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chicken pot pie with cream cheese biscuits
Emeril's shrimp creole, rice
snow crab legs, corn on the cob, salad
grilled salmon with creamy cucumber salad
crab imperial, green beans
Buffalo chicken chowder, celery and carrots
super bubbly pizza

Monday, October 31, 2016

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


Miss F's class is celebrating Halloween by wearing costumes (first time ever for her school) and having a Pumpkin Day. There are going to have all sorts of fun pumpkin themed activities, including tasting all sorts of delicious pumpkin treats. Miss F wanted to make pumpkin muffins and I suggested to add chocolate chips, because, why not? And I suspect the chocolate might break up all the pumpkiness. Happy Halloween everyone!

This recipe was based off one from Betty Crocker.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher (coarse) salt
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 ½ cups sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
½ cup water
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz) 100% pure pumpkin
1 ½ cups chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin tins with paper baking cups. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, water and eggs; stir in the pumpkin. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in the chocolate chips. Use an ice cream disher to scoop the batter into the lined muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then cool completely on wire racks.
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lemon Dover Sole


I have such wonderful memories of the first time I had Dover sole. I was in Las Vegas at Jean-Georges Steakhouse in the Bellagio and the special was Dover sole. Our server was fantastic and told us whenever Dover sole was on the menu, we should order it. He was SO right. Dover sole is probably my most favorite fish. Back in Houston, I can always get it on Wednesday nights at Brasserie 19, but imagine my surprise when a friend told me she found Dover sole at Costco. They don't stock a ton of it, so it isn't always there, but when it is, BUY IT.  This recipe couldn't be any simpler, my friend made it for me for lunch one day after making the Costco discovery and I was hooked. 
Lemon Dover Sole

¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 Dover sole filets
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Stir together the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge the Dover sole filets in the flour mixture. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Dover sole filets to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn over the sole with a spatula and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the lemon juice to the pan. Plate the fish and sauce, serve.
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Oven Baked Shrimp Po-Boys


Miss F could eat her weight in fried shrimp. I am tempted to take her to Red Lobster for their endless shrimp special just to see how many she could eat, but the problem would be that she would probably reject the shrimp they serve there. She always hates kids' menu shrimp because "there is more fried part than actual shrimp." I agree. The main issue with frying shrimp at home is that the fried shrimp smell lingers for quite a bit. I had never served a po-boy to Miss F before, but she was a huge fan! She didn't have a single topping, just shrimp and bread, but she loved it. I had all the toppings (and all the shrimp!) These po-boys are generous with the shrimp, a half pound on each sandwich. Feel free to convert the recipe to serve four half sandwiches if you are serving them alongside something else.
Oven Baked Shrimp Po-Boys

¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon relish
hot sauce

¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
dash cayenne pepper
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 pound shrimp
2 sub rolls
1 tomato, sliced
½ cup chopped lettuce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, relish and hot sauce to taste. Set aside.

In a shallow bowl, stir together the flour, salt and cayenne pepper. In a second shallow bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. In a third shallow bowl, add the Panko. Grease a sheet pan with cooking spray. Peel and devein the shrimp. Dredge the shrimp in the flour, then dip in the egg-milk mixture and finally toss in the Panko. Place the shrimp on the prepared pan and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until shrimp is starting to brown.

Split each roll; top with half of the lettuce, then half of the tomato and half of the shrimp. Drizzle each with the sauce and serve.
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin


I love making my mom's roast potato recipe, with whatever herbs I have on hand. This night, it was dill roasted potatoes (which would work beautifully with salmon) and green beans.  I had bought a giant bag of lemons at Costco, way overestimating my lemon needs, so I was on the hunt for savory lemon recipes.  I always have a pork tenderloin or two in the freezer and I looked for a recipe where I could roast the pork at the same temperature as the potatoes (damn you single oven!)  I found this recipe from I Wash, You Dry.   If you remember, try and marinate the pork overnight, it really adds a nice lemony brightness to the meat.
Lemon Garlic Pork Tenderloin

2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (1 ½ to 2 lb) pork tenderloin

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Place the pork in a large Ziploc bag and pour the marinade overtop. Refrigerate at least two hours, ideally overnight.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Heat the remaining oil in an oven proof skillet over medium heat. Remove the pork from the marinade and sear on all sides in the oil. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Grape Tomato and Spinach Angel Hair


This pasta couldn't be any easier and it tastes like it took hours to make. Well, the original recipe does take hours, from Ina Garten, but I adapted it to take about 20 minutes instead.  Miss F was a huge fan of the pasta, but wasn't as keen on the spinach.  I am not normally a fan of cooked spinach, but stirring it in at the last moment was perfect.  The pasta water, parmesan and burst tomatoes make a nice and light sauce.  The original recipe calls for fresh basil, which would work equally as well as the fresh baby spinach. 
Grape Tomato and Spinach Angel Hair

½ pound angel hair pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 cup baby spinach
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated parmesan

Prepare the pasta per package directions, reserve the pasta water and drain the angel hair. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid, bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the angel hair and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the spinach, salt and parmesan. Serve.

ALTERNATE FASTA PASTA PREPARATION
Add two servings of Angel Hair to the Fasta Pasta and fill to level II. Microwave for 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Drain the pasta water from the Fasta Pasta into the pan, bring to a boil and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the angel hair and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in the spinach, salt and parmesan. Serve.
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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Instant Pot Roast Chicken


C had requested roast chicken, but I didn't have the time to make it in the oven. Enter Instant Pot!  The chicken came out perfectly tender, even though it wasn't quite as pretty as a bird roasted in the oven.  The chicken basically fell off the bone, it was delicious!  The best part is that I had plenty of leftover chicken meat to use for other meals.  Searing the chicken was a bit tricky, so be sure to have a sturdy pair of tongs on hand.  Recipe is adapted from The Healing Gourmet.
Instant Pot Roast Chicken

1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 whole chicken (~ 4 pounds)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 ½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled

In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mix all over the skin of the chicken. Heat the oil in the Instant Pot on “Saute.” Add the chicken, breast side down, cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Flip the chicken over and add the broth, lemon juice and garlic to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid and set to “Poultry” for 30 minutes on high. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Let the chicken rest 5 minutes before carving.
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Monday, October 10, 2016

Pumpkin Pancakes


Miss F is now a pro at making her own breakfast, as long as there are leftover pancakes or waffles in the refrigerator, she is set to go.  It makes mornings really easy on me and she loves feeling a bit independent.  She has always loved anything with cinnamon.  I can make her plain oatmeal and as long as there is a sprinkle of cinnamon, she will gobble it all up.  These pancakes couldn't be any easier and they are great for using up leftover pumpkin from fall baking.  This recipe is from All Recipes.
Pumpkin Pancakes

1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup milk
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin, egg and oil together. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture; stir until just combined. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium high heat, grease the skillet with shortening. Drop ¼ cup of batter onto the heated skillet and cook until bubbles form. Flip and cook 1 minute more. Repeat with the remaining batter and server warm.
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Thursday, October 6, 2016

New Zealand Shrimp Pasta


We spent an amazing vacation in New Zealand this summer. When we arrived in Lake Taupo, it was just about lunch time. We stopped at the most wonderful café, Waterside. It had an incredible view of the gorgeous lake and mountains.  I ordered a prawn pasta and Miss F couldn't resist eating nearly all of my lunch.   When C went out of town, she asked if we could try and recreate the dish at home.  This is my best attempt at doing do and she agreed that it was exactly like the dish we had in New Zealand.  The whole meal took less than 15 minutes to make, which means it will go into regular rotation when C isn't home for dinner.
New Zealand Shrimp Pasta

12 ounces linguine pasta
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup half and half
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
½ teaspoon dried basil

Prepare the pasta per package directions. Sprinkle the shrimp with the salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrimp in a single layer, flipping after 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and simmer for 1 minute. Whisk the cornstarch into the chicken broth, slowly add to the pan, stirring constantly. Simmer for 3 minutes more. Stir in the half and half, grape tomatoes, basil, pasta and shrimp. Stir gently to combine and cook for 2 minutes more. Serve.
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins


Even though it is still quite warm here, I can still bake like it is actually fall. Miss F loves anything ginger flavored nd muffins are an easy breakfast or snack for school.  These are so easy to make, Miss F nearly did it all by herself.  She is still quite wary of interacting with the oven in any way.  This recipe doesn't use an entire can of pumpkin puree, so we had just enough left to make my favorite puffy pumpkin pancakes.  We can pretend it's fall even though we are sweating right through it!  Recipe adapted from The Lean Green Bean.
Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

4 tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup molasses
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 ¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, molasses and pumpkin until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger just until combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared liners and bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Cool completely.
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