Monday, September 29, 2014

Saltfish & Butter Beans With Boiled Dumpling

This was my attempt at a Jamaican meal - mainly to please my dear hubby, but also because I had gotten an amazing deal on salt fish (salted cod) so I was looking for a way to use it.

Surprisingly, this came out very well.  Everyone was quite impressed (and I was quite shocked) especially considering this was my first time cooking a meal like this.  The salt fish wasn't too salty, the seasoning was perfect, even the dumplings came out the right consistency.

My stomach is grumbling just typing this out - I wish there had been more leftovers!

Saltfish & Butter Beans
1/4 lb saltfish
3 medium plum tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 scotch bonnet pepper
2 scallions
1 small sweet pepper
3 T Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 sprig thyme
1 can lima beans

Boil saltfish in 4 cups water for 30 minutes or soak overnight, flake in small pieces and remove all bones.  Chop tomatoes, onion, scotch bonnet pepper, sweet pepper,  and scallion.  Heat oil in a frying pan, saute seasonings and vegetables for about 1 minute then add the flaked saltfish, baked beans and black pepper.  Stir well and cook for 1 minute more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Balsamic & Prosciutto Figs

I love figs.  It's almost that time of year where you can find them fresh everywhere, so I thought I would post my go-to summer appetizer.  This one is great for anything from a backyard bbq to a romantic meal for two.

Thanks to Chatelaine for a quick and easy, yet elegant and delicious recipe.

Balsamic & Prosciutto Figs
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T honey
16 small fresh figs
3 T goat cheese
4 prosciutto slices each cut in 4 pieces

Bring vinegar & honey to boil in small saucepan.  Cook until syrupy, 4 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Trim stems off figs.  Quarter figs, cutting ¾’s of the way down.  Stuff each fig with ½ tsp cheese, piece of prosciutto, and drizzle with ½ tsp syrup.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quick and Easy Shrimp & Pasta Formaggio

Another great one from Kraft!  This was quick and easy, as usual, and I made quite a few tweaks to it based on what I had on hand.  I'm sure it's fabulous as is, but I always love forgiving recipes that I can play around with, especially when I'm on a tight grocery budget and am trying to use up what I have in the pantry and freezer!


Shrimp & Pasta Formaggio
220g angel hair pasta (or whatever you have - I used linguine)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
8 c baby spinach leaves (I used frozen spinach)
1 lb shrimp (I used frozen mixed seafood)
½ c whipping cream (I used fat free evaporated milk)
3 T grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt.  Meanwhile heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, cook & stir 1 minute.  Stir in tomatoes, simmer 4 minutes.  Add spinach, cook & stir 1 minute.  Add shrimp and cream, cook 4 minutes.  Drain pasta.  Add to skillet & toss to coat.  Top with cheese & cover.  Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes, serve.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

The slow cooker is one of my favorite time-saving tools.  I usually prep everything the night before, store it in the fridge, and than plug it in before I leave for work.  When we all get home, voila!  Dinner is ready!

This is, once again, a Kraft recipe that I changed up a bit.  My parents used to make stroganoff all the time when I was growing up, but it had vinegar, tomato paste, and sour cream in it.  I incorporated these into the below recipe since it just didn't seem the same without them.  I hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
1 lb cubed stewing beef
1 onion chopped
1 c fresh mushrooms
½ c beef broth
½ c herb & garlic cream cheese (I used sour cream mixed with the flour, about 1/2c - see instructions below)
1 T flour
225g fettuccine, uncooked (I used penne - but really your supposed to use egg noodles)
I also added about 1/2 cup of tomato paste, and a few splashes of vinegar, maybe a 1/4c

Place meat, onions, and mushrooms in slow cooker (and paste & vinegar, if using).  Add broth, stir.  Cover with lid and cook on low 6-8 hours, or high 304 hours.  Meanwhile cook pasta as directed, omitting salt (do this 20 minutes before you are ready to serve the meat).  Drain pasta.  Mix cream cheese spread and flour (or sour cream and flour - or even fat free greek yogurt, I've used that before too).  Add to meat mixture; stir until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is well blended.  Place pasta in large bowl, add meat, and toss to coat.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Slow Cooker Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili

I don't think I can fully explain to you how delicious this meal was.  I love pumpkin - I put it in pastas, baked goods, even my oatmeal (or freekeh lately) in the morning.  There is something so warm and comforting about it.  When I saw this recipe on SkinnyTaste I knew I had to try it immediately. So I did.  And I wasn't disappointed.  SO good.

Slow Cooker Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili
2 lb lean ground turkey (I used 1lb)
½ tsp EVOO
1 onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
1 tsp chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 cans white beans
15oz can pumpkin puree
4.5oz can chopped green chilies (I used canned jalapenos, that's all I had)
2 c chicken broth
(I also added a few pinches of cinnamon, and nutmeg - so delicious)
Chopped cilantro & chives for topping
Salt & pepper
Sour cream (optional)

Heat a large pan over high heat and spray lightly with Pam.  Add meat and cook, breaking it up, until white – 5 minutes.  Add to slow cooker.  Add oil to pan, then onions and garlic.  Saute about 3-4 minutes; add cumin and sauté another minute. Add to slow cooker.  Add remaining ingredients (up to and including broth).  Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.  Remove bay leaves and adjust seasoning.  Serve topped with cilantro, chives, and sour cream.