Hot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and Super Stuffed Potatoes with The Works

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!


Celebrate safely today!

And it’s your lucky day! It’s a two-fer! Hooray for you! What better way to celebrate that with some homemade “take-out” without all that extra fat that take-out joints generously provide? Exactly. Plus, get the family involved and it’s a true celebration, indeed. 🙂

I got these recipes from Rachael Ray’s 30-Minute Meals 2 cookbook. Wait, healthier “take-out” you can make at home in less than 30 minutes? Yes, please! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Hot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and Super Stuffed Potatoes with the Works! You’re welcome. 🙂


Super Stuffed Potatoes with the Works

4 slices center-cut bacon
2 all-purpose potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 scallions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar, Colby, or Smoked Cheddar cheese

1. In a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown bacon pieces, then drain on a paper towel.


2. Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork. Microwave on high for 12 minutes. Let potatoes cool for a few minutes before handing.

3. Preheat broiler.

4. Carefully split potatoes and scoop out flesh into a small bowl. Combine with sour cream, scallions, salt, pepper, and cheese. Scoop back into the potato skins and place under broiler to lightly brown the tops.

Hot Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used tenderloins – so much easier!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Frank’s Red Hot
4 crusty rolls
Bibb or leaf lettuce
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled
8 ribs celery, cut into sticks
2 large carrots, peeled, and cut into sticks

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder, and drizzle with a little olive oil to coat. Pan grill, 5 minutes each side.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add hot sauce and combine. When chicken breasts are done, remove from pan and add to the hot sauce mixture, turning to coat evenly.

3. Place chicken in bun bottoms and top with the lettuce.

4. Combine sour cream, scallions, and blue cheese and slather on bun tops. Top sandwiches and serve, using remaining sauce for dipping your veggies. Serve with celery and carrot sticks. Party!

– jennifer

Hearty Italian Sausage and Potato Skillet

After a long day yesterday of running, work and eating all of the jelly beans on the planet, I was not really in the mood for cooking. But, alas, I was actually hungry as were the rest of my brood so, I had to cook.

Now, let’s pause for a second and talk about those jelly beans. Why must I feel like I need to eat the entire bag? *sigh* Thank goodness I didn’t but Easter and Halloween really bring out my sweet tooth. You’d think I would know better than to buy a bag of something I can’t resist (jelly beans, mellowcream pumpkins, candy corn) but, somehow, I always end up with a bag on the conveyor and, Whoops! Just paid for it. So, of course I have to eat them.  It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t.  I mean, can’t let a perfectly good *insert candy type here* go to waste, right? 🙂


But, I digress.  Dinner.  Cooking.  So, I had some Aidell’s Chicken Sausage (Italian Style with Mozzarella Cheese) and I needed something to do with it.  I frequently cook the sausage and add it to pasta sauce or I’ll just saute some peppers and serve the sausages with the peppers and some crusty bread.  I didn’t feel like doing that.  I always do those things.  I wanted something different.  And, I found it!  An amazing, ready in less than 30 minutes, and delicious dinner recipe.  And really, you could use any type of italian sausage in this recipe – your choice.  It will still be fabulous.  And you will be happy.  And your brood will eat.


Hearty Italian Sausage and Potato Skillet
Recipe from Dash Recipes
Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Italian sausage
1/2 sweet onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound red potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add sausages and cover. Cook until brown, turning once. After sausages are browned, add onion, potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover. Stir often.

2. Remove sausages once they are mostly cooked through. Spread potatoes out in skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Slice sausages into 1/2-inch pieces and return to pan. Add rosemary, garlic, and half of the tomatoes. Cook about 5 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked. Add basil and remaining tomatoes; stir to combine.

4. Gobble it up! Who needs plates?


Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Tagine

Day 3 of vegetarian week! Okay, more accurately it’s day 3 of 3 days of vegetarian recipes but that doesn’t sound as interesting, now does it? Anyway, day 3. How the heck am I going to follow up those quesadillas?! Well, by taking a tour of the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, of course! 🙂

The tagine is a traditional North African dish named after the pot it was cooked in. Add the Mediterranean flavors of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and fabulous grilled vegetables and you’ve got dinner! Serve it over couscous and enjoy!

Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Tagine
Recipe from Cooking Light

1 small red onion
2 red bell peppers, quartered
1 green bell pepper, quartered
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
1 3/4 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups water, divided
1/4 sliced pitted green olives
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 small red potatoes, quartered
Cooking spray
2/3 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Cut red onion into 4 wedges, leaving root end intact. Place red onion, bell peppers, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal bag; toss well to coat.


2. Prepare grill.

3. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes.


Add cumin, fennel, and cinnamon; saute 1 minute.  Add 1/4 teaspoon, 1/4 cup water, olives, raisins, black pepper, tomatoes, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 25 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.


4. Remove bell peppers and red onion from bag; discarding marinade; place on grill rack coated with cooking spray.  (Or, a cast iron grill pan works in a pinch!) Grill 10 minutes, turning frequently.


5. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve tomato mixture over couscous.  Top with grilled peppers and onions; sprinkle with pine nuts.


Yields 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups tomato mixture, 1/2 cup couscous, 1/2 cup grilled vegetables, and 1 tablespoon pine nuts)
Calories 462 (14% from fat); Fat 7.1g (sat 1g, mono 3.2g, poly 2.2g); Protein 15.8g; Carb 95.5g; Fiber 13.9g; Chol 0mg; Iron 4.7mg; Sodium 574mg; Calcium 123mg