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The Sweetest (& Most Savory) DIY Pumpkin Seeds

I originally posted a blog on homemade roasted pumpkin seeds a few years ago on the Children of America website via the Apple-A-Day blog I am the “voice” for. I love this full-family activity because it involves so many parts. Setting up, drawing the pumpkin, carving, gathering the seeds, cleaning the inside and then my favorite….. ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS!

Lets be honest here. Your entire family is not going to be involved in every step. I have a 5 and 2 year old and while the 5 year hung around for most of it, the 2 year old lost interest after 1 minute of each “new” step. I tricked her at point and stuck her hand in the pumpkin to feel all the “gooey” (come on it’s Halloween!) when we were gathering the seeds and she screaked “ICKY!”

If you haven’t already carved, but have a pumpkin at home, please try this! Rather than throwing out your seeds after carving a jack-o-lantern, make a delicious afternoon snack with the leftovers! I realize Halloween is tomorrow, but I BET many of you have pumpkins in your house! Definitely carve those babies and dig for seeds!

Here is a basic recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds, but I urge you to dress these up a bit with spices.  Savory flavors using cayenne pepper and chipotle seasoning work very well, but if you have a sweet tooth, make up a sweet batch!  See tips and options for ideas.

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The Sweetest (& Most Savory) DIY Pumpkin Seeds
Homemade, DIY roasted pumpkin seeds straight from the pumpkin!
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Prep Time 20
Cook Time 20
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Prep Time 20
Cook Time 20
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove as much of the stringy fibers of pumpkin as you can.
  3. Add salt to 4 cups of water and bring to boil. Add pumpkin seeds and boil for 10 minutes.
  4. Drain and pat seeds dry with a paper towel.
  5. Toss seeds in a medium size bowl with oil and spread them evenly on a large cookie sheet.
  6. Roast seeds in oven for 20 minutes stirring half way through until crisp and lightly golden brown.
Recipe Notes

TIPS/OPTIONS:

  • For each cup of seeds, use about ½ – 1 ½ tsp of seasoning  TOTAL.  Otherwise the flavor will be too overwhelming.
  • Many recipes call for butter rather than oil.  Oil seems to work best, but unsalted

 

Flavors: Mix in these seasonings in medium bowl with oil before spreading on baking sheet:

  • BBQ: Use 1 tsp barbecue seasoning
  • Spicy: ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp chipotle powder, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Sweet & Spicy: ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp white sugar
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Grilled Fruit Skewers

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Grilled Fruit Skewers
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Instructions
  1. Preheat gas grill to medium-high or about 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare skewers by alternating fruit on each one.
  3. Mix ingredients for glaze in medium to large bowl. Add cubed fruit and gently toss. Use a brush as needed so glaze is spread on all fruit pieces.
  4. Lightly oil the grate on the grill or use grilling spray oil. This will ensure the skewers won’t stick!
  5. Cook skewers on grill over direct heat for about 1.5 minutes each side until lightly browned and caramelized.
  6. Serve warm!
Recipe Notes

Pineapple, peaches, kiwi, strawberries, and bananas work well.

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Fiesta Fish

This fish recipe was one of those, “what do I have in my kitchen to make this taste amazing”?   I buy my fish locally, and depending on what the fisherman bring in, I don’t always get a big selection.   When I think of Cod fish, I remember growing up eating this fish with a dab of butter and bread crumbs. Always tasty, but didn’t have that “wow” factor. That, and we can do without some butter and breadcrumbs! Mom – please don’t be mad when you read this! You were my first mentor in the kitchen

So this particular day when I visited my fav local fish shop – Pops Fish Market, this was a fresh catch!   Brought it home, and dove into my pantries.   There I found the Archer Farms Black Bean and Corn Salsa from Target.

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Fiesta Fish
This fish recipe was one of those, “what do I have in my kitchen to make this taste amazing”? I buy my fish locally, and depending on what the fisherman bring in, I don’t always get a big selection. When I think of Cod fish, I remember growing up eating this fish with a dab of butter and bread crumbs. Always tasty, but didn’t have that “wow” factor. That, and we can do without some butter and breadcrumbs! Mom – please don’t be mad when you read this! You were my first mentor in the kitchen ☺ So this particular day when I visited my fav local fish shop - Pops Fish Market, this was a fresh catch! Brought it home, and dove into my pantries. There I found the Archer Farms Black Bean and Corn Salsa from Target.
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Cuisine Southwestern
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Cuisine Southwestern
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together spices to make dry rub in small bowl and sprinkle or rub onto fish.
  3. Spray dish and fish with olive oil water (see my tool!)
  4. Bake fish for about 15-18 minutes for a thick piece 1 – 1.25 inches thick
  5. While fish is baking, mix yogurt, salsa and lime juice in small bowl.
  6. Take fish out of oven and top with salsa and yogurt mix.
  7. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and diced tomatos!
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Tequila Lime Chicken Drumsticks

I was flipping through some Martha Stewart magazines and found this recipe in it’s “clean eating” section. Can I tell you it is the most amazing chicken flavor I have every tasted! I’ve cooked these about 4 times already and have also used the recipe for chicken breasts and strips. Delicious! I will give you the recipe for about 5-6 drumsticks, but it should also be enough for 8-10. Be sure to make extra, because these taste great the next day! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

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Tequila Lime Chicken Drumsticks
I was flipping through some Martha Stewart magazines and found this recipe in it’s “clean eating” section. Can I tell you it is the most amazing chicken flavor I have every tasted! I’ve cooked these about 4 times already and have also used the recipe for chicken breasts and strips. Delicious! I will give you the recipe for about 5-6 drumsticks, but it should also be enough for 8-10. Be sure to make extra, because these taste great the next day! You won’t be disappointed 🙂
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Cuisine Southwestern
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Cuisine Southwestern
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Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients including chicken into a ziplock plastic bag. Mix well and keep out at room temperature for 1 hour, turning bag occasionally. (Place bag in bowl or similar in case of leaks).
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Place each drumstick on a parchment lined baking sheet making sure that the marinade drips off into the bag first.
  4. Place leftover marinade in saucepan, but don’t turn on the heat yet.
  5. Bake chicken for 32 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
  6. While chicken is baking, turn on stove top to high heat to thicken the leftover marinade. Bring to boil until it reduces and is a thickened glaze. About 15-20 minutes
  7. Transfer chicken to a plate or platter and brush each drumstick with the glaze and serve!
Recipe Notes

Use with chicken breasts instead of drumsticks. Bake for 24 minutes. Original recipe called for safflower oil, but any oil should be fine. Original recipe recommended baking for 40 minutes. I found my oven only needed 32 minutes. Test a piece first before eating!

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Nutty & Fruity Chicken (you can’t live without)

As promised, here is the chicken recipe I served recently with the cilantro lime chickpea dish. The apricot flavor becomes very subtle, so if this isn’t your favorite fruit, still give it a try!

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Nutty & Fruity Chicken (you can't live without)
As promised, here is the chicken recipe I served recently with the cilantro lime chickpea dish. The apricot flavor becomes very subtle, so if this isn’t your favorite fruit, still give it a try!
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut chicken breast into small pieces about 1½ inches wide and 2-3 inches long.
  3. Lightly salt and pepper chicken and place on cookie/baking sheet on middle rack in oven. Bake for 12 minutes.
  4. While chicken is baking, combine jam/jelly, soy sauce, Dijon mustard and salt/pepper to taste in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixed well and melted.
  5. Take chicken out of oven and pour apricot mixture over pieces. Bake until cooked, about another 10 minutes.
  6. Turn broiler on and broil chicken for about 3-4 minutes until chicken is glazed. Basting once.
  7. While chicken is broiling, toast almonds on stovetop.
  8. Serve chicken with sprinkled almonds on top.
Recipe Notes

Baking time for chicken will vary depending on thickness of breast. Try to find a jam/jelly with minimal sugar and no preservatives, artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup.

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Quick & Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Strips

Want a recipe where you don’t need to measure anything? Try this! You can’t really screw it up if you put too much or too little… I made a batch of Homemade Honey Mustard dressing this week for a Waldorf Chicken Salad, and wanted to use it for a marinade. I had 6 skinless chicken breasts in the frig, so I decided to marinade them in the morning and have for dinner that night and leftovers the next day. They were tasty cold as well!

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Quick & Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Strips
Want a recipe where you don’t need to measure anything? Try this! You can’t really screw it up if you put too much or too little… I made a batch of Homemade Honey Mustard dressing this week for a Waldorf Chicken Salad, and wanted to use it for a marinade. I had 6 skinless chicken breasts in the frig, so I decided to marinade them in the morning and have for dinner that night and leftovers the next day. They were tasty cold as well!
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Instructions
  1. Cut/slice desired amount of chicken breasts into strips and place in zip lock bag. If the chicken is really thick, I would butterfly it first.
  2. Put Homemade Honey Dressing into ziplock bag until chicken is coated and place in frig to marinade. (I do this in the morning and cook for dinner.)
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  4. Pour breadcrumbs into the zip lock bag with marinated chicken or place into small shallow bowl and dip each marinated chicken breast in the crumbs and lightly shake off the excess.
  5. Place the chicken breasts on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15-17 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven to broil, and continue baking for another 3-5 minutes until the chicken has evenly browned.
Recipe Notes

Use any kind of breadcrumbs such as brown rice crumbs or try some dried coconut flakes. If you don’t have broil option on oven, just cook for 20 minutes and turn chicken over half way through (optional). Before baking, you can give the chicken with a quick spray of olive oil. I recommend purchasing one of these oil Misto’s rather than PAM spray.   It will pay for itself after a few months – we love ours!

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Grilled Cherry Tomato & Basil On A Stick

The best part of skewer meals is that there are no rules!  Any protein, fruit or vegetable can be “cooked on a stick”, and whether it’s an appetizer, meal or dessert, you can please all family members with their favorite foods!  You can use stainless steel or bamboo skewers for best results, just be sure to soak the bamboo ones in water for about 10-15 minutes first.

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Grilled Cherry Tomato & Basil On A Stick
The best part of skewer meals is that there are no rules! Any protein, fruit or vegetable can be “cooked on a stick”, and whether it’s an appetizer, meal or dessert, you can please all family members with their favorite foods! You can use stainless steel or bamboo skewers for best results, just be sure to soak the bamboo ones in water for about 10-15 minutes first.
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Cuisine Italian
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Cuisine Italian
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Instructions
  1. Preheat gas grill to medium-high or about 350 degrees. Light only one half of the grill in order to create a “cool zone” on one side.
  2. Prepare skewers by threading 5 cherry tomatoes with a folded fresh basil leaf between each one. Brush each skewer with olive oil.
  3. Lightly oil the grate on the grill or use grilling spray oil. This will ensure the skewers won’t stick!
  4. Place skewers directly over heat for 30 seconds on each side. You should see grill marks on the tomatoes.
  5. Remove from direct heat and place skewers in the “cool zone” for additional 1 to 2 minutes until hot.
  6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

This same dish can be done in the oven without skewers.  Place cherry tomatoes brushed with olive oil in a baking dish.  Sprinkle with sea salt and chopped fresh or dried basil.  Cook on middle rack at 350 until tomatoes are hot but skin is not blistered or broken.

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Eggplants

I love when something new pops up in my CSA farm share, and these mini’s did not disappoint! I wanted to do something different with these, rather than my slice and grill with “normal” size eggplants.   There wasn’t too many options out there, but I did come across a picture of a stuffed one on pinterest. Unless it’s a special occasion, I like to create dishes with the ingredients I already have in my kitchen. And since there were 7 baby eggplants in my basket, that’s what I based the recipe on. Perfect for dinner parties!

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Eggplants
I love when something new pops up in my CSA farm share, and these mini’s did not disappoint! I wanted to do something different with these, rather than my slice and grill with “normal” size eggplants. There wasn’t too many options out there, but I did come across a picture of a stuffed one on pinterest. Unless it’s a special occasion, I like to create dishes with the ingredients I already have in my kitchen. And since there were 7 baby eggplants in my basket, that's what I based the recipe on. Perfect for dinner parties
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Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Keep the stems on the eggplants. They look pretty and will come to good use later when you dive into these bad boys.
  3. Cut a wedge out of each eggplant, rather than making a single slice. This will allow a space for the filling to sit well.
  4. Brush the eggplants lightly with olive oil (or use a spray).
  5. Spread them out on a foiled lined cookie sheet and roast or bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Switch the setting to broil for an additional 5-6 minutes until the skin looks wrinkly.
  7. Take out of the oven and let sit for a few minutes until they are cool enough to touch.
  8. Make Filling: Mix 2-3 ounces of goat cheese with 1 Tbsp of sliced almonds and 1 tsp of jarred garlic. Jarred garlic works better than fresh garlic because the oil helps to make the goat cheese creamier.
  9. Spoon the goat cheese mixture into each “wedge” of the eggplant.
  10. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and honey and sprinkle with any fresh or dried green herb. I used cilantro from my garden!
  11. Enjoy! You can literally pick up by the stem and eat!
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Quick & Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Strips

Want a recipe where you don’t need to measure anything? Try this! You can’t really screw it up if you put too much or too little… I made a batch of Homemade Honey Mustard dressing this week for a Waldorf Chicken Salad, and wanted to use it for a marinade. I had 6 skinless chicken breasts in the frig, so I decided to marinade them in the morning and have for dinner that night and leftovers the next day. They were tasty cold as well!

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Quick & Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Strips
Want a recipe where you don’t need to measure anything? Try this! You can’t really screw it up if you put too much or too little… I made a batch of Homemade Honey Mustard dressing this week for a Waldorf Chicken Salad, and wanted to use it for a marinade. I had 6 skinless chicken breasts in the frig, so I decided to marinade them in the morning and have for dinner that night and leftovers the next day. They were tasty cold as well!
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Instructions
  1. 1. Cut/slice desired amount of chicken breasts into strips and place in zip lock bag. If the chicken is really thick, I would butterfly it first. 2. Put Homemade Honey Dressing into ziplock bag until chicken is coated and place in frig to marinade. (I do this in the morning and cook for dinner.) 3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. 4. Pour breadcrumbs into the zip lock bag with marinated chicken or place into small shallow bowl and dip each marinated chicken breast in the crumbs and lightly shake off the excess. 5. Place the chicken breasts on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15-17 minutes. 6. Turn the oven to broil, and continue baking for another 3-5 minutes until the chicken has evenly browned.
Recipe Notes
  • Although you can eyeball measurements, it’s about 1 Tbsp each of breadcrumbs and dressing per 2 skinless chicken breasts. But why dirty more kitchen utensils!
  • Use any kind of breadcrumbs such as brown rice crumbs or try some dried coconut flakes!
  • If you don’t have broil option on oven, just cook for 20 minutes and turn chicken over half way through (optional).
  • Before baking, you can give the chicken with a quick spray of olive oil. I recommend purchasing one of these oil Misto’s rather than PAM spray.  It will pay for itself after a few months – we love ours!
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Sweet & Honey Worcestershire Marinade

I’ve pretty much been obsessed with Worcestershire since the moment I tried it. It pops up in so many of my marinades regardless of what protein I am cooking! I lived in London for about 15 years ago, and that’s when I fell in love with it. This fermented liquid mainly consists of barley malt vinegar & spirit vinegar (or distilled white vinegar), molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind extract, onions, and garlic. You can even make your own!

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Sweet & Honey Worcestershire Marinade
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