Monday, April 27, 2009

Barbecue Chicken & Black Bean Pizza

On Saturday I was making lunch for Corey & I and I was craving barbecue chicken pizza. I didn't want to have the same boring pizza, though, so I came up with this. I know it sounds kind of strange, but it was unbelievably delicious. Who would have thought that black beans on a pizza would taste so good?

Barbecue Chicken & Black Bean Pizza

1 recipe of your favorite pizza dough
1 cup barbecue sauce (recommended: Bullseye)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chipotle bullion cube (I found these at Wal-mart on the Mexican food aisle. If you can't find them, you can substitute a couple of tablespoons of the sauce from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce or a teaspoon of chipotle chile powder)
2 Tb. honey
4-5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 Tb. olive oil
1 red pepper, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray pizza pan with cooking spray or coat with olive oil. Roll out pizza dough to fit the pan. Spread dough with barbecue sauce.
2. In medium skillet heat vegetable oil. Add onions and cook until caramelized (golden brown), about 7 minutes.
3. In small bowl mix black beans with honey and chipotle seasoning. Microwave for two minutes and stir well.
4. On top of pizza crust evenly layer chicken, black beans, bacon, caramelized onions, and red pepper. Sprinkle with both cheeses.
5. Bake 18 - 25 minutes, or until crust is brown throughout (use a pizza cutter or pizza peel to lift the pizza and look at the bottom crust to ensure it is throughly browned). Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies

We grew up eating these frequently in my family. We always called them "soft chocolate chip cookies" because they have a soft cake-like texture instead of chewy like a regular chocolate chip cookie. They're mot much to look at, but they taste heavenly, especially fresh out of the oven. I've played around with these a few times and made a few changes, and they always turn out great. If you're looking for something a little different, feel free to add any of the following in addition to the normal ingredients: chopped walnuts (about 1 cup), oatmeal (about 1 1/2 cups) and butterscotch chips (about 1 cup in place of 1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips), or cinnamon chips (2 cups or do half cinnamon chips and half milk chocolate chips).

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup applesauce
1 - 2 cups chocolate chips (depending on how chocolatey you like your cookies)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
3. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and cloves and mix until just combined.
4. In small bowl combine applesauce and baking soda. Microwave for one minute until applesauce is warm (it will turn a brownish color while it heats because it is oxidizing, don't worry, it is just fine). Add the applesauce mixture to the batter and mix until well blended.
5. Fold in chocolate chips and any additional add-ons (see above).
6. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Barbecue Chicken & Caramelized Onion Quesadillas

This is one of my favorite ways to eat a quesadilla...and I eat a lot of quesadillas, so I should know! This is not your traditional quesadilla, I don't even eat it topped with salsa & guacamole, just plain is great with me. If you really wanted to top it with something I'm sure it would be great with ranch or quacamole, but I think it's perfect just as is.

Barbecue Chicken and Carmelized Onion Quesadillas

1/2 large sweet (Walla Walla or similar) onion, thinly sliced
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 Tb. canola oil
1 Tb. honey
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
4 tortillas
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I recommend Bulls-eye)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. In medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes or until onions are brown and caramelized. Stir in honey, barbecue sauce, and chili powder. Stir until well combined. Add diced chicken.
2. Place one tortilla in large saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top half of quesadilla with a quarter of the chicken/onion mixture, and a sprinkle of cilantro, if desired. Fold in half. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with remaining 3 tortillas. Cut each tortilla in quarters. Serve with fresh veggies or green salad.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

These are probably the best muffins I've ever had, and I'm not just saying that. They were totally worth the extra effort to make them from scratch instead of using a mix. This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Crumb Topping
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup oatmeal

2 cups frozen blueberries, NOT thawed
1 Tb. flour
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
6 Tb. butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350 dcgrees. Line 20 - 24 muffin cups with papers.
2. Put all ingredients for crumb topping except oatmeal in food processor and mix until small crumbs form. (Don't overmix or the crumbs will all clump together and you'll get a big blob of butter on top of each muffin--not appetizing). Mix in oatmeal with fingers or a spoon. Place in freezer while you prepare the muffin batter.
3. Mix lemon juice and milk and set aside. Mix 1 Tb. flour with blueberries, just to coat the outside of the blueberries; set aside.
4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar and lemon zest with the paddle attachment until well combined. Add butter and cream for about 3 minutes, until mixture is light yellow and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes.
5. Add one cup of flour and mix on low speed until flour is mixed in. Add milk/lemon juice mixture and blend well. Add remaining 1 cup flour and salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix on low until just combined. Do not overmix or the muffins will not rise properly.
6. Fold blueberries into batter. Mixture will be very thick.
7. Divide batter between muffin cups, filling only about 1/2 full (I got 22 muffins out of my batch). Top batter with crumb topping, evenly divided amongst muffins. Press down lightly on crumbs so they will stick to the muffin batter.
8. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until tops spring back when touched and tops are golden brown. Move to a wire rack and cool at least 5 minutes before serving (or you'll burn your tongue on a hot blueberry...not that I would know or anything).

The Winner!

The winner of the cookbook giveaway is comment #10 from Heidi.
Congrats on winning, Heidi. I'll get your cookbook mailed out first thing next week.

I'll be back later with a yummy recipe for muffins. Enjoy!
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