“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

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“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

“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

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” Lewis Grizzard

Thanks to one of my husband’s wonderful patients – we have had a surplus of fabulous home grown tomatoes!

I can eat BLT’s all day long, all week – I love them that much – but it still doesn’t use all those home grown beauties before they go bad. So ,I had to come up with another way to use them.

Hello delicious pizza sauce!

I make this up in several batches and freeze.

Pull out of the freezer and use with a pre-made crust for a quick weeknight dinner.

It’s also great to make when tomatoes are not in season, just use canned crushed tomatoes.

Perfect Pizza Sauce

  • 15 oz of fresh tomatoes (peeled) or canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-6 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste

Blend tomatoes and basil in blender to a chunky puree.

Brown garlic over medium/high heat in olive oil until fragrant (2-3 minutes). Be careful not to burn.

Add blended tomatoes and basil to garlic/oil mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced.

Let cool and use to create your favorite pizza or freeze in a zip lock bag until ready to use.

-abp

“Kiss my grits!” ~ Flo Castleberry

Some things are just southern.

Fried chicken.

Pimento cheese.

SunDrop and Nehi.

Cornbread.

But nothing says southern like grits.

Luckily the rest of the United States have started to catch on and use them in recipes at great restaurants across the country.

If you are new to the south and want to solidify your place here – try this recipe. If you are already from here, you already understand the importance of trying this recipe.

This recipe is versatile – it’s great for breakfast or to add to any shrimp and grits recipe.

Perfect Cheese Grits

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grits
  • 3 oz. Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook grits according to directions in chicken broth, adding garlic before grits.

Once grits are cooked, remove from heat and stir in cheese, butter and cream.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

-abp

“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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“One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” ~ James Thurber

I have noticed that many restaurants have started adding marinated olives to their appetizers menus and I love it! Sometimes, I would want to order a martini just for the olives.

Who am I kidding?

I would order the martini anyway! The olives are just a bonus.

I love olives! All kinds, well, except those sliced black ones that come on mexican food. Bleh. I don’t like those.

But all the other kinds are fabulous! When you add seasoning, cheese, nuts etc. They just get better.

So, I thought, why not make some at home. Would be a great additive to any Christmas gathering you may have this season.

Marinated Olive and Almonds

(adapted from Southern Living)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons grapefruit zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups pitted and drained green and black olives
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted salted almonds

1. Stir together first 10 ingredients in a large bowl. Add olives; toss with marinade to coat. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

2. Remove and discard crushed garlic cloves, and stir in roasted almonds just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Simple as that!

Enjoy!

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-abp

“One man’s poison ivy is another man’s spinach.” ~ George Ade

Side dishes really are a thorn in my side.

That’s why a love a roast. You have your meat, carrots and potatoes all together and the most you have to think about is finding some kind of bread to go with it.

But, alas, you can not have roast every night.

Sometimes you just have to make sides.

Luckily, I have finally found a side that is almost as easy as throwing a bag of salad in a few bowls.

Sautéed Garlic Spinach and Tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (I used the kind in a jar)
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 bag of prepared (bagged) baby spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large skillet.  Add tomatoes and cook until they begin to pop. (I then kind of squash them with my spatula). Add in garlic and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until fragrant.  Place the spinach in the pan and mix around until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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This is so very simple, good and healthy. You could very easlily change up this up to fit your taste buds as well. Examples being  – add shallots or top with Parmesan cheese.

-abp

“Let the past be content with itself, for man needs forgetfulness as well as memory.” ~ James Stephens

Stuffed Peppers.

A childhood favorite! Mom used to make them all of the time but bless her, she doesn’t remember quite how she did…… 🙂

I can understand that, I cant remember what I made last week. Does the baby brain ever go away?!?

That’s the thing about childhood favorites and all that good food that your mom and grandma made. They didnt have recipes written down. It was just in their head. I honestly do not know how my grandmother kept up with them all. (She obviously didn’t have baby brain)

Thank goodness for the internet and the beloved Pinterest because now I do not even have to try.

Since I knew I would not be able to recreate the ones my mom made, there would be no reason to even try so I’m putting a different spin on them. More Mexican than Italian. Also, since my husband is not a fan of green bell peppers, I will do a mixture of red and green bell peppers.

Although, I haven’t given up on finding a recipe close to mom’s. Stayed tuned!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

(adapted from Trisha Yearwood)

  • 6 large red or green bell peppers
  • 2½ cups long-grain white rice (or rice of your choice)
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • ½ medium-size sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 14.5-oz can Italian style diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 10-oz can Rotel diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 16 oz sharp Mexican blend cheese, grated (about 4 cups)
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400º.

Cut the bell peppers in half, top to bottom. Remove the seeds and the ribs and wilt peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

To save time cook “boil in the bags” rice according to directions in the same water you cook peppers. Or you can cook regular rice in another pot. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, brown the ground beef, onion, and garlic. Drain the meat. Add tomatoes to the meat and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in rice, salts and pepper.

In a foil lined pan sprayed with cooking spray, place the bell peppers skin side down. Evenly divide the beef mixture among the pepper halves. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the cheese and cilantro on the top. Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.

**** Next time I think I may add taco seasoning to kick up the Mexican flavor. ****

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-abp