1. Friday, June 3, 2011

    Buffalo Chicken Dip

    Buffalo chicken dip is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I usually only have it at parties & potlucks, but decided to make some on Memorial Day. My sister-in-law, Lindsey, was kind enough to give me her recipe (Thanks LK!). It’s so quick and easy to whip up, and I just paired it with fresh bread from the bakery & celery sticks. It was well worth the calorie intake. ;)

    What You’ll Need:

    -Shredded chicken (either 2, 12.5 oz cans of canned premium white chunk chicken, or if you have              time… boil fresh chicken and shred, about 2 cups)

    -¾ cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce, Original

    -16. oz. of cream cheese, softened

    -1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    -Optional: Add small amount of Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing

    Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour into a large casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes. Cut some fresh bread and/or celery into pieces for dipping. Enjoy!

  2. Monday, May 16, 2011


       Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is really important to me. One thing I usually do not get enough of is protein. Quinoa [pronounced KEEN-WA] is an excellent source of complete protein [contains all nine essential amino acids], and is also vegan friendly [for you vegans out there]. You can read more about it here.

      I usually cook it in a saucepan following the directions on the label, and then add grilled veggies and seasoning. I’ve also made it before with sautéed peas and onion, which was really good. Serve with a salad and some warm bread for a complete meal!

  3. Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Strawberry Lemonade Popsicles

    I used to eat popsicles all the time growing up. They remind me of hot summer days as a kid - swimming & playing outside in the Florida heat. Now that I’m older I rarely eat them, but decided to make a healthy homemade version for a special treat. All I did was blend together a couple handfuls of sliced strawberries, fresh lemon juice [about half a lemon], and a few teaspoons of extra fine granulated sugar. Then I just poured the mixture into my popsicle molds and let them freeze for a few hours. The end result was delicious & refreshing. I cannot wait to experiment with different flavors!


  4. Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Kale Chips

    I’ve heard a lot about Kale Chips, but had never tried them before. I decided to whip up a quick batch yesterday for an afternoon snack. I was surprised at how crunchy and delicious they were! They are a great healthy alternative to potato chips. AND super easy to make too. Needless to say, I think these will be a staple here in the Kirkland household. 

    What you’ll need:

    1 Bunch of Kale
    Olive Oil
    Salt & Pepper [Or other seasoning… experimenting is fun!]
    Parchment Paper


    Preheat oven to 350. Wash Kale thoroughly. Tear off the leaves from the thick stems. Place on baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes [ovens may vary]. Then sit back and enjoy their crunchy goodness!

  5. Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Skillet Beef & Potatoes

    This classic meal is a simple & delicious meal to whip up on a weeknight. We eat a lot of chicken dishes, so this is a great alternative. You can find a similar recipe here… I served it with a salad and some warm bread. Overall, it was a very comforting meal for a dreary day. 

  6. Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Buffalo Chicken Skewers & Wedge Salad

    Buffalo chicken skewers with a simple wedge salad = amazing. I was inspired to make this by a dish Paula Dean featured on her cooking show. I loved the idea of grilling, but never really had anything to grill on. Enter this amazing contraption that we just purchased for only $14.99. So we decided to try it out last night by making the shish kabobs. The best part is that you probably already have most of the ingredients needed. AND they also make a great appetizer if you have company over. I’m sold.

    What You’ll Need:

    -2 Boneless Chicken Breasts (or more depending on how much you want to make)
    -1 Head of Lettuce
    -2 or More Pieces of Bacon (we typically use turkey bacon)
    -Buffalo Sauce (we love Frank’s Red Hot)
    -Blue Cheese Dressing
    -Sweet Tomatoes


      Chop the chicken into small chunks. Put in large bowl with a generous amount of the buffalo sauce. Toss with chicken so that it is fully coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge to marinate. I recommend letting it marinate for 45 minutes to an hour, if you have time. (We were in a hurry so we only did it for 20 minutes, and it was fine). While it is marinating begin grilling the bacon based off the cooking instructions. Then chop/crumble into small pieces and set aside. Next, wash your vegetables and chop the celery into small chunks. Once your chicken is ready skewer a piece of celery, chicken, and tomato onto it. Then grill on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, rotating the skewers every few minutes. 

      While the chicken is grilling, wash the iceberg lettuce and cut into wedges. Top with blue cheese dressing, chopped tomatoes, and the bacon pieces. Then just dish and enjoy! 

  7. Friday, March 18, 2011

    Chicken Parmesan

      This Chicken Parmesan dish is one of my favorite things to make. Growing up breaded chicken was one of my favorite things to eat, so my mom taught me how to make it. I started with those basic instructions and just went from there to create this. I’m sure there are tons of complicated recipes out there but I like to keep things simple. I want people to know that they can actually make this without hours of frustration in the kitchen.

    Prep Time: Approx. 10 Minutes
    Cook Time: Approx. 30 Minutes
    Serves 4


    4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
    1 - 1 lb Box of Spaghetti or Other Pasta 
    2 - 24 oz Jars of your Favorite Spaghetti Sauce
    Approx. 3 cups of Italian Breading
    2 Eggs
    2 Cups of Flour
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    Fresh Basil, Chopped (Optional)
    Approx. 1-2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
    ¾ Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese

    Directions: Preheat oven to 425 F. Get out a large pot and boil water for the Spaghetti. Pour the two tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan and set aside. Crack the two eggs into a bowl and beat. Pour the flower and breading on to two separate large plates. Dip the chicken into the flour, then the egg, then coat in the Italian breading. Once finished, place the four chicken breasts into the oiled frying pan and brown on medium heat for approx. 4-5 minutes on each side.

    Once the water comes to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook based off the instructions on your spaghetti package (times may vary). Pour the 2 jars of sauce into a small pan and heat on low.

    Once the chicken is ready, place the breasts onto a baking pan. Spoon some of the sauce onto the chicken. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and top with mozzarella cheese. Then bake for approximately 15-18 minutes.

    Once ready, top your spaghetti with some sauce & serve with the chicken. Sprinkle your chicken & pasta with fresh basil, and enjoy! To kick it up a notch, serve with fresh garlic bread (yum).

  8. Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Bacon Chicken Alfredo

    Last night Ryan and I had dinner with his parents. We had Bacon Chicken Alfredo (Recipe here) and wine. Nothing brings people together like a great meal! The pasta was delicious - big thanks to Mamma Kirkland for preparing the dish!

                                                               [Mamma Kirkland – Isn’t she cute?]

  9. Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Eggplant Salad Toasts

    These eggplant salad toasts never cease to impress me. I made them for the first time several months ago and now I crave them all the time. I think they make for a delicious appetizer, or a great meal when paired with a garden salad (like below). You can find the recipe here.

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