I have been wanting to do something different from our daily routine for dinner, and I’ve been craving spicy and shrimp. So what better than jambalaya!
I couldn’t find one perfect easy recipe, so I just took bits and pieces from several with a few additions of my own – the results are fantastic!
Or as my family calls it; Jambi.
1-2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped into bite sized pieces
8 oz kielbasa, cut into 1/4 inch slices, then halved
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Salt and pepper
2 cups uncooked white rice
2 14 oz cans chicken broth
1 can original Rotel
1/2 lb cooked shrimp, tails off
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
In this recipe you could absolutely use 1-2 uncooked, cut chicken breasts and just cook them first. I, however, had left overs from this week making Engagement Chicken from one of my favorite cookbooks!
Truly, give this one a go – both the book and the recipe. Easy, DELICIOUS chicken proven time and time again to impress your guests – or your significant other, or yourself… Whoever.
If you choose to use raw chicken, cook it before the kielbasa. If cooked, follow the directions as follows:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté kielbasa until it begins to brown.
Add chicken and sauté a few minutes more until meat is browned.
Add peppers and onions, sauté 2 minutes until they begin to soften.
Add celery and garlic, sauté a few minutes more until onions begin to become translucent.
Add and stir in seasonings to taste. I recommend at least 1-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning, but err on the side of caution since you can always add later.
Add chicken broth.
Add my own little secret ingredient, the entire Rotel can, juices and all.
Stir together and bring to a boil.
Add shrimp to the top of the mixture.
Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes, or until rice is tender.
Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire and hot sauce. Leave the lid on to keep the moisture in, but now is the perfect time to taste and add more seasonings as needed.
So my daughter and I had a lazy day today. So lazy that I looked at the clock in enough time to realize that I only had two hours before I had to leave for work to cook, clean, and shower.
I still decided to put some effort into dinner with what little we had in our cupboards and got creative. The results were fantastic.
Chicken & Broccoli with a Garlic Basil Cream Sauce
You will need:
Oil, for cooking
Chicken breasts, thawed (one per person)
Seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, and garlic salt)
1 cup broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces (mine were frozen)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
Box rice of your choice, I used Chicken and Garlic Rice-a-Roni
Garlic Basil Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
5-6 leaves of fresh basil (chopped), or 1-2 tsp dried basil
Oil frying pan, season chicken breasts, and pan fry on medium heat. Brown both sides of chicken, reducing heat if needed to time dinner preperations.
In a separate pan, melt butter for sauce in low heat. Once melted add garlic. Stir occasionally, smearing garlic with the bottom of your spoon to reduce the garlic into the butter, about 3-5 minutes.
Add flour and salt. Stir/spread mixture frequently for approximately 3 minutes to minimize flour taste and texture.
Slowly and simultaneously add milk and chopped basil until completely combined.
Raise heat to medium low and stir occasionally. Turn off heat when sauce has reached desired thickness.
In the meantime, after both sides of chicken are browned, add broccoli and onion to fry pan. Add extra seasonings if needed. Sauté with chicken until tender.
Plate with rice of choice, covering both rice and chicken/vegetable fry with cream sauce. So delicious!
On a mild Friday, after cooking nothing but ho-hum dishes for a week, I decided I wanted to splurge. Something I’d been craving for a while was chowder. I wanted something easy, the usual seafood chowder recipes I see have a ridiculous amount of ingredients and requirements, but I didn’t want just plain clam chowder either. So I tweaked a recipe and came up with an easier version.
Semi Seafood Chowder
Simple. Delicious. Simply delicious.
This is all it takes:
The recipe I created is a variation of the one that can be found here. Specifically, my ingredients are:
3 (6.5 oz) minced clams
1/2 lb halibut, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 lb bay scallops
1-2 celery stalks
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart half-and-half
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.
Wash and chop veggies. I chose to leave my potato skins on.
In a deep skillet, add veggies and juice from the clams.
Cover with water and cook on medium to medium high heat.
As veggies just begin to get tender, add the chunks of halibut. Continue to cook on medium to medium high heat until veggies and halibut are tender.
As the skillet portion cooks, melt butter over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Whisk in flour.
Add half-and-half slowly, whisking constantly until thick and smooth.
Add the contents of the skillet to the cream mixture. Reduce heat slightly to heat the chowder thoroughly without boiling. Add bay scallops.
Continue to heat over medium low heat for 20 minutes, until chowder is heated through and bay scallops are cooked but tender. In the last minute or so before serving, stir in clams, vinegar, salt and pepper.
I served this up with a nice asiago cheese loaf from our local grocery store. If my husband would have given me the chance to take a picture of his pretty bowl of chowder before starting to wolf it down, you would get a better picture of the finished product. Instead, you’ll have to settle with my to-go container at work. Have fun cooking y’all!
So I have about 5 posts in “draft” because I’m too lazy, don’t have enough detail, blablabla.. I have now created something that has pushed all of those things aside and made me want to post this asap!
As you can see from my enchilada rice post, I love enchiladas! Mexican food in general, but I could eat an enchilada combo meal of one chicken one cheese every day of my life and be happy. Fat, but happy.
Well I made enchilada rice this week, and of course the giant can of sauce was on sale. Since I only used about 4 tablespoons out of it, I had a lot left and didn’t want it to go to waste.
I decided to get creative – for this reason I really didn’t take any pictures. I didn’t know how it would turn out. I’m kicking myself.
Thinking back to the Pin Test I did on the Taquitos that I basically turned into chimichangas, I decided to roll in the direction and came up with what I call:
Mmmmmm. There’s not a lot of detail in that picture and for that I’m sorry. But its simple and DELICIOUS.
1-2 chicken breasts (1.5 made about 5 medium chimis)
Seasonings of your choice
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (or more if desired)
1/4 cup chopped onion (or more if desired)
1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I chose mozzarella, and again, add more if desired)
1/4 cup enchilada sauce (you know..)
Oil for frying
Paper towels for draining
Cut chicken into one inch pieces and season. I used salt, pepper, cajun seasoning and garlic powder. Cook on a medium heat thoroughly. Add chopped veggies to chicken when chicken is halfway through its cooking process. Add more seasoning for the added ingredients if desired. Stir occasionally until veggies are tender.
Heat oil in pan for frying.
Place chicken and veggies in a bowl and toss with enchilada sauce and half of the shredded cheese. Place 2-3 spoonfuls in the center of the tortilla and sprinkle some of the leftover cheese on top. Enough to fill the tortilla, but have it completely closed when folded.
To see crummy pictures on how to fold said tortillas, check out my second Pin Test that inspired this creation! I’ll explain it as best I can: fold each of the shorter ends over the mixture, crease the folds slightly, then fold one longer side over mixture, tuck, and roll.
After the chimi is rolled, place it in the frying pan seam side down. Fry until golden brown on each side, turning only once using two forks. When finished frying, drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
Y’all, again – I am so sorry for not taking pictures. This was an experiment that I wasn’t even sure would work, and then BOOM! It was too good not to post. So I reluctantly put it down to take at least one picture before I demolished it. I encourage everyone to give it a try!
I am always looking for a way to kick up our weekday dinners on the cheap. Either from low-cost ingredients or from things I would already have in my fridge.
This recipe does both!
Sure, spaghetti and tacos are always on our menu, but I am someone who can’t have the same thing, over and over, without eventually escaping to Jack in The Box.
So, anything that I can make, from sides to main dishes that can bring some life to our plates – I’m in.
This recipe is one I found on Pinterest a while ago. I’ve even made it as a meal in itself, but really it’s the perfect side for a lot of dishes.
This picture is taken directly from the website.
I don’t know where this girl got it from, but bravo. I would come to your house for dinner every night if it meant eating this way.
I had paired these with a stuffed salmon from Costco that my dad had bought for us, and it is also great with just about any pasta dish.
I did a variation of the recipe – here are the ingredients:
So easy it’s ridiculous.
Not to mention that you can customize it to be practically anything.
First, flatten a biscuit. Then load it with cheese and other deliciousness. In my case, mozzarella and fresh basil. Yum!
Fold the biscuit over the cheese so it is completely sealed, and put it in the pan with the seal down.
Repeat with all biscuits.
And really, load em up! Stuff them full. Worst case scenario they burst out the sides with gooey deliciousness. Bummer.
After all your biscuits are loaded, brush them with oil and season them to taste. Salt, pepper, parmesan as the original recipe showed.. Whatever your hearts desire.I chose a simple sprinkle of garlic salt.
Let me just apologize for the sheer awesomeness of these bad boys really quick.. They’re so amazing, they were gone before I remembered to take a final picture.
But they came out just as beautifully golden and soft as the original picture, oozing and bursting at the seams with melted goodness.
I dare you to try them.
Follow my blog and my Pinterest boards to see what I do and other fun stuff!
Another Pinterest pin put to the test. Really, why not have me try them for you and weed out the ones that have broken links, are links to links three pages away, or are filled with recipes or instructions that don’t work?
Here is my second pin to put to the test. I needed an easy, delicious weekday dinner that I could make on a day filled with swim lessons, toddler naps, errands and house cleaning. I still wanted to be a little ambitious, so I chose these:
Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos
This is a photo taken directly from the website. The recipe on the web page is actually called “Chubby Chicken and Cream Cheese Taquitos”, but the original pinner probably thought the same thing as me when I read it: chubby = calories.
My first reaction to the pin: “these look easy enough – and tasty! I can also pass off some nutritional value with the spinach in there…”
My reaction when I read the recipe? Intimidation. I have never fried anything but chicken, onion rings and french fries… I powered through though!
In case you didn’t read the recipe, here’s the breakdown: shredded chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, spinach salt and pepper, wrapped in tortillas and fried golden crispy.
The best part? It’s as easy and delicious as that sounds.
Again, I was intimidated, but then I started the process and it was surprisingly easy.
Firstly the recipe mentioned you can use rotisserie chicken. I say go for it! It makes it even easier. Instead, I seasoned 3 small chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning and shredded those up. Then I mixed them all together in a bowl:
Testers note: make sure your cream cheese is fully softened. I thought mine was, thought it blended well, but I still got pockets of cream cheese in my finished product. Not really a bad thing, just not the best – totally my fault though.
Then I put enough into a tortilla that it would stuff it, but still be able to close.
Sorry for the crummy photography. One hand on a cell phone.
Anyway, as you can see, I stuffed mine to the point that they were more chimichangas than taquitos, but it’s still pretty much the same thing in the end. Just super sized.
Make sure that when you fold the tortilla, you fold it so it closes on all sides.
I heated a pan of oil on medium heat and placed 1-2 taquitos at a time seam side down.
When the bottom of the tortilla began to brown I used two forks to flip them over. Look at this beauty…
After they were golden on both sides I let them drain on a paper towel.
I don’t think I can express to you the magnitude of delicious, crispy, wonderful-ness that was made in my kitchen last night.
The hype from these pictures among my friends on Facebook and Instagram alone was enough to preach something, without them even tasting it!
The only down side is the recipe may as well have made a million since I was only cooking for my husband and myself. Even though I think he ate 3 (good lord) and I ate 2 (I was so full after!) we still had leftovers.
I even brought an extra to work with me for anyone to try. Get this, my lactose intolerant friend liked it so much that she risked it and ate a whole one, she liked it that much. Back up and look at the ingredients. I’m sure she had a bad night. Worth it.
My rating? *drum roll…..*
10 of 10.
The only things I can find wrong were my own fault! Not blending the the cream cheese and not halving the recipe so it didn’t make as much were things that are clearly avoidable.
They were easy, delicious, and caused a stir. Great for big family dinners, made smaller as an appetizer, or cut the recipe down to just liven up your Tuesday!
I can guarantee this is now a staple in our house! Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice, thank you for your contribution to all of our kitchens!
Follow me on Pinterest to see when I test more pins and for other awesome stuff!
Sweet Moses it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything.
Not intentionally, in fact I’ve been accumulating some great things to post, but I’ve realized I can’t set any silly goals for myself.
I have realized that this blog is a un adventure for me and it’s constantly in the back of my head reminding me to record the moments that I am in every day, and that has made me realize how many special moments I have in a day. It also makes me realize how much time (after dishes, laundry and nurturing my family) that I don’t have.
So here’s to paying more attention to the therapeutic part of my days where I can sit and share all the things I’ve done and get to do – and may those days find their way into my schedule more often!
Days With My Daughter: Stocker Farms
My 2 year old is CONSTANTLY asking to go “bye-bye”. I use caps for a reason. It is, in the literal explanation, EVERY DAY. Even when we have people over, when they start to leave she tells me it’s “Evie’s turn” and cries when she can’t leave.
I mildly question the home I’ve created if she can’t stand it for 24 hours.
So, on our day-to-day activities, I try to get her out once a day. It can be for the grocery store, for a trip to a relative’s, or – as in this case – to some place new.
On this day, we went to visit our friend Miss Morgan. A long time friend of mine works for Stocker Farms in Snohomish, WA and runs the produce stand by Summer and the corn maze by Fall. She filled our baskets with peaches, nectarines, and other fruit goodies while Evelyn insisted on potatoes, corn and carrots. I, however, spotted the glorious masterpiece that ruled them all.
A GIANT zucchini. Don’t believe me? Behold:
This sucker was enormous! And, best of all, for the low hometown price of $2. You read that right. $2. How could I not?
So we hauled that bad boy home along with our other fresh fruits and veggies. I sliced it in half to make a zucchini boat that ended up being more than what 5 people and a toddler could handle.
I gutted the inside, drizzled it with olive oil, then baked it at 375 for 30 minutes. In the mean time I made a spaghetti sort of sauce. One pound of sausage, half of an onion (diced), 3 cloves of garlic (minced), and diced a few slices of green and red bell peppers. I browned the sausage, sautéed the veggies, then mixed it all together with 1/2 of a jar of tomato basil spaghetti sauce.
After cooking the zucchini 30 minutes I took it out, filled the inside with the spaghetti mixture, layered it with some mozzarella cheese and cooked it for another 20 minutes:
IT STILL WASN’T DONE.
It tasted great and it was definitely eaten, but after even close to an hour in the oven – that squash was still raw on the outer half-inch! it was incredible!
Needless to say we had zucchini fritters and roasted veggie related dinners for almost a month using the other half.