Tag Archives: Sriracha

Pan-Roasted Chicken, Cabbage, and Potatoes (and a New Cookbook!)

12 Nov
Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

I got my pin and traction device off this week, woohoo! Below is me showing my hand in all it’s glory right after the procedure. This physical therapy thing is sure taking up most of each day, though. Every hour I get the reminder alarm to do my therapy exercises, and depending on what round I’m doing, I look up and I only have a half hour before the next round. (I’m on short-term leave from work for a few weeks.) That sure doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking and picture taking. But I managed to squeeze this dinner in between the “torture” last night.

Traction and Pin Off

Traction and Pin Off

I saw this recipe on the Food52 website and figured it was quick and easy enough to pull off. Both me and my husband fell in love with the sauce! It’s the perfect combination of spicy/tangy/slightly sweet which we both figured would be PERFECT on grilled salmon too!

After eating what we could of it, I thought the leftovers would make a really good Asian Noodle Soup, which I plan on doing sometime this weekend (sans the potatoes). It’s funny, after eating I was perusing the chicken-scratch changes I had made to the original printed recipe, I noticed I missed an ingredient in the sauce! I’m glad I did, as I think it would have been a completely different profile as toasted sesame oil has a very strong taste.

Oh! And I also received a new cookbook in the mail, along with a packet of homemade spice! My dear friend and fellow blogger Krystina at Kouzanas kitchen published a cookbook, filled with amazing recipes inspired by her grandparents’ village in Mani, Greece. I can’t wait to use the spice in a dish (Organic Santorini Sunset Seasoning) and cook some great Greek food from the book. You can find her blog, Facebook page, and Etsy shop in the links below.

Back to My Roots Cookbook

Back to My Roots Cookbook

Kouzunas Kitchen blog

Kouzunas Kitchen FaceBook

Kouzunas Kitchen Etsy Shop

Now on to the recipe!

Pan-Roasted Chicken, Cabbage, and Potatoes

1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, for greasing
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Sriracha
4 pieces bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts or thighs
Red baby potatoes, halved
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 head small cabbage

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Rub a teaspoon of grapeseed (or other neutral) oil to coat a rimmed sheet pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the grapeseed oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and Sriracha. Place the chicken and potatoes in a gallon zip-lock bag. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the sauce over the chicken and shake bag around to coat. Let marinate while the oven preheats.

Cut the cabbage in half through the core. Repeat this process until you are left with wedges 1-inch wide. Place the wedges in a large bowl, season salt and pepper, and toss with the remaining sauce. Pour the bag of chicken and potatoes, including juices, on to the sheet pan and spread out in one layer. Roast for 10 minutes.

Nestled Cabbage

Nestled Cabbage

Remove pan from oven, and nestle cabbage wedges all around the pieces, tucking it under in some places. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes more or until chicken is golden and cooked through. Remove pan from oven, transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Return cabbage and potatoes to the oven to roast for 5 to 10 more minutes until potatoes are done.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes2

Pan-Roasted Chicken Cabbage and Potatoes

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

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Jodi’s Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

22 Oct
Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This meal is so easy even this one-handed cook pulled it off handily. (I crack myself up.) 😀

My wonderful blog friend Jodi at The Creative Life in Between posted yet another mouth-watering dish for me to steal. I followed her recipe except cut it in half and used smoked paprika in place of the optional smokey paprika chipotle.

Dried Oregano and Honey Garlic Sauce

Dried Oregano and Honey Garlic Sauce

I thought I was out of dried oregano so snipped some fresh and dried it in the toaster oven first, but then found my last year’s dried batch — not in the empty and clearly labeled oregano jar — but in a Mrs. Dash container labeled in Sharpee with my husband’s printing. Go figure.

We served ours over rice and garnished with additional sesame seeds and snipped green onion (I demonstrate my prowess with that task below).

Snipping Green Onion Wearing Traction Device

Snipping Green Onion Wearing Traction Device

This is a spicy, slightly sweet explosion of flavor! The daughter went back for seconds and had the leftovers the next day. My husband ate a large sub just a few hours earlier and didn’t have any. Hiss loss!

Please pop on over to Jodi’s place to find a handy-dandy printable recipe here —> Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie

27 Mar
Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie

We’ve been on a bit of a shrimp binge lately (not a bad thing) as we scored some shrimp at an awesome price recently. Earlier in the day before I cooked this, I made a pot of golden shrimp stock from my hoard of frozen shrimp shells. I ended up with over 8 cups of gorgeous broth!

Golden Shrimp Stock

Golden Shrimp Stock

Since I am an admitted failure at all things pastry, I decided to use frozen puff pastry for this, but all I could find at the store I went to were these completely odd-shaped puff pastry disks that puff up to an enormous height (for a pot pie cover, that is).

Puff Pastry Shells

Well this was a half-baked idea…

Being the complete ignoramus that I am (admittedly again) about all things bread, I had this stupid ingenious idea to bake them halfway until half-puffed, then place them on the pot pies to finish baking. Well. That didn’t work as I expected as they never fully puffed up all the way. So we’ll just ignore the puffs in the photos and focus on the heart of the dish, which is this completely amazing spicy/veggie/shrimp yummy mixture that you end up with and who the heck cares about the puff, right??

The only other thing to note about this recipe is that I’ll probably parboil the potatoes first next time. It took WAY longer than I expected to soften during the sauté process, even though they were diced fairly small.

Many thanks to Culinary Chronicles for this inspiration. I adapted it quite a bit for the ingredients I had, but certainly head over to look at her recipe as she seems to have a better handle on what a puff pastry should look like when cooked properly. 😀

Aside from the lame puff, both me and the hubs really enjoyed this a LOT. Hubby liked it so much he ate two ramekins of it that night. I reserved the last one for my lunch the next day. (And I even cheated and threw out the old puff and puffed up a new one for it, ha!)

p.s. (Happy Easter to all those who celebrate! We’ll be having the obligatory ham with asparagus and my Pecorino Romano Scalloped Potatoes.)

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie
Adapted from Culinary Chronicles Shrimp Pot Pie

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped leeks, white and light green parts only, washed thoroughly and drained
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup diced red potatoes
1/4 dry sherry (good quality, not cooking sherry)
1/2 pound (8 ounces) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce, or to taste
1/8 cup flour
1 cup homemade Shrimp Stock or use good quality store-bought seafood stock
1/4 cup Half and Half (or milk)
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten with a splash of water
Frozen puff pastry (sheets if you can find them)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop the veggies and shrimp into even bite-sized pieces.

Chopped Potatoes and Leeks

Chopped Potatoes and Leeks

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat then add the celery, carrots, leeks, and potatoes. Sauté until softened, about 20 minutes.

Colorful Veggies

Colorful Veggies!

Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with the Sriracha sauce until evenly seasoned. Set aside.

Add the garlic and thyme sprigs to the skillet and cook for a few more minutes. Pour in the sherry and let it reduce for a few minutes.

Shrimp and Peas Added

Shrimp and Peas Added

Meanwhile whisk the flour and shrimp or seafood stock together in a bowl and set aside. Mix the shrimp and thawed peas to the skillet.

Pour flour slurry into the skillet and cook for several more minutes. Add the Half and Half or milk, whisking constantly until the mixture has thickened.

Shrimp Pot Pie Filling

Shrimp Pot Pie Filling

Remove the skillet from the heat then take out the thyme sprigs. Season the mixture with sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste.

Ladle the filling into individual ramekins or other ovenproof dishes. Cover each dish with a puff pastry and brush with the egg/water wash. As a treat for any pets you might have, microwave the rest of the egg as a treat for them!

Place the pot pies onto a baking sheet lined with foil, then transfer to the preheated oven. Bake the pies for about 20 minutes until the crusts are golden brown. Remove and let cool a few minutes. Serve with a side salad.

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie2

Spicy Shrimp and Leek Pot Pie (This is my next day lunch pie.)

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

30 Jan
BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

I rarely try to do copycat recipes as they never come up to snuff to what you expect, but this one scored in my house. Now, probably 99.9999% of my readers don’t even live in my small town nor either close to it, so we’ll just leave it at that I was able to surpass the taste of this amazing shrimp appetizer dish at a local trendy restaurant.

It probably doesn’t even taste the same, since I never bought their expensive $16 bottle of the sauce to compare it to. (Who buys a $16 bottle of BBQ sauce, what??) All I know is that it exceeded our expectations of how it would turn out. I’m in LOVE! My husband swooned! (OK he didn’t literally, but he loved it too so I had to say it.)

I tried searching for the copycat recipe from our local restaurant (Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails), but all it ever came up with was a copycat recipe for Zydeco 5, which is apparently in the Midwest or thereabouts. So, I googled for New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. Whoa! Too much information. However, what I gleaned from it all is that there were two camps in how to prepare it. Either marinating for a long time then oven cooking, or cooking quickly in a cast-iron skillet. I chose the former after my research.

I printed out several of the recipes that went in both camps, then combined all the ingredients into one full recipe. I got a little confuzzled at one point when I scratched out on one and then switched to the other then went back to the other. OY!

Instead of making grits or polenta cakes from scratch (for time reasons), I went with an organic refrigerated garlic and basil polenta tube from a local grocery. Trader Joe’s sells a similar tube of this product.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

Note: I’ve offered to bring this to Super Bowl next week as an appetizer, and THEN make it again a few weeks later as the main course for a dinner party. Am I nuts??? LOL. But will be glad to do it.

Second note: I have a high heat/spice tolerance, so adjust seasoning amounts as needed.

This recipe serves two people, adjust amounts if serving more. On to the recipe!

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili sauce (found in the ketchup aisle)
3 tablespoons Worcesterhire sauce
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (I used Stubb’s)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Cajun (Creole) seasoning
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried spicy oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Generous amounts of ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
Prepared refrigerated polenta
1 tablespoon butter
Chopped parsley and green onion, for garnish

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Preparing the BBQ Sauce

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add all the ingredients through to the ground pepper. You may want to add the spicy spices a little at a time until the spice level suits your tastes.

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Spicy BBQ Sauce

Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes until it’s reduced just a tad. Add the shrimp to a casserole dish, then pour the sauce over it, stirring around to coat. Spread the shrimp around so they’re in a single layer.

Marinating the Shrimp

Marinating the Shrimp

Cover and place in refrigerator for up to 4 hours or overnight.

About a half hour before you are ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When preheated, place shrimp dish uncovered in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the polenta into 1/2-inch or so cakes (I wasn’t very precise in that case). Add butter to a skillet over medium-high heat, then fry the polenta cakes on each side until slightly browned.

Fried Polenta Cakes

Fried Polenta Cakes

Place two polenta cakes in a bowl, then add desired amount of shrimp over the cakes, pouring generous amounts of the BBQ sauce over it. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and green onion. Serve with a crusty bread, for sopping up all the sauce. Try not to fight over who gets to mop up the last of the sauce out of the casserole dish.

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

BBQ Shrimp with Fried Polenta Cakes

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

7 Jun
Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

I planned on making this for my Saturday lunch, but all sorts of errands got in the way. After a two and a half hour shopping binge trip at three stores, it was time to pick up my 16-year-old daughter from her 4-hour SkidCar course at noon (which I begrudgingly got up at 7:30 am on a weekend to take her to it). I had bought all the ingredients for this recipe, in addition to restocking our refrigerator with staples. Our freezer in the fridge went KAPUT a couple of weeks ago, and then the refrigerator side slowly went downhill until it barely kept milk cold enough to drink. We’d been “cooler camping” at our house for the last few days until our new fridge arrived and had to toss out a bunch of stuff. Thank goodness we have a chest freezer in the garage, as I would have been heartbroken to lose the rest of our quarter cow we bought last fall. Nonetheless, after all that shopping I didn’t have time to make this, let alone get the groceries out of the car before I had to pick her up! So we stopped at a local fresh Mexican food joint on the way home and I had a taco and she had a burrito.

For dinner last night, I made my staple summer-time grilled tortilla pizza! I marinated then grilled the chicken, tossed the tortilla on the grill, added pesto, artichoke hearts, the chicken, mozzarella and fresh basil from my herb garden.

Fresh Basil in Herb Garden

Fresh Basil in Herb Garden

I made this and other tortillas pizzas all last summer. If you want the recipes, click here —> Grilled Tortilla Pizzas.

Fresh Grilled Chicken, Artichoke and Pesto, Tortilla Pizza

Fresh Grilled Chicken, Artichoke and Pesto Tortilla Pizza

p.s. You are asking yourself, what is a SkidCar course? It’s an amazing driving course using a special car and hydraulics to teach someone how to drive on ice and snow (or how to get out of a skid on any surface), even if there is no snow on the ground! My daughter will get a 30% discount on insurance now, we checked with our company. Win-win, and I’ll feel more secure now when the snow flies again in the winter with her driving skills. I arrived about 5 minutes early and got to see my daughter go into several “skids” and safely recover from them! For information on that course (not available in all areas) click here —> SkidCar course).

And yes, I made this great lunch today, finally. It was every bit as delicious as I expected it to be, and my husband said he really like it a lot! Now on to the recipe!

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche
Credit for this goes to Gina for Canned Tuna Ceviche at Skinnytaste.com

2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 to 1 1/2 limes, juiced (about 1/8 cup)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can chunk white albacore tuna packed in water, drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1/2 to 1 jalapeño, deseeded and minced
1 medium seeded plum tomato, finely diced
Dash of Sriracha sauce (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Romaine lettuce leaves, for serving
Sliced avocado, for garnish
Tortilla chips, for garnish

Fresh Ceviche Ingredients

Fresh Ceviche Ingredients

In a medium bowl, combine the red onion, lime juice, and olive oil. To that, add the tuna, cilantro, jalapeño, tomato, and Sriracha, if using. Taste and add salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if needed.

Ceviche Ready to Chill

Ceviche Ready to Chill

Gosh I’m a messy cook! Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes. Serve on a bed of romaine lettuce leaves garnished with slices of avocado and tortilla chips. A wonderful light summer lunch salad!

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Spicy Canned Tuna Ceviche

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Alabama-Style Grilled Chicken

8 Oct
Alabama-Style Grilled Chicken

Alabama-Style Grilled Chicken ~ photo credit to inpatskitchen via food52.com

Well I finally broke down and cooked a “real” dish in my tiny temporary kitchen! However, no photos were taken so I’m using one from the author of the recipe. This is an absolutely AMAZING sauce. My only liberties with this recipe were to cut the recipe in half, lessen the sugar, and the chicken was grilled in thin cutlets since there were no skewers to be had in this kitchen. This is an easy and awesome sauce. I wish I had made the full recipe! The recipe below is the modified recipe. This was served with brown rice and side salad. Enjoy. 🙂

Alabama-Style Grilled Chicken
Adapted from Alabama-Style Chicken Kebabs by inpatskitchen, via Food52.com

Sauce
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon Sambal Oelek (or sub with Sriracha)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Whisk all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate. (Sauce can be made ahead of time.)

Chicken
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast(s), sliced into thin cutlets
Olive oil
The Sauce

Light your grill to medium heat and oil the grates (or preheat an electric grill, which is all I have in the temp kitchen). Reserve about half the sauce for dipping. Place chicken on the grill and start lightly basting and turning until the chicken is done, about 4 minutes per side. (Be careful not to burn!) Serve them up with reserved sauce on the side.

 

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

25 Apr
Cheater Pho Bo Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

I just LOVE Pho, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup, typically made with with beef (Pho Bo) or chicken (Pho Ga). I order this soup for lunch several times a month from a local Vietnamese restaurant and finally took the plunge to make it myself.

The soup base for Pho soup typically requires hours and hours of cooking beef and chicken bones, among other things. After scouring the internet for a variety of “mock” pho soups, I have come up with this version that only took about an hour, using my homemade beef broth as a base and adding the aromatics to that. The best part about this soup is that all the garnishes you can add (or not) offers a different tasty sensation in each bite.

I got mixed reviews from my family on this one. The raw meat kind of freaked out my daughter (even though I showed her how it “cooked” when I poured the hot broth over it), and her young taste buds didn’t seem to enjoy the aromatic broth base, which is also the entire “essence” of the soup. She only ate half of her bowl, but my husband ate every last drop of his, saying it “was good” but I didn’t get raves. Oh well, their loss. I got to enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day. I guess this will become one of of the lunches I indulge for myself when the rest of the family is not around.

Oh and as for the star anise and spice cloves… I picked packages of those up in the Mexican aisle of our grocery for only 78 cents apiece. And the steak I used was a frozen one leftover from a buy-one get-one free special last month. Combining that with the variety of Asian sauces I already had on hand, this also made for a very frugal meal, indeed!

Pho Bo Soup Ingredients

Pho Bo Soup Ingredients

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

2 or 3 star anise
3 spice cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 garlic gloves, peeled, smashed and sliced
1 3-inch-long piece fresh ginger peeled and cut in half lengthwise
6 cups homemade or quality low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 ounces dried rice noodles
1/2 pound top loin steak, or any other steak, partially frozen and sliced very thin
2 or 3 green onions, sliced thin
Handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Handful of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/2 small onion, sliced very thin
1 cup or so bean sprouts, rinsed
1 lime, cut into wedges
Sriracha or Sambal Oelek chile paste (or both!)
Hoisin sauce
Fresh jalapeno, sliced thin
Fresh serrano, sliced thin

Pho Bo Garnishes

Pho Bo Garnishes

First off you should prep all your garnishes and steak and set them out on a large platter or board on the table. Next, add the star anise, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and garlic to a dry Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Toast the ingredients, tossing around occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the beef broth, soy sauce, and lime juice. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer for about 30 or 40 minutes.

Dry-Toasting the Aromatics

Dry-Toasting the Aromatics

Meanwhile pour boiling water over the rice noodles in a glass bowl, cover, and soak the noodles for about 10 or 15 minutes. Drain the noodles and portion them and the steak into individual serving bowls.

When ready to serve, strain the broth then pour the simmering beef broth over the steak and noodles using a cup with a spout (such as a glass Pyrex measuring cup). Let each person add any or all garnishes to their bowl. I put everything in mine! I ate this with chopsticks alternating with a spoon, but you could use a fork and spoon instead.

Cheater Pho Bo Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chicken

14 Dec
Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chicken

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chicken

I am so very proud of my daughter! She cooked us dinner for the very first time last night, and she did a wonderful job of it. She is learning cooking and nutrition skills in her Freshman courses called “Family and Consumer Studies” or some such nonsense. Back in ancient times when I was that age, the class was called Home Economics (Home Ec for short). Nonetheless, the class has taught her that she CAN cook something besides eggs and cookies, both of which she cooks herself on a regular basis.

The original recipe has no chicken in it, but since this was going to be our dinner she wanted to add some. She asked me if I could cook the chicken for her and she would do the rest. How could I complain? I did tell her she could watch me and learn, but alas, that wasn’t part of her plan. So I pan-fried up some chicken, called her down for her part, and started snapping photos. “MOM! I do not want you in the kitchen while I do this. GO! I can do this myself!” You don’t know how hard it was for me to do that. Really. I slunk upstairs to my office space and frittered away the time nervously until I was called to supper.

Sauteing the Chicken

Sauteing the Chicken

After I snapped some shots of the finished soup in the pot and took my requisite bowl of soup photos and started eating it, she shouted “Hot Sauce! You can add hot sauce if you want!” I found the Sriracha sauce in the fridge, and she splattered quite a bit over her soup. I tentatively added a few drops over mine and stirred it in, took one bite, and thought “Wow! What a great addition to the taste!” Splurt, splurt, splurt, on went more. Sadly I did not take any photos of this momentous event, but trust me, Sriracha tastes great with this soup. Without further adieu, here is the recipe:

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chicken

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
Mrs. Dash Table Blend, or salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups half and half (or whole milk)
2 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium
1-2 pounds fresh broccoli florets
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Sriracha sauce (optional, for serving)

Season the chopped chicken with Mrs. Dash (or salt) and pepper to taste. I used a lot of it. Heat a large skillet to medium high, add the oil, then sauté the chicken for several minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

Chopping the Onion

Chopping the Onion

Heat the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, until softened. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the onions and whisk continuously until there are no lumps left. Add the half and half and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick or burn.

Add the broccoli and cook 15 to 20 minutes more until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Add the salt, pepper, chicken, and cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Serve with Sriracha sauce, or any other hot sauce, and thick slices of crusty bread.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chicken

Broccoli Cheddar Soup with Chicken

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Cheshire Cat Halloween Cheese Ball

30 Oct
Cheshire Cat Halloween Cheese Ball

Cheshire Cat Halloween Cheese Ball

UPDATE! I won first place at my work’s Spooky Halloween Food Contest for this! I was a close contender with some Scary Awesome Teeth Cookies, but won by two votes (and yes one of those was mine.) I now have two movie tickets to go enjoy a night out with my hubby. Yeah!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We are having our annual Halloween potluck at work tomorrow, and I decided to create this spooky Cheshire Cat Cheese Ball for it. It’s not that hard to to make (although my apple carving skills need work), so if you are looking for a last minute Halloween food idea, this might be just what you need!

Cheshire Cat Halloween Cheese Ball
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

3 cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 8-ounce packages Neufchatel or regular cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons milk
2 large green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Several dashes of hot sauce (I used Sriracha)

For the assembly:

1 cup crushed blue tortilla chips
2 triangular blue tortilla chips
2 triangular white or yellow tortilla chips
1 square wheat cracker, split into a triangle
3 pieces dried spaghetti, snapped in half
10 to 15 whole almonds
1 green apple

Bring the cheese and butter to room temperature. Reserve about two tablespoons of the cream cheese and set aside. Add the cheeses, milk, green onion, Worcestershire, garlic, and hot pepper sauce to a large food processor and blend until combined

Shape the mixture into a ball then roll it in the crushed tortilla chips. Press the tortilla chips in at the top for ears and the wheat cracker in for the nose. Stick in the spaghetti for whiskers. Press in the almonds in a semi-circle for the teeth. For the eyes, make two indentions and put balls of the reserved cream cheese in them. Slice out two wedges of the green apple, then peel away the skin except for vertical sliver. As you can see my cat’s eyes are kind of funky. Press the apple slices into the cream cheese balls. Voila! Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

12 Jun
Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

I do love it when my husband cooks for me! He came home with some huge shrimp the other afternoon when he could see I was stressing with work and would have no time to cook on “my day to cook.” This recipe is so simple yet packs a lot of flavor. I did not witness nor help in the preparation of this, but was able to prompt the ingredients out of the hubs. He served this to me with corn on the cob and dill potato salad.  Not exactly a conventional combination but I didn’t complain!

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

12 large shrimp (16-20 count size)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 large lemon, squeezed
1/8 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
Handful of chopped cilantro

Peel, devein, and rinse the shrimp and set aside. Heat a large skillet to medium and melt the butter. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Mix in the lemon juice, paprika and Sriracha. Add the shrimp in one layer and cook for a few minutes on each side. Do not overcook! Last, stir in a handful of chopped cilantro. Plate and serve.

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

Spicy Shrimp in Garlic Butter

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