Thursday, December 29, 2016

Grilled Salmon with Lemony Dill Sauce

I put this recipe together using Gainey Vineyard's delicious Lemony Dill Seasoning, which pairs amazingly well with salmon. Served on a bed of baby spinach and arugula and topped with crumbled feta, this dish is on the lighter side and OH-SO good!

Grilled Salmon with Lemony Dill Sauce

2 salmon fillets (6 – 8 oz. each)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 oz. container of non-fat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. low-fat sour cream
1 tsp. lemon zest
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ Tbsp. Gainey Vineyard Lemony Dill Seasoning
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
(Seafood seasoning, optional)
1 c. baby spinach and arugula salad mix
1 to 1 ½ Tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled

Heat grill pan on stove top over medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil.

Once oil is heated, placed salmon fillets on grill pan and cook on both sides until done and you’ve achieved grill marks. (Sprinkle with seafood seasoning or salt and pepper if desired).

In medium bowl, combine plain yogurt, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemony dill seasoning, salt and pepper. Whisk all ingredients together until fully combined.

Arrange spinach salad mix on serving plate. Sprinkle with crumbled feta. Place salmon fillets on bed of salad and spoon lemony dill sauce over the top. Enjoy!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Fudgy Rum Chocolates

Yesterday was cold, cloudy and gray - perfect for a SoCal December day :)

Getting a good shot of these amazing little chocolates was definitely a challenge given the lack of natural light. BUT, dear daughter to the rescue! She's a studio photographer and has an amazing eye for lighting and stuff :) These are my photos and they're not perfect, and I'm sure she would say there's still much more editing to be done, but....what can I say? I'm still learning.

Besides, it wasn't really about the photos. It was the time spent with my sweet girl. And the laughs. With her, there is sure to be laughter. Well...except for when there's not :/ We all have our days, so I grab the good ones when I can.

And the reward for our efforts? We get to eat the props!

Actually, these little darlings, in their neat and festive wrappers, make the perfect Christmas gift. I'm packaging these up today along with an assortment of pecan tassies and salted caramels. It's a delicious way to say Merry Christmas!!

Fudgy Rum Chocolates

3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 c. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 tsp. rum flavored extract
Chocolate sprinkles

In large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Add melted chocolate and mix well. Add flavored extract. Mix until ingredients are well incorporated.

I used a cookie dough scoop to portion out exact amounts and pressed the mixture into a silicone mold (square). Add chocolate sprinkles to each one and press down slightly. Refrigerate for about an hour to set before removing from mold.

These are a rich, decadent treat perfect for gift giving.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Really, the only word to describe this chili recipe is YUM!!! I started this early yesterday morning in the crock pot and let it go all day. Believe me, letting this simmer all day is the perfect way to cozy up the house on a cold December day :) This recipe has just the right amount of flavor and spice. Honestly, I'm a lightweight when it comes to spice, but if you like a spicier chili, you could certainly add some crushed red pepper flakes or a little more cayenne. But really, this is great as is. That's why I'm sharing it with y'al!!!

Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

2 c. chicken, cooked and diced
½ red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
40 oz. can pinto beans
15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
7oz. can diced green chilies, mild
15oz. can whole kernel corn
2 15 oz. cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 ½ Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 – 1 ½ Tbsp. corn starch

Place chicken, red onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, green chilies and corn in crock pot.

Add all spices (and cilantro, if using).

Pour in chicken broth. Cook on high for about 5 hours. To thicken, mix corn starch in small container with about 3 Tbsp. of water. Mix well and stir into chili. Cook on low for about another hour.

Serve hot.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Download the Digital Version of Joyful Kitchen Magazine for FREE

As my gift to you, I'm happy to share the holiday issue of Joyful Kitchen Magazine digital version for FREE now until Christmas! Delicious food is meant to be shared and this issue is packed with recipes that will WOW your friends and family not only during the holidays but ALL year long. Download yours today:

Merry Christmas
from my Joyful Kitchen
to yours!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Chocolate Pecan Tassies

Many years ago, right after my husband I were first married, I found a recipe in a magazine for a chocolate pecan pie. I made it. Fell in love with it and I have pulled out that same recipe EVERY year since. It's my once-a-year splurge (usually enjoyed with a great cup of coffee at the end of all the festivities on Christmas Day...sort of a punctuation mark to the season). For me, the wonderful aroma of pecans and chocolate getting all snuggly in a buttery pie crust is a sure sign that it's Christmas time. 

I normally make a full-size version of this in my tart pan, but I have reworked the recipe a bit into these delicious bite-sized treats. I love baking mini versions of great recipes (just in case you haven't noticed by now, LOL). 

Chocolate Pecan Tassies

2 prepared pie crusts (9 inch)
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 – 1 ½ c. chopped pecans
½ stick butter (1/4 c)
½ c. light corn syrup
½ c. granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Cooking spray

(This recipe uses 2 mini muffin pans, a 2-inch round biscuit cutter, a wooden tamping tool and a plastic squirt bottle)

Preheat oven to 350°

Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray and set aside.

In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter, corn syrup and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, roll out pie crusts on a lightly floured surface.

Using biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of crust and tamp into place in mini muffin pans. (I actually used a smaller cutter with the batch pictured here, so they came out a little smaller than normal).

Sprinkle about 5-6 chocolate chips into each crust. Sprinkle pecan pieces over top of chocolate chips.

Once sugar mixture has cooled, stir in beaten eggs and vanilla. Pour mixture into plastic squirt bottle (this makes it much easier to control when pouring over pecans).

Carefully pour sugar mixture over pecans and chocolate chips, making sure not to over fill.

Bake 30-33 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan.