Honey Mustard Salmon & a Giveaway!

Honey Mustard Salmon

How many people out there aren’t too fond of fish but love salmon? That’s how I am, with the exception of tilapia. Salmon is one of my favorite meals to order when I go out to dinner, and I used to find myself craving the salmon from Cheesecake Factory (you know the one that sits on top of the massive bed of mashed potatoes & asparagus with butter smothered over everything) on a weekly basis. Well let’s be serious, even though it’s salmon that’s not really the healthiest dish to be craving weekly. So I decided it was time to find a salmon recipe that I’d love just as much (if not more) as the one from Cheesecake Factory. Lo and behold all the way in the back of my binder I’ve had a recipe for salmon that I printed out a year ago and never got around to trying. So that would be the recipe I would use to make my first salmon dinner!

It turned out amazing! A great simple recipe that was perfect for a busy weeknight. The key to making this recipe a success was using fresh salmon, not frozen. Oh yeah and did I mention I found this recipe on Weight Watchers?! I’m not going to lie I think it took me so long to try this recipe because I thought to myself “well it’s a recipe off weight watchers, it’s going to taste to bland” – yeah I was completely wrong. This dish is packed with so much flavor you’ll be craving it for the rest of the week.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked wild pink salmon fillet
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cups Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º, line baking sheet with tinfoil and spray the cooking spray
  2. Season both sides of salmon with salt and pepper; place salmon on the baking sheet
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, honey, water, vinegar, dry mustard and garlic powder. Remove 2 tablespoons of mustard sauce and brush over salmon. Stir dill into remaining mustard sauce and set aside.
  4. Roast until salmon is fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve salmon with reserved mustard sauce spooned over top.

Now I’m ubber excited to announce my first giveaway!! First I must give a special thank you to Sarah from Belladi Treats! I hosted a party this past weekend and I ordered mini red velvet cupcakes from Belladi Treats. Not only were the cupcakes moist and the frosting creamy but the sparkle details on top were so adorable (anyone who knows me knows I live for anything that sparkles). The cupcakes were a huge hit at my party, perfect size for a bunch of ladies on “diets”, but I also had a handful left over that I was able to serve again for Easter. I honestly can’t wait to host another party just so I can order more goodies from Belladi Treats!

Belladi Treats

 

To enter this contest, to win an order of cupcakes, comment below and let me know your favorite cupcake flavor! The winner will be picked tomorrow (:

xo Jen

Chocado pudding

Avocado chocolate pudding

Hello sweet tooth! I don’t know what it was about today but I woke up craving chocolate. So instead of driving down to 7-11 for a king size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup I decided to try making this chocolate avocado pudding I’ve had my eye on for a while. And it’s by one of my all time favorite food bloggers Kelly, at Eat Yourself Skinny. Seriously all of the recipes I remake of hers turn out amazing.

chocolate avocado pudding

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 2 Tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

 

Directions

  1. Peel and cut avocado into small chunks
  2. Place all ingredients into your handy dandy blender (I used my Nutribullet) blend until smooth
  3. Serve and enjoy!

 

This was the perfect fix to take away my chocolate craving, and it saved me a few calories (o; Enjoy!

Xo Jen

Grilled Shrimp Tacos & Sour Cream Cilantro Spread

Shrimp Tacos & Sour Cream Cilantro Spread

Finally! Virginia was blessed with gorgeous weather today, which in turn put everyone in a great mood! So when the sun is shining and you have shrimp in your freezer, what does that mean? TIME TO GRILL! My boyfriend grills shrimp all the time, it’s one of our favorite ways to eat it, but I’ve never actually thought to put that shrimp in a taco. Once I had that realization I had to go explore Pinterest for a grilled shrimp recipe. Though I didn’t end up finding one that I wanted to recreate I did find this cilantro lime sour cream that I just had to try (courtesy of Life’s Ambrosia). So my sunny happy attitude and I made our way to the grocery store to pick up what was needed and then back home to fire up the grill. All I can say is have I been living under a rock my whole life?? These shrimp tacos were so delicious and probably the quickest meal I’ve ever made. I give 50% of the credit to the boyfriends’ superior grilling skills and the other 50% goes to the sour cream cilantro spread I made for this!

Shrimp Taco & Sour Cream Cilantro Spread

WOW!

I’m sure we’ve all slapped a glob of sour cream on our tacos before (with the exception of those who are allergenic or who just don’t like that white heavenly goodness) and to us it probably added the right amount of flavor we needed. Well I’m here to tell you don’t settle with basic sour cream!! Take a few more ingredients (5 to be exact) and make this savory sour cream cilantro spread that will leave your taste buds going crazy. After my boyfriend and I were done eating our tacos all we could do was stare at each other in disbelief that we’d never tried making this before. Needless to say we’ve already planned to make this again over the weekend (that is if Mother Nature doesn’t hit us with random snow showers again).

Shrimp Tacos & Sour Cream Cilantro Spread

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. Shrimp
  • Lemon pepper (found mine at Trader Joes)
  • Sea Salt
  • Mrs. Dash salt-free garlic & herb seasoning
  • 1/3cup Sour Cream
  • 1/3 tsp. Ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 Medium sized lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce
  • Small flour tortillas

Directions

Sour cream cilantro spread

  1. Place sour cream, cumin, chopped cilantro, juice of the lime, and some salt in a bowl and mix all together – set aside
  2. Shred lettuce and chop up the avocado – set aside

Grilling the shrimp

  1. Let shrimp soak in olive oil for about 30 minutes
  2. Place shrimp on skewers and season with lemon pepper, sea salt, and Mrs. Dash salt-free garlic & herb seasoning
  3. Place shrimp skewers on the grill and cook for about 6 minutes total (after 3 minutes flip skewers over).  You’ll know they’re ready when you see those nice grill marks
  4. If desired heat up your tortillas
  5. In your tortilla place a few shrimp, avocado, lettuce and a spoonful of sour cream cilantro spread
  6. Wrap up the tortilla and enjoy!

Shrimp Tacos & Sour Cream Cilantro Spread

You can add anything you’d like to your tacos, I tried to keep mine minimal so that I could really taste the sour cream cilantro spread! Next time I may try throwing in some chopped up red onions and tomatoes, but honestly I wouldn’t change anything about this recipe. It was so easy to whip together and the flavors from the grilled shrimp mixed with the spread complimented each other perfectly!

Shrimp Tacos & Sour Cream Cilantro Spread

 

Xo Jen

Crispy Zucchini Chips

Crispy Zucchini Chips

This, my friends, is my new favorite healthy snack! I do really love zucchini’s but sometimes, if not cooked the way I like, they can taste a little…awkward. Usually I like them mixed in with my stir-fry (or mixed into a batch of brownies, that my friend Carrie makes). So for me to try and eat them by themselves was a big deal. The flavor of the zucchini mixed with the crunchy Panko crumbs complimented each other perfectly! It only took about 10 minutes to prepare and then 25 minutes to cook, perfect for a mid afternoon snack or a crunchy side dish with dinner.  Of course this was another recipe that stumbled upon on Pinterest, which then led me to Blackjack Bake HouseI just love how quick and easy this was to make, AND how delicious it tastes. I’m sure I will be making this again at some point this week!

Crispy Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized zucchini
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 400º
  2. Line baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with vegetable oil
  3. Slice zucchini’s into 1/4 inch thick rounds, toss in a bowl with the olive oil and coat well
  4. In a separate bowl combine parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt & pepper
  5. Place zucchini rounds in your bowl of cheese and breadcrumbs, mix together until both sides of zucchini are coated
  6. Place zucchini’s on baking sheet and sprinkle the remaining breadcrumb mixture on top
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes or until it becomes golden brown

Crispy Zucchini Chips

Let me know if you make these and how you like them. Also if you have any good zucchini recipes you’d recommend!

xo Jen

…..and then there was one

Crispy Zucchini Chips

Strawberry Pink Sangria

Strawberry pink sangria

 

I was going to wait and post this recipe on a nice warm day when you could sit outside and enjoy the scenery with your sangria. Lord only knows when that day will come! I’m currently staring out my window as it pours snow onto my car, which by the way I was driving around one day ago with the sunroof opened. I mean really mother nature can you please make up your mind already?! Hot, cold, rainy, snowy…what is it that you are doing to us! OK rant over –

So yes back to this fabulously girly (but men will certainly enjoy) pink sangria. This is my all time favorite sangria that I continue to make when hosting parties or having people over for dinner. I found this sangria on All Recipes when searching for a refreshing drink and man did it deliver.

Ingredients 

  • A 40 oz package of frozen strawberries (or 2 20 oz packages)
  • 2 Cans of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed (12 fl oz cans each)
  • 1 Bottle of chilled White Zinfandel (1.5 liter bottle)
  • 4 Cups of pineapple juice
  • 2 Liter ginger ale

Directions 

  1. Stir together strawberries, lemonade concentrate, wine, and pineapple juice in a large drink dispenser (or punch bowl).  If you can, put mixture back into the fridge until ready to serve to keep cool.
  2. Just before serving add in your ginger ale

Now the recipe I provided above I doubled from the original recipe online. I used to make this sangria cut in half but it never seemed to be enough. So doubling it definitely is the way to go (;

Enjoy!!

xo Jen

Easy, cheesy, chicken enchiladas

Chicken Enchilada's

Umm…can we say YUM! These white sauce chicken enchiladas are to die for, and they are extremely simple to make – I kid you not. I had chicken in my freezer that needed to be cooked soon so my first thought was “ENCHILADAS”! I hadn’t had an enchilada since the Ravens won their last super bowl (literally, I made these for super bowl XLVII). I found this delicious recipe on Cat’s blog Food Family & Finds.   

When I told the boyfriend that I’d be making him enchiladas, which he could enjoy while watching the Caps game, his eyes got bigger than a balloon from the Macy’s day parade! He was so excited he even offered to take it a step further and grill the chicken for me (since Virginia was finally having a day of decent weather).  Win for this girlfriend!

Ingredients

  • 6-8 flour or corn soft tortillas  (I fit 6 in my 13×9 inch pan)
  • 3 Large chicken breasts – cooked & shredded (using a rotisserie chicken works well also)
  • 1 Cup sweet corn (warmed in microwave)
  • 1 Bag of shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons of butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/4 Cups chicken broth
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup (10 oz)
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 Can chopped green chiles (4 oz)
  • Salt & pepper ( 1/4 tsp. each)

EnchiladasEnchiladas

Directions 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350º F
  2. Take first tortilla and put a handful of chicken and corn down the center, top off with a handful of cheese
  3. Roll tortilla and place, seam side down, into baking pan – do this with as many tortilla’s that will fit in your pan
  4. In a medium sized sauce pan melt your butter over medium heat
  5. Whisk flour into the melted butter
  6. Add the chilies, sour cream, chicken broth, cream of chicken and salt & pepper
  7. Gently whisk ingredients together until smooth and warm (5-10 minutes)
  8. Remove from heat and pour sauce evenly over tortilla’s in the pan
  9. Spread remaining cheese all over the top and sides of your dish (we love cheese so we used it all up)
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is a dark golden brown

EnchiladasEnchiladas

Now I kept my enchiladas in for an extra 5 minutes because we like our cheese very brown :) Just keep an eye out about 5 minutes before you take these out to make sure the cheese doesn’t get to brown for your liking.

Enchiladas

Ok so this might not be the most flattering picture of this sweet little enchilada but man is it delicious!

xo Jen

Ps – The enchiladas turned out amazing and the Caps one! Score (literally)!

 

Cheese and Broccoli Stuffed Chicken

Broccoli Stuffed Chicken

I don’t even know where to start! I first found this recipe a year or so ago when I was searching blogs for “healthy stuffed chicken dinners” and it brought me to Gina’s blog, SkinnyTaste.  It’s hands down one of my favorite dishes to make, and we literally eat it every week. When I first tried recreating this recipe I thought it would be extremely difficult having to roll the chicken up and then toothpick it all together so the filling didn’t come out. Man was I wrong! This recipe is extremely quick and easy to whip together and did I mention how delicious it tastes!

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The best tip I can give is to buy the thinly sliced chicken breasts. The first time I made this I got normal sized chicken breasts and had to cut them into thin cutlets (not fun when you are starving and want this meal to be in your belly already). Lately though, I’ve been able to find the perfect sized thin sliced chicken breasts at Giant (and Walmart) so it’s made things a lot easier and faster.

Ingredients 

  • 1 pack of thin sliced chicken breasts (Perdue works the best in my opinion)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked broccoli floret
  • Swiss cheese slices (I use 1 slice for each piece of chicken = 6 slices)
  • salt
  • olive oil spray
  • toothpicks

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place foil on a medium sized baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking oil
  3. If using raw broccoli start cooking it on the stove until tender. You can use frozen broccoli if you prefer
  4. In your first small bowl combine your egg, water, and a touch of salt – beat with a fork until mixed together fully
  5. In your second small bowl place breadcrumbs
  6. Take your first piece of chicken and place a slice of cheese and broccoli on top. Carefully take your chicken and wrap it around covering all the cheese, secure with multiple toothpicks.
  7. Dip chicken in egg wash and generously coat all over, next dip into breadcrumbs and cover fully
  8. Place chicken on baking sheet and lightly spray with cooking oil
  9. Bake 25-30 minutes

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Like I mentioned before this is a meal that I make AT LEAST once a week! A great thing about this dish is it tastes great the next day if you want to take it for lunch or have again for dinner.

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Ta Da! Now sit back relax and have someone else do the dishes. Leave a comment and let me know how you liked it (:

xo Jen

 

Festive Ravioli

So I have to admit I’m a sucker for these festive raviolis that Costco carries for different holidays! I’ve made the heart shaped ravioli for Valentine’s Day, and yesterday I picked up these adorable shamrock raviolis for St. Patrick’s day! Not only are they the absolute cutest things I’ve ever seen but they taste delicious too!

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I paired this pasta with a pink sauce which goes together perfectly!  This is a great meal to make on one of those nights where you just don’t have a lot of time (or energy) to stand in the kitchen for an hour cooking, and then turning around and having to clean it all up.

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Ingredients

  •  1 package of ravioli (my festive one is from Costco)
  •  Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional, we love cheese on top our pasta dishes)
  •   1 tsp. chopped Italian parsley (optional, I used mine to garnish the dish)
  •   1 cup tomato basil pasta sauce (I used Emeril’s brand – it’s my favorite)
  •   ½ cup heavy whipping cream

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Instructions

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Once you add the ravioli make sure to bring the boiling water down to a soft simmer (this will decrease your chance of the raviolis opening up and causing the filing to come out)
  2. Boil for about 3-5 minutes or until ravioli is tender, then carefully drain
  3. In a small sauce pan stir together your pasta sauce and heavy whipping cream, bring to a simmer
  4.  Place ravioli on your dish and pour the desired amount of sauce on top
  5. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley

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No matter how careful you are most likely one or two will open up a bit. No worries though it will still taste amazing!

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Voila!! Easy, festive, adorable and most importantly DELICIOUS!

xo Jen