Tacos are one of my favorite foods and I’m always looking for different combinations to try out! This recipe combines tender, shredded chicken with a smokey Chipotle salsa and melty Oaxaca cheese. I roasted the chicken in the oven with fragrant spices, garlic and honey. The nice thing about roasting the chicken is that it produces plenty of juice in the pan to incorporate back into the meat once it has been shredded. This results in the juiciest, most tender meat for the tacos. The Oaxaca cheese melted easily over the tacos and had a mild flavor that complimented the other ingredients. The salsa can be made up to two days beforehand to save time on preparation.
The thing that makes this salsa unique is the charring of the vegetables before blending. This can be done over a skillet or with a pair of tongs over an open flame. I really liked how it amplified the smokey flavor of the chipotle peppers. I used several toasted Puya chiles which aren’t too spicy and have a fruity, chocolatey flavor. This salsa is the perfect balance between smoky, spicy and sweet. It’s also really simple and goes with so many different tex-mex dishes. I could see it going well with eggs but I made it for tacos which turned out great!
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I am a big fan of finger foods and this recipe for little pan fried Korean dumplings can’t be beat! The dumplings are filled with tofu, white beans, kimchi, garlic, ginger and other flavorful ingredients! It all comes together tucked in a gyoza wrapper and sauteed. The recipe makes a lot of dumplings so I had no problem having this as a main course though it works perfectly as an appetizer. I served the dumplings with a savory Korean dipping sauce which paired together very nicely! If you prep the dumplings the night before it works great for a weeknight meal.
I used to make instant Jell-o chocolate pudding all the time when I was a kid. All you needed to do was dump the powder and milk in a sauce pan and stir until your wrist got tired. This is the grown-up version of the Jell-o stuff, and much tastier! I adapted a recipe I use for vanilla custard so it uses plenty of butter and eggs (but it’s worth it for the good stuff, right?) It’s a bit more involved than the instant kind since this requires tempering your eggs. Tempering is a process that allows the temperature of the eggs to rise without creating a scrambled mess. All you need is a steady pouring hand and another to do the fast stirring to combine the hot milk into the eggs. It’s a breeze once you get the hang of it. I used real chocolate chips along with unsweetened cocoa powder to amp up the chocolate flavor. It also tastes great served cold, hot and in large bowls!
Spring is around the corner but in many places winter is still raging. This soup is loaded with healthy veggies but is still hearty enough to combat the winter chills. For the stock I used my go to recipe for Homemade Stock. You can either use what you have pre-made or make it for the soup–either way works fine and instructions will follow. I packed this recipe with tons of veggies such as acorn squash, spinach, corn, peas, carrots and cabbage. The recipe is surprisingly hearty and flavorful. It has been one of my favorite go-to winter soup recipes over the past few weeks!
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Who can say no to chocolate covered strawberries? For Valentine’s Day I decided to go with a recipe that’s both simple and tasty! These strawberries are dipped in semi-sweet chocolate with added coconut oil and sea salt. The Coconut oil and sea salt are simple additions that enhance the flavor of the chocolate and give it a little more complexity. For the chocolate I chose a high quality semi-sweet chocolate chip which I melted in a DIY double boiler. If you have leftover chocolate eat as is or throw it on some ice cream with extra strawberries!
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If you have a leftover ham bone from a spiral cut ham sitting in your freezer you can make this delicious soup! This recipe is loaded with healthy vegetables and beans. I was surprised at how fast the stock came together. It only took about an hour of simmering for it be fragrant and full of good flavor. I decided to use a trick for it that’s often used when cooking stock for Vietnamese Pho: adding whole spices like allspice and cloves to enhance flavor. It worked out quite nicely and the rest of the soup came together in a flash. It was a great way to use up those leftovers from dinner and is a perfect soup for cold February weather.
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I’ve never really considered making tomato soup until recently. This recipe is full of roasted garlic and tomato flavor along with the savory spiciness of the Italian sausage. This tomato soup recipe is anything but boring! For the roasting I place the garlic on top of the cut side of the tomatoes. Placing it there helps the garlic roast and allows that flavor to become better infused into the tomato. Call me crazy but it really works! I pan roasted the sausage and you can either blend it into the soup after or finely mince by hand. The soup comes together easily and it has quickly become a staple dinner recipe.
Once I had a batch of Pickled Corn Salsa ready I took a nice pork shoulder and slow cooked it for some tasty tacos! The pork is marinated in tomatoes, onions and spices and slow cooked for about 4 hours in a crock pot. The pork ended up being succulent and fall apart tender. I was really happy with how soft and flavorful it turned out. The acids from the pickled salsa complimented the richness of the shredded pork. For garnish, I added a touch of lime and queso fresco.