Friday, October 26, 2012

Chorizo Chicken Bake....Another Pinterest Meal!

Since the debut of our new and occasionally fabulous electronic medical record at work, my days in clinic have gone from long to longer.  As much as I love my coworkers, I loved getting home before 7:30 much more. Not only does it cut into my work out time, but it also makes it hard to get home in time to spend quality time with Rick and cook dinner!!  I'm always on the look out for meals that we can make ahead of time on Sundays so that we have lunches and/or dinners for the busy week ahead.  I stumbled across this recipe on pinterest a couple of weeks ago.  The recipe comes from a blog called My Kitchen Escapades, and I'm quickly becoming a fan of her recipes!  There's another chicken bake that I'm looking forward to trying.  I love them because they fit the bill of dishes that Rick and I can several times of the course of the week without getting bored with them!  I had to reuse her picture because it's a great shot, and you know I'm not the best photographer in the! 
 Anyway, I don't use a lot of chorizo sausage at home so I wasn't really sure what we'd end up with, but it sounded pretty yummy.  We're definitely fans of spicy foods and Tex-Mex meals.  The end result was very good, but our only complaint is that it didn't heat up very well.  When reheated, the dish was invaded by grease from the chorizo, and I even drained it!  Grrrrr.  Maybe we should've taken her advice to serve it over rice.  Because we are watching our carbs, we didn't. 

Here is Carole's recipe with my changes in purple of course! 


Chorizo Chicken Bake

recipe by Carole Jones


6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 6 larger ones)
10 ounce package pork chorizo
4 ounces light cream cheese or Mexican crema (I used light cream cheese)
1/2 C light sour cream
10 ounce can chopped tomatoes with green chiles, drained (Rotel all the way for us!)
1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I also sprinkled some shredded cheddar on top that we needed to get rid of)


1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 glass pan with nonstick spray.  Lay down the chicken evenly in the pan.
2.  In a large skillet, brown the chorizo over medium high heat for about 7-8 minutes. Drain the sausage.  Add the drained tomatoes, cream cheese and sour cream and mix until it is all blended.  Spread the mixture over the chicken breasts, sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese  and cheddar cheese. 

3.  Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts.

There will be enough pan juices to serve over some rice if desired.  Or slice the chicken and serve it inside a tortilla topped with your favorite toppings.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My First Pinterest-Hobby Lobby Creation!

I know, I know!  It's not food-related, but I did make it on my kitchen counter.  That counts, right? 

I'm not exactly known for my penchant for anything arty, but I do like to pretend to be crafty for time to time.  A few years ago, I made a pretty cool wreath for my door (and one for my stepmom, too).  It had starfish that I bought and some shells that I had found years ago.  Unfortunately, the humidity here killed the starfish, and I never got around to rehabilitating it.

Anyway, a Hobby Lobby opened here in Mount Pleasant this weekend, and after lunch, I talked Rick into taking me there.  I had found this really cute Boo sign on pinterest a couple of weeks ago, and I've been oh-so-impatiently for Hobby Lobby to open so that I could get the items needed to make it!  Sure, I could've gone to Michael's or Wal-Mart to find the materials, but it's more fun when you can go somewhere totally new!  The original "Boo" came from this blog right here.

I ended up buying finished black letters for my "Boo."  Being the crafty novice that I am, I had no idea what Modpodge was (googled it today and I definitely need some!) so I used rubber cement.  I grabbed some Halloween treat bags which were plastic.  Not the brightest move, but I glued them onto white paper before gluing the paper on the letters.  I borrowed Nikki's glue gun since I have NO idea where mine is to add the wooden ghosts to the middle "O" and the hanger.  I got this super cool black ribbon with spiderwebs on it to tie the letters together.  My orginal plan was to put the Boo sign on our door, but I'm contemplating keeping in the hallway because I don't want it to get messed up! 

I'm pretty proud of my first crafty decoration!  I want to head back to Hobby Lobby to get some other stuff to make these pumpkins for the door that I also found on pinterest.  Is it bad to make two trips in one day????

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dill-Tzatziki Chicken Salad

I bring my lunch to work almost everyday, and I tend to eat either chicken salad or tuna salad on cucumbers.  Since I was pretty impressed with my last attempt at making chicken salad, I thought that I'd give it another try.  I found this recipe on pinterest, and since I'm such a huge fan of tzatziki sauce, it caught my eye.  Instead of using their tzatziki recipe, I went with my own because it's my favorite.  Unfortunately, I don't think that the garlic cloves that I used were large enough to offset the freakin' huge cucumbers that I picked up at Trader Joe's yesterday (or maybe it's just my taste buds) because it tasted a bit more bland than normal.  Normally, I'm not an add-dill-to-my-tzatziki kinda gal, but I decided to add it and think of it more as a part of the chicken salad and less a part of the tzatziki.  The original recipe calls for red onions, but I substituted a sweet onion because that's what I had on hand.  All in all, it was pretty good, and if you are a fan of tzatziki, I'd definitely give it a try!

Here's what I did....

Dill-Tzatziki Chicken Salad


2/3 cup Katie's Tzatziki (I saved the rest of it for snacking with veggies)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (I used a sweet one, but I think red onion would work better)
2 cups shredded Rotisserie Chicken (skinless) 


Combine the first three ingredients in a medium bowl.  Stir in chicken and coat with sauce.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

Recently, I came across this recipe on pinterest, and I knew that it would be a perfect, quick week night meal.  I paired it with our favorite rice from Trader Joe's, and the two went perfect together.  Rick called it one of his favorites!  This recipe is another one that is going to be come a repeater on our table! I'm going to post the original recipe here since the only change that I made from the  is to use our Garlic Olive Oil from The Crushed Olive instead of regular. 

Here's what I did...

Cilantro Lime Shrimp


2 tsp olive oil
2 lb shrimp, shelled and deviened
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime
salt and pepper 


Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Sauté another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Stuffed Pepper Success

For dinner tonight, I made a recipe that I got from my "fat doctor" aka Metabolic Medical Center.  It's low carb and turned out to be something that I definitely want to make again and again! I made a couple of changes which probably upped the fat content.  Once again, I apologize for not having any pics.  Rick just got a new laptop, and I haven't been brave enough to try to sync my camera....especially after my most recent sync of my iphone that wiped out everything.  You gotta love technology.  It's awesome until something dies.  Anyway...back to the peppers....  They combined two things that I love:  stuffed peppers and Philly Cheesesteak!  It was so good that Rick even ate all his Baby Bella Mushrooms (and he hates mushrooms)!  You can either do one pepper per person or have 1/2 per person depending on the size of the peppers.

Here's what I did..

Philly Cheesteak Stuffed Peppers
8 oz Sliced Roast Beef
2 Large Green Peppers
1 Sweet Onion, diced
4 oz Baby Bell Mushrooms, diced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (I used our garlic-infused one)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 slices of provolone cheese
6-cheese blend shredded (Italian blend)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds

Heat olive oil in a large pan.  Add garlic, onions, mushrooms, and salt and pepper.  Satue until onions and mushrooms are caramelized (around 20 minutes).

Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the pan.  Cook for 5-10 minutes.

Sprinkle each half of the peppers with the 6 cheese blend.  Fill each pepper with another

Fill each pepper with the meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.  Top each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.

Bake on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Bow Tie Pasta with Bacon, Onion, and Tomato

Since I've found my way back to our blog after all these months (years???), I've been a little surprised to come across several blog posts that never got to see the light of day for one reason or another.  Of course, at this point, I have no idea what those reasons might have been, but I thought I'd post them for you to enjoy. I decided to start with this one because the recipe is one of the first ones that I ever made back in the late 90s when I was just a fledgling cook who had no clue about how do a meal that more than one dish with a side 

Let me present the post that I started almost two years ago......

In order to use some of that bacon that we had left over, I dusted off one of the first recipes that I ever tried from for Bow Ties with Bacon, Onion, and Tomato. When I first started cooking, I made a lot of pasta with a can of diced tomatoes, garlic, and white wine for the sauce.  I really liked this recipe because the bacon made it taste different.  Over the years, I've made a few changes to the original recipe, and here's what I've come up.  I hope that you enjoy it!

Bow Tie Pasta with Bacon, Onion, and Tomato
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound large bow tie pasta
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Cook pasta in salted water and cook pasta per directions on package until the al dente.

In a deep skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until it is crisp and transfer it with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet, add the oil, and cook the onion over moderate heat, stirring, until it is golden brown. Add the tomatos into the onion mixture with the 1/4 cup white wine, the red pepper flakes, and salt to taste, simmer the sauce, stirring, for 5 minutes, and stir in the parsley, basil, and the bacon. Drain the pasta well, add it to the sauce, and toss. Add the Parmesan and toss the pasta again.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Saucy Chicken Salad

Don't let the title fool you...this chicken salad is not runny at all.  It's just got a kick to it (in the form of a little horseradish) to make it what I'd call saucy.  With summertime strolling into our neck of the woods, I woke up with chicken salad on my mind.  Everyone is so different when it comes to chicken salad preferences.  Some like grapes in it.  Some like dill relish in it.  Some like it with no mayo at all.  Rick and I discussed a couple of ingredients that we felt were essential (it's gotta have celery for some crunch!), but I was still unsure of which direction I wanted to take.  I don't think I've ever really made chicken salad before (or at least anything that stood out in my mind) so as usual, I hit the internet looking for ideas.  I came across two recipes that caught my eye and inspired me to play with them a bit to come up with something worth sharing with the world.

The first one that I liked is almost perfect on its own.  The big problem with it is that I am not a fan of boiled eggs (sliced or diced or whatever) in my chicken salad or potato salad for that matter.  I'm also not crazy about the grapes either.  What really intrigued me, though, was mixing the half and half with mayo for the dressing.  What a great way to kill that overpowering mayo tang and create something that is more creamy!  The second one that I found was from my one of my old stand-by recipe sites,  Adding a little horseradish to chicken salad would give a unexpected kick to plain ole chicken salad. 

In order to make the whole process go faster, I bought a rotisserie chicken at Publix this morning so that I wouldn't have to deal with cooking any chicken.  Doing so also provided us with some meat to snack on while I was pulling the meat.  For the nuts (gotta have that crunch!), I used chopped walnuts because I had them in the refrigerator.  Pecans would work just as well if not better.

This recipe isn't totally fabulous for my diet (especially with the half and half), but I was really impressed with the final product.  I'm looking forward to having it for lunch during the shortened work week.  I may even share a little bit with Rick. 

Here's what I did....

Saucy Chicken Salad
1 cooked rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from the bones and skin removed
1/3 cup minced green onion
2 celery hearts chopped
the juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

2/3 cup light mayo
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

In a large bowl, mix chicken, green onion, celery and lemon juice together.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

In a separate smaller bowl, mix dressing ingredients together.  After the chicken mix has been in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, combine the dressing with the chicken mixture and nuts.  Cover and chill for an additional hour before serving.


PS:  Sorry for the pathetic excuse for a pic up there, but my desktop has died and our netbook is on its last leg.  I'm relying on my iphone for pics for now.

PSS:  Did I mention that we are engaged????  So excited!!!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My new favorite salsa

I'm back from the dead!  Okay, not really dead, but with work and working out (and I went on a diet last year....down 30 pounds!), I haven't made time to blog. Sadly in my "posts" here there are several started ones from last year that were neglected and never finished.  I've decided, though, that I'm going to TRY to do at least one recipe a week. 

Another thing that has caught my attention is pinterest!  I'm sure that you've heard of it, and once I got the hang of it, I realized what an excellent resource it is for all kinds of things!  My favorite thing to do is to search for recipes (Imagine that, right?). Pinterest has totally put in direct contact with other bloggers out there that I would probably never heard of.   My first amazing find was a salsa.  As you may remember, I'm a huge salsa fan, and while I enjoyed the one I made way back when, it was still missing something.  Then I saw a pin for this salsa.  I was a little skeptical of one of the ingredients (the honey) and couldn't believe that I didn't think of another (the cumin).  This one is even easier because it utilitzes diced canned tomatoes along with Rotel tomatoes (always a favorite of mine).  I've made a couple of subtle changes when I've made it for Rick and I or for our neighbors, but it always turns out perfect!  I hope that you enjoy!

Super Easy Salsa
1  14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 10 oz can orginal Rotel
1/2  sweet small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled & smashed
1 jalapeno (sliced)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
medium size handful cilantro leaves, washed
juice of 1 lime

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency.                  

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