Creamy Chorizo Pasta

L&K visit

Before we left Florida, my brother and his fiance came to visit so they could meet my little man when he was 3 weeks old. My brother used to have a fear of holding babies. The man (can I just say that’s weird to say, he’s my little brother!) that came over showed no fear, had no hesitation, and had no intention of ever putting his nephew down. I was sure that as soon as Wesley started to cry he’d be hastily handed back to me, instead Louie walked around, bounced him, talked to him, and climbed up and down the stairs. He’s a natural!

When you’re about to move the last thing you want to do is make a big grocery trip. Our last couple weeks’ dinners in Florida where comprised of whatever we could scrounge up at the house and eating out. Because we had company, I wanted whatever I made to not only use what I had in the fridge, but also be delicious. The Creamy Chorizo Pasta dish that resulted was a hit by all.

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 2 C chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 3/4 C heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat brown chorizo, breaking up into bits. Add the shallots and cook until softened. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Toss gently.
  3. Strain any fat, if desired, before adding in the heavy cream. Let sauce come to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and let thicken to desired consistency. Add the cooked spaghetti and coat in the sauce.

Creamy Chorizo Pasta

Fried Chicken Salad

When we moved to Ohio we spent a week with Stuart’s family in northern Alabama. As a welcome, his aunt provided dinner for us – fried chicken!

I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d had fried chicken. (Other than Chick-fil-A, of course.) It’s not something I have, or even crave, that often. But when it’s made right it makes me wonder why I haven’t been enjoying it more! Perfectly seasoned, crispy batter and juicy meat makes for finger licking good eats.

But what do you do with the leftovers?

Damaris Phillips, winner of last season’s Next Food Network Star, has an answer!

Chicken salad.

I really like chicken salad (as long as it’s made with mayo and not Miracle Whip). I love it on top of a croissant, between toasted bread, and eaten with crackers. There are many options when it comes to chicken salad mix-ins: from nuts, to fruits, to vegetables, even bacon and cheese.

When I watched Damaris make this on her show Southern at Heart, I immediately wanted to make it. I was ecstatic to have the opportunity! This chicken salad is fantastic. I love the tang from the buttermilk, the kick from the cayenne, the crunch from the celery, and the zip from the scallion. I even followed Damaris’s suggestion and served it on a croissant. That buttery, flaky bread is the perfect vessel for the chicken salad.

I encourage you to go out and get some fried chicken, or make your own, just so you can have this chicken salad. Bring it to your next tailgate, go on a picnic, or spice up your weekday lunchbox. Find any excuse you can to make this sandwich!

Fried Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C mayonnaise
  • 1/4 C whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 C buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 5-6 C cold fried chicken, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 scallions, sliced

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together mayo, mustard, buttermilk, Italian seasoning, and cayenne. Stir in chicken, celery, and scallion.
  2. Create sandwiches with croissants. Makes 6-8 sandwiches.

*This recipe is adapted from Damaris at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/damaris-phillips/fried-chicken-salad-sandwiches.html*

Fried Chicken Salad

Tuesday Tattles #1

Tuesday Tattles

When I saw I am a Honey Bee‘s latest post on her baby favorites pop up on my WordPress Reader I decided to be a copy cat and also share my favorite baby items each month. Just like my random ramblings are limited to Thursday Thoughts, I’ll be reserving these Tuesday Tattles for baby related posts.

Tuesday Tattles #1

As I missed month one, here are my favorite necessities over the first two months of motherhood.

IMG_9509Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper

Stuart’s cousins gave us this contraption. Already having kids, they knew that this sleeper is more appealing to newborns than their crib or Pack N Play – lying flat is unnatural for newborns and this keeps them cradled and slightly upright.

My favorite feature of the Rock n’ Play is that I can drag it around the house!

Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

I wouldn’t have thought about adding this item to our baby registry if it weren’t for the Babies R Us check list, and now it’s one of my “must haves”! We have noticed a difference in Wesley’s breathing at night when we have the humidifier running – he is less wheezy and sleeps better for it.

Sun & Bug Cover

This netting fits over our car seat and does double duty. Not only does it keep the mosquitoes from biting, it also keeps the strangers from touching. We would utilize this cover on our walks to Publix when we were living in Florida. We also use it for restaurant dining when the option to sit outside is available.

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

Diaper rash is inevitable, and this stuff works! I notice a difference in his red bottom after just one diaper change.

MammaBaby

In a generation addicted to cell phones (me included) there are many apps to help us manage our children. I have found one that I absolutely love. I can record his feedings (breast, bottle, and solid food), his sleep, and his diaper changes. It will also calculate percentiles when I input his height and weight. What we love about this app is that we can look back at the statistics to see if he’s eating more or less than usual, if he’s having the proper number of dirty diapers, and if he missed a couple naps.

photo (10)Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Car Seat

When we created our registry, we spent the most time picking out the stroller and car seat. We needed something that was safe and light enough for me to manage. This car seat is part of Graco’s click to connect line and it snaps perfectly in place into the coordinating strollers.

It’s obvious that a car seat is a necessary baby item, so why am I highlighting it? Wesley’s second month started out with a move from Florida to Ohio and this car seat became his best friend.

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

This Mexican Monday post is the first Mexican Monday meal I prepared in our new Ohio home. With a little one to care for and a house to turn into a home, I happily let my slow cooker do the work for me.

This creamy, saucy, shredded chicken goes great over top a pile of rice. It’s a hearty meal perfect for when the days and nights start to get a little colder.

This dish provides wonderful leftovers too (and I don’t say that lightly) – remake some rice or even turn it into another Mexican Monday favorite – enchiladas, tacos, or quesadillas. I even scooped it up with some tortilla chips.

The original recipe called for a can of Rotel, but as I’m breastfeeding and trying to avoid too spicy of food I substituted a partial can of diced tomatoes with garlic and onion. Next time I’d even add in a can of corn!

Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (10.75 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 C sour cream

Steps:

  1. In a slow cooker, combine cream of chicken soup, tomatoes, beans, and onion.
  2. Season chicken with S+P. Add to slow cooker.
  3. Cook on LOW 7 hours.
  4. Shred chicken and return to the slow cooker. Stir in sour cream.
  5. Serve over rice.

*This recipe is adapted from Sarah at http://themagicalslowcooker.com/2014/08/16/slow-cooker-fiesta-chicken-bake/*

Fiesta Chicken

Thursday Thoughts #7

Thursday ThoughtsIf you’re a regular Sew You Think You Can Cook reader, you know that we have just relocated from the Florida Panhandle to the Miami Valley of Ohio. We opted to do a partial dity move, in which the Air Force hired and paid movers to transport the majority of our belongings and we took some of our items ourselves.

There are a lot of horror stories when it comes to military moves, and I’m happy to say we aren’t one of them. No, things didn’t go perfectly – bookcases, an entertainment unit, and a desk were broken; our ladder got lost along the way; a large vase broken; board game boxes crushed by bowling balls; and two boxes were investigated by mice.

I read other blog posts on moving tips and attended PCS meetings. We’d heard that the packers will pack literally everything – including the trash. While I couldn’t imagine that being true, I can see how it could happen. Our packers assured us they wouldn’t pack the trash (and I had all garbage cans emptied before they arrived), they did move everything. The night before the packers showed up, I went through the fridge and pantry and invited Kate over to come grocery shop. I had forgotten to get rid of the left over items (like the opened box of cereal and graham crackers) and they got packed along with the unopened boxes of pasta, rice, and canned foods. This box is one of the two that was of particular interest to the mice. The neighboring box (which happened to be my fabric stash) also got hit – and I lost a nice roll of batting.

Learning from other’s experiences I knew that I wouldn’t trust my grandmother’s antique secretary desk to the movers. And I am beyond grateful to my in-laws for helping us move this piece of furniture. If cheap pieces of furniture were broken – I can’t begin to imagine what might of happened to my antique. Other things I didn’t want to lose included – scrapbooks, quilts, and personal documents.

And then there were the necessities – everything that Wesley would need for the week, and anything we would need as well. I can’t stress this point enough – IF YOU HAVE LITTLE CHILDREN, MOVE THEIR THINGS YOURSELF. We spent 3 days in our new home before our delivery. That also means – don’t forget to pack a uniform. It’s a good thing we had one uniform set in our suitcase because Stuart had to report before our boxes arrived.

My last piece of advice – get help! Stuart’s parents helped with the move and my mom helped with the unpacking. Even with the extra hands, half of my house is in disarray!

 

#FoodieExtravaganza: Waffles

foodieextravaganza 300

This month’s #FoodieExtravaganza is celebrating Waffles! September is National Waffle month and along with a bunch of other bloggers we are having a Foodie Extravaganza all about Waffles! The Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly party hosted by bloggers who love food! Each month we incorporate one main ingredient into recipes to share with you and this month, our host Summer of Summer Scraps offered up a poll and the theme of waffles won! While I wasn’t part of the majority vote (I voted for breakfast) I’m ecstatic that waffles won out. Waffles are my favorite breakfast item!

I thought about doing savory waffles for a little bit of a twist – but then I found this recipe saved on my foodgawker favorites. Sweet potato seemed like a winner with it now being September and Fall fast approaching. I also used up the blueberries in my fridge to make a homemade blueberry syrup. The syrup complimented the cinnamon sweet potato waffles very well – a little bit of summer with a little bit of fall.

Sweet Potato Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium, or 1 large, sweet potatoes
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 C buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp melted butter

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Poke sweet potatoes with a fork. Bake 40 minutes, or until cooked through. Allow potatoes to cool to touch. Remove flesh from skins and puree until smooth.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, and butter.
  4. Combine wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix in sweet potatoes.
  5. Into a hot greased waffle iron, drop 1/3 C of batter and cook until golden.

*This recipe is adapted from Rachael at http://rachaelwhite.me/sweet-potato-cinnamon-waffles/*

Blueberry Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 5 C blueberries
  • 4 C water, divided use
  • 2 C sugar
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of 2 lemons

Steps:

  1. In a saucepan bring sugar, 3 C water, and lemon rind to a gentle boil. Stir until sugar is disolved and cook until the syrup reaches a 225 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, mash blueberries with remaining 1 C of water. Cook over low for 15 minutes. Press through a fine strainer and set aside.
  3. Combine syrup, blueberry juice, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use. It can be stored for up to 6 months.

*This recipe is adapted from Grace at http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/perfect-blueberry-syrup*

 Sweet Potato Waffles

Be sure to check out these other waffle recipes:

Cinnamon Swirl Waffles from Summer Scraps

Caramel Apple Waffles from We Like to Learn as we Go

Cheddar and Jalapeno Waffles from Rhubarb and Honey

Strawberry Shortcake Waffles from Mrs. Penguin

4 Ingredient Spiced Pumpkin Waffles from Keep It Simple Sweetie

Lasagna Waffles from Love in the Kitchen

Pumpkin Pie Waffles from Eazy Peazy Mealz

Oat Sourdough Waffles from Passion Kneaded

Waffle Crusted Apple Pie Parfait from The Freshman Cook

Sweet Potato Waffles with Pecan Honey Butter from Wicked Spatula

Savory Bacon and Veggie Waffles from Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Bacon and Cheese Waffles from Housewife Eclectic

Maple Bacon Waffles from Ashlee Marie

Loaded Baked Potato Waffles from Food Lust People Love

14 Delicious Waffle Recipes

We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food! And each month we all incorporate one main ingredient into a recipe. This month the ingredient is waffles. We hope you all enjoy the delicious ways we made our waffles and be sure to come to see what next month’s new ingredient is. If you would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

Red and Blue Berry Sauce

Our first night home with Wesley we were welcomed by our parents and Stuart’s sister with a beautiful home cooked dinner of mashed potatoes, asparagus, and pork chops. My mom made her mashed potatoes, Stuart’s mom made the vegetables, the dads grilled the pork chops, and Audrey made a beautiful berry sauce to put atop the pork. It was a wonderful dinner to celebrate the birth of our first son and the first grandchild on both sides of the family.

Red and Blue Berry Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 C white wine
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 C blueberries
  • 2/3 C raspberries
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp honey

Steps:

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring shallots, wine, vinegar, thyme, and cinnamon to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes, or until reduced by more than half.
  2. Add berries, butter, and honey. Cook 2-4 minutes.

*This recipe is modified from Melissa at http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/12604/salmon-with-agrodolce-blueberries.html*

Red and Blue Berry Sauce

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