Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rosemary Grilled Red Potatoes

This recipe for rosemary roasted red potatoes is a perfect grilling season recipe, but can just as easily be made in your oven.  If you love garlic and rosemary, this recipe is for you.

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes on the Grill

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Rosemary Grilled Red Potatoes

Roasting the potatoes on the grill results in a more smokey flavor, especially if you use one of these handy, dandy grilling pans.
Grilled Rosemary Red Potatoes


My Favorite Grill Pan
I've owned this grilling pan for several years and have used it to cook vegetables, potatoes and fish on the grill.   It really makes it easy to grill anything that might be cut into smaller sized pieces that might otherwise fall between the slats of the grill.  I love this pan and use it nearly every time we grill.

There's nothing fancy about these grilled potatoes.  The flavor comes from lots and lots of garlic and a smattering of freshly chopped rosemary.  Don't forget the salt and pepper.  They will help to round out the flavors that will be enhanced by the grill.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes Ingredients

Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 4

  • 4-6 red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper to taste



Directions
First, infuse the olive oil with garlic and rosemary.  Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the garlic and rosemary.  You'll hear the garlic and rosemary sizzle when you put it in the pan.  Stir and set aside to cool.

Infuse the Olive Oil

Heat the grill.  Place the potatoes in a bowl and pour the olive oil mixture over them, tossing to coat the potatoes completely with the oil mixture.  Generously season the potatoes with salt and pepper.  I used approximately a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.   Toss the mixture again to make sure the potatoes are well coated.

Season the Potatoes

Place the potatoes in your pan on the grill.    My grill has three burners, so I turn off the center burner and place the grill pan over the turned-off burner section.  This allows the heat from the other burners to surround the pan, without getting it too hot right under the potatoes.

Potatoes Roasting on the Grill

Cover the grill and cook the potatoes for approximately 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  Turn the potatoes with a spoon two or three times while they are roasting.

To make these potatoes in your oven, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.  Prepare the potatoes as you would for the grill, except spread the potatoes on a sheet pan.  Roast the potatoes for 30-45 minutes, until they are browned and tender.

These potatoes are a tasty side dish addition to any grilled menu.   You'll find many, many picnic and barbecue recipes on my Pinterest board.  Follow me for grilling inspiration.


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Enjoy!
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Better Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice

Truth be told, a favorite dinner treat at my house is the occasional Chinese takeout.  We've become particularly fond of fried rice and dumplings as our go-to takeout meal.  On days when I'm feeling particularly energetic I will make the fried rice myself.  The dumplings I leave to professionals.

How to Make Shrimp Fried Rice

Quick and Easy Shrimp Fried Rice
Better Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice

I actually prefer my homemade shrimp fried rice to the rice from the Chinese restaurant.  This recipe is very quick to make and I know exactly what ingredients I am using.  I like having that control.  The flavor is delicious.  Make this shrimp fried rice recipe and you'll want the skip the takeout, too.

Fried rice is easy to make at home and is a good way to use up many of the odds and ends of meats and vegetables that you may have hanging out in your refrigerator.  There are a few things you should keep in mind when you are making fried rice at home to ensure your success.

Better Than Takeout Shrimp Fried Rice

How to Make Fried Rice at Home


Use rice that is at least one day old.  Fried rice needs to be made with rice that has chilled and hardened slightly in your refrigerator.  Otherwise, it will be gummy and clumpy.

Use a hot pan.  Yes, you can use a wok, but a wok is not necessary.  I own a couple of woks but rarely use them.  I'm usually just too lazy to get the wok out.  What's more important than the pan you use is that the pan you choose can take the heat.

Prepare your ingredients before starting to cook.  The fried rice cooks up very quickly.  You'll need all the ingredients ready to go.  Make sure all your chopping is done in advance. and the ingredients are at hand beside your pan.

Use what you have on hand.  One of my favorite kinds of fried rice to order for takeout is house fried rice.  It has everything but the kitchen sink in it.  This is a good way to use up leftovers at home. Let's make some shrimp fried rice, shall we?

Shrimp Fried Rice

Print Recipe
Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients
Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 cups day old white rice, chilled
  • 1/2 pound shrimp, shells removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced, green parts reserved
  • 1 cup frozen carrots and peas
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Directions
Assemble your prepared ingredients.    Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil in a small bowl.   Set aside.

Getting Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients Ready
Get the Ingredients Ready
Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok.  Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil.  When hot, add the shrimp to the pan, cooking for a minute or two until it begins to turn pink.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add one tablespoon of oil to the pan.  Add the onions, celery, garlic, and ginger to the pan.  Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the rice, stirring to cook and brown slightly, about 2 minutes.  Pull the rice mixture to one side of the pan.  Add the eggs to the other side of the pan, cooking the eggs until they set.

Eggs for Your Fried Rice
Make Room in the Pan for the Egg
Add the carrots, peas, and soy sauce mixture.  Stir to combine.  Remove from the heat and garnish with the green parts of the scallions and serve.

Shrimp Fried Rice

Leftovers taste great, too. Add about a teaspoon of water to your bowl and reheat in your microwave for lunch the next day.

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Enjoy!

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

A Thirty Minute One-Pan Chicken Dinner



As the weather warms, I find I want to spend less time in the kitchen than during the colder months of the year.  For quick meals, I keep a stash of boneless chicken breasts on hand in my freezer.  That way I always feel ready to pull a tasty dinner together quickly.  This is one of those dinners.  Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas is a recipe that takes just a few simple ingredients to make a satisfying dinner you can have on the table in thirty minutes.

Quick and Easy Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas


Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas

I love that this dish is a one pan recipe for those of us who aren't eating potatoes or rice.  I like to serve a salad on the side for a dinner that is sure to please the pickiest eaters in your family.  Add rice or mashed potatoes if that's your jam.
One Pan Chicken, Mushroom, and Peas

There's plenty of yummy flavor in this chicken dish.  The bacon, onions, and mushrooms add flavor and texture.  The chicken stock makes a nice sauce and the vinegar adds brightness.

My tip for you today, is to prep your chicken breasts before you freeze them.  I like to trim all the fat from the chicken breasts when I take them from the package.   Have you noticed how big and fat chicken breasts are these days?  Well, when the breasts are large and thick, I slice them in half to make thin cutlets that don't need to be pounded.  Then I wrap each cutlet individually in plastic wrap. All the cutlets the get placed is a freezer bag for long term storage.  This makes it easy for me to take out just the amount of cutlets I'll need for my dinner and no prep will be needed.

This recipe uses frozen peas because I always keep them on hand in my freezer, as well.  You can, of course, use fresh peas.  You'll just want to cook them a few more minutes than recommended for the frozen peas in the recipe.


Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 4
Chicken with Mushrooms and Peas Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces sliced baby Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

Directions

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl.  Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture to cover. Brush off excess flour.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Brown both sides of the chicken and remove from the pan.

Brown the Chicken Breasts
Add the bacon and mushrooms to the skillet, cooking until browned.  Add the onion to the pan, continuing to cook until the onion is soft and tender.  Add the chicken stock and vinegar.  Stir to release the yummy brown bits.

Bring the mixture to a boil and add the chicken back to the pan. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes.  Add the peas and parsley, cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the Frozen Peas
Don't overcook at this point.  Just a couple of minutes with the cover on will thaw the peas and keep them fresh tasting.  Serve immediately.

If you love this quick, one pan dinner please share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Yum.  I appreciate your shares!

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.

Enjoy!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Baked Italian Squash Casserole

I've been planting my backyard vegetable garden these past few weeks and am looking forward to the all the fresh vegetables that will be ready for harvest in July and August.  This summer you'll see me post a few more vegetable recipes. That's because I love fresh vegetables and I believe it is possible to make vegetables a delicious complement to my meals.  I know many of you may not feel the same way, but I hope you'll take advantage of the bounty of locally grown fresh vegetables in your neighborhoods and try one or two of my vegetable recipes.  Perhaps you'll become a vegetable lover as well?

Oven Baked Italian Squash Casserole


Baked Italian Squash Casserole
Today's recipe is one of my favorites to make with the produce from my garden.  Fresh zucchini and yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, and parsley are delicious cooked the day they are picked.  You don't need a backyard garden to make yummy vegetable dishes.  You can make this recipe any time of year with produce from your grocery store or the farmers' market.
Oven Baked Italian VegetableCasserole

Choose your favorite vegetables to mix with some olive oil, seasoned bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese to produce this tasty casserole that even tastes yummy reheated.  If you want to make this a one pan meal, add chunks of chicken.  Saute the chicken in the pan before the vegetables and then continue with the recipe as written.


Baked Italian Squash Casserole

Printer Friendly Recipe
Baked Italian Squash Casserole Ingredients
Serves 6
  • 2 pounds of zucchini and yellow squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 large tomato, cut into chunks
  • 2 small, or 1 large onion, sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 handful chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and the squash cooking until the squash begins to brown. Season with some of the salt and pepper.  Remove the squash to a 13x9 inch baking dish.

Cook the Squash and Garlic

Add the remaining olive oil to the same skillet.  Add the peppers and onions, cooking for 1-2 minutes.  Add the tomato and season with the remaining salt and pepper.  Cook until the peppers begin to soften.  Add the pepper mixture to the pan with the squash.  Stir to combine.

Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes Add Flavor and Color

Sprinkle the mixture with the bread crumbs and the chopped parsley.  Stir to distribute throughout the vegetable mixture.  Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.

Ready for the Oven

Bake the casserole uncovered on the center rack of your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, but still crisp, and the cheese has melted.

Tender, Crisp Vegetables...
I love these veggies as leftovers for breakfast or lunch the next day.  Try them as the filling for an omelet with a little extra cheese.  Oh, so, yummy!

Do you like this recipe?  Please share with your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Yum friends!

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.

Enjoy!
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

How to Organize Your Bathroom Reading Material

Today I am taking a break from the kitchen to update a post I wrote four years ago about two magazine racks I purchased for my bathrooms.  Sometimes the fact that I am the only female living in a male dominated home reveals itself in mundane ways.  One of those ways is the stack of reading materials that grows and grows in the bathrooms.  Do you know what I am talking about?  There are magazines on the back of the toilet.  There are magazines on the floor.  There are magazines on the vanity.  I'm forever picking up, stacking and culling magazines in the bathroom.  That was until I purchased wall-mounted magazine racks.  Finally, an answer to the disorganization caused by reading materials in the bathroom.

Organize with a Wall-Mounted Magazine Rack

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I wanted to provide an update to my original post because I realized it has been four years since my purchase and both magazine racks are in excellent, like new condition.  These were a really great purchase and both of these racks are still available.  If you are in need of wall-mounted magazine and toilet tissue holders, these might be perfect for you, too.  I love them and know you will, too.
Use Wall-Mounted Magazine Racks to Organize Your Bathroom

Originally, my search for a wall-mounted magazine rack was a challenge because there weren't many options.  I wanted a polished chrome or nickel rack to blend with the other hardware in the bathrooms.  I found two excellent choices, one of which was a steal.  The first option can be found at Restoration Hardware and originally cost me $125.00.  It is now (6/8/2017) listed at a final sale price of $85. The Chatham combination magazine rack and tissue holder is attractive, easy to mount on the wall, and is excellent quality.

Restoration Hardware Magazine Rack
Chatham Rack

The second choice for a very similar combination rack and tissue holder can be found at several stores including Walmart for $38.24 and Overstock.com for $38.59.  These prices make this rack the "steal"!

Wall-Mounted Magazine Rack Available at Walmart and Overstock.com
The "Steal" Rack
The "steal" rack has an inch wider footprint than the Chatham rack and is mounted to the wall with visible screws.

The Mounting Screws on the Magazine Rack.
Visible Screws


The Chatham rack slides onto hidden mounting disks and has a cleaner look on the wall.

The Restoration Hardware Rack's Wall Attachment.
Covered Mounting

I bought them both.  My then, newly remodeled, powder room had raised panels that were too narrow for the "steal".  The Chatham rack fits the space perfectly.

The Restoration Hardware Magazine Rack.
The Chatham Rack at Home


My upstairs bathroom was also in need of reading material organization, so the "steal" rack found a home there.

The "Steal" Rack Displayed with Magazines.
The "Steal" Rack at Home
Which should you buy?  In my opinion, both are excellent organizational options for your bathroom.  The "steal" rack wins as the overall preference because of the quality, functionality, and the really great price.  If the size of the rack (one inch shorter width) is a concern for you, as it was for me in my powder room, then the Chatham rack may be the right choice for you.  It is excellent quality and very attractive, but you'll pay more.

Oh, in case you are wondering, I hang the toilet tissue with the ends hanging over the front, not behind.

If you like this magazine rack you may also like this "deal" I chose for a wall mounted cabinet.

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Enjoy!

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