Easy Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

Easy Crispy Baked Chicken Drumsticks

I bake chicken thighs frequently because they can be juice, crispy, and flavorful all at the same time, but I often forget that drumsticks can have all of those things as well. They were recently on sale and I found this recipe from Healthy Recipes and now I’m hooked. They’re quick and simple, full of flavor, and they can be paired with any sides you have on hand.

Ingredients

  • 8 skin-on chicken drumsticks (about 2 lb. total weight)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum for for easy cleanup and arrange the drumsticks in a single layer in the pan.
  2. Mix the seasoning/rub: In a medium bowl, mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices.
  3. Coat the chicken pieces with the seasoning paste.
  4. Bake the drumsticks uncovered for 40 minutes or until their internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  5. Baste the drumsticks with the pan juices. Serve immediately.
Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread

Easy No-Knead Dutch Oven Bread

I apparently missed the bread making craze during the COVID lock-downs. I shouldn’t have overlooked all of the hype! Especially if I had known bread making would be THIS easy! Guys… GUYS! This bread reminds me a lot of the bread you’d find at Carrabba’s or the other amazing breads at Italian restaurants. This bread only has 4 ingredients (most I’m guessing you already even have in your pantry), no kneading needed (see what I did there 😉 ), and comes out moist on the inside with a great crust on the outside. I found this recipe from Joy Food Sunshine. Enjoy this with oil and herbs Carrabba’s style or for artisan sandwiches… you can’t go wrong however you eat it!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, 105 degrees Fahrenheit (YES! The temperature is important… if the water is warmer than 105 degrees Fahrenheit it will ruin the active dry yeast and your bread won’t rise properly… it’s chemistry, y’all!)

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients well in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix the warm, 105 degrees Fahrenheit water into the dry ingredients well until it forms a dough.
  3. Cover the mixing bowl tightly with plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover the entire bowl with a damp tea towel.Place the bowl in a warm, undisturbed area of the kitchen for 18-24 hours to rise (preferably 24 hours).
  4. An hour before serving, preheat a small (approximately 2.4 L) Dutch oven with lid in the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Prepare the dough while the oven is preheating by removing the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface. Incorporate a few tablespoons of flour into the dough until the dough feels floppy or limp. Cover the dough with a floured tea towel to maintain moisture until the oven and Dutch oven are preheated.
  6. Remove the Dutch oven from the preheated oven and remove the lid. Spray the inside of the Dutch oven thoroughly with nonstick spray. Carefully add the floured dough to the Dutch oven and make sure the dough is dispersed in the Dutch oven easily. Replace the Dutch oven lid.
  7. Bake the dough covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid from the Dutch oven and bake the bread uncovered for an additional 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack before serving. Cover the bread in a tea towel to maintain moisture if not serving immediately.
  9. Serve with your favorite oil and herb or oil and vinegar combination, for sandwiches, or with your favorite soups. Enjoy!
Copycat Carrabba’s Dipping Oil and Herbs

Copycat Carrabba’s Dipping Oil and Herbs

Great bread calls for a great dipping oil. Enter Carrabba’s. Say no more, right? Enjoy this recipe from Savory Experiments! I think it’s spot on… let me know what you think! If you’d like an easy bread to try with your new favorite dipping oil, check out this recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients well in an air-tight storage container.
  2. Place desired amount of dry ingredients/herbs in a small bowl or dish. Add desired amount of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy with bread.
Homemade Apple Pie

Homemade Apple Pie

We went apple picking this weekend and our youngest decided we didn’t have enough apples in our already full basket. My first thought was applesauce, but neither of the kids LOOOVE applesauce that much. Then I thought apple crisp. Then I thought apple pie. So, apple pie it was!

I’ve made pumpkin pie from scratch and I remember it being, well, an experience. It was a Monday holiday and I only had our youngest home with me that day, so I figured, why not? I have a whole day, right? For some reason I could only find good recipes for the filling OR the crust, but not both combined, so I took what I liked from two I found and compiled them for you here. The crust recipe came from New York Times cooking and the filling recipe comes from Allrecipes.

Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 -4 Tbsp ice water, as needed

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour and salt. Add butter and pulse until the mixture forms small pieces. Slowly add ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time and pulse until the dough comes together. The dough should be moist, but not wet.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather into a ball. Flatten into a disk with the heel of your hand. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Filling

Ingredients

  • 8 Granny Smith apples (or other tart, firm variety), peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste.
  3. Add water, white sugar, and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

Preparing Crust, Filling, and Baking

  1. Once the crust has refrigerated for at least an hour, remove it from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out with a flour coated rolling pin to approximately 1/8″ thickness. Roll the dough onto the floured rolling pin, then gently unroll over the pie crust. Cut excess dough approximately 1″ away from the rim of the pie pan. Fold the excess dough under and pinch the crust using an index finger and thumb all around the pan. Combine excess dough together and roll out with the floured rolling pin to 1/8″ thickness. If the dough becomes too warm to work with, refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm enough to work with. Slice the dough into strips to later create a lattice crust or cut into shapes using a cookie cutter.
  2. Place apples into the center of the pie crust. Allow the apples to slightly mound in the pie crust. Add lattice crust or crust shapes over apples.
  3. Slowly pour filling mixture over the crust and apples making sure it doesn’t overflow, but is covered evenly.
  4. Bake in the oven 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 F and bake for 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft and crust is golden brown.
Easy Naan Pizzas

Easy Naan Pizzas

This is definitely one of my weeknight go-tos when I don’t have anything thawed or planned. I buy naan when it’s on sale and keep them in the freezer. They go from freezer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. YES… 5 minutes from frozen! You can customize them any way you like-my favorites are traditional and Mediterranean or Greek. You can find mini naan or regular sized naan in most grocery stores in the bread/deli section. The best part about naan pizzas is you can use anything you already have on hand!

Ingredients

  • Naan (frozen or fresh)
  • tomato sauce (I use Basil Garlic pasta sauce because I usually have it on hand, but pizza sauce will work, too)

Toppings

You can use any toppings you typically like on your pizza. Here are some combinations we’ve tried that have become our favorites!

Traditional

  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Pepperoni (we prefer turkey-it’s less greasy than traditional)
  • Black olives
  • Mushrooms

Mediterranean/Greek

  • Fresh sliced mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Kalamata olives
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese
  • Dried oregano

Directions

  1. Preheat oven according to naan package instructions.
  2. Place all pieces of naan on a baking sheet (fresh or frozen).
  3. Add sauce to each piece of naan. Top each piece of naan with desired toppings.
  4. Bake naan pizzas in oven according to package heating instructions or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  5. Enjoy!
Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Fall Vegetables

Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs and Fall Vegetables

I have no idea why, but I always forget about sheet pan meals. They’re delicious, healthy, and you can use whatever vegetables and seasonings you happen to have on hand. Today is the first day of fall, sooooo time for fall foods! This recipe is great because you can customize it however you like with whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand. Some great vegetables to use are squashes, brussel sprouts, or even cauliflower or broccoli. You could even use chicken breast or legs instead of thighs. I prefer the chicken thighs because they seem to come out crispy on the outside, but not too dry on the inside. I adapted this recipe from one I found from Flavour and Savour.

Ingredients

  • 8 skin on, bone in chicken thighs (any number will do!)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into approx. 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into approx. 1 inch pieces
  • small golden potatoes (any amount is fine, whatever you prefer)
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • 1 honeycrisp, gala, or other sweet apple, sliced with peel on
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 1 Tbsp rosemary
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Add chicken thighs to a plastic Ziploc bag. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a small bowl and pour the marinade into the Ziploc bag with the chicken thighs. Seal the bag and allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator while preparing the vegetables.
  3. Cut all of the vegetables and fruit into uniform size pieces.
  4. Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray. Add all vegetables and fruit to the sheet pan.
  5. Place marinated chicken thighs on top of the vegetables and fruit and pour any extra marinade over the chicken.
  6. Bake in the oven 35-45 minutes or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 165 degrees F. If you prefer even crispier chicken, place the pan under the broiler for a few minutes after the chicken thighs have fully cooked.

Easy Ranch Ground Turkey Tacos

Easy Ranch Ground Turkey Tacos

Taco Tuesday is a weekly occurrence, so there needs to be some variety, right? Sure… variety is the spice of life (yes, pun intended). With grocery costs skyrocketing lately I grabbed the alternative to ground beef for our Taco night staple-turkey! It’s more cost effective, tastes great, and I’m sure our arteries will thank us later. This recipe isn’t short on flavor, but is lighter on fat! Customize these tacos however you’d like! I’ll make a list of what we usually top ours with, but get creative! There are also links to Copycat Chipotle guacamole and corn salsa, homemade white queso, and Copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno dip. I know you could drink that stuff with a straw… we all could…

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground turkey (or 1 lb if this recipe is only for a few people or you don’t like leftovers)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or make your own using this recipe!)
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning
  • taco shells or tortillas

Toppings

  • taco sauce
  • shredded cheese of choice
  • cilantro, finely chopped
  • black olives, sliced
  • sour cream
  • salsa
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomato
  • corn salsa (check out my Copycat Chipotle recipe here!)
  • guacamole (more copycat recipes-check out my Chipotle version here!)
  • queso (here’s a stovetop version)
  • creamy jalapeno dip (of course I had to use a Chuy’s Copycat version!)

Directions

  1. Prepare all toppings. Chop all the things!
  2. Brown the ground turkey on medium high until thoroughly cooked.
  3. Add one packet of taco seasoning and one packet of ranch seasoning if using 2 lbs of ground turkey. If only using 1 lb of ground turkey use 1/2 packet of each type of seasoning.
  4. Pile on the toppings! Enjoy!
Easy Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa

Easy Copycat Chipotle Corn Salsa

I’m copying all the things lately and there has been no shortage of Chipotle duplications in this house. Corn salsa is one of those sides that’s a hit with kids and adults in our house. You can keep it sweet or turn up the heat and make it a little spicy. Either way, it pairs great with some copycat Chipotle Guacamole, stovetop queso, or Copycat Chuy’s Creamy Jalapeno dip, so check out those recipes while you’re at it!

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweet corn, drained well
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 jalapeno, finely diced (more or less to taste)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for at least an hour to help flavors combine.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
Easy London Fog Latte

Easy London Fog Latte

I love Earl Grey tea, lavender, and lattes. Put them together and… HEAVEN in a cup. I’ve been desperately searching for a recipe to make one of these bad boys at home for some time and I finally found one. This recipe is pretty flexible (especially if you have a Keurig K-Cafe or another machine that makes lattes and cappuccinos fairly easily). This recipe is also excellent over ice. Froth the milk while it’s cold and serve over ice to enjoy a great summer beverage. This recipe was adapted from a recipe from Oh, How Civilized.

Ingredients

  • 8-10 oz Earl Grey tea, brewed to package instructions (I use Twinings k-cups in my Keurig, but any brewed Earl Grey will work great!)
  • 3/4 cup milk (I use 2%, but any non-sweetened variety of milk will work well)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp culinary grade dried lavender, additional for garnish (I buy mine on Amazon)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Brew Earl Grey tea to package instructions over a tea strainer with the desired amount of dried lavender. 8-10 oz seem to work great for this recipe.
  2. Once tea and lavender have steeped at least 5 minutes, remove the tea strainer containing the dried lavender and discard.
  3. Stir brown sugar and vanilla extract into the lavender tea until well blended.
  4. Steam or heat milk. Use a milk frother, french press, or any other chosen method to steam and froth the milk. If you have a K-Cafe like I do, fill the frothing cup to “Cappuccino” and use the cappuccino setting.
  5. Pour steamed milk into the tea mixture and spoon the frothed milk onto the top of the tea. Sprinkle with lavender garnish.
  6. Pip, pip! Cheerio! Lift your pinky, pretend you’re a Brit, and enjoy!
Balsamic, Garlic, and Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Balsamic, Garlic, and Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I love brussels sprouts, but I needed a new way to cook them. I was stuck in a rut of boiling them with butter and salt. The old stand-by is fine, but I needed more flavor and this recipe delivered! It’s a little misleading, since a cast iron skillet is used to first sauté or brown the brussels sprouts, then they’re roasted later, but I promise it’s worth the effort! I have adapted this recipe from one I found from NY Times Cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint brussels sprouts (approximately 1 lb)
  • 4-6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (this will vary as you sauté the brussels sprouts-enough to coat the bottom of the cast iron skillet should be sufficient)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (or desired amount to taste)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Trim the bottom of the brussels sprouts and cut each sprout in half lengthwise and remove any outer pieces that may be old or have fallen off.
  1. Add a small amount of olive oil to the bottom of a cast iron skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add sprouts in a single layer in the pan cut side down. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. If the oil is absorbed during cooking, add more oil to the pain. Cook until the sprouts become a golden brown on the bottom.
  2. Place the pan in the oven and bake 10-20 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to avoid burning. Bake until the sprouts are fork tender and browned to your liking.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven and add balsamic vinegar and stir the sprouts well. Sprinkle the desired amount of parmesan cheese on top of the sprouts. Place the pan back into the oven for 5 minutes or until the parmesan is slightly melted.
  4. Remove the pan from the oven and stir the sprout and parmesan cheese mixture well. Serve immediately.