Grilled Chicken Thighs

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Today is Monday. With the start of a new week and so much things that had to be done, the last thing I wanted to do was spend too much time cooking dinner. I also had absolutely no idea as to what I wanted to eat. So, what would my best option be? Grilling of course! I decided to grill Chicken Thighs, because Chicken breasts got too tiring already, although this recipe works for Chicken breats too. It was a very effortless Dinner that tasted better than I could have even imagined. All I did was marinate the Chicken Breasts and let them stand for about 6 hours and my hubby grilled them on the grill. Keep in mind that you can also use the oven for this recipe and make sure you let it marinate for at least 6 hours to achieve the best taste. The cool thing about this recipe is that you can marinate it way ahead of time, like the day or the night before. So it is perfect for a party or if your just having some friends over for dinner. I came up with this marinade recipe for Chicken by myself a few years ago and it always comes out delicious, so this is my go to recipe when I marinate Chicken. I made it easy for you guys and made sure to measure exactly how much of everything I used. The Grilled Chicken Thighs turned out great! Tender and juicy meat with crisped to perfection skin. I also made mashed potatoes and a salad to go along with the Chicken thighs. We really enjoyed this meal outside on the deck in the absolutely beautiful weather.  🙂

Grilled Chicken Thighs  {Serves 6-7}

Ingredients:

  • 8 Whole Chicken Thighs (With bone in, and skin on)
  • 10 Tablespoons Real Mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s Brand)
  • 3 Tablespoons Sweet Wine (I used Manischewitz, American Concord Grape Wine. But any Sweet Red Wine would work)
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning (Or any Steak/Chicken Seasoning)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Barbecue Seasoning
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Vegeta
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pepper

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*Note that not all the spices are in the picture.

Directions:

1) Wash all the chicken thighs thoroughly. Put them in a plate. Using a cutting board and knife, debone each chicken thigh. Put the chicken thighs into a large bowl. You can discard the bones.

2) Start making the marinade for the chicken. First, Put the mayonnaise on the chicken and mix the chicken, using your hands to spread the mayonnaise around evenly. Then pour in the wine. Add in all the seasonings one by one.

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3) Mix the chicken again, using your hands. This helps to spread out the mayonnaise, wine, and spices evenly on all the chicken thighs. Cover the bowl with a lid or aluminum foil. Let it stand out on the kitchen counter for 1 hour. Then put it in the fridge and let it marinate for 5 hours.

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4) Grill the chicken thighs on the Grill however you prefer. My hubby just grilled them on the top rack for about 15-20 Minutes. You can use the oven instead of Grill, But you would have to adjust the cooking time as it would take longer to cook in the oven. Also Grilling does taste better as grilling gives it a distinct smoked taste and aroma.

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Oven Baked Potatoes

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These Oven Baked Potatoes are hands down, the best baked potatoes ever!!! My Grandmother Nadia, was the mastermind behind these absolutely delicious potatoes, and She came up with the recipe for them. My Grandmother is a very talented cook. Not only does She cook really good, but She knows exactly how much of everything you need to feed a certain amount of people with certain different menu’s. She was the Chef in charge, in the kitchen of the Church that I used to go to in Massachusetts. That church is huge! And it is only getting bigger! They had to build a new Church building because there were so many members. So it makes me proud that my Grandmother was in charge of every food event they had at church, weather it was a potluck for a Holiday lunch or Weddings, My Grandmother was in charge of it all for many, many years until her age began to make itself known and She had to give up that ministry to someone else. These potatoes are so good, that almost every single Wedding that took place in that church all the years my Grandma was in charge, had these potatoes. Every family begged my Grandmother to include these in the menu because everyone loved them! As a little girl it was my favorite thing to eat at Weddings, so made sure to have these at my on Wedding too as part of the menu. Of course now, I make these yummy potatoes for every single Holiday, Birthday, and every special family gathering that we have. They never get old! In fact we can never get enough of them! Many of our friends have asked me for this recipe. So now I am posting it up, for all of you to be able to make these most delicious, Oven Baked potatoes for yourselves! Your Welcome!  😉  The recipe below, was made as part of our Easter menu and we had guests over, but if you need less servings then you can easily make half of this recipe!

Oven Baked Potatoes  {Serves 8-10}

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 LB Idaho Potatoes (Idaho brand potatoes taste best for this recipe)
  • 1 1/2 Sticks of Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • SPICES:
  • Paprika
  • Barbeque Seasoning
  • Vegeta Seasoning
  • Dry Dill (optional)

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Directions:

1) Peel the potatoes. Then cut them. Cut them according to size. Big potatoes into 6, Medium potatoes into 4, Small ones in half. *As pictured below.

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2) Bring a large pot of water to a boil on High heat. When it comes to a boil, add the 1 Tablespoon of salt. Throw in the potatoes.

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3) Boil the potatoes for 3-5 minutes. Until the potatoes get a little bit tender but not Soft! Or they will be more like mashed potatoes! *Check on the potatoes every few minutes, to make sure that they do not over cook. You don’t want them soft. The goal is to get them just a little tender.

4) Drain the water from the pot of potatoes. Put the potatoes in a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Do not put them on top of each other. Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees. (Use 2 baking sheets if you need to, that’s what I had to do to evenly lay out the potatoes. Microwave the 1 1/2 sticks of butter, Until it completely melts and turns into liquid butter.

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5) Using a large soup spoon, Pour the melted butter evenly all over the potatoes. Then start to sprinkle the spices over all the potatoes. I do Vegeta first, then Barbeque seasoning, then Paprika, and I finish off with sprinkling some Dry dill. Sprinkle a little bit of everything. (Be careful not to sprinkle too much Vegeta, as it has a lot of Salt and you do not want too much Salt on your potatoes.)

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6) Stick the trays of potatoes into the preheated oven. Bake for about 30-45 Minutes. Until the potatoes are beautifully golden. (*They will not look like the picture below because I forgot to turn off the flash setting and it makes the potatoes look white.) They are supposed to be golden in color. Best served hot out of the oven, However if you have some potatoes left over, then cover them with some foil and stick them in the fridge. When you are ready to eat them, Just heat them up in the oven on 350 Degrees. They will tastes just as good, even on the 2nd day.

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Classic Crab Salad

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This salad is a very classic Russian dish, and it is my most favorite Russian salad. It is very delicious and has a unique taste. I make this salad for pretty much every single Holiday dinner, or special occasion. I just made some this past Saturday, for Easter Sunday. This batch lasted enough for lunch and dinner, as a side dish and we finished the last bit of it Monday night with our dinner.  I was pretty disappointed when we finished all of it, so I will probably be making another batch some time soon. This salad is great to bring to a Potluck, because it is easy to make and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Since this dish has been around for decades, each family has their own recipe for it. This is my special family recipe and it’s the way I have always made this salad. This salad needs to be refrigerated and it tastes best when it is made the night before you eat it, So that it stands overnight. It can stay good in the refrigerator for about a week, However at our house it never lasts that long because we eat it within a few days. 😉

Classic Crab Salad  {Serves 10-12, As a side}

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 LB Imitation Crab Meat (Flake style tastes best)
  • 8 Hard Boiled Eggs
  • 1 Cup Real Mayonnaise (I used Hellman’s)
  • 1 Can of Corn
  • 1 Small Onion

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Directions:

1) Do all the prep work first. Finely cut the imitation crab meat, put it in a big bowl. Then peel the hard boiled eggs, I peel them one by one and rinse them really quick under some cold running water, to make sure there are no small pieces of the egg shell still on the egg. Dice the eggs into small pieces, and add it to the big bowl with the imitation crab meat. Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces, then add it into the big bowl as well.

2) Drain all the water out of the can of corn, rinse the corn under cold running water using a strainer. Then add the corn into the big bowl also.

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3) Add the 1 Cup of Mayonnaise to the big bowl and mix it very well. I put on kitchen gloves and mix it well with my hands. This way it mixes up evenly. Then add salt and pepper, according to your tastes, and mix it very well again. Cover the bowl with a lid or aluminum foil and keep this salad refrigerated. It tastes good served cold. And is best if it has been refrigerated overnight.

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Simple Marinated Mushrooms

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These Marinated Mushrooms are the best that I have ever tried! They are my husband’s most favorite side dish, so I make them for pretty much every Holiday, or special occasion and you bet I made them for Easter Sunday! My husband was very disappointed when we finished them on Monday, and I promised him that I would be making another batch some time soon. These marinated mushrooms are tangy, juicy, and have just the right amount of sourness to them, and the red bell peppers add an awesome crisp taste. I would take these over dill pickles any day! This is the perfect side dish, especially in the summer time when you are having a BBQ, so with the weather warming up, I decided to post it now. Looking at these yummy pictures is making me want some right now! 🙂 These Marinated Mushrooms taste best if you marinate them for a few days or at least overnight.

Simple Marinated Mushrooms  {Serves 10-12, As a side}

Ingredients:

  • 4 LB White Mushrooms
  • 16 Cups water & 3 Tablespoons Distilled White Vinegar

Ingredients for the Marinade Mix:

  • 1 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 6 Dry Bay Leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons Dry Dill Weed
  • 6-7 Garlic Cloves  (Chopped into small pieces)
  • 2 Red Bell peppers (Diced into small pieces)
  • 4 Cups of Water
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Oil

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Directions:

1) Start off by making the marinade mixture. In a Medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, pepper, dry bay leaves, dry dill weed,  chopped garlic cloves, and diced red bell peppers. Simmer it on Low-medium heat, I did a 4.0, for 5-10 minutes.

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2) Add the 4 Cups of water to the saucepan. Bring it to a boil. And simmer for another 5 minutes. Then add the vegetable oil, and turn the heat off.

3) Rinse your mushrooms very thoroughly. Boil 16 Cups of water, and 3 Tablespoons of Vinegar in a Large pot on High heat. While the water comes to a boil, Cut the mushrooms. I cut them into fourths if they are big, In half if they are medium sized, and left the small ones whole.

4) When the water comes to a boil, Throw the mushrooms in. Mix them well. Cover the pot, and cook them for 3-5 Minutes. I did 3 Minutes. Just until they get a little tender.

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5) Drain the water out of the pot. Put the mushrooms back into the large pot, and pour the marinade mixture over the mushrooms.

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6) On Medium heat, I did a 5.5, boil the mushrooms and marinade mix for another 3 Minutes.

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7) Let the mushrooms and marinade mixture cool down. Then put the pot into the refrigerator. *Keep these marinated mushrooms refrigerated and in the marinade mixture. They are best served cold. I serve my mushrooms with just a little bit of the marinade mixture liquid. YUM!!!

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Baked Tilapia

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This Baked Tilapia is delectable! This recipe is one of my favorite ways to prepare this yummy fish. I have been making it for years now and it never disappoints. I came up with this recipe myself when we just got married and I was making up my own ways to cook stuff. You all married ladies who just recently got married, know the struggle lol. I have since then improved this recipe but I have made it for my family and for guests several times, and it was always a big hit! This is not a fast recipe to make, however it is very simple and does not require too much prep work, it is only time consuming because it bakes for 45 minutes in the oven, So do plan accordingly to the time. I also like that it does not require a lot of ingredients. I usually pair this fish with mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, or rice and a salad. Next time you are in the mood for some yummy Tilapia  fish, give this recipe a try. 🙂

Baked Tilapia  {Serves 7-8} 

Ingredients:

  • 2 LB Tilapia Fillets (Completely Thawed)
  • About 1/4 Cup of Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 and 1/4 Tablespoon Vegeta Seasoning OR Mrs.dash Seasoning (I used Vegeta)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 3 teaspoons Barbecue Seasoning
  • Dry Dill (Optional, but recommended)

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*That container on the right side is just a container that I use to store the Vegeta Seasoning. It is NOT the actual Vegeta Seasoning container.

Directions:

1) Wash the Tilapia Fillets thoroughly

2) Put all the Spices into one plate. (I use a plastic plate.) And Mix them all together. Prepare even sized, square pieces of foil, You will need one piece of foil for each Tilapia fillet. You will be wrapping each piece of fish completely with the foil, so make sure you prepare the pieces of foil, big enough to completely cover each fish. (I ripped a big sheet of Foil, like the size of a piece of paper, and then cut it in half to make 2 pieces.)

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3) Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Take each Tilapia, one by one, And put some Mayonnaise on it. I did about 1.5 teaspoons on each fish fillet, enough mayonnaise to cover the entire tilapia fillet. Do that with all the Tilapia fillets. Then Sprinkle a little bit of the mix of spices on both sides of each fillet and rub it to make sure it spreads evenly throughout the whole fish.

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4) Lastly, sprinkle a little bit of dry dill just on the top side of each fish.

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5) When you are done, Wrap them all up in the piece of foil. Make sure you cover the fish completely, do not leave any openings.

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6) Place some foil on a baking tray. Place the fish all on the tray. Stick the tray into the preheated oven at 350 Degrees. Bake for 45 minutes. *Serve each fish, still wrapped in the foil. Each person can open the foil for their own fish. That way all the juices stay in each fish to make it juicy and delectable!

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Fried Eggplant Appetizer

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This eggplant appetizer is incredible! My mom usually made it for most of our Holiday dinners when I was growing up. This appetizer is a very common Russian dish but it never gets old for me. It also looks beautiful on the table, with the bright red color of the tomatoes that you top it with, and even more pretty when you garnish the plate with parsley. Or a tomato rose. (I have yet to master that one lol.) Some people even decorate it with extra mayo on top of the tomato by putting it in a frosting bag and drawing  flowers or some cute shape with it. So you can get creative with this, and I would Love to see your ideas! This appetizer is always a hit with my family and I am sure it will be with your family too! 🙂

Fried Eggplant Appetizer  {Serves 4-6}

Ingredients:  

  • 2 Medium Eggplants (I do not sugest using large eggplants for this recipe!)
  • 3/4 Cup Real Mayonnaise ( I used Hellman’s Brand)
  • 2-4 Garlic cloves (Depending on your like of Garlic. I did 4 cuz we love garlic)
  • 5 Campare Tomatoes (because they are small) OR 1-2 Regular Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour (To start off, you can add more later if needed)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

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Directions:

1) Wash the Eggplant. Cut it into even round pieces. Put flour into a plate, Sprinkle some salt and pepper into the flour and mix it. Set up a “Station”.

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2) Heat 3 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil in a frying pan on Medium heat (I did a 5.5). Set up a large plate with paper towels or napkins.

3) Dip the eggplant pieces, one by one, into the flour, coating completely with the flour on both sides. Shake off any excess flour!

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4) Gently place the eggplant covered with the flour into the frying pan. You will fit about 6 at a time. Fry on each side for about 3 minutes, or until it gets cooked through, a little golden in color and soft, then flip it over to the other side.

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5) When both sides are cooked, place the eggplant onto the plate covered with the paper towels. Once the plate is full, add another layer of paper towels over the eggplant, then put the rest on top of the paper towel. You can have a stack of 3 or 4,  just make sure there is a paper towel between each layer. This way the extra oil drains out from the eggplant.

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6) Once the eggplant has cooled off, Mix the mayo and pressed garlic cloves (through the garlic clove press) together into a small bowl. Wash and cut the tomatoes into thin slices.

7) Put the eggplant onto a big plate or serving platter. Put a dollop of mayonnaise on each eggplant and spread it out evenly with a butter knife. Top each piece with a tomato slice. You can garnish with parsley if you want it to look extra fancy. I did not do anything special because I didn’t have much time.

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Garlic Green Beans

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This appetizer/side dish is delicious! If you do not like garlic, you can omit it. But I LOVE the taste of garlic with these! These Garlic Green Beans go perfectly with pretty much any meal. They are very fast and simple to make, perfect for a busy evening. This is my 2 year old son’s most favorite side dish so I try to make it every once in a while for him.  But be careful! These are extremely addicting!  🙂

Garlic Green Beans {Serves 3-4}

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz Green Beans
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

Directions:

1) Wash the green beans thoroughly. Fill a pot with water, bring it to a boil on High heat. Add the salt. Then add the green beans in.

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2) Let it cook for about 15 Minutes. Until the green beans begin to feel soft. Then take them out of the pot with a slotted spoon.

3) In a frying pan, heat 3 Tablespoons of Vegetable oil on Medium-Low heat (I did a 4). Add the green beans in and fry them a little bit. Keep mixing them so that they fry evenly on each side. Then add in the Garlic Cloves (Using a Garlic press). They should be done after frying for about 5 Minutes.

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Beef and Mushroom Gravy

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This Beef and Mushroom Gravy is one of my new, and most favorite gravy’s. This time I made it with jasmine rice and it was so perfect together! Sometimes mashed potatoes get too over rated and annoying. I got this recipe from my mom. I stopped by her house one evening and she made this gravy with rice. It was so comforting to eat after a very long day, I even got seconds! My family really enjoyed it too when I made it… It was all gone in one day! And my hubby said that this is one of his new favorite dishes and that it is definitely ” Blog worthy” lol. It is really easy and fast to make, but you can’t tell by how yummy it is! 🙂

Beef and Mushroom Gravy  {Serves 6}

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 LB Beef (Fillet Mignon or Chuck Roast) A tender cut of meat
  • 1 (8 oz) Pack of Brown Mushrooms
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 2 Carrots
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 5 Tablespoons Ketchup (Organic tastes best)
  • 1 teaspoon Mrs.Dash
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta Seasoning (Optional)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Fresh or Dry Dill

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Directions:

1) Do all the prep work. Start by thoroughly washing the meat and set it aside. Then wash the mushrooms, and carrots. Cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Peel the carrots and finely shred them with a grater. Dice the onion into small pieces. Set aside in separate containers. Cut the beef into small pieces.

2) In a Wok or large frying pan, heat 1-2 TBS of Oil on Medium-High heat (I did 7.0). Then throw in the beef. Generously season it with salt/pepper. Mix every once in a while to make sure it cooks evenly on all sides. Boil 4 Cups of water in a tea kettle.

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3) When the beef is not yet cooked through all the way but still has some pink in it, Add the diced onion. When the onion becomes soft and translucent, add the shredded carrots.

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4) When the carrots become soft, add the mushrooms. Then when the mushrooms get soft, add the ketchup and mix very well. Then Immediately add 2-4 cups of water to the Wok (or Frying Pan) depending on how much liquid you like in yours.

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5) Bring it to a boil. Let it simmer for about 15-20 Minutes. In the last 5 minutes, add 4 cloves of garlic through the garlic press. Then add the dill and season with the Mrs.Dash, Vegeta, and/or any other spices you want to add to it.

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