Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
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, January 30, 2017

Sriracha Shrimp Stir Fry


I wanted to make my most favorite stir fry ever, Ultimate Sriracha Chicken Stir Fry, with shrimp. I knew it would be great and I knew Miss F would gobble it up.  I was right on both accounts.  Miss F celebrated Lunar New Year this past week at her school, they had take out Chinese food and she was thrilled they had dumplings, but quite disappointed that there weren't any shrimp dishes.  Thank goodness we can have it at home whenever we like, as long as C isn't hope to complain about the seafood smells.
Sriracha Shrimp Stir Fry

½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 head broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
5 mushrooms, quartered

In a two cup measure, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, oyster sauce, Sriracha and cornstarch. Set aside. In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, sauté for 20 seconds. Add the shrimp, onion, bell pepper, broccoli and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Pour the broth mixture into the pan, heat for a minute more, until thick. Serve over rice or noodles.
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Instant Pot Risotto


I adore risotto, but I don't adore the stir stir stir it requires.   Enter the Instant Pot.  Same creamy risotto deliciousness with nearly no effort at all.  A quick saute of the rice and you are pretty much done.  My friend Brandi recommended this recipe to me and I can't wait to try other additions to it.  I mainly want to try mushroom risotto, but I will have to try that on a night I am home alone, since the rest of the family would reject it completely. 
Instant Pot Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 tablespoon white wine
4 cups chicken broth
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Turn the Instant Pot to the saute function. Add the oil to the pan. Add the onion and saute until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and saute until it becomes translucent. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and stir until it evaporates. Add the broth; close the top of the Instant Pot. Set to high pressure and cook for 6 minutes. Release the pressure and remove the inner pot carefully. Stir the parmesan cheese into the rice and serve.
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Homestyle Chicken and Noodles


We had our full three day winter here in Houston, temperatures are now back in the 80s, though we may get another "cold" front this week.  And this is the perfect meal for a cold front, even if it really isn't that cold (high is still in the 60s.)  The whole family approved of the meal and I was shocked how quickly it came together, it tasted like it was simmering for hours.  Thanks to Elly Says Opa for the amazing recipe!
Homestyle Chicken and Noodles

6 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
1 onion, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 cups chicken broth
12 ounces frozen egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour

In a Dutch oven, add the chicken, onion, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour the broth over top. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, shred the meat and discard the bones. Return the broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the egg noodles and cook for 15 minutes. Add the peas and cook 5 minutes more. Whisk together the milk and flour. Pour the milk mixture into the pot, stirring constantly. Simmer for 3 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Return the chicken to the pot and simmer until warmed through. Serve.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Twice Baked Potatoes


Miss F hates potatoes. HATES. I don't get her aversion at all, she doesn't even like French fries, how crazy is that? So one night while she was spending the night at my parents, I decided to make twice baked potatoes for C and I. I had never made them before and I was quite nervous about keeping the skins in tact, but it turns out, it was quite easy. So easy in fact, that I am going to make them for an upcoming dinner party. I can do all the prep work in advance, then just warm them for the dinner party. I like to be as hands off as possible for dinner parties, I like to spend time with my guests (and my wine!), not spend time in the kitchen.  These potatoes are very decadent, so half a potato per person is plenty.
Twice Baked Potatoes

2 large russet potatoes
¼ cup butter
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a fork, prick a few holes into the top of each potato. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for 1 hour, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With a sharp knife, cut each potato in half lengthways. Scoop out the insides of each potato making sure to keep the skins in tact. Place the skins on a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, smash the scooped out potatoes with the butter, sour cream, ¼ cup of the cheddar cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Spoon the potato mixture into the prepared potato skins. Top each with 1 tablespoon of cheddar cheese. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
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Monday, January 16, 2017

Crockpot Cuban Shredded Beef


This recipe was a massive hit in our family. Miss F, C and I all really enjoyed this meal. I didn't partake in the beans, but I was just as happy to have the beef over rice alone.  Make sure you add a generous squeeze of lime juice before you eat it, it makes a huge difference.  We used the leftovers in quesadillas the next night, but the qould be equally good in tacos, burritos or taquitos. The meat is amazingly tender, thanks to being cooked low and slow all day.  Next time I will try and prepare it in the Instant Pot, for a dinner when I don't have time to mess with the crockpot in the morning.  Thanks to Little Spice Jar for the amazing recipe.
Crockpot Cuban Shredded Beef

2 to 2 ½ pounds beef chuck roast
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oil
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon white vinegar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped cilantro
white rice
black beans
1 lime, cut into wedges

Using a paring knife, score three small “X” marks into the meat, press one garlic clove into each “X”. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the roast and sear on each side for 5 minutes.

Chop the remaining cloves are garlic. Add the chopped garlic, tomato sauce, bell pepper, onions, chilies, tomato paste, oregano, salt, cumin, vinegar, red pepper flakes and cilantro to the crockpot. Add the seared roast, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Shred the beef with two forks and stir into the sauce. Serve with white rice, black beans and lime wedges.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lobster Linguine


I bought crablegs at a Kroger on my way home from work instead of my usual two Krogers I alternate between. I noticed that they had whole steamed lobsters in the seafood case and since Miss F adores lobster so much, I knew I wanted to make a pasta with it next time C was out of town.   I decided to hit the grocer after school, so the lobster would be fresh and so that Miss F could help select which lobster she wanted.   Our regular Kroger only had the tails and I wasn't interested in smelling up the house steaming lobster.  So we went to another Kroger, no lobster, and then to the Kroger where I had initially seen the whole lobsters, no luck.  I tried to convince her to have shrimp pasta instead, but once I had tempted her with lobster, there was no going back.  I ended up steaming the lobster tails at home, then boiling a pot of water with 1/4 cup of white vinegar to kill the smell.  It was worth it.  Recipe inspired from Simple Seasonal.
Lobster Linguine

12 ounces linguine
1 large steamed lobster or 3 small steamed tails
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup white wine
¼ clam juice
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¾ cup half and half

Prepare the pasta per package instructions, drain and set aside. Break down the lobster and chop the meat into bite sized pieces, set aside. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking for 1 minute until fully incorporated. Add the wine while still whisking, cook for 1 minute more. Add the clam juice and tomato paste while still whisking and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the drained pasta, lobster and half and half into the sauce; salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
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Monday, January 9, 2017

Enchiladas Suizas


I was instantly intrigued by the Enchiladas Suizas recipe from Recipes for Laughter.  I have always seen crema Mexicana in the dairy section of my grocer and I have always wanted to try it.  I ended up heavily adapting the original recipe, but I made sure to use the crema Mexicana and it didn't disappoint at all.  These enchiladas are deliciously rich.  I have included two alternate ways to cook the chicken, either in the crockpot or in the Instant Pot.  Either method works perfectly well, whichever is most convenient for you is the best choice.  Just be sure to choose to use crema Mexicana.
Enchiladas Suizas

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup salsa verde

12 white corn tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
¾ cup crema Mexicana
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 can green enchilada sauce

Instant Pot instructions:
Add the chicken and salsa to the Instant Pot. Set to “Poultry” for 10 minutes if using fresh chicken or for 30 minutes if using frozen chicken breasts. When the pressure has released, shred the chicken with two forks and return it to the cooking liquid.

Crockpot instructions:
Add the chicken and salsa to the crockpot, cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Shred the chicken with two forks and return to the cooking liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 40 seconds. Mix the chicken with 1 cup of the cheese. Place a couple spoon fulls of the chicken mixture in each tortilla, roll up and place in the prepared pan. Spread a tablespoon full of crema Mexicana on top of each rolled tortilla.

In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or so, whisking the whole time. Whisk in the broth and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth, heat for 5 minutes until thick and bubbly. Remove from the heat and stir in the enchilada sauce. Pour the sauce over the rolled tortillas and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for 3 minutes or so to brown the cheese. Serve.
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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Simply Delicious Fettuccine Alfredo


Fettuccine Alfredo is definitely a family favorite around here. I saw Mario Batali's recipe for fresh pasta and I knew I wanted to try it. Unlike my usual recipe, which uses nearly a dozen eggs, this recipe was a lot simpler. This was the easiest fresh pasta I have ever worked with, which is an added bonus.  I decided to make a very simple alfredo sauce to go along with the super simple pasta, it was perfection.  The pasta is so tender and holds up beautifully to the sauce.  Miss F was also a huge fan of dipping her broccoli in the alfredo sauce, smart girl!
Simply Delicious Fettuccine Alfredo

2 ¼ cups flour
3 eggs

4 tablespoons butter
¾ cup heavy cream
¾ cup parmesan

Add the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the eggs and turn the mixer on low speed. Mix until the eggs are well incorporated. Swap out the paddle for the dough hook and knead the dough on medium for 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for 1 minute more. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Feed each piece through the pasta attachment at level 1. Fold the dough in half and run through the pasta maker twice more. Reduce the setting to level 2 and run the sheet through twice. Reduce the setting to level 3 and run the sheet through once. Reduce the setting to level 4 and run the sheet through once. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces. Run the sheets through the fettuccine cutter or cut by hand. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cut pasta to the pot and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fettuccine rises to the top.

Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the cream and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the parmesan. Toss the drained fettuccine in the sauce, serve.
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Monday, January 2, 2017

2016: A Year in Review


What a year! I think we may have topped 2015 with all the travelling we did, so many amazing trips (and amazing food!) We started the year off with an incredible ski trip to Banff, the Fairmont Banff Springs is hotel perfection, I cannot recommend it enough. I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend in Aspen with a couple girlfriends, girls trips are always so much fun and we certainly had a blast. We spent a week in Whistler over Spring Break, and while it wasn't the greatest skiing, the scenery was spectacular. We enjoyed quite a few weekends in San Antonio, visiting friends, Six Flags and eating lots of delicious TexMex. Of course we had to get a trip to Disneyland in, a long weekend in May provided perfect weather and a ton of Disney fun. In the summer, we returned to Banff for a week with my parents. Lake Louise is so beautiful and we had a great time canoeing and horseback riding. Our big two week trip was to Fiji and New Zealand. The highlights were the amazing outer islands of Fiji and visiting an active volcano on White Island in New Zealand, the lowlight was losing my bag for three days in Fiji. We visited Disney World over Labor Day, which is becoming a family tradition. I had two more amazing girls trips, one to Lake Charles for gambling and relaxation, one to Vail to visit my best friend and her new baby boy. We had a whirlwind trip over Thanksgiving break, Tokyo, Hong Kong and an eight hour layover in Chicago for lunch at Carmine's and an afternoon at Lincoln Park Zoo. We had to visit Tokyo Disney and Hong Kong Disney, along with a bunch of sightseeing. C and Miss F visited Las Vegas for a weekend of Penn and Teller magic, while I stayed home for holiday booze and cookie exchanges. I cannot believe how much we have toured this year.

Below are the top posts from last year...and Miss F totally approves of this list, lots of her favorites.

 Wishing you all an amazing 2017!
#1 Instant Pot Bolognese

#2 Reverse Sear Steaks

#3 CFA Tortilla Soup

#4 Cheesy Refried Bean Casserole

#5 One Pot Chicken Pot Pie

#6 Crockpot Italian Chicken & Peppers

#7 Hula Chicken Sandwiches

#8 Slow Ferment Pizza Crust

#9 Buttermilk Chess Pie

#10 Four Ingredient Carbonara

#11 Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup

#12 Easy Muffin Tin Meatballs

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