Coconut-Crusted Chicken with Mango Salsa

This was a recipe I had saved to try from an old issue of Rachael Ray's magazine. I loved the combination of flavors (and colors) and thought it was perfect served with some chicken rice. It was a great end of summer meal :-)!

1/2 pound frozen mango, thawed and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups) (I used 1 large fresh mango)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
Four 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a shallow bowl, beat the egg with 1 teaspoon water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place the coconut in another shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the egg, then in the coconut. Press to coat.
In large, ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until cooked through, about 12 minutes. Serve the chicken with the mango salsa.

Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

(this pic courtesy of Favorite Family Recipes, it's much better than the one I took!)
I have only eaten at Olive Garden a handful of times and have never tried this soup there so although I can't vouch for how similar it is to the orginal, I can tell you it is DELICIOUS! When I saw the recipe on Favorite Family Recipes The ingredients sounded intriguing and I am always up for a new soup recipe. I'm so glad I tried it! I loved it and even my husband, who is a soup skeptic, loved it.

3 cans (14oz) Chicken Broth
2 cups whipping cream (I used 1 cup cream, 1 cup whole milk)
red pepper flakes (to taste) (I left out since I used spicy sausage)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 small onion, diced, sauteed
1/2 pkg. bacon (cooked and crumbled)
4-5 cups chopped kale
3 to 4 potatoes scrubbed and cut into slices or small chunks (skins left on) (I used red onions)
1 lb Johnsonville mild Italian sausage (shaped into small rounds, browned, and put on paper towels to de-grease... or if you are in a rush, just brown the sausage like you would ground beef). (I used 2 small links spicy Italian sausage)

Put everything together in a large crockpot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. (they suggested not putting the potatoes in until the last 40-60 minutes, but I put mine in at the beginning and was glad I did...they took awhile to cook)

Lemon Zucchini Mini Muffins

When I saw these little guys on My Favorites I was excited to try them. I have never made my own zucchini bread, muffins, etc. but they were one of my favorite treats growing up. These were super kiddos LOVE them!

(I doubled the recipe for the batter, but not the icing)
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup finely shredded zucchini (I used my food processor)
lemon zest from 2 lemons plus lemon juice from one of them
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Lemon Glaze:
2 cups confectioner's sugar
2+Tbsp lemon juice (I had to use WAY more than that to get my icing creamy)

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, zucchini and lemon zest. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Drop by Tbsp into mini muffin pan. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
For glaze, combine sugar and enough lemon juice to achieve a thin spreading consistency. Spread drizzle over cooled muffins.

Ham and Sweet Potato Hash

I haven't tried any recipes from My Kitchen Cafe in awhile but when she posted this one recently it definitely called out to me :-)! It was sooo good! I loved the addition of sweet potatoes and the chipotle flavor definitely gave it that special something. A perfect breakfast for dinner! Next time I'll be sure to have some Monterey Jack cheese on hand to sprinkle on top....YUM!!!

3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 tablespoons heavy cream
10 ounces thinly sliced deli ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 large eggs (I used 5)

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tight-fitting microwave-safe lid and microwave for about 6 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but not overcooked – they’ll cook a bit more in the skillet later. Stir the potatoes halfway through cooking. Drain the potatoes of any excess liquid and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until the oil is hot and rippling. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the chipotle and cook for about 30 seconds.

Stir in the drained potatoes and the cream. Using the back of a spatula, pack the potatoes into the pan, pressing them into a somewhat even layer. Let the potatoes cook without stirring them for about 2 minutes so they can start to get nicely browned. Flip the potato hash mixture, one portion at a time, and lightly repack into the skillet to let the potatoes brown on the other side. Continue this flipping process every few minutes until the potatoes are nicely browned, about 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the ham and lightly repack the hash into the skillet. Using a large spoon, make 6 shallow divots about 2 inches wide in the surface of the potato mixture. Crack one egg into each indentation. Season with salt and pepper and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the skillet. Let the mixture cook until the eggs are set to your liking, about 5-7 minutes. Serve.

Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Cream Sauce

When I saw this recipe on Fabulously Delicious (originally from Cooking with Paula Deen), I knew I had to try them...because I can never turn down an enchilada recipe. With my new found love of tomatillos I just knew they would be delicious and it helped that Kirsten had given them such a great review too. They were much simpler to make than the roasted tomatillo enchiladas I love so much, but still had TONS of great flavor. LOVED them!!!

3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used 2 cans chicken)
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 fat)
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream (I used light)
1 (8-ounce) package Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I used a mexican mix of cheddar and pepper jack)
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
24 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Tomatillo Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
1 (8-ounce) package Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend, shredded
Sliced green onions (optional)

Tomatillo Cream Sauce*
1 (28 oz.) can of tomatillos, drained
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can of chopped green chiles
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
*I didn't find canned tomatillos at my grocery store, so for the sauce I used 24 oz. salsa verde, 1 cup heavy cream, and a little bit of chicken broth to thin it out a little bit.

In a large skillet, combine tomatillos, chicken broth, chilies, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a blender or food processor, and pulse mixture several times until smooth. Return to skillet; stir in cream and cook over low heat for two more minutes.

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 13x9-inch baking dishes.
2. In a large bowl, combine chicken and next 8 ingredients. Spoon 2 tablespoons chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Fold sides over, enclosing filling. Place filled tortillas, in a single layer, seam side down, in prepared baking dishes. (I debated over whether to fry the tortillas to soften them first or not, but decided not to since it makes them waaay worse for you. I just heated them in a paper towel in the microwave to soften them and they still turned out so yummy)
3. Spoon Tomatillo Cream Sauce evenly over enchiladas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.

Macadamia Fudge Torte

My friend brought this for dessert to our girls' night last week and it was sooo good. I didn't get a great picture of it though so you'll have to trust me that it was delicious...especially served with vanilla ice cream and the caramel sauce on top! I think I need to make something with macadamia nuts soon, they were my favorite part of the dessert!

1/3c low-fat sweetened condensed milk
1/2c semisweet chocolate chips

1pkg. pudding-included devil's food cake mix
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1 (16oz) can pears in light syrup, drained
2 eggs
1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
2 tsp water

1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1/3cup milk (I used skim)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 or 10 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. In small saucepan, combine filling ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat until chocolate is melted, stirring occasionally.
2. In large bowl, combine cake mix, cinnamon and oil; blend at low speed for 20-30 seconds or until crumbly. (Mixture will be dry).
3. Blend pears until smooth in blender or food processor.
4. In another large bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of the cake mixture, pureed pears and eggs; beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Spread batter evenly in sprayed pan. Drop filling the spoonfuls over batter. Stir nuts and water into remaining cake mixture. Sprinkle over filling.
5. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly in the center. Cool 10 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Cool 1 1/2 hours or until completely cooled.
6. In small saucepan, combine sauce ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes or until well blended, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, spoon 2 tbs warm sauce onto plate. Top with torte and garnish with ice cream, if desired.

Mexican Chicken with Jalapeno Popper Sauce

This recipe originally comes from Mommie Cooks, but I saw a link to it on Cassie Craves. This sauce is sooo good, I LOVED it! I would eat anything with it...seriously. So, try it, you won't regret it :-)!!!

3 Chicken Breasts
A Sprinkle of Cumin per Breast
A Sprinkle of Chili Powder per Breast
A Sprinkle of Salt per Breast
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Jalapenos, Seeded and Chopped
8 Oz. of Cream Cheese
2 Cups of Chicken Broth
3 Slices of Bacon
3/4 Cup of Shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack
1 Tbsp of Fresh Cilantro, chopped + more for garnish

Fry bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel-lined plate.
Sprinkle chicken with seasonings while the bacon crisps. Add the chicken to the hot bacon fat in the skillet. Cook chicken, turning every few minutes, until juices run clear and no longer pink. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
Add chopped jalapenos to the skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute more, until fragrant.
Add chicken broth, deglazing pan. Bring to a boil.
Add cream cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add in shredded cheese and bacon, stirring until the cheese in melted. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro.
Serve chicken on a bed of Mexican or Taco rice (I made cilantro lime rice) and topped with sauce. Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Rice Meatballs

Using rice to make meatballs? It sounded gluten free already, so I couldn't pass up this recipe from Melissa's Bargain Blog! Although Ella was confused as to why we were having meatballs with rice instead of noodles the whole family liked them. I think you could even make them and cook them in spaghetti sauce instead and then serve them with noodles as an easy gluten-free meatball alternative!

1 cup uncooked minute rice
1 lb ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 t. grated onion
1 t. salt
1/8 t marjoram
dash pepper
2 1/2 cups tomato juice (or two 8 oz cans tomato sauce mixed with 1/2 cup water)
1/2 t sugar

Combine rice and all other ingredients except tomato juice and sugar. Form balls and arrange in skillet. Pour tomato juice & sugar over meatballs. Bring to boil. Reduce heat & simmer uncovered 15 minutes.

Harvest Salad

This was my other contribution to our Labor Day BBQ. I loved the combination of flavors from the ingredients...nothing like a good green salad! (and it's from All Recipes)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 bunch spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red raspberry jam (with seeds)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup walnut oil freshly ground (I used olive oil)
black pepper to taste
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Arrange walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 5 minutes, or until nuts begin to brown.
In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, walnuts, cranberries, blue cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and red onion.
In a small bowl, whisk together jam, vinegar, walnut oil, pepper, and salt. Pour over the salad just before serving, and toss to coat.

Potato Salad

I found this recipe on All Recipes (submitted by cheftini) and I've decided this is going to be "my" potato salad recipe :-). I loved it! It has enough of the core potato salad ingredients that it gives you that classic potato salad taste I love, but also enough variation to give that little something special to set it apart.

6 eggs
10 red potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ranch dressing (I used light, it helps, right :-)?!)
1/3 cup dill pickle relish
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used kosher salt)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1 onion, chopped (very finely)
1/4 cup pepperoncini

Place the eggs into a saucepan in a single layer and fill with water to cover the eggs by 1 inch. Cover the saucepan and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let the eggs stand in the hot water for 15 minutes. Pour out the hot water; cool the eggs under cold running water in the sink. Peel and chop the cooled eggs.
Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cold. Peel and cube once cold.
Stir together the mayonnaise, ranch dressing, relish, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika, and celery seed in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, potatoes, onion, and pepperoncini; stir until evenly mixed. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. (I made it the night before to make it even better!)

Pioneer Woman Meatloaf

I've never been a meatloaf fan, I mean they just don't really look appetizing, you know? However, I have been meaning to try this one from my Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook (from my sweet mom :-) for awhile and finally got to it this weekend. I really, really loved it. It was moist and super duper even if you don't think you like meatloaf, give it a try! Oh, and did I mention it was easy to make too?!

1 cup milk
6 bread slices (I used whole grain)
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced parsley
4 eggs
8 to 12 thin bacon slices
1 1/2 cups ketchup
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
couple dashes of hot sauce

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place the bread slices in a bowl and pour 1 cup milk over the top. Let it soak in for a few minutes.
-Put the ground beef, milky bread, cheese, salt, seasoned salt, pepper, parsley, and beat eggs into a large mixing bowl. Now combine everything together using your hands. You will find everything combines nicely.
-Next, form into into a "loaf" and place on a broiler pan. By using a broiler pan, the fat will just drip to the bottom pan. For easy clean up, put some tinfoil on the bottom pan. Then just wrap bacon around the loaf and tuck the ends under the loaf.
-Now it is time to make the sauce that will cover the top. In a small bowl add the ketchup, brown sugar, dry mustard, and a couple dashes of hot sauce. If you like it hotter you can add more hot sauce. Mix it all together well.
-Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the meatloaf.
-Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
-Take it out and pour another 1/3 of the sauce over the top again. Put it back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until done.

Cheesy Mac and Trees

My girls have been loving mac n cheese lately, but since I'm trying to feed Preston as little gluten as possible right now it's hard for him to see them eating it and not get any. I saw this recipe in Rachael Ray's magazine and was excited to give it a try...I could use gluten-free noodles AND it has broccoli, one of my favorite veggies. We all loved it and will definitely be making it as a replacement to the standard mac n cheese!

Salt and pepper
1 pound whole wheat or whole grain rotini or penne rigate pasta (I used gluten-free penne)
1 large head broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets
3 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour (I used cornstarch)
2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 1/2 cups shredded yellow extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)

Preheat the broiler.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente (about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the brand).
When the pasta has been cooking for a couple of minutes, add the broccoli to the water and finish cooking everything together. Drain and return to the pot.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and stock.
Cook until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Stir in 2 cups cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Toss the pasta and broccoli with the sauce. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Place in a large casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the chives or scallions, if using.
Place under the broiler until bubbling and browned.

Yolanda's Famous Chicken

This is another recipe from my Cooking Light magazine (July 2010) and this was an absolute hit! Addie ate almost an entire chicken breast...and that is saying something :-)! It was deliciously flavorful and crispy, but pretty healthy too!

2 bread slices
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon 2% reduced-fat milk
1 large egg
Cooking spray
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
4 lemon wedges

1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Tear bread into pieces. Place bread in a food processor; pulse until breadcrumbs measure about 1 3/4 cups.
3. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound chicken to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.
4. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine breadcrumbs, cheese, and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a second shallow dish. Combine milk and egg in a third shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Working with 1 breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. Dip into egg mixture; dredge in breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat evenly on both sides. Place chicken on a large plate. Repeat procedure with remaining breast halves, flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumb mixture; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray; add 2 teaspoons olive oil, swirling to coat. Add 2 breast halves to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Place on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and remaining breast halves. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Serve with lemon wedges.