Spinach Artichoke Dip

>> Sunday, January 13, 2013

Adapted from Get Off Your butt and ...Bake!

3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
Sea Salt & Pepper to your taste
1 (8-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (recommended: Rotel)
1 cup shredded 4 cheese blend (Mexican variety is good)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
Tortilla chips and cut vegetables, for serving

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it foams, add the shallot and garlic, and saute until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the flour and cook while stirring until it becomes a light blonde color.

Slowly stir in the heavy cream, and the drained spinach, and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, Parmesan and half of the 4 cheese blend and stir just until the cheese is melted.

Put the dip in an oven safe serving dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese on the top.  (I added a bit more)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the dip just until the cheese has melted fully and it’s nice and warm/hot – NOT BOILING!

Serve with warm tortilla chips or pita chips.  Enjoy!


Kale & White Bean Soup

>> Saturday, January 12, 2013

1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large carrots, diced
1 celery, diced
2 tablespoon EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 can organic diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 can of Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 cups chicken broth, vegetable stock, or water
1-2 fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon paprika
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large stockpot on a medium-high heat.  Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute them until they turn translucent.  Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.  Add kale, diced tomatoes, broth or water, rosemary, paprika, salt and pepper to taste and bring them to a boil.  Then add Cannellini beans to the boiling mixture.  Reduce the the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve Warm.  Enjoy!


Coconut Vermicelli Bars

>> Monday, August 27, 2012

Adapted from Raihana's Cuisines

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 packet of vermicelli (break them into smaller before roasting)
7 oz. of one 14 oz. canned condensed sweet milk
3/4 cup of shredded coconut
1/3 cup of chopped almonds

In the saucepan, add the butter and melt the butter on med-low heat (make sure you do not burn the butter).  Once the butter is melted, add the vermicelli and roast it until golden brown then add the shredded coconut and the chopped almonds followed by the condensed milk once.   All of the ingredients are completely combined.  Press evenly into the bottom of a 8x8 inch glass or baking pan.  Sprinkle the shredded coconut over the pan and cut into bars.  Enjoy!


Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas


Adapted from How Sweet It Is

8 large flour tortillas
2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 can 15 ounce red enchilada sauce
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (I use Frank's Original Sauce)
3/4 to 1 cup shredded Mexican Blend cheese
4 ounces Bleu cheese, crumbled
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Pour enchilada sauce in a bowl and begin by whisking in 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce. Taste and adjust according to your desired level of heat.  Set aside.  Add shredded chicken to a bowl with 2 green onions and 1/2 cup Mexican Blend cheese.  Pour in about a 1/2 cup of enchilada/buffalo sauce mixture and mix thoroughly. Stir until mixture comes together.  Pour a drizzle of enchilada/buffalo sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Take each tortilla and fill it with a few heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Roll each up and set it in the baking dish, seam side down. Pour another 1/2 cup or more of enchilada/buffalo sauce on top of tortillas and add remaining Mexican Blend cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Immediately after taking enchiladas out of the oven, add crumbled Bleu cheese on top. Garnish with the remaining green onions(optional) and cilantro and serve.  Enjoy!


Lasagna Rolls

>> Saturday, June 9, 2012

Adapted from Baked by Rachel

Makes 6 lasagna rolls

1 pound ground chicken

2 cups mushroom slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 - 10 oz. bag of spinach, chopped
1/3 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
6 Lasagna noodles
8 ounce part skim Ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 jar tomato & basil sauce
1-2 cups part skim Mozzarella cheese
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown ground chicken in a large non-stick skillet over a medium heat and crumble as it cooks until meat is completely cooked, add and stir salt and Italian seasoning, and aside.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cook lasagna noodles per the instructions on the box.  Heat 1-2 tablespoons EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the skillet is hot, add vegetables and minced garlic and cook.  Toss and cook until spinach is wilted.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Add to the bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss.  In a medium bowl, combine egg, Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and freshly cracked pepper.

Drain pasta and let sit in cool water while you work. Remove one or two lasagna noodles, laying flat on your work surface. Cover with a thin coat of cheese mixture. Top off with a layer of cooked ground chicken, spinach, and mushrooms.  Roll and transfer to a square baking dish. Repeat with remaining lasagna noodles.  Cover lasagna rolls with a coating of tomato & basil sauce. Sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 35 minutes. Serve warm.  Enjoy!


General Tso's Chicken

>> Sunday, February 26, 2012

Adapted from From Away

1/4 cup chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon + 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, but into bite-sized chunks
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) or canola oil for frying
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
6-8 dried red whole chilies (I used 4 green chilies)
3 scallions, white and green parts, cut into half inch chunks

In a small bowl, combine broth, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar, hoisin, chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch. Stir until smooth.

In another bowl, toss chicken chunks with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar and a pinch of sea salt, and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes.

When ready to cook, toss chicken to coat evenly with remaining 1/3 cup of cornstarch. Chicken should have a dry coating of cornstarch; add a little more if coating seems moist. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat about 1/4 cup of oil. Add chicken and cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through and brown on all sides.  Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.

Pour most of the oil out of the skillet, until only a thin coating remains in the pan. Add garlic and ginger to pan and stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add whole chilies, chicken pieces, and scallion pieces, and toss to combine. Add sauce and simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, becomes shiny, and evenly coats chicken. Top with more sliced scallions and serve immediately with white rice.  Enjoy!


Random Quote of the Day

"Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar first came to Hollywood scene in 1928. So did I. We're both a little weatherbeaten, but we're still here an plan to be around for a whole lot longer." 

John Wayne


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