Pickle-Brined Chicken Sandwich

With our local Chic-Fil-A being shut down for a good part of 2 months now, I needed my chicken sandwich fill. I decided since I can’t get one there, I can just make it myself, without all the extreme beliefs attached. I got this idea after having some leftover pickle juice, instead of throwing it out, I decided to brine some chicken breast in it overnight. It may have been my best idea yet. Serve with french fries and you can leave out the ‘my pleasure’.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • 32 oz Pickle Juice, I used Grillos, but Claussen’s would also be good, or just whatever you have, I’m a pickle snob
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • Handful fresh dill
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Cornmeal
  • 1 TBSP Chili Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Vegetable/Canola Oil, enough to cover the pan
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato, Sliced
  • Pickles, Sliced
  • Mayo

Let’s Get Cooking

We are brining overnight, if you can’t do 24 hours, I would recommend at least 3. Pour the pickle juice into a large bowl, and add in the extra garlic + dill + washed and dried chicken breast. Cover the bowl with foil and place in the fridge overnight.

After the bringing, take the chicken out, rinse it off and pat dry.

Whisk two eggs in a bowl and set aside. On a plate mix together flour + cornmeal + paprika + chili powder + salt + pepper.

In a large pan with high sides, add in the oil and heat on MED-HIGH.

While the oil is heating, dredge the chicken, first in the egg then flour, making sure the chicken is fully covered. Once the oil is hot, carefully add in the chicken, cooking for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Let rest.

Prepare the toppings, toast your buns and cut the tomatoes, pickles, and wash the lettuce.

Build your perfect sandwich: bottom bun, lettuce, chicken, pickles, tomatoes, mayo, top bun.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Lemon Pasta with Shrimp & Kale

I’ve been on a Kale kick recently, it’s such an easy green to add to so many dishes. It may also be because I am trying to find any recipe to convert my coworker into a kale lover. Though I did not sway her with this dish from Chenee Today, it is the perfect summer pasta dish. It’s bright and spicy with lemon and red pepper flakes, along with the zest shrimp, ugh so good!

Ingredients

  • 5 TBSP Olive Oil, divided
  • 3 Green onions, whites diced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, diced
  • 2 Cups Kale, stems removed
  • 1/3 Cup White Wine
  • Pasta of your Choice
  • 1LB Raw Shrimp
  • 3 TBSP + 1 TBSP Lemon Juice
  • 3 TBSP Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes

Let’s Get Cooking

Place the deveined shrimp in a small bowl, add the 1 TBSP lemon juice + salt + pepper and let sit in the fridge.

In a large pan add 2 TBSP of olive oil and saute the garlic and whites of the green onion, salt and cook for 1 minute.

Add in Kale + White Wine + 2 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes and cook until kale is tender. Transfer into a separate bowl.

While the kale is cooking, cook your pasta according to the package directions.

Grab the shrimp from the fridge and pat dry. Season again with salt and pepper.

Add 3 TBSP of olive oil to the same large pan you cooked the kale in. Add the shrimp + lemon juice + 1 TSP Red Pepper Flakes. Cook 1 minute and flip.

Flip the shrimp and add butter, cook for another minute. Add in cooked kale + parmesan cheese. Stir together and then add in cooked pasta.

Top with additional red pepper flakes if needed.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Buttermilk Biscuits

This week is all about the New York Times Cookbook I guess because here I am with another recipe from it. I had been eyeing up this recipe because I freaking love a biscuit for breakfast. Top it with eggs, jam, ham, and bacon, the list is extensive. This recipe is incredibly easy and I feel that they are 2 key things with making biscuits, don’t overwork the dough, and don’t roll it out too thin. I rolled my dough out a little too thin, but you still get the flakes if you accidentally do too.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1/2 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 TSP Baking Powder
  • 4 TBSP Vegetable Shortening [I used unsalted butter]
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk, more if needed. [if you don’t have buttermilk you can do 1 Cup Milk + 1 TBSP White Vinegar]

Let’s Get Bakin’

Heat the oven to 500F

Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dough with 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Add enough buttermilk to produce a soft dough, stir until the mixture forms a ball.

Knead lightly in the bowl until the dough holds together, for about 30 seconds.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll to about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out biscuits with a small biscuit cutter, any round cookie cutter will do.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Serve with whatever toppings you like. I love them with honey right out of the oven.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Rachel’s Green Beans with Dill

Another recipe from the MASSIVE New York Times Cookbook. This cookbook has come in handy a few times. I love the variety of recipes and how quick and easy some of them are. I made this dish as a side to some Honey-Mustard Salmon I had this week. The dish is quick and easy and I recommend fresh dill.

Ingredients

  • Sea Salt
  • 4 Large Handfuls of Green Beans, trimmed
  • 2 TBSP Unsalted Butter
  • 2-3 TBSP Chopped Dill, I event went for 3 1/2 TBSP, I love dill
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Let’s Get Cooking

Fill a pot with water, season with salt, and bring to a boil.

Drop in the green beans in the water and cook for about 4 minutes or until tender. Drain the green beans.

Put the green beans back into the pot. Add in the butter + dill + pepper. Mix well over low heat.

Season with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Top with more dill if desired.

Enjoy!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Coconut Chicken Tikka Masala

I adore Indian cuisine, however, sometimes I am wary to make it on a weekday due to it taking time. I never want to rush through a recipe and lose the beautiful flavor profile that comes with Indian dishes. This recipe from Half-Baked Harvest is the perfect weekday dish. You get all the flavor in half the time! It also makes a bunch if it’s just one person, like me, so I had lunches for work for the remainder of the week!

Ingredients

Curry Paste

  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, quartered
  • 1 Shallot, halved
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 (1-inch) pieces of fresh Ginger, peeled
  • 3 TBSP Garam Masala
  • 2 TSP Ground Turmeric
  • 2 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

Chicken

  • 2 LBS Boneless Chicken Breast, cubed
  • 1/2 Cup Full-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 14oz Unsweetened Coconut Milk, full-fat
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Cups cooked Rice, for serving

Let’s Get Cooking

Make the paste by combining all of the curry paste into a blender. Pulse until a smooth paste forms, about a minute. I had to scrape the sides and blend it a few times.

To make the chicken, in a large bowl or zip lock bag, combine 2 TBSP of the curry paste + the chicken + yogurt. Steal the bag and ensure all the chicken is covered, or if in a bowl mix well and cover. Marinate at room temp for 30 min or refrigerate over night.

In a large skillet, add in the remainder of the curry paste and cook for about 1 minute. Add in the chicken + coconut milk + tomato paste and stir to combine. Cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid and let simmer, about 5 minutes more.

Stir in the cilantro.

Serve the chicken with rice and naan.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Cucumber Dill Chicken Salad

You would be lying if you said that chicken salad wasn’t one of the most perfect picnic foods. You can eat it on a croissant, but my favorite is with kettle-cooked potato chips, ugh it’s the perfect crunch. This recipe from PBFingers gives chicken salad the perfect twist, adding in the yogurt and cucumber. It’s incredibly refreshing and great in lettuce wraps for lunch!

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Rotisserie Chicken, chopped and chilled
  • 2/3 Cup Greek Yogurt, I used low-fat, she recommends full-fat, do what you like
  • 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
  • 1/3 Cup Green Onion, chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Seedless Cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Celery, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Dill, chopped, she used dried dill but I think fresh provides a better flavor
  • 1 TSP Sea Salt
  • LOTS OF GROUND PEPPER

Let’s Get Cooking

Remove the chicken from the bones and finely chop, place into a large bowl.

Mix all of the ingredients together well.

Easy, peasy, that’s it. Serve on bread, lettuce, or with your favorite potato chip.

Made with Love,

Hannah

IRL. Miso Ramen Kit

May is Asian and Pacific Islander Month and what better way to celebrate a culture than through their food. I was at ALDI the other day and found these Ramen kits from IRL Food. They had spicy chicken and this miso ramen, I picked up both because they looked so good. I used Budget Bytes as a source to spice up my ramen kit and make it a proper meal. It was incredibly easy to put together and the miso broth from the kit was DELICIOUS. I can’t wait to taste the spicy chicken.

Ingredients

  • Ramen Kit
  • 1 Egg
  • Scallions, diced
  • Ginger
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • Spinach
  • Hot Sauce
  • Olive Oil

Let’s Get Cooking

The kit starts off by bringing the broth to a low boil.

While that’s heating up, in a skillet saute garlic + zested ginger with the olive oil. Once that becomes fragrant, add in the spinach and cook until wilted.

Once the broth has come to a boil, add in the noodles. Break the noodles up with a fork. Let that boil on low for about 2 minutes.

Turn down to a low simmer and crack an egg into the broth. Let it cook enough that the white is fully cooked but the yolk is still soft.

Once done, pour into a bowl, and top with spinach + scallions + a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce!

Enjoy and be sure to give your support to local Asian-owned businesses!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Hashbrown Avocado Toast

We all remember when Avocado toast became all the craze a few years ago, and rightfully so. It’s the perfect breakfast, especially topped with a beautifully done egg. I found this recipe from @Kelseysfoodreviews on Tik Tok where she used a hashbrown as the toast. I saw some frozen hashbrown’s at ALDI the other day, and I had to make this. I had it for breakfast and OMG, it’s silky, it’s crispy and very satisfying.

Ingredients

  • 1 Frozen Hash Brown
  • 1/2 Avocado Mashed
  • 1 Egg
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil

Let’s Get Cooking

Cook the hashbrown per package instructions, and make sure it is extra crispy.

While the hash brown is cooking, mash the avocado in the bowl with some red pepper flakes + lime juice + salt + pepper.

In a skillet, drizzle olive oil in a pan and heat on MED.

Crack the egg in the skillet and fry until the whites are fully cooked.

Once the hashbrown is done, top with the mashed avocado and fried egg.

ENJOY

Made with Love,

Hannah

Akron Eats: Alexander Pierce

I haven’t done a restaurant review in a while, which makes me sad because trying out new places is one of my favorite hobbies, if you could call it that. I had seen Alexander Pierce on Yelp for quite some time, but it looked like a fancy place and I felt that I needed a special occasion to go. I decided that my birthday at the beginning of April was the perfect time to go. I made reservations weeks in advance, I would recommend this big time!

When I tell you this place is nice, whoooa it’s nice! Private lounge, live singer, you can even get a membership there. The restaurant entrance is located at the back of the building. When you pull up you don’t even realize it’s a restaurant. Then you see the big iron gate with ‘Alexander’ written on it and the beautiful entrance. We were seated quickly and the server was incredibly nice.

When you come to a restaurant like this you have to go all out and that’s what we did.

The pretzel-crusted fried pepper jack was a special at the time, but if it is on the menu when you go ORDER IT. It’s salty, it’s spicy, and it’s the ultimate savory bite. Do not get me started on this meatball. It’s stuffed with gooey cheese, served with a delicious sauce and toasted bread. It could be a meal itself. I recall saying about 10 times ‘this is the best meatball I’ve ever eaten’. And that’s not hyperbole, I truly believe that it was. Onto the main entree, the ribeye. OH MY GOD. I am a med-rare girl, but at some places you go, that means medium or well. That’s not what I want, no no. Alexander Pierce did this ribeye so right, I can’t even do it justice. I added the peppercorn demi-glace, it did not even need that. The steak was so perfectly done that its juices were the only sauce I needed, that’s how you know a steak is done right.

If you are looking for a fancy night out, friends get together, date night, or whatever it is, please check this place out. I think it should be a staple in Akron dining. You could pick this restaurant up and put it in any big city and it would stand out, but I am happy that it is standing out here in Akron, OH.

Eaten with Love,

Hannah

Chocolate Babka

Holidays are the time that you get to show off your cooking and baking skills. At least that is how it is for me because I am usually cooking for one. I know I am a few weeks late, but I made this chocolate babka for Easter and I have to say it was an absolute hit. This recipe is from the New York Times Cookbook and makes 2 loaves. It is a long process, so I say get started three days before you want the loaf done. I made the fudge filling and chocolate streusel beforehand and it made the process go a lot smoother. As the New York Times said, read this recipe a few times before committing to making it, you’ll need it.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar + a pinch
  • 4 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 TSP Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TSP Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 TSP Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 4 Large Eggs, at room temp, lightly beaten
  • 10 TBSP Unsalted Butter, softened

For the Fudge Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Heavy Crem or Half and Half
  • Salt
  • 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (66-74% cocoa), coarsely chopped
  • 8 TSBP Unsalted Butter, diced and softened
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract

For Chocolate Streusel

  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 4 1/2 TSBP Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/3 Cup Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips

For the Syrup:

  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Water

Let’s Get Baking

Let’s start with the dough. Warm the milk in a small saucepan on the stove until it’s lukewarm. Remove from heat, and add in the yeast + pinch of sugar and let bloom for about 5-10 minutes.

Using a mixer with the dough hook [you can also do this by hand it just takes a bit more time] combine flour + 1/3 cup sugar + salt + vanilla + lemon zest + nutmeg and mix. Slowly add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients along with the eggs. Beat until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

Add in half of the butter and beat until the dough is smooth, add in the rest of the butter and wait until the dough is smooth and stretchy about 5-7 minutes. Add in 1 TBSP of flour if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Butter a large bowl and form the dough into a ball. Roll the dough around in the buttered bowl so all sides are buttered. Cover with clean dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours.

Press the dough down and recover, let rise in the friedge over night.

Onto the filling: Combine the sugar + cream + salt in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Add in the chocolate + butter + vanilla stirring until the chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. This can be made up to a week beforehand.

Onto the streusel: stir together flour + sugar + cocoa powder + salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter until it is distributed and the streusel forms large crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. This can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

To make the syrup: combine sugar & water into a small saucepan. Simmer over MED heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Butter 2 9-inch loaf pans and line with parchment paper

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it in half. On a floured surface, roll one piece into a 9×17 inch rectangle. Spread with half the filling all over. Starting with the long side, roll up into a tight roll, transfer to a dish towel, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Do the same with the other piece of dough.

After the 10 minutes, slice the rolls length-wise in half and twist the halves together as you were braiding them. Fold the braid in half and place it in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with the other dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise in the fridge overnight.

When it’s finally the day to bake remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temp. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Using your hands, clump the streusel together and scatter along the bread. Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean with no dough.

As soon as the bread comes out, pierce it with a knife going all the way down to the bottom of the bread. Pour over the syrup. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before serving.

Serve and share with family and friends.
Baked with Love,

Hannah