Feta & Bacon Stuffed Chicken & Watermelon-Feta Arugula Salad

Well, Hello there.

It’s been a while, I know. That is what happens when I go to school, but on the brightside- I am HALF done my 5 year degree! Whoot whoot.

Since I haven’t blogged in forever, I thought I’d start back up again with an absolutely mouthwatering meal. Even thinking about it makes me hungry (& I just ate!)

One of the best things about this meal is that both parts, the chicken and the salad, use Feta so the block doesn’t sit in your fridge for a few months before you’re like “Oh crap! I forgot about the feta!” I served the feta in one block on top of the salad because that is how feta came on top of the Greek Salads in Greece, but feel free to crumble it.

 

The chicken is supossed to be stuffed, but my chicken breasts weren’t thick enough so I pounded them out some more and rolled the stuffing into them Cordon Blue style (Is it Blue or Bleu??)… anyway, they were delicious… messy to prepare, but yummy.

Before going to Greece I did not like feta at all. But with it being everywhere I had to eat it, and now I love it.

How to make it? If you really want to know…

Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken with Onion Mashed Potatoes

Prep Time: 30 Min | Cook Time: 35 Min | Servings: 3 chicken breasts | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/8 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet onion (such as Vidalia®), chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned but still soft. Reserve the bacon grease in the skillet, and cool the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, mix the bacon together with the feta cheese, 3 tablespoons of sour cream, oregano, and black pepper in a small bowl; set aside.

 

Lay a chicken breast flat onto your work surface. Use the tip of a sharp boning or paring knife to cut a 2-inch pocket in the chicken breast. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Spoon the bacon mixture into the pockets. Pour the flour, egg, and bread crumbs into separate, shallow dishes. Gently press the chicken breasts into the flour to coat. Dip each into the beaten egg, then press into bread crumbs.

 

Reheat the bacon grease over medium heat. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides in the hot fat, about 2 minutes per side. Reserve the bacon grease in the pan. Place the breasts on a baking dish, and bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is no longer pink and the filling is hot, 20 to 25 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

 

Meanwhile, place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.

 

While the potatoes are boiling, cook the onion in the remaining bacon grease over medium heat until very tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are done, mash together with the onion, butter, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sour cream. Serve the chicken breasts accompanied by the mashed potatoes.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 1498 | Total Fat: 84.2g | Cholesterol: 360mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Feta-and-Bacon-Stuffed-Chicken-with-Onion-Mashed-Potatoes/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=58580727&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2011-05-09&prop28=DailyRecipe&prop29=FullRecipePhoto&me=1

 

You may have noticed that the recipe has a side dish with it… I just ignored that. This time. I’ll probably try it with the chicken next time… Maybe next week actually.

Instead of those potatoes I made a salad. A delicious salad. Who does not love watermelon? I think in my entire lifetime I have heard one person actually say “I don’t like watermelon,” and I didn’t know them, it was at work.

The first time I encountered a watermelon salad was at a restraunt in Sudbury called Ripe, and it was instant love. Move over Buttermilk Nectarine Salad, there’s a new guy in town. It is so SO so refreshing, I think about it sometimes, just ‘pop’ in my head when I’m hungry but watermelon and feta are, unfortunately, not items I keep on hand. Maybe I should.

The salad is supper easy to whip together, the thing that took me the longest was cutting the cucumber because I bought a normal cucumber and not a seedless one- but, if you buy the correct cucumber it would take only as long as it takes to chop up a watermelon (unless you bought it pre-sliced, which I do not advise because it is a money scheme).

Another, yes, another good thing about this salad is that the left over watermelon can be used for breakfast or lunch the next day, or for a nice refreshing after school snack for kids (or college/university students!!)

Watermelon & Feta Salad Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes | Servings: 4 Servings | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1⁄4 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-lb piece seedless watermelon
  • 1⁄2 seedless cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 3 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, lime juice, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add the onion and let sit, tossing occasionally, for 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, remove and discard the watermelon rind. Cut the watermelon into thin 2-in. pieces.

3. Add the watermelon, cucumber and arugula to the bowl of onions and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta.

Source: http://www.womansday.com/Recipes/Watermelon-Feta-Salad-Recipe.html

So simple. So yummy, with the chicken, a great meal!!!

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Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips & Cucumber Salad

These Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips are so very yummy and easy to make. And SO much healthier than the frozen chicken strip variety. I made them once when I visited my parents.

I really enjoy going home and making dinner for my family. It’s almost like going home and saying, “Hey look what I can do!!” Looking back now that I have been out of my parents house for nearly two years there are only a few meals that my mum would make that stand out to me Monster Brains (tortelini in a creamy cheese sauce), Curry, and a few others. My family ate very generic ‘family friendly’ meals and, don’t get me wrong I loved dinner, but I enjoy having different meals week after week and trying new meals.

So now, whenever I go home I make meals that are ‘family friendly’ with a twist. A meal we had often enough when I was younger was chicken strip wraps. Frozen Chicken strips, baked, and used as the protein in wraps for dinner.

So one week when I was visiting home, I made Pecan Crusted chicken strips. They were really good, so the other week I made them for Chris.

When I made them for my family, I served them with ‘bacon fries’ I.E. French fries that have been tossed in Bacon Salt, which I saw in a food network magazine- Coarse salt mixed with crispy bacon that has been food processed to the same consistency as the salt.

When I made them for Chris I took a healthier approach to sides, and make Cucumber Salad. From Canadian Living.

These chicken strips are something I will make for my kids, when I have some, and when they think back to meals they had as kids they will remember Mum’s Pecan Crusted Chicken Strip wraps. But I won’t make then too too often, because I don’t like repeating recipes too often. I like making new things every week.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 14 mins | Servings: 6 serving | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin and cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup panko

Directions:

In shallow dish, whack together flour, 1 tsp chili powder, salt and pepper.

In Separate bowl, beat eggs.

In another shallow dish, place pecans, panko, and remaining chili powder.

One at a time, dip chicken strips into flour, then egg, then pecan mixture.

Bake on parchment paper lined baking sheet at 425 until golden and no longer pink inside, about 25 minutes.

 

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sesame oil, hot pepper flakes and salt. Add cucumber and mix until coated; set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve. Stir in green onion.

BBQ Pulled Chicken Lettuce Cups & Apple Crisp Cups

They look gross, they look really really gross. But they didn’t taste gross, and that’s what counts.

 

So, yeah. It looks a little unappetizing. But the flavour was so nice. I found this recipe while stumbling, only they were on buns as sliders, and I put the meat mixture on lettuce to make lettuce wraps- which is something I just do every now and then for a healthier take on certain meals.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it can be transformed easily into a SLOW COOKER recipe. I love slow cooker recipes, it’s so easy to put everything in the slowcooker on days that I know are going to be busier than usual, and this recipe converted easily.

 

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sliders

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Servings: 10-12 Sliders | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 4 Tablespoons worstershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and stir in shredded chicken. Let simmer

Notes:

Add a chipotle pepper in adobe sauce, minced, to make chipotle pulled chicken sandwiches

Source: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2kXE13/picky-palate.com/2008/09/04/slide-on-over

To make this a slow cooker recipe just put all of the ingredients into a slow cooker, replacing the cooked chicken with frozen chicken breasts. Cook on low for about 6 hours. Take out chicken breasts, shred, and stir back into the slow cooker pot. Serve hot.

Chris and I dressed ours up with shredded cheese, ranch, and Franks hot sauce. Yumm Yumm.

 

After eating the ugly but yummy BBQ Chicken wraps, I made Apple Crisp Cups.

There isn’t much to be said about these, other than that my apartment is awful for getting butter the right temperature for making Crisp topping. My kitchen is way to hot to keep the butter out, but the frige is to cold so it solidifies. It’s a frustration I am forced to deal with and makes me want to go buy Apple Crisp instead of making it. But other than that, it is such an easy dessert to make. And making the Apple crisp into muffin tins makes portion control all too easy. Just pop one of these into the microwave for half a minute, then add some ice cream and enjoy.

 

Apple Crisp Cups

Prep Time: 45 Min | Cook Time: 20 Min | Servings: 4 dozen apple crisp cups | Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 3 large McIntosh apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 4 12-cup mini-muffin tins.

 

Mix apples, water, white sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon together in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer until apples are partially cooked, about 5 minutes; remove from heat.

 

Combine flour, oats, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl; cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Place a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into a mini muffin cup, and press it into the cup so that it covers the bottom and pushes up the sides of the cup. Make the crust go all the way to the top of the little muffin cup, and patch any holes with more crust mixture. There will be crust mixture left over. Place about 2 teaspoons of apple filling in the crust. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of the remaining crust mixture on the filling.

 

Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 109 | Total Fat: 6.1g | Cholesterol: 15mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Apple-Crisp-Cups/Detail.aspx

Buffalo Chicken Burgers

        Alright, so, what feels like forever ago Chris and I had Buffalo Chicken Burgers for dinner. We used pre-breaded chicken filet thingy’s from Janes and Dipped them in our favorite Hot Sauce. We didn’t invent the hot sauce, but we use it all the time.

How to make the hot sauce:

  • Butter
  • Hot Sauce, about 1.5X the amount of butter (We like it hot so we use a little more than that)
  • White Vinegar, just a splash

Melt butter, mix in hot sauce and white vinegar. Easy as pie.

It was a pretty easy main for dinner that night, so to dress it up a little I mixed together a Strawberry Spinach Salad with a homemade Poppyseed Dressing.

The poppyseed dressing was really yummy. Here is the recipe, I’m not sure where it comes from, I got it from Chris’s mom.

Poppyseed Dressing for Strawberry Spinach Salad:

  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp Onion, grated
  • 1/2 Tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Poppyseeds

Combine sugar & vinegar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add grated onions, mustard & salt. Whisk in oil until well blended, then stir in poppy seeds. Pour dressing in a jar, cover & refrigerate until ready to use. Add about 1/3 dressing to salad. Excellent when chilled for about an hour.

The Salad was great and light on the side of the spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers.

Greek Food!

Food from my trip to Greece ❤

There are a lot of pictures in this post, about 30… yeah, it took forever to upload. This is not everything I ate, just an idea. The greek food I had while Island hoping in Greece was DELICIOUS!! (After about a week of nothing but Greek food, I did crave food that was more normal to my usual diet, but still… delicious)

 

So, this is the first thing I had in Greece, a smoothie at the airport. The problem was that neither Chris nor I could figure out the other flavours, so we had to get the one with the picture on the front 🙂

Alright, well, fresh squeezed orange juice. Yummy, yummy yummy. It is also EXPENSIVE. The waiter asked if I wanted Orange Juice with my breakfast so I said yes, and he brought fresh OJ… then when the chit came, it was €5. €5!! That’s about $8 for a glass of juice!! A glass of wine was €5 and I paid the same for a glass of OJ. Let’s just say, I did not make that mistake again, and will not fall for it in future trips.

The first of many crepes. I never knew that the Greek’s LOVED Nutella so much. I mean, it was everywhere. I had a lot of crepe over the two weeks I was in Greece for.

A traditional greek salad. This was Chris’s. I do not like tomato or olives… or in this one’s case, capers. So, whenever I had a greek salad while we were there I shared it with Chris (and left him all the tomatoes)!

When Chris had that greek salad, I had this fruit salad ^^. How adorable right? I was not ecpecting this fancy deliciousness when I ordered a fruit salad, it was a nice surprise. And so refreshing on the beach.

Alright, so this is a hot dog… just a normal old hot dog in bun with ketchup and mustard. But, instead of slicing the bun open, they stick it on a metal pole kind of thing then squirt the ketchup and mustard in, then slide the hot dog in. I have NEVER seen hot dogs made this way, I think it is so cool! No ketchup sloping onto your clothing, it is next level hot dog skills.

Chris’s Greek Omelette- all the fixings of a greek salad in breakfast form.

Turkey Sammig. Yupp, not much more I can say about that.

 

Fresh made Baklava from a tiny little shop in Mykonos. We enjoyed this sitting at a little table outside the shop, while the shop dog watched us eat. Apparently dogs wandering around is normal for Greece, I felt kinda bad for the little guy.

More crepe, yummynummynummnumm.

Gyros Pizza. Pizza with gyros meat on it. Oh, I did have regular Gyros but I forgot to upload pictures of them.

Chris had a full breakfast, eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, tomato. The sausage was a little different than the sausages we usually have, but it was good.

Gyros Meat- at first I found this very cool and intriguing. By the end of the trip, however, I couldn’t look at these because I was so grossed out by the fat seeping down the meat. Blah.

Sauce for bread with dinner- I am not sure what it’s called but it’s made wit hcaviar and is the same colour as Pepto Bismol. This night was not a good night for me, it was our first night in Santorini and had a late dinner with the group, and we went to a balcony style restraunt (which most restraunts are in Santorini) and not being able to see in front of me because it was dark out and there was nothing in front of us (just sky and sea) but blackness, which made me feel sick to my stomach. But Chris had a good dinner.

The next night Chris and I went for a sunset dinner along the Caldera, since it was lighter out I felt a lot better. This was our appetizer, Saganaki. Saganaki ended up being my favorite food on the trip.

For our romantic dinner ,Chris had a chicken dish with a cream and mushroom sauce. Very very yummy.

I had Carbonara- for some reason I craved pasta for pretty much the entire trip.

And for dessert Creme Brulee. My favorite dessert, watching the sunset in beautiful Santorini, with my handsome man… Yepp, pretty good life just then.

Toast- a sandwich which has been toasted, like a griled cheese with extra fillings.

A Super Burger. A really long bun with a hamburger sliced in half and placed along it, regular burger toppings, bacon, and egg. Chris was expecting a fried egg on it (as was I) and when it came it was a hard boiled egg sliced up. Kind of a disapointment, but oh well- apparently it was still enjoyable.

More crepes 🙂

And more….

And another crepe.

 

And Chris and a waffle, instead of a crepe. The reason we went to the crepe place so much was because they had one of the best internet connections of the trip 🙂 and you could go on for as long as you wanted while at the restraunt.

Alright, well, booberella I know, But the picture is supossed to be about the chip bag. Greek Salt and Vinegar.

I told you the Greeks love their Nutella. So do I though, so I loved every second of it.

MCDONALDS! Thank goodness. I really needed some food I knew and loved. In Greece they put the drinks in the bag with the food- SO COOL!

And Finally- a menu in all greek. It wasn’t until we got to Loutsa that we got a menu that was in Greek. There had been greek on all the menus we had, but this one had no English, it was pretty cool… But I had no idea how to order, teehee.

 

Alright, well, that is some of the food from Chris and I’s trip to Greece. We had a great time travelling through Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, and Loutsa/Athens… and I definatly want to go back to Greece, mostly Santorini again in the future, but first I have a bunch of other places to check off before heading back. 🙂

 

 

June Cooking

 

Okay. I suck at blogging. Hopefully now that my trip is out of the way I can catch up and get back to normal. But, this post is not about my trip (which was AWESOME), that will come later.

This post is about all the meals I made in June so that I can catch up a bit.

 

So this ^^ is a low fat Alfredo dish that I got from a Food Network magazine, google it. I didn’t like it very much, it was too thick and pasty in my mouth, but that can be easily fixed… If I make it again I will add some more liquid to make it a bit creamier.

Turkey Quinoa Chili, I think I have posted about this before. It’s SO SO yummy. I hate beans so I eat around them, but other than that, I love this chili- such a rich flavour.

Curry Beef Stir-Fry.. I did NOT like it… at all! I think I might have done something wrong, but I can’t figure out what. It was bland, just gross. I got the recipe from Canadian Living, which usually means it will be delicious, but this one just didn’t work for me.

Darth Taters. Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry. Anything from that book it bound to be good. Chris’s Aunt made these when we went to dinner May long weekend… and we fell in love with them so when we had company we made them.

To go with the Darth Taters, we made Katie Lee’s Logan County Hamburgers: Think grilled cheese making the woo-hoo with hamburgers. Yepp, that good.

These did not work. They were on my list of things to do this summer, and they did not work 😦
They are supossed to be Turtle Feudge Chocolate Chip cookies… but they are smushy mud puddle cookies. As Chris just referred to them: “The Suck Cookies”

Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps, from 200 under 200. Love that cookbook. Healthy version of Fajitas, how can you not love them. Cucumber Salad from Canadian Living, restored faith in the fact that Canadian Living does not indeed suck ass.

Teriyaki Pork Chops, I made the sauce myself 🙂 Got the recipe from Healthy College Cookbook.

Yummynummy.

Superby Herby Sauce Exposed Pizza’s from 200 under 200. A light dinner for a hot day 🙂 Served with Raspberry Poppyseed Salad.

Sweet Chili Thai Chicken…. Just chicken breasts covered and cooked in a sweet chili thai sauce. Easy, Quick, Yummy…. nummy.

 

 

Oh thank goodness that is all out of the way. Now, I can go make todays dinner 🙂 ❤

Chicken with Cocout-Lime Peanut Sauce

This recipe was on my list of things to do this summer. Mine doesn’t look as good as the photo on the blog I found it on: Family Fresh Cooking: http://www.familyfreshcooking.com/2011/02/03/chicken-with-coconut-lime-peanut-sauce-recipe/

My sauce looks thicker and darker, and I didn’t put Asparagus into it because Chris doesn’t like asparagus.

The flavour of this dish is fantastic! It’s a definate ‘make-again’ my only concern about it is that it had a rather pasty texture to it, next time I would play around to try and fix that.

Chris and I enjoyed this dish while watching Due Date, which is a pretty funny movie I gotta say.

The sauce is easy to make, it’s an upgraded peanut sauce using lime and coconut milk. I used the extra coconut milk to make my rice, which is a nice touch (I usually do this when I make curry’s).

I think the recipe would have been better with the asparagus that it calls for, but it wasn’t bad without it so I can’t complain.