Simple Chicken Chili

Chicken-Chili

I love this recipe for a few reasons. One because its super easy to make, with ingredients that are easy to find. Two because its tastes darn good! And Three because it’s that warm kind of dish that comforting, filling and you don’t have to feel ‘guilty’ for going in for seconds!

 

Chicken Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow onion
  • Diced 2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  Few glugs of good olive oil 1-2 cups cooked chicken
  • Shredded (I use a BBQ chicken from the store)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes 
  • 1 box chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

1. In a dutch oven or pot, saute onion in a few glugs of olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

2. Stir in shredded chicken, rinsed beans, and a teaspoon of salt and pepper.

3. Add diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and enough chicken stock to loosen up the mixture (usually half a box).

4. Simmer on low for 20-30 minutes and add frozen corn before serving. test spices and add salt and pepper as needed.

5. Serve with oyster crackers, saltine crackers or a chunk of crusty bread, sliced cherry tomatoes, and a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Turkey-Lettuce-Wraps

These turkey wraps taste so good and are so easy to make, perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or a casual Sunday meal (thats when we usually have ours)

Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients
  • 1.3 lbs 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 oz can tomato sauce
  • 8 large lettuce leaves from Iceberg lettuce
  • (optional) some shredded reduced fat cheddar and some sour cream, for topping at the end

 

Directions
  • Brown turkey in a large skillet breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. When no longer pink add dry seasoning and mix well. Add the onion, pepper, water and tomato sauce and cover. Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
  • Wash and dry the lettuce. Divide the meat among the lettuce leaves, making sure to not over fill the leaves, so you can ‘slightly ‘fold’ the leaves to eat them.
  • Top with cheese and sour cream if desired
  • Enjoy!

Green Smoothie

Green-Smoothie-Recipe

I’ve recently fallen in love with green smoothies. No, I’m not new to the green juice craze and whilst I don’t believe in them as meal replacements I do think they are great as an addition to your diet and the health benefits can’t be ignored. But I’d never really tried a green smoothie before, thinking they would be just full of fruit with little to no greens in them, but if you pick the right one, they’re great!

After trying one from Evolution and another from Jane a couple of weeks ago, I’m hooked!

Here is but one of a gazilion Green smoothie recipe options that are out there. This one is heavy enough on the greens but with the frozen banana and greek yoghurt it’s thick and deeelicous!

Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • Bunch of fresh Kale
  • Bunch of fresh Spinach
  • 1/4 Cucumber
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 small Apple
  • Dollop of greek yoghurt (optional- for added protein)
  • Ice

* Place the kale and spinach in the blender first followed by the apple, banana and yoghurt and blend until you reach your desired consistency.

 

What’s your favourite smoothie recipe?

 

 

Bruschetta Bar

Bruschetta-Bar

I love when we have a couple of friends over to our place for an intimate relaxed dinner but I’m often at a loss what to serve. I’m at a loss because elaborate, kitchen consuming recipes go against the aim of the night which is to be relaxed, easy going and fun. That’s why this Bruschetta Bar is so perfect, most of the parts can be put together before hand, with a mixture of store bought and homemade components. This allows people to serve themselves, mix and match to their own tastes and  allows me to be with my friends more, rather than being a slave to the kitchen all night!

One essential ingredient of course is the grilled bread, it’s basically the vehicle for all the awesome toppings you can think of!Here’s how I make mine:

  1. Heat a grill or griddle pan over medium high heat.
  2. Generously drizzle the bread with olive oil on both sides. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the slices of bread to the grill and grill for a few moments until grill marks are present. Flip and continue to grill the bread on the other side for a minute more. Remove and set aside.
  3.  Rub garlic on the toasted bread to give it an extra layer of flavor.
  4. Arrange the toppings on a large platter or table and serve with the grilled bread.

As for the Bruschetta toppings, we anything goes really but here are a few of my favourites: tomato that’s been drizzled with balsamic, pesto, charred corn, caramelized onions, ricotta, prosciutto, salami, avocado slices, different cheeses – the list is endless!

 

Avocado Corn & Bacon Salad

Avocado-Corn-&-Bacon-Salad

This salad is so good and perfect for BBQ’s or simply under a piece of fish, chicken. This  (minus the bacon) could also be served along side a grilled portobello mushroom or another generous salad for a great vegetarian option. 

Avocado & Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 strips thick-cut bacon or less if you desire (bacon can be omitted  - just use a little oil in the pan instead of the bacon fat)
  • 4 large ears corn, husks and silks removed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 large Hass avocado
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

Directions

1. Place a heavy pan over medium heat. Arrange the bacon strips in the pan and cook on both sides until the bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to dry. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet.

2. Cut the kernels off each cob by laying the cob flat on a cutting board and using a sharp knife to remove the kernels. Discard the cobs and transfer the kernels to the skillet with the bacon fat. Cook the corn over medium-high heat until it is just slightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, crumble in the cheese, and add the cilantro and lime juice. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Roughly crumble the bacon into the corn mixture and toss to combine. (Of course if you prefer or are short on time you can use frozen corn, just make sure any excess water is removed)

3. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocado and discard. Remove the avocado from the skin, and cut the avocado into 2.5 cm (1/2-inch) pieces. Transfer the avocado to the skillet and toss.

4. Taste and season with salt and pepper before serving. Serve immediately at room temperature, or refrigerate for later. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Frozen Watermelon Pops

Frozen-Watermelon-Pops

With the warmer weather that’s been around I’ve been spending more time outdoors,walking the dog, blogging on the balcony, hanging out at the park – basically soaking it up while I can! This frozen burst of sweetness is perfect for warm sunny days and is a cinch to make!

Ingredients:

  • 8 watermelon wedges
  • 8 Popsicle/Paddle Pop sticks

Directions:

  • Insert Popsicle sticks through the rind and into the flesh of the watermelon. Arrange on a baking sheet and freeze.
  • Once frozen, remove from the freezer and serve like popsicles/Paddle Pops!

 

Such an easy, make ahead warm weather treat!

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Crispy-Smashed-Potatoes

I love these crispy little numbers they make a great side for the weekend with some BBQ chicken and parmesan peas or with a salad. Another idea I’m going to try is to serve them as part of a grazing style dinner, with some salami, tomatoes with balsamic, a wedge of cheese and a corn salad, perfect for a relaxed Sunday night dinner!

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Ingredients

Serves about 4 people (I would half it for just the hubby and I)

  •  1lb (450 gms) creamy potatoes (eg. Baby or small Dutch Yellow Potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • fine sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • freshly chopped parsley for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450F (232 C).
  • Add the potatoes to a medium pot with enough salted water to cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Drain and let potatoes cool until they are easy to handle. Pat very dry with paper towels.
  • Smash each potato on a cutting board with your fist or small frying pan to make it flat.
  • Spread out the potatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt &  pepper and toss until evenly coated.
  • Roast until the potatoes are crispy and golden, 25-30 minutes, turning the potatoes with a spatula halfway through cooking.  sprinkle some chopped parsley for garnish.

 

Best Carrot Cake Ever!

Carrot-Cake

As this Sunday is our One year Wedding Anniversary I thought I’d make my hubby a carrot cake. 1. because he loves carrot cake, esp the cream cheese frosting 2. because it’s one of the flavors we had on our wedding cake and 3. because our wedding anniversary falls on Easter Sunday this year ( carrot cake, bunnies, you see were I’m going with this).

Here is the recipe I used and I find it makes a really moist cake and the frosting is to die for!

Carrot Cake

Ingredients

One
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or oil, this is what my Nana used)
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
Two
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Three
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup Dole crushed pineapple (not drained!) {use the pineapple in JUICE not syrup}
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb powdered sugar

* Mixture can be doubled so you can have extra thick cream cheese layers

Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Combine #1 ingredients. Add #2 ingredients. Stir in #3 ingredients.
    3. Pour into two lightly greased  8 or 9-inch pans. (you could also make these into carrot cake cupcakes & they would be just as awesome just adjust the time to about 15-20 mins, checking for when cooked)
    4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely!
    5. For the frosting: Beat the butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until nice and smooth. (this frosting mixture can be doubled up for extra thick frosting layers, as I know Ben would want)
    6. Invert the cakes onto a cake plate or stand.
    7. Apply a generous dollop of frosting on the first layer of cake and spread
    8. Gently place the second cake on top and continue frosting that top layer.
    9. The top of the cake can simply be left frosted or can be topped with toasted coconut flakes or crushed nuts

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Enjoy!

Ricotta Frittata

Ricotta-Fritatta

I love watching cooking shows but Lydia’s Italy has to be one of my fav’s. My Mum & I used to watch her in Australia & I still watch her over here in SF & get kinda nerdy excited when I realize there’s an episode I actually haven’t watched before! I pretty much love everything she cooks & she has that whole ‘Italian mother cooking for her family’ thing down pat, I swear I feel warm & fuzzy after every episode! I have to say I find cooking shows in general relaxing, but watching Lydia is pretty much like being wrapped in your favorite blanket, with a cup of tea in one hand and a home cooked meal in another – know what I mean?

Well last week good ol’ Lydia was cooking up all sorts of Frittatas & they looked so delicious & doable that I’m definitely going to try one out for a brunch at home one weekend. Here’s one I liked the most:

Ricotta Frittata

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 ripe large tomato, sliced 1/2-inch thick
8 large eggs
½ teaspoon kosher salt
8 large basil leaves, shredded
½ cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 tablespoons fresh ricotta , drained

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Push onion slices to one side of the skillet, and lay the tomato slices in one layer in the cleared space. Sear the tomato, turning once until the slices soften just at the edges, about 30 seconds per side. Remove tomatoes to a plate, let onions continue to cook while you prepare the eggs.

2. In a bowl, beat eggs with the salt. Stir in basil and 1/4 cup of the grated cheese until well mixed.

3. Spread the onion slices in an even layer in the bottom of the skillet and pour eggs on top. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook until the eggs begin to set around the edges of the pan, about 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Arrange tomato slices on top of the frittata and drop tablespoons of the ricotta between the tomato slices. Sprinkle all over with the remaining grated cheese. Bake frittata until set all the way through and the top is golden, about 18 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the skillet and invert onto a plate or cutting board. Serve in wedges, warm or at room temperature.

Choc Chip Cookies

Screen Shot 2014-03-22 at 10.22.58 PM

As my husband arrived back home last week, after traveling for work for 2 weeks, it was safe to say the pup and I were excited to see him! I decided to whip up these choc chip cookies for him, as 1. he loves them and 2. I liked the thought of having a little something homemade ready for him, when he gets back.

 Choc Chip Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 pound (226 gms) unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound (453 gms) semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or chocolate chips of your choice

 Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C).
  • Using an electric mixer or the hand-held kind, mix together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between.
  • Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and chocolate, blending them together at a low setting. Continue till mixed well.
  •  Place heaping tablespoons, 2 inches apart, on a greased baking sheet.
  • Bake for about 11 minutes, or until they start to brown.
  •  Place on a wire rack until cool.