Tuesday, March 29, 2011

.shrimp chow mein.

This was one of those quickly tossed together meals that I invented one evening. It probably isn't the best out there, but it was super convenient and I enjoyed it. The best thing about chow mein is that you can easily make it individualized to yourself but adding or omitting vegetables. Have fun experimenting and enjoy!

1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup green beans
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 green bell pepper, sliced
4 cups chow mein noodles (I used 2 packages of top ramen without the seasoning packets)
chili sauce to taste

In a large saucepan, combine corn, green beans, bell pepper, and shrimp. Cook over medium heat until shrimp are pink.
Mix in soy sauce, and other seasonings of your choice. Mix in cooked chow mein noodles.
Heat thoroughly. Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

.south of the border chicken pasta.

This recipe is from my friend Teresa. She came over one evening and we cooked together for our husbands. Not only was this meal amazing but it was also SO fun to cook with someone else. It was so much easier and entertaining at the same time. This recipe is very similar to one I found on another blog I follow. So look forward to another similar post soon. Enjoy!

2 cups rotini pasta
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
16 oz. salsa (about 2 cups)
10 oz. frozen corn (about 2 cups)
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup mexican style cheese, divided into 2 (I added more because I love cheese)

Cook pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile, cook and stire chicken in a large skillet on med-high heat for 6 min or until done. Add salsa, frozen corn, cream cheese and cumin; simmer on med-low hear for 6 min or until corn is heated through and cream cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta, add to skillet with 1/2 the cheese. Simmer for 3 min. or until heated through. Top with remaining cheese, cover. Remove from heat, let stand 5 min or until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

.beef tagine with butternut squash.

This recipe was found in my Cooking Light magazine. I was so excited to try it out so I could use my new dutch oven! The hubby was a huge fan, I thought it tasted a bit too healthy. haha. Which isn't a bad thing. Overall it was a hearty meal and my introduction to butternut squash (not too bad!)

2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free, lower sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can no-salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups (1 inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (they have this precut at trader joes)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to boil. Cook 5 minutes. Add squash; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until squash is tender. Sprinkle with cilantro. Enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

.stuffed mushrooms.

I love appetizers and I love mushrooms. These little morsels of deliciousness were so easy to make. Enjoy!

12 whole fresh mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (if mushrooms are on the small side cut cream cheese amount in half)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully break off stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. Set aside to cool.
When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

.pasta with tomato-blue cheese sauce.

Another Pioneer Woman recipe! This recipe was recommended to me by my amazing friend Linda. I know blue cheese is not for everyone but I love it. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 6, either cut in half or be prepared for delicious leftovers)
1 pound Pasta (angel Hair Or Thin Spaghetti)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole 28-ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
Dash Of Sugar
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste
¾ cups Crumbled Blue Cheese
¾ cups Heavy Cream
4 cups Baby Spinach
Half-and-Half, for thinning
Extra Blue Cheese Crumbles, For Garnish

Cook pasta according to package instructions.
In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add minced garlic and cook for a minute. Pour in drained tomatoes. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in crumbled blue cheese. Add cream and stir, then a little splash of half-and-half if sauce is too thick. Cook for a minute or two, tasting and adding more seasonings as needed.
At the very, very, very last minute. toss in spinach. Immediately toss in the cooked and drained pasta. Serve immediately!

Friday, March 11, 2011

.pepperoncini beef sandwiches.

This was actually one of the first recipes that I learned to make in my crockpot from my friend Alisha. I love this recipe because it is so simple to make and has so much flavor and spice. Enjoy!

1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (16 ounce) jar pepperoncini
Sour cream
horseradish sauce
French bread
Provolone cheese

Make small cuts in roast, and insert garlic slices in cuts. Place roast in the slow cooker, and pour the entire contents of the jar of pepperoncini, including liquid, over meat. Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred meat with a fork when tender. Prepare sauce by mixing small amounts of horseradish sauce into the sour cream. Preheat broiler. Top bread with cheese and broil 1-2 mins until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream mixture and meat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

.chicken pot pie. {husband's choice}

Let me begin this post stating that I have ALWAYS wanted to make a chicken pot pie, but for some reason I thought it would be too difficult to do. My mother-in-law got me a pie dish for christmas which gave me a little extra motivation to actually make this happen. Then one day while I was searching for recipes on allrecipes.com(love) I decided to look at the top 20 recipes. And this very recipe was one of them. Major sign! This recipe was the BEST pot pie I have ever had, and it is my "husband's choice" for the month. Upon the request of my husband one recipe a month will be given the "husband's choice" award to showcase the recipe he especially loves :) Enjoy!

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots (i used a frozen carrot & pea combo)
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup corn
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and corn. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

.tomato soup with bacon grilled cheese.

This recipe was on the cover of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. It was in the cooking for one section, so I just doubled the recipe for the two of us. The hubby is a huge fan of tomato soup and making it was SO much easier than I ever thought it would be. I will definitely be making this soup again very very soon. It pairs up well with this sandwich or even by itself. Enjoy!

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 28oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 slices of bacon
4 slices sandwich bread
2 oz. cheddar (or cheese of choice)
fresh pesto or Salsa Verde

1. In a small pot heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook until onions are solf, 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender with cream; puree until smooth (Use caution when blending hot liquids. Remove cap from lid and cover opening with a dish towel) **I used an immersion blender, it worked wonders with much less clean-up** Season to taste.
2. In a skillet, cook bacon over medium-high until browned and crisp 10 minutes; drain on paper towels. Remove pan with fat from heat. Layer 2 bread slices with half the cheese, bacon, and rest of cheese; top with second bread slice. Return pan to heat. Cook sandwich until cheese is melted and bread is browned, 4 minutes, flipping once. Serve with soup, topped with pesto if desired.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

.baked pasta.

For all that know me well, I am really not a huge fan of red sauce. I usually prefer to stick with pesto or alfredo sauce. However, I had a random craving to make pasta with meat sauce for the first time EVER!!! and...........I actually LOVED it. Surprise surprise. I also made such a large portion because I figured why not make the entire package of pasta :) Which made for some amazing leftovers. (apparently it also tastes good cold..I caught the hubby eating it as a midnight snack, he did not want to warm it up in fear of waking me up :)

1 pkg. of rigatoni pasta
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
italian seasoning to taste
crushed red pepper (optional)
1 pkg. sliced mushrooms
1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted boil water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente. Drain well. Meanwhile, cook ground beef and chopped onions in a skillet over medium heat until browned. Also, cook mushrooms until softened. Combine pasta, ground beef, mushrooms, spaghetti sauce. Mix well and add additional italian seasoning and crushed red pepper to taste. Transfer half of mixture to a greased, 9x13 inch casserole dish. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Transfer the rest of the pasta into the dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 20 minutes, or until very hot. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

.chicken sandwiches with white onions and peppers.

Again I found this recipe in Martha Stewart's magazine. I am usually not a huge fan of chicken, but in my quest to eat healthier this recipe sounded right up my alley. Perfect for that quick lunch, or is paired nicely with a simple soup on those cold evenings we have been having. Enjoy!

Ingredients (2 servings)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small white onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and cute into 1/2 inch strips
1 cup cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
2 chicken cutlets (about 6 ounces total)
cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 baguette, halved lengthwise and insides scooped out, toasted
lettuce leaves

1. In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium. Add onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion and bell pepper are tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and stir in vinegar; tent with foil to keep warm.
2. Add 1 teaspoon oil to skillet. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and pinch of cayenne. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 1 minute more.
3. Spread mayonnaise on inside of bread. Assemble sandwich with vegetables, chicken and lettuce. Cut in half cross-wise to serve.