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One Pot Cajun Chicken & Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Damn.
Long time since I have been here.

So sorry.

I’ve been mentally exhausted these last few weeks. At this moment in time I cannot elaborate but I will come end of the year.

Meanwhile here is an AWESOME recipe that is killer!!!!
A keeper for sure!

One Pot Cajun Chicken & Sausage Alfredo Pasta

Ingredients

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 pound of chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
14 oz smoked sausage, sliced on the diagonal
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart of low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1 pound of dried penne pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning plus more for topping
4 oz of freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup of Italian flat leaf parsley, minced

Directions

Start with a large covered cooking pot.

Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in olive oil over medium high heat.

Add sausage and continue to cook until lightly browned.

Stir in garlic and cook for for about two minutes.

Add chicken broth, heavy cream, dried pasta and cajun seasoning to pot.

Stir together and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.

Reduce heat to low and let cook covered for 15-20 minutes, or until pasta is tender.

Remove pot from heat and stir in parmesan cheese.

Stir in chopped parsley and sprinkle with additional cajun seasoning to taste.

Enjoy!!!!

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Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork

Every time I try a new pulled pork recipe I think I have found the ultimate recipe.
Not so!

In reading the recipe I was skeptical of the honey/balsamic mixture…there is a lot of balsamic vinegar in this glaze.
But I decided to try it anyway.
And I’m glad I did!

It was hands down a family favorite and on my make again list!

To make it over the top don’t forget to make the Mustard Slaw to go with it!

Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork

Ingredients

2-3 lbs. Boneless Pork Roast
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/4 Water
1 c Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 c Ketchup
1/3 c Brown Sugar
1/3 c Honey
1 Tbl. Worcesershire Sause
1 1/2 tsp. Seasoned Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Garlic Powder

Directions

Place pork roast in the bottom of your slow cooker. In a medium bowl, whisk together water, seasoned salt and garlic powder. Pour mixture over pork.

Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours (or on high for 4-5).

In the last 30 minutes of cooking, combine minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce and onion powder in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk everything together, then bring to a boil.

Cook for 15 minutes, or until thickened and able to coat the back of a spoon.

Once desired doneness is reached, remove pork from slow cooker and shred with 2 forks. Drain cooking liquids from and return pork to slow cooker, then stir in 1/2 honey balsamic sauce.
Serve, garnished with extra sauce, with burger buns.

Enjoy!

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Outstanding!!!
Yes these are THAT good!
The chicken is a bit spicy however the dressing cools it down perfectly!

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

First you need to make the buffalo chicken.

Buffalo Chicken
Ingredients

2-3 chicken breasts (approx. 1 pound), pounded thin
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Buffalo Marinade
1/4 cup Frank’s Hot WINGS Sauce for more heat OR Frank’s ORIGINAL Hot Sauce for less heat
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Buffalo Glaze
Reserved marinade (in directions)
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice

Directions

Whisk together all of the Buffalo Marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Measure out 1/4 cup and add to a shallow dish or freezer bag, along with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chicken and toss evenly to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 hours up to overnight.
To the remaining marinade, make your Buffalo Glaze by whisking in 1 tablespoon honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
STOVETOP DIRECTIONS
Let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting).
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned (or blackened if you prefer) on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Brush chicken with desired amount of glaze – for more heat, more glaze; for less heat, less glaze.
GRILLING DIRECTIONS
Let chicken sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes (time permitting).
Meanwhile, grease and preheat the grill to medium heat, 375-450°F.
Grill chicken undisturbed for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through. (An inserted thermometer should read 155 degrees F.)
Remove chicken from grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Brush chicken with desired amount of glaze – for more heat, more glaze; for less heat, less glaze.
NOTES
*The chicken is flavorful but not very spicy without the glaze. You can completely customize the heat of the chicken by adding more or less glaze. The more glaze the spicier the chicken
*Try tossing the chicken with your favorite BBQ sauce – amazing!
*Chicken is incredible on sandwiches, in wraps, salads, tacos, etc.
*Total time does not include marinating chicken as this time will vary per individual.

And now the tacos……………..

Ingredients

1 recipe Buffalo Chicken, chopped
4-6 flour taco size tortillas (or 6-8 corn tortillas)
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, more or less

Corn Avocado Topping
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
Corn from 1 ear of sweet corn
1 cup matchstick carrots
4 sticks celery, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice

Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream ( may sub Greek yogurt)
3 tablespoons blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup cilantro, packed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dry parsley
1 teaspoons dry chives
1/2 teaspoons dry dill
milk as needed

Garnish (optional)
Blue Cheese Crumbles
Lime juice

Directions

Buffalo Chicken: Prepare Buffalo Chicken according to directions.

Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch: While your chicken is marinating, add all of the dressing ingredients to your blender and chop then liquefy until smooth, scraping sides down as needed and adding milk as needed to reach desired consistency. Chill until ready to use.

Corn Avocado Topping: Add all of the corn Avocado Toppings to a large bowl except avocados and toss until evenly combined. Add avocados and gently toss.

To assemble, melt cheese on tortillas in the microwave or stovetop then top with desired amount of Buffalo Chicken, Corn Avocado Topping and drizzle with Blue Cheese Cilantro Ranch. Garnish with additional blue cheese and lime if desired.

Enjoy!

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole

Yep!
Another recipe….
It’s easy and better yet…..good!
Voted a keeper.

Teriyaki Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons water
2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (12 oz.) bag stir-fry vegetables
3 cups cooked brown or white rice

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.

Combine soy sauce, ½ cup water, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a small saucepan and cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove lid and cook for one minute once boiling.

Meanwhile, stir together the corn starch and 2 tablespoons of water in a separate dish until smooth. Once sauce is boiling, add mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken then remove from heat.

Place the chicken breasts in the prepared pan. Pour one cup of the sauce over top of chicken. Place chicken in oven and bake 35 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and shred chicken in the dish using two forks.

Meanwhile, steam or cook the vegetables according to package directions.

Add the cooked vegetables and rice to the casserole dish with the chicken. Add most of the remaining sauce, reserving a bit to drizzle over the top when serving. Gently toss everything together in the casserole dish until combined.

Return to oven and cook 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Drizzle each serving with remaining sauce.

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

I made this yesterday and much to my surprise it was very good!!!
Everyone voted this a keeper.

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

Ingredients

1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, onion powder and white pepper.

Place chuck roast into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in beef broth mixture until well combined.

Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Stir in mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

Enjoy!

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Nachos

Over the last couple of months we have been in a nacho phase.

We alternate between taco meat & refried beans or chicken & queso…with toppings of green onion, tomato etc.

Well last night I made the bad daddy of all nachos!!!

Huge Huge hit and can’t wait to have them again.
Seriously……these are wonderful!

A few notes:
I used pineapple chunks and cut them smaller to make my own ‘tidbits’
I did not make my own tortilla chips (I just used my favorite brand)
I did not make these in a skillet but instead made them my usual way (layer chips, meat, cheese on a sheet pan)
I did not smash the avocado but instead cut it into chunks. I also added diced fresh tomato (jalapeno/bell peppers would be good too)
I always, always put the fruit/veggies on AFTER heating the nachos and melting the cheese (We just seem to prefer fresh vs. baked fruit/veggies)

Hawaiian Pulled Pork Skillet Nachos With Pineapple Guacamole
Serves 3

Ingredients

For the Hawaiian Pulled Pork:

3-4lb pork butt, trimmed of large pieces of fat then cut in big hunks
garlic salt
15oz can chopped pineapple
1 cup BBQ sauce, divided (plus more for serving)
1 large red or sweet onion, sliced

For the Baked Tortilla Chips
(could use 24 tortilla chips from a bag):
6 corn tortillas
extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray
salt

For the Pineapple Guacamole:
2 avocados
1 garlic clove, minced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
salt

For the nachos:
4oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits, drained well
1/2 small red onion, chopped

Directions

Place pork into the bottom of a large crock pot then season generously with garlic salt on all sides. Add can of chopped pineapple including the juices, 1/2 cup BBQ sauce, and sliced onion. Mix slightly then cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or until meat shreds easily.

Shred then mix 2 cups pork with remaining 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (there will be extra pork – it freezes well!) Discard cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees then stack tortillas and cut them into quarters with a sharp knife. Place wedges onto two baking sheets leaving at least 1/4″ between each wedge. Spray tops with nonstick spray or mist with extra virgin oil then season with salt. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Chips will crisp as they cool. (Can be made ahead of time – cool completely then store in an airtight container.)

Layer half the chips into the bottom of a 12″ oven-proof skillet then top with half the pork, cheese, pineapple, and chopped red onion. Repeat layers one more time then bake for 7-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Alternatively you could use a baking sheet instead of a skillet.

While nachos are baking, combine avocados, garlic, lime juice, and salt in a bowl. Smash with a potato smasher or fork until desired consistency is reached. Fold in cilantro and pineapple tidbits. Serve Pineapple Guacamole with nachos, along with extra BBQ sauce for dipping.

Enjoy!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Doesn’t get any better than that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chicken
Bacon
Ranch
YUM!!

This recipe is a keeper!

Note:
I doubled the recipe and made it in a 9 x 13″ dish.
Also screw the 4 (or 8 if doubling) strips of bacon….I put the whole 16 oz. in!!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

Ingredients

4 slices bacon, diced
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix, or more, to taste
8 ounces rotini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Alfredo Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream, or more, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×9 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.

To make the alfredo sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in heavy cream. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more heavy cream as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Drain excess fat; reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

In a gallon size Ziploc bag, add chicken, 1 tablespoon olive oil and Ranch Seasoning, shaking to coat thoroughly. Add chicken to the skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 2-3 minutes on each side; set aside.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.

Add pasta to the prepared baking dish and layer with chicken and alfredo sauce; sprinkle with cheeses and bacon. Place into oven and bake until bubbly and heated through, about 15-20 minutes.

Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Enjoy!