Mexican Roasted Corn Salad

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Mexican Roasted Corn Salad
I love salads, especially in the summer. J made this the other night for dinner with a seared flank steak and chimichurri sauce. Don't get me wrong, the steak was delicious but the corn stole the show. Plus, it's simple enough for a weeknight dinner. He got the recipe here.
Servings
people
Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
Dressing Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Salad Ingredients
Dressing Ingredients
Instructions
  1. For the salad, lightly brush each corn cob with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. We roasted ours in the oven under the broiler. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping for about 12 minutes total. You want to achieve some char marks on each side.
  2. Set corn aside and allow to cool enough to handle.
  3. Carefully cut the corn kernels off the cob on a cutting board.
  4. In a large bowl combine corn, onion, bell pepper, cucumber, avocado, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and ¼ cup of cheese.
  5. For the dressing, whisk together yogurt, lime juice, zest, chipotle pepper, cumin, and salt.
  6. Slowly drizzle in olive oil and whisk into dressing until smooth. Taste dressing and add more salt and pepper as desired.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
I was so sad when it was all gone. Luckily, we still had some dressing left over, which made an excellent chicken breast marinade!

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Brussel Sprouts and Bacon

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Brussel Sprouts and Bacon
I've never liked brussel sprouts. I can recall once that I've eaten more than two in one sitting. It was at a local restaurant and the roasted brussel sprouts were covered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and came as an accidental side to the dish I'd ordered. Then one day Miss A's best friend's mom introduced me to these magical, delectable, drool-worthy brussel sprouts. I've eaten them four times in the last two weeks. The leftovers are even good microwaved the next day!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Cook the bacon until crisp in an oven proof pan. While the bacon is cooking, rinse the brussel sprouts under cool water. Chop off the ends and peel off the outer leaves. (I have no idea why you do this, you just do.) when the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan leaving the drippings. Then crumble the bacon. If you don't think you have enough drippings *add a bit of the olive oil. Over medium to medium-high heat, sautee the brussel sprouts until they start to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Use white wine or chicken stock to deglaze the pan. Add the brussle sprouts to the oven. Cook for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. If you think the brussel sprouts are getting too done, add some more of the white wine or stock. Remove the brussel sprouts and while the pan is still hot drizzle maple syrup over the cooked brussel sprouts. Stir again. Salt and pepper the brussel sprouts. Stir. Add the crumbled bacon. Stir. Serve warm.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
I really, really, really like this dish. It's very hard not to eat the whole pan in one sitting.

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Toddler approved: Chicken “parm”

Toddler approved Chicken Parm
Miss A is continuing to learn to use toddler forks and spoons and loves practicing. She also loves Italian inspired dishes and eating dinner with us. That means J and I are regularly trying to come up with dinner recipes that work for all three of us. We had success once with this pork dish (probably because it contained A’s beloved apples), but not with much else since. On a whim, I whipped together this baked chicken and orzo dish. She couldn’t get enough and kept asking for more!

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Toddler approved: Chicken "parm"
Servings
people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Yes, yes you can bake from frozen! I was thrilled to discover this after reading the back of the bag of frozen chicken. First, preheat the over to 350 degrees.
  2. Then put the olive oil in the bottom of the pan. We've used everything from a pie plate to a baking dish. What you use doesn't matter as much as making sure the bottom is mostly coated in olive oil.
  3. Put the chicken breasts on top of the oil and add pasta sauce.
  4. Bake for at least 45 to 50 minutes. Check for done-ness by cutting the largest chicken breast to see if it is still pink. If it is, put it back in the over for 10-15 minute minutes and check again. Since we baked from frozen, it usually takes about an hour of total baking.
  5. Because the chicken is topped with sauce and resting on olive oil, we haven't had any issues with drying it out even the one time I accidentally cooked it for almost an hour and a half.
  6. When there's about 15 minutes left in baking, cook the orzo per the package directions.
  7. We also like sauce, so we heat up about a cup and a half of the remaining pasta sauce in a sauce pot on the stovetop.
  8. When the chicken is cooked through, remove from oven and place mozzarella slices on top. It should melt.
  9. Serve over top the orzo and sauce with your favorite vegetable. Miss A is partial to peas.

My opinion:
Truthfully, it’s a bit bland for our palates, but a little salt and pepper after go a long way. As A gets better at chewing and using utensils, we will season and then brown the chicken before baking. This dish is super easy and very simple to get going before we pick Miss A up in the evening from school.
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Toddler approved: Roast Pork Chops With Apples

Roast Pork Chops With Apples
Now that Miss A has started eating more and more table food and declared her toddler independence, we have started looking for recipes that will feed her and us for dinner. Many are just misses, but this one from the Baby Center was a hit with everyone. That said, being a “hit” with a one-year-old A means most of it didn’t get thrown to the floor.

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Toddler approved: Roast Pork Chops With Apples
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I boiled the apple cider to reduce it a bit. Grease the bottom of a medium-size roasting pan or an ovenproof skillet (like our favorite cast iron skillet!) with the olive oil.
  2. Arrange the apples on the bottom of the pan, layered as needed.
  3. Place the pork chops on top.
  4. Then sprinkle with the sage, salt and pepper and pour the cider on top.

My opinion:
We didn’t actually baste the meat once or twice as the directions indicate and it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Since we were eating this as a family, I didn’t “season with authority” (as J is so fond of saying!), but we were able to add seasoning at the table for our liking. All in all we would eat this again.
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Weeknight Spicy Chicken Soup

Spicy Chicken Soup

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Weeknight Spicy Chicken Soup
As the weather cools, we start eating more and more soups. I would never have tried this without the urging of J. It doesn't sound delicious.  Plus when he told me it was a Bon Appétit recipe, I thought it would be way too complicated and complex. Turns out, it's super simple and  does taste delicious. It's definitely a new favorite. We've used leftover turkey and rotisserie chicken and both have been wonderful. The recipe says it serves four, but it can stretched to serve more, or cooked down longer to serve less.
Course Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Pick meat from chicken, shred, and place in a small bowl (you should have about 4 cups); discard skin and bones.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 8–10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add shredded chicken, broth and cayenne and bring to a boil.
  6. Turn heat to low.
  7. Add spinach and divide soup among bowls.
  8. Top with scallions and serve lime wedges alongside for squeezing over.
Recipe Notes

My opinion:
That's it, really. It takes a total of between 15 and 20 minutes to prep everything and about 40 minutes to cook per the recipe.  This recipe is easy enough to be a weeknight dinner. If you let it cook down longer or reheat it for lunch the next day, the flavors intensify and meld together even more. If I am planning to eat it the next day, I leave the spinach out and add it in right before eating.  I adore this dish!