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Naked Chicken Fajitas

Here is a mostly- healthy, quick, simpler weeknight version of fajitas. Heat oven to 400. Take 3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breast and season both sides with taco seasoning (I prefer Wildtree) but any combo of cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper will work also. Place chicken in a oven-safe dish and bake for about 20-25 minutes until fully cooked but not overdone. Meanwhile, slice up one each green, red, and yellow bell pepper, a medium size onion and a container of button mushrooms. Saute them in a large pan with about 2 TBS olive oil and a TBS of butter.


When the chicken breast are nearing the end of their cooking, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle over them a mixture of sharp cheddar and montery jack cheese. Put back in the oven for a few more minutes until the cheese is gooey, melty goodness.


To plate: place a chessy chicken on your plate and cover with the veggies. Garnish with fresh tomato slices and diced jalepeno. A dollop of light sour cream rounds it all out.


I failed and forgot to grab cilantro, but that is what I would use to finish the dish.  Of course a Bud Light Straw-ber-ita wouldn’t hurt either 🙂


REconstructed Chicken Fettucine Alfredo with Roasted Broccoli

Here is my take on this classic dish that I was brought up on. This recipe is dedicated to my mom 🙂

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat oven to 400. Chop a large head of broccoli down to florets. Toss in ev olive oil and s+p. Dump onto a cookie sheet and roast while finishing the rest of the meal. You can shake the pan or use tongs to move the florets around about halfway thru to help them roast evenly. To the boiling water add a pound of fettucine noodles and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, melt 1 stick of butter. Whisk in 1 pint of heavy cream and simmer until the cream has thickened down a bit.  Add 1 1/2 cups of shredded parmesan cheese and s+p to the cream. and stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated into the sauce.  Slice up 2-3 grilled chicken breasts and add them to the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta and serve with the roasted broccoli on the side.


Wild Mushroom and Shrimp Risotto with Beet and Goat Cheese Salad


001 006RISOTTO>>

Peel and devein 1 lb large shrimp. Season with s+p.  Set aside for now. Heat 8 cups of chicken stock in large saucepan. In large deep skillet, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat, add 2 garlic cloves and 1 diced onion and saute til soft about 4 minutes. Add 1 pound sliced wild mushrooms. I used half baby bellas and half shitakes. All stems removed.  Cook about 10 minutes, all the moisture from the shrooms should have evaporated. Add 2 cups Arborio rice and season with s+p. Stir about 2 minutes. Add in 1/2 cup Pinot Grigio or other dry white wine. Stir and let the alcohol cook out about  a minute. Now comes the tedious part. Make sure you have your glass of wine nearby! Pour in 1 cup of the heated stock  and stir with a wooden spoon constantly until the rice has soaked up all the broth. Continue this, one cup of stock at a time, until the rice is done and there is a creamy consistency to it. Just be sure that all the broth has absorbed before adding more. Taste test after 5 or 6 cups for doneness of the rice.  Multitasking- in a separate pan, cook the shrimp in a little olive oil. When done, add  a cup of shredded parmesan cheese and 2 TBS of butter and gently stir. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve the shrimp over the risotto.


If you find that you have leftover risotto, it doesn’t reheat well. The best solution to this problem is risotto cakes.  Once the rice has cooled or has been in the fridge for a day or two, scoop some in your hand and form a patty. I stuffed a bit of goat cheese in the middle also. Put some Panko crumbs in a dish and coat the outside of the cakes in it. Sear in a pan with a little butter and olive oil until the cakes are golden brown and crusty on the outside. What you will have is a creamy delicious inside and a crispy crunchy outside. The perfect side dish or lunch.


Trim the tops of a bunch of beets (about 3 beets) and place them in a pot, cover in water. Boil until the beets are fork tender about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool. The skin will peel right off by hand. Slice into bite size wedges. Add the beets to a mixture of 2 TBS red wine vinegar and 1/3 cup ev olive oil. Season with s+p.  The beets should marinade for atleast a half hour. Get salad bowl. Place a few handfuls of arugula in bowl, add beets and marinade, toss. Sprinkle with a handful of chopped walnuts and about 2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese. Devour.

Grilled Chicken and Spinach salad with Hot Bacon Vinaigrette

This. This salad I looooooove. This is a meal on its own. Omit the chicken for this to be a side dish or first course.

This recipe fed me as a dinner entree.

Hard boil 2 eggs. Easy- cover 2 eggs with water in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Once water is at rolling boil, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Carefully drain and set in cold water for 5 minutes before peeling. Slice into 4 pieces. Season a boneless skinless chicken breast with s+p and drizzle with olive oil. Heat grill (stovetop grill works too!) and grill breast til fully cooked. Meanwhile, chop 2 strips of bacon into bite sized pieces. Fry in saute pan until crispy. Use slotted spoon to remove bits and drain on paper towel. To bacon grease, add 2 TBS red wine vinegar, 1/2 TSP dijon mustard, 1/2 TSP honey, s+p and stir until all is heated thru. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes for heat if you like. Let sit on low heat until salad is ready.  Place a couple handfuls of fresh spinach on plate. Add sliced button mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, and sliced hard boiled eggs. Slice up the chicken breast and add to salad. Add a TBS or so of diced onion to the dressing in the pan. Saute for about 30 seconds. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad. Lastly, sprinkle the bacon bits over everything. EAT!!


Green Beans with Warm Lime Vinaigrette

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Super easy, super cheap, super tasty side dish!

This recipe feeds 2, double as necessary.

Trim and rinse fresh green beans, (I used about 2 handfuls from the grocery). In small bowl, mix together 1 clove diced garlic, 1 tsp dijon mustard, juice of half a lime, small pinches of S+P, and about 1 1/2 TBS olive oil.  Add the vinaigrette and the beans to a saute pan and cook over med-high heat for about 8 minutes, depending on how ‘done’ you like your beans. Less cook time=crunchier beans.  Stir occasionally. Serve the beans with the remaining sauce drizzled over them. Perfect side for any meal, we had them with mediteranean crusted salmon thanks to the seafood counter at Hy-Vee.

Thirsty Thursday Stuffed Poblanos and Zesty Slaw


I slacked a bit on getting this out but it is worth the wait! 🙂  This was Thursday 1/17/13 dinner with the Rocker Momma Deanne.

Get a big pot of water boiling. Cut the tops off of 4 big poblano peppers, and add them to the water and boil for 15 minutes or so. You can tell that they are overboiled if they start to split. If  they split, no biggie. Still workable. (Mine split…ooops, margarita kept me busy lol) Meanwhile, peel, devein and butterfly a half pound of shrimp, I use 31/40’s. That means there is approx 31/40 per pound. Season them with S+P, and saute in pan with a little olive oil, about 4 minutes. Set aside. In bowl, mix a bag of instant spanish rice (the kind that is pre-cooked and just needs to be microwaved) with a cup or so of shredded cheese. I used a mixture of  Monterey Jack and sharp Cheddar. When the peppers are done, carefully drain and lay out in casserole dish or pan. Add the shrimp to the rice and cheese mixture and toss. Stuff the peppers best you can with the mixture. If they have split, just lay them open, stuff, and try and close up the sides. Top with more shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until heated thru and cheese is melty.  Top with your faves. We had cilantro, sour cream, jalepeno,  tomatoes, lime juice, and avocado slices, and a side of refried beans. Mmmmmmm.

I also threw together this simple slaw:

In a bowl mix together 1+ tsp Sriracha, 3 TBS mayo,  juice of 1 lime, a pinch of sugar, and a handful of chopped cilantro. Add that mixture to a bag of coleslaw, some thinly sliced red onion, and a sliced fresh mango.  Season with S+P to taste. Add more hot sauce to taste. Sliced radishes would also be really great in this….yummy idea!!!


Monterey-ish Chicken

This was a delightful dish! These chicken breasts could be a meal on their own, I served them with fresh steamed cauliflower, but a baked potato would be a great addition to the plate as well.  This recipe feeds two. Very easy to double for bigger family!

Marinate 2 chicken breasts in a plastic zipper bag with 1 cup or so of your favorite teriyaki marinade, in the fridge for atleast an hour. When marinating time is about over, heat oven to 400. Place the chicken in a baking dish and bake 20-30 minutes until cooked through. Meanwhile, crisp up 4 slices of bacon in a large saute pan. Drain bacon. To bacon grease, add half a sliced green pepper, one medium sliced onion, and 5 sliced button mushrooms. Saute over medium-hi heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add a quick pour of marinade (not the used stuff) into the pan and cook the veggies in it for a minute. When the chicken is done, take dish out of oven, place 2 strips of bacon on each chicken breast,  top with veggies, shredded cheese (I used cheddar), and bake another 5 or 10 minutes until cheese is melty gooey goodness.


*I used Lawry’s Teriyaki with pineapple juice 30 minute marinade. A spicy teriyaki would be a good substitute for those who like it hot 😉

Pre-Blizzard Grill Out

I dusted off my Weber tonight for the first time since September. Grilling is my absolute favorite way to cook.  Tonight, we kept it super simple with burgers and a potato packet. Here’s what I did-

Get that grill fired up and while you are waiting for it those coals to turn gray…

Grab a pound or so of ground chuck. Chuck is fattier than ground beef, which helps the burgers stay moist and juicy on the grill. Take enough chuck in your hand to make a patty the size that you like. Form into a plump patty without over-forming. The more you play with the patty, the tougher it will end up. Once all the patties are formed, take a mixture of spices (I like an even mix of  Lawrys season salt and a steak rub) and sprinkle evenly on both sides of the patty. Seasoning the outsides of the patties rather than mixing it in, creates a nice crust. I prefer this method for this burger.029027

As for the potatoes- I love this way of cooking lots of foods. It is very versatile in that I usually have most of the needed items on hand. And this is how my dad grilled potatoes. Classic Pete,  🙂  Slice whatever potatoes are on hand  (as many as you need, tho usually only 3 or 4 large  fit in the packet) in 1/4 inch slices.  Add in a thinly sliced onion, 2 diced garlic cloves, a couple TBS extra virgin olive oil, fgbp and salt. You can also add in sliced hot peppers, mushrooms or whatever other veggies you like. Toss all the ingredients together and lay in a long piece of tin foil. Fold up the edges to create a closed packet. The packet should go on the grill first, as the potatoes will take longer than the burgers. About 10/15 minutes in, add the burgers to the grill and cook to your liking. You can peek on the potatoes to check  on them. When they are fork tender you know they are done. And remember, grills are not just for summer 🙂


*For the Wisconsinites out there, Copps ground chuck rules for burgers.

Holiday Drink- Pumpkin Pie Martini


Due to the upcoming holiday, I thought I would share my favorite cocktail. This ones gets me through Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Put a handful of ice cubes into a martini glass, and into the freezer to chill while preparing the mixture. Fill a martini shaker with ice, add 1 part vanilla vodka, and 2 parts pumpkin pie liqueur, dump the ice out of the chilled glass, and gently fill with yummy deliciousness. Double or triple the recipe if you feel like sharing 🙂

*I use Fultons Harvest Pumpkin Pie liqueur, found at Woodmans.

Monday Meatloaf Cups and Roasted Veg

turkey meatloaf

This recipe I absolutely love. It makes enough to have leftovers for lunch for the next few days. Grab one of these mini meatloaves and throw together a small easy salad and there ya go!

In a large bowl, mix together with hands: 1 lb of ground turkey, 1 cup of each tiny diced zucchini and red bell pepper, 1/2 cup tiny diced onion, 2 diced garlic cloves, 1 egg, 2 TBS worcestershire, 1 TBS dijon mustard, 1/2 uncooked couscous, and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.  Grease a muffin pan, and fill each spot with the mixture. There should be just enough for 12. Top each with 1 tsp of your favorite BBQ sauce or ketchup. Bake at 400 for about 25 minutes.

Tonight we roasted brussel sprouts (12) and carrots large(2), because that is what we had in the fridge.  Feel free to substitute with whatever you have handy. The roasting method is the same for any veg.   Trim the stump of the sprouts and cut in half. Peel and trim carrots, slice in half the long way, then in half the other way. T0ss all veg in about 2 TBS evolive oil, salt and fgbp on a baking sheet. Put in oven and cook along with the loaves. Toss and turn them about halfway thru. These should finish about the same time as the meatloaf cups.

PS. The leaves that have fallen off the sprouts during roasting get crunchy and soooo yummy. EAT THEM. Roasting also brings out the natural sweetness in the carrots, making them also very yummy.  Aaaaaaand, once the cupcake pan is empty, you won’t feel guilty scraping out the leftover bits, because all the ingredients are way healthy!


*Loaves lightly inspired by