Thursday, August 21, 2014

Asparagus, Bacon, Corn, and Sweet Potato Skillet

Asparagus, Bacon, Corn and Sweet Potato Skillet recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Tender, slightly browned sweet potatoes, salty bacon pieces, fresh corn cooked just until warm and asparagus that is tender and still just a little bit crisp are all tossed together with just a drizzle of balsamic. This was something unexpected that I pulled together for a dinner side dish a few years ago, using odds and ends from the refrigerator.

I enjoyed the sweet and salty mix of the potatoes and the bacon  combined with the crunch of the fresh vegetables. This is a great mix of textures and flavors. My kids liked this so much, my oldest asked for seconds. Seconds of a vegetable side dish? That earned this dish a spot in our regular line up.

I've served these vegetables on their own as a casual lunch and as a side dish to accompany beef, chicken, or pork. I've added the leftover vegetables to a quiche, and I've tossed them onto a salad. This is one of the most versatile vegetable dishes you can imagine.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies, gluten free and traditional recipes by Barefeet In The Kitchen
These are rich, dark chocolate brownies, filled with bites of fresh tart raspberries. Chocolate and raspberries are a spectacular pair, aren't they? Before I took the first bite, I knew that I would like these brownies, (the house smelled fantastic while they were baking) what I didn't anticipate was the intense raspberry flavor that was in every bite. I more than liked these brownies, I absolutely loved them and I'm already looking for another excuse to make them again.

I shared this batch of brownies with a friend's family and the message she sent me later still has me laughing, "Son, age 9, mouthful of brownie & something chocolate-y in his fingers: "This brownie thing is...(gulp, thoughtful gaze at the ceiling)'s PERFECTION. (Happily moans, then licks chocolate off fingers)... I heartily agree!"

I'm calling that a total win. I enjoyed a brownie on it's own and thought it was heavenly, then I topped a warm one with a scoop of vanilla ice cream: Pure chocolate raspberry heaven!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Crackling Pork Belly and a $500 GIVEAWAY!

Recipes for how to cook crackling pork belly in the oven and for pan-fried pork belly in just 15 minutes!
Crunchy, crackling pork belly has finally been introduced to my family and we have fallen for it, hook, line, and sinker! I have two mouthwatering recipes for you today AND a $500 giveaway. Be sure to read all the way through to the end to find out how you can win $500 to put towards fulfilling your Pork Bucket List dreams. I'm having a blast with my own list and I can hardly wait to see what one lucky reader is going to do with theirs!

It's fun and simple, make a list of three to five pork-related items or experiences that you've never done, that you would love to do. The National Pork Board is going to help one Barefeet In The Kitchen reader fulfill their #PorkBucketList dreams!

Wouldn't it be fun to go to a pig-pickin'? How about making your own bacon? Ever wanted to learn how to smoke meat? What town in America has the best pork tacos? How about grinding your own sausage? Have you tasted pig's ears? How about bacon candy? Have you tried pork belly?!

Prior to starting my own Pork Bucket List, I had only tasted pork belly once and I LOVED it. This is a rich, flavor packed meat and a little bit of it goes a long ways. Pork belly is much more flavorful than a traditional pork roast, with a hint of the smokiness of bacon. Tender bites of meat that almost melt in your mouth, next to crunchy, crackling skin is a fantastic combination.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Peaches and Cream French Toast Casserole

Peaches and Cream French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
This simple overnight french toast casserole with fresh peaches and a buttery, brown sugar and pecan topping is sure to make everyone smile. We love to sit down to an extra special weekend breakfast whenever we can and if I am able to prep the meal the night before, that makes my weekend morning all the better! (More sleep + less work = better mornings!)

It took me just a few minutes to slice the bread and the peaches, stir together the cream and eggs, and then tuck the dish into the refrigerator for the night. The next morning, I turned on the oven while I started the coffee. I set the cold casserole in the warm oven and sat down to sip coffee and watch cartoons with the kids; while breakfast baked and filled our house with the delicious aroma of baking peaches. I'm reminded once more how nice make-ahead breakfasts are for relaxed mornings!

Do you prefer savory over sweet? Here are a few more hearty breakfast casseroles that can be made the night before and can also be frozen for quick breakfast reheating!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Crispy Cholula Chicken

Crispy Cholula Chicken {Oven-Fried} - recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen
Juicy, flavorful chicken in a spicy, crunchy crust is possible without a frying pan or a minute spent standing in front of the stove. This oven baked chicken is made crunchy with a sprinkling of an unexpected ingredient. I remember tasting chicken breaded with corn flakes years ago, but it sure didn't taste anything like this! A reader mentioned corn flake crusted chicken to me the other day and one thing led to another. I wanted to play with that idea and it turned out amazingly well.

My family couldn't guess the ingredient in the crunchy crust, and even after I told them what it was, they still didn't believe that there were corn flakes in the recipe. I've now made this chicken three times, with boneless skinless chicken breast fillets, with boneless skinless chicken thighs, and with bone-in chicken drumsticks. The chicken turns out juicy inside and crunchy outside every single time!

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