Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chicken Hummus Wraps

So, confession time: I'm not a huge fan of hummus, but my husband loves it and I LOVE to make him happy with delicious food. I came up with this hummus recipe (which even I really like), decided to spread it on a wrap and pack it with all these delicious goodies......

....and it was a winner! I just cooked up some chicken with some basic seasoned salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and cut it into strips. For the veggies, I took advantage of what we had growing out in the garden and used a combination of green onions cut long, strips of red bell pepper, English cucumber cut lengthwise into spears, leftover (cooked) corn cut off the cob and a handfull of All American salad mix. This is a super simple solution for a light lunch or dinner and this hummus recipe got lots of ooohhhs and aaahhhss from dear husband :)

Chicken Hummus Wraps


4 cloves garlic
1 15oz. can Garbanzo beans, drain half of liquid
3 Tbsp. Tahini paste
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

In bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade, mince garlic first. Add Garbanzo beans with liquid, Tahini paste, coriander, cumin, salt and red pepper flakes.

With machine running, drizzle olive oil through top feeder tube. Pulse until mixture is smooth.

Transfer hummus to a container and cover. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

***For the wrap: Spread a generous amount of hummus on prepared wrap (I used a whole wheat tortilla, but dear husband didn't like the texture :( So, I'll be looking for the official wraps next time). Layer cooked chicken strips, cucumber spears, bell pepper strips, green onions, corn cut off the cob and either Spring Salad mix, spinach leaves or iceberg lettuce. Be sure to keep filling ingredients mostly to one side (it helps when rolling the wrap). Beginning on the side with the filling, start rolling very tightly folding in the ends as you go. Enjoy!!!


Monday, August 22, 2016

Triple Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cakes

So, these happened a few weeks ago in my joyful kitchen, but life has been so busy that I haven't had a chance to share the recipe until now.

I used Gainey Vineyard's amazing Pino Noir in this recipe, and I just have to say that even after 3 weeks....I'm STILL thinking about these delicious little cakes. This is a must-try, for sure!

Triple Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cakes


2 c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting cake pans)
1 ½ tsp. espresso powder
1 ½ tsp. baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ c. granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. Gainey Vineyard Pino Noir wine
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache
4 oz. baking chocolate
1 c. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray inside of baking pans (whether you’re using mini cake pans or 8x8 rounds) and dust with cocoa powder. Set aside.

In large bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar and beat again until combined. Add one egg at a time and beat well after each. Add vanilla extract and wine. Mix well.

In separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients 1 cup at a time and mix well between each addition.

Once all the dry ingredients have been added, mix in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan(s) filling each well ¾ of the way full (if using mini-Bundt cake pan).

Bake for about 35 minutes or until toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. If cake has puffed up and over cake pan, use a serrated knife to gently slice off excess so cakes will sit flat when removed from pan. Run a butter knife around each cake to loosen it from the pan. Invert a large baking sheet over the mini-Bundt cake pan and turn cakes out onto the pan.

For ganache: use either a double boiler or a heavy pot filled 1/3 of the way with water and a glass bowl on top. Place the baking chocolate in glass bowl over pot with water. Let the water come to a boil and melt the chocolate. Once the chocolate is completely melted, remove from heat and pour in heavy cream. Whisk until fully incorporated and ganache is creamy and smooth.

Carefully spoon over ganache over tops of each cake.



Friday, August 5, 2016

Garden Harvest Pasta Salad

I feel like I've spent my entire day staring at vegetables! Maybe...because I have, LOL. Dear husband and I spent several glorious minutes early this morning harvesting MORE zucchini, yellow squash, English cucumbers, peppers, chilies, green beans and tomatoes (and it won't be long til the corn is ready). He even took a bag full of "harvest" with him to work to share with his co-workers (who, I'm sure, now run the other direction when they see him approaching with bag in hand and a "please take these" look in his eyes, LOL).

Anyway, I pureed several more batches of zucchini this afternoon and stuffed them into the freezer in hopes of using them in a few months for many, many loaves of zucchini bread. Head's up, locals! Guess what YOU'RE getting for Christmas, LOL!

Still....we have sssooooo much stuff from the garden to use up before it goes bad. This little recipe is just something I threw together for dinner tonight. I don't have any crusty French bread on hand, but that's ok. I'm mixing up a batch of my homemade biscuits instead :)

Garden Harvest Pasta Salad

2 ½ to 3 c. farfalle (bow-tie pasta), cooked and drained
1 large zucchini, diced
1 medium crook-neck squash, diced
2 green onions, diced
¼ medium red bell pepper, diced
½ c. diced tomatoes (I used small grape tomatoes a sliced them in half)
¾ c. broccoli florets
4 chicken tenders
1 ½ Tbsp. Italian salad dressing
Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper
¼ c. fresh Parmesan cheese grated over the top.
1 Tbsp. Olive oil

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add chicken tenders. Season with salt and pepper and Italian seasoning. Turn and cook until browned on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

In large bowl, add diced zucchini, crook-neck squash, broccoli, green onions, bell pepper and tomatoes.

Once chicken has cooled enough to work with, transfer to cutting board and dice into bite-sized pieces.

Add chicken to diced vegetables. Add cooked, drained pasta. Pour Italian dressing over pasta mixture. Using a large spoon or scraper, combine all ingredients well making sure to evenly distribute salad dressing.

Use a vegetable peeler to shave off strips of Parmesan over salad. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.



Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Carne Asada

This is definitely one of those "set it and forget it" recipes - don't you just love that about summer? You throw a few ingredients into the crock pot in the morning, go about your business throughout the day, and dinner's ready when you are! This is great to use in tacos, burritos, tostadas or served over rice. Please note that you couldn't feed an army with this recipe since it only uses a pound of beef strips, but it's a great meal for a family of 4!

Carne Asada

1 1/2 lb. of sirloin strips (I found lean beef cut into strips for stir fry)
½ c. Pinot Noir Wine
5 garlic cloves
2 jalapenos, seeded
1 small red onion cut into chunks
¼ c. cilantro leaves
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground cayenne
1 Tbsp. chipotle paste
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper

Lay strips of beef in bottom of crock pot. Pour wine over the top.

Combine remaining ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until mixture forms a paste.

Spoon mixture evenly over meat in crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until meat is fully cooked and tender.

Great to use in tacos, burritos, tostadas or spooned over rice.