Friday, July 29, 2011

Cheesy Chicken & Peppers Sandwich


We were both hungry for dinner, but neither of us had a concise idea for what to prepare. Chicken sounded good. It always does. So I defrosted a few small boneless chicken tenderloins. We had lots of fresh peppers in the fridge and a new-to-us type of cheese--white cheddar. At first I was thinking "patty melt," but quickly decided I didn't want to be that unhealthy. Toasting the buns provided a perfect crispness, reminiscent of the grilled sandwich, but without the butter.

This sandwich hit it out of the park! We were both totally in love with the meal, made complete with a heaping side of broccoli.

Cheesy Chicken & Peppers Sandwich 
Serves 2

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
garlic powder
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly 
1/4 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
1/4 jalapeno pepper, sliced thinly 
2 slices white cheddar cheese
2 hamburger buns (I recommend these OR your favorite.)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle with canola oil. 

Slice the chicken breast in half width-wise (butterfly style) and pound out to even thickness. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add to hot pan. Cook 3-4 minutes, turn. Add peppers and onion to the pan. Cook chicken and peppers 3-4 minutes. Add white cheddar cheese slices to the top of chicken. Cover pan to melt cheese. 

Toast hamburger buns. Place cheesy chicken breast atop bun and arrange half of the peppers and onions on top. Repeat for second sandwich. 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Peanut Butter S'mores

You may have noticed one of those S'mores was not like the other. If you didn't, here's an upclose encounter with the best addition the s'more has ever seen. PEANUT BUTTER. 


Graham crackers with peanut butter is one of my favorite snacks. 
Chocolate and peanut butter is my all-time favorite combination

Thus, spreading peanut butter on my graham cracker, topping with chocolate and a roasted marshmallow results in true love

On our camping trip, Katie (one of our teens) and I decided to come up with new s'more taste treats. We slathered on that peanut butter and fell in love. We did, however, agree that the peanut butter should only be spread on one of the two s'more graham cracker halves. Surprisingly, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. :)

So make your family a batch of indoor s'mores and don't forget some peanut butter! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mango, Avocado, Black Bean Salsa


For a unique salsa with the freshest, most exotic ingredients, this is your recipe. The flavors meld beautifully and it looks just as stunning as it tastes. A quick and easy appetizer, snack, or side dish. OR if you're Kevin and me--a complete lunch using Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips. :)

Mango, Avocado, Black Bean Salsa
Make 3-4 cups salsa

1 large ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 
Juice of 1/2 lime

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve with tortilla chips--the hint of lime version are totally amazing with this salsa. For best flavor, serve cold, within 12 hours of making. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Eggplant, Sausage and Peppers {Italian Style}


In my refrigerator sat a beautiful eggplant, just asking to be eaten. I don't always never know how I'm going to use an eggplant when I buy it. For some reason it's one of the more unique vegetables (although I'm fairly certain it's a fruit) and doesn't naturally lend itself to versatility. But maybe that's because I never experienced eggplant before the last few years. 

I was missing out. Aside from the potential potent bitterness if not prepared correctly, this lovely piece produce is perfect for sandwiches, Italian dinners, and soups. I also look forward to making a dip with a future eggplant. ;)   


This particular dinner is simple to prepare, but allow yourself about 45 minutes of time before dinner to give everything time to saute then bake. Bubbling with cheese, overflowing with nutritious eggplant, and with an added flavor bonus of sausage, this meal was a HUGE success in our house. I had seconds

Eggplant, Sausage and Peppers {Italian Style}
Serves 3

1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 fully-cooked sausage links, sliced
1/2-1 cup pasta sauce 
1/4-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
canola oil

Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and place in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Remove and pat dry. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle with canola oil. Working in batches, arrange eggplant slices in the pan, sprinkle with pepper, and cook 5 minutes on each side. Cook the next batch of eggplant and add peppers, onions, garlic, and sausage to the pan to saute for 5 minutes. 

Stir in pasta sauce and all of the cooked eggplant in the skillet. Arrange in the bottom of a greased 9x9 inch pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Indoor S'mores


Whenever we go camping, s'mores are the top of my priority list. Packing those 3 tasty ingredients is one thing I have never forgotten to do. My husband and I like to compete over who roasts the better marshmallow. The best part? I get to eat all of the results! Score

We returned home from our week+ long camping trip with teenagers last Wednesday (and yes, we're still recovering) and with piles of leftover s'mores ingredients I knew I had the perfect youth group treat. (Hence the large number this recipe yields.) I had no desire to start a fire in the 99 degree heat we've been having, but I didn't mind using my oven. (Thank God for air conditioning.) 


I've made s'mores in the microwave before when I'm experiencing campfire-withdrawal, but this broiled version is FAR superior. In 10 minutes time you have yourself a perfect treat. Your kids will love you for it. And I promise I won't tell if you sneak seconds (or thirds.)

Indoor S'mores
Makes 20 s'mores. I won't say how many that serves. :) 

20 whole graham crackers
5 whole Hershey's chocolate bars
20 large marshmallows 

Preheat oven to the low broil setting. 

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Break the graham crackers in half and arrange 20 squares on the cookie sheet. Break the chocolate bars into fourths, and place one fourth on each graham cracker. Top with a single marshmallow. 

Broil on low for 5 minutes. Remove when marshmallows are puffy and golden brown. Top with remaining graham cracker halves. Serve. Eat s'more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mango Nectarine Sorbet


On a scorching hot day, I was craving something sweet and something very cold. Ice cream was the obvious choice, but with no heavy cream in the refrigerator, I started looking for other options. There was a fresh mango on my counter--not quite enough for sorbet. But there was a drawer full of nectarines as well. Combine the two and VOILA! Delicious--mostly nutritious--dessert! 

Mango Nectarine Sorbet
Makes 1 quart 

2 medium nectarines, peeled and sliced
1 large mango, peeled and sliced
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
4 tsp lime juice

Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture until thoroughly chilled. Turn on the ice cream maker and pour ingredients into the bowl. Churn 25-30 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. For a firmer sorbet, freeze for 2-4 hours. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Salsa Chicken & Rice


This dinner idea came to mind when I saw the beautiful yellow pepper in my refrigerator and a pantry overflowing with salsa. It came together within minutes and filled us up with a nutritious meal. This is a go-to!

Salsa Chicken & Rice
Serves 4

8 boneless chicken tenderloins
1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 cups salsa
4 cups cooked brown rice 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Coat a 7x11 or 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange chicken, peppers, onions, and garlic in the pan and cover with salsa. 

Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and peppers are softened. Serve atop rice. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Candy Bar Cookies


I wanted to make cookies to thank our awesome neighbors for taking care of our cats every time we leave town. It's a blessing to know we're leaving our animals in such good hands. As I started brainstorming cookie ideas, I spotted the Snickers Bar staring at me from the refrigerator door. Hmm. Snickers in cookies would be good, right? But how do I keep the peanut-y, caramel-ness going throughout the cookie with just one candy bar. Then I remembered the bag of Rolos I had AND the jar of salted peanuts. Perfect!

Combining all the wonderful ingredients of so many candy bars--chocolate, nuts, and caramel--I created the Candy Bar Cookie. They're just as amazing as they sound. :)

Candy Bar Cookies
recipe by
Makes 3 dozen cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 cup chopped Snickers bar (1 large bar)
1/2 cup chopped Rolos (10 Rolos)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar and sugar. Mix in vanilla and eggs until combined. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Stir in nuts, Snickers, Rolos, and chocolate chips. 

Drop by tablespoonful onto a large cookie sheet (preferably lined with a silicone baking mat to keep caramel from sticking.) Bake 9-11 minutes or until edges and tops of cookies are just golden. Let rest on the cookie sheet 2 or 3 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ice Creams: Revisited

July is National Ice Cream Month, and I find it only fitting to reminisce (and MAKE and EAT) some of these delicious Adorkable ice cream recipes. Bon appetit! 





Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream. sadly no picture. but still just as delicious.


STP63818 (1)


*Please excuse some of the not-very-awesome photos. I've learned a lot in the past couple of years, and I look forward to making each of these treats again and re-photographing them. :)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pico de Gallo {Fresh Salsa}


We're smack dab in the middle of homegrown tomato season, and I would highly encourage you to make your own salsa. Fresh salsa from fresh tomatoes, fresh jalapenos, fresh onions, fresh garlic, fresh cilantro, and fresh lime juice is on a level of un-paralled awesomeness

So bust out your food processor (or get REALLY good at finely chopping), and eat your heart out! 

Pico de Gallo {Fresh Salsa}
Makes 24 oz (1 jar) 

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic, paper removed
1 handful cilantro, large stems removed*
5-6 vine ripened tomatoes
1/2 tsp cumin
juice of 1 lime 

*I have not bought cilantro the past few times I've made this salsa, and it's still delicious!

Combine jalapeno, onion and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add in cilantro. Pulse. Add tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. 

Pour into serving bowl or store in a cleaned store-bought-salsa jar. 

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Sausage, Peppers & Potatoes (Slow Cooker)


In search a a perfect quick and delicious after-church meal, I came up with this tasty combination. Potatoes, sausage and peppers (with onions and garlic of course!) is one of our favorite combinations. Traditionally I cook up the trio in a large skillet. In the name of efficiency, I opted to give the crockpot a chance to shine. 

Boy, are we glad I did! This was SO fast and SO tasty. Double the recipe and feed your family with this recipe today!  

Sausage, Peppers & Potatoes (Slow Cooker)
serves 2-3

2 fully cooked sausages
3 small red potatoes, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp basil 
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients into a 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on high 3-4 hours, or on low 5-6 hours.