Garlic Basil Lamb Chops

I never tried lamb growing up. I don’t think my mother or grandmother ever made it, but even if they had, I’m sure I wouldn’t have eaten it as a child. I was THE WORLD’S PICKIEST EATER! It wasn’t until much later, in my early twenties while working in the food service of a private boarding school that I finally tried it. The chef probably made it for the school Presidents Dinner or a function like that, and although I remember trying it then, I wouldn’t have it again for years. Then recently while I was grocery shopping I saw a few packages of lamb chops, and thought, why not?

 

Garlic-Basil-Lamb-Chops

 

The inspiration for this recipe came from my 50+ Quick Summer Dinners collection and the view from great island’s Lemon Thyme Lamb Chops. These lamb chops are quick, and really easy! I used basil because I grow it in my garden every summer, but thyme does work, too. I decided to roast slices of  lemon right along with the lamb, and served it over a bed of fresh spinach. The spinach you see on the plate was pretty much the extent of the spinach that grew this Spring. I’m going to try again in the Fall and see if it does better then. Last year when I planted spinach in the Spring nothing but weeds grew. Turns out, I am incredibly good at growing weeds.

Garlic Basil Lamb Chops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Quick and easy lamb chops pan grilled with garlic and basil alongside lemon slices.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 lamb shoulder chops
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large, shallow dish combine the chicken broth, olive oil, basil, garlic, and black pepper. Place the lamb chops and lemon slices in the dish, turn to coat. Cover and let stand for 15-20 minutes turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat a stove top cast iron grill pan over high heat. Remove the lamb chops and lemon slices from the marinade and place in the preheated pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 4 minutes without moving. Turn and cook for 4 minutes more, or until desired temperature. Serve immediately.
Notes
Adapted from the view from great island Lemon Thyme Lamb Chops

 

 

95 Easy Crock Pot Dinners

Easy Crock Pot Dinners

This might be the greatest collection of crock pot/slow cooker recipes ever! I can only take credit for a few of these recipes ( and mouth-watering pictures!), instead the thanks goes to all the wonderful foodies that contributed to this collection. There are easy chicken recipes, easy beef recipes, easy pork recipes, almost anything you can think of! Some of them are similar, but yet not exactly the same, and I couldn’t find one I wouldn’t want to try myself. I organized them in alphabetical order according to main ingredient, and they range from beef to vegetarian so there is something for everyone! Are you ready? Then let’s dive into these delicious and easy recipes!

Easy Crock Pot Dinners 2

 

Beef: 

Slow Cooker French Onion Roast Beef from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Crock Pot Balsamic Roast from Julies Eats and Treats

Slow Cooker Spinach Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash from Kitchen Tested

Slow Cooker Mexican Red Chili Tacos from A Cedar Spoon

Secret Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff by Frugal Foodie Mama

Sweet Korean BBQ Beef Tacos from Diethood

Super Simple Slow Cooker Steak Pizzaiola from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Manly Meaty Chili from Cravings of a Lunatic

Slow Cooker Aloha Chili from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Award Winning Chili from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Crock Pot Mongolian Beef from Very Culinary

Korean Style Short Ribs from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Slow-Cooker Mongolian Beef Stew from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Slow Cooker Chile Colorado Style Beef from Noble Pig

Crock-Pot Carne Asada Lettuce Wraps from So…Let’s Hang Out

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage from Very Culinary

Taco Soup from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Zingy Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup from Noble Pig

Slow-Cooker Beef Brisket with Bourbon BBQ Sauce {Gluten Free and Paleo} from So…Let’s Hang Out

Applewood Smoked Shredded Beef Tacos from The Adventure Bite

Easy Pot Roast from Back for Seconds

Slow Cooker Sante Fe Meatloaf from Mom On Time Out

Sloppy Joes from Taste Love & Nourish

Slow Cooker Philly Cheesesteaks from Mom On Time Out

Low-Carb Slow Cooker Chunky Beefy Vegetable Soup from Yours and Mine Are Ours

Slow Cooker Roast Beef with Easy Gluten Free Gravy from Everyday Maven

Crockpot Stew from Like Mother Like Daughter

Slow Cooker Winter Squash Beef Stew from Will Cook For Smiles

Slow Cooker Braised Beef and Mushroom Soup from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Chicken and Turkey 

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast and Gravy from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Crock-Pot Creamy Corn Chowder from Two Healthy Kitchens

Brown Sugar Candy Chicken from Kitchen Tested

Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos from Confessions of a Cooking Diva

Slow Cooker Dr Pepper Shredded Chicken from Girli Chef

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki from Julies Eats and Treats

Easy Celery Rice Soup from Farm Fresh Feasts

3-Ingredient Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos from Two Healthy Kitchens

Spicy White Chicken Chili (crockpot) from Girli Chef

Crock Pot Chicken Adobe from Farm Fresh Feasts

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken Marsala from Frugal Foodie Mama

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks from Diethood

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken & Black Bean Tacos from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Slow Cooker {Roasted} Chicken from A Southern Fairytale

Crock Pot Bourbon Street Chicken from Cupcake Diaries

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken from Very Culinary

Cheese Stuffed Apple Chicken Meatballs (Slow Cooker) from The Law Student’s Wife

Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde {Gluten Free, Dairy Free Paleo Friendly} from Tasty Yummies

Slow Cooker Chicken Marrakesh from Flavor Mosaic

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken from The Law Student’s Wife

Easy Crockpot Chicken Chili from Flavor Mosaic

Skinny Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Soup from Back for Seconds

Root Beer Crock Pot Chicken Sammies from Wine and Glue

Slow Cooker Hoisin Shredded Chicken Sandwich from Cookin’ Canuck

Healthy Crockpot Turkey Meatballs in a Tomato-Spinach Sauce from Overtime Cook

Easy Cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan from Mom On Time Out

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup with Black Beans and Corn from Cookin’ Canuck

Apricot-Orange Slow Cooker Chicken from Mom On Time Out

The Chicken That Ate The Pig- Stuffed Chicken from Your and Mine Are Ours

4-Ingredient Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken from Running to the Kitchen

Crockpot Quinoa, Sweet Potato, and Chicken Fajitas from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Slow Cooker Tex Mex Pulled Chicken Sammies from Wine and Glue

Slow Cooker Chicken Sausage and Peppers from Aggie’s Kitchen

Crockpot Chicken Tacos from Like Mother Like Daughter

Slow Cooker Moroccan Chicken from Will Cook For Smiles

Crock Pot Salsa Chicken from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Crockpot Qdoba Night from Wine and Glue

Pasta: 

Slow Cooker Spicy Lasagna from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

Crock Pot Cheese Ravioli with Meat Sauce from Cupcake Diaries

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese from Cupcake Diaries

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Macaroni and Cheese from Snappy Gourmet

Creamy Tortellini Soup from Bake.Love.Give.

Pork:

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Pork Chops from Frugal Foodie Mama

Slow Cooker Apple Bourbon BBQ Pork Sandwiches from A Cedar Spoon

Slow Cooker Apple-Cranberry Bourbon BBQ Pork Loin Roast from Frugal Foodie Mama

Balsamic Brown Sugar-Glazed Pork Tenderloin (Slow Cooker) from Girli Chef

Slow Cooker Barbecue Pulled Pork from A Cedar Spoon

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork from Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Slow Cooker Apple Pork Loin from The Kitchen is My Playground

Slow Cooker Asian Pork Loin from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Brown Sugar Ribs from The Weary Chef

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Chile Verde from Noble Pig

Totally Easy Slow-Cooker Kalua Pork from So…Let’s Hang Out

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chipotle BBQ Pork Sliders from Snappy Gourmet

Tomatillo Pork Burritos from The Adventure Bite

Sweet Korean BBQ Ribs from Back for Seconds

Crockpot Chipotle Pulled Pork with Avocado Ranch Sauce from Food Faith Fitness

Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Like Mother Like Daughter

Seafood:

Slow Cooker Clam Chowder from The Kitchen is My Playground

Slow Cooker Shrimp Creole from Yours and Mine Are Ours

Clam Chowder in the Crock Pot from Back for Seconds

Vegetable and Vegetarian/Vegan:

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Coconut Curry (Crockpot Recipe) from Tasty Yummies

Slow Cooked Black Bean Tacos with Vegan Chipotle Cream {Gluten Free & Vegan} from Tasty Yummies

Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Crock-Pot Stew -Vegan + Gluten Free from Tasty Yummies

Unbelievably Easy Crock Pot Garlic Mashed Potatoes from Kitchen Treaty

Crockpot Red Potato Soup from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

 

Easy Crock Pot Dinners 3

If you made it through all that, tell me which one you want to try first? I found a few I will be trying, possibly adapting, so you might see my versions soon!

Garlic Roast Beef

If you follow a food blog long enough, you get to know what foods the authors of those blogs love. For me it’s bacon, and garlic, and many different soups! This garlic roast beef is definitely a LOVE for me, I used 6 cloves of garlic in it! I know what you’re thinking, “That’s too much!” “It’s going to be overpowering!” Don’t worry, it’s not. I mean, it is garlicky, and might serve it’s purpose for keeping people from kissing you, if that’s what you want, but it won’t kill you, I promise. In fact, garlic is very good for you. Studies have shown it improves repository function, lowers blood pressure ( I have always had low blood pressure!), and helps control cholesterol, among other health benefits. Since I do a lot of Italian based cooking, many of my recipes include garlic. For many of the recipes I have, if you don’t like garlic you can just leave it out, but not with this roast beef. I would just find another recipe if you must. Of course, I highly suggest you don’t :)

Garlic Roast Beef

We plant garlic in our garden every year. It’s easy to grow! In the fall,just dig a little hole about 2 inches deep, put a clove of garlic in the hole pointy side up, cover with dirt, and water occasionally until winter kicks in. I usually plant them around my husband’s birthday, October 17th, and then they are ready to pull from the ground around July 4th. I’m in Northeast PA, zone 5 I believe. You can cover the planted cloves with straw or mulch for the winter, but I never have. However, this is the snowiest, coldest winter we have had in a long time, and I’m honestly not sure how it’s going to fair this year. Hopefully it will be okay, otherwise I will be purchasing garlic for the first time in years.

As for the garlic roast beef, I cut slits 2 inches deep to hold the slivers of garlic. Most recipes call for slits 1/2 inch deep, but I prefer the flavor that goes all through the beef by cutting deeper. My  husband will only eat beef done medium, or even medium well, so here I will be giving the recipe for that. If you prefer rare or medium rare, stop cooking at about 2 hours for rare, and 2 1/2 for medium rare, and DO NOT increase the temperature at the end of the cooking time like I do here.

Garlic Roast Beef
 
Fabulous garlicky roast beef will be the highlight of your weekend dinner!
Recipe type: Entree
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds bottom round roast
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • olive oil, enough to coat the beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. IMPORTANT: Bring the beef out of the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Cut 2 inch deep slits all over the top (non-fatty) and sides of the deep. Put a sliver of garlic in each slit, pushing the slivers in (don't worry if they break) as much as possible so they don't come out.Combine the garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small dish. Coat the beef all over in olive oil, then rub all over with the garlic powder mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 2½ hours, then increase the heat to 375 degrees F, and continue to bake for ½ hour, or until beef reaches 155 degrees for medium.
Notes
For rare or medium rare, do not increase temperature for the last half hour. Cook to 135-140 for rare, 140-145 for medium rare.

 

Slow Cooker French Onion Roast Beef

We bought and installed a pool this week! Our daughter is turning 4 on July 6th, so it’s part of her birthday present, but you can bet that I will be in there, too :) It’s only a 30 inch pool (the highest my city will allow without a permit and fencing) but I’m 5 Ft tall, so half my height works for me! It really is a lot bigger than it sounds.

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Now with the addition of the pool, my summer’s are going to be more busy than they already are. In the summer, I need quick and easy recipes or those that I can fairly easily throw together in my crock pot. I had a beef roast sitting in my freezer waiting to be cooked, but I knew it would probably be Fall before I could get around to roasting it in the oven. So I had an idea of making it in the crock pot with some homemade French onion soup that I had frozen a while ago. I was excited about this NEW idea, until my husband told me his grandmother used to make it all the time. Oh, well, it’s all been done before! I had made it already by the time he told me his grandmother used to make it, so I’m going to share it with you in case, like me, you never heard of it before :)

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Crock Pot French Onion Roast Beef 

3 pound beef round rump roast

2 cups peeled and  sliced carrots

20 ounces French onion soup (homemade or diluted canned)*

Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste*

3 tablespoons cornstarch or flour

*I used 20 ounces because that’s what I had in one container frozen. One can, diluted with a full can of water, equals about 21 ounces. You may want to omit any additional salt if using canned.

Place the beef in the bottom of  the slow cooker with the sliced carrots. Pour the French onion soup over the beef and carrots and sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or on LOW for about 10 hours, depending on how well done you want your roast. If a more rare roast is desired, check the beef at about 3 hours on HIGH or 7 hours on LOW. About 10 minutes before serving remove the roast to a cutting board, and the carrots and onions to a bowl, leaving the broth in the slow cooker. Wisk the cornstarch or flour with a little bit of water ( enough to make a thin paste) and pour into the broth, stir well for about 1 minute, and leave to thicken while you slice the beef. You can also remove the broth to a small pot and prepare the gravy on the stove, by bringing the broth to a boil, adding the cornstarch mixture and wisking for 1 minute. The stove top method will result in a slightly thicker gravy. Top sliced beef with the gravy, and serve with whatever sides you like! I made cheddar cheese mashed potatoes, but my Ranch Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes would be great with it.

Bacon Burger Stuffed Peppers- A Recipe Swap

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As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been a bit bacon obsessed recently! My lovely friend Becca from http://www.itsyummi.com/ is the same way, she loves it! Just a quick search of her site turned up 10 recipes with bacon, and at this rate, I’m not far behind!

These stuffed peppers caught my eye during my Bacon party on Facebook (you can find the links to all the recipes shared HERE). I’ve never really liked stuffed peppers at all, but I’ve been seeing some yummy looking one’s recently, so I’d been thinking of trying to make my own. Yep, I never made them before! My mother and grandmother made them when I was younger, but I’d long ago stopped even trying them.

So, the whole point of my doing these recipe swaps is for me to make foods I normally wouldn’t, and since I never made them or liked them before these were perfect. And, guess what? I liked them!

Here is Becca’s exact ingredient list for her Bacon Burger Stuffed Peppers, and then I’ll tell you what I had to change because I’m an idiot sometimes and don’t pay attention very well :( The printable recipe follows at the bottom of this post.

Bacon Burger Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 to 6 large green bell peppers
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground bacon
  • 4 to 6 bite sized mozzarella cheese balls ( she used a local Wisconsin cheese made by BelGioioso, which is the brand I always use!)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato or marinara sauce
  • 2-3 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese

Ok, the part I didn’t pay attention to before I planned on making them, GROUND BACON. Unfortunately, my grocery shopping normally happens at night around 7-9 PM and the only person in the meat department couldn’t grind bacon, which I just knew he was going to say. So, instead I chopped up around 1/4 pound of bacon as fine as I could before I cooked it. I also accidentally grabbed the smaller cheese balls, so I put around 4-5 in the bottom of each pepper. THEN, I accidentally bought Italian stewed tomatoes instead of diced. Acckkk!!! I love tomatoes and will eat them any other way, but for some reason stewed tomatoes freak me out!! Too late once I already started making them, so I diced the stewed tomatoes ( I drained them first) and hoped I wouldn’t die :) The mozzarella cheese I used was some that my neighbor had smoked and given to use. I loved the smoked favor of the cheese in these peppers, so I will suggest using smoked mozzarella.

How to make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tops off of each pepper and remove the seeds and membranes. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice and water. Blanch the peppers in salted, boiling water for 4 minutes, then shock in the ice water, drain and let cool.

Brown the ground beef, bacon, and onions in a skillet over medium high heat, drain off the fat. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire, cooked rice, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Place a mozzarella ball ( or balls) into the bottom of each pepper and stand them up in a casserole dish. Add the meat filling to each pepper and top with some tomato sauce and 1/2 slice of mozzarella cheese.

Bake for around 30 minutes or until the peppers are tender, then top with some more tomato sauce and another 1/2 slice of cheese and bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Since Becca makes terrific peppers ( and everything she makes sounds so terrific!) I would love it if you would check out her blog ( link above) and her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ItsYummilicious Trust me you won’t be sorry!

Bacon Burger Stuffed Peppers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Bell peppers stuffed with ground beef and bacon, then topped with cheese. Like a bacon cheeseburger in a pepper!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian/American
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 large green bell peppers
  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • ¼ pound ground bacon
  • 4 to 6 bite sized mozzarella cheese balls
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Italian diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 to 1½ cups cooked rice
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato or marinara sauce
  • 2-3 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tops off of each pepper and remove the seeds and membranes. Fill a large mixing bowl with ice and water. Blanch the peppers in salted, boiling water for 4 minutes, then shock in the ice water, drain and let cool.
  2. Brown the ground beef, bacon, and onions in a skillet over medium high heat, drain off the fat. Add the tomatoes, Worcestershire, cooked rice, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Place a mozzarella ball ( or balls) into the bottom of each pepper and stand them up in a casserole dish. Add the meat filling to each pepper and top with some tomato sauce and ½ slice of mozzarella cheese.
  4. Bake for around 30 minutes or until the peppers are tender, then top with some more tomato sauce and another ½ slice of cheese and bake for 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted.

 

Honey Herb Pork Chops

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I’ve been making these pork chops for years, and can’t believe I haven’t shared the recipe with you all yet! I first got the idea for these from a recipe in Better Homes and Gardens 75th Anniversary Edition (p 348) but I’ve since changed it to better suit my tastes. See, I don’t usually like pork chops at all, I think they are too dry. But, like everything, it depends on how they are made. I have discovered I like thin, boneless pork chops much better, so that’s what I use here, but if you would prefer thicker pork chops, just increase the baking time to around 30 minutes.

Honey Herb Pork Chops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Honey dipped pork chops with an herb stuffing coating. Quick and easy to make!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6-7
Ingredients
  • 1 package thin, boneless pork chops (there are usually 7 in a package)
  • one 6 ounce box stuffing mix, crushed
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Pour the stuffing mix into a plastic gallon storage bag and crush using a meat tenderizer. I crush mine well, but not altogether fine, so that some of it is thicker breading. I tend to use the Stove Top Stuffing mix for chicken for this. You could also crush it in a food processor, but again, try to leave some not finely crushed. The box full gives you more than you need for these pork chops, I save the rest for the next time.
  2. Preheat oven to 400*F. In one shallow bowl combine the egg with the honey. In another shallow bowl mix together about a cup and a half (maybe more, I never measured!) of the crushed stuffing mix and the pepper. Melt the butter and pour it into a baking dish large enough to hold the pork chops without touching.
  3. Dip each pork chop into the honey, allow excess to pour off, and then into the stuffing mix, pressing the stuffing into the pork chops so the breading sticks. Allowing them to sit for about five minutes also helps the breading stick.
  4. Bake, uncovered for 10 minutes, turn the pork chops, and bake for 10-15 minutes more or until 160 degrees with a meat thermometer.

 

These have been my favorite pork chops for years, and I think you will agree! Let me know what you think :)

Linked to Simple Supper Tuesday http://hunwhatsfordinner.blogspot.ca/2013/01/simple-supper-tuesday-2-crock-pot.html

Perfect Meatballs

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Did you ever purchase those frozen meatballs at the grocery store? Most of them suck. I haven’t tried every brand out there, but some of the one’s I have are really bad. They lack flavor and they are dry. I gave up buying them a long time ago and now I just make my own. I think the secret is using meatloaf mix ( a combination of ground beef, pork, and veal) instead of just ground beef. These meatballs are so good my daughter asked me to make them the other day, and then said “Oh, yummy!” when she saw her plate. She usually screams “I don’t want THAT!!” at whatever we give her, even if she asked for it an hour before.

Perfect Meatballs

1 1/3 pounds meatloaf mix. If you can’t find it use 3/4 pound ground beef 1/3 ground pork and 1/4 pound ground veal

1/3 cup onion, chopped fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoons salt

dash pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 350*F

In a large bowl mix together all ingredients. You’re going to have to use your hands, so make sure they are clean! Shape into balls a bit bigger than a golf ball. I came up with 20 meatballs the last time I made them. If you would like them smaller or larger you’ll just have to adjust the bake time. I bake mine for 15-20 minutes. I usually just make them for spaghetti, but they would be great in a meatball sub, or made bite size as an appetizer.

Shrimp In A Lemon Thyme Cream Sauce

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I made this sooo long ago, and then with the holidays I forgot all about sharing it with all of you. I’m so sorry, because it is really, really good! If your worried it might taste to lemon-y, it doesn’t.  I would, however, suggest you don’t do what I did here and instead purchase cooked and peeled shrimp. It will really cut down on your prep time!

Shrimp In A Lemon Thyme Cream Sauce

1 pound large shrimp (31/40 count)

1/4 cup shallot, chopped fine

2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme leaves

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

16 ounces heavy cream

salt and pepper, to taste

Peel and devein shrimp, if using uncooked. Saute the shallot and garlic in the butter until softened and add the shrimp. Continue to saute until the shrimp is pink or heated through if using cooked. Add the heavy cream, lemon juice, lemon thyme leaves, and salt and pepper. Heat over medium low heat until heated through. Serve over thin spaghetti.

Cajun Ranch Chicken Wings

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Chicken wings cause me to gain weight! Plan and simple. I should explain, I’m a skinny woman, I was a skinny teenager, a skinny child, and probably even a skinny baby! My mother says I was born at a normal weight, 7 lbs 3 ounces or something like that. I just never gained much after that. I don’t really have a secret to why I haven’t, which should be obvious by some of my recipes, other than I have never been one to eat a lot in one sitting. I’m more of a grazer. I should start making veggie platters and keep them in the fridge to pick at. Really, that’s a good idea, Bernadette. Ok, I should probably stop thinking and typing at the same time…..

I don’t remember eating chicken wings as a kid. I probably didn’t, I was quite picky back then. Then in my late teens and early twenties I dated a guy and we started ordering wings on the weekends. Like I said, I don’t really eat much in one sitting, so for a while I probably would only eat four wings, but then I slowly increased, ok five wings, maybe six, oh well I’m here I might as well eat them all! With that, just once a week or so, I gained 13 pounds in a few years. Yep, I went from all of 93 to 106 pounds!! Yes, I’m fully aware people hate me, you don’t have to tell me :)

We broke up, I dyed my hair red, and moved on. Ok, it wasn’t really that simple, but I’m not going into details because that ex-boyfriend I still consider a friend and he follows my Facebook page. Hi Bob!! Since then I don’t eat chicken wings once a week anymore, but maybe once a month. I usually just make hot wings, but if we are out I love the Buffalo Bleu wings at Charlie’s Cafe. The last time we were there my best friend ordered Cajun Bleu, I tried a few and LOVED them!

The next time I went to make wings I was thinking of making them, but I was out of bleu cheese dressing. Are you ready for the simplest, so simple I’m not even sure I should consider this a recipe, recipe?

Cajun Ranch Chicken WIngs

1 Package Chicken Wing Sections, frozen ( I buy Tyson’s)

1 cup ranch dressing

1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning ( I use Weber N’Orleans Cajun)

Fry the wings in a preheated (375*F) deep fryer or in oil deep enough to cover in a large pot, 13-15 minutes depending on how crispy you like your wings. In my deep fryer I have to do two separate batches, we eat one batch while cooking the other :)  In a bowl large enough to hold the wings, combine the ranch dressing and Cajun seasoning. Pour in cooked wings and stir to coat. My husband said that maybe they could have used more Cajun seasoning, but I didn’t want the seasoning to be overwhelming. I would suggest tasting the dressing mixture after 1 tablespoon and then adding more to taste.

What is your favorite kind of wings? Give me different ideas, and if I make them I’ll write about them in the future :)

I shared this recipe on Hun, What’s For Dinner?’s linky party http://hunwhatsfordinner.blogspot.ca/2013/01/crock-pot-bacon-wrapped-sour-cream.html

Lemon Dill Salmon (Contest Winner Announcement!)

I will announce the winner of the cookbook by Jodi Ambrose featuring two of my recipes at the end of this post :)

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I make seafood often. It’s normally quite easy to do, and many recipes are interchangeable between different types of fish. Our favorites around here are shrimp, clams, salmon, tilapia, and catfish. The best thing is my 3-year-old will eat most fish, no matter how I cook it, but she doesn’t like store-bought fish sticks!

So, one day I was thinking of doing something different with salmon, and came up with this easy and delicious recipe.

Lemon Dill Salmon

4 salmon fillets, 4 ounces each

3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl combine panko bread crumbs, dill, salt, parsley, and lemon juice. Lay salmon fillets out on a baking dish ( I used a clear glass one) and press the bread crumb mixture into the fillets with your fingers. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes, then turn up the oven to 425 F just long enough to crisp the bread crumbs, about 5-10 minutes longer. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli for a delicious and easy meal!

The winner of a copy of Darn Good Eats, The Cookbook For Creative Chefs and Reluctant Cooks is twitwhitmom!! Congratulations!! Please email me your address to [email protected] no later than December 8, 2012. If I don’t hear from you by then, I will choose another winner!