Fruit Salsa and Churro Chips

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This recipe is a fresh summertime staple. Packed with sweet berries, sour Granny Smith apples, and tropical kiwi you won’t be able to get enough. My kids particularly like the churro chips as the bottoms are caramelized and crunchy like the outside of a churro, but the tops are softer like the center of a churro. I always make extra chips just because they are so good on their own. The recipe below is written for one batch of chips, but it is well worth it to double up on the chips. This salsa is inspired from my mom’s old recipe. It is very easy to throw together and is the perfect desert for a summer BBQ.

Salsa Time: 20 minutes

Chips Time: 30 minutes

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced into small chunks
  • 2 kiwis, diced into small chunks
  • 1 carton (1lb) strawberries, washed and diced into small chunks
  • 1 carton (8oz) raspberries, sliced in half
  • 3 tbsp fruit preserves, my mom always used apple jelly but I prefer strawberry preserves
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1tsp lemon zest

Churro Chip Ingredients:

  • 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Directions for Chips:

  1. You will want to start with the chips first because you can utilize bake time to start making the salsa.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350
  3. Combine the sugar and cinnamon
  4. Rub both sides of the tortillas with butter and sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on both sides as well.
  5. Stack the tortillas a few at a time and slice into 8 triangles.
  6. Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Repeat for additional slices.
  7. Be sure to rinse the baking sheet between batches because the sugar residue will burn. This results in a smokey kitchen and the second wave of chips will have burnt bottoms instead of caramelized ones. This takes a little extra time but it is well worth it not to have burnt chip bottoms or a screeching fire alarm.

Directions for Salsa:

  1. Combine all the prepped fruits, lemon juice, zest and preserves.
  2. Mix really well
  3. Serve with Churro Chips
  4. Enjoy!

 

 

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Pineapple Baked Chicken – ★★★★✩

11008513_10205998715465070_8853942480179284495_nIt is no secret that I love savory sweet, and this recipe delivers just that. This chicken dish is baked so the meat came out really juicy and tender with the pineapples perfectly soft. I found it to be an easy, quick and delicious recipe that had us coming back for seconds. I honestly ate a heaping second plate of just the pineapple for desert, that is how tasty it was. We added extra pepper flakes for more heat and I think that took it to a whole new level of yummy. I’m falling in love with Dijon mustard after the saucy pork chops I made a few weeks ago, and I must say I think that is what holds all the flavors in this recipe together. Perry really enjoyed this dinner, but gave 4 stars because he had a suggestion that could potentially make it even better. I’ll let him describe it himself:

“There is no doubt in my mind that this recipe is 5 star quality. It is salty, it is sweet and it is spicy. I think that adding smokey to that list of adjectives would pump this recipe up. I suggest grilling the pineapple chunks before adding them to the recipe. Kelsey thinks it might be an annoying extra step for those who are trying to rush dinner on the table, but I think if the time is available it would be awesome. I know that I love grilled corn in soup so why not have grilled pineapple in this recipe. We will give it a go next time around and at that point I’ll give this one a full five-star rating. Until then it is a 4 because I know there is a little bit of room for improvement.

Serves: 4     Calories: 350 per serving     Time: MARINATE 3 hrs  COOK: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 2 (20 oz.) cans of pineapple chunks, if you can get the ones in pineapple juice not syrup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • Crushed pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. To marinade, combine chicken, pineapple juice (drain from the canned stuff and keep pineapple chunks aside), garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest and paprika. Place in a large bowl or ziplock bag and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  2. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Spray 9×13 cooking dish with cooking spray.
  4. Remove the chicken from the marinade and put into the baking dish and set aside. Discard of the marinade.
  5. In a large pan melt the butter. Once butter is melted add the Dijon, honey, and pineapple chunks stirring for a few minutes until bubbly. Remove from heat
  6. Pour the saucy pineapple chunks over the chicken and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  7. If you are into spicy, sprinkle pepper flakes on top before serving.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from http://www.diethood.com 

Sweet Cilantro Lime Chicken Kebabs – ★★★★★

10389603_10205765390272086_5517173262006650960_nI have finally found a way to get Chance, our 4-year-old, to eat chicken that isn’t pressed into a patty with who knows what else. I’m learning that Chance takes interest in things that are not “ordinary.” We usually eat dinner with a fork, so handing him chicken on a stick was the hook (and he bit!). I’ve made this recipe a number of times since our initial trial and can attest to how easy this is to make. I suggest marinating the chicken all day if you can. Throw it in the marinade first thing in the morning then string them onto kebab sticks right before grilling. I would liken the flavor to teriyaki but it isn’t sticky-sweet like teriyaki can usually be. It has a nice zesty zing because of the lime and am looking forward to warm summer nights grilling these puppies out on the patio. Perry gave 5 stars and this is why:

These kebabs are tasty. There is no other way to describe it… Just absolutely tasty. There are three distinct flavors – sweet, salty and sour. Don’t get me wrong it isn’t overly sour just a subtle zing at the end, like how pineapple is sweet yet sour also. They have a lightness to them that had me going back for more.. and more. I give these five stars because they are so delicious and our little guy, Chance, even had a few.”

Serves: 4     Calories: 199/serving     Time: marinade time: at least an hour     cook time: 8 mins 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce, we use reduced sodium
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, we use the tenders as I find it easier to trim and cut into little pieces
  • Bamboo skewers

Directions:

  1. Combine soy sauce, salt, pepper, honey, oil, garlic, lime juice, pepper flakes and 1 tbsp of cilantro in a large bowl.
  2. Trim chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Place the chicken into the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. We let ours sit for about 7 hours.
  3. If using wooden skewers soak in water for at minimum 10 minutes before letting them sit on the grill.
  4. String the chicken pieces onto the skewers (getting rid of the remaining marinade) and grill on each side for approximately 5-8 minutes.
  5. Garnish with the remaining 1 tbsp of cilantro.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Original recipe found at http://www.budgetsavydiva.com 

Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple – ★★★★★

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This recipe was a hit at the dinner table. It probably helped that today was one of the most beautiful days of the summer making it a great night to fire up the grill. The chicken was left to marinate overnight so it was extremely flavorful today. My favorite part was the pineapple slices which added the perfect balance of sweet to a salty marinade.  The recipe itself is extremely easy to follow so it makes for a great weeknight dinner that goes with just about any side dish. Please do not forget to allow for marinating time like I almost did. Perry gave five stars and here is why:

I don’t have any criticism to provide because this dinner was everything I expected it to be. Kelsey used thin chicken breasts so the marinade seemed really concentrated in the meat, and the pineapple was charred in exactly the right way. This was a nice way to enjoy the summer weather before it’s gone.”

Serves: 6       Calories 452       Carbs: 33.3        Time: Marinate:2-3 hours or overnight    prep/cook time: 4o minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 6 pineapple rings

Directions

  1. Combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, oil, brown sugar, garlic powder, ginger, dry mustard and pepper in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Pound chicken breasts to even thickness of about 1/2 inch.
  4. Pour sauce over chicken breasts in a shallow glass dish or ziplock bag.
  5. Cover or seal and marinate at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, turning occasionally.
  6. Grill over medium heat approximately 6 minutes per side, basting with any reserved marinade. Grill until done.
  7. When you turn chicken, if desired, dip pineapple rings in marinade- grill the pineapple slices turning once.
  8. Top chicken with pineapple slices
  9. Enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.food.com 

Island Sliders With a Kick – ★★★★★

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These babies were just the thing to polish off the beautiful summer day today. The pineapples and chicken burger patties were juicy, flavorful, and grilled to perfection. The only thing I might add is a tsp of teriyaki sauce. All together these hit the spot and Perry deemed them worth 5 stars. Here is why:

Kelsey says that she thinks I have no faith in her when it comes to the grill, but if you’ve seen her try to cook a steak you would understand why. When she grills without a recipe that gives her an exact cooking time it is guaranteed that she will burn and overcook it. I’m thankful this recipe gave her an exact cooking time because the burgers came out excellent. I really liked the taste of the chicken patty which I was originally unsure to try. When I think of a burger I think of a medium-rare slab of beef so I was prepared to be a little disappointed. I feel like I say that a lot because Kels likes to try some strange recipes, but she really does surprise me when it all comes together. This recipe  is one of those that came together perfectly. I give full stars!”

Makes 9 sliders at 151 calories per slider

Ingredients:

  • 1-8oz can of pineapple slices, draines
  • 2-3 skewers
  • 3 slices pepper jack cheese, sliced to drape over 9 mini patties 
  • 9 slider buns
  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided into 1/4 tsp
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, divided into 1/4 tsp 
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, soy sauce, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp chili powder,  salt, cumin, and garlic in a large bowl. Mix and divide into 9 large even balls. Keep in mind that the mixture might be a little sticky so don’t expect the balls to be perfectly formed. Just make sure you use close to the same amount of mixture per “ball.” Form patties, making them slightly thinner in the middle.
  2. Mix together the remaining 1/4 tsp paprika and 1/4 tsp of chili powder and sprinkle over the patties.
  3. Refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes. Do not skip this step because  it will be difficult to transfer the patties to the grill. 
  4. Preheat your grill to medium-high and grease the rack with cooking spray. 
  5. Cook patties for 2-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. If you are using cheese (which I highly recommend) add it to the patties when you have a minute left on your timer.
  6. String pineapple chunks onto skewers and grill for 1-2 minutes or until you begin to see grill marks. 
  7. Toast your bun if you wish and put together your sliders. 
  8. Enjoy!

*Photo is original belonging to me

**This recipe was modified but you can find the original at http://homeiswheretheholmansare.blogspot.com/

Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp

936185_10200890596645292_808899930_nWith summer around the corner we decided to bust out to grill and start trying some summer recipes. I believe skewers are a staple in the summer recipe category so I did a search and found this absolutely delicious recipe on http://www.allrecipes.com I wouldn’t change anything about this recipe which is not something that happens often so you know this is a must try. I let them marinate for about 4-6 hours making them extremely flavorful. My two year old picky eater even had one! Perry gave them ★★★★★ and this is why:

“These are so good I ended up eating a 1/2 lb of shrimp. The marinade was awesome because it was smoky sweet. I’d like to try this marinade on chicken and beef also just to see how the flavors mix. I’m hoping this becomes a regular dinner in our home.”

Serves: 4         Calories: 336

Ingredients:

– 1 tsp ground paprika

– 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

– 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend

– 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1/4 tsp ground pepper

– 1 tsp dried basil

– 1 tbsp brown sugar

– 1lb large shrimp

Directions:

1.) Whisk paprika, garlic, Italia seasoning, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, basil, and brown sugar together in a bowl until blended. Fold in the shrimp and toss to evenly coat.

2.) Cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 2 hours. Toss once halfway to coat again.

3.) Remove shrimp from marinade and place on a preheated grill (med/high heat).

4.) Cook, turning once, until opaque in the middle (5-6 minutes approximately)

5.) Serve immediately and enjoy!

*Photo is an original taken by me

**Original recipe can be found at http://www.allrecipes.com