Main Dishes

French Onion Soup Pizza

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Finished product

As promised I am posting the recipe for the French Onion Dip/Soup Pizza I posted pictures of the other day. This recipe came from Rachael Ray. It actually aired on her show back in 2009 but I just came across it now. If you want to see the video and original recipe click on French Onion Dip Pizza. 

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Ready for the oven!

When I first saw this recipe I was hooked. If you love french onion dip or french onion soup and pizza then you will love this recipe. My one word of caution is to give yourself time to make it. Caramelizing onions is NOT a quick process. I would say this recipe took me a good 90 minutes from start to finish with all the prep and cooking. It’s not complicated at all either. Just time-consuming. I also made the recipe as instructed, for the most part. I did add an extra clove of garlic (duh!) and an extra onion. I also added a bit more on the cheese. (again, duh!) She also calls for Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, but come on, I’m not made of gold. I used Locatelli Romano. The Gruyère cheese in this recipe was my big splurge. And don’t leave out the thyme leaves. I actually have never cooked with fresh thyme before, I know, hard to believe. What was I thinking? It totally made the pizza. The flavors just exploded in my mouth.

I will be making this pizza again for sure. Another thing I learned when pre-baking the crust, I will also poke tiny air holes in it with a fork before baking. I didn’t do that when I made this and it puffed up so big all I could think of was that Little Rascals episode with the cake that kept expanding on the sides. I was able to flatten it but I was nervous. Baking the crust prior is definitely  a must otherwise the pizza will be very soggy.

So if you like onions and cheese and pizza try this recipe. You will NOT be disappointed. If you don’t like any of those things then I feel sad for you. (Sorry Biz, way too many onions for you)

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Double Yummmm

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons (approximately) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ball/package fresh pizza dough (I buy mine at Wal-Mart in their deli section, $1!)
  • 1 cup sour cream or creme fraiche (I used sour cream)
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (I used Locatelli Romano, use what you have)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Using a large skillet, on medium, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and gently cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and deep golden brown. This takes about 25 minutes. Be careful not to let the onions get crispy.
  3. As the onions are cooking prep your pizza dough on your pizza pan, baking sheet or whatever you use. Poke tiny air holes with a fork through the dough. (remember we don’t want a balloon to appear!) Bake the dough until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t get too brown.
  4. When the onions are done, season them with salt and pepper and stir in the sour cream or creme fraiche.
  5. Spread this mixture over the pre-baked crust. Sprinkle the cheeses over the onions. Sprinkle the thyme over the cheese.
  6. Bake until golden brown and bubbly about 10 minutes. Keep a watch on it so the cheese doesn’t burn. (I placed it on the middle rack because it was so dense. Normally my pizza is baked on the bottom rack)
  7. Remove from oven carefully and let sit for a couple of minutes. Slice it up and serve! Be careful it’s HOT! Enjoy!
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Buttery Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings (revisited)

(This recipe is my most viewed post and I thought it was worth reposting for any newcomers! Enjoy!)

I think just about everyone loves chicken wings. But after a while they can get a little boring. Same thing all the time…We have a favorite wings place here in Florida called Hurricane Wings. (They’re on Long Island in NY now too!) They have lots of different flavors along with the usual hot stuff. So the other night I remembered I had a bag of frozen wings and wanted to make up a batch. Well as most of you know, I love garlic. Can never have too much if you ask me. I also love butter and parmesan cheese. So why not combine them all with the chicken wings! Wonderful idea. What I liked most about this is that I didn’t have to defrost the wings first. I just followed the directions on the bag. Baked them for 45 minutes at 400ºF. My oven also has a convection option so I used the convection roast setting. I also turned them over a couple of times during the cooking. We love crispy wings and if you do them this way you won’t have all the extra fat from deep-frying. I am happy to say they came out awesome! We also served them with the usual blue cheese dressing. I also didn’t have any celery so I cut a cucumber into long slices and that worked just fine.

I’m thinking of making up another batch for tonight! 

INGREDIENTS:

2-4 lbs. uncooked chicken wings (frozen or unfrozen)

6-8 cloves garlic minced (cut back if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

6-8 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup of grated parmesan cheese of choice

½ teaspoon each dried basil and oregano

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Follow cooking directions on bag of chicken. Different cooking times for frozen or thawed. Place the chicken wings on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and cook as directed. This will take 30-45 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine the melted butter, garlic, basil and oregano. Add ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese. Mix well.

  3. When the wings are done to your liking, we like them crispy, remove from cookie sheet and put them in a large bowl. Add the butter, garlic mixture to the wings and mix well.

  4. Put the wings back onto the cookie sheet, making sure you get all the mixture on them. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.

  5. Broil for about 5 minutes about 3-4 inches from the broiler element. Keep an eye on them so the cheese doesn’t burn.

  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a platter and dig in!

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.

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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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!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Enchilada Soup

I keep talking the talk about my slow cooker but I hardly use it. So this past weekend I finally did.

Though I have to remember to start it early in the day, not at the end of the day. Either way, we had this soup twice during the week. It was delicious! So simple too.

I got the recipe from a fellow blogger Reeni. She has a great blog and I make quite a few of her recipes. Check out the original recipe at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.  I changed a few things but it still came out awesome.

I can’t wait to make it again when the weather here in Florida finally cools down for more than a day. Don’t be afraid of your slow cooker. I honestly use to only use it to warm wine for Mulled Wine!  But I’m experimenting more and plan on using it more and more. And this recipe is pretty healthy for you as well! Lots of fiber and protein! 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet or Vidalia onion, diced

1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (11 ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles

4 cups low-sodium/low-fat chicken broth

1 ¼ pounds boneless chicken breasts

2 cups corn (15-16 ounce can is good)

1 can black beans (15 ounces or so)

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon oregano

2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I used Great Value’s Fiesta Mix)

1 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving

sliced avocado for garnish (this is delicious by the way, I was skeptical at first but happy with the results!)

Tortilla chips for serving if desired.

Coarse salt and pepper 

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt/pepper. Cook this until everything is softened, about 10-15 minutes.

2. While that is softening add to the crock-pot the Rotel tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, chile powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher is good) and about ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

3. When the onions, garlic and peppers are softened add to the crock-pot and mix it all up thoroughly. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (this is what I did because I started late in the day) or 5-6 on low. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred or cut into small pieces. I shredded mine. Add the sour cream and cheese to the pot and mix well. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cook 1 more hour on low heat.

4. Serve same day or next day. We had it the next night and it really gave the flavors time to grow. Garnish with more cheese, sour cream and avocado, or chips. 

Leftovers are even better! Love this soup!

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