Chicken Bacon Quesadillas

If you’re in need of a fairly easy but delicious Super Bowl party appetizer, I have just the thing. Pair with some ice cold beer and everybody’s going to have a fantastic day no matter what the score is.

Every once in a while, I just throw something together for dinner and it turns out to be a total win. These quesadillas are the result of such an occasion.

Chicken Bacon Quesadillas

Ingredients

1 thin cut chicken breast
3 uncooked tortillas cut in halves
Shredded pepper jack cheese
4 strips of thick cut bacon
Red pepper flakes
Salt
Fine black pepper (like powder fine)
Chili powder
Garlic salt and parsley
Cumin
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Canola oil

Directions

1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Rub both sides of chicken in spices.
3. Heat a small amount of canola oil on a pan and add chicken once hot.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low, flipping chicken only once to cook each side. (I have a sort of sense of when to turn it over)
5. Once chicken is white on both sides, squeeze lemon over chicken. Cook for a few minutes, flip, and squeeze lemon on the other side. You can check that the chicken is cooked all the way through by cutting in half. If its white and the juices are running clear, it’s done. Don’t over cook it!
6. Cook bacon and set aside.
7. Cut chicken into strips and then shred it further with your hands.
8. In a separate pan, heat a small amount of canola oil and lightly cook each tortilla half.
9. Put shredded pepper jack, shredded chicken, and bacon pieces on one side of the tortilla and fold in half.
10. Put back on pan and heat on each side until cheese is melted.
11. Serve with plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

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Fire Cracker Chicken

I have been finding a lot of really great Chinese restaurant style dishes on Pinterest lately. Which is super exciting since I’ve never been thrilled with the Chinese places around my neighborhood.

But…I’m going to have to reign in my excitement a little because boy, do these sauces pack in the sugar! So I think I’ll have to try these out slowly, like maybe only one or two recipes per month.

Now on to the deliciousness…

Fire Cracker Chicken (adapted from The Recipe Critic)

Ingredients

Canola oil
3 Thin-cut Chicken Breasts
1 cup corn starch
2 eggs
Salt and pepper
Red, yellow, and orange mini peppers

Sauce:
1/3 cup buffalo sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp water
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt
Red pepper flakes

Directions

1. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
2. Fill 2 separate bowls: one with corn starch, one with the eggs, slightly beaten. Coat chicken with corn starch, then egg mixture.
3. Put a small amount of canola oil on a pan and lightly brown chicken.
4. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F and mix sauce ingredients in a bowl.
5. Put chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over.
6. Cook chicken for 1 hour, mixing every 15 minutes. Add chopped peppers half way through.

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Meatless Monday – Broccoli Cheddar Soup

It’s Monday again…and you know what that means…it’s time for another Meatless Monday recipe. I’ve been wanting to make a really delicious broccoli cheddar soup for a while now and I may have found the best recipe ever. I modified it a little, of course, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

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The thing I liked best about this soup is that everything was cooked in one pot, making clean up a little less cumbersome. Cooking every night is great, but I do get tired of the constant dishes.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup half n half
1 cup milk
2 cups filtered water (no tap)
2 tsp Better Than Chicken Boullion
1/4 cup orzo pasta
8oz sharp cheddar
1/2 lb broccoli
1 handful of carrots sticks
Chopped onions
Chopped garlic
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Melt butter over onions and garlic
2. Add flour and stir

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3. Pour in half n half, milk, water, and chicken paste
4. Cook on medium-high heat until it’s just about to boil
5. Mix in broccoli and carrots, lower heat to a simmer for 20 minutes
6. Mix in cheddar, orzo pasta, and spices
7. Cook for another 10-15 minutes
8. Serve with bread or crackers

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Breakfast Taco

I promised myself that I wouldn’t go grocery shopping this week. Mission accomplished. I didn’t think this left me with interesting menu items, but last night I came up with something pretty tasty for being so basic.

That’s right. I made breakfast for dinner again. But this time, I kept the focus on the veggies and less on the fried. Couldn’t resist throwing in a couple pieces of bacon though.

While this basically just an omelet thrown into a lightly fried tortilla, my boyfriend made a simple cooking suggestion that really perfected the overall texture of this meal.

Instead of mixing the sauteed veggies into the eggs, I cooked the veggies around the edge of the pan with eggs in the middle. This helped the veggies to stay a little crisp, which was really nice.

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Some of My Favorite Food in Turkey

As if Turkey’s natural beauty and rich history weren’t enough reasons to visit, they also have unbelieveable food.

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to 3 cities in Turkey: Istanbul, Cesme, and Bodrum; and I wanted to share some of my favorite dishes with you.

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Some of the best tasting meat I’ve ever had was during my trips to Turkey. Kebab (kebap in Turkish) houses are a dime a dozen there. Not at all are created equal, but most of the ones I’ve eaten have been exquisite.

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This is a Bursa Iskender Kebab. There are a lot different kinds of kebab, but this is my absolute favorite. The meat is in a tomato based sauce, sitting on pieces of pita bread, covered in garlic yogurt and melted butter.

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If you’re a fan of pickles, meet pickle heaven. Everything here is pickled to your heart’s content.

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This is kasarli pide. The closest thing I can compare it to is a cheese pizza with no sauce. But that doesn’t come close to describing it. This is a must have in Bodrum. Nothing compares.

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This köfte from a restaurant in Bodrum. This meat is delicious.

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This is manti. It’s sort of like dumplings or ravioli but much much better. Garlic yogurt and melted butter on top!

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This is gözleme. I had this for the first time in Bodrum and I fell in love. I’ve had them filled with cheese and potato. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

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This is an amazing sandwich from my boyfriend’s friend’s restaurant. This place belongs in Santa Monica!

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For some reason, I can’t remember the Turkish names for these. These are mussells filled with rice. My boyfriend and his friends ate hundreds of these during our trip in Cesme!

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This is Cesme’s famous kumru sandwich. I ate one 3 days in a row and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Have you ever tried Turkish food? What’s your favorite dish?

Meatless Monday – Simply Salad

I never ate a lot of salad when I was growing up. If it wasn’t smothered in ranch dressing, you might as well forget about it! Glad I grew up and got over that.

This salad that I put together tonight is not exactly a novel idea, but it was the perfect thing to make for Meatless Monday, along side some börek leftover from my Turkish feast.

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Kerry Kitchen Salad

Chopped lettuce
Carrot sticks
Finely chopped onion
Flax seed
Goat/feta cheese

For tonight’s dressing, I mixed olive oil, balsalmic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl.

When I’m not in the mood for balsalmic, I use apple cider vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon juice instead. It’s sour, but in a way that I like.

Obviously, I could use some help coming up with more dinner ideas for Meatless Monday. Got any ideas, fellow bloggers?

Turkish Feast

To celebrate our good friend’s birthday, I prepared a Turkish feast! These are by no means the most authentic ways to prepare these dishes, but they are a good way to get the flavor.

Sarma

My boyfriend’s mom sent me this recipe a few years ago and this was only my second time making it. These are stuffed grape leaves with ground beef, onions, and seasoning. It sounds easy enough, but this dish takes some time and effort to prepare. Good thing the end result is well worth it.

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Ingredients

1 jar of grave leaves
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
Uncooked rice
Black pepper
Sea salt
Red pepper flakes
Cumin
A pinch of mint
Water

1. Chop one small onion and place in a mixing bowl.

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2. Add the ground beef, rice, water, and spices to the bowl and mix.

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3. Carefully remove the grapes leaves from the jar and unfold into a large bowl. Soak in hot water for a few minutes to soften the leaves.

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4. Put a small scoop of the meat mixture in the center of the grape leave. Then fold the grape leave like so…

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5. Place in a pot and place a plate over the sarma. Cover with water and olive oil and cook until meat and rice are ready. This took about 30 minutes or so for the amount I made.

6. Serve with garlic yogurt.

Baba Ganoush

That is not the Turkish spelling…but you get the idea. This a creamy eggplant/tahini dip.

Ingredients

2 Japanese eggplants
A few scoops of tahini paste
Fresh lemon juice

1. Peel the skin from the eggplants and chop in small disks.
2. Cover with some olive oil and broil until soft and lightly browned.
3. Blend together in food processor with tahini and lemon juice.
4. Serve with pita bread and/or fresh veggies like peppers and carrots.

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Börek

This is a cheese pastry made with fillo sheets and goat cheese.

Ingredients

Fillo dough sheets
Goat cheese
Melted butter
Half and half

1. Put a little half and half in a bowl and mix with melted butter.
2. Brush butter mixture on 1 fillo sheet, making sure to cover completely.
3. Lay a second sheet over the buttered sheet and butter again. Lay one more sheet and butter one more time.
4. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
5. Fold the square of fillo into a triangle and then again into a smaller triangle, then cut the triangle in half.
6. Repeat for as many times as you need.
7. Brush each with a little egg yolk.
8. Bake at 375 F for 10-15 minutes.

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