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Teriyaki Chicken Wings

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We love chicken wings in our house. I mean, really, who doesn’t? And after spending so much money on them in restaurants I now continue to make them fresh at home. This way I will know exactly what ingredients are used and I prefer to bake them, rather than frying,  in my oven on convection roast. (I have a convection option on my oven) The flavors are endless. From the old standby “buffalo” flavor to the unique flavors of garlic/parmesan to teriyaki. I keep experimenting.

I used to buy the giant frozen bag of cooked buffalo chicken wings and go from there. Realizing they were almost as expensive as eating them in a restaurant I then moved onto the giant bags of frozen uncooked wings. Still too pricey and the wings they used in these bags are what we started calling mutant wings. Most of them were either too small or the machines that cut them severed the bones leaving too many sharp edges and mutant looking wing pieces. Searching the supermarkets for fresh wings became my next challenge. Have you ever priced fresh chicken wings? They can be very expensive as well. $3.99/lb and up in most places. We found a few stores would have sales at $2.99/lb which wasn’t bad but still not good enough for my budget. And then grocery gods smiled upon us and opened an Aldi store in my neighborhood. There was much rejoicing when I saw the prices of their fresh chicken wings. $1.99/lb! At that price, I now buy two packages. Each package usually has about 10 wings, uncut, which comes out to 20 when I cut them myself. So for about $5-$7 we get 20 wings! (and yes, I leave the wing tips on as well, gives you a little handle!) And an even better deal when they have a sale on them at $1.79/lb. I stock up big time! I live in south Florida so the prices may vary depending on where you live.

This recipe is a no sugar added teriyaki. We try to avoid sugars in foods if we can and I use sucralose as a substitute. But if you prefer, just use regular sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 fresh chicken wings, cut into 20 pieces
  • Teriyaki sauce (recipe below)
  • sesame seeds
  • 2 scallions chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to convection roast at 400ºF. (or bake)
  • Place plain wings on large rimmed cookie sheet. (I use a ceramic cookie sheet so I don’t need foil or anything, but if using a regular cookie sheet use foil or spray pan as they may stick)
  • Roast for about 20 minutes and turn wings over. Roast another 20 minutes.
  • By now the wings should be crisping up pretty good, remove them to a large bowl and pour the teriyaki sauce all over them to make sure they’re coated completely.
  • Return wings to the cookie sheet and roast another 5-10 minutes, watching they don’t burn with the sauce. 
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. 
  • Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery/carrot sticks.

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Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sucralose (or sugar if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced

Directions

Mix all ingredients together.

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Garlic Cheese Bites

Let me just start off by saying that if you don’t like garlic (you know who you are) then stop reading right here. This recipe is not for the faint of heart when it comes to garlic overload. I’m not joking so beware!! AND if you are lactose intolerant, take a pill or something if you want to eat these. LOTS of cheese. You’ve been warned…

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I found this recipe one day while on the King’s Hawaiian recipe pages. I did stick to it pretty closely but I think next time I will make a change to see if it makes a difference. The recipe calls for using the little fresh mozzarella balls. But I think I will try just cutting up a block of mozzarella into cubes of the same size and trying that. I LOVE the fresh mozzarella but I think it’s too delicate and melts too much for this. The original recipe (Cheesy Garlic Bites) comes from a great site called Zestuous. I did follow the recipe very closely except for the amount of garlic, which is odd for me! NOT! One of the ingredients is for buttermilk biscuits (in the can) and it’s VERY important to use the regular kind, NOT FLAKY. Another very important tidbit is to make sure when the dough balls are placed into the muffin pan they are placed open side UP. As I found out with a few that got turned around, all the cheese will ooze out into the pan. Still tastes good but not very appealing.IMG_4057IMG_4058

INGREDIENTS:

2 cans (any brand) buttermilk biscuits (not the flaky kind)

20 cherry-size balls of fresh mozzarella or regular mozzarella cut into cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced (use less if it’s too much for you)

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup white wine

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese (any kind)

salt and basil to taste

mini muffin tins

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 450ºF.
  • Open the can of biscuits and flatten each biscuit. 
  • Drain the liquid from the fresh mozzarella if you’re using fresh and place a ball in the center of the dough forming a ball around it. IMG_4046
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, adding the butter and stir until completely melted.
  • Slowly pour in the white wine and salt and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. IMG_4049
  • Carefully roll the dough balls into the garlic-wine-butter mixture.IMG_4050
  • Carefully place the balls in a mini muffin pan, OPEN SIDE UP!! Trust me!IMG_4051
  • Combine the shredded mozzarella/parmesan cheese and pile on top of each ball.

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  • Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with the leftover garlic butter.

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  • Sprinkle with salt and basil to taste. Serve warm!

Makes about 20 balls

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Coconut Garlic Shrimp, Asparagus & Tomato Pasta

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Well it’s been a long week since Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida & the Caribbean and things are slowly, finally settling back to some kind of normalcy. This includes making a new dish for dinner. After replacing 75% of the contents of my freezer and refrigerator because of no power I can say with a smile, I’m back! I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for quite some time. The original recipe that I adapted this from (Garlic Shrimp in Coconut Milk, Tomatoes and Cilantro) is from Gina Homolka at Skinnytaste. Please check her recipe out as well.

The original recipe from Gina was more of a stew and could be served over rice. I added more garlic and served it over pasta instead. I also added asparagus since I had some in the fridge that had to be used or I would lose it. I may try it with peas instead next time or possibly broccoli! And for those of you who know me, know I really do NOT like peppers (green, red, yellow….) jalapeno yes, but sweet peppers no. This recipe has red peppers in it and I can barely taste them. I did use the small rainbow peppers (the red ones) and they aren’t as strong-tasting so that’s probably why I liked them.

So how did the recipe turn out? Let’s just say, my husband and I could not stop eating it! It was incredible! I can’t wait to have it as leftovers again! It’s a very easy recipe to make and I will be making it again for sure. The only thing I might do next time is add another can of the coconut milk so it has more sauce for the pasta. Other than that it’s a home run! It’s not a heavy meal, the sauce is light, yet it is a very filling dish. Hope you enjoy it!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 lb uncooked peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp (I used (2) 12oz. bags of frozen shrimp from Aldi)

1 tsp olive oil

1 pound of asparagus sliced into small pieces

1 pound cooked pasta of your choice

1 small red pepper or 4 large red peppers from a bag of mini rainbow peppers, diced

4 scallions, thinly sliced, separating the whites and greens

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used about 1 tablespoon of dried since I didn’t have fresh)

6-8 cloves minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes of choice

1 can (13-14oz) light coconut milk. (I used Trader Joe’s organic reduced fat coconut milk)

1/2 of a lime juiced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil and sauté the red pepper until soft, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the white parts of the scallions, ¼ cup of the fresh cilantro (or the 1 tbsp of dried), the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute or so until well blended.
  3. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and ¼ tsp of salt. Stir well and bring to a boil. Once it boils, cover the pot and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit.
  4. Meanwhile cook the pasta to just al-dente, drain and put back into the pot.
  5. Add the chopped asparagus to the tomato coconut milk mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes until it begins to soften a little.
  6. Add the shrimp to the same mixture and cook for about 5-6 minutes until the shrimp is opaque. Add the lime juice.
  7. Pour all of the shrimp mixture into the pot with the pasta and mix well. Let it simmer for just a minute or so to get everything mixed.
  8. Serve. Top with the green part of the scallions and rest of fresh cilantro if using fresh. We also like to add a little parmesan cheese on top as well.

Serves 4-6

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No-Bake Cannoli Pie

cannolie pie

Everyone who knows me knows I don’t bake. Or I should say, I don’t bake very well. So when I saw this recipe one day for a NO BAKE pie I was determined. I had bought a few containers of Marscapone cheese that I had been making a cannoli dip with and their “best by” dates were coming up soon so I was very happy when I found this recipe. Plus I had all of the ingredients! Well sort of anyway. The crust calls for ground-up cannoli shells. I had a box of sugar cones that we used as dippers when I made the dip so I thought, why not use them instead! And I added some almonds to the mix as well.

I brought the pie to a friend for dessert and it was a hit. Tasted like cannoli!  So how can that be a bad thing! I would definitely make this again. The original recipe, No Bake Cannoli Cheesecake had the ingredients being put into 4 mini tart pans (4″). I don’t have mini tart pans because I don’t bake! But I do have many pie dishes so that is what I used. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 cannoli shells ground fine (or 8 sugar cones ground fine)
  • handful whole almonds ground fine with the cannoli shells/cones
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • 8 oz. Marscapone cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup chopped pistachios
  • Fresh whipped cream, Cool Whip or Reddi-Wip

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl combine the shells/cones/almonds and the melted butter until mixed. Press firmly into bottom and on sides of pie plate. Freeze about 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl cream the Marscapone and ricotta cheese. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar, mix well.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and stir in by hand.
  4. Get the pie plate out of the freezer and carefully fill with the mixture.
  5. If using whipped cream you can decorate the edges, otherwise, add the cool whip etc. when serving.
  6. Sprinkle the pistachio nuts over the top.
  7. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. 

 

cannoli pie

 

 

 

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Quinoa Shrimp Scampi

This recipe started out because I looked in my pantry and saw that I have just way too much quinoa in there. I have plain, red, tri-color and then I just bought a couple more packages at Home Goods! So I decided I needed to start using it more. The quinoa I used in this recipe was an Italian flavored one. I bought this container of Pereg quinoa in Home Goods for $3.99 and I used about half of the container in this recipe, about 1 cup. This brand comes in all kinds of flavors which is pretty cool so you can make whatever you’re in the mood for! I also bought a spinach version and a mushroom version. Just follow the directions on the package and you’re good to go! I also substituted the water with chicken broth, which gives it so much more flavor. A vegetable broth would work great too! But if that’s not something you would want to do then just use water. 

This is a quick meal you can throw together in under 30 minutes for sure. Great for after work when you want something nutritious and delicious! This was a nice filling and satisfying meal for two of us but if you want it can serve 4 as a side dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pereg “All’ Italiana” quinoa (Use 1 cup and cook according to package)
  • 12-16 ounces uncooked extra large-jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (no tails on unless you like that sort of thing- I do not)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 large tomato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package. When it is done, keep it on low to stay warm.
  2. Add the oil and butter to a medium skillet and saute the garlic till soft, just a few minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook on medium heat. A couple of minutes on each side until shrimp turns pink is good. Do NOT overcook.
  4. Add the lemon juice and herbs and mix well.
  5. Add the chopped tomato to the quinoa mixture.
  6. Divide up the quinoa into flat bowls and top evenly with the shrimp mixture. Make sure the delicious juices are evenly distributed as well.
  7. Serve with some parmesan cheese on top if you like!

 

 

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Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Ribs

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Yet another recipe I found on Facebook courtesy of Tasty on Buzzfeed! I changed it up a little bit and they came out amazing! And yes, they browned IN THE SLOW COOKER!  Wow, talk about falling off the bones. I will definitely be making these again! The original recipe called for 1 rack of ribs, I had 2 so I doubled the recipe. Took a little clever maneuvering of the ribs but they came out just beautiful.  The recipe will be for 1 rack but definitely, double it up to two.

The smell in my kitchen all day was heavenly. I also used a mix of honey and agave. I didn’t have enough honey in the house so I improvised. I think if I had used all honey they may have been a little sweeter but these came out just fine. Use all honey if you want or all agave or both. Sticky, messy, tender, melt in your mouth pork. They are a little bit like Chinese spare ribs but better, way more meat for sure. I used St. Louis style ribs but I am sure you can use any type. I like the St. Louis because they are meatier. Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand! Leftovers will be divine!

Tip: Use a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup! Trust me!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (2 ½-3 lb) rack of pork ribs, halved
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup agave
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine in a small bowl the salt, pepper, paprika, and chili powder. Season the ribs evenly by rubbing all over and on the sides.
  2. Add the honey/agave, soy sauce and garlic to a large slow cooker. (I used a 5 qt)
  3. Carefully place the ribs into the cooker and turn them over into the sauce until they are coated. Then place the ribs standing up (yes I said standing up, this confused me at first too), with the meatier side down so that the meat side is against the walls of the slow cooker. Bones should be facing in. (Since I used two racks I had 4 pieces and I just overlapped them a little making sure most of the meat part was against the wall) You can also now pour sauce all over them making sure all get covered.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours. (I checked them at 7 hours and turned them over, still keeping the meat to the wall)
  5. Check to make sure also that the meat is cooked through and tender when the time is up.
  6. Carefully remove the ribs to a cutting board and cut apart. They will most like fall off the bone. 
  7. Serve with additional sauce from the slow cooker if you desire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zucchini Chicken Enchiladas

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I made this recipe last night for dinner for the first time. I LOVED it! It made quite a bit too. I think I got about 15-17 pieces. I found this recipe on Facebook Zucchini Enchiladas. I, of course, changed it up a bit to what I found worked better for me.

One of the toughest parts of the recipe was slicing the zucchini into the thin slices needed. I had a small Y-shaped peeler but it was too small. So I improvised and used my Pampered Chef cheese slicer and it worked great! Though I have to say it was tedious. The original recipe called for 4 large zucchini, I had 3 and it worked fine. I also didn’t have quite enough enchilada sauce so I took a small can of green chilis and added it to the amount of sauce I was supposed to add to the top of the enchiladas and pureed it. Worked just fine and tasted great.

I thought this was a great change from the carb-loaded tortillas. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tortillas but this was a nice variation. I have lots left over for lunch and I froze the rest for another day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion)
  • kosher salt
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (yes I used 4 of course)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • small can green chilis
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used 3 large boneless breasts)
  • 1 1/3 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 3-4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream for topping
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and season with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and stir until all combined.
  4. Add the chicken and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce, mixing until well combined. It should be a little saucy.
  5. Puree the small can of green chilis with the remaining enchilada sauce and set aside.
  6. On a cutting board use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler if you have one wide enough for the zucchini. Slice very thin.
  7. Layout 3 slices, overlapping slightly and add a spoonful of the chicken mixture (about 1/4-1/3 cup) at the top. Carefully roll and place into a casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat till finished. (I used two casserole dishes)
  8. Spoon the green chili/enchilada sauce mixture over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese.
  9. Bake until cheese is melted, about 20-30 minutes.
  10. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream. Careful they are very hot because of the water content in the zucchini.
  11. ENJOY!
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Who Doesn’t Love Tater-tots Breakfast Casserole

I’ve made this recipe twice now and I tweaked it even more from the original recipe from Kraft. Made it better! And sorry, it’s not low-calorie, but come on, its got tater-tots in it! Or as they are sometimes called potato tots, potato puffs, etc. I have used Great Value brand and Aldi’s brand. Both came out amazing! The pictures are from the first time I made it since I forgot to take pics the second time. It was Super Bowl Monday the 2nd time and it sure hit the spot that morning!

First time I made it I forgot to cover it when I baked it, still came out good but it needs to be covered. Omg, sooooo incredibly delicious! It can definitely be prepared the night before and then baked in the morning. For the sausage, I use whatever type of sausage I have in the house. Usually some kind of chicken sausage. I’ve used the Italian style and it’s fine. The original recipe also called for 2.5 ounces of bacon! HA! I used a whole pound. Also, the original called for a 10.5 ounce can of cream of potato soup. The store was out of it when I went so I used the big “family” size can. I think it’s like 23 ounces. I used it all! Makes it much creamier.

This recipe is so simple to make. You will NOT be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 pound cooked ground sausage

4 large eggs, scrambled

1 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

3 1/2 cups thawed tater tots (any brand will be fine!)

1 family size (23 oz) can cream of potato soup (any brand is fine)

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese, divided in half.(use more if you wish!)

Sour cream for top if desired

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, except for 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese.
  2. Pour into a large casserole dish making sure it’s all distributed evenly.
  3. Cover and bake for 35 minutes at 350°.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and bake uncovered another 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly!
  5. Serve hot! If you want, add a dollop of sour cream to each serving.

 

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It’s Not Just For Christmas Fudge

(I am reposting this from a few years ago, still LOVE this fudge!)

I used to make this recipe for fudge quite a bit for the holidays when I worked at WLNY in New York. I remember CJ asking for it quite a bit! It’s simple and pretty fool-proof. I could eat the whole pan if it were left in my vicinity! Fudge is good any time of year not just for the holidays so make a batch today and take a break from the diet. If you are allergic to nuts, leave them out. Have fun!

INGREDIENTS:

3 (6 oz.) packages semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup chopped walnuts (or other favorite nuts)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Line an 8″ square baking pan with waxed paper or aluminum foil.

2. In a heavy two-quart saucepan, combine chocolate chips, condensed milk, and salt.

3. Cook over low heat until chips melt. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla.

4. Spread mixture evenly into lined pan. Refrigerate for two hours or until firm. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Makes 36 pieces

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Popcorn Bars

This is a repost from 5 years ago! Wow, time flies! Still loved making these and they were oh so good!!

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Popcorn, popcorn, popcorn! I LOVE popcorn. If there was a popcorn diet I’d be on it for sure. The smell of freshly popped buttery goodness has to be the best smell in the world. I can’t walk past a movie theater without taking a huge deep inhaling breath! Aaahhh….The only type of popcorn I don’t usually like is popcorn balls. I don’t know why but for some reason they just don’t appeal to me at all. But these popcorn bars are something entirely different. They have salty peanuts, pretzels chocolate chips and candy! What’s not to like!  The candy-coated pieces can be in red and green for Christmas! Kids large and small will love them! I know I do!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 package microwave popcorn, popped (about 9-10 cups)

1 cup salted peanuts

1 cup coarsely crumbled pretzels

1 cup light corn syrup

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 package (11 ounces) butterscotch OR white chocolate chips

1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces (like M&Ms)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Add the popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels.


2. Cook the corn syrup and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, bring to a full boil for 1 minute.


3. Remove from the heat and add butterscotch chips, stirring until melted. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix well. Stir in candy-coated chocolate pieces.


4. Press into a greased 13×9-inch pan. Cool at least one hour. Cool in the refrigerator also. It makes cutting them into bars much easier. Cut into bars.


Makes about 24 bars

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