Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Chicken Taco Sliders



Chicken Taco Sliders
 This recipe began like so many others, my local grocery store was having a sale on rotisserie chicken. I purchased one without really having any idea what I was going to do with it.

So, when it came time for dinner, I dug through the pantry. I found a can of Ro-tel. To be honest, I always have about 5 cans of Ro-tel, the stuff is magic. I also found a package of taco seasoning. So, I thought about making chicken tacos. However, I had no shells. I did have bread. Lots and lots of bread. Which is strange, because I don’t really like bread that much. When I’m eating a sandwich, I make it about half way through before I discard the bread and just eat the stuffing. The Hawaiian King rolls were purchased for something else, but we’re talking desperation.

This was a minor miracle. Delicious! Inexpensive. Easy. Tasted just as great leftover. (Typing about this reminds me that there are 2 sliders left in the fridge. See you later!)


Servings: 12 sliders
Time:  Active time 10 minutes; Cook: 25 Minutes, Sandwiches in 40 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and large, serrated knife, measuring cups, a can opener, a silicone spatula, a mixing bowl, a microwave safe bowl, a pastry brush, an 8x11.5 glass baking dish, foil

Ingredients

  • 1-12 pack of King’s Hawaiian Rolls
  • 1-pound cooked, shredded chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix (or 3 tablespoons of your own)
  • 1-10 ounce can Original Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • 1 + ½ cups shredded cheese (1 used Cheddar and Monterey Jack)
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • Optional-1 teaspoon cilantro, ½ teaspoon dried, minced onion


  1. Open the Ro-tel and drain. Melt the butter. Pre-heat the oven to 350˚.
  2. Mix the mayo, taco seasoning, drained tomatoes and ½ cup of the cheese until thoroughly combined. Mix in the shredded chicken.
  3. With a large, serrated knife cut the rolls in half horizontally. Don’t separate the rolls. You want one large top and one large bottom.(A)
  4. Lay a large piece of foil in the bottom of the baking dish. Place the bottom of the bread on the foil (B.) Spread the chicken mixture evenly over the bread. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the chicken, again making sure that it is spread evenly (C.) Then top with the other ‘half’ of the bread. Pour the butter evenly over the whole thing. Use the pastry brush to make sure everything is covered in butter(D.) Seal the whole sandwich up in the foil, you may need another sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
  5. If you are using them, open the foil and sprinkle the cilantro and minced onion over the sandwich.
  6. Allow the sliders to rest for 2-3 minutes and then slice into 12 sliders.
  7. Serve warm.

A

B

C


D




Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Garlic-Cilantro, Lime, Shrimp Quesadillas


My husband and I recently visited St. Augustine, Florida for a short vacation. We only live about 1 ½ hours from there, so we visit often. However, we decided on this trip to visit places we have never been before. We wanted to look at this familiar place as an adventure.

Garlic-Cilantro, Lime, Shrimp Quesadilla
I found The Back 40 Urban Café on a restaurant finder app. I am so glad that we did. The food was delicious Florribean cuisine. We were served huge portions of reasonably priced dishes by very friendly staff. If you are in St. Augustine, I suggest you stop by.

My Garlic-Cilantro, Lime, Shrimp Quesadilla is inspired by the lunch that I ate there. We loved this. My husband asked me to add this to our usual rotation.








Serves: 6 quesadillas (6-8 people probably)
Time:  Active time 15 minutes; Cook: 7 Minutes, quesadillas in 25 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a strainer, a can opener, a heavy skillet that will work on top of the stove and in the oven (I use cast iron), paper towels, spatula, tongs, oven mitts, cutting board, pizza cutter (optional)

Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1-pound large shrimp (21-25 count) You can buy them cleaned without tails
  • Salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • 1 roasted red pepper 
  • 1-11 ounce can Mexican style corn (I used Green Giant Mexicorn)
  • 1-7.5 ounce can black beans
  • Butter (you’ll need at least ½ stick)
  • 6-8-inch flour tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded cheese (I used equal parts cheddar and Monterey jack)
  • Sour cream, slices of avocado

1.      Cut the garlic cloves into very thin slices. Cut the red pepper into bite sized pieces. Mince the cilantro. Open the corn and beans and rinse in the strainer, leaving them in the strainer while you prepare the rest of the dish. Slice the lime. Set everything aside.
2.      Rinse and pat the shrimp dry. Cut them into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt.
3.      Heat the oil in the pan on medium-high. When it is hot, add the shrimp and garlic. Monitor closely, flipping the shrimp when needed. You should probably only cook the shrimp for 2 minutes per side.
4.      Remove the pan from the heat. Toss in the cilantro and squeeze the lime into the pan.
5.      Pour the shrimp and all the pan juices into the strainer with the beans and corn.
6.      Clean the pan. For each quesadilla, melt 2 teaspoons of butter over medium-high. When the butter is melted add a tortilla. Allow the tortilla to toast a little, maybe a minute or two.
7.      Turn on the broiler.
8.      Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese over the whole tortilla (A.) Place fillings-shrimp, beans, corn, pieces of pepper-on half the tortilla (B.) Sprinkle on another ¼ cup cheese. Place the pan into the oven. Watch it closely. The cheese should be bubbly in a minute or so (C.) Fold the side with just the cheese over the fillings and mash down a little using the spatula (D.) Use the tongs to try pushing the filling back into the shell while mashing.
9.      Wipe out the pan between quesadillas
10.  Use the pizza slicer to cut the quesadilla in half. Serve warm with sour cream and some avocado.

A
B
C
D



Friday, June 8, 2018

Rosemary Potatoes and Blue Cheese Gratin


Rosemary Potatoes and Blue Cheese Gratin

Most of us are probably familiar with Potatoes au Gratin. Layers of potatoes, cheese, and cream are baked until the potatoes are soft and a crunchy crust has formed on top. This dish adds a few twists to that well-known recipe. The addition of rosemary and blue cheese makes this comfort food with a kick.

I love blue cheese. Love. I know that some people find it too tangy, too funky, too much. If you are one of those people use Danish blue or Gorgonzola, both of which are milder than most blues. Mixing the blue in cream and with potatoes also lessens the sting.

Rosemary Potatoes and Blue Cheese Gratin makes an impressive side dish. The hands-on time is minimal and the potatoes can be put in the oven while you go about other tasks. I served these with pan seared pork chops and a simple salad.




Servings: 6-8
Active time: 15 minutes; Cook: 1 hour, 5 minutes; Potatoes in about 1 ½ hours
Hardware: Cutting board and large knife, measuring cups and spoons, a small sauce pot, a whisk, a small bowl, a rubber spatula, a fork, an 8X8 glass baking dish, foil

Ingredients:

  • 1-pound golden baby potatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion (8 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 2 ½ ounces blue cheese
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup cream
  • ½ cup chicken broth (maybe more)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons very cold water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, fresh parsley, or one thinly sliced green portion of a green onion (optional)
  • Pepper and salt
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Cooking spray

  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚.
  2. Dice the onions. Wash and slice the potatoes. I used baby potatoes because they don’t need to be peeled and they cook faster. Mash the blue cheese to little pieces.
  3. Spray the dish with cooking spray. Toss the sliced potatoes with the onions, rosemary and blue cheese in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with the salt and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter over medium low heat in the sauce pot. Slowly stir in the cream and chicken broth. Raise the heat to simmer.
  5. Mix the cornstarch and very cold water together in the small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Whisk the cornstarch-y water into the simmering cream. Lumps may form. That is okay. Just whisk as many of them out as possible. Taste and adjust the salt.
  6. Pour the hot cream over the potatoes. If the potatoes are not covered by the liquid, add more (milk, broth or water.) Sprinkle a generous amount of pepper over the dish. If you are using greenery (chives, parsley, a green onion) sprinkle it on now. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 55 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes are tender. If not cover them and cook until they are.
  7. Remove the foil and cover the top with bread crumbs. Turn up the broiler until the crumbs are browned. BE CAREFUL. The crumbs will burn very quickly. I don’t brown it for more than 2 minutes. If you don't trust yourself, bake the potatoes at 450˚ until the top is browned.
  8. Allow the potatoes to rest for 5 minutes. Serve warm.