I am so excited to share with you my assigned blogger for this month’s Secret Recipe Club! She’s a stone’s throw away living in Maryland with her hubby, Tom, and 2 furbaby kitties, “Itty” and “Gidget”! (“Gidget”, who seems to have a mind of her own, should meet our “Gilbert”! They would have quite a conversation!) Her name is Nichole, (nice to meet you, Nichole!), and as soon as I started reading her “about me” page, I instantly smiled, as she sounds so much like me that we could be twins! Nichole started her blog, “Cookaholic Wife ~ Cook, Bake, Enjoy” about 5 years ago, and has shared quite a wonderful collection of recipes to have your mouth watering instantly! She has a wicked sense of humor, (especially read the story about her mom’s “lack of cooking skills!“), – and the main thing that makes her happy is – “feeding other people”. I can sooo relate to a few of these! 😉
I had a blast poking through her recipes, but it took me forever to find one! Not because I couldn’t find one that I liked, but because I loved reading her blog and spent hours perusing and enjoying before I even knew it! 😀 And you will, too, so please do pop over and check it out! 😀 I think she has a wonderful talent for writing as well as cooking, and I really wish I could’ve done her proud and made the recipe she’s become famous for, Nichole’s Famous Crab Dip , which is actually the first thing she ever made! But when I was about 19, I freakishly and suddenly became deathly allergic to all crustaceans. I’m STILL mad about that! SO not fair. (But I’ll keep it in mind and try it out for company sometime, I promise!! 😉 )
Obviously, you know what we (me, and my hubby who’s name is Tom, too!) chose, her Arroz con Pollo, but these were also at the top of the list! 😀
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Caramelized Onion Dip ~ A fantastic and easy recipe that’s much healthier than those horrid little packets (and uses Greek yogurt!) that you’ll want to keep in mind for all the holidays and football parties coming up!
Asian Beef Bites ~ This is just brilliant! What a clever idea to serve a classic Asian beef dish in a new inventive way as an appetizer!
Orange Creamsicle Martini ~ She had me at martini. I mean orange creamsicle. 😉 One of my favorite flavors and this looks delicious!
Apple Butter ~ Perfect for the holidays coming up! This makes wonderful gifts so be sure to save this one.
Chicken & Dumplings ~ An easy, comforting recipe with homemade dumplings instead of so many out there that use commercial biscuits!
Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna ~ This looks fabulous, and a must try soon for me, how about you?
Taco Calzones ~ I love this idea of concealing taco meat into a nice neat little package of dough! GREAT appetizer for Sunday Football Parties, too!
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies ~ These would be so much fun at Thanksgiving for the kids! (And us big kids, as well!) 😉
~ And this is just a small sample of what Nichole’s blog has to offer! ~
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But now, on to what we chose for supper! 😀
Right off the bat, there was going to have to be one tiny change to her recipe, and that was going to be either upping the chicken breasts to 4 instead of 3, or adding some Spanish or Mexican Chorizo to the dish so that we would be able to get more servings and enjoy this for several days! (I knew this was going to be good, and my hubby is a hearty eater. Need I explain? 😉 😀 )
Another small change would be to follow Nichole’s own advice and up the heat and spice a bit. The chorizo would definitely help a little in that department, along with a few medium to hot peppers I had in the freezer from my garden, and then just a bit more spice maybe. 😉 But no biggie. 😉 This sounded great and I knew we would enjoy it very much!
And we most certainly did! 😀 I ended up sticking with just 3 chicken breasts because they were JURASSIC-sized, and instead added some Mexican Chorizo links into the mix instead! It was a GORGEOUS, surprisingly warm day for this time of year, (in the 80’s!), so I decided to take full advantage and just grill them! I’m so glad that I did because it was a slice of heaven outside! I seasoned them up nicely on both sides and they turned out so pretty! 😀
I made the rice separately, and used regular rice instead of instant. (My hubby, A.K.A. “Mr. Picky Pants”, has a strange aversion to instant rice. So regular had to be made.) But this actually worked out beautifully since I was grilling the meats instead anyways. I added her original spices to the rice to add more flavor, as well as everything else for the rice part except the peas when I cooked it. I then just stirred in the peas, frozen, as well as some extra bacon after the rice was done, and let it sit, covered, until heated through to make sure the peas kept their “pop” and didn’t get mushy. (Mushy peas are my aversion.) 😉 And the rice turned out fantastic! I just let it sit, covered, while grilling and it stayed pretty warm. I placed my cast iron skillet on the grill to heat it up, and when everything was done, I added everything to the warmed skillet and put a lid on it and let it rest. The heat from the meats and warmth from the cast iron skillet reheated the rice perfectly.
(*I used a combination of peppers including half of a green and yellow striped bell pepper, half of an orange bell pepper, a red Cubanelle, and 2 hot green chili peppers.)
This was so easy to make and had GREAT flavor! Adding the chorizo and kicking up the rice was just the ticket. 😉
This was THE PERFECT meal on a hot and sunny autumn day! Even the colors looked like fall! 😀
You all are really going to enjoy this and this dish will be made in our home time and time again! It was really delicious! One of those meals that you remember long after the leftovers are gone and are craving more! 😉 I only took a few liberties with this one as per Nichole’s own suggestions and advice, but please do see her original recipe because she has an easier version that uses instant rice that you might be interested in! 😀 Nothing wrong with a little extra help in the kitchen, especially on a busy weeknight! 😉
And that’s it folks for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal! I truly hope you enjoyed and that you try this amazing recipe soon! 😀