Tag Archives: spring

Balsamic Strawberry Chicken Quesadilla

I’m quite the advocate of a great balsamic reduction.  No, not the vinegar (though good where it is needed), but the rich, slightly sweet glaze.  Now, while I mainly consume it over pillow-like soft slices of mozzarella sprinkled with coarse salt, I felt I needed to broaden both the sauce’s and my horizon.  With that being said, I have concocted the easiest hand-held, Springtime delight!

Likely from my raising in Arizona, I am quite partial to the quesadilla, so I decided what better than to “stuff” a few of my favorite light and fresh ingredients into a tortilla and grill up!

Man oh man, when I tell ya that the popular Mexican favorite doesn’t have to contain south-of-the-border ingredients after all!  It was everything sweet, tangy, crunchy and fresh with the addition of fruit and herbs, vegetables, goat cheese and pecans…last but not least, the balsamic reduction to bring it all together!

*If you like it extra, ooey-gooey cheesy, please feel free to add mozzarella as well! 🙂

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 6 flour tortillas (regular, spinach, low-carb, whole wheat, etc)
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 4oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 (8oz) bottle Balsamic Reduction (not to be confused with vinegar)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

In a Ziploc bag, combine the extra virgin olive oil, a hefty pinch of salt and pepper and 1/4 cup of the balsamic reduction with the chicken.  Zip up, massage to coat and set aside for 20-30 minutes to marinate.

Grill the chicken, until cooked through and the juices run clear; thinly slice.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the butter.  On each tortilla, layer an even amount of the cooked chicken, strawberries, spinach leaves, pecans and goat cheese crumbles.  Fold in half and cook each side of the quesadilla until golden brown in color.

To serve:  Slice into wedges with a pizza cutter, sprinkle with a bit more fresh basil and drizzle the remaining balsamic reduction overtop, enjoy!

quesadillaStrawBasilChx

 

Pink Lemonade Icebox Pie

Well Spring has sprung and Easter is just around the corner…one more week, friends!  If you’re anything like me, you are already coming up with your Easter day menu and may be at a loss come the dessert.  Whelp, I am here to help!!

This pie is like a cheesecake decided to hook up with gelato and had an amazing baby; producing the most tangy, sweet and silky glass of ice cold pink lemonade you’ve ever had!  It will certainly transport you back to your childhood with it’s refreshing flavor and that beautiful pink hue is fabulous for a Springtime sweet!

*Feel free to substitute regular lemonade or even orange juice concentrate if desired.  The OJ will be rich, but similar to a creamsicle. 

*Must be frozen, in my opinion, the refrigerator just won’t firm it up enough.  It also thaws quite quick, so no need to leave out on counter for long.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 (9-inch) premade graham cracker crust
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 of a (12oz) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate, slightly thawed
  • 1-1/2 cups Cool Whip (appx 1/2 of an 8 oz container)
  • 3-4 drops red food coloring (optional)

In a large bowl, beat the softened cream cheese with an electric hand mixer (or stand mixer) on medium-high until fluffy.  Slowly, beat in the sweetened condensed milk, lemonade concentrate and food coloring (optional) until combined.

With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the whipped topping and then pour into your prepared pie crust.  Freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight (you can place saran wrap overtop).  To serve:  Let thaw for 5 minutes, slice and garnish with extra lemon slices if desired.  Enjoy! xo

 

pinklemonadepie.jpg

*Thank you to Granbury’s incredible photographer, Shad Ramsey, for the fantastic photos.

 

 

Crispy Chicken Summer Salad

This is a summer staple in my home.  The salad part does it for me and the crispy, fried chicken gets my husband to eat it ;). Seriously though, the crunchy chicken gets me too…

I thought I’d just “make a salad” one hot day and then one thing led to another and I’m in the kitchen with my cast iron frying chicken and making candied pecans..so much for just an easy salad, right?  However, I am super glad that I did!  The flavors are just right, the textures are perfect together and since I got a pan out, I can consider this ‘cooking’ and write it up!  

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg chicken tenderloins (or breast cut into strips)
  • 1 cup plain Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg, beaten w/ tbsp water
  • Romain, spinach, iceberg mix, chopped
  • 1/2 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans
  • 1/2 Bleu cheese crumbles
  • Raspberry vinaigrette dressing 
  • Croutons (optional)
  • Blueberries (optional)
  • Canola oil
  • Salt & Pepper  

I like to prep all my veggies/fruit first with this simple recipe.  So that once I am finished frying up the chicken, all you have to do is toss it in a bowl together.

So clean and chop your lettuces, hull and quarter your berries, and slice and dice your cucumbers and onion….Normally, I suggest buying premade candied pecans for ease, but I forgot.  Soooo, I made some real quick by toasting my chopped nuts in a bit of oil in a skillet with a good dash of sugar and cinnamon.  Tasted just fine.

Onto the meat-of-the-matter, or in this case would it be poultry-of-the-matter??  Anyway, have three dishes ready and 2 plates (1 plate for the precooked/coated chicken and the other for the finished chicken).

In your first dish, add a cup of flour and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  In your second dish, beat your one egg with a tbsp of cold water till frothy.  In your third dish, add a cup of Panko breadcrumbs and also sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Going in order, dredge your chicken lightly in the flour, then the egg and finally the Panko.  Set coated chicken onto a plate.

  
In a large pan (preferably cast-iron) heat enough oil to come up 1/4 of the side to med/med-high heat.  Add in your tenders a couple at a time.  Do not overcrowd.  Depending on thickness, cook each side of tender for 2-3 minutes or until they’re a nice golden, crunchy brown!  Set cooked chicken aside on a paper towel lined plate.

 

Assembly time!  In a bowl, layer your lettuce along with the strawberries, cucumbers and onion.  Slice your chicken and place on top.  Sprinkle with Bleu cheese crumbles and the pecans and a bit of the raspberry vinaigrette.  I like a few crunchy croutons as well myself.  Enjoy this sweet, tangy, crunchy and refreshing salad…it’s delightful! 

 

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