Pasta with Mushroom, White Wine and Cream

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I love cremini mushroom,s and this dish is a new vegetarian fave of mine!  Out of all the produce that I have ever prepared, mushrooms are by far the most rich, meaty and flavorful. Of course, it helps to season and cook them properly; and I have my two favorite methods down! I love sautéing them in olive oil, butter and garlic; and a close second is roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I had to fudge the amounts of ingredients in this recipe because the metric system and standard measurements don’t play well together 😉 When I make it again, I try adding some fresh thyme to cut through some of the richness of the sauce. This recipe yields about four servings, but if you served it as a side dish you could get at least six smaller servings. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pasta with Mushroom, White Wine and Cream – adapted from Real Italian Foodies

  • 10 ounces dried pasta – pappardelle, fettucine, tagliatelle.
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • grated Parmesan
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions –

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt and pasta – cook until al dente.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add your cleaned and sliced mushrooms along with the minced garlic. Cook until the mushrooms begin to turn brown – don’t salt the veg until this happens, about 5-7 minutes. Season the veg with salt and pepper to taste, then pour the white wine into the pan to deglaze. Continue cooking until the wine has evaporated, add your cream and Parmesan cheese, turn the heat to low and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

Drain the pasta and add it to your sauce, mix together and serve with extra Parmesan cheese.

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Tequila Lime Chicken

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Sorry for the radio silence! We recently came back home from our two-week long trip to California. I am really glad to be home again and I’m sure my kitchen missed me as much as I missed it. My husband sustained himself on one meal a day (not home cooked), and these goodies that I made for him before I left! What would he do without me? 😉 Since I’ve been back home, I have tried several new and successful recipes which I will share with you in the next few weeks.

Anyway, on to the recipe! This marinade gives the chicken amazing flavor and it’s a new family favorite. I used chicken thighs and served these tacos with pico de gallo, my fave Mexican rice and refried (in bacon grease!) pinto beans with lots of Monterey Jack cheese. I will make this again and again! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

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Tequila Lime Chicken – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (*I used grapeseed*)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (*If you have a few more pieces, this makes plenty of marinade*)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • pico de gallo

Directions –

Slice open the limes and squeeze the juice into a food processor or blender. Add the tequila, olive oil, salt, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. Blend the mixture until totally combined. Add the chicken to a large plastic bag and pour in the lime-tequila mixture. Seal the bag and marinate in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

Remove the chicken from the bag and grill it over medium-high heat. Rotate the chicken 45-degrees on both sides to create nice grill marks, and continue grilling until the chicken is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with corn tortillas, fresh pico de gallo, beans and rice.

Perfect Au Gratin Potatoes

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The name says it all – these really are perfect! They are the easiest potato side dish I have ever made and I’m finding new excuses to make them. We enjoyed these alongside this roast chicken and these garlicky green beans. The leftovers heat up nicely too – if there are any! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Perfect Potatoes Au Gratin – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • fresh thyme to taste (my addition…so yummy)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions –

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.

Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.

Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Pan Seared Mahi with Lemon Butter Sauce

This was really good and the lemon butter sauce was an amazing addition to this simple but elegant meal. I will use this sauce recipe again and again because it would compliment vegetables, fish and chicken wonderfully! My husband gave this an “8”, which I agreed with –  but the best compliment was from my picky six-year-old daughter…she ate it all without complaining! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pan Seared Mahi-Mahi –

  • 1 pound Mahi Mahi or other firm, white fish
  • flour to coat
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBSP oil

Directions –

Dry the fish fillets well. Dust with flour on one side. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush the floured side of the fish. Season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place the fish on the skillet floured-side down and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until it is just cooked through. Remove the fish to a serving plate.

Lemon Butter Sauce – adapted from Food Network 

*This is half the original recipe, and we had more than enough for a pound of fish*

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 lemons, peeled and segmented
  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (*I used half and half*)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut up, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Heat a large nonreactive skillet over high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the wine, lemons, garlic, and shallots. Cook for 3 minutes, breaking up and mashing the lemons with a wire whisk. Stir in the salt, pepper, Worcestershire, and hot sauce and cook until the mixture is somewhat syrupy, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute. Over low heat, whisk in the butter a few pats at a time. When all of the butter has been added, remove from the heat, but continue whisking until all of the butter is incorporated into the sauce. Strain the sauce, pressing all of the liquid into a bowl. Stir in the parsley. Serve immediately, or keep warm for a few minutes until ready to use.

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

 

 

I’m usually leery about crock pot recipes and I rarely search for new ones. Most recipes I have seen (or most that are popular on Pinterest), are full of canned this and packaged that…I have seriously considered creating a new pin board entitled: “Recipes that Scare Me”!  There is nothing questionable in this recipe and it is so good! The aroma greeted me as I walked through the door after picking up my SIL from the air port. This was the perfect meal to come home to and I will make this again. It’s rich, hearty and goes perfectly any thick, tube pasta. I served this with a quick garlic bread, but if I had more time – I would have made this one (always a favorite!) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce – adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 1 lb ground beef (I used 90/10 ground sirloin)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf (or 2 small)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Directions:

Season ground beef with salt & pepper then brown with minced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain then add to a large crock pot. Add all the ingredients except for the butter, stir to combine, then cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir in butter, then serve over cooked pasta.

Shrimp Pasta with Oven Dried Tomatoes

Quick Post: This pasta was amazing! I have tried and posted several shrimp pastas here, and this one is sure to be a repeat offender in this house. This was my first time using mascarpone cheese – it’s like butta! It created a smooth and creamy sauce that perfectly complimented the rest of the flavors in this dish. I really like the oven dried tomatoes, because all that richness would be overpowering if not for the presence of the slightly acidic, sweetness of them. They’re worth making, especially if you want to avoid preservatives of most store-bought sun dried tomatoes. The kids were leery of them, but I explained that they’re like tomato-raisins 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Shrimp Pasta with Oven Dried Tomatoes – adapted from Annie’s Eats

  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Olive oil
  • Small pinch of sugar
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. bowtie pasta
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
  • 6 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (*I forgot to buy this*)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Directions:
To make the oven dried tomatoes, preheat the oven to 225˚ F. Place the tomatoes in a small baking dish in a single layer, cut side facing up. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Bake for about 3 hours, or until the tomatoes are mostly shriveled up. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well.

While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook in a single layer, flipping once during cooking, just until opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate, tent loosely with foil and set aside. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan. Sauté the onion until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and sauté just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine or broth and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the shrimp to the pan and add in the drained pasta along with the oven-dried tomatoes. Add the mascarpone to the pan and stir until completely melted. Stir in the basil and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan as desired.

Chicken Gyros

Well, I know my husband liked it because he ate three! Needless to say, there are no leftovers…boo! But I’m glad he liked them 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Gyros – adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Tzatziki sauce:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 regular cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and zest
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the chicken:

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 Tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

To assemble:

  • Pita bread (I made these again)
  • Fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced

Directions –

Shred the cucumber or chop in food processor. Wrap in a towel a squeeze to remove as much water as possible. Mix together the yogurt, shredded cucumber, garlic, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and lemon juice. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.

To prepare the chicken, combine the garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, yogurt, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Whisk together until mixed well. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and mix well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Cook the chicken as desired, either in the skillet or with the broiler. Once the chicken is completely cooked through, transfer to a plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into strips. Heat pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced onions. Serve immediately.

Shrimp Fra Diavolo

Quick Post: If you like spice, love shrimp and adore carbs and cheese – this is the dinner for you! We thoroughly enjoyed this meal, and I will make this again. I served it with some quick garlic bread (I forgot to roast the garlic for this), but it hit all the right buttons 😉 I used a loaf of this, lots of chopped garlic, butter and four different Italian cheeses. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Shrimp Fra Diavolo – adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

    • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
    • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    • 1 cup dry white wine
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
    • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves

Directions:

 Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add the red chili flakes to the oil. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, add the salt and toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.

PW’s Spicy Beans

My sister visited this summer – and while that was awesome, she made it even more memorable by making these amazing beans! This will forever be my go-to recipe for pinto beans and the whole family enjoys them – so much that I made them three times in one month. Don’t let the “spicy” deter you, these are easily modified. Two teaspoons of pepper is too much for our palettes, so I only add 1 or 1 1/2 teaspoons. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Spicy Beans – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 4 cups Dry Pinto Beans
  • 1 whole Ham Hock
  • 2 quarts of water (this is the perfect amount for me)
  • 1 whole Onion, Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 whole Jalapenos, Sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 – 1 1/2  teaspoons Black Pepper

Directions –

Sort through the beans, making sure to pick out all the weird looking and broken beans and rocks. Dump the sorted beans in a large colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Place beans in a stock pot with the ham hock and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water level is fine. Add more water as needed.

Then throw in diced onion, red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno. Cover and continue cooking for another hour or two, remembering to check the water level.

Add salt, chili powder (if desired) and pepper, then cover and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until beans are lovely and tender.

Best Grilled Chicken Sandwich EVER

I could eat these weekly! I love grilled chicken sandwiches and there are two things necessary to make these truly amazing. You must marinade your chicken and you must put all this goodness in between bakery fresh ciabatta rolls! I need to find a recipe for these, but I have no hesitation about purchasing these from our local club store. As long as I can pronounce all the ingredients, I will happily pay whatever price!
I love these ingredients for my chicken marinade. It’s so easy and extremely flavorful and it hasn’t failed me yet! Fresh ingredients are best with anything, especially when you’re using those ingredients are the main flavor component. I marinade my chicken for at least four hours, longer if I’m using thighs and I try to watch the amount of acid I use in marinating. If there is too much acid, you can run the risk of “cooking” your meat and changing the texture of the final product….yuck! I don’t measure my marinade ingredients because I have made this so many times, but I will give some estimations of amounts for you. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Chicken Marinade –
  • 1 1/2 lbs – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, split in half
  • the zest and juice of one lemon
  • fresh garlic (2 cloves, roughly chopped)
  • fresh thyme (8-10 sprigs, pull the leaves off if you’d like)
  • white wine (a splash – maybe 2 TBSP)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more if needed)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Sandwich toppings –

  • cooked bacon
  • avocado
  • lettuce
  • tomato
  • sliced Swiss cheese
  • split and toasted ciabatta rolls, *once these are off the grill, rub with cloves of garlic*

Place prepared chicken pieces into a zip top bag. Mix all marinade ingredients together and pour over top the chicken pieces. Mush the bag to distribute marinade and place in a glass baking dish. Be sure to mush the bag ever hour or so.

Preheat an outdoor grill. Remove the breasts from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side or until fully cooked. Assemble sandwiches as desired ( you’re going to lose some while eating – there are lots of slippery toppings in these )