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Showing posts from April, 2013

Asian Style Chicken Noodle Bowls

These chicken noodle bowls are loosely based on Pho, a dish my husband and I have been fortunate enough to enjoy at our friends' house. They do a traditional Vietnamese recipe with beef. The dish has a flavorful beef broth, topped with fresh aromatics and vegetables.
I decided to make this version for my husband who has been sick all weekend with a terrible cold. The ginger root provides a homeopathic element to the broth in hopes of speeding his recovery. A nice twist on a typical Chicken Noodle Soup.
Your family and guests will never think this meal comes from a slow cooker!


6 Chicken Thighs
2 Inches Ginger Root, Sliced Into 1/4-Inch Rings
3 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
6 Cups Cold Water
2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Pound Raw Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
1 package (5.29 ounces) Bean Thread Noodles

Garnishes Bean Sprouts Cilantro Sliced Button Mushrooms Green Onions Soy Sauce Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

1. In a large slow cooker, place the chicken, ginge…

Peach Cobbler Muffins

Every year my husband and I harvest fresh peaches off of his parents' peach trees and can them to save until to the next harvesting season. We do not add anything to these wonderfully sweet peaches except hot water for preservation. Throughout the year, I make everything from Peaches and Cream Pound Cake, Peach Crumble, and Cobbler. This morning, though, I decided to use them in some fresh baked muffins.
Over the past few weeks, I have been experimenting with several muffin recipes that do not have oil or butter. Instead, I have been using ripe bananas to provide creaminess and extra nutrients. These muffins combine buttermilk, canned peaches, and oats for a moist, delightful Peach Cobbler Muffin.
I hope you enjoy!

Ingredients
2 Ripe Bananas, Peeled and Sliced
1/2 Cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Quick Cook Oats
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Buttermilk
1 tea…

Spicy Shrimp with Spinach and Farfalle

There are not a lot of words that can describe my pleasure with this meal. It combines a quick tomato pan sauce with shrimp, a touch of red pepper flakes, and spinach, all over a marvelous farfalle pasta. Easy, simple, quick, and delicious! Enough said.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
2 Thin Onion Slices, Halved and Separated
1 Large Garlic Clove, Chopped
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
4 Tablespoons No Salt Added Diced Canned Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Pinot Grigio
20 Small Shrimp, Shelled and Deveined
1/2 Cup Fresh Baby Spinach
1/2 Pound Farfalle Pasta (Cooked According to Package Instructions)
2 teaspoons Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the thinly sliced onion strips, garlic, salt, and peppers. Sautee for 3 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the wine to the pan and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Add the shrimp and spinach to the pan. Cover and cook for 5…

Springtime Seafood Boil

As warm days begin, food with a lighter flavor is perfect for a nice dinner at home. This recipe is a scaled down version of my Low Country Boil we made on our last trip to Charleston, South Carolina. This one-pot-wonder features corn, potatoes, clams, shrimp, and andouille sausage. It is the ideal dinner for a warm evening!

Ingredients
6 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
2 Ears of Corn, Halved
3 White Potatoes, Peeled
7 Ounces Andouille Sausage, Sliced
12 Large Shrimp, Deveined
16 Littleneck Clams

1. In a large stock pot, add the water, seasoning, and corn. Cut the potatoes into large chunks and the sausage into 2-inch lengths. Add the potatoes and sausage to the pot. Heat with the lid on over MEDIUM-HIGH heat. Boil for 20 minutes.
2. Once the potatoes are tender, add the shrimp and clams to the pot. Cover and continue to boil for an additional 5 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and the clams have opened.
3. Place the meat and vegetables in a large bowl and spoon over a …

Blueberry and Banana Muffins with Greek Yogurt

It is Sunday morning and time for a warm breakfast for a cool spring morning. As I take inventory of what I have on hand, I notice some bananas and Greek yogurt ready to be used. This recipe combines the fiber of bananas and oatmeal, the sweetness of honey, and the protein of Greek yogurt. The texture is very similar to a bran muffin, but moist and sweet.

Ingredients
2 Bananas
1 Stick Softened Butter/Margarine
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (Not Packed)
1/2 Cup Pure Clover Honey
3 Eggs
1 Cup Quick Cook Oats
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/8 teaspoon Salt
5.3 Ounces Plain Greek Yogurt
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 Cup Blueberries


1. Beat bananas in a stand mixer until creamy.
2. Add butter/margarine, brown sugar, and honey to the banans. Mix until combined. (2 minutes)
3. Add the eggs, one at a time. Mix to combine.
4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mixer and combine. Add 1/2 of the yogurt and combine. Repeat the process 2 more times, ending with…

Spicy Buttered Oysters on the Half Shell

Recently, my husband and I decided to have date night at home. We scoured the grocery store for a special menu and decided on an evening filled with delicious seafood and easy recipes. I, personally, have never been a huge fan of oysters, but my husband loves them. So, being the good wife I am, I purchased these beautiful oysters, determined to make an appetizer we could both enjoy. These oysters are tender, buttery, and slightly spicy. This recipe would be great for an intimate dinner or to serve with some white wine at your next party.

Ingredients
4 Tablespoons Softened, Unsalted Butter
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 teaspoon Dried Parsley Flakes
12 Fresh Oysters

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, except oysters. Spoon into a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log. Tightly seal inside the plastic wrap and place into the freezer for 10 minutes.
2. While the butter is…

Black Bean Burgers

One of my very favorite meals is a delicious veggie burger. I love the tender texture, complex flavors, and fiber packed nutrition that comes with a really good vegetarian burger. However, there are some major issues with the premade burgers you can buy in the freezer section of the store. I don't like fillers, I want a little kick in my burger, and, most importantly, they are inexpensive! This recipe is quick, easy, healthy, and provides a creamy, tender burger that is ready in minutes.





Ingredients
15 oz Canned Black Beans, Drained
1/4 Cup Finely Minced Yellow Onion
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Baby Spinach
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 teaspoons Sriracha Hot Sauce
1 Egg
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
3/4 Cup Plain Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Oil (for cooking)
4 Sandwich Rolls

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the beans, onion, spinach, garlic, Sriracha, egg, salt and pepper. Using your hands, work the bread crumbs into the mixture and break the beans apart.
2. Divide the mixture in…

Garlic Stuffed Italian Pork Loin

Ok. Have you ever been there? Running late, need to get dinner on the table, struggling to do the laundry and exhausted from a long day?? Well, that is exactly how I found myself the other night. This recipe was the perfect cure. Once you do the prep, you just leave it alone and in an hour, you have a perfect, homemade, healthy dinner. I simply baked potatoes in the oven while it was cooking and then it was done! The flavor is phenomenal without extra fat and calories. The meat comes out tender and juicy from the tented cooking process. You could definitely do this recipe for a crowd and just increase the cooking time and ingredient volumes.

Ingredients
1.5 Pork Loin
2 Large Garlic Cloves, Thinly Sliced
1 Small Yellow Onion
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut the onion into 1/4" rings. Line the bottom of a baking dish with the onion rings, leaving just a few to place on top of …

Banana Sour Cream Muffins

So it is a Saturday morning and I am trying to figure out what to make for breakfast. I don't want the standard pancakes, waffles, or scrambled eggs. I happen to notice that we have some extra bananas lying around and I know there is sour cream in the refrigerator. So I decided to combine the two for Banana Sour Cream Muffins. Sometimes the best recipes come from spontaneous moments!

2 Ripe Bananas, Peeled and Sliced
1/2 Cup Softened Butter
1 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Fat Free Sour Cream

1. In a stand mixer, beat the bananas until creamy. Add the butter and sugar. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the mixer and stir to combine. Follow with 1/2 of the sour cream. Repeat the flour and cream alterna…

Pulled Pork Dumplings

Ok. I know you have heard it before, but we LOVE pulled pork. Since we finally had a warm Saturday here in the mountains, it was time to break out the charcoal smoker, soak some wood chips, and get a pork butt on to cook. While we still had our traditional pulled pork sandwich, we also wanted to mix it up with some pulled pork dumplings. I made the wrappers, which only have 4 ingredients, and find them to be tastier than the store bought; however, if you want to use the store bought, feel more than welcome. These are great for parties, appetizers, or just a quick snack. Serve along side the tangy, Carolina style sauce and you are good to go! This recipe makes 36 dumplings with another extra wrappers to spare. If you use all of the wrappers, you will get 72 delicious pockets! If you do that, just double the amount of sauce you make and as well as the amount of pork used. This one is a keeper!!!!

Ingredients:
FOR THE WRAPPERS
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Water

Poor Man's Ribs: Roasted BBQ Pork Necks

Ok, I know what you are thinking. Pork Necks???? Yes, yes...I was skeptical at first as well. However, as I read about the cut of meat, I found that it was often described as tender and rib-like. So, I decided to give it a try. The cut is much cheaper than any ribs I have been able to find. These turned out fall-off-the-bone and succulent. As my husband said, "This is the poor man's rib." So the next time you are at the store, just step back from what the cut says and just give them a try. They really are delicious!




Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tablespoons Whole Grain Dijon Style Mustard
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
3 1/2 Pound Fresh Pork Necks
1/4 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Sweet/Spicy BBQ Sauce

1. In a small bowl, combine the mustard and seasonings to create a flavor paste. Rub the pork necks with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Pr…

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

The other night I had a sudden craving for oatmeal raisin cookies and peanut butter. I ran to the kitchen and threw together these cookies. The texture of these cookies are more cake-like than the typical oatmeal cookie, satisfying my love of soft, tender cookies. You probably have all the ingredients for these cookies lying around in your pantry right now!
This recipe yields 24 large cookies.




Ingredients
1 Stick Butter/Margarine, Softened
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Sugar
4 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter
2 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla
2 Cups Quick Cook Oats
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Raisins

1. Cream butter, sugars, and peanut butter in a stand mixer for 3 minutes, or until fluffly.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly after each addition.
3. Add the cinnamon, baking powder, and vanilla. Stir.
4. Slowly incorporate the oats and flour into the mixture.
5. Carefully fold in the raisins.
6. Place heaping tablespo…

Lasagna Primavera

Do you ever wish you could enjoy the hearty, meaty taste of lasagna without the guilt?  Are you looking for a gluten free recipe? Low carb? Well, for me, this recipe is the result of my deep love for vegetables and my husband's dislike of lasagna noodles. If you don't want to go full vegetarian with this meal, you could add some browned Italian sausage that has been well drained, but I really would not recommend it. Simply let the vegetables speak for themselves and enjoy a dinner on the lighter side.


Ingredients Marinara Sauce 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 1 Large Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced 1 1/4 tsp Salt 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes 1/4 tsp Black Pepper 1 tsp Italian Seasoning 1 1/2 tsp Sugar 56 oz (weight) Crushed Tomatoes Zucchini Noodles 4 Zucchini 1 tsp Salt 1/2 tsp Vegetable Oil "Meaty" Mushroom Filling 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil 8 oz (weight) Button Mushrooms, Coarsely Chopped 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced 1 Tbsp Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped 1/8 tsp Black Pepper 1/8 tsp Salt Ric…

Weeknight Meatball Sandwiches with Provolone

It was a busy weeknight and I was hurrying to try to pull something together for dinner after a very long day. I knew I had some frozen meatballs in the freezer, so I thought I would do a really simple meatball sandwich with a jarred marinara. However, when I went to the pantry, there was no sauce to be found. Never fear! A quick and healthy marinara was on the way. The great thing is that the end result is healthier, tastier, and thicker than anything from a store. So next time you are in a pinch, give these quick meatball sandwiches a try.




Ingredients: 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil 1 Tablespoon Minced Onion 1 Large Garlic Clove, Minced 1/2 teaspoon Salt 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper 14.5 ounces (volume) Canned Diced Tomatoes 1 teaspoon Sugar 18 Small, Frozen Meatballs  4 Sandwich Rolls 4 Slices Provolone Cheese 2 teaspoons Grated Parmesan, divided
Note: I used my Entertaining Meatballs for this recipe. I always make a large batch…

Spinach, Bacon & Mushroom Crustless Quiche

So it was Easter morning and I was up early to make a warm breakfast for my husband and me before heading out to Easter Service at church. As I thought about all the things I could make, quiche kept coming to mind. This quiche recipe is quick and easy. For an added bonus, there are TONS of veggies loaded into this healthy, family breakfast. By the way, leftovers are great!




Ingredients
6 Eggs
1/4 Cup Skim Milk
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Button Mushrooms
1/4 Cup Fineld Chopped Baby Spinach
1 Tablespoon Finely Minced Onion
4 Strips Crisp-Cooked Bacon, Chopped
1/2 Cup Monterey/Colby Jack Blend Shredded Cheese
1/2 Tablespoon Butter

Preheat Oven Temperature: 350 degrees
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the milk and eggs until slightly foamy. Slowly add the flour while whisking to avoid lumps.
2. Add the salt, pepper, mushrooms, spinach, onions, bacon and cheese. Stir thoroughly to combine.
3. Place a clear, glass 9-inch pie …