Avocado Penne Pesto with Grilled Chicken

Time for a recipe with my all time favorite food in it… avocado!

I’ve never made pesto before and I wasn’t even sure if I liked it all that much… now I know that I LOVE pesto. Especially avocado pesto. Or really anything with avocado in it.

I made this on Friday, and although I’m trying not to repeat recipes until I have enough for a cookbook, I’m craving this meal again… I think I might make it this weekend. Seriously, it was so good. I wish I took more photos.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 3/4 c. firmly packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 12 oz. penne pasta (I used fettucine instead)
  • 1/4 c. shaved parmesan cheese (for garish)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste (for chicken)

Directions:

  1. Cook and drain pasta according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, season chicken with salt and pepper and place on a grill (or grill pan) over medium-high heat for 6 minutes on each side, until center is no longer pink. You can add other spices if you want, but don’t over-season your chicken.
  3. Peel avocado and remove pit. Put avocado, basil, salt, pepper, garlic and pine nuts in a blender or food processor. Turn blender on and add olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
  4. Process until mixture becomes a smooth paste. Gently fold in parmesan cheese. Toss with cooked pasta. Slice grilled chicken breasts and lay across top of pasta. Garnish with shaved parmesan cheese and serve.

Delish!

I found the original recipe at Gourmet Mom on-the-Go :)

In other news, Yahoo! posted this article today about avocados being the world’s most perfect food. I completely agree!!!

 

Smoked Salmon Dip with Bagel Chips

Ok I’ll admit it… I was skeptical about this recipe. Like, very skeptical. I mean, I’m all about eating salmon to be healthy blah blah blah, but making a cold dip out of it are you crazy?!? I did, however, pick out this recipe myself because I’m constantly pushing myself to experiment with new recipes. AND IT WAS SO GOOD!!!!

My mouth is actually watering just thinking about it… how could I be so wrong about this dip? It was absolutely perfect. Maybe a little messy when I attempted to scape the remnants out of the blender, but I’m not going to lie and say I cleaned it right away, or within the same night. So don’t do what I did and make sure you clean-up while things are still able to be cleaned easily.

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Serves not very many because it’s delicious and you’ll want to eat it all yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp red onion, diced small
  • 1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 oz plus 2 more oz thinly sliced smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Bagel chips, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, combine mayonnaise, cream cheese, capers, red onion, lemon juice, horseradish, and 2 ounces smoked salmon. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds.
  2. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in remaining 2 ounces smoked salmon.
  3. Top with fresh parsley and serve with bagel chips.

As you can see by the photo, I also served it with pretzel crisps, spinach dip, and salsa… seriously, yum. I’m drooling.

You can find the recipe here on Martha Stewart’s website.

Breakfast Pizza

Warning: This is really good and ADDICTING. I made a mini pizza for both my boyfriend and I (that’s right, one for each of us), thinking I would keep some to have the next day for breakfast. I was wrong. I ended up eating the whole mini pizza in one sitting because it was so damn delicious!

If you’re being good, you can always make 1 mini pizza for 2 people so you’re not tempted to eat more than you should, which is what I should have done :P

Have I mentioned how much I love breakfast food? No? I LOVE breakfast food.

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Makes 2 mini pizzas.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 (8-inch) pizza crusts (Boboli is my fave)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded jack cheese blend (I like Colby Jack)
  • 4 fully cooked sausage patties, crumbled (I used Jimmy Dean)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Optional: Cholula

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. In a medium pan over medium heat, scramble eggs in butter; set aside.
  3. Lay out pizza crusts and brush each with oil. Top with eggs, cheese, crumbled sausage, Parmesan, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to bubble.
  5. Serve hot, cut into wedges.

Mmmmm!

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You can find the original recipe here on The Food Network.

Chicken & Broccoli Noodle Casserole

Good morning! I have yet another delicious recipe for you guys to try… I found this one at skinnytaste.com and I’m absolutely in love with it. The best part about it? It makes GREAT leftovers, and although I cook a lot it’s nice to have a few days a week where I can just get home and heat up something yummy without having to do any work.

This would also be a great meal to cook for the holidays (plus you can make it ahead of time!). Who doesn’t like chicken, broccoli, cheese, and pasta?!?

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Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz macaroni noodles (or really any kind of noodles you love)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin (I cheated and used squeezable garlic)
  • 12 oz fresh broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1-3/4 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 12 oz cooked shredded chicken breast (I buy the canned stuff at Costco)
  • 4 oz shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli and a little salt, sauté and cover the broccoli for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the broccoli begins to soften. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 9 x 12 casserole dish with cooking spray.
  4. In a large pot, heat butter over medium-low heat, when melted add the shallot and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.
  5. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined over medium heat; whisk well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes). Remove from heat and add reduced fat sharp cheddar and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese; mix well until the cheese melts.
  6. Add the shredded chicken, noodles and broccoli to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated.
  7. Pour into a casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes. Place the casserole under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp and golden (careful not to burn).

Enjoy!

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You can find the original recipe here on Skinny Taste.

Blue Fishbowls

I really need to start branching out more with my drink choices because this is one of the best tasting drinks I’ve ever had. Much more exciting than a beer or Jack and Coke… not that I’m saying anything bad about Blue Moon, 312, or Jack Daniels because those are my FAVES.

I made this for the Fourth of July, mainly because it’s blue. I had to go out and buy lots of different kinds of alcohol for this one, but most of the stuff is good to have around anyways. Plus, I ended up making them again 3 days later…

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Ingredients:

  • 2 oz vodka (I used Blue Raspberry by UV)
  • 1 oz coconut rum
  • 1 oz blue Curacao
  • 1 oz sour mix
  • 2 oz pineapple juice
  • 3 oz lemon-lime soda

Mix all the ingredients together (I ended up repeating the recipe a couple more times until I had the amount I wanted), serve over ice, and relax with your delicious blue beverage.

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Mushroom & Kale Grilled Cheese

Let me start off by saying that I am not a big mushroom person… I like an occasional stuffed mushroom if it has enough breading, and the mushrooms you get with steak at a Japanese cook-in-front-of-you restaurant are to die for, but overall I’d say I’m not a big fan. However, I’m not a picky eater at all and I love trying new things, so I picked out this recipe from my sandwich Pinterest board.

On a side note, I’m a Graphic Designer. I’m planning on designing my own personal cookbook (eventually) so my mom has agreed to make a new recipe every Friday when I go to her place for lunch. She was as skeptical as I was about a mushroom and kale sandwich. Neither one of us had ever eaten kale before, but I’ve heard lots of good things about it.

I’ll skip right to the review- THIS WAS SO GOOD!! I didn’t know what to expect, but this totally blew me away. I guess I’m a bigger fan of mushrooms than I thought. I love when trying new things pays off :)

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Makes 2 sandwiches.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp butter, divided
  • 12-15 small brown mushrooms, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 slices garlic sourdough bread
  • 8 slices Baby Swiss Cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a medium-sized skillet to medium high, add 1 tablespoon butter and heat to melt. Add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes then add onion and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes and then add kale and red pepper flakes and sauté until onion is translucent and kale has softened. Season with kosher salt and remove from heat.
  2. Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread, then stack buttered sides together. Layer 2 slices Baby Swiss on top of bread stack, then add kale and mushroom mixture then 2 more slices of Baby Swiss. Place bread buttered side down in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Cover with lid and let cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and flip sandwich to other side and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bread is toasty golden and cheese has melted. The second side will cook faster than the first so watch carefully. Repeat with next sandwich.

You can find the original recipe here on Go Bold With Butter.

Jalapeño Poppers

I’m so excited to be writing my first blog post on Life, Love, & Foodgasms! I have some catching up to do on posting my recipes, seeing as I have 70+ recipes pinned to my Tried and True board on Pinterest. I gotta start somewhere though! As you can probably tell, I am not a photographer. I do, however, want to learn more about food photography to beautify my site with all the foodgasmic images I always see on Pinterest. I will improve, I promise!

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I’ve never been big on Jalapeño Poppers. And by that I mean I ate them if someone else ordered them at a restaurant, but I was never like, “Ooh I want that!” HOWEVER… with this recipe, I may have gotten hooked. I found myself craving a jalapeño popper at every meal after I made these. Although the recipe calls for 15 jalapeños, I only used 6. I figured Craig and I didn’t need 30 jalapeño halves just for us.

The original recipe, which I found here on allrecipes.com, had a lot of great reviews, but to make my poppers extra delicious I added BACON. And bacon makes everything better, obviously.

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Makes 30 jalapeño poppers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8 oz.) package shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 15 fresh jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed corn flake cereal
  • 15 slices of bacon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, Sharp Cheddar cheese and mayonnaise. Stuff jalapeño halves with the mixture.
  3. Whisk together eggs and milk in a small bowl. Place crushed corn flake cereal in a separate small bowl.
  4. Split each slice of bacon into 2 halves. Wrap 1 half around each jalapeño popper. You can use toothpicks to hold them together if you need to.
  5. Dip each stuffed jalapeno half into the egg and milk mixture, then roll in corn flake cereal to coat.
  6. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until filling is bubbly, lightly browned, and bacon is cooked.

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Mmmm just writing this is making me want to make these again soon… we need to get a bigger place so I can have people over more often, as if I need another excuse to cook ;)

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