“The hard thing about business, is minding your own” ~ unknown

Ok, not going to lie – all the negativity being thrown around on social media is just bringing me down. Granted, I have my own opinions on everything but I want none of the drama. So, since it’s been a while since I have posted anything, I figured it was time for a little good – good food, that is!!

We can all agree on that!

This recipe is so full of flavor but very light! 

Simple to make as well. 🙂

Pad Thai Salad

Salad

  • 3 cups cooked, boneless/skinless chicken breasts, shredded (1 -1.25  lbs)
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage (I used the bagged kind for ease)
  • 1.5 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 small green apple, cut into matchsticks or small cubes (do this last so the apple will not brown)
  • ½ cup green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts

Dressing

  • 2 cloves minced garlic (jar kind works)
  • ½ teaspoon jalepeno pepper, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water

In a large salad bowl, combine chicken, carrots, cabbage, green onions and cilantro. Toss to mix well.

In a medium bowl, mix together garlic, peppers, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, oil and fish sauce. Whisk until combined. Add this along with the water and peanut butter to a small food processor. Blend until smooth.

Add apple to salad and pour dressing over salad. Toss until salad is well coated. Serve immediately. Garnish with chopped peanuts.

Salad and dressing can be stored separately in refrigerator until ready to serve.


-abp

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“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” ~ John Wooden

I get so excited when I find simple recipes that don’t taste simple!

There are times I do not mind spending 1 hour + in the kitchen on one meal but I must admit, those times are getting fewer and fewer. The problem is that I miss all the goodness of those hours slaving away in the kitchen. So when I run across recipes that give me both yummy and quick – I’m sold!

Garlic Cilantro Shrimp

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, roasted (directions below)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon dry white wine
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoons chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deviened
  • salt and pepper
  • 3-4 cups jasmine rice, cooked

In a large bowl, combine roasted garlic (squish it out of the head of garlic), lime juice, wine, 3 tablespoons olive oil and chili sauce. Whisk until smooth.

Stir in cilantro, mix well.

Pat shrimp dry and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes each or until cooked through.

Remove from pan and stir into cilantro mixture until well coated.

Serve over Jasmine rice with garlic bread.

Roasted Garlic

Preheat oven to 400º. Trim the top off a head of garlic (leaving it intact). Place on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap foil up around the garlic, place in baking dish and cook for 45 mins. Remove from oven and let cool. You then should be able to pick up garlic and squeeze it out the top of it’s shell.

-abp

“Be quick, but don’t hurry.” ~ John Wooden

Shrimp dishes can be unbelievably quick!

And sometimes (a lot of times) quick is what I really need. Especially in the summer. It stays light out for so long ( I LOVE that though), the night slips up on you! Next thing I know it’s 7:15 and I haven’t even to begin to start supper.

This is why I always have frozen peeled and deveined shrimp in my freezer. It thaws super quick and with a little seasoning and rice – you have a dinner.

There is a little more to the following recipe but it’s still a quick one!

Honey Garlic Shrimp and Noodles

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, minced
  • 1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 8 oz, udon noodles, cooked

Whisk together honey, soy sauce, garlic, ginger in a medium bowl.

In a large zip lock bag, place shrimp and 1/4 of the sauce in the bag. Coat well and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and/or up to 8 hours.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Remove shrimp from marinade (discard marinade) and cook shrimp for about a minute per side. Add in the remaining sauce and cook until heated through, add the cornstarch slurry (whisked water and cornstarch) bring to a simmer until thickened.

Serve shrimp and sauce over cooked udon noodles. Sprinkle with green onions.


-abp

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.” ~ Stephen King

Ah Lawd. I’ve created a monster.

My getting back in the kitchen has made my husband come to expect some new dish nightly.

Well. I hate it for him. Lol.

But it’s not too bad when you can whip up something fairly simple – this recipe included.

BTW – we are going out to eat tonight.

Chicken Parmesan

  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jar ( oz) marinara sauce
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon water, whisked together
  • 10 oz spaghetti noodles, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • dried basil for garnish
  • salt/pepper

Preheat oven to 350º.

Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour (both sides), shake off excess. Then dredge in egg mixture (both sides), shake off excess. Finally, dredge in breadcrumbs (both sides) and press into chicken.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken on both sides (3-4 minutes a side or until cooked through). Remove to paper towel lined plate to remove excess oil.

Place cooked noodles in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with marinara, reserving 1 cup to top chicken. Arrange chicken breasts on top of noodles, followed by remaining sauce across the chicken. Evenly sprinkle cheese on top of chicken.

Baked uncovered for around 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Sprinkle with basil before serving.

 

-abp

 

“Do you know how helpless you feel if you have a full cup of coffee in your hand and you start to sneeze?” ~ Jean Kerr

I’m still enjoying the new kitchen so I’ve been spending quite a bit of time in there.

This has made the men in my life happy.

The following is a very simple recipe I can honestly say I wasn’t expecting to be anything special but it got rave reviews from the family.  Unfortunately, I have had a nasty cold and I couldn’t really taste it so I’m taking their word for it! These colds our little princess brings home from school really knock mommy on her butt.

I have caught every. single. one. Totally over it.

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta

  • 1 lb fresh shrimp, peeled and deviened
  • 5 medium, vine ripened tomatoes
  • 3 cups, lightly packed spinach
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (jar kind is fine)
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  •  A pinch of crushed red pepper, more if you light more heat.
  • 8-10 oz of cooked fettuccine
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Season shrimp with pepper, paprika and garlic salt.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat.  Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until no longer translucent.

Once cooked add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Next, add tomatoes, lemon juice, red pepper, Italian seasoning and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Finally, add in fresh spinach, cover for a few minutes  to wilt then stir to combine.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over cooked fettuccine and top with Parmesan cheese.

-abp

“I always had a fantasy of being a chef, because I like kitchen life.” ~ Geoffrey Rush

Have new kitchen, will cook.

There is nothing like a new kitchen to get you out of the cooking rut. I’ve always loved to cook but for the past year, I’ve had to drag myself to the kitchen. I don’t know what the problem was but I believe I found a solution!

A new kitchen!

We just moved and I love, love the new space. The best part about it is that there are tons of cabinets! This makes it so easy to get to the things you need to cook. No digging or unstacking required. Makes putting up clean dishes a breeze as well.

So, hopefully now I can get back to the business of cooking and blogging about it.

Recipe #2 cooked in new kitchen is as follows:

Fajita Pasta

  • 1 lb chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning, divided
  • 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (I used red and yellow because my husband doesn’t like green)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (jar kind is fine)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 heavy cream
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (mild for less heat)
  • 8 oz of bowtie pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • sour cream
  • cilantro (optional, didn’t have any but wish I had)

Season chicken with half of the taco seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium high heat and cook chicken until cooked through (approx 8-9 mins). Remove from pan.

While chicken cooks, season chopped veggies with the remaining half of taco seasoning. After removing chicken, add the other tablespoon of oil to skillet, followed by the vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally until they are slightly charred then add in the minced garlic and stir for around 30 seconds. Once done, remove and add to chicken.

In the same skillet add the broth, cream, rotel, salt and pasta, scraping the browned bits off bottom of skillet. Bring to a boil, cover and reduced to medium. Cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Finally, add chicken and veggies back to skillet and warm through.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with chopped cilantro.


-abp

 

“Open Sesame” ~ Ali Baba

I always come across Asian recipes I would love to try but I never do.

You know why?

I never have sesame oil and they all call for sesame oil. I never can remember to pick it up at the store.

Guess what?

I bought some sesame oil today!!

Whoot Whoot!

Guess what?

We are having an Asian Inspired dish tonight.

🙂

Korean Beef Bowl

(adapted from Mel’s Kichten Cafe)

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 green onions, chopped, divided
  • Hot, cooked rice

First start your rice or quinoa so that it will be ready about the time you finish up with the beef.

In a large skillet, brown the hambuger meat with 2 of the green onions and garlic. When cooked through, drain excess grease.

In a separate bowl, mix together soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, one green onion, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper flakes.

Stir sauce into beef mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over warm rice, garnish with remaining green onion.

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“How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!” ~ Jane Austen

Some days I just need to make something quick for dinner.

I don’t mean a frozen pizza but something I actually make.

Something I can feel good about, knowing, I cooked dinner for my family.

But dang it,  sometimes I don’t feel like spending 30-45 minutes in the kitchen making dinner.

As you can tell, I’m not feeling very domestic today. I want/need to feed my family, I want/need to eat and I don’t want/need to get  take out.

The following recipe is a perfect fix for that dilemma.

Make a quick sauce. Boil noodles. Done.

20 minutes top.

I’ll even one up it and throw frozen garlic bread in the oven.

You know, I could try and be hip and say this is a “Meatless Monday” meal.

Even though it is just Sunday……but I’m just not that hip. 🙂

Oh well, it was very tasty, the hubs is happy and I can get back to working on my needlepoint.

Nice lazy day.

Pasta with Tuscan Cream Sauce

(adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed or the kind in a jar
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cut into 8 pieces
  • 8-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste, if needed

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.

Add basil, then cream cheese. Whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy

Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.

Gradually add the milk, ¼ cup at a time. Each time, whisking until completely blended in sauce.

Once all milk is incorporated, stir in cheese, pepper and salt.

Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring until the cheese is melted (5-10 minutes).

Serve over warm, cooked bow-tie pasta.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese and chopped tomatoes.

**This would be great with a grilled chicken breast**

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-abp

“See your disappointments as good fortune. One plan’s deflation is another’s inflation.” ~ Jean Cocteau

It’s that time of year again!

The time when you can totally not feel bad about making a meal out of grazing for hours over the best appetizers there are to offer.

Well, at least that’s how we normally do the Super Bowl.

This year, it’s just going to be me and the hubs so we really don’t need several dips for just the 2 of us. Although, I still wanted a Super bowl party feel meal.

Que the Chicken Wings!

I have never attempted to make these at home so I thought what a good time to give them a go.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • 20 chicken wings
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 2 Gallon Ziploc bags
  • Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing for dipping

Place the salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon hot sauce, and vegetable oil into Ziploc bag, and shake to mix. Add the chicken wings, seal, and toss until well coated.

In the second Ziploc bag, place the flour, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder and shake to mix. Pour the chicken wings from the first bag into the flour bag, seal, and toss until well coated with the flour mixture.

Place the wings onto the prepared baking sheet rack, and place into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet and coat it with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Whisk in the hot sauce.

**If you want to skip this last step, you can buy your favorite jarred wing sauce – mine is Franks – and use it instead. **

Dip the wings into the butter mixture one at a time, and place back on the baking sheet rack.

Bake in the preheated oven until cooked through and crispy on the outside, about 1 hour, turning half way through baking.

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“Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission.” ~ Andrew Jackson

I found another delicious salad that allows me to use my new favorite ingredient.

Quinoa.

Whats great about quinoa is that it’s very filling and pretty much takes on the flavor of the other ingredients with which it has been paired. Because of this, you can add it or serve it with most any salad or as a bed for a sauce in place of rice. It has been called the “perfect food”.

I am always finding new ways to try quinoa. I have a new recipe for a breakfast bowl that calls for it and I am dying to give it a try.

Stay tuned.

Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

(adapted from Damn Delicious)

Salad

  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup blueberry craisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Toss salad ingredients in large bowl, top with vinaigrette, toss again. Serve immediately.

** This can be made with any mixed green salad but I highly recommend keeping all other ingredients. **

Vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar in a small bowl.

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-abp