Friday, December 26, 2014

One Pot Lemon Shrimp Orzo

With the holidays, I like to find dishes that don't take too long to cook, but are not the "usual".  Here is one that I thought tasted great, made great lunch leftovers and I was able to cook in a single pan.

Ingredients:

2~ 12 ounce packages of shrimp - thawed and tails removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
1 cup frozen peas
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
8 ounces orzo pasta
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat  olive oil in a pan over medium heat in an oven proof pan - I used a 2.5 quart LeCreuset baking dish.  Add onions, garlic, and oregano.  Cook until onions are translucent (3-4 minutes).  Stir in orzo and cook 2 minutes more.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through (10-12 minutes).  Stir in tomatoes, peas, lemon juice, shrimp and salt and pepper.
Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese.  Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes or until you see the dish start to bubble.

Enjoy!





Ingredients

Finished Dish




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Crab Tortilla Rollups

As I said in the last post, we celebrated Thanksgiving on Saturday.  We also made it a full day, so we had appetizers ahead of the main meal.  I really liked Kelly's previous post on roll ups, so I added a new variation.  While we were visiting Tim's brother's family, we had roll ups for a quick meal between soccer games.  My favorite was the crab roll up and they were really easy to make!


8 ounces of imitation crab meat
8 ounces cream cheese
2 green onions chopped
1/2 cup cocktail sauce
2 burrito size tortillas  - I used Sun Dried Tomato

Mix first 4 ingredients together.  Spread on the tortillas.  Roll up the tortillas, cut into pieces.

Note: this is easy to make ahead, just don't cut into pieces until your ready to serve.  I made these a day ahead and wrapped them in saran wrap until I was ready to put them out.  Such an easy appetizer!

Serve with additional cocktail sauce for dipping.


Ingredients

Spreading the mixture and rolling the tortillas

Finished appetizer...Yum!!!




Goat Cheese, Mushroom, Spinach, and Sun Dried Tomatoes Quesadillas

I really enjoy Thanksgiving weekend...having a "double weekend" and spending time with family is such a blessing.  This year, with all the kids having two families to visit for Thanksgiving, we decided to celebrate Thanksgiving on Saturday.  That left Tim and I with a quiet Thanksgiving and some non-traditional fare (so that we could celebrate with the traditional fare on Saturday.)

Tim and I really liked the taste of these Goat Cheese, Mushroom, Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Quesadillas and it was fun to cook together as well.  I found this recipe on Taylor Made Market

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 9 ounces baby spinach
  • 4 oz semisoft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 8 8 inch tortillas - your favorite kind, we used whole wheat
  • Salsa


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from pan. Add the spinach and 1 tablespoon water to the skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until spinach is just wilted. Remove from skillet and turn off heat.
  2. Spread a quarter of the goat cheese on each tortilla and top with mushrooms, spinach and tomato & 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Lay another tortilla on top, press lightly. Heat the skillet and place the quesadillas in it; cook two minutes per side, or until golden brown and lightly crisp. Repeat.
  3. Serve with Salsa
Ingredients

Saute Mushrooms

Wilting the Spinach

Spreading the goat cheese on the tortillas

Assembling the ingredients

Adding the mozzarella cheese last

Cooking the quesadillas

Enjoying the quesadillas - we made a meal of them, but they'd be a great appetizer


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Caramel Snack Mix


It's been a while since I've posted a recipe, it's not for lack of cooking, but more for lack of taking the time to post receipes...and also I really like the recipes that are already posted, so I've been using the blog to do lots of my cooking.  I only post the good recipes, so it makes choosing what to make for dinner very easy :-)

I am bringing a snack mix to share at work tomorrow.  This recipe was actually given to me by a co-worker who has since retired.  It's a winner and I've used the recipe many times.  It makes a lot, so when my kids were younger, it was a great recipe to bring for picnics or other events.

Ingredients:

17 ounces of rice and/or corn cereal - I used Chex Rice Cereal this time, I've often used a box of Crispix
1 can of nuts - I'm partial to cashews, but use whatever nuts you like
1 bag Fritos - I like the big scoops because they hold more of the caramel sauce
2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
pinch of salt

Mix the cereal, nuts, and Fritos together in a large bowl.  Grease 2 9x13 cake pans and divide the cereal mixture between the two pans.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan, then add brown sugar, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil.  Boil the mixture for 2 minutes.
Pour the caramel mixture evenly over the two pans of cereal mix.
Bake at 275 for 45 minutes - stirring the mixture every 15 minutes.
Spread on parchment paper to cool and then store in a sealed container.
Enjoy and be ready to share the recipe with whoever you share the snack mix with :-)


Ingredients

Making the caramel mixture

Divided the dry ingredients into two pans

Baking the Snack Mix



Finished mix...Enjoy!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli

It's getting to be that time of the year when crock pot recipes come in handy and make the house smell great when you get home from work.    This recipe is one I catered to our family's likes after reviewing a half a dozen on line.  Many beef and broccoli recipes call for sesame oil.  It's bit strong for our family, but I added a little Worcestershire sauce which I thought enhanced the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips 
1 15 ounce can beef broth
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sauce from the crock pot after being cooked
16 oz.Broccoli florets



Put the beef in the crock pot.  Mix the beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil and garlic together, then pour over the beef.
Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

After that time, take 1/2 of sauce from the crock pot, mix with cornstarch and pour back in the crock pot.  Add broccoli florets as well, stir and cook an additional 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Serve over rice.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Baked Chicken Nuggets

We were looking for a healthier version of the traditional chicken nuggets and found this recipe for seasoned baked nuggets on pbs.org. Like usual, we made some minor modifications and it was DELICIOUS! 

We made a big batch so that we could have them for lunches that week. These would be awesome to make for kids too. They really do taste like breaded chicken nuggets.

When we made them, we tripled the recipe but the ingredients listed below would make one batch. 

Baked Chicken Nuggets



















Ingredients
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts (approximately 1 lb. combined)
  • 3 tsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp wheat bread crumbs (or you can use panko bread crumbs)
  • Cooking spray (using olive oil in a Misto works great)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Cut chicken into bite-size cubes.
  3. Combine the chicken with the olive oil and all of the seasonings (from salt through black pepper) in a bowl, massaging the seasonings into the chicken. 
  4. Next add the bread crumbs to the bowl and mix so that all pieces of chicken are coated in breadcrumbs. (You can also choose to do this step in a Ziploc bag if you wish but the bowl worked fine for me.)
  5. Spray the baking sheet with olive oil in a Misto (or cooking spray)
  6. Lay the pieces of chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet. 
  7. Bake for 8 minutes, flip the chicken nuggets over, and bake for 8 more minutes (16 minutes total). 
  8. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken and Mushroom Sandwiches

I love the taste of buffalo chicken...when I can combine that with an easy slower cooker recipe, I think I have a winner :-)  This recipe was easy to put together and tasted great!

Ingredients

4 boneless chicken breast
1 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
2 tablespoon of Ranch Dressing mix
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 package of buns for sandwiches

In the crock pot, mix Frank's Red Hot sauce and ranch dressing mix. Add chicken breast and mushrooms.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.  Toward the end of the cooking time, shred the chicken breast and add the butter, mix to finish the sauce.  Serve on buns and enjoy!

Ingredients

Mixing Ingredients in Crock Pot

Sauce mixed and ready for the other ingredients

Adding Chicken

Adding mushrooms

Great Sandwich



Low Country Shrimp Boil

Tim and I just got back from a vacation in South Carolina.  Charleston was hot and sticky, but filled with history and great food.  We tried a few "low country" dishes, so when I found a low country recipe in the July 2014 Family Circle magazine, I decided to give it a go.  It was a pretty simple recipe and tasted great.


Ingredients:

3 pounds red potatoes
1 1/2 pound kielbasa, sliced into 2 inch pieces
4 ears of corn, shucked and halved
1/4 cup seafood seasoning (I used Old Bay) plus more for seasoning later
3 pounds shrimp

Place potatoes and kielbasa in the bottom of a large stock pot.  Add 5 quarts of cold water , stir in seasoning, put on the lid and bring to a boil.  Boil for 15 minutes.  Take off cover add corn and cook for 10 additional minutes.  Finally add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes more.  Drain.  Sprinkle with more seasoning and enjoy!

Easy list of ingredients

Getting ready to boil potatoes and kielbasa in seasoned water

Adding the corn

Finished Dish...Yum!!!




Sunday, August 3, 2014

Delicious Granola


This recipe is one that we received at one of Kelly's bridal showers...not sure if I'll ever buy store made granola again.  This is delicious if not a little bit addictive!  When I make a batch, everyone fills up their quart jar to have a snack for the office.  It's nice and portable that way.  It also makes a great breakfast or snack mixed with yogurt.

To find all the ingredients may take a trip to a store like Whole Foods or Fresh and Natural.  You can also opt not to use raw nuts, but then make sure that they are not salted...or don't use any additional salt...my first batch tasted good, but was too heavy on the salt.

Ingredients:

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or flakes
1 1/4 cup  raw pecans, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup packed lightly brown sugar
Coarse salt to taste.

MIx oats, nuts, seeds, and coconut in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together oil, brown sugar, and maple syrup.  Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix well.  After coated, sprinkle with salt and mix again.  Spread mixture on two cookie sheets.  Bake at 300 for 30 - 45 minutes stirring every 15 minutes.   Remove and let cool - taste and as salt as necessary. Cool completely.

Store in air tight containers for up to one month...it won't last that long!




Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kale Chips

I decided to grow kale in flower garden this year as an accent to the flowers.  It's been a great year for kale, so we've been making lots of Kale chips.  The recipe is pretty simple and you either like kale chips or you don't...we have both camps in our house :-)

Here's my kale plants now...I keep harvesting leaves from the bottom, so they look like little palm trees now.

Ingredients:

Bunch of kale
2 tablespoons of olive oil (or more depending on the size of the bunch)
1/2 teaspoon of salt, garlic salt, cajun seasons...or your favorite seasoning

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash kale and rip leaves from center step.  Pour olive oil over the top and mix with hands to ensure leaves are coated.  Sprinkle your favorite seasoning on top and mix again with your hands.

Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn kale with tongs and bake for another 15 minutes.  Kale will be delicate and crispy.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

Kale coated with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt

Kale ready to go in the oven

Half done baking

Finished kale chips...they don't look that great, but I like the taste

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Quick and Easy Stovetop Ribs

It has been a busy couple of months (wedding planning, getting married, honeymoon, etc.) but I'm back to cooking and posting new recipes! Will found this recipe and I was skeptical, given that I've heard that good ribs take time to make, but it actually turned out to be delicious and it only took about 30-35 minutes total, which is really short for ribs! You essentially boil the flavor into the ribs while they cook. It was so good that we made it again (just slightly modified with BBQ sauce instead of soy sauce) a few nights later with the other half of the ribs.

This recipe serves two hungry people with a little leftover. If you want to make it for more people, use the full rack of ribs and double the rest of the ingredients.

Quick and Easy Stovetop Ribs

Ingredients
  • 1/2 rack pork spare ribs
  • Water (enough to cover ribs in pot)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp of dried parsley 
  • 1 tsp of BBQ seasoning
Directions
  1. Place the 1/2 rack of ribs into a large pot.
  2. Fill pot with enough water to cover the ribs.
  3. Place all of the ingredients into the pot (soy sauce, garlic, rosemary, oregano, lime juice, and parsley).
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer (uncovered) on medium heat until the liquid is all (or mostly) gone, takes about 25 minutes or so. Turn the meat occasionally while it is simmering. 
  5. Check to ensure meat is cooked and serve (you can put any leftover garlic or sauce in the pot over the ribs). 



Sunday, June 29, 2014

Whole Wheat Thin Crust Barbecue Chicken Pizza

I enjoy making pizza recipes from scratch.  It's a little more work, but typically the crust recipes make multiple crusts, so the next time around, all I have to do is pull a pizza crust out of the freezer and in just a few minutes pizza is served.  I also like to modify a regular pizza crust recipe to incorporate a little whole wheat flour...in my head it seems like a healthier pizza option :-)

Pizza Crust

1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with a pizza stone in the oven.  Combine hot water, yeast, and sugar in a large measuring cup and stir until sugar is dissolved and yeast is well mixed in.  Allow to proof for 5-10 minutes.  Meanwhile whisk the rest of the ingredients together.  Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and stir until well incorporated...there may be some flour still not thoroughly mixed in.  Turn on to a floured surface and knead the dough for 5 - 10 minutes until smooth.  Let rest for 10 minutes, then divide into 4 equal balls.  Roll each ball into a 14 inch circle, using either parchment paper or tin foil as the base to make transfer to and from the oven easier since this is a thin crust.  Use a fork to put a few holes in the crust to prevent large bubbles during baking.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Repeat for the other three balls of dough.  If you are not using all 4 pizza crusts, you can freeze these for another time.  I typically flash freeze the crust by putting it in the freezer uncovered, then once it's frozen wrap in foil to use another day.

Pizza Crust Ingredients

Rolled out pizza crust



Ingredients for Barbecue Chicken Pizza

1/4 - 1/2 cup your favorite barbeque sauce
1  - 2 chicken breast cooked and shredded (I put mine in the crockpot for 2-3 hours on high with a cup of chicken broth)
1/4 cup red onion sliced
2 cups cheddar/monterrey jack cheese mix - or your favorite pizza cheese

If you are making your pizza right away, next spread the barbecue sauce over the pizza crust



Add shredded chicken


Add red onion - we only covered half the pizza due to individual's tastes



Next add the cheese.

Bake for 5- 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is brown.


Enjoy!