rules;

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. I just love doing that!! 

If you would like to check out all of the past submissions go to my#manicmonday Pintrest board.

Leave as many recipes as you want that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble.

It would be wonderful if you would leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don’t forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love!
Want to grab my button? Go for it!!

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Goblin Eggs for Trick or Treat #SundaySupper #Halloween Party

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I was so excited when I saw the theme for this weeks #SundaySupper was Halloween. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Maybe part of the reason is that, even though we were broke, my Mom made such a big deal about Halloween. From figuring out a homemade costume, to decorating the house, to giving out the candy and trying to scare the trick or treaters. It was just tons of fun.
Pumpkins were always the highlight of Halloween. When I was a kid we of course just carved them. Now there are all sorts of stencils, patterns, and tools to help you get it done. Remember the days of a steak knife and tablespoon? Ahh the good ol’ days. But we have made the most of what is available today.
Now as an adult, with adult children, I don’t have to figure out costumes anymore. But I do enjoy decorating the house and having fun with the trick or treaters. Since we just moved I decided to play nice this year and put out all of our “cute” Halloween decorations. Next year we will do it scarey!! 
I came up with this idea from the Easter egg days. You knew if there was a crack in the shell of the egg there would be color on the white when you opened it up. Well one year the kids decided to do it on purpose. I can tell you it made for some interesting looking egg salad! I think my kids would have enjoyed these. Plus it is a great reason to make deviled eggs, which my kids love!



Goblin Eggs

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, shells extremely cracked
6 cups hot water
1 tube green food coloring gel
1 tube blue food coloring gel
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 tube red food coloring gel
Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl add the hot water, green food color, blue food color, and vinegar. Stir to combine well and allow the gel color to mix. Add the eggs and allow to sit for at least 1 hour. 

Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and carefully peel the shells away. Once all of the eggs are peeled, cut each egg in half, placing the cooked yolks in a medium bowl. Arrange egg white halves on a plate.

To the egg yolks add the mayo, pickle relish, mustard, salt, and pepper. Once you have the mixture to taste, add the red food color a little at a time until the desired color is attained.

Spoon some of the egg yolk mixture on to one of the egg white halves and top with another to make a deviled egg “sandwich”.

ENJOY!!



We would love to have you join this special Sunday Supper and bring your halloween party recipes.  So many amazing recipes and this group is just a blast to be around.  Our #SundaySupper chat will begin on Twitter at 7pm Eastern Time.   Grab your Bewitching Brew and Ghoulish Grew and join the fun!

Bewitching Brews:

Ghoulish Gruel:

Haunted Snacks:

Spooky Sweets:

Join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.  We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or you can follow us through TweetChat.

"Ghoulash" for #Halloween

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Hello and happy almost Halloween. Halloween has always been a favorite of mine, ever since I was little. We were pretty broke while I was growing up, but my Mom always had fun creating costumes for me out of whatever we had on hand or Goodwill finds. I think that is why I ended up being so creative with my kids. I loved making their costumes and come up with crazy ways to decorate the house. Shoot I have even dressed my dogs up (yes…yes, I am one of those people).
I know I have told you that my Mom wasn’t much of a cook (love you Mom) but my Grandmother prided herself in a lot of her traditional holiday meals. Well they were our traditional meals, meaning meals she always made for certain holidays. She always made a huge batch of oyster stew for New Years, fresh bread at Easter with the glazed ham, and this was one of my favorites that she made for Halloween. I can remember when I got older I asked her why she called it “Ghoulash” and she said it was because it was frighteningly good! Gotta love Grandma!!

But she was right. This is the perfect comfort food. It warms you from the cold October nights (well they were cold in Nevada…and here in Washington too), but it is so good you want to eat bowl after bowl of it! I tried to lighten it up just bit by using ground turkey instead of beef, and just a dollop of low fat sour cream on top instead of stirred in. You could do away with the sour cream altogether but it would be hard for me to have this meal without it. 
So give this dish a try on Halloween night. Send your kiddos out trick or treating with a nice warm full tummy. That way they won’t be tempted to eat the candy while they are out and there will be more for Mom and Dad to scavenge through hehehehe.
Do you have any traditional holiday dishes? I would love to hear about them!
“Ghoulash”
1 package lean ground turkey (usually about 1 1/3 pound)
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons died marjoram
3 bay leaves
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flake (optional)
1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I used whole grain pasta)
Saute the ground turkey in a dutch oven, over medium-high heat, until no pink remains. Add the onions and garlic. Stirring occasionally, cook until the onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, cumin, marjoram, crushed red pepper flake, and bay leaves to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and add the elbow macaroni. Replace the lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up. 
ENJOY!!!

Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Brussels Sprouts, and Apples

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I have been trying to come up with some new side dishes that include ingredients that you might not think about using together. I of course have a difficult time not using pasta or rice because, well I a just a huge pasta lover. Rice runs a close second. So I knew I wanted to start with one of those as a base. Pasta of course won the battle. Caramelized onions are another love of mine and I like to use them in many of my dishes. Shoot, sometimes I just caramelize a bunch of onions to have in the fridge so I can use them on sandwiches or in omelets.
Just over this past year or so I have discovered that I really enjoy Brussles sprouts. When I was a child I couldn’t stand them. Mostly because all my Mom did was steam them with no seasoning. I didn’t like that strong cabbage flavor, I didn’t like them hard, and I surely didn’t like the smell of them cooking! So when Kevin and I were looking through some food magazines before Thanksgiving last year, we ran across a recipe using Brussels sprouts and Kevin told me liked them and wondered why I had never made them, I decided I needed to let my childhood aversion of them go and give the little green guys another shot.
OK so now I have pasta, onions, Brussels sprout, but I knew I wanted another level of flavor. I decided with the bitterness of the Brussels sprouts, and the smokiness of caramelized onions, i wanted to add something sweet to balance it all out. What came to mind? Apples. I mean I do live in Washington and right now you have a difficult time going anywhere without tripping over an apple! OK I am exaggerating a bit, but there are a butt ton of apples available in Washington right now!!

I had the major players for the dish but now had to think about how I wanted to put it all together. I of course turned to my favorite liquid, wine! I don’t know which I do more of, cook with wine, or drink wine. I am a huge wino errr wine connoisseur and really enjoy trying different wines to boost the flavors in some of my day to day dishes. While I was cooking with Heather (my son’s girlfriend) last night she asked me what things she could do to pep up some of the less expensive dishes she might be making. I told her that a little splash of wine, fresh herbs, or even lemon juice, can give a dish a whole new life.
So now we are down to make this dish. When Kevin came home and asked what was on the menu I told about the dish I had come up with. He gave me a funny look. When I questioned him as to why the look. He said it sounded good but he would have never thought to put those things all together in a dish. He said he was still very excited to try the dish, especially when I told him I had decided to add bacon as well. Bacon makes everything better right? I just thought the saltiness would be a nice addition and remembered a dish I made last Christmas that had Brussels sprouts as well as bacon in it and they played very nicely together.
Now we are down to make this meal. I was making my Pesto and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts as well, so I had many dishes, pots, and ingredients all over my kitchen counters. OK remember I told you my new kitchen is small? I mean it is seriously small! Like so small you have to go outside to change your mind small!! Now that you know that, picture counters covered, and two people in the kitchen, one of which is on the verge of a panic attack! Why was I loosing my cool? Well again you have to remember I have never cooked on an electric stove. WOW who knew that it is sooooo different from gas and why did they not beat  this information into my head?
I prepared the chicken easy enough, minus the heart attack I damn near gave Kevin (see above linked recipe for my attempt on Kevin’s life), and had all of my veggies chopped and ready to go. I cooked the bacon and removed it to drain. Then place my little green buddies cut side down in the bacon dippings to get a nice browned edge on them and crisp them up a bit. Once they were browned I was going to add my onions and then cook them both down a bit to caramelize them. However my stove had another plan for the dish. After placing just a few of the sprouts in the pan I realized that they were going to burn before I could get the others in the pan to join them. Now I am trying to grab sprouts out of a hot pan and panicking trying to figure out how I am going to get them to cook evenly. Kevin calmly stepped in and took over. He removed the pan from the heat long enough for me to place all of the Brussels sprouts in it and then returned it to the heat. 
I know it seems simple, but at the time I was arguing because the pan should be hot to sear the Brussels sprouts and I was cooking it the way I always do. Mind you I was saying these things in the middle of bouncing around and muttering like a mad woman saying things like “wait..will that work” “but….I never do it that way” “God bless America this is going to burn” and (almost in tears) “I am going to ruin this dish”. Yes, not my coolest moment folks. But I allowed Kevin to take over for a bit, and he smoothly took me to a calmer place and I was able to step in and take over. Finishing the dish without another hitch, and feeling like a complete idiot for my previous freak out. He just smirked at me. Hey he owed me one right?
Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Brussels Sprouts, and Apples
6 slices of bacon, chopped
10 to 12 ounces of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and vertically halved
1 medium onion, sliced
3/4 cup chicken broth (can sub Vegetable stock for a vegetarian meal)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 apple (recommend Honeycrisp), cored and chopped
1/2 box of spaghetti noodles
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Cook bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, reserve.

 Increase heat to medium-high, place Brussels sprouts cut-side down in the pan and cook without stirring, until sprouts begin to crisp and brown, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and toss to combine with the sprouts, cooking and stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn a golden brown. Add the broth, wine, andapples, scraping up any fond from the bottom of the skillet, and bring to a fast simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium,  cook 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta per package directions, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water. Transfer pasta to the skillet with the sprouts and liquid and toss continuously over medium-high heat for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add reserved cooking water a bit at a time if needed. Add the Parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper and  top with reserved bacon.

ENJOY!!

This post also shared on Morsels of Life

Pesto and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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So I am still getting used to the new place. Electric stove, small oven, dishwasher that is too close to the oven door. Yes my friends, to open my dishwasher I have to open my oven door first or the handles bang into each other. Nice placement planning right? But Kevin says the house has “character”, which it does, I just miss my big kitchen with a gas stove *sigh* I know you all will probably get tired of hearing me say that but I can’t help it, I am a whiner at times. Especially when it comes to anything that has to do with my cooking. Kevin would tell me to suck it up but nope, not gonna do it. 
OK so off my pity party and on to the food. This meal came out so good. I was nervous *insert previous kitchen whine here* but with Kevin’s help (he has always cooked on electric until I came into his life) he was able to calm my fears and I got this and the side dish done, on the table, and not burned, YAY!!!
I first got this idea from a pin that my daughter shared with me (Oh boy I love Pintrest!). I like to find recipes that I am drawn to but have a different way I want to go with. You can find the recipe I based this off of at Kaylyn’s Kitchen. I knew I had chicken breasts and some of my homemade pesto in the freezer, and fresh mozzarella (there is no cheese better than fresh mozzarella for cooking) in the fridge. I always have seasoned bread crumbs and grated Parmesan cheese, so this meal was a done deal before it even started!

Yes, the ingredient list was ready to go but not so much the cook. I am still looking for things since the move. I know I packed my meat mallet but for the life of me I couldn’t  find it? Oh I have no doubt I will find it now. A) because I don’t need it now, B) because I just bought a new one. Remember the whole can opener fiasco? Ya well I am pretty sure this will go the same way. It will give Kevin another thing to tease me about, which he seems to live for lately now that I am the only one to pick on (why did I want the kids to move out again?), so I know the bullet is locked and loaded and he is waiting for the kill shot *sigh* I will admit I do kinda deserve it a little bit. Not for being forgetful, he has been with me for almost 5 years so he knows to expect that, but I seriously scared the crap out of him when I started prepping this dish. 
Let me set the scene for you…Kevin is sitting at the table going through paper work oblivious to my muttering in the kitchen and rummaging in the pantry. I probably spent 10 or 15 minutes just digging through things and talking to myself “Did I leave the meat mallet behind somehow?” “No I couldn’t have done that, it is here somewhere” “Well where the heck is it them?!”. Then I remembered watching a Rachael Ray episode where she didn’t use a meat mallet, she used a heavy bottomed skillet. BING (that’s my light bulb moment for those of you that don’t know), I have a heavy bottomed skillet, yessssss! So I grabbed a gallon size ziplock baggie and dug out my skillet. I got the breast positioned in it perfectly and carefully laid it on my cutting board….(do you see where we are going here?) I raised the skillet up high and brought it down on the chicken breast WHACK! I think Kevin jumped from one side of the kitchen table and landed in the opposite side’s chair. 
Kevin – Eyes huge he looks at me and very ummm emphatically says, “WHAT THE *insert your favorite expletive* ARE YOU DOING???” 
Me – “Uummm flattening the chicken”
Kevin – “With what a baseball bat??”
Me – “No *holding up skillet* just this” 
Kevin – “Geez you could have warned me Bobbi”
Me – “Oops….sorry” 
Ya sometimes my gift of gab disappears and I am left with nothing. Although I did warn him that I would be doing it again (and again and again). He went back to his paper work and I beat the poor chicken breasts into oblivion. Every now and then I would hear a grumble from the table, but it worked out fine. On a positive note he does know now I can wield a mean skillet now!!
I am still trying to find the right place to take pictures in the new place and with it getting dark by about 5:30 PM here outside photo’s are not an option, so sorry for the poor picture quality. At least you can see the pesto and cheese oozing out and if that doesn’t tickle your taste buds I don’t know what will!!
Pesto and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Serves 2
2 good sized chicken breasts
Kosher salt
racked black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup pesto (can use store bought)
2 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
2 eggs
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and s pray a baking dish with non stick spray. 
Place one of the chicken breasts in a zipper storage bag and using a meat mallet (or heavy skillet) pound the breast out until it is very thin. About 1/4 inch thick or so. Remove chicken breast and repeat with the second one. Lay breasts on a cutting board and spread a layer of the pesto on each one (use as little or much as your taste desires). Place a slice of the mozzarella at one end of the pesto covered breast, and begin rolling it up, tucking in loose ends as you roll. Secure with toothpicks. Repeat.
Crack eggs in a shallow dish and beat well. Place the bread crumbs and the Parmesan in another dish and combine. Roll the stuffed breast in the egg wash and then in the bread crumb mixture, make sure to coat well.
Place the breasts seam side down in the baking dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove toothpicks.
ENJOY!!!

Manic Monday Party #14

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I can’t believe that it is almost Halloween can you? This year has just flown by. I do love this time of year though. I love the costumes, and the candy, and the creepy decorations. I wish we had moved a month earlier so I could have decorated, but there was just no time to dig everything out while I was trying to get other stuff put away. But you can be sure that I will be all decked out for Christmas!

I was so excited last week. This was the biggest Manic Monday yet! You all posted some wonderful food!! Let me share with you the top 3 posts from last weeks party.

Mushroom Barley Soup from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
Meat Lovers 4 Layer Pizza Dip from The Slow Roasted Italian
Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake from Love Bakes Good Cakes
I wish I could have featured everyone’s posts though, there were so many tempting and tasty ones!! 
Now on to the fun stuff….
As usual you can post your meal ideas for Manic Mondays but I thought with Halloween coming up it might be fun to post some of your favorite Halloween treats. Scary or sweet, whatever they might be, let’s see them!!
Now, As for the rules;

Link up the picture to the post not your main blog page
Please link back to this page on your blog post.
Make sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Pintrest. I will be tweeting, pinning, and posting your recipes all week long. I just love doing that!! 

If you would like to check out all of the past submissions go to my#manicmonday Pintrest board.

Leave as many recipes as you want that will help with the last minute Manic Monday scramble.

It would be wonderful if you would leave me a comment. I love to know who is here and spread the word, the more the merrier!!

Remember to vote for your favorites and please don’t forget to click on the other recipes and show them some foodie love!
Want to grab my button? Go for it!!

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White Wine Braised Chicken

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Last night was the first night that we have had the kids over for dinner since we moved. They have been getting settled into their new place and we have been getting settled into ours. It was nice to have a bit of family time so we could all relax and take a deep breath after all the craziness (moving sucks…just saying). So I really wanted to make a nice hearty home cooked meal for them. Plus I had gotten a phone call from my son saying, “Mom I really miss your food!”. Tasty dinner coming right up!!
I have been making sandwiches, and fast food knock offs all week. I decided I wanted a meal that was balanced, filling, and full of good stuff. I mean we know what kids eat when they are on their own right? Protein, veggies, and some nice crusty bread seamed like a wonderful choice. I really do miss cooking for the whole family. It is nice for Kevin and I to have our own space but I’m seriously going through the empty nest thing here!!

I made this with skin on bone in chicken thighs because, well I just love the flavor and juiciness of thighs. But you could do this just as easily with breasts if you prefer. I would use skin on bone in breast though if you want that nice golden brown crust on the meat. I wish I had browned mine just a tad bit longer.
This one of my meals that I call a “kitchen sink” meal. I threw a tons of stuff in the that was on hand. Beans, veggies, herbs, you name it. That is the beauty of a recipe like this. Once you  have the meat and braising liquid you can go crazy and make it your own! 
Everyone loved it and it just ended up being a nice tummy filling comfort food kind of dinner to share with my family! I hope you give it a try!!
White Wine Braised Chicken
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green portions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed clean of grit
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 19-ounce can of Cannelinni beans, drained
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 ears of corn)
  • 8-ounces frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 Tablespoons. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread, opptional


Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and, working in batches if necessary, brown the chicken on both sides, about 8 minutes total per batch. Remove to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the leeks and red pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and wilted and absorbed most of the chicken fat. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. 

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the wine using a wooden spoon to scrape up and browned bits that are on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute or so to cook off the alcohol. Add the chicken stock to the pan and bring back to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 45 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep it warm.

Add the beans and corn to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Continue to cook while stirring occasionally, for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the corn kernels have softened. Add the peas, chives, and lemon juice and cook for an additional few minutes to heat up the peas. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning.

Ladle the broth and veggies into a bowl and top with 2 chicken thighs. Serve with crusty bread.

ENJOY!!


Caprese Meatball Subs

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Pardon the in your face picture, but I think I was trying to eat this sandwich through the camera!! I have been having a love affair with anything “caprese” lately. I adore caprese salad and even turned it into a sandwich with my Open Face Chicken Caprese Sandwich! So the other night Subway was mentioned on my Facebook page as an alternative meal due to the fact that I had a major blond moment and forgot to thaw out the meat I needed for dinner that night. Well Kevin isn’t a big fan of Subway so that didn’t go over to well (plus I really needed to cook so you all would have a post to read). Luckily Kevin agreed to go to the store for me on his way home from work and the meal crisis was avoided. Yay!! But that did give me an idea. 
One of the sandwiches I loved at Subway was their meatball sub. I wanted to make a meatball sub, but add a twist to interest Kevin. If you have been with me for a while you know that he used to despise pesto until he tried my homemade pesto. Now he loves it and I have used it in several recipes. Anyway, I remembered seeing a recipe by Kelsey Nixon for Caprese Meatballs in the slow cooker, so I decided to take that idea and use it for my sandwiches. I didn’t do mine in the slow cooker though. I baked them and finished them in my homemade marinara sauce. 

It seems that I have been coming up with some messy sandwiches in the last couple of weeks. Yes, this is messy but the flavors are so good! The mix of the pesto, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and crunchy bread was over the top. I fill up pretty quickly, especially if I am eating bread, so I had half of my sandwich left and Kevin gobbled it right down. I think the only conversation I got out of him during the meal was mmmmmm and WOW this is really good. I was really glad he liked is since I pretty much made it for him!
The recipe is for 2 subs so if you are making more just double or triple it. But it makes 6 good sized meatballs which was perfect on the rolls I picked up from the bakery and with the cheese and sauce they are very filling. Plus they went really well with a nice glass of red wine!!
Caprese Meatball Subs 

1/2 pound lean ground turkey or chicken
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, plus some for sprinkling
2 tablespoons egg beaters (or one small egg)
1/4 cup pesto (see recipe below)
1 thick slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 6 cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Marinara sauce (recipe below)
2 sub rolls


For the Pesto:
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, tossing occasionally to ensure even toasting, about 5 minutes. Combine all of the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor and pulse, drizzle in the olive oil slowly until well combined but still rough-textured (You may not use all of the oil or you made need a bit more to get to the desired consistency). Leftovers can be frozen if needed.

For the Marinara Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (Recommended San Marzano)
2 6 ounce cans of tomatoes paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in half of the minced garlic and cook one more minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomatoes paste, water, half of the chopped oregano, and the bay leaf. (Add more water if sauce seems too thick). Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer. Leftovers can be frozen if needed.


For the Meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with non stick spray

Combine the turkeybreadcrumbs, Parmesan, pesto, salt, pepper and egg in a large mixing bowl with your hands, taking care to not overwork the meat. Form golf ball-size meatballs and stuff each with 1 mozzarella cube. Evenly space the meatballs on the baking sheet. Bake until just starting to brown, 15 minutes.

Remove the meatballs from the oven and place them in the simmering sauce, cover with the lid.

Split the sub rolls and open them slightly, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until toasty, about 5 minutes.

Place 3 meatballs on each sub and smother with with the marinara sauce, top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

ENJOY!