Buffalo Chicken Calzones

Forgive me, foodies, for I have slacked off. It has been 26 days since I last posted a new recipe. I’m not Catholic, so that’s as far as I’m willing to take the confession metaphor.

All kidding aside, I’ve just been really overwhelmed by life outside the kitchen lately. Between my job, writing a new show, and keeping Handsome Greg and Professor Meowington happy, I’m swamped. The thought of creating a unique recipe accompanied by a clever tale makes me want to cry into my apron.

And so, in the interest of keeping my blog alive (while exerting the VERY least amount of effort) I’m sharing an entirely unoriginal and frankly lazy-ass recipe. It’s easy, tasty, and a little bit embarrassing.

I am sorry for these and all the sins of my kitchen.


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Top Ten Recipes of 2012

Happy Holidays, imaginary internet friends! And congratulations on surviving the end of the world. Now I’m off to Barnes and Noble to demand a refund for my Mayan wall calendar. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I hope you’ll take another look at the 10 most popular recipes I shared this year.

S’mores Fried Ice Cream with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce

 

Asparagus Lasagna Slice

Asparagus Lasagna with Pancetta, Goat Cheese, and Lemon

 

Baked Churros with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Dulce de Leche

 

Loaded Baked Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

Cinnamon Roll Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

 

Cookies and Milk

Toffee Cashew Cookies

 

pie crust crackers

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Crackers

 

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

And the most popular recipe of 2012:

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Here’s to a delicious (and gooey) new year!

Sesame Chicken Salad

Just last week(ish), I shared with you all how my allergy to green peppers indirectly prevented me from ever tasting tomatillos. Today, my imaginary internet friends, I’m going to tell another terrible tale: The Most Lamentable Tragedy of Bake Up, Little Suzy’s Exclusion from the Whole of Asian Cuisine.

(I know. The title needs work. It’s a little wordy.)

Bell peppers are not my only edible allergens. I’m also allergic to ginger, coffee, curry, and horseradish. And that bizarre combination not only kept me from coffee house poetry slams in the 90’s, but also excludes me from enjoying the cuisine of Asia to this very day.

I’ve long dreamed of preparing meals that feature the genuine flavors of China, India, Korea, Thailand—but I’ve never really tasted them, out of fear of, well, dying. So I’m attempting to learn about entirely unfamiliar flavors, in utterly inauthentic ways.

I begin today with this fresh and crispy, savory and sweet, salty and crunchy salad. Now I’m assuming that normal people who don’t share my allergies will add ginger to the dressing or the marinade or both. But I found this salad delicious, satisfying, and not at all deadly without it.

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Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

Green pepper is my sworn enemy.

The conniving nightshade sneaks into salsa, it prowls in pasta, and it lurks in jambalaya, waiting to make its deadly move. Just one bite of a bell pepper and I’m a pathetic wheezing heap, my lips swollen like a Hollywood collagen job gone terribly wrong.

For years I avoided green salsa in every Mexican restaurant, for fear that the lovely olive color might be enhanced by the scoundrel bell pepper. And as a sad consequence, I never tasted the delightful tang of tomatillos.

Until now. I made this recipe for Mom and Handsome Greg, and instantly fell madly in love with the tart tomatillo sauce warmed through with a healthy teaspoon of smoky cumin. I filled corn tortillas with a luxurious and creamy chicken mixture, then doused them with the silky tomatillo sauce and topped them with a generous handful of gooey cheese.

Next time I make this dish I’ll use white cheddar – the orange cheese with the green salsa was a little off-putting. Otherwise it was perfect.

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Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

July, August, September, Souptober

After weeks of stalling, I have finally come to terms with Minnesota’s harsh reality: it’s soup season. And you won’t find a creamier, sweeter, or more buttery soup in which to dip a timid toe—er, spoon—than this delicate, yet decadent, chicken corn chowder.

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Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Candied Almonds, and Roasted Strawberry Vinaigrette

I had the best idea.

One night I was craving a hearty salad with sweet-tart, fresh fruit vinaigrette. I’d already made salad dressings with lemon, orange, and tangerine, but I wanted to move out of the citrus family and try something different.

And that’s when inspiration struck – I could transform the classic combination of strawberries and balsamic vinegar into a savory salad dressing, with layer upon layer of flavors.

Juicy, caramelized strawberries, fresh garlic, creamy-sharp Dijon mustard, a tender kiss of wild blackberry honey, and aged balsamic vinegar.

Sadly, this brilliant idea occurred to me five months ago, in the dead of Minnesota winter, when strawberries—if they could be found at all—were dry and wooden.

That left me with 147 long, cold days to dream of ripe, juicy berries. In those 147 days, I wondered just what would happen when you roasted strawberries. I finally had a chance to roast strawberries last week, and as it turns out, this is what it smells like when doves cry.

The strawberry halves gently caramelized in the oven, their juices slowly seeping out and thickening, before they became the foundation of my new favorite salad dressing. I tossed the dressing with romaine hearts and scallions, then topped the greens with roasted chicken, goat cheese, and sweet-n-spicy candied almonds.

It was a very long winter.

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Grilled Lime Chicken Lettuce Boats with Avocado Salad and Chimichurri

Whew! Thirty posts in thirty days – I made it through National Grilled Cheese Month. And though I made some delicious discoveries (Cinnamon Roll Grilled Cheese, anyone?), I’m a little cheesed out. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m ready for bright, fresh spring flavors. And some roughage.

I originally made this dish for Mom and Handsome Greg as part of an Argentinian-inspired meal that began with corn and bacon empanadas and ended with baked churros, cinnamon ice cream, and homemade dulce de leche (recipes coming soon, I promise!).

For our main course, we enjoyed crispy romaine leaves filled with luscious summer salad and tender grilled chicken, and kissed with garlicky parsley pesto. Fresh and bright, hearty but not heavy.

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Chicken Parmesan Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

I don’t make chicken Parmesan like a normal person – I stuff it with pepperoni and I don’t bread it. So I decided to further bastardize the classic dish and turn it into a grilled cheese sandwich. The resulting lunch was quite tasty, but not spectacular.

I wanted it to be gooier. Next time, I think I’ll make a pesto out of the tomatoes and use a melty cheese like mozzarella or provolone, with just a light sprinkling of shredded Parmesan for bite. Despite the less-than-perfect texture, the flavors are great. The garlic powder and Italian seasoning really makes it.

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Barbeque Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

I’m a big fan of the pulled chicken sandwich. Tender shredded chicken smothered in sweet, tangy barbeque sauce, piled high on a giant, soft bun. And with a side of coleslaw, please.

I didn’t think it was possible to improve upon a pulled chicken sandwich, until the day I met the barbeque chicken grilled cheese sandwich. The pepper jack cheese melts beautifully into the barbeque sauce and adds a fair amount of spicy kick, and the grilled bread gives it a satisfying crunch. This one’s an elbow-licker.

Barbeque Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Recipe Type: Sandwich
Author: Bake Up, Little Suzy
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 1
Spicy pepper jack cheese melts beautifully into the barbeque sauce, and the grilled bread gives it a satisfying crunch. This one’s an elbow-licker.
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup shredded roast chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons barbeque sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Vidalia Onion)
  • 2 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 2 slices white bread
  • Butter
Instructions
  1. Combine shredded chicken and barbeque sauce.
  2. Top each slice of bread with pepper jack cheese.
  3. Close it up and butter the outsides of the bread.
  4. Griddle on medium-high heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese Sandwich

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Month, I’m posting a different grilled cheese sandwich every single day through the month of April. You’re welcome.

Welcome to Day 5 of my cheesy, grilled adventure! I started with the classic dish, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and turned it into a flavor-packed grilled cheese sandwich.

Chicken cordon bleu open
I don’t really care much for the traditional Swiss cheese, so I replaced it with Muenster, and it melted like silk sheets under the blanket of chicken and ham. (And now I kind of want a chicken and ham blanket for my bed, like Lady Gaga’s meat dress, except linens.) The roasted garlic mayo gave it a luxurious richness (because it clearly wasn’t rich enough with just ham, cheese, chicken, and butter), and the scallions popped with a stinging, grassy freshness. The flavors were almost as delightful as the textures — crunch, crunch through the bread then tear through the ham. Pull away and a string of mild, milky cheese slaps your chin.

Chicken cordon bleu grilled

Chicken Cordon Blue Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Recipe Type: Sandwich
Author: Bake Up, Little Suzy
Prep time: 8 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 18 mins
Serves: 1
Muenster cheese is melted like silk sheets under a blanket of roasted garlic mayo, topped with chicken, ham, and scallions
Ingredients
  • 2 slices white bread
  • Butter
  • Half a roasted chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 slices ham
  • 2 slices Muenster cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • Roasted Garlic Mayo (recipe below)
  • Roasted Garlic Mayo
  • 1 clove roasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Smoosh together the roasted garlic, mayo, lemon juice, and salt.
  2. Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheese.
  3. Spread one cheese slice with roasted garlic mayo.
  4. Top with ham, chicken, and green onions.
  5. Close up the sandwich, and butter the outsides of the bread.
  6. Griddle on medium heat until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.