Monday, August 17, 2015

Thai Shrimp Scampi

Playing the waiting game to build our home is always fun. Hopefully our plans will be approved the city by the end of the month or so. Other than that, we've just been enjoying summer! Our garden is growing, but we've only been able to pick a few tomatoes and peppers. I'm looking forward to having a larger yard so that we can plant more.

I saw this recipe and remembered I had leftover homemade green curry paste in the freezer. Homemade is always more flavorful in my opinion, so why not make it!

Thai Shrimp Scampi
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light 

8 oz uncooked spaghetti
8 oz asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 tablespoons lemongrass, minced 
3 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup coconut milk 
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons green curry paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup mint, chopped

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Add asparagus during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return to pan.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lemongrass and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in coconut milk, stock, curry paste, salt, and shrimp; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring occasionally. Stir shrimp mixture, cilantro, and mint into pasta mixture.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Spicy Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein

I'm so looking forward to Monday. We are in the process of building a house and get to start the designing process. It's going to be an exciting journey and something we've really wanted to do. That means even busier days for me and being the busy lady I am, simple dinners are amazing time savers! This one is especially good because the sauce has such great flavors. I believe that sriracha will do that to most anything!

Spicy Shrimp and Zucchini Lo Mein
Recipe from Baker by Nature

8 oz rice noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled 

2 medium zucchinis, cut into half rounds
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sriracha

1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

3 green onions, sliced thinly

  • Soak the rice noodles in hot water for about 30 minutes. Once ready, add to a pot of boiling water and cook for about 3-4 minutes. {I prefer to do the soak so that the noodles are less likely to stick together and finishing them off in the pot helps them become tender.}
  • While the rice noodles are soaking, mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, ginger and sesame oil and a small bowl.
  • In a large pan over medium-low heat, add the butter and let melt. Add the crushed red pepper and whisk in the eggs. Stir gently and cook for about 3 minutes. Once the egg is done cooking, keep the pan on the burner but transfer eggs to a small plate; set aside.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or just until firm and bright pink. Remove and transfer to the plate with the eggs. Add the zucchini to the pan and increase to high heat. Add the remaining oil and stir fry until just charred; about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute. 
  • Add the the noodles to the pan along with the cooked eggs, shrimp and sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir until everything is coated well with the sauce. Sprinkle with the sliced green onions and cilantro.



Monday, July 13, 2015

Lemon Chicken Pita with Spicy Garlic Sauce

There's nothing like a good pita wrap! This lemon chicken is perfect with the spicy garlic sauce. It actually reminds me of a spicy caesar dressing we used to have at one of my former jobs. I think it could be recreated by adding parmesan and cilantro!

Lemon Chicken Pita with Spicy Garlic Sauce
Recipe adapted from The Cozy Apron

2 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces 
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped  
zest of 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1/2 teaspoon oregano 
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander 
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
1 teaspoon salt  
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • Place the chicken into a  bowl, and toss with all of the ingredients until the chicken is well coated. Using 3 bamboo skewers, skewer the chicken so that there is equal portions of meat on each skewer, and allow the chicken to marinate for about 20 minutes, or even overnight, if making ahead.
  • Once ready, place the chicken on a grill {I use a George Foreman} or in a pan and cook for about 8-9 minutes. Remove the chicken and allow them to rest, covered with foil for about 5-10 minutes. Remove the chicken cubes from the skewers and set aside.

pita bread 
tomatoes, sliced
spicy garlic sauce {recipe below}

  • To assemble, add a little drizzle of the sauce onto the pita, followed by the tomatoes, arugula and cilantro. Add about 4-5 pieces of chicken and drizzle with more sauce.

Spicy Garlic Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/2 cup sour cream 
3 cloves garlic 
1 tablespoon sesame seeds 
1 teaspoon olive oil  
2 tablespoons sriracha 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1/8 teaspoon cayenne 
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

  • In a blender, blend all of the ingredients until smooth.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Banana Nut Bread

What a busy couple of months it's been! From a surprise trip for my fiance's {now husband} 30th birthday to getting married over Mother's Day weekend, we've been having fun! Our wedding was held in Colorado in an intimate setting, my husbands parents house. We had quite a turn out as well, which was quite unexpected from the start. We were anticipating 30 to 40 guests but ended up with over 70. It was wonderful to have all the support from our family and friends and are so happy they attended! 

Now, being a cook I couldn't help but make my own wedding cake and cupcakes for the wedding. I can't wait for the photographer to finish all of our photos, but for now I leave a teaser! The photographer was the wonderful Tiffany of La Bella Luce Photography

And now for the yummy part! Banana bread has been a favorite of mine ever since I was a little. My mom made it best and I always enjoyed waking up to a lovely warm slice with butter. This recipe is amazing, it's flavorful, moist and has texture. I like that the bananas aren't completely mashed, it helps create bursts of flavor.



Banana Nut Bread

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 bananas {ripe], half mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

  • Preheat oven the 375 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl using a whip attachment, add the sugar and butter and mix until combined. Add 1 egg in at a time and mix until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Sift in the flour and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients, bananas, vanilla and walnuts. Using a paddle attachment, mix until just combined.
  • Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the batter in the pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Buttery Irish Scones

So in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I've cooked a corned beef this week! Usually my corned beef is used for my one and only delicious reuben sandwiches. But I when I saw these scones, I knew I had to make corned beef hash to got with them.

The scones are delicious. Very much like your everyday scone, but folded like a pastry dough for a few more layers. I always have zante currants on hand so it was meant to be!

Buttery Irish Scones
Recipe from Epicurious

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup cold unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup dried currants
turbinado sugar and sea salt, garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat.
  • Whisk the milk, sugar and salt in a medium bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut 10 tablespoons of butter into 1/2" cubes, add to flour mixture, and blend with your fingertips until pea size pieces form with some larger chunks remaining. Add the milk mixture and stir with a fork until large clumps form. Gently knead in the bowl until dough just comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface.
  • With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to a 14x8" rectangle, with long side facing you. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl in the microwave until softened but not melted. Spread evenly over dough with fingertips, then sprinkle the currants evenly on top and press to adhere. Fold up bottom third of dough over center, then fold down top third to meet bottom edge. Fold in half crosswise, then, using a rolling pin, gently flatten into an 8x4" rectangle.
  • Cut dough in half lengthwise and in quarters crosswise to form 8 even squares. Transfer to the pan, spacing 2" apart. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar and sea salt.
  • Bake until scones are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When butter starts to bubble remove from heat and skim off foam from surface. As soon as the scones come out of the oven, lightly brush tops with clarified butter. 
  • Cool the scones on sheet on a wire rack and serve hot, warm, or room temperature.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Green Curry Shrimp

My favorite Thai curry is green curry, especially if it's made with homemade curry paste! I made this recipe in school a couple of years back and it definitely stuck with me. This recipe is quite basic, if you want to add more vegetables you certainly can. Bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, etc!

Green Curry Shrimp

1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup onions, diced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and patted dry
1 cup coconut milk
5 tablespoons green curry paste {recipe below}
1 teaspoon fish sauce

  • In a pan over medium heat add the olive and onion. Cook while stirring for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan and saute for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are pink.
  • Turn the heat down to low and pour in the coconut milk along with the green curry paste and fish sauce.
  • Once the coconut milk has slightly thickened and the paste is bound with the sauce turn off the heat. Serve with fluffy rice and steamed sugar snap peas.

Green Curry Paste

2 poblano peppers, seeded
4 serrano chili peppers, seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded
6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup onion
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • Using a blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients and mix until smooth.



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Huevos Rancheros

Ever since our trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley in November I've been craving huevos rancheros! And since I haven't made a post since September due to work, travel and planning our wedding I do feel terrible! We had a great time in California, we spent about a week there, a few days exploring Napa and St. Helena and then made our way to San Francisco where food is never out of reach. While in wine country, we visited 4 vineyards. Artesa, Domaine Carneros, Beringer and V. Sattui! All had a charm about them and it's very hard to pick which was our favorite. I can't wait to go back.

Huevos Rancheros

corn tortillas, fried
black bean spread {recipe below}
cheese, shredded
sour cream
egg {cooked to your preference}
hot sauce {optional}

  • Turn on the broiler.
  • Spread the black bean spread onto a freshly fried corn tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Place under the broil until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and add a spoonful of sour cream, the egg and top with pico de gallo.

Black Bean Spread

2 tablespoons olive oil {I used infused green chili pepper}
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 teaspoon jalapeno, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
salt, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable stock

  • In a pot over medium heat add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook until translucent. Add the black beans and jalapeno and cook until the beans start to breakdown. 
  • Add the cumin, chili powder, salt and vegetable stock. Continue cooking and smashing the beans to make a spread. Once the preferred consistency is achieved, check the seasonings. If you prefer more, add more.