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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Hicks House | Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Fall is in the air, the grill is on the outs and the oven is back as the main cooking star. These Stuffed Zucchini Boats combine the fresh summery taste of zucchini with the heartier flavors and texture of ground meat (with a little creamy cheese thrown in for good measure).

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground meat of your choice – I used bison, but have used turkey in the past, ground beef would the kitchen staple go-to for most kitchens.
  • 2 large zucchini
  • 2 oz of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • chipotle seasoning
  • red pepper flakes
  • ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400. Cut the ends off your zucchinis, and cut in half lengthwise. Using a spoon carve out the middle section of the zucchini, reserving the fillings – this will go into your stuffing.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

Place your boats on a foil lined cookies sheet and sprinkle with black pepper.
Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

In a large skillet over medium heat saute your peppers, onions, garlic and zucchini centers. Season with chipotle, red pepper flakes and black pepper to your liking.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

The zucchini gives off a lot of liquid, when the liquid is mostly gone add your ground meat and cook through ensuring all the liquid is cooked off. (We added more seasoning – we prefer a little kick :-))

Transfer your filling into a large bowl, add cream cheese and mix.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House

Spoon the stuffing mixture into your boats.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Place in your preheated oven for 30 minutes until the zucchini is cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats | Hicks House


2 Comments

Baked Eggplant Fries

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

This is one of my favorite side dishes in the history of the universe. The first time I tried eggplant fries it was at a local pizza restaurant, they were fried not baked and I fell in love. It sparked a mission to find a way to make them at home, and at least somewhat healthier as we refuse to buy a deep fryer.

Ingredients

  • One medium to large eggplant (dependent on how many fries you are looking to end up with)
  • Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • 2-3 Eggs (We used the whole egg, you can substitute just egg whites if you are looking for a healthier alternative, however you may need extra eggs

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Put your breadcrumbs in a bowl (we don’t measure this, just go by eye and add more if we run out). Crack and whip your eggs in another bowl or in a Tupperware. Use a third bowl or Tupperware for your olive oil – again we don’t measure but 2-3 tablespoons to start should be good.

Cut the top and bottom off your eggplant then cut in half. Turn each half so the cut side is facing up and then cut into cross sections creating your “fries”.

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House
Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House
Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Then begin your breading process. Coat the fries lightly with olive oil. Eggplant tends to soak up oil very fast so just do a couple at a time – remember we are baking not frying. Coat in the egg followed by the breadcrumbs making sure to fully coat all sides. Transfer to a baking sheet and continue until you have breaded all of your fries.

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Spray lightly with some more olive oil – this helps to get the outsides crispy.

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House

Bake for 7-10 minutes, flip and cook an additional 7-10 minutes. Your fries will be sizzling and bubbly but the outsides will still seem soft. Now here is the trick to crispy fries – flip a second time switch your oven to broil and cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes. WATCH THEM CLOSELY! They will brown quickly, you want a nice browned look to them but if they look like they are starting to burn take them out.

Serve with your favorite protein and dig in!

Baked Eggplant Fries | Hicks House


4 Comments

Chicken Broccoli & Cheese Pockets

I’ve had a couple special requests for this recipe, as it’s one of the go-to staples in our house and I rave about it all the time. You may remember the variation I posted utilizing Thanksgiving leftovers. Way back then I alluded to the fact that we generally make ours with chicken and broccoli, so after much ado here it is.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Breast of Cooked Chicken (either cubed or shredded)
  • 4 ounces low fat cream cheese – softened
  • 1 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • One medium head of broccoli – diced (I only use the tops and toss the stems)
  • Ground Black Pepper – to your liking
  • One package of seamless crescent dough

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all of your ingredients with the exception of the dough and about 1/4 cup of shredded cheese in a bowl until well combined, ensuring a good coating of cream cheese over all of the ingredients.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray or a light coating of olive oil. Prepare your dough. Lay in the center of your cookie sheet and gently press out towards the edges with your fingers to elongate and thin the dough. Make sure you do not make any holes, if you accidentally rip the dough squish back together.

Once you have achieved a decent size, cut into two pieces down the middle. Portion your filling into each of your two halves and top with remaining cheese.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Now fold it up like a Won-Ton – Ya know pinch all the edges together so the filling can’t squeak out. Ken and I each fold our own pockets, its always a competition as to whose is prettier and whose doesn’t crack open. Up to you whether you turn this into a cook-off or not – it may or may not make dinner prep more fun.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pockets | Hicks House

Then enjoy all the ooey gooey deliciousness that is the Pocket.

Chicken Broccoli and Cheese Pocket | Hicks House

One of the best things about this recipe is the versatility. You can literally put any kind of meat or veggie in here and its a great way to use up leftovers. Some varieties we’ve tried include:

      • Steak, Pepper and Onion
      • Buffalo Chicken with Blue Cheese
      • Chicken, Olive and Feta

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
Hicks House


1 Comment

Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

If you like comfort food then this recipe is for you.  It’s a favorite winter weekend dish in our house.  A kicked up version of traditional meatloaf we use turkey instead of the more traditional ground beef to cut back on fat and because after years of substituting turkey for ground beef we now prefer the taste.  To help make it somewhat less bad more nutritious we also add in spinach.

For such a flavorful dinner the prep is extremely easy even wannabe cooks with no kitchen skills (like myself) can do it without supervision. 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs of ground Turkey
  • 3 cups of shredded low moisture part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz Stuffing mix or bread crumbs (I prefer the chunkier texture of stuffing mix)
  • 2 cups of chopped fresh baby spinach tails removed
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup of onion diced
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 cup of your favorite sauce
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • Ground Black Pepper

Assemble all of your ingredients together
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Dice up your onions and mince or dice your garlic and add it to a large bowl
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Add in your egg
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Then your chopped spinach
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Measure out your stuffing mix and break up any extra large clumps if you find it necessary then add that to the mix too.
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Then add 3/4 cup of the sauce reserving the other 1/4 cup, 2.5 cups of the mozzarella and the parmesan cheese.
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Lastly add the ground Turkey and seasonings to your liking (don’t taste there is raw egg and meat in here – gross). All of the directions up until this point could have simply been “Combine all ingredients with exception of 1/4 cup of the sauce and 1/2 cup of mozzarella. However, if your like me and I wrote it like that you would dump in everything or forget something.

Then mix it all together with your hands. Go ahead get in there and make sure its all good and mixed. (I hate this part – I usually ask Ken to do it for me, if your less of a chicken you can handle it yourself)
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Put the mixture into a sprayed loaf pan, pack down and form into a loaf-like shape.
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Put in your pre-heated oven uncovered and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the sauce and cheese you saved.
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and ensure the loaf is cooked through.

Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. If you cut right into it when it’s super piping hot it will most likely fall apart. (I do this all the time, I can’t wait. It still tastes the same just doesn’t look “pretty”)

Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

Serve with your favorite vegetable and dig in!
Hicks House | Loaded Turkey Meatloaf

I’d love to hear if you give this recipe a spin and what you think.
Hicks House