“Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food.” ~ Hippocrates

I’m so happy that my seafood man “Bayou Joe” (who has been out of commission because of health reasons) is feeling better and back at selling good quality seafood.

That is why I have two shrimp recipes this week. I bought 2 lbs of shrimp and a pound of scallops which I can not wait to use. Anybody have any “can’t live without” scallop recipes??

This recipe is an adapted version of the Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole from the locally famous Winning Seasons cookbook that was put out by the Tuscaloosa Junior League in the 70’s and is a must have for any southern cook.

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Shrimp and Wild Rice Casserole

  • 2 Tbs chopped green onions (green part only)
  • 2 Tbs chopped sweet onion
  • 2 Tbs slice mushrooms (I used the kind in the jar because it was all I had but fresh preferably)
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 Tbs mustard
  • A few shakes of hot sauce
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 can cream of mushroom
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Pam cooking spray

Preheat over to 350º.

Saute pepper, onion and mushrooms in butter until soft.

DSC03362Mix together onion mixture, worcestershire, mustard, hot sauce, shrimp, soup, salt, pepper, cheese and cooked rice.

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Place in prepared (spray with Pam) casserole dish and top with bread crumbs and spray crumbs with Pam (to help brown). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until browned and bubbly. (I had to broil at the end to get it brown enough)

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This is very simple meal that can be easily doubled and served to a crowd or it can be a different swing to a weeknight comfort meal.

**Note** – this could also be made with chicken.

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Enjoy!

-abp

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“Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.” ~ Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa)

Italian food ranks right up there as being my favorite type of food but I have to admit when we got back home from our trip to Italy- I most definitely wanted something that 1) wasn’t Italian and 2) was not ordered in a restaurant.

I wanted good old comfort food and I wanted it in the form of Mexican!

So Mexican Chicken Casserole fit the bill perfectly!

It’s simple, simple and full of flavor.  It can also be adjusted according to the heat you desire.

Mexican Chicken Casserole

  • 2-3 cups of cooked chicken, shredded
  • 8 oz of jalapeno Velveeta cheese, cubed (use regular for milder version)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can mild rotel tomatoes (hot for spicier version)
  • 1/2 bag Doritos, crumbled

Mix shredded chicken, cheese, soups and rotel in large bowl.

Pour into casserole dish.

Top with Doritos and bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until slightly browned and bubbly.

Serve with Sante Fe Ranch Salad and chow down.

That sure was simple and perfect for this hungry jet-lagged girl.

Glad to be back in the kitchen!

abp

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

The calm before the storm.

The next couple days/weeks are going to be pretty crazy for me.
(But in a good way!)

We are going on our delayed Honeymoon – YAY! So this will be my last post for about 2 weeks. I would like to blog about some of the things we do and EAT on our trip but I’m not sure what the internet situation will be like. So until then I’ll send you off with the recipe from last Mondays Peanut Gallery meal.

Chicken and Black Bean Casserole

(recipe adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff)

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup rice
  • 1 ¼ cup chicken broth (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 cooked skinless boneless chicken breast halves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ground cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
  • 1-2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese-depending on how much cheese you like (pretty much any kind of cheese combo you would like would work well – I’m using cheddar-jack)

Bring rice and 1 cup chicken broth to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until rice is soft and liquid is absorbed.

Preheat oven to 350º and grease a 9×13 casserole dish.

Cook the onion in olive oil over medium high heat until tender.

Then add in chicken, mushrooms and zucchini. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Cook until zucchini and mushrooms are soft and slightly browned.

Add in chicken, green chilies, cream cheese, ¼ cup chicken broth, black beans, rice and half the cheese.  Stir until mixed well and heated through. (see note below)

****Note***** When doing this again, I would not add rice and beans in to the pan,  I would fold in rice and black beans in a large bowl after the rest was combined. When mixing in the beans over heat it kind of turned everything greyish – not very appealing.

When combined, spread into casserole dish and cover with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has slightly browned.

One thing I would add next time would be ½ – 1 Tablespoons of diced jalapeno peppers – I like it spicy!

I have to admit – it’s not a very pretty dish (the greyishness doesn’t help) but it’s a  yummy, filling dish that’s not on bad on the diet either!

I will definitely miss you guys for the next couple weeks but I should be back with good stories (and probably 5-10 extra pounds…….)

And for all you would be burglars out there – since I’m telling the whole world wide web that I’m going to be out of town – there will a house sitter staying in our home to take care of things while we’re gone, so no need in getting any ideas.

I’ll see you in a couple weeks!

Ciao!

abp

“My idea of bliss is to wake up on a Monday morning knowing you haven’t a single engagement for the entire week. You are cradled in a white paper cocoon tied up with typewriter ribbon.” – Edna Ferber

Mondays. How quickly they seem to come around. I really don’t mind Mondays – it’s just that Tuesday follows Monday and that’s when the work week starts for me.

Mondays are a great day for me to catch up on everything and get everything prepared for the next week with very few distractions. Also – it’s the day I prepare a new meal to test out on the peanut gallery.

Today’s meal will be:

Chicken Parmesan Casserole

(recipe adapted from foodwishes.com)

  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • hot red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped basil
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 (5 oz) package of garlic croutons

Preheat oven to 350°.

You start by pouring olive oil into a baking dish (the size determined by how much chicken you have). Next crush your garlic into dish. Mix garlic in and evenly spread on the bottom.

Sprinkle with hot pepper flakes.

Now place your cut up chicken in dish. The original recipe had it as whole chicken breasts but chicken breasts are so big nowadays that I think one is too big a serving so at least halving them will make the recipe go farther.
Of course, you can always leave them whole if you’re feeding hungry hippos or you could even cut chicken up into smaller pieces. (I think next time – time permitting – I’ll cut into 1 in. pieces)

******note – there has been a few problems of the chicken not being completely cooked because each oven is different so I would definitely cut chicken into bite size pieces and not just halved or whole to eliminate this problem.

Pour marinara sauce evenly over chicken and top with basil.

Layer with half the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. (I also added a sprinkling of dry italian seasoning to both cheese layers)

Top with croutons (I crushed them in the bag with my hands a little first) and the remaining cheese. (Next time, I will crush even more)

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes. You want to make sure chicken is done, so if the top starts to brown a little too much, cover with foil.

Here you go – Chicken Parmesan Casserole – serve with a salad and Parmesan Knots (see below).

For the Parmesan knots you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of grated parmesan (the kind in the green can)
  • 2 teaspoons dry italian seasoning
  • 1 can refrigerated buttermilk bisuits

Take each biscuit and pull/roll out into a rope, tie in a knot, tuck ends under and place on a foil lined, Pam sprayed baking sheet.

Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients

Brush mixture onto warm rolls.

Now you have a perfectly simple, perfectly good Italian Dinner.

Thumbs up from the peanut gallery!

🙂

abp

“If you buy chocolate with loose change the calories don’t count.” ― Janet Evanovich, Ten Big Ones

I love a rainy Monday! Good day to stay in and do some cleaning. I’m still working on getting settled in so I’m always looking for the right place for everything. No matter what I do there never seems to be enough space. (Maybe I just have too much junk)

Example being – loose change. It adds up (which is a good and bad thing). What do you do with yours?  Back in my apartment (and then it moved with me to my old house) I had cleaned out one of those huge popcorn tubs (a Shrek one, none the less) from the movie theater and used it for years.  I eventually filled it and plan on cashing it in but I guess I want to upgrade a bit from the cardboard Shrek bowl.

This morning, I cleaned out the junk drawer (which was consumed with change) and without any better ideas, I washed out a fairly attractive plastic pot from which the plant had been transplanted. It will work for now. I’ll just hide it in a corner.

Whatcha think?

So last week I made enchiladas – which were awesome! So how do you improve on that???

Make an enchilada casserole!!! We southerners love us some casseroles!!! It’s creamy comfort in a pyrex dish! The peanut gallery should all appreciate this – well, almost – the DH dislikes anything that has the word “creamy or cheesy” in the title. But that’s just a mind thing because once he tastes it – that all goes out the window!! Gotta love him!

I adapted this recipe from Get off Your Butt and…..Bake. Love that name!

Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 pound lean ground beef ( lean)

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 1/2 cups salsa

  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing

  • 1 pack of Taco seasoning

  • 6 flour or corn tortillas (8 inches)

  • 1 small can of mexicorn, drained

  • 3/4 cup sour cream

  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend or your favorite cheese

  • 1 cup shredded lettuce

  • 1 medium tomato, chopped

  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

    You start by browning you meat and onion, drain.

    Next mix in your beans, corn, salsa, dressing, seasoning.

    Then stir in your sour cream.

    In a 2 quart baking dish, put a thin layer of the meat mixture down, so there will not be any sticking.

    Place a flower tortilla on the bottom and layer with 1/3 meat mixture and cheese.

    Repeat 2 more times, topping off with a generous amount of cheese.

    Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

    Serve with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cilantro. (I’ll add a dollop of sour cream too!)

    Mexican cornbread will go great with this and just so you know (although, I’m sure you already did) things in my kitchen do not always turn out right.  So why not show you that too. 🙂

    Here’s my mexican cornbread – not to mention, I burned the snockers out of my finger when this fell apart! Oh well!!

    One good thing about ugly cornbread is that I didn’t mind cutting (scooping) myself a piece while it was still hot. Couldn’t look any worse!

    ’till next time folks!

    abp