MIRACLE WHIP Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

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This post is sponsored by KRAFT Foods.  All opinions are my own. 

I’ve never been so happy about summer coming to an end.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve loved our summer in San Diego but it’s been a whirlwind of a summer.  It has felt like a really long vacation.  We are ready for a routine, structure, friends (hooray for Preschool!!) and a certain baby boy to make his appearance soon!

I’m hoping that with school starting, routines and schedules, this place will start to feel more like home.  And we are all pretty stoked about the pretty- much-perfect weather we’ll get be enjoying….which means more beach days to come:)

So yes, I’m ready for September!

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This MIRACLE WHIP Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip is the perfect addition to any last summer bashes, Labor Day BBQ’s, or even up coming game-day parties.

Everyone seems to have a go-to Spinach & Artichoke Dip (my mom’s is killer), but this one is sweet and tangy with just a little bit of kick.  It’s different from any other spinach dip out there.  The secret ingredients?  MIRACLE WHIP Dressing, making it  tangy,  and chipotle peppers for some kick.  Then of course you have your usual sour cream, spinach and artichokes, green onion and a little garlic.  

It’s a crowd pleaser that comes together in minutes!!

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MIRACLE WHIP and Proud of It 

MIRACLE WHIP Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip
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Ingredients
  1. cup MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
  2. 1 cup BREAKSTONE’S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream
  3. 1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained, finely chopped
  4. 1 pkg. (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and well drained
  5. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  6. 3 green onions thinly sliced
  7. 3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  8. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine everything together and let chill for one hour. Serve in a bread bowl, with chips, crackers, pretzels, or veggies!
Notes
  1. Source: MIRACLE WHIP
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Buffalo Chicken Wedge Salad

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It’s about that time and season that I go a little crazy for buffalo wing recipes.  It always happens when football season rolls around.  It’s not the girliest of foods, but I love wings and all things with buffalo wing sauce in them, on them, or to dip in.  And for some reason, football just screams buffalo wing time.  Am I right or am I right?  It’s kind of funny that before meeting Brett, I was definitely not a wing eating, wing sauce loving girl.  And now you will always find a giant bottle of Franks Red Hot wing sauce in our fridge.  Always.  

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Another thing I love is a good wedge salad.  Mmmm, loaded up with blue cheese.  I’ve been dreaming about a Buffalo Chicken Wedge Salad for a while now and finally made it happen.  A crisp wedge of chilled iceberg lettuce topped with buffalo chicken, tomatoes, green onion, celery, avocado and blue cheese.  Drenched in creamy buffalo ranch dressing.  

With a little more blue cheese please.  

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You can make this wedge salad as spicy as you want, just add a little more Franks Red Hot (or your favorite wing sauce) to the shredded chicken and to the ranch dressing.

I like to think of this as a slightly lighter buffalo wing dish, you know, aside from all that buffalo ranch.  But that stuff, my friends, is what makes this wedge delicious!

Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wedge
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head of iceberg lettuce
  2. 1 cup shredded chicken + 2-3 tbsp Franks Red Hot Sauce (or other wing sauce)
  3. 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (plus a little extra)
  4. 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  5. 1-2 stalk celery, diced
  6. 2 green onions, chopped
  7. 1/2 avocado, diced
  8. 1 cup ranch dressing
  9. 1/4 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce (or other wing sauce)
  10. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk 1 cup ranch dressing and 1/4 cup Franks sauce together to make Buffalo Ranch, and set aside (chill).
  2. Mix shredded chicken with 3-4 tbsp (or desired amount) of Franks sauce. Chill.
  3. Rinse the head of iceberg lettuce and remove outer-most layers. Cut the head of lettuce into four wedges, cutting off the core from each.
  4. Place each wedge on a plate, cut side up. Drizzle each wedge with some of the buffalo ranch dressing. Divide diced tomatoes, sliced celery, avocado, and blue cheese evenly among the wedges.
  5. Top each wedge with about 1/4 cup shredded buffalo chicken. Drizzle with a little more buffalo ranch and a sprinkle of blue cheese and a dash of salt and pepper.
Notes
  1. **add crumbled bacon if desired
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 Other Buffalo wing recipes you’ll love…..

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Buffalo Chicken Nuggets

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Buffalo Wing Chicken & Black Bean Quesadillas

buffalo wing meatballs

Buffalo Wing Blue Cheese Turkey Meatballs

buffalo popcorn

 Buffalo Wing Popcorn 

Honey Almond Chicken

 A great meal on a busy week night, this Honey Almond Chicken only requires three ingredients~ honey, almonds, and chicken! 

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I usually like to have some sort of meal plan for the week when Monday rolls around, but this summer was the summer of no plan, like ever.  I flew by the seat of my pants, ran to the grocery store several times a week, or just boycotted dinner altogether so we were forced to go out or have YOYO kind of night.  With school starting soon, and a BABY coming, I’m determined to get my meal planning a little more organized.   I don’t think I’ll be able to fly by the seat of my pants and drag three kids to the grocery store whenever I need to.  Three kids in a grocery store terrifies me!

And my plan is to keep things simple.  Even as simple as three ingredients!!

 

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This Honey Almond Chicken only requires three ingredients, the ones listed in its name~ honey, almonds, and chicken.  I know this is the kind of dinner we’re all looking to dish up on busy school nights.  The honey and almonds create a thick, sweet and sticky sauce for the perfectly cooked pan roasted chicken. 

Simply dredge the chicken (I used thighs) in good quality honey, then coat them in chopped almonds.  Cook both sides of the chicken in a cast-iron skillet until nice and golden, then transfer to the oven to finish cooking.  

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As the chicken cooks, the honey and almonds start to  slide off of the chicken, but creates a nice thick, bubbly sauce around it.  The almonds continue to cook and get nice and toasty and crunchy!  When you serve the chicken just spoon a bunch of the honey almond sauce over the chicken.  We like to serve it over rice and spoon some extra sauce over it too.  

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Honey Almond Chicken
sweet, saucy chicken with golden crisp almonds, and only three ingredients to make it!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thawed
  2. 1/2 cup good quality honey
  3. 1 cup chopped almonds
  4. *olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place honey in a shallow bowl. Place almonds in a separate shallow bowl.
  3. Dredge chicken thighs in honey then in the almonds, coating both sides. Set aside.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, place the chicken in the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden. Flip chicken and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the other side is golden as well.
  5. Reduce heat to medium and cook on both sides for another 2 minutes each.
  6. Transfer skillet to the oven and cook chicken for another 10-12 minutes until cooked through, flipping chicken half way through.
  7. Remove from oven. Some of the honey and almonds will slide off the chicken but create a thick, nutty sauce around it. Serve the chicken over rice, spooning some of the sauce and almonds over the top.
  8. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
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Honey-Lime Chicken & Quinoa Enchilada Casserole

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When Brett and I were first married, my mom’s chicken enchilada casserole was a staple for us.  Brett was playing football and was trying to gain weight.  I figured a giant pan of creamy, chicken enchilada casserole once a week would help.  You know, served with some chips and guacamole {and followed up with a giant pan of brownies!}  It was one of the few meals I could cook and I really did make it weekly. 

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Then when he was done playing football, his diet took a 180, he dropped sixty pounds and we wrote off the casserole.  Sorry mom:(

But I loved that casserole and I love enchiladas.  And I’m kind of in that nesting stage, trying to find some good freezer meals to whip up before the baby comes.  So I made this Honey Lime Chicken & Quinoa Enchilada Casserole~ a much lighter, healthier, casserole that we don’t feel so bad about eating.  

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It’s not perfectly healthy {hello cheesy good stuff}.  But it’s made with enchilada sauce, honey, and lime juice. And Greek yogurt! With some black beans, quinoa, and chicken.  And of course corn tortillas.  

All layered and stacked together to create one tasty little dish we just love.  honey-lime-chicken-quinoa-enchilada-casserole-recipe-sweettreatsmore.com-7

Honey Lime Chicken & Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (28 oz) can Mild Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  2. 2 tbsp lime juice
  3. 2 tbs honey
  4. 1/2 cup non fat Greek yogurt
  5. 1 tsp garlic salt
  6. 1 tsp cumin
  7. 1/4 tsp salt
  8. 1/4 tsp pepper
  9. 2 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  10. 2 cups cooked quinoa
  11. 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  12. 16 corn tortillas
  13. 2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
  14. optional toppings: diced green onion, diced avocado, shredded lettuce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a bowl whisk enchilada sauce, honey, lime juice, greek yogurt, garlic salt, cumin, and salt and pepper together.
  3. Spoon some of the sauce into the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch casserole pan.
  4. Place 8 corn tortillas on top of the sauce, overlapping the edges and allowing the tortillas to go up the edges of the pan, just a little.
  5. Next, layer half of the black beans, quinoa and chicken on top of the tortillas. Cover with enchilada sauce and cheese.
  6. Repeat another layer of corn tortillas, then the remaining black beans, quinoa, and chicken. Cover with the raining sauce and cheese.
  7. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.
  8. Top with diced green onion, avocado, or shredded lettuce and serve.
Notes
  1. I like to divide this into two 8 X 8 inch square pans, and freeze one for later!
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Oat and Honey Pancakes {with simple honey butter syrup}

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My kiddo doesn’t start school until after Labor Day  so we’ve still got a few weeks left to soak up summer.  I know a lot of you though, are in full-swing back-to-school mode (wah-wah).   These Oat and Honey Pancakes are the perfect way to start the school day!  Thick and fluffy, made with whole wheat and white flour, oats, and sweetened with honey . My kids love them, and I love knowing they are starting their day with a hearty, healthy meal.  

We like to stack a few, add some fresh fruit on top,  then drizzle the pancakes with a really simple honey butter syrup.  It really is just honey + butter + syrup.  And it’s pretty much heaven over these pancakes.  

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You can make a batch (or two) at the beginning of the week and pop them in the toaster or microwave for a quick breakfast before school when you’re in a hurry! 

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Oat and Honey Pancakes
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For the pancakes
  1. 1/2 cup white flour
  2. 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  3. 1 tbsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1 cup oats
  7. 1 cup milk
  8. 3 tbs good quality honey
  9. 1 egg
  10. splash of vanilla
  11. Easy Honey Butter Syrup
  12. 1/2 cup syrup
  13. 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  14. 1 1/2 tbsp butter
Instructions
  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients (except the oats) together in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl whisk milk, honey, and egg together until honey is dissolved.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently stir in oats.
  4. Heat a griddle to medium-high heat and brush with butter or cooking spray.
  5. Pour batter 1/4 cup at a time on the griddle and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly, flip and let cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Melt syrup, honey and butter together, then serve over pancakes.
Notes
  1. pancakes source: Top With Cinnamon (adjusted measurements just slightly on a few things!)
  2. honey butter syrup: me :)
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S’moreo Rice Krispie Treats

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I shared this recipe over at I Heart Naptime’s Hello Summer event a couple of weeks ago.   My sweet tooth has been playing weird games on me lately.  Things I don’t typically crave, I can’t seem to get enough of lately.  Like Cap’n Crunch cereal at 10:00 at night, and pans and pans of rice krispie treats.    I blame pregnancy.  As I draw near the end, I’m pulling an “I’ll eat whatever I want attitude” because I’m tired and hot, and emotional.  And convinced a pan of rice krispie treats will make me feel better.  

Because my husband has the most insanely strict eating habits and self control, I really do end up eating the entire pan (after my kids eat one or two.)  You’d think after consuming an entire pan I’d be done with rice krispie treats for a while.  But give me a few days and I’m craving them again.  And that’s how these babies were born.  

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 Think s’mores meet Oreos meet rice krispie treats.  Chunks of Oreo cookies and graham crackers tossed in with the rice krispie cereal, stirred into the gooey  marshmallows.  Top them off with chocolate and more crushed graham crackers.  

The perfect summer time, no bake treat! 

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S'moreo Rice Krispie Treats
Oreos meet s'mores meet rice krispie treats. The perfect summer time no bake treat!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cups rice krispie cereal
  2. 1 1/2 cups crushed Oreos
  3. 1 3/4 cups crushed graham crackers
  4. 1 (10 oz) bag marshmallows
  5. 1/4 cup butter
  6. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  7. 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  8. 1 dab butter or crisco
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine rice krispie cereal, crushed oreos, and 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers together. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt marshmallows and 1/4 cup butter together. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Gently fold in cereal mix.
  3. Press into a lightly greased 9X13 inch pan (or 8X8 inch pan for thicker squares).
  4. In a small bowl, melt chocolate chips with a dab of butter or crisco in the microwave, stirring every 10-15 seconds. Drizzle all over the top of rice krispie treats. Sprinkle chocolate with the leftover (1/4 cup) crushed graham crackers.
Notes
  1. **crush the oreos and graham crackers as fine or as chunky as you prefer!
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Grilled Cheesy Avocado Sourdough Bread

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Last night at 11pm I sat staring at my computer screen not really knowing what to say about this bread, other than “THIS STUFF IS AMAZING AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO MAKE IT!”  I sat there on the couch, staring at the blank screen until I fell asleep.  I woke up this morning and my husband apparently decided to give me a free pass and write my post for me (which I have now edited, but thank you so much honey!).

It said something like, “Kristy is exhausted and can’t keep her eyes open long enough to type.  Our two year old has viral induced asthma and the new kid is running out of room in the whomb, so I guess the three hours of sleep she got last night is taking it’s toll.” 

All very true. 

And then he said, “I don’t know what she tries to include in a post but it looks like there are some pretty photos in here and the recipe is at the bottom.”

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I woke up early to finish writing and got a great laugh.  I’m still laughing.  Just look at the photos and the recipe is at the bottom you guys.  

Would it have worked?   

Anyways, about the bread. Who doesn’t love cheesy bread?  And topped with avocados ?  Grilled to hot and cheesy, toasty perfection, with a nice little smoky flavor too.  If you’re grilling meat and veggies for dinner, why not throw some bread on too for a complete meal! 

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Grilled Cheesy Avocado Bread
sourdough bread slices loaded with cheese and avocado gets toasted to perfection on the grill!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, cut into slices (5-6 slices)
  2. 3 large avocados, diced
  3. 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  4. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  5. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Brush both sides of the sourdough bread slices with olive oil.
  3. Place bread on the grill, close, and cook for 2-3 minutes (checking to make sure it's not burning)
  4. Flip bread over and sprinkle each slice with cheddar cheese (get as cheesy as you want here), then top with diced avocado.
  5. Close grill and let cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm. Check these frequently to make sure they don't burn. But it's okay to get some nice char-grilled lines in the bread.
Sweet Treats & More http://sweettreatsmore.com/

Strawberry Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich {CA Strawberries Farm Tour}

I am completely in love with this grilled cheese sandwich.  Fresh strawberry slices, gooey brie cheese, and a little basil,  melted in between two thick, crusty slices of sourdough.  With a little balsamic glaze on top.

Just drool over it for a minute… 

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A few weeks ago I jumped on a quick flight to Santa Cruz, Ca to spend a day-and-a-half in what we called “Strawberryland.”  A handful of bloggers attended a fun strawberry-filled event with California Strawberries where we learned all about strawberries, ate a lot of strawberries, and toured a beautiful BEAUTIFUL strawberry farm just off the coast of Monterey Bay.  

Fun fact–Did you know nearly 90 percent of U.S grown fresh strawberries come from California, where nearly 1.7 billion pounds of strawberries are harvested annually.  And, strawberries in California have a twelve month growing season?  

As a new California resident….this makes me pretty excited.  We love strawberries!! 

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The first night was all about meeting and greeting, drinking and eating all things strawberries.  Not to worry, only virgin drinks for me :) 

The next day we started our morning early with a walk around the Santa Cruz boardwalk and wharf.  

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Then it was straight to the strawberry farm.  We toured the farm of Rod Koda, a third generation strawberry farmer in Watsonville.  His farm, Shinta Kawahara, was established when Rod’s grandmother-in-law started growing strawberries in 1959. The Kodas farm both organic and conventional strawberries on more than 27 acres along the Monterey Bay coast.   It really is breathtaking. 

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I loved meeting Rod and hearing him talk about the hard work and sacrifices he and his family make for the farm, and just seeing the passion and excitement he has for his strawberries!  He was so excited to watch us eat the strawberries and tell him which was our favorite and why.  

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We walked through the huge strawberry fields, trying each variety, hunting for the “perfect” strawberry.  I think I ate about 50 strawberries before I found mine.  Isn’t she pretty?

Food Truck

 After the farm, we got fed more food :)  Strawberry BBQ Ribs, Kobe Beef Peanut Butter & Strawberry Sliders, Fries with Strawberry Ketchup, a Salted Caramel Strawberry Brownie…and that was just half of the food! 

Food was from the popular LA based food truck, The Lobos Truck. I was ready to be rolled outta there by the time we were done!  Or at least put on some stretchy pants to head to the airport.  

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And after all of it, I got home and wanted more strawberries.  Can you believe it? I had to recreate one of the appetizers from the first night at the cocktail party~ a strawberry grilled cheese!  It’s definitely a grilled cheese for grown ups.  

Sweet and savory, melty, cheesy perfection sandwiched between two slices of toasty sourdough bread.  

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Then go ahead and drizzle a thick, balsamic glaze over the top.  It gets a little messy, but it’s worth it. (Or if you prefer, you can just dip it in the balsamic) 

Strawberry Brie Grilled Cheese
sweet and savory, strawberries and brie cheese stuffed into a hot grilled cheese sandwich!
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Ingredients
  1. 4 slices sour dough bread
  2. 1 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  3. 6-8 slices good quality brie cheese
  4. 1 tbsp basil
  5. Balsamic Vinegar or Glaze
  6. butter
Instructions
  1. Heat a griddle to medium low heat-about 275 on a griddle (or you can use a panini press)
  2. Butter one side of each slice of bread. Place buttered side down on the griddle. Top with 3-4 slices of brie cheese, then a layer of strawberry slices. Sprinkle a little basil over the top of the strawberries.
  3. Place another slice of bread on top with buttered side up.
  4. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes, checking frequently to make sure it's not burning.
  5. Turn the heat up slightly, and let cook on both sides for just a few minutes- flipping back and forth until the bread is nice and golden.
  6. Remove from heat, cut in half and serve with balsamic vinegar or glaze (or drizzle it over the top of the sandwich)
Notes
  1. **Using a panini press is so much easier/quicker.
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Orange Balsamic Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs

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Sunday  we had the missionaries from our church over for dinner.  Since we are boycotting the oven as much as we can right now, we decided to try a new grilled chicken recipe.  It was a little risky trying something new when guests were coming, but we went for it…without a backup plan.  Grilled chicken drenched in a sticky, orange balsamic glaze just sounded too good!  

When they arrived Brett was just pulling the chicken off of the grill.  I poured the glaze over it and snapped a few pictures as fast as I could.  Then, had to explain to them why I was taking pictures of their food. They said they’ve seen much weirder things on their mission.  Well, whew.  Food bloggers aren’t so weird after all.  I took the chicken disappearing one by one as a good sign! 

The glaze for this is really simple- orange marmalade, balsamic vinegar, a little honey and a dash of crushed pepper.  If you serve the chicken with rice or noodles and want some extra sauce I’d double the recipe for the glaze!! 

Orange Balsamic Glazed Grilled Chicken Thighs
orange marmalade, balsamic vinegar and honey create the perfect sweet and tangy sauce for this perfectly tender grilled chicken thighs!
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup orange marmalade
  2. 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  3. 3 tbs honey
  4. 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  5. 1/2 tbs cornstarch
  6. 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, thawed (can use skin-on chicken if you prefer it)
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 tsp pepper
  9. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place chicken in a 9X13 in pan. Brush both sides with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat grill to medium high and place chicken on the grill. Cook for 4-6 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes (until chicken is cooked through).
  2. While chicken is on the grill, whisk orange marmalade, balsamic vinegar, honey, and crushed red pepper together over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Whisk in cornstarch and let simmer for several minutes (should thicken up).
  3. Remove chicken from grill and place in a large shallow dish (or baking pan). Drizzle orange-balsamic glaze all over the chicken. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve
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Easy Parmesan Buttered Egg Noodles

easy-parmesan-buttered-noodles-recipe-sweettreatsmore.commain6Every once and a while, everyone needs some buttered noodles in their life.   And truth be told, I loved buttered noodles as a kid (and apparently still do~it had just been a while).  I’d ask to skip the spaghetti sauce and just drench my noodles in butter with a little bit of  cheese and salt and pepper.  

Which basically requires no recipe, it’s butter and noodles people!!  But in case you need a little guidance I thought I’d share these.  A slightly more adult version that the kids will still gobble up.  Buttery, cheesy egg noodles with a little bit of lemon and basil.  

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They can be the perfect copout meal (read – I’m tired and pregnant and don’t wanna think about cooking ) OR they can be the perfect simple comfort food meal. Reminiscent of your childhood. It seriously warmed my heart a little to watch my boys eat em’ up and ask for more.  

I know, they’re so ridiculously easy it seems ridiculous to share them.  By the small chance some of you have never ever had buttery noodles, I beg to try some!

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Easy Parmesan Buttered Egg Noodles
easiest pasta there is to make, butter and cheesy!
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz package extra wide egg noodles
  2. 1/2 cup butter (use more ore less butter if desired)
  3. 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  4. 1 tbs lemon juice
  5. 1 tbs fresh chopped basil
  6. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot, but not over heat. Add the butter, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and basil. Gently stir until the butter and cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
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