Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fried Pickles with tangy ranch dipping sauce

Food porn at it's finest....

I still can't get over how delicious these are.. Adapted from Copykat recipes

-1 jar dill pickle chips
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 cup all purpose flour
-2 teaspoons salt
-1 teaspoon paprika
-dash of cayenne pepper
-2 cups buttermilk
- 8 cups Vegetable oil for frying

For dipping sauce
-Louisiana Hot Sauce
-Ranch dressing 

-Heat 8 cups of vegetable oil into a large pot
-Drain dill pickles in a colander and then place into a medium sized bowl with the 2 cups of buttermilk. 
-Place flours, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper into a bowl and mix well
-Place half of the mixture into a plastic bag, and other half into another plastic bag
-Use slotted spoon and place half of the buttermilk coated pickles into bag containing the flour mixture. -Shake off excess flour, and place battered pickles into hot grease (Be careful not to place too many pickles into the hot grease or the pickles will be soggy). 
-Fry pickle slices until golden brown. 
-Place on plate covered with a paper towel
-Continue with other half of pickle mixture. 
For dipping sauce:
-Combine equal parts ranch dressing and Louisiana Hot Sauce

Honey Boba Green Tea Smoothie

When looking at this title, you probably know and love 3 out of the 4 ingredients listed above.  If you aren't familiar with boba or bubble tea, you haven't lived!

The boba are those black tapioca bubbles at the bottom of the smoothie.. they have a jelly like consistency and are usually drank along with the tea using a bubble tea straw.

Here is a picture of the boba, that can be bought online or in Asian supermarkets:

 And yes, that is Chardonnay that you see in the background.. not an ingredient in this recipe, but always a great thing to have around ;P

Anyway, here are the ingredients that you need to make two sixteen oz smoothies:

-Saucepan with a lid
-5 cups water
-1/2 cup dry boba pearls
-16 oz Brewed green tea, chilled. or you can just buy some UNSWEETENED iced green tea from the store.  I used Wegmans brand called simply green tea,
-Honey.  As much as you want.  Honey is the sweetener in this recipe.  I used 1/2 cup, plus more to drizzle on top in a cool starbucks-like design.
-Sweetened condensed milk or 2% milk.  Going below 2% will make the smoothie less creamy and frothy.


-If brewing your own tea boil water and put enough tea bags in to make 16 oz.
For boba:

-Bring 5 cups water to a rolling boil
-gently pour 1/2 cup boba into boiling water and stir softly
-Once boba has become plump, reduce heat to medium and cover pan for 5 minutes
-Drain boba and set aside, coat in honey for to give it more of a taste
For tea:
-Place 1 cup ice cups into a blender
-Pour 16 oz green tea over ice cubes
-Add 1 cup milk, or 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk, you can always taste and add more
-Add 1/2 cup honey to start, you can always add more to adjust flavor
-Blend ingredients together until well blended, you may have to scrape honey off the sides of the mixer from time to time.
-Add boba pearls to 16 oz glasses, and spoon tea mixture over pearls
-Enjoy with a boba tea straw.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mini Pot Pies

I decided to follow the trend of baking everything in cupcake tins.. and these came out AMAZING! They are perfectly moist.

* Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-pot-pie-ix/

Ingredients (Makes 12 regular muffin sized pot pies):
-12-cup muffin tin
-1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cubed.
-2 nine inch Frozen Premade pie crusts (I recommend Trader Joes brand)
-1 cup frozen  peas
-1 cup chopped carrots
-1 cup chopped celery
-2 cups (or enough to cover the mixture) chicken broth.  You can also just use water.
-A pinch of assorted spices (onion powder, garlic powder or garlic salt, pepper, celery salt, etc.)
For Gravy Mixture:
-1/3 cup butter
-1/3 cup chopped onion
-1/3 cup all purpose flour
-Dash of salt
-Dash of black pepper
-Pinch of celery seed and other assorted spices (onion powder, garlic powder or garlic salt, pepper, etc.)
-1 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
-2/3 cup milk
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Thaw pie crusts based on directions on the back of the box
-If you have not already, chop 1 lb chicken breasts, and 1 cup carrots, 1 cup celery, and  1 cup onion.
-In a saucepan over medium heat, combine chopped chicken, carrots, celery, and onion.
-Add enough chicken broth to cover the mixture
-Add pinch of assorted spices listed above
-Boil mixture on medium for at least 15 minutes, periodically checking to see if chicken and vegetables are ready.
-Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.

To make gravy mixture:
-Cook chopped onions in butter in a saucepan over medium heat until onions are translucent.
-Stir in flour, salt, pepper, celery seed, and other assorted spices of your choice
-Slowly stir in condensed cream of chicken soup and milk
-Stir in 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-Simmer over medium-low heat until thick
-Remove from heat and set aside 

-Press pie crusts into bottom and up sides of each muffin tin.
-Use slotted spoon (or regular spoon) to scoop chicken and vegetable mixture into the bottom of each cup.  I also like to include the chicken broth, it makes the pot pies nice and moist. **Remember to leave room for the gravy mixture.
-Spoon gravy mixture over the chicken mixture.  Do this for the remainder of the tins.
-Cover top of tins with remainder of the cups.  Use fork to seal the crusts over the mixture.
-Make several small slits on the top of each pot pie to allow steam to escape
-Brush melted butter or mixed egg over the pot pies for a shiny appearance.
 *** Optional: If you have more of the gravy mixture, you can put it on top of the pot pies with some extra shredded cheddar cheese.. this makes it even more decadent.

-Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes (I always check periodically after 25 minutes just to be safe), until pastry is golden brown, or until gravy mixture is bubbling.
-Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Americanized summer rolls

Shout out to Alexa for introducing me to this recipe 3 years ago...

Americanized summer rolls! ((Almost)) All-American ingredients encased in these delicious summer roll wrappers.


-Summer roll wrappers (Also called spring roll wrappers, and NOT to be confused with egg roll wrappers).  I used these , nowadays they are so common that you can get them at almost any grocery store, even in some Targets!
- Thai rice noodles.  Once again, you can buy these at the grocery store.
-Raw spinach
-Natural creamy peanut butter
-Sriracha hot sauce , also found at your local grocery store haha
- OPTIONAL (but highly recommended) Avocado, sliced.


-Cook rice noodles according to instructions on the back of the box and drain.  Set aside.
-Create assembly line with summer roll wrappers, then spinach, then bowl of drained rice noodles, optional pealed and sliced avocado, then peanut butter, then hot sauce.
-Place warm water in a shallow long and wide bowl, then place summer roll wrapper into water and press intermittently into water until it's texture becomes flexible and until pattern on summer roll wrapper disappears.
-Use fork, spoon, or spatchula to get summer roll out, and then place roll on plate.
-Take a few spinach leaves and place them on the summer roll wrapper (optional: use a rolling pin or other round surface to flatten the spinach leaves onto the summer roll wrapper).
-Use fork to place noodles on top of the spinach leaves (always make sure that you leave enough space at the end of the summer roll wrapper to roll it up).
-Place optional avocado slices on top of noodles.
-Roll the entire mixture in the summer roll in the same way that you would create a sandwich wrap.
-Once you have rolled the mixture, place peanut butter on top of the roll.
-place a few drops of Sriracha sauce on top of the peanut butter (depending on how spicy you want it to be).  Mix sriracha sauce with peanut butter.
-Then, wet another summer roll in the same way mentioned above, and wrap the roll around the first roll with the peanut butter and sriracha on top.
-These are surprisingly delicious!

Pretzel Fried Chicken (Honey mustard pretzel chicken)

I have perfected honey mustard pretzel chicken.

Uhhh.. yummmm!


This is super easy to make.. and the ingredients will last you forever!


-5 pieces Fryer chicken (I just used chicken tenders and it came out just as good.  You can see that I have 5 pieces above.
-A mallet or something to flatten the chicken (I used a mug)
-Plastic wrap or something to put the chicken between while flattening
-1/2 lb pretzel meal (just ground pretzels, I like to crush them to a meal-like consistency but also leave some bigger pieces. I used multigrain pretzels, I think they taste the best with this dish).
-Vegetable oil (only if frying, if baking, exclude this ingredient)
Equal Parts (to coat/ hold pretzels to chicken and for dipping sauce):
-Yellow Mustard (I used Frenches)
-Coarse whole grain mustard
-Dijon Mustard


-If baking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-If frying (like I did..oooh I'm bad!), pour vegetable oil into a skillet
-Combine equal parts (I used 2 tbsp of each to coat chicken and for sauce) preferably in a shallow bowl.  Yellow mustard , coarse grain mustard, dijon mustard, honey, and mayonnaise.  Taste and add to your own preference (Like a TRUE chef ;P)
- Add dash of salt and pepper to mixture.
-Place chicken tenders between plastic wrap or anything else to keep them protected.
-Use mallet or flattening devise to pound chicken breasts until they are 1/2 inch thick.
-Create assembly like with chicken breasts, honey mustard mixture, and crushed pretzel meal.
-Use fork or tongs to dip chicken tenders in pretzel meal
-Then dip chicken tenders in honey mustard mixture
-Then dip tenders in pretzel meal.
-If baking: Place tenders on greased baking sheet for 15 minutes, turning halfway to brown both sides.
-If frying: heat the skillet with vegetable oil.  Place bread crumb in pan. If it browns within 1 minute, the skillet is ready for the chicken.
-Fry chicken for 5 minutes, then turn over to fry for another 5 minutes.
-Serve with extra honey mustard dipping sauce.