Pear & Goat Cheese Puffs With Sliced Almonds & Roasted Bell Pepper/Balsamic Glaze

Dear lovely followers,

I’m participating in a cooking competition called Diced! on http://www.rantingchef.com.  Please please please check out my entry below, peruse the competition’s entries on The Ranting Chef and VOTE FOR ME in the poll on the right hand side of the page so I can cook up a delicious entree in the next round!  Make sure to share and show support for this great competition!

Merci and much love ❤

-Echo

I am a HUGE Chopped fan.  Huge.  I watch it almost every day to get myself in the mood for dinner.  I’ve even had dreams about competing – in which, ironically, the most stressful part was picking the correct dish to plate.  Not that I’m a perfectionist or anything.

I love thinking of what I would do given whatever ingredients present themselves in the baskets, and watching how the competitors can work so quickly to achieve such wonderful results.  Because of this, I obviously JUMPED at the chance to apply to compete in an incredible competition for food bloggers called Diced! on Pat’s blog, Rantings of an Amateur Chef.  Given a list of ingredients that must each be showcased, we have to create a dish that is beautiful, original… and most of all, yummy!

So what did I decide to do when given puff pastry, roasted red peppers, sliced almonds and pears for the appetizer round?

minitarts galore!

puffs galore!

Pear & Goat Cheese Puffs With Sliced Almonds & Bell Pepper/Balsamic Glaze!
serves 4

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Campanelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Basil-Vodka Sauce

Sometimes you just gotta have pasta.  While I haven’t been a huge pasta fan, I discovered vodka sauce a while back and started to understand what all the fuss was about.  I’m not ashamed to admit it: if you add alcohol to it, I’ll probably love anything.  With this quick little recipe I cooked up (no pun intended) you’re sure to love it too!

DSCN0655

Campanelle with Chicken, Mushrooms and Basil-Vodka Sauce!
serves 4-6

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Chicken Marsala

Anyone who knows me well knows I am not a huge fan of Italian food.  I’ve never been a big pasta lover and usually the flavors and foods are way too heavy for my liking.  When trying to think of something to cook for dinner, my mom mentioned that she had been craving chicken marsala.  I’d never had it and immediately turned up my nose at the idea, but being the wonderful daughter that I am (har har…) I figured I would give it a shot.  I researched a few recipes and then came up with my own that  – not to toot my own horn – was pretty freakin’ fantabulous.  Definitely something I will make again… and this time I’ll make sure to make about twice as much because there were NO leftovers.

look at all those mushrooms

Chicken Marsala!
serves 4

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Goat Cheese, Basil & Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Last night I decided I felt like a lighter meal since my stomach has kind of been off lately.  I have a few favorite lighter meals, like the shrimp baguettes I posted a few days ago, but I wanted something delicious and chicken-y.  I decided on a super simple but super delicious recipe.  This is a great summer dinner!

who doesn’t love goat cheese?

Goat Cheese, Basil & Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breasts!
serves 4

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