Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Brian and I just recently returned from a marvelous cruise. It was so relaxing and full of fun things to do! We even went scuba-diving! All that said, it didn't take long for me to come home and realize just how much I have to do to catch up with the 10 days we were gone. The one bad thing about being self-employed is that I am my own boss. Therefore, I am the one who tells me what to do, and when to do it. It's a tough cycle, especially after a restful cruise. Needless to say, I wasn't feeling it the first couple of days.

But now, I'm back and one of the first things I thought when I got home was "What can I make in a crock pot this week?" so I looked around online and came up with some inspiring recipes! That's right, all my dinners this week are made with a crock pot and are fun, easy, and positively delicious!

Ingredients:
1-2 lbs chicken breast
16 oz chicken broth
1/2 cup buffalo sauce (I used Frank's buffalo sauce)
1 head iceberg lettuce
2 celery stocks
1/2 onion
Toppings
shredded cheddar cheese (reduced fat will do)
diced scallions
Reduced fat ranch dip or blue cheese dressing (I used reduced fat sour cream and a packet of ranch dip seasoning)

Instructions
In a crock pot, place all the ingredients except for the buffalo sauce and toppings and cook for 4 hours.
Save and set aside 1/2 cup of the broth and strain the rest, then place only the chicken back in the crock pot.
Use 2 forks to shred the chicken then add the sauce and broth, and stir until all mixed together.
Keep on warm until ready to serve.
Once ready to serve, carefully separate the lettuce leaves, place chicken in the center, and add desired amount of toppings before rolling and enjoying!



Monday, June 10, 2013

Baked Pork Chops

Folks, let's talk about pork chops. I have to say, I'm quite guilty of not giving them the credit they deserve. I can't tell you how many times I've overlooked pork chops as an option for something lean and high in protein. Quite honestly, I always thought of them as a nuisance. I thought of them as meat that took way too long to cook and if not prepared properly, extremely bland. Boy, I was wrong! Although, I do recommend looking for ways to flavor and intensify the chops because they still in fact are bland if you don't season them properly. These pork chops took me a half hour to make, TOTAL.

Ingredients
2 large pork chops
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
2 tsp dry sage
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs,
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

Steps
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and beat an egg in a wide shallow bowl
2. Pombine all the dry ingredients and lemon zest in another wide shallow bowl and mix them with a fork
3. Rinse the pork chops and pat dry with a paper towel, then dip them on both sides into the beaten egg
4. Immediately press them into the bread crumb mixture on both sides, then give them a slight shake to get   the excess crumbs off
5. In a non-stick skillet, heat the butter and olive oil on medium heat until a drop of water makes it sizzle
6. Sear the chops on both sides for about a minute or until they appear golden and toasted
7. Place them in a baking dish coated with non-stick spray
8. Bake the chops in the oven for 12 minutes, or until they reach 160 degrees in temperature




Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Molten Lava Cake

These last couple of months have been filled with change and excitement. I am focusing more time on my business and enjoying the new work environment at Nada. One exciting task at hand for Stir Crazy Cuisine is to cook for a very special occasion. I have the honor of cooking for a birthday dinner honoring my best friend's father. I've known him since I was 5 years old, and I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity.

When Genevieve's mom asked me to do this, the first request she had was to make a molten lava cake. In all honesty, the first thought that came to mind was, "well shoot, that's something I haven't done before..." but the first words that came out were "OF COURSE!!!". Some may think I should have just stated that this is something I have yet to try, and then get back to her. However, I took it as a delightful challenge and refused to accept that something as simple and delicious as a molten cake would be too difficult. Therefore, I went home and baked. I perused through a few recipes then made one up myself, are you at all surprised?

Here's what I came up with. I hope you try it and like it! NOTE: I altered the recipe to make 2 servings. In order to make 4, just double all the ingredients.

SERVINGS: 2                               PREP TIME: 10 minutes               BAKE TIME: 12 minutes
Ingredients
1 egg, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
1/8 cup sugar
3 oz semisweet chocolate
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs flour

Instructions

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2.Prepare the ramekins by greasing them with butter then tossing a layer of flour until it is covered
3. In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate, and butter
4. Heavily beat the sugar and eggs in a small bowl
5. Once chocolate is melted add the nutmeg and vanilla, then quickly fold it into the eggs along with the flour
6. Slowly pour the batter into the ramekins leaving enough room for the cakes to rise
7. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes
8. Let them cool for 20 minutes, then use a butter knife to run along the rim of the cake separating it from the ramekin. Use a flat plate to cover the ramekin then turn it over. NOTE: If you let the cakes sit for 15 minutes, the cake should be warm enough to use a hand to catch the cake. This will make it a bit easier.
9. Use an ice cream, fruit, or sweet drizzle to garnish and enjoy!