Sunday, February 13, 2022

Happy Anniversary

We started out on Friday, February 14, 1992 with dreams of a little house and a couple of children. Raise a family and grow old together, it was so simple.
Little by little our dreams were realized.
Everything was right until it was taken away by Katrina in 2005. Thirteen years of our life piled up in our front yard. It is amazing how quickly we learned to live with so little. This didn't break us, it made our commitment stronger.
We always knew communication was the key to a successful relationship.
We took a big chance and moved to another state and began re-claiming our ground. Our marriage deepened and our children flourished.

Now seventeen years later there's no one I would rather lose everything with but have everything with but you! Happy Anniversary and Happy Valentine's Day!

P.S. You still have great buns!

All my love,

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chicken Cutlets with Curried Ketchup

I found this on The Food Network website for chicken tenders.  The curried ketchup really intrigued me and I decided to try it with a few tweaks.  Quick, easy and clean-up is a breeze!  Throw in figure friendly, kid friendly, big kid friendly and you have a new meal to add to your rotation.

Non stick cooking spray
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2-1/2 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
2 cups Panko crumbs
4 chicken breast cutlets (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
3/4 cup ketchup
Juice of 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and place a baking rack on a baking sheet and lightly spray with the non-stick cooking spray. Whisk the eggs, mustard, 1 teaspoon curry powder, the cumin and 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl. Mix the Panko crumbs with 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper in another bowl.
Dredge the chicken cutlets in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the seasoned Panko crumbs. Place the chicken on the rack and lightly spray all over with the non-stick cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 - 25 minutes.

while the chicken is baking, mix the ketchup, lime juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon curry powder in a small bowl. Serve the chicken cutlets with the curried ketchup.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Healthy Faux Mashed Potatoes - OMG Drive These Around the Block!

I've heard about making mashed potatoes from cauliflower.  I've heard they were delicious and I've heard about the health benefits.  None of this swayed me or made me the least bit interested in trying them.

But then I read and article and decided to take a gamble and try these.  Summer is here and the heat is making us crave light foods.  This is a two-fer...veggies and a faux starch side dish.  The flavor is fantastic and if you're trying to get veggies in your little sous chefs, this is the real deal.

1 medium head of cauliflower washed and chopped
1 tablespoon plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 clove of garlic, rough chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Chopped chives for garnish
Kosher salt
Black Pepper

Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add a tablespoon of salt and the chopped cauliflower.  Boil until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain in a colander and blot with a paper towel.  

Place the drained cauliflower in the bowl of your food processor, add in the garlic, chicken stock, yogurt and Parmesan cheese.  Pulse until smooth.  Stream in the olive oil,  Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.  Garnish with chopped chives.

Now you have a healthy, delicious, figure friendly side dish you prepare in a blink of an eye!

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Fusion Tasso Pasta

We recently traveled to New 92 year old mother-in-law decided to give up driving and sold us her car that barely had 9,000 miles on it.  So now each of the homegirlz have their own vehicle, finally! 

Have I mentioned our oldest has been accepted to nursing school and she's also made the Dean's list all four semesters she's attended college?  Can you believe she's even in college?  I can't!  Can't brag on one homegirl without mentioning the baby.  She's in college too...I know, be still my heart!  She made the Dean's list her first semester and missed it by .3 points last semester.  Yes, I'm proud of my babies.

Don't even think they don't think of ways to lure me up there to cook for them during school. Yes, they are tricky littler girls and I fall for it EVERY TIME. 

While we were visiting, I stocked on up essentials like tasso, andouille, shrimp and crabs.  So here's my latest and wonderfully delicious fusion of Cajun and Italian ways of enjoying two of my favorites, tasso and pasta.

1 lb. Tasso, sliced thin
Extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta diced
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 lb. bow tie pasta (or your favorite shaped pasta) cooked al dente
1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes 
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons sliced scallions for garnish

Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Cook the pancetta until golden and crispy.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Leave the pancetta fat in the pan, this is liquid gold!

Return the saute pan to the stove and add 1 more tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and add the onions.  Saute for about 2 to three minutes, then add the sliced tasso and continue sauteing for another 3 to 4 minutes.  Add in the garlic saute for one minute and then add the wine.  Allow the wine to cook off for about a minute, then add the diced tomatoes and Worcestershire sauce and crushed red pepper flakes, stir to combine and then add in the heavy cream and 1/2 of the grated Asiago cheese.

Lower the heat and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce as thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and maybe a little cayenne (optional).  Once the sauce is the desired consistency and seasoned well, add in the cooked pasta.

To serve, place a generous helping on your plate, garnish with the crispy pancetta, sliced scallions and grated Asiago cheese.


Now this the way to start off the weekend!!


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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Maque Choux

Maque Choux, what is it? How do you even pronounce it?  Maque Choux, pronounced Mach Shoe, it a corn dish cooked with tomatoes.  There are many variations, such as cooking it with shrimp, andouille sausage or tasso ham, as I have here.  It's thought that the Cajuns brought the method of this dish with them when they settled in Southeast Louisiana from Nova Scotia and added the corn which was a staple of the Native Americans already settled in the area.

What I do know is my version of this dish can stand alone as an entree or as a hearty side dish.

2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 red bell pepper diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 stalk celery diced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced tasso ham
1 can fire roasted, diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh thyme
3 ears fresh corn
1/2 cup half-n-half or evaporated milk
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (optional)

Heat up the canola oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook them until they begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Stir in the tasso ham, red bell peppers, celery, garlic and jalapeno peppers.  Continue sauteing for 3 to 4 more minutes.  While the veggies are sauteing, slice the corn kernels from the cob, hang on to the cobs. Add the corn kernels and the thyme to the pan,  cook for about 2 more minutes.  Using a spoon, scrape the milky liquid from the corn cobs into the saute pan, then add the fire roasted tomatoes, half-n-half and vegetable stock.  Allow everything to come to a simmer and lower heat and gently simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce thickens.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley. 

Then there's this:

 So delicious, you'll have to give this a try!


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Broiled Orange Roughy with Myer Lemon

This dish was born because I REALLY didn't want to cook dinner.  I've become a little lazy since the homegirlz are both away at inspirations for cooking.  Did I tell you my oldest has been accepted to nursing school?  I am so  proud and to think they were  11 and 12 when I started blogging!

A friend gave me some beautiful orange roughy filets (one of my favorites).  I couldn't let them just languish in the fridge. This is just too quick and easy not to share!

2 orange roughy filets
1-1/2 tablespoons Emeril's Essence
2 Myer lemons (regular lemons will work just fine), separated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Pre-heat the oven broiler.  If your oven have a high or low broiler setting, use the low setting.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray.

Drizzle a little olive oil on each side the the filet, use you hands to thinly coat each side.  Sprinkle the Essence on each side the filet, use your fingers to distribute the seasoning evenly and coat each side of the filet.

Place the filets on the prepared baking sheet. 

Thinly slice one of the Myer lemons and place the slices on each piece of fish.  Quarter each tablespoon of butter, place under the lemon slices, dividing evenly between the two filets.  Sprinkle the sliced scallions and parsley over the tops of the fish and place the baking sheet under the pre-heated broiler.

Broil for about 3 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven.  Slice the second Myer lemon and squeeze the juice from each half over the top of the fish filets.

Return the baking sheet to the oven and broil another 3 to 5 minutes, until the filets are golden brown and the fish flakes easily with a fork.


 Sometimes, laziness makes for deliciousness! 

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Friday, February 28, 2014

Whatever You Do, Don't Make This Southwestern Chicken Pot Pie!

Seriously, Chicken pot pie who needs it?  Flaky pie crust, savory chicken, the smokey, yet gentle spicy flavor...

Even when you put it in the fridge to "save" it for "leftovers" and you peek at it and sneak one more bite to make sure it's still okay and then it tastes way better than okay...

Yep, Southwestern Chicken Pot Pie, don't even start!

But if severe warnings and common sense don't deter you, here's the recipe:

Adapted from Sunny Anderson

If You Want to Make Your Own Dough: (You can use refrigerated pie dough)
1 teaspoon sazon seasoning blend
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 stick butter, cut into pieces and frozen
Pinch salt
1 lb chicken thighs and/or legs
8 sprigs fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, 4 smashed the other 2 thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon sazon seasoning blend
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, corn, onion, red pepper and black bean blend
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup Mexican crema or alternately 1 cup of light sour cream
1 egg
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the dough: In a cup, add 1/4 cup cold water and the sazon. Stir to dissolve and set aside. In a food processor, add the flour, butter and salt. Then pulse until the butter is in small pebbles throughout the flour. Slowly add the seasoned water in a stream while pulsing until dough comes together. Remove the dough from the processor, form in to a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

For the filling: In a pot, add the chicken, half of the thyme, the smashed garlic cloves and fill the pot with enough water to cover the chicken by an inch. Sprinkle with a nice pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Then lower to a simmer and cook until the chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees F, or juices run clear when punctured, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the chicken parts from the water and rest on a plate to cool. Reserve 1/4 cup of the poaching liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, add the butter, oil, sliced garlic, serrano pepper, the remaining thyme, sazon, cumin, and season with a pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper. Saute while stirring until the pan is fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the frozen blend and reserved poaching liquid. Turn up the heat to create steam and continue stirring until the vegetable blend is cooked, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the flour in sprinkles and stir to combine. Then add the milk. Allow to simmer and thicken about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, remove the dough from the refrigerator and sprinkle a flat surface with flour. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Using a knife or pizza wheel, trim the edges. Center the dough in a 8 or 9-inch pie dish, allowing the excess dough to drape over the edges.

Remove the skin from the poached chicken, pull the meat from the bones and shred or chop. Stir into the pot along with the crema or sour cream. Pour the filling into the dough. Flap the excess edges over the top of the pie, making sure to not overlap too much dough at the joints. This amount of dough leaves a hole in the center to vent. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and a splash of water. Brush the egg wash gently on the top of the pie dough.

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the insides are bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

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