Thursday, August 14, 2014

Crispy Chicken Bacon Waffle Wrap with Maple Vinaigrette

So...I think I'm going to start wrapping all my meals in waffles.  It just makes sense.  

It may sound strange...but I promise it is delicious. I know it's natural to think of a waffle as a breakfast food, but you could truly eat this meal at any time of the day!  

Also - these aren't just your regular run-of-the-mill waffles.  These are cheddar waffles. Yeah...that's right.  There is cheddar baked right into every little delicious square.  How awesome is that?  Maybe I'm the only one geeking out right now but I can't help it.  I'm totally going to start putting cheese right in my waffle mix more often.  Think of the possibilities...an egg breakfast waffle wrap? Or maybe a bacon cheeseburger with cheddar waffle instead of a bun?  Let me know if you come up with any other ideas! :) 


The maple vinaigrette adds a nice sweet touch to this savory wrap and it compliments the chicken nicely.  Even though you may be able to put anything on a waffle, maple syrup is still a waffle's best friend in my eyes.  hope you enjoy these as much as I did...no matter what time of day it is! :) 

Crispy Chicken Bacon Waffle Wrap with Maple Vinaigrette 
Serves: 2 - 4

Ingredients:

Crispy Chicken:
2 - 3 Chicken Breast
Buttermilk (enough to cover chicken, 1½ - 2 cups)
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
1½ - 2 cups Flour
½ tsp Pepper
2 tsp Garlic Salt
1 Tbsp. Paprika
1 tsp Chili Powder

Waffles:
I make my homemade waffle mix in a big batch so I can use one cup of the dry mix whenever I want to whip up a batch and simply add the wet ingredients below.  You can see my full recipe here

1 cup dry waffle mix (or Bisquick)
1 egg
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon (if desired) 
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Pepper
½ cup shredded Cheddar Cheese

Maple Vinaigrette:
3 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s brand recommended)

Instructions:

For the Crispy Chicken:
In a gallon size Ziploc bag, pour in the butter milk and add 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp pepper. (Can also add in hot sauce or chili powder if desired…which I always doJ). Seal the bag, place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight to marinate. Take out of fridge for at least 15-30 minutes prior to frying so it can come to room temperature.

Heat at least 2-3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven to about 375°F.  This is a TON of oil…I opted to use the lower end but that could result in you needing to cook the chicken longer and flip often if it is not full covered by the oil. 

In a Ziploc bag or shallow bowl mix together the Flour, Garlic Salt & Pepper, Paprika and Chili powder until well blended.

Place the buttermilk soaked Chicken one piece at a time into Flour mixture and generously coat all over.
Carefully place all the coated Chicken once at a time into the hot oil and deep fry for 5 - 6 minutes.

Remove, drain on a paper towel lined plate and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes.

Add the Chicken back to the hot oil once more this time for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown, remove, drain and keep warm in 300°F oven until ready to serve.  We are basically deathly afraid of under-cooked chicken, so once again – I cooked mine longer, plus the pieces I had were pretty thick.  It might be better to butterfly the breasts and separate so that they don’t take as long to cook, plus a thinner piece of chicken will fit nicely into the waffle wrap!

For the Waffles:
In a bowl, mix together homemade waffle mix, Egg, Milk, Oil, Salt & Pepper and your favorite shredded cheese. Mix well.

Heat waffle iron, spray with cooking spray, pour about ¼-½ cup or recommended amount of batter for your waffle iron, so that you don't have a spill over, close cover and cook for about 4 - 5 minutes or until just golden.

For the Dressing:
Mix Maple syrup and apple cider vinegar in small bowl and set aside until ready to use.

To Assemble:
Fold a warm large round waffle in half add 1 chicken breast, lettuce, crispy smoked bacon, tomatoes, extra cheese, and generously drizzle Maple Vinaigrette and serve with additional Vinaigrette on the side. Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Little Figgy

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars

On a lovely day off of work a few weeks back I went on a little adventure to a farm outside of the city to pick my own strawberries.  It was glorious.  
Picking your own fresh strawberries is ten million times better than buying strawberries from the store.  The taste difference is astonishing.  Scary, even.  Plus, they are cheaper - win win!  It makes me never want to buy strawberries from the store...but unfortunately I probably will because the strawberry picking season is not year round. :( 
The only "problem" with picking your own strawberries is finding ways to use them quickly before they go bad (unless you freeze them).  We did not seem to have this "problem"!  In fact, we ended up just eating most of them just on their own.  However, I did make these delicious crisp bars with them...along with some surprise rhubarb we found growing in our back yard that we didn't plant!  Yay for free food left by previous home owners. :) 

If you have some leftover strawberries or rhubarb...I recommend giving this recipe a try!  Enjoy! 



Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars

Ingredients:
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup small-diced rhubarb
1 cup small-diced strawberries
1 tablespoon natural cane sugar, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Directions: 
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8-by-8 inch square pan with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt. Add the butter and stir until clumps form. Set aside ½ cup of the crumble mixture and press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. In the same medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, granulated sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Evenly distribute the fruit over the crust, then scatter the reserved crumbs over the fruit.

4. Bake the bars until the fruit is bubbling and the crisp portion is golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Recipe adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Butterscotch & Chocolate Ice Cream

I hope you all had a happy 4th of July!  We had a wonderful weekend up north with some friends in a cabin on a lake.  I'm so grateful for the freedom we have in our country and for my family, friends, warm weather...and last but not least - ICE CREAM!  

If you love ice cream as much as I do - I highly recommend investing in an ice cream maker.  You can make so many different flavors and put in whatever candy, fruit, nuts, etc. that you want! It's like having your own "fro-yo" or "Coldstone" shop right in your home.  This particular recipe was more of a soft custard so if you're into that sort of thing...give this a go! 

I was lucky enough to be selected to participate in OXO's "#IceCreamforOXO" blog challenge.  For this challenge I received a whole box of OXO goodies including an ice cream scoop, spatula, mini chopper and more (see below)!  Thanks OXO! :)


Butterscotch & Chocolate Ice Cream

Ingredients: 
3 cups heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1-1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups butterscotch chips
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Directions: 

Whisk egg yolks with sugar until smooth.
In a saucepan, pour cream and bring it almost boil. Add butterscotch and chocolate chips and stir until it's all mixed together. Add vanilla extract to the saucepan.
Pour 1/2 cup of the butterscotch cream mixture to the egg mixture, whisking at the same time. Next pour the egg mixture back to the saucepan containing the butterscotch mixture and give it a stir. Put it back on stove and let it simmer for 5 minutes or until it looks thick like custard.
Once done, let it cool completely at room temperature, and then refrigerate it overnight.

Finally churn it in the ice cream machine.  Drizzle more chocolate on top if desired and freeze for a couple hours at least before serving.  

Recipe adapted from Playful Cooking 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lemon Orzo & Asparagus Salad with Spinach & Feta


This tasty salad puts a unique spin on a typical pasta salad and is packed full of nutrients and flavor. It's also quick & easy and is delicious either hot or cold.  What more could you ask for?  Well, more of it..that's what.


 If you're looking for a great side dish to a summer meal or potluck - I recommend this! 



Lemon Orzo & Asparagus Salad with Spinach and Feta
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 cup orzo
½ tsp. salt for boiling water
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
8-10 asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup packed fresh spinach
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/3 cup feta cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a medium sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add the salt. Stir in orzo. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain orzo and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, sauté garlic in olive oil. Add in asparagus pieces. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Stir in spinach. Cook until asparagus is tender and the spinach shrinks down.

Put the orzo in a medium bowl and add in the vegetables. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the orzo and vegetables. Stir. Season with salt and pepper. Taste-add more lemon juice if you wish.

Sprinkle feta cheese over the top of the salad. Serve warm or cold! 

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod