Harvest Salad

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The season of hearty, calorie laden comfort food is upon us! I do love big bowls of chowder, pumpkin bread and anything creamy and cheesy as much as the next person, but my motto is “everything in moderation.” I eat a lot of salad, and I really do love it. I ate my fill of caprese and salads topped with fresh corn  and garden tomatoes this summer, but now fall produce is getting its turn.

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Spring mix is topped with crisp apples, tart dried cranberries, candied pecans, blue cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. A perfect way to enjoy fall flavors while being both light and delicious.

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While you could buy candied pecans, homemade are so simple to make and completely customize-able. Add a little cinnamon or even a pinch cayenne for flavor. If you want to switch it up some, replace the apples with pears and the blue cheese with goat cheese.

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Harvest Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of mixed gourmet/spring greens
  • 1 apple (I used Fuji), cored and chopped (to equal about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
    Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
  • a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) kosher salt
    Candied Pecans
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons water
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • For pecans: Mix together all ingredients but the pecans. In a medium-large saucepan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When you begin to smell them, they're done.
  • Quickly drizzle the sugar mixture into the pan, on top of the pecans, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Stir constantly for about 15 seconds, until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture. Immediately remove from heat so they don't burn.
  • Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment to cool. Once cooled, you can break the nuts apart, if needed.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The pecans will be slightly sticky at first, but the coating hardens further within a few hours.
  • For the salad: Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide it among individual salad plates).
  • Sprinkle apples, pecans, cranberries, and cheese over top of greens.
  • For dressing, whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, mustard, and salt until emulsified.
  • Dress salad just before serving.
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    Recipe Source: Two Healthy Kitchens

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    The Crispiest Oven Baked Wings

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    Lets talk about man food. I categorize “man food” as the following: Food that’s messy, meaty, spicy, saucy and impossible to eat in a lady-like manner. Aka: burgers, steaks, and of course, wings! My wings are the perfect example of man food. Saucy, spicy, and messy. No matter how you may try, no one looks like a dainty princess while gnawing on a chicken wing cave-man style.

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    If the ladies out there feel like they need an excuse to eat these babies here it is: They are baked ! Diet Food! I’ve created a recipe that will create the most crispy wing every time, without bothering with the mess and danger of hot oil. There are just a few key points to follow:

    1. DRY THOSE WINGS!! I cannot express how important it is to pat the wings dry. Use a kitchen towel or lots of paper towels, but dry them until there is no remaining moisture on the skin.
    2. A HOT oven. 450 degrees hot. And for the love of all things holy, please be careful. I obtained a nasty burn on my hand taking these out of the oven.
    3. A light flour dredge. The flour is just another measure to help remove the moisture from the wings. These aren’t meant to be “battered” so make sure you shake off the excess flour thoroughly.

    Follow these steps and I promise you will have the crispiest baked wings that will please any one! I’ve included recipes for wings two ways, so there is a sauce for everyone.

    The Crispiest Oven Baked Wings

    Ingredients

    • 40-50 Chicken wings
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • Non stick cooking spray
      Honey BBQ Sauce
    • 1 1/2 cup barbeque sauce (any variety sauce of your choice will work)
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
      Traditional Hot Sauce
    • 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
    • 1/4 cup melted butter

    Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheets with foil and place a oven rack on top. This is important so the air can circulate around the wings. Spray the rack with cooking spray. Set aside
  • Pat the chicken wings dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels, making sure they are thoroughly dry. If using frozen wings, make sure they are completely thawed before baking, or there will be too much excess moisture.
  • evenly spaced wings so the air can circulate
  • In a large zipper bag mix the flour dredge ingredients. Drop wings into flour mixture, shake off any excess flour. Place wings on baking rack, making sure not to over-crowd the pan Spray all of the wings with cooking spray. This will help to ensure a crisp skin. Place in oven and bake in 15 minute intervals, switching from top to bottom rack every 15 minutes, as well as flipping the wings over.
  • My wings cooked for 40 minutes, but cook for longer if they are not golden brown yet. While wings are baking mix sauce ingredients in a large bowl. After wings have cooked immediately toss with sauce until well coated. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
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    http://blondegirlcravings.com/2014/10/05/the-crispiest-oven-baked-wings/

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