Friday, October 7, 2016

Fruity Curry Chicken Salad


For some reason, I can't get my photos from the camera to the computer.

This recipe is kind of a note to myself.  I generally just throw together a chicken salad, but this time I actually measured the amounts I used.  This is a very adjustable recipe, add more or less of what you like or don't like.  This is a great starter recipe.


8-10 oz cooked chicken (about 1 1/2-2 cups), cubed or shredded
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup grape halves
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Craisins or raisins, amount to liking, optional
1/2 cup mayo (I use half regular and half reduced-fat)
scant 1/2 tsp curry
black pepper, to taste

Mix the mayo, curry, and black pepper.

Combine the chicken through nuts (or C(raisins).  Fold in dressing.  Chill until serving time.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

BBQ Chicken Salad Cilantro Lime Rice Bowls

Instead of posting the recipe here, I'm just going to add the link to this wonderfully easy and delicious salad (and much better photos! {per usual}).  Outside of mixing the dressing, this is a quick salad which requires little prep. 

Great use for leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken.  You could eat this everyday for lunch (or dinner) and not be sorry.

Just in case you didn't know, Mel is my go-to food blog.  I've been following her for years and she has NEVER disappointed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Deviled Shrimp Ragu

Greetings!  Sorry it's been so long, but being here alone and with this intensely long, hot summer, well...there's just not been a lot of cooking going on here.

And another pretty bad photo (see the link below for a much better shot!)  Had this recipe not been so good, I never would have posted it.  But it is so good!!!

I found the recipe on  It's my #1 go-to site for recipes because you can plug in whatever ingredients you're wanting to use.  I happened to be wanting a shrimp recipe, plus I thought I'd like to use some smoked paprika.  When I first saw that this recipe called for using ketchup (?!!!) I hesitated.  But "Chef John" on allrecipes has always come through with some outstanding recipes.  This one has to be at the top of my list.

He notes that he uses the shrimp alone as an entrĂ©e or could be served over rice or noodles.  I used rice.  Doesn't really matter.  This shrimp is a standout.


1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined shells reserved
1 bay leaf
1 pinch smoked paprika
1 cup water
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground dried chipotle pepper, optional
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp minced garlic
salt to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives

Cooked rice or noodles, optional

Place shrimp shells into a saucepan with bay leaf and 1 pinch of smoked paprika over medium-low heat; cook and stir shells until they turn pink, about 5 minutes.  Pour in water, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer shrimp stock for 20-25 minutes.

Mix lemon juice, ketchup, brown sugar, ground chipotle pepper (if using), 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, garlic, 1 pinch of salt, and cayenne pepper in a bowl.

Strain shrimp stock into a bowl; discard shells and bay leaf.  Whisk shrimp stock into ketchup mixture and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until small wisps of smoke rise from the skillet.  Cook shrimp in the hot oil until bottom sides of shrimp are seared and browned, about 3 minutes.  Stir in shrimp stock mixture and cook until shrimp are opaque, about 3 minutes.  Transfer shrimp to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving sauce in skillet.

Bring sauce to a boil and cook until sauce has reduced and thickened, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in cold butter, turn off heat, and let residual heat of pan melt butter.  Stir until butter has incorporated into sauce and sauce is slightly thickened.

Stir shrimp into sauce and toss with chives.  Serve shrimp with sauce.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shrimp and Asparagus

I had some shrimp and mushrooms on hand and did a search on Allrecipes to find a recipe using these ingredients.  I found this recipe and after reading some of the comments, made some adjustments.

First and foremost, the original recipe had way to much fat in the way of butter and olive oil.  I used just enough to cook the mushrooms and shrimp.

I made this last week so my recipe is loosely based on my memory.  If you'd like, compare mine to the original and make adjustments to fit your taste.

SHRIMP and ASPARAGUS (2 servings)

1/2 lb fresh asparagus, cut into about 1" pieces
4 oz angel hair pasta
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 lb uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
Parmesan cheese
S&P to taste

Steam asparagus.  Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, set aside.

Saute mushrooms in a mixture of EVOO and butter.  Saute until mushrooms are limp.

Place butter and lemon juice in a saucepan.  Heat until the butter has melted.  Place the shrimp in the saucepan and cook until the shrimp turns pink.  Add the mushrooms and shrimp.

Toss the shrimp and vegetables with the cooked pasta.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  S&P to taste.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Mustard Potato Salad

This recipe is kind of a note to myself.  I don't think I've ever made potato salad the same's always off-the-cuff and sometimes it's pretty good and sometimes is only so-so.  This batch came off quite good and, if nothing else, is a great basic recipe to start with and alter it to your tastes.

A few notes.  Generally I prefer red-skinned potatoes, but I have a bag of russets that need to be used.  Also, sometimes I do like a Miracle Whip-based dressing, but I usually stick with mayo.  Also, the recipe I worked from (I think it was in, but can't find it right now) called for dill pickles).  I only had hamburger chips, so that's what I used.  The mustard I used was dill mustard, a yellow-mustard with dried dill weed (the brand is Silver Springs.  A plain yellow mustard would just fine.  I generally boil the potatoes, but this time I had the oven on and so I just baked the potatoes.

One last thing, I don't like too much dressing.  This amount was a bit more than I used.  So if you're like me, you won't need this much (I ended up making up another batch of potatoes, eggs, onions, and celery to use it up).

Again for me, this is a great basic recipe to start with.  Fine tune it to your tastes and/or what you have on hand.

POTATO SALAD  (3-4 servings)

6 small potatoes (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds), cooked and cubed
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
sweet onion, chopped

1/2 cup mayo (I use 1/2 regular, 1/2 reduced-fat)
3 + Tbsp yellow mustard
2 Tbsp pickle juice
6 hamburger pickle chips, chopped (or 1/4 cup dill relish in lieu of juice and chips)
S&P to taste
celery seed to taste
Cajun seasoning to taste (I use Nunu's)

Whisk dressing ingredients.  Check seasonings.

Stir dressing into potato mixture until coated as you like.  (If I'm going to have the salad around for a few days, I mix the dressing into the salad at time of serving.)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This is a great, easy dip recipe to have on hand.  I make a batch and then just heat up a single serving each time.  I've had mine in the fridge for a couple of weeks and it bakes up nicely.

There are many variations on Artichoke Spinach Dip.  This is a great basic recipe to which you can make many changes.  The only thing I changed was to add a can of water chestnuts (chopped) simply because I like the which crunch it adds.

A tip to myself:  a 10 oz package of frozen, chopped spinach can be drained and pressed dry and then divided into four 1/2 cup portions and refrozen.  So I can make four batches out of one package of spinach.  And a note to others:  If you can find them, try using artichoke bottoms instead of hearts (Reese's brand is what I was able to get).  They're all meat and don't have those annoying spiky leafs you'll get in cans/jars of artichoke hearts.  Publix was good enough to special-order them for me.


1 (8 oz) package cream cheese (I use reduced-fat)
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 cup Parmesan and/or Romano shredded cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 (14 oz) can artichoke bottoms or hearts
1/2 cup frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 can water chestnuts, chopped, optional
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).  Lightly grease a small baking dish (I used my NuWave oven and baked for about 12 minutes).

In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayo, cheese(s), garlic, basil, garlic salt, S&P to taste.  Gently stir in artichokes, spinach and chestnuts (if using).  Either sprinkle in the mozzarella on top after putting into baking dish or (if making individual portions) stir it into the mixture.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish.  Top with mozz.  Bake into preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Zucchini and Squash Bake

I wish I could remember where I originally saw this recipe because I adjusted it to use what I had on hand.  And incredibly, it came out wonderfully (I say this because I'm not particularly good at changing up recipes).

When I mixed it up (it was still warm) I thought it was good as it was.  But the recipe I was working from said to bake it for an hour.  So I did bake the next serving and it was even better!

This amount made about 4 single servings.  I think it would also be good to add some pasta sauce and use only mozzarella (omitting the Velveeta and cheddar).  I added a bit of anise seed because the Italian sausage I used didn't have enough flavor for my taste.

ZUCCHINI and SQUASH BAKE (4 servings)

8 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 small onion, diced
4 oz Italian sausage, crumbled
1 small zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
16 grape or cherry tomatoes
2 oz Velveeta
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar, shredded
1 1/2-2 cups cooked rice
1/8 to 1/4 tsp anise seed, optional

Saute the mushrooms in equal amounts of EVOO and butter until cooked.  Set aside.

Saute onion and Italian sausage until sausage is cooked.  Add zucchini, squash, and tomatoes.  Saute until until vegetables are cooked.  Stir in cooked mushrooms.  Add Velveeta, mozzarella, and cheddar.  Stir until cheese is melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cooked rice and anise seed.

Bake at 350 for about an hour.