Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slow-Cooker Sweet and Spicy Chicken

This is what Martha's looked like. Not mine.(I did cook it on low. Maybe it's better on high. My skin did not stay on at all. It all cooked down.)

The recipe was still yummy. It just DID NOT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE THAT!

And I made this Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore recently - and my family thought it was the same recipe. It tastes that similar. Only this second recipe looks much healthier (on face value). No oil. No skin. (No extra time in flash frying it.)

When I tried Martha's recipe, the chicken was all gone but there was lots of tomato sauce left, so I combined her recipe with my traditional Shrimp and Grits and voila...

I don't know what it's called, but I liked it. (My husband just tolerated it, however, and my son didn't want to eat it with the tomato sauce. MEN!)

Maybe Sweet and Spicy Shrimp and Grits?! ;)

Breesy Mac

Drew Brees' favorite pre-game carb loading dinner won big at our house. Leave it to New Orleans to take a basic mac-and-cheese recipe and make it absolutely decadent! (But this is the kind of hamburger helper the adults will be just as thrilled with as the kids!)

Breesy Beefy Mac
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chopped andouille
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon flour
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeños
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar and American cheese (plus extra for topping)
3/4 cup uncooked macaroni or pasta of your choice, cooked and drained
Melt the butter in a hot skillet, add andouille and sauté. Once the andouille is crispy, add ground beef. Break up the ground beef, and cook until the beef is done all the way through. Stir in flour until smooth.

Add heavy cream and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer until mixture thickens. Add tomatoes, jalapeños, salt, pepper and cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, stirring slowly (about 2 minutes

Mix the cheese sauce with the cooked pasta, and place into a well-greased oven safe dish. Top with a layer of shredded cheddar and bake for 7 minutes or more at 375 degrees, until dish is heated through and cheese is golden brown.

[ via Times Picayune ]

Monday, July 30, 2012

Crawfish Pasta

When we get crawfish, our eyes are almost always bigger than our stomach. (More, please!) So I have these little freezer bags full of crawfish in the freezer. This recipe is a perfect way to use those!

1 ziploc bag of frozen crawfish (about 2 cups)
2 tbsp butter
Minced garlic
1 block cream cheese
1 cup milk
1 lb fettucine
Parmesan cheese

Thaw the crawfish. Prepare the pasta as described on bag or box. Melt the butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven and add garlic and crawfish. Add cream cheese and melt. Slowly add 1 cup milk. (If you want it to be a thicker sauce, you can use half heavy cream and half milk.) Put the drained pasta in with the sauce and mix. Warm and serve with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese on top.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Grilled Marinated Swordfish

Honestly, I haven't seen swordfish in the seafood restaurants I frequent (excepting on the wall, anyways). But we have made a resolution to start trying more fish dishes, and Kroger had swordfish steaks today, so we decided to give it a try.

This marinade was very tasty and Quinn grilled it perfectly - my only beef with this fishy recipe was the price. (Six bucks for that one steak! Yes...we split it.) I'm all for adventures in cooking and all, but who knew exploration was THAT expensive!

I served it with mashed potatoes and sauteed asparagus. (I figured we needed the potatoes as I was too cheap to buy two steaks!)  Yummy!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

25 Things to Know Before You Become a Restaurant Critic

Great list of 25 things to know before you become a restaurant critic. My favorite?

Every time you eat in someone’s home, someone will say, “How many stars would you give this?”

Monday, July 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Meatball and Tortellini Soup

Two of my family's favorite recipes involve cheese tortellini and Italian-style meatballs, so, honestly, I knew this recipe would be a hit before I even served it. But it was an even bigger hit than I expected! And it also gave me several ideas for future crockpot soup recipes. Basic broth + veggies and extras + add tortellini or any refrigerated or frozen pasta about 45 minutes before serving = yummy dinner!

½ bag of frozen Italian Meatballs (1 pound)
1 bag (1 pound) refrigerated cheese tortellini
Beef Broth (32 oz.)
1 can (15.5 oz) Navy Beans
1 can (14.5 oz.) Italian Diced Tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 tbsp oregano
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Pour beef broth in slow cooker and add beans (do not drain), diced tomatoes (do not drain), onion, garlic, celery, oregano and frozen meatballs.

Set slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

About 30-45 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add frozen tortellini (or pasta). Allow to cook thoroughly. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Social Media & Food: A Match Made In Heaven [Infographic]

I suppose this is why when anyone asks me where I got a recipe from, my husband and son answer, in unison, while rolling their eyes: "Pinterest!" ;)

It also reminds me of a reminder that I saw recently: It is in fact possible, it seems, to eat something - at home or at a restaurant - without posting a picture on Instagram first. Who knew?!

See the full-size graphic here.

New 'Food & Drink' category goes live on Apple's App Store

On July 12, Apple's App Store launched a new Food & Drink section. The category currently has 2,824 paid and 4,040 free iPhone apps and 1,121 paid and 1,039 free iPad apps.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How We Accidentally Ruined Tomatoes

For those of you who insist that grocery store tomatoes taste awful compared to those in your childhood.... Well, you are right! It seems we accidentally ruined tomatoes by trying to make them bright red (which, it seems, is when we want to buy them).