Being unemployed and looking for jobs leaves you with a fair amount of free time. I intend to fill a lot of that time doing something highly productive: making delicious food. Since everyone can’t be here to smell/taste/generally admire my amazing cooking, I thought I’d pass along a few of my new favorite recipes!

Avocado Fries

Original recipe found here: http://circle-b-kitchen.squarespace.com/food-and-recipes/2010/7/1/avocado-fries.html

Pretty much followed the recipe as listed on the site, but since I don’t own a deep frier, I just fried them in canola oil heated in a frying pan on the stove top. These go great with either sour cream or marinara sauce on the side!

Grilled Aspargus and Cherry Tacos

Original recipe found here: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/main-dish/recipe-roasted-asparagus-and-cherry-tacos-150719

Asparagus and cherries are in season at the same time in the Pacific Northwest, so these needed to happen. I grilled the asparagus and cherries in olive oil in a cast iron pan with a handful of diced onions for flavor. I also added a bit of lime juice to top it off. So good!

Chicken Bacon Puff Pastries

I adapted this recipe from one I found online a while ago. I highly recommend adding fresh rosemary and cilantro if you can!

3-4 slices bacon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

1/2 onion chopped

~3oz cream cheese, softened

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg, beaten

Rosemary/herbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In medium skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove, drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside. Drain pan; do not wipe out.

Add olive oil to pan and add chicken and onion. Cook together until onion is tender and chicken is no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to medium bowl.

Add cream cheese and bacon to chicken mixture and mix well; if you’re adding fresh herbs, add them at this point. Roll out puff pastry to 12” square. Cut into four 6” squares. Divide  mixture among the squares and fold in half. Seal edges and press with fork. Place on cookie sheet and brush with beaten egg.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until deep golden brown. Remove to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes before serving; the filling is very hot!

Blackberry Oatmeal Bars

One of the easiest and most delicious dessert recipes I know, thanks for passing this one on Mom!

1 box yellow cake mix

2 1/2 cups oatmeal

3/4 cup butter melted

1 cup jam + 1 tbsp water (or you can substitute for fresh berries/fruit)

Mix cake mix, melted butter and oatmeal together in large bowl.  Add a layer of the oatmeal mixture (about half of it) to the bottom of a well greased pan. Spread out the jam/water mix on top and crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture on top of that. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.