Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad

I love a great marinade that can double as a salad dressing.  This meal screams summer to me.  Light and delicious.  The salad is definitely worth making even without the chicken.  The tomato marinade turned it a gorgeous pink color, and the flavors were light yet satisfying.  It is a great make ahead meal as well, just pull the chicken out of the fridge, grill and dinner is ready!  We'll be returning to this one again and again.  

Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad
Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats

4 chicken breasts (I used thighs)
3/4 c. dried barley
2 c. corn kernels
1 1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. minced red onion
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper

Cherry Vinaigrette:
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. red onion
salt and pepper

Cook barley according to package directions (I cooked mine in chicken broth).
Fluff with fork and place into a large bowl to cool.
Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
Place 6 Tbsp. of the vinaigrette into a quart ziplock bag and add the chicken.
Set in fridge to marinate.

Stir the corn, cherry tomatoes, red onion and bacon into the cooled barley.
Add enough reserved tomato vinaigrette to coat and stir well.
Gently fold in the avocado and season with salt and pepper.
Place in refrigerator.

Grill chicken and serve over salad.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cantaloupe Jam

I over did it on melons this year.
I realized I had a problem when I had 4 in the fridge, 8 freshly picked, and 7 more in the garden that would be ready in a week or so.  Not to mention that we had eaten at least 1 per day for the last couple of weeks.  We love summer produce.
I had heard about cantaloupe jam, so I surfed over to Pinterest and found lots of ideas.
I settled on this recipe because it uses a relatively small amount of sugar and sugar free pectin, which I replaced with Ultra Gel.  I was also really intrigued by the addition of vanilla.  
It turned out beautifully.
I was all sorts of worried about the consistency; I just thought for sure it would be a runny mess.  But it is smooth, and perfect, and oh so delicious!

Cantaloupe Jam {with Vanilla}
Recipe modified from the Boulder Belt Blog

12 c. cantaloupe puree with chunks
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. ultra gel
3 1/2 c. sugar
1-2 Tbsp. butter

Pour cantaloupe puree, lemon juice and vanilla extract into a large stock pot.
Stir in ultra gel (or pectin) until dissolved and bring to a rolling boil.
Quickly stir in sugar.
Return to a rolling boil.
Boil and stir constantly for 4 minutes.
Add butter and stir until melted and mixed in.
Ladle into hot sterilized jars.
Top with sterilized lids and screw on the bands.
Steam or water bath for 15 minutes.
Remember to adjust for altitude.

Makes 12 half pints, plus more for immediate use.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Grilled Garlic-Balsamic Crusted Pork Loin

I was a bit hesitant about this recipe at first because I am not a huge balsamic vinegar fan.  I worried that it would overwhelm the whole dish, but that was far from the case.  In reality, this was such an amazing marinade; resulting in some of the best pork I have ever eaten.  Seriously, it was phenomenal!  Just don't over cook it!  Aim for exactly 160 degrees for an internal temperature!

Grilled Garlic-Balsamic Crusted Pork Loin
Recipe from Kitchen Confidante

4-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pork tenderloins, about 2 1/2 lb total

In a large ziplock bag, combine garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and oil; shake to combine.
Add pork and marinate for 2 hours - overnight.
Heat grill.
Sear tenderloins on all sides, then grill for about 20-30 minutes, rotating every 10, until internal temperature is 160 degrees.
Rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Honey Cloud Pancakes

This breakfast.... it was such a nice change from the everyday.  And quick, which is a must for breakfast at our house.  One large pancake is spread with soft fruits and baked to perfection.  It was as delicious as it looks.

Honey Cloud Pancakes
Recipe modified from Things We Make

5 eggs, separated
3/4 c. warmed milk
3/4 c. flour
heaping 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 c. soft fruits (I used strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
extra fruit for garnish
honey and powdered sugar

Separate 3 eggs, putting whites in a small glass bowl and yolks in a medium bowl.
Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form, set aside.
Add remaining 2 eggs, flour, salt, vanilla and honey to egg yolks and whisk to combine.
Fold in whipped egg whites.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
When skillet is hot, melt coconut oil, spreading to coat the bottom and up the sides.
Pour entire bowl of batter into pan and cook for about 5 minutes; until the sides start to set.
Evenly distribute fruit over the top of the pancake.
Transfer skillet from stovetop to oven, and bake for 10 minutes, until cooked through and golden on top.
Slice into individual servings.
Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve with extra fruit, if desired.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Bubble Solution

In case you are like me, and you cant ever remember the perfect combination of soap to water for making bubbles, this recipe is for you.
The glycerin makes sturdier bubbles.

Bubble Solution
Recipe from Come Together Kids

4 c. water
1 Tbsp. glycerin
1/4 c. liquid dishsoap

Gently mix all ingredients together.
Let sit, uncovered, overnight.