Its been a while since I got around to uploading a recipe. Life has been so wonderfully busy. I am finally realizing the importance of a lot of things I didn’t care for before. I guess this is how it feels to be an adult. I started eating healthier and working out as well. I have been doing the paleo diet for a few months and it was getting boring to eat grilled chicken breast every day. So I wanted to come up with something different and put my cast iron skillet to good use. Here is a sort of healthy recipe for people who want to have delicious and good food.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Medium Chicken Thighs
  • Bone-in Skin on 2 Chicken Wings
  • Butter- 2 tbs
  • Olive Oil-1 tbs
  • Salt, Pepper, Paprika to Taste
  • 4 Medium Russet Potatoes (Peeled and Diced into 1-Inch Cubes)
  • Baby Carrots-2 Cups (Halved Longways)
  • Onion-1 Medium
  • Cloves Garlic-Diced 5 minced
  • Soy Sauce-1/2 Cup
  • Honey-1/2 Cup
  • Ketchup-1/4 Cup
  • Chicken Stock-1 Cup

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, add butter and olive oil.
  2. Pat dry chicken with paper towel and season with salt, pepper, and paprika to taste.
  3. Place chicken skin side down in the hot skillet, and cook just until brown. Flip chicken and brown on the other side. Do not cook all the way through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, add baby carrots and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until they develop some color. About 8 minutes. *TIP: Only stir occasionally. This allows more color to develop. Color = FLAVOR! Once slightly golden but NOT cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, add onion, and more olive oil if needed. Saute onion until translucent. While onion is cooking, make the sauce. Whisk to combine coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute), honey, ketchup and chicken stock in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Add garlic to onion and cook 1 minute. Add sauce and bring to a simmer to reduce slightly. About 5 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes to the skillet and toss in the sauce. Nestle in chicken pieces.
  7. Finish cooking in a 425°F oven for about 15-20 minutes OR until chicken reads an internal temperature of 165°F.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH6hy1fHiQw

This was my first girls trip ever. I had to live up to my cooking expectations from my girls. The pressure was on, we have been going in circles trying to come up with a simple dish that didn’t involve too many ingredients. All of a sudden I spotted this beautiful big juicy mango and something in my head just seemed to feel right. We picked up the mango and everything else that was needed. Both of my friends enjoyed it so much that I had to put this up on the blog. Here is the recipe for both, Lisa and Shannon 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • Baby spinach – 8 cups
  • Couscous – 1 cup
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, divided – 1/2 cup
  • Extra-virgin olive oil 1 Tbs
  • Salt, divided – 3/4 tsp
  • 1 large mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • Mushrooms – 1 cup
  • Chopped red onion –  1/4 cup
  • 1/2 jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • Fresh lime juice – 1Tbs

DIRECTIONS:

I did not have a grill out there, so I cooked everything on the stove top. If you want to use your grill. Please follow the recipe below.

  1. Place 2 cups spinach and the mushrooms in a pan and cook well.
  2. On a saucepan combine couscous with 1/4 cup water. Cook it following the directions on the packet.
  3. Combine shrimp, 1/4 cup cilantro, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in another pan, after that is cooked mix the shrimp with the cooked spinach and simmer them for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Combine remaining 1/4 cup cilantro with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, mango, avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeño and lime juice in a bowl.
  5. Place the couscous on a serving dish, top it off with the mango salsa and the cooked spinach and shrimp on top.

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/shrimp-with-avocado-mango-salsa-365851

 

Over time, I learned that people who can make the best out of any kind of situation are the people who are the happiest. I am not one of those people. But sometimes it may come as a surprise and I end up trying to make the best out of a bad situation unknowingly. This weekend was one of those days where none of my plans took place. I don’t get many weekends to waste, so I was very much upset. I have literally made the situation better by baking these biscuits. Delightfully delicious warm biscuits. I made my biscuits from scratch but you don’t have to. I have both the recipes here.

Biscuit Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • All-purpose flour- 1 cup
  • Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Granulated sugar- 1 1/2 tsp.
  • Salt- 1/8 tsp.
  • Unsalted butter, cold 4 Tbs. or 1/4 cup
  • Buttermilk, at room temperature- 1/2 cup

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Slice the cold butter into cubes and cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender until a crumbly dough forms. Add the buttermilk slowly and stir until the dough becomes moistened.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough gently a few times. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Dip the edges of a 2-1/2 inch circle cutter in flour, then use it to cut the dough into circles. Re-roll the remaining dough to cut additional biscuits.
  3. Place the biscuit dough circles in a cast iron skillet or on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges are slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Place the biscuits on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with the toppings of your choice.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Mild sausage (or Hot, I use turkey sausage) – 1 pound
  • All-purpose flour – 4 Tbs
  • Milk – 2 cups of Cream cheese (cubed)- 6 oz
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)- 1 pinch
  • Biscuits (Pillsbury Grands) – 18 5/16 oz

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet cook and crumble sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Drain any grease.
  3. In a medium saucepan heat milk over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Stir constantly until thickened. About 3 or 4 minutes. Add cubed cream cheese to milk and cook and stir until cream cheese is melted and all combined.
  4. Pour gravy into a prepared baking dish. Spread out evenly. Sprinkle cooked sausage evenly over gravy. Top with a little black pepper and pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired.
  5. Remove biscuits from can and place on top of sausage and gravy. ( I only fit 6 for looks. You can squeeze in the other 2 if you’re not worried about that. You can bake the other 2 alongside the casserole OR you can cut up all the biscuits into quarters and place the quarters all over the top.)
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until biscuits are golden-brown and cooked through. (You may need to cover the top with foil the last five minutes to prevent tops from burning.)

https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Quick-_-Easy-Buttermilk-Biscuits-2132947

https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Biscuits-and-Gravy-Casserole-1268276

Given the right situation, a person can find out his/her strength. They can learn what they are capable of and what they can do without. I always thought that I couldn’t cook anywhere except my own kitchen, with my own things, and most importantly my own privacy. It has been a while now that I don’t have my own place where things are my own to call and organize. But now I know that cooking is something that I can do anywhere as long as I have ingredients to work with. I made these sweet potatoes while I was helping someone house-sit. I looked around and found these sweet potatoes and got inspired and put together a meal within an hour for 6 people. Sometimes, it really takes one little spark to ignite an idea and you just have to run with it. I’ve made these a few times since then, they will not be crispy but they are delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Butter (melted)- 3 Tbs
  • Olive Oil- 3 Tbs
  • Rosemary crushed- Dried 1/4 tsp, fresh 1/2 tsp
  • Sweet Potatoes- 3 lbs, (3-4 medium, peeled and sliced thinly)
  • Shallots- 1 (peeled and sliced thinly)
  • Kosher salt- 1 dash
  • Black pepper- 1 dash

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2.  Combine melted butter, oil and crushed rosemary in a small bowl. Pour 2 tablespoons of butter-oil mixture in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Arrange potato slices vertically in the dish. Add a sliver of shallot between every few slices of potato. Brush top with remaining butter-oil mixture. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3.  Cover dish with foil and roast for 1 hour, covered, until potatoes are tender (If your potato slices are thicker than shown, you may need to increase cooking time). Increase oven heat to 450 degrees F. Remove foil and roast another 10-15 minutes until tops of potatoes are browned and crisp.

Crispy Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

To get into the spirit of the world cup soccer game this year. I tried to make this appetizer. I learned of it from a Facebook post made by Tashfee at the time. She invited people to go over and have this appetizer if Brazil won that round. Being that we live thousands of miles apart, I couldn’t possibly go over and have a quick bite at her place. So I decided to make my own Coxinha – Brazilian street food. I am happy to say that they turned out to be quiet tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

FILLING

  • Olive oil- 1 Tbs
  • Garlic cloves minced – 4
  • White onion diced – 1
  • Chicken cooked and shredded- 2 cups
  • Paprika or cayenne pepper- 1/2 tsp
  • salt- to taste
  • Cream cheese- 4 oz
  • Fresh parsley chopped- 3 Tbsp

DOUGH

  • Unsalted butter – 1 Tbs
  • Whole milk- 2 cups
  • All-purpose flour- 2 cups
  • Egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs – 2 cups
  • Oil, for frying

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a medium pot, heat olive oil, then sauté garlic and onions until soft and brown. Add shredded chicken, salt, and paprika (or cayenne pepper). Stir to incorporate.
  2. Transfer mixture into a bowl, add cream cheese and parsley. Mix well.
  3. In the same pot, add butter, chicken broth, and milk. Bring to a boil. Stir in flour until dough is formed.
  4. Transfer dough to a flat surface. Knead the dough while it is warm, but not hot.
  5. Pinch a piece of dough, about the size of a large egg, and roll into a ball. Using your hands, flatten the dough and spoon filling into the center. Wrap the dough into a pear shape and make sure there aren’t any holes.
  6. While heating a pot of oil to 350˚F/180˚C, dredge the dough in egg and panko, then deep-fry till golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Drain on a towel, or wire rack and serve immediately.