Pear Pastries with Honey Whipped Cream & a GIVEAWAY!!!

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Celebrations call for dessert! We’re celebrating with these pear pastries with honey whipped cream. Rich, creamy, and slightly sweet… and SUPER easy. Get the recipe at the end of the post!

What are we celebrating?

Recipe or Not is officially two years old! That’s right, I’ve been creating, photographing, and sharing recipes with you for TWO YEARS. I really can’t believe it.

This little corner of the internet has given me so much joy (and dirty dishes :)). Thank you for reading, commenting, and trying my recipes. It always makes my day when I know someone has enjoyed one of my recipes. :)

To thank you, I’m hosting a giveaway! 

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You have the chance to win a wooden cutting board (complete with non-slip grippy things), a nifty julienne peeler so you can eat all the zucchini noodles your heart desires, and, because I just love them so much, a super duper cute apron so you can look good while whipping up some yummy meals. Produce not included. ;) (These are a bundle prize. One person wins it all!)

How can you win all of these kitchen goodies?

STEP 1. (REQUIRED) Subscribe to Recipe or Not by clicking ‘Get recipes!’ at the top of the side bar, enter your email address, and confirm your subscription in the email that will come to your inbox. This is FREE and I will only use your email address to send you weekly recipes. Already a subscriber? Awesome! You’re the best and you can skip this step. ;)

STEP 2. Get an additional entry to the giveaway by leaving a comment letting me know what you’re going to cook first in your fun, new apron.

STEP 3. For up to 3 more additional entries to the giveaway, you can share this blog post/giveaway on Facebook, Twitter (Tweet it now!), or Pinterest.

STEP 4. (REQUIRED)  Once you’ve subscribed, commented, and shared, complete your entry by clicking here: Submit My Entry, fill out the information (SUPER short) and click ‘Done’. This is totally on the honor system and I know you’re a wonderful, honest person. :) You will NOT be entered in the giveaway if you skip this step.

The giveaway will be open until Thursday, September 4th at 10:00pm CDT. The winner will be announced on Friday, September 5th.

Just to review — you can get up to 5 entries in the giveaway by subscribing (required), commenting, sharing on Facebook, Twitter (Tweet it now!), or Pinterest. Then let me know you did all of this by clicking here: Submit My Entry, fill out the info and click ‘Done’. 

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Pear Pastries with Honey Whipped Cream; Recipe or Not

serves 8

  • 1 puff pastry (find it in the freezer section, follow the instructions for thawing)
  • 2-3 pears, cut into thin slices
  • 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/4 c. peach preserves or jam
  • 1/2 c. sliced  almonds

For the whipped cream: In a medium bowl or stand mixer, add the heavy whipping cream and honey. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer, starting at low, for a minute or two. Increasing speed as the cream gets thicker. Once stiff peaks start to form, refrigerate until needed.

For the pear pastries: Preheat oven to 400°. On a floured surface, spread out the puff pastry and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Cut the pastry into eight equal pieces. Place the pastries on a baking sheet and top each one with 4-6 pear slices, leaving 1/2 inch border around the pears. On a separate baking sheet, spread out the sliced almonds. Bake the almonds for 10-11 minutes and bake the pastries for 20-22 minutes until the pastry has puffed and is starting to brown. While the pastries are still hot, carefully brush on 1/2 T. of peach preserves over each pastry. When ready to serve, top each pastry with a dollop of the honey whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

Note: The pastries do not keep very well and are best the day they are made.

Cornbread with Rosemary & Caramelized Onions

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Happy Friday Eve! (Sounds better than Happy Thursday Night, doesn’t it? :))

I’ll keep this short and sweet so you can finish making weekend plans… which should probably include this cornbread. ;)

It’s moist, yet still a little crumbly because, well, it wouldn’t be cornbread if it wasn’t, right? The rosemary complements the cornmeal perfectly and the onions add that slightly sweet flavor from the glorious caramelization. It’s not a sweet cornbread, but can easily be made that way with honey.

PS – Fun things are in store for next week! I’ll be celebrating Recipe or Not’s 2nd birthday with dessert and a giveaway (!!!) so be on the lookout. (Can you believe it’s been two years?!)

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Add a pat of butter…

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…and a drizzle of honey.

Cornbread with Rosemary & Caramelized Onions; Recipe or Not

makes about 8 servings

 For the caramelized onions:

  • 2 yellow onions, diced about 1/2-1″ in size
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • pinch of salt

For the cornbread:

  • 1 1/2 c. yellow fine ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 T. sugar
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. corn
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped (about 1/2 t.)
  • caramelized onions from recipe above (yields about 3/4-1 cup)

For the caramelized onions: Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Toss in the onions and salt and turn the heat to low, cover with a lid leaving a small crack for steam to escape. Stir the onions every 10 minutes or so until they start to turn brown and caramelize. Mine took 1.5 hours to get really caramelized. HOWEVER, you can add a little sugar to speed the process up (I did not.) and I read that gas stoves will caramelize the onions faster than an electric stove, which is what I have. Pro-tip: Cook them the night before. They’ll keep covered in the fridge overnight.

For the cornbread: Preheat oven to 425°. In a mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients, corn, rosemary, and onions. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is just combined. Grease a 9″ oven-proof skillet or 9×9 baking dish. Pour in the batter and smooth it out evenly in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of the bread.

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Homemade Chorizo Tacos with Mango & Red Onion

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Writing a food blog has made eating at restaurants more entertaining.

When I really like something it becomes this fun guessing game – “What kind of cheese is in this mac and cheese? Is it white cheddar? You know what… I think it’s a combination. Yeah, it has to be a combination.” It usually results in me asking the server –  “Excuse me, what kind of cheese is this?”

Getting inspiration for recipes from restaurants is easy. Recreating the recipes is another story. Especially when they use things like “house seasoning” or “house dressing”. I haven’t fine-tuned my tastebuds to that level of discernment yet.

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Luckily this recipe was restaurant-inspired, but not impossible to recreate. The restaurant it came from made their chorizo in house and thankfully, chorizo seasoning is not some kind of locked up family recipe requiring maximum level clearance to get access to. I did have to do quite a bit of Googling though. :) It took a couple tries but I’ve got it down now.

You can never go wrong with a salty sweet combo. I love all the spices of the chorizo combined with ripe, juicy mango. The red onion adds a nice bite while the cilantro brings a pop of freshness. This is a super easy recipe and would be a flavorful and quick weeknight dinner.

Homemade Chorizo Tacos with Mango & Red Onion; Recipe or Not

makes 10-12 crispy tacos

For the chorizo:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T. smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 t. salt 
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/2 t. ground coriander
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper, optional
  • big pinch of black pepper

For the tacos:

  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 10-12 crispy taco shells
  • cilantro for topping

Heat a skillet on medium heat. In a bowl, combine the ground pork and all of the seasonings until the seasonings are evenly mixed. Cook the chorizo, breaking it into small pieces with a spatula or spoon every couple of minutes. Cook until the chorizo until no longer pink inside (as best you can tell since it is tinted red from the paprika), about 12-15 minutes or so. Fill the taco shells with a spoonful or two of chorizo, top with mango, red onion, and cilantro.

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Greek Power Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

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The first time I tried kale it tasted like straight chlorophyll.

I like to push myself to give new foods a chance so I made an effort.

Kale chips. Kale salad. Kale in soups.

Welp, I tried. Moving on.

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Then I had an idea for a Greek salad packed with nutrition and irresistible flavor.

I had a hunch to give kale one more chance. (Always follow your hunches…unless your hunch is telling you to make a tuna cheesecake. Don’t follow that one.)

I threw in a bunch of colorful veggies, made sure it had plenty of flavor with feta and a lemon dressing, and added chickpeas and quinoa for protein.

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The salad turned out perfect. Nutritious and irresistibly good.

So the lesson today is – don’t give up on foods if you don’t like them at first. :)

Is there a food you’ve had to try several times before you liked it? Leave a comment and share.

Here’s to health and new foods!

Greek Power Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette; Recipe or Not

Salad:

  • 1 bunch kale, torn into bite size pieces and massaged gently with clean hands for 30-60 seconds
  • 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa, cook according to directions
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup diced olives
  • crumbled feta for topping

Dressing:

  • 1/3 c. fresh lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
  • 2/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 t. dried oregano
  • pinch of salt
  • sprinkle of black pepper

Cook the quinoa according to the directions. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the other salad ingredients. Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl or platter. Combine the dressing ingredients in a mason jar or container with a tight lid. Shake until the lemon juice and oil are completely combined, 30 seconds or so. Toss the salad with dressing and crumbled feta.

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Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Balls

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I’ll never forget the first time I shook my husband’s hand when we met.

It was a brief meeting but my subconscious stored it away as if it knew that moment was important before I did.

Fast forward four years and here we are, married for over two years.

One thing I love most about him is his sense of humor. He has the goofiness of Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation, the quirkiness of Jim Carrey, and he can do a spot-on Nacho Libre impression. He’s always making me laugh.

He also has more patience than a snail herder and I’m a very lucky gal to go through life with him.

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Yesterday was his birthday so I thought I’d share one of his all-time favorite foods.

He’d been requesting that I make a peanut butter ball recipe for awhile. Patiently (see snail herder reference above) waiting for that glorious day when they would become reality.

And now they are!

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This is an incredibly simple recipe. If you use dark chocolate with a high cacao content, I would dare call these a healthy dessert.

Peanut Butter Oat Chocolate Balls; Recipe or Not

makes 10-12 1″ balls

  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 c. rolled oats
  • 3 T. honey
  • 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips or broken up chocolate bar* (health bonus points for chocolate with at least 70% cacao)
  • 1/2 T. coconut oil  (use canola oil if you don’t have coconut oil)

 The prep: In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, oats, and honey. Form 1″ balls and place them on a wax paper covered baking sheet that will fit in your freezer. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Next, melt the chocolate over a double boiler, adding in the coconut oil. Once the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, dunk each peanut butter ball in the chocolate, making sure the whole surface is covered. Lift the ball out of the chocolate with a fork and let the excess drip off, then place the ball back onto the baking sheet. Once all the peanut butter balls are covered, place them in the freezer for at least 10 minutes (if you can wait that long) then transfer to the fridge. Store them in the fridge until you serve them.

*We’re dark chocolate people so I haven’t tried milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate. It couldn’t possibly be bad though. ;) End disclaimer.

 

Maple Coconut Oatmeal

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Alternate titles for this post were:

  • My Current Breakfast Obsession
  • Let’s Put Coconut Oil in E’rythang
  • Maple & Coconut = BFF’s 4 Life
  • How To Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

If you want to start your day off right, start it with a bowl of this oatmeal.

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It’s difficult to describe, specifically, the taste of this oatmeal. It’s neither overly maple-y nor overly coconut-y but the blend of the two is perfectly balanced for a delightful and sweetened oatmeal. Perfectly paired with coffee, of course. ;)

Maple Coconut Oatmeal; Recipe or Not

serves 2

  • 1 1/3 c. rolled oats
  • 2 2/3 c. milk (I used almond.)
  • small pinch of salt
  • 2 spoonfuls unrefined virgin coconut oil
  • 4-6 T. maple syrup

In a medium pot, bring the oats, milk, and salt to a boil over medium heat. Monitor, stir, and reduce heat if needed until the oats have absorbed the liquid, about 15 minutes or so. Divide the oatmeal up in two bowls, stir in the coconut oil and maple syrup. Enjoy!

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Mini Pepper Nachos

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A few weeks ago my husband and I were over at my parent’s house and I stumbled upon my diary from when I was nine. It included such treasures as this:

Dear Diary,

It’s me, Jordan. I just wanted to say that I love writing in this diary.

Love, Jordan

PS – I will probably write again later!

My family and I couldn’t stop laughing at the funny musings of my nine year old self.

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Ironically, I turned twenty-five over the weekend and it has me feeling like I’m really an adult now, as if the last few years were just the preteen stage of adulthood.

The good news is whether I’m a real adult or not, I can still stuff my face with nachos. Nachos are for all ages!

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I made dinner out of these nachos but they could certainly be appetizers as well. They will satisfy your cheesy nacho craving while giving you a boost in your veggie intake. Mini pepper nachos for the win. :)

Mini Pepper Nachos; adapted from my sis-in-law, Emily

serves 4-6 as an appetizer, serves 2 for dinner

10-15 mini peppers*, cut in half, remove seeds
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast**, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 medium onion, diced
1- 1 1/2 c. shredded cheese (I used a combo of pepper jack & monterey jack.)
Dash of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, & pepper to season the chicken
1 T. olive oil
Tomato & cilantro for topping
Salsa & guacamole for dipping

The Prep: Preheat oven to 350°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken for about 10-12 minutes, seasoning with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Add in the onion and continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink inside and the onions are becoming translucent, 2-3 minutes. In an oven proof skillet or 9×9 baking dish, lay the pepper halves on the bottom, next layer on the chicken & onions, top with the cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the peppers are heated through. Top with fresh tomatoes and cilantro. Dip in salsa and guacamole.

*If you can’t find mini peppers, cut regular bell peppers into 2 inch pieces. I would estimate 2-3 bell peppers to be equivalent.

**You could also use beef or turkey or for a vegetarian option, use black or pinto beans. Use the same seasonings.