March 30, 2010

Salsa Chicken

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It's a gloomy day here in Baltimore, but I'm dealing with it. The good news is that starting tomorrow, we'll be seeing a lot of sunshine. Close to 80 degrees on Saturday? Well, that just sounds like a perfect Easter weekend to me. 

Don't you all think it's time for another crock pot recipe? I must agree. Salsa Chicken is quite the popular meal on many blogs, and it's easy to see why. Just like BBQ Chicken, this crock pot chicken dish is an absolute delight. Simple and easy? Easy peasy, is what I like to say. I love being able to throw frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot - very easy preparation!

The great thing about Salsa Chicken is that it is very versatile. We usually use it for tacos, but you can use the chicken for enchiladas, quesadillas, taco pizza, and even for dips. It is so good - you must give it a whirl!

Source: there are many variations of this recipe out there - with a few tweaks and combinations, this is my way of making Salsa Chicken.

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 can of black beans
1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
1 16 oz. jar of salsa - I always use spicy/hot

Place frozen chicken breasts in crock pot. Rinse black beans - pour over chicken. Then put the corn in, followed by the salsa. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. About an hour before you serve, shred the chicken with two forks and stir to fully mix everything together.

*We serve this in tortillas with cheese, black olives and some sour cream. Feel free to get creative!

March 27, 2010


This post is the first in a new category on Ice Cream & Wine entitled "Food Obsessions." I don't obsess over much in my life (if you don't count reality TV, celebrities, Food Network, home decorating magazines...) but there is one obsession that I'm actually proud of: my obsession with food! Now I know I'm not alone. Hello! Have you seen the endless number of food blogs out there? I can't go a day without stumbling across 17 new ones - and I absolutely love that. Anyway...back to this new category. I love food. I love learning about food. I love making delicious recipes. Most importantly, I love eating. When I come across a new food item in my life that I absolutely love, I become obsessed. So now I introduce to you my food obsession of the moment (moment is the key word, as I'll be obsessed with something else in about 8 days...).

Quinoa. Come again? Quinoa. Say it with me, "keen-wah." Nice job! Can I be honest you? Ok, good. I had never even heard of quinoa until a couple of months ago. I blame Nebraska/the Midwest for being sheltered in certain ways when it comes to a variety of foods (just my opinion, folks!). Obviously quinoa is available in the Midwest - I understand that. It just wasn't a common food that people talked about/prepared. But now I live in the "big city" (haha, seriously, who am I kidding? Baltimore. Big? Eh...), and now I've been exposed to this delicious treat.

I really owe my fascination with quinoa to the amazing blogs that I follow - many of which have a focus on healthy foods. As of late, quinoa recipes have been flooding my Google Reader. My curiosity got the best of me, so during my latest stop at Trader Joe's, I bought quinoa. Ahh! I was so excited...I felt cool

Why is quinoa my latest obsession? First off, it's very versatile and yummy. Secondly, the health benefits are out of this world. Here are some sweet facts:

  • Very high in protein (why many vegetarians and vegans are fans)
  • Is actually not a grain - it is a seed of a plant
  • Good source of magnesium and iron
  • Hello, fiber!
  • Gluten-free
  • It tastes delicious...seriously, that's a fact!
Quinoa can be prepared following the common liquid to dry ratio of 2:1. You bring it to a boil on the stove, reduce to a simmer and let cook until the liquid is absorbed (roughly 10-15 minutes). You can create savory or sweet quinoa dishes. You can have it at dinner or even for breakfast. Basically, you can use quinoa just like you would rice or couscous.

I'm officially hooked. I'll be posting my original quinoa recipe soon - I made it last night for dinner - mmm! I'm so obsessed that I'll actually be making a "breakfast quinoa" recipe tonight. Yes, realizing you have a problem is the first stage...I am addicted.

March 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

Hello, readers! Are you there? Sorry I've been MIA. As relaxing as being on vacation is, returning to the real world is a hard adjustment! My husband and I had a wonderful time in Florida and ate some amazing food! Obviously I took pictures, so I'll be sure to post them soon. 

Ok, let's jump in to this recipe: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins. Y.U.M. Seriously. I was CRAVING chocolate the other night - honestly, I was just craving something sweet. I knew I shouldn't make cupcakes...that's too dangerous! Cookies? Brownies? No. I wanted something that I wouldn't feel too guilty about. Enter muffins! You see, these have rolled oats AND applesauce in them. Healthy, right?! Well, friends, that's what I told myself, so I went ahead and whipped these up. So good and...(you guessed it!)...easy! Enjoy!

Source: Allrecipes - Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins

1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup applesauce
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Set oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredient mixture alternately with applesauce to the creamed mixture. Stir in oats and chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes.

March 19, 2010

Curried Coconut Chicken

This divine recipe popped up on All Recipes as "Recipe of the Day" not too long ago. I quickly added it to my virtual recipe box on their website - love that feature! My husband loves curry. Whenever we go out to eat and he notices something with curry on the menu, it's a done deal. We both love ethnic food, with Indian and Thai ranking at the top of that list. These types of food are so flavorful - so many spices! You would think that for as much as we love eating food from various countries, I'd have more ethnic foods on this blog. Sadly, I don't. I am working on that though - starting with this recipe! The flavors of curry and coconut work so well together. This dish did not disappoint. Cooking the chicken in a curry paste made of curry and olive oil gives the chicken a pop of flavor. So good! Side note on this recipe: our apartment smelled like curry for about 4 days! We lit candles and opened the windows - that seemed to finally do the trick. My husband wasn't complaining - I think he wanted the curry smell to remain for as long as possible!

Do you like All Recipes? Do you use their virtual recipe box?

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt and pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed, diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat oil and curry powder in a large skillet over medium to high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add chicken - tossing lightly to coat with curry mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 7-10 minutes until chicken juices run clear.  
Pour coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and sugar into the pan, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, approximately 45-50 minutes. 
*I cut the chicken in this recipe in half, so we had a lot of sauce - which was yummy with brown rice

March 17, 2010

Baked Salmon

Feeling adventurous, I set out some frozen salmon fillets in preparation for dinner last Sunday night. I had absolutely NO idea what to do with them. Are you surprised? Probably not. I mean, this is coming from the girl who grew up on red meat. Sure, I've mastered a yummy tilapia recipe, as well as a scrumptious mahi mahi one. Salmon? No way. This was all too new for me. Just like any other similar situation when I'm at a loss for what to do/make, I turn to the wonderful world wide web. With (and this is no exaggeration!) ENDLESS food & recipe blogs and websites out there, I knew it wouldn't take me long to find something. Surprisingly enough, I actually did have somewhat of a difficult time finding a nice marinade for salmon. I finally settled on a marinade from RecipeZaar. This was quite tasty, and I'll definitely make this again. For the record: this was not just my first time preparing salmon, it was also my first time EATING salmon! Wow.

Do you have a favorite salmon recipe? Let me know!

2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped - I used dried parsley
2 (6 ounce) salmon fillets.

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients, except for the salmon. Stir well.

Place salmon fillets in a small baking dish. Pour marinade over fillets. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour - turning occasionally. 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking dish with foil - bake for 35-40 minutes (until easily flaked with a fork).

March 15, 2010

Menu: March 15-19

This was probably the easiest weekly meal plan that I've ever created. Why? I only had to plan for one dinner! My husband and I are leaving for vacation down in Florida on Tuesday - we'll be staying with friends of ours. We're very excited to have a week-long vacation and have been looking forward to this for quite some time. I'll be having some scheduled posts appear, so don't worry - there will still be updates! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Monday: grilled chicken, gourmet mac & cheese, corn
Tuesday: Florida!
Wednesday: Florida!
Thursday: Florida!
Friday: Florida!

March 12, 2010

French Onion Soup

Such a classic. I could honestly eat soup every day...seriously. Maybe this has to do with the fact that I'm cold 99% of the time, but hey, I don't care the reason. I just know that I love it!

French Onion Soup is such a classic and sophisticated soup. Don't you think so? It's fancy - that's what I think. As much as I love this kind of soup, I had never made it before. Check it off the list now! My amazing husband got accepted to Stanford for graduate school, so I wanted to make him a celebratory meal. This soup and a bottle of wine did the trick. 

It's actually very easy to prepare. One part of the recipe is not so fun: slicing the onions. My eyes burnt like crazy. At times, I didn't know if I would make it! It was worth it in the end - we enjoyed it immensely! 

Source: Leslie Sarna

4 onions, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. butter 
1 tbsp. flour
4 cups beef broth (I used reduced sodium)
1/4 cup red wine 
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 
salt and pepper 
2 cups grated Gruyere

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions with the oil, butter and large pinch of salt until tender and golden. Don't stir too often, as you want the onions to caramelize. Sprinkle flour on the onions; allow flour to brown. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add thyme and reduce heat to low. Add broth. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare broiler. Ladle soup into ovenproof bowls. Top with croutons and then grated cheese. Make sure that the cheese fully covers the croutons, so they don't burn. Place bowls on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil for about 4 minutes - until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

March 10, 2010

Time for a Change

It's no news that I'm mildly obsessed with blogs: food blogs, fitness blogs, decorating blogs, etc. When I started Ice Cream & Wine in December 2009, my hope was to create a blog that would cover all things food-related. Instead it turned into a recipe-only blog. And although I love recipe blogs, my passion for food does not stop at just reading & following recipes. I enjoy eating out, I'm addicted to Food Network, and I love to keep up-to-date on the latest in food trends. 

Some changes will be made to this site in the next few weeks - changes I'm absolutely excited about. Don't worry: I'll still post simple recipes that I find while perusing the endless amount of food blogs out there. However, this will only be one aspect of the new Ice Cream & Wine.

I appreciate all of the comments I've received so far - you have no idea how excited I get when I see a new comment has been posted! I hope you'll enjoy the new and improved Ice Cream & Wine!

March 8, 2010

Menu: March 8-12 (My Birthday Week!)

As I sit and type this menu plan for the week, the sunshine is bursting in through the window. The East Coast has been experiencing some absolutely beautiful weather these past few days. Spring? Is that you?! I sure hope so! 

I have an exciting week ahead (and not just because my 23rd birthday is on Thursday!). I will be attending a Food Network taping tomorrow right here in Baltimore! I am so looking forward to this and can't wait to see what it's all about...right now there is an exciting rumor circulating as to what will be happening, so I'll just have to wait and see. Of course, I'll be giving you an update as soon as I learn more!

Monday: Curried Coconut Chicken with brown rice
Tuesday: Salsa Chicken with corn, black beans & avocados
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Dinner at The Capital Grille for MY BIRTHDAY!
Friday: The Best Turkey Burgers, Gourmet Mac & Cheese, green beans

Spicy BBQ Chicken

I love my crock pot. Seriously. I just don't understand people who don't use them! Every recipe I have come across is SO easy to throw together. Then you get home and dinner is ready. I mean really - what's not to love?! The convenience thing is a plus in my book, that's for sure. 

This is a "go-to" recipe for me. It's BBQ shredded chicken & nothing fancy...just BBQ chicken. But it tastes so darn good, and the chicken is so tender. Plus, you can use frozen chicken breasts which makes it even easier! We have enough for leftovers the next day (and it still tastes just as great!), but I thought about using the leftovers in a creative way time: BBQ chicken pizza. Oh yeah, now I have to make this again very soon!

4 frozen chicken breasts
Half a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
3-4 tablespoons hot wing sauce (optional - but so good!!)

Place frozen chicken breasts in a crock pot. Pour half a bottle of BBQ over the top. Add the hot wing sauce. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5. Shred chicken with two forks about an hour before serving. Add additional BBQ sauce if you like it saucy!

*I usually serve this with baked sweet potatoes and corn. Wonderful.

March 6, 2010

Lemon-Scented Sugar Snap Peas

For some reason or another, whenever peas roll into our weekly menu I always grab the bag of fresh snow peas at the grocery store. Well, I got crazy this past week and bought sugar snap peas - whoa! I was looking for a way to prepare these peas that would compliment this wonderful tilapia recipe and stumbled upon this one. It caught my eye because of the lemon, and I was going to be using a fresh lemon with the fish, so it just worked out perfectly. I like it when that happens! Just like all of the other recipes I post, this is a simple one to follow. I like it best when vegetables are served with minimal preparation - they just taste so fresh and delicious. Enjoy!

*I cut this recipe in half when I made it (for 2 people). Below is the original and serves 4-6. 

2  pounds  fresh sugar snap peas
2  tablespoons  butter or margarine
2  garlic cloves, minced
1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
2  teaspoons  grated lemon rind
3/4  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground pepper

Cook peas in boiling salted water for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. (I skipped this plunging step, and it worked out just fine!)

Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat; add peas, and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and remaining ingredients. Sauté 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

March 5, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

Ok, so the picture is awful. If you want a pretty one, go check out the one Dunne' took over on With a Cherry on Top - you'll see - it does look yummy! Here we go:

Wow. That is all I can say. If you only try one recipe listed on this blog, please let it be this one! This cream sauce is absolutely delicious. It honestly tastes like a super fancy dish that you'd order at some gourmet, high-end restaurant. But, nope! You can make this at home, and you should because it is so easy! The original recipe turns this into a sandwich. I decided against that (personal preference), and we just ate the chicken with the sauce poured over top (cutting out those extra carbs!). The sauce is so creamy - with a yummy tartness from the gorgonzola. 

4 chicken breasts
olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese (I used crumbled)

Preheat grill to med-high heat.  Season chicken with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Place on grill and cook for 7-8 minutes per side or until juices run clear.  Transfer to a plate and let rest. (We used our trusty Foreman - just perfect!)

In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat.  Toss in sliced onions and saute brown and tender. Reduce heat to simmer and add in cream, stirring frequently.  Let it reduce by half and thicken up, about 5 minutes.  Stir in cheese until well-combined and melted in.

Place chicken on plate and pour sauce on top. Take a bite and enjoy!

March 4, 2010

Roasted Chickpeas

I've seen various recipes for roasted chickpeas floating around the flood blog world for quite some time now. It's something that I always think about making mid-week but don't have a can of chickpeas on-hand. Then (of course) I forget about it by the time I go grocery shopping on Sunday! Luckily, I wrote it down last week and added it to my list. We all know Sundays are my baking day. Well, this past Sunday was no different - except it wasn't a sweet baked goodie...instead I baked chickpeas! Just as exciting, right?! Right.

Roasted chickpeas are quite addicting in an interesting way. I kept them simple on my first try, but I'm very excited to change it up again from here on out. Super easy and a very delicious (and healthy - hello, fiber!) snack. Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from - Roasted Chickpeas 

1 - 12 oz. can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil and add the chili powder. Season with salt. Spread on a foil-lined (easy clean up!) baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Kick up the heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 20 minutes, again - stirring occasionally. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.