Tag Archives: bleu cheese

Red, White & Bleu Potato Salad

America the Beautiful.  Those three words are the absolute truth!  I am a proud American who absolutely loves the 4th of July.  Even as a young child, I’m not sure what it was exactly that this holiday brought me so much joy, but its always been my favorite.  No pretty, wrapped presents are involved, no Santa, no costumes and candy from door-to-door, just family, fireworks and delish food!

Now, I have quite a few potato salad recipes, but as a lover of meat n’ potatoes, I love to pair them with the unique flavor of blue cheese!  I know, I know, it’s not for everyone.  However, if you love this cheese as much as myself, than rest assured, you’ll love this alongside your steak hot off the grill!  If blue cheese isn’t your think, feel free to switch it out for chunks of cheddar for an equally great salad!

 

The Starting Lineup

  • 3 lbs potatoes (I prefer red or baby purple potato medley for the appropriate 4th of July colors)
  • 1 package bacon, cooked & crumbled (reserve the grease)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, sliced
  • 2-3oz bleu cheese crumbles, to taste
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Cut each rinsed potato into rough 1″ chunks and add to a large stockpot of salted water, bring to a boil until they are fork tender.  Meanwhile, crisp up the bacon, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate while reserving the bacon grease.

Drain the boiled potatoes and add to a large bowl.  While still hot, pour over the reserved bacon grease along with the cooked, crumbled bacon.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the bleu cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar and the red and green onions.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over the potatoes and toss to coat.  Top with any extra bacon and green onions.  Enjoy!!

 

RedWhiteandBleuPotatoSalad

Autumn Chopped Salad w/ Roasted Pork Tenderloin & Maple Pumpkin Vinaigrette

Yesterday we had quite the breeze..which resulted in a few (ok, many) of leaves falling onto our back porch and yard, much to my husbands dismay..ugh yard work .  Meanwhile, I happily watched it from my kitchen window while wondering what to cook up for dinner.  If nothing else, the view makes doing the dishes that much better. 

Now since the weather wasn’t really chilly but in the mid-80’s, and it was indeed Fall, what could I come up with??  Well below you will find a crisp flavorFALL (<< see what I did there) salad and a ridiculously juicy and warm pork tenderloin.  Oh and lets not forget that Vinaigrette!!  This will now be a staple in our home come Fall..May we also suggest serving with a nice cider?!  Apple cider for the lil’s of course.

*If you have a cast-iron pan, you can transfer the seared pork directly to the oven in this vesssel.  I did not only because my cast iron wasn’t large enough for both my tenderloins.

**Make sure to taste your vinaigrette as you go.  Remember, this is YOURS and if you like it sweeter then add more maple.  Thicker?  Then more pumpkin.  How about tangier?  Well, then you simply add more cider vinegar or dijon!  It’s up to YOU! 🙂 

The Starting Lineup
Maple Pumpkin Vinaigrette

  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup (real maple..no fake stuff here!)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree (non sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • Pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp thyme, fresh
  • 1 Tbsp water

Autumn Chopped Salad

  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 2 apples, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped (candied optional)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles

Roasted Pork Tenderloin

  • 1 pckg pork tenderloin, usually comes with two
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp rosemary (sounds weird with chili powder..just go with it)
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable/ or canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Maple Pumpkin Vinaigrette…yes, I totally forgot to grab the dijon for the picture, oops! Make sure to use it though, it’s a great emulsifier.


Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Autumn Chopped Salad


Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and lining a sheet tray with foil.  Place the lined sheet tray into the oven while it preheats.  You’ll also want to start heating up a skillet(medium/medium-high heat) *I prefer my cast iron here, which is why I start to heat it up now, takes a few minutes..and then remove the pork tenderloins from the refridgerator to come to temp.

Next, in a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, pumpkin puree, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic and the salt and pepper.  Then slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil into the mix *slowly as not to “seperate” the dressing.  Finally stir in the fresh thyme (and 1 Tbsp water if you’d like it a bit thinner).  Cover and store in the refridgerator.

Open the package of pork, pat dry with paper towels, and rub on the seasoning blend.  In the now hot pan, add in the oil and the butter.  Then place in the pork (I had to do 1 at a time) and sear all sides till a deep golden brown.  That brown sugar will caramelize and create a ‘crust’, so dont worry as it’s not burnt.  This should take you about 10 minutes for both. 

Once the pork has been seared, place onto the lined sheet pan in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through (till internal temperature reaches 140 degrees).  Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

While the tenderloins are roasting, start chopping up the rinsed lettuce and pat dry.  On a large (and of course pretty) serving platter lay out the chopped lettuce.  Then follow with the apple slices, pecans, dried cranberries and bleu cheese crumbles.  

Once the pork is rested (so the juices do not run out) slice it up!  Lay the slices (pretty again) across the prepared salad and drizzle a good amount of your homemade Maple Pumpkin Vinaigrette…oh lordy, enjoy!! 

Buffalo Chicken Kabobs w/ Grilled New Potatoes (& easy blue cheese dressing)

I’m pretty sure I’ve never (ever) met a person that doesn’t like buffalo wing sauce.  Now some may like it on crispy drumette wings, some that prefer it on the battered boneless variety, but everyone just loves that sauce!  Unfortunately, most of us cannot eat that way everyday, so how about combine those great flavors into a healthier grilled recipe!

My lighter, summertime go-to is a full meal that is chocked full of protein, vegetables and even a light(er) Bleu cheese dressing!  So you will feel full without the guilt!  

*If you prefer ranch over Bleu cheese than go right ahead.

*Use whatever vegetables you prefer on your kabobs.

*Can be made outdoors on the grill or even on a stovetop grill-pan.

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, combine 1 cup of regular milk with 1 tbsp of either white vinegar or lemon juice, stir.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Done!

The Starting Lineup
Chicken

  • 2lbs chicken (breasts, tenders or thighs), cut into 2″ cubes
  • 2 Bell peppers (any color)
  • 1 red onion
  • 8 oz Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • Salt & Pepper

Potatoes

  • 2 1/2lbs New/Red Potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Celery Salt

Bleu Cheese Dressing

  • 8oz reduced fat Blue cheese crumbles
  • 8oz light sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • Salt & pepper

Garnish (optional)

  • Celery, VERY thinly sliced
  • Green onions, sliced
  • Jalapeños, sliced 

SAUCES:  

Buffalo Wing Sauce:  In a small pan or in the microwave melt the butter.  Whisk in the bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and set aside.

Easy Bleu Cheese Dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the Bleu cheese crumbles, sour cream and buttermilk.  Salt & pepper to taste, cover and transfer to the refrigerator till needed.

Start by rinsing and cutting the vegetables and the chicken into kabob-sized pieces. 

Skewer and salt & pepper to taste.  *If using bamboo sticks, make sure to soak the skewers in water for 20 minutes prior.   If using metal skewers, make sure to lightly coat in oil so the meat doesn’t stick.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water and the potatoes to a boil.  Cover and simmer till just fork tender (about 20 minutes).  Transfer the par-cooked potatoes to a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and the celery salt to taste (about 1 tsp).

With either the outdoor grill or your grill pan indoors, heat to medium-high heat and make sure to oil the grill grates or pan.  Once ready to go, start your kabobs and cook through (15-20 minutes).  Transfer the kabobs to a tray and brush on the buffalo wing sauce.  *You can start to brush the sauce on during the last few minutes of grilling, just add a little at a time and finish once done to avoid flare ups.Next, add the potatoes to the grill/pan and turn often for 10 minutes, until crisped up.


SERVE:  On a large serving platter, lay out the grilled potatoes and drizzle on the Bleu cheese dressing you made earlier and sprinkle on the celery, green onions, jalapeños.  Top with the buffalo chicken kabobs (you can remove from the skewers if preferred) and serve with the remaining buffalo wing sauce for dipping. 

Shredded Buffalo Chicken (Crockpot)

Just about everyone I know enjoys eating a plate of buffalo wings every now & again.  For me, the hotter the better really…but unfortunately, I’m usually still a bit hungry after.  Here you get that exact same great flavor, but in a fat and tasty sandwich form!  It’s filling for your entire family, kiddos included!!

Now if you’re eating on the lighter side these days or are perhaps gluten-free, you can simply stuff the buffalo chicken into some crunchy celery sticks alongside your favorite dipping sauce!  

Seriously, there is A LOT that can be done with this fantastic chicken filling!  Quesadillas, tacos, made into a dip with cream cheese, on grilled cheese, stuffed into an avocado…the options are almost endless!

The Starting Lineup

  • 4 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
  • 12oz bottle Franks Red Hot (original)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste*
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Onion powder, to taste
  • Pinch of salt

*to taste: I used about 1/2 tsp of each

To Make Sandwiches (optional)

  • Large kaiser rolls or slider buns
  • Blue cheese crumbles 
  • Ranch dressing
  • Thick cut dill pickles
  • Red onion slices

Keeping light (optional)

  • Celery sticks
  • Ranch/blue cheese dressing for dipping  

Simple.  Simple.  Simple.  Spray your crockpot with a bit of nonstick spray and place the chicken breast in the bottom.  Sprinkle the 5 seasonings over the chicken (cayenne & black pepper, garlic & onion powder, pinch of salt). 

 Next pour in 3/4th of the bottle of Franks Red Hot Original sauce, cover, and set to low for 8 hours or high for about 5 hours.

Times up!!!  Add the butter to the now cooked chicken and using two forks, shred away!  Next, add in the remaining 1/4 cup of wing sauce and toss to coat.  Done!  Easy right?? 

     Now if you’re making these into sandwiches, here’s how we like them!  I toast the buns first and place a heaping portion of the shredded buffalo chicken on top (depending, I’ll lather on a bit of ranch dressing onto the inside of each toasted bun before adding the chicken).  Then I top with a bit of the blue cheese crumbles and a few slices of thick cut dill pickles and red onion!  Delish!! 

 Lighter fare??  Clean and cut up some celery and simply stuff full of the shredded buffalo chicken.  Serve alongside either ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping!  *The blue cheese fanatic that I am, I also like to add the crumbles to the top of these

 

Fall Harvest Pizza

If you love the Fall season as much as I do, then you’ll absolutely adore this pizza!  It has all the savory flavors and colors this time of year is known for, with a hint of sweetness too…excellent combination!

Plus, you can get the same taste an easier route if you purchase a lot of the veggies prepped and premade dough.  A Fall family favorite right here! 

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
  • 3 links chicken sausage (I.e. Apple flavored)
  • 1 large onion, (red or yellow) sliced
  • 2 cups kale, torn
  • 1 1/2 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2-3 Tbsp Bleu cheese, crumbled
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • EVOO 
  • Honey, drizzle
  • Sage leaves (optional), crisped
  • Cornmeal (optional), for crust  

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Assuming your pizza dough is ready for baking (if you prefer not to make your own, you can of course buy it in your freezer aisle, your local pizzeria or even a Boboli crust), we’ll prep our veggies!

Ok….in today’s world, you can absolutely buy your squash already cubed and the kale already torn in a bag, etc…genius!  However, I took the hard approach and if you did too, then here we go!  Slice your onion into slices and with a vegetable peeler, you can actually peel off the butternut squashes rind.  It’s actually pretty easy.  I peeled about half of my butternut squash, cut the peeled part off and cut into cubes.  Save the other half for another meal 🙂 

   Have a sauté pan with 1 tbsp EVOO heated to medium and add in your onions and a pinch each of kosher salt and sugar.  Allow to cook down and caramelize while stirring occasionally.  Also add the squash to a baking sheet, drizzle with EVOO and top with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Transfer this to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, till tender, while your onions are sautéing. 

   Once these are both finished cooking, transfer to seperate dishes and set aside.  *Keep your oven on that same 400 degrees for the pizza, add in either a large baking sheet or a pizza stone to heat up while you finish prepping.

In the same pan you cooked the onions down in, now add in the chicken sausage and cook through…typically about 6 minutes per side.  Once the sausage is finished, set aside and allow to cool & rest before you slice. 

   While the sausage is resting, you can now rinse and tear up the kale (if needed) and thinly slice your apple.  You should have all of the toppings prepped at this point. 

Optional:  Crisped Sage, heat 2 tbsp EVOO in pan to medium heat.  Add in a couple sage leaves and cook for about 20-30 seconds on each side.  Immediately take out and transfer to a paper towel.  You’re done! 

   It’s pizza assembly time!!  Roll out the dough to your desired shape..Don’t worry about that perfect circle here.  I think a roundish square works and is rustic and charming.

After I rolled out my dough, I carefully placed it onto a piece of parchment paper coated in cornmeal (optional).  Brush EVOO ALL over the dough top and sprinkle the with minced garlic (if your crazy like me, earlier in the prep heat up  EVOO in a pan, add the garlic to it and immediately take off the heat and set aside for this.).  

 After the dough has been brushed with EVOO and minced garlic, we’ll start layering the toppings.  It goes like this:  Caramelized onions and any drippings first, the kale leaves, the roasted butternut squash, the Apple chicken sausage (now sliced), then the Apple slices.  Top this all with shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of Bleu cheese crumbles. 

  

  

  

So I used a large preheated baking sheet (upside down) as my base, and carefully lifted the parchment paper topped with the loaded up pizza onto it.  *careful that baking sheet is hot!!  Transfer to the 400 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes, till cheese is melted and crust is browned. 

 When time is up, remove the pizza and drizzle with the honey all over the top and crisped sage. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  We prefer ours with a small salad and a good bottle of hard cider!  Enjoy! 

   

Baked Panko Chicken (w/ a Greek yogurt bleu cheese) and Mashed Buffalo Cauliflower 

Wait…am I eating “healthy”??  Well kinda of..our household has been craving some crispy, drippy, Friday-night, spicy, buffalo wings….but I wondered if I could make a MEAL out of those flavors?!  Something to sustain us all.  Perhaps a healthier version at that!  Could I??

After a bit of strategic thought and planning, I am pretty sure that I achieved a great balance of texture & flavor considering my whole family was happy AND full after this recipe!!  Full?!?  Off of baked chicken and mock potatoes?..Happy momma right here!…we even had leftovers, sincerely!

*If you do not care for blue cheese, than purely omit or add in a packet of ranch seasoning to the Panko crumbs.

*If you do not like buffalo wing sauce, than purely omit and leave the cauliflower with just the beginning ingredients.  That’s how I served it to my toddlers before I added the wing sauce for my hubby & I.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 thick chicken breasts, butterflied into 2 each (4 total)
  • 1 cup Japanese Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 whole cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4oz reduced-fat cream cheese 
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp+ Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Non-stick spray
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper 
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Green onions, sliced (garnish, optional)  

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, while also preparing a baking sheet & rack sprayed with non-stick spray.

Next, in two seperate shallow dishes, combine first the mustard, salt, pepper & cayenne.  In the second dish, combine the Panko and the 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. 

 Evenly dredge the filet’d chicken breasts into the mustard and spices (each side) followed immediately with the Panko-parmesan mix.  Press the coating into the poultry.  Once dredged, place the coated chicken onto the wire rack that is set over the baking sheet. 

     Ok, that chicken can sit for just a second now…So let us bring a pot of water (with a pinch of salt) up to a low boil.  Meanwhile, roughly cut the cauliflower, rinse and carefully place into the boiling water.  *Allow to boil till fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.  Also, once your water starts to boil, put that dredged chicken into the oven!  *The chicken will bake for 15-20 minutes. 

  

  The cauliflower is now cooked tender and drained…*Up to you, this can be “mashed” with a potato masher, blender, food processor or immersion blender.  Add the cooked cauliflower to your respected source (..or not, if using an immersion blender like myself).  Then add the butter, cream cheese, garlic, pinch of salt & pepper and the buffalo wing sauce (if using it).  Purée till smooth!!!  *Word to the wise, IF you’re using the wing sauce, and I suggest you do, still TRY a bite of these without.  Shockingly good!!   Both my boys were convinced they were mashed ‘taters and they’re about guilt-free!! S-N-E-A-K-Y! 😉 

     Now that your mock buffalo potatoes are done, the chicken should be as well!! Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes (*yes, you may be multitasking..not sorry).

While the chicken is resting you can quickly make a simple sauce.  Mix 1 cup of Greek yogurt with 2 Tbsp+ of Bleu cheese crumbles and a pinch of pepper.  Stir, mash, stir.  *This can also be made in advance, wrapped up, and set in fridge till din-din time. 

 By now I am guessing that you’re on a roll and ..well..everything is done!!!

Plate this healthier mock chicken wing meal with a hefty spoonful of puréed buffalo cauliflower underneath a crispy Panko fried chicken breast.  Top it off with a drizzle of Bleu cheese sauce and a few scallions!  Enjoy!!….and don’t feel guilty! 😉 

  

Roasted Red, White & Bleu Potato Salad

This is a knock out for an All-American 🇺🇸 weekend side dish!!  I mean c’mon, the name alone says it all…

The roasted potatoes give fantastic texture (vs boiled), plus great tang from the sour cream addition and you can never ever everrr go wrong with bacon! Duh..

Also, if you do not care for Bleu cheese (were as we love it), by all means omit it and carry on.  It’s takes on more of a “ranch” flavor and is equally amazing.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 1/2 lbs of red potatoes
  • 1 package bacon, cooked (keep grease)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup green onion, sliced 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt & pepper 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.   Wash, pat dry and cut your potatoes into roughly 1×1″ squares.  Transfer the cut potatoes into a large bow.

   Start your bacon.  Cook till desired doneness (I prefer crisp) and transfer to a paper towl lined plate to drain.  Do NOT throw out that grease!!

Once the bacon has finished….go with me here….pour that delectable grease over the cut, raw potatoes.  Toss to coat.  (Sooo good!)   Now that the cut potatoes are coated, transfer evenly onto a large baking sheet and liberally sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Place in your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.  Turning once or twice.

While your potatoes are roasting, chop and slice up the red & green onions.

In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, red onion, green onion and salt & pepper to taste.

Next, mix in your desired amount of blue cheese.  Remember, a little can go a long way…*again, if you’re not a blue cheese fan, just leave it out!  This is incredibly delicious either way.  You could even add shredded cheddar!

Alrighty, potatoes are cooked through and crisp!  Once removed from the oven, sprinkle over the apple cider vinegar.  While warm, these potatoes really suck it up and helps cut the richness from the cream & bacon elements.

Pour these guys back into the large bowl.  Add in the cream mixture, the bacon and gently toss to coat.

I like to garnish the top with a bit more crunchy bacon pieces and green onions.  A great take on a typical side dish!!  Enjoy!

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