Food, Faith, and Other Fabulous Finds

Recipes, devotional thoughts, and other cool things I come across.

Three Yummy Foods and a Way to Get Your Starbucks Fix November 14, 2011

Well, this has been an odd week for collecting things to blog about.  There have been absolutely no great samples to pass along.  However, I’ve recently tried 3 yummy new recipes that I’m very excited to share about.

Let’s start with the main course which was lunch for my husband and I today: Pulled Chicken Suiza Sammies.  These are easy and absolutely delicious.  Instead of using a rotisserie chicken, I poached a couple of large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  I also used sour cream instead of creme fraiche.  My husband gave these 5 stars, and I agree.  Just one thought, a lot of the flavor is going to come from your salsa verde, so you’ll want to make sure that you get a tasty one.

Pulled Chicken Suiza Sammies (from Rachael Ray)

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 chopped red onion

2 cloves chopped garlic

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp. honey

1 1/2 c. tomatillo salsa

1/2 c. creme fraiche (Sour cream works too.)

1 skinned, shredded, rotisserie chicken

4 split, crusty sandwich rolls

4 slices Swiss or Monterey Jack

1. Preheat the broiler.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook til they’re softened, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the lime juice and honey; then stir in the salsa and let it heat through.  Mix in the creme fraiche.  Stir in the chicken to coat it.

2. Divide the chicken mix evenly on the bottom of the rolls.  Top the chicken mix with cheese and broil it to melt the cheese.  Finish by topping with the top of the roll.

On to the side dish: have you ever heard of 7 Up biscuits?  I hadn’t, until pictures of them started popping up on Pinterest.  I used this recipe to make them and subsequently fell in love with them (as did my hubby).  The carbonation makes them light and fluffy as well as giving them a hint of a citrusy taste.  While they are delicious as is, they are even more amazing if you brush a little butter on top and sprinkle them with a little kosher salt.  Mmm!  Since they only have 4 ingredients, they’re also simple and very fast.

7 Up Biscuits (from Plain Chicken)

2 c. Bisquick

1/2 c. sour cream

1/2 c. 7 Up

1/4 c. melted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  In a bowl, cut the sour cream into the Bisquick.  Add the soda and mix to form a soft (and sticky!) dough.

2. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and pat it out.  (I usually do 1/2 the recipe and cut it into 4 biscuits.  Just decide how big you  want them and cut them accordingly.)  Put the melted butter in a 9 inch square pan.  Place the biscuits in the pan and bake 12-15 minutes, or til golden brown.

Our last delicious recipe to try is a dessert.  These are delicious and perfect for the fall season: they’re Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Truffles, and they are decadent.  I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of pumpkin, though I like how it can keep baked goods moist while giving you fiber and lots of nutrients.  Needless to say, I don’t usually partake of Thanksgiving’s obligatory pumpkin pie.  That would not be the case if these were served instead.  Part of what I loved about these was how the orange zest really elevated the pumpkin flavor into something I actually enjoyed.  I can’t say enough about how delicious these are, but instead of boring you, I’ll just highly recommend that you try them for yourselves.  One word of warning, these are very rich, so be sure to make them very small.

Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Truffles (from Whole Foods)

2 1/2 c. white chocolate chunks  (Be sure to use a really good brand, otherwise it could by cloyingly sweet.)

1/3 c. gingersnap crumbs

1/3 c. pumpkin puree

1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs

1 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp. orange zest

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

2 oz. softened cream cheese

1. Melt 1/2 c. of the chocolate on medium-low heat, stirring often.  Transfer the melted chocolate to a large bowl and add in all the remaining ingredients except for the chocolate chunks.  Add in a pinch of salt and beat til smooth.  Transfer the mix to a shallow bowl, cover it, and refrigerate til it’s solid enough to be rolled into balls, about 2 hours.

2. Line a large sheet tray with parchment paper.  Melt the remaining 2 c. of white chocolate and transfer it to a small, deep bowl.  Roll 1 tsp. of the pumpkin mix into a ball, then drop it in the melted chocolate.  Spoon the chocolate over the truffle to coat it.  Once coated, life the truffle out and shake off the excess chocolate.  If desired, garnish the top with some of the cookie crumbs.  Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients; chill til set, at least 1 hour.

Now, if that wasn’t enough deliciousness for you, I also promised a new way to get treats from Starbucks.  I found this site a few months ago, but I didn’t want to tell you about it until I knew that they delivered on their promises.  I got my first reward in the mail this past week and couldn’t wait to tell you about it.  The website is called Daily Feats.  The basic premise is that they want to reward you for doing what they consider to be good deeds.  They have lists of deeds that you “check in” on a daily basis.  You can schedule which feats you know you’ll be doing on a daily or weekly basis.  Then on whatever day you do them, you just let them know what you did (I use their website, but they seem to have mobile ability as well).  For each feat you do, they give you points (more for harder, less frequent feats).  Once you reach a certain number of points, you can order a reward.  They offer savings at local establishments or a few gift cards from national brands.  For 5,000 points (about a month’s worth for me), you can get a $10 Starbucks gift card.  There are a few more guidelines, so be sure to read their “How It Works” section.  I am so excited to think that I’ll be getting my Starbucks fix more often!  My suggestion for using the site would be this: go through all the feats and schedule the ones you know you’ll be doing regularly.  Then log on toward the end of the day and list everything for that day at once.  If done all at once, it only takes about 30 min. a day.  (Update:  After several months, I’ve stopped using Daily Feats.  They underwent a lot of renovations to their process and, for me, it made it harder to log in my feats.  They also stopped offering the more premium rewards.  You might still want to check out the rewards to see if they appeal to you, but it’s no longer something I use.)

Now, I just reached a really exciting milestone.  Before starting this post, I did an internet search for this blog, and, for the first time, my blog came up as a result!!  This is a huge step because it means that there are more people reading this than there were when I first started.  (Read: more than just my family and best friends)  That is all thanks to you.  Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you!!!  I really appreciate all your support, and, hopefully, readership will continue to expand as time goes on.  I really enjoy being able to share my finds with you, and I hope that you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.  If you have some time, stop by and leave a comment to let me know how you found my blog and what types of posts you most enjoy.


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