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I love a recipe that I can whip up in no time and one that is versatile, something that can be in the meal plan for lunch or dinner. This chicken stuffed french bread is just that and is one of the quickest and easiest recipes (especially if you opt to use store bought and ready rotisserie chicken) I have ever made. I actually discovered this meal when searching for super simple meals that we could make while on our family vacation we took with my parents a few years ago and it was so delicious that I have been making it ever since. We skip the step of toasting in the oven as we prefer ours not hot, and with warmer months on the horizon this is the perfect solution for days when turning on the oven or standing in the kitchen for an hour doesn't sound so great:)


Chicken Stuffed French Bread

(Recipe from Life In The Lofthouse)



Ingredients


1 french bread loaf

1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (we tend to use store bought rotisserie chicken or we BBQ 3 chicken breasts and spice with a chicken or steak spice)

1½ cups Colby-Jack cheese, shredded

2 green onions, sliced thin

1 to 2 cups Ranch dressing

2 cups fresh spinach leaves (our addition)


I've tweaked the process of the recipe slightly to suite our taste but here is the original.


Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment or wax paper (we totally skip this step-we prefer ours un-heated/toasted, just prep and enjoy).


Slice the french bread in half lengthwise and both halves cut side up on prepared baking sheet. Lay the spinach leaves along the bottom half of the bread.


In a large bowl combine shredded chicken, cheese, green onions and enough ranch dressing to make mixture wet (add more or less to your taste).


Spread chicken mixture all over the bottom half of the bread (on top of the spinach leaves) and top with other half.


If toasting, bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before slicing and serving.





Can you guys tell I enjoy baking more than cooking....I'm starting to see a very obvious trend on this blog. There is no denying it, I have a sweet tooth and specifically....I'm a scone lover through and through. Put me in a bakery and give me the option-I'll pick a scone 90% of the time no matter the other baked good available. I most love to enjoy one plain (no butter, no jam no re-heating) for breakfast, though I have been known to sneak one in the middle of the day too. And these scones are extra amazing because they're going to have you feeling spring-like with the bright tartness of blueberry and lemon-happy baking!


Blueberry Lemon Scones

recipe from love&lemons-original from the cookbook Bake the Seasons


Ingredients


3/4 cup heavy cream, more for brushing

1 chamomile tea bag (I left this out)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cane sugar, plus more for sprinkling

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


If adding the chaomomile-In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the cream and chamomile tea bag. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and let steep 5 to 10 minutes. Let the cream cool.


In large bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the butter. Using your hands or a pastry cutter mix butter in until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbles. Add the egg, vanilla, and cooled cream and stir just until the dough comes together. Fold in the blueberries-we did this by hand.


Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Using your hands or a rolling pin, shape into a disk 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick (I just plopped slightly shaped and flattened handfuls right form the bowl and onto the baking sheet. Next time I will flour them as I missed a bit of the flour/dryer texture that comes from placing them on the floured surface). Cut into 8 even wedges. Arrange wedges on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with cream. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.


Bake for 20 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes), or until the tops are golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes on a rack before serving.





Hi friends! It's been SO long since I've been on here and it's definitely time I posted something to share with all of you! I hope everyone is staying healthy during these tough times and that through it all, you are able to find a reason to smile each and every day-it's important:) By sharing these delightful little cuties with you I hope that maybe they'll be just that reason. After all, right now I'm sure we could all use a little something that is fun, lighthearted and that makes us feel like a kid, the simple, happy stuff.


We made our batch of Easter almond-coconut chick macaroons today and they'll be our "something sweet" after our big meal on Sunday (and because they're fluffy and lighter, they can be enjoyed in their entirety!). They're a cinch to create, take only a few ingredients, a little bit of time and a perfect family activity. Coconut has to be one of my very absolute favorite flavours (the equal other being almond), so I was set with the intent of finding something that could combine both (a perfect taste for spring) and be our special holiday dessert. Within minutes of scrolling the pages of Pinterest for something to inspire me I came across SO many fantastic ideas but these ones were exactly what I had in mind. To make the full sized chicks as we did you will get about 4-6 (depending on your size of bodies and heads) out of a single batch of the macaroon recipe below. We doubled the recipe so that we would have extra chicks to enjoy throughout the week and it made 12.


Almond-Coconut Macaroon Chicks

(recipe for macaroons from kitchn)


3 cups sweetened (we used unsweetened), shredded coconut

4 large egg whites

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (we used almond)

1/4 teaspoon salt


Simple Icing


Confenctioners Sugar

Food colouring

Milk


Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toast coconut flakes in a pan over low and stir for deeper coconut flavor and extra-crispy macaroons (optional)-we did not. Or spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast until just barely starting to show some color-5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly before using.


Whisk egg whites, sugar, vanilla or almond extract and salt together in bowl until combined and the mixture is frothy.


Add the coconut to the mixture and stir until moistened-I found it easiest to use my hands for this. With wet hands to prevent sticking (dip just your finger tips into a bowl of water), shape the coconut mixture into desired shapes (we made large and small balls for the bodies and heads) and space them an inch or so apart on the baking sheet.


Bake the macaroons until golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes.


Let the macaroons cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or large piece of parchment paper to cool completely.



For icing mix a small amount (start with a tsp) of milk and confectioners sugar together until you make a very stiff paste (be careful to not make it too runny or it wont hold it's shape when piped). Add food colouring as needed to create your desired colours and place in a piping bag or Ziploc bag (snip corner or end of bag). Repeat this step for as many colours as you would like to use.



Pipe on the eyes and beaks for each chick and then use white simple sugar to connect the heads and bodies, and if any of the macaroons start to come apart or crack, use the same icing to fill and press back together:) Let set for about 1 hour before serving or storing in an airtight container.





Little hands hard at work on their feathered friends....





We're going to be serving ours on plates just like this for each person at the table-how sweet!



You could also pipe little legs onto the plate to add just that little bit more detail!


Happy Easter!!












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