Tag Archives: main dish

Cajun Shrimp and Rice Casserole and Weekend Wanderings

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Hola!

This weekend was pure perfection. The fall weather was lovely and we had a wonderful time!

Saturday we went to a Halloween party. We had a great time with family and friends.

On Sunday we headed out to Chinatown to enjoy some food and a little shopping. I love going to Chinatown. We were able to walk around a bit, check out some of the stores and buy a few things. I offered to buy my husband this great tea.

We figured the tea probably didn’t work or there wouldn’t be so many bald or hair challenged men around.

The best part of course is the food!

The We had General Tso’s Shrimp, Chicken and BBQ Pork Steamed Buns, Three Happiness Soup and some Beef Fried Rice. We just all shared so that we wouldn’t eat too much!

We drove to China Town so we were able to enjoy the view our our fabulous city.

I haven’t really ridden too much public transportation since I was in high school. But I have made one or two trips on the “L” train. I had to take a picture of that “L” sign because my brother always makes fun of my being a non public transportation kind of person. It’s not that I have anything against public transportation it’s just that…I’m ashamed to say it…don’t now how to really use it! I am afraid to get lost! OK, I said it!

How does everyone feel about shrimp? I love shrimp. The only way I don’t like it is when I have to peel it. It’s just too much work. I like it to be nice and ready to eat! This awesome casserole was amazing. Look at all that yummy goodness.

I wish I didn’t have to share this…

Cajun Shrimp and Rice Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled (I used medium shrimp)
  • 3 cups cooked long-grain rice
  • 2 cups stock of your choice
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups bell pepper, roughly diced (colors of your choice)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen okra, sliced
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of shrimp soup (or any cream of soup of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (water may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • 1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • 1 cup white cheddar, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan, grated

Directions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions omitting water for 2 cups of stock.
  2. Sauté onion and bell pepper in butter until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  4. Stir in okra, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp and cook for approximately 3 minutes until shrimp turn pink. Do not overcook.
  6. Add soup, wine and soy sauce along with rice and stir until blended completely.
  7. Stir in white cheddar.
  8. Pour into a greased casserole dish (I used a 9 x 13 dish)
  9. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and casserole bubbles on the side.

This dish is actually pretty healthy I think. You can make it healthier by using brown rice instead of white rice. You can also use reduced fat cheese and probably add a few more vegetables than what is actually called for in the recipe.

Enjoy!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source myinvisiblecrown

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Jalapeño Popper Quiche and a Reading Adventure

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Longest week ever! Working two evenings in a week is horrendous! I don’t know how people do it on a regular basis. Well, the good thing is that that is over until next spring!

When my kids were a lot younger we used to have”Friday Night Dance Parties”. We would picnic on  a blanket on the floor in the living room or basement and our dinner would be different kinds of appetizers. After eating dinner we would dance and joke around. I miss those Friday nights.  Jalapeño poppers would usually make it as part of our dinner on those nights. This quiche recipe reminds me of those fabulous Friday nights.

This quiche was really good and super easy.

Jalapeño Popper Quiche

Ingredients

1 9 inch pre-baked pie crust
1/2 cup cream cheese at room temperature
2 jalapenos, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeno, sliced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or more to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Spread softened cream cheese over the bottom of the pie crust and then sprinkle diced jalapenos over the cream cheese.
  3. In a saucepan, heat cream and milk over medium heat for about 5 minutes, never letting it come to a boil. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Let cook slightly.
  4. Add lightly beaten eggs to cream mixture slowly, whisking constantly.
  5. Add paprika and salt.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle on cheese and then arrange sliced jalapenos on top of cheese.
  8. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to turn golden brown. The quiche will be set and no longer jiggly when it’s done.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Serve warm.

How about a good read for after the dance party?

This book wasn’t bad. It wasn’t the kind that you hate to put down but I really had to finish it to find out what happened. It’s about two people who each lose a child and that is what brings them together despite them having so many differences. It’s not a bad book but also not the kind that I have to hurry up and finish quickly.

Now that my kids are older they don’t like to have these Friday Night Dance Parties…well, at least not at home with their Mom and Dad!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source kidsinthesink

Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Burgers

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Hola!

Happy Labor Day. I hope that means that the majority of you are off work and enjoying the day!  Guess where I went this weekend? It would be the last place some people would expect me to be…a UFC fight! Julissa is the big fan of UFC but I am hooked now! I don’t like watching people get beat up but man it was exciting. They chose to go into that cage. All I could do was scream and according to my daughter make weird noises! It was a blast! Our seats were pretty high up but thank goodness for technology!

Julissa was thrilled to get her shirt signed by Urijah Faber during a quick tour through a tailgate party.

We had a great time except that after seven hours of sitting I was pretty sore. Another downer was that my family had to tell me to stop swearing! You may not know this about me but I have the mouth of a truck driver. I do my very best to not say swear words but sometimes it’s really hard for me!

Yesterday was all about catching up on laundry and tons of salsa canning.

Do you make your own hamburgers or do you buy them ready made at the grocery store? I have always made my burgers at home. My recipe is pretty basic. Nothing special at all. When I found a new recipe for  burgers I couldn’t stop making them. I have made them twice in one week already.

These burgers were the best ever! The taste of blue cheese was mild and not too overpowering. The bacon gave it’s taste only when you bit into it.

These burgers were so moist and I quite don’t know why. Maybe it’s the cheese?

Blue Cheese and Bacon Stuffed Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin (at least 90% lean)
  • 3 slices bacon, pan-fried and finely crumbled
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • condiments: ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, bacon, blue cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well with your hands, then form into four evenly sized patties.
  2. Preheat a gas grill to high heat. Put the burgers on the grates, close the lid of the grill, and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the burgers, close the lid, and cook for about 4 more minutes for a medium, pink center, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of one patty registers 160 degrees F.
  3. Divide the grilled patties among the hamburger buns and top with your choice of condiments.

My husband is the griller in our family. I have had two mishaps with the gas grill so I am terrified of it! One left me with no hair on one arm and the other had fire coming out of the knobs on the grill. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I was scared to death! I cannot be allowed near the grill!

Have a great and relaxing Labor Day. Don’t labor too much!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source canyoustayfordinner

 

Mozzarella, Tomato and Gnocchi Bake

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Hola!

What a quiet weekend…maybe too quiet. The important thing is that I did get plenty of sleep! That makes me a happy mama! I did make a quick trip to Archivers. I hadn’t been in there for about 8 months or so. I thought I was going to go crazy buying everything there but nothing really caught my eye….maybe on the next trip!

I really like Italian Food. Well, then again I love all food! This gnocchi bake was amazing! It has all the tomatoey, cheesy goodness that I like in Italian food!

That cheese makes me melt.

Want some?

Mozzarella, Tomato and Gnocchi Bake

Ingredients

  • 16 oz fresh gnocchi
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. ea)  diced tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 8-10 oz  mozzarella balls, sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Handful of basil leaves
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to season

Cook the gnocchi according to the instructions on the package, then drain and set aside. Heat the olive oil over a high heat and sauté the garlic and onion until soft. Add in the chopped tomatoes and chilli flakes and bring the sauce to the boil.
Lower the heat and cook at a steady simmer for 15 minutes until it has reduced. Add in the sugar and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the gnocchi into the pan along with tomato mixture and stir until each piece of gnocchi is nicely coated.
Pour into a greased baking dish (9in x 9in) and top with the mozzarella slices and torn basil leaves. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and bubbling. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of parmesan if you like.

I really could not believe that something so simple could be so flavorful. If you have fresh tomatoes you could probably replace the canned chopped tomatoes with them.

Delicioso!

It’s going to be a long week! Schools in our district start tomorrow so I hope all the kids are ready. I know my daughter is going to have a hard time adjusting!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe adapted from GoodMoodFood

Loaded Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole

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Hola!

I have done absolutely nothing at home. After dinner I have been laying in bed watching TV. My house is a mess so this weekend I will have to get some energy from somewhere and clean up my home. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but our home feels like a person to me. When she is dirty I feel so bad and sorry for her. It makes me sad when my house is a mess and she is sad looking too. I love when I am done cleaning and she shines and sparkles like the glorious gem she is. So there will be lots of cleaning and sparkling this weekend!

What do you think about cauliflower? I think it’s a bland,  boring vegetable. It doesn’t really have any flavor. It is pretty though. It’s like a big white brain! We had three cauliflowers from the garden this summer and of course they were all ready at the same time! I had no idea what to do with them. It’s not a vegetable that we eat on a regular basis.

I tried making a mac and cheese with cauliflower and let me just say that it was not popular. I had to do something with the other two so I looked up some recipes. And this one was a big winner…

This casserole was so flavorful and you couldn’t even tell there was cauliflower in it.

Loaded Cauliflower and Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & cubed
  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 bundles green onions, sliced
  • 3 ounces bacon pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt & pepper
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Steam cauliflower until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, combine cheeses in a large bowl. Remove ¼ of cheese and set aside. Stir chicken, green onions, bacon, and garlic into remaining cheese.
  4. Stir cauliflower into cheese mixture and season with salt & pepper. Pour into a 9×13 glass baking dish. Top with additional cheese.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

I really liked that this didn’t require a lot of ingredients. The cauliflower adds some healthiness to the dish!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source Rachel Schultz

Sweet Pea Risotto

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Hola!

Wow! Last week and this week have been crazy busy which means I am super tired but did have a great weekend!

Saturday was a regular day just hanging out with family and my Dad all day. Sunday I hung out with my girls and best friends at the Cuban Festival. OMG! The food was amazing!

Sure not everything we ate was Cuban but it was delicious!  The pictures are a sampling of what we all ate at the festival…I didn’t eat all of it by myself! Look at that funnel cake? Could it be any bigger? On the bottom left is a Cuban sandwich and a PuertoRican Pastel…’Da Bomb! On the bottom right is a Sweet Corn Arepa…I could have melted when I tasted it! Arepas I believe originate from Colombia and Venezuela but are also eaten in other Latin American countries. On the way back to our car we stopped at a neveria or ice cream shop and I had to try a Diablito (on the upper right hand corner). I have found another favorite treat! It is a tamarindo  snowcone on the bottom layered with diced cucumber and mango, chamoy and ground pepper with a tamarindo candy straw. Ay, Dios mio! It was a great day filled with awesome music, great food and of course great friends! I did learn something at the festival…always take a portable chair! We bought a blanket to sit on and at our young age we were having a hard time getting up and sitting down!

Have you ever had risotto? I have made it several times at home and it is so good.

This dish was just amazing. I love the creamy texture of risotto. The subtle flavor was amazing!

Sweet Pea Risotto

  • 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. arborio rice or a mixture of short grain brown rice, pearl barley, and spelt berries (as pictured)
  • 3 c. chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 c. sweet peas (fresh or frozen), divided
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh basil or 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 c. half and half
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1.  In a saucepan, melt butter or add olive oil on medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic until translucent.
  2.   Add rice to pan, coating with butter mixture.
  3. Turn heat down to medium, and add one cup of chicken or vegetable broth, stirring every so often. Season with bay leaf and salt and pepper.
  4.  Meanwhile puree 1 cup of peas and about 1/2 cup broth until smooth. Set aside.
  5.  Continue to add remaining broth, wine, and pea puree one cup at a time until liquid is absorbed, stirring more frequently as risotto thickens. For a lighter green color and deeper pea flavor, add the pea puree earlier on. For a brighter green color and lighter pea flavor, add the pea puree towards the end.
  6.  Once desired texture has been reached, remove bay leaf and stir in remaining peas, basil, parmesan, and half and half. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. If rice is too crunchy, continue adding stock 1/2 cup at a time.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy!

When people say that the life of a school secretary is glamorous don’t believe them!  It’s not all about looking pretty!There is a lot of work that goes into getting a school ready for the new year…I’m exhausted!

Have a great day!

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source Mint Design Blog

 

Baked Chicken and Spinach Meatballs

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Hola!

Happy Wednesday! I’m posting this kind of late in the day due to my lack of computer skills. I was having some computer issues earlier and it took my twelve-year-old to fix it! How embarrassing!

How do you feel about the Dollar Tree or dollar stores? I have some friends who say they never go there. Personally it’s one of my favorite places to go! You can find so many neat things there! I was actually just there about an hour ago. I went to buy one thing and came out with five things. If you are lucky you can even find some great brand name stuff. I get excited just thinking about it!

This was my find for today at Dollar Tree…

I was so excited when I saw it there. I like using a tinted moisturizer in the summer so that my makeup isn’t too heavy but I still get a bit of coverage. I haven’t tried it yet…that will be tomorrow but what an awesome find for a buck!

Who likes meatballs? The few times that I have actually made meatballs they have been made out of ground beef. I wanted to try something new where I could use some fresh spinach from the garden and I found a recipe for these pretty little things.

These were really good! They do not taste anything like regular beef meatballs. These I believe might be healthier than the beef ones too! I served them over the One Pot Wonder Tomato Basil Pasta I made.

Chicken and Spinach Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 10 oz Frozen Spinach, thawed, drained and chopped* ( I used fresh chopped spinach)
  • 2 TBSP Fresh Basil, chopped
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 Medium sized onion, diced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together until just combined. Form the mixture into golf ball sized balls and place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 360 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

*For the spinach: Be sure to thaw completely and then wrap it in a clean dish towel to wring out all the excess moisture before chopping.

Besos,

Flor

Recipe source http://www.halfhourmeals.com/