Chicken Pepperoni-Marinara

I’m not sure about you guys, but I am totally exhausted from working in the kitchen all day yesterday prepping for the Super Bowl. Our spread consisted of cheese, cheese, and more cheese! I think we also spent more time watching the Puppy Bowl, which was way more entertaining for me quite frankly!

I made this chicken pepperoni-marinara for dinner a few days ago and it was super super delicious! Hubs and I both had two servings! Whenever I make a new recipe for dinner, I always ask him if it is “a make-again-meal.” We both agreed that this is a dinner we would love to have again! What I really like about this recipe is that it is a mix between Chicken Parmesan and pizza, but without all the carbs! I served mine with a side of low-carb pasta, but veggies and a salad would also be great!

Chicken Pepperoni-Marinara

From Cooking Light – Jan./Feb.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced

– 16 slices pepperoni, chopped plus more for garnish (I used turkey pepperoni)

– 1/4 tsp. dried oregano

– 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (canned or homemade)

– 2 tbs. basil, chopped

– 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

– 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts (If thick, I cut mine in half for faster cooking time)

– salt and pepper to taste

– 1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

1. Heat a sauce pan on medium-high heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray. Add the the garlic and pepperoni and cook for 2 minutes until the garlic begins to brown. Add the oregano and stir. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

2. Heat a large oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with some salt and pepper. Cook the chicken on each side about 3-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Spoon the sauce on top of the chicken. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the chicken. Add additional slices of pepperoni on top. Broil for 2 minutes until the cheese melts. Garnish with the basil. Serve with pasta or veggies!

Pretzel Rolls

Pretzel Rolls

I don’t know why, but I have always been a little intimidated by working with yeast. I’ve only made my own breads a few times. And I don’t really know why it freaks me out, I’ve never had it not turn out, but it still makes me nervous. One of my “blog goals” has been to get over my fear of yeast.

I first saw these pretzel rolls on How Sweet It Is last spring and wanted to dive right in to the screen. I must make them! Tina made them into burger buns and the thought of a burger on a pretzel bun sounded too good to be true. Now, mine did not come out nearly as pretty, I think I cooked them about 2 or 3 minutes too long as you can see by how brown my slash marks got, but they still turned out pretty good. And sadly, my grocery store was out of pretzel salt (sigh), so I just sprinkled sea salt on mine.

So, how did they taste? Well, they tasted pretty darn good. But, myself, Hubs, and my brother all agreed that it made for a pretty heavy burger. I could only eat about half of mine and I was totally stuffed. The rolls aren’t as dense as I thought they would be, but they were still more dense than a regular burger bun. So, I’m not sure I would make these as burger buns again. BUT, I think it’s still a great pretzel dough recipe and I would make these again as a small roll or as a bite to dip in my cheddar swiss fondue! Gah! That would be just amazing!!

So whether you make these into rolls, buns, or bites, if you are a soft pretzel fanatic, you should make these for your Super Bowl party or any fun party you have coming up! :)

Grab the recipe here!

Valentine’s Day Gifts For Foodies

Happy February 1st! I’m going to break up the Super Bowl recipes with a little Valentine’s Day love. Valentine’s Day is a mere 2 weeks away and whether you are looking for gifts for your sweetheart, family, friends, or even yourself, I’ve got you covered! I’ve scoured my favorite websites to find some great Valentine’s gift ideas for the foodies in your life. And best of all, these gifts are all $50 and under! Happy Shopping!
V-Day Gifts for Foodies

1. La Maison Du Chocolat Assorted Chocolates | Williams-Sonoma
$50 – williams-sonoma.com

Um, chocolate. Duh. What foodie wouldn’t love delicious gourmet chocolates?!

2. HEART COFFEE SCOOP | Romantic, Unique, Handmade Pewter Arrow and Heart…
$24 – uncommongoods.com

How about a little somethin’ somethin’ for the coffee lover in your life? I love this great coffee scoop from Uncommon Goods. It’s purty and it’s so much better than those flimsy plastic scoops!

3. Amazon.com: Chocolates and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique…
$41 – amazon.com

While I would love a box of gourmet chocolates, I’ve also always wanted to learn how to make my own candy. This book is just incredible and is packed with gorgeous photos and tips on making your own candy!

4. Adult Apron | Williams-Sonoma
$30 – williams-sonoma.com

Having a nice apron is essential in the kitchen for me, especially if flour or oil are involved! Williams-Sonoma makes great, high-quality aprons that your loved ones can enjoy year ’round. AND you can get them personalized with your honey’s name!

5. Amazon.com: Tovolo 80-3923 Spatulart Flexible Heart-Shaped Spatula:…
$8.22 – amazon.com

How cute is this spatula?! It’s so perfect for making some delicious pancakes for a special breakfast in bed! You can’t see it very well in the picture above, but it has the word “love” written in different languages. You can find this and other V-Day themed kitchen tools on Amazon.

6. Prep Bowl Set of 3 – Assorted : Target
$15 – target.com

Speaking of breakfast, how about some cute prep bowls so you can mix up that breakfast in bed?! Target has some seriously adorable Valentine’s themed dishware right now. I want it all!!

7.Tote handbag
$9.95 – williams-sonoma.com

I’m loving this cute wine tote from Williams-Sonoma! Stick a nice bottle of wine or champagne in it and you have yourself an excellent gift for the wine lover!!

8.Amazon.com: RSVP International 4-pc. Endurance Heart Measuring Cups:…
$30 – amazon.com

I love measuring cups. I use mine almost daily so having a few extra sets is always a good idea! These little heart measuring cups are not only cute, but also really sturdy. Definitely worth the extra $$!

9. Whoopie Pie Heart Pan in Valentine’s Day & Red Velvet Whoopie Pie Mix| Crate&Barrel
$13 & $8.95 (for the mix) – crateandbarrel.com

Red velvet and Valentine’s Day pretty much go hand-in-hand. The baker in your life can whip up some delicious red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting with this festive whoopie pie pan and red velvet cake mix from Crate and Barrel.

10. Sweet Heart Large Mug in Valentine’s Day & Belgian Dark Sipping Chocolate | Crate&Barrel
$4.95 (for the mug) & $4.95 (for the mix)- crateandbarrel.com

Snuggle up with your sweetheart with a couple of these lovely mugs and some delicious hot chocolate!

What is on YOUR Valentine’s wishlists?! Feel free to share links in your comments!

Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Bites

Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Bites

With less than a week to go until the Super Bowl, I thought I would share a couple of recipes this week that you can make for your parties! Now, I have to admit that I could give two craps about the Super Bowl. Just not into it. But, any excuse to get together with friends and eat a bunch of food sounds good to me! And hey, at least the commercials are fun! You’ve heard me say before that my darling husband is a buffalo chicken fanatic. I have a few buffalo chicken recipes in my arsenal, but I wanted to make something new that was more of an appetizer. These buffalo chicken bites did the trick! They were tasty, easy to make, and low in fat! You should totally add these to your Super Bowl menu!!

Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Bites

Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Bites

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (I used rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 ounces fat-free or reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (depending on how much buffalo flavor you want)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Optional: 1/4 cup green onion, sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a large baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and the buffalo sauce (and onion, if using).
  2. Add the flour, eggs, and panko to three shallow bowls. Take the chicken mixture and roll into 1 1/2-2 inch balls (I made mine way too big, they were more like 3 bites!). Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg, and then the panko. Place on a baking sheet and spray around each ball with olive oil spray (this helps brown the panko crumbs) and bake for about 15 minutes, then turn the balls over and bake for another 5 or 10 minutes until they are golden brown. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping!!

Adapted from Pennies on a Platter

All images and text ©

Low-Fat Buffalo Chicken Bites

Chicken Cacciatore

We’reeeeeee backkkk! Finally! Finally home! It was a long three days in the car with the Hubs while he listened to Barry Manilow (yes, my husband is 85 years old) and hockey games on satellite radio. Thankfully, we didn’t have any major problems on our cross-country drive. We had some crappy weather on the 2nd day through Texas, but that was it for bad weather! The only other mishaps were related to food. Let me just say that one of my least favorite things about driving for so long is food. I don’t want to eat fast food every day. I refuse to eat it. Subway and Chick-Fil-A are acceptable for me, maybe the occasional Wendy’s. Other than that, no thank you! But, of course, the only places that are always everywhere are McDonald’s and Taco Bell. And no, I do not want to eat a spicy bean burrito while driving across the country. Hubs and I also don’t like to stop and eat, we just wanted to get home so food was always on the go! I was thrilled on the second night when we found a Mimi’s Cafe and I had some salad and fresh fruit! We packed some snacks that weren’t too bad, but we had to use the GPS to find food options each day of the drive. Seems simple enough, except for the fact that I haven’t updated my GPS in like 3 years! Thus, Sally (my GPS lady) is nothing but a big liar. She led us to places that no longer existed! Stupid Sally…

Do you guys ever take long road trips? If so, what are your favorite foods for the road? How do you stay healthy while traveling?

Since I have been driving across the country, I am going to share another great recipe from my friend, Amanda. After eating one too many sandwiches over the last few days, this chicken cacciatore has me salivating! I hope you guys enjoy the recipe and I will be back to regular posting on Monday! Have a wonderful weekend!

Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
  •  3 tbs. olive oil
  • 8 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

Directions:

 

  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.
  2. In large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add chicken pieces to pan and saute until brown on both sides. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic to the pan that the chicken was in and saute over medium heat until the onion is softened. Season with salt/pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, broth, and oregano.
  4. Return the chicken to pan. Turn and coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover and continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is cooked through (20-30 minutes).

 

  • I always use chicken on the bone, because it adds flavor. However, you can use boneless chicken.
  • You can use skinless chicken to reduce calories/fat.
  • Removing seeds of fresh tomatoes reduces bitterness.
  • You can use canned tomatoes if you want.
  • White meat(breast) depending on thickness will need less time than dark meat (thigh). You can stagger the times you place the chicken in the pan with the tomatoes, so that you put the white meat in about 5-10 minutes after the dark meat (dark meat needs about 30 minutes and white meat needs about 20 minutes of cook time).
All images and text ©

Easy Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Well folks, me and the Hubs are back in the car and on our way home to Florida. I had an excellent weekend back on the west coast celebrating my best friend’s wedding! The wedding and the bride were absolutely gorgeous! We spent Friday getting our nails done and then of course rehearsal. Saturday morning and afternoon just seemed to fly by while we were getting all dolled up and before we knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle! Although it was a blast, I am totally wiped out from all the traveling I have been doing for the last month! It will be so nice to get back home and not have to go anywhere for a while!

I made this soup before I left for Cali again. I still wasn’t feeling too hot and wanted something really easy. It was perfect because I had a hankering for some coconut curry soup and this recipe comes together in under 30 minutes, totally my kind of weeknight meal!

Easy Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients:

– 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

– 2 garlic cloves, minced

– 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, chopped

– 1 cup carrots, chopped

– 1/2 green pepper, diced

– 1/2 red pepper, diced

– 4 cups chicken broth

– 1 can light coconut milk

– 1-2 tbs. Thai red curry paste (depending on how much curry flavor you would prefer)

– 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts

– salt and pepper to taste

– Optional garnishes: fresh lime juice and cilantro

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil, onion, and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the carrots, red pepper, and green pepper and saute for about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste.

2. Add the chicken broth plus 1 cup of the coconut milk. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes or so to allow the veggies to soften and to let the flavors develop! Garnish with additional sliced red pepper and/or a splash of more coconut milk.