Chicken and Chorizo "Paella" ~ www.ElephantEats.com

We headed down to my Nate’s mom’s house this past weekend. We had a relaxing couple days, and I started a new craft project

I’m going to make my mother-in-law a cushioned ottoman/coffee table. I bought a coffee table at a thrift store and we went out and got some fabric that will cover the foam I’m putting on top. I’m so excited to finish making it. I’ll show you guys when it’s done :) We picked out a beautiful purple tweed that matches her couches and I’m going to sew piping onto it- it will be the first time I’ve attempted that, so fingers crossed.

Chicken and Chorizo "Paella" ~ www.ElephantEats.com

Oh, I also fixed a drawer while I was down there that she was going to have a handyman come fix. I was pretty impressed with myself. I went to Lowes and got what I needed and fixed it! Girl power!!

It’s so rewarding to make or repurpose/create/fix something! I think that’s why I like cooking so much. It’s like creating one thing out of something entirely different- putting all these pieces together to make a new whole. And on top of it, you really get to enjoy the fruits of your labor :)

I’ve been so busy lately with house stuff, so I was on the lookout for a quick, simple dinner. It’s not completely authentic paella but it’s very similar. This dish hit the spot and was really really delicious and filling

Chicken and Chorizo "Paella" ~ www.ElephantEats.com

Chicken and Chorizo "Paella" with Mushrooms
Serves 6
A quick, simple and veggie-packed take on the traditional Paella
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs , cubed
  2. 4 ounces Mexican chorizo (i used a veggie version)
  3. 1 large white onion, chopped
  4. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  5. 16 oz mushrooms, sliced
  6. 2 Tbsp olive oil
  7. 1 tsp paprika
  8. 1 tsp oregano
  9. 1 tsp turmeric
  10. 1 tsp salt
  11. 1/2 tsp black pepper
  12. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  13. 1-1/2 cups long grain white rice
  14. 3 cups water
  15. 1 14oz can diced or stewed tomatoes
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chorizo and onion, stir to combine and let it sit and caramelize/soften for about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the cubed chicken, and stir to combine, letting it cook for about a couple minutes.
  3. Add the chopped red bell pepper, mushrooms, and cook several minutes. Add paprika, oregano, turmeric, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and rice. Stir everything to combine, and then add the water and tomatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat, cover, and allow to cook for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender.
  5. Serve hot!
Adapted from Heather's Dish
Adapted from Heather's Dish
http://elephanteats.com/

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

It was such a nice day out today in NY. Warm but breezy. It makes my walk home so nice.

I’m trying to savor these warm, dry days before we get to the so-humid-you-stick-to-your-pants days. Unfortunately, we did have a couple of those in the last two weeks. All I want on days like those is something cold.

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

Ice cream is totally a possibility for dinner on those days. At least for me. But since I have a husband to feed who can’t subsist on dessert alone, I have to come up with other things.

We had some whole wheat rolls lying around from veggie burgers on Memorial day, and since you know I can’t let things go to waste, i had to come up with some use for them.

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

I thought chicken salad would be great, but to kick it up a notch, I added the most delicious sauce on the planet- Frank’s Buffalo Sauce. I seriously could eat that sauce every day on anything.

I had a hard time coming up with what I should call this, because when I did a google search for “Buffalo Chicken Salad,” all I could find was buffalo chicken pieces ON a salad….which totally makes sense although I hadn’t thought of that at all. I wish I could like emphasize that “chicken salad” is one phrase. Oh, I know…”Buffalo” Chicken Salad.

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

That was totally my thought process, by the way. I literally came up with that as I was typing. Now you probably understand why Nate has learned to completely tune me out when I talk, since for me talking actually means voicing my every thought.

Oh well, I guess it’s worth putting up for if you get this for dinner :)

"Buffalo" Chicken Salad Sandwiches ~ ElephantEats.com

“Buffalo” Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Print this recipe!

Makes about 6 sandwiches

1 2/3 lbs chicken breast, raw (I guess the same amount cooked if you have leftovers? prob a little less pre-cooked)
4 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
6 oz. 2% Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
salt and pepper to taste
6 hamburger buns
Romaine lettuce for garnish (optional)

Put chicken in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and heat until chicken is cooked through. I find the easiest way to tell is to take a piece out and cut into it.

Pull chicken out and set on cutting board to cool.

Meanwhile, chop celery. Whisk lemon juice, yogurt, blue cheese, buffalo sauce and s/p. Dump in celery.

When chicken has cooled, chop into small bite-sized pieces and mix with the sauce. Put in fridge to cool.

Top each bun with a lettuce leaf and a large scoop of chicken salad.

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives ~ ElephantEats.com

Whelp, I’m back. I know I disappeared for a bit, but so much has been going on.

This past weekend I saw a few of my childhood friends (you might remember them from my visit to Cleveland), and I got to give two of them, who happen to be married, a blanket I made for their second child who’s due in June. It was my first time sewing a blanket, as opposed to crocheting, and it definitely came out a little crooked. I realize you can’t tell unless you really stare at it though, so whatever.

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I order these little tags to sew into the lining. On one side it says “Handmade by Amy Carota <3″ and on the back it has washing instructions. So cute, right?! The blanket is a white fleece on one side and just a cute fabric on the other, with a satin trim. I’m excited to try to make another one soon, so hopefully another of my friends will get preggo :)

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Today, I officially had my last day at work! I said my goodbyes to everyone, and they even got a Carvel ice cream cake for me. Yum :)

I spent Wednesday morning looking at a couple houses, because I could. It was the last time I could really take off part of a weekday, since I start my new job on Monday. Saturday I’m going to look at MORE houses (10 I believe). I think I must be setting a record with the amount of houses I’ve seen in the last 3 weeks. I definitely know the things I do and don’t want, though, which makes it extra hard since I’m picky!

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives ~ ElephantEats.com

As you might imagine, I haven’t had much time to cook, and thus to share yummy recipes with you. I did manage to make us this meal last night. It was something I pinned a few weeks ago and finally got around to making.

I loved the combination of flavors and ingredients. They definitely aren’t ones I find myself eating often. It had the perfect balance of protein and veggies  (and carbs since I served it over brown rice). The spices are really delicious and unique.

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives ~ ElephantEats.com

I made this after I got home from work, so unlike the Tomato Quiche, you could easily make this for a weeknight meal ;)

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with a cookie recipe I baked up this week too!

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives ~ ElephantEats.com

Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Olives

From The Longevity Kitchen via Epicurious

Print this recipe!

Serves 4-6

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs- about 1.5 pounds (you MUST use thighs or they’ll dry out)
salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt
8 thawed frozen or jarred artichoke hearts (see note), quartered
1/2 cup pitted green olives, such as picholine or manzanilla (I used pimento stuffed ones because that’s all I could find)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro (I used mint)

Pat the chicken dry and season salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on each side, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the chicken, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste; you may want to add another squeeze of lemon juice or pinch of salt.

Garnish with the mint.

Note:
The artichokes hearts can be fresh, frozen and thawed, or packed in water in a jar. Whichever type you use, rinse them well. If using fresh artichoke hearts, add them right after adding the garlic.

Variation: This dish would work well using a firm white fish, such as 1 pound halibut, cut into 4 ounces pieces, in place of the chicken. Begin the recipe by sautéing the onion. Proceed as directed, but substitute vegetable broth, homemade or store-bought, for the chicken broth. Add the fish during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Have you been feeling these cooler temperatures? I guess it depends where you live, huh. Well I gotta say that I much prefer the colder weather even with some rain drops than that awful heat and humidity. I was definitely ready for fall.

And nothing quite screams fall like squash: pumpkin, acorn, butternut. There are so many things you can make with this versatile ingredient, from sweet treats to savory suppers.

So when my blogger friend Junia at Mis Pensamientos organized a #squashlove bloghop for the month of November, you better believe I was in!

As I mentioned in my other post, I made a delightful stew to go along with that awesome cilantro flatbread last month. When I was deciding what I should make, I knew it would have to be something with some Indian spices to complement the flatbread.

I had made a great cauliflower/potato mixture with Garam Masala a few nights before for myself. Nate would’t dare touch cauliflower. All the more for me.

Anyway, that dish turned out so well that I wanted to make something with the same flavors that he could enjoy as well.

I settled on using chicken but thought that some butternut squash, diced tomatoes and yogurt would be amazing together. So that’s what I did. This whole dish really didn’t take too long to make.

I call for chicken thighs because I personally believe they stay extremely moist to the point that you can’t really overcook them. If you like dry meat, then go for the breast, but that’s not my thing. And for those calorie-counters out there, there are 110 calories in boneless skinless chicken breast vs 130 calores for boneless skinless thighs,  for the same 4 ounces. I really don’t think 20 calories are worth sacrificing moisture and flavor. But that’s just me ;)

The link below is powered by Linky Tools.
Click here to enter your link and view this the recipes that are part of #squashlove!

I am co-hosting this #squashlove! bloghop with the following fine chefs:

Baker Street | Anuradha : @bakerstreet29
Bloc De Recetas | Salomé : @blocderecetas
Bon à croquer | Valerie : @valouth
Cake Duchess | Lora: @cakeduchess
Cafe Terra Blog | Terra : @cafeterrablog
Food Wanderings | Shulie : @foodwanderings
Hobby and More | Richa : @betit19
Mike’s Baking | Mike : @mikesbaking
Mis Pensamientos | Junia : @juniakk
My Twisted Recipes | Dudut : @mytwistedrecipe
No One Like Crumbley Cookies | T.R : @TRCrumbley
Queens Notebook | Elizabeth : @mango_queen
Simply Reem | Reem : @simplyreem
Skip To Malou | Malou : @malou_nievera
Teaspoon Of Spice | Serena : @tspcurry
The Daily Palette | Annapet : @thedailypalette
The Professional Palette | Regan : @profpalate
The Spicy RD | EA : @thespicyrd
Vegan Miam | Rika : @veganmiam

Indian-Spiced Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew

Recipe by me!

Print this recipe!

Serves 4-6

1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
1.5 Tbsp Garam Masala
1 tsp tumeric
1 cup lowfat plain yogurt (not greek style)
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 3/4″ cubes (weight after chopping)
2 cups onions, thinly sliced
1 Tsbp vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

 Combine first 4 ingredients in bowl and let marinate 30 min.

Heat the oil over med-hi heat. Add onions and saute 5 min or until soft. Add ginger and garlic and saute 1-2 minutes.

Add butternut squash to pan and saute 1-2 min. Add chopped tomatoes with juice. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Add chicken. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 10 min, covered. Uncover and cook an additional 5 min.

Take 2 Tbsp or so of cooking liquid and put in a cup. Mix with the cornstarch and whisk to dissolve. Add cornstarch mixture back into chicken mixture and stir. Cook another few minutes until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.

Stir cilantro in and serve.

Broccoli Chicken Cheese Braid ~ ElephantEats.com

I’ve been hoping I’d come across a recipe to use that leftover chicken breast I had from a different recipe that was all cooked and chopped in the freezer.

So when I was doing my usual browsing on Pinterest yesterday and came across a pic that looked tasty, I was excited to see its main ingredient was 2 cups of chopped chicken!

I checked out the rest of the recipe and it seemed like it couldn’t be more simple. It was 6 ingredients and only took 30 min to bake.

Broccoli Chicken Cheese Braid ~ ElephantEats.com

Since you all know I’ve been super busy and short on time, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to finally get a blog post up.

Broccoli Chicken Cheese Braid ~ ElephantEats.com

This turned out totally delicious and I think it’s extremely kid friendly! I hope you enjoy :)

P.S. Sorry the color in my pictures stinks. For a more appetizing view of this recipe, click on the Food Family Finds link below.


Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid

Adapted from Food Family Finds

Print this recipe!

serves 5

Ingredients
2 cans Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls or 2 cans Pillsbury seamless sheet
2 cups chicken chunks, cooked
2 cups cheddar cheese
1 10-oz box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 egg yolk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

On a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, spread both cans of crescents, sealing the long edge of one sheet to the long edge of the other.

Press each of the seams to form a single layer of dough.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, cheese, broccoli and mayonnaise

Spread mixture over the center of the croissant dough evenly to create a log. It should be in a rectangle perpendicular to the seam.

Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut horizontal strips 1 inch apart down each side of the crescent dough bordering the chicken mixture.

Fold the end up and over the chicken. Then fold the dough strips over the top of the chicken mixture, alternating left and right to create a braid.

Brush the top of the braid with a beaten egg yolk.

Bake for 28 – 30 minutes until golden brown.