Friday, October 21, 2016

Favorite Friday: Fabulous & simple recipes

Since it's favorite friday, I figured I'd share some of my favorite, go-to recipes. These are tried and true. I have made these several times and they are a hit with all my guests. The carrot cake was especially loved amongst the Italians when we lived in Italy.

These are not my recipes. I take no credit. I've occasionally changed a few things, due to lack of certain ingredients. But all in all, I would try to stick to the recipe because they are oh! so! yummy!

All credit to the chefs. You can link up to the chef blogs by simply clicking on the recipe name. Happy cooking and have a blessed weekend.

This post goes out to my dear friend Mili who inspired me to make simple cooking--fabulous! 

Blackened Chicken Breast and Cilantro Lime Quinoa with Greek Yogurt Avocado Puree 

by Baking with Blondie

Baking with Blondie
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
¼ Teaspoon of Salt
¼ Teaspoon of Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon of Onion Powder
¼ Teaspoon of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup of Quinoa
Juice and Zest from Two Limes
A Dash of Salt and Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Cilantro, chopped
2 Avocados
½ Small carton of Greek yogurt
Teeny bit of milk to thicken sauce to desired consistency

Combine all the dry seasonings in a small bowl. Mix them together and then season both sides of each chicken breast.

Add the teaspoon of olive oil to a large pan or skillet. Heat the olive oil for a minute over medium/high heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan. Cook for seven minutes on each side with the lid on.

Add the chicken stock and quinoa to a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium/low heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes with the lid on, until all the stock has been absorbed.

After the chicken breasts have cooked all the way through, remove them from the pan and let them rest for seven minutes before slicing them.

Add the warm quinoa to a large bowl. Toss in the lime zest, lime juice, salt and pepper, and chopped cilantro. Mix to combine.

Serve the sliced chicken breast on top of the quinoa. If you find the blackened seasoning too spicy, you can add a quick and easy avocado cream sauce to cool it down.

 *to make avocado sauce, combine avocado, greek yogurt, teaspoon of lemon juice and a little cilantro in a mini-food processor. Add milk to obtain desired consistency.

Mediterranean Grill Cheese 

by An Edible Symphony

8 slices multigrain bread
4 quarter-inch slices of fresh mozzarella
3 plum tomatoes, cut into thick slices
2-3 slices of fresh avocado
1 cup fresh basil pesto or store bought
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

Basil pesto:
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Pesto: Toast pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Combine pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined but still rough-textured.

Assemble sandwich by smearing pesto onto slices. Arrange a layers of sliced tomato, mozzarella and avocado slices and fresh ground pepper and a bit of olive oil on top. Drizzle a pan with olive oil (e.v.) and grill sandwich until golden brown and mozzarella is melted.

Carrot Cake 

by Mary Mary Quite Contrary
One of the best and easiest carrot cake recipes I have found.


2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 egg whites
3 cups peeled, grated carrots
Optional: 1/2 raisins
1/2 chopped walnuts

Mix dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spread in 2 greased 8" round pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Cool, then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting (see below).

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter or margarine, softened
powdered sugar (2 and a half to 3 and a half cups, depending on how stiff you want your frosting to be) Note: I only added about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and found that it was sweet enough. Test your desire for sweetness out. I like the taste of cream cheese to come out more and the sweetness of the cake balances it out, so I don't think you need such sweet frosting. Enough suger to make it spreadable.
2 tsp vanilla.

Blend cream cheese and butter well. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired thickness. Beat until smooth.

Buon appetito! 

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