Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chicken Salad Recipe!

I have been making Chicken Salad the same way for YEARS but decided to mix it up a little bit for our Memorial Day Beach trip with the Fallis/Brown clan!  I was in the mood for something "refreshing" since we'd be at the beach so I decided to add grapes & celery to give it a nice taste.

Here is what ended up in the recipe:

Chicken Salad (my new way):


  • 1 Pound Cooked Chicken Breast cut into cubes (I boiled my chicken in water on medium heat until done - about 25-30 min)
  • 1 Cup Mayo (to make this a bit healthier you can use "lite")
  • 1 Cup Chopped Celery (I chopped mine pretty small bc I don't like big celery chunks)
  • 1 Cup halved Purple Grapes
  • Small Package Slivered Almonds ( I think mine was 2 oz or 4 oz) You can toast these if you'd like, I didn't
  • 1 Tbsp finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Kosher Salt & Black  Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 Cup Whipping Cream (Whipped)
Combine Chicken, Mayo, Celery, Grapes, Almonds, Parsley, Salt & Pepper in Bowl.  Mix Well.
Whip the whipping cream with a blender until peaks start to form.  Fold Whipped Cream into Chicken Mixture and combine well.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Little Sister...

Hi Everyone... Just wanted to share my little sis' blog with you.. Her & her hubs just moved to NYC 2 weeks ago and she has been blogging about it!  Check her out and give her some helpful tips & advice if you live there!  She is also a graphic designer so if you need any graphics done contact her!!  (She designed my banner ad on my etsy store & logo: -she rocks!)

Here's the link:
States That Touch

I am making a new Chicken Salad Recipe tomorrow.. so if it turns out good I will share the recipe!!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chicken Bites with Balsamic BBQ Sauce

Here is yet another "freezer" cooking recipe that is delicious & easy!  Husband loved it so it is obviously a "keeper!"

I have adapted it a bit from Mmm...Cafe 's recipe.

Chicken Bites with Balsamic BBQ Sauce
Serves 2

1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 Cup Ketchup
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper to taste
(2) Large Chicken Breasts cut into Bite-Sized Pieces

In a small bowl stir together balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic cloves, worcestershire, dijon mustard, salt & pepper until smooth.

Place Chicken Pieces into a Ziploc or FoodSaver Bag.   Pour sauce over Chicken and seal.  Kneed bag so that chicken gets evenly coated with the sauce.

Chicken & Sauce Before Baking
At this point, you can pop your meal in the freezer for later enjoyment or go ahead and cook it!  (If you freeze your meal, make sure you write on the bag the cooking instructions & what it is so you don't forget!)

Dinner is Served!
Line a baking pan with foil and fill with chicken & sauce.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until Chicken is cooked through.    If you froze your meal: remove from freezer and thaw in fridge the night before you plan on making it.

Serve over brown or white rice.

*This recipe is EASY to double or triple... so go ahead and make a couple batches and freeze some meals for later!

*ALSO NOTE that the above ingredient list is only for (2) servings-- so if you are feeding more than (2) people increase the ingredients accordingly =)


Sunday, May 20, 2012

DELISH London Broil Marinade!

Harris Teeter had London Broils on sale B1G1 this week for the first time in I can't remember how long so I went ahead and bought 2.  One of them was 3 pounds so I cut it in half so we can eat it for 2 meals!!  Anyways... I whipped up a quick marinade with all my favorite marinade ingredients and I have to say it turned out REALLY GOOD so I must share...

I did not measure anything(sorry!)... so I am just going to estimate about how much I used of each thing for you =)

London Broil Marinade
*enough for (1) 2-3 pound piece of meat


  • (4) Garlic Cloves chopped
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • (3) Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • (2) Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • (1.5) Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp Oregano
  • 1 Tsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Basil
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Mix together all ingredients in small bowl.  Pour over London Broil in ziploc bag or foodsaver bag.  Marinate for at least 24 hours for best flavor.

You can either grill the meat (basting often with marinade) or you can Broil it in the oven-- I broiled mine on high WITH the marinade for 10 minutes on each side and it came out perfect.

*For those of you who love freezer cooking- go to the Teeter and buy a couple of London Broils and go ahead and marinate them and pop them in the freezer to pull out at a later time =)  Just double or triple the above recipe depending on how many you are doing.

*This is also amazing to bring to work for lunch leftover on a salad the next day!

Melissa =)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Stuffed Chicken In Puff Pastry Take 2

I was trying to come up with something to cook for Mother's Day Dinner and decided to give Stuffed Chicken in Puff Pastry another try with a slight makeover.  I made it a couple months ago and I devoured it but I am always looking for ways to add more flavor to a dish!  When my mom asked me what I stuffed the Chicken with I told her "my whole kitchen" because I literally just went into the pantry and pulled some things out that sounded good to mix together!  Here is the recipe:

Stuffed Chicken in Puff Pastry Take 2
6-10 Servings

My Plate
  • 6 Chicken Breasts (cleaned & trimmed)
  • (2) Boxes of Puff Pastry (You will need 3 whole sheets)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened) *I used 1/3 less fat
  • 3/4 cup sour cream *i used light
  • 8 slices bacon cooked & crumbled
  • (1) Sweet Onion 
  • (2) Tbsp Sugar
  • (3) green onions chopped
  • (1) box frozen spinach cooked (squeeze excess water out)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • (1) Egg Beaten

Before Baking

  1. Make sure you take your puff pastry out of the freezer.  The directions say to let sit on counter for 40 minutes before handling.  This is the method I typically use, but if another method  on the directions/box appeal to you then by all means... =)
  2. Slice your sweet onion thinly and place in small skillet with a bit of butter or olive oil.  Over medium heat cook onion until lightly browned, stirring constantly.  Add (2) Tbsp Sugar and stir to caramelize onions. Set Aside.
  3. Slice a "compartment" into your chicken.  You can do this however you feel comfortable- I usually cut into the chicken at the top of the breast and "filet" it- leaving a nice pocket in the middle to put the stuffing.
  4. In a medium bowl combine softened cream cheese & sour cream.  Mix well until smooth.  Add crumbled bacon, caramelized onions, chopped green onion, drained spinach, garlic salt (to your taste),  pepper and red pepper flakes (to your taste).  Mix all ingredients together well- this is your stuffing.
  5. Now it's time to stuff the chicken.  I find it easiest to use a small spoon to push the stuffing all the way into the chicken.  Evenly divide stuffing amongst breasts.
  6. Beat (1) Egg in small bowl and add (1/2)tbsp water- set near work surface, you will need this to seal your puff pastry.
  7. By now your puff pastry should be ready to handle.  The easiest way for me to handle the puff pastry is to lay a large sheet of plastic wrap covering my counter and covering the wrap with flour.  I keep a small bowl of flour next to me so I can flour the surface repeatedly to prevent the puff pastry from sticking. 
  8. Roll out your puff pastry with a rolling pin-not to thin or it will be hard to hand when rolling the chicken.  Cut your puff pastry diagonally (I used a pizza cutter) so that you have (2) triangle pieces.  Flour puff pastry on both sides again to prevent sticking.
  9. Place (1) piece of chicken in the middle of a puff pastry triangle.  (I "fold" or "roll" chicken in half to make it easier to seal into the puff pastry).  Fold puff pastry over chicken one side at a time and seal with egg wash.  Make sure all edges are sealed and place on foil lined pan. (I also coat foil with cooking spray).
  10. Repeat until all chicken is in puff pastry.   Brush the top of each puff pastry pouch with egg wash.
  11. Bake 40 minutes at 400 degrees or until chicken is done.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
  12. These are so big & filling we actually cut each one in half and each person at 1/2 of one-- so this meal makes A LOT.  See below on how to "freezer cook" this.
  13. Enjoy!
You can freeze as many of the "pouches" as you want.  Since they are so large- I froze (2) of the pouches, but separately because Andrew & I can share one for a meal.  Follow instructions through step #10 and then place the # of pouches you want to freeze on an parchment lined pan that will fit in your freezer.  Place in freezer 45 minutes.  Remove from freezer and vacuum pack or place in zip loc bags.  Don't forget to label your bag/packaging with steps 11 & 12 so you know how to cook it once you defrost.  I would remove the chicken in puff pastry the night before you plan on serving it and place it in the refrigerator to defrost a big before baking.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I was trying to come up with some new "lighter" dinner options and I stumbled across this Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe from   Andrew loves the lettuce wraps from pei wei & PF Changs so I decided to give this recipe a try!  I altered it a bit from so here is my rendition:

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
2 Servings (for dinner)

  • 2 Large Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (I used Reduced Sodium)
  • 1 tsp Oyster Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp White Ground Pepper
  • (3) Cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
  • 8 Iceberg Lettuce Leaves
  • 2 Tbsp Diced Scallions

First, I combined the Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, 1 tsp of sesame oil (save the rest for later), Rice Wine Vinegar, Sugar and Ground White Pepper in a small bowl.

Next, wash & trim your chicken.  I cut each breast into 6 smaller pieces.  Place chicken AND Water Chestnuts in food processor and process until ground.   Place chicken/water chestnuts & sauce mixture in bag and marinate at least 15 minutes. (I prepped my chicken/sauce the night before and marinated overnight- the flavor was great!)

Heat remaining 1 tsp sesame oil in wok or large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook until golden brown.  (stirring constantly- it burns fast!)   Add the marinated chicken mixture and cook until browned/cooked through.  

Spoon Chicken Mixture into lettuce pieces and top with scallions and your choice of sauce.  Here is what I used for sauce: (all found in the oriental section at HT)
  • Harris Teeter Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Harris Teeter Sriracha Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce
I mixed together all of the above sauces and put it on my wraps!  The hubs liked the sweet chili sauce on his.  On they recommend mixing hoisin, sriracha and water to get a yummy sauce.  Mix what you like for your lettuce wraps!  =)

We devoured almost ALL of the recipe!  I had a little bit left to take to work for lunch the next day to make (2) small wraps.  I would definitely recommend doubling or tripling this recipe if you have more than (2) people eating it for dinner! 



Monday, May 7, 2012

Mom's Spaghetti Recipe!

Sorry it has been a while since I posted a recipe!  Honestly, the past 3 months have been super busy not to mention we found out we are having our first child!  =)   Throughout the first trimester, the LAST thing I have felt like doing is COOK, let alone blog about cooking so I do apologize for the "lull."

My Plate =)
Throughout my first trimester I did not have any specific food cravings, it was more like food aversions.  Absolutely NOTHING sounded good to me, especially all of my previously vacuum-packed freezer meals that I had in the freezer!  We lived on take-out and anything my husband could put on the grill.  I wanted nothing to do with food planning!  The more I thought about a certain food, the more I didn't want it!  It was the craziest thing EVER!  One thing that I did start craving near the end of first trimester was my Mom's Spaghetti Recipe!!  It was the first thing that I actually WANTED and we cooked it together one weekend and it was SO GOOD!  I just made it again last night and I decided I needed to share this good home-cooking recipe with you!

For those of you who like to "freezer" cook like me, this recipe makes enough to serve about 6 people.  Since it is just the two of us I usually end up freezing 1/2 of it when I make a batch.  If you double it, you can freeze 3-4 meals for later!  The sauce freezes very well, and defrosts super quick!   

Mom says that her mom got this recipe from somewhere in Italy.... it is delicious!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Mom's Spaghetti
Serves 6

Sauce Ingredients:
  • (1) Large Sweet Onion Chopped
  • Large Can Diced Tomatoes (28oz)
  • Large Can Tomato Paste (10-12oz)
  • Small Can Tomato Paste (6oz)
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar **  Mom & I put LOTS of Sugar in our sauce-- add to your taste!*
  • 1 Cup Water
Saute chopped onion in bottom of large saucepan with a bit of olive oil until golden brown.  Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and combine well.  Let simmer on low heat 1-1.5 hours.

"Meat" Ingredients:
Meat Mixture
  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 4 Slices Bread (I tear apart into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
In a large bowl combine the above ingredients.  Mush & Mix until well combined.  Brown mixture in a skillet over Medium Heat until browned and cooked through.  (My dad likes a little bowl of the meat mixture to eat after it is browned... it is SO GOOD... so reserve a little bit to taste before adding it to the sauce!)

Add Meat Mixture to Sauce (after it has simmered 1-1.5 hours).  Mix well and let simmer 15 minutes.  Serve with your choice of spaghetti noodles, salad & bread!


Husband's Plate =)