Lazy Evenings

Normally, I make a conscientious attempt to cook, but lately, traveling for work and other events has kept me out of the kitchen.  However, I do have to say there are a few things that I have fell in love with in the kitchen lately.  One is Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancake mix.  It’s good stuff and a life saver for those lazy weekend mornings, when you want a home cooked breakfast or for a quick dinner.

Another thing is my hopeless addiction to the George Foreman Grill.  I love grilling.  The taste of charcoal marks on chicken or cedar plank salmon on the grill always reminds me of summer.  Since I have to wait for cedar plank salmon, I keep the summer tradition going with marinated chicken on the indoor grill.  So, I am sharing my favorite recipe for marinated chicken and it just requires a bottle of vinaigrette.

Marinated Chicken Breasts with Polenta

1 tube of Italian Herb Polenta (sliced and fried in olive oil)

1 package of chicken tenderloins (boneless, skinless and thawed)

1 bottle of  Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette or Greek Vinaigrette

In a glass dish, place chicken tenderloins then cover with vinaigrette.  Let chicken set for a couple of hours to develop a great flavor (as soon as I woke up this morning, I did this and let the flavor soak in while at work) in the fridge.

Once flavor develops and seeps into the chicken, place on the hot indoor grill.  Grill until light goes off.  Then, place chicken tenderloins over 2-3 polenta slices.

It was quite yummy and a healthy departure from the fattening pasta I had planned to fix.

Stay tuned for some holiday cooking starting this weekend.  I should have some good baked goodies planned.

Rainy Nights Call for Good Chocolate

It has been my intention to make chocolate truffles for a colleague, since he requested them back in January after I made them on a whim.  I decided to whip up a batch of these wonderful delicacies for my colleagues, and in the midst of things felt like sharing the recipe.  This is truly a Charm Offensive original.

Lady K’s Divine Chocolate Truffles

2 packages of semisweet chocolate

1 tsp. extract (I used Pure Almond Extract, but you can use Raspberry, Coconut, Vanilla, Orange, Cherry or Peppermint extracts)

1 8 oz. brick of cream cheese

In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, melt 1 package of semisweet chocolate squares chunked, unwrapped in 30 second intervals until melted.  Once melted, add melted chocolate to cream cheese.  Mix until thoroughly incorporated, then place chocolate cream cheese mixture in fridge for one hour.

After the mixture has set, shape chocolate-cream cheese mixture into balls.  Then, roll into cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or melted chocolate.



Easy, Breezy Chicken Pot Pie

Over the weekend, I did not have much time to spend in the kitchen as planned.  One of the things I do every Sunday is cook meals for the week, so I have lunch and dinner every night.   However, since the weather was so beautiful, I focused on utilizing chicken as the key ingredient.  The first dish I made was a Mango Chutney-Greek Yogurt Marinated Chicken paired with Vegetable Medley rice.  I love mango chutney, and greek yogurt is becoming a staple in my kitchen, as it is healthier than sour cream.

Are you Mango for the Chicken?

1 package boneless chicken tenderloins (4 tenderloins)

2 tbsp. Cumin

4 tbsp. Mango Chutney

1 container (8 oz.) Stonyfield Farms Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt

In a small bowl, combine all four ingredients.  Add salt to taste.  Then in a glass casserole dish, spoon marinade over chicken.  Refrigerate for one hour, then grill.

Next dish I made was a scrumptious chicken pot pie.  You would have thought I spent all day in the kitchen slaving over this dish. In all honesty, I spent 5 minutes assembling this dish. The total cook time was 40 minutes.

Easy, Breezy Chicken Pot Pie

1 can of Crescent Rolls
2 tbsp. Cumin
1 can of Cream of Potato Soup
1 pkg of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 pkg of chicken tenderloins (cooked…I grilled mine without the marinade)

In a medium bowl, combine cream of potato soup, cooked chicken, frozen vegetables, and cumin. Then pour in a greased casserole dish, and then place crescent roll dough on top (do not separate into triangles). Bake in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, cool slightly, then serve.


Cooking Hiatus and New Recipes

I would like to apologize to you about recent cooking hiatus. I have not been on this site lately, due to work commitments, but I will have more recipes this weekend. Keep on the lookout for a fabulous Chocolate Truffles recipe, a chicken and apple casserole dish that will make your mouth water, and lastly, a tribute to my favorite city in America, New York, with my Caprese Pasta dish.

However, I will share my famous hot chocolate recipe, since the weather is starting to get chilly.

Krystle’s Hot Chocolate

1 c. Fat-free Milk
1 tsp. Extract (Pick a flavor. I generally use Pure Almond or Vanilla Extract.)
1/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. secret weapon (You can use cinnamon, but it will not have the Krystle effect. Secret Weapon is a spice blend that you use when making Pumpkin Pie.)
2 tbsp. Hershey’s Cocoa (While you can use regular Hershey’s, I highly recommend the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa…which is ten times better.)

In a small saucepan, whisk together the milk, sugar, extract and secret weapon (cinnamon). Cook on medium heat, then when it is starting to steam, add one tbsp of cocoa, then whisk to combine, then add the last tbsp. of cocoa, then whisk to combine. Pour into mug. Now, if you want it to be super glamorous, add some homemade whipped cream.

Whipped Cream
Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp. extract (again, I would strongly advise Pure Vanilla or Almond Extract)
1 tbsp. sugar

Beat all three ingredients until stiff peaks form in the cream.