Friday, June 28, 2013

Fresh Strawberry Milkshake

This is seriously the best milkshake made out of fresh strawberries.  The fruit sits for a while to macerate in sugar and vanilla, which gives it an amazing taste.  Great treat for the summer!  Enjoy!
-10 oz fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
-2 heaping Tbs sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-2 cups vanilla ice cream
-1/2 cup milk
Combine sliced strawberries, sugar and vanilla in mixing bowl.  Stir until mushy and well combines.  Let it sit at room temperature for 1 hour (your kitchen will smell heavenly! :)
Place the strawberry mixture, ice cream and milk in a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Poor into glasses and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thai Chicken Salad

This salad is so refreshing and delicious.  I love the freshness of the mint and the crunchiness of the onions, combined with the sweetness of the chicken.  Very nice combination.  Enjoy!
-2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
-seasoned salt
-garlic powder
-1/2 onion, thinly sliced
-6 green onions, sliced
-1 Tbs dried mint leaves
-1 Tbs dried cilantro leaves
-1/2 head of lettuce, chopped
-1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 4-5 limes)
-1/4 cup fish sauce
-4 Tbs Thai sweet red chili sauce
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray.  Cut chicken into chunks.  Season generously with seasoned salt, garlic powder and pepper.  Cook in prepared skillet until golden brown.  Let it cool.
Mix cooked chicken, onion, green onions, mint, cilantro and lettuce into large salad bowl.
In a smaller bowl, combine lime juice, fish sauce and chili sauce.  Mix well and pour over lettuce mixture.  Give it a good stir.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Spicy Pork Stir-Fry

This is a quick and easy recipe, perfect for a busy weeknight.  The flavors combine nicely and it is not too spicy.  :)  Enjoy!
-2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
-1 lb lean pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
-about 1 lb of mixed vegetables (fresh or frozen) cut into chunks
-2 tsp cornstarch
-1/4 cup water
-3 Tbs soy sauce
-1 tsp rice vinegar
-1 tsp orange marmalade
Heat 1 tsp of the oil.  Add the pork and cook until done.  Remove onto a plate.
In the same skillet, heat remaining oil.  Add garlic, ginger and pepper flakes.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add the vegetables and stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
Mix the cornstarch with water and set aside.
To the skillet, add the soy sauce, vinegar and marmalade.  Stir well.  Add  the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil.  Return pork to skillet and mix well.
Serve hot over rice.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ice Cream Sandwiches

There's no rocket science to this.  It's a nice indulgence.  You can use any favorite cookies for this, but I prefer my best chocolate chip cookies, nice and freshly made.  The possibilities are endless with this, as you can choose any type of cookies, ice cream and toppings.  Enjoy!
-your favorite cookies
-favorite ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet
-toppings, such as finely chopped nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkle or whatever you want, if desired
If the cookies are too soft, put them in the fridge for a few minutes to harden a bit so that they don't crumble with the ice cream.  Spread a little Nutella on the back of each cookie.  Scoop some ice cream onto one cookie and top with another one.  Roll in favorite toppings, if desired.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Breakfast Casserole

You can't really get a good looking picture of this type of dish.  However, we all know that it is quite delicious, despite the appearance.  :)  There are many versions of this particular dish.  This is my favorite one.  I also love that you combine everything the night before, then simply bake it in the morning.  Enjoy!
-1 lb pork sausage
-6 slices honey wheat bread, cubed
-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
-6 eggs
-1 tsp salt
-2 cups milk
-1 tsp dry mustard
-4 oz sliced mushrooms (drain, if using canned)
-1/2 green pepper, diced
-4 green onions, sliced
Brown the sausage and drain.
Layer bread cubes on bottom of a well greased 9x13 casserole dish.  Sprinkle sausage over bread.  Add the cheese.
Beat the eggs and mix with remaining ingredients.  Pour evenly over cheese.  Cover and refrigerate over night.
Preheat oven to 375 F.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Romanian Roasted Bell Peppers (Ardei Copti)

This is super simple and delicious.  It's a nice alternative to enjoy some yummy green peppers.   The peppers are charred on the open fire of a grill, which gives them a unique taste.  This simple dish brings back many childhood memories from when my mom made it.  Enjoy!

-4 large green bell peppers
-2 Tbs salt
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbs vinegar
Wash and dry peppers.  Place on hot grill and cook until charred on all sides.

Immediately place in large bowl, season with salt and cover.  Let them sit for about 30 minutes or until nice and soft.
Carefully, peel the charred skin off them and transfer peppers to a clean bowl.  Drizzle with the oil and vinegar and make sure to coat peppers on all sides.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sesame Salmon Filet

This is perfect for a nice, quick and light dinner.  The salmon marinades for 1 hour in delicious juices, then gets broiled quickly.  Easy and delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 lb salmon filets
-2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
-2 Tbs soy sauce
-1 Tbs honey
-1 tsp vegetable oil
-1 tsp spicy brown mustard or horseradish mustard
-1/8 tsp ground ginger
-toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
-sliced green onions, for garnish
Combine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, oil, mustard and ginger.  Pour over salmon and place in the fridge for 1 hour, turning once.
Preheat broiler on high.
Remove salmon from marinade (discard marinade) and broil for 10 minutes.  Serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onion.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Slow Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake

Yes, cake in the slow cooker!  It is very moist too.  It's a wonderful dessert, quick and delicious.  Enjoy!
-1 (16.25 oz) package devil's food cake mix
-1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
-4 large eggs
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, optional
-sliced strawberries, optional
Coat inside of slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray.
In your mixer's bowl, add cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, water and oil.  Beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.  Pour batter into prepared slow cooker.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or until center of cake is firm.
Let is cool in the slow cooker for about 1 hour.
Slice and serve with whipped cream/ice cream and sliced strawberries, if desired.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fiery Cajun Shrimp Alfredo

Can you tell that I love Alfredo sauce and spicy food?  This is yet another recipe for Alfredo, but with a kick.  There's also sausage in this.  The original recipe calls for Andouille sausage, but that's very hard to find where I live.  So, I found a hot and smoky sausage, which is a perfect substitute for Andouille.  If you can't find hot and smoky, then go for a simple Polska kielbasa.  Enjoy!
-1 1/2 lbs raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, with tails removed
-2 Tbs Creole seasoning
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-10 oz  Andouille sausage OR hot and smoky sausage, chopped
-1/2 medium onion, finely diced
-1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
-5 cloves garlic, minced
-3 shakes Worcestershire sauce
-1 lb linguine pasta
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 cup whole or 2% milk
-1 Tbs ground pepper
-1/2 tsp chili powder
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, sliced
-1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
-fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
Place shrimp and Creole seasoning in a large resealable plastic bag.  Shake well to coat and set in the fridge.
Cook the pasta for 10 minutes in boiling water.  Drain.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a large and deep skillet.  Add the sausage and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often.  Add the onions and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add the pepper flakes and garlic.  Cook for 1 minute. Add the Worcestershire sauce.
Add the cream, milk, pepper and chili powder.  Stir well.  Add the cut butter and stir until melted.  Stir in the cheese until melted.  Lower the heat to a simmer.
Heat remaining olive oil in another large skillet.  Add the shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes per side or until they just start to turn pink.
Add the cooked shrimp and drained pasta to the sauce.  Mix well.
Serve onto plates and garnish with parsley.  Enjoy!
Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This is another way of making simple and delicious Brussels Sprouts.  My hubby loved them and he claims he doesn't like Brussels Sprouts, especially without bacon!  Well, this recipe does not include bacon and they still came out delicious.  It's a wonderful combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Nothing fancy; simply delicious.  Enjoy!
-1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Wash and trim the sprouts.  Cut them in half and place on baking sheet.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix everything well with your hands, then spread the sprouts evenly in single layer.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until nicely browned.  Serve hot.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta

Yes, I do have a weakness for Alfredo sauce, as you can see I have 3 different recipes for it on this blog. :)  But it's so good!  I can't help it!  This is just another way of making it.  You could add cooked chicken, pork or shrimp in it, or leave it plain.  I served ours with some delicious fried chicken and a yummy simple salad.  Enjoy!
-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 Tbs butter
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-3 cups chicken stock
-1/2 lb uncooked spaghetti
-1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-3/4 cup heavy cream
-2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
Heat oil in large pasta pot.  Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.  Mix in the butter until melted.  Season with the salt and pepper, and add the chicken stock.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender.
Remove pot from stove and mix in the cheese.  Mix until cheese is completely melted.  Stir in the heavy cream and parsley.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Adobo Pork Chops

Did you know that Adobo is simply the Spanish name for marinade?  Adobo is basically the immersion of raw food in a sauce to preserve and enhance its flavor. Cool, huh?  Anyway, these chops are amazing!  The meat melts in your mouth and the flavor is truly outstanding.  Enjoy!
-6-8 pork chops, boneless, trimmed of all visible fat
-2 Tbs brown sugar
-2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbs orange juice
-1/2 Tbs dried cilantro leaves
-1 Tbs red wine vinegar
-2 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp dried oregano leaves
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-3 cloves garlic, minced
Put all ingredients, except for chops, into a resealable plastic bag.  Mix very well.  Add the chops and make sure they're well covered with the marinade.  Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours but up to 24 hours, turning the bag occasionally.
Remove chops from bag, discarding the marinade.  Grill chops to desire doneness.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Strawberry Lassi

Lassi is an Indian yogurt based drink, usually made with mango.  Since good mango is kind of hard to find in my neck of the woods, I made it with strawberries.  It's such a refreshing and tasty drink.  There's a bit of tanginess from the strawberries and yogurt, paired perfectly with the sweetness of the honey.  Yum!  Enjoy!
-1 lb fresh strawberries, cleaned, trimmed and halved
-1/2 cup honey
-a pinch of salt
-2 cups non-fat plain Greek yogurt
-1 cup crushed ice
Combine the strawberries, honey and salt in a blender.  Puree until smooth.  Add the yogurt and mix well.  Add the ice and blend until smooth.
Pour into glasses and serve immediately.  Enjoy!


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