The Sweetest Thing.

" I feel there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people" ~Van Gogh

Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs. August 13, 2015

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — Jessica @ 4:05 pm
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Fresh pineapple is one of those things that I often buy and we either eat it within a day or we don’t eat it at all and it goes in the compost. After throwing away two whole pineapples, I was optimistic that we would actually get around to eating this one. Well, we didn’t- at least not in the traditional way alongside breakfast or lunch. I came home from work and noticed it was still sitting on the baker’s rack and needed to be used. I thought about making some kind of dessert but really, I just needed to get dinner on the table. So, I decided I would work the pineapple into our meal. (I should clarify that I am not generally a fan of fruit in my dinner). This is what I came up with based on the chicken I had thawed and some veggies we had in our refrigerator. It was a winner for both of us & perfect served with coconut rice for a complete meal.


Hawaiian Chicken Kabobs

Serves 6



1 fresh pineapple- peeled, cored and diced into large chunks- RESERVE HALF

1/2 cup tamari (or soy sauce)

1/4 c packed brown sugar

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup water

3 TBLS olive oil

1 bunch green onions- sliced (I use scissors)

Everything Else

1 lb chicken cut into large chunks (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts)

8 oz mushrooms

1 lb mini sweet peppers

1 large red onion- quartered and seperated

Remaining pineapple chunks that you reserved from the marinade


1.Place first 6 items in food processor and blend until pineapple is broken down into very small pieces.

2. Add green onions

3.Reserve 3/4 cup marinade for basting while on grill

4. Add chicken and mushrooms to marinade and let sit in refrigerator for 2-12 hrs.

5. Using kabob sticks that you have soaked in water, alternate ingredients (chicken, mushrooms, peppers, pineapple and onion). Place on foil lined cookie sheets until you get them all done.

6, Cook on grill (grilling times will vary). Ours took about 35 minutes. Rotate every 10-15 minutes. Baste with reserved marinade when you place on grill and every time you rotate them.

7. Remove from grill and let cool slightly.

8. Enjoy!



Stove Top Chicken Parmesan. March 5, 2015

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner — Jessica @ 9:15 am
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Our oven was broken for a month or so a couple of winters ago. No oven in the winter is rough. I would have probably never even noticed it was broken in the summer but once winter hits, I like all things roasted and baked. We were craving the cheesy, saucy breaded goodness of Chicken Parmesan but the traditional method of baking was off the table, so I improvised. Despite being a stove top meal, there isn’t really any more work involved than if you were putting it in the oven. So if you are ovenless for some reason or maybe it is just too hot to use the oven and you still want something melty, saucy and delicious- give this recipe a try!


Stove Top Chicken Parmesan

serves 4


2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (Butterflied & Cut Through- creating 4 pieces of chicken total)

3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1/3 Cup Shredded Parmesan (the fresh kind works best)

1/2 tsp each of Dried Basil, Oregano and Parsley

salt & pepper to taste

2 eggs- beaten

2 Tbls Olive Oil

1 jar of your favorite marinara

1/4 cup of water (depending on your sauce)

Sliced Provolone or Fresh Mozarella (2-4 slices)

Pasta for serving


1. Heat Olive Oil in large skillet over medium heat.

2. Place eggs in shallow dish and beat slightly.

3.Place panko, Parmesan, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper in shallow dish and mix to combine.


4. Dip 1 piece of chicken in eggs and then in Panko Parmsan mixture. Be sure to coat both sides well. Place in skillet with hot oil. Repeat with 3 remaining pieces. Cook about 4 minutes per side until coating mixture is golden brown and crispy.


5. Once both sides are crispy, pour your favorite sauce over chicken in skillet. If sauce is really thick pour a little into skillet and then add 1/4 water to jar and shake before pouring the rest in. Reduce heat. Cover and let simmer 20 minutes.


6. Top each piece of chicken with a slice of cheese and return lid until cheese is melted (about 2-3 minutes).

7. Serve over pasta.

8. Enjoy!



Olive & Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast w/ Walnut Panko Crust November 25, 2014

During the warmer months, I eat salad for lunch pretty much everyday. I always start with a bed of spring mix and get creative with the toppings. One of my very favorite combinations of toppings is olives, feta and walnuts with a slightly sweet homemade vinegarette. Unfortunately, as soon as the temperature drops, salad starts making me gaggy and I just can’t eat it.  I had to figure out a way to combine those flavors into winter friendly food. This is what I came up with.  Lean boneless skinless chicken breast stuffed with chopped olives and crumbled feta and coated with a mixture of finely chopped walnuts and panko breadcrumbs.  A drizzle of honey right before serving balances out the saltiness of the filling perfectly. I will definitely be making this again.



Olive & Feta Stuffed Chicken Breast w/ Walnut Panko Crust

Serves 4

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast (trimmed)

3/4 c Walnuts- finely chopped

1/2 c Panko bread crumbs (gluten free for me)

3/4 c Olives- roughly chopped

3/4 c Feta cheese- crumbled

2 Eggs- beaten

Olive oil- for drizzling

Freshly ground black pepper- to taste

Honey- for drizzling


1. Preheat oven to 375º


2. Set everything you need up. This is going to take some dishes. Mix the feta and olives together in a small bowl. Beat the eggs in a shallow dish. Combine the finely chopped walnuts, panko and freshly ground black pepper in another shallow dish. Once everything is set up, cut a “pocket” in the chicken. Be careful not to cut all the way through. It should look like this.


3. Stuff 1/4 of the mixture into the “pocket”. Roll chicken breast in egg and then in walnut mix. Use toothpicks to keep it closed if necessary. Repeat with remaining 3 chicken breasts.

4. Place stuffed chicken breast in 9×13 pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Like this-


5. Bake for 45 minutes or until chicken is done.

6. Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle with honey when served if desired.

7. Enjoy!



Sweet & Spicy Fried Chicken. October 24, 2014

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner,Uncategorized — Jessica @ 5:00 am
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This is not the kind of recipe you will see here often, but everyone needs some fried chicken every now and then. If it was up to my love, we would have fried foods a couple of times a week but I try to limit it to once a month or so. Not because I don’t LOVE them, because I certainly do, but because they just aren’t good for you.

This recipe is my take on fried chicken. Since I have a hard time leaving good enough alone, I figured I would take the flavors up a notch by marinating my chicken before frying. I use a combination of honey and hot sauce to give the chicken a nice sweet and spicy flavor under the crispy crunchy deliciousness. After the chicken is fried, I drizzle it with more honey to really showcase all of the flavors.



Sweet & Spicy Fried Chicken

serves 4

8 chicken drumsticks (or thighs)- bone in and with the skin still on

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup hot sauce

1.5 cups all purpose flour (I used gluten free)

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

canola oil (about 6-8 cups depending on size of pan)

Additional honey and hot sauce for serving if desired



1. Combine honey and hot sauce in a gallon freezer bag. Mix together by sealing and then kneading bag. Add chicken. Marinate at least 6 hrs or overnight (recommended)

2. Start the cooking process by heating the oil in deep skillet (we have a special “chicken fryer” pan). I like the oil to be about an inch and a half deep. Heat oil to 350°. It is very important that you get the oil at the right temperature. If it is not hot enough, the flour will soak up the oil before it fries and it won’t get crispy. If the oil is too hot, the flour crisps up almost instantly but the chicken will not be cooked and the outside will be burned before the chicken is cooked. Your best bet is to use a food thermometer. I don’t do that. I usually just let it heat until I can feel the heat coming off from oil when I hold my hand a few inches above it. This does not always work out.

3. While oil is heating, place flour, salt and pepper in a clean gallon freezer bag and combine.

4. Remove chicken from marinade and allow excess marinade to drip off. Place chicken in bag with flour. Discard remaining marinade. Seal bag and shake to coat chicken.

5. Remove chicken once piece at time, shake off excess flour and place in hot oil. Be sure not to crowd the chicken. Cook in two batches if needed. The oil needs to be able to move around and crisp up the chicken. I cook about 10-12 minutes and then flip the chicken over and cook an additional 10-12 minutes.

6. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels (or coffee filters).

7. Drizzle with honey and more hot sauce if desired when served.

8. Enjoy!





5 Ingredient Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers. July 6, 2013

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner,Uncategorized — Jessica @ 9:39 am
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Sometimes I actually enjoy delaying trips to the grocery store because it forces me to get out of my comfort zone & use up some of the random ingredients I have purchased but never used. This recipe is exactly that. It involves only 5 ingredients ( excluding salt & pepper) and requires very little hands on time. The honey & I were both happy with the results & decided it would definitely make it onto the menu plan again.


5 Ingredient Baked Coconut Chicken Fingers
Serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breast cut into strips (I used kitchen scissors to do this)
1 can coconut milk
2/3 c panko bread crumbs (I seem to be on a roll with these lately)
1/3 c sweetened coconut flakes
Coconut oil (can substitute olive oil)
Salt & pepper to taste

1.  Dump coconut milk into gallon freezer bag, put chicken strips in bag & marinate 2-12 hrs
2.  Preheat oven to 375°
3. Place metal cooling rack on cookie sheet (this helps the fingers bake up crispy all around)
4. Remove chicken fingers from bag & drain off excess milk. Salt & pepper chicken fingers.
5. In second gallon bag, mix coconut flakes & panko. Add chicken fingers 2 at a time & shake to coat.
6. Once all chicken fingers are coated & placed on rack, drizzle the tops with coconut oil
7. Bake at 375° 20-30 minutes depending on size of chicken fingers
8. Serve with condiment of choice. We have this spicy mango coconut stuff we get at Wegman’s and it was perfect.


Crock Pot Recipe- Sweet & Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken. June 12, 2013

Filed under: Chicken,Crock Pot — Jessica @ 8:08 am
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It has been quite rainy here in Western New York. We get a nice day every few days, but still a lot of rain for mid June. Today is a beautiful day, but yesterday was not. Yesterday was a day for curling up with a cup of tea and a good book and letting the crock pot do the cooking for you. There was no real plan when I started making dinner, besides chicken with a sauce of some sort. This is what I came up with,  the honey and I both found it quite delicious. Don’t be alarmed by the lengthy list of ingredients, everything was chopped, measured, stirred and in the crock pot in about 10 minutes. Although I made this on a rainy day, it is a light enough meal for any Spring it Summer evening.

Sweet & Spicy Orange Sesame Chicken

3/4 lb of boneless skinless chicken cut into bite size chunks
Salt & pepper
1 clove garlic- minced
1 Tbls sesame oil (can substitute olive oil)
2 heaping Tbls orange marmalade
1/4 c honey
1/4 c soy sauce
1 Tbls siracha
1/8 c chopped onion
1/8 c brown sugar
1/8 c ketchup
Sesame seeds – optional
2 tsp corn starch

1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, salt & pepper chicken & place in crock pot
2. Whisk together remaining ingredients & pour over chicken
3. Cook on low 2.5-3 hrs, stirring once or twice to coat chicken in sauce
4. Serve over prepared brown rice with carrots & broccoli, sprinkle with sesame seeds
5. Enjoy!

* sauce will thicken slightly and goes great combined with the rice, but if you would like thicker sauce, remove chicken from sauce & add more corn starch in the last half hour of cooking. Return chicken to sauce to coat once you reach desired thickness.


Simple Asian Inspired Marinade. April 5, 2013

Filed under: Chicken,Dinner,Seafood — Jessica @ 6:00 am
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So I thought it was about time to share another recipe. Unfortunately,  I have very few photos or notes of the food I have been cooking or baking the last few weeks (and there has been some good stuff). This is a marinade recipe I made up quite awhile ago and have used on pretty much everything. I have used it on chicken breasts and thighs, salmon, shrimp and even vegetables that were going on the grill. It was delicious on all of those things and would work well with pork too. I have grilled, baked, pan fried and used the foreman grill to cook food marinated in this mixture. It has only 5 ingredients, all of which I usually have in the house. This recipe makes enough marinade for about 1lb of meat or vegetables.

Asian Marinade

2 Tbls honey
1 tsp  sesame oil
1 Tbls chopped ginger
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce

1. Mix all ingredients
2. Marinate meat or veggies of choice for at least 1hr or up to 24hrs.
3. Cook marinated item as you wish.
4. Enjoy!