When you love to cook sometimes you get into a little bit of a routine. We have been eating a lot of the same dinners over and over because 1. we already know we love them and 2. they are quick and easy.
I was craving something with a lot of lime and spice. I ended up taking some fresh jalapenos, onion, garlic, and limes and roasting them down with my chicken breast. Pouring chicken broth over the chicken and veggies while roasting gave me a really rich flavorful sauce. After one bite I knew this had to be stuffed into a taco!
The only thing that made this roasted chicken even better was topping my taco with some baked fries covered in chili powder! We have an obsession with fries on our tacos and burritos. Go carb or go home? You can skip the side of rice and even the tortilla, but please don’t miss out on these crispy baked fries.
You know I love spicy. I was surprised by how mild these tacos were even after I mixed the fresh AND pickled jalapenos. So of course I added a little drizzle of Valentina sauce and a squirt of lime. Seriously, the best combination!
There is a sprinkle of fresh parsley over our tacos because we do not eat cilantro, but if you are a cilantro lover I would recommend a chop of fresh cilantro.
For ages Patrick has been telling me one of his favorite breakfast pastries are double chocolate chip muffins. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to come up with my own version! These muffins are so light and fluffy. Packed with chocolate, but some how not too sweet. While they were meant to be an easy breakfast treat they have turned into Patrick’s favorite after dinner snack. These muffins are the perfect snacking size!
I love serving mine warm with a little bit of butter tucked into the middle. I bet these would also be fantastic with a little warmed almond butter drizzled over the top! I made these jumbo size because there is nothing more satisfying to me then walking into a bakery and seeing those jumbo muffins in their breakfast glory!
Rodelle is one of my favorite baking brands! To get that deep chocolate flavor without being too sweet I used Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa and Rodelle Vanilla Paste. I reached out to them recently because I live in a huge city and we have easy access to some of their baking ingredients, but I know all my friends in North Carolina order their Rodelle online. While this is not a sponsored post, they were nice enough to send me a few ingredients to test out for my readers!
I sprinkled the tops of the muffins with some jumbo chocolate chips just to make sure the chocolate bits did not get lost. I’ve always been a blueberry fan myself, but these may have just changed my mind!
A few months ago we went to Pappadeaux for dinner. I convinced Patrick to try the dirty rice. He always orders fries and the rice at Pappadeaux with lemon butter is out of this world! He ordered some sort of blacked fish with crawfish and lemon butter over dirty rice. We still talk about how good that combo is!
I don’t know if this recipe really qualifies as dirty rice, but it is soooo good with grilled fish. We eat this dish at least once a week. I’m not saying this dish is necessarily healthy because I do use a lemon butter sauce, but it is definitely lighter then the fried fish we usually eat. You can grill the fish in a grill pan if you don’t want to deal with preparing an outside grill, but I love the char you can get with an outside grill.
Since we have been grilling so much fish I have learned a few tricks to set you up for success!
1. make sure you clean the grates on your grill really well and apply a very light layer of vegetable oil then wipe down with a paper towel 2. apply a very thin layer of olive oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil to the fish before seasoning 3. salmon, tuna, and sword fish are usually thick enough to lay directly on the grate 4. delicate fish such as the tilapia I used needs to be placed on a grill plate or a piece of tin foil.
1 pound of fish, salmon, tilapia and grouper work best
2 tbsp blackening seasoning (whole foods has a great in house low salt version)
1 tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste
2 cups of prepared white or brown long grain rice
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
½ cup chopped tomato
1 tbsp of blackening seasoning
1 tsp salt (if you are using a low salt blackening seasoning)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 large lemon
½ cup melted butter
chopped fresh basil
¼ cup of oil
Let the fish sit out for 30 minutes to come to room temp
Heat the grill
Lightly oil the fish and pat the seasoning thickly on top
Lay a piece of tin foil on the grill and top with the fish
Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until the fish is heated through and opaque
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
In an oven safe pan heat oven medium and add 1 tbsp of oil
Saute peppers and onions
Add chopped garlic once onions are translucent
Turn off the heat and add in the rice and tomato
Mix through and season with the blackening spice, garlic powder, paprika, and salt/pepper
Cook for 10 minutes until the rice starts to crisp slightly
Add lemon juice to melted butter
Serve over the rice and fish
Sprinkle with fresh basil
Do you ever watch those videos on tips and tricks for commercial food? They use laundry pins and paper towels to prop food up. Spray with oil to get the food glistening. Taking pictures of real food is sometimes so difficult. So many bloggers make their food early in the day then reheat later. Currently I work around 50 hours a week and try to squeeze blog time in whenever I can. For this dish I had exactly one hour before the sun set to try and prepare the food and my “table setting”. Usually I have time to think about the colors and ways to really show you guys how delicious the food really is. This recipe entailed a ton of comical mishaps along the way, but I had to post because it really is one of my favorite new meals! The rice has just enough crisp to offset the flaky fish and the lemon butter soaks right into each bite.
If you try this recipe please tag me so I can enjoy all your creations! #kelliericecakes
Cherry pie is my all time favorite summer dessert! I wanted to come up with a recipe that looked beautiful, but was still easy enough to throw together quickly. After my second round making this pie I had Patrick’s eight year old make the filling just to test the easy factor. While I love cherries she loves chocolate so we compromised with this easy chocolate cherry pie.
This pie has a sweet flaky crust, a layer of juicy cherries, chocolate pudding, topped with tons of fresh whipped cream. You can make your own pie crust, buy a frozen one or use a roll of pie crust like I did. While Sophia whipped a box of dark chocolate pudding, I rolled out pie dough to fit our baking dish. I poked the dough with a fork a few times to make sure the bottom didn’t bubble to much and sprinkled a little sugar over the top.
Once I baked the crust I let it cool on the oven. Sophia rinsed a can of sour cherries in the sink and let them drain. I love the canned sour cherry pie filling, but I don’t like all the sugar syrup. Typically if I am in a hurry and don’t have time for fresh cherries I will just rinse a can of cherries. You still get great juicy cherry bites without all the extra added sugar.
To make the fresh whipped cream you just need 5 minutes, an ice cold mixing bowl, 1 cup of whipping cream, and a sprinkle of sugar. To assemble just take your cooled pie crust, fill with cherries, top with chocolate pudding, whipped cream, and your choice of decorative sprinkle. Sophia picked jumbo chocolate chips.
Fresh peach season is here! Only one of the best times of the summer for us. Since we live in the peach state there are always peaches at every grocery store, farmers market, fruit stand… everywhere! We love them fresh will whipped cream, in a pie, or in our ice cream! It has been a while since I made a no churn ice cream and I thought there was no better time with peach season here. A saucepan full of caramel later and this no churn peach and caramel ice cream was born!
I’m going to be honest- Patrick’s son and I thought it would be fun to eat this outside to get the “perfect drippy” picture. The second I snapped the shot we ran back into the air conditioning. I froze the ice cream over night so it was creamy and firm, but it melted in seconds when we stepped onto the patio. Gotta love that Georgia heat!
I had a little extra pie crust from another recipe so I crumbled it on top, but you can also crumble a sugar cone for the same crunch. I love how easy this recipe is to make. Patrick’s 6 year old was able to help me. I have been testing a lot of my recipes with the kids to make sure they truly are easy to replicate. Layers of creamy vanilla, frozen fresh peaches, and salty caramel are exactly what I want on a hot day!
Buffalo wing sauce is such a huge flavor in our house. We try to limited processed snack food around the house, but every time a new chip, pretzel, or any snack comes out flavored buffalo wings we have to buy them all. This Buffalo Chicken Pizza could definitely be a meal, but I think it is such a great appetizer. Something quick and easy to throw together for unexpected guests or super hungry kids.
If you have been following my recipes for a while you already know I am a huge believer in the chicken thigh. I usually buy them in bulk and freeze small portions for the week. The meat to me just has so much flavor and stays juicy. I personally feel like they fill me up quicker than the chicken breast. If you love the flavors of buffalo chicken, but not the calories definitely try using a little sauce over grilled or baked chicken thighs.
I used my go to pizza dough for this recipe because it comes together very quickly. I wanted something that would pair well with garlic and buffalo flavors. I topped the pizza with monterey jack cheese for a really melty bite.
Biscuits scream brunch to me. Especially when they are warm and fluffy. These steak egg and cheese biscuits are so moist I recommend eating them with a fork!
On Saturday nights I work late so we typically eat something quick and easy. Last night we grilled some onions, colorful peppers and carne asada for fast fajitas. They were delicious and I made sure to save a little for today’s brunch.
While we were in Savannah we went to our favorite breakfast stop, Clary’s Cafe, a few times. They have these giant pillow-like biscuits that honestly do not even need a filling. Pretty much anything you order at Clary’s is going to be delicious. Everything is made fresh with local ingredients. I wanted these biscuits to me made with ingredients that everyone probably already has at home.
I rarely make biscuits without buttermilk, but I really wanted to only use what I had on hand. 2% milk worked perfectly in this recipe. I wanted to get as much texture and flavor as I could by using only a handful of ingredients. I used just a little bit of garlic powder to compliment the steak. I added hashbrowns last minute to have another layer of texture.
Fluffy biscuits filled with eggs, cheese, carne asada, and hashbrowns
1½ cups of AP flour
1 cup of bread flour
1 tsp of salt
3½ tsps of baking powder
¾ cup of margarine
1 cup of milk
1 tsp of garlic powder
2 cups of hashbrowns cooked per package instructions
2 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces of thinly sliced steak or carne asada cooked through
2 eggs scrambled with salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
Make sure the margarine is ice cold
In a large bowl mix the flours, baking powder, salt, and garlic
Chop the butter in small pieces and use your hands or a pastry cutter to mix into the dry ingredients
One you combined the butter and it resembles small crumbles add in the milk
Form the dough into a ball and refrigerate for 10 minutes
Roll or pat out on a floured surfaced to about 1½ inches thick
Press down with a biscuit cutter careful not to twist
Bake in a greased pan for 15 minutes or until golden
Slice and fill with the steak, cheese, hashbrowns, and egg
Definitely give these biscuits a try. This is one of the most forgiving recipes I’ve ever made. The thicker the biscuit the better the result in my opinion! Enjoy! Don’t forget to #kelliericecakes if you try the recipe!
I have always had this weird obsession with paellas. They are so bold and bright with deep flavors. One of the reasons I believe they are often forgotten is the hefty price tag associated with the dish. Saffron is one of the most common ingredients found in paella. This spice is usually around $15 for a handful. While I LOVE saffron I decided to trade it out for smoked paprika. You will still get a bold flavor and instead of the rich yellow or orange the paprika turns the rice a deep red.
Another easy swap is using andouille sausage over the typical cured Spanish chorizo. When you pan fry the andouille you still get a ton of flavor to develop in a short amount of time. I love sauteing my veggies with the fried sausage to really add depth to every bite.
My grocery store does not have paella rice ready available so I switched it for arborio rice. Arborio rice is just tiny enough to soak up every little bit of broth. I actually kept adding extra broth to make sure I still had a little sauce for my bread. I skipped out on the mussels just because those are not my personal favorite. You can definitely add a few in at the end. Boneless skinless chicken thighs and shrimp are what I look forward to in a paella. Both of these proteins usually have great prices in my area especially if you have a Sprouts farmers market near by.
While I do believe an authentic paella taste is extremely hard to replicate without saffron- this affordable version is just as soul satisfying to me. It is such a beautiful dish and packed full of flavor. Honestly this came together so quickly as well. If you are looking to impress on a budget, this is the recipe to make!
An easy way to impress with bold colors and flavors in this affordable paella.
1 pound of chopped boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of smoked paprika
2 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of red pepper
salt and pepper
1 cup of chopped onions
1 cup of stewed fire roasted tomatoes
2 tbsp of chopped garlic
3 cups of chicken broth
fully cooked sliced andouille sausage
1 pound of shrimp shelled with tails on
1½ cups of arborio rice
½ cup chopped parsley
Heat a large paella pan or saute pan over medium heat.
Add the olive oil.
Add chopped onion and sausage.
Fry until onions begin to be slightly translucent and the edges of the sausage starts to brown.
Remove the sausage and set to the side.
Add in the chicken and cook until golden brown.
Add garlic and rice.
Season with salt and pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, red pepper and chili powder.
Add in the stewed tomatoes and stir until all the rice is covered.
Pour the broth over the top and stir into the rice.
Bring to a boil.
Lower to medium low heat.
Add the sausage back in then cover.
Cook for about 10 minutes.
If your broth evaporates before the rice is done just add a little more on top.
The important part is to make sure you do not stir the rice at all.
When the rice is almost done (about 15 minutes) add the shrimp on top.
Salt and pepper then cover.
When all the liquid has absorbed and you start to hear a little crackling the rice is done.
If you are unsure then just test the rice to make sure it has finished.
Sprinkle with parsley and squeeze a little lemon over the top.
I finish mine with Tabasco!
I know this is going to be one of my go to recipes this summer. Even Patrick’s kids ate their entire bowls! I don’t think this dish is too spicy. You can always omit the red pepper. I love the heat so I added lots of hot sauce to my bowl 🙂
Let me know if you try this recipe! I know you will love it!
Summer is the one of my favorite seasons for appetizers, especially a dip! There are so many fresh ingredients available. During the colder months I usually make heavier appetizers since they are so comforting, but I love making dips and salsas during the summer! This grilled corn dip is a “lightened” version of my bacon dip. It is by no means healthy, but this dip is definitely a good alternative to some of the others out there.
This is one of those easy go to dips that you can serve at a BBQ or a casual gathering. These ooey gooey bites won’t stick around long! In all honesty I was just playing around with recipes when I made this. Patrick and I finished it off in about 15 minutes. Such a perfect combo of flavors. Everything I want in a summer grilled corn bite!
I served this dip up with a toasted baguette, but it would be great with some tortilla chips or fresh veggies. Our farmers market has some amazing sweet corn available right now PERFECT for grilling. We grilled a few cobs then let them cool before cutting the kernels off. Something about the sweet corn and sharp cheese just make such a fantastic bite!
Recently I had someone ask me “but who makes birthday cakes for the person that always makes everyone else a cake?” The answer is the baker still makes the cake haha! It is my favorite time of year to make cakes because I can get as over the top as I want. The only person I can disappoint is myself.
I made two birthday cakes because my actual birthday was on a Monday and I still wanted a small slice, but we weren’t actually celebrating until the following Saturday. Technically I made three cakes. When I made the orange zest cake we had to travel to North Carolina and somehow the cake flipped during the drive before I could take any pictures. So today I made a second orange zest cake which I fully plan on enjoying after this post!
It is so hard for me to believe I am already 31! I don’t feel like I am in my thirties yet. My life is slowly coming together. I am finally happy with my day time job and Patrick and I are embracing the whole farm to table concept. I really want to incorporate as much fresh whole foods as possible into our diets the older we get. BUT after saying all that… it WAS my birthday week AND I do love food.
For both cakes I did use box mixes to keep it easy, but I added some of my own ingredients to get a real homemade taste. The first cake is a brown butter orange zest cake with vanilla orange buttercream. The second is a coffee fudge cake. It is hard to say which is my favorite. I do love chocolate, but orange cake is a birthday tradition. My mom always made them for me growing up.
One of the BEST parts of these cakes is the sprinkles! Patrick hates sprinkles so I rarely get to use them. But today… today we are using tons of sprinkles just because I can!