Monday, February 28, 2011

One Pot Wonder: South of the Border Shredded Beef

i've been doing some research about tropical vacations and came across a gorgeous resort that is south of the border! our anniversary is may 8th & justin's 30th birthday is in june so we want to take an early trip in april/may before summer arrives. hopefully, when he returns from budapest i'll tempt him with spicy beef tacos topped with avocado, cotija cheese & tomatoes to get him {and the am ex} in the mood to head to mexico!

{ONE POT WONDER: SOUTH OF THE BORDER SHREDDED BEEF}

Ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 6-8
  • 1 4 pound chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 dry onion soup packet
  • 1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 5 ounce cholula hot pepper sauce {by the hot sauces}
  • 1 12 oz. can beef broth
1. trim any excess fat from the roast. place on a plate & season with salt & pepper. heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. place meat in skillet & brown for 2-3 minutes on each side.

2. transfer roast to crock pot & sprinkle dry onion soup over roast. pour green chilies, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder & hot pepper sauce over roast. add 1 can beef broth to crock pot.

3. cover & cook over low for 6-8 hours. if liquid in bottom becomes low, add water to ensure 1 inch of liquid remains in bottom of crock pot. when cooked through, shred meat in crock pot using 2 forks.

4. serve with tortilla shells, taco shells, over corn chips or with mexican rice & beans for a trip south of the border!

*make it a meal again: save some meat & make nachos for dinner the next night!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shrimp & Grits Casserole

my friend and fellow blog reader, catie, cooked tonight and as a self-proclaimed, "i don't cook" kinda gal {and i've seen instant mashed potatoes whipped by this one!}, she made an AMAZING shrimp & grit casserole. she cooked this from cooking lite's recipe so i've included it below...it was too good & pass up!

    {SHRIMP & GRIT CASSEROLE}
    souce: cookinglight.com

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
    • 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 (3-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 2 large egg whites
    • 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, coarsely chopped
    • Cooking spray

    1. Preheat oven to 375°.

    2. Combine milk and broth in a medium heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Gradually add grits and salt to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan, butter, and cream cheese. Stir in parsley and next 4 ingredients (through shrimp). Spoon mixture into an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until set.

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Tasty Taquitos

    budapest...that's where my hubs took off to today for a work trip until thursday. when i asked the pickiest eater in the world him what they eat in budapest he replied, "i don't know but i'm sure i can find a mcdonald's". now...this should be interesting. i did do some light googling on mcdonad's menu offerings in budapest and although i can't read hungarian, a picture of what appear to be cheese sticks introduced me to their website so i feel confident he'll survive.

    so while he's jetting on delta to pari tonight, i decided to make these simple, crispy taquitos...which are amazing and low in fat! they make for a delish dinner as part of a mexi-inspired meal or as an appetizer!

    {TASTY TAQUITOS}
    *serves 2

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 1/2 cup salsa
    • 1 tablespoon lite sour cream
    • 1/3 cup mexi cheese
    • 1/2 teaspoon dry taco seasoning mix
    • 1 10 ounce can chunk white chicken breast, drained & shredded
    • 8 small corn tortillas {6" size}
    • serve on the side: salsa & sour cream
    1. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. mix salsa, sour cream, cheese, taco seasoning, chicken & set aside.
    3. place a damp paper towel on a plate, place tortillas on top & cover with another damp paper towel. microwave for about 1 minute to soften tortillas.
    4. using 1 tortilla at a time {and keeping others covered}, fill with 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture & wrap into a tube. place on a greased baking sheet {hold in place with a tooth pick if needed}. complete using all tortillas.
    5. bake for approx. 15 minutes or until golden & crispy.
    6. serve with salsa & sour cream on the side!

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Transfusion

    i'm kinda all over the place today so join me for the ride...and we'll finish with {shugart & spice}'s first adult beverage recipe!

    1. i mentioned in my tomato {heart} tarts blog note that i love white m&m's...what i did not note, is that valentines day sets off my love of seasonal candy. THANK GOD my fav of the whole year just landed in stores last week...cadbury's mini eggs {solid chocolate eggs with a crisp shell}. i'm not even a candy/chocolate/sweets person but there's something so amazing about these little eggs...the baby speckles they subtly sport, the way the crispy shell breaks away & the consistency of the inside chocolate is so crazy good. they make the lindor truffle look like a rookie.
    2. we're remodeling our bathroom. well, THEY, have been remodeling for over a month now. i can only imagine how long a kitchen would take based on the timeframe they've been working in our mid-size master bath. so today, is the FINAL day of workers ruining my morning regis & kelly, bella {pooch} going pit bull on them & sharing the guest bath with the hubs {who said he feels like he's at summer camp because he has to bring a grocery bag with his toiletries in the bathroom daily}. on that note, i came home from lunch today to find this:
    {disclaimer-this is the back porch & it was quickly installed thereafter}

    3. last night i cooked, but a different style & for a different diner. champ, our neighbors lab, had surgery this week due to swallowing a rope-like piece that blocked & tore his intestines. {sad face}. he wasn't interested in the canned doggie food the vet gave him so we made him chicken & rice:

    Ingredients:
    2 cans chicken stock
    1 cup white rice
    2 chicken breasts

    1. boil 2 cups chicken stock. pour in rice, stir. simmer for 20 minutes.
    2. boil water & toss in chicken. cook for 10 minutes. shred.
    3. mix, serve, happy dog!
    {champ dog will be back to good in no time!}

    4. whew...all that & we need a cocktail! this is my hubs favorite summer drink & since it's 70 outside, i think when the clock hits 5, i'll whip this up!

    {TRANSFUSION}
    *serves 1

    Ingredients
    1 part vodka
    1 part grape juice {lite}
    1 part ginger ale {diet}

    *mix & serve over ice in a cocktail glass!



    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    Mushroom Salad


    food inspiration must derive from somewhere & for me, it's a combination of craving + creativity.

    while i was in nyc this past weekend, some friends & i dined at a quaint little spot in tribeca, smith & mills. it was an adorable little french garden house meets speakeasy. i could totally envision coming back with my hubs, sitting in a little corner booth, warming our hands over a tiny candle and drinking red wine getting a drink at the bar.

    that said, a friend ordered their mushroom salad and when it arrived, well, it was the cutest little garden in a bowl. when i googled it, the actual recipe & picture of it popped up.

    enter sudden {recipe phobia}.

    so before i scurried away from what was a delish, healthy lunch dish, i decide to make it my own. so behold, mushroom salad my way. this will also make for a gorgeous {dinner party} summer salad in little individual bowls!

    {MUSHROOM SALAD}
    *serves 2

    Ingredients {in order of use}

    • 1 roma tomato, sliced into 4 triangular sections
    • salt & pepper
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1/2 cup white mushrooms
    • 1/2 cup portabella, chopped
    • 1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
    • 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons parsley
    • 1 yellow squash, sliced
    serve over pearled barley, cous cous or quinoa {prepared according to package}!
    garnish: bibb lettuce, enoki mushrooms {see pic below} & crusty french bread

    1. season tomatoes with salt & pepper & set aside.
    2. pour 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan & bring to medium heat. when warm add in garlic & sauté for 4 minutes. fold in all mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, parsley, salt & pepper. stir for 10 minutes. fold in squash and stir for 5 minutes.
    3. toss your prepared barley, cous cous or quinoa with mushroom mix for 2 minutes over low heat.
    4. to serve, tear bibb lettuce into pieces and lay 3-4 pieces as your base. serve mushroom/grain mix over lettuce, add seasoned tomatoes, cluster of enoki mushrooms & crusty french bread in the bowl. enjoy!

    enoki mushrooms-these are the jam!
    portabella mushrooms
    crimini mushrooms

    white button mushrooms

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    Simple Shrimp Stir-Fry

    i spent the day cleaning the house, thus i deserve a lazy evening! while the idea of meshing chinese with the couch & cable calls my name, the guilt of picking up or ordering in did not. a simple fix...make it at home! same great taste, FEWER calories, easy, cheap & enjoyed right on my couch in the comfort of a cozy bowl!

    {SIMPLE SHRIMP STIR-FRY}

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    *serves 2 {with 1 leftover for lunch!}
    • 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
    • 1/2 teaspoon Emeril's Original Essence seasoning {found in the spice aisle}
    • salt & pepper
    • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1/2 cup egg whites {or 3 eggs}
    • 2 green onions, white & green parts sliced separately
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh ginger
    • 1 8.8 ounce bag Uncle Ben's {whole grain, brown rice} Ready Rice
    • 1 tablespoon asian sesame oil
    • 2 cups "japanese blend" or "stir-fry" vegetables, defrosted {in the frozen veggie section}
    • 1 5 ounce can sliced bamboo shoots, drained {optional}
    • 5 packets of soy sauce {you can get at the sushi station for free in the grocery store}

    *prepare ingredients before you start to cook!

    1. place shrimp in a bowl & season with Emeril's Essence, plus a pinch of salt & pepper. set aside.
    2. heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. when hot, add eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper & stir constantly. when eggs are cooked, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. set aside.
    3. using same skillet, add in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil & bring to medium-high heat. toss in shrimp & cook for about 5 minutes or until pink throughout. remove from skillet & set aside in a clean bowl.
    4. using same skillet, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil & bring to medium-high heat. toss in white portion of green onions, ginger & garlic & sauté for 1 minute. toss in Uncle Ben's rice bag & sauté for 5 minutes. add the sesame oil, vegetables {+ bamboo shoots} & pinchs of salt & pepper, green portion of green onions & toss for another 5 minutes. add 3 packets of soy sauce, previously cooked eggs & shrimp & sauté for 3-5 minutes.
    5. serve in bowls with with chop sticks & additional soy packets, if needed!

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Chili No Bean Dip

    i was in nyc over the weekend with some friends to celebrate/mourn my friend katherine's departure...she, like i, is leaving nyc to marry her southern man & settle "down south", nola exactly. she is an amazing cook & makes really fancy dishes...which after all ingredients are purchased at nyc price$, makes for one heck of an expensive entree!

    when we both lived in the city, my roommate, danielle, shared a friend's mother's recipe with us & it was our staple nyc app...mainly b/c all ingredients only cost around $5, which made it the CHEAPEST possible appetizer you could make in nyc.

    {CHILI NO BEAN DIP}

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 1 8 ounce block of cream cheese
    • 1 15 ounce can hormel chili, with no beans
    • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
    • 1 bag of frito scoops to use for serving
    1. heat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. in an 8x8 pyrex dish, smooth out cream cheese so it covers the bottom of the pan {works best if left at room temp for a few hours or put in the microwave for 15 seconds}.
    3. pour can of chili over cream cheese to cover evenly.
    4. top with cheddar cheese.
    5. cook for approx. 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly!
    6. serve with fritos!

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    Tacos in a Bag

    it's going to be in the SEVENTIES this weekend in ATLANTA!! i haven't seen that since like....2010?! i've been waiting for warm weather to post this recipe so here you have it. invite your friends or family over for this easy, ever-so-impressive dinner...also known as "walking tacos"!

    {TACOS in a BAG}
    *serves 10-12
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • 1 1 ounce packet taco seasoning
    • 10-12 1 ounce packages of Fritos corn chips {usually 3/$1 by the checkout lanes}
    • optional taco toppings: diced lettuce, sour cream, cheese, green onions, diced tomatoes, diced onions, salsa, diced avocado, olives, refried beans & fresh cilantro
    1. cook ground beef according to directions on taco seasoning packet {brown, drain, season}.
    2. transfer to a crock pot on lowest heat setting-simmer or warm.
    3. serve-place Fritos bags & forks in an easy-to-access place by the meat & toppings {i like to toss into a beverage bucket or line bags on a large serving platter}. place all toppings in individual bowls with individual spoons and allow guests to spoon their topping choices into the Fritos bag!

    *i served this at a halloween party and it was a HIT...most men ate 2!!

    Wednesday, February 16, 2011

    One Pot Wonder: Italian Beef 'n Beer

    i've had few requests to share more {one pot wonder} recipes so here you have it! toss these ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and when you return from a busy day, you've got food in a flash!






    {ONE POT WONDER: ITALIAN BEEF 'n BEER}
    *serves 4-6

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 1 large piece of lean beef {chuck roast, sirloin tip, or shoulder}
    • 2 packets dry onion soup mix
    • 1 small jar of pepperoncinis + juice
    • 1 can/bottle beer {whatever you have on hand works!}
    • whole wheat buns or rolls
    1. lay beef in bottom of crock pot. pour dry onion soup, pepperoncinis, juice from pepperoncinis & beer onto of beef.
    2. turn heat to low and cook for 6 hours.
    3. once beef is cooked, use 2 forks and shred meat.
    4. to serve, separate bun halves, sprinkly lightly with water and broil to toast. serve "sandwich style"!

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011

    Pan Seared Scallops in Brown Butter Sauce

    want an easy dinner to impress? pan seared scallops in a brown butter sauce makes for a fool-proof fancy feast! invest in some delectable scallops {whole foods has great ones!} and feel assured your $20 will be as good as gold.

    {PAN SEARED SCALLOPS in BROWN BUTTER SAUCE}

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    *serves 2
    • 1 pound diver scallops {or any large variety}
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 tablespoons butter {divided: 1 now, 3 later}
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    1. Pat scallops dry. Season with salt & pepper.











    2. In a medium skillet, bring to medium-high heat & melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add scallops & sear {about 3 minutes-depending on size} on each side. Transfer to a plate & keep warm.























    3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in same skillet. Add garlic; stir 1 minute until butter starts to foam & turn a golden brown color. Remove from heat.











    4. Plate scallops & pour brown butter over. Serve immediately!

    *i served with a portobello risotto {recipe to come}

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    TBM Orzo a la Risotto

    {hAppY VaLenTines DaY}

    in honor of this day of cupid, a little nyc love story:

    in 1967, pop artist robert indiana produced his now-iconic LOVE sculpture, which has been installed in dozens of places around the world. i've included a picture of the original, which is in nyc!

    so whether you are dining out this v-day or cooking at home for your sweetie...risotto should be on your plate! try this easy tomato basil mozzarella orzo-version that's guaranteed to be simple and one to impress. this makes for a great side dish or base & i'll be serving it tonight with pan-seared scallops {recipe to come}!

    {TBM ORZO a la RISOTTO}
    *serves 4-6










    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 cups orzo pasta {whole wheat version available at specialty stores}
    • 4 cups chicken broth, heated
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 cups fresh, diced tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup fresh, diced mozzarella
    • 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced
    1. heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. when hot, add in garlic & cook for a minute. add orzo & stir in with olive oil & garlic.
    2. slowly add in hot chicken broth, stirring until broth has been absorbed before adding more. cook pasta in stock for about 15 minutes, or until tender. season with salt & pepper.
    3. add tomatoes & cook for 2 minutes. add mozzarella & cook for 3 minutes.
    4. transfer to serving bowl & top with sliced basil!

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Shrimp Bake

    the beach in february?! don't mind if i do!! while in pensacola, fl this weekend {for my sweet gran's 90th birthday}...the fam made a trip to joe patti's world famous seafood market...
    to pick up the main ingredient in dinner!! i've heard about this place for years but had never actually been in the joint. {my celebrity crush/obsession, sam champion, even broadcast outside of it during the oil spill!! sigh....} so sunday, when we decided on the family favorite {shrimp bake} for dinner, stopping by to pick up the main ingredient was on the to do list. check out the pics from the famous joint:

    the owner, frank patti, calling #'s. "numba 37, 37 ya in seafood heaven", "numba 38, 38 i know ya in here b/c ya picked up a numba..."
    a $30 lobsta...
    steamed lobsta...


    now...onto our dinner recipe! great to serve with salad or corn-on-the cob!

    {SHRIMP BAKE}















    Ingredients {in order of use}
    *serves 4 {*see recipe rule of thumb for serving sizes for additional guests!}
    • 2 pounds shrimp, de-veined, in shell
    • 2 sticks butter
    • 2 tbspns worcestershire sauce
    • 1 bulb garlic {10-12 cloves}, roughly chopped
    • 6 tablespoons black pepper {or enough to blacken top of dish-don't hold back...a lot taste like a little due to the shrimp in shells}
    • 1 loaf french bread
    1. turn oven to 350 degrees.
    2. wash & drain shrimp & place in a 9"x13" dish.
    3. melt butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat. add garlic & worcestershire & stir. once melted and mixed, pour over shrimp. heavily sprinkle black pepper over shrimp {the pepper sinks to the bottom so it's not as spicy as you think!} cover with aluminum foil.
    3. bake for 30 minutes. remove aluminum foil & cook uncovered for additional 5 minutes.
    4. pop the loaf of french bread into oven and allow to "crisp-ify" crust. break into pieces and serve with meal.
    5. place shrimp dish in center of table, serve with crusty bread & LOTS of paper towels! dip shrimp & bread into garlic butter!

    *recipe rule of thumb: 1/2 pound shrimp per person; 1 stick butter per pound shrimp; 2 tbspns worcestershire sauce per stick butter

    Tomato {hEaRt} Tarts

    so, lets face it. valentines day is monday and i'm reflecting on a few things:

    1} the influx of cheesy hallmark cards that read like "to my beautiful, loving wife on valentines day..."
    2} the "anti-valentine's day" party maury & co. used to host in athens...otherwise known as 100 single women looking for love.
    3} i LoVe white m&m's during this festive holiday.
    4} i hAtE red roses & carnations & their babys breath counterpart.

    so whatever your valentines day plan brings, i thought i'd toss out this recipe for Tomato {hEaRt} Tarts my mother raves about. as an avid bunco, bridge & bingo player {& host}, she swears by serving these delicious tarts to her gal pals!

    next neighborhood supper club...i'll have these tarts in tote!

    {TOMATO {hEaRt} TARTS}

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    *makes 45
    • 1 10 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, well drained
    • 1 cup light mayonnaise
    • 1 3 oz. package of real bacon pieces {Oscar Mayer comes in 3 oz. package}
    • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
    • 3 packages mini phyllo shells, thawed
    1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. combine rotel, mayo, bacon & cheese. fill shells and bake for 10 - 15 minutes.
    3. plate & serve!

    Friday, February 11, 2011

    Dill & Blue Cheese Green Beans

    {recipe-phobia} --- a living, breathing fear of recipes with 5+ ingredients, unfamiliar ingredients or ingredients that indicate one must make a trip to an ethnic grocery store or whole foods market. like most of you, i have a 3-step recipe reading process:


    1} take inventory of the ingredients.

    2} quicky scan cooking steps.

    3} if familiar, prepare to tackle. if not familiar, flip the page.


    to hep us all overcome {recipe-phobia}, i've added an easy, crowd-pleaser side dish that GASP-has SIXTEEN ingredients. but before you hit X or move on to instant mashed 'taters....you probably have over half of the ingredients in your house. so purchase the others, read the cooking steps & whip up this gorgeous side dish...that will leave your green bean grubbers GABBing about your cooking!


    {DILL & BLUE CHEESE GREEN BEANS}
    *serves 10
    {dill dressing}
    3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup white vinegar
    1 lemon's juice
    1 tablespoon dill seed
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon spicy mustard {dry mustard or regular will suffice also!}
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1. Combine all ingredients in a jar & mix well. Refrigerate for 2+ hours.
    {green beans}
    3 cups ice
    2 teaspoon salt {divided-1 now, 1 later}
    2 pounds green beans, both ends trimmed
    1. In a large bowl, add water to fill {half-way}, 3 cups ice
    & 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
    2. In a large stock pot, add water to fill {half-way} &
    1 teaspoon salt. Turn to high heat. When water is boiling,
    add green beans and cook for 5 minutes.
    3. After 5 minutes of cooking, drain in a collander & dump into
    ice bath to "chill". Leave for 10 minutes.
    4. Once chilled, drain in collander and transfer to serving bowl.
    {salad}
    3/4 cup turkey bacon, microwaved until crispy & crumbled
    6 green onions, chopped
    1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled
    1/4 cup dill dressing
    1/4 cup ligh mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons light sour cream
    1. Mix remaining ingredients with green beans & chill for 2+
    hours before serving!

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    One Pot Wonder: Creamy Seafood Spread


    it's thursday...almost friday so practically the weekend! one of my favorite weekend activities is planning a fabulous meal and hosting at our house. for two reasons...1.i love cooking/hosting/enjoying our house 2.it results in a frantic, mass cleaning in which my sweet husband participates, willingly...and i heart a clean castle.

    this recipe makes for a great, hot weekend whip-up to serve to guests as they arrive. it's SUPER easy and the bread bowl gives it that WOW factor...who knew scooping it out could be so easy & impressive to guests!



    {ONE POT WONDER: CREAMY SEAFOOD SPREAD}

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    *serves 6-8

    • 1 8 ounce package pepper jack cheese, shredded
    • 1 6 ounce can crabmeat
    • 1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked & chopped (I go with packaged, frozen version here)
    • 3/4 cup 2% milk
    • 1 round, sourdough bread loaf
    • triscuit crackers (for serving)
    1. mix cheese, crabmeat, shrimp & milk in crock pot.
    2. turn heat to high and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to mix.
    3. cut off top of bread bowl and scoop/hollow out inside bread.
    4. to serve, pour dip into bread, serve with bread & triscuit crackers!

    so this friday, we're headed to pensacola, fl to see my sweet, amazing, gran who just turned 90...and inspired me to be the cook i aim to be!

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Presto Tortellini Primavera


    well, it's supposed to snow {again} in atlanta. and until it consecutively stays above 60-degrees for 2 days in a row, i'll just forget bikini season is around the corner and keep on with the comfort food!

    try this side with irresistible italian pot roast-it's an easy base or add on to a meal...and a family favorite for all!


    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 1 20 ounce package of Buitoni Whole Wheat Three Cheese Tortellini
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed {easy thaw-run hot water over peas in a colander}
    • 1 large zucchini, sliced
    • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
    • 4 leaves sliced basil
    • salt & pepper {to taste}
    1. boil water & cook tortellini according to package.
    2. while water is boiling, add olive oil to a skillet & heat to medium-high heat. toss in zucchini & sweet peas & sauté until tender.
    3. serve-toss pasta, veggies, parmesan, s&p & basil together & enjoy!

    Make it a Meal-

    One Pot Wonder: Irresistible Italian Pot Roast




    the slow cooker...ahh what a miracle! this is an instant meal that will impress both a dinner party and the play-doh crowd! i used kroger-brand packaged ingredients which rounded my meal to a whopping $10...and it fed 4 with leftovers for lunch.



    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 1 8oz. package fresh, sliced mushrooms
    • 1 yellow onion, sliced
    • 1 (3-4lb) boneless chuck roast
    • 1 tspn pepper
    • 2 tbspns olive oil
    • 1 1oz. envelope dry onion soup mix
    • 1 14oz. can beef broth
    • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
    • 3 tbspns. tomato paste
    • 1 tspn dried italian seasoning {*easy to find in the spice aisle}
    1. lightly grease crock pot & place mushrooms & onions inside on low heat.
    2. sprinkle roast with pepper on both sides & set aside.
    3. heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. sear roast on each side for 3 minutes or until browned.
    4. place roast in crock pot over mushrooms & onions. pour dry onion soup, beef broth & tomato sauce over roast. cover & cook on low for 8-10 hours.
    5. once cooked, tear into chunks with 2 forks and remove any fatty pieces.
    6. mix in tomato paste & italian seasoning & turn to HIGH heat. cook for another 30 minutes.
    7. plate-serve with a slotted spoon over Presto Tortellini Primavera!

    Make it a Meal-
    Side-Presto Tortellini Primavera & Toasted French Bread

    Tuesday, February 8, 2011

    zzzz ZATARAIN'S



    i've been in albany, ga {hometown} for the past 2 days so getting to atlanta today around 6pm left me boggled about what to do for dinner. usually when this happens, i try to make a meal from the freezer/fridge, which results in dinner at one of the 3 local mexican restaurants.

    so on the ride home, i mentally scanned the freezer....frozen shrimp, chicken, sausage, veggies & toaster strudels. hmmm. fridge...hummus, whole wheat wraps, broccoli slaw and turkey bacon. yeesh-what to do?!

    mentally i went to the sausage, chicken & shrimp-BAM! zatarain's jambalaya it is {cringe-my nola friends would kill me}! located in the rice aisle, it's an easy fix to a "semi-homeade" dinner...minus the hurricanes, beads & hangover NOLA leaves you with.



















    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 1 8oz. box Zatarain's jambalaya mix {follow cooking instructions}
    • optional throw in's {per box instructions}: chicken, sausage, shrimp
    • 1/2 12oz. package frozen okra {follow cooking instructions}
    • salt and pepper {to taste}
    1. cook all according to instructions
    2. add okra when adding in jambalaya mix
    3. serve with hot sauce, salt & pepper!

    Saturday, February 5, 2011

    Shot Glass Sliders

    it's cliche...i know. but the thought of an itty bitty {low fat} slider popping in my mouth on i could really care less about the packers or the steelers superbowl sunday just feels right. so here's the simple game plan...



    {SHOT GLASS SLIDERS}

    Ingredients {in order of use}
    • 1 1/2lb ground turkey {*freeze any extra you don't use!}
    • 1 egg {or 1/4 cup egg whites}
    • 1/2 16oz packet of dry ranch dressing mix
    • 1/2 cup shredded cheese {whatever you prefer-i used mexi-cheese b/c we had it in the house already}
    • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce {optional...but great if you have on hand!}
    • salt and pepper {to taste}
    • 2 packages of wheat hamburger buns {16 total}
    • 6 slices 2% american cheese slices
    • optional toppings: ketchup, mustard, pickles, onion!
    1. mix turkey, egg, ranch mix, shredded cheese, worcestershire & salt/pepper in a large bowl.
    2. form into small balls and press semi-flat {about 2" in width} on a baking sheet. set aside.











    3. using a shot glass, cut 4 "mini buns" out of each full-sized bun. set aside in a bowl.
    *instead of a shot glass, i used a jigger that was on our bar, fancy for shot glass!
    4. heat a grill pan or skillet to medium heat. grill 1st side for about 2 minutes. flip slider and top with piece of cheese {to cover slider} and cook for another 2 minutes.












    5. once cooked through, place on a paper towel-covered plate to absorb any excess grease. allow to cool.












    6. assemble bun and burger and hold together with a fancy cocktail pick! serve with optional toppings nearby!













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