Sizzling Grilled Chicken Fajita Recipe

Fire up the grill and give your taste buds a little “south-of-the-border” flavor!

Cihcken Fajitas

Sizzling Grilled Chicken Fajitas

6 servings (serving size: 1 cup chicken mixture, 2 tablespoons salsa, 2 tablespoons sour cream, and 1 tortilla)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup green bell pepper strips (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper strips (about 1 medium)
  • 1 cup vertically sliced red onion
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 6 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
  • 3/4 cup bottled salsa
  • 3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
Preparation
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients; reserve 1/4 cup marinade. Combine remaining marinade and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 3 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Prepare grill.
  3. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and cover and grill 10 minutes on each side or until done.
  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onion; sprinkle with seasoned salt. Sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add reserved 1/4 cup marinade, and cook 2 minutes. Cut chicken into thin slices; add to vegetable mixture.
  5. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, upside down, over high heat for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn pan over, and add chicken mixture. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Serve chicken mixture immediately with warm tortillas, salsa, and sour cream.

 

Courtesy of myrecipes.com

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Beer And Brown Sugar Ribeye Steak

Ready to fire up your grill?  If sweet and tangy is what you’re looking for, then this beer and brown sugar marinade is for you!  

Beer and Brown Sugar Steak Recipe

Beer & Brown Sugar Ribeye Steak

Prep Time:  15 minutes plus marinating

Cook Time:  15 minutes

Yield:  4 servings

Ingredients
1/2 cup dark beer
1/4 cup teriyaki marinade and sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 (1-inch thick) rib-eye steaks (about 3 pounds)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Directions:
Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large shallow dish or zip-top plastic freezer bag.
Add steaks, turning to coat. Cover or seal, and chill 24 hours, turning once.
Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Remove steaks from marinade, discarding marinade. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, 5 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill, and let stand 5 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of yummly.com

 

Smoky Beef and Bacon Chili

I’ve always loved anything to do with the great outdoors and outdoor living.  As a result, you will often find me standing over the grill, cooking for my family.  I often enjoy sharing grilling recipes, but given this brutal Chicago winter, I imagine none of you are thinking about firing up the grill.  So here is a recipe that will keep you toasty warm during these cold winter months.  With bacon, fire-roasted tomatoes, and smoky paprika, what’s not to love?  Enjoy!

Smoky Beef Bacon Chili

Smoky Beef and Bacon Chili

Recipe Time:  1 Hour, 15 Minutes

Yield:  6 servings

Ingredients

2 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón dulce – Find at well-stocked grocery stores and from spanishtable.com.)

1/2 teaspoon to 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

About 1 tsp. salt

1 can (14.5 oz.) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes or regular crushed tomatoes

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

1 cup flavorful, medium-bodied beer, such as Anchor Steam

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

1 can (14.5 oz.) pinto beans, drained

Sour cream, sliced green onions, and/or coarsely shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Directions

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon, stirring until it just begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Add onion, lower heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 4 to 7 minutes. Uncover pan, stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute.

Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef; break it up with a wooden spoon and stir gently until it loses its raw color, 7 minutes. Stir in spices and 1 tsp. salt and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially, and cook 30 minutes.

Add beans and cook 10 minutes, uncovered. Season to taste with salt. Serve warm, with toppings on the side.

Nutrition

Amount per serving:

Calories: 465
Calories from fat: 62%
Protein: 26g
Fat: 32g
Saturated fat: 12g
Carbohydrate: 19g
Fiber: 4.3g
Sodium: 1078mg
Cholesterol: 94mg

Recipe courtesy of myrecipes.com

 

Recipe of the Month: Honey-Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Peach Skewers

Don’t put your grill away yet! Fall is full of  rich autumn flavors, most of which you can cook on the grill. This delicious fall recipe is quick and easy. Tender chunks of chicken, sweet potatoes, peaches, and onions are grilled with a sweet-tart glaze. Crunchy grilled spiced pecans sprinkled over these tasty skewers bring this dish to absolute perfection.

Grilled Honey-Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Peach Skewers

Honey-Glazed Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Peach Skewers

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato (about 3/4 lb.), peeled and cut into sixteen 1-1/2-inch pieces

1 cup sherry vinegar

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. honey

2 Tbs. canola oil; more for the grill

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 16 pieces

4 small ripe but firm peaches, quartered and pitted (about 1-1/2 lb.)

1/2 small sweet onion, cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks, layers separated (about 4 oz.)

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2  tsp. ground cumin

1/2  tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Directions

Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. Soak eight 12-inch wooden skewers in water.

In a 4-quart saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Steam the sweet potatoes until nearly cooked but still a bit firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat; cool slightly.

Put the vinegar, 1/2 cup of the honey, 1 Tbs. of the oil, 2 tsp. salt, and 3/4 tsp. pepper in a 3-quart saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2/3 cup, 13 to 15 minutes. (The glaze should brush on easily but be thick enough to coat the chicken. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of hot water.) Meanwhile, thread the onion, chicken, sweet potato, and peach onto the soaked skewers.

Reserve half the glaze. Brush the skewers with the remaining half of the glaze. Thoroughly oil the grill grate. Arrange the skewers on one side of the grill grate and grill, covered, until well-marked on one side, 4 to 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss the pecans in a small bowl with the remaining 1 Tbs. honey and 1 Tbs. oil, the cumin, pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper. Put a large piece of foil on the other side of the grill and scatter the nuts on the foil. Flip the skewers. Grill until the chicken is cooked through and the nuts are bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes more. (Keep a close eye on the nuts; stir if they threaten to burn.) Transfer the skewers to a serving platter, brush with the reserved glaze, and sprinkle with the pecans.

Helpful Tips

Make sure your ingredients for the skewers are the same size for even cooking time

For added flavor, the glaze can be used to marinate for the chicken while you’re putting together the rest of the ingredients.

After you assemble the skewers, lightly brush the glaze on to prevent burning due to the high sugar content.

Recipe courtesy of finecooking.com

Fall 2013 Bucket List

How much fun can be had in the autumn months?  Tons!
Host an outdoor party
Go on a fall camping trip
Visit a farmers market
Enjoy hot apple cider on the deck
Roast pumpkin seeds
Jump in a pile of leaves
Go to a harvest festival
Trick-or-Treat
Go on a fall nature photo scavenger hunt
Visit a pumpkin patch
Roast marshmallows over the fire pit
Go apple picking
Have a bonfire

2013 Fall Bucket List

 

 

Recipe of the Month: Southern Grilled Barbecue Ribs

Looking for a  smoky flavor without all the grilling time?  It takes just 30 minutes on the grill to give these ribs that smoky flavor you’re craving.

Southern Grilled Barbeque Ribs

Southern Grilled Barbecue Ribs

Prep:  20 min  Cook: 1 hr 30 min Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

4 pounds baby back pork ribs (For spare ribs, bake 15 minutes longer)

2/3 cup water

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup ketchup

1 cup water

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup prepared mustard

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place ribs in two 10×15 inch roasting pans. Pour water and red wine vinegar into a bowl, and stir. Pour diluted vinegar over ribs and cover with foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Baste the ribs with their juices halfway through cooking.

In a medium saucepan, mix together ketchup, water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, butter, brown sugar, hot pepper sauce, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer barbecue sauce for 1 hour.

Preheat grill for medium heat.

Lightly oil preheated grill. Transfer ribs from the oven to the grill, discarding cooking liquid. Grill over medium heat for 15 minutes, turning ribs once. Baste ribs generously with barbecue sauce, and grill 8 minutes. Turn ribs, baste again with barbecue sauce, and grill 8 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com

Miami/Cuban Salsa

Looking for something scrumptious to serve at your next outdoor party?  Kristen Berryhill has shared this delicious salsa recipe.  Fresh herbs mixed with peppers, tomatoes, and black beans will leave your mouth bursting with flavor.  Every ingredient adds its own unique flavor, so don’t leave anything out.  It’s time to fire up the grill, bring out the chips, set up your patio or deck, and wow your guests with this amazing recipe!

Miami-Cuban Salsa Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miami/Cuban Salsa

1 can (16 oz.) black beans, drained

1 box (10 oz.) frozen corn

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

4-6 Serrano chilies de-seeded and diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 can (16 oz.) diced tomatoes

Juice from one fresh lime

1 bunch scallions, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 avocado, diced

½ to 1 small red onion, diced

 

Mix it all together and enjoy!

 

Recipe courtesy of Kristen Berryhill

10 Tips For Growing Your Own Herb Garden

Herbs are great for creating fresh, tasty recipes and add a beautiful touch to your outdoor living space. Here are 10 easy tips for growing your own herb garden so you can get started today!

The weather is finally warming up here in the Chicago suburbs, and with it, outdoor living ideas are blooming.  Have you considered planting your very own herb garden?  Herbs are great for creating fresh and tasty recipes, home remedies, and much more.  They also add a beautiful touch to your outdoor living space, whether they’re planted in a garden or pots around your patio or deck.  So how do you get started?

Growing your own herbs

1.  Just do it! Growing your own herbs is cheaper than purchasing fresh herbs from the grocery store. The convenience of having fresh herbs on hand for your meals and the gratification of spending some time outdoors in the sun growing your garden is invaluable.

2.  Pick a sunny spot with good drainage. You will find most basic herbs love the sun and don’t like being too wet. Only a few ( like cilantro, lemon balm, and mint) like partial shade. If you want to plant in a container, you can plant each herb separately or put them all together in one big bowl. You can also plant them in pots according to the recipes you like to use them for, a Tai pot, an Italian pot, a chicken dinner pot. Use a soil-less potting mix that will drain well.

3.  Speaking of mint… Mint will take over all the other herbs and take over your whole yard if you let it.  Plant it alone in its own pot.

Planting herb gardens in the chicago suburbs

4.  Start with a few plants for instant gratification. Plants such as rosemary, thyme, and oregano are especially good to buy as starters. Be sure to water them before you transplant. Grassy herbs (like chives and parsley)  grow quickly from seeds.   Start these and other seedlings right in the pot or the outside spot where they’ll be living permanently

5.  Pick a spot near the kitchen.  This allows you to step right outside and snip off a sprig without having to trek through your yard.

6.  Plant some perennials.  Try sage, thyme, lemon thyme, chives, oregano, fennel, marjoram, and mint.

7.  Try a few annuals.  Big-leafed sweet basil or Genovese basil are great all-purpose basils that make for easy growing. Plant them when it’s hot outside when you plant your tomatoes.  Dill or lemon balm are some other good annuals to try.

Decorate your patio with your herb garden

8.  Don’t over water or over fertilize.   Water every few days when the top few centimeters of soil is dry.  Over fertilizing will cause the plants to produce too much foliage and they won’t have the intense flavor that a good herb should have.  Once a month is usually enough.

9.  Harvest often. Harvesting promotes growth and keeps plants in their growing.  Stop by your garden before dinner each night and snip away. You can harvest up to a third of the foliage. If you see a flower, clip or pinch it off. Once a herb flowers it is trying to finish its life cycle.

10.  Eat and enjoy! If your recipe calls for dried herbs, double or triple the amount instructed with fresh herbs.  They are not as concentrated as dried herbs.  Freeze any that you can’t use right away.  They’ll make delicious soups when the weather turns chilly again.

Herb garden container ideas for your deck or patio

 

 

 

Recipe of the Month: Sweet Onion BBQ Burgers

Smoked cheese, grilled onions and a special sauce make these mouth-watering burgers a family favorite!

Sweet Onion BBQ Burger Recipe

SWEET ONION BBQ BURGERS

Prep: 30 min. + marinating Grill: 15 min. Yield: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

2 teaspoons onion salt

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 pound ground beef

1-1/4 cups barbecue sauce

SAUCE:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1 teaspoon brown sugar

ONION TOPPING:

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup honey

2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced

4 slices smoked cheddar cheese

4 hamburger buns, split

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, onion salt and brown sugar. Add egg. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties. Place in a shallow dish; pour barbecue sauce over patties. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients; cover and refrigerate until serving. For topping, melt butter in a small skillet. Stir in honey until blended. Add onions; sauté for 15-20 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

Drain and discard barbecue sauce. Grill patties, uncovered, over medium heat or broil 4 in from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 160° and juices run clear. Top each with a cheese slice; cook 1 minute longer or until cheese is melted. Serve on buns with sauce and onion topping. Yield: 4 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Taste of Home.

Recipe of the Month: Grilled Chicken with Chipotle-Orange Glaze

Smoky chipotle peppers are the secret to this delicious, citrusy barbecue sauce.  Looking for a little variety?  Try this recipe with shrimp or pork chops on the grill.

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle-Orange Glaze

GRILLED CHICKEN WITH CHIPOTLE-ORANGE GLAZE

4 servings

Active Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons orange-juice concentrate,   thawed

1 tablespoon finely chopped chipotle       peppers in adobo sauce, (see Note)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons unsulfured molasses

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

Salt to taste

PREPARATION

1.  Preheat grill or broiler.

2.  Whisk together orange-juice concentrate, chipotle pepper, vinegar, molasses and mustard in a small bowl.

3. Lightly oil the grill or broiler rack (see Tip). Season chicken with salt and grill or broil for 2 minutes. Turn, brush with the glaze and cook for 4 minutes, brushing occasionally with glaze. Turn again, brush with the glaze, and cook until the center is no longer pink, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 150 calories; 3 g fat (1 g sat , 1 g mono); 63 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 2 g added sugars; 23 g protein; 0 g fiber; 227 mg sodium; 302 mg potassium.

Recipe courtesy of EatingWell.com