Chicken Meatball Tortilla Soup

Am I the only one that enjoys eating soup during the hottest days of the year? I don’t know if I enjoy it so much as I’m just used to eating steaming bowls of broth and veggies on super hot days. It brings me back to my childhood where my mother would decide that cooking soup all day long was only logical when the temperature rose to a high number. Her logic behind it would always be the same, “the heat from the soup counteracts the heat from outside and hence, it cools you down.” Does this make sense? It makes perfect sense. I remember playing outside and staring up at the windows in the house and it would be foggy and steamy from the heat of the stove and I’d be miserable and a little excited (but don’t tell my mamma) because I knew that soup was in store for us. This also meant that we’d be eating it for a few days because whenever my mamma made soup, she made enough to feed the entire neighborhood. ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD. She would have it cooking away on the stove in the biggest pot I’d ever seen, and would stir it with a bowl. Not a spoon, but a bowl. Standing on a chair because she wouldn’t be able to reach the top of the pot from the floor. If that’s not dedication, then I don’t know what is. 

Not much has changed since then, except we’re all a little older now, but my mom is still making too much soup and I still get the craving for a giant bowl whenever it begins to warm up. Two of my favorite soups are meatball and chicken tortilla (neither of which I grew up eating, go figure), so I thought the smartest thing to do is to combine them both into one mega soup. It was the only solution. That way, I can eat both of my favorites at the same time, without having to make them both separately, which I’m not opposed to doing by the way. Best idea, or extra best idea? Either way we all should be having soup this summer because it’s the way to go. My mamma says so, and after all, mammas know best. Don’t try to fight it, just accept it. 

[Read more…]

Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches

I will always reserve a special place in my heart for these Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches. Partly because breaded and fried chicken thighs are involved, I’ve learned never to question fried chicken, but also because it was the first thing Julian ever cooked for me, on our third date. This was the only dish he knew how to cook at the time, which I believe he actually called his mom right before and asked her how to make it. You gotta give the man points for trying. And even though it looked like a tornado hit the kitchen, and I was fairly certain the night would end with us at the emergency room waiting for Julian to get stitches (thankfully it didn’t), it’s still one of my all time favorite sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. No joke. And that’s saying something because I love me a good sandwich every now and then, and as we all know there are so many options to choose from, so it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite. But how can you pass up breaded chicken topped with marinara and cheese and then sandwiched together between two pieces of crusty garlic-rubbed bread?! You can’t, you just can’t, and even if you did, I’d have serious doubts about our friendship. Then again, I would be able to eat your sandwich…so maybe I should rethink this. 

To this day, whenever it’s Julian’s turn to cook dinner, I’ll either get these sandwiches or a grilled steak with brussels sprouts and potatoes. I’m not complaining though because sometimes it’s too much of a hassle for me to fire up the grill, stand in front of hot burning charcoal all night with smoke blowing in my face. Thankfully the man can grill like no one’s business, and actually enjoys doing it. He has since learned how to cook a few more dishes, through the years, like tacos and homemade tortilla chips with guacamole or grilled salmon with rice and roasted asparagus. They’ve been added to the rotation, but honestly even if this sandwich continued to be the only thing he ever cooked for me, I’d be super happy because it’s a masterpiece of a dish. But it’s best not to tell Julian this. We don’t want it getting to his head.

Instead of keeping this recipe all to myself, though, like some selfish animal, I’ve decided I needed to spread the word. I told myself, “Self, everyone needs to try this sandwich. You’d be doing the world a disservice if you didn’t share it.” That happened, but also I figured we could all use a few more quick and easy recipes that can be whipped up in no time. Especially during those week days when we’re all exhausted from work and just want to get home as quickly as possible, make dinner and catch up on those shows we’ve let pile up. Let’s get with the program and make these happen as soon as possible. 

[Read more…]

Chicken Chorizo Spicy Waffle Tostadas

Do you ever sometimes get tired of eating pancakes and eggs for breakfast and brunch, week after week? Don’t get me wrong, I love me some flapjacks and eggs but sometimes I just need something a bit more tasty and a lot more exciting. Who can eat the same thing over and over again without ever getting bored of it? Unless it’s French fries we’re talking about, then that’s another story. There’s no need to be eating pancakes every single morning of your life. Because of this yearning, I’m always on the look out for new and interesting breakfast dishes. The perfect recipe to wake us up and get us prepared to tackle the day. It’s like everyone always says, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so we should really take our time making dishes we can be passionate about. Don’t you agree?

I’ll never say no to a tostada. Plain and simple, I end up eating more tostadas in a month than I do anything else. Tostada Tuesdays are so much better than Taco Tuesdays, if you ask me. And if you haven’t tried it for yourself then you’re missing out and it sounds like a personal problem. You need to remedy that situation right away. Lucky for you I just happen to have these breakfast tostadas for your viewing/making/eating pleasure. The one component that really takes this dish further is the homemade chicken chorizo. I love chorizo but sometimes it feels super heavy to me, what with all of the spices and fat, so I happen to really love this homemade chicken chorizo as an alternative. Add some scrambled eggs (or cooked white rice) to the chorizo and just like that, you have a delicious breakfast or brunch dish that’ll impress just about anyone, including yourself. I’m here to tell you that making homemade Mexican chorizo is actually very easy to whip up. Sure, there are a lot of spices that go into the meat to give it that traditional chorizo flavor, but it’s totally worth it. It’s health(ier) and the best part is that you can store the uncooked chorizo in an airtight container in the fridge and cook it as you need it. You’ll have chicken chorizo tostadas, tacos, burritos, and breakfast sandwiches all the time.

Grinding up a big batch of it will be the best decision you’ll make all week. Making spicy waffles and layering them with all sorts of taco toppings will be the next best series of decisions in your life. Don’t fight it, just dust off that waffle iron and get to cooking some breakfast for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with eating these tostadas all alone. In fact, it’s probably for the better since you won’t have to share. It’ll be our secret, just between the two of us. The only thing that should be on your mind right now is how many tostadas you’ll be eating. It’s great to have an end goal to get you going. 

[Read more…]

Mediterranean Taquitos

It doesn’t take a lot for me to be impressed with food. I love food so much that I try not to discriminate against anything—except for my hatred of coconut and mango but that’s a story for another time—so I’ll essentially eat everything that is presented to me and I’ll thoroughly enjoy it too. I tend to get really excited over the simplest of dishes. They don’t necessarily have to be super fancy with a million ingredients, half of which I can’t even pronounce, in order for me to like it. Where’s the fun in that? Good food can be simple and you don’t have to sell your arm or your leg to get it either. I’m all for trying new things and expanding palate because I’m a firm believer of having to try everything at least once before writing it off as something I do not care for. How else will you know if you like something or not, if you don’t try it? There’s nothing more unnerving, or scary for that matter, then when I overhear people say they don’t like a certain dish or ingredient, yet they’ve never tried it before and refuse to give it a chance. Come on, let’s be more adventurous. Food isn’t scary. Food is delicious.

A few weeks ago I visited a Mediterranean restaurant by my place—we’ve made a promise to venture out and explore our neighborhood more because there are so many options close by to us and yet we always end up going to the same restaurants—and they make the very best Greek-style street food around. I decided to try something new and picked the Mediterranean Taquitos, although if I’m being honest I probably would’ve picked the taquitos regardless because I happen to really love taquitos. But that’s not the point of this story. They were incredible and I couldn’t stop talking about them all night so Julian eventually told me to make them for my blog, mainly because he wanted some at home but also because I’m sure he wanted me to stop talking about them. Little did he know that I’d still be talking about them till this day and now I’m mentioning them even more because I’ve just barely shared them with you. 

I’ll be talking about these taquitos for a while, and no one can stop me. Can you blame me though? I know that when you give them a try yourself, you’ll be talking about them too. Go ahead and make them already so we can have a discussion around the water cooler. There’s so much to talk about, like the delicious yogurt-marinated chicken filling, the flaky lavash and of course that creamy feta and olive sauce on top of a crisp Greek-salad topping. It doesn’t get any better than that. 

[Read more…]

Idaho Potato Chicken Pot Pie

Idaho Potato Chicken Pot Pie is the third installment in my quest for total potato domination. Believe it or not, that’s my number one mission in life. There’s actually a double dose of tater action in this recipe with the crust stealing the entire show, in my humble opinion. What do I know, though? I only run this blog. Don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself and then decide. I’ll be here waiting to say, “I told you so,” but in a totally nice way I promise. Anyhow, I’m calling it a Baked Potato Crust which I predict will take the world by storm, and it’ll be the only way we eat pie crust from now on (as it should be). Shredded Idaho potatoes, crispy bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and chives are folded into a bowl of flour, sugar, salt, butter, shortening and ice water, creating a flaky pie dough that I’d be willing to bake off in large batches and eat by itself. Someone might have to come over here and stop me. That’s the only way the madness will end. *Insert evil laugh here.* 

When I was coming up with this recipe I developed the crust first—no surprise since it’s the most important part to any pie—and I tried to end the recipe brainstorming right then and there. Somehow the little voice in my head convinced me otherwise, making me aware that not everyone is like me and will want just a pie dough recipe all by itself, with no filling. That’s crazy talk talking. What kind of pie is that Jonathan? So I figured why not make a savory pie with it? And then chicken pot pie popped into my head immediately. The only logical thing to do next was to make sure I added even more potatoes to the recipe, so I decided a boatload of diced potatoes would accidentally find its way into the creamy pot pie filling as well. Oops. 

Just in case you haven’t been keeping up (shame on you) there has been two other partnership Idaho Potato recipes this month. The first one was a slider to end all sliders, Baked Idaho Potato Sliders. Last week I debuted the incredible Idaho Potato Carne Asada Fries. Think nachos but on fries. Like whoa. But listen to me going on and on about the past, right now, the only thing that matters is this CHICKEN POT PIE! I’m yelling because I’m excited, and because I accidentally hit the caps lock button. Anyhow, it’s still winter so let’s get our comfort food on y’all. 

[Read more…]

Spinach, Garlic and Chicken Chardonnay White Pizza

We’re beginning to settle into our new place just nicely these days. I’m starting to cook a lot more, once again, and even getting back into the rhythm of creating new recipes for the site. I’ve been away far too long if you ask me. The very first thing we bought for our new home was a pizza stone, even before we got some of the more important things like a lamp or dining table. I wanted to make sure we had our pizza nights locked in. This is actually the first pizza stone I’ve ever owned. As a matter of fact, someone on instagram recommended it to me a long time ago and I immediately thought about their comment when I picked it up at the store. They were absolutely right, pizzas are 100 times better when cooked on this round ceramic pizza cooking contraption. It’s like magic. Like the future. It makes it so easy to achieve that artisan pizza taste and texture. (The following has been a PSA for Pizza Stones of America. Is that an actual thing? It totally should be).

Moving and unpacking has taught me that we’re all looking for quick and easy recipes that require little to no time in the kitchen. Sometimes we’re just too tired to whip up something fancy during the week, or we simply don’t have the time to devote ourselves to a meal that takes way too long to make. That’s okay. Instead of reaching for that take-out menu, though, we should be focusing on creating simple recipes that taste just as good (if not better) as the restaurant version. I’m always trying to come up with new and exciting ways to incorporate pizza into my daily life. If I had it my way, we’d be eating pizza every single night. Oh, different kinds of course. I mean I do have some standards. Pizza everyday for dinner just sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? 

One easy way to turn a drab meal into something fun and exciting is by incorporating wine into the dish. Sure, wine is great to drink with dinner, but it’s also great to cook with! I’ve partnered up with Barefoot Wine to bring you this delicious Spinach, Garlic and Chicken Chardonnay White Pizza. It’ll change the way you think about pizza and wine forever! Get ready to eat the entire pizza by yourself, especially with the creamy white garlic sauce that gets slathered on top of it underneath all of that cheese and tasty toppings. Are you rethinking that “pizza every night” thing we talked about earlier? You should be. 

[Read more…]