“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

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“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

“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

“I make it a rule always to believe compliments implicitly for five minutes, and to simmer gently for twenty more.” ~ Alice James

The cold is back.

Luckily, we will not be having the horrible weather expected in the Northeast but nonetheless, you have no idea how ready I am for spring to get here.

But since that is still quite a ways off, I might as well enjoy one of the things that comes with cold weather.

A nice warm stew. One that cooks all day and makes the house smell wonderful!

Today, I have nothing on the calendar so I will luckily stay in my comfy knit pants and sweatshirt, go outside only to get the mail,  do some laundry and start this stew.

My kind of day.

Old Fashioned Beef Stew

  • 1 lb stew meat or beef tips
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cans (15 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can greens beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen Lima beans
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ frozen diced potatoes
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Season beef with salt and pepper, brown on all sides in large pot. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent.

Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, beans, bouillon, broth and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low for 1-2 hours. After it has simmered for at least an hour, add in potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Best served with cornbread!

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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

“Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people” ~Abraham Lincoln

I stepped totally out of the box on this one, folks.

This is a recipe I would normally skipped right on past.

But it was the Fourth of July and what better fits that holiday more than watermelon?

– Not much.

And who is trying to lose baby weight?

– Me.

So I thought “why not?”.

I was still skeptical even as I filled the bowls but after all the garnish was applied, it all came together.

The flavors were amazing together and every bite was better than the last!!

Watermelon Gazpacho

1 large tomato, pureed
1/2 Serrano chile
2 cups cubed fresh watermelon
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1/2 cucumber, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a blender, puree the tomatoes, chile, and 1/2 of the watermelon. Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse. Add the onion, cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with dill, feta, and remaining watermelon.

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-abp

“A kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years.” ~ Rupert Brooke

I love Valentine’s Day – the love, the candy, the colors.  It’s just a fun but low key holiday. A time that you can be cheesy in love with your significant other or other family members.

My husband’s favorite type of food is Italian, so in honor of my sweetheart this Valentine’s Day week, I am making three Italian dinners. The first one being a very simple dish that on a plate doesn’t look so simple.

Would be a great 1st dinner you cook for a new love! 🙂

Sweetheart Tomato and Basil Chicken

(adapted from Menu Musings of an American Modern Mom)

  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Dry Italian seasoning
  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes (halved and quartered)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic (I used the jarred kind to save time)
  • 4 Tablespoons cold butter
  • ¾ cup basil – divided (cut into ribbons)
  • Parmesan Cheese

Start water for fettuccine and heat up olive oil in large pan on medium/high heat.

Season both sides of chicken with salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.

Brown chicken for 4-5 minutes on both sides.

Add in tomatoes, garlic, ½ cup basil and butter. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and keep warm until fettuccine is ready.

Serve chicken over pasta with sauce and top with remaining basil and Parmesan cheese.

Love on a plate!

Sweetheart Tomato and Basil Chicken | Poore Amy-abp

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Hello, it’s me again! Sorry I have been MIA but if you have read much of my blog lately you know I have a good reason! 🙂

Miss Elizabeth Louise Poore made her debut on Halloween – my little pumpkin baby!!

So, of course, it has been quite hectic around here but I wanted to throw a quick recipe out there for you.  It’s a very popular, easy party dip that I’m sure you have seen at a many of parties.

7 Layer Dip

  • 2 cans of refried beans with greens chilies
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup guacamole (I used premade)
  • shredded lettuce
  • shredded mexi-blend cheese
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped green onions (green part only)
  • tortilla chips

Spread beans evenly in a glass dish (9×11). Then layer the remaining indredients and serve with chips.

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Now how easy was that?? Easy enough for a mom with a 4 week old to make and take to an Iron Bowl party, but we are not going to talk about that. RTR anyway!

-abp

 

“The countdown to success always starts when you make up your mind to take one step forward.” ~ unknown

Let the countdown begin!

We have around two weeks left until we get to see our sweet bundle of joy!!

This also means my husband has about 1 week or so left of me cooking at home for a while. 🙂

So when I ran across this recipe on Lindsay’s blog – Normal Cooking – I knew I must make it for him because one – it’s simple and two – it has Italian sausage in it and he loves Italian sausage.

This is his favorite Italian sausage:

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Italian Pasta Skillet

(adapted from Normal Cooking)

  • 12 oz Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 1-1/4 cups hot water
  • 8 ounces pasta of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage in a non stick skillet.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, seasoning and pasta. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in spinach until it wilts. Stir in cheese until melted.

Serve with more cheese sprinkled on top

photo-10He really loved it and I’m glad because it was so very easy to make!

-abp

“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.” ~ Horace Mann

Well, today I’m sitting here killing time as the guys for AT&T are installing U-Verse throughout the house.  I’ve never had anything but cable so I’m a little wary but hopefully it will be a good change.

Really, why does anything to do with cable/internet have to be so complicated?

While I’ve been sitting here (before they cut off my internet – please oh please work when they re-hook-up everything) I have found several new recipes to try! 🙂

But today I’m going to tell you about last nights dinner.

Chicken Cutlets with Tomato Cream Sauce

(adapted from Southern Living Magazine)

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb chicken cutlets
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup loosely packed sage leaves
  • ½ large shallot, sliced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth 2 medium  tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz hot cooked thin spaghetti
  1. Stir together flour and cornstarch in a shallow dish. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour/cornstarch mixture.
  2. Cook chicken in 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.
  3. Heat remaining oil in skillet; add sage. Cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes or until crisp and fragrant. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels.
  4. Add shallots and saute until tender. Add wine and cook until mixture is reduced by half, stirring to loosen all brown bits.
  5. Add broth, next 2 ingredients and chicken.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with crumbled sage leaves.

*****being pregnant, I do not have wine on hand like I normally would so I used 1½ cups chicken broth and added it when it calls for wine and cooked it down.********

DSC03831DSC03834I very much enjoyed this meal! I will say I thought it to be a little mild but would be perfect to serve to people who might not like “bold” flavors.

-abp