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Shrimp Salsa

Okay, I need to make another resolution. ALWAYS TAKE PICTURES OF THE FOOD AT MY PARTIES!!! This recipe I have made before but of course it was PB (Pre-Blog). Of course I never took pictures of the food because for the most part, why would I? Well now I will. Even if it’s with my cell phone. But until I make this again I do not have an actual picture of it. Use your imagination.

This week also marks my venture back into the workforce outside my house. I worked at home for 6 years and going back into an office is going to be a bit shocking to my system. So I am trying to get the week’s blogs done earlier so that if I am too tired I will still have the blog. If anything earth-shattering happens that I need to post I will add it to the next day’s blog. And since I may not be near a computer during the day as I am now, I will approve comments when I get home. Please bear with me. I normally don’t like to have to approve all comments but there has been a ton of spam lately and I don’t want anything slipping by. Thanks! So without further ado here is today’s post.

This salsa is a great side dish for the upcoming Super Bowl weekend. It’s easy, fast and very healthy for you! I know, healthy and Super Bowl usually don’t go together but why not? Who says it can’t? It can be served with tortilla chips so it won’t be a shock to the Super Bowl system. I would also suggest using endive leaves as a “chip” to eat this. Very tasty and still crunchy. It’s a very colorful salsa and will be a huge hit.

Photo is for illustrative purposes only. This is not the exact photo for recipe but it's close.

INGREDIENTS:

½ pound peeled, cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped

1½  cups salsa (your choice)

4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

¼ cup minced cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon dried oregano

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate, covered, until flavors are blended, at least an hour.

Serve with tortilla chips, endive, or whatever you choose.

2 Comments »

Liquid Raspberry Truffle

I know today’s post will be short. I’ve been fighting a cold all week and I start my new job on Monday so I’ve been crazed. I am going to try and get next week’s blogs done before I start working just in case I’m too tired after rejoining the working world. So bear with me next week!

This little cocktail is more like a dessert with a kick! It great for after dinner. And it’s such a pretty color too! But when you get past the color you’ll find it very tasty. Just be careful because they are stronger than you think!

INGREDIENTS:

2 ounces raspberry vodka

2 ounces Godiva chocolate liqueur

2 ounces Chambord

2 splashes heavy cream

cocoa powder/chocolate shavings

DIRECTIONS:

In a cocktail shaker with ice, shake the ingredients. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle top with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.

Makes 2 cocktails

**Variation: For a frosty version, combine the ingredients in a blender with 1 cup crushed ice. Or for a creamier drink 1 cup vanilla ice cream and blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled wine glass.

You can dip the rims of the chilled cocktail glasses into a shallow bowl of chocolate liqueur, then rim with unsweetened cocoa powder.

4 Comments »

Spiced Carrot Strips

As promised here is the recipe I make with the Honey-Glazed Chicken. Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables and this is another very easy recipe to make. It only takes about 8-10 minutes to cook so it’s fast as well. Great way to get kids to eat veggies too. I remember as a kid having plain frozen sliced carrots. Maybe with a little butter. Boring!!! This recipe is much more exciting. Well as exciting as carrots can get anyway! No strange ingredients either. Give it a try, even if you don’t like carrots. You may change your mind!

INGREDIENTS:

5 large carrots, julienned or cut into thin sticks

2 tablespoons butter/butter substitute, melted

1 tablespoon sugar/sugar substitute

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place carrots in a saucepan and cover with water.

2. Cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain.

3. Combine the butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon and pour over the carrots. Toss to coat.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4-6 servings

1 Comment »

Honey-Glazed Chicken

I used to make this recipe quite a bit many years ago. For some reason I haven’t made it for a while. I don’t know why. It’s delicious and very easy to make. The recipe calls for a broiler/fryer chicken cut up but when I make it I like to use chicken thighs. Love chicken thighs. It also works with any chicken parts you want. I will also swap the honey for agave nectar and brown sugar for Splenda brown sugar substitute. But that’s just me. Feel free to use regular honey and sugar.

This is a great meal for family dinners and even to serve to company. I will definitely be making it again very soon. I will have to be planning my dinner menus out now so this will be one of the first ones I add to the menu. It will be a hit. I also like to serve this with my recipe for Spiced Carrot Strips. (Recipe will be posted tomorrow!)

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 broiler/fryer chicken or parts (about 3 pounds), cut up

½ cup butter or margarine, melted, divided

¼ cup packed brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup honey or agave nectar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1½ teaspoons curry powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl or bag, combine flour, salt and cayenne pepper; add the chicken pieces and dredge or shake to coat.

2. Pour 4 tablespoons butter into a 13″x9″x2″ baking pan; place chicken in pan, turning pieces once to coat.

3. Bake, uncovered, at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Combine the brown sugar, honey/agave, lemon juice, soy sauce, curry powder and remaining butter; pour over chicken.

4. Bake 45 minutes more or until chicken is tender, basting several times with pan drippings.

Makes 4-6 servings

2 Comments »

Pesto Chicken Pizza

I keep finding such yummy recipes on the back of the mozzarella cheese labels these days. Yummy and easy recipes!!  This pizza uses a pre-cooked pizza crust. Just use your favorite crust. I like using the Pillsbury thin pizza crusts. Just roll out and bake! So simple. Love that little doughboy! (giggle)

This recipe also has only 4 ingredients. Simple, fast and delicious. Chicken is a great protein when we want to be eating right. And who says pizza has to be a bad thing! Pizza is our friend! I’ve been making pizzas alot lately and this is my next one! I haven’t made it yet but it just sounds so good. The pesto it calls for is store-bought but if you feel like making it yourself go ahead.

INGREDIENTS:

12 ounces sliced, pre-cooked chicken breast

1- 12″ thin pre-baked pizza crust

¼ cup prepared pesto

4-8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Spread the prepared pizza crust with the pesto. Sprinkle with chicken and top with mozzarella cheese.

2. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

Makes 4 servings

8 Comments »

Mozzarella Sausage Balls

I found this recipe on the label from a package of mozzarella cheese. It looks like a very simple recipe and  if you use part-skim cheese it saves some calories and fat. Not only is the recipe easy but prep time is only about 15 minutes and cooking time is 10-18 minutes so these will be ready in about 30 minutes! These can be a great snack for a brunch too. I’m all about saving time these days as I am going back to work in the real world and I’ll be looking for ways to save time when making snacks and meals. I’ll also be trying to get back to a healthier diet so I can lose some extra pounds. The recipe calls for hot breakfast sausage. If you can find chicken breakfast sausages you can also save some calories and fat too!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound hot/spicy breakfast sausage (your choice)

16 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, diced into small pieces

1 egg, beaten

1 cup biscuit mix (your choice)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well until blended. Form into 1″ balls and place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 375ºF for 10-18 minutes until deep golden brown and cooked through.

Makes 12 servings

1 Comment »

NY Jets & Green Bay Packer Cocktails

Yes we are NY Jets fans in this house. Doesn’t matter that we live in Florida. Once a New Yorker, always a New Yorker. It’s been very exciting for the last few weeks to say the least. I predicted weeks ago, before the Jets miraculous win over the Colts, that the Super Bowl would be the Jets vs Packers. My husband is also a Packers fan having lived in Wisconsin many years ago. But Jets come first. So when it’s down to the final game we will be cheering for the Jets.(I am very optimistic aren’t I?) So today’s post, in honor of those two teams, are two cocktails, that are green. Both teams main colors are green. No there won’t be any cheese flavored cocktails for the Packers. Ewww… They are both green and we’ll leave it at that. Try them both this weekend. One for each game!  Or make them both for both games! It’ll give everyone up north something to do in this snowy weather, yet again! The first martini is very simple. The second one isn’t really difficult but it’s got more ingredients. They both have Midori in them. Be adventurous! Take a chance!

Go Jets! Go Packers!

GREEN-TINI

INGREDIENTS:

4 ounces vodka (your choice)

3 ounces Midori melon liqueur (or any melon liqueur you wish)

Lime wedges for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with limes.

Makes 2 martinis


ZEN COCKTAIL


INGREDIENTS:

2 ounces Zen Green Tea Liqueur (this is pretty readily available)

1 ounce Midori melon liqueur

6 ounces mango juice

white pepper

4 ounces cream

mint leaves for garnish

grated nutmeg for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into chilled champagne flutes or other slender class.

Garnish with mint leaves and a dash of nutmeg.

Makes 2 cocktails

** I just tried to buy the Zen Green Tea Liqueur, it’s pricey!! $30 a bottle! Yikes. I am looking for a smaller bottle now.

4 Comments »

Scallop & Broccoli Casserole

Well earlier today when I was trying to decide on what recipe to use in today’s blog I was stumped. I did come across a great breakfast dish I found in a magazine while I was in the gym (I read my food magazines while on the LifeCycle). But then I started making dinner with what I found in the fridge and freezer. So that became today’s blog. The final finished picture will be added to the post once it finishes baking!


Well 10 days from today I am returning to the land of the employed. I got a job at AAA South. It is a temporary seasonal position but hopefully it’ll become more. I will be working the reception desk. This will be a huge challenge for me as anyone who knows me, knows “the face”. I will leave it at that. But this job will also take time away from blogging. So I am going to try and get ahead for the first work week anyway. We will see how that works. Because as it is now I am just getting around to the blog and it’s almost 8pm! Imagine when I have a real job! So bear with me  when I start working (Jan.31 to be exact). So here is today’s recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound bay scallops

2 cups cooked brown rice (I like jasmine)

2 cups chopped broccoli, no stems

2 Laughing Cow cheese wedges, chopped (I used French Onion)

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped (Less if you aren’t a fan of garlic! Perish the thought)

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

½ cup white wine (any kind you choose)

1 cup Locatelli romano cheese (or any kind of grated parmesan/romano you want)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

TOPPING:

4 tablespoons butter/butter substitute melted

1 cup panko bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large heated sauté pan add olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until just tender. Add the chopped Laughing Cow cheese.

2. Add the broccoli and sauté for about 3-5 minutes until all liquid seems to be evaporated. Add the basil, oregano and pepper flakes. Stir. Add ¼ cup of the white wine and sauté for another 5 minutes.

3. Place the rice in a large bowl. Add the veggie mix to the rice.

4. Add the scallops to the pan and cook for a minute or so. Add another ¼ cup of the wine and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until the scallops are opaque. Add them to the bowl of rice and vegetables.

5. Add the romano cheese to mixture and stir thoroughly. Add to casserole dish of choice.

6. Blend the panko bread crumbs with the melted butter. Spread evenly over the top of the casserole.


7. Bake in a 350ºF oven for 45 minutes. Topping should be browned and bubbly.


2 Comments »

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

First let me say that I have not actually made this recipe yet. But I will, soon. My husband loves gumbo. Me, I could take it or leave it. Mainly because there are peppers in it. Remember, I am the one Italian who doesn’t like sweet peppers. I know, weird. But I am willing to give this a try and I will make sure I chop the pepper very small so I can’t pick them out! You should see me at restaurants! Anyway, I got this recipe in my email today from Cooking Light. It’s actually from their November 2002 issue! So it’s been around a long time. I have changed a few things of course (though I am leaving the peppers in!). The recipe calls for boil-in-bag rice. Not happening in this house. I will use jasmine brown rice. I always make a huge batch and freeze it in small packages, for occasions just like this! And it also called for turkey kielbasa. I will use chicken sausages of some kind. The recipe originally called for bottled minced garlic. Again, not in my house! I will use fresh garlic and probably double it!

What is also really great about this recipe is that most of it uses frozen vegetables. This will save time if you’re making it last-minute. But if it’s last-minute you might not have the ingredients on hand so think ahead anyway. And if you do not like to use frozen vegetables like onion, peppers, okra etc. use fresh. But remember the frozen ones are already all cut up for you and cook faster! Another way to make this a little different is to add some shrimp to the last step also. Probably about a half pound or so of uncooked. It will cook fast so be careful.

Illustration courtesy of Cooking Light magazine

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked rice of choice (I prefer jasmine brown rice)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup frozen chopped onion

1 cup frozen chopped green bell pepper

1 cup frozen cut okra

1 cup chopped celery

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon ground red pepper

2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)

8 ounces chicken sausage of your choice, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (14½ ounce) can diced tomatoes with peppers and onion

1 (14½ ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

1. If you are cooking rice now make the gumbo while it is cooking.

2. Combine the flour and oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Saute over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, green pepper, okra, celery, garlic, thyme, and ground red pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

3. Stir in the chicken, sausage, tomatoes, and broth, cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings (1½ cups gumbo and ½ cup rice)

4 Comments »

Quick & Easy Creamed Spinach

My husband loves creamed spinach. So I’ve been trying to find good recipes for making it a little on the healthier side. I’ve found several recipes that I’ve made but this one seems to be the easiest and fastest! No fuss no muss! Using frozen spinach and Laughing Cow Cheese! It goes great with any meal. I like it with steak. It goes great with pork, chicken, meatloaf, anything you wish!


INGREDIENTS:

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach

3 wedges light Laughing Cow cheese wedges (I like the blue cheese or garlic & herb one)

¼ cup grated locatelli romano cheese (or your favorite grated cheese)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Cook spinach according to package directions in a microwave safe bowl. Drain.

2. Add the Laughing Cow cheese and stir well until almost completely blended in.

3. Add the grated cheese, stir. Microwave on High for another 2 minutes until all cheeses are melted.

4 . Serve hot!

See, simple and easy and not a hassle. I also usually add some garlic powder or roasted garlic cloves to the mix as well. It’s up to you!

4 Comments »

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