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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!

Behold:

Easy Jambalaya!

Or as my family calls it; Jambi.

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Ingredients:

Olive oil
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
Cajun seasoning
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!

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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.

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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.

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Add chicken and sauté a few minutes more until meat is browned.

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Add peppers and onions, sauté 2 minutes until they begin to soften.

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Add celery and garlic, sauté a few minutes more until onions begin to become translucent.

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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.

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Add rice.

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Add chicken broth.

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Add my own little secret ingredient, the entire Rotel can, juices and all.

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Stir together and bring to a boil.

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Add shrimp to the top of the mixture.

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Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook 20-30 minutes, or until rice is tender.

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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.

Enjoy!

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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:

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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 onion
2 potatoes
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.

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In a deep skillet, add veggies and juice from the clams.

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Cover with water and cook on medium to medium high heat.

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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.

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As the skillet portion cooks, melt butter over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Whisk in flour.

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Add half-and-half slowly, whisking constantly until thick and smooth.

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Add the contents of the skillet to the cream mixture. Reduce heat slightly to heat the chowder thoroughly without boiling. Add bay scallops.

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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!

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Hello again!

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

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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.

Here is a link to the pin
Here is the link directly website

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:

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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.

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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.

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When the bottom of the tortilla began to brown I used two forks to flip them over. Look at this beauty…

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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.

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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!


So, apparently, the name “Skordalia” is greek and fancy for “garlic lemon mashed potato dip”. This is a recipe I found in a “party food” cookbook. It doesn’t sound fancy, and it doesn’t even sound appetizing, but it was a surprising success! It’s a great dip with Wheat Thins Natural Veggie Flavored Crackers, and paired with fresh veggies and ranch it makes a great party snack!

Ingredients:

1 cup prepared mashed potatoes ~ 2 small garlic cloves ~ 3 tablespoons olive oil ~ 2 tablespoons lemon juice ~1/4 teaspoon salt

Prepare the mashed potatoes as directed on the box. I’m a fan of home-made mashed potatoes, but in the case where I have an exact amount to make, store-bought flakes are the way to go!

Dice garlic into small chunks, then mix with potatoes in a microwave safe bowl.

Cover with a paper towel and microwave for 1 minute. Stir.

Add the olive oil and stir gently, folding it into the potatoes and garlic. It should make it just a little fluffier.

Add salt and lemon juice, stirring gently once more. Do a taste test to see if you need to add more salt. Serve warm or at room temperature with crackers or pita chips.

Enjoy!