Yep…the quarantine 15 is a thing… I think I’ve been on that ‘SEE FOOD DIET’…you know the one where you see food and eat it….all of it…
So here’s a little poem for fun as I deal with my newly gained weight…
This pandemic has taken a toll!
I’m beginning to feel like a big old tootsie roll.
We been so long stuck inside,
I’m shocked that my leggings stretch so wide!
With so much comfort food around,
I can’t believe I am so round!
So here’s a way to make us thinner,
Try this delicious salad for dinner!
So, once again, Steve and I decided to start eating more salads…I sense this has been a recurring theme for my blog as I revisit some past posts!
This one from Cuisine at Home is a keeper! The dressing is amazing! Remember to toss the cooked shrimp with the vinaigrette for at least an hour for great flavor! This would be a great addition to your Memorial Day cookout (with under 10 people staying 6 feet apart of course)!
SHRIMP COCKTAIL SALAD
with Lemon Horseradish Vinaigrette
Makes 6 servings
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE, WHISK:
1/3 cup prepared horseradish
1 Tbsp. minced lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. no-salt-added ketchup
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
FOR THE SALAD, HEAT:
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 dried bay leaf
1 lemon, halved and juiced
1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns
In a large pot of water over high; bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 30) and cook until pink and opaque, 2–3 minutes.
Transfer shrimp to a bowl of ice water; drain.
Toss shrimp in vinaigrette, cover, and chill at least 1 hour or overnight, stirring occasionally.
I know that the upcoming months will be the ultimate test of my willpower! But, the harsh reality of this is knowing that so many are without food and the ability to remain socially distant from one another to avoid the spread of this monster. I try to make light of our trivial ‘problems’ as we tread down this path. In a small way, we are donating non perishables and clothing to try to help.
So, until next time….
Cheers, stay safe and help others when you can….
PS…Here are some fun finds if you feel like shopping!
Hey fellow quarantiners! I wonder if you are being as resourceful as I am trying to be….and surprising myself! Doing my own nails, highlighting my own hair, and yes……cutting my own hair….are my most recent activities.
This cutting my own hair thing is a daily event. Watching you tube videos of people cutting their own hair and other people’s hair has been entertaining but hasn’t helped, and I definitely don’t recommend it. My hair dresser, Devin, is going to shit herself when she see’s what I’ve done to my hair. I’m not quite sure what I’ve done either…
I did cut Steve’s hair the other evening after cocktails and every morning check to see which side needs evening up. He’s been super patient. Yesterday he told me that he thought his hairline was receding….I told him that it was probably his new haircut and maybe we should let it grow a little….What I really meant to say is that maybe we should do haircuts before cocktails?
My son and new daughter-in-law, who just got married in their home last weekend, have been our personal shoppers. I worry about them… As nursing home administrators, Jeffrey & Mackenzie are both on the front lines so I’d like to keep my grocery list short giving me a new challenge….which is also keeping me away from haircutting for a bit…..
MEALS CAN YOU MAKE WITH ONE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN
There is nothing more delicious than a fresh, hot, store bought grocery store rotisserie chicken…Even smelling it in the car on your way home makes my mouth water…
Meal 1. I pull the thigh/leg off and serve it with any side. No magic, but delicious. Cut up the leftover chicken and tuck it in the fridge for the next creation..
Super easy and delicious…add fresh or frozen spinach & corn if you like…
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz.)
1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14.5 oz.)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups shredded Cheddar, divided
8 flour tortillas (8-inch)
Preheat oven to 350°.
For the sauce, purée tomatoesin juice, chopped onion, and garlic in a food processor.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Stir in flour, chili powder, and cumin; cook 1 minute.
Whisk in puréed tomato mixture and broth; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce until thickened, 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season sauce with salt and pepper and let cool.
For the filling, combine chicken, drained tomatoes, diced onion, and 1 cup Cheddar with 1/2 cup sauce to coat.
Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottomof a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place 1 tortilla into dish, spread on1 Tbsp. sauce, and flip.
Scoop 2 Tbsp. filling onto tortilla, and roll to enclose.
Place tortilla, seam side down, in the dish.
Repeat saucing, filling, and rolling with remaining tortillas.
Top enchiladas with remaining sauce and 1 cup Cheddar.
Bake enchiladas until Cheddar melts and sauce is bubbly, 30 minutes; let cool slightly before serving.
CHICKEN POT PIE WITH PHYLO CRUST
So easy and delicious! Substitute the phyla with refrigerated pie crust for an easy alternative.
8 oz.cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flouR
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup whole milk
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt, black pepper, and dry
sherry to taste
2 cups chopped cooked chicken (rotisserie)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and patted dry
1/2 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed and patted dry
4 Tbsp. each unsalted butter and olive oil
16 sheets phyllo dough, thawed to room temperatureMAKE IT!
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Cook mushrooms and thyme in 6 Tbsp. butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until browned and liquid nearly evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup sherry; cook until nearly evaporated. Whisk in broth and milk; cook until thickened to desired consistency, 10–12 minutes.
Add lemon juice; season with salt, pepper, and sherry.
Transfer mushroom mixture to a large bowl. Stir in chicken, mixed vegetables, and onions.
Divide mixture among four baking dishes arranged on prepared baking sheet.
Heat 4 Tbsp. butter with oil in microwave until butter melts. Place a phyllo sheet on a flat surface; cover remaining sheets with a damp towel to keep them from drying out.
Lightly brush phyllo sheet with butter-oil mixture; roll into a loose tube. Repeat brushing and rolling with 3 more phyllo sheets, then starting at outer edge, place 4 phyllo tubes end to end in a spiral pattern on top of filling. Repeat phyllo steps for each pot pie. Drizzle any remaining butter- oil mixture over phyllo or coat with nonstick spray.
Bake pies until crust is golden and filling is bubbly, about 20 minutes. Let pies cool 5–10 minutes before serving.
Depending upon the width of your dishes, the number of phyllo sheets needed may vary by one or two.
Creamy Pesto Lasagna with rotisserie chicken
Use no-boil lasagna sheets or regular sheets (cook them 5 minutes before assembling) Also, add spinach for added nutrition.
FOR THE BÉCHAMEL
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup purchased refrigerated basil pesto
Salt and black pepper to taste
FOR THE LASAGNA
1 pkg. whole-milk ricotta cheese (15 oz.)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup purchased refrigerated basil pesto
12 dry, flat, no-boil lasagna sheets
3 cups diced rotisserie chicken, divided
4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
Preheat oven to 350°. For the béchamel, melt butterin a large saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in flour and cook2 minutes.
Slowly whisk in milk and nutmeg, bring to a simmer, and cook2 minutes more.
Off heat, stir in1/2 cup pesto; season with saltand pepper.
For the lasagna, stir together ricotta, Parmesan, and 1/2 cup pesto; season with salt and pepper.
Spread 2/3 cup béchamel in bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Lay 3 lasagna sheets side by side, top with 1/2 cup ricotta mixture, 3/4 cup chicken, 2/3 cup béchamel, and 3/4 cup mozzarella.
Repeat layering three more times, topping the final layer with 11/2 cups mozzarella.
Cover lasagna with foil. Bake lasagna until bubbly, about 45 minutes.
Remove foil andbake lasagna 15 minutes more, then broil on high until golden, 2–3 minutes.
Let lasagna rest15 minutes before serving.
Staying home and staying safe have become part of our new normal.
Making a list of things to accomplish each day has helped relieve boredom and frustration and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Organizing those boxes of pictures into labeled baggies or photo albums, making boxes of clothing and other items to be donated (there will be a huge need), and finding delicious recipes with items shoved into the back of the pantry are this week’s list.
Cheers to hoping that this will get better. If we all do our part in keeping our distance and staying home, we hope this will pass.
If you have any easy and delicious recipes to share, I’d love to hear from you!
I spent most of last week scrambling from store to store engaging in my own version of “Say Yes to the Dress” hoping to find the perfect dress for my son’s upcoming wedding. Little did I know that I was successfully exposing myself (and my family) to God knows what and hoping this invisible enemy would just disappear. The good news….I found the dress…The bad news….The wedding is off, or postponed for now.
My husband, Steve is happy because all of the ‘say no to the dresses’ have been successfully returned and the credit card is tucked away….for now.
What is the take away? Stay positive, worry about what we can control, and turn off the tv after the Today Show.
For me, self quarantining is a great time to search out recipes to share! Technically, I should be offering immune boosting recipes, but today, since our restaurant choices are limited, I found some great ‘restaurant quality’ recipes to share. Check this twist on chicken Parm from Cuisine Magazine!
Chicken Parmesan Roulades
with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Caesar Salad
For the roulades—
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves pounded thin (6 oz. each)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh Mozzarella sticks cut into eight, 2″ long pieces
For the coating—
1 C. panic bread crumbs (I use Italian blend)
1 C. Parmesan cheese shredded
1 T. minced fresh parsley
1/4 C. all purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C. olive oil
For the sauce—
1 C. chopped onions
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
3 C. cherry tomatoes
1/4 C. chopped fresh basil
Salt to taste
Caesar Salad, 1/2 cup Parmesan, shredded
Preheat oven to 400* & coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Halve the chicken for the roulades.
Season & roll each with a piece of mozzarella.
Combine panko, Parmesan cheese & parsley
Dredge roulades in flour, dip in egg and coat in panko mixture.
Roast in the oven 10 min.
Sautés in skillet with 2T olive oil
FOR THE SAUCE:
Saute onions and pepper flakes in a sauce pan 2-3 min.
Stir in tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened 8-10 min.
Season with basal and salt.
Place roulade on top of Caesar salad, spoon tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle with Parmesan.
Makes 10 cups; Total time: 15 minutes
11/2 t. garlic, minced 1/4 t. kosher salt
Whisk in: 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated 2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. mayonnaise 1 t. anchovy paste 1 t. Dijon mustard 1 t. Worcestershire sauce 1/2 t. black pepper 1/4 cup olive oil Toss WiTh: 10 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
Mash garlic and salt together with the flat side of a knife blade until it forms a paste, Whisk remaining ingredients together with the garlic paste until combined. Toss the romaine with the dressing just before serving.
I hope you enjoy today’s recipe. Shortcuts work….use jar sauce and store bought dressing…it’s all good.
Every day my daughter FaceTimes me with our 18 month old grandson doing everything from dying spaghetti noodles to finger-painting cards and mailing them to family members. Working full time from home and being so resourceful, I marvel at her positive outlook and commitment.
It’s a lesson. Without being preachy and trite….cheers to health and watching out for each other while doing the right thing…..Stay home….Stay healthy.
My search to spice up everyday meals have two requirements….they have to be super quick and super flavorful. This great recipe for a juicy and delicious turkey burger tickled my fancy.
I loved the combo with the pineapple, but it turned the bun into huge mess. My Steve wasn’t a huge fan of the pineapple, so he ate it on the side wrapped in a lettuce bun. I also went a little crazy with the Soy Vey Very Teriyaki, actually a lot crazy….the whole bottle at the end. LOVED IT!
TERIYAKI TURKEY BURGERS with GRILLED PINEAPPLE
Makes 4 burgers
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
4 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce, divided
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 lb. ground turkey
8 oz. sliced fresh pineapple or 1 can (8 oz.), drained
4 hamburger buns, split, buttered, and toasted (I recommend wrapping in lettuce)
Green leaf lettuce
Teriyaki sauce, (Soy Vey Very Teriyaki)
Preheat grill to medium.
Combine egg, bread crumbs, onion, garlic, 2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce, and onion powder in a bowl. Add turkey and mix until combined; shape
Baste patties with remaining 2 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce (or the rest of the bottle) during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Grill pineapple slices until grill marks appear, 3–4 minutes per side. Assemble burgers on buns with lettuce, or wrap in lettuce, pineapple, and additional teriyaki sauce.
As summer draws toooo quickly to a close, I hope to keep my grill running as long as I can, filling my days with family, friends and yummy cocktails!
I saw a cute saying for this time of year….”Keep your pumpkin spice away from my margarita!” I like it and am happy to wait for cool fall nights….so until then….
When the kids come to visit, we always have leftover bananas. Try this delicious twist on the usual banana bread or cupcakes…..Banana Cookies! Soft, chewy and delicious. You may make them before the kids arrive!
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ripe smashed banana
3.4 oz package banana cream instant pudding mix
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350*F
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt, then set aside.
Combine butter and sugar and mix with an electric mixer. Add banana, dry pudding mix and the eggs, then mix together until smooth.
Combine dry ingredients into the mixing bowl with banana mixture.
Add the white chocolate chips.
Scoop rounded tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto parchment lined baking pan.
Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes or until slightly golden.
Cool for several minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
Happy New Year, everyone!! I have a new dilemma to share!
I know it’s really great that there are things so special to you that you want to pass them along to your children and grandchildren….but seriously…..you have to think, “Will they want this shit?”
Take, for example, the Lenox bird collection, that I know was an expensive bite out of the budget that my husband provided for his mom….I just spent an entire afternoon, matching each bird to the corresponding certificate of authenticity, photographing, and listing them on Ebay. I sold one, but by the time I packed it and shipped it, I lost money.
Kathy, a very close friend of mine offered me $25.00 for all of them so that her husband can use them as target practice for a gun he purchased recently. Tempting. I can’t help but thinking that someone out there appreciates these dust collecting birdies.
Moving Steve’s mom into an assisted living facility was quite the undertaking, especially as her daughter-in-law….I was given the dubious job of sorting through countless pairs of stockings, some still in the original package, hair ties and bows, denture boxes, and an assortment of long forgotten treasures packed away for safe keeping. Year after year, I would go to the dollar store for holiday bags and have Salina pack up these treasures as gifts, but she didn’t want to part with anything. You really have no idea….So for now, I’m stuck with these birds…lots of them.
My parents, at 89 and 91, have kept those special to them in a super organized way. When I visit, I love how my mom is always trying to give me her things. Although they take great pleasure in sharing, I want my mom and dad to keep and enjoy the memories they bring, rather than taking them away. I also know that the beautiful and valuable belongings of my parents are far from junk and someday will value and cherish the sentiment and memories.
On a return flight from Cancun, I vividly recall the pilot saying, “I hope you enjoyed your vacation and have carefully packed all of your souvenirs that will be at your garage sale someday.” So….note to self….Only buy and keep what gives you pleasure and let it go when it no longer has meaning.
Speaking of giving pleasure, I found this twist on an old favorite. Get ready for this delicious and EASY twist on your favorite Chicken Parmesan recipe!
Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
1 ½ lbs raw ground chicken breast or turkey.processor and run until ground)
2 large egg
6 tablespoons panko or breadcrumbs
¾ teaspoon dried basil
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ a small finely chopped onion
¾ teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon black pepper
¾ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup pasta sauce
¾ cup reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
Optional: dried parsley, oregano or basil for garnish
Pre-heat the oven to 350. Lightly mist a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, egg whites, breadcrumbs, basil, thyme, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese and lightly mix together. Do not over handle.
Form the meat mixture evenly into the 12 cups of your prepared muffin tin. Spread the pasta sauce evenly over the tops of each muffin. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese and then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Garnish if desired.
Thanks for swinging by! Whether you are stuck indoors watching the snow, or reading this poolside, I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe and these great finds!
Until next time…
Cheers to cherished memories, both old and new!
CELEBRATION + SUNSETS SHOPPING
Those of you who know me know that I am OBSESSED with anything NINJA! Check out the latest!…
I have had the fortune of great friends with the greenest of green thumbs extoll gifts from their garden. I LOVE summer’s bounty am elated when the supply far exceeds the demand. Truthfully, how much zucchini, tomatoes, beats and lettuce can one eat in a week? Hmmmm…..
So, with open hands and a grateful heart, I accept these gifts and in return, I share recipes, dog treats and treasures from my kitchen.
My zucchini growing friends did quite well this year….you know who you are 😘 and I am sharing one of my favorite recipes…Zucchini Napoleons.
ZUCCHINI CAKE NAPOLEONS
Makes 4 servings
4 zucchini, green, yellow or both (4 cups)
1/2 C. shredded onion
1/2 C. shredded Romano cheese
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup Italian panko (or Italian breadcrumbs)
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large tomato
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 Cup prepared pesto (I use Trader Joe’s…cheap + fresh)
Shred zucchini and onion
Place zucchini and onion in a salad spinner, sprinkle with salt and let stand 30 minutes.
Spin mixture in a salad spinner to dry; transfer to a kitchen towel and squeeze to remove more liquid.
Whisk together egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, and baking powder.
Stir in zucchini mixture and panco.
Scoop batter with 1/2 cup measure onto a baking sheet and press into 8 cakes.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil with drippings in skillet. Sauté cakes in two batches over medium heat until golden, about 4 minutes per side, adding more oil as needed.
Add a mozzarella slice to each cake in the last 2 minutes of sautéing to slightly melt mozzarella.
Transfer cakes to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Assemble Napoleons by layering
fresh mozzarella slice
a tomato slice
2 T. pesto
Top each with a remaining cake and garnish with a basil sprig; serve immediately
Summer’s bounty isn’t over until it’s over. I hope you enjoy this delicious dish. It has great presentation and doesn’t take forever to make…just a few small steps.
Great friends are truly a blessing. I remember taking a Steven Covey class many years ago where he emphasized the concepts of deposits and withdrawals in friendship. “Over deposit and under withdraw” was his best advice in any relationship and no words could be truer.
Cheers to friends, family and everything else you love. Until next time…
For some reason, we are convinced that with the onset of fall and winter, we should be eating comfort food…delicious, stick to the ribs (and everywhere else)…filling, satisfying, fattening food. Then comes spring and we wonder why our shorts don’t fit and our feet have gone up a half size.
Try a bowl of shepherds pie laced with buttery mashed potatoes or how about a nice slice of mac and cheese stuffed meatloaf? These are truly amazing.
So, my question is this: Is it comfort food season, or are we stress eating because it will soon be snowy and cloudy for the next six months??
If I sound like a bah humbug about fall and winter, it’s no accident. That being the case, I have made a diligent attempt to find seasonal recipes that limit the fat but keep the comfort.
And by the way, shortcuts of all kinds in my recipes are more than acceptable. Trader Joe’s is stocked with affordable and organic choices for meal prep goodies. Costco is another great place if you are feeding a large crowd.
PS…I will absolutely post those amazing comfort food recipes as well. No reason not to…
ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD WITH PORT VINAIGRETTE
FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH
1 Butternut Squash, cut in small pieces
8 shallots, peeled, halved
2 T. olive oil
Sprinkle of onion salt (I like the Trader Joe’s)
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup port wine
1 T. fresh ginger, minced
1 T. chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE SALADS
BUILD EACH SALAD WITH
1 cup spring mix salad greens
Roasted butternut squash and shallots
2 T. Port Vinaigrette
2 T. crumbled blue cheese
2 T. toasted walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Toss the butternut squash and shallots in olive oil in a large roasting pan. Lightly sprinkle with onion salt (or sea salt).
Roast in the lower oven for 15 minutes.
Prepare the vinaigrette:
Combine vinegar, honey, port, ginger, and rosemary. Pour this syrup over the roasting squash and return the pan to the oven; roast for 10 more minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer squash and shallots to a bowl.
Pour syrup into a measuring cup and whisk in enough oil to make 11/4 cups vinaigrette, season, and set aside.
Build each salad starting with greens.
Top with squash and shallots, and drizzle with vinaigrette.
Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts.
*If you aren’t a fan of butternut squash, try using pears for a delicious twist. Roast them or use them sliced raw.
Sorry it has been so long. Summer has taken me away from my computer but I am back to share.
Always on a search for delicious EASY winners and I am happy to search for ones you are looking for. Email or send a txt.
Cheers to celebrating simple things every day and cherishing friends and loved ones.
PS…Check out my latest Trader Joe’s obsessions! Just one click away!