Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spicy Honey Chicken

Another stolen recipe from Marci's menu blog...I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs chillin my freezer, and I was just wondering what to do with them when I came across this recipe. It sounded good, and I love anything I can hand over to Adam and let him cook on the grill.

Two things: First, let me say the flavor of this was really good. It was definitely spicy, but not too spicy, probably balanced out by the honey. However, despite the note on Marci's blog (from the person who sent it to her) that its better with thighs rather than breasts...I wish I had used breasts. I'm pretty sure I would have enjoyed it more, which is weird because I usually do prefer dark meat. I just kept questioning whether the thighs were cooked all the way through (despite Adam's insistence that they most definitely were cooked perfectly)...but I picked through my piece and didn't really end up eating much of it. Mostly just a texture thing I guess, and due to the color of the glaze I kept thinking the meat was still pink. So, I definitely want to make this again - mostly because I bought coriander and chipotle chili powder just for this recipe - but I'll be using breasts for sure.

Spicy Honey Chicken


8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp. vegetable oil

For the rub:
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chipotle chili powder

For the glaze:
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar


1. Combine the spices for hte rub in small bowl.

2. Use kitchen shears to trim off any excess fat from the chicken (another downside to thighs, lots of little fat pockets you need to trim off!). Pat dry. Drizzle oil over chicken and run in with your hands to lightly coat all the pieces. Toss chicken with the spice rub to coat all sides well.

3. Grill chicken for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

4. While chicken is cooking, warm honey in the microwave about 30 seconds to thin slightly. Add the vinegar and combine well. Brush the glaze on the chicken (reserve a little if you want more to dip it in later) in the final moments of grilling.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pasta Taco Salad

I was looking for a different sort of side dish to bring to a family BBQ this past weekend, and I found this pasta salad on a blog called Cara's Cravings (her picture is definitely better than mine, I was only able to capture the leftovers). There were rave reviews, and I just happened to have some leftover wagon wheel pasta, so I gave it a go.

My review: It was a nice change from the usual pasta salad, and the flavors were good. I used a very mild salsa and limited chili powder to cater to some picky palates, and I definitely think it needed more spice. In fact, we kicked up the leftovers with some spicy picante-style salsa later on, and I liked it much better. Also, I don't think the "vinaigrette" is necessary - do we really need to be adding a 1/2 cup of oil to this otherwise pretty healthy salad? I used a lot less, and I think it would be fine omitting it completely and just mixing in the lime juice and spices right into the pasta. But, I'll post the recipe as-is and you can judge for yourself!


1 lb. wagon wheel pasta
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 10 oz. package frozen corn (if you are going to make this at least several hours ahead, no need to defrost first)
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
8 oz. shredded Mexican-blend cheese (I didn't add this)
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. cumin
1-2 tsp. chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
freshly ground salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, diced


1. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.

3. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

4. Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mexican Beef Stew

I started out with an entirely different plan for this meal, but when I pulled out the recipe for what I had intended to make, I decided it really didn't sound good and changed direction. I did a little search for something that would include all the ingredients I had planned on using, as well as a few other things I had on hand, and came up with the idea for this "stew".

I ended up straining off most of the liquid at the end and serving the meat and vegetables over rice with some homemade guacamole and baked tortilla chips (yes, at the risk of carb overload), and it was delicious. You could just as easily thicken up the broth a little more and enjoy it as a more traditional stew with some fresh tortilla or cornbread...yum!


1 lb. beef stew meat
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 mediun onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground thyme
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups beef broth
2 large red potatoes, diced


1. In a large bowl, combine stew meat, red pepper, onion, jalapeno and garlic. In a separate bowl, combine flour, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, thyme, and cayenne. Mix well, then add to the meat and vegetable mixture and stir to coat.

2. Transfer meat and vegetable to a slow cooker and pour beef broth to cover. Cook on low for 6 hours. Add potatoes and cook 2 hours more or until potatoes are tender (can turn up to high at this point to speed the cooking of the potatoes).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I decided to make this dip for our Memorial Day BBQ, and it was a hit! Tasted just like buffalo wings. Everyone loved it - it was gone so fast. I got the recipe from Marci's recipe blog (she raved about it as well).

Although I'd had a similar dip before I remembered it being really greasy, and I thought that may have been due to the cheese, so I changed that up a little. I also adjusted the amounts of some of the ingredients, so I'll post my recipe here but you can always visit Marci's blog to see the original.

Oh, and just typing this here right now makes me crave this stuff! Its sooooo good!

Buffalo Chicken Dip


2 (10 oz) cans chuck chicken, drained
1 1/2 cups Frank's Red Hot sauce
2.5 packages (20 oz. total) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2 cups ranch dressing
1 cup Tostitos Chili Con Queso dip
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Combine chicken and hot sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat; stir occasionally until heated through. Mix in cream cheese, ranch dressing, and Queso dip, stirring until well-blended. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top, cover, and cook on low setting until hot and bubbly. Keep warm in slow cooker to serve.


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