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Easy Enchilada Sauce

Easy Enchilada Sauce






Yowza. The past few days have been a struggle. The wonderful hubby was traveling most of the week and lucky me managed to find the last remnants of old construction trash (previous owner’s) that had been discarded in our grove of trees… by getting a nail […]

White Bean Stracciatella Soup

White Bean Stracciatella Soup






After this past weekend’s indulgences, I’m in need of a little detox. This white bean stracciatella soup is the perfect remedy. Stracciatella is a simple vegetarian soup that begins with a broth. With the addition of white beans and kale, this soup is nutritiously hearty and […]

Jerk Chicken Plantain Bites

Jerk Chicken Plantain Bites

Holy cow! I never knew plantains could be so darn good. I’ve used plantains in crepes before but never as a chip. I ended up making these twice, once with plantain chips that I found at the market which only contained plantains and salt and once with homemade baked plantain chips. I must say, flavor-wise, the homemade chips won out as they caramelized a bit and turned darker in the oven. I liked that I could slice them diagonally and therefore get more of that shredded jerk chicken goodness onto each of these jerk chicken plantain bites. The purchased ones were thinner and therefore a little more crispy which I also liked. Plus, I didn’t have to spend time making the chips first. What I’m saying is, they both worked deliciously well so do what you prefer!

The idea for these jerk chicken plantain bites comes from traditional Jamaican fare. A common combination of spices for jerk chicken has just a hint of spice and the plantain is a commonly used fruit in Jamaican cuisine. Having discovered plantain chips at the supermarket, I thought this would be a fantastic fusion to put shredded jerk chicken onto a plantain chip for an easy game day appetizer. I was not disappointed. Even my kids gobbled them up like candy!

Jerk Chicken Plantain Bites
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizers
Cuisine: Jamaican
Serves: 25
Ingredients
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (warmed slightly)
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • ⅛-1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or more if needed for it to hold together
  • Plantain chips (homemade or purchased, lightly salted)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cilantro or green onion (green part only), chopped
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients except the plantain chips and cilantro garnish.
  2. Mix until well combined and sticks slightly together.
  3. Scoop about a tablespoon onto a plantain chip and top with a small amount of cilantro or green onion for garnish.
  4. Arrange on a plate and serve.
Notes
To make homemade plantain chips, peel and thinly slice two plantains on the diagonal. Place on a greased baking sheet in a single layer and brush with olive oil. Bake at 350 about 30 minutes until the edges start to brown, flipping over once halfway.

 

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup






One of my favorite soups from when I was a kid was a vegetable beef and barley soup… from a can of condensed soup, of course, as that was the trend.  This version is packed full of wholesome ingredients, and none of the bad, making it a hearty […]

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Creamy Broccoli Soup






With the temps dipping back into the single digits after three days of snow, a soft sumptuous soup like creamy broccoli soup is just what I need. There’s something uniquely wonderful about a soup that’s creamy, hearty and totally good for you. I can indulge and still […]

Chocolate Dessert Hummus

Chocolate Dessert Hummus

Happy New Year! I’m so excited… my awesome hubby gave me a new camera for Christmas to replace the one I’d been using that’s 10 years (or more??) old and starting to be a bit dated in functionality. My new camera has a neat food photo setting that makes everything just a bit more vibrant and saves me some editing time. I also got a fun macro lens to do close-ups on my food photos. YAY!!!  This chocolate dessert hummus is my first time using the new camera and I think the photos are turning out fantastic!

chcolate dessert hummus

chocolate dessert hummus

Chocolate dessert hummus tastes like a nutty brownie batter and is perfect for dipping apple slices, pretzels or other fruits. If you’ve ever had black bean brownies, you’ll know that the “bean” flavor disappears when combined with the other ingredients. Like traditional hummus, this dessert hummus is made with chickpeas but that’s where the similarities end. Chocolate, vanilla, and a little maple syrup provide the sweet deliciousness that my kiddos have been savoring all week. This dip has a creamy decadence and protein power thanks to the healthy fats and proteins found in chickpeas. So go ahead, indulge in this chocolate yumminess and I won’t tell if you lick the spoon. Your secret is safe with me!


Chocolate Dessert Hummus
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sauces and Dips
Ingredients
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons water, to desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth!
  2. Serve with any kind of fruit, banana chips, and pretzels.

 

 

Chocolate Mint Cookies

Chocolate Mint Cookies






‘Twas the night before Christmas a long time ago, when I was a child and to church I would go. After church was complete, we’d perform the great feat. A holiday meal which would take hours to complete. I, a young girl, with my eyes in pure […]

Mulled Wine Poached Pears

Mulled Wine Poached Pears






I’ve been in the mood for festive desserts that are heavy on flavor but still leave me feeling light on my feet. Fruits are the perfect dessert in this case as you get a bit of sweet decadence but won’t get overly full like you […]

Marinated Venison Chops

Marinated Venison Chops

marinated venison chops

Over the river and through the woods, a lovely deer made it’s way into my kitchen, complements of my hunter husband. Every fall my man goes on multi-day excursion to hunt with a group of five other fellas, all of which are my immediate family or my sister’s in-laws who are like family to us as well. We all love the rewards of a successful hunting trip and look forward to meals of marinated venison chops or steaks throughout the season.

Venison is quite lean which can make it tough so a nice overnight marinade makes these venison chops super flavorful and tender. This marinade is Asian inspired and is very similar to the marinade I use for Korean Flank Steak.  A true Minnesotan pairs their venison with a wild rice side dish so in true homage to my roots, these marinated venison chops are paired with a wild rice and mushroom dish.  I’ve kept with the woodsy theme by using a mix of northwoods mushrooms but updated it with some added kale and a light kick of Asian flavor to blend with the flavors in the venison marinade. For added tastiness, reserve some of the marinade sauce (before the meat goes in it) to use as a dipping sauce or drizzle at the table!

marinated venison chops

Love venison? Try a hearty venison chili or venison stroganoff too!

Marinated Venison Chops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dishes
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ - 2 pounds venison chops or steaks, sliced 1 inch thick
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice or rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (leave seeds in for a little more heat)
  • WILD RICE:
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (cremini, oyster, baby bella, etc), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 cup wild rice blend (I used Lundberg's wild rice blend)
  • 1¾ cups chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 stems kale, stem removed and leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Combine green onions, tamari, lime juice, ginger, honey, garlic and jalapeño in a small bowl.
  2. Reserve 2 tablespoons to use as a dipping sauce or drizzle when serving.
  3. Place venison in a zip top bag and pour remaining marinade over top. Massage gently to evenly coat the meat.
  4. Let marinate in the fridge at least 4 hours but preferably overnight for best flavor.
  5. When ready to cook, drain marinade and discard. Arrange venison on a broiler pan and broil about 10-14 minutes until desired doneness, turning once halfway through. You can also grill them on medium heat if you prefer.
  6. While venison is cooking, prepare the rice.
  7. Sauté mushrooms in a saucepan with the butter until they've browned.
  8. Add all other ingredients and simmer, covered, about 40-45 minutes until all liquid has absorbed.

 

 

Cajun Herb Roasted Cornish Hens

Cajun Herb Roasted Cornish Hens






The first snow of the season (happening now!) always makes me a bit giddy. This can only mean one thing…that the holidays are approaching and spending lots of meaningful time with family is just around the corner.  The hubby and I have been hosting his family for Thanksgiving […]


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