Honey Lime Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

I was feeling too tired to plan dinner or go grocery shopping and needed to make something with what I had on hand. I happened to have mangoes, cilantro, and some frozen chicken, and after googling the ingredients and looking up a few recipes, I created this one. I was a little worried since I was making it up as I went along, but it turned out really delicious! We loved this meal and will definitely be making it again.

Honey Lime Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa

4 chicken breast halves
1/4 cup honey
2-3 Tbs lime juice
cayenne pepper to taste {I probably used 1/4 tsp}
salt and pepper to taste
hot cooked rice

For the salsa:
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced red pepper {I used jarred roasted red peppers, fresh would be great though}
1 tsp diced jalapeno {we buy jarred sliced jalapeno so it's always on hand}
3 Tbs lime juice {I buy mine bottled for convenience}
3 Tbs orange or mango juice

To prepare salsa, mix diced mangoes, onion, pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, and 3 Tbs lime juice and orange or mango juice. Set aside to let flavors mix.

Mix honey, lime juice to taste, and cayenne until well blended. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts in oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle honey mixture over chicken while cooking. It will bubble and create a glaze or sauce in pan while cooking.

Serve chicken breasts over rice with mango salsa on top. Drizzle extra sauce from pan over the top as desired.

Serves 4.


Zuppa Toscana

Please excuse the horrible iPhone picture, my camera was broken when I made this delicious soup!

I saw this Olive Garden copycat soup on a couple of my favorite recipe blogs, and then a friend recommended it as well, so I had to give it a try. I had never cooked with kale before, and I was excited to try it out since I know kale is packed with super healthy vitamins. The soup turned out delicious! I've never tried the Olive Garden version, but this was yummy, hearty and packed with flavor. We loved it!

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian sausage {could sub half turkey sausage to make it healthier}
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine to deglaze the pan {had some cooking sherry on hand and used that}
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 russett potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 cups fresh kale, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
2.5 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Place a large stockpot or Dutch oven on the stove over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until well browned. Remove the cooked sausage from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl; set aside. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cook for a minute more, just until fragrant. Add the wine to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Add the potatoes, kale, chicken broth and water to the pot. Return the sausage to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer on medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and cooked through. Stir in the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Annie's Eats.


Caramelized Banana French Toast

A few months ago I fell in love with the french toast at Extra Virgin in the West Village. I raved about it, sent several friends there, and went back multiple times to feed my obsession. It was so good. I had never tasted anything like it. I didn't even imagine that I could make something like it at home until my mother-in-law suggested it when we took them there for weekend brunch. This weekend I was craving the french toast and decided to just look online and see if there were any recipes for caramelized bananas. Of course there were, this is the internet, people! So I threw this together and WOW. It was incredible. I couldn't stop talking about it all the day long. This was impressive.

Caramelized Banana French Toast

4 slices of good quality bread {challah? french bread?}
3 eggs
2 Tbs whole milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
dash salt
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs brown sugar
strawberries, sliced
whipped cream
maple syrup

Heat two separate skillets to medium heat.

Slice the bread about an inch thick. {And let's be honest here, do I have challah bread hanging around my house? NO. I actually had some fancy hamburger buns that I hadn't sliced in half yet, and I sliced them top to bottom instead to make little slices of bread. So my only requirement for your bread is that it be semi good quality, and preferably white, not wheat.} In a shallow dish, whisk eggs, milk, cinnamon, white sugar and salt. Dip the slices of bread in egg mixture and turn to coat. Cook in greased skillet till nicely browned and crisp on both sides.

Meanwhile, melt the butter and brown sugar in the other skillet, and cook banana slices in sugar mixture to caramelize, about 3-4 minutes on each side.

Arrange toast on plate, and pour caramelized bananas and extra sauce on top. Top with more syrup, fresh whipped cream, and sliced strawberries on top.

Serves 2! Increase quantities as desired!


Cake Bites

Cake bites, cupcake pops, cake balls.... this cute little treat has been all the rage on recipe blogs since Bakerella made them famous a few years ago. My sweet mom-in-law sent me a package with everything I needed to make some for Valentine's Day, so I did just that. They are the easiest thing ever, although a little time consuming. And they are super addicting (betcha can't eat just one!) and super cute. You can also adapt them all you want by using any type of cake, frosting or dipping chocolate combination you please. I used devil's food cake/cream cheese frosting and lemon cake/lemon frosting and both turned out yummy (though I am partial to chocolate). Not that you need an excuse to make these, but they would be great for any holiday, birthday, baby shower, party... okay, just go make them! Cake bites are perfect for any occasion!

Cake Bites

1 boxed devil's food cake mix, prepared according to package directions in 9x13 pan
1 16 oz. can cream cheese frosting
1 package dipping chocolate (I liked white chocolate but you can use any kind)
wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. (Should make 45-50.)
4. Chill in freezer for a few minutes to set. (This is so they are easier to dip in melted chocolate.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a fork to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra.)

Only melt a few pieces of chocolate bark at a time because it starts to cool and thicken. It’s easier to work with when it’s hot.

Also, if you use lemon cake or any other cake that tends to be more moist, decrease the amount of frosting or add flour so it is not too wet or sticky to roll into balls. We ran into this problem with the lemon but a little flour fixed it in a snap.

Recipe made famous by Bakerella.