Monday, January 30, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Rotini

For some reason my picture didn't come out very well.  The colors on this dish are actually quite pretty and vibrant.  Oh, well...  the dish is so simple and delicious!  The flavors blend beautifully and I love that there's no seasoning in the dish.  The cheese combined with the tomatoes and the little kick from the chilies do the trick for an amazing flavor.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-2 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into 1 inch pieces
-2 cups water
-3 cups garden rotini, uncooked
-1 (16 oz) package frozen broccoli and cauliflower mix
-1 (10 oz) can mild diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
-1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Directions:
Coat large skillet with cooking spray.  Add chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Add the water and the pasta.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked through.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Cover and cook until cheese is completely melted, stirring occasionally.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pan Seared Salmon with Tomato Salad

Super simple, light and absolutely delicious!  I served this with some broccoli rice and it went perfect.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For salmon:
-4 salmon fillets
-garlic powder
-lemon pepper
-a little extra virgin olive oil
-a little lemon juice, to drizzle on top
For tomato salad:
-3-4 Roma tomatoes
-salt
-pepper
-extra virgin olive oil
Directions:
Heat about 4 Tbs olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Season both sides of salmon with garlic powder and lemon pepper.  Saute in hot oil for about 5-6 minutes per side.  Remove from pan and drizzle a little lemon juice on top.
While that's cooking, cut tomatoes into chunks.  Season with salt and pepper, as desired.  Drizzle with olive oil and mix well.  Let it sit for about 10 minutes. 
Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Orange Chicken

We love the Panda Express Orange Chicken. but can't eat out a lot.  So, I was thrilled to find their orange sauce for sale at various grocery stores.  My joy was shortly lived because in the past few months I purchased a couple of bottles of the sauce only to find that the vinegar was in outrageous proportions!  You couldn't eat that stuff!  I tried to fix it with some sugar and honey, but to no avail.  I love orange chicken and I could not end my love affair with it.  So I searched for recipes, got inspired, and came up with this sauce.  It's very simple and yummy!:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups orange juice (pulp free)
-1 1/4 cups chicken broth
-1/4 cup soy sauce
-2 cups orange marmalade
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 or more Tbs cornstarch
-2 large chicken breasts
-1/2 cup cornstarch
-oil for frying
Directions:
In a sauce pan, combine orange juice, chicken broth and marmalade.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  Scoop about 1/4 cup of the sauce into a different container and mix with 2-3 Tbs cornstarch.  Add mixture to the sauce.  Bring to a boil.  Turn off the heat, but keep warm until ready to serve.
Heat the frying oil.  Cut the chicken into bite size chunks.  Dredge through cornstarch shaking off the excess.  Fry in batches until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve over rice and top with sauce.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Non-Alcoholic Sangria

This is a very nice and refreshing beverage perfect to accompany any type of meal.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
-1 lemon, juiced
-1 orange, juiced
-1 orange, sectioned
-3/4 cup grape-cocktail juice frozen concentrate, thawed
-tiny pinch of ground cinnamon
-3 cups seltzer water
Directions:
In a pitcher, add all the ingredients, except for the water.  Mix well, cover and let it sit in the fridge for at least one hour, but no more than 12 hours.  Right before serving, stir in the seltzer water.  Enjoy!
Slightly adapted from a Melissa d'Arabian recipe.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fried Seafood Po'Boy Sandwiches with Spicy Remoulade Sauce

These sandwiches are insanely delicious!  They're very easy to put together and absolutely amazing.  The best part is that you can use any type of seafood you want, even fish fillets, like tilapia or something. The sauce is out of this world!  And no, it is not too spicy.  It actually goes perfect on any type of sandwich, even a purely vegetarian one.  Give it a try.  You will absolutely love it!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For Po'Boys:
-32 oz seafood (I used oysters and shrimp, but you can use clams, fish, anything you want)
-1 cup + 1 Tbs milk
-1 Tbs water
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-2 eggs
-1 cup flour
-1/2 cup cornmeal
-1/2 tsp ground pepper
-salt
-oil for frying
-hoagie rolls
-baby spinach
-lemon juice
-remoulade sauce (recipe follows)
For the Spicy Remoulade Sauce:
-1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
-1/4 cup stone-ground mustard
-1 clove garlic, smashed
-1 Tbs pickle juice (from the pickle jar :)
-1 Tbs capers
-1 tsp horseradish
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp hot sauce
Directions:
Make the sauce first by placing all ingredients into a blender.  Mix well, place in desired container, cover and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Drain seafood and place in a bowl.  Cover with 1 cup of milk and let it soak for about 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining milk, water, cayenne and eggs. 
Place flour, cornmeal, pepper and salt into gallon sized ziplock bag.
Heat the oil for frying.
Drain the seafood from the milk.  In batches, dip seafood into eggs mixture, then place into flour mixture and shake to coat.  Shake off excess and place in hot oil.  Once golden brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Repeat until all seafood is fried.
To assemble the sandwich, slather a generous amount of the sauce on both sides of each roll.  Place a few baby spinach leaves on one side.  Top with a generous amount of fried seafood.  Sprinkle a little lemon juice on top.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a Sunny Anderson recipe.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Banana, White and Milk Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is quite a treat!  I had a few ripe bananas and just didn't want to make banana bread again.  My hubby and the kids suggested muffins.  It sounded perfect to me, so I went to work.  They came out so good, that in a matter of a few short hours they were ALL gone!  We just couldn't stop eating them!  Out of this batch, I made 12 regular sized and 24 mini-ones.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1/2 cup margarine, softened
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
-1/4 cup milk
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 eggs
-2 cups flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Directions:
Preheated oven to 375 F.  Line muffin pans with paper cups or spray with PAM.
In a large bowl, mix margarine and brown sugar until nice and fluffy.  Add bananas, milk, vanilla and eggs.  Mix well.  Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Once well mixed, stir in the chocolate chips.  Fill prepared cups 2/3 full.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes for the regular size and about 15 minutes for the mini-sized, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for about 3 minutes, then remove from pan and enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Slow Cooker Garlic Caesar Chicken

Quick, simple and delicious!  It goes very well on top of noodles.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
-1 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 cup Caesar dressing
Directions:
Place chicken on bottom of slow cooker.  Top with pepper strips, garlic and dressing.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.  Enjoy!
Recipe slightly adapted from here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bean, Potato and Ham Chowder

This is perfect on a cold, winter day.  It's very creamy and delicious.  It's also a great way to use your food storage.  Most of the ingredients come from there. :)  I served ours with some nice warm, buttered toast.  Yum!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 cup freeze-dried potato slices
-1 Tbs dehydrated onion
-3 cups vegetable broth
-1/3 cup flour
-1 cup (4 oz) shredded Swiss cheese
-3 cups milk
-1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
-1 (15 oz) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
-1 cup diced ham
-salt and pepper, to taste
-a dash or two of Tabasco, optional
Directions:
In a large stockpot, combine the broth with the potatoes and onions.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine in a large bowl, the flour and cheese.  Gradually stir in the milk.  Add this mixture to the potatoes.  Stir in the Italian seasoning.
Cook until thickened and bubbly, stirring occasionally.  Add the beans and ham, and cook for 5 more minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce, if desired.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Trisha Yearwood's Warm Feta Dip with Artichokes

Yes, I know, another artichoke dip...  But this is SOOO good!  I mean, it's the perfect mixture of flavors.  It goes perfect with corn or pita chips, or even some good quality toast.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
-4 oz crumbled feta
-3/4 cup mayonnaise
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-1 (2 oz) jar diced pimientos, drained
-1 garlic clove, minced
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. 
Mix all ingredients together.  Pour mixture into 8x8 baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Romanian Cheese Sticks (Saleuri)

These little sticks make a perfect snack or appetizer.  They are super easy to make and delicious to eat.:)  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
-1 cup margarine
-1/2 cup sour cream
-2 Tbs dry active yeast
-1 egg + 1 yolk for brushing on top
-3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
-1 tsp salt
-poppy seeds and toasted sesame seeds for topping
Directions:
Mix cheese, margarine, sour cream, yeast, 1 egg, flour and salt, until you get a nice homogeneous dough.  Cover and let it rest for 1 hour.  It does not need to rise.
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 3.  Roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into strips with a knife or pizza cutter.  Place strips on prepared sheet.  Brush with egg and sprinkle with either poppy or sesame seeds.
Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Let them cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes.  Remove onto serving platter.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Supposedly if you eat black-eyed peas on New Year's Eve you will have tons of good-luck in the new year.  I don't believe in these kind of superstitions, but I do LOVE black-eyed peas.  So, what better excuse for whipping up a delicious soup with these amazing beans!  It might not look like much from the picture, but trust me, this soup is packed with flavor!  Super easy to make and oh, so delicious!  I served ours with a dollop of sour cream on top, but you can leave it out.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-1 large garlic clove, finely minced
-1 Tbs oil
-2 (15 1/2 oz each) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
-2 cups chicken broth
-1/2 cup water
-1 cup diced cooked ham
-1 dash cayenne pepper
-4 drops Tabasco sauce
-sour cream for topping (optional)
Directions:
In a large sauce pan, heat up the oil.  Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the sour cream.  Stir well, lower the heat (to medium low), cover and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream on top, if desired.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Chinese Shrimp and Broccoli

After the holiday season heavy with way too many goodies, I feel the need to de-tox my body.  I need lighter meals and this dish does exactly just that.  It is a very light dish, delicious and satisfying.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
-1 head broccoli, cut into florets
-2/3 cup soy sauce
-1/2 cup chicken broth
-1/3 cup rice vinegar
-3 1/2 Tbs sugar
-1 Tbs sesame oil
-1/2 tsp ground white pepper
-2 Tbs cornstarch
-1/4 cup water
-2 Tbs vegetable oil
-2-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
Directions:
Combine in a bowl soy sauce, chicken broth, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper.  In a small glass, combine the cornstarch and water.  Set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet or wok.  Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from skillet. 
To the skillet add the garlic and ginger.  Saute for about 15 seconds.  Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute. 
Add the soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  Stir in the cornstarch mixture and the broccoli.  Cook for a couple more minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Serve on white or brown rice.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from here.

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