Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Creamy Lemon Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Garden Veggies

So now that I'm in school, keeping up with my cooking at home is going to one of those difficult tasks at times. I'll have to do a lot of stuff ahead of time so that I can still do school work in a timely manner. That's the most important thing to me... being a successful student!

I basically threw this together, many of the items were actually in the freezer. The arugula pesto, shrimp and compound butter {chives, red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon juice and zest}. I made the compound butter last year and have been going through it very slowly. I mostly use it when cooking shrimp, it reminds me of scampi.

Creamy Lemon Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Garden Veggies

10 oz pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons compound butter
1 cup shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup zucchini, julienne
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cubed
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons arugula pesto
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

  • In a large pan on high heat, add the butter and melt. Add the shrimp and lemon juice and cook until the shrimp is pink.
  • Add in the zucchini and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Once they are tender, put into a separate bowl and set aside.
  • To the pan, add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the cream and pesto and cook until thickened. Season with salt. Add in the cooked pasta and parmesan cheese and stir until well coated.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Honey Dijon Chicken Tenders and Macaroni and Cheese

I started school today, well, my online class anyway. My cooking course starts tomorrow and I'm super nervous. I was craving some comfort food, so of course... chicken tenders and macaroni and cheese came to mind. I've been wanting to try out these new recipes.

Honey Dijon Chicken Tenders
Recipe from The Comfort of Cooking

3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 cup panko
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic {powder}
1/4 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Prepare a large baking sheet and set aside.
  • On a large plate combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. Set aside. 
  • In small bowl mix together the melted butter, dijon mustard and honey. Whisk until well combined.
  • Place the chicken strips into the mustard-butter mixture and then into the breadcrumbs, coat evenly. Place onto the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe from Pioneer Woman

4 cups dried macaroni
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 lb cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
cayenne pepper

  • Cook macaroni until very firm. Macaroni should be too firm to eat right out of the pot. Drain.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg.
  • In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly.
  • Add in the milk and mustard and whisk until smooth. Cook for five minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
  • Take 1/4 cup of the sauce and slowly pour it into beaten egg, whisking constantly to avoid cooking eggs. Whisk together until smooth.
  • Pour egg mixture into sauce, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
  • Add in cheese and stir to melt.
  • Add salt and pepper. Taste sauce and add more salt and seasoned salt as needed!
  • Pour in drained, cooked macaroni and stir to combine. 
  • Serve immediately {very creamy} or pour into a buttered baking dish, top with extra cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Posted by on August 4 2009



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zucchini, Tomato and Herb Tart

I found this recipe when I was browsing what I could do with leftover zucchini. It sounded easy and delicious. I'm happy with the results, although it makes me want a tart pan really badly. I made it in a pie dish instead. 

Zucchini, Tomato and Herb Tart
Recipe adapted from Dragon's Kitchen

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 teaspoon chives, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, sliced
8 grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Roll out puff pastry and transfer the pastry to a pie dish. Trim the pastry around the edges but leave enough to take into account shrinkage during baking.
  • Combine the parmesan cheese, herbs and garlic.
  • Take 1/3 of the cheese and herb mixture and sprinkle it over the bottom of the tart pan. Arrange the zucchini slices in concentric circles over the cheese to cover it. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper {easy on the salt as the parmesan cheese is salty}. Repeat with one more layer of cheese and zucchini.
  • Toss the tomato halves in olive oil. Arrange the tomato on top of the second zucchini layer.
  • Combine the egg and cream. Pour egg mixture evenly over the top and let it sink into the tart. Top with the remainder of the cheese and herbs.
  • Bake the tart in the center rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken Tikka Kebabs with Biryani

Back when I still lived at home, this was one of my favorite meals my mom would make for us. So when I got the recipe from her, I couldn't wait to make it. The last time I made it, we used the charcoal grill and it just wasn't the same. So when we got our new one, I was excited because this was one of the things that I really wanted to make on it.

The kebabs and biryani turned out so great, both were very flavorful.

Chicken Tikka Kebabs

3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
2 lemons, juiced
1 cup yogurt
3 tablespoons tikka masala {curry} paste
1 tablespoon garam masala
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and mix with the salt and half of the lemon juice.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining lemon juice, yogurt, tikka masala paste, garam masala and garlic until smooth.
  • Mix in the chicken until it's completely coated.
  • Marinate for up to 24 hours.

peppers, cubed
onions, cubed
butter, melted

  • Cut the peppers and onions into 1/2 inch cubes {about the same sized as the chicken}.
  • Rotate the chicken, peppers and onions on the skewers.
  • Grill for about 6-8 minutes. Baste each skewer with butter and turn frequently to make sure it they cook evenly.

Recipe adapted from Life Is Great

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons fresh plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • Rinse the rice and soak for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large pan on medium-high heat add the ghee, olive oil, cinnamon stick, cloves and garam masala and fry briefly until fragrant. Add in the onions and ginger. Sauté until the onions are golden. 
  • Reduce heat to low and add in the rice. Stir to coat gently, about 1 minute. 
  • Add in the turmeric, yogurt and chicken stock and mix together.
  • Cover and cook the rice on medium heat until it has soaked up the chicken stock, about 15 minutes.
  • Once done, fluff the rice to loosen it.

I also made a raita to dip the chicken tikka in.



Naan is great for many uses. You could use them for sandwiches, pizza or just as a side for your indian dishes!

Recipe from Indiamarks {Sugar & Spice}

1 1/2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon ghee
3 tablespoons yogurt
garlic, chopped
cilantro, chopped
  • Add the yeast and sugar to the water and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the flour and salt. To this add the yeast mixture, yogurt and 3 tablespoons of ghee.
  • Using your fingertips mix into a soft dough. Once mixed, flour a clean, flat surface and knead the dough until it is smooth.
  • Grease a large bowl with oil and put the dough into it. Cover and let rest for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. 
  • Divide the dough into 8 equal rolls and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly flour the surface and roll out each ball until you have a circle, 7-8 inches in diameter.
  • Cook the naan in the oven or on the grill at 400-500 degrees. Cook on each side until bubbles start to form. Flip over and repeat.
  • Brush each naan with ghee and sprinkle with garlic and cilantro.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Garam Masala {Indian Spice Blend}

I love Indian food, but rarely make it at home. When I do though, I like to at least make my own garam masala. I feel that making it is so much simpler and yields better flavor.

Garam Masala {Indian Spice Blend}

1/4 cup corriander seeds
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon green cardamon pods
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
5 dried red peppers 
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick

  • Toast all of the ingredients in a pan on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Once toasted, put into a grinder and grind until smooth.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Park City Marathon

This was Chris' 2nd time participating in this marathon. Timmy and I decided to go out and support him through his run. Sadly, we only could catch him at mile 18 and at the end as well... but it was still fun to go up there and watch him!

We ended up getting a bite to eat at Good Thymes Bistro. Timmy had a scrambler {eggs with cheese, vegetables and meat} and I had a breakfast sandwich {essentially a BLT with a fried egg}. We both had cheese grits as well. I'm not one for going out to get breakfast because I really enjoy making it at home, but Timmy was starving and couldn't wait any longer to eat.

All and all, it was a nice start to the day.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I figured since I had some leftover tomatoes from Dianne' garden, that this would be the best use for them. I would suggest baking the bacon, it really makes it that much better.


bread, toasted
tomato, sliced
bacon, cooked

  • Take a piece of toasted bread and spread on the mayonnaise.
  • Layer with lettuce, tomato and bacon.

I served these with the italian green beans that I made earlier in the week.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zucchini Surprise

If you have a ton of leftover vegetables in your garden, this is one way to use them!

Zucchini Surprise

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6-7 assorted peppers {jalapenos, anaheims and banana}, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large zucchini, half slices
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • In a large pan over medium-high heat, saute the onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add in the peppers and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add in the tomatoes and cook into they look stewed, about 5-6 minutes. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add the zucchini. Cover and cook until the zucchini is done enough {personal preference}.
  • Add in the cayenne pepper for some extra heat.
  • Serve with cooked egg noodles or rice.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Italian Green Beans

Dianne sent us home with green beans from her garden {among other things}. She said that this recipe is the best when you use fresh green beans. It's such a simple and delicious side.

Italian Green Beans

1 lb green beans
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8-1/4 cup basil {fresh or dried}
sugar, sprinkle on top

  • In a large pot cook the beans with a little bit of water. Make sure they are only partially cooked, you don't want them overcooked. Also make sure to turn the beans over so they cook evenly.
  • While the beans are still hot, put them into a container and pour in the oil and vinegar. Add in the garlic, basil and sprinkle with some sugar. Shake it up and taste and add more of any of the ingredients above if needed.
  • Refrigerate and let sit for at least a day before serving.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fish Fry

Timmy and I ventured to Colorado this weekend for his parents annual Fish Fry. It's time for the Alaska fishing trip for fresh salmon, halibut and lingcod {yum}! Sadly, I forgot to bring my camera with me so I didn't get any pictures of the event. 

Dianne prepared a beer batter for the halibut which was really good. She also smoked salmon on the smoker that Timmy and I bought for Rick for Father's Day two years ago. We put the salmon on crackers with cream cheese, sriracha, capers and fresh chives from her garden. All of the flavors off set the saltiness of the salmon. Of course there were spring rolls... that's just expected now. And I made some {spicy} sushi with some of the smoked salmon, as well as tuna and eel. Overall, it was a great time.

Their garden is doing really well this year. We are taking tons of zucchini, tomatoes, beans and peppers home to create delicious things with! As well as some canned pickled peppers and black stone cherry jelly {they have a tree in the front of their house that they pick these from}.

This was a nice trip before school starts on the 29th. I'm nervous and excited.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Antipasto Halibut

While this isn't exactly an antipasto, the fact that I have many of the items found in this dish made me instantly think of one. Usually the recipe doesn't call for tomatoes or pesto, but since I had leftover oven roasted tomatoes that I made for the veggie paninis on Monday that I decided to add in. That's one of the nice things about this dish though, you can improvise for the most part.

Antipasto Halibut

1/2 cup olives {spanish}, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup marinated artichokes, chopped
1/8 cup jalapenos, chopped
1/8 cup oven roasted tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon arugula pesto
1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients listed above and let marinate for up to 24 hours.

3-6 halibut fillets, deboned and skinned
salt and pepper, for seasoning the fish

  • For the halibut, make sure it's deboned and skinned and cut into small fillets. Rub each with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large pan over medium-high heat, cook the halibut for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Add in the antipasto mixture and heat thoroughly.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Arugula Pesto

Arugula is a peppery green that adds a nice bite to your pesto. I mainly use pesto for my veggie paninis which I'm making today. As I've stated prior, I make these a lot compared to other meals because they are just so amazingly good!

I actually already made the pesto mayo and put some on my turkey and cucumber sandwich for lunch. So yummy.

Arugula Pesto

.5 oz bag of arugula
1/4 cup basil
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

  • Combine all of the ingredients and mix in together in a food processor.



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Biscuits and Gravy

This is the perfect example of why we love really spicy food. Hot italian sausage is the only kind I'll use when making this dish. And sometimes the sausage isn't hot enough, to remedy that I will add cayenne and more red pepper flakes {the sausage already has some in it}. I've also started to make homemade biscuits, they are easy and delicious.

Sausage Gravy

1 lb hot italian sausage
1 teaspoon garlic {granulated}
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cup milk

  • In a large pan add the sausage and cook on medium-high heat. Make sure the sausage is cooked thoroughly.
  • Lower the heat and add the garlic, salt. cayenne, red pepper flakes and flour. Make sure everything is combined.
  • Turn up the heat to high and add the cream and milk. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, let cook for 8-10 minutes until thickened.

Recipe from Scott Peacock

5 cups all-purpose flour, measured after sifting
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons lard, chilled
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
melted butter, to brush on top after baking

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees and make sure the rack that you'll be baking on is in the upper third of the oven.
  • To a large bowl, add the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Mix in the lard {don't over mix}.
  • Add the buttermilk and mix just until it's combined.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead about 8-10 times. If needed, use a rolling pin to make the dough more uniform. The thickness should be from 1/2-3/4 inches.
  • When cutting the dough, make sure not to twist the circular cutter, only press it down into the dough.
  • To prevent sticking place the cut biscuits on a baking pan that either has parchment or a baking mat.
  • Cook for 12 minutes, rotating once. Once cooked, remove from the oven and brush each biscuit with melted butter.
  • Turn the broiler on and return the biscuits to the oven. You only want to do this if the biscuits did not brown enough. Only leave them on there for 1-2 minutes.



Thursday, August 4, 2011

Elk Chili and Crispy Onion Rings

Just trying to go through the elk in the freezer, this time it's ground though. I'm not as fond of the ground elk only because it has a really odd smell when you're cooking it. Definitely not one of my favorites. But on the bright side, it's very good in chili. I also made onion rings for the hell of it. I had a craving for something fried and figured I'd try this recipe out.

Elk Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb ground elk
15 oz can chili beans {high quality}
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 can ro-tel {I used hot with habaneros}

  • In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and butter and let brown lightly. Add in the onions and garlic and sauté until tender. Mix in the chili powder and salt.
  • Add the elk and cook for 9-10 minutes.
  • Once cooked, add the chili beans, tomato sauce and ro-tel. Stir everything and simmer for 30 minutes.

Crispy Onion Rings
Recipe from Food Wishes

2-3 onions, cut into 1/4 inch rings
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons instant potato flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup cold club soda
2-3 cups panko
salt, to taste
vegetable oil for frying

  • Heat your oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat.
  • Mix flour, cornstarch, potato flakes and cayenne together in a medium bowl. Add the club soda and let sit for about ten minutes.
  • Meanwhile pour the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish and cut the onions into 1/4 inch rings.
  • Dip the onions in the wet batter and then coat them in the panko. Repeat until all onions are coated. 
  • Dip onions in batches into the hot oil. Fry for approximately 60-90 seconds per side. Be careful not to overcrowd the oil as this will make the rings less crispy.
My reason for making the chili is because we are grilling spicy sausages again. And as everyone knows, chili makes a great condiment. We also grilled corn on the cob which was super great, definitely doing that again. 


Monday, August 1, 2011

Thai Chicken Fettuccine

This pasta dish is so simple to make, especially if you're having a busy day. Although, that's not the case for me today... just passing the time with cooking and watching movies!

Thai Chicken Fettuccine

1 box fettuccine
1 cup salsa
1 tablespoon sriracha
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into short sticks
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the fettuccine according to the boxes instructions.
  • In a small bowl, mix the salsa, sriracha, peanut butter, orange juice, honey and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook in the microwave for about 1 minute and let sit.
  • In a pan on medium-high heat add the oil and cook the chicken with the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Add the garlic and peppers after the chicken is fully cooked. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the sauce and pasta and mix well. 
  • Sprinkle with cilantro when ready to serve.


Rhubarb Custard Cake

I absolutely love this cake, it's so good. The rhubarb still has a tartness to it even after you add the sugar, which is great. I first had this cake back in 2007 when I went to visit Timmy and meet his family for the first time. So glad that it never gets old.

Rhubarb Custard Cake

1 box yellow cake mix {plus ingredients to prepare}
4 cups rhubarb, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare yellow cake mix as directed and pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
  • To the cake, layer on the rhubarb, sprinkle the rhubarb with the sugar and pour the cream on top.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  • Once you've taken it out of the oven, let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.