Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zucchini Wonton Ravioli

SANTA...OH MY GOD! SANTA'S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!
well, not really, but he should think about it...i've been pretty good thus far.

back on track...this homemade ravioli recipe, served with my simple pomodoro sauce, makes for a red, white & green plate of yum! speaking of yum, the ravioli takes a dim sum nod by making the pasta shell with wonton wrappers. they really are the new pita? wrap? ah heck, bacon.

and if life's too busy right now, toss it with a light, jarred marinara sauce! hey...i'm a firm believe in at least one canned good at each meal!

{zucchini wonton ravioli}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup creme cheese {*i love philadelphia cooking cremes in savory garlic}
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 egg or 2 teaspoons egg whites
  • 1 pack of square wonton wrappers {easily found at all grocery stores!}
1. pour olive oil in a medium saucepan & bring to low-medium heat. add garlic & cook until translucent.

2. while sautéing, chop off ends of zucchini. using a vegetable peeler, peel long ribbons & chop any leftover you can't peel {if you don't have a peeler, just finely chop}. toss into saucepan with garlic & cook for 5 minutes or until soft. add into blender or food processor.

3. add mozzarella, milk, creme cheese, oregano, salt & pepper to blender/processor. pulse mixture until finely blended. pour into bowl.

4. lay wonton shells on a baking sheet. add a teaspoon of mix to the center of each wonton. using your finger by dipping it in egg whites, moisten edges of wonton & bring opposite sides together to form a triangle. press edges together & seal with fork prongs. repeat with all wontons. when complete, transfer to another baking sheet & cover with wet towel to prevent drying out.


5. when all are prepared, heat a pot of water to boiling. add 4-6 wontons at a time, stirring lightly {if needed} & cook for 2 minutes {they will float to the top when ready}. scoop out using a slotted spoon & keep warm until serving. serve in bowl & top with sauce!

*i leave you with this...is this italian or asian?!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

mmmm i know i said i wouldn't eat chicken again for a while after this but i did...& it was better then EVER!! who doesn't love traditional chicken pot pie?! i do...minus the calories & gunk it's usually clogged down with!! this is a great alternative that easily feeds kids, husbands & friends.

{mini chicken pot pies}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 2-4 {depending on appetite!}
  • 5 chicken tenders, sliced into 1" pieces & patted dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley {optional}
  • salt & pepper {to season}
  • 1/3 {10 3/4 ounce} can low-fat cream of mushroom condensed soup
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder {or minced onion}
  • 1 cup frozen broccoli & cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup bite-sized frozen vegetable medley {carrots, corn, green beans, green peas}
  • 1 {7 ounce} can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 {5 pack} pillsbury grands biscuits

1. place sliced chicken on a plate & season with parsley, salt & pepper. set aside.

2. in a medium mixing bowl, stir in mushroom soup, sour cream, minced garlic, onion powder, salt & pepper. add cauliflower/broccoli, mixed veggies & mushrooms & stir. set aside.
3. cut a piece of foil the length of a baking sheet & another piece that is 1/3 the size of the other {form a + on the baking sheet}.
4. spoon seasoned chicken onto center of foil. top with veggie mix. fold the top & bottom of the foil & seal. then fold the sides in & seal. {this is your chance to see if you'd qualify for a job with chipotle!}






5. place on a baking sheet & cook for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thru. remove & allow to cool.

6. cook biscuits according to directions.

7. to serve, place biscuit on plate & cut in half. top with a heaping portion of chicken & veggies! fork & knife needed...enjoy!
i leave you with this thought today...which came first-the chicken nugget or the egg mcmuffin?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Greyhound vs. Salty Dog

no brunch is complete without a greyhound or salty dog! no, this isn't a match up in michael vick's backyard {ouch!}, it's a refreshing grapefruit/vodka brunch bevvie {read: beverage}. it's also a funky alternative to the typical screwdriver {read: uh, never mind}!

the only difference between a greyhound & salty dog is that the latter has a salted rim!

{greyhound}
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces grapefruit juice
*shake, stir & serve chilled!

{salty dog}
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 4 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
1. rimming {a.k.a. salting the rim}: wet the rim of a cocktail glass using a fresh lime wedge. pour salt into a small dish & roll the rim of the glass in the salt.
*i also like to mix sugar & salt for this cocktail-the sweet balances the bitter!
2. mix vodka & grapefruit juice, shake, stir & serve chilled!

CAUTION...after a few you can get yourself into situations like this...


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Creamy Chicken Spaghetti

just another saturday...basting around 500 pounds of chicken!

*workin' the bbq sauce into the breasts!

okay, totally not a normal saturday for us but we spent the morning volunteering with our church for the great day of service. i signed hubs & i up to work with the open hand organization...in a nut shell, they make & deliver nutritious meals to those in the atlanta community with chronic disease, illness & who cannot afford a healthy meal.

we had 3 choices of where we wanted to be "placed" when we arrived: assembly line scooping food, warehouse or with the cooks. as you can see, i volunteered we work with the cooks.

*i know, sexy right?!

*i'll be ready to enjoy bbq chicken by...july 4th??!

*he loved the hair nets & aprons

*packaged meals ready for delivery

so in thinking about what to make for dinner...CHICKEN! kidding...we opted for chinese at my MIL's {mother-in-law}! but i couldn't resist craving this oldie but goodie from my recipe box. a perfect meal for the cold, rainy weather we're having. so grab a big bowl of creamy chicken spaghetti, snuggie & settle into a movie!

{creamy chicken spaghetti}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 6
  • 3 chicken breasts, rinsed & patted dry
  • 1 {14 ounce} can chicken broth
  • salt & pepper {to season}
  • 3/4 box spaghetti noodles*
  • 1 {10 ounce} can Rotel
  • 1 can {8.5 ounce} Le Sueur peas, drained
  • 3/4 {11 ounce block} 2% Velveeta cheese, cubed

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. season a pot of water with salt & boil chicken breasts. when cooked thru, drain, allow to cool & shred.

3. boil 1 can of chicken broth, 1/2 cup water & a pinch of salt. when boiling, add spaghetti noodles & cook until tender. drain.

4. mix the chicken, rotel, peas, velveeta & spaghetti together in previous pot. place in a greased baking dish & cook for 30-45 minutes or until golden & bubbly. serve hot!

*i use whole wheat noodles & my hubs has no idea! the cheese & chicken aid in trickery!

lastly, bella does not enjoy the weather we're being dealt this evening...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hot Cheesy Chicken Casserole

ever wonder why the sub-title of shugart & spice is {the busy girls guide to food in a flash}?! it's that simple...i'm a busy girl who is always trying to prepare food in a flash. it's days like this that recharge me for another delicious blog post!

today, i babysat for a good friend's baby~watson! he's absolutely adorable!! and as adorable as he is...the little guy is an everlasting ball of energy. he's so energetic, he allows you to enjoy his cuteness from sun up, to sun down...no naps for this playful pup! so in playing mommy for a day, i realized how many mommies need some shugart & spice recipes to make their days easier!
"y'all tired yet?!"

hopefully you too find shugart & spice a fabulous site you can come too, scroll through & be inspired to cook something simple & delicious! thank you all for following, commenting & cooking these!

today, i bring you hot cheesy chicken casserole. it's divine! my friend brandy {from augusta, ga} cooked it a few weekends ago & i had to share.

so...get busy cooking!!

{hot cheesy chicken casserole}

ingredients
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin pulled off & shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded {divided: 1 now, 1/2 later}
  • 1 cup lite mayonnaise
  • 1 can sliced water chestnuts, then chip them up or cut in half
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • salt & pepper to taste
toss all ingredients with one cup of cheese. place in a casserole dish. top with remaining cheese. bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. serve warm!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Barley with Seared Asparagus and Tomatoes

rounding out our fabulous cooking class at irwin street cooking school, is a dish i have strong feelings for. i love barley. it's devil side tricks my brain into thinking i'm having a pasta but it's angelic side says i'm high fiber & high protein & i'm here to aid in sculpting those buns of steel. well, either way it's a great alternative to pasta that even picky eaters {read: my husband} will eat!


{barley with seared asparagus & tomatoes}


ingredients {in order of use}

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups barley
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lemons, just the juice
  • 2 teaspoons italian spices
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • parmesan cheese, shredded

1. in a medium to large stock pot, cover bottom of the pot with olive oil & bring to med-high heat. sauté onions about 3 minutes {or until clear}, then add garlic & cook for another 3 minutes. add barley & toast in pan until it begins to smell nutty. add the stock, lemon juice and spices {thru salt & pepper}. cover & cook about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until barley is tender (al dente).

2. meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons olive oil & 4 minced garlic cloves in a cold pan. heat over medium heat until the oil is hot, then add the asparagus. tossing or stirring occasionally, cook the asparagus until crisp tender & bright green, about 5 minutes. add the tomatoes and continue to cook until the tomatoes are a bright red but not bursting, 3-5 minutes. remove from heat.

3. when barley is done, drain off any excess liquid and toss in the asparagus-tomato mixture. transfer to a serving dish & garnish with shredded parmesan cheese. serve warm!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Arugula Salad with Fennel Pepper Confetti on Toasted Naan

woa woa woa before i go sounding all fancy, don't back down from this one! it's the perfect salad for the warmer weather, longer days & dinner parties with friends. we made this salad at our irwin street cooking class & i couldn't get enough...

*check out the fennel! such a gorgeous, unique

uh, eh...

vegetable!

*robbie slicing & dicing the fennel bulb into confetti pieces!

*all shook up!


{a
rugula salad w/ fennel pepper confetti on toasted naan}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 6+

1 small fennel bulb, remove hard core & diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cucumbers, seeded, peeled & diced
2 lemons, zest and juice of each
2 teaspoons italian spices
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
pinch salt
6 ounces arugula
2 large pieces of naan bread
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. combine fennel, bell pepper, cucumbers, lemon juice, zest, 1 teaspoon spices & 1 teaspoon olive oil. allow to marinate for about 20 minutes.

2. heat oven {or grill} to 400 degrees. drizzle naan bread with 1 tsp of olive oil & sprinkle with 1 teaspoon italian spices. toast in oven {or on grill} until golden & crisp.

3. tear toasted naan into large rustic pieces & place on a platter {this will be the base of your salad}. toss arugula in with the fennel-cucumber mixture. place salad on top of the toasted bread. drizzle any juices remaining over the salad & sprinkle with feta cheese. serve!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pan Roasted Cod with Garlic Thyme Butter

this past friday, justin & i, along with 2 other couples, attended a cooking class at irwin street cooking school! it was an absolute blast & while the girls learned a few new tips & tricks, the boys did more of the drinking & socializing. role reversal eh?!
*how adorable is my friend melissa!! mason ray pittman will be here in june & was a huge fan of the chocolate cake!!

so over the next few days, i'll add some of the delicious recipes we cooked for you to try! they were all super easy & can be made in your own home. here was our spread & menu:
Pan Roasted Cod with Garlic Thyme Butter
Arugula Salad with Fennel Pepper Confetti on Toasted Naan
Barley with Seared Asparagus & Tomatoes
Flour-less Chocolate Cake with Strawberry Infusion

{pan roasted cod with garlic thyme butter}

ingredients {in order of use}
*serves 2

{garlic thyme butter}
  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper, to your taste
mix all ingredients in a bowl. refrigerate so butter hardens.

{pan roasted cod}
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 filets of cod {or any other white fish}, patted dry
  • olive oil
1. pour flour on a plate & season with salt & pepper. dredge fish in flour on presentation side only & shake off excess flour. place on a plate.

2. cover the surface of a medium skillet with olive oil & heat to medium heat. when oil is hot & shimmering, tilt the skillet away from you & gently place the filets in. cook approx. 4 minutes on one side, undisturbed. flip & continue cooking until cooked through {approx. 3-5 minutes}.

3. transfer to a serving platter & top with small pats of the garlic thyme butter. allow butter to melt & serve!
*special thanks to my MIL for the christmas gift!! also, the chef will do customized classes in your home-what a fun girls night?!! soooo real housewives...


Friday, March 18, 2011

It's FRIDAY~FRIDAY~FRIDAY!

i've got a few tid bits to discuss on this lovely friday so i'll get down to business...

{1} i was so lucky to have been walking in the door from spinning this AM when GMA introduced the world to overnight pop sensation, rebecca black & her overnight hit, FRIDAY. it's things like this that put bullying into perspective, or cause & effect, if you will.

but i do admit...my toe is tappin'!

{2} my friend caroline shared a lesson with me on photography~so i'm going to start working on BETTER food photos! or if you have any tips to turn me into annie leibovitz, i'm all ears! here are a few beautiful spring foliage photos i've practiced on in our yard. in addition, THIS is why we moved to georgia!










{3} lastly, i just discovered bakerella's blog. it's an inspirational, delicious dish of shugary sweets! i've got the cheesecake pops on my agenda for the weekend. check out her site & let me know if you give any "pops" a try!



HOPPY FRIDAY!!
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