White Chicken Chili

Do you ever hear about something someone else is having for dinner and immediately wish you were invited? That’s exactly what happened to me when I was reading a nightly “What’s for Dinner” post on a message board that I frequent. Someone said they were having White Chicken Chili for dinner and I.could.not. get it out of my mind. Luckily I have a recipe I’ve been making for years that is easy enough to throw together on a whim.

This recipe is adapted from a recipe my aunt gave me. It happens to be dairy free (for my allergy cousin :)) but it’s still somehow creamy and delicious. The seasoned split chicken breast add a nice layer of flavor and spice level in the chili is completely adjustable.  The ingredient list/directions may seem long, but it’s actually really easy to put together. Jesse wound up working late and when we spoke on the phone and I told him I had a pot of this chili on this stove he got super pumped. I like to think it inspired him to hurry up and finish his work so he could get home and eat!

 

 

Quinoa, Sausage, and Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

First I want to thank everyone that entered my Thankful Giveaway. I announced the winner yesterday, but it was so much fun I think I might just have another one before the holidays. 🙂 I also have to admit that there was a slight ulterior motive to the entry question I asked – I’m going to be doing another week of Christmas cookies and I wanted to feel out some new ideas from readers. Maybe you’ll see one of your favorites in the coming weeks!

I know you’re probably feeling the itch to move on to those holiday sweets and treats, and obviously so am I – but I have one last fall meal that I just have to share. This stuffed acorn squash is so warm, filling, and satisfying. After a friend of mine posted a picture of her quinoa stuffed squash on facebook a few weeks ago, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. So I asked her to direct me to the recipe and I adapted it (for my meat lovin’ man) from there.  I absolutely loved the crunch from the pecans, saltiness from the feta, and subtle sweetness from the squash. Jesse loved that I added the chicken sausage, but if you’re looking for a meatless meal, you could skip the sausage and just use the quinoa, feta, and pecans.

 

Best Fajita Marinade

Whew!! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. As I mentioned in my last post, my in-laws flew all the way from Ohio to visit us here in China. Never having been to China (as I think is the case for most Americans!), they wanted to do lots of sightseeing. During their 2 week visit we did a lot of traveling. First we flew to Hong Kong, where we walked Nathan Road, road to the top of the peak, shopped till we dropped at the Ladies Market in Mongkok, and just generally wore out the bottoms of our shoes. After Hong Kong we had just 2 days of rest in Suzhou before hopping on a high-speed train to Beijing. In Beijing we climbed the Great Wall, walked in THE Water Cube, toured the Forbidden City, walked Tiananmen Square, and, of course, ate the most delicious noodles ever!

By the time we got back to Suzhou we had just enough time to squeeze in one last bit of excitement – by riding the scooters to Guanqian during rush hour. If you know Suzhou, you know how crazy that is! Needless to say, I’m exhausted! I *almost* didn’t even have the energy to write this post, but I had to because I couldn’t wait any longer to share this recipe!

I first made this marinade last month and I was blown away by the flavor! My search for the best fajita marinade is now over. This keeps the meat (chicken or steak)  juicy and provides just the right amount of heat and citrus. The key/secret to this marinade is the zest. Donna, from Apron Springs, wrote up a great post about it so if you’re interested in reading about why she chose zest over juice, check it out!

 

Here are a few more great marinade/sauce ideas to add variety to your chicken/fish/beef!
Southwest Marinade
Lemon Greek Chicken
Grilled Marinated Mahi Mahi

Rigatoni with Chicken, Bacon, and Mushrooms

It’s recipe swap time again! I was excited to see that I was assigned Sarah’s blog for a few reasons. First, Sarah runs the recipe swap! Second, she’s been blogging for over 5 years, so she has lots to choose from. Third, we share a deep love for pasta. Her blog is loaded with delicious pasta recipes, so many that I had a really hard time narrowing it down to just one. In the end I went with what I knew would make a lot and be a crowd pleaser because we have visitors in town!

Jesse’s parents made the long journey to China last week and we have gone non-stop since they arrived. They have done a pretty great job trying (and liking!) lots of new foods, but after 4 days in Hong Kong, I knew they would appreciate something familiar. I made only a few slight changes to this recipe (added garlic and a few minor direction changes). I’m happy to say, they were huge fans of this pasta and so was I (no surprise there).



 

Also, check out what everyone else made for the swap!