A Cheesy Love Affair

Today I thought I’d share one of my foodie weaknesses: fondue and dessert. When Matt and I feel like indulging we heat up the kitchen with nothing other than cheese fondue. This time we tried a smoked cheddar which turned out fabulous. And what better to follow a heavy appetizer than a summer airy dessert. In our house the Strawberry Napoleon has turned into an all time fav. It’s super easy to whip out and a wonderful way to end a meal. Enjoy!

 

IMG_4938

IMG_4940

IMG_4948

IMG_4952

IMG_4956

IMG_4954

IMG_4966

IMG_4967

IMG_4968

IMG_4965

IMG_4971

IMG_4975_edt

 

Ingredients:
1 sheet (half of a 17 oz. pkg) frozen puff pastry*
1 (3.4 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup whipped topping
2 cup stemmed and sliced strawberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Directions:
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw folded pastry sheet for 20 minutes. Open sheet and cut along folds to make three equal strips; halve each strip to make six rectangles. Space apart on baking sheet. Bake in center of oven about 15 minutes until well browned and baked through. Remove to rack to cool.Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk pudding mix, milk, and extract for 2 minutes; fold in whipped topping and blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.

Carefully split each piece of pastry in half horizontally. Cover bottom halves with almonds, then pudding mixture and sliced strawberries, dividing equally. Cover with pastry tops. Dust with powdered sugar.
(Recipe from All Things Delicious)  

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

If you are fan of the famous Italian appetizer ‘bruschetta’  I can bet you will be fond of this bruschetta chicken bake.  For those chefs out there, this is recipe that can be tweaked and you can have fun playing around with the ingredients to perfect it to your taste buds. I am no chef, but I enjoyed taking the original recipe and modifying it to make it my own. This is the perfect meal to pair with candlelight and a bottle of your favorite wine. Enjoy!

chicken

What you need:

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed

1 teaspoon salt
2 large tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 (6 ounce) box chicken-flavored dry bread stuffing mix
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Dash red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Dice the tomatoes and toss with water, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, red pepper f

IMG_4408 IMG_4410 IMG_4412IMG_4414Add the tomato mixture to the  stuffing mix; set aside to soften.

IMG_4424 IMG_4428

Toss the cubed chicken with salt/pepper, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and garlic powder. Place the chicken in a layer at the bottom of the dish.

IMG_4416 IMG_4417

Sprinkle the cheese on top of the chicken then sprinkle the Italian seasoning. Spread the soften mix over the top of the chicken.  Bake uncovered until the chicken cubes have turned white and are no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes.

IMG_4430 IMG_4429



Scrumptious Scalloped Potatoes

I’ve never been a big scalloped potatoes kind of girl and I now realize it’s because I never had them homemade. The scalloped potatoes I’ve had in the past consisted of boxed potatoes mixed with dry cheese and thrown in the oven, ick. Not appetizing or tummy pleasing. The only problem with this situation is that Matt thinks these things are delish, so in order to please the both of us I decided to try and make these homemade. Genius. These little gems turned out perfectly golden, cheesy, and most importantly a great replacement for cardboard box potatoes. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cloves garlic
2 1/4 cups shredded cheese (I used a blend of cheddar and mozzarella), divided
1/3 cup chives, snipped
4 large yukon gold potatoes (any kind will do), skins on, thinly sliced
1/2 chopped cooked bacon (optional)
salt and pepper to tastepotatoes

Preheating the oven to 375 degrees (F). For the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat adding the diced onions and bacon until soft. Stir the flour thoroughly into the onion/bacon mixture and add the milk and garlic. Stir over medium/high heat until it begins to bubble and thicken. Remove it from the heat and stir in the 2 cups of the grated cheese and salt/pepper to preferred taste.

IMG_4259

IMG_4260

IMG_4261

IMG_4264

Spray a ceramic cooking dish (9×9) with cooking spray. Thinly slice potatoes and layer them in the bottom of the dish, followed by a sprinkling of snipped chives. I used basil this time around to try something new, but either will work. Continue layers the potatoes and chives until all of the potatoes are used.

IMG_4267

IMG_4268

Pour the sauce over the potatoes and shake the dish a little to get the sauce to ooze down through the potatoes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on the top. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 60 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve.

IMG_4273

Bourban Street Chicken

Last night I decided to try out a super random, crazy, and very bizarre recipe based on the ingredients which at the time seemed very far-fetched. Keep in mind I am certainly no chef, so the combo of ingredients may not seem as wacko to some of you as they did to me. With all that said, I would HIGHLY recommend this recipe to anyone who is into sweet and spicy dishes. This recipe is super easy too! It is one of our new favorites and Matt is already asking when we are going to have it again. Note: I ended up doubling everything but the chicken, we like it a little more saucy.

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or tenders; cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp olive oil; (1-2)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c apple juice
1/3 c light brown sugar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1/3 c soy sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 c rice;

(forgot to add the apple juice in this picture)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered. Serve over hot rice.

Bourban Street Chicken

Last night I decided to try out a super random, crazy, and very bizarre recipe based on the ingredients which at the time seemed very far-fetched. Keep in mind I am certainly no chef, so the combo of ingredients may not seem as wacko to some of you as they did to me. With all that said, I would HIGHLY recommend this recipe to anyone who is into sweet and spicy dishes. This recipe is super easy too! It is one of our new favorites and Matt is already asking when we are going to have it again. Note: I ended up doubling everything but the chicken, we like it a little more saucy.

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or tenders; cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp olive oil; (1-2)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp ginger
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 c apple juice
1/3 c light brown sugar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 c water
1/3 c soy sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 c rice;

(forgot to add the apple juice in this picture)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned. Remove chicken. Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well blended and dissolved. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes uncovered. Serve over hot rice.