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!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chicken Sausage with Fire Roasted Tomato Jasmati Rice

Chicken Sausage with Fire Roasted Tomato Jasmati Rice

This made four servings and when I put it into a calorie measuring program, it registered at about 350 calories per serving. This was a "necessity" recipe. I looked at what we had left in the house, as we're getting down to the nips and bits before payday. It turned out amazingly delicious and my husband says I have to make it again. It's a keeper, a one-pot, and quick! Could even make it in the slow-cooker and let it cook on high until the rice is ready. It's worth trying.

  • 1 1/4 Jasmati Rice
  • 1 can Progresso Starter Fire Roasted Tomato
  • 2-4 cups of Water
  • 1 Knorr Homestyle Chicken Concentrated Stock
  • 1 package (4 sausages) Smoked Mozzarella and Artichoke Chicken Sausages (cut into pieces)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped up celery and celery leaves
  • 3-4 tendrils of Saffron (or a pinch)
  • Salt and Pepper

  1. Heat a skillet or pan on high.
  2. Chop up the onions and celery (with leaves) and saute with a TBSP of olive oil and the 2 TBSP minced garlic.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, then add the Knorr concentrated stock.
  4. When the vegetables have softened, add in the sliced chicken sausage and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add in 1 1/4 cup Jasmati rice, 2 cups of water, and the can of Progresso Fire Roasted Tomato Starter Sauce. Add in a pinch (3-4 tendrils) of Saffron.
  6. Bring to a boil, stir, and then cover tightly. Turn to low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Check on it every 5-10 minutes to make sure it's not sticking. Add more water if necessary.
  8. After the rice is ready, remove the pan from the heat and let sit.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Notes: Shrimp could also be added to make it more like a jambalaya! Maybe a little cayenne pepper to give it a little spice or some jalapenos. Seriously a delicious dish!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cheesy Tortellini and Chicken Bake

Cheesy Tortellini and Chicken Bake
Serves 8

  • two 9-ounce packages refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar snap peas, halved crosswise
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 small red or green sweet pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Progresso Starters Cheese Sauce
  • Laughing Cow Lite Swiss Cheese 5 Triangles
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic (1 in the cheese sauce, one in the chicken)
  • 1 TBSP McCormick Lemon Pepper seasoning

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook tortellini in boiling salted water according to package directions, adding the carrot during the last 5 minutes of cooking and the sugar snap peas during the last 1 minute of cooking; drain.
  3. Meanwhile, 1 TBSP olive oil in a pan and add the diced onion, red pepper, and 1 TBSP garlic.
  4. Once they are starting to soften, add chicken and mushrooms, and cook about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet.

  5. In a small sauce pan, add 1 TBSP minced garlic, 1 TBSP lemon juice, lemon pepper seasoning, and the Pregresso Starters Cheese Sauce. Once it has warmed through (on medium), add in the laughing cow cheese triangles and whisk together.
  6. In an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking dish or shallow 3-quart casserole., add the drained pasta and carrots, the chicken and vegetable mixture, and the cheese sauce. Mix together until coated evenly.
  7. Bake, covered, in a 350 degrees F oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through.
  8. Take out, stir mixture, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Zesty Pork Chop and Cucumber Salad Wraps

Zesty Pork Chop and Cucumber Salad Wraps
Serves 5-6

We wanted a fresh and new recipe that was quick and easy to make for dinner. For some reason, we thought pork chop and cucumber salad in a wrap. Go figure! It was delicious! These might be great on the grill. Will definitely try it when it's not raining.

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 1 bottle zesty Italian Dressing
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • preferred wrap or tortilla shell (Flat Out Healthy Grain Harvest Wheat)

  1. Heat a skillet. Marinate the Pork Chops in a bowl of ziploc bag for 30 minutes in the Italian Dressing, saving 1 cup for the salad.
  2. Peal and slice the cucumbers in half and then slice them into thin strips. 
  3. De-seed and slice the tomatoes into chunks.
  4. Slice the red onion in half and then into 1mm strips.
  5. Mix the cucumber, onion, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Add the Italian Dressing and pepper to taste. 
  6. Now cook the marinated pork chops in the skillet until cooked through. Let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
  7. Next, take a wrap and put down a layer of spinach. Make sure it has been rinsed and dried, first.
  8. After putting down a layer of spinach leaves, put some pork chop strips in the middle and then a spoonful or two or cucumber salad. 
  9. Wrap and enjoy!

Oriental Beef Salad

Oriental Beef Salad

  • 1 bag of coleslaw mix, shredded 
  • 2 packages of Ramen noodles (chicken flavor)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  •  2-3 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 1 seasoning packet from Ramen Noodles
  • 1 cup rice vinegar 
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • 1 flank steak
  • 2 cups soy sauce 
  •  salt/pepper
  1. Marinade the flank steak in the soy sauce for 30 minutes or more in the fridge. 
  2. Season the steak with salt and pepper. In a grill pan, sear the steak over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes per side for medium rare; transfer to a plate to rest.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, vegetable oil, sesame oil, sugar, and Ramen seasoning packet. 
  4. In a large bowl, combine the slaw mix and dressing and toss. 
  5. Crush the Ramen noodles into small pieces and spread out on a baking sheet with the almonds and sesame seeds. Broil until medium brown.
  6. Add the dry Ramen noodles (right before serving) and toss again. Divide evenly among 4 shallow bowls.
  7. Cut the steak into thin slices and distribute among the salads.