Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lemon and Garlic Shrimp Linguine

I always love ordering shrimp when we go out for dinner, but I never cook it at home. I was always afraid of overcooking it, no one wants rubbery shrimp!

But then, I saw this recipe for Lemon Garlic Shrimp Linguine and it looked so good I had to get over my shrimp cooking fear.
I am so glad I did, this pasta was amazing! Seriously it was restaurant quality and so simple!

What you need,

½ lb. linguine
1 lemon
1 lb. extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp. butter
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ cup dry white wine
½ cup mascarpone
2 tbsp. chives, chopped

Grate 1¼ teaspoons of zest from the lemon and squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice.  In a bowl combine ½ teaspoon of the zest and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the shrimp and toss to coat.

Start by cooking the pasta according to the package directions. When you drain the pasta be sure to reserve about ½ cup of the cooking liquid.

In a large nonstick skillet heat the butter over medium high heat until it stops foaming. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for just one minute or so until it becomes fragrant. Toss in the shrimp and cook until just opaque, about 3 minutes.  Add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil; cook until slightly reduced, about 1 more minute.

Add the drained pasta to the pan along with the mascarpone and a ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water and stir to combine. Add a little more pasta water at a time until the sauce is nice and creamy and it coats the pasta well. Remove the pasta from the heat and toss with the remaining lemon zest and chives. Season the pasta to taste with salt and pepper.

This pasta was killer. So easy and so fast and absolutely fabulous!
I am no longer scared to cook with shrimp, it was tender and flavorful, and we loved it!



Recipe from Fine Cooking

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Slow Cooker Baked Apples

Both my in house taste tester and I love anything that has cinnamon and apple in it! I think he would eat a can of apple pie filling with a spoon if I let him.

My mom used to make us baked apples for dessert sometimes. They were really simple, some brown sugar a little cinnamon and a pat of butter, and then she cooked them in the microwave. I loved them!

I decided to make a kicked up version. It turned out amazing! So much flavor and the apples were soft but still had some texture. A little vanilla frozen yogurt on top and it was the perfect dessert.

What you need,
(For 2 apples, just double as needed)

2 Gala apples (or whatever firm apple you like)
2 tbsp. butter, softened
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. quick cooking oats
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground all spice
1/8 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
2 tbsp. dried cranberries (you could use raisins if you like)
½ cup apple juice

In a bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, oats and spices. Use a fork or your fingers to combine into coarse crumbs. Add the cranberries and mix to combine.

Core the apples leaving a little at the bottom so your filling doesn’t fall out.  Pack half the filling into each apple, its OK to pile it high on top, it will cook down.

Place the filled apples into your slow cooker. Pour the apple juice around the apples.

Bake on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours, until the apples are soft but still hold their shape.

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, frozen yogurt or a drizzle of heavy cream.

Seriously these apples are to die for. My in house taste tester said he would take one over a piece of apple pie any day!

It would be such a great dessert for Thanksgiving, you can prep in advance and the slow cooker does all the work for you. 



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

The original name of this recipe was Sweet and Sour Chicken, but after making it and eating it I say it is Sweet and Spicy Chicken, there wasn’t much sour about it.

It tasted fabulous and it was super quick to make and I got to use my powdered peanut butter again! I am loving that stuff‼

What you need,

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thinly or into strips
¼ cup Mirin (Chinese Cooking wine)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup powdered peanut butter
3 tbsp. quick mixing flour
3 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. canola oil
¾ cup sliced green onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
5 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. ketchup
1½ tbsp. Sriracha sauce (if you like it REALLY spicy up it to 2 tbsp.)
1 tbsp. plum sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
¼ cup fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
Jasmine or whatever rice you like for serving

In a bowl combine the Mirin and the egg together. Add the chicken and toss to coat well. Let stand for 5 minutes, and then drain well.

In a pie plate whisk together the flour, cornstarch, powdered peanut butter and sugar. 

Add the chicken to the flour and toss to coat, shaking off any excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
Add the coated chicken to the hot pan and cook, turning once for 5-7 minutes until it is brown, crisp and cooked through.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the hot pan and cook the bell pepper and onions for 2-3 minutes until softened.

In a bowl stir together the water, ketchup, sriracha, plum sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Add the chicken back to the pan then add the sauce mixture to and then cook for 1 minute, tossing to coat.

Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and parsley then serve over rice. I also served mine with some veggie spring rolls and a crunchy Asian salad.

I was so hungry I totally forgot to sprinkle on the sesame seeds and parsley; I found it on the counter when I was cleaning up… NICE! Don’t be like me and forget!

We really loved this chicken; it was just the right amount of heat for us. Be careful with the sriracha sauce, it is HOT, so if you want it a little less spicy, just cut it back a bit. If you like the fire, add a little more.

The powdered peanut butter really added a nice depth of sweetness and flavor without being peanut buttery, if you know what I mean.

Not only was this a great supper but it made a fantastic lunch the next day too.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies

It seems like everywhere I look the last couple weeks it’s already pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin. Now don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin as much as the next blogger but I am just not ready to let go of summer quite yet!

So, I am going to stick with zucchini, it has been treating me well the last few weeks with this Chocolate Coconut Zucchini Cake and these Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins.

I decided I needed some cookies and these soft cakey super moist Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Zucchini cookies are perfect.

They are super fantastic! You can totally eat them for breakfast. They are sort of healthy they do have zucchini in them after all!

What you need,

1½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup butter (I used salted butter and left out the salt, as usual!)
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups shredded zucchini
1 cup quick cook oats
1½ cups chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt if you are using it.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla.

Add the zucchini, then the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by the heaping tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown around the edges.

Let the cookies cool on the pan for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store the cookies for 1-2 days in an airtight container on the counter or for up to a week in the fridge. They also freeze really well!

I am going to keep the pumpkin in the cupboard for a few more weeks and stick with summer for as long as I can!



Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Monday, September 1, 2014

Vietnamese Style Caramel Chicken

This chicken is absolutely amazing! It has a great combination of flavors and it is super simple to make.

I assume the name comes from the caramel color that the sauce has, because it sure doesn’t taste like caramel. It is a little bit sweet but it is also a little sour and a bit spicy.

Paired with the light flowery flavor of jasmine rice this Vietnamese Style Caramel Chicken was a perfect dinner!

What you need,

1 tbsp. canola oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
½ cup low sodium chicken broth, divided
3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
3 green onions cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tsp. corn starch

2 cups cooked jasmine rice (or whatever rice you like)

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes until the chicken begins to brown. Add the ginger, garlic and shallot and cook for 1 minute stirring frequently until the garlic is fragrant.

In a small bowl whisk together ¼ cup of the chicken broth, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Add the sauce to the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes until the sauce is reduced a little and the chicken is cooked through.

Stir together the cornstarch and the rest of the chicken broth together in a small bowl. Add the slurry to the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes until the sauce has thickened up.

Toss in the green onions and serve over your favourite rice.

My in house taste tester and I both absolutely loved this meal. We didn’t even talk during dinner; we were both too busy eating.
The chicken is perfectly tender and the sauce is heavenly‼

I just love the tangy, sweet, sourness of Asian style sauces!

I will be making this again for sure‼