On the Menu: A New Series at S&S!

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I’m excited to be hosting a giveaway later today at Tattered & Inked for the Creative Christmas event! What am I giving away? Santa’s Key!
That’s right my Christmas shop, Tinsel & Twig is up and open! I’m still in the process of adding items, but there are a few things for sale right now. However, if you want Santa’s key for free, be sure to head over to Tattered  & Inked and enter the giveaway!
You all know that I love to cook! I’m always in search of new recipes and I tend to be a recipe horder. I also like to share the really good recipes with you. The trouble is, it takes a lot of time to photograph and write up my recipe posts. Unfortunately {as I’m sure those of you with little ones will agree}, I barely have the time to prepare the meals I want to, let alone make a photo shoot out of them!
So I decided to start a new series here at Scissors & Spatulas. It’s called “On the Menu. . .” and I think it will be a great way for me to share more recipes with you more often. Don’t worry, I will still give step-by-step tutorials with photos for some of my recipes, but “On the Menu. . .” will feature recipes I want to share with you in a nutshell. Basically, you’ll get a photo, a description and a recipe. Bon apetite! 
My family loves this soup! I will admit that last year when I found this recipe in the Food Network Magazine, I was incredibly weary about making it because of the ingredients. Mint and dill? But I’ll try anything once, especially if it seems “foreign” to me. I’m so glad I did. This is one of our favorite soups! One batch usually yields enough extra to freeze for another meal. Of course, as I usually do, I altared the recipe a bit from the original. The list of ingredients seems kinda long, but don’t let that scare you. This soup is really easy to prepare. It’s a refreshing change from your typical chicken and rice soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 bone-in chicken breasts, roasted 
  • 1 1/2 cups baby carrots, sliced in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2/3 cup jasmine rice
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • juice of a small lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  • Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is soft, 5 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, remove chicken from bone and shred into bite-size pieces. 
  • Add the curry powder to the onion mixture and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, bay leaf, chicken and broth. Increase the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, remove about 1 cup of the rice. Puree in a blender until smooth.
  • Return pureed rice to the pan and add the chopped herbs and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

I’m all over the place today!
 I’m also over at Somewhat Simple sharing my Caned Chair Makeover. Stop by and see me if you missed this post back in September.

Oh yeah, on the 4th day of Christmas, Shabby Apple gave to me. . .
25% off their pretty Cider Dress!
Just enter ‘Day4′ at checkout!

Hubby’s Favorite: Tuscan Chicken Cakes with Tomato-basil Relish

I tore this recipe out of a magazine a LONG time ago. Like, before we were married, long ago! It’s been so long, I don’t even know where I found this recipe! You get the picture. Anyway, it’s one of hubby’s favorites and, when I ask him to choose a meal, this is one of a handful that he asks for. 
First, the tomato-basil relish:
Ingredients: One medium tomato, red onion, oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, prepared basil pesto and balsamic vinaigrette (I usually use store-bought but didn’t have any on hand so I just used EVOO and balsamic vinegar).

Seed and chop the tomato. Chop 3 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, 1/3 cup onion and 2 Tbsp. fresh basil. 
Add chopped fresh ingredients to a medium bowl. Add 1 tsp. pesto and 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette. 

Stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. 
For the chicken cakes:

Ingredients: Shredded chicken, red onion, roasted red peppers, prepared honey mustard, prepared basil pesto, mayonaise, egg and dry Italian-style bread crumbs.

Place 3 cups shredded chicken in a medium bowl. Chop 1/3 cup onion and 1/3 cup roasted peppers and add to the bowl along with 1 egg (beaten), 1/4 cup mayonaise, 1/4 cup pesto, 2 tsp. honey mustard and 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Gently mix until combined.
Grab a handfull of the chicken mixture (about 1/2 cup) and form a ball.

Press lightly to flatten the ball into a patty about an inch thick. 

Place an additional 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Gently roll in dry bread crumbs to coat. 
Place chicken cakes on a plate with wax paper or parchment paper between layers. 
In a skillet or saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. 
Add chicken cakes to pan, four at a time to prevent crowding. 

Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned. 
Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

Serve over a bed of mixed greens and top with tomato-basil relish and extra balsamic vinaigrette, if desired.
This is a meal that makes hubby smile! Actually, my little boys loved it too!

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Need a good, home-cooked meal FAST? This is one of my “go to” recipes when I need good food but don’t have a lot of time for preparation. I found the original recipe at Kraft Foods recipe site. Their recipes are simple, delicious and use pretty basic ingredients. This particular recipe takes about ten minutes to prepare and thirty minutes in the oven. You don’t have to be an expert in the kitchen for this one! It’s so easy my hubby could make it {no offense, honey}.
Let me introduce you to my version {because of course I altered it slightly} of Kraft Food’s Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into one-inch pieces
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (6 oz) package stuffing mix {such as Stove Top}
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic & oregano
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400* and lightly grease a 13×9 baking dish.

Place chopped chicken in the pan and sprinkle with basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Top with shredded mozzarella.

Combine stuffing mix, tomatoes, garlic and water in a medium-sized bowl.

Mix well until moistened.

Top chicken and cheese with the stuffing mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.
I served mine with sauteed zucchini and squash and mashed taters.
Delish!

Easy Chicken Salad

Everyone loves a good chicken salad. I got this recipe from mom. I’m not going to claim it’s the best chicken salad I’ve ever had {I love a chunky chicken with grapes and celery}, but it is one of my favorites and it’s soooo easy.
Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 can  chopped green chiles
Brush the chicken with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Bake in a 375* oven for 20-30 minutes or until juices run clear.
After you take the chicken out of the oven, cut it into several smaller chunks and allow it to cool.
Place a few chunks at a time in a food processor and process until finely ground. Repeat until all chicken is ground up.
Add 1 cup mayo, 1 can chopped chiles and salt and pepper to taste. 
Mix until blended.
Serve on your favorite bread with your favorite “accessories.”
This is also a great way to use up leftover chicken breasts from a meal!
Enjoy!

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Tomato-Avocado Toss

No photos photos of the process, just the product for this one my friends. It’s so easy you don’t need ‘em!

Recipe (courtesy of Southern Living Magazine):

Out of the oven comes a pan of ooey-gooey, bubbly deliciousness
To go along side the enchiladas (hubby makes fun of me because I ALWAYS have to have a side dish to accompany the main course) is a really yummy tomato-avocado toss. The combination of the lime juice and cilantro gives the salad a great tangy-fresh flavor.

Pile this on top of salad greens and be sure to drizzle extra dressing over the top!
Recipe:
Tomato-Avocado Toss
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
one half of a red onion
2 ripe avocados
salad greens of your choice
Cut tomatoes in half. Thinly slice onion. Peel and cut avocado into small chunks. (If you’ve never done it before, you might be wondering how to cut an avocado. Click here for tutorial). Whisk together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, red onion and avocados, gently stirring to coat. Serve over salad greens.

Dinner is served. . .

 A dollop of sour cream and some fresh cilantro finish off the enchiladas. The tangy freshness of the salad is a great accompaniment to the smokiness of the enchiladas. Enjoy!

Roasted Chicken-Artichoke Calzones [AND there’s a "next day recipe" too]

One word for these guys-  YUMMO!
Chicken, artichokes, spinach and cheese baked in a delicious pizza crust pouch. Mmmmmmm.

I found the original recipe for these years ago in Cooking Light Magazine.  Honestly the “light” version tasted good, but I began adding a few additional ingredients (mainly more cheese) which, unfortunately, made them not-so-light anymore. But it made them even better and more like the calzones I was accustomed to eating. 
Ingredients + 2 chicken breasts.
First, brush your chicken with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper roast in a 375* oven for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size. I use bone-in breasts with skin because I think the chicken turns out juicier and more flavorful (something I learned from Food Network’s Ina Garten). But boneless breasts work too. Once the chicken has cooled, cut it into bite-size pieces.

Drain and pat dry a can of artichokes. If you choose to use marinated artichokes, drain, rinse and pat dry. Mince a large clove of garlic and chop the artichokes into bite-size pieces.

In a large bowl mix chicken, garlic and artichokes. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.

Add 1/2 bag spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella-provolone cheese blend (Sargento makes this blend), 1/2 cup ricotta cheese and 1 tsp Italian seasoning to chicken mixture and stir to combine. 

Brush a rectangular baking sheet with olive oil, sprinkle with cornmeal and stretch refrigerated pizza dough to fit the pan. Cut the dough into two rectangular pieces and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. 
Spoon a generous amount of chicken mixture on half of each dough rectangle.
**You will probably have some filling leftover. Don’t throw it away! I’ve got a “next day recipe” for you below.**

Add a little more shredded mozzarella-provolone blend on top.
Fold dough across filling and secure by pinching dough together and rolling corners. Be sure to cut 2 slits in the top of dough to allow the steam escape. Bake in a 400* oven for 15-20 minutes or until dough is golden-brown.
Cut squares diagonally and serve with your favorite pizza or marinara sauce.
Next Day Recipe


Once I started adding some extra ingredients I started ending up with extra filling. So rather than tossing it out I stuck it in the fridge and made this the next day. It was so good I still do it to this day.
Use your leftover chicken-artichoke mixture and the pasta of your choice. I really like to use bow tie pasta but didn’t have any in the pantry this day.
Cook pasta according to package, return to pan and add 1 Tbsp of butter.
Add chicken-artichoke mixture and stir to combine.
How easy was that?!

Roasted Chicken Artichoke Calzones
  • 1  (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1  large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  cups  (1/2 bag) fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2  cups  (5 ounces) shredded mozzarella- provolone cheese blend, divided
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1  teaspoon  olive oil
  • 2  teaspoons  cornmeal
  • 1  (13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
reheat oven to 425°.
Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast chicken in a 375* oven for 20-30 minutes or until juices run clear. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Pat artichokes dry with paper towels. Combine artichokes, garlic and chicken in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, spinach, 1 cup shredded cheese, ricotta and Parmesan cheeses,  toss gently to combine.
Brush oil over a baking sheet; sprinkle with cornmeal. Unroll dough onto prepared baking sheet and press to fit. Cut dough into 2 equal rectangles. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Spoon a generous amount of chicken-artichoke mixture onto one side of teach rectangle. Fold each dough portion over spinach mixture to form a square. Press edges together with fingers to seal.and twist the corners. Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes or until golden-brown. 
Serve with pizza or marinara sauce.