Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Greek White Chili

We're planning a vacation - one that includes a Greek Island cruise!  So naturally, I am thinking of all the fabulous Greek food we will be eating.  We're also coming up on the Superbowl, and I'm thinking about great game-day food, like chili.  I think I came up with a winning combination here.

This quick chili will surprise your guests with the flavors of Greece!  Lamb and oregano blend with peppers, lemon and the traditional chili spices to make one fantastic dish.

Greek White Chili

by Susan Zentmyer
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 4 slices French bread, cubed large corn muffins, store-bought
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 Anaheim pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground lamb (or lean ground turkey)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • One 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange the bread cubes on a baking sheet and toast until crispy and extra golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Finely chop the peppers and onion.

Heat the vegetable oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble the meat.

Add the garlic, peppers and onions to the pot and cook to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and stir. Add the beans, stock, lemon juice and herbs and simmer 5 minutes. Season with hot sauce.

Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream to combine. Serve topped with the crispy bread cubes and a sprinkling of feta cheese.
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You will just love the flavors in this dish.  And it is made extra-delicious with the addition of the crispy bread cubes and salty feta cheese.

You'll be saying "Opa!" after this meal.  (Just make sure you watch the dishes!)

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tips and Recipes for the Best Superbowl Party

Sunday is Superbowl 48!  Lots of people are having Superbowl parties.  If you are having one, I've got some great tips and fantastic recipes to help you put on a championship level soiree.

  • Super Bowl decorations:  Buy or make a banner and streamers to hang, scatter real or inflatable footballs around the party room, and dangle football-shaped balloons from the ceiling. For one Superbowl bash, we purchased green (turf-colored) blankets and made a "football field" out of the floor using masking tape.
  • Coolers, buckets, or small tubs for drinks: If you have the space, get a few small containers and fill with ice to keep beer and other drinks cool. Place them in strategic spots so guests won’t be constantly getting up and going to the kitchen for a refill.  Keep plenty of ice on hand, more than you think you’ll need. You’ll not only want to keep your drink coolers full, but non-beer-drinking guests may want to add ice to their beverages, too.
  • Drinks:  Stock up on an assortment of bottles and cans to keep everyone happy. Mini kegs are another great option—you can buy a variety of brands and they’ll contribute to the party atmosphere without reminding you too much of a frat house.  Or make drinks representative of the teams playing - something with Orange Crush for Denver maybe?  Or a Seattle Seabreeze?
  • Soda or other non-alcoholic drinks:  Don’t forget about the non-drinkers in your group, or those who just want to take a break in between brews.
  • Food:  Serve a mix of items to satisfy everyone, and go for both finger foods that are easy to pick up and eat— think sandwiches, chips and dips, wings, and pizza — and heartier fare like chili and barbecue to balance out all that beer.  Check out the recipes below for some ideas! Make sure you have plenty of food; guests will want to replenish often during the game. Set up a buffet table off to the side where people can load up on main-course items, then have several smaller tables in the TV room with snacks that people can nosh on during the game.
  • Plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery:  If you’re going the disposable route, choose sturdy items that can hold up to heavy fare like loaded nachos, pizza, and chili. Now is definitely not the time to break out your best china—it’s inevitable that things will get knocked over during the excitement of the game.
  • Serving platters, trays, and bowls:  Pick up inexpensive football-themed items to add to the fun. Just make sure you have enough serving pieces for all the snacks you’ll be setting out.
  • Napkins:  You’ll need lots of these for wiping messy fingers and greasy spills throughout the night.
  • Seating:  After food and beer, this is the most essential element of your party. Make sure you have enough seats in front of the TV for everyone who’s attending. Ask friends to bring over folding chairs if you don’t have enough, and don’t forget to dig up those lawn and camping chairs you've stored for the winter. Put out throw rugs or blankets and scatter some large pillows so that even those seated on the floor can get comfortable.

Recipes (from left to right, top to bottom...):

Chilly Misnomer - we may call this chili, but it packs a punch... and a hot punch at that!

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas - the wonderful flavors of pepperoni pizza in a tortilla

Herb and Garlic Monkey Bread - who doesn't love fresh-baked bread?  This is wonderfully flavorful, with herbs and garlic and butter.

Chicago-style Deep Dish Pizza - this is a healthier version of a Chicago deep dish pizza, but every bit as delicious.

Italian Sausage Pizza - this traditional pizza comes together in a flash, and you can even throw this one on the grill if you can brave the cold!

Homemade Drumsticks - can't forget about dessert.  These are perfectly sized for a party too.

Soft Pretzels - serve these with mustard and with cheese sauce.  Perhaps even jalapeno white sauce!

All American Pub Pie - dessert with beer.  Need I say more?

30 Minute Chili Con Carne - spicy and meaty, this is a fantastic chili that doesn't take all day to make.  

Jalapeno White Sauce - this sauce is based on one we had at a local Mexican restaurant, and I could eat this every single day.  Seriously.

Turkey and Sage Sausage - love this sausage.  Tons of flavor, and tastes great with mustard.

Chicken Enchilada Pot Pies... Muffin Style - individual chicken enchiladas, in an easy to eat package!

Hope this has given you some great ideas for your game-day festivities.  I know we'll be enjoying the game and our guests on Sunday... may the best team win!  And for those who aren't interested in the game, may the ads be top-notch!

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Tuesday's Table for January 28, 2014

I can scarcely believe that we are already almost through January! Thanks to all of you who stopped by to add your links to last week's party, and a "Welcome New Friends" to all of our new followers.

And now, it's time to fill Tuesday's Table!

This week's feature is The Pin Junkie's Crock Pot Enchilada Soup..  This looks so delicious, and just what you need to weather yet another cold night!  You need to head over and see her site.

Please grab a button  - and thanks so much for sharing!

For this week's party, only a few guidelines:
  • Please share as many links as you like, but only if you haven't shared them here before
  • Add a link back to Tuesday's Table (or grab a button above!) so others can join in the fun
  • Follow me via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, RSS or Bloglovin (see my sidebar!)
No other requirements, but visit the other links here, and I'd love for you to sign up for my email reminder here!

And now, for this week's link party!

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken

This is crispy "fried" chicken without the oil. The crispy and just a bit spicy coating helps keep the chicken super-moist too. And with a total recipe time of just over a half an hour, this is an easy one to make for dinner on a busy weekday.

Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken

by Susan Zentmyer
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets (or thinly sliced chicken breasts)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a silpat covered baking sheet with cooking spray.

Whisk together eggs, mustard and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl.

Spread bread crumbs in a shallow bowl or onto a plate.

With one hand, coat a piece of chicken with the egg mixture. Set it into the bread crumbs and, using the other hand, coat it with the bread crumbs. (One hand is "wet" and the other "dry" - makes it easier to coat the chicken with bread crumbs, and you use less.)

Place the piece of chicken on a silpat covered baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

Spray the chicken with cooking spray (helps the bread crumbs get that golden-brown color).

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (flipping the chicken after 15 minutes) or until the chicken is golden brown and crispy.

Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

I just love this version of "fried" chicken.  While it isn't my grandma's cast iron skillet fried chicken, it is a lot healthier, a lot quicker to make, and tastes every bit as good.

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Pot Pies... Muffin Style

Living in San Diego, we eat our fair share of good Mexican food.  I've always loved enchiladas - lots of melty cheese and spicy sauce all wrapped in corn tortillas.  Delicious!

It is winter (even here on Southern California) and we're in the mood for comfort food.  One of my favorite comfort foods is chicken pot pie.  I thought I would combine two of my favorites in a tasty portion-controlled muffin-sized meal.

Chicken Enchilada Pot Pies... Muffin Style

by Susan Zentmyer
Keywords: bake entree Mexican
  • 1 box refrigerated pie crust
  • 4 cups cooked chicken or turkey (rotisserie chicken is perfect for this), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 15 ounce can of enchilada sauce (I use half a can each of red and green enchilada sauces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used 1 cup of cheddar for the red sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella for the green sauce)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Cut the pie crust into twelve equal pieces. Line each cavity of a 12-cavity muffin tin with a piece of the pie crust. Work the pie crust dough around so that each cavity is completely covered, with approximately 1/2 inch hanging over the edge. Set aside.
Combine the chicken, vegetables, spices and herbs. If using only one type of sauce add to the chicken mixture and stir until combined. If using both red and green enchilada sauces, split the chicken mixture into two equal parts and add the red sauce to one half and the green sauce to the other half. Stir to combine.
Divide the filling between the pie-crust lined tins. 

Sprinkle with the shredded cheese (cheddar for the red sauce, mozzarella for the green sauce.)

Bake at 425 for 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and melted. 

Carefully remove the pies from the puffin tins and serve hot.
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We loved this one!  Really satisfying comfort food, with a spicy twist.

And already separated into individual servings!

This was a great dinner, but would also be wonderful for lunch and would make a fantastic brunch dish!

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Valentine's Day Cash Giveaway

It is better to give than it is to receive, so for this season of Love, we are giving away $350 Cash to one (1) lucky winner!!!
Meet the Lovely people who made this giveaway possible...
Natasha @ Lovely You | Mionna @ Just Mi | Sarah @ Hope in Every Season | Nicole @ Pharr Away | Angel @ Sew Crafty Angel | Myrna @ Undecided Mamas | Lanaya @ Raising Reagan | Lily @ Fun Fierce Fabulous Beauty Over 50 | Sherry @ The Life of the Party | Sammie @ Busy Sweet Life | Robin @ Robin Charmagne | Dee @ Ms. Dee Kay | Susan @ Love In the Kitchen | Natasha @ Epic Mommy Adventures
Not Pictured: Linda | Crafts A La Mode

Christie @ A Kitchen Hoor | Britni @ Play Party Pin | Liz @ The Fitness Blondie | Charlene @ A Pinch of Joy | Beauty Style Growth | Lizzy @ Muddle Headed Mamma
Not Pictured: Jamie | Handling with Grace, Kira | Giveaways and Sweepstakes

Michi | Delphina Luxe
Nicole | Pharr Away

Lovely You Blog, Co-Hosts, Contributors and Sponsors are not eligible to enter this giveaway. The Valentine's Day Cash Giveaway begins January 25th at 12:00 AM EST and ends February 8th at 12:00 AM EST. The giveaway is open to residents worldwide with a verified PayPal account except where prohibited by law. One (1) winner will be selected by and will be notified by email. The winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. No purchase necessary for entering this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, GFC, Bloglovin and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me, co-hosts and sponsors in order to verify your entries and name a winner. As the winner, you are responsible for any tax reporting and associated fees via PayPal in obtaining the winnings. It is the SOLE responsibility of the winner and not Lovely You Blog, Co-hosts, Contributors or Sponsors.
zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Tuesday's Table for January 21, 2014

January has certainly been a busy month! Thanks to all of you who stopped by to add your links to last week's party, and a "Welcome New Friends" to all of our new followers.

And now, it's time to fill Tuesday's Table!

This week's feature is Just Not the Cakes Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes.  These are just beautiful!  Simple ingredients (and not many of those) and a light fresh flavor - just the thing to satisfy my sweet tooth.  You need to head over and see her site.

Please grab a button  - and thanks so much for sharing!

For this week's party, only a few guidelines:
  • Please share as many links as you like, but only if you haven't shared them here before
  • Add a link back to Tuesday's Table (or grab a button above!) so others can join in the fun
  • Follow me via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google+, RSS or Bloglovin (see my sidebar!)
No other requirements, but visit the other links here, and I'd love for you to sign up for my email reminder here!

And now, for this week's link party!

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Sausage and Polenta Egg Bake

We had brunch while we were watching the football game the other day.  Andouille sausage, two types of cheese, and a splash of hot sauce add flavor and a little kick to this Sausage and Polenta Egg Bake.

Sausage and Polenta Egg Bake

by Susan @ Love in the Ktchen
Keywords: bake breakfast egg polenta sausage

I love this creamy and spicy breakfast dish.    You can also make it the night before - just put it together up to the point when you are ready to put it into the oven, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Then bake in the morning!
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 10 ounce diced andouille sausage
  • 2 cups sliced green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked polenta
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1.75 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add sausage; sauté 3 minutes or until browned. Add onions, thyme, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Bring milk to a simmer in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in polenta and salt; simmer 7 minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk. 

Remove from heat. Add cheeses; stir until cheeses melt. Place the polenta mixture in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in pepper sauce and eggs. 

Add sausage mixture; stir well to combine. 

Preheat oven to 425°.  Spread polenta mixture into a 2-quart glass or ceramic broiler-safe baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or just until set.
Preheat broiler to high; remove dish while broiler preheats. Broil 2 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let stand 5 minutes.

** Simple Substitutions**
  • Use chicken andouille sausage (less fat, and fat isn't necessary for this dish)
  • Replace whole milk with fat-free milk (this is just as creamy with fat-free milk)
  • Use low-moisture mozzarella in place of the cheddar (lower fat mozzarella, as is found in the low-moisture version, is really melty, and this dish is flavorful enough to withstand the loss of the flavor from the cheddar)
  • Replace the eggs with egg-beaters or 4 egg whites and one whole egg (easy way to reduce the fat and calories!)
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Both spicy and creamy, this is a great way to start the day!  And it's so easy, you won't have to spend all day int he kitchen.

Oh, and definitely save the leftovers - they make a fantastic side dish!

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chicken Apple Leek Soup

Nothing warms you up on a cold winter evening like a bowl of soup.  I love soup any time of the year, and even more so in winter (even if my cold winter evenings average about 50F....)  This soup is both bright and comforting.  The apples and leeks blend together perfectly, and it is just creamy enough to be soul-satisfying.

Serve it with crusty French bread or over wild rice.  You'll love this take on traditional chicken soup!  And be sure to check out my *Simple Substitutions* at the end of the recipe to help you maintain that New Year's Resolution.

Chicken Apple and Leek Soup

by Susan @ Love in the Ktchen
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Ingredients (6 Servings)
  • 1 chicken, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 leeks, w/ 1 green,sliced
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup unweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons AppleJack brandy (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Melt the butter over medium heat in a saute pan just large enough to hold the chicken.  Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for about eight minutes over medium heat.  If the butter in the pan starts to brown, lower the heat slightly.

Turn the chicken and light saute in the same way for five minutes more.  Remove the chicken from the pan and place it in a bowl.  

If the butter in the saute pan has burned, pour it out and replace it with two tablespoons fresh butter.  Add the leeks and cook them for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Stir the leeks every couple of minutes - we want them to be soft but not brown.

Put the chicken back in the pan with the leeks.  Add the apples, apple juice, apple sauce, vinegar and broth.  Bring the liquids to a slow simmer and with a ladle skim off any fat or froth that floats to the top.  Cover the pot and simmer the chicken very gently for 10-15 minutes, until it is completely cooked.  Remove the chicken and let it cool.

Remove and discard the skin and pull the meat away from the bones.  Cut the meat into half inch chunks.  Use a ladle to skim off any fat that has formed on the surface of the liquid in a saute pan.  Add the AppleJack brandy and the heavy cream.  Bring to a simmer and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken back to the soup and simmer for two minutes.

Serve immediately in hot bowls.

*Simple Substitutions*

+ Replace whole chicken with 1 pound boneless skinless check breast and 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (reduces the amount of fat by removing the skin, and keeps the lovely flavor by using the combination of white and dark meat)
 + Use fat-free. low sodium chicken broth (for all of the flavor and none of the fat, AND less sodium!)
+ Reduce butter from 2 tablespoons to 1/2 tablespoon (Using this small amount of butter will add a lot of flavor to the soup without a lot of fat and calories)
+ Exchange fat free half and half for the heavy cream (Fat free half and half is a great way to get the creaminess of heavy cream without the cream - and you will love the creaminess of this soup!)

zentMRS - Love in the Kitchen
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