Recipes

Chicken Flatbread

Sometimes the best recipes just fall together randomly. J. and I were walking around Publix doing our weekly grocery shopping and trying to determine what we wanted for dinner. We saw that the Publix deli now offers flatbreads along with their subs and wraps and the idea was sparked!

We used chicken tenders as our base, but grilled chicken, sausage, or steak would all be great options – as would an all veggie flatbread! I’ve included some optional ingredients below but be creative and have fun with it! I made a BBQ chicken flatbread for myself with BBQ sauce and ranch, and J. made a buffalo chicken flatbread with buffalo sauce and ranch.

Chicken Flatbread

  • 3 Publix chicken tenders
  • 2 large pieces of naan bread (I used Stonefire original naan)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Optional toppings ideas:

  • Sauce drizzle: marinara, alfredo sauce, BBQ sauce, buffalo sauce, olive oil, queso
  • Ingredients: sliced onion, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, bacon
  • Other: ranch, sour cream, caesar dressing

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Chop up the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces. Top the naan bread with shredded cheese, chicken, and whatever other ingredients you’d like to add. Sprinkle a bit more cheese and then drizzle your favorite sauce on top (as much or as little as you’d like). Bake for 8 – 10 minutes until the cheese melts and edges of the flatbread get crispy. Top with ranch, sour cream, or other dairy-based toppings.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes

Chicken Enchiladas

J. and I eat a lot of tacos at home. Probably at least every other week it’s a go-to meal because they’re easy, can offer a lot of variety of flavors and are hard to really screw up. However, when we eat Mexican food out, I always tend to gravitate to enchiladas. And what has stopped me from making them at home is that I’ve yet to find an enchilada sauce that I like enough to every buy or make again. But my wishes were answered when I found Skinny Taste’s Enchilada Sauce and Skinny Chicken Enchilada recipe (tweaked slightly below based on staples I had in my kitchen).

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 3 TBSP sauce from chipotle chilis in adobo
  • 1.5 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Chicken Enchiladas

  • 8.5 oz  cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus extra for topping)
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 large corn tortillas (flour tortillas are good too!)
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • Sour cream (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

For your enchilada sauce, in a small saucepan add in tomato sauce, adobo sauce, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until you’re ready to top your enchiladas.

For your enchiladas, in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, saute your onions and garlic until they begin to soften. Add shredded chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, Italian seasoning, and chili powder. Add in tomato sauce and chicken broth and cook down until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it. Place it in the baking dish seam side down. Top with enchilada sauce and then with cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Use a spatula to plate and top with your favorites. I topped ours with a little extra cheese, sour cream, and extra cilantro.

J. couldn’t get enough of the enchilada sauce. We even had some leftover that we used on Sunday’s breakfast burritos. A true winner in our book. I’ll never use store-bought sauce ever again. I hope you love this recipe as much as we did!

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Restaurant Spotlight

The Pint and Brew

The Pint and Brew is a great local pub tucked away in a small shopping plaza in Palm Harbor. But don’t let this little place fool you – their beers and food pack a lot of punch!

This is the place where beer enthusiasts can come to sample quality beer from small Tampa Bay craft brewery’s. Inside, you’ve got an industrial feel, with dark floors, rustic red oak bar, and metal chevron plating on the walls. Their focus is certainly the beer with a wide variety of local and unique beers and ciders, but they’ve also got free popcorn, shuffleboard, and several TVs to keep you occupied while you’re there. They also host tons of different like trivia and bingo throughout the week.

Their kitchen also serves up some mean grilled cheese and mac and cheese dishes. Limited menu, but do you really need anything other than that? No. On our last visit, I went for the Mushroom Melt – with Cremini mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme, truffle oil and Gruyere cheese on sourdough bread. J. went for the New American – BBQ brisket, provolone cheese, Dijon mustard, and Gherkin pickles on sourdough bread. They were unlike any grilled cheese sandwich we’d ever had. All the flavors melded so well together and made your mouth water for the next bite.

And because we couldn’t NOT get mac and cheese, we also shared The Guava – a blend of Gruyere and sharp cheddar cheeses, topped with pulled pork and guava BBQ sauce. The mac and cheese came out piping hot and bubbly, the guava BBQ sauce adding that slightly sweet element to the salty pork.

It’s that perfect low-key atmosphere for a chill night out, without sacrificing on the quality of beer you’re getting. So next time you’re in the mood for some good beer, good food, and catching up with good friends – make your way over to The Pint and Brew.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes

Fettuccine Alfredo

While not known as a classic pasta dish in Italy, fettuccine alfredo is an American favorite (read more about the history of alfredo sauce here). You can search the internet and find hundreds of variations for alfredo sauce. Everyone has their preferred recipe, but this one is mine. I’ve had problems in the past with other recipes where the sauce would seize up and become gritty, but the use of cream cheese, made this sauce extra smooth and creamy and coated the noodles perfectly.

Fettuccine Alfredo

Fill a saucepan with water and a dash of salt and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions (the fresh pasta should only take a few minutes). When finished cooking, drain the water.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

Feel free to top yours with chicken, mushrooms, shrimp, whatever your favorite variation may be! I topped mine with fresh basil and an extra dash of black pepper.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes

Grouper with Cilantro Cream Sauce

For a friend’s bachelor party, J. went out to Madeira Beach on a fishing excursion. While J. didn’t catch too many fish on his own, the group split their winnings and he came home with pounds of fresh grouper that had been already been broken down, cleaned, and de-boned (phew!). With such nice fresh fish, I wanted to try out a new recipe and was encouraged to try this cilantro cream sauce by a friend. Needless to say, I now want to put this sauce on anything and everything.

Grouper with Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 2 – 6 oz Grouper fillets
  • Salt (for fish)
  • Pepper (for fish)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 TBSP sour cream
  • 7 oz tomatillo salsa
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 TBSP fresh lime juice

For the sauce, combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, pepper, celery salt, cumin, garlic powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve.

For the fish, preheat a skillet to medium heat and coat it with oil or nonstick cooking spray so the fish does not stick. Season the grouper with salt and pepper to taste. Pan-sear the fillets for about 5 minutes per side.

And voila! For plating, you can schmear the sauce on the bottom of the plate and place the fish on top, or just drizzle a bit on top of the fish, depending on how much sauce you want.

This recipe would be great to experiment variations of (perhaps adding half an avocado to it, or making a version with basil, without the tomatillo salsa). This will definitely be a go-to sauce for our household now – I can’t wait to try it on chicken, veggies, and tacos!

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes Sweet Treats

Coconut Macaroons

For the past few years, for any special occasion (birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day) J. has gotten his mom some chocolate dipped macaroons from Godiva. They are her absolute favorite treat. This past Mother’s Day it finally dawned on me – why didn’t I attempt to make these myself?!

Coconut Macaroons

  • 14 oz sweetened shredded coconut
  • 7/8 cup sweetened condensed milk (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs whites
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded coconut, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) beat the egg whites and salt until stiff peaks form. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

With a spoon or small measuring cup form heaping tablespoons of the mixture into mounds on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through to make all the tops and edges are golden.

Let cool on the pans for a few minutes so they’re cool enough to handle to dip in chocolate.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Dip the bottoms of the macaroons in the chocolate and return to the lined baking sheets. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to allow the chocolate to set.

These turned out so well! I didn’t find these quite as sickeningly sweet as the ones from Godiva. I’m excited to continue making them and experiment with the types of chocolate to dip them in. Plus it’s a gift with a little extra love.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Restaurant Spotlight

Thai Prime

Our friends had been raving about Thai Prime since it opened. Having often frequented Cooper’s Hawk and Kona Grill in the same plaza off of Boy Scout Boulevard, it took us far too long to discover this Thai treasure. Finally, a double date was made for a Saturday night, and the rest was history.

Thai Prime is an upscale, trendy restaurant with brick-walled space lined with wood paneling and high rise ceilings. A large bar has seating inside as well as opens up to their outdoor patio. We had reservations, but J. and I got there a bit early to the beat the evening traffic so grabbed a seat at the bar and were greeted by their Happy Hour specials and wonderful live music. We were immediately welcomed and felt right at home. J. started with a strawberry mojito while I went for the red plum sangria. The majority of cocktails are crafted right in front of you, proving the ingredients are fresh. Both of our drinks were delicious and refreshing. 

Once we were seated came the hard decision of choosing what to eat! Between their extensive main menu, sushi menu (including cooked and raw sushi), and specials menu there is PLENTY to choose from. And of course in my typical fashion, I couldn’t decide and wanted to try a bit of everything.

J. and I started with their fried pork pot stickers that were served perfectly crisp and piping hot. J. got their volcano chicken hot plate, chicken, steamed veggies and white rice topped with a spicy chili sauce. The meat and vegetables were served on a fajita style hot plate that was still sizzling as it came from the kitchen. J. said he probably could have gone a little hotter on the spice level (he got medium) but I personally thought it was plenty spicy. You have the options of anywhere from no spice to Thai hot, so there is something for every palate.

 

I ended up with the Red Dragon sushi roll – spicy tuna and cucumber topped with tuna, tempura flakes and eel sauce as well as an order of Pad Thai – thin rice noodles, egg, and fried tofu sauteed in tamarind sauce and topped with crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, and scallions. The sushi roll was surprisingly big! Our friends had ordered some sashimi as well so it was all served together on a large plank board. The fish was fresh and the roll was wrapped tightly so it all stayed together well. The Pad Thai was also excellent. I got “no spice” on mine, but probably could have handled a mild. The sauce was sticky and sweet and covered the noodles well. A winner in my book.

The pricing may be a little expensive for some (especially when you want to order half the menu like I did!) but the quality of food and the atmosphere is worth the spend, especially for a fun date night out. Family owned and operated, their mission is to provide their customers with “unprecedented fresh, high quality, locally sourced seafood combined with authentic homemade family secret sauces from Thailand.” I think they succeeded.

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend checking out Thai Prime. It will continue to be a strong contender for the other restaurants in that plaza.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes Sweet Treats

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Blondies

Happy Friday, everyone! A few weeks ago and wanted to make something sweet for one of my coworker’s birthdays. I was looking for something that would be easy to eat and let her share with the rest of the team, but still pack that punch to curb those sweet tooth cravings that everything wants in a birthday treat. The winner: blondies.

I decided to do a mix of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips, but these would be just as delicious with no additions. Or – be creative! M&M’s, nuts, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips or crushed up pretzels would be amazing flavor combinations for this dessert.

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Blondies

  • 1 + 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butterscotch chips

Pre-heat your oven 350°

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla just until blended. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into the brown sugar mixture and then stir in your chocolate and butterscotch chips. 

Spread into a greased 9 x 9 square baking pan and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool and then cut into bars and enjoy your delicious baked goodness. 

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Recipes

Classic Chili

Chili has always been one of those easy comfort meals for me. In college, it was something that I could throw together with minimal ingredients, for relatively cheap, and have meals for days. While I’ve experimented with variations of my recipe over the years, I always seem to come back to this one classic. To me, it’s that perfect hearty comfort meal.

Classic Chili 

  • 1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb ground chicken (turkey or beef work too!)
  • 3 TBSP chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 (10.75-oz) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes/sweet onions (undrained)
  • 1 (10-oz) can mild diced tomatoes/green chiles (undrained)
  • 1 (16-oz) can chili beans in mild sauce (undrained)

Note: This recipe also works great cooking in a crockpot!

Preheat a large saucepan on medium-high 2-3 minutes. Coarsely chop your onion and place the onion, ground meat, chili powder, seasoned salt, and better into the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften and meat begins to brown. Stir in all of your canned ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 more minutes.

And as a personal favorite, I always top mine with sour cream and shredded cheese. I hope you find this recipe as comforting and delicious as I do!

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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Restaurant Spotlight

Daily Eats

When J. was out of town a few weeks ago, some of the girls and I decided to get together for a Sunday Girl’s Brunch. Trying to meet somewhere between the three of us as well as try somewhere new, we stumbled upon Daily Eats down in the SoHo area of Tampa.

Of course, brunch on a Sunday is always busy. While they don’t take reservations, they were super efficient at turning over tables quickly and we were seated withing 30 minutes. Inside it’s a modern diner style atmosphere with booths and a large prep station running across the restaurant.

Their menu isn’t overwhelming but definitely has plenty of both healthy and not-so-healthy “treat yourself” options. So many things called to me off the menu, but I ended up with the Benedictine – two poached eggs on top of a bed of shredded natural chicken, sauteed mushrooms, melted swiss cheese and a crispy english muffin topped with hollandaise. I’ve never had chicken or mushrooms on a benedict, but it may be my new favorite. The chicken was seasoned well and having it shredded let it soak up all of the runny egg yolk and hollandaise goodness. The english muffin was toasted just enough to stand up to all of the liquid. And for me you can never go wrong with mushrooms. A true winner. I also upgraded my side to the bacon cheese grits. They were creamy, salty deliciousness.

The ladies went for chocolate chip pancakes (the pancakes were HUGE!) and Cap’n Crunch French Toast (traditional french toast coated with Cap’n Crunch cereal) and topped with strawberries, both with home fries. They both couldn’t get enough of diving into their sweet delicious breakfast dishes.

And of course, brunch isn’t brunch, without flavored mimosas – we loved the strawberry and blueberry flavors.

The staff was excellent and super helpful in making recommendations for our first time there. I can’t wait to return and try everything else on their menu. If you’re in the neighborhood (or even if you’re not!), you’ve gotta stop in.

Until next time!

–BrunchBabe

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