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About Christy Boston's Kitchen

Satisfy your gourmet restaurant itch without the five star cost, right in the comfort of your home. Recipes for discerning Foodies on a budget.

Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric

Serves: 4 | Total Time: 8 hours 50 minutes


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Not too long ago, I had no internet for an entire week.

I know, a full-time food blogger without internet sounds pretty dismal, doesn’t it? 

I discovered that the temporary trade-off wasn’t so bad, however.

I took this time to relax. Although I could still engage on social media via my smartphone, (and I did to some extent), I was freed up from the many hours I usually spend just on blogging alone. 

Ahhh, lots of time to just sit and watch the farmers plow their fields. I can’t even tell you how relaxing this is! 

Farmer Country Recipes

I noticed that the hummingbirds are coming by the droves, and they are a hoot to watch. I learned the call of an Oriole, and saw my very first indigo bunting. This is our first spring in the country, so I had a lot of extra time to get a slew of feeders up around the yard. Now that the apple trees are beginning to blossom, the bird activity is a form of entertainment all by itself.

Apple Blossoms

Having a bunch of free time allowed me to really get creative in the kitchen, too. There is something liberating about just creating for the sake of being creative. 

I had a package of chicken drumsticks thawing in the fridge. I perused my spice cabinet in hopes of creating a dry rub for chicken and took a few long minutes to really give the flavors in there some thought. My hope was to create a recipe with turmeric and I had about 2 tablespoons in the jar, so I started there.

Crispy Chicken Drumsticks

After deciding what spices to add to the chicken, I put a little of this and some more of that in a ramekin and tasted it along the way. Starting small paid off, because my first attempt at this homemade dry rub for chicken was way too spicy and thin in its overall flavor (always my biggest flaw when trying something new!). I tried again and added some of the best herbs to season chicken in order to round things out. There was a take two (too heavy on the herbs), take three (too much salt), and by take four, it all came together.

Turmeric Chicken

By the time I had this chicken rub nearly perfected, I ran of ground turmeric. Thankfully, I had some turmeric essential oil in the house. The idea was to add ground turmeric to this homemade chicken spice rub for color, (the health benefits don’t hurt, either), but I discovered that adding turmeric essential oil to olive oil and rubbing it all over the meat not only added some golden color, but it also helps keep the meat moist inside while the skin dries out during the dry brining period.

That, folks, is the secret to crispy drumsticks with the juiciest, most tender meat beneath when you bite into them.

Dry Rub For Chicken

I will be honest, I am so happy with how these oven baked drumsticks turned out. There is a lot of flavor going on, but the balance of herbs, spices, salt and sweet is just right so it isn’t overwhelming. The night I served these, I had completely spaced on making a dipping sauce, but as it turns out, none was needed.

These chicken drumsticks are perfect all by themselves.

Crispy Drumsticks

Sauvignon Blanc Pairs Will With Goat Cheese Dishes

Wine pairings for Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric:

There is a lot going on here! Your best bet with these salty, sweet, herby flavors laced with rich spices is a medium to full-bodied Chardonnay, a spicy rosé with fresh minerality, or a dry zinfandel.

These wines have been hand picked for this dish, just click on a wine to learn more:

Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017


How to make Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric:

What you’ll need:

  • 5 pounds large chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 drops turmeric essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. Pat clean chicken with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Thoroughly whisk the turmeric essential oil into the olive oil and rub onto each drumstick, making sure to coat all surfaces. Set aside.

2. Add the remaining ingredients to a gallon zip-lock bag and shake to mix well. Add half of the chicken drumsticks to the bag and shake well until the meat of coated all over. Repeat with the remaining chicken drumsticks.

3. Place the chicken drumsticks on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 8 hours, uncovered. (Letting the chicken chill while uncovered will dry out the skin slightly, causing it to crisp better when baking.)

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer the sheet pan with the chicken to the oven, wire rack and all, for 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees F. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before plating. Serve with a side of red quinoa and rice blend and chopped fresh cilantro for garnishing.

Watch me make this easy poultry rub:

Best Baked Chicken Legs In The Oven
Best Baked Chicken
Dry Rubbed Chicken Drumsticks

Crispy Oven Baked Drumsticks with Turmeric

Christy Boston’s Kitchen
The secret to crispy baked chicken drumsticks is easy – dry brining! A homemade poultry rub gives this turmeric chicken just the right amount of flavor, no sauce needed! An easy weeknight dinner for family. 
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Chilling and Resting Time 8 hrs 5 mins
Total Time 8 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 5 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 drops turmeric essential oil
  • 4 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Pat clean chicken with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Thoroughly whisk the turmeric essential oil into the olive oil and rub onto each drumstick, making sure to coat all surfaces. Set aside.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to a gallon zip-lock bag and shake to mix well. Add half of the chicken drumsticks to the bag and shake well until the meat of coated all over. Repeat with the remaining chicken drumsticks.
  • Place the chicken drumsticks on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. Refrigerate the chicken for a minimum of 8 hours, uncovered. (Letting the chicken chill while uncovered will dry out the skin slightly, causing it to crisp better when baking.)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Transfer the sheet pan with the chicken to the oven, wire rack and all, for 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170°F. Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before plating. Serve with a side of red quinoa and rice blend and chopped fresh cilantro for garnishing.

Video

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Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 2 | Total Time: 45 minutes


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I get it. Sometimes we just don’t have time in the morning to prepare a marinade for an easy chicken thigh dinner later. If you are like me, you just plain forget to get the chicken out the freezer the night before, and you cannot marinate frozen chicken.

Well, you can, but the result won’t be what you are hoping for.

Chicken Thigh Meal

One way around this dilemma when you need a quick weeknight meal is to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, remove the chicken from the packaging, place it on a sheet pan, then stick it in the oven, close the door and immediately turn off the heat. Let the chicken hang out in there for 15 to 30 minutes, and it will thaw nice and fast – without cooking.

This is a trick I learned because… I am notorious for forgetting to take stuff out of the freezer in time for dinner (or lunch, or brunch… you get the idea!)

Easy Chicken Thigh Recipe With Sticky Glaze

With this recipe, however, you don’t have to marinate anything to get nice juicy chicken thighs. As long as you have thawed chicken thighs (whether you remember to take them out in the morning or do the quick-thaw method I mentioned above), you’ll be in for a tasty chicken dinner within the hour.

It takes five minutes to mix up the ingredients for the sauce. Since the chicken thighs get braised in the sauce, they will turn out tender and juicy. I know, this sounds too easy to be true… but it is true!

Spicy Chicken Pineapple Recipe

I have gotten into the habit of letting my meat rest for a few minutes after it comes out of the oven. I find that this gives the meat’s juices time to reabsorb back into the meat before it gets served. This is double nice because – while the chicken thighs rest – I can finish up the spicy pineapple sauce that goes over the chicken and rice. (Cook the rice while the chicken bakes.)

Yes, you can pull meat out of the fridge an hour before mealtime and have a complete chicken dinner on the table in less than an hour.

Ah ha!

How’s that for an easy weeknight meal that tastes like it has been roasting all day?

Glazed Chicken Thighs

Sauvignon Blanc Pairs Will With Goat Cheese Dishes

Wine pairings for Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs:

Try a partially oaked, dry chardonnay from California or a dry sauvignon blanc from Aconcagua, Chile. Prefer red? No problem! An Italian barbaresco from Piedmont will work wonderfully with this dish. Here are some already hand picked for you:


How to make Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 envelope instant onion soup mix
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 large chicken thighs, bone-in with skin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 slices fresh pineapple, cut to 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 serrano chili pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Whisk together the soup mix, honey, apple cider, thyme, curry paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

The Best Glaze For Chicken Thighs

3. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high. Fry the chicken thighs in the hot oil, skin side down, until the skin becomes browned and no longer sticks to the skillet, about 5 minutes.

How To Cook Glazed Chicken Thighs Step By Step

4. Flip the chicken pieces so they are skin side up and immediately pour the reserved onion soup mixture over the chicken. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are cooked through. While the chicken bakes, baste with the pan juices two or three times. Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Making Chicken On The Stove
The Best Chicken Recipe To Make Tonight

5. While the chicken is resting, heat the skillet over a burner set to medium. Add the sliced serrano chili to the skillet. When the pan juices begin to simmer, place one pineapple slice into the juices and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and simmer another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the other pineapple slice.

Pineapple Recipe
Pineapple Sauce For Chicken

6. To serve, divide the rice equally onto two plates. Place a pineapple slice on the rice on one plate, top with two chicken thighs, and using a ladle or large spoon, douse with half of the pan juices, making sure you get some serrano chilis in there. Repeat with the second plate and the remaining chicken, pineapple slice, and juices. Garnish with a few fresh grinds of black pepper.

** To make this into a meal that serves 4, simply double the recipe!

Easy Chicken Dinner Idea
Sweet and Spicy Chicken
Easy Chicken Dinner Ideas
Sweet And Sour Chicken Recipe

Sweet and Savory Chicken Thighs

Christy Boston’s Kitchen
These apple cider glazed chicken thighs are super tender and deliver huge flavor with very little effort. No marinating required. Perfect for fast weeknight dinners!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Hawaiian
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 envelope instant onion soup mix
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup apple cider
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • ¾ teaspoon salt divided
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 large chicken thighs bone-in with skin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 slices fresh pineapple cut to ¼ inch thick
  • ½ serrano chili pepper sliced
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Whisk together the soup mix, honey, apple cider, thyme, curry paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high. Fry the chicken thighs in the hot oil, skin side down, until the skin becomes browned and no longer sticks to the skillet, about 5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken pieces so they are skin side up and immediately pour the reserved onion soup mixture over the chicken. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken thighs are cooked through. While the chicken bakes, baste with the pan juices two or three times. Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest for 5 minutes.
  • While the chicken is resting, heat the skillet over a burner set to medium. Add the sliced serrano chili to the skillet. When the pan juices begin to simmer, place one pineapple slice into the juices and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and simmer another 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with the other pineapple slice.
    Pineapple Recipe
  • To serve, divide the rice equally onto two plates. Place a pineapple slice on the rice on one plate, top with two chicken thighs, and using a ladle or large spoon, douse with half of the pan juices, making sure you get some serrano chilis in there. Repeat with the second plate and the remaining chicken, pineapple slice, and juices. Garnish with a few fresh grinds of black pepper.

Notes

To make this into a meal that serves 4, simply double the recipe!
Keyword apple cider glazed chicken thighs, chicken and pineapple recipes, chicken thigh dinner, chicken thigh meals, chicken thigh recipe, chicken thighs, cooking chicken thighs, easy chicken thigh dinner, easy weeknight meal, fast weeknight dinners, glazed chicken, glazed chicken thighs, hawaiian chicken, pineapple chicken, quick weeknight meal
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Made this recipe? Let me know how it went!

Chicken Breasts stuffed with Apricots in a Savory Chèvre

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 2 | Total Time: 1 day, 1 hour and 40 minutes


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I have been making this stuffed chicken breast recipe for years. It is one of my favorite chicken recipes!

This is the perfect date night dinner recipe to make if you are looking for meal ideas for two. The majority of the work can be done a day in advance, leaving you more time for what you like to do best during a romantic dinner – spending your undivided time on your date!

I first came up with this chicken recipe idea many years ago. I had just moved to Long Island and was hankering for a fancy dinner at home that I could make for myself. I had some chopped dried apricots sitting in my cupboard that I had picked up on a whim. At the time, I had never cooked with apricots before, much less dried ones!

Having trouble finding dried apricots at your grocery store? Purchase some good quality ones by clicking on:

iGourmet.com

Baked Chicken Breast

Apricots are a stone fruit, and stone fruits pair well with white wine. In fact, you can get a wonderful peach wine on the north fork of Long Island. I just happened to have a bottle that I had gotten that week while out wine tasting with a good friend.

I did not use the peach wine in this recipe since I was going to use the chopped dried apricots. This is a savory main dish, after all! I decided to stick with a bright, fresh wine with acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc, which typically has notes of peach without being too sweet.

Chicken Breast Meat With Chopped Dried Apricots

Sage and thyme are my favorite herbs to cook with chicken. So of course, they got added to the recipe. All I needed now was a nice, creamy base for the stuffing.

Enter plain goat cheese.

If you have never cooked with goat cheese and you are not sure what to expect, know that it breaks down into a wonderful custard-like consistency when heated up. It also absorbs any flavor you add to it. The more aged the goat cheese, the more earthy the flavor, but in any case, it’s light tanginess will balance out the sweetness of the apricots beautifully.

Oh boy, how do you stuff chicken breasts?

Entree Idea: How Do You Stuff Chicken Breasts?

For the best results, start with chicken breasts that are large. The fatter they are, the easier it will be to stuff them without piercing through the meat. If you do pierce it, just wrap the skinny end of the breast underneath that part and place it on the bottom of the sheet tray when it comes time to bake the chicken. The meat will cook together, searing in the flavors of the herbed goat cheese with fruit you whipped up.

A note about how to cut chicken breasts to stuff; use a paring knife. It is small, sharp, and easy to maneuver.

You might find it a little strange that I leave my chicken breasts uncovered when chilling overnight. Don’t worry, they will dry out a little, but you want some of this to happen because it is what will give these boneless, skinless chicken breasts a nice crust; one that will seal all the juices inside during baking. The butter acts as a moisture barrier, too, so use it liberally!

Plan for a little extra time for baking. The best baked stuffed chicken breasts will take longer to cook through the stuffing. It may take close to double the time you are used to if you normally cook chicken breasts all by themselves.

Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts

You’ll know when the chicken breasts are done by piercing a hole through one with a sharp skewer. If the juices run out clear, they are ready. Try to resist cutting them open with a knife. If they are not yet done, all of the moisture may steam out through the cut as they finish baking.

The bigger the cut, the more moisture you’ll lose.

Lost moisture means… dry chicken meat.

No!

So, resist the urge… please!

Baked Stuffed Chicken Breast Chevre Goat Cheese

I like to let my baked stuffed chicken breasts rest on a cutting board for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat so that you don’t lose too much when you cut them for serving. This is a really important step for the juiciest white meat ever. I know, you just want to dig in, but trust me on this part. 

Wait that extra five minutes!

If you want to serve this as a fancy main course dish, place the slices fanned out on plates. Garnish with a leaf of butter lettuce and a dried apricot. If you are more the casual type, just place the whole chicken breasts on plates let everyone cut their own. Add a side of white rice or potatoes and your favorite veggies.

Oh, and don’t forget the glasses for that bottle of white wine you opened. Sauvignon Blanc pairs great with chèvre goat cheese, too!

Fine Dining Dishes with Chevre Goat Cheese

Sauvignon Blanc Pairs Will With Goat Cheese Dishes

Wine pairings for Chicken Breasts stuffed with Apricots in a Savory Chèvre:

Sauvignon Blanc is the best bet for this dish. Go for one made with riper grapes, like those found in Napa. A great one to try:

Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2018

How to make Chicken Breasts stuffed with Apricots in a Savory Chèvre:

What you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 ounces chèvre (goat cheese), room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon almonds, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shallot and chopped dried apricots until lightly browned and glossy, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. Add the wine and continue to stir for another minute, or until the liquid is absorbed, then stir in the herbs. Cook for one more minute or until the herbs become fragrant but not browned. Remove the skillet from the heat.

2. Add the goat cheese to the skillet and stir to combine with the apricot mixture. Next, stir in the almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir until well mixed. The mixture should begin to bind into a ball. This is what you want to see; it will be easier to work with when stuffing the chicken breasts. Transfer the goat cheese filling to a small bowl and set aside.

3. Butter a baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter, set aside.

4. Using a paring knife, cut pockets into the chicken breasts, starting at the thickest end where the tendon is located. Use your fingers to carefully push through the breast to make a pocket, being careful not to poke a hole in the side. Use a small spoon or your fingers to stuff one chicken breast with half of the goat cheese filling. Massage the meat gently to push the filling into the farthest corners of the pocket, then pinch the hole shut. Fold the thin end of the chicken breast under (covering any thin spots or holes that may have torn while stuffing the chicken breast) and place in the prepared baking dish with the folded side down. Repeat with the second chicken breast, using the rest of the filling, if possible. You do not want to overstuff the chicken, so don’t fret if you have some filling left over.

5. Rub the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter onto the outside of the chicken breasts, being careful not to push out the stuffing. Place the baking dish with the stuffed chicken breasts in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight or for up to 24 hours, but not longer than 1 day.

6. When ready to bake: Preheat the oven to 375F. Cover the stuffed chicken breasts tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 120F. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and baste the chicken breasts with the pan juices. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken just begins to brown.

7. Increase the heat to 475F. Baste the chicken breasts with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle a small amount of chopped almonds over the meat. Put the chicken in the oven again and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until juices run clear. The internal temperature of the meat should be 150F.

8. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and carefully slice the breasts crosswise, being careful not to push out the stuffing. Serve drizzled with the juices from the pan. If you have any leftover stuffing, reheat it for a minute or two and serve it with your chicken dinner.

Learn How To Cook With Gordon Ramsay!
Chicken Recipe Ideas
Meal Ideas For Twto
Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricot Chicken

Chicken Breasts stuffed with Apricots in a Savory Chèvre

Christy Boston’s Kitchen
Looking for romantic dinner recipe ideas? Chopped dried apricots and herbed goat cheese fill these stuffed chicken breasts. Make this chicken dinner a day ahead and enjoy a no-fuss date night at home.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Chill 1 d
Total Time 1 d 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French, Gourmet
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 ounces chèvre (goat cheese) room temperature
  • 1 tbsp almonds finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp salted butter softened and divided
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shallot and chopped dried apricots until lightly browned and glossy, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. Add the wine and continue to stir for another minute, or until the liquid is absorbed, then stir in the herbs. Cook for one more minute or until the herbs become fragrant but not browned. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Add the goat cheese to the skillet and stir to combine with the apricot mixture. Next, stir in the almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir until well mixed. The mixture should begin to bind into a ball. This is what you want to see; it will be easier to work with when stuffing the chicken breasts. Transfer the goat cheese filling to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Butter a baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter, set aside.
  • Using a paring knife, cut pockets into the chicken breasts, starting at the thickest end where the tendon is located. Use your fingers to carefully push through the breast to make a pocket, being careful not to poke a hole in the side. Use a small spoon or your fingers to stuff one chicken breast with half of the goat cheese filling. Massage the meat gently to push the filling into the farthest corners of the pocket, then pinch the hole shut. Fold the thin end of the chicken breast under (covering any thin spots or holes that may have torn while stuffing the chicken breast) and place in the prepared baking dish with the folded side down. Repeat with the second chicken breast, using the rest of the filling, if possible. You do not want to overstuff the chicken, so don’t fret if you have some filling left over.
  • Rub the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter onto the outside of the chicken breasts, being careful not to push out the stuffing. Place the baking dish with the stuffed chicken breasts in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight or for up to 24 hours, but not longer than 1 day.
  • When ready to bake: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cover the stuffed chicken breasts tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 120F. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and baste the chicken breasts with the pan juices. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken just begins to brown.
  • Increase the heat to 475°F. Baste the chicken breasts with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle a small amount of chopped almonds over the meat. Put the chicken in the oven again and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until juices run clear. The internal temperature of the meat should be 150°F.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and carefully slice the breasts crosswise, being careful not to push out the stuffing. Serve drizzled with the juices from the pan. If you have any leftover stuffing, reheat it for a minute or two and serve it with your chicken dinner.

Video

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Like this recipe? Share the love! 
Made this recipe? Let me know how it went!

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Kale

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 2 | Total Time: 30 Minutes



Shrimp scampi is so spring.

Yes, I know, spring has been procrastinating this year. Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and even though I refuse to wear a winter coat this time of year, the puffer vest is still, sadly, a necessity.

This shrimp scampi recipe is so full of bright flavors and healthy greens and it is so easy to make that even beginners can join in on the fun.

Homemade Shrimp Scampi with Kale

Cold, windy weather? May you become an afterthought!

Healthy meals to cook don’t have to be hard! If you don’t know how to make shrimp scampi, don’t worry. All you need is one pan and 30 minutes. 

Traditional shrimp scampi sauce involves butter, garlic, and white wine.

That’s it.

Plus, it is really easy to make homemade scampi sauce!

Not convinced? Check out this video I made for you to show you just how simple it is!

If you are a novice, the only thing you need to remember is to turn down the heat (off if you have a gas range) when you add the wine. Slowly bring it back up to a simmer to cook off the alcohol without igniting it. If it does catch fire, pull the pan away from the stove and shake it until the flames die out, then act like the pro chef you are because you now just officially mastered the art of flambéing your food.

Woo hoo!

Shrimp Scampi Recipe

You may be wondering what the best wine for shrimp scampi may be. Although white wine is the rule of thumb, I prefer to use an off-dry white. You want it to be dry, but not too dry, because a hint of sweetness will bring out the rich flavor of the shrimp instead of competing with it. Too sweet, and your seafood scampi sauce will flop miserably.

Balance, folks. It is the number one secret to culinary success.

For those of you not into alcohol, the white wine can be substituted with something booze-free. Check out the Non-Alcoholic Substitution Chart to learn what you can use in place of the white wine. Just remember, not too sweet, so if you have to tone down grape juice with a splash of vinegar, please do so.

Scampi Recipe

I added kale to my shrimp scampi to give it some color and flavor. Plus, kale is so very good for you. The trick is to wilt the leaves and brighten their color without losing too much volume. You do this by searing it in the scampi sauce for – literally – 30 seconds to a minute. Have your kitchen tongs ready, because you will need to whisk that kale out of the pan almost as soon as you’ve dropped it in there!

Lemon essential oil adds a mild brightness, but feel free to sub in lemon zest if you don’t have any essential oil. Refer to the handy Essential Oil Conversion Chart for how much zest to use.

Now all you have to do is grab that bottle of white and your tank top…. er, light parka, and get that front porch furniture out. Before you know it, we’ll be having dinner outside again!

A Healthy Meal To Cook At Home

How to make Easy Shrimp Scampi with Kale:

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces fettuccini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup good quality white wine
  • 3 ounces fresh baby kale, rinsed and spun
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil diluted in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (to use lemon zest instead, check the Essential Oil Conversion Chart
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Begin by boiling a pot of salted water for the pasta, then cook it al dente per the package instructions. When done, drain it and set it aside, reserving some of the pasta liquid.
The Best Noodles To Use For Shrimp Scampi Pasta

While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a skillet over medium until it is melted, smelling nutty, and beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the shrimp and toss occasionally for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp just begins to turn pink. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

How To Make Scampi Sauce, Begin With Browned Butter
How To Cook Shrimp Scampi
How To Make Shrimp Scampi

Add the wine to the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

Add the kale to the skillet and toss immediately until it wilts but is still bright green, about 30 seconds to a minute at most. Remove kale to a separate plate, set aside.

Shrimp Scampi Recipe With Wine
How To Cook Kale

Pour the essential oil mixture over the shrimp. Cover the bowl with a plate and toss several times to coat the shrimp with the essential oil mixture.

How Do I Make Scampi Sauce?

Turn off the heat over the skillet containing the scampi sauce. Add in the pasta, kale, and shrimp, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. If needed, add some of the pasta liquid to thicken things up a bit. Serve on plates garnished with lemon wedges.

A Healthy Dinner Meal


Shrimp Dinner Idea
Healthy Dinner Ideas
Quick and Healthy Dinner Idea
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Pork and Poblano Stew

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 6 | Total Time: 5 Hours



Hmmm…. what can i make with poblano peppers?

How about… Pork and Poblano Stew!

This tasty stew recipe is an adaptation of my Rojo Teja Stew, the only real difference being that I used poblanos in place of ancho chilis, which are just dried poblanos, and I toned down the spice by reducing the amount of dried guajilo chilis. The result is a milder stew with a meatier color.

What To Cook With Poblano Peppers

Now believe me when I say that Mark appreciates this! Although we agree on a lot of things, spiciness isn’t one of them. I love my food hot and spicy, he doesn’t handle the heat as well, so I need to keep this in mind when coming up with dinner ideas we will both enjoy.

Don’t fret, all you fellow spice lovers. Poblano peppers still add some spice to this hearty stew, just an earthier spice. And if you really want to take things to the level of fire, you still can. It’s all in how you serve this very versatile recipe.

Chili With Stew Meat

Now let me just mention that this is the best stew ever to make on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Yes, I know, it does take some time and effort to make, but try as I may to get this to work in the Instant Pot, it isn’t going to happen. Charring then stewing the peppers is key to getting the rich flavor in this stew. That amber liquid is sooooooo important, kind of like flour is to cake. 

Before you cringe at the thought of slaving away over the stove for 5 hours, though, let me assure you that this won’t be the case. Most of the time needed for this recipe is inactive cooking time – which means, you set your timer and go and do something else. Just don’t go too far away, though, because you shouldn’t leave your stove completely unattended while it works it’s magic. If you’ve got 30 minutes to spare, that is all the time you’ll actually be standing in the kitchen doing anything with your hands.

Country Stew

I garnished my pork poblano stew this time with diced avocado, lime zest and cotija cheese. You can use thinly sliced radishes and crushed oregano leaves, too, or just a dollop of sour cream with a drizzle of hot pepper sauce. Think chili garnishes – this stew really isn’t that much different than a mild chili without beans.

Which begs the question, can you add beans? 

Sure, add in those beans if you want! This stove top stew is a really nice base for all kinds of add-ins. If you live in a house divided over how spicy things should be, then this is the stew recipe to make because you can add in all the spice you want after it is already in the bowl. Just put out whatever condiments your heart desires, like my 5 Alarm Hot Pepper Sauce, and let everyone stir in the heat on their own terms.

Pork Poblano Stew

How to make pork and poblano stew:

What you’ll need:

  • 4 pork ribs with bones in
  • 1 1/2 pound beef rump roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 (2 inch) piece ginger root, peeled
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 small head green cabbage, cut into small chunks and pulsed in a food processor
  • 4 poblano peppers, seeded and halved lengthwise
  • 1 dried guadjillo chili
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • diced avocado, for garnish
  • crumbled cotija cheese, for garnish
  • lime zest, for garnish
  1. In a dutch oven, combine the pork ribs, rump roast, and water (add more if needed to cover the meat). Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high, then throw in the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, and fresh oregano sprigs. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Stews To Make Tonight

Using a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs, remove the onion, garlic and ginger and set aside in a separate bowl. Remove the bay leaves and oregano stems and discard. Add in the ‘riced’ cabbage and stir to combine. Cover and simmer over medium low for another 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Making Stew
Ways To Cook Stew Meat

While the stew is simmering, place the chiles in a large pot that has been heated over medium heat. Toast the chiles, tossing occasionally, until they begin so smoke slightly and blister, about 5 minutes. Carefully add water to cover the chiles and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, remove the chiles from the liquid and set them aside. Allow the chili liquid to cool slightly and set aside.

Things To Make With Beef Stew Meat
Dinner Ideas With Poblano Peppers
Healthy Stew Recipe
What To Cook With Poblano Peppers

Transfer the chiles and 1/2 cup chili cooking liquid to a blender, or a bowl if using an immersion blender. Add the reserved onion, garlic, and ginger plus a ladle-full of broth from the meat pot to the blender. Process until smooth, adding more chili liquid if needed to get a texture that resembles apple sauce. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, stirring and pressing with a rubber spatula if needed. Discard the solids.

What Can I Make With Poblano Peppers?
Making Poblano Pepper Stew
Stew Sauce

In a small pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium. Carefully add the strained chili mixture to the hot oil and stir to combine. Cover partially and cook until reduced by half while stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. The color will deepen into a deep greenish brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

When The Poblano Stew Sauce Is Ready

When the meat mixture has finished simmering, take out the bones and any cartilage, discard. Using a large spoon or spatula and fork, break up the pork and beef until it resembles pulled meat. Be on the lookout for any smaller bones that you may have missed and remove them. Stir in the chili sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-low. Cook for another hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally until mixture boils down to a thick stew. 

Making Low Carb Soups And Stews


Best Stew Recipe Ever
Pork Poblano Stew
Poblano Stew
Pork and Poblano Stew Recipe

Pork and Poblano Stew

Stove top stews are really not hard, especially when the stove does most of the work. Pork and Poblano Stew is rich, earthy, low carb, and oh… so tasty! This is a perfect Sunday afternoon recipe that can be made ahead and frozen for later.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 5 hrs
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 pork ribs with bones in
  • 1 ½ pounds beef rump roast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 2 yellow onions peeled and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 2 inch piece ginger root peeled
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 small head green cabbage cut into small chunks and pulsed in a food processor
  • 4 poblano peppers seeded and halved lengthwise
  • 1 dried guadjillo chili
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 diced avocado for garnish
  • crumbled cotija cheese for garnish
  • lime zest for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a dutch oven, combine the pork ribs, rump roast, and water (add more if needed to cover the meat). Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high, then throw in the onion, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, and fresh oregano sprigs. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs, remove the onion, garlic and ginger and set aside in a separate bowl. Remove the bay leaves and oregano stems and discard. Add in the ‘riced’ cabbage and stir to combine. Cover and simmer over medium low for another 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • While the stew is simmering, place the chiles in a large pot that has been heated over medium heat. Toast the chiles, tossing occasionally, until they begin so smoke slightly and blister, about 5 minutes. Carefully add water to cover the chiles and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Using kitchen tongs, remove the chiles from the liquid and set them aside. Allow the chili liquid to cool slightly and set aside.
  • Transfer the chiles and 1/2 cup chili cooking liquid to a blender, or a bowl if using an immersion blender. Add the reserved onion, garlic, and ginger plus a ladle-full of broth from the meat pot to the blender. Process until smooth, adding more chili liquid if needed to get a texture that resembles apple sauce. Pour through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, stirring and pressing with a rubber spatula if needed. Discard the solids.
  • In a small pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium. Carefully add the strained chili mixture to the hot oil and stir to combine. Cover partially and cook until reduced by half while stirring occasionally, about 15-20 minutes. The color will deepen into a deep greenish brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When the meat mixture has finished simmering, take out the bones and any cartilage, discard. Using a large spoon or spatula and fork, break up the pork and beef until it resembles pulled meat. Be on the lookout for any smaller bones that you may have missed and remove them. Stir in the chili sauce and bring to a simmer over medium-low. Cook for another hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally until mixture boils down to a thick stew. 
Keyword best stew ever to make, mild chili without beans, pork and poblano stew, pork poblano stew, stew recipe to make, stove top stew, what can I make with poblano peppers?
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Chicken Dumpling Soup

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Serves: 8 | Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes


Jump to Recipe

Growing up, chicken dumpling soup was a favorite recipe that my mom would make. It didn’t matter the time of year; if she made it in the winter, it was a warming comfort food after coming in out of the cold, but she would make it in the summertime too. Chicken dumpling soup can be flavored so many different ways, and one of my mom’s favorites was throwing in as many fresh garden veggies as she could harvest on any particular day.

I distinctly remember carrots as a main ingredient in my mom’s chicken dumpling soup recipe. Oh, those bright orange pops of flavor amidst all those juicy chunks of chicken and plump dumplings swimming around in that herby broth… I suppose I may be partial to the use of carrots because they are one of my favorite veggies, but if you prefer, you can change up the carrots with peas, or use them both together. (I would have added peas, but Mark is not a fan and would just pick them out!)

Instant Pot Chicken And Dumplings

My mom makes her chicken dumpling soup with cream, which is fine and dandy if you are using white meat, but I chose to make this recipe without it because I am using dark meat with the bones in. I really want the carrot and herb flavors to shine in the homemade chicken stock that is the base for this chicken and dumpling soup. 

Now, before you fret over having to make homemade chicken stock, I just want to point out that you don’t have to go through the trouble! Since this soup is made in the Instant Pot, you can make the stock at the same time as you make the soup.

Yep, one and done.

How nice!

Chicken And Dumplings Instant Pot
Buy the INSTANT POT 7 in 1 Pressure Cooker at Macy’s

To do this, you’ll throw in whole chicken pieces with the skin and bone intact. This renders a rich and fatty broth that packs enough of its own flavor, so adding cream really isn’t necessary. If you don’t want to deal with fishing out all the bones later, you can use boneless chicken pieces, but I highly recommend using dark meat as it imparts some of that fattiness that makes homemade stock so flavorful. If you decide to omit the bones, add some butter or olive oil to really amp up the savory flavor or your broth may fall flat.

And now… about how to make homemade dumplings for chicken and dumplings…

A first glance at the recipe may have you thinking…. a recipe for chicken soup dumplings with nutmeg!? 

Making Soup In Instant Pot

Yeah, I personally think this is how to make the perfect dumplings… you want them to have a hint of flavor, but not so much that they overpower the rest of the soup. A tiny sprinkling of nutmeg in the soup dumpling dough boosts the meaty flavor of the broth just enough for you to say WOW! without knowing that it is nutmeg. I have been known to use nutmeg in chili, meat seasonings, and all kinds of slow cooked or Instant Pot stews and soups. Nutmeg may be commonly known as a spice used in fall sweet treats and winter ciders, but it plays a great supporting role in savory dishes, too. Just use it sparingly!

Making this soup in the Instant Pot rocks because it puts out a long, slow cooked flavor in just over an hour. Perfect for busy cooks! So… if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you need to get one. The prices have come down, and I can’t tell you how it is worth the investment to have an Instant Pot in the house. Here are a few suggestions to make it easy (just click on your preferred retailer to see the options):

Soup Dumpling Recipe

This recipe makes enough for 8. Even though it is only Mark and I in the house (and our three cats, but they don’t eat soup!), I usually make the whole shebang and then freeze the remaining soup for later. Because there is no cream in the base, the dumplings and broth freeze quite nicely! If you are a family of four, you can freeze enough for another round. Perfect for when you just don’t feel like cooking at all, or are too darn busy to on any given night. Just pull this easy homemade freezer soup out in the morning, then heat it on the stove (or microwave) when it’s dinnertime.

Double nice!


Chicken Dumpling Soup Instant Pot Recipe
Chicken Dumpling Soup Recipe

Chicken Dumpling Soup

How to cook dumplings with chicken has never been easier with this chicken dumpling soup Instant Pot recipe. This chicken dumpling soup can be made ahead for later since both the dumplings and broth freeze well.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • FOR THE SOUP:
  • 4 large chicken leg quarters with skin and bone
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 chicken bullion cubes
  • 6 medium carrots sliced
  • 1 whole white onion chopped into big chunks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • FOR THE DUMPLINGS:
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Add all of the ingredients for the soup to the Instant Pot and give them a couple of stirs. Secure the lid and set to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes (30 minutes if using frozen chicken).
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the dumplings by sifting together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Add the nutmeg and black pepper and whisk to evenly combine. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a separate bowl, then slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring as you go. Continue to stir until no dry clumps remain, then set the dough aside until ready to use.
  • Once the timer on the Instant Pot goes off, carefully open the vent to quickly release the pressure. When it is safe to remove the lid, carefully do so. Use a ladle and a carving fork to shred the meat and to fish the bones, cartilage and skin out of the soup. This will take about 10 minutes, but take your time getting these things out. It is never fun to bite into a mouthful of cartilage or worse, a bone. Although this step may be a bit tedious, don’t be tempted to use boneless chicken. The skin, bones, and cartilage are what give the broth its flavor! (See the note below if you still want to use boneless chicken.)
  • Cancel the ‘warm’ setting and set the Instant Pot to the ‘soup / stew’ setting, then add the dumplings to the stew. I use two teaspoons to do this; one to scoop up about 1 teaspoon of dough and the other to slide the dough off into the stew. When you add a dumpling to the stew, immediately dunk it below the surface of the broth. Although the dumplings will float back up, dunking them coats them with fat and keeps them from sticking together. Continue until all of the dough is used up, varying the dumpling size a bit to make it interesting. The dumplings will double in size as they cook, so don’t make them any bigger than 1 teaspoon (or they may not cook all the way through). Once all of the dumplings are in the stew, continue to cook the stew uncovered for another 15 minutes. It will begin to boil, this is ok.
  • When ready to serve the soup, cancel all settings on the Instant Pot and allow the stew to cool slightly because it will be very hot by this point. Use a large ladle to serve it into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of black pepper.

Notes

Should you decide to use boneless chicken, dark meat will give you the best result that is most similar to homemade stock. If you prefer using white meat, add some olive oil or butter to the soup in step one to prevent your broth from falling flat.
Keyword chicken and dumpling soup, chicken and dumplings instant pot, chicken dumpling soup, chicken dumpling soup can, chicken dumpling soup instant pot, chicken dumpling soup recipe, dumplings and broth, how to make homemade dumplings for chicken and dumplings, how to make perfect dumplings, instant pot chicken and dumplings, recipe for chicken soup dumplings, soup dumpling dough, soup dumpling recipe
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Mushroom Beef Burgers

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Makes: 6 Burger Patties | Total Time: 25 Minutes

Jump to Recipe

I love cooking with essential oils, especially when access to fresh, home grown herbs isn’t always easy (like here in Wisconsin where the winters can drag on for up to six months). Using essential oils in cooking instead of fresh herbs has more than health benefits; a bottle won’t go bad for months, which will save you money.

When I first came up with this recipe, it was summer and we were living in our first house in the city. I wanted easy, healthy food to cook at home, and this homemade burger recipe is exactly that – it’s an easy meal (under 30 minutes) so you can get outside and enjoy the lovely weather already!

Although these healthy hamburger patties grill well, they can be made in a skillet just as easily. Char broiling? Reduce the cook time by half and go from there. (You don’t want hockey pucks). If you like your burgers greasy like I do, douse them in some more olive oil while they finish up in the skillet. (Make sure to turn your range hood on because olive oil can get smoky.)

Now as the story goes (and it goes this way a lot more often than I would like it to), when this recipe was born I had a bunch of mixed mushrooms that needed to be used up. Yeah… I admit it… I kind of forgot about them and they weren’t looking too happy from their place shoved way back in the crisper drawer of my fridge.



Old mushrooms work great for this beef and mushroom burger recipe, though; they kind of ‘hide out’ in the meat.

Imagine that – mushrooms working behind the scenes will bring you the best flavors ever, and they’ll be happy-dancing now because they won’t go to waste.

How nice!

I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of burgers sans bun. Feel free to use buns if you want, but plating these mushroom beef burgers with all the summer-like trimmings feels a little classier to me. These awesome hamburger patties are meaty and filling, so you won’t even miss the bun. Just scatter some arugula on a plate instead, top with a couple of burger patties, add a dollop of mayo and drizzle with sriracha. Lay some sliced red onion on the side and ta-dah! 

Easy gourmet burgers are now yours to serve.

But… why should the goodness be limited to summer? 

The answer is, it shouldn’t. I have been making these burgers all year round because they are soooooooo easy to make. I make them for our date night dinners at home… not only can they dress fancy (gravy is the little black dress for burgers), but less time in the kitchen means more time with Mark. When we’re snuggling in during the winter months, I’ll make these burgers but instead of arugula, mayo, sriracha and crisp red onion, I lay a patty over a generous helping of mashed potatoes, drizzle it with mushroom or beef gravy, lay on a another patty, drizzle on some more gravy, then sprinkle with fresh parsley (yes, dried works too.) 

When it comes right down to it. you can dress these babies up however you want. I imagine they would pair well with ketchup and mustard (take ’em out to the ball game), or maybe creamed horseradish (dance party!), or even just a radish (walks on the beach)…

Once you’ve gotten to the meat of the matter, the rest is gravy!

Healthy Home Cooked Meals

This recipe uses essential oils.

If you want to use the actual ingredients instead, please refer to the easy-to-use Essential Oil Conversion Chart.

Helpful Recipe How-To Photos:

Healthy Home Cooked Food
Heat olive oil in skillet until it just begins to smoke.
Best Hamburger Patties
Add the hamburger patties.

Making The Perfect Hamburger Patty
For the best hamburgers, press them as they cook to prevent shrinking.

Healthy Hamburger Patties
The Mushroom Beef Burgers are done!


Something Quick and Easy For Dinner Tonight
Summertime
Something Quick and Easy For Dinner Tonight
Wintertime

Healthy Burger Recipe Ideas
Mushroom Beef Burgers Recipe

Mushroom Beef Burgers

These mushroom beef burgers become healthy hamburger patties when you’re cooking with essential oils. This healthy burger dinner can be dressed two ways; lighten it up for summer or add a gourmet touch for a date night dinner. Both can be fast easy meals for tonight.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course burgers, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Burgers

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon cola
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms of your choice
  • ¼ cup (1 small) yellow onion finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • baby arugula for serving summertime
  • mayonnaise for serving summertime
  • sliced red onion for serving summertime
  • sriracha for serving summertime
  • mashed potatoes for serving wintertime
  • chopped fresh parsley for serving wintertime

Instructions
 

  • Combine the heavy cream, cola and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk the essential oils into 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and whisk to thoroughly combine, then whisk the oils into the cream mixture. Set aside.
  • Add the mushrooms, onion, salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix together. Next, add the cream mixture and mix just enough to combine. Finally, add the ground beef and use your hands to combine everything together until it is just mixed. Do not over mix! 
  • Cut a sheet of waxed paper into 7 squares that are each about 7 inches long. Place one sheet on a plate and set aside.
  • Divide the meat mixture into 6 equal parts. Take one part and form it into a ball; it should be about the size of a baseball. Carefully flatten the meatball into a round patty and place it on the plate prepared with the waxed paper. Use your fingers and the palm of your hand to finish shaping the patty. When done, it should be about 5 inches in diameter and between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Lay another sheet of waxed paper over the patty and repeat with the remaining pieces of meat mixture, ending with a sheet of waxed paper on top. The hamburgers can be chilled in the refrigerator for up to a day. If you decide to make them ahead, place them in a ziplock bag with the waxed paper in place and keep the sealed bag flat until you are ready to use them.
  • When you are ready to cook the burgers, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil a large cast iron skillet over high until just beginning to smoke, then lower the heat to medium-high. Place as many burgers as you can fit comfortably into the skillet and place a second, smaller cast iron skillet over the burgers to keep them flat while they cook. A grill press works well, too, but I find that using a 12-inch skillet over a 13-inch one covers all the burgers at the same time – so efficient! Check the burgers after 2 minutes and if the tops are still very pink, continue to cook for another minute or two, or until the edges are brown. Flip the burgers, place the skillet on top of them, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until done to your liking. Two minutes on each side will give a medium-rare burger, 3 minutes medium-well. Keep your oven mitts handy because you will want to keep an eye on them as they cook. Don't worry if the skillet has a lot of moisture in the bottom, this is just the excess cream getting pressed out. It is what makes the burgers so soft and juicy as they cook in this flavor-infused liquid.
  • There are two ways I like to serve these hamburgers: the summer way and the winter way! To serve them up summer-like, prepare plates by dressing them with a layer of baby arugula. Place a burger (or two) on top of the arugula, add a dollop of mayonnaise on the burger, and drizzle everything with sriracha. Garnish with slices of red onion. To serve these burgers winter-like, spoon mashed potatoes into the center of the plates, place a burger (or two) on top of the potatoes, and top it all with brown or mushroom gravy.
Keyword awesome hamburger patties, beef and mushroom burger recipe, best hamburger recipe, cooking with essential oils, easy hamburgers, easy healthy food to cook at home, easy meals under 30 minutes, healthy hamburger patties, healthy home cooked food, healthy home cooked meals, healthy meals at home, homemade burger recipe, mushroom beef burger recipe, mushroom beef burgers, quick easy dinner tonight, something quick and easy for dinner tonight, using essential oils in cooking
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Homemade Mayonnaise

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Yield: 2 Cups | Total Time: 20 Minutes

You know that moment when you go to make a sandwich and you realize…..

where’s the mayo?

Which begs the question…..

“Got Mayo?”

Dum dum dummmmm……

“No! I don’t! Now what do I do? I’ve only got 30 minutes before I have to be out the door and I need to finish the potato salad I promised to bring to the potluck that begins in one hour!”

Well, I’ve had moments like this, and recently that moment happened during the middle of a snowstorm when all I wanted to do was make myself an egg salad sandwich. As you may know from watching my videos, my husband Mark and I live so far out in the country that we don’t even have garbage or recycling pick-up. (Translation: Winter Storm = Where Did The Road Go?) I’ve been saving all the glass jars, however, and thought… maybe I can use one to fill with some homemade mayonnaise!

But…

How to make homemade mayonnaise?

Now you might be thinking that learning how to make mayo at home is going to be hard. Like, how do you make mayonnaise? I thought it would be hard, too, but it really isn’t – unless you struggle with patience because getting a great quality homemade mayo that isn’t goopy will take about 15 minutes of your time – and some elbow grease if you don’t have an electric stand mixer. (Which is great if you can’t get to the gym because of, you know…. snowstorm….)

Fresh mayonnaise is mostly made up of egg and oil. Those two don’t typically mix all that well unless you emulsify them. This is where the lengthy and high speed whisking comes in – lengthy because you only want to add the oil one drop at a time (very important for that light and creamy texture that makes mayo so spreadable) and high speed because you want to add air while doing it.

While egg and oil make a great mayo base, they don’t have a lot of flavor on their own. That is why even the most simple mayonnaise recipe is flavored with other stuff like vinegar, lemon, and mustard. (It should be, anyway. Have you read the ingredient label on the store bought stuff? The ingredients used to make mayonnaise should never sound like a lesson in chemistry.) Vinegar, lemon and mustard give this homemade mayonnaise that characteristic tang that makes mayo so yummy. Its for this reason you can probably make your own mayo right now because these basic ingredients are things most people already have in the kitchen or pantry (which is great news if you are snowed in and really want that egg salad sandwich!)

Now for anyone who knows me well, you know that I can’t just stick to basic when it comes to recipes. I dug around my pantry and found apple cider vinegar, so of course I had to throw that in there because, you know, it’s healthy, as is mayo made with olive oil… so I added that in there, too. I will sometimes sweeten the tangy bite a little bit by using honey dijon mustard, but feel free to use regular or plain dijon if you have it. Any mustard will do, it all depends on your preference.

Now for the sriracha… don’t omit it. Six drops won’t make your diy mayonnaise taste spicy, but they will round out the acid just right. Of course, you can add as much as you like, especially if you like things hot. I just prefer to add more flavors as I use the mayo for various recipes, like my Germaniana potato salad or Dilly-Horse Tartar Sauce – which goes great with my 30-Minute Amazing Cod Dinner. (I think I’ve just made my dinner menu tonight simply with the act of creating this mayonnaise recipe!)

Still not convinced on how easy it is to make your own mayonnaise at home? Watch me making this mayo in the video below. I think that making this video was actually harder than making mayo by hand! This recipe comes together so fast that there was no time for second, third (or thirtieth) takes on this one, which means that Felix’s mad dash out of the room behind me had to stay in the final cut…

Gotta luv ‘dem!


Homemade Mayonnaise

Total Time: 20 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • egg
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil (or 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 6 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Place the egg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg at high speed until pale and frothy, about 3 minutes.

How To Make Mayo At Home

2. Combine the vegetable and olive oils in a measuring cup that has a pour spout. With the mixer running, begin adding the oil to the egg one drop at a time. This may seem tedious, but adding the oil only one drop at a time will enable it to emulsify, giving the mayonnaise its light, fluffy texture. If you add the oil too fast, your mayonnaise will end up more like a soup that will eventually separate. Yuck! After adding about a 3rd of the oil, you may increase the drops to a very thin stream, backing off every few seconds to give the oil time to suspend into the mixture properly. As you keep this up, the mixture will begin to resemble mayonnaise. This whole process of adding the oil will take about 15 minutes. Be patient – you can’t rush this step!

Making Mayo

3. Once the oil is completely added to the mayonnaise, continue to whisk on high speed for another minute. While the mixer is still running at high speed, add the essential oil, salt, vinegars, hot pepper sauce, and mustard. Allow several seconds to pass in between each ingredient so that they don’t deflate the mayonnaise.

4. Stop the mixer and transfer the mayonnaise to a small glass jar with a tight fitting lid. The mayonnaise should be a pale yellow color. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use (the mayonnaise will firm up even more as it cools).

Fresh Mayonnaise

5. Serve as you would store-bought mayo; on sandwiches, in dressings, in salads, in mashed potatoes, in sauces… etc…

Simple Mayonnaise

How Do You Make Mayonnaise?
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Hygge Hot Cocoa

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Makes: 1 Mug | Total Time: 5 Minutes

hyg·ge

/ˈh(y)o͞oɡə/

(noun)

A quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture): “Why not follow the Danish example and bring more hygge into your daily life?”

Wisconsin Winter Beauty In Manitowoc County 2020

Hygge is a lifestyle that I have embraced as far back as I can remember, and that was way (waaaaaaay) before it became a ‘thing’ here in America.

I grew up in a house filled with hygge; both my parents were fond of cozy fireplaces, kerosine lanterns (even if the power wasn’t out), incense, potpourri, warm quilts and the perfect hot chocolate. Hot chocolate with milk was a favorite, especially after a day spent outside playing in the snow. (And yes, I’ve had frostbite – twice!)

I guess you can say that hygge is in my blood. I am of Danish descent (half of me is, anyway, the other half is German). My father’s ancestors came from Copenhagen – one was, in fact, a head chef for the king in the early part of the 20th century.

I guess you can see where I get the culinary gene from!

Back to the hygge thing…

We have been living in our new (old) place in the country for 4 months now, so the only season we have experienced here so far is winter. I must admit that winter is a very pretty time of year, you just gotta look for the beauty!

Birds In Wisconsin Wonderland

With that said, the high here tomorrow won’t get above zero (without the wind chill). To get an idea of the kind of winds we get around here (thank you, Lake Michigan), check out the snow blowing wildly off the trees in the video I had so much fun making for you – (Pssst! All of you southerners can live vicariously through it!)

Doing any kind of work outside when the temps drop this far down can be dangerous, so you gotta move real fast – it is the only way to keep a body’s temperature up. (Those drifts in the driveway need to be cleared every few hours when we have 40 mph gusts, you know.)

When I am out there in that blustery tundra, I can’t help but notice the colors of the sky, trees, and snow. White has many shades, as does gray. At the risk of getting hypothermia, I still do stop for a moment or two to take it all in. Being outside is part of the hygge – because it makes the inside seem so much warmer!

The best part about these long, cold Wisconsin winters? Coming in out of the cold and having a mug of Hygge Hot Cocoa. You can make your own hot chocolate recipe at home. (Why drive to the store to buy hot cocoa when the roads are covered with ice?) In fact, you probably already have the ingredients for homemade hot chocolate in your pantry. Make your hot chocolate from scratch with my Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix recipe – it’s easy and only takes 5 minutes. Then all you have to do is add hot milk (or water), brandy, the warm brightness of orange and the soothing floral of lavender. 

Now that you’ve made the perfect hot chocolate, you can go on to create your own hygge experience; warm blankets, scented candles, rich colors, incense, taxidermy… 

However you hygge, you’ll be glad to have this Hygge Hot Cocoa recipe in your arsenal.


Hygge Hot Cocoa

Total Time: 5 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4-5 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup hot milk, hot water, or a combination of both (I prefer whole milk)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • whipped cream, for topping (optional)
  • chai tea latte mix, for garnish (optional)

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Add 4-5 tablespoons homemade hot cocoa mix to a heat-proof mug.

2. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. (I only use hot whole milk at night as it makes me drowsy!) Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved.

Make Hot Chocolate From Scratch

3. Add the brandy and whisk, then add the essential oils and whisk again. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai tea latte powder.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

4. Bring your Hygge Hot Cocoa to the bubble bath and relax!

How To Hygge

Hot Cocoa Ideas
Hygge Hot Cocoa With Essential Oils

Hygge Hot Cocoa

Need some hot cocoa ideas? Here is the perfect hot chocolate recipe that I guarantee you've never had before!
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 1 Mug

Ingredients
  

  • 4-5 tbsp hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup hot milk hot water, or a combination of both (I prefer whole milk)
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 2 drops orange essential oil
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • whipped cream for topping, optional
  • chai tea latte mix for garnish, optional

Instructions
 

  • Add 4-5 tablespoons homemade hot cocoa mix to a heat-proof mug.
  • dd 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. (I only use hot whole milk at night as it makes me drowsy!) Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved.
  • Add the brandy and whisk, then add the essential oils and whisk again. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chai tea latte powder.
  • ring your Hygge Hot Cocoa to the bubble bath and relax!
Keyword creamy hot cocoa, hot chocolate, hot chocolate and, hot chocolate recipe at home, hot chocolate with, make hot chocolate from scratch, perfect hot chocolate, the perfect hot chocolate
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Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Serves: 6-8 | Total Time: 5 Minutes

I love winter in Wisconsin, even if it can drag on for what seems like half the year.

Well, if you judge a season by the weather, winter here IS half the year! If we get snow in October and it doesn’t melt until April, that is 6 months. There are years where the cold and ice can linger even longer…. so you gotta just make the best of it.

Like an excuse to have homemade hot chocolate. (Do we need an excuse?)

Having homemade instant hot cocoa powder in the house is a must when living in the Wisconsin countryside. Getting out to the store may not always be easy (those slippery roads, you know), nor may it be fun if the wind is blowing the single digit temps below zero. If it takes longer to warm up your car than it does to drive to the store… it’s probably better to stay home, right?

Around here, it isn’t just a question of “got milk?” We also ask, “got hot cocoa mix?” Even better is “got homemade hot cocoa mix in a jar?” Let’s face it, weird ingredients have no place our mugs, and preservatives are not needed for something made entirely of dry ingredients. (Imagine that!)

You can store this homemade instant cocoa mix in an airtight jar for weeks, or even months. If you don’t have chai tea latte powder on hand, you want to go and get some because that little addition makes all the difference for this recipe – it dials up the flavor from simply standard to oh, YEAH! (If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, it is easy enough to order online.) Plus, the flavor really goes well in my Hygge Hot Cocoa recipe (complete with a video with some of my own tips on how to hygge).

I made this short little video to show how easy it is to put together this hot cocoa mix. Are you inspired? You’ll be so happy to have it ready when that next snowstorm (or monsoon, ice storm, soaking rain, sub-zero polar vortex) strikes… just add hot water or milk and relax for a while. You can’t do much until the weather clears anyway… why not enjoy it for a spell?


Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Total Time: 5 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chai tea latte mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Add all 5 ingredients to a pint-sized glass jar. Put the lid on tightly and shake everything until well combined.

Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

2. To serve, add 4-5 tablespoons to a heat-proof mug. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved and enjoy!

How To Make Hot Cocoa Mix

Homemade Hot Cocoa Recipe
Homemade Hot Cocoa

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

You can never go wrong with homemade hot cocoa mix in a jar. When the next snowstorm hits, don't be snowed in without this favorite cold weather staple. Learning how to make homemade hot chocolate is easy and you will know exactly what is in it, too… (no weird chemicals!) This homemade instant cocoa mix recipe uses only 5 ingredients, takes only 5 minutes to put together, and it can be stored for weeks. When you are ready for a mug, just add hot milk to a few heaping tablespoons and stir.
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Servings 6 Mugs
Calories 90 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chai tea latte mix
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Add all 5 ingredients to a pint-sized glass jar. Put the lid on tightly and shake everything until well combined.
  • To serve, add 4-5 tablespoons to a heat-proof mug. Add 1 cup of steaming water, milk, or a combination of water and milk. Whisk until all of the powder is dissolved and enjoy!
Keyword cocoa mix in a jar, dark hot chocolate mix recipe, homemade hot chocolate, homemade hot chocolate mix, homemade hot cocoa, homemade hot cocoa mix, homemade instant cocoa mix
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Made this recipe? Let me know how it went!

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