Tag Archives: recipe

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo was the perfect dish for day 5 of being snowed in!

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This is how my pot of Damn Delicious’ Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo turned out.

I found Damn Delicious’ recipe for a lightened up version of Chicken Broccoli Alfredo over the weekend. We’ve been snowed in since Friday, but I had all the ingredients on hand (thankfully), so I made it for lunch today. Fabulous! The lighter sauce (all cream in other recipes but part milk and part chicken stock in this one) was just as flavorful and satisfying as the the full fat version, without the food coma afterwards. The recipe says it’s 4 servings, but this could totally feed a family of 6, IMO. You want to bulk it up, add a salad and a loaf of crusty bread. This recipe is dinner party worthy!

You know me, I rarely follow a recipe to the “T”, and this was no exception:

  • I didn’t have rotini, so I used penne
  • Instead of 2 chicken breasts, I used 5, small boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Wegmans Basting Oil instead of olive oil
  • I don’t buy unsalted butter, so I used salted
  • And I added more Parmesan cheese (but I’m not willing to admit to how much more)

I highly recommend this dish and am adding it to our dinner rotation!

 

Easy-Peasy, 3-Ingredient, BBQ Ribs in the Pressure Cooker

 

Ribs in Pressure Cooker

I *love* using my pressure cooker! Perfect for someone like me who thinks I’ve got everything going for me and I’m having a productive day, only to be brought up short in late afternoon with, “When’s dinner? I’m hungry.” Oh, right…dinner.  Forgot about that.  And you can’t pull out your crockpot at that late hour! So here’s another easy-peasy pressure cooker recipe, with only 3 ingredients, that produces tender, sticky ribs you thought you could only get from a low & slow professional!

I could’ve sworn the ribs were in the fridge, but I was wrong. No worries! I dropped the frozen ribs in my 2-gallon jug, full of hot water, and they were thawed in half an hour.  😀

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Remove baby back ribs from their wrapper and cut into 4 sections. Place the elevated cooking rack inside the cooker, pour in 2 cups of ginger ale and then lay rib sections on top of rack.

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Set pressure cooker timer for 25 minutes and ensure vent is sealed.

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When timer is up, vent out the steam completely before opening up the cooker. The ribs might not look pretty without their dousing of BBQ sauce, but try the meat here. So tender and juicy! Now we’re going to add the sauce and make the ribs sticky. You can do this on your grill, if you prefer. We’ve done that, but it’s faster and stickier under the broiler. You chose!

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Turn on your broiler, remembering that your oven door needs to be cracked when you are broiling. My oven rack is 7 inches below my broiler. This gives the sauce time to get sticky and really adhere to the ribs. If the rack was closer to the broiler, the sauce would blacken more. Pick your preference!

Remove meat to an oven-proof dish, underside of ribs facing up. Spread on your favorite BBQ sauce – ours is currently Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet & Spicy!

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Keep an eye on your ribs under the broiler; they can go from zero to burnt pretty quickly when left alone, but take forever to caramelize when you stare at them. ;o) Ours were under the broiler approximately 7-9 minutes per side.  When you have achieved your desired level of color and stickiness on the underside of your ribs, remove from broiler, flip, sauce the other side and back into the broiler for another 7-9 minutes. Do you see how the sauce just fused to the underside of the ribs, below?! It was so hard to put them back under the broiler for the other side because I just wanted to dig in!

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And…voilà! RIBS. ARE. DONE! To be honest with you, we could have left the top side of the ribs under the broiler longer, to achieve the same, infusion of matte sauce the back got, but it smelled so good, we couldn’t wait any longer. ;o) And they were still deliciously sticky! 

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Give these a try and let me know how they turned out! And check out my other Easy-Peasy Pressure Cooker recipes.

Cooking Turnip Greens for the First Time

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We went to the local farmers market this weekend for the 1st time this year.  One of the stalls was selling bunches of 3 turnips for $2.50 and I’d never seen turnips that big!  I like to put turnips in my Fall and Winter stews instead of potatoes, so I bought a bunch.  I’m going to peel, dice and freeze the turnips until I’m ready to use them later this year.

Unlike just the turnip bulb I find in the grocery store, these turnips came with their above-ground leafy stalks.  I knew I’d heard about turnip greens in certain Southern movies, books and ladies circles so, being the frugal Southerner that I am, I went searching for a recipe.  Cuz, let’s face it: once your north of 40, like I am, you can never have too many greens in your diet!  However, I didn’t want a recipe that took an ingredient and boiled it to death or smothered it in so much butter or bacon grease to mask the taste that it was no longer good for us.  So I asked The Google to find me a “healthy turnip green recipe”.   The second recipe to pop up in that search was Gina Neely’s Turnip Green Recipe.   I had all the ingredients, I liked the cooking method, so I went for it!

Once the hubs realized that I was actually going to cook the turnip greens, he felt the need to make a declaration: “I’ve had turnip greens before and I don’t like them.  Just like I don’t like turnips!  (Note to audience, he gobbles them up in my stews!) No matter how you’re going to prepare them, it’s not going to make a difference to me, because I. Don’t. Like. Turnips!  Therefore, I will not be trying yours.”  I gotta say, I totally admire the man’s courage for standing up to me.  ;o)

Well, I just loved these turnip greens!  I asked B if he’d like to try them (let him know he didn’t have to) and he did.  He loved them as much as I did!  The hubs was in the other room and called out, “What did the boy think?!”  I replied, “He liked them alright.”

The hubs came stomping into the kitchen with a duck face.  He looked at the pan of greens and his expression changed to disgust.  “Did you put vinegar in them,” he asked.  “Nope,” I replied.  “Hm.  Maybe I’d like them if they had vinegar.”

I said nothing; he continued to eye the greens like they were gonna jump up and bite him.  I turned back to the computer so he didn’t feel and pressure and saw out of the corner of my eye him grab a green out of the pan with his fingers and put it in his mouth.  His face was pleasantly surprised at the taste, but once he saw me looking at him, the duck face was back.  “Just like I thought,” he said, and walked into the front room.  I wonder if the leftovers will “mysteriously” end up in his lunch pail tomorrow?  ;o)

We Tried Grilled Pizza for the 1st Time and Loved Them!

My pizza – tomato sauce, mozzarella, peppers, onions, spinach, ground beef and parmesan.

I pinned The Happy Housewife’s Grilled Pizza recipe a while ago and finally added it to this week’s menu plan.  All of us are glad I did!  Since it was Leftover Wednesday, I chopped up grilled chicken and hamburgers along with some onion and snacking peppers to top our pizzas.  B just had a plain cheese pizza.

Look at this beautiful dough; can you see the spices in it?  It smelled so good!  My kitchen was covered in flour and it took a while to clean up, but it was worth it.  I used my stand mixer to make the dough and accidentally turned the speed up too high, too soon.  ;o)

After I rolled out the dough, the hubs oiled them (we used Wegmans Basting Oil instead of olive oil) and grilled them up.  This is actually the 2nd set of crusts.  The 1st three got charred.  Although B does not like his crust that way, the hubs and I don’t mind.  I cut them up and saved them for snacking/dipping later.

The 2nd set of crusts were much lighter.  The hubs worried that the bottoms would char again while we waited for the cheese to melt.  Therefore, after topping our crusts, we put them in the oven instead of back on the grill.

I was fine with that; we’d gotten the grill flavor on the crusts already.

Following the recipe, we divided the dough into 6 pizzas and each of us only ate half our pizza at dinner.  We will all be eating the other half at lunch.  Everyone agreed that grilled pizzas were to be added to the dinner rotation.  :o)
The hubs’ pizza – ranch dressing, grilled chicken, ground beef, spinach, mozzarella, parmesan, sesame oil.

Avocado Chicken by The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife

AvocadoChix

I needed some inspiration to cook chicken, yet again, for dinner last night. So I went to my Poultry Recipes board on my Pinterest looking for something new, easy and consisting of ingredients I had on hand. I don’t know about you, but I pin things all the time and can’t remember all of them. Looking through my own boards is like Christmas morning! hehehe

I found this gloriously simple recipe for Avocado Chicken from The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife. Definitely something new, quite easy and I had just bought tomatoes and avocados from Costco the day before. *Ding, ding, ding* We literally had a winner, winner, chicken dinner!

You know me, I can’t make any recipe exactly the way it is, so I finished off the oven time by turning the broiler on for a little color. The hubs is quite picky, and not a fan of tomatoes, but he agreed with me that dinner was delicious!

Adding this one to the rotation during tomato season. Thank you, Navy Wife!

My Chicken Noodle Soup Dump Recipe For Kathy

  • Dice up half an onion, 2 carrots, a couple of garlic cloves, and grate at least 1 tsp of fresh ginger. If I have shallots on hand, I’ll dice up one of those, too.
  •  Salt and pepper 1/2 of a chicken breast and cook it in a pan with the fat of your choice.  Set aside on a cutting board.
  • Add a little more fat to pan you cooked chicken breast in and then add your onion, carrot, garlic ginger and shallot.  Saute until onions are translucent.  If I have leftover cooked veggies from dinners in the fridge, I add them now and then saute for another minute or two.
  • If you have any spices or herbs you’d like to add for extra flavor, this is the time to do it!  Drop them in with your sauteed veggies and stir to coat and heat them up, releasing their flavors.  I find I get more flavor out of herbs and spices when I add them before liquids then I get when adding them at the end.  Salt and pepper, however, should be added at the end.
  • Add 3 – 4 cups of Kitchen Basics Unsalted Chicken Cooking Stock and bring up to a boil.
  • Once stock and veggies are boiling, add a handful or 2, at the most, of your choice of pasta, turn the flame down so that stock just simmers and cook until the pasta is al dente.  I pick a small pasta, like ditalini, alphabets, mini shells, mini farfalle, orecchiette, or elbows if that’s the smallest I have.  You can even break up spaghetti into small pieces.  Add a pasta too big or too much pasta and it will absorb all or most of your stock.
  • While pasta cooks, dice up your chicken breast.
  • When pasta is al dente, turn off the heat, add in your diced chicken breast to warm it back up and taste your broth.  Do you want to add salt and or pepper?  I add both, to my taste.
Depending on how much I serve myself, I get 3 – 4 bowls from this.  If I have a chicken or turkey carcass around, I’ll make a pot of stock from that, make a big pot of soup without the pasta, and freeze in quart-size, zip-top bags.  Take out when you are ready to eat, thaw, bring up to boil, toss in your pasta and then simmer until al dente.  Or freeze in gallon-size bags and use when you want to take a family a meal.

Leftover Wednesday – Creamy Portobello Pasta

I found this recipe for Ziti with Portobello Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese on Pinterest weeks ago.  *sigh* I wish I could take beautiful pictures of my food!  The picture of the recipe I pinned is very nice.  I showed the recipe to the hubs with such excitement, but my excitement went unmatched.  He is a rice man, I am a pasta woman.  Plus, there is no meat in this dish, either.  LOL

So yesterday, when I went searching through the fridges, freezers and pantries for Leftover Wednesday, I found a wonderful surprise!

I’m ashamed to say I bought these beauties on June 29th, put them in the “overflow” fridge in the garage and then promptly forgot about them.  But I was so excited to see them!  I could make the Ziti with Portobello Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese now!  I immediately went to the computer, looked up the other ingredients needed and compared that to what I had: butter, olive oil, 3 onions, salt, sugar, pepper, parsley, 1 lb portobellos, ziti, goat cheese, parmesan.  Hm.  I’m allergic to olive oil and was a tad short on most of the rest.  But, I can be creative and this is what I pulled together:

I had less than a half of an onion, Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb Cheese to replace the goat cheese (hey, it’s soft!), Parmesan cheese (phew!), Wegman’s Basting Oil to replace the olive oil, butter, salt, sugar, pepper and leftover cooked lasagna noodles to replace the ziti.  Not bad in my book!  I cut the recipe down to approx 1/4 to accommodate the amount of onion I had in the house and I made it for myself for lunch (so embarrassed and frustrated to only have 1/3 of an onion, but trying to teach myself a lesson to buy everything I need at the store once or go without until the next bi-weekly shopping trip).  Here we go…

Saute onions in a little butter and Wegman’s Basting Oil with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar for 15 minutes.
While the onions were caramelizing, I sliced up the cooked lasagna noodles.
I removed the onions from the pan and added the sliced shrooms.  There was no need to add more butter nor oil.  While they cooked for approx 10 minutes, I boiled some water and dropped the noodles in it for a few minutes to heat up. 
Once the shrooms were done, I added everything to the pan – onions, 1 wedge of Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb cheese, the noodles, parmesan cheese and a little pasta water.  See? My food pictures do not look good.
It took longer than I thought it would for the Laughing Cow to melt and the noodles were in the pan so long they appear to have absorbed some of the mushroom’s color.  Next time, I will remove the shrooms from the pan, add the cheese and some pasta water only and let those two melt together before adding the rest of the ingredients.  Regardless of how itlooked it tasted wonderful!

Leftover Wednesday – Trial & Error Chicken

Saturday through Tuesday we were out of town, visiting my in-laws at their Summer home in the mountains of western North Carolina.  The hubs and I thought we had emptied the fridge of all potentially lethal-foods-if-left-unattended-in-the-fridge before we left, but we were mistaken.  ;o)  We came home to a smelly fridge and it took me a bit to identify the culprits – decaying cilantro and an avocado past its prime.
I awoke this morning with the intent to go mega-grocery shopping since there was not much in the house, but the hubs had other plans.  I am so impressed with the progress this man has made during our 17 years together!  He declared that since tomorrow, Thursday, was our BIG shopping day, we should “make do” with what we had today.  So, after taking B to see the movie, Brave, this afternoon, the hubs and B went off to the range, and I was left to figure out what to make for dinner (popcorn at the theater was lunch).  As you know, I always have chicken breasts on hand and usually chicken wings, pork chops and ground beef.  Before leaving for the range, the hubs said we can do “something” with chicken breasts.
I opened the fridge, stared and tried to receive inspiration.  I saw Brussels sprouts (thank you, Robin D., for correcting me on my reference of this vegetable!) and grape tomatoes, both of which were on the cusp of being thrown out.  Finally, inspiration hit me – Grilled Bruschetta Chicken!  I love this recipe!  It’s one of the recipes my friend, Julia, passed onto me.  Although I did not have Kraft’s Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette Dressing on hand, I had over a pint of grape tomatoes, and I figured I could make something close to that.  I was patting myself on the back for such brilliance (waaaaay too early, it turns out).

 

I looked online for recipes of Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette and decided I could substitute the “sun-dried tomatoes” with oven-roasting the grape tomatoes I had on hand.  @@ (That mean “eye rolling” in type.  You may already know that, but Idid not always know that, so I am sharing in case you did not know that).  Then I looked online for a recipe to slow-roast tomatoes.  I found 2 that I liked.  One called for roasted grape tomatoes (which I had) for 3 hours at 225 degrees and one called for roasting plum tomatoes (which I did not have) at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Since it was already 4:20pm and I did not have 3 hours to roast said tomatoes, I opted for the higher temp/shorter time recipe.  Unfortunately, I didnot allot for the fact that I had grape tomatoes and the recipe called for plum tomatoes.  So, I cut all the viable grape tomatoes in half, sprayed them with grape seed oil (I am allergic to olive oil), grinded fresh pepper corns over them and sprinkled them with Kosher salt.
Don’ they look nice?!
I put them in an oven set on Convection Roast for 30 minutes and they came out looking like this…
OK.  So my attempt at Grilled Bruschetta Chicken! did not go as planned.  You know what?!  My “vacation” away with the in-laws did not go “as planned” either, but I was not going to be defeated.  By now, it was after 5pm, so I made myself a drink, and knew the hubs would help me figure out dinner when he and B came home from the range.  And he did!  He went out back and snipped some of our fresh herbs:
He snipped Rosemary and Thyme and mixed them with Panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper and I added Parmesan cheese and did the traditional flour, egg wash, seasoned bread crumb mixture into a pan with oil.  And that’s all we had for dinner – chicken.  No Veg.  No starch.  Just chicken.  And it was so wonderful and flavorful that we did not need anything else!  We went/are going to bed as happy campers with full bellies!  Woohoo for Leftover Wednesday!

Leftover Wednesday – Skinnytaste.com’s Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos

This is a pic of one of my tacos. Please go to skinny taste.com and look at Gina’s  photo – her’s are pretty!

I am pretty proud of us this week!  We had very little leftover today.  We’ve been eating leftovers before making new meals.  Yeah us!  My wonderful friend, Julia, who shared the Grilled Greek Chicken Kabobs and Kraft Foods recipe site with me years ago, shared another recipe site with me last week: Skinny Taste.  Julia also gave me the names of some recipes she’s tried from the website.  One was Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos.  Tilapia happens to be a staple that I keep in my freezer but I don’t have a ton of recipes, so I was excited to get a “thumbs up” from Jules on this one.

Going through the fridge this afternoon, I discovered that the only leftovers I had were baked potatoes and guacamole ingredients.  I had heard about baked potatoes in the crock pot from my friend Clair last year and I’ve seen them on Pinterest a lot, too.  So I made 4 of them on Monday.  Awesome!  When I wanted to avoid heating the house up with the oven for baked potatoes, I just did them in the microwave.  But the quality is not there from the microwave.  I’ll never do them in the oven or microwave again.  I chose not to use the potatoes for dinner tonight because they always get used up in my breakfast hashes.

The hubs makes a fantastic guacamole.   He was going to make some this past weekend, but it didn’t happen.  When I pulled the guac fixins out of the fridge, I immediately thought of the Cilantro Lime Tilapia Tacos.  So the unused avocado, tomato, cilantro, jalepeno, lime and onion, as well as the tilapia and corn tortillas I had on hand, all went into these tacos.

The hubs and I loved them; B did not.  The recipe calls for 1 pound of tilapia and says it makes 8 tacos.  I pulled 3 tilapia fillets from the freezer, weighing a little under 12 oz total, and cut the rest of the ingredients down to 3/4 of what the recipe called for.  And we still had plenty for 8 full tacos.  Next time, I’ll cut the recipe in half because I don’t want this leftover – not a fan of reheating fish.  However, I bet the leftovers would be great cold, all on their own, or tossed in a cold green or rice salad with a vinaigrette.

I tried one other recipe from this site over the past week – Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana.  Did not turn out well.  I was the only one who would eat more than one bite and I just forced my portion down.  It was totally user error, though.  Next time, I will sauté or steam fresh spinach instead of using frozen (I end up with more leaf and less stem that way) and will not put so much stuffing in each breast.

I look forward to trying many more recipes from Skinny Taste!  If you try the tacos, or if you try any other recipes from Skinny Taste, please let me know how you liked them!

Leftover Wednesday – Impossible Bacon Cheese Pie & Salad

We have 2 trash pickups per week – Mondays and Thursdays.  On Wednesday nights, we clean out the fridge.  We used to toss any leftovers that had not been eaten by Wednesday, but I am getting better and better at using them up.  So, I am challenging myself to start a new series – Leftover Wednesday – where I will post what I made for dinner that night, using up leftovers in the fridge.  Tonight, we had Impossible Bacon Cheese Pie and Salad.

Have you ever had one of Bisquick's Impossible Pies?  If not, than I am happy to introduce you to them!  And if you don't eat gluten, there are GF baking mixes out there you can substitute for the Bisquick, store brand or homemade baking mix of your choice.  I know what your thinking – what is an "impossible" pie?!  It's crustless.  You are making a "pie", or more accurately a quiche, without a bottom crust.  You put your pie "filling" into your dish and then pour over it a mixture of beaten egg, milk and Bisquick.  It's the addition of the Bisquick that allows your pie to stay together.
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