A picnic classic that just about everyone has their own version of. It’s the perfect meal to pair with warm weather and a crisp white wine. Make this as a bunch, or single serving, and serve on your choice of bread. I like croissants, but that’s just me.
1 Granny Smith Apple, diced into bite-sized pieces
1 Rotisserie Chicken, both white and dark meat shredded [save bones to make broth]
1/4 Cup Craisins, finely diced
1/4 Cup Celery, finely diced
3 TBSP Olive Oil Mayo [to start, add more if needed]
1 TBSP Dill
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
Start off by taking all the meat off the chicken, shredding it along the way. If you’d like save the bones to make stock.
Dice the apple + celery + craisins and add in with the chicken.
Add in the mayo, stirring to make sure it is well incorporated.
Add in the dill + salt + pepper and mix. If needed add extra mayo now.
Now you have chicken salad!
Serve on a croissant, with crackers, I love it with potato chips as well.
Salt and vinegar potato chips are my absolute favorite. I tend to eat them until my mouth is completely destroyed. I’ve been into smashed potatoes lately, crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. I figured making salt and vinegar smashed potatoes is like being able to eat potato chips for dinner. This is my own creation from messing around in the kitchen and I wanted to maximize the vinegar flavor, that’s why I used 3 different. To get the best flavor, I feel that you at least need the white vinegar and the apple cider vinegar.
4-5 Dashes of Red Wine Vinegar
1 TSP + 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar [ACV]
5-6 Small Yukon Gold Potatoes
Let’s Get Cooking
Dig through your yukons and pick out a few of the smaller ones. Boil water, enough to cover the potatoes. Heavily salt the water and add in the red wine vinegar + 1 TSP of white vinegar.
Once boiling, add in the potatoes and boil for about 15-20, until they can be pierced with a fork but do not immediately slide off, you don’t want them all the way cooked or they won’t smash well.
Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with foil. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them and place on the foil. Lightly smash the potatoes with the back of a fork. Brush the potatoes with 1/4 Cup of ACV, making sure you’re saturating the potato. Bake for about 10 minutes then pour over the white vinegar and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the edges have browned and get crispy.
COVID is slowing down, vaccines are making their way to the general population, which means it’s time to get back to restaurants in-person. Take away was a great adaptation to the circumstances that we were in, but it’s not the same as dining in person. I’ve been slowly making my way through my Yelp ‘EATS‘ list, here are a few of my favs I’ve visited in Cleveland, OH.
Thyme Table is a small restaurant located in Bay Village, OHIO. The restaurant is cozily decorated and provides a perfect vibe for you to sit down with your friends and family and enjoy a delicious meal. I visited to have dinner with family and friends for my 25th birthday. I made a reservation easily though the RESY app and everything was smooth sailing. The menu was small, which I personally love, it means that there are few meals that are all made excellently. We started with asking the server her preference on wine based on our taste, and she was able to pick out two bottles, one dry and one sweet red that were delicious. We started out with chips and dip and the lobster tots. They were both so delicious, I could have put the onion dip on everything. For meals there was something for everyone, burgers, chicken sandwiches, pasta, and short ribs. Picky eaters are definitely welcome. The general manager came to check on us after the meal was over. It appeared to me that he was genuinely interested in how the meal and our experience was, which I appreciated. I would return for sure!
Avo Modern Mexican
One of the newer restaurants in Ohio City that a lot of people are talking about is, Avo Modern Mexican. I’ve gone twice now and I would make it a regular spot if I lived closer. When I returned the second time I server recognized our party, which makes you feel welcome. You have multiple different choices of guac, salsa, and margaritas that allows you to switch it up every time you visit. I also recommend the fundido, it is so cheesy and warm and delicious, you just have to order it. I recommend this place when you want to hang out with some friends and stay awhile. It does fill up though, so I recommend placing a reservation through their website or arriving before the dinner rush.
We all love brunch don’t we? If you are looking for another great lunch spot close to Ohio City, look no further than Heck’s Cafe. Stopped by to do some homework and grab some brunch, only to be completely charmed by the cinnamon coffee and the AM fries. I could write a book on how much I love these AM fries it is unhealthy. They are french fries, covered in a blue cheese sauce, topped with sunny-side up eggs. It should be known that I HATE blue cheese, I despise it. BUT THESE FRIES, OMG. The blue cheese adds this tang that is needed and just brings the whole thing together. I had the crab cake Benedict which was delicious as well. Everything was cooked so perfectly, it would be a crime not to return.
I love trying out new restaurants and cuisines, so share some of your fav CLE restaurants!
After taking a week [or two] off for my birthday we are back with some new recipes! This recipe is from Half Baked Harvestwho if you don’t know about, you’re missing out on some amazing recipes. I will say, be prepared, this recipe packs some heat, so be careful and maybe don’t make the mistake in taking this to work for lunch like I did.
2 lbs Chicken breast/thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 Cups Plain Greek Yogurt
6 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 TBSP Ginger
2 TSP + 1 TBSP Garam Masala
2 TSP Cumin
1 TSP Turmeric
1-2 TSP Cayenne
Salt + Pepper
2 TBSP Olive Oil
4 TBSP Salted Butter
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
1-2 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Cup Tomato Paste
1 14oz Can Full Fat Coconut milk/ 1 Cup Cream
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
Let’s Get Cooking
Toss together chicken + yogurt + 3 garlic cloves + 1 TBSP ginger + 2 TSP garam masala + 1 TSP cumin + 1/2 TSP turmeric + 1 TSP cayenne + 1 TSP salt in a large bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes. I let mine sit for about 2 hours in the fridge.
Heat your oil in a large skillet over MED-HIGH heat. Add in the chicken and any of the remaining paste and sear on all sides, about 2-4 min each side. The chicken will finish cooking in the sauce. Add in 1 TBSP of butter and toss to coat the chicken. Remove the chicken from the skillet.
In the same skillet add in the onion and cook until softened. Add in 2 TBSP butter + 3 garlic cloves + 1 TBSP ginger + 1 TBSP garam masala + 1 TSP cumin + 1/2 TSP turmeric + 1/2 TSP cayenne + pinch of chili flakes + salt + pepper. Cook until you begin to smell all the spices, it will take over the kitchen. Add in the tomato paste and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add 1 cup water + coconut milk. Stir to combine, making sure the tomato paste is fully incorporated. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add in 1 TBSP of butter. Add in the chicken and cook until the chicken is finished cooking, about 5 minutes. Stir here and there.
Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Serve with rice and naan.
Make sure you have a glass of water nearby, it has some spice, but won’t ruin your tongue.
We all love Claire Saffitz, right? High-key very happy she left Bon Appetit and the now madness that is that magazine. But that’s besides the point. I got her book Dessert Person for Christmas and finally got around to making one of her recipes. I decided to go with the Focaccia, it’s so crispy and warm and soft on the inside, UGH. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t stand in front of the oven and try and eat it when it was still incredibly hot. It’s recommended that you have a stand mixer for this, I do not have one in my little apartment and it still turned out good; just have a strong arm on stand-by. Eat this on it’s own, slice in half for sandwich bread, do whatever you want with it really I don’t care, just enjoy it.
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
6 Cups/780g Bread Flour
2 TBSP/17g Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup/110g Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1/4 Cup for topping and for oiling hands
First we are going to dissolve the yeast. In a small sauce pan, warm 1/2 cup water over low heat, just until it’s lukewarm, about 105F. Pour the water into the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk in the yeast to dissolve. Set this aside until the mixture is cloudy and slightly puffed, will take about 5 minutes.
Add 2 1/2 cups [567g] room-temp water to the yeast mixture + add in the flour and kosher salt. Using the dough hook, mix on the lowest speed until a loose dough comes together, for about a minute. Then increase the speed to med-high and mix until the dough is smooth and wrapping around the hook, about 5 minutes. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Mix again on med-high speed, the dough should be smooth, elastic, and pulling away from the bowl, for about 10-15 minutes. ** THE DOUGH WILL BE STICKY**
In a separate bowl, pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a separate large bowl and coat. Scrape the dough into the bowl and coat the dough. Take a photo before covering so you can gauge the rise. Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.
While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings. For this recipe that involves crushing and chopping the garlic.
Drizzle 1/4 cup oil across a cookie sheet, coating the entire thing. With your oiled hands, slide your hand around either side of the dough and lift it out of the bowl. Let the dough weigh itself down back into the bowl. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat this process two more times. This allows the dough to rise more. Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet. Stretch the dough out in all directions, it’s not going to fully cover the pan yet, don’t stress. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.
Uncover and stretch the dough again so it fits all the sides of the sheet. Cover again and let rise in the fridge for 24 hours. OR you can let is sit for another 40-55 minutes before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 450F, place two oven racks on the highest and lowest positions. Uncover the risen dough with oiled hands and with wide hands, press your finger tips into the dough making dimples across the surface.
Top the focaccia as wanted: I added 1/4 cup olive oil+ chopped garlic + salt.
Bake on the lower rack for about 20-25 minutes and then transfer to the top rack until it begins to brown for about 5 minutes. Pay attention to the color here.
Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes [hardest 10 minutes ever]. Scrape out with a spatula and let cool on a wire rack.
This moroccan chicken sheet pan from Family Style Food is the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The oranges paired with the red pepper flakes, the dates and the ginger, you can’t get much better than that. Pair with basmati rice and it’s a perfect meal for the week; I made it and took it to work all week long.
2 LBS Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
1/2 Red onion, thinly sliced
1 LB Carrots, cut into bite sized chunks
1 Orange/ 2 Tangerines, peeled and wedges cut in half
2 Garlic Cloves, Sliced
3 Green Onions, white and green part, sliced
2 Pitted Dates, finely chopped [I used pre-chopped dates from a bag]
2 TSP Ginger
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 TSP Cumin Seeds
2 TSP Coriander
2 TSP Cayenne
1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
Preheat the oven 450F and prep all the ingredients
Arrange the chicken on a large baking sheet. Add on the red onion + carrots + oranges + green onions + garlic, dates, and ginger. Pour over the olive oil then add on the cumin + coriander + salt + pepper + chili flakes.
Mix everything really well so the chicken is coated with the spices. Space out the chicken so it is in an even layer. Cook for about 22-25 minutes.
Squeeze the orange wedges or push them down with a spoon to release the judges. Mix well again and enjoy with rice!
Stuffed peppers are the perfect weeknight dinner. They are easy to make, they make a lot, and they are filling and satisfying. We are in that weird time with March weather, is it warm, is it cold, we really don’t know. So having warm stuffed peppers can revive that weather confusion. This recipe is from the Kitchen Prep.
4 Cubanelle Peppers, tops removed and seeded [or any pepper of your choice]
1 Small onion, diced
1 LB bulk Hot Italian Sausage, removed from casing
4 Garlic Cloves, mashed and minced
1 14oz Crushed Tomatoes
6 oz Chicken Stock
1/4 Cup Chopped Basil OR 1 TBSP Dried Basil
1 Cup Pre-cooked Rice
1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/4 TSP Cayenne
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
Heat the oven to 400F
Cook the rice per box/bag instructions
Remove the casing from the sausage, do this by slicing with a knife the casing and pulling it off.
Saute the onions + sausage on high for about 5 minutes in a large pan. Once the meat is browned, add in the garlic and saute until fragrant.
Add to the pan crushed tomatoes + chicken stock + fresh/dried basil. Let cook down until thickened.
Pour mixture into a large bowl with rice + cayenne + mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine and add salt + pepper.
Stuff the peppers and place left over filling into the casserole dish. Place stuffed peppers on top of the extra filling and cover with foil. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
Beef stroganoff is the perfect transition recipe. It’s good for fall to winter and winter to spring. It’s still cold outside and I don’t know about you, but I want something that is going to warm me up. This is my new favorite Beef Stroganoff recipe, the meat is fall apart, not chewy like it can be sometimes. The key is getting chuck or bottom round beef, instead of stew meat! The recipe is from the Kitchn, it does utilize a slow cooker, but you can always cook this low and slow on the stove.
2 LBS Chuck or bottom round beef, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 TSP Salt
1 TSP Black Pepper
8 oz Cremini mushrooms [or whatever you can find], sliced
1 Small Yellow onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 1/4 Cup Low-Sodium Beef Broth
2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
8 oz Egg Noodles
2 TBSP Unsalted butter, melted
1 Cup Sour Cream
Let’s Get Cooking
Place the beef + flour + salt + pepper in a large bowl and toss until the beef is coated. Transfer the beef and any left over flour into the slow cooker. Add in the mushrooms + onion + beef broth + garlic + Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high.
30 Minutes before the meat is done, cook the egg noodles and toss with butter once cooked. Once the meat is done, little by little stir in the sour cream to the stroganoff. Serve with the buttered noodles and enjoy!
Sandwiches are the perfect lunch meal. You get a just about everything you need; bread, meat, and veggies. I recently made some focaccia
and decided that a sandwich for lunch was just what I needed. Inspiration taken from a caprese salad, swapping out basil for spinach for our greens.
2 slices of Sandwich bread of your choosing – I used focaccia
1 Chicken Thigh
1 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
1 TBSP Oil, canola/vegetable
1 TSP Balsamic
1 TSP Garlic Powder
1 Tomato, sliced
Handful of Spinach
1/4 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
Salt + Pepper
Let’s Get Cooking
In a pan, heat the oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the chicken thigh. Season both sides with Red pepper + Garlic + Salt + Pepper and pour over the balsamic. Cook about 9 minutes each side, leaving the chicken alone so the skin gets crispy. Once fully cooked, set aside.
Toast the sandwich bread that you are choosing to use. On the top slice, add on the mozzarella cheese. On the bottom slice place spinach then tomato slices. As the chicken is cooled, slice length wise and place over the tomato. Finish off the sandwich, cut in half, and enjoy!
When it’s cold outside, you don’t crave a salad, you crave something that will warm you from the inside out. Chicken Paprikash is the perfect meal for just that. Mildly spicy, perfectly flavorful, and filling, Chicken Paprikash will warm you up and rid you of the February blues. This recipe comes from The Mom 100.
4 LBS Chicken Thighs, skin on
1+1/4 TBSP Canola oil
2 Large Onions, halved, thinly sliced as half moons
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 TBSP Flour
2 TBSP Paprika
2 Bay Leaves
1 14oz can Crushed Tomatoes
2 Cups Chicken Broth
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
1 12oz Bag Egg Noodles
Let’s Get Cooking
Heat the oil in a large, deep heavy skillet over med-high heat. Season the chicken with salt + pepper
Add the chicken into the pan of hot oil, skin side down. Cook for 8 minutes and then flip for another 8 minutes [the chicken won’t be fully cooked yet]. Once done, remove to a separate plate.
Remove about 1 TBSP of any fat that is collected in the pan [my chicken did not have a lot of fat so I skipped this]. Add the onion to the pan, on med heat. Saute the onions for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften and brown. Add in garlic and saute for another minute. Add in flour + paprika and stir to incorporate. Add in the bay leaves + tomatoes + chicken broth, stir and bring up to a simmer. Add in the chicken, skin side up, and cook for about 20 minutes.
Cook the egg noodles according to the package.
Following the 20 minutes, remove the chicken and bay leaves and slowly stir in the sour cream.
Plate the chicken over the egg noodles and pour the sauce over top.