Tag Archives: Recipe

Garlic and Lemon Grilled Shrimp

I finally conquered shrimp on the grill.

It’s not like it was too hard. I learned my lesson from my last foray and marinated the shrimp ahead of time. All it took was a few ingredients, an hour of marinating time, a few minutes on the grill and there was a delicious dinner to be had.

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Eric put his shrimp atop a salad, I had mine on the side. But they were delicious. A perfect, easy and quick dinner for those warm summer nights.

Garlic and Lemon Grilled Shrimp

1 cup olive oil
Juice from one lemon
1 glove of garlic, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper

1) Mix all the ingredients together in a container. Place shrimp in mixture and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

2) Remove shrimp from marinade and place on skewers (we used metal ones, but bamboo ones will also work if they are soaked in water beforehand).

3) Preheat grill to about 500 degrees (or medium-high heat). Oil the grates a little. Place skewers on grill. Cook for about three minutes on both sides, or until the shrimp turn pink and begin to curl.

It doesn’t always have to be perfect

The other night while scrolling through my blog roll, this article from The Kitchn popped up and I immediately bookmarked it. It basically talks about food bloggers don’t usually post about the ordinary things they cook and eat. They try to make every post about something amazing or groundbreaking. But not everything that comes out of the kitchen is something new and amazing.

I’ve been feeling bummed about my lack of posting as of late, but the truth of the matter is, that is the way life goes sometimes. While Eric and I are getting in to our new routine with my new job — not going to lie — there’s been a lot of convenience food for dinner. Frozen pizzas. Eating out. And as a lover of cooking and food, it pains me. But there has been nothing as of late that has felt worthy of sharing on here and I don’t want to clutter your feed with less than stellar posts.

But that is also a cop out. Just because I haven’t been cooking doesn’t mean I don’t have stuff to share. Until I get back in the routine of trying out new recipes and what not, I am going to try to at least blog about what I’ve been doing or loving at the moment. For example, if you are in the market for a frozen pizza and can find California Pizza Kitchen ones on sale near you (they can be kinda pricey), the Greek one is excellent. Thin crusted, delicious flavors. I highly recommend it. It’s a great easy dinner served alongside a salad or some quickly cooked up veggies.

There should be a post going up soon from Eric about the meal we (mostly he) cooked this weekend when my mom came over. And one of the recipes is definitely worth sharing. I just have to get him to write it. If you know Eric in real life, tell him to get on it!

Friday Faves

It is now time for me to share the news I alluded to last week. No, it’s not a baby…it’s a new job!

Today is my last day at my current job and I start my new one on Monday. I’m going to miss my old co-workers, but I’m super excited about this new opportunity. I’m going from working from home to commuting and being back in an office, so it’s going to be a bit of a transition. I’m going to have to be a better planner when it comes to blogging so I don’t leave y’all hanging!

The reason I’ve been so absent the past few weeks is because I was in and out of phone interviews and in person interviews and then doing my current work on top of it. Blogging sort of fell by the wayside. But I’m going to make a conscious effort to stay on top of things because I love this blog and want to keep it going. But hang with me through the next few weeks of transition. I’ll figure things out eventually.

1) One of my faves this week — and going forward — is Eric’s new goal to start cooking for me more. With the new job, him taking over cooking duties a few nights a week is going to be awesome. He’s already started to show some skills. The past two weeks he has made a couple of super tasty dinners.

UntitledOn the left, grilled ratatouille pasta. On the right, Mediterranean flat bread. Both delicious — an nutritious! He knows I have been trying to eat better so he has been cooking a lot of vegetables. And he is very good at it.

2) My birthday is this weekend! I enter the final years of my 20s on Sunday. Eric is taking me to Canoe in Atlanta for my birthday dinner and I’m super excited. It has been on my must-try list since we moved back. We also have some friends coming to stay with us on Saturday. We plan on heading to Fox Bros  on Saturday night, and I’m already dreaming about the Frito Pie. We are also going to hit up Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams tomorrow afternoon. My friend Lauren and I have been talking about it pretty much every day since they booked their trip. I will be sure to report on all of our weekend eating adventures next week.

3) Anyone have any good recs for places to eat in Charleston? We’re heading there in a few weeks for a friend’s wedding and are looking for a good place for dinner and brunch. We’ve never been. so we are relying on other people to tell us what’s good so let me know in the comments!

 

Pecan and Herb Crusted Tilapia

After a weekend filled with tacos and Cracker Barrel, I knew Sunday night was going to need a lightened up dinner. I had some tilapia already and knew I wanted to do some sort of pecan crusted tilapia. I took to the trust interwebs to find a recipe and they all seemed rather involved to me. Flour, breadcrumbs, eggs, frying. I just wanted a simple baked pecan crusted tilapia with a few ingredients. And this is what I came up with.

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The picture isn’t the best, but this was seriously delicious, I sauteed up some squash with herbs and served it along side some wild rice and it was a tasty, light meal.

PS Have you been to Penzey Spices? I used their Sunny Paris blend on the squash and it was so good. I think it is going to be super delicious on grilled veggies this summer.

Pecan and Herb Crusted Tilapia

3 tilapia filets (this recipe could work with any white fish)
3/4 cup pecans
1 tsp rosemary
1 clove garlic
2 tbls spicy or whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. If possible, put a cooling rack on a cookie sheet to use for baking. This helps keep the pecan crust from getting soggy.

2) In a food processor or blender, mix together the pecans, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. The consistency should be a little coarser than bread crumbs, but not super chunky. The finer it is, the better it will adhere to the fish.

3) Brush each fish filet with the mustard on both sides and coat with the pecan mixture. Place on the cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast

This is the second time I’ve posted a recipe involving red wine and the slow cooker. I guess I am drawn to certain flavors. Well, and wine.

The first one I am talking about is the red wine brisket I made back in September. Now while it was very delicious, this red wine pot roast was way, way better.

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I assume that is because chuck roast is a fattier piece of meat than brisket and hence that adds an extra layer of flavor. But this was just so moist and tender. The vegetables were cooked so perfectly and infused with the flavor of the wine, seasonings and meat. Mmm. I am definitely looking forward to having leftovers tonight.

Slow Cooker Red Wine Pot Roast

2-3 lbs chuck roast (I didn’t trim mine, but you can if you want)
1/2 lb baby carrots, whole
1 to 1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut in to chunks
1 large onion, cut in to wedges
1 cup of wine (I used Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 package of pot roast seasoning (or feel free to us whatever spices you want)

1) Preheat a skillet to medium high heat. Add a teaspoon of oil. Season the roast on both sides with salt and pepper. Brown the roast on both sides for about 3 to 4 minutes.

2) Place the roast in bottom of the slow cooker and top with the chopped veggies. Mix the wine and seasonings together and pour over the meat and veggies.

3) Cooking on low for 8 hours or high for 4. The meat should be falling apart when finished and the veggies should be fork tender.

Salt and Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips

Oh, hey. How are you? Sorry I totally forgot to post on Monday. The day just got away from me and to be honest, I didn’t have anything of note to share. But today is not the case. I have a delicious recipe for an easy, and healthy snack.

Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes? All potatoes really. Give me a potato and I’ll probably eat it, regardless of how it is prepared — fried, roasted, au gratin, mashed. I had a sweet potato on hand yesterday so I decided to make some homemade sweet potato chips. I was hankering for some salt and vinegar chips (my personal fave) and knew that going and buying a bag of chips would end poorly (i.e. I’d eat the whole thing) so I figured, why not make a healthier option of my own?

I don’t trust our oven. It’s acted weird ever since we moved in. If we owned and didn’t rent, we could have bought a new one by now, but alas, we don’t have that option. It’s really finicky above 350 degrees and I knew chips could require heat higher than that so I improvised. Hello, microwave chips.

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Maybe it’s blasphemous to use a microwave, but it works incredibly well. And it took a fraction of the time an oven would.

I used salt and vinegar as my toppings, but you really could use whatever you want. Cinnamon and sugar would be a nice addition for a sweet treat. Herbs de Provence or something similar would also be tasty. The options are endless once you get the technique down.

Salt and vinegar sweet potato chips

1/2 large sweet potato (or more depending on how many chips you want)
Cooking spray (I used Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Cooking Spray)
Toppings (I used white wine vinegar and salt)

1) Cut sweet potato in to 1/8 inch thick slices. The best tool for this is a mandolin, I find.

2) Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a microwave safe plate. Oil the parchment and set the potato slices on the plate. (Note: If you are using spices (like herbs de Provence, rosemary, etc) this is when you’d sprinkle them on. If you are wanting salt and vinegar like me, wait until after the chips are cooked.) Depending on how many slices you have, you might need to do two batches.

3) Cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes at 90 percent. The chips will be considered done when they have shriveled up a bit yet are still orange in color.  If they are beginning to brown, they are a bit overdone. Once you are done microwaving them, open the microwave door and let them sit for a few minutes to crisp up.

4) Pour about a 1/2 tsp of vinegar in to a plastic bag along with a tsp of salt. Dump the cooked chips in and shake the bag around until you think the chips are coated. Eat immediately (I haven’t had any stick around long enough to see how they store…)

Crispy polenta with kale and tomato sauce

Polenta is one of my most favorite things in the entire world. It’s like Italian grits — a great vessel for everything from eggs to stews and veggies. Polenta can be cooked in a variety of ways. I like it soft and creamy, almost like a bowl of porridge. But these polenta tubes are much more convenient and allow you to whip up a meal in no time.

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I usually stock up when I go to Trader Joe’s, but I think you can find them at almost any grocery store. If for some reason you cannot and are feeling very ambitious, you could always cook up polenta the old fashioned way, form it in to a tube and let it cool down to reach the same effect. But that seems like way too much effort.

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite frozen meals, Amy’s Light and Lean Roasted Polenta. I try not to eat those pre-packaged entrees too much, but sometimes, they are so darn convenient. This one makes for a great lunch, but I recreated it for dinner last week.

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It was delicious and oh so easy.

Crispy Polenta With Kale and Tomato Sauce

1/2 tube polenta, cut in to 1/3 inch slices
1/2 can crushed tomatoes (I go for the fire roasted variety or the basil and oregano)
1 clove garlic
1 cup kale
Olive oil

1) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil and allow it to heat up. Drop in the polenta slices and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until they are browning just slightly.

2) While the polenta is on, heat another skillet over medium heat and add about a teaspoon of olive oil. Add in the kale and garlic and saute for a few minutes. The kale should be softened and the garlic fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and continue to cook until the whole mixture is headed through.

3) Remove the polenta rounds from the pan and pat off excess oil (this helps to keep the rounds nice and crispy). Put polenta on a plate and top with the kale and tomato mixture. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.

Recap — and a recipe

I love when weekends revolved around food. Cooking and eating are two of my favorite activities, so needless to say when weekend events are food-centric, I’m a happy camper.

First up was a dinner party with some friends I’ve known for years. One thing I love about living in Atlanta again is getting to see people I went to high school with. It is always so much fun to reminisce and catch up, but also to talk about their lives now and what the future holds. We decided instead of the host making most of the food, everyone should bring a few dishes to share, sort of tapas style. We had quite the spread — and everything was delicious.

photo 1Now for descriptions, starting at the top and moving clockwise. Laura made this delicious pasta dish with pumpkin. You wouldn’t necessarily think of pumpkin as a pasta sauce as opposed to a pasta filling, but it was so good. And those brussels sprouts? I could have eaten the whole platter full. Elizabeth made these delicious dips — one with bacon and one with pineapple. The pineapple one was my favorite. She also made these cucumber cups filled with hummus and topped with tomatoes and cheese. I love tomatoes and cucumbers — and cheese of course — so these were little scrumptious bites.

As for what Eric and I brought, we made a berry slab pie with chocolate (if you haven’t ever heard of a slab pie, try it out. This was the recipe we used) and roast beef sliders with a variety of toppings. I just cooked the beef in the crock pot and then shredded it up, served it alongside pieces of French bread and three toppings — horseradish cream, caramelized onions and arugula pesto.

Let’s talk about this arugula pesto. I am now obsessed with arugula pesto. I used the leftovers as a spread of a turkey sandwich and I can only imagine how delicious it would be on pasta. And it couldn’t be simpler to make. The recipe is below.

Arugula Pesto
(This makes about 3/4 cup pesto)

3 cups of arugula
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or more to get the consistency you want)
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until blended. Continue to season with salt and pepper until you get the taste you desire. Use for a topping on sandwiches, salads, pastas, meats — the possibilities are endless. This kept in the fridge for about two days, and can easily be frozen for future use.

That was Saturday night. Sunday consistent of lunch and a lazy afternoon of football watching at my parents’ house, and then most importantly — a “Sherlock” watching party at our place Sunday night.

Of all of the Sherlock Holmes adaptations, the BBC one is my hands down favorite. Something about the chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is just so irresistible. We had two other couples over, I knew from the get go that I wanted to bake somethings special. Keeping with the British theme, I went with a shortbread recipes. And to make the cookies even more appropriate, I bought cookie cutters in the shapes of Holmes and Watson.

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How freaking cool is that? Best $10 I ever spent. Unfortunately, I think the recipe was too buttery for cutout cookies to work — and my oven jumped from 350 to 400 with no warning — so the cookies didn’t hold their shape. But Eric saved the day with a genius idea.

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Not what I had exactly planned, but still awesome — and delicious. They sort of look like “Sherlock” coins. Our friends ate them up and they were the perfect compliment to “The Empty Hearse.”

Mahi mahi with a kale and edamame salad

One thing I pride myself on is being able to look at the ingredients I have on hand and whip something up for dinner. This delicious mahi mahi came from one of those ingenious moments.

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Eric was eating leftover Thai the other night and I had to figure out something for myself. I saw the mahi mahi. I saw the kale. I saw the edamame. Boom.

Now I have a pretty neat trick about softening kale. If you eat kale right off the stalk, it can be pretty chewy. Not that appetizing, really. Well I found a tip online that has completely changed how I eat kale. Take a big bunch of kale, put it on a bowl, sprinkle a pinch of salt on it, massage the salt in to the leave, let it sit for about 10 minutes. That is it. The salt helps break down the leaves so they have the consistency of regular lettuce. Now all I want to do is eat kale salads.

Mahi mahi with a kale and edamame salad

For the fish (This is enough for one fillet of fish. Adjust the amounts based on the servings you want).
1 piece, mahi mahi (any white, mild fish would probably work.)
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 tsp honey
1 tsp soy sauce
Shake of ginger powder (you could use fresh ginger if you have some on hand)

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Coat the fish with the marinade and let it sit for about ten minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place fish on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.

Kale and edamame salad
1 cup softened kale
1/3 cup edamame (or however much you want), shelled, cooked and cooled
Salt and pepper to taste

Vinaigrette
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy
1/2 tsp honey
Sprinkle of ginger powder (or grate of fresh ginger)

Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl. Whisk together and let sit for about 10 minutes for the flavors to mix together. Add in the kale and edamame and toss to coat with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside mahi mahi.

Coconut water fruit slushie

Remember when I said I might talk about healthy stuff? Well, here we go.

Disclaimer: I do not like smoothies. I don’t know what it is. I’m guessing it has something to do with I don’t like drinking yogurt. Something with the consistency I suppose. That being said, in my mind, this is NOT a smoothie. It’s a slushie. Or a healthy slurpee. Think of it however you want.

Now I know this isn’t rocket science and I didn’t reinvent the wheel or anything. But this combo is quite delicious. It’s great to satisfy your sweet tooth when you are trying to cut back on maybe not-so-good for you things and is quite filling if you need a snack between meals.

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I used an immersion blender to make this, but a regular blender or even a Magic Bullet would be great for this. I’ve had so many of these in the past few days I’ve considered getting a Magic Bullet, but like I need another kitchen appliance.

Coconut water fruit slushie

1 cup coconut water (or whatever liquid you like: water, juice, lemon-lime soda, etc)
1/2 cup frozen fruit (I used a combination of raspberries and peaches)

Note: I prefer frozen fruit in this to fresh because it gives the slushie a thicker consistency. Fresh fruit would give more of an aqua fresca type consistency, but the choice is up to you.

1) Place all the ingredients in a bowl or blender. Pulse unless the fruit is smooth and everything is combined. Garnish with fresh mint if desired.