Dipping Oil with toasted garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar

I’ve always enjoyed dipping oils in restaurants but had never tried my own version.  This was very good; I gently toasted the garlic to bring out a more flavor and used some fresh rosemary too. We had this with a crusty baguette and some fresh steamed broccoli.  I actually dipped some of the broccoli in too and it was oh so delicious!

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  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs rice vinegar

Heat small skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and 1 Tbs olive oil.  Cook until garlic is very lightly toasted; add rosemary, remove from heat, then stir in remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients.  Serve with bread for dipping.

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Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

Ok, just a very simple post tonight.  After a long day of work I’d planned to fix some fish and rice with veggies for dinner but when I got home I asked “can’t we just order pizza!” I don’t do this often; in fact we rarely eat out at all. I had Charles make us some dipping sauce for the bread sticks because the sauce is always lousy no matter who brings your pizza.  If nothing else they are made out of unpronounceable ingredients so here was our tasty take on a garlic butter dipping sauce; with real butter.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ very finely minced

Zest the garlic or finely mince or chop.

Combine all ingredients and melt together. Microwave for 30 seconds or melt on stove top.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Mushroom Poached Chicken and Rice with Broccoli

I know I post chicken recipes often but there are so many ways to fix it and quite simply it is delicious.  Today I started by sautéing some mushrooms to make a flavorful base then added the sliced chicken to the broth for poaching.  I went with rice and broccoli and I seasoned with rosemary, but thyme would be delicious too.

Mushroom Poached Chicken and Rice with Broccoli

  • 8 o.z. fresh mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried rosemary
  • 1 large boneless chicken breast cut into thin strips
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup long cook rice ~ I like jasmine
  • 3 – 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • salt and pepper

In large skillet sauté mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat for about 8 – 10 minutes until tender and starting to brown.

Season with salt and pepper, add water and rosemary and bring to simmer.  Add chicken and garlic and reduce to medium low cooking for about 3 – 5 minutes or until chicken is just cooked.  Remove chicken and some of the mushrooms from the broth in skillet; cover and set aside.

Add rice to broth and begin cooking for about 5 minutes.  Add broccoli florets and cook an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until rice is tender.  Stir in chicken and mushrooms; heating through if necessary.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

This manicotti came out so deliciously that I think the recipe speaks for itself.  I did make mine a bit spicy with a spicy spaghetti sauce and crushed red pepper stirred in but I know this would be fantastic with any style sauce you choose.

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

  • 8 o.z. dry manicotti noodles
  • 8 o.z. fresh mushrooms ~ sliced or diced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 o.z. fresh spinach
  • 15 o.z. ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup italian blend cheese (or a mozzarella and parmesan combination)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper if desired
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • additional cheese for the top

Cook manicotti according to package directions.  Careful not to over cook ~ they will finish cooking during the baking process.

Meanwhile cook mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat about 8 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked as desired.  Add garlic, salt, pepper, and spinach.  Continue cooking about 2 more minutes until spinach is beginning to wilt.  Remove from heat to cool. (I did not drain because the juices were very flavorful; it did make the cheese mix a bit wet but I think it was worth it for the flavor)

Combine ricotta, eggs, 1 cup of cheese and crushed red pepper.  Stir into mushroom and spinach mixture.

Spread about 1/3 of the jar of spaghetti sauce in 9 X 13 pan. Fill manicotti with ricotta, mushrooms, and spinach mix.  I used a zip lock bag with the corner cut out to fill each shell.  I think this would have worked a bit better if I’d cut my mushrooms smaller and had a thicker cheese mix (perhaps chilling the mix would have firmed it up).

They were a bit sloppy but once filled I lined them up in baking dish.

I then topped with remaining sauce and some extra cheese.

Chill until ready to bake if making ahead.  I was making these ahead so once ready to cook I heated the oven to 400 degrees and baked covered for 40 minutes.  Then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.  I would think they may cook about 10 minutes faster if baking right away so adjust the time accordingly.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Shrimp and Grits ~ my midwestern take on this southern style dish

Just a quick post today for some wonderful shrimp and grits I made for dinner.  A lady I used to work with showed me how to make some tasty shrimp and grits so I thought I would give it a try on my own.  I really enjoyed my version and I think Charles did too ~ will definately be making this again soon.

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking grits
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 2 diced jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 12 o.z. shrimp
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ minced
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomato
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to a boil in small sauce pan.  Stir in grits and reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for about 12 minutes or until mostly thickened.  Stir in cheddar cheese and salt.

Meanwhile cook bacon until desired crispness.  Set bacon aside to drain on paper towels and reserve bacon grease in skillet returning to heat; add jalapeno and onion to hot bacon grease and sauté for about 2 minutes .

Add shrimp and cook for about 5 minutes or until cooked though.  Stir in garlic; remove from heat and stir in crushed tomato.  Add thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Cilantro & Lime Beef and Chicken Marinade

You’ve likely noticed a trend from the past couple of posts; some lovely mexican inspired salsa and black bean salad. Well it was all part of a wonderful soft taco dinner.  Charles made a marinade for the meat.  We used a couple of chicken breasts and a flank steak.  The combination was delicious; the only thing it lacked was salt; somehow in the middle of everything we’d forgotten the salt so after cooking we sprinkled some on.   It may have benefited from having some salt in the mix.  Here, however, is the marinade as we made it.

 

Cilantro & Lime Beef and Chicken Marinade

  • 1 Tbs cumin seed ~ crushed
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbs mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic ~ minced
  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lime ~ juiced
  • 2 Tbs fresh cilantro ~ chopped

Combine all ingredients.  In a plastic bag combine marinade and meat of choice.  We made 2 recipes ~ one for chicken and one for the pound flank steak.  Refrigerate and allow to marinate for a couple of hours before grilling.

Charcoal is great for grilling but a gas grill works well too.

Cook over hot grill until desired doneness; medium rare is perfect for the flank steak.

Serve with soft taco shells, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, salsa verde, black bean and corn salad, or any desired toppings.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

 

Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta with an Alfredo Style Sauce

I wanted to make a creamy sauce for the pasta today so I decided to go alfredo style.  Not perhaps a traditional alfredo; a little on the thin side and lightly seasoned yet a bit spicy.  Here’s my recipe for today.

Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta with an Alfredo Style Sauce

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds peeled shrimp
  • 12 o.z. uncooked pasta ~ I choose angel hair pasta today
  • 3 Tbs butter – divided
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp italian herbs
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley – chopped

Thaw and drain shrimp and set aside; cook pasta according to package directions.  In skillet melt 1 Tbs butter; add garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Stir together and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add cream and heat through over medium heat; about 5 – 10 minutes.  While cream is heating melt remaining butter in another skillet.  Add shrimp to melted butter; season with additional salt and pepper if desired.  Add italian herbs and cook until shrimp is just finished; about 4 minutes depending on shrimp size.  Stir parmesan cheese into cream sauce.  Add drained cooked pasta to shrimp pour sauce over top and mix together.  Sauce will be thin; remove from heat and allow 3 – 5 minutes for sauce to thicken and stick to pasta. Stir in fresh parsley and serve with additional parmesan cheese if desired

Enjoy ~ Kimberly