Tostadas Terrificos!

February 23, 2014

I know I have not blogged in awhile, but I have have definitely been cooking!

Most recently, I made an amazing supper of Shrimp Tostadas and served them with Roasted Okra.

My husband and I just returned from a fun, and adventurous, trip to the beautiful country of Costa Rica.  As much as we enjoyed kayaking, hiking and other outdoor activities of La Fortuna and walking the streets of San Jose…we were not crazy about the food.  There is only so much rice and beans, pizza and fried chicken you can eat (random selection, I know).

Anywho, since we were craving Latin American food as soon as we set foot back in the states, I immediately started looking for a recipe to inspire and found this Shrimp Tostada Recipe — que delicioso! It was quick and easy to make, healthy and just what we had been craving.

Of course, I made a few changes.  I used frozen, precooked shrimp and just heated them through with the garlic and salsa in a pan on the stove; subbed Butterhead Lettuce because it’s my fave and added a little coconut oil  to the refried beans (a little trick I learned in my travels to Belize).

It’s also a great dish to have on hand for Meatless Monday (if you eat seafood on Mondays like I do).

What’s your go-to dish when you need a south-of-the-border fix?

La Cena

La Cena

Suffering Succotash

July 14, 2013

This dish looks and tastes like summer. The vivid color of the veggies, the freshness of the herbs and the brightness of the lemon make for a healthy and delicious side during the hot summer months.

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I think the corn would be tasty grilled if you have the grill on already…it helps to not heat up the kitchen. (I also like to utilize the burner on our outdoor grill.) I used shelled beans from the farmer’s market and fresh basil from my garden. Also, I did not have canola oil so I used vegetable oil and it worked great.

My husband asked what exactly succotash was, so I looked up the history. Pretty interesting.

There are many ways to prepare succotash. What’s your favorite?

The Perfect Pickle

June 9, 2013

A nice, crisp pickle is the perfect accompaniment to your summer meal. That pickle tastes even better when it’s homemade.

I found this easy recipe on Allrecipes.com and was surprised how little salt it called for. I always think of pickles soaking in a salty brine, but this recipe brings together a mix of such fresh flavors that you don’t miss all the extra sodium. Next time, though, I’ll add less sugar (more like 1/8 cup) as I prefer a more savory pickle, than a sweet one. Play with the ingredients to make your perfect pickle and enjoy all summer long!

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Pickles ready for the fridge!

Portobello Pizzas

May 11, 2013

I love finding recipes that are not only easy and delicious, but good for you! This one does not disappoint. Another bonus is that it’s a gluten-free recipe. I made a few tweaks from the original recipe, including:
– Used caramelized onions and fresh basil leaves as toppings
– Subbed turkey pepperoni (you can omit to make it a meatless dish)
– Omitted the black olives, anchovies and sausage

I served these tasty personal pizzas alongside a quinoa salad and roasted asparagus sprinkled with blue cheese.

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Quick Tip: Wrap a few garlic cloves in aluminum foil (drizzled with evoo) and roast in the oven alongside the mushroom caps.

I’m really loving cooking vegetarian on Mondays.  The challenge of eating meat-free one day a week, has me researching tasty entrees I probably wouldn’t try usually.  This tortellini dish literally blew us away.  I had my vegetarian friend over for dinner and she was also impressed.

I must say, the Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil really made this dish.  It melded beautifully with the sharp bite of fresh garlic, the herbed pasta and the creamy goat cheese.  This recipe should probably serve four, but Jim and I ate 3/4 of it between the two of us. The only thing that would have made it any better, would be a fresh loaf of french bread to sop up the delicious sauce left at the bottom of the bowl.

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Isn’t that olive oil beautiful?

Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Parsley

printable recipe

  • salt
  • 1/3 cup Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (I used herbed cheese from the Farmer’s Market)
  • 1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
  • black pepper
  • parmesan cheese, grated

In a covered pot, bring well-salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large pasta serving bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan and serve.

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This bowl was not full for long.

I was very excited about this week’s topic of Dishes in 5 Ingredients or Less, because I just made an amazing batch of these crock pot chicken tacos.  Not only does this recipe use only THREE ingredients, but since the meat is prepared in the crock pot, it’s effortless to throw together and comes out extremely juicy and tender.  Since I cook for the girls in the office, I love to toss all the ingredients in the crock pot before I go to bed and cook on low overnight.  In the morning, I pack the chicken to-go and take it in for lunch.

There is a an endless combination of meals you can make featuring this succulent and zesty chicken.  I like to use a wheat wrap and pile on the chicken, low-fat cheese, lettuce, onion, avocado, etc. for a healthy burrito; top shredded lettuce with cowboy caviar, the chicken taco meat, and drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette for a flavorful salad; or make nachos by topping tortilla chips with cheese, chicken, cowboy caviar, lettuce and Greek Yogurt.

Whichever way you choose to serve it; it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser!

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

printable version

This recipe is as easy as…

  1. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 packet taco seasoning
  3. 1 16oz. jar of salsa

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Cover with taco seasoning and top with salsa.  Seal the lid of the crock pot and turn the crock pot on low.

Cook for eight hours and serve!

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step one

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step two

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step three

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step four

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wake up in the morning to this! smells amazing

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shred and it’s ready to serve!

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taco salad is a delicious way to serve

Check out more delicious 5 Ingredient or Less recipes from the #SundaySupper community below!

Join us, September 30th, 2012 as we share our delicious, mouth-watering recipes! Here’s a sneak peak at what everyone is bringing to our #SundaySupper table. Be sure to stay after dinner at 7pm EST as we share our recipes during our #SundaySupper live chat!

Breakfast, Starters, Butters and Jams:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Beverages:

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite 5 Ingredient Recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

I made this yesterday for the girls in the office today.  As usual, I tasted a spoonful, to make sure it came out okay.  Oh my goodness.  I had to immediately pack up the salad and stow it in the fridge so I couldn’t have a second, third and fourth bite.  I know this will be a hit for today’s lunch and I will definitely be doubling the batch the next time I make it!

I’m serving it with a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.  A healthy menu to kick off fall!

Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta

printable version

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. In a saucepan, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Bring the farro to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let sit about 10 minutes.  Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, remove the broccoli crown from the stem and cut into bitesize florets. Toss the stems or use them in a chicken or vegetable broth. In a baking dish, toss the florets with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about one hour. Add the broccoli, feta, scallions, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the farro. Sprinkle with the vinegar and 1 tsp. salt and toss. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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You won’t miss the meat!

I have to admit. When I saw the #SundaySupper topic was Autumn Apple Party, I thought I might skip this week. I couldn’t think of one dish I’d ever made with apples…and I don’t think dipping them in peanut butter counts.

However, after a bit of thought, I decided to accept the challenge and go outside my comfort zone and try something new. I thought about applesauce or pork chops with apples, but most of the ideas that came to mind were already accounted for.  So, while searching on my favorite recipe website, I stumbled upon this apple salad served in endive and thought not only did it sound tasty, but it’s a great appetizer.  You don’t need utensils and it can be enjoyed in just one, or two, bites.

I tested this recipe on my co-workers earlier this week and it went over okay.  I didn’t follow the recipe to a “t,” and eye-balled everything and it turned out a little too blue-cheesy and mayonnaise-y.  The also didn’t have endive at the Farmer’s Market (well, they had a sign that said “endive” but the lettuce underneath was not endive) so I served it over chopped red lettuce.  It was “eh.”

I made it again last night and followed the recipe almost verbatim (put a little less blue cheese and added pepper) and it came out absolutely delicious — and I found endive at Kroger, whew!  Such a gorgeous presentation and still a hit with the guys that came over to watch football.  Will definitely make again!

P.S. In my hunt for apple recipes, I found an amazing one for apple butter. It may have taken 14 hours to prepare, but it was worth the wait.  I will be sharing that recipe soon!

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Yummy pre-game nibble

Endive Spears Topped With Apple, Blue Cheese and Hazelnut Salad

printable recipe

  • 1 large Gala apple, cored and cut into 1/8-inch dice
  • ¼ cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 celery stalks,chopped
  • 3 Tbs. light mayo
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 “head” of endive, leaves separated 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a medium bowl, combine the apple, blue cheese, celery, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble, mound a small spoonful of the apple mixture onto the core end of each endive leaf. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve.

Here’s our Autumn Apple Party Menu from members of the #SundaySupper community!

Soups, Salads, Starters and Breads

Main Meals

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite apple recipes! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your apple recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

Dress Up Your Salad

September 21, 2012

Homemade vinaigrettes are apparently all the rage these days.  Who knew I was ahead of the trend?  I’ve been making them for a while now and the flavor of a homemade dressing simply cannot be beat.  You can mix up the flavors with different kinds of vinegar, herbs and sweeteners.  My favorite is Balsamic Vinegar, but I’ve also used Raspberry Vinegar, Tarragon Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar.  Fresh thyme is my go-to herb and I go back and forth between brown sugar and agave nectar to sweeten things up.  No matter what, garlic is always involved, as is a little salt and pepper.  I’ve also been known to sub citrus for the vinegar/acidity, so you can make a lemon or lime vinaigrette and even Dijon mustard can make a tasty appearance now and again.

Everyone has a different theory on the ratio that should be used.  I like to go 50/50 with oil/acid.  However, a lot of recipes call for three parts oil to one part vinegar.  It really depends on how you prefer the “tangy-ness” of your dressing, so feel free to play around with the ratios and go with what suits your palate best!
Do you make vinaigrettes at home?  If so, what’s your favorite ingredients to toss in and what ratio do you go by?

BeFunky Warming on iPhone

Always served best in a good ‘ol southern Mason Jar

Basic Vinaigrette

printable recipe

  • 1 cup evoo
  • 1 cup vinegar (I used ½ cup balsamic and ½ cup raspberry)
  • 1 tbs, fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs agave nectar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a Mason Jar, top with the lid, and shake.  Serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

For anyone that doesn’t get the Spanish translation, it’s “Party in Your Mouth” Enchiladas and they are exactly that.  These easy to prepare, rolls of flavor are so tasty you will want seconds…and thirds…and maybe even fourths.  Shhh, I won’t tell anyone.  When I brought leftovers to work, I practically had to beat my co-workers away with a stick after they tried a bite.

I like to start off this meal with a Chilled Avocado Soup (in the summertime) and serve with Spanish rice.  If you like an extra bit of heat with your meal, this Hot Habanero Relish is an amazing accompaniment!

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Que delicioso!

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas

printable recipe

For the Chicken and White Bean Filling:

  • 1 tsp evoo
  • ½  white onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 15.5 oz can Cannellini beans
  • 2 cooked shredded chicken breast (I like to boil and shred mine and save the stock to use in the rest of this recipe)
  • ½ cup chicken stock from boiling chicken breast
  • 1 tsp cumin

For the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce:

  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth (from boiling chicken earlier)
  • 7 oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (de-seed if you want to go light on the heat)
  • salt
  • ½ cup light Greek yogurt
  • ¾  cup reduced fat Mexican cheese
  • 8 medium whole wheat tortillas
  • chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°.

For the Filling:
In a medium pan, heat olive oil on low. Add onions, garlic and saute until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add green chiles, beans, chicken stock and cumin. Mix well and cover. Simmer on low 15 minutes. Remove cover, add chicken and cook an additional 5 minutes, or until it thickens and liquid boils down. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:
In a large nonstick pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add flour and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, until it becomes smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 4-5 minutes. Add green chiles, jalapeños, and salt to taste. Cook another minute then remove from the heat. Stir in the Greek yogurt.

Spread about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken/white bean filling. Roll the tortillas and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Continue filling remainder of the tortillas.

Pour the enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with cheese. Cover with aluminum and bake 20-30 minutes, until the enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted. Remove from oven and top with LOTS of fresh cilantro…and the Habanero Relish, if you please.

Be sure to check out all the fabulous Mexican recipes from this week’s #SundaySupper group, listed below:

Sopas (Soups), Ensaladas (Salads), and Entremeses (Starters)

La Comida (the food)

Postres (desserts)

Bebidas (beverages)

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day (this coming Sunday, September 16) during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes for a Mexican Fiesta! All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat!  We’d also love to feature your Mexican Fiesta recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!

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