Chicken Fajitas

I am a slave to spice.  I live on Frank’s.  Usually dinner is Frank’s with a side of whatever else we’re having.  I literally put that **** on EVERYTHING.  I also absolutely love Mexican food and Southwestern flavors – hence my obsession with Bobby Flay.  And who doesn’t love sangria?

One of the simplest Mexican dishes to master is the fajita, and for drinks, there’s the Spanish sangria.  That’s partly because there’s no real formula for either, save a few basic rules, and because anything wrapped in a warm tortilla or with wine and some hot sauce is – in my opinion – worth dying for.

chicken fajitas

Chicken Fajitas!
serves 4

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Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze

It’s no secret by now that I love Indian food.  While Murg Makhani/Butter Chicken (recipe here) is my favorite Indian meal, sometimes I feel like dressing something up in a pretty little package.  Whenever I want to add a little pizazz to a meal I’d usually make with chicken, I immediately think of Cornish Game Hen.  It’s perfectly proportioned, flavorful, and damn cute on a plate.  While watching one of my LOVES Bobby Flay on Food Network…

seriously!? THAT FACE

I was pleasantly surprised to see him deviating from his usual TexMex type cooking (which is BOMB by the way) and cooking up something with a little Indian flair.  I immediately wrote the recipe down and decided to give it a try – and I’m glad I did!  If you want a delicious, fancy shmancy Indian inspired meal, why don’t you try…

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Garam Masala Rubbed Cornish Game Hens with Maple-Tamarind Glaze!
serves 4

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Sweet Potato Pie

Crunchy leaves,  a brisk chill in the air, the smell of rain…

turkey_6

It’s that time of year!  November here in the USA is kind of like the foodie olympics.  Whether you’re strictly a meal eater or an egg beater, whether you prefer to watch from the sidelines or tie things with kitchen twine, November has it all.  While I love almost every dish involved in the Thanksgiving spread, there is one that is iconically autumnal for me: PIE!!  I have always been a die-hard pumpkin pie fan.  I have a weird obsession with pumpkins, so as you can imagine, it was very hard for me to admit that this recipe trumped any pumpkin pie I had ever tried… and all those wonderful spices make it just as deliciously “Novembrous” as that squashy staple.  Give it a try, and let me know if you, too, are a convert.

Oh Lord I feel fine today
I’m walking on cloud nine today
I’m over that line today
Happiness is finally mine today….
It’s strictly on account of my….

sweet potato pie!

Sweet Potato Pie!
makes 1 9″ deep dish or 2 regular 8″ pies

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Perfect Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

Fall is my favorite season.  Being in Florida, I have to celebrate as hard as I can to make myself feel like it’s fall, because apart from the one day it cools down to 65, there isn’t much to remind you of fall here.  Everyone who loves fall loves that delicious PSL – pumpkin spice latte!!  Here’s a super easy way to make the simple syrup at home, avoiding the long lines and, best of all, the price tag.

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celebrating fall with pumpkin spice and Ithaca memories!

Perfect Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup!
makes about 1.5 cups

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Pina Ghoulada Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Crumble and Redrum Glaze

I’ve made it – the FINAL ROUND OF DICED!  I am so excited to contribute my (hopefully) WINNING dessert entry – if you vote at The Ranting Chef on the poll on the right hand side!  Without further ado, let’s get cookin…

Dessert is not my strong suit.  I’m not a big fan unless its flourless chocolate cake, and when given pineapple, dark chocolate, and oatmeal as my required ingredients, I was admittedly a bit confused as to what to do.  I’m not a big pineapple fan either.  Then it came to me, as it usually does, over alcohol – I LOVE pina coladas.  There’s an idea – now how to make that into a dessert?  How about ICE CREAM!?  Well, crap, I don’t have an ice cream maker.  But that didn’t stop me.

With All Hallow’s Eve (my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE HOLIDAYYYY) right around the corner, childhood memories have been coming back – and with them, I remembered making ice cream in science class with rock salt, ice, and a few ziplocks.  Perfect!  And I’ll never pass up a chance to let Halloween shine.  I scream, you scream, we all scream…

for ice cream!

for ice cream!

Pina Ghoulada Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Crumble and Redrum Glaze!
serves 2

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“California” Burgers with Zucchini Fries and Spicy Balsamic Honey Mustard

Here we are – the entree round of the Diced! competition!  Thank you to all my followers, friends and family who helped get me through into the next round 🙂  Now, without further ado, let’s kick things off! (To view on the competition’s main page and to vote pretty plleassseeee!!! click here)

This time around, the ingredients we were required to include in our entree were:

Large portabello mushrooms
Quinoa
Balsamic Vinegar
Zucchini

I was in quite a pickle reading these ingredients (har har).  How to make a dish that was cohesive AND delicious – especially when I had never seen let alone cooked with quinoa?  Then it hit me – labor day was right around the corner.  We HAVE to celebrate the last official day of summer, right?  Well… in Florida every day is summer, but you get the picture.  What better way to revel in the summer sun than with a grill, some burgers, and some beers?  And so, this farewell to summertime recipe was born – and I’m so glad it was, because I think it has revolutionized how I will make burgers from now on.

California Burgers with Zucchini Fries and Spicy Balsamic Honey Mustard!

labor day!

“California” Burgers with Zucchini Fries and Spicy Balsamic Honey Mustard!
serves 6-8

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Turkish Chicken Kabobs

I think it’s no secret at this point that I love ethnic food, ESPECIALLY if it’s spicy.  Something about the belly-warming feeling of a hot meal with a good amount of spice really gets my mouth watering.  I also love grilling – screw that preconception that men are supposed to be the grillers!  There really isn’t anything better than – or anything that can be a substitute for – the smoky, charred flavors a grill can provide.

Since we’re going to be saying goodbye to summer in a month or so – or rather, many of you readers are, because Florida is perpetually in a state of summer – I decided to post this amazing little meal up while you still have some sunshine and warm days to enjoy it with.  Plus, what’s more fun than eating food on a stick?

just don't poke yourself

just don’t poke yourself

Turkish Chicken Kabobs!
serves 3

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Cheesy Garlic Bread

Sometimes, when dinner is hours away and you feel those hunger pangs, you need a little something to tide you over.  Or maybe you want to add a little decadence to round out a simple meal.  When you’re super hungry or your family/guests are circling like vultures when dinner is hours away, there’s one thing that’s sure to be loved by everyone, is super simple, and goes with a ton of different meals: garlic bread!

There are a few little-known tricks to making garlic bread that will put yours miles ahead of the rest.  All in all, you can throw this together in about 15 minutes as an offering to the gods of hunger, or maybe as an afterthought to a delicious pasta meal like my Campanelle with Chicken and Mushrooms: a few pieces of deliciously buttery, cheesy garlic bread along with a glass (or 4) of wine and you can get back to the good stuff – enjoying your time with friends and family!

served here with creamy chicken farfalle (that's for another post!)

served here with creamy chicken farfalle (that’s for another post!)

Cheesy Garlic Bread!
serving varies

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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!

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

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