Tag Archives: honey

Honey Garlic Baked Cauliflower

When I get a hankering for some Asian flavors, this is one of my favorite go-to’s!  What I also love about this dish, is the different ways one can prepare it.  There are times that I just like it clean and simple with “naked” roasted cauliflower and a drizzle of sauce.  Other times, I will coat it with a super crunchy panko crust and toss it completely covered in sauce, then top it off with orange zest and sesame seeds.  Lot and lots of options here friends!

So when you may be in a time crunch, midweek, but still want something fun to put on the table for dinner, THIS is great!  It is healthy, sweet, savory, spicy and can be tweaked oh so easily to fit your family’s palate.  I’m sure after trying this recipe, it’ll be a back pocket staple!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs, plain
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Sauce (can be doubled for larger cauliflower heads or to fully coat vs drizzled)

  • 6 Tbsp honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 6 Tbsp water + 2 tsp cornstarch (whisked into a slurry)
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or Tamari
  • 1/2 Tbsp sriracha or chili-garlic sauce (<–if you like more heat, like myself)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Pour the Panko breadcrumbs onto the sheet in a flat layer and spray with a bit of cooking spray.  Bake for about 5 minutes until a golden brown.

Dip the cauliflower into the beaten egg and shake off any excess.  Place, one by one, onto the slightly browned Panko and gently roll and press all of the breadcrumbs onto the cauliflower.

Place back in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and exterior is a dark, golden brown.

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While the cauliflower is cooking, you can prepare the sauce.  In a small bowl, combine the water and cornstarch, set aside.  In a small saucepan, combine all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer for a few seconds.  Next, whisk in the cornstarch slurry to the saucepan and keep on a simmer/whisk for a couple minutes, until it starts to thicken.  Remove from the heat and the sauce will thicken even more.

Drizzle (or coat) over your baked cauliflower bites and top with the thinly cut scallions.  Serve over rice and don’t forget those chopsticks!!

*Can be made without the panko for low-carb or gluten free/ GF Panko can be substituted as well.

**A fun addition of orange zest and sesame seeds are always tasty too.  If you really like the orange flavor, add a bit of the zest and squeeze of juice to the sauce.  

BakedHoneyCauli

Sweet Lemon Pasta

This is a great way to kick off the warmth of Spring!  So good that I’m sure you’ll carry this lightly sweet and tangy dish all the way through summer!  It’s bright, fresh and quite versatile as I like to pair it with grilled shrimp or chicken, or just eat it as is for a light lunch!

*To amp up your veggie intake, prepare this with roasted spaghetti squash instead of pasta noodles.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, the leaves (if using dried about 1 tsp) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8oz of pasta of choice (I prefer a thin noodle for the light sauce) or roasted spaghetti squash

If adding chicken:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 lb chicken breast, cubed in 1″ pieces
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Garnish (optional)

  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Lemon wedges

Bring water to a boil, cook noodles to package directions, drain and set aside.  Alternatively, roast spaghetti squash in oven, shred with fork, set aside.

In a medium size bowl, combine the honey, lemon juice, thyme leaves, salt and olive oil.  Whisk and set aside.

Bring a large, non-stick skillet to med-high heat.  Add in the olive oil and the chicken seasoned with salt and pepper.  Allow to cook 3-4 minutes on each side to create a nice browned color.

With the chicken still in the pan, pour in the chicken broth and scrape up any brown bits (flavor!) and then pour in the sauce.  Turn down to med-low heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, till slightly reduced, stirring occasionally.

Add your cooked pasta or spaghetti squash straight to the chicken and sauce and toss to combine.  Serve with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese and lemon wedges…oh, and LOTS of warm, garlicky breadsticks!!  Enjoy! xo

SweetLemonPasta2

 

Turkey and Brie Quesadillas w/ a Roasted Apple Pico de Gallo

Whether you’re hosting a ladies brunch, a dinner party or would just like to elevate your weeknight dinner with an EASY, yet impressive meal…this recipe will do the trick!  

The sweet and savory flavors are just outstanding!  You also have creaminess from the brie, sweetness from the roasted grapes and cranberries, freshness from the spinach and a nice crunch from the apples, pecans and browned tortilla.  Flavor sensation bliss!

…And don’t you dare say that you “cannot cook” or it sounds “too hard” or “too fancy”.  You can and it’s neither!  This entire recipe will take less than an hour to prepare whether you use it for a meal or an hors d’oeuvre.p at your next get together…and who can’t slap together a flipping quesadilla, because that’s exactly what it is!

*the Pico de Gallo can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until use.

*I recommend the best, quality deli roasted turkey.  My local grocer here in Texas, HEB, actually rotisserie’s whole turkeys and I have them slice up one pound on a number 2 setting.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb quality deli turkey, sliced thin
  • 8 oz wheel brie cheese, sliced
  • 4 10″ flour tortillas 
  • 1 1/2 cups Spinach leaves, fresh
  • 2 sweet onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Butter, 1 /2 stick, divided

Roasted Apple Pico de Gallo

  • 1 large honey crisp apple, sliced and chopped
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, fresh (frozen is fine)
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp honey, divided 1:1
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, divided

Begin this simple, but oh so fancy tasting recipe by preparing the sweet pico de gallo…preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a small baking sheet with foil.

While the oven is preheating you’ll begin to caramelize the onions.  In a sauté pan over medium low heat, place the sliced onions and 3 tbsp butter (plus a pinch of salt and sugar) and allow to cook down till soft and that beautiful caramel color.  Meanwhile….


In a large bowl, gently fold together the grapes, cranberries (again, completely frozen here is just fine), 1 tablespoon of the honey,  1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/4 tsp of the cinnamon.  Pour onto the baking sheet in a single layer.  Place in the oven and allow to roast for 20 minutes.

Once finished, pour the roasted grapes and cranberries, plus juices, back into the large bowl and allow to cool.  Remember, you’re still cooking down those onions…

To the cooled, roasted fruit:  add the apples (I like to chop right before to avoid browning), green onions, pecans, jalapeño (optional) and remaining 1 Tbsp of honey and 1 tsp of cinnamon.  Toss gently to coat together. 


In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard and the honey.

Assembly time!!  Preheat a large skillet to medium heat and add 1 tbsp of butter to melt.  On each tortilla, spread 1 Tbsp of the Dijon-honey mixture on one side and lay (uncoated side down) into the hot pan.  Top half of the tortilla with the sliced turkey, spinach, brie slices and the caramelized onions.  Fold in half and allow to brown; flip to brown the other side.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Makes 4 filling quesadillas.

Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes and using a pizza cutter, slice each browned quesadilla into 4 triangles.  Place the slices on a large platter along with a bowl of the Roasted Apple Pico de Gallo for garnishing…enjoy!!  

Coconutty Pancakes w/ Pineapple Honey Syrup

I don’t know a soul that doesn’t crave something “tropical” during the summer months.  Not one.  So one morning, as I was doing just that, I realized I had no rum in the house (plus it was super early..) so I couldn’t whip up a mai-tai or pina coloda..poor me.  Instead, I thought I would treat the entire family to a delish breakfast that would transport us to an idyllic island!  Now I’m not sure if my kids fell for that part, but I sure imagined me and that mai-tai and they had no problem cleaning their plates!  Win!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sweetened coconut
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted (plus more for pan)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup milk (buttermilk works great too!)
  • 1 egg

Syrup

  • 1 6oz can pineapple juice (I used a can of Dole juice)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pineapple chunks (optional)

Garnish

  • walnuts or macadamia nuts 
  • shredded coconut  

Begin this breakfast delight by starting the Pineapple-Honey Syrup.  In a small saucepan, simply combine the pineapple juice and the honey (plus the pineapple chunks if desired) and bring to a low boil while whisking.  Once combined turn to low and set aside. 

 Next, start the melting of the tbsp of butter in a small bowl in the microwave, remove and let cool slightly while you mix the dry ingredients.  *if the butter is too hot, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs..no good.

In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients, including the 1/4 cup sweetened coconut. 

 

In the small bowl of now cooled melted butter, whisk in the coconut milk, regular milk and egg.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till just together.  You do not want to overwork, lumps are a-ok!! 

 

Finally heat up your pan, skillet, griddle, what-have-you, along with another Tbsp of glorious butter.  Ladle about 1/3 cup of batter down and cook each side to your desired golden brown color. 

 

Let’s serve these pancakes!!  Pour the warm Pineapple-Honey Syrup over each stack and top with your choice of chopped nuts and more coconut!!  Enjoy! 

*Serve alongside some crispy bacon and eggs for a hearty, savory breakfast!

 

Scratch Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

The great debate: Stuffing vs Dressing.  Yes, I know what the difference is between the two, stuffing goes INSIDE the bird, while dressing is cooked OUTSIDE the bird.  However, growing up in my household, no matter which way we cooked it, we called it stuffing.  So you’re just going to have to deal with the title 😉

The flavors in this holiday side dish are just fabulous!  There is a sweet heat in the cornbread and a savoriness with the sausage and classic thyme & sage spices!  Plus, my favorite thing, is how there is still texture to the dish…I loathe mushy, pasty stuffing.  This definitely isn’t one of them!

*Make how you please, but I like to prepare the cornbread and dry it out at LEAST a day before I finish it.  This is a busy enough time of year, help yourself out a little! 🙂

*Also, this is a southern style cornbread, meaning NO sugar.  If you prefer yours sweet like a true Yankee 😉 feel free to add in a Tbsp or two..but when made into a stuffing it really isn’t needed.  Personally.

The Starting Lineup
Jalapeno Cornbread

  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt & sugar, each
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup corn kernals, roasted (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded & minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced  

Cornbread Sausage Stuffing

  • 1 recipe of Jalapeno Cornbread, cubed & dried
  • 1 lb breakfast sausage, cooked & crumbled
  • 1 large onion, chopped fine
  • 3 celery, chopped fine
  • 1 pckg sliced mushrooms
  • 5 tsp butter
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 cup half-in-half
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth (low sodium)
  • 4 large eggs
  • A pinch each (salt, pepper & cayenne pepper)  

Starting with the cornbread…

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

In either a skillet or under the broiler, cook the corn till it starts to take on a little color (mere minutes).  Set aside. 

   In a bowl, whisk the milk, oil, honey and eggs till combined. 

 In a another large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Next add the milk mixture into the dry mixture and whisk till smooth. 

     Finally fold in the corn, jalapeños and green onions into the mix and pour the batter into your greased baking dish. 


 
 Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (about 60 minutes in my oven…everyone’s oven is different).  Cool in pan for 2-3 hours to set. 

 *Onced cooked and set, cut the cornbread with a serrated knife into 1″ cubes.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and place the cubed cornbread onto two baking sheets (spread out evenly) and put into oven.  Rotate the filled baking sheets every 20 mintutes or so until the cornbread has dried out (crouton like), at least an hour. 

   

Good morning (since you’re likely finishing this the next day)!!  We’ll start this preperation by cooking the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once browned and crumbled, set aside on a paper towel lined plate. 

In that same skillet, add in 2 Tbsps of the butter, the chopped celery, onion and mushrooms and cook down for about 3 minutes.  To that, add in the thyme, sage and minced garlic.  Cook for 30-60 seconds and then add the sausage back in along with the chicken stock and remove from heat, allowing to cool. 

   While the pan is cooling, whisk together the eggs, half-in-half, salt, pepper & cayenne till combined.  Then SLOWLY add in the chicken stock mix to the eggs while constantly whisking.  *If that stock is still too hot and you combine it with the eggs too fast, you’ll basically end up with scrambled eggs.  No good.  So please do it slowly while constantly whisking.  Temper the eggs. 🙂 

     Now set the oven to 375 degrees.  

Here is where you gently fold in the cubed & dried cornbread into the wet mixture.  Once all saturated let sit for roughly 15-20 minutes to REALLY let the bread soak up the liquid. 

   Transfer to your 9×13 baking dish and drizzle the remaining 3 TBSP butter overtop the dish.

Bake your glorious scratch-made stuffing uncovered for 40 minutes till the top is a golden brown and then let rest for 20.  Enjoy your hard work! 

 

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! 

   

Turkey, Brie & Apple Pockets

The options of fillings on these are limitless and trust me..I’ve tried a few, even breakfast.  However,…..nothinnggg that I’ve found and tried beats this one.  These are knock your socks off good!!  Did I just sound old there?? 😉

This is barely even considered ‘cooking’, besides the fact that you have to turn on your oven for 20minutes.  The great thing is no one will be the wiser.  This tastes like a picnic at the park or fancy bistro fare.   It’s kind of impressive.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans crescent roll dough
  • 1/2 lb quality, deli turkey breast, thin slices
  • 8oz of Brie cheese, 8 thin slices
  • 1-2 apples, thin slices
  • 2 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon, plus more for dusting
  • 1 egg 

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray. With the first roll of crescent dough, which I have my husband open due to my irrational fear of them ‘popping’ open (hell, I’d even walk to a neighbor before I opened one of those alone), start taking the precut triangles apart. You will place 4 on each baking sheet.  However, first you must stretch them to literally double in size.  You can either gently pull and press with your fingertips or lightly flour and use a rolling pin or wine bottle.    Now with 4 dough triangles on each sheet, let’s cut them apples!  I have no rhyme or reason to how I cut them, but I just like them in thin slices.  I also prefer to leave the skins on.  Do what you wish..  After your apple(s) have been sliced, just toss in the spicy brown mustard, the honey and the cinnamon.  Mix well…these are weirdly delicious.  Like seriously..     While my apples are soaking up that sweet & tangy concoction, I slice the Brie cheese, thinly as well!   Assembly time!!!  Take 1-2 slices of your turkey (I’m sure any turkey would work here, but I honestly use our grocers REAL oven-roasted, sliced at a 1 or 2..it’s way, way better than Boars Head, etc even!) and lay lengthwise on your dough.  Follow that with 3-4 Apple slices and your Brie Cheese.       With your second can of crescent dough, do the same as above.  Carefully press or roll out till doubled. Make an egg wash with the 1 egg and a splash of water.  Beat together till lightly frothy. Lay each of the 8 extra dough triangles overtop your assembled “pockets”.  This is where you realize how great it is to thinly slice all of your ingredients.  Press each side together and crimp with a fork.  Do not worry AT ALL about it looking pretty, you know I like things rustic!  Also, if you have any tears on the top, you can always mend it with a bit of extra dough from the corners or just let that gooey Brie ooze right on out!  Brush the tops and crimped edges with the egg wash you just made.  This will make a beautiful golden crust and keep it slightly crisp.  Bake these for 12-15 minutes till beautifully browned!  They’re best served straight out of the oven or at room temperature…just be careful because that cheese is hot!  These are soooooo good!!! 

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