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Hi people.  Hooray for Thursday.  Hooray for another weekend.  Unfortunately, it’s going to be a wet + gloomy weekend here in the Carolinas.  It started raining yesterday and is suppose to continue through Sunday morning.  No good at all.  I hate to complain since I know we really need the rain, but … I just really love the sunshine.  Hello Mr. Sunshine, wherever you are.  I miss you.  Come back soon. 

Ok, enough with the jibber-jabber.  On to the food … and fabulous food it is.  This week’s Craving Ellie’s recipe was selected by Aggie from Aggie’s Kitchen.  Great choice, Aggie!  It’s a winner in the flavor department, as well as super easy to whip together on a busy weeknight.   

 

Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce

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To see the original recipe, please click here to visit Aggie’s post on this great selection.  I stayed pretty close to the original recipe since the ingredients were so diverse and figured I could really screw things up if I strayed away too much. 

Here are the changes that I made to Ellie’s original recipe:

  • Remember those leftover peppers from last week’s CEiMB recipe??  Well, they were roasted and saved for this recipe.  I substituted roasted red peppers for the fresh red bell pepper.
  • No allspice or lime juice in da hizzouse, so those two things were eliminated completely. 
  • Used just 2 T of molasses, instead of 3 T.
  • Used frozen cubed mango (since I refuse to go up against a fresh mango.  Anyone know the trick to cutting one of these babies??)  Also, I used just 1 cup, instead of 1 1/2 cups.

I think that about does it.  The barbecue sauce has a consistency closer to a puree.  We liked it.  The sweet from the mango was countered by the heat from the jalapenos.  I think it would be great on fish or seafood as well.  Maybe even pork.  Good thing we have plenty leftover to freeze and use again another day, another way.

Alright, ladies and gents, you probably know what’s on right now and that’s why I need to cruise on outta here.  I’ll give you a hint … it starts with basket and ends with ball.  Loves it. 

Psst – tomorrow’s Friday, people.  Sleep in just a little bit.  See ya!

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When I came across this recipe on Yahoo! Food, it originally called for tofu, instead of chicken.  Not as good, let me just tell you.  The tofu, that is.  Here again is an example of the huge hang-up that I have with tofu and its’ texture.  Now, I love me some crunchy tofu as is evident here (click + scroll) … and here.  But unless it’s baked to a crisp, I’m just not a big fan. 

After my first unsuccessful attempt at this recipe, when I actually followed the directions, I wasn’t too quick to write this one off.  It had great components.  It just needed a little RwF facelift …

 

Chicken, Black Bean + Corn Enchiladas

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Ingredients:

(Makes 4 enchiladas)

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked + shredded chicken
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 can Mexicorn blend
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 tsp. hot sauce
  • Spices as desired – I used cumin + chili powder
  • 1/2 can red enchilada sauce + 1/8 cup
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup+ reduced fat Mexican blend cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  In a bowl, combine chicken, black beans, corn, salsa, hot sauce, spices and 1/8 cup enchilada sauce.  Mix well.  One at a time, heat tortillas in the microwave for 10 seconds and fill with a portion of the chicken mixture.  Roll up and place, seam side down, in baking dish.  Repeat until all tortillas are complete.  Pour enchilada sauce over tortillas and place in oven.  After 25 minutes, remove dish from oven and sprinkle enchiladas with cheese; return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes.  Garnish as you wish.  Enjoy!

 

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It’s good stuff.  We’re big fans.  Woot woot.  To see the original recipe, please click here.

Hope all y’all (tee hee) are having a good night.  I’m sleeps tonight and ready to hit the sheets.  Nighty night!

Hi people.  Hope your weekend has been fantastic.  It’s been a whole lotta basketball watching in this house.  Go ‘heels!  Woot woot. 

Let’s get down to bidness straight away …

First off, a housekeeping note – I’ve decided from here on out, my post titles will reflect the recipe inside.  This will make it easier for anyone needing to do a search of any particular recipe they’ve seen around these parts. 

Secondly, it was my fabulous right-hand gal’s birthday on Friday …

Happy Birthday, girl!

Happy Birthday, my beautiful friend!

We all went to dinner and then to see a friend’s band play.  She partied it up like a rockstar.  Way to do it to it, girl.  Loves ya!!

It’s a weekend full of birthday’s – today is my lil’ baby bro’s day …

Happy 27th, brother!

Happy 27th, brother!

Too cute to pass by ... Raggedy Ann and Andy.  Mom's so clever.  Ha!

Too cute to pass by ... Raggedy Ann + Andy. Mom's so clever. Ha!

 

Now to the real deal – the food.  Exciting, no??  About a month ago, I was browsing through one of my fav blog’s, Johnstone’s Vin Blanc, the brain child of the fabulous Jessica, and came across a recipe I knew I couldn’t pass up.  It had all the components of mine + Devin’s favorite go-to meal, BBQ Chicken Pizza.  This one had a little twist though – it was all rolled up …

 

BBQ Chicken Pizza Roll-Up

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It looked so good that we dug right in.  When I finally realized I hadn’t taken a picture of the goodness inside, this is all that was left …

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Piggy, piggy.  That’s what happens to pizza around here.  As for the recipe, I made a few modifications to Jessica’s version to suit our taste …

Ingredients:

  • 1 ball of TJ’s whole wheat pizza dough, rolled-out into a square shape
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked + shredded chicken breast, tossed in a small amount of BBQ sauce
  • Heaping 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced onion
  • Heaping 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Fat free cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Optional – egg white and sesame seeds

Preparation:

It’s pretty self-explanatory from here – spread BBQ sauce onto center of dough, place chicken over top, then beans, onions and cheeses.  Cut 1/2″ thick strips on both sides of dough and crisscross over one another. 

*Optional* Brush top with an egg white wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven until dough is cooked.  Enjoy!

 

Time to get a move-on.  All my Sunday errands are a callin’.  Weekly menu, grocery shopping, basketball, basketball and more basketball.  Have a great day.

Hi all.  What’s the good word??  Happy Thursday.  That’s pretty good, huh?  This week has gone by pretty quickly.  Another good thing.  March Madness is finally here.  Yes, yes, that’s very good.  I’m all amped up for hour after hour wasted away in front of the tube for the next three weeks.  It’s a good thing.  Oh yeah.

Let’s jump right into the recipe o’ the week featuring the fabulous Ellie Krieger

 

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

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This week’s hostess with the mostess (literally) is the beautiful Ali, over at The Healthy Hostess.  Have you checked out her site lately?  It’s loaded with fantastic recipes and tips for entertaining success.  Thanks Ali!

To be honest, I was a little hesitant to go forward with this recipe since the huzzzband isn’t a huge fan of bell peppers.  But, I felt a little guilty since I haven’t craved any Ellie in the last two weeks, so I charged on.  Ya know, full speed ahead and all.

RwF’s version of Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

(Makes 4 halves)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1/2 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup bulgur
  • 1/8 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with jalapenos (had in fridge + needed to use up)
  • S+P, crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 red bell pepper, halves, cores + ribs removed
  • 1 can no-salt added stewed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat feta cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking dish with PAM.  In a large skillet, brown the turkey, onion and zucchini with a small amount of EVOO.  When turkey is cooked, remove from heat and stir in spinach, mushrooms, bulgur, egg substitute, oregano, vinegar, diced tomatoes and spices.  Spoon mixture into each bell pepper and place in baking dish.  Once all peppers are in dish, pour can of stewed tomatoes over top of all; cover with foil and place in oven.  After 30 minutes, remove foil and sprinkle each pepper with feta cheese; return to oven for 25 minutes, or until peppers are soft.  Enjoy!

Our thoughts … while we enjoyed the tasty filling, the peppers just weren’t ready after a long 55 minutes of baking.  I think they probably needed at least 20 additional minutes to really soften up.  We solved this problem by scooping out the filling and saving the peppers for later.  I figured I would just pop them back in the oven and make some good ol’ roasted red peppers.  Because of the long baking time, combined with Devin’s reservations with peppers, I probably won’t be making this one again.  If I could think of a better way to serve the meaty filling, then there may be a slight possibility that it will reappear, but I wouldn’t bank on that though.  Any ideas out there?

Alrighty, time to get back to the games.  Does everyone have their brackets clenched in their fist??  Have a great night.  Sleep in just a little bit tomorrow … it’s Friday, people!

At long last, a huge HELLO to all my friends out there!  It has been over two weeks since my last blog post.  I didn’t plan on blogging during our trip to Aruba and didn’t even bring the laptop with me, but it was never my initial intention to stay away from my precious blog for an additional week after we returned. 

The reason why, you ask??  Have you ever received a notice requesting your presence in the county courthouse for jury duty?  ‘Nuff said, right??  I was chosen to sit on a jury for a criminal felony case.  By the time I got home each and every night, I was completely wiped out.  It was all I could do to hop on the treadmill for 25 – 30 minutes and then prepare dinner.  Because of the time crunch, our meals were lacking in the creative department last week, so you really didn’t miss much.

Since I have been gone so long, I want to press rewind and focus this post solely on our trip to Aruba … no food on here tonight.  A little drinky drink, but no grub.  If you’ve tuned in just for the food, you may want to stop now and come on back tomorrow.  There’s nothing below but some FABULOUS pictures of our fantastic Caribbean getaway!  OK, let’s get started …

 

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We climbed up 561 stairs to the top of Mount Hooiberg

We climbed up 561 stairs to the top of Mount Hooiberg. Wowza. Great workout.

From the top of Mount Hooiberg

From the top of Mount Hooiberg

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We really had a great time.  It was wonderful time spent together.  As you can expect, the weather in Aruba is warm and sunny.  There is also a fabulous breeze.  This keeps the sweat beads from forming and allows you to spend more time in the sunnyshine.  We lounged on the beach a lot, but also spent a good deal of time exploring the tiny island.  Ah, good times …

Well, ladies and gents, it’s time for me to shake a leg.  Actually, no, that’s wrong.  No leg shakin’ tonight.  Time to plop my bum on the couch and watch some tube.  I hope everyone is doing well.  I’ve missed you all and look forward to catching up soon.  I’m out – enjoy your night!

Hi there!  How are the people?  You won’t believe it when I tell you, but it’s freakin’ snowing here?!  I don’t mean a little snowflake here and there.  I’m talking about big, heavy, slap-you-on-your-face flakes that are coming down rather quickly.  We already have over an 1 1/2″ accumulated.  No work or school tomorrow.  That’s a given around these parts.  Play day for us!  😉

Actually, there’s plenty of work to be done around the house.  We need to get all packed up.  Packing, you say?  Moving?  Nope.  Donating old clothes to the Goodwill?  Nope, not that either.

So, I’ve kept it secret long enough and it’s time to spill … we’re leaving on a jet plane, just like the song.  Yep, that’s right.  Devin and I are headed to ARUBA on Wednesday for our 5th wedding anniversary!  I’m beyond excited!!  I’m ready to drive myself to the airport right now in hopes that waiting there will make Wednesday get here faster.  Ha!  

We have always been big travelers and have made it a point to take a vacation every year for our anniversary.  Some of our trips have been big … London and Paris … and some of our trips have been small … Wilmington, NC and Orlando, FL.  No matter where we go though, we always have a blast.  This trip, I’m sure, will be no exception.  It’s been a while since we gone to the Caribbean, so it’s already looking good.  The warm weather is definitely a plus.  The cold, fruity drinks a plus x 2.  Oh yeah. 

I’ve talked about the “chilly” and the “tropical”, so let’s get down to the chili.  We were lucky enough to have Devin’s fabulous parents over for dinner last night.  My plan was to whip up a warm, comforting meal that wouldn’t take up too much of my time in the kitchen.  Here’s how it turned out …

Smoky Turkey and Bacon Chili

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Mixed Green Salad, Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges and Jalapeno Corn Bread

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Yogurt Parfait with Bulgur, Cherries and Almonds

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Recipes adapted from here, here, here and here.

You will find this unbelievable, but I stayed pretty close to the original recipes this time around.  I just didn’t find too much that needed to be changed.  For the chili, I used the usual lean ground turkey in place of the ground beef and subbed black beans for pinto beans.  As for the dessert, I just wasn’t totally convinced that bulgur, as fantastic as it is, belonged in our fruit and yogurt parfaits.  I went pretty skimpy when dishing out the grain. Maybe 1 tbsp. in each??  Overall, it tasted ok in there, but it really isn’t necessary.  I will definitely make these again, since it’s a light + tasty dessert, but it will be without the grainy goodness.  I think other frozen fruit would work as well.  Devin wasn’t digging the cherries, so maybe the next go round will be blackberries …

Alright, y’all, I’m pretty sleeps, so I think it’s time to hit the hay.  I hope you are doing well!  Enjoy the rest of your night.  Sweet dreams!

Hi all!  Another Thursday is here … along with another great recipe from one of my favorite ladies, Ellie Krieger.  This week’s selection was chosen by the fabulous Pamela, over at Cookies with Boys.  Her motto – “Who doesn’t like a cookie?”  So true.  Sounds like my kind of gal.

I must admit, I was a little hesitant with this recipe.  We are very picky shrimp eaters in the house and I wasn’t so sure how Devin would react to this combination.  Being the foodie that I am, I charged ahead and with a few modifications it turned out wonderful.  I’m happy to say that Devin made more than one mention about how good it was and I was in absolute agreement with him.  Hooray Ellie! 

 

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes + Feta

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If you would like to follow the correct recipe, please see Cookies with Boys’ post here.  Here is my modified version for two …

Ingredients:

  • EVOO
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with celery, onion and green pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 20 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat crumbled feta with basil and tomato
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with PAM and set aside.  Saute onions in a large skillet with EVOO until tender.  Stir in tomatoes, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in shrimp and spinach.  Transfer shrimp/tomato mixture to prepared baking dish.  Top with crumbled feta and bread crumbs.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until cheese has melted and shrimp is cooked.  Enjoy!

 

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We served ours with brown rice and a salad.  It was delicious.  For me, the rice gave the dish a jambalaya feel.  Mmm.  So tasty and yet so healthy as well.

Alright, time to get the motor running, people.  Have a great day.  Soon to be TGIF …