Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yumm Yumm Chicken spice

I have fallen in love with a mixture of seasonings that I came up with that is amazing on chicken as well as roasted veggies!!! It is good on just about everything. I keep some ready made to scoop out at a moments notice! Enjoy!!

4 Tbs. sea salt
8 tsp. paprika
8 tsp. onion powder
3 Tbs. granulated garlic or garlic powder
4 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbs. creole seasoning
1 Tbs. black pepper

Mix all together and enjoy!!

Thanks Y'all!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pasta Cabonara

I love pasta!!!! It is my weakness!! I really love it when not only I can make a pasta dish but make it inexpensive and easy! I have explored making pasta cabonara a number of times but I finally came up with a recipe that was so yummy and quick! There are ways of making it more healthy like for instance using fat free half and half, using whole wheat pasta using turkey bacon (I wouldn't advise it for this recipe) and adding more veggies if you are looking for a healthy alternative. Also you could add more meats. I usually add grilled chicken breast but you could add some leftover cubed ham, some shrimp, Italian sausage...the possibilities are endless with this recipe!

Easy Pasta Cabonara

5 cups uncooked mostaccioli or penne (2 lb box)
1 lb. thick sliced bacon diced
8 oz fresh mushrooms sliced
1 1/2 cups half and half
2/3 cups butter
5 cloves of garlic smashed and minced
14-16 drops of hot sauce
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan
1/2 cup sliced green onion
sea salt as desired

Cook pasta as directed on package
In a large skillet on medium heat cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain. Keeping the bacon drippings in the pan, brown the mushrooms and garlic for about a minute until the garlic is aromatic. Place mushrooms and garlic on the paper towel with the bacon and drain the bacon grease.
Add the half and half and butter to the pan until butter is melted. Once melted add the bacon, mushrooms, garlic, hot sauce pasta and cheese until heated through stirring frequently until sauce is thickened. Turn off heat and add onions.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

I admit it I love potatoes, however most of the time they soak up other flavors or smothered in butter and the flavor of the actual potato is lost. So I decided to play around with them and have been for a while until now. This is now my favorite potato recipe and it is really easy!

Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

2 lb. bag of "sunset" fingerling potatoes sliced lengthwise (sunset is a mixture of red, purple and white)
2 tbs Olive oil
2 tsp rosemary
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 tbs creole seasoning
2 tbs sea salt
6 cloves of garlic smashed and minced

Preheat the oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add oil, seasonings and garlic. Toss with your hands until the potatoes are coated. Place in a roasting pan and bake 450 for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Serve

Enjoy Y'all!!

Tender Marinated Chops

I always enjoy finding a new recipe for pork chops that is easy, tasty and is not dry! I searched and searched and came across a recipe that sounded great but could use a little tweaking and it was amazing!! Not to mention you can make a little change here and there and give it an Asian flavor!

Tender Marinated Chops

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
juice from 1/2-1 lemon
6 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1 tsp pepper
1 tbs olive oil
4 (about 1 lb) boneless pork sirloin chops

Place the chops into a resealable bag ( I used a gallon size) add all the ingredients. Seal the bag and gently toss the liquid around making sure that all of the meat is surrounded by the liquid. Place in the fridge for 5-24 hrs (obviously the longer the meat marinades the more flavorful it is). Preheat oven to 375. Place chops in a roasting pan without the marinade (dispose of the bag and liquid). Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops. Take out of the oven and let the meat rest for 5 minutes and enjoy!!!

Like I said adding a few ingredients such as 1 tsp of hoisen sauce, 1 tsp of minced ginger and 1 tbs of brown sugar would give it an Asian flavor or you could add 1 tbs of brown sugar and replace the water with 1/4 pineapple juice to give it a Hawaiian flavor....the possibilities are endless with this recipe. For a smokier flavor add liquid smoke or rather than bake them grill them!

Enjoy Y'all!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

One pot noodles and meat sauce

I am always looking for easy recipes especially on long days when I just do not feel like spending hours in front of a stove. As always I went searching and I came across a recipe that seemed perfect for my needs kept it cheep and the kids would love but it needed a little tweaking for my taste buds. Here is what I came up with. Like I said it is quick, easy, inexpensive and YUMMY!!! Keep in mind I have a big family so you can half this recipe with no problems. Also you can make it a little healthier by using ground turkey in place of the ground beef (if using ground turkey I would suggest sprucing it up while browning it by using a little olive oil, granulated garlic and italian seasonings)

One pot noodles and meat sauce

2 lb lean ground beef
1 red bell pepper
8 oz pkg baby bella mushrooms cut up
4 cloves garlic minced
1 small onion finely chopped
6 cups wide egg noodles (about 10 oz)
2 1/2 cups of water
2 jars spaghetti sauce 24 oz (I used 2 different flavored prego brand)
2 tsp italian seasoning
2 tsp granulated garlic 
sea salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot or dutch oven brown the meat, bell pepper and onion over medium heat until meat most of the pink is out of the meat. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms. Cook until meat is browned. Drain. 
Stir in Water, Sauce and seasonings over high heat and bring to a boil. 
Lower temp to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes allowing the sauce to get into the meat and the seasonings to "open up". Stir occasionally.
Uncover, stir and bring to a boil. Lower heat and stir in noodles. Simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes until noodles are tender.

Serve and enjoy! 
Thanks Y'all!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Yumm Yumm Chicken

Chicken was one of the first things my family ever taught me how to cook. It is inexpensive and you can do so many different things with it. In all my years of cooking and experimenting I have always wanted to make delicious rotisserie chicken without having to go out and buy a rotisserie. I owned one at one time but it still wasn't the same and it was a pain to clean.  I have tried and tried for years to make something as tender and tasty with so many fails...until now! The flavors are amazing. It is slow roasted on 250 for hours so the aroma in your house will have you drooling for hours! Make a bunch of the spice mix for use on other meats..it is amazing!!! This can also be made in the crock pot!!

Yumm Yumm Chicken (Slow Roasted tastes like Rotisserie chicken)

1-2 recipe Yumm Yumm chicken spice *recipe and link below
1 onion quartered
2 bulbs garlic
2 (4 lb) whole chickens (yes you wanna make 2)
1 Tbs olive oil

In a small bowl combine all your spices and mix well. Remove and discard your giblets. Rinse and dry both of your chickens inside and out with paper towels.  Rub each chicken inside and out with the spice mixture and the oil. Place half the onion and 1 garlic bulb in each cavity of both birds. Place the chickens each in a resealable bag and place them in the fridge for 6 hrs to overnight (the longer it sits in the spices the better it is).
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F
Place the chickens in a roasting pan. Bake uncovered for about 4 hrs (internal temp of 160 F). Let chickens stand for about 10 minutes before carving.

This can also be made in a crock pot!!! 
Just cook 1 bird on low for 4-5 hours!!! 

* yumm yumm chicken spice

4 Tbs. sea salt
8 tsp. paprika
8 tsp. onion powder
3 Tbs. granulated garlic or garlic powder
4 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbs. creole seasoning
1 Tbs. black pepper

Mix all together and enjoy!!
Enjoy Ya'll

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Healthy Pulled Pork

Recently I have changed my eating habits and cutting out a lot things out of my diet including pork. Now I am a southern girl and I love pork but it is just way too unhealthy, well at least most cuts are. Unfortunately I am also on a budget and pork is one of the cheapest meats there is. So last week I do as I always do every Thursday. I pull up all the local store weekly ads on my computer, write down the best deals I see on meats and I come up with a menu and ideas on how to experiment. One of our local stores had Pork loin tips or pork tenderloins on sale buy one pkg. get 3 free. So of course I see free and the ideas begin in my head. I have used pork loin roast before usually one from Sam's Club that is already marinated in a one dish meal I create where I place the roast in a roasting pan, surround it with quartered red potatoes and top the potatoes with either baby carrots or fresh baby green beans (season with lemon pepper, garlic and basil. Use some chicken stock in the bottom of the pan and some fresh lemon juice. Bake at 375 until veggies are tender) However I have never bought the tenderloin or tips so I start researching different recipes and ideas online and I tried a few. One was mustard/panko crusted which wasn't bad and the other was in the slow cooker with a bulb of garlic minced and 1 cup of BBQ sauce which was not our favorite it just made me wish I has made pulled pork. The only problem with trying to use such a lean cut of meat that has been described as being just as lean as chicken breast, for pulled pork is there isn't any fat. Now that I'm getting healthy this is a good thing however I have always used a fattier piece of pork for pulled pork so I wasn't sure how this was going to work but I was going to try. This recipe that I came up with was AMAZING and to be honest it reminded me of the same recipe that I always made but I left feeling less guilty for pigging out on it! And even better that it is a crock pot recipe!!!

Healthy Pulled Pork

2.5 lbs pork tenderloin
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1-2 cups BBQ sauce (I used sonny's sweet BBQ sauce)

Place pork in slow cooker. Top with everything but the BBQ sauce. Cover and cook on high for 6-7 hrs. Remove pork from slow cooker onto a place and with 2 forks shred the meat. In the slow cooker should only be a little juice no more than 1/4-1/2 cup otherwise remove the juice reserving about 1/4 cup of the juice. Place the meat back into the slow cooker adding the 1/4 cup of juice and the BBQ sauce. Start with 1 cup of the sauce and taste if it needs more add. Cook for 1 more hr on high checking half way through to see if you need more BBQ sauce. Serve on buns or without for an even healthier dinner!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

I woke up this morning and outside it was storming. Even though it is August and I live in Florida, stormy days makes me want to stay in bed and have a cuddle under the covers/comfort food day. I looked through my normal file on my computer with all of my recipes, went through my cook books and I kept going back to the pages listed with beef soups and beef stews. I am not looking to have the same thing that we always have had I want something different.
I came across Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon and I have always wanted to try it but I don't have the time or the funds to pull that off so off I went in search of a less expensive version when I came across a slow cooked version using basic inexpensive ingredients that was super easy and even better this way the crock pot can do most of the work for me. However to me it looked a little bland and lacking in the heartiness that I so desire on a day like today so I tweaked it as I went and of course I did what I always recommend...taste taste taste!!
Starts off with 2 pounds of cut up beef. Recipe called for round steak however I had a london broil that I cut up into large bite sized pieces, seasoned with sea salt and browned in olive oil on the stove. While that was browning I cut up some veggies. The recipe called for 2 cups frozen baby carrots, 1 cup frozen onion and 6 oz canned whole mushrooms. However I prefer fresh for recipes such as this. I cut up 3 large carrot sticks into very large bites, 1 small sweet onion into bite sized pieces and used 8 ox of whole baby bella mushrooms cut in half. As well as 6 cloves of garlic (recipe only called for 2). I placed the veggies in the crock pot along with 2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup, 2 cups of burgundy wine along with 2 tbs of corn starch(you can avoid the corn starch of you dredge the meat in flour before browning). The one thing that the recipe did not have was potatoes, they are not needed but I wanted them so I quartered 4 medium red potatoes. As for seasoning it only called for 1 tsp of thyme, ok I definitely needs more than that! I added 2 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper for a little heat, 1 Tbs of worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp of oregano and sea salt to taste.
Simmer on low for 6-8 hours and don't forget to taste taste taste!! The smell is amazing and the taste keeps getting better and better as it cooks! Enjoy Ya'll!!

Beef Bourguignon

2 pounds of cut up beef (london broil is what I used)
3 large carrot sticks into very large bites
1 small sweet onion cut into bite sized pieces
8 ox of whole baby bella mushrooms cut in half
4 medium red potatoes quartered
6 cloves of garlic minced
2 cans condensed golden mushroom soup
2 cups of burgundy wine
2 tbs of corn starch*
2 tsp of thyme
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper
1 Tbs of worcestershire sauce
2 tsp of oregano
sea salt to taste
1 tbs olive oil
* avoid corn starch if you dredge the meat through flour before brown

Take oil in a saute pan at med/high. Once hot add beef and brown on all sides. While meat is browning place all of the other ingredients in a large crock pot and mix well. Once beef in brown add to the crock pot. Stir until mixed. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Taste Taste Taste!!

Thanks Ya'll!!

Hi Y'all

I have thought long and hard about creating a blog about food. I always have so much to say about the subject. Frankly my husband thinks I am obsessed or addicted so I will start by saying...Hi my name is Nikki and I'm addicted to food and nutrition and am proud of it. It makes me happy to see the look on others faces as they smell , taste and savor my creations especially my children.
I have noticed more and more over the years that I tend to be the go to person for my friends and my kids for tips, ideas and recipes so why not create a blog maybe I can help others and I welcome comments if there are those with even better ideas because even though this is my passion I still have much to learn and much to explore!
I will dedicate myself to coming here at least twice a week if not more (probably a lot more) with recipes that I have found and ideas on how to make it tastier if it needs to be as well as my own creations. As I said this is my passion and I just want to share with others!