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Tuesday
Jun302015

Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cucumber Avocado Salsa

 

Since getting our grill, we've been grilling every single night. To say that we are putting it to good use is an understatement! We've grilled the typical things like burgers and sausage, but we've also roasted vegetables and made a pizza. I can't wait to share all of grilled goodness with you throughout this summer. One of the delicious grilled meals that we have enjoyed is this chicken dish. Chicken thighs are a bit newer to me than chicken breasts, and they are so much more flavorful. I don't know what took me so long to get on that train! Being that chicken is a blank canvas, it offers many opportunities to spice it up as you wish. This particular spice mix gives the chicken the perefct amount of kick, and this particular salsa helps to cool down said kick! These flavors offer the perfect balance. Bonus, this meal can be prepared so quickly that it is the perfect weeknight meal! 

For the Salsa
1 tablespoon Lime Juice
2 teaspoons Honey
1 1/2 cups Cucumber, small dice (I used a whole seedless cucumber)
3/4 cup Red Bell Pepper, small dice (I used a whole pepper)
1 Avocado, diced
2 tablespoons Cilantro or Parsley, minced (I used parsley)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice and honey. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat, adding salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.

For the Chicken
1 tablespoon Ancho Chile Powder*
2 teaspoons Cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Zest of 1 Lime
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
8 Chicken Thighs, boneless/skinless, trimmed

In a small bowl, mix together the chile powder, cumin, cayenne, lime zest, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture over both sides of each of the chicken thighs. Grill the chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in a skillet on the stove or broil it in the oven. Spoon the salsa over the top of the chicken before serving. 

*As noted by Elly: Ancho chile powder is made from ground ancho chiles. If you use a commercial chili powder, as I did, note that it includes cumin. Therefore, you may want to cut back on the cumin and increase the cayenne a little bit. I used the following measurements: 1 tablespoon Chili Powder, 1 teaspoon Cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne. 

SOURCE: Elly Says Opa

Wednesday
Jun242015

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Yogurt Cake

 

I am beyond excited. We FINALLY have an outdoor dining table large enough to hold 2 plates, which means we can FINALLY enjoy eating outside in the summer! I was originally planning on building my own table this summer, but after coming to the realization that I really have no idea how to do such a thing, buying a table was probably the safest option. On Saturday, we went to Home Depot to pick up a grill, and while we waited the 45 minutes for them to locate somebody with a lift truck license so that they could get the box off of the top shelf, we found a table set that we loved that was on super sale, over 50% off! We ended up going back on Sunday morning to buy that table. As luck would have it, the only one that they could locate was the floor model, so we got it even cheaper, and it was already put together for us! I like to kid Joel by telling him that was his first "father's day" present from our furbaby, Willow! All joking aside, since Sunday was Father's Day, we had my in-laws all over for dinner at our new table, cooked on our new grill. While this dessert wasn't cooked on the grill, it was an absolute delicious way to end our meal. Strawberries are amazing right now, and pairing them with chocolate in this deliicously spongy cake was most definitely the best idea! At the end of the night, there was one slice left. It may have made for a delicious breakfast the next morning...

1 1/2 cups Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Butter, softened
3 tablespoons Greek Yogurt
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Chocolate Chips, plus more for sprinkling
1 pound Strawberries, hulled and quaretered

Line the bottom of a 9-inch round springform pan with parchment paper and grease the sides of hte pan with butter or cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, yogurt, and sugar and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, no more than 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and mix in the egg, beating until light and fluffy. Then add the milk and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the strawberries on top of the cake, cut sides down and close together. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips between the berries. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for about 40 minutes before releasing it from the pan. Dust the top with powdered sugar, if you want to make it look fancy! 

SOURCE: Julia's Album

Monday
Jun222015

Baked Beet Chips

 

It's finally summer! Once again, with the end of the month comes another installment of Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month, I was assigned to Natural Noshing, a blog written by Nora. Nora lives in Montana with her hubby and dog. Back in 2012, they opened a frozen yogurt store, and I think that is the coolest thing ever! Nora eats gluten free, and has cut back on her refined sugar, so her recipes are all relatively healthy! Of course, there are a few guilty pleasures, like Ice Cream Cake Ball Bombes and Peanut Butter Bliss Ice Cream, which were two of my top contenders. But, I've been doing Beachbody's 21 Day Fix, and unforthunately neither of those two recipes fit into my meal plans, so I decided to make these beet chips! I'm not a huge potato chp fan, but if they are in front of me, I will munch on them until the bowl is empty, so if I'm going to snack, I may as well snack on something healthy, that also counts as a serving of vegetables! While these beet chips took a little longer than expected, the end result was delicious! A snack that you don't have to feel guilty about eating. Just as healthy as kale chips, but prettier! Just do yourelf a favor, don't overlap them on the baking sheet or they willl never cook! That may have something to do with the cook time issue I had! If you are looking for an earthy and healthy snack, look no further than these chips! Thanks for the recipe, Nora! I had a great time getting to know you this month!

1 Beet, peeled
Olive Oil
Sea Salt, to taste (optional)

Using a mandoline slicer, thinly slice the peeled beet. Toss the beet slices in olive oil and spread them in a single layer onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake at 325 for 20-30 minutes, or until crispy. Cool slightly and serve.  

SOURCE: Natural Noshing

Sunday
Jun072015

Fuel to Go Muffins

Mornings can be hectic, and the last thing I have time for is preparing a meal. I like the concept of grab-and-go. That is why muffins make for an easy breakfast. Although, sometimes eating a muffin is basically like eating a cupcake...sweet and not so good for you. Not that I'm complaining, because I love a good chocolate chip muffin from time to time, but I would prefer to start the day on a slightly healthier note. These muffins do just that. They are chock-full of healthy fruit and seeds that give you the energy you need to power through your day, or at least until lunch time!

 

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Raisins (I used dried cranberries instead)
1/4 cup Dried Apricots, diced
2 cups Grated Carrots
1 Apple, cored and shredded
3 Eggs
8 ounce can Crushed Pineapple
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Pepitas
1/4 cup Chia Seeds

 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the raisins, apricots, carrots, and apple and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add the crushed pineapple, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in the sunflower seeds, pepitas, and chia seeds. Line a muffin tin with liners and fill the wells until heaping with mixtrue. You should be able to get about 14-16 muffins. Bake at 350 degrees for 34-38 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown. 

 

Sunday
May312015

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bites

 

I've been holding out on you. This recipe is leftover in my files from Easter. I can't believe I haven't gotten around to posting it until now. If you like Mounds bars, you'll love these bites. Not only are they easy to make, but they are a huge hit with a crowd! I ate a few more than I'd like to admit, but there were plenty to go around for all of my guests. Next time, I might add an almond to the center of these to mimic that of an Almond Joy bar. That would be delicious! 

 

4 cups Shredded Coconut (I used sweetened, but unsweetened is fine, too)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
12 ounces Dark Chocolate, chopped (I used dark chocolate chips)
Sea Salt, optional

 

Mix the coconut and condensed milk in a large bowl until a sticky paste is formed. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (you should be able to make about 36) and place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melth the chocolate. You can either do this in a heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, or in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Using 2 forks, dip the coconut balls into the melted chocolate, rolling to cover evenly. Place them back on the parchment lined baking sheet and top with a pinch of sea salt, if desired. Repeat with the rest of the coconut balls. Allow the chocolate to set, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

SOURCE: Port and Fin