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Buffalo chicken wraps

Unlike everyone else I know, Frank’s hot sauce makes a rare appearance in house. We don’t actually put that $h!t on anything. We are more of a Chipotle Tobasco household and put that on just about everything. If you haven’t tried it I would highly recommend picking up a bottle. On a rare occasion I get a craving for buffalo sauce and these wraps totally hit the spot. In addition to your standard buffalo sauce and bleu cheese, they also included avocado and bacon – you really can’t go wrong there.

Buffalo chicken wraps

I never had much success folding up a wrap that actually contained the ingredients inside of it. I did find a YouTube video on how to fold the perfect burrito that I wanted to share with you. Although I think I still need some practice (notice the lettuce sticking out the side of my wrap in the photo above). Word to the wise, only watch about :25-:40 of the video, unless you really want to watch a variety of wraps being made.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps – adapted from Half Baked Harvest (my new favorite food blog)

  • 1 pound chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 – 2 cups of spring mix (or any lettuce you prefer)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
  • potato chips, lightly crushed (the recipe suggests adding these the wrap, but I just ate them on the side) 🙂
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • ranch or blue cheese dressing

In a small saucepan mix together the butter, hot sauce and seasoned salt. Heat on low until combine.

Toss the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through. OR bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through (whatever is easier for you). Let the chicken sit for a few minutes after it’s done cooking. Shred the chicken and toss with buffalo sauce, but reserve a little if you want to add more to your wraps.

To assemble the wraps layer a little buffalo chicken in the middle of each wrap. Add bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado. Drizzle with extra buffalo sauce, sprinkle with blue cheese and pour on a little dressing (ranch or bleu cheese). Add the potato chips to your wrap or serve on the side. Watch the wrap video and get rolling.

Mike is in the same camp as me when it comes to buffalo sauce, but won’t turn down a meal that includes bacon. I’m guessing he’s not alone in that.


Greek tostadas

I’ve come to the conclusion that after chips and salsa and nectarines, Mediterranean food (especially olives) is my favorite food. I can’t get enough of the salty olives and feta cheese, fresh garlic and chewy pita bread. I know my version is maybe a bit different than what you would actually find in the Mediterranean, but this is as close as I can get.

Greek tostadasI tried a new recipe from How Sweet Eats, one of my favorite food bloggers, for Greek Tostadas. I don’t think Mike would add this meal to his top 5, but he did say it could be added to the make again list. I think part of the problem is his lack of interest in cucumbers and tomatoes, both key ingredients in this meal. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of it because it combined all of my favorite flavors. Another perk of this meal was the ease and speed of preparation.

Greek Tostadas – adapted from How Sweet Eats

1 lb chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh dill
2 garlic cloves, minced
the juice of 1 lemon

Whipped feta (cream cheese, feta cheese, garlic powder)
4 (small) corn or flour tortillas
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped, marinated artichokes
1 cucumber, diced

Flatbread (tortillas, pitas, naan), crumbled feta and lemon to serve

Start by combining the first 8 ingredients in a plastic bag and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight). The recipe called for chicken cut into chunks, but I decided to marinate the breasts whole and then cut them up after I grilled them – either way would work.

You can also cook chicken however you’d like. I grilled the chicken, but you could cook in a skillet on the stovetop if you prefer. If you grill the chicken let it rest for at least 5 minutes before you cut it up.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onions, artichokes, olives, cucumbers and dill. Add a little olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper and stir.

Finally, make the whipped feta by combining 4 oz of cream cheese, 8 oz of feta and a 1/2 tsp of garlic powder in a food processor and pulse until it’s smooth.

To serve, heat the bread on the grill or skillet for a minute or two on each side. Next spread a generous layer of whipped feta, top with chicken and the additional toppings. I created the toppings in two bowls (one without tomatoes and cucs for Mike). Top with a little extra feta and a few squeezes of lemon and serve!

I could probably eat this everyday, but I’ll spare Mike and incorporate some other meals into the rotation as well.

My hungry hungry husband is back.

Well, after a nearly two year hiatus, I’m bringing back the hungry hungry husband blog. As I mentioned here I started school in September 2013 and little did I know that was going to take up of my free time. And, by free time I mean ALL of my free time.

Now, two years later I have officially completed my master’s program and I have time to get back to things I had enjoyed doing before I started on this crazy journey. Last Monday I completed my final class and turned in my thesis so in honor of my first Monday with no class I decided to spend some time writing (not that I haven’t done enough of that in the last two years), but this writing is really for fun.

Tonight I made a big salad (Seinfeld fans out these, this reference is for you) for dinner.Pork tenderloin cherry salad This may not be the first meal that comes to mind when thinking of man pleasing meals, but Mike is a big fan.  I discovered this salad when searching for quick meals with a limited number of ingredients and now after a few modifications it’s made it’s way into the regular dinner rotation.

Cherry mixture

The salad combines pork tenderloin, dried cherries, shallots and goat cheese for the perfect combination of savory and sweet. And, it’s super quick.
Pork tenderloin

Pork tenderloin and cherry salad (adapted from
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup red wine
6 cups greens (spinach and arugula)

I don’t usually buy a full pork tenderloin because the store I shop at sells pre-sliced tenderloin. Just makes things a little easier. I then cut the slices in half so they cook quicker.

Start by combining pork with 1 teaspoon garlic, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and a couple splashes of olives in a plastic bag and shake to coat. To that add the flour and shake again to coat all the pork. Let this sit until it’s ready to be cooked.

While the pork marinates, combine vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and 1/4 teaspoon thyme in a bowl and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat and add shallots; cook until tender and browned (about 3 minutes). To this add the cherries and wine (don’t hesitate to add more cherries if you want – I usually do) and cook until the liquid is reduced, about 2 minutes Next, add the vinegar mixture, remaining oil, salt and pepper and mix together. Turn the heat way down and cover while you cook the pork.

To cook the pork, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add half of the pork and cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Try to be patient and refrain from flipping before its had a chance to brown on either side. Repeat the same steps with the remaining pork. By cooking it in two batches you don’t overcrowd the pan and the pork actually cooks quicker. When the pork is cooked add to the warm cherry mixture and stir to combine.

To build the salad add spinach/arugula (or any greens you want) mix to a plate and top with goat cheese, cherry mixture and a few pieces of pork. I also like to drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top as well, but that’s just a personal preference. And, the original recipe suggests using dried cranberries, but I much prefer dried cherries. Again, totally up to you.

I’m looking forward to sharing my man pleasing meals with you again. And, I would like to say thank you to my family, friends and hubby Mike for their amazing support over these last two years. In the words of Alice Cooper school’s out forever. 🙂

Beef and barley vegetable stew


Well as most of you know it’s like 100 degrees below zero in the great state of MN. And really the only way to survive this weather is to make stew, thick, stick to your ribs, stew. I came across this recipe (and samples) at my local co-op, Valley Natural Foods, a couple weeks ago and have been waiting for the right day to make it. Well this Sunday just happened to be the perfect day. 

As you may recall, Mike doesn’t really consider soup a true meal, but had mentioned in the past that he would eat stew for dinner so I had high hopes for this one. Mike also appreciates a really thick soup so I did add a little broth/flour slurry near the end so it would be extra thick. For the slurry whisk together about 1 tbsp of flour and a cup of broth to combine and mix into the stew. Other than that, I didn’t really make any other changes to this recipe. The sample I had at the co-op was really quite tasty.

Adapted from Valley Natural Foods 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 leeks sliced
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence (or italian seasoning)
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp worchestire
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 rutabaga, chopped
  • 1 large potato, chopped (I used a yukon gold potato, but you could really use any potato)
  • ¼ cup minced parsley
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • Sour Cream (optional topping)

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in dutch oven or large sauce pot and add onion, garlic, leeks, tomato paste and beef stew meat and Herbs de Provence. Cook for 8-10 minutes to brown beef and soften onions. Be sure to stir frequently. Add the broth and worchestire and simmer on medium low heat for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Next, add the carrots, celery, rutabaga, parsley, potato and barley and cook an additional 45 minutes, again stirring occasionally. Test the potatoes after 45 minutes to make sure they are soft and you’re ready to serve. I topped mine with a little sour cream and served with some good crusty sourdough bread. 

This is another one of those that really does taste better when it’s freezing cold outside, but would be good for any Sunday supper. 

Wild rice gratin (comfort food)


I’m enjoying a lovely, three-week break from school and wanted to share a new recipe with you because I have some time to write about it. Start off 2014 just right with this lovely Wild Rice Gratin from the Smitten Kitchen. I made a few modifications to turn it into a meal instead of a side and it was pretty tasty. 

Mike doesn’t consider anything without meat in it a true meal, so in order to make this a “meal” I added some italian turkey sausage. But you could do any meat, pork sausage, ground turkey, whatever you prefer. 

I used a wild rice blend from the coop instead of just wild rice because that is what we had at home, it was a combination of brown rice and wild rice. I think I preferred this over just brown rice because it gave the gratin a little more texture. Heads up here, wild rice (and brown rice) takes quite some time to cook, about 45 minutes. The nice thing about this recipe is the prep can be done while the rice cooks so its ready to go in the oven once as soon as the rice is done. Or you could cook the rice over the weekend and store it in the fridge for a few days until you make you the meal. 

Wild Rice Gratin

adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced thin
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey sausage
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups stemmed, chopped kale leaves
  • 2 cups grated Gruyere cheese (I ended up use a sharp cheddar cheese, but the Gruyere probably would have been better)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

Cook rice according to instructions, for the wild rice blend bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil, add the rice (1 1/2 cups) cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 40-45 minutes. While the rice cooks, brown the sausage in a small frying pan until cooked.

Add 1 tbsp butter,1 tbsp olive oil and onions to a pan and begin to caramelize on low. Cook for about 15 minutes until the onions begin to brown. Add chopped mushrooms, red pepper flakes, garlic, s&p and cook for another 5 minutes. Lastly, add kale and cooked sausage to the pan to wilt the kale. Remove the mixture from heat and mix with parmesan cheese. 

Combine cooked rice and kale mixture in a 9×13 baking dish (spray dish with non-stick cooking spray prior to this) and pour the chicken broth over the top so it soaks in. Mix together bread crumbs and grated cheese and sprinkle over the top of the gratin. Heat oven to 375 degrees and bake gratin for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve warm sprinkled with parmesan cheese, preferably on a cold MN winter night. The last part isn’t required, it’s just a suggestion.

Pickling, canning, oh my.


It’s been awhile and for that, I apologize. But, have no fear that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped cooking. I’ve just run out of time to write about it. Here are my excuses:

1. We went on the best 12 day vacation to the West Coast in mid-August. 

2. Our garden has officially blown up.

3. I’m going to back to school.

To make it up to you, I’ve got a couple good recipes here. We had to do something with our garden harvest after we got back from vacation so it was time to make marinara sauce, refrigerator pickles, basil pesto and tomatillo salsa. A quick note about the salsa…

We didn’t grow any tomatillos this year, but Mike thought it would be fun to bring home about 50 tomatillos to make salsa with. Some sort of strange idea of fun. I really shouldn’t complain though because the salsa turned out to be quite good.

We made three kinds of pickles: garlic dill, bread and butter (Mike and my aunt Julia’s favorites) and spicy (my favs).

Garlic dill (Adapted from the Kitchn:

2 pounds slice cucumbers
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
6 garlic cloves, peeled (2 per jar)
1 teaspoon dill seed per jar 
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns per jar 

Start by washing and slicing cucumbers, we choose to do rings, but you could also do spears. In a large pot, combine vinegar, water and salt and bring to a simmer.

Arrange jars on counter and place the spices in each. Pack the cucumber slices into jars, but not so tight that they are squished together.Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar, leaving approximately ½ inch at the top of each jar.

Top the jars with the lids and let cool. Store them in the fridge after they’ve cooled. Let them sit for at least 48 hours before eating.

Bread and butter (adapted from Smitten Kitchen): 

1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick — “pickling” cucumbers work best here
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar – we went on the low end for the sugar, only using a little over a 1/2 cup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp celery seed

In a bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion and salt. Stir well, making sure the onions and cucumbers are coated in salt. Top the mixture with ice and leave at room temperature for about two hours. In a saucepan, add sugar, vinegar and spices and bring to a boil. Drain cucumbers and onions and rinse well. We really were good about rinsing, otherwise the pickles are on the salty side. Add the rinsed cucumbers to the vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool in the pan. Once cool, transfer the pickles, onions and liquid into jars and seal. You can store the pickles in jars for up to three weeks in the fridge. You can these within a few hours of pickling.

Spicy pickles (Adapted from The Food Network):

4 cups rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds (we used ground because we didn’t have seeds)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro 
2 unpeeled cucumbers, cut into rounds or spears – whatever you prefer

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, honey, pepper flakes, peppercorns, coriander, mustard seeds, fennel seeds, cumin and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the chopped dill and cilantro. Put the chopped cucumber in a large bowl and pour the cooled vinegar mixture over them. Refrigerate for 2 hours and then place cucumbers and liquid in jars. Give these at least 24 hours before you dig in.

Stay tuned for my next post when I divulge my marinara and pesto recipes.



Pork chops and couscous salad

Summer foods. I forget how fun it is to grill things and make salads and eat outside. 

Especially eating outside, that might be one of my favorite things. 



Two new recipes involved in this meal, both made the “I would make this again” list. Although I think I would marinate the pork chops overnight so they took on more of the flavor of the fresh herbs. 

Oh, I forgot another thing I really enjoy about summer eating. Walking out my back door, picking veggies and herbs, walking back inside and making dinner. So easy. We have a lot of veggies and we are about to overwhelmed by cherry tomatoes. And we even have ears of corn growing!

Pork chops

1 lb boneless, pork chops

2-3 green onions, chopped

4-5 garlic gloves, chopped

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

3 tbsp olive oil

Zest from 1 lemon + a little juice

The original recipe said to marinate the chops in olive oil and salt and pepper while you combine the other ingredients, but I would recommend combining all the ingredients and marinating pork chops for 2-4 hours. Grill on each side foor 3-4 minutes, allow to rest for a couple minutes, squeeze a little lemon juice over the top and serve.

Couscous salad with basil vinaigrette 

1 1/2 cups cooked pearl couscous

3/4 cup torn basil leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tbsp vinegar (I used red wine vinegar, but you could do white wine too)

1 cup corn, frozen or fresh

1/2 finely chopped red onion

1 habanero chi, chopped and seeded (knowing Mike’s fondness for not-so-spicy foods, I opted for 1 chopped, seeded jalapeno instead)

6 oz cubed feta cheese

4 cups baby spinach

Salt and peper to taste

Cook couscous, drain and place in large bowl.

In a food processor combine basil, olive oil and vinegar. Pulse until smooth, about 20 pulses. Add dressing to the bowl with couscous. Chop onion, pepper and add to bowl with corn and feta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a bed of baby spinach. 

Both are great summer meals, I would highly recommend enjoying outside. 


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