Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon

We L-O-V-E salmon at our house. Seriously, even all the kiddos. We typically just GRILL it with a little extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper and it's always DELISH. However, this time I decided to try something different and it was . . . AMAZING! I may try to mix things up a little more often now . . .

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon
(Adapted from www.chow.com)

1/3 cup real maple syrup
3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Salmon fillets
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Place the first 6 ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil for 2 or 3 minutes; set aside.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Pat the salmon dry and then brush both sides with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put salmon on the grill pan and cook for until you can visibly see the salmon is cooked through at least halfway up the fillet, about 5 to 7 minutes. Flip over and then brush the top with the glaze. Finish cooking, flip again, and brush glaze on top. Flip back over to slightly "crisp" the glaze.

TIP: Serve with a nice light side dish like quinoa or rice. Makes a tasty meal!


Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

These tasty taquitos are from the YUMMY food blog of Our Best Bites. We had them at a little party not that long ago and they were DELISH, and pretty darn easy to make according to my good friend Julie (who actually made them). There is also a FANTASTIC dressing recipe to dip these in, which, amazingly, is also EXTRA tasty!

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
(from Our Best Bites)

1/3 cup (3 ounces) cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
Small corn or flour tortillas
Kosher salt

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.

Heat the cream cheese for 20-30 seconds in the microwave. Stir in the green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir in the cilantro and green onion, followed by the chicken and cheese and combine well.

Work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking, about 20 to 30 seconds. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture on lower third of the tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges. Roll up tightly and place seam side down on the prepared pan. Spray the tops lightly with cooking oil or spray and sprinkle some salt over top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until edges start to brown.

Try their Creamy Lime Cilantro dressing for dipping!

TIP: Experiment with the cheeses and try cooking your chicken with some different seasonings, or with lime juice. All will be good! (P.S. The salt sprinkled over top is optional!!!!)


Cheesy Potato Soup

Not too long ago we received a FIFTY pound bag of potatoes. Yup. 5-0! Potatoes were coming out our ears, and we don't actually eat a lot of POTATO-EY things. I decided soup would be good. And it was! This SUPER easy recipe turned out amazing. I know, I know. How can you mess up soup? Either way, I'm still giving myself a GIANT pat on the back! :)

Cheesy Potato Soup
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped matchstick carrots
2 to 3 red potatoes, cubed
Several dashes each: ground thyme, pepper, and garlic powder
4 cups chicken broth
4 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese
1 cup cream
Cornstarch slurry (optional)

Cook onion and celery in butter until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and carrots and cook a few minutes more. Add the potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Add seasonings. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Slowly stir in the cream. Add the cheese slowly and stir until melted. Add a cornstarch slurry (2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup cold water) to thicken, if desired. Serve warm sprinkled with more cheese!

TIP: Again, this recipe is so versatile. If you don't have carrots, leave them out. You could use all white cheddar or regular cheddar cheese. I even think a pepper jack would be pretty tasty. I would also think adding 1/2 to 1 cup of the super sweet petite white corn would be delish. You decide. And let me know how you make it for your family!


Smore's Bites

It is almost VALENTINE'S Day, and these are the perfect sweet treat to SHARE with the ones you love. They are so mini and cute, and taste just as good or better than a S'MORE. I promise these are way better than the usual box of CHOCOLATES!

S'mores Bites
(Recipe from sweetpeaskitchen.com)
7 graham crackers (or 1 cup finely crushed)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 regular-size Hershey's Bars, broken into rectangles
12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend the crackers in a food processor or blender until fine crumbs. Combine with the powdered sugar and melted butter until thoroughly mixed. Evenly divide mixture into a 24-cup mini muffin pan. Firmly press the crumbs down to make shallow cups (I used my small cookie scoop!) Bake for 4 or 5 minutes and then remove from oven and place 1 chocolate rectangle in each cup. Cut marshmallows in half and place, cut side down, over the chocolate squares. Return to the oven for a minute or two until the marshmallows are soft. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then put them on a cookie rack to cool completely.

Microwave the remaining chocolate for about a minute, but stirring every 20 seconds until the chocolate melts. Carefully dip the marshmallows in the chocolate and let stand.

TIP: My hubby claims the 8-pack of mini Hershey's Bars is a better deal, so feel free to buy 3 or 4 of those to save some $$$. Otherwise, these are perfect in my opinion!


Easy Frittata

Sometimes for dinner you just need something QUICK. We always have lots of eggs, so often they end up DINNER in some form or another. Frittatas are a great way to use up some of the LITTLE bits of produce in your fridge too. Not to mention, they happen to be super TASTY as well.

Easy Frittata
2 large eggs
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Salt and pepper
Toppings (chopped): ham, cooked bacon, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, cilantro, tomatoes, etc.
Shredded cheese of your choice

Beat the eggs together with the milk and some salt and pepper. Pour into a heated 8-inch frying pan with a touch of oil or nonstick spray. Let cook over medium-low about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then sprinkle as many of your favorite toppings that you want over top. Swirl the pan occasionally to let the uncooked egg move to the outer edges for quicker cooking. Let cook over low to medium-low heat until done. Sprinkle cheese over top and let melt. Then it is ready to eat!

TIP: Just make sure to watch the heat and check the bottom of the frittata frequently so you don't burn it!