Welcome to Sarah's Adventures in Culinary Experimentation

This blog is for posting recipes I've experimented with while teaching myself to cook. Some I have taken from my favorite recipe books, others are purely my own experimentations. My audience is usually just my husband, my toddler daughter, and I and we are living on a tight budget. Sometimes you might find a splurge.

Hopefully you'll find something here that you like!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hearty Veggie, Bacon, Mac n' Cheese Bake

Hearty Veggie, Bacon, Mac n' Cheese Bake
Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb large elbow macaroni
  • 1 can Progresso Recipe Starters Cooking Sauce Creamy Three Cheese
  • 7.5 oz Sargento 4 State Cheddar Blend
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 lb bacon
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cheddar mozzarella & cheddar cheese sticks
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 cup of  Panko Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs (with 2 TBSP butter)

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the macaroni. Cook until al dente. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven and cook the bacon until crispy and brown. Drain, pat off, and set aside to chop up into medium chunks.
  3. In a sauce pan, add the butter, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Saute on Medium to Medium High until onions are translucent.
  4. Add in the Progresso Cheese Sauce Starter, the Turmeric Powder, and the Paprika. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Once it is simmering, add in the frozen vegetables, cheese blend, Parmesan cheese, and the two cheese sticks. Cook until the cheese is melted and combined. About 5 minutes.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, get a 13x16 baking dish and butter bottom and sides of the dish. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs so that they cover all sides of the pan.
  7. In the pot that the pasta was cooked in, return the pasta to the pot and pour in the cheese sauce. Stir and combine.
  8. Pour in 3/4s of the bacon and mix through. Then add the mixture to the baking dish. 
  9. Sprinkle the remaining bacon on top.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Funfetti Cookies

Funfetti Cookies
About 20 cookies

This recipe was bopping around on Pinterest and I snagged up the repin. I made these as an incentive treat for Friday Freewrite Nummy Snack for my students. The cookies were easy and I could make a bunch quickly. When I made them, I tripled the recipe so that I would have enough cookies for everyone, plus co-workers, and my daughter and husband. They went over really well.

  • 1 box of Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with Non-Stick Spray.
  4. Roll into about 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet. About 10-12 per baking sheet.
  5. Bake for amount 8 minutes or until starting to brown around the edges. 
  6. Place on a cooling rack. Store in a sealed container or Ziploc bag.

Note: By my last batch of cookies, they were baking faster, so just keep an eye on them.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Tomato, Basil, & Mozzarella Pasta

Easy Tomato, Basil, & Mozzarella Pasta
Serves 4

  • 1lb Rigatoni 
  • 1 packed pearl mozzarella balls
  • 2 packages cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Bring a pot of water with salt to a boil. Cook the Rigatoni to preferred texture, drain, rinse, and refrigerate.
  2. Halve the cherry tomatoes, chop the fresh basil and combine in a large bowl with the mozzarella.
  3. In the large bowl, add the Olive Oil, salt, and pepper and stir with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. Finally, add the pasta and thoroughly mix all the ingredients. Shake if you have a top to the bowl.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spicy Sausage, Cheese Tortellini, and Vegetable Soup

Spicy Sausage, Cheese Tortellini, and Vegetable Soup
Serving: 8-10

  • 2 cans Del Monte Diced Tomatoes (Basil, Garlic & Oregano)
  • 26 oz Swanson's Cooking Stock - Beef
  • 1 lb spicy hot or medium Italian Sausage (de-case the sausages if ground is not available)
  • 18 oz Progresso Recipe Starter - Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP Minced Garlic
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and cut 2-3mm wide)
  • 2 medium zucchini (middle cut out, peeled, and cut into 2-3in fourths)
  • 1 cup quartered baby button mushrooms
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 9 oz Bella Luna "fresh" cheese tortellini (for frozen, put them in with the zuchinni and reduce the water by 1/2 a cup)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt, pepper

  1. Brown the sausage in a large pot. Drain off the grease and set the meat aside (on a paper towel to catch the excess grease).
  2. Sweat the onions, carrots, and garlic. The onions should be slightly translucent, but still have crunch.
  3. Add the sausage back into the pot. Then add in the beef stock, diced tomatoes, water, tomato sauce,  Progresso's Fire Roasted Tomatoes, bay leaf, and 1 TBSP pepper and 1 TBSP salt. 
  4. Cover and turn on high to bring to a boil. Let boil for 15 minutes.
  5. Turn the stove to medium or medium-low until you get a low simmer. Add in the baby button mushrooms and zucchini.
  6. Let cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the zucchini is starting to become soft.
  7. Add in the tortellini and continue cooking at medium of a low boil until the tortellini are cooked to your preferred level of doneness. 
  8. Add in the Parmesan cheese. Let simmer for 5 more minutes.
  9. Serve with garlic bread on the side. Additional Parmesan also adds a nice touch.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Old-Fashioned Cherry Clafoutis

Old-Fashioned Cherry Clafoutis
Serves: 6-8

I found this recipe in my Food Network magazine for July/August 2012. It was my first clafoutis and was absolutely delicious! I would definitely make this again! I had to make some changes to the original recipe (I didn't have lemon or orange zest). It was still super nummy!


  •     2 1/2 cups pitted cherries (1 to 1 1/2 pounds whole cherries)
  •     4 tablespoons whiskey
  •     1 tablespoon Angostura bitters
  •     Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  •     1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  •     4 large eggs
  •     1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  •     1/2 cup granulated sugar
  •     2 tablespoons lemon juice
  •     2 tablespoons orange juice
  •     1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •     1 tablespoon coarse sugar

What was left before I could get a camera!
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Toss the cherries, whiskey and bitters in a bowl and let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the cherries and reserve the liquid.
  4. Butter a 10-inch pie plate and arrange the cherries in the plate in a single layer.
  5. Whisk the half-and-half, reserved cherry liquid, eggs, flour, sugar, lemon juice, orange juice and salt in a large bowl.
  6. Pour over the cherries and bake until the edges start pulling away from the sides of the pan and the top is lightly golden, about 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the coarse sugar.
  8. Switch the oven to the broiler setting and broil the clafoutis until golden brown and bubbling, 1 to 3 minutes.
  9. Let cool at least 10 minutes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quick Ladybug Lunch Pizzas

Quick Ladybug Lunch Pizzas
Serves 6

These pizzas were inspired by Rachael Ray's kid-friendly ladybug pizzas, but I made them for the whole family using a whole wheat thin crust pizza. My 2-year-old daughter LOVED them! She felt like such a big girl!

  • 1 package (3 crusts) Golden Homes Whole Grain Ultra Thin Pizza Crust
  • 2 large Vine Ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 package Sargento Reduced-Fat Provolone Slices
  • 1 package Sargento Fat-Free Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 small cans chopped black olives
  • 2-3 TBSP Contadina pizza squeeze sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400. 
  2. On the crust, put a thin layer of sauce. 
  3. Put 3 pieces of provolone on each pizza. Then sprinkle the sauced areas with the mozzarella, distributing evenly.
  4. Thinly slice the tomatoes and layer them on the pizzas. Also spread out the chopped black olives across the pizzas.
  5. Cook for 5-8 minutes, longer if you need the top cooked (move closer to the top of the oven). 
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zucchini Mini Margharita Pizzas

Zucchini Mini Margharita Pizzas
I had to use tiny zucchini based on availability at my grocery store, but it still works out just fine. You just get small pizzas.

  •     2 small zucchini
  •     1 medium tomato diced tiny
  •     1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •     1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  •     1 1/2 TBSP minced garlic
  •     Tomato pizza sauce

  1.     Slice the zucchini into 1/4 in pieces.
  2.     Grill or broil the zucchini on a rack for 15 minutes on Hi (if broiling).
  3.     Preheat oven to 400F.
  4.     Dice the tomato.
  5.     When the zucchini is finished cooking, transfer to a cookie sheet or baking tray.Make sure there is space between the zucchini slices.
  6.     I recommend using a tomato sauce in a squirt bottle and put one drop on each zucchini.
  7.     Follow up with a little bit of garlic on each.
  8.     Then take the mozzarella and sprinkle a bit on each, pushing down to spread the garlic and sauce.
  9.     Now put a pinch of grated Parmesan on each.
  10.     Top off each of the zucchini pieces with a tiny piece of tomato.
  11.     Put in the oven until the cheese is melted. About 10-15 minutes.
  12.     Season with salt and pepper as desired and serve.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Raisin French Toast Pudding

Raisin French Toast Pudding
Serves: 6+
I thought about bread pudding, but wanted to make french toast. I combined the two to make Raisin French Toast Pudding.

  • 1 loaf of raisin bread ripped into chunks
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • 3 TBSP cinnamon
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 3 TBSP vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. In an 11x13 pan, either spray with a non-stick spray or use butter, then dust the butter with sugar to stop the bread from sticking. 
  3. Take the chunks of bread and spread it out in the pan.
  4. In a bowl, mix the eggs, half and half, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  5. Dump the mixture into the 11x13 pan with the bread and sprinkles the raisins into the mixture.
  6. Mix so that all bread is covered with the liquid. Push bread down to soak up the mixture while stirring.
  7. Cover with a loose dusting of cinnamon sugar if available.
  8. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the eggs are cooked through.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet

Beefy Tomato Rice Skillet
From Taste of Home: Simple & Delicious December 2008. If a skillet is too small (and it might be) cook in a pot. That will give the rice enough room to expand.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large chopped yellow onion
  • 1 large green pepper chopped
  • 1 can (11oz) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans (10 3/4oz) condense tomato soup
  • 2 cups water or chicken/beef broth
  • 2 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (long grain or brown)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (for garnish)
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. In a large skillet or frying pan cook the meat, seasoning it with salt and pepper.
  2. When brown, drain the meat and set aside.
  3. Add the celery, onion and bell peppers to the skillet and sweat down.
  4. When the vegetables are slightly soft, add the meat back into the skillet, and also add the tomato soup and water (or broth). Bring to a boil. 
  5. Add uncooked rice, cover and cook on Medium for 20 minutes.
  6. At 10 minutes, add the corn and Italian seasoning, recover and cook for the last 10 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese on the dish at the end.
  8. Serve with steamed broccoli on the side.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sweetened Condensed Milk Toast

Sweetened Condensed Milk Toast
Serves 4-5

  • 1/2 loaf Italian bread 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet and put them under the broiler until toasted.
  2. When one side is toasted, pull out and immediately butter each slice.
  3. Turn the slices over and put them back under the broiler. When done, butter those sides.
  4. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon on each piece of buttered toast.
  5. Then spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk onto each slice. Put back under the broiler for 1 minute. Check to make sure its not burning.
  6. Take out and serve!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spicy Ham, Egg, Cheese, and Spinach Sandwiches

Spicy Ham, Egg, Cheese, and Spinach Sandwiches
 Inspired by a recipe from Food Network.

  • 4 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 4 English muffins, split
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Ham Steak or 1/4 pound of Canadian Bacon
  • 8 cups baby spinach (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon Siracha Chile Sauce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Put the oven on Lo-Broil.
  2. Place the tomatoes skin-side down on a baking tray. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the tomatoes.
  3. Take the ham and put 4 pieces on the pan with the tomatoes. Place in the oven until cheese is melted and ham is to your preferred texture.
  4. Toast the English Muffins in the toaster (or your preferred toasting method).
  5. In a large pan over medium-high heat, put the 8 cups of baby spinach and 1 teaspoon of Siracha Chile Sauce. Cook down until wilted.
  6. When the Spinach is done, wipe out the pan with a damp paper towel and return to the heat.
  7. Heat one tablespoon of butter and put in two eggs. Cook evenly on both sides, allow for the middle to stay gooey. 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how cooked you want the middle.
  8. When the muffins have been toasted, take out and put a little bit of butter on the muffin, then sprinkle cheddar cheese on the bottom.
  9. Check the tomatoes and ham.
  10. When the ham is finished, put a slice on the muffin. Then put the egg on the muffin. Then put some of the spinach mixture on top. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Repeat for each sandwich that is made.
  12. Put the tomatoes on the side and serve.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pork Schnitzel and Creamy Corn

Pork Schnitzel and Creamy Corn
Inspired by Rachael Ray's recipe.

  • 3 cups Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 - 2 pound pork tenderloin cut crosswise into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cans corn
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half

  1. In a shallow bowl, season the flour with salt and pepper.
  2. In a another bowl, whisk the eggs.
  3. In yet another bowl, pour the bread crumbs. Line up flour, egg, and bread crumb, in that order.
  4. Working with 1 piece at a time, place the pork between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound into 1/4-inch thick cutlets.
  5. Dredge each cutlet in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
  6. Dip in the egg, then coat with the breadcrumbs. Place on a wire rack.
  7. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the corn and 1/4 cup water, cover and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. 
  9. Stir in the half-and-half and cook for 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
  10. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until hot.
  11. Add the two breaded cutlets at a time and cook, turning once, until golden, about 3 minutes per side.
  12. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with a little salt.
  13. Serve with the corn.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Bake

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Bake
Inspired by Kraft Food & Family Spring '09. This is a really great recipe and there was pretty much nothing leftover for the next day. It was delicious!

  • 2 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen broccoli florets, thawed, drained
  • 1 can (10-3/4 oz.) reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) VELVEETA®, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Prepare stuffing as directed on package. We used the microwave directions, which made it quicker, since you bake it to be crispy.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients.
  4. Spoon into 13x9-inch baking dish. Top with stuffing.
  5. Bake 40 min. or until chicken is done and top is crispy.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Meatloaves with Curry Broccoli and Potatoes

Sweet and Spicy Meatloaves with Spicy Broccoli and Potatoes
Inspired by Food Network's Sweet and Spicy Meatloaves.

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 medium carrot, quartered
  • 1/2 pound 93 percent lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound 90 percent lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • salt and pepper3
  • 3 tablespoon ketchup
  • 4 tablespoon apricot jam
  • 2 medium red-skinned potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 head broccoli (florets cut into pieces, stem peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (for broccoli and potatoes)
  • 1 table spoon curry powder (broccoli and potatoes)

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Add the onion and carrot to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Transfer to the bowl with the breadcrumbs and add the turkey, beef, egg and 2 tablespoons curry powder, salt and pepper. 
  4. Mix by hand until just combined. Shape into 4 small oblong meatloaves on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. 
  5. Mix the ketchup and jam in a small bowl and brush over the meatloaves. 
  6. Bake until just cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. 
  8. Add the potatoes and cook 4 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and stem; cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 6 more minutes. Drain; return to the pot. 
  9. Toss with the butter and the remaining curry powder. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the meatloaves. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Indian Chicken Wraps

Indian Chicken Wraps
Inspired by the Food Network recipe "Indian Chicken Wraps."

  • 1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 2 Serrano chile pepper, halved, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skin removed
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 pieces naan bread, warmed


  1. The night before, pick apart the rotisserie chicken and seal in 1 cup of chicken stock with 2 tablespoons curry powder.
  2. The next day, combine the ginger, chile, onion, cumin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mini food processor and pulse to make a thick paste.
  3. Mix the yogurt, lime juice, cilantro and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  5. Add the ginger-chile paste and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. 
  6. Stir in the chicken, carrots, 2 tablespoons curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 cups chicken stock and continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is heated through, about 2 more minutes. Season with salt.
  7. Heat the naan bread according to the directions.
  8. Spoon the chicken filling down the middle of each piece of bread. Drizzle with some of the yogurt sauce and roll up.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pulled BBQ Beef Sandwich

Pulled BBQ Beef Sandwich
Inspired by Rachael Ray's Pulled BBQ Beef Sandwich.

  • 2 large onion, sliced thin
  •  3 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into two large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1 pound container  prepared coleslaw (we used Sendiks')
  • 6 hamburger buns or favorite roles

  1. In a large slow cooker, combine the onion, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, cider vinegar, and paprika. Whisk together.
  2. Add the chuck roast and coat with the sauce. Cover and cook on low heat until tender, 7 to 8 hours. Start the night before and let cook for longer.
  3. Using tongs, remove the beef from the sauce; shred. 
  4. Skim off and discard the fat from the sauce, stir in the shredded beef and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. Sandwich the meat, topped with some coleslaw, on the buns.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Moo Shu Pork

Moo Shu Pork
Inspired by Rachael Ray's Moo Shu Pork Kebabs.

  • 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 12 ounces boneless pork chops, cut into thin strips
  • 16 white mushrooms (cut into small chunks)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3-5 cups shredded coleslaw mix
  • flour tortillas or rice pancakes (layered in 3s)

  1. Heat on Hi a pot on the stove.
  2. In a bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar. Pour half of the mixture into a second bowl and stir in the cornstarch.
  3. Toss the pork strips in the cornstarch and liquid mixture. Put into the hot pan to cook through.
  4. When cooked through, throw in the mushrooms, shredded coleslaw mix, and the last of the liquid mixture.
  5. Soften the coleslaw to taste.
  6. Serve with tortillas or make the rice pancakes per directions and layer three on top, wrapping the mixture in the pancakes.

Note: Add more or less coleslaw per the ratio of your meat. Fried rice is a good side dish.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Turkey Bacon and Cheese Crescents

Turkey Bacon and Cheese Crescents

  • 1 package of Crescent Rolls
  • 9 slices of Jennie-O Turkey Bacon
  • 2 Cups Reduced-Fat Sargento Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Oregano
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Unroll the crescent rolls and peal apart the first triangle.
  3. Lay one slice of turkey bacon on the triangle.
  4. Then sprinkle a good helping of cheese from the larger part to the smaller part. 
  5. Sprinkle a little Oregano in the middle, if you want a little seasoning.
  6. Roll the crescent from the larger to the smaller.
  7. Repeat for the rest of the rolls. Once slice of turkey bacon per crescent. 
  8. Sprinkle a little Montreal Steak Seasoning on top before baking.
  9. Cook until golden brown.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Refreshing Shrimp Salad

Refreshing Shrimp Salad
Serves 2-4 (depending on how you serve it)

This recipe was inspired by one I saw for a Shrimp Salad from Ina Garten. Her recipe is for an enormous amount of shrimp, so I tried to make adjustments. It was great on a roll  for lunch and could easily make 3-4 sandwiches. As a salad topping or alone, I'd say it would feed closer to two people. Depends on how you want to use it. It turned out to be incredibly refreshing and would do 

Boiled Shrimp
  • 2 cups water
  • 1.5 cups white wine vinegar
  • 4 TBSP Old Bay with Lemon and Herb Seasoning
  • 1/2 - 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon juiced)
  • 1 lbs uncooked medium-large shrimp in shell

  • 1/3 cup red onion minced
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill minced
  • 2 TBSP pepper
  • 1 TBSP horseradish
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBSP ground stone mustard
  • 1 TBSP white wine vinegar

  1. In a large pot, bring the water, white vinegar, lemon juice, and Old Bay Seasoning to boil. Add in shrimp. Cook them for 3-5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from pot and put aside to cool.
  2. Combine the Dressing ingredients and stir.
  3. In a separate bowl, put the peeled shrimp after cutting them in halves or thirds depending on size.
  4. When shrimp are cooled and ready in the separate bowl, spoon your preferred amount of dressing over the shrimp. Mix one spoonful in before adding another to make sure the shrimp are thoroughly coated. 
  5. Refrigerate, covered or in a tupperware container, for 30 minutes or more.
  6. Serve over lettuce, as a sandwich or by itself.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Onion and Cider Pulled Pork

Slow-Cooker Apples, Onions, and Pork

This dish was inspired by a what I saw Zane Homlquist cook on the Today Show the morning of January 11, 2012.

  • 2 large granny smith apples
  • 2 large yellow onions
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP coriander
  • 2 TBSP paprika
  • 2 TBSP salt
  • 2 TBSP pepper
  • 4 TBSP Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1.75L (59 FL OZ) bottle Apple Cider (Simply Apple Pure Pressed)
  •  Pork shoulder
  • 2-3lbs pork shoulder
  • 3TBSP Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 Bay Leaves

  1. Season the pork shoulder with half of the Montreal Steak Seasoning. Heat up a hot pan and sear off the meat.
  2. While the meat is searing, slip and quarter the onions and put them in the slow-cooker. Check your meat and make sure you're searing the other sides.
  3. Wash and core the apples. Cut into 16ths. Put them in the slow-cooker. Check your meat to make sure you're searing all the sides.
  4. Add the minced garlic, coriander, paprika, bay leaves, salt, and pepper to the slow-cooker. Your meat should be fully seared. Add it to the slow-cooker.
  5. Pour in the apple cider until everything is completely covered. Then add the Worcestershire Sauce.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, then turn down to low and cook a minimum of 4 more hours. Best option would be to cook for a full twelve hours to get the most tender pork.
  7. Strain the liquid from the slow-cooker into a large bowl. Take the meat and the onion pieces out of the colander and put it back into the slow-cooker. Make sure all the liquid is drained from the colander and discard the contents.
  8. Take two forks and shred the pork and onions in the slow-cooker. Then add as much liquid back in as to cover the shredded pork. Continue to let warm in the slow-cooker until serving.
  9. The leftover liquid can be made into a Carolina Barbeque style sauce by using the recipe listed below. Add to the sandwich or adjust the re-added liquid to the recipe and make your whole slow-cooker flavored that way. Save any extra in case the liquid in the slow-cooker seems to dry up, you can keep re-adding to keep the pork moist. 
Note: Suggested side dishes are a salad, scalloped potatoes, or wild rice and sauteed snap peas. Any BBQ side-dish works just as well.

Carolina BBQ-Style Sauce

  • 3 cups Cider Vinegar
  • 3 cups the above recipe Seasoned Liquid Leftovers
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 3 TBSP red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP pepper

  1. In a bowl or a contain with a spout, add in all the ingredients list above.
  2. Shake the container, stir, or mix in some way.
  3. Taste and season or adjust liquid ratio to your preferred taste.
  4. Serve over pulled pork.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Manwich Pot Pies

Manwich Pot Pies

  • 2 packages of Food Club Jumbo flaky biscuits (won't use both completely)
  • 2 cans of Manwich
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 3/4 cup shredded classic sharp cheddar cheese

NOTE: You might have leftover Manwich, but I suggest using as much of it as you can, because the biscuits will flake-up. You might use both whole packages of biscuits if you are using one large dish instead of individual dishes. These individual dishes have 2 servings, each, in them.

  1. Cook the meat and drain the fat. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. While the meat is cooking, start to peel apart the biscuits and layer them in the serving dishes (bottom and sides, creating a lip around the edge to fold over). Make sure you spray the dishes with non-stick spray.
  3. After draining the meat, add the Manwich sauces. Let cook.
  4. Put a layer of shredded cheese on the bottom to cover the bottom.
  5. When the Manwich is ready, fill the dishes to the top.
  6. Put the rest of the cheddar on top.
  7. Layer the top with biscuit pieces and fold over the lip to close. Seal by pressing the buscuit pieces together.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes (or until biscuits are golden brown on the top and you say see down the sides that it is cooking through.)