Spicy Baked Chicken with Mango

I’ve been seriously obsessed with mangoes this year.

Nearly every week for the past couple months, I’ve been piling them into my cart at the store, pressing and prodding each one to find one perfectly soft.

Every week I’d cut up miscellaneous fruit and mix it together for breakfast – sometimes cantaloupe, strawberries, pineapple, all kinds of different things.  But one thing remained constant – the mango.

And then I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks – Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless.  It’s insanely easy and uses one of my favorite fruits – mango.

I truly apologize for not posting this sooner – now it’s nearly then end of mango season.   So hurry up and go find some good, ripe mangos.  And make this dish before time runs out.

I think I’m going to make a big batch of this sauce and freeze it to use it all winter long….

One year ago: Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
Two years ago: Summer Bolognese and Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spicy Baked Chicken with Mango
adapted from Rick Bayless and Mexican Everyday

1 tbsp vegetable oil
16 (1/4 oz total) dried arbol chiles, stemmed and seeded, or 2 (1/2 oz total) guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
2 boneless-skinless chicken breasts, fileted into cutlets
1 large mango, peeled and diced
1 tbsp honey

To make the sauce: Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the chiles to the hot oil.  Turn occasionally until they are aromatic and have changed color slightly, about 30 seconds.  Scoop the chiles into a food processor, leaving behind as much oil as possible.  Add garlic and tomatillos to the hot oil.  Cook until well browned, turning halfway through.  Scoop into food processor, add a pinch of salt and blend into smooth.

Lay chicken out in a glass baking dish and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour the sauce over the chicken and scatter the mango over the top.  Bake 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove chicken to a platter.  Scoop sauce and mango into food processor with honey.  Pulse a few times to combine.  Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.



Sweet Pork and Pears

I’ve mentioned before, Pork chops aren’t exactly my favorite piece of meat.  I think I might have one or two pork chop recipes in the entire recipe history of PLFF.

But if I’m being honest?  We might start having pork a bit more regularly with this dish.

This pork was a little bit of everything – juicy, tart, sweet, salty and just seriously delish.  And EASY.  Less than 30 minutes from start to finish.  Perfect for a weeknight dinner.

And now when I see pork chops in the sale ads, I much more likely to pick up a package.

Don’t forget to enter the Yes, Chef giveaway by Friday!

One year ago: Porch Pounder Sangria
Two years ago: Triple Berry Cakes

Sweet Pork and Pears with Goat Cheese on Quinoa
adapted from Clean Eating Magazine

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1 cup quinoa
olive oil
4 4oz boneless pork loin chops
1 tsp dried tarragon
salt and pepper
2 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and chopped
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
goat cheese, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil.  Stir in quinoa, reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for around 15 minutes, or until tender.  Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Season both sides of the pork with salt, pepper, and tarragon.  Add to skillet and brown on each sided (around 2 minutes each side).  Add pears, vinegar and honey, stirring to combine.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until pork is cooked through.

Divide quinoa among serving plates and top with pork, pear mixture, and sauce.  Top with goat cheese and serve.


Grilled Fish Tacos with Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa

I’m officially obsessed with summer fruits.  Each week I’ve been coming home from the store with something different – cantaloupe, honeydew, mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, pineapple, watermelon, and now peaches, nectarines and plums.  I’ve been starting each morning with a HUGE bowl of whatever combination I deem worthy that week.

So when I saw these tacos on Shawnda’s blog, I knew we’d love them.  Well, I love pretty much anything Shawnda puts up, to be honest – we have very similar foodie tastes and really, I trust anyone who loves margaritas as much as she does.

And these tacos took just minutes to throw together.  I actually made the salsa a few days earlier (while I was prepping the rest of my fruit for the week), so it really came together in no time.  Was a little sweet, spicy, and perfect for a summer weeknight on the patio.

One year ago: Pesto Pasta Salad
Two years ago: From-Scratch Mexican Rice and Italian Cole Slaw

Grilled Fish Tacos with Cantaloupe-Pineapple Salsa
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

for the salsa:
1 cup diced cantaloupe
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup red onion
2 jalapenos, minced
small handful of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime

for the tacos:
1 lb white fish (I used tilapia)
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp ancho lime chili powder
shredded cabbage

Stir together all salsa ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be done in advance).

Heat grill to high.  Combine olive oil, lime juice, salt pepper, and chili powder into a paste.  Rub over fish.  Grill 3-4 minutes on each side until the fish flakes easily and the center is opaque.  Cut fish into smaller pieces.

To assemble the tacos, place the fish onto each tortilla, followed by a generous scoop of salsa and a handful of cabbage.


Cranberry Orange Muffins

I love making muffins when we have house guests.

First off, people love baked goods.

And it’s a great way to ensure a good breakfast each morning without having to get up early and make it.

And this recipe makes a bajillion muffins.  So there’s plenty for the whole weekend.

But even if you don’t want a bajillion muffins, then you can easily cut the recipe back.

But I recommend baking all bajillion.  They keep well in an airtight container.  Breakfast for the whole week!

One year ago: Ramen Noodle Cole Slaw and Poppy Lime Fruit
Two years ago: No-booty Blueberry Muffins

Orange Cranberry Muffins
courtesy of The Pastry Queen Cookbook, as seen on Homemade by Holman
Yields 20 muffins

3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
raw sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 20 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine milk, orange juice, sour cream, eggs, and butter, and whisk until well combined.

In another mixing bowl, add sugar and orange zest.  Use your fingers to rub orange zest into sugar.  Add in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.  Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated.  Fold in cranberries.

Scoop into prepared pans, filling each cup about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle about 1 tsp of raw sugar on top of each cup of batter.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until tops are just brown and tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.



Blood Orange Margaritas

Bloggers are so amazing about highlighting season ingredients.  Fall hits and everyone’s blogs turn pumpkin.  Followed by butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash.  Then the first of the year hits, and everyone gets sucked into the awesome citrius – Meyer lemons, grapefruit, and blood oranges.  Now we can’t gets Meyer lemons around these parts, and our house isn’t ahuge grapefruit fan.  But when I saw the blood oranges hit the market, I got incredibly excited.

I’ve had this recipe saved for nearly a year. By the time I saw it last year, the blood oranges had disappeared.

So I’ve been anxiously awaiting their arrival, dreaming of these bright red margaritas.

And Superbowl Sunday came, I knew it was “the day.” We had super exciting plans of watching the game/commercials in our pjs and eating junk food that we don’t normally eat.  Why not throw some margaritas in there as well.

And these margaritas lived up to my incredibly high expectations of them.  Blood oranges almost taste like a cross between an orange and a cranberry – just a little tart.  It was like combining 2 of my favorite cocktails – margaritas and cosmopolitans.

ooh, now I’m envisioning a blood orange cosmo…. hmm.  I’ll get back to you on that one.

One year ago: Vanilla bean ice cream
Two years ago:  Drunken Risotto

Blood Orange Margaritas
courtesy of Confections of a Foodie Bride
yields 4 servings

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
4 oz (1/2 cup) tequila
4 oz (1/2 cup) orange liquor (like Triple Sec)
4 oz (1/2 cup) fresh squeezed lime juice
8 oz (1 cup) fresh squeezed blood orange juice (about 3 oranges)

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium high heat.  Stir until combined.  Heat until sugar has dissolved.  Removed from heat, let cool.

Mix tequila, orange liquor, lime and orange juices.  Add cooled simple syrup.  Chill until ready to serve.  Serve over ice.


Cranberry Spice Cake

November is like every foodie’s favorite time of year.  An entire holiday devoted primarily to food.  Well, and that whole being thankful thing.  That too.  But mostly the food.

And there seems to be a few camps when it comes to the cranberries at the Thanksgiving table.  Some seem to love the canned jelly cranberry concoction, even if it’s right out of the can.   Some make their own with whole cranberries, and some won’t touch cranberries with a ten foot pole.  If your family seems to be one that can do without the cranberry sauce, this might be a fun way to add cranberries to your Thanksgiving menu.  And for those who love the cranberries, well, then this will be right up your alley regardless!  The tart cranberries aren’t sweetened *too* much, the cardamom spice-goodness, and the fresh lemon glaze on top is just dessert deliciousness.

Would also make a great breakfast for Thanksgiving morning for parade watching.  If you’re down for eating cake for breakfast.  Clearly I am.

Check out some of last year’s Thanksgiving recipes:
Herbed Dinner Rolls
Harvest Roasted Vegetables
Homemade Turkey Stock

Cranberry Spice Cake
Adapted from Bon Appetit

for the cake:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp baking powder (high altitude folks, decrease to 1/2 tsp)
1/2  tsp baking powder (high altitude, decrease to 1/4 tsp)
2 cups fresh cranberries (or thawed, if frozen)
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tbsp fresh grated orange zest
2 tsp fresh grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup apple cider

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Line 9×9 cake pan with aluminum foil, coat with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, salt, cardamom, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.  Pulse cranberries in a food processor until chopped but not pureed., set aside.

Stir sugar, brown sugar, and oil in a medium bowl to blend.  Add in eggs, one at a time, , stirring to blend between additions.  Whisk in sour cream, orange and lemon zests, and vanilla.

Whisk in dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with cider in 2 additions and whisking to blend.  Fold in chopped cranberries.  Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth out top.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until tester comes out almost clean, about 40-45 minutes.  Transfer pan to wire rack, let cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Run a thin knife around pan to release cake.  Invert onto rack and remove foil.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes.

for the glaze:
Whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl.  Spread glaze over warm cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.  Let stand until glaze becomes crackly, about 1 hour.  Serve at room temperature.


And Happy Thanksgiving to all my PLFF readers!  I’m so thankful for all of you 🙂

Plum Raspberry Sorbet

Have I mentioned yet that I’m addicted to my ice cream maker?  We seriously haven’t bought ice cream from the store since Christmas.  I just leave my bowl in the freezer so whenever the urge to make ice cream hits, then I’m ready to go.  And when I first flipped throughThe Perfect Scoop, I knew that this was going to be one of the first recipes from it that I tried.  And my first attempt at sorbet, nonetheless.  And sure enough, it didn’t disappoint.  It was sweet, a little tart and perfectly cold for these hot, hot, HOT days we continue to have.  No better way to end a long day that with a scoop of summery sorbet.

One year ago: Shrimp Scampi

Plum-Raspberry Sorbet
adapted from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop

1lb red plums (about 6-8)
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp vodka

Slice plums in half and remove pits.  Cut the plums into eights and place in a medium saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar and raspberries.  Let cool to room temperature.

Once cool, puree mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Press through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.  Stir in vodka.

Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.



Peach Blueberry cobbler

I’ve taken a big of hiatus from the What’s Baking challenges – our summer has been so crazy!  I’m so excited to participate this month though – Jade from The Mess Pot chose this month’s theme of Celebrate Summer.  What better way to celebrate summer than baking with amazing summer ingredients.

When most people think of peaches, I’m sure they think of Georgia, South Carolina, etc.  But believe it or not, Colorado is pretty well-known (to locals at least) for our peaches.  They don’t start showing up at the farmer’s markets until around August, and we all look forward to it all summer long.  Something about the warm/hot days and chilly nights makes for super amazing, super sweet peaches.  And one of the first weekends that Palisade peaches showed up at the farmer’s market, I bough 5lbs of peaches.  And they were so ripe and wonderful, they made the whole kitchen smell like fresh peaches. 

So I kept a few pounds of peaches for us to take in our lunches later in the week, but 2 pounds were set aside specifically for peach cobblers.  We had friends coming over for dinner – a dinner all straight from the farmer’s market.  With our grilled jerk chicken, we had Olathe sweet corn, Colorado green beans, and what better way to finish it off than with a Palisade peach cobbler.  It was fresh, sweet, crispy  and crunchy on top.  I’m more of a crispy-topped cobbler fan than the cake-topped cobbler fan, and this was the prefect crispy, strudely-topped cobbler. 

So take advantage of whatever summer produce you have in your area before the summertime is up!

Peach Blueberry Crumbles
courtesy of Ina Garten

2 pounds firm, ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 cup fresh blueberries

for the crumble:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lighly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray ramekins with cooking spray.

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily.  Place them in cold water.  Peel the peaches and slice them into thick wedges, then place in a large bowl.  Add lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour.  Toss well.  Gently mix in blueberries.  Allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.  Spoon mixture into ramekins.

For the topping, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse a few times until butter is the size of peas.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit mixture.  Place ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 


One year ago: Zucchini Fritters

BBQ Chicken and Grilled Pineapple Pizza

When my husband and I went on our honeymoon in Maui, we probably ate our weight in fresh pineapple. How could you not, you’re in the mecca of pineapple!  One morning we made the mistake of trying to eat an entire pineapple for breakfast.  It tasted wonderful, but it was so fresh and so acidic, that it literally burned the insides of our mouth.  Yet we kept eating.  Because we’re gluttons for punishment the pineapple was THAT good.

Only thing better than fresh pineapple is grilled fresh pineapple.  Love it with the spicy honey BBQ chicken, with the chicken pineapple quesadillas, and how it’s hit some of it’s shining glory – BBQ chicken, grilled pineapple, and PIZZA.  I’m a pretty firm believer that pretty much anything is better is pizza form.  And this pizza is true to form.  Amazing.  Get it on your menu before grilling season is over!

BBQ Chicken and Grilled Pineapple Pizza
adapted from Sing for Your Supper

1 batch pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
2 chicken breasts
3/4 cup BBQ sauce, divided
2 tbsp Ranch dressing
1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into slices
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375.  Preheat grill to medium heat.

Spread dough on pizza stone or pizza pan. Par-bake pizza dough for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, season chicken with salt and pepper.  Grill over direct medium heat until juices run clear and chicken is cooked to temperature, basting with 1/4 cup of BBQ sauce.  Grill pineapple over direct heat, 2 minutes on each side.

Remove chicken and pineapple from grill, chop into small pieces.  Combine remaining BBQ sauce and ranch dressing.

Remove pizza dough from oven.  Spread BBQ sauce/ranch dressing mixture over pizza dough.  Top with half of the chopped chicken and pineapple.  Top with half of the cheeses.  Top with the remaining chicken and pineapple, followed by the remaining cheeses.  Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until crust is crispy and cheese is melted.  Top with cilantro.


One year ago: Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes

For the Hog Roast this year, I knew I wanted to make a show-stopper dessert.  The fam had heard rumblings of me starting my own catering business (still in progress!), so I knew they would expect something good.  But I also wanted something super easy because I knew I’d be running around with my sister the day before and the day of the party.  So I pulled out a trusted, go-to recipe (Margarita cupcakes!) and adapated it yet again.  The first adaptation into Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes worked brilliantly, so I figured this wasn’t too much different.

Worked like a charm.  Yes, it still uses a boxed mix.  I’m not above that.  Judge me if you will.  Yes I like making things from scratch better, and I’m certain I’ll adapt these to from-scratch versions soon.  But until then… eh.  It’s whatever.  THe cupcakes were a hit.  They were the first dessert gone.  I had people coming up to me all afternoon gushing over the cupcakes.  They looked pretty, tasted even better.  Induced a super nostalgic response, reminding me so much of a Sonic Cherry Limeade.

So hurry up and find a reason to make these, before cherry season is over!

Cherry Limeade Cupcakes
adapted from the Margarita Cupcake recipe

1 box yellow cake mix
2/3 cup frozen limeade, thawed
2/3 cup grenadine
3 large egg whites
2 tbsp canola oil
zest of 1 lime

Preheat oven to 350, and line 2 muffin tins (24 total) with paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  Beat on low speed for about 30 seconds or until just combined. Beat on medium/medium-high speed for 2 minutes.

Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 way full.  Bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then cool completely on wire racks.  Wait until completely cooled before icing.

8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1 stick butter, at room temp
2 tbsp lime juice
4 cups powdered sugar
zest of 1 lime
lime slices, for garnish
cherries, for garnish

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add lime juice and lime zest and beat until combined.

Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated.  Add more lime juice if necessary.  Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Garnish with lime wedges and cherries.


One year ago: Gooey Butter Cake and Mac n Jack Pasta Salad