Fondue Night!!

I don’t know if any of you have ever been to The Melting Pot before, but it is one of my favorite restaurants ever. What makes it my favorite? Well, there’s a couple things actually. First, the food. It’s amazing. Including the dessert. Melted chocolate that you dip cheese cake, pound cake, marshmallows, and fruits into. It’s divine!! I also love the whole experience of it. You go and sit for 2 to 3 hours and talk, cook your food, etc. And your hubby is stuck there with you in a kind of low lit romantic atmosphere with no Tv over your shoulder (like in many other restaurants). I just love it. But, it’s a little pricy, so we only go for special occasions, and it’s not really a “kid friendly” atmosphere. So I wanted to create the same fun experience for my little ones at home.

We had such a blast!! We only did the broth, but I have plans to make the cheese and chocolate fondues soon!! Especially the chocolate. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. So fun!! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Mojo Fondue Broth
     5 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
     1 cup water
     1/4 cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed
     1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
     2 tablespoons ground cumin
     2 tablespoons jerk seasoning
     2 tablespoons black pepper, cracked
     2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh-squeezed
     1 tablespoon minced garlic

Foods for cooking: Lobster, Shrimp, Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Mushroom Caps, Broccoli, Red Potatoes.

Other things needed (optional): Melted Butter and a Lemon Half (for lobster).

Combine ingredients in saucepan on stovetop. Bring to a boil. Transfer to fondue pot with alternative heat source.

Keep broth at a simmer, either on medium-high heat or set between 300-350 degrees F. Place meats onto fondue forks and into broth. Beef, Chicken, and Lamb meats take 2 minutes to cook, and lobster or shrimp take about a minute. Use Green Goddess Dip for vegetables or to put inside of cooked mushroom caps for stuffed mushrooms. Use Gorgonzola Port Sauce for meats, especially your steaks!!

Gorgonzola Port Sauce
     1/2 cup mayonnaise
     1/2 cup sour cream
     2 ounces gorgonzola cheese
     1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
     1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
     1 teaspoon chopped garlic
     1 1/2 teaspoons port wine
     3 teaspoons milk

Combine all ingredients except gorgonzola in mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly using a whisk. Add gorgonzola cheese and blend well. Cover and refrigerate. (sauce will stay good for 5 days)

Green Goddess Dip
     8 ounces cream cheese, cut into slices
     1/2 cup milk
     1/4 cup sour cream
     2 tablespoons finely chopped onions
     2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
     2 tablespoons finely sliced chives

In a microwave-safe container, microwave cream cheese and milk for 2 to 4 minutes, whisking after each minute, until cream cheese melts and mixture is smooth.

Stir in sour cream, onion, parsley and chives. Refrigerate until cold.

Printable Recipe

Fondue broth altered from, and Green Goddess recipes, from food.com. Port sauce from wafb.com.

    <A HREF=”http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?rt=tf_cw&ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Ffood0276-20%2F8010%2F428a9208-664b-4aa7-9649-22aebbbee2a2&Operation=NoScript”>Amazon.com Widgets</A>

    Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Lemon

    So, I’m really bummed that my chicken didn’t come out golden brown like in the picture, but oh well. I even made this recipe twice to see if maybe I could get it there. But still now luck. The second time I made this recipe, though, I made some changed. I had never tried fennel before, and I love trying new things, but, I hate black licorice. Hate it!! And strangely enough, fennel taste like black licorice. Don’t think I’m crazy. It really does!

    So the second time I made this recipe, I substituted the fennel with 1 large white onion and 1 large red onion. Is it called a red onion? or purple onion? Anyways, you get the hint. Point being, I liked the recipe 20 thousand times more with the onions rather then the fennel. The onion caramelizes as the chicken roasts, and develops this sweet and savory flavor that goes amazing with the chicken and the gravy. So that would be my suggestion unless you love fennel. Other then that, this recipe is amazing and super easy!! Enjoy!

    Printable Recipe

    Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Lemon
         1 (4-pound) whole roasting chicken
         1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
         2 sprigs fresh marjoram
         2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 2 garlic cloves, smashed
         1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
         1 cup dry white wine
         1 lemon, cut in half
         1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges, plus some of the fronds
         1/2 teaspoon sea salt
         1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
         Herb Pan Gravy (recipe below)

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Rinse chicken inside and out, removing all inside parts; cut off any excess fat, and pat dry.

    Combine chopped oregano, marjoram, minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small bowl.

    Place chicken in a large roasting pan on a roasting rack, breast side up. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between the skin and meat. Place oregano mixture beneath skin on breast and drumsticks.

    Pour wine over chicken and into the pan.

    Rub the inside cavity of chicken with lemon, squeezing juice over and around outside of chicken.

    Place lemon halves, 2 fennel pieces, smashed garlic cloves, and sprig of oregano in cavity of chicken. Add 1 cup water to pan. Add remaining fennel and fronds to bottom of pan. Pour remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over breast, and add salt and pepper.

    Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Roast at 400 degrees F for 1 hour or until thermometer registers 175 degrees F, basting every 20 minutes with pan liquid.

    Remove chicken from oven and let rest 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour dripping from pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes. (Fat will rise to top.) Seal bag, and carefully snip off a bottom corner or bag. Drain dripping into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Reserve drippings for Herb Pan Gravy. Serve chicken, fennel, and lemons with Herb Pan Gravy.

    Makes: 4 servings

    Herb Pan Gravy
         2 tablespoons butter
         2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
         1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves, chopped
         1/4 cup dry white wine
         1 cup chicken broth
         1/8 teaspoon sea salt
         1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it melts; add flour, and cook stirring about 2 minutes or until flour turns light brown. Add marjoram, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.

    Add wine and chicken broth, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add reserved drippings from above chicken recipe to the flour mixture, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Spoon over the chicken, and serve immediately. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more or the pan juices of chicken broth.

    Makes: about 1 cup

    Printable Recipe

    Recipe from Cottage Living “Our Best Recipes” Magazine.

    Roasted chicken with fennel and lemon
    1 (4-pound) whole roasted chicken
    1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano plus 1 sprig fresh oregano
    2 sprigs fresh marjoram
    2 garlic cloves, minced, plus 2 garlic cloves, smashed
    1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    1 cup dry white wine
    1 lemon, cut in half
    1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges, plus some of the fronds
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    Herb Pan Gravy (recipe below)
    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    Rinse chicken inside and out, removing all inside parts; cut off any excess fat, and pat dry.
    Combine chopped oregano, marjoram, minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small bowl. Place chicken in a large roasting pan on a roasting rack, breast side up. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers and gently pushing between the skin and meat. Place oregano mixture beneath skin on breast and drumsticks.
    Pour wine over chicken and into the pan. Rub the inside cavity of chicken with lemon, squeezing juice over and around outside of chicken. Place lemon halves, 2 fennel pieces, smashed garlic cloves, and sprig of oregano in cavity of chicken. Add 1 cup water to pan. Add remaining fennel and fronds to bottom of pan. Pour remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over breast, and add salt and pepper.
    Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Roast at 400 degrees F for 1 hour or until thermometer registers 175 degrees F, basting every 20 minutes with pan liquid.
    Remove chicken from oven and let rest 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter. Place a zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour dripping from pan into bag; let stand 10 minutes. (Fat will rise to top.) Seal bag, and carefully snip off a bottom corner or bag. Drain dripping into a small bowl, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Reserve drippings for Herb Pan Gravy. Serve chicken, fennel, and lemons with Herb Pan Gravy.

    Makes: 4 servings

    Herb Pan Gravy
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves, chopped
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it melts; add flour, and cook stirring about 2 minutes or until flour turns light brown. Add marjoram, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
    Add wine and chicken broth, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add reserved drippings from above chicken recipe to the flour mixture, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Stir in salt and pepper. Spoon over the chicken, and serve immediately. If the sauce gets too thick, add a little more or the pan juices of chicken broth.

    Makes: about 1 cup

    Printable Recipe

    Smoky Chicken Cacciatore

    I don’t know if I told you all this yet, but me and my hubby just celebrated our 9 year anniversary Feb. 19th. When we got married everyone told us not to go a honeymoon and to just save our money, so we did and since have always regretted not taking that chance to go somewhere really neat together. Over the years we have taken a few small trips here and there, but nothing big. So this year we are going to take a big trip.

    I have never been on a cruise, and my husband has. One of the only things he’s done that I haven’t. So he demanded that he take me one. We’re leaving April 6th and I will be gone for a whole week with no kids or responsibilities. Yeah, I could get used to that 😉 Not to mention, I guess the food is amazing, so… to be honest, that’s really what I’m looking forward to.

    So the moral of this story of mine is, I have to get my beach body ready. We’re going to the Caribbean, so I’m going to be in a bikini most of the week and want to be able to eat whatever I want. Meaning, most of my dinners for the next couple of weeks need to be on the leaner side. Don’t stress, I can’t go more then a few days without making some kind of a desserts, but, this is why I’m putting this, not so pretty, but super flavorful low calorie meal on here.

    There is really only so many times that I can have baked chicken, and this gives an amazing twist to chicken. It’s even more low calorie if you either don’t serve it over the rice, or if you serve it over brown rice instead, since white rice turns right into sugar in your system. Or so I’m told. But, this meal is packed with flavor and is super fast and easy!! Enjoy!

    Smoky Chicken Cacciatore
         1 large white onion, diced
         1 large red pepper, diced
         2 garlic cloves, minced
         3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
         4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
         1 teaspoon black pepper
         1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
         1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
         1/4 cup Fontinella cheese, grated
         1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
         1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, per taste
         cooked rice

    First, start cooking your rice.

    Add diced onion, red pepper, and minced garlic to a large saucepan and saute over medium heat until onions start to turn translucent. About 2 – 3 minutes.

    Add balsamic vinegar and saute for another minute.

    Turn up the burner to medium-high heat and add the chicken, pepper, and garlic salt. Cook until chicken is done throughout, about 5 minutes.

    Push the chicken/onion mix to the side, and add flour onto liquid at the bottom of the pan. Stir for a minute or two to allow the liquid to thicken. Add grated cheeses and stir in till you can no longer see it. Turn off the heat and add the liquid smoke. Make sure to stir it in so that the taste is even throughout. Let chicken sit for a minute to cool and let flavors combined. Serve over cooked rice.

    Printable Recipe

    A FoodSnots Original

    Cheese and Chicken Shells

    Happy Monday!! I know what your thinking, “Monday”… Blah!! I agree. I have a thousand and one things that I have put off all weekend to get to, but I’m trying to be optimistic. Especially cause the girls in my family, and a couple old friends, are going on a girls trip this weekend!! Which means I have to have my house completely in order so I can leave, but in being optimistic, I’m so excited for the trip!! We are off to Hollywood for a weekend of giggling, fun, and my sister got us into The Price Is Right!! Ah!! Should be so fun! I will let you guys know if by some stroke of fate, I actually get chosen.

    Should be a fun weekend, but I wanted to really quickly post this super easy scrumptious meal before diving into my mountains of “Monday” work. This recipe is so yummy, and low calorie!! Gotta try! Enjoy 😉

    Cheese and Chicken Shells
         12 jumbo pasta shells
         1 1/2 cups pasta sauce
         2 large egg whites, gently beaten
         1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
         4 ounces chicken, cooked and diced
         1 cup frozen spinach (chopped) thawed (drain all excess water)
         2 teaspoons garlic powder
         1 tablespoon oregano
         1 tablespoon chopped basil
         3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
         1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Cook shells in boiling water according to the directions on box. Rinse with cold water and set aside for later use.

    Lightly spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray and spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

    For Filling: Stir together egg whites, ricotta, chicken, spinach, garlic powder, basil, and seasoning. Stir in 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

    Fill each shell with mixture and place filled shells in the baking dish on top of sauce.

    Spread remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, salt, and pepper to taste. Bake for 30 minutes.

    Printable Recipe

    Recipe from weightwatchers.com

    Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

    Since I’m gonna be MIA tomorrow and Saturday for my race, I wanted to quickly add this post. This recipe is super yummy and I love the fact that it’s low calorie. I feel like it’s always so hard to find good alternatives to just plane baked chicken.

    And to top it off, it’s also a total comfort food with the crunchy breading and delicious sauce! Enjoy!!

    Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken
         Cooking spray
         2/3 cup lite honey mustard dressing
         1/8 teaspoon table salt
         1/8 teaspoon black pepper
         2 teaspoons dill, freshly chopped
         1 medium uncooked scallion, finely sliced
         1 cup cornflake crumbs
         1 pound uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast, four 4 oz pieces

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a shallow pan with cooking spray.

    In a small bowl, combine honey mustard dressing, salt, pepper, dill and scallions; remove 1/3 cup and set aside.

    Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow bowl. Dip chicken into dressing mixture and then cornflake crumbs; place in prepared pan.

    Bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink in center, about 15 minutes.

    Drizzle remaining dressing mixture (the 1/3 cup that was set aside) over chicken breasts and serve. Yields: 1 piece of chicken and about 1 1/3 tablespoons of dressing per serving.

    Printable Recipe

    Recipe from weightwatchers.com.

    Barbecue Chicken Calzones

    I should seriously already be asleep right now because I’m anticipating getting up at 4:30 am, and not only that, but will be running about 12 miles. So why I’m not sleeping right not is surely some kind of masochism on my part, but I really wanted to post this a little early because Saturdays seem to be crazy days for me to post. I never get to post as early as I want to for whatever reason. Mostly cause my kids are usually anticipating waffles or some kind of yummy breakfast and so yeah, I’ll just post this early.

    I love how quick and easy this is and it only requires a few ingredients. One of which being your favorite barbecue sauce. If you don’t have a favorite, then use mine. It’s this. Famous Dave’s Rich & Sassy BBQ Sauce. Yum!! This will take any recipe up to the next level. It is amazing!! Enjoy!

    P.S. I bought this cute little calzone maker this week, so I’ll have pictures demonstrating steps with and without it, but don’t feel like you have to have one to make these. I just had to have an excuse to try mine out, but it’s just as easy to make these without one.

    Barbecue Chicken Calzones
         1 can (10 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
         3/4 cup barbecue sauce
         1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
         1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
         1/2 purple onion, chopped
         1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded Romano cheese

    Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Unroll pizza dough on clean work surface. Pat out to 15-in x 11-in. rectangle; cut lengthwise in half, then cut each piece crosswise into thirds. Top dough rectangles with 1 tablespoons barbecue sauce.

    Layer 1 tablespoon mozzarella, about 1/4 cup shredded chicken (really loosely packed), 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped onion, and 1 tablespoon Romano cheese.

    Drizzle 1 tablespoon barbecue over filling and fold in half.

    Seal edges with fork. If needed, dampen edges with water to make them stick together. Place on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

    Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

    Printable Recipe

    A Food Snots original recipe.

    Famous Dave’s Barbecue Sauce photo from www.soap.com.

    Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

    Happy New Years!! I really feel like I should be posting something with like a “New Year” theme, but to be honest, I just got done putting my Christmas decorations away and haven’t made anything particularly for the occasion. But, if you are looking for a fun recipe for a party tonight, you could always make these…

    Firework Cupcakes!! I made these for The Forth of July, but you could apply the same principle, just change the colors. They are actually a lot easier then they look, and I think they turn out so stinking adorable. For a step by step tutorial on how to make these, click here.

    Other then that, no themed recipe today, but an awesome recipe to start off my cooking resolution. Growing up, my mom would always make us homemade chicken noodle soup. So in the winter I have to have it. It’s like the ultimate comfort food when the weather is cold, but is so easy to make and so delicious. This recipe does make a lot, but this is one of those soups that is better the day after you make it, so you’ll want left overs. Enjoy!!


    Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup
         1 rotissory chicken or 2-3 cooked chicken breasts
         3 32 ounce cartons low sodium chicken broth
         2 14.5 ounce cans peeled diced tomatoes (in juice)
         1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
         1 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
         1/2 teaspoon black pepper
         1 bay leaf
         2 large potatoes, cubed

         2 large carrots,  peeled and sliced
         1 12 ounce package Reames Homestryle Egg Noodles

         1 tablespoon butter
         1 cup celery, chopped
         1/2 cup green onion, chopped
         1 garlic clove, minced
         1 teaspoon black pepper
         1-2 teaspoons garlic salt, per taste

    Shred chicken and set aside.

    In a large pot add chicken broth, tomatoes (including the juice of one can), thyme, parsley, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to a rolling boil. Then add potatoes, carrots, noodles. Lower heat to bring broth to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

    While cooking, add butter, celery, and onion to a medium saucepan.

    Cook over medium-high heat until green color starts to brighten and vegetables start to look translucent. About 3 minutes. Take off of heat and set aside.

    Once soup mixture has finished cooking add chicken, celery/onion mixture, and garlic.

    Simmer for a couple minutes longer. Turn off heat and add remaining black pepper and garlic salt.

    Serve with warm rolls if desired.

    Printable Recipe

    A Food Snots Original.