House of Nash Eats https://houseofnasheats.com a food blog about the simple and delicious recipes we love Fri, 12 Jan 2018 18:21:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken thighs https://houseofnasheats.com/crispy-cast-iron-skillet-chicken-thighs/ https://houseofnasheats.com/crispy-cast-iron-skillet-chicken-thighs/#respond Fri, 12 Jan 2018 18:01:42 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5190 Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes!  Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any side!

Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes!  Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any...

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Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes!  Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any side!

Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes!  Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any side!

Today I’ve got another healthier recipe that I know you are going to love!  I’m joining forces with my friend Kathy over at Lemon Blossoms again as we share some of our favorite delicious and healthy meals for the New Year!  Just look at her scrumptious and flavor packed Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry that is a full meal made in one pan!  It’s got an easy, homemade sauce and you can customize it with whatever veggies you have on hand.

But let’s talk these crispy cast iron skillet chicken thighs that just happen to be Whole 30 compliant but are every bit as satisfying as fried chicken in my opinion.  First though, a confession: I used to not like chicken thighs.

I don’t really know why but I think I thought they were too greasy or I didn’t like the flavor of dark meat or whatever.  But for ages the only cut of chicken I would make were chicken breasts!

Until I tried Our Best Bite’s spicy honey chicken recipe, which called for boneless skinless chicken thighs rather than breasts.  And I couldn’t get over how delicious they were!  It’s still one of our favorite chicken recipes and a go-to dinner for us.  Those spicy honey chicken thighs are what finally convinced me to leave my prejudice against thighs behind me.

And it’s a good thing because these crackling, crispy cast iron chicken thighs are my other favorite way to prepare that particular cut of meat.  Except in this recipe you will use bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and a good cast iron pan.  I love cooking meat with the bone in because it keeps it so juicy and moist and adds so much flavor!

This recipe is really as much about technique as it is about ingredients, which are minimal.  Other than a super simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and a little bit of garlic powder, there isn’t much else to the prep work for these chicken thighs.

How to Make Chicken Thighs in a Cast Iron Pan

To make them, you first want to heat up your oven because after an initial sear skin-side down in a hot cast iron pan with just a tiny bit of oil, the chicken will get finished off by roasting in the oven until cooked through.

While the oven heats, mix together the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and sprinkle it evenly over both sides of the chicken thighs.  Then heat up your cast iron pan nice and hot over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to it.  I actually have two cast iron pans and will double the recipe just so I have plenty for leftovers as well!

The chicken goes in skin-side down and then you need to just leave it alone so the hot cast iron pan can do it’s magic.  I first saw this technique on Stupid Easy Paleo back when I was doing my first Whole 30 and immediately fell in love.  I mean, it takes all of 1 whole minute to season the chicken, and stick it in the pan, then the rest of the cooking process is just flipping the chicken once and sticking the pan in the oven.  No babysitting dinner means I have time to make a side, set the table, or read a book to my girls while the food finishes cooking.

In addition to not liking chicken thighs, I also used to not like chicken skin.  But that’s because I had only ever had it with breaded, fried chicken from a certain fast food place that I’m not a particular fan of.  It was greasy and heavy and breaded and I just found it blechy.

But man oh man, the skin on these pan fried chicken thighs is something else entirely.  Once they have seared for about 7 minutes or so, a wonderful crust forms and the skin is just full of flavor and crispy goodness.  My girls rave about it and it’s always the first thing they go for when it’s time to eat.

One word of caution:  because you are rendering the fat from the chicken skin, it is going to create quite a bit of splatter.  A splatterguard really comes in handy to keep cleanup to a minimum later.  Also, you’re going to want to make sure to have your vent hood fan on.

What to Serve with Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs

Serve these pan fried chicken thighs with some stir-fried baby bok choy or green beans and cauliflower rice and you’ve got an easy Whole 30 compliant dinner!  And if you aren’t doing Whole 30, go ahead and serve these chicken thighs with mashed potatoes or a wild rice pilaf!

Be sure to check out Lemon Blossoms fantastically easy and health Sheet Pan Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry as well!

Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs

Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Thighs are always a hit with the family and are a mostly hands-off dinner that is ready in less than 30 minutes!  Better for you than classic fried chicken but still with delicious crispy skin and moist, tender meat that your family will love and that pairs perfectly almost any side!

  • 2 1/2 lbs. (about 6-8) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.  

  2. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towel.  In a small bowl, combine the salt, garlic powder, and pepper, then sprinkle over the meat on both sides.

  3. In a cast-iron skillet, heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until hot.  Place chicken thighs into the pan, skin side down and cover with a splatterguard.  Cook without moving for 7-9 minutes so that the fat can render and the skin can get nice and crispy.

  4. Once the chicken releases from the pan and has a nicely browned crust on the skin, flip the chicken pieces over using tongs.  Transfer the skillet with the chicken to the oven and roast for 18-20 minutes until cooked through and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when tested with an instant read meat thermometer.  

Because chicken thighs can vary pretty significantly in size, you may need to adjust cooking times in the oven for larger or smaller thighs.  

Adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo.

Did you make this recipe as part of the monthly cooking challenge?  Tag @houseofnasheats on Instagram and hashtag it #honecookingchallenge.

STILL HUNGRY? GET MORE GREAT FOOD IDEAS AND NEVER MISS A RECIPE BY FOLLOWING HOUSE OF NASH EATS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE INSPIRATION!

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Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy https://houseofnasheats.com/stir-fried-baby-bok-choy/ https://houseofnasheats.com/stir-fried-baby-bok-choy/#comments Wed, 10 Jan 2018 17:46:53 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5937 Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy is a simple vegetable side dish that is ready in under 10 minutes start to finish.  It's a little garlicky with a great tender-crisp texture and one of my go-to veggie options when I'm making a more protein-centric main dish and want a great vegetable to serve.

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy is a simple vegetable side dish that is ready in under 10 minutes start to finish.  It’s a little garlicky with a great tender-crisp texture and one of my go-to veggie options when I’m making a more protein-centric main dish and want a great vegetable to serve. This easy baby bok choy...

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Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy is a simple vegetable side dish that is ready in under 10 minutes start to finish.  It's a little garlicky with a great tender-crisp texture and one of my go-to veggie options when I'm making a more protein-centric main dish and want a great vegetable to serve.

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy is a simple vegetable side dish that is ready in under 10 minutes start to finish.  It’s a little garlicky with a great tender-crisp texture and one of my go-to veggie options when I’m making a more protein-centric main dish and want a great vegetable to serve.

This easy baby bok choy recipe might be a little out of the norm if you haven’t ever made bok choy at home before, but it’s one that I’m positive your family is going to love!  I like to add it to any weeknight stir-fry, but it’s great as a stand-alone side dish.  It goes especially well with proteins like garam masala salmon steaks or grilled whole fish.

Last year the most popular recipe on House of Nash Eats was a super simple, easy vegetable side dish recipe for oven roasted asparagus with garlic, Parmesan, and lemon.  It’s one I almost didn’t even publish but I’m so glad I did because so many of you loved it!

This baby bok choy is another simple, easy recipe that takes hardly any work at all and I love it because it gives us variety in the vegetables that we are eating.  I think we are all guilty every now and then of getting stuck in a rut of serving the same basic vegetables over and over.  But it’s always a good idea incorporate something new and different, both for the health benefits and to keep things fun and interesting!

And while I know that some people worry about how their kids will react to new foods, I have found that with my girls at least, the more I put new and different things in front of them the less picky they tend to be.  It’s only when I start repeating the same three vegetables over and over and over that I get push back from my youngest on nights when I introduce something different, like this stir-fried baby bok choy.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, we love our green beans, broccoli, and brussels sprouts around here, but just because those are our favorites doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change things up on a regular basis!

What Is Baby Bok Choy?

If you aren’t too familiar with it, baby bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that ranges in length from 3 to 5 inches.  It’s harvested young, and has dark green leaves connected to white stalks.  These ones just happen to be on the large side of baby bok choy, so I had to cut them down a little more than usual, but smaller ones can be cooked whole without any chopping at all.  I’ve seen them in packs at Costco on occasion, but I can almost always find it at the grocery store.

It also happens to be a winter vegetable, so they are in season right now, although you can get them pretty much year round, like most cabbage.

One cup of baby bok choy has just 9 calories and is loaded with protein, dietary fiber and vitamins and minerals that are great for you!  And if you can only find regular bok choy, instead of the baby variety, you can use that too in this recipe.  You will just need to chop it down into roughly bite-size chunks.

How to Eat Baby Bok Choy

You can actually eat bok choy stalks raw with dip or chopped up and thrown in salads, much like celery, if you wanted to.  But when cooking bok choy, you want to do it quickly so the stalks stay a little crisp and the leaves get tender and start to wilt.

I keep it really simple with this recipe, stir-frying the baby bok choy with just a little bit of oil, a couple of cloves of garlic, and some soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning.  You could add some fresh minced ginger as well, if you wanted to.  The amount of time to stir-fry really depends on how wilted and tender you want the leaves and stalks to get.

Thinking of making this recipe as part of the January H.O.N.E. cooking challenge?  Tag @houseofnasheats on Instagram and hashtag it #honecookingchallenge so I can see!

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy is a simple vegetable side dish that is ready in under 10 minutes start to finish.  It’s a little garlicky with a great tender-crisp texture and one of my go-to veggie options when I’m making a more protein-centric main dish and want a great vegetable to serve.

  • 1 pound baby bok choy (about 8 cups)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Trim the bottoms of the baby bok choy and rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove any grit that likes to collect down at the base of each bundle.  Cut any larger pieces in halves or quarters, if needed.  You can leave very small and tender baby bok choy whole, just make sure all of the bok choy is roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat, then add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds, but be sure not to burn. 

  3. Add the bok choy and stir-fry for 2-4 minutes, until the green leaves are wilted and the stalks are tender-crisp. I find it easiest to use tongs and when working with baby bok choy so I can grab some of the leaves and turn them over or toss them around the pan.  

  4. Add the soy sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper, then cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot.

You can make this side Whole30 compliant by subbing coconut aminos for the soy sauce, or just using salt to season the bok choy instead.

STILL HUNGRY? GET MORE GREAT FOOD IDEAS AND NEVER MISS A RECIPE BY FOLLOWING HOUSE OF NASH EATS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE INSPIRATION!

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Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe https://houseofnasheats.com/healthier-hot-spinach-artichoke-dip-recipe/ https://houseofnasheats.com/healthier-hot-spinach-artichoke-dip-recipe/#comments Fri, 05 Jan 2018 12:00:27 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5809 This Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe is sure to be hit at your next game day!  And best of all, nobody will realize it's a better-for-you-version of the original since this version has all the flavor and cheesy, creamy goodness we love about a great dip.  

This Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe is sure to be hit at your next game day!  And best of all, nobody will realize it’s a better-for-you-version of the original since this version has all the flavor and cheesy, creamy goodness we love about a great dip. A while back, a blogging friend, Kathy...

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This Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe is sure to be hit at your next game day!  And best of all, nobody will realize it's a better-for-you-version of the original since this version has all the flavor and cheesy, creamy goodness we love about a great dip.  

This Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe is sure to be hit at your next game day!  And best of all, nobody will realize it’s a better-for-you-version of the original since this version has all the flavor and cheesy, creamy goodness we love about a great dip.

A while back, a blogging friend, Kathy from Lemon Blossoms, reached out to me to see if I would be interested in doing some joint posts this year with her.  Which I immediately jumped at because I totally admire everything she posts on her blog!  I mean, the girl went to culinary school and worked with Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck, people.  How could I not be obsessed over all the drool-worthy food she shares?!

So we decided for our first topic we would each take classic party food or appetizers and do our own take on them.  I went with a bubbly, cheesy, hot spinach and artichoke dip and Kathy took on wings with her Honey BBQ Slow Cooker Wings.  

My cute little hand model. ↑↑  Both girls were hovering close while I tried to take these photos and sneaking tastes left and right.  So this recipe is definitely kid-approved.

I just love this hot spinach and artichoke dip, you guys.  It’s seriously one of the best party foods I know of and makes a great appetizer for any gathering year-round.  The problem with most spinach and artichoke dip recipes though is that they are loaded with fat and calories that are sure to derail anybody’s healthy eating resolutions in the new year.  Big time.

It’s really not fair, since anything with spinach in it’s name ought to be at least presumably good-for-you.

So in an effort to eat at least somewhat healthier but still enjoy our favorite, comforting foods, I decided to rework the original approach to this classic dip.

Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Most old school versions of this yummy pan of deliciousness call for mayo, sour cream, and cream cheese, along with plenty of mozzarella cheese and maybe even a little butter for good measure.  Those creamy, tangy ingredients combine to create a delicious, cheesy setting for the flavors of garlic, artichokes, and spinach.

But the good news is that you can ditch the mayo, sour cream, and full fat cream cheese, swapping them with greek yogurt and reduced fat cream cheese instead, while scaling back just a bit on the mozzarella and you will still end up with a fantastically garlicky, cheesy, creamy and hot appetizer that everyone will love.

Better yet, you will have a hard time telling that this is a healthier version of the calorie-laden classic.

Bake it in an oven-safe serving dish and bonus points for serving it with lots of crisp, delicious veggies like sugar snap peas, sliced red bell peppers, and carrot sticks for dipping in it instead of just chips, crackers, and bread.  It is actually a surprisingly good-for-you food even with the indulgent creaminess from the mozzarella and cream cheese.  And the greek yogurt even adds a little extra protein and nutrition, which is even better.

If you are participating in the H.O.N.E. Cooking Challenge this month, this is a great recipe to make and share if you are having friends over for a viewing party.

And if you would like other party foods that skew towards the better-for-you side that you can feel good about eating and enjoying while still sticking to your goals, definitely check out these baked Greek feta meatballs with a homemade tzatziki sauce for dipping or these baked Greek feta fries!

Don’t forget to check out those amazing looking honey bbq slow cooker wings from Lemon Blossoms blog!

Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This Healthier Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip recipe is sure to be hit at your next game day!  And best of all, nobody will realize it’s a better-for-you-version of the original since this version has all the flavor and cheesy, creamy goodness we love about a great dip.  

  • 1 (8-ounce) package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain of excess liquid
  • 1 1/4 cups mozzarella shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (4-ounce) can mild diced green chilies, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. 

  2. In a large bowl, stir together the softened cream cheese, yogurt, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and onion powder until combined.  Add the artichoke hearts, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and green chilies and stir well.

  3. Transfer the dip mixture into a 1 1/2-2 quart baking dish and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese.  

  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.  Serve with chips, crackers, chunks of crusty bread, or veggies.

Did you make this recipe as part of the monthly cooking challenge?  Tag @houseofnasheats on Instagram and hashtag it #honecookingchallenge.

STILL HUNGRY? GET MORE GREAT FOOD IDEAS AND NEVER MISS A RECIPE BY FOLLOWING HOUSE OF NASH EATS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE INSPIRATION!

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I enjoy hearing from you!  If you have tried this recipe or any others on my site, leave me a comment and a rating and I will do my best to respond!

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Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples https://houseofnasheats.com/sweet-potato-hash-with-sausage-apples/ https://houseofnasheats.com/sweet-potato-hash-with-sausage-apples/#respond Thu, 04 Jan 2018 12:00:38 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5857 Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples is a delicious, easy breakfast recipe to help you eat healthy in the new year!  I eat it because it's yummy, filling and a great start to my day, but it has the added benefit of being paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30 compliant!

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples is a good-for-you delicious, easy breakfast recipe to help you eat healthy in the new year!  I eat it because it’s yummy, filling and a great start to my day, but it has the added benefit of being paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30 compliant! Welcome to the first post...

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Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples is a delicious, easy breakfast recipe to help you eat healthy in the new year!  I eat it because it's yummy, filling and a great start to my day, but it has the added benefit of being paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30 compliant!

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples is a good-for-you delicious, easy breakfast recipe to help you eat healthy in the new year!  I eat it because it’s yummy, filling and a great start to my day, but it has the added benefit of being paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30 compliant!

Welcome to the first post in the House of Nash Eats Monthly Cooking Challenge!  In case you missed it, here are all the deets about the monthly cooking challenge that I’m introducing this year as a way to hone our skills in the kitchen and stir things up while having a fun project that let’s YOU share some of your creations!

January Monthly Cooking Challenge

I’m guessing that a lot of you, like me, have set some sort of goal to eat better in the new year.  Which is why the challenge for January is to cook healthier, good-for-you food!  But a little clarification is probably helpful here.  I’m not talking “diet” food or even the kind of things you might automatically think of when it comes to eating healthier.  Healthier, good-for-you food doesn’t necessarily equate to “health foods” in my mind.

During this month, I’m going to be focusing on sharing healthier recipe ideas so that we can start the year off right!

When it comes to eating healthy, I believe it’s important to focus on adding good-for-you foods into your lifestyle just as much as scaling back on “bad-for-you” foods.  I’m definitely all about balance and not feeling guilt over enjoying a delicious treat now and then.

But when I’m eating right – clean, healthy, meals that tend to incorporate some of my favorite veggies and plenty of protein – I do a lot better resisting temptation and sticking to a plan instead of grabbing the sweets that can be a strain on my resolve to eat healthier.

My idea is to share with you food – REAL food, not “health” food – that will fit with a balanced lifestyle.  Dishes that you could easily and confidently serve family and friends because the flavor and deliciousness is there, even if some of the extra calories and not-as-good-for-you elements are gone.

Meals like this Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples that is absolutely delicious for breakfast or lunch.

Eating Vegetables for Breakfast

One of the things I find most difficult when trying to eat healthier is getting in all the vegetables that I need during the day.  Even though I actually like most vegetables, it can still be a struggle for me to get in all the servings that are recommended!  So when possible, I try eating vegetables for breakfast in ways that are delicious and satisfying, rather than making it feel like a chore.

It’s an approach I’ve shared before with my favorite Ultimate Breakfast Frittata that is loaded with plenty of veggies and is another healthful breakfast option, made even more satisfying if you add a little cheese to it.

And okay, sometimes I’ll blend a serving of spinach into a smoothie, although honestly, I’m not much of a smoothie person and typically only drink them out of necessity, like after a workout when I know I need the extra protein and can at least get in some extra nutrition by packing in the spinach as well.

But a sweet potato hash is a great, easy way to get more vegetables in early in the day that I find much more satisfying and delicious than a smoothie!

How to Make Sweet Potato Hash

This dish is super easy to throw together using ingredients you have on hand, and it’s easily adapted to other flavors or vegetables by adding in spices or using different varieties of sweet potatoes.  I used white sweet potatoes in this particular hash because it’s a fun change from the orange sweet potatoes.  But both work equally well.

I find that when I’m making a recipe like this that has quite a few different ingredients that need to be chopped or diced, it’s always best to get that out of the way first so that everything is prepped when it’s time to start cooking.

The hash starts out with just a small amount of oil used in a cast iron skillet over medium heat to cook peppers and onions just until they begin to soften.  Then the sweet potatoes and sausages are added to the pan and cooked until the sweet potatoes just begin to soften so they aren’t crunchy, but also aren’t turning to mush.  A good hash is as much about texture as flavor, I think.

The apples and rosemary really set this particular sweet potato hash apart from others because they make the hash ever so slightly on the sweet side, while still being savory.

If you make this recipe or have another healthier meal that you love to make for your family, share your photos throughout the month using #honecookingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo or your recipe to my Facebook page!

And please let me know if you have any questions about the recipe or the monthly cooking challenge!

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples

Sweet Potato Hash with Sausage & Apples is a good-for-you delicious, easy breakfast recipe to help you eat healthy in the new year!  I eat it because it’s yummy, filling and a great start to my day, but it has the added benefit of being paleo, gluten-free, and Whole30 compliant!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other healthy oil like coconut or avocado)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced, with stem, seeds, and membrane removed
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 small to medium white sweet potatoes (or other variety of sweet potato)
  • 3 chicken & apple sausages, diced (I like Aidell's fully cooked Chicken & Apple Sausages)
  • 1 large apple, diced (McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious are all good)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add the oil and wait until it is hot, then add the pepper and onion to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, just until they are beginning to soften.

  2. Add the sweet potatoes and sausages and cook, stirring frequently, for 10-12 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are beginning to soften and the sausage starts to brown a bit.

  3. Add the apples to the skillet with the rest of the hash and toss to combine, stirring frequently and continuing to cook for another 3-5 minutes, just until the apples are beginning to soften.

  4. Season with salt & pepper, to taste, and sprinkle with the fresh chopped rosemary, stirring everything to combine just before serving.  

Did you make this recipe as part of the monthly cooking challenge?  Tag @houseofnasheats on Instagram and hashtag it #honecookingchallenge.

STILL HUNGRY? GET MORE GREAT FOOD IDEAS AND NEVER MISS A RECIPE BY FOLLOWING HOUSE OF NASH EATS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE INSPIRATION!

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I enjoy hearing from you!  If you have tried this recipe or any others on my site, leave me a comment and a rating and I will do my best to respond!

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H.O.N.E. Cooking Challenge https://houseofnasheats.com/hone-cooking-challenge/ https://houseofnasheats.com/hone-cooking-challenge/#respond Wed, 03 Jan 2018 12:00:19 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5904 A new monthly challenge series designed to help home cooks hone their skills in the kitchen by trying new recipes and techniques or using new or less familiar ingredients!

Last year, one of my favorite bloggers, Sally, from Sally’s Baking Addiction, came up with an idea for a monthly baking challenge that I found incredibly inspiring and fun.  I looked forward to her challenge posts each month and thought that this year I would institute something similar on House of Nash Eats, but with a...

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A new monthly challenge series designed to help home cooks hone their skills in the kitchen by trying new recipes and techniques or using new or less familiar ingredients!

Last year, one of my favorite bloggers, Sally, from Sally’s Baking Addiction, came up with an idea for a monthly baking challenge that I found incredibly inspiring and fun.  I looked forward to her challenge posts each month and thought that this year I would institute something similar on House of Nash Eats, but with a slightly more broad approach!

See, one of the reasons I got into food blogging in the first place, along with sharing our favorite family recipes, was to create a space to challenge myself in the kitchen by attempting techniques or cuisines that were new to me or using ingredients that I might not have otherwise used much before.

In short, I wanted to hone my skills as a home cook.  And it seems like many of you do too based on feedback I have received in emails, comments, and in conversations I’ve had with many of you on social media!

As a stroke of fortuitous luck that was totally unplanned, it just so happens that the blog name that I chose back when I started this blog has a built in acronym that is just perfect for a monthly cooking challenge right along the lines of honing our skills in the kitchen.

I mean, how can I not do a new series with a challenge element along those lines?!

What You Need to Know:

  • Early each month, I plan to post a new recipe along with a topic or theme for the month.
  • I would love to see what you make during the month based around the topic or theme.  Some of the themes will be broader and some will be more focused, but I would really love to see what YOU come up with and hear how it went!
  • I will provide at least one or more recipes for you to try and link to any recipes from my archives that go along with that month’s challenge, but you are welcome to make any recipe you like that fits with the theme.
  • I would love it if you want to share your photos throughout the month using the hashtag #honecookingchallenge on Instagram or email me, tweet me, or upload a photo of your recipe to my Facebook page!

Additional Info About the H.O.N.E. Monthly Cooking Challenge

I have chosen each recipe, topic, or theme to be seasonally based, fun, and designed to help all of us (myself included!) stretch our skills just a little bit, while still being totally doable and not too intimidating.

I’m really excited about this series and I hope that you will participate so we can all grow and try new things together in 2018!

Watch for the January topic and a brand new recipe to go along with that is coming your way tomorrow!

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Chicken Parmesan Sliders https://houseofnasheats.com/chicken-parmesan-sliders/ https://houseofnasheats.com/chicken-parmesan-sliders/#comments Mon, 01 Jan 2018 12:00:23 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5741 These cheesy Chicken Parmesan Sliders are an easy game day party appetizer or a fun weeknight meal that the entire family will enjoy!  Soft sandwich rolls loaded with crispy breaded chicken tenders, marinara sauce, and lots of gooey mozzarella cheese make these sliders a fun take on the classic Italian-American Chicken Parmigiana!

These cheesy Chicken Parmesan Sliders are an easy game day party appetizer or a fun weeknight meal that the entire family will enjoy!  Soft sandwich rolls loaded with crispy breaded chicken tenders, marinara sauce, and lots of gooey mozzarella cheese make these sliders a fun take on the classic Italian-American Chicken Parmigiana! Happy New Year! ...

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These cheesy Chicken Parmesan Sliders are an easy game day party appetizer or a fun weeknight meal that the entire family will enjoy!  Soft sandwich rolls loaded with crispy breaded chicken tenders, marinara sauce, and lots of gooey mozzarella cheese make these sliders a fun take on the classic Italian-American Chicken Parmigiana!

These cheesy Chicken Parmesan Sliders are an easy game day party appetizer or a fun weeknight meal that the entire family will enjoy!  Soft sandwich rolls loaded with crispy breaded chicken tenders, marinara sauce, and lots of gooey mozzarella cheese make these sliders a fun take on the classic Italian-American Chicken Parmigiana!

Happy New Year!  How was your holiday?  I took a nice little break, had fun with my fam, and enjoyed a brainstorming and goal planning session for this little ol’ blog of mine! I’ve got some really fun and exciting ideas for 2018, including some fun food projects that I’ll be sharing with you shortly!

The first is a monthly collaboration I’m doing with some of my favorite food blogging friends where we will each post a different recipe around a theme and share them on the same day.  We thought we would start 2018 off right by sharing some of our favorite slider recipes so you can be ready for Game Day!

Sliders are always a favorite at parties and are perfect game day food because everybody loves a bite-size sandwich!  You can find the links to all the other sliders from the group if you scroll to the bottom of the post, but my contribution are these easy, delicious Chicken Parmesan Sliders.

Plus, chicken parmesan sliders are easy to prepare, especially if you use pre-cooked breaded chicken tenders or chicken strips from the store.  And the smell of the garlic and butter and marinara just makes your house smell so cozy and inviting!

And honestly, who doesn’t love a classic chicken parm?  All those robust, savory flavors of tomato sauce and melted cheese over tender breaded chicken?  What’s not to love?!  It’s Italian-American comfort food at its best.

The most time consuming part of making chicken parmesan sliders is the chicken itself.  You can make homemade crispy chicken tenders yourself by either frying them in oil or baking them in the oven or just buy breaded chicken tenders from your local deli at the store.  Or even get the kind in the freezer aisle and follow the package directions to heat them through before assembling these sliders.  Normally I’m not one to advocate for buying products like this from the freezer section at the store since I like to make most things from scratch, but when it comes to party planning and party food, I have a rule that simpler almost always equals better, or at least less stressful, so I will often make an exception.

Last Halloween for our annual party we made multiple batches of different kinds of sliders and a similar batch of marinara and meatball sliders were one of the first things to go.  It’s hard to say which I like better – the chicken parm or meatball version – but really the only difference is swapping out the breaded chicken tenders for cooked Italian meatballs.  Either way these are definitely a winner!

How to Make Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Just slice a bag of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls in half horizontally without separating the rolls so you just have one large top and bottom section to work with.  Then arrange the fully cooked breaded chicken tenders on top, spoon a little marinara over them, and sprinkle with a generous helping of shredded mozzarella cheese before placing the remaining top section of rolls on top.

A quick and easy garlicky herby parmesan butter sauce gets brushed over the tops of the rolls, then they get covered in foil and baked for about 20 minutes until hot all the way through, removing the foil halfway through so the tops of the buns have a chance to get nice and brown.

Slice apart the sliders and serve them up hot for your hungry crowd!  Depending on how many people are coming for the party, you can make a double batch of these or choose another slider option so that guests have a couple to choose from!

Chicken Parmesan Sliders

These cheesy Chicken Parmesan Sliders are an easy game day party appetizer or a fun weeknight meal that the entire family will enjoy!  Soft sandwich rolls loaded with crispy breaded chicken tenders, marinara sauce, and lots of gooey mozzarella cheese make these sliders a fun take on the classic Italian-American Chicken Parmigiana!

  • 1 (12 count) package King's Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls
  • 1 pound crispy breaded chicken strips
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  1. Cook the chicken strips if frozen or preparing from scratch.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Slice the rolls in half horizontally without separating.  Place the bottom halves of the rolls into a 9×13-inch baking dish.

  3. Arrange the chicken on top of the roll bottoms, then spoon the marinara sauce evenly over the chicken.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and half of the Parmesan.  Top the sliders with the remaining halves of the rolls.

  4. In a small bowl, combine the butter, Italian seasoning, and remaining Parmesan cheese.  Brush over the tops of the rolls, then cover the pan with foil and place in the oven.

  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes uncovered until the tops of the sliders and deep golden brown and the sliders are hot throughout with the cheese completely melted.  

  6. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into individual slicers and serving.

STILL HUNGRY? GET MORE GREAT FOOD IDEAS AND NEVER MISS A RECIPE BY FOLLOWING HOUSE OF NASH EATS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE INSPIRATION!

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I enjoy hearing from you!  If you have tried this recipe or any others on my site, leave me a comment and a rating and I will do my best to respond!

Be sure to check out all the other amazing Game Day Slider ideas shared by some of my favorite food blogging friends today!

Southwest Chipotle Burger Sliders
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Sliders
Jalapeño Popper Turkey Burger Sliders
Asian Chili & Garlic Pork Sliders
Buffalo Chicken Sliders
Club Sandwich Sliders
Easy French Dip Sliders
Monte Cristo Sliders
Hawaiian Pizza Sliders
Philly Cheesesteak Sliders
Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Sliders
Pizza Sliders
Baked Hot Pastrami Sliders

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Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb https://houseofnasheats.com/rosemary-garlic-oven-roasted-rack-of-lamb/ https://houseofnasheats.com/rosemary-garlic-oven-roasted-rack-of-lamb/#comments Sun, 24 Dec 2017 07:12:02 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5742 Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb

This Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb is a perfect centerpiece for an elegant holiday dinner without requiring any fussy or difficult skills!  Juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked to a medium-rare with a crusty exterior made with garlic, herbs, and lemon zest, this is one of the best cuts of lamb and makes...

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Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb

This Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb is a perfect centerpiece for an elegant holiday dinner without requiring any fussy or difficult skills!  Juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked to a medium-rare with a crusty exterior made with garlic, herbs, and lemon zest, this is one of the best cuts of lamb and makes an easy and impressive main dish for entertaining!

A perfectly cooked, medium-rare oven roasted rack of lamb is mouth-wateringly delicious.  The individually carved lamb chops are juicy, rosy and so rich and tender.  They present beautifully, either plated individually and served to guests or delivered up family style on a carving board or serving platter at the table.

An important thing to remember with lamb is that the flavor of the meat itself is so good that you don’t want to go overboard with the seasonings and herbs.  They are intended to compliment and highlight the flavor of the lamb, rather than overpower and dominate it.

Carved into individual chops, one rack of lamb perfectly portions itself into two chops per person so it’s just right for four people.  And if you have more people at your table, you can easily roast multiple racks of lamb at the same time, then stand them against each other with the ribs crossing for an even more impressive display.

Roasted rack of lamb is a great alternative for Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day or Easter dinner.  But honestly, it’s probably easier than most of the more traditional alternatives!  And really, why wait for a holiday when rack of lamb is easy enough to be prepared any night of the week?

Lamb isn’t nearly as popular in the United States as other meat options, but it really should be!  It is generally quick and easy to prepare and really versatile!  If you haven’t cooked lamb at home before, give this a try and let me know what you think!

What is Rack of Lamb?

A rack of lamb is one of the best cuts of lamb that comes from the ribs.  It’s such a wonderful cut of meat that it makes serving a restaurant quality meal at home almost entirely effortless, especially if you buy your rack of lamb already frenched for you.

Frenching is a technique where the rib bones are exposed by cutting away the fat and sinew covering them, and most of the lamb that you will find in many American grocery stores will already come frenched, or you can ask a butcher to do it for you.  But if you want to French a rack of lamb yourself, this tutorial from Simply Recipes has great step-by-step photos to explain the process.

Rack of Lamb Marinade

You can make the herb seasoning ahead of time and marinate the lamb overnight if you would like, or just spread it over the meaty portion of the lamb and let it sit while the lamb comes to room temperature for an hour before roasting.

I like to keep it simple with just olive oil, fresh rosemary and thyme, some cloves of garlic, and the zest of one lemon.

What to Serve with Rack of Lamb

When planning what to serve with rack of lamb, keep in mind that the main dish itself is rich on its own.  Because of that, I like to serve it with vegetables like oven roasted asparagus or the honey steamed broccolini from this post.  It’s also great with a perfect salt crusted baked potato and a side salad like this wonderful persimmon, pomegranate, and spinach salad.

Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb

This Rosemary & Garlic Oven Roasted Rack of Lamb is a perfect centerpiece for an elegant holiday dinner without requiring any fussy or difficult skills!  Juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked to a medium-rare with a crusty exterior made with garlic, herbs, and lemon zest, this is one of the best cuts of lamb and makes an easy and impressive main dish for entertaining!

  • 1 rack of lamb (typically 8 to 9 ribs)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Remove the rack of lamb from the refrigerator and place in a baking dish.  Season both sides of the lamb generously with salt and pepper.

  2. In a food processor, combine the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic cloves and lemon zest and pulse until finely chopped.  This can be done by hand by finely chopping the garlic and herbs, then stirring into the oil in a small bowl if you do not have a food processor.  

  3. Rub the marinade over the seasoned lamb and allow to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting so that it will cook evenly. [See Recipe Notes]

  4. Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Place the lamb with the fat side up on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes before rotating the baking sheet to ensure even cooking and roasting for another 10 minutes for medium-rare meat or 15 minutes for medium doneness (although in my opinion, lamb should is best served medium-rare).

  5. Transfer the roasted rack of lamb to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute before slicing into individual chops for serving.  Use a sharp knife to slice between the bones, then serve immediately.

Alternatively, you can seal in a ziploc bag and return to the fridge to marinate for up to a day.  If refrigerating, be sure to allow the lamb to sit outside of the fridge for an hour to come up to room temperature before roasting.

When roasting meat in the oven, it’s very important that the temperature be correct to help gauge cooking times.  If the oven is too warm or too cool, it can make a big difference in the doneness of the meat.  A simple oven thermometer can help you check to be sure your oven temperature is running true.

STILL HUNGRY? GET MORE GREAT FOOD IDEAS AND NEVER MISS A RECIPE BY FOLLOWING HOUSE OF NASH EATS ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MORE INSPIRATION!

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Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad https://houseofnasheats.com/persimmon-pomegranate-and-spinach-salad/ https://houseofnasheats.com/persimmon-pomegranate-and-spinach-salad/#comments Tue, 19 Dec 2017 14:49:22 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5710 This festive Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad with a Maple Citrus Vinaigrette is easy to make and perfect for holiday dinners, using fresh produce available from late fall through winter.

This festive Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad with a Maple Citrus Vinaigrette is easy to make and perfect for holiday dinners, using fresh produce available from late fall through winter. Despite my tendency to go a little crazy with Christmas baking, I actually do try to keep things somewhat balanced and healthy around the holidays...

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This festive Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad with a Maple Citrus Vinaigrette is easy to make and perfect for holiday dinners, using fresh produce available from late fall through winter.

This festive Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad with a Maple Citrus Vinaigrette is easy to make and perfect for holiday dinners, using fresh produce available from late fall through winter.

Despite my tendency to go a little crazy with Christmas baking, I actually do try to keep things somewhat balanced and healthy around the holidays by making sure we eat a variety of seasonal produce.  Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean there aren’t great fruits and vegetables to be found!

Some of our favorites include citrus fruit like grapefruit and oranges, along with pears that are also in season during the winter.  Pomegranates and persimmons ripen and are perfect for eating during the winter months as well, making them an obvious choice for a winter salad.

I love a good spinach salad, especially when paired with an easy, delicious homemade dressing.  Spinach is one of those things that I almost always have in my fridge because I add it to smoothies or eggs on a regular basis, or I will use it to throw together easy salads like this one to serve with dinner.

This beautiful, vibrant salad is perfect for a holiday dinner with the dark green spinach leaves and purplish red pomegranate seeds, and rich orange hues of sliced fuyu persimmon mixed in.

Just be sure when shopping for your ingredients at the store that you grab the Fuyu type of persimmon, not the bigger, bitter Hachiya that are really only used for baking.  Hachiya are sort of acorn-shaped with a pointed bottom and are ripe when they are very soft, to the point of sometimes being described as gelatinous.

Fuyu persimmons, on the other hand, can be eaten out of hand or sliced into a salad like this when they are still hard or just slightly soft.  They have a mild, sweet flavor and smooth texture.  Fuyu persimmons are smaller and squat, with a flat bottom, and you can eat the entire thing peel and all, with the exception of the leaves on top that you slice off or any of the large black seeds that you might find inside.

Pomegranates are one of my girls’ favorite treats and they always beg for them whenever we go to the grocery store.  I love to use them in salads like this one or another favorite winter salad made with pears, pomegranate, and swiss cheese with a homemade poppy seed dressing over romaine lettuce.

The easiest, cleanest way that I have found to get the seeds (or arils) out is by slicing off the very top, then scoring down the sides of the pomegranate where you can see the thicker, white lines that divide it into segments.  Once scored, the pomegranate can be sort of peeled open like a flower, exposing the seeds for easy removal like you can see in these pictures.

My girls will happily sit and pick at a pomegranate opened up like this until they have devoured every last aril!  But it’s also easy enough for me to just pop the seeds out without getting juice everywhere so that I can add them to salads or yogurt or whatever.

The maple citrus vinaigrette is absolutely wonderful and compliments the other flavors of this persimmon, pomegranate, and spinach salad perfectly.  The pinch of cinnamon is absolutely delicious and gives the dressing that little something extra that makes it feel even more festive.  But I have also made this dressing with cumin instead of cinnamon, and that’s delicious as well.

Be sure to follow House of Nash Eats on Facebook for more daily recipe inspiration!

Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad with Maple Citrus Vinaigrette

This festive Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad with a Maple Citrus Vinaigrette is easy to make and perfect for holiday dinners, using fresh produce available from late fall through winter.

For the Salad

  • 4-5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1-2 Fuyu persimmons, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 a large pomegranate)
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

For the Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Place the spinach, persimmons, pomegranate seeds, pecans and red onions in a large bowl.

  2. In a small jar, combine the orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup, lime juice, cinnamon, olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.  Seal tightly with a lid, then shake well until combined.

  3. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, then toss together gently.  Alternatively, you could arrange the salad ingredients on four individual plates and serve the dressing on the side. 

For a different but equally delicious flavor profile, try swapping cumin for the cinnamon.  It’s just a pinch of either ingredient but it makes a big difference in taste.  Both are wonderful with the maple and citrus flavors of the vinaigrette.

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Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods https://houseofnasheats.com/chocolate-covered-pretzel-rods/ https://houseofnasheats.com/chocolate-covered-pretzel-rods/#comments Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:00:42 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5677 Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods are a sweet and salty treat that is easily customizable for any holiday or occasion and fun for kids to help make too! These Christmas chocolate covered pretzel rods are going to be packaged up and shared as gifts with my girls’ school friends this year! Chocolate covered pretzels rods are...

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Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods are a sweet and salty treat that is easily customizable for any holiday or occasion and fun for kids to help make too! These Christmas chocolate covered pretzel rods are going to be packaged up and shared as gifts with my girls’ school friends this year!

Chocolate covered pretzels rods are a great idea for any holiday, not just Christmas.  All it takes are holiday-themed sprinkles or colorful candy melts and you’ve got a perfectly cute and delicious treat appropriate for Valentine’s Day or Halloween or the 4th of July!  You can even call them chocolate covered pretzel “wands” for Halloween or “sparklers” for the 4th of July!

What Type of Chocolate to Use for Chocolate Covered Pretzels

For something like chocolate covered pretzels, you can use almost any kind of chocolate or chocolate-like products that are available such as colored candy melts or almond bark.  I might have gone with red or green candy melts for these Christmas chocolate covered pretzels if I didn’t already have pounds (literally bricks and bags) of semisweet and white chocolate on hand that was passed on to me by my mother-in-law who had it leftover from a previous candy-making endeavor and wasn’t planning on using it.

Pounds of leftover chocolate you say?  Yes I can definitely find a use for that!

While candy melts work great for these treats, my honest preference is to use real, actual chocolate as the dipping base and then maybe use colored candy melts to drizzle over top.  When a treat is as simple as just pretzels and melted chocolate, I like to get the best quality chocolate I can find for a decent price.

I almost always source my chocolate from Trader Joe’s, which sells big bars of it for a very reasonable price.  But you can buy any size bars of chocolate from your favorite grocery store or even order chocolate on Amazon.

The only thing I do NOT like to use for chocolate covered pretzel rods are chocolate chips, which have ingredients added that prevent them from melting the same as a bar of chocolate or candy melts.  It’s doable and I’ve used the trick of melting them with a little shortening, but I don’t like it as well as the other options mentioned above.  Melted chocolate chips also don’t set up as hard as real chocolate either, which can also be problematic and just doesn’t result in as good of a finished product for these treats.

Melting Chocolate in a Crock Pot

I love melting chocolate in a crock pot because I can melt different types of chocolate at the same time.  Plus, it stays melted while I’m working with it.  The trickiest part is making sure not to get any water in any of the jars of chocolate, since it will cause the chocolate to seize up.

First, fill clean, tall, heat-safe jars with chopped chocolate or candy melts.  Then set them into the crock pot and carefully fill the crock pot with hot water until it’s about halfway up the sides of the jars.

Turn the crock pot on high and let the chocolate sit for about 30 minutes without covering.  You can use a long handled spoon to stir the chocolate as it melts.  I kept adding chopped chocolate to the already melted chocolate since a full jar of solid chopped chocolate only turns out to be half-full once the chocolate is melted.

Once the chocolate is melted, turn the temperature on the crock pot down to low or warm.  If the water stays too hot and you are working with white chocolate, it can actually cause the chocolate to seize.

You can speed up the process by melting the chocolate in the double boiler or with short 20 seconds bursts of heat in the microwave and then just transferring to the crock pot filled partway with hot water to keep the chocolate warm while working with it.

I’ve done this with white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and semisweet chocolate, and I’ve heard that you can also melt peanut butter chips this way and use those as a coating too.  You can either leave the jars in the slow cooker and dip that way, or remove the jars as you need them and wipe them off with a towel so you don’t drip water.

Just make sure not to get any water in your other jars of chocolate if you are taking a jar out to work with it!

The biggest downside to this approach is that you will end up with jars that are partially filled with melted chocolate but not enough to dip more pretzels.  If you plan ahead, you can just pour any remaining melted chocolate over nuts or drizzle over popcorn or use it coat regular-size pretzels knots.

To clean the jars, just use a rubber spatula to get most of the chocolate out and then stick them in the dishwasher.

How to Make Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

There isn’t much technique to this activity, but your success can hinge on using a tall enough container for dipping the pretzel rods.  You want something tall and narrow like a glass cup or straight-sided mason jar, rather than a bowl.

The only problem with this approach is that if you are dipping lots and lots of pretzels, the level of the chocolate will go down fairly quickly.  I found it was easiest for melt enough chocolate to fill up one jar, then have more melted chocolate on hand to refill the jar as needed as the level went down.  Hence, the multiple jars of the same types of chocolate in the pictures of the crock pot below.  While we worked with one jar, the other held chopped chocolate that was in the process of melting down.

Be sure to shake excess chocolate off each pretzel before transferring them to a parchment lined baking sheet.  This is actually the most tedious part of the process and the one I had to help my 3 year old with since she couldn’t quite get enough of the chocolate off to prevent puddles from forming around the pretzel rods once they were laid flat on the sheet for decorating.  My 6 year old got the hang of it quickly though!

The pretzels set up just fine at room temperature, although to speed up the process and clear some space since we were making A LOT of chocolate covered pretzel rods to give as gifts, I moved trays out to our cold garage while we worked, which made them set up even faster.

How to Store Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Since we were planning to give these away as gifts for my daughters’ first grade and preschool classes and were going out of town for a wedding the weekend before, we had to make them a few days in advance of their parties.

Like any pretzels, if left out very long, chocolate covered pretzels can become stale.  But storing or packaging them can help prevent or at least delay that from happening to your beautifully decorated chocolate covered pretzel rods.

The easiest way is to store them in an airtight container at room temperature.  Provided everything is fresh to begin with and the container is clean, dry, and has a tight seal, partially covered pretzel rods like the ones we made can stay fresh for about 2-3 weeks.  If you are doing regular knotted pretzels and covering them entirely in chocolate, they will last even longer!

If you want an even more in depth look at how to properly temper chocolate (which I don’t typically bother to do when making chocolate covered pretzel rods, although it certainly wouldn’t hurt!), then check out this post about making chocolate covered strawberries.

Be sure to follow House of Nash Eats on Facebook for more daily recipe inspiration!

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods are a sweet and salty treat that is easily customizable for any holiday or occasion and fun for kids to help make too! Perfect for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, the 4th of July, Halloween, or almost any occasion!

  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of pretzel rods
  • 16 ounces chopped milk, semisweet, dark or white chocolate or candy melts
  • Sprinkles, mini M&M's, coconut, toffee bits, chopped nuts, etc.
  1. Melt the chocolate by filling clean, tall heat safe jars with chopped chocolate or candy melts.  Set them into the crock pot and carefully fill the crock pot with hot water until it’s about halfway up the sides of the jars, being careful not to get any water into the jars with the chocolate at any time.

  2. Set the crock pot temperature to high and let the chocolate sit for about 30 minutes without covering. Use a long handled spoon to stir the chocolate as it melts.

  3. Once the chocolate is melted, turn the temperature on the crock pot down to low or warm. 

  4. Dip pretzel rods into the melted chocolate, shaking off any excess chocolate before transferring them to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with whatever toppings you desire before the chocolate has a chance to set, then let the chocolate fully harden before storing in an airtight container.

You can also speed up the process by melting the chocolate in the double boiler or with short 20 seconds bursts of heat in the microwave and then just transferring to the crock pot filled partway with hot water to keep the chocolate warm while working with it.

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Homemade White Hot Chocolate https://houseofnasheats.com/homemade-white-hot-chocolate/ https://houseofnasheats.com/homemade-white-hot-chocolate/#comments Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:36:20 +0000 https://houseofnasheats.com/?p=5661 Say hello to the sweetest, creamiest way to warm up this winter!  A delicious mug of Homemade White Hot Chocolate is the tastiest treat and perfect for sipping when temperatures drop and the weather outside is frightful!

Say hello to the sweetest, creamiest way to warm up this winter!  A delicious mug of Homemade White Hot Chocolate is a tasty treat and perfect for sipping when temperatures drop and the weather outside is frightful! Last December I shared a recipe for European-Style Hot Chocolate, which is absolutely amazing and delicious in its...

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Say hello to the sweetest, creamiest way to warm up this winter!  A delicious mug of Homemade White Hot Chocolate is the tastiest treat and perfect for sipping when temperatures drop and the weather outside is frightful!

Say hello to the sweetest, creamiest way to warm up this winter!  A delicious mug of Homemade White Hot Chocolate is a tasty treat and perfect for sipping when temperatures drop and the weather outside is frightful!

Last December I shared a recipe for European-Style Hot Chocolate, which is absolutely amazing and delicious in its own right.  But this year I wanted something a little bit different while still being every bit as warm and rich and satisfying.

This homemade white hot chocolate definitely fits the bill!  Plus, it’s ridiculously easy to make with only 3 ingredients – milk, chopped white chocolate, and vanilla.  And okay, 4 ingredients really, if you count a pinch of salt.

I’m not much of a hot chocolate for breakfast kind of person, but if that’s your jam, then go for it!  I think this white hot chocolate is perfect with a toffee oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.  It’s also a delicious alternative for anyone who still has their doubts about homemade eggnog (but really people, if you haven’t made eggnog from scratch yet you need to get on that because it will change your life).

Totally not food related, but is anyone else out there in love with the new Christmas album from Sia?  I’m obsessing over her songs “Underneath the Christmas Lights” (so hauntingly beautiful) and “Snowman” (can’t stop/won’t stop listening to it).  And “Santa’s Coming for Us” has made it’s way onto my running playlist because it’s just so catchy and upbeat!

I had the entire album playing on repeat while I made and photographed this batch of white hot chocolate while both girls were at school the other day and it was the most relaxing morning I’ve enjoyed in ages.  I just reheated the leftover for the girls when they got home and they were both in heaven.

How to Make Homemade White Hot Chocolate

It literally takes all of 5-10 minutes to stir up a batch of homemade white hot chocolate.  A single batch is perfect for 4 good-size mugs, but it’s easy to do just a half batch for two or double, triple, or quadruple batches for a crowd!

All you have to do is just heat some milk, white chocolate and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan over low-heat, whisking occasionally to help the white chocolate melt and combine with the milk.  Whole milk is my favorite when it comes to a cup of hot chocolate, but you can really get away with whatever you like from 2% or even skim to half-and-half or a combination of milk and cream for an even more decadent treat.

Since the ingredient list is so short and since real white chocolate has a unique flavor, I think it’s important to use good quality white chocolate here, not just candy melts, so a true white chocolate flavor can come through.  Ghirardelli and Guittard both make very good white chocolate chips, or you could chop up a Lindt chocolate bar or Lindor white chocolate truffles.

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate Variation

I have made this recipe as both plain white hot chocolate and peppermint white hot chocolate and honestly, I can’t decide which I like best!  That tiny addition of a mere 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract makes a big flavor impact.

Honestly, it’s almost impossible to resist a mug of white hot chocolate garnished with a peppermint stick or marshmallows and crushed candy cane sprinkled on top!

You could also top this off with whipped cream and white chocolate shavings or white chocolate chips, or use festive red, green or white sprinkles if you opt not to go the peppermint route.

Either way, give this recipe a try and enjoy some white hot chocolate tonight!

 

White Hot Chocolate

Say hello to the sweetest, creamiest way to warm up this winter!  A delicious mug of Homemade White Hot Chocolate is a tasty treat and perfect for sipping when temperatures drop and the weather outside is frightful!

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (optional)
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, white chocolate, vanilla and salt over medium-low heat.  

  2. Heat, whisking frequently, until the chocolate is completely melted, but do not let the mixture come to a boil.  Remove from heat and stir in peppermint extract, if using.

  3. Pour into mugs and serve with marshmallows, whipped cream, white chocolate shavings, crushed candy canes or sprinkles.

Recipe adapted slightly from The Recipe Critic.

Love peppermint?  Be sure to try some of my other favorite peppermint recipes like these Peppermint Macarons!

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