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Kicked up Pimento & Cheese

25 Jun

If you’re from the South like me, then pimento & cheese was probably a staple around your house growing up. But when mom and I offered to bring pimento & cheese to a get together at a friends house, they had no clue what we were talking about. They’re from the North. So if you’re also from the North, do yourself a favor and make some pimento & cheese.

pimento and cheese

Not only does P&C offer wonderful flavor, but it’s simple and makes for a quick meal. Spread on some toasted bread and you have a wonderful sandwhich. To use it as an appetizer, spread it on crackers or celery and watch peoples’ faces light up with happiness!

pimento and cheese 3.1

For the pimento & cheese:

  • 1 8-oz block sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 8-oz block pepper jack cheese
  • 1 8-oz block sharp white cheddar
  • 1/2 cup mayo (or greek yogurt)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos
  • 1 4-oz jar pimentos
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper or McCormick Hot Shot

Shred the three blocks of cheese. Don’t cheat and buy pre-shredded because you’ll regret it. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until moist.


If you don’t like spicy, leave out the jalapeno and substitute more cheddar or monetery jack cheese for the pepper jack. If you’d like to turn it into a warm dip, add an 8-oz block of cream cheese and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until cheese gets melty and bubbly. Enjoy!

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Veggie Fajita Wraps

20 Jun

I love ordering fajitas when we go out for mexican, but I believe I love them homemade even more. Not to mention it’s much simpler and much cheaper. Make these with any type of vegetables you like, adding any spices or meat you may prefer. I simply sauteed the veggies without any added spice and thought the taste was just wonderful. Make these however you prefer, my recipe is as simplistic as it gets.

Veggie Fajita Wrap

For the fajitas:

  • 1 green pepper, julliened
  • 1 red pepper, julliened
  • 1 orange pepper, julliened
  • 1 yellow pepper, julliened
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small squash, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pepper jack cheese
  • tortillas

Simply saute the vegetables in olive oil until peppers soften and onion becomes translucent. Add any spices (garlic, paprika, red pepper flakes) or meats as desired, making sure to cook meat through until no longer pink. Sprinkle cheese on bottom of tortilla and cover with cooked vegetables. Top with toppings of your choice including sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, or beans. Fold the tortilla taco style or like a wrap and enjoy! 

Spicy Spaghetti Bake & One Lovely Blog Award

15 Jun

I have two very important rules to making spaghetti.

  1. Turn on Frank Sinatra Pandora
  2. Keep a never empty glass of wine by your side

How could you go wrong? So instead of the classic spaghetti this time around I went for a spicy, Mexican flare. With salsa, green chiles, and loads of cheese.. it was fantastic (and I dare say I prefer it over regular spaghetti bake).

Spicy Spaghetti 3

For the spaghetti:

  • 1 package (16 oz) whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 pound ground turkey (or beef)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jar (24 oz) salsa
  • 1 jar green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 block pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups (16 oz) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups (16 oz) white American cheese, shredded
  • crushed tortilla chips

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. In the mean time, cook turkey, onion, and pepper in a large skillet until no longer pink. Stir in salsa, chilies, red pepper flakes and cayenne.

In a large bowl whisk egg and butter. Drain spaghetti and add to egg mixture, tossing to coat.

In a greased baking dish place half of the spaghetti mixture. Top with half the meat mixture and half the pepper jack and mozzarella. Repeat layers topping with crushed tortillas and white American cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.


Seriously, I love this dish. Next time I believe I’ll add jalapenos to the mix. If you have a difficult time finding white American cheese, check the deli section. I adapted my recipe from Taste of Home.

On another note, a big thank you to Sharing Me, Myself and I for the One Lovely Blog Award! It requires that I tell 7 things about myself and pass on the award as well.

http://sharingmemyselfandi.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/one-lovely-blog-award.jpg

  1. I love nothing more than a good book. Right now the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
  2. I also enjoy playing video games (currently waiting for Skyrim DLC)
  3. I was born a blonde, but have always wanted black hair.
  4. I’d love to win the lottery and spend my life traveling.
  5. Speaking of traveling, I spent a week in Ireland a few summers back and LOVED it.
  6. I love anything from the 20’s era.
  7. My taste in music is very diverse, but I love a good jazz or classical piece.

I chose to pass this award on to these 5 blogs (in alphabetical order).

Quiche Lorraine Scones

20 May

As you may, or may not, know.. it’s National Quiche Lorraine Day! I thought it’d be fun to try a quiche recipe, but lacked the eggs to do so. Thankfully, before I gave up on Quiche Lorraine Day all together, I happened upon this recipe for scones, and am I ever glad! I’ve admittedly never made, nor eaten, scones before but I have a feeling they’re going to become a new regular on my menu. Sort of a glorified biscuit, these scones were flavorful and smelled absolutely amazing. I had a difficult time resisting the urge to open the oven, pluck one off the baking sheet, and gobble it away.

Quiche Lorraine Scones

For the scones:

2 cups + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided

1 tablespoon baking powder

Dash cumin & garlic powder

1 teaspoon each salt & pepper

8 tablespoons cold butter, diced

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 eggs

4 ounces swiss cheese, diced

3 green onions, thinly sliced

8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbles

egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Prepare the bacon, onion and cheese. Toss these ingredients together with 1 teaspoon flour; set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the butter is pea-size.

With a fork, lightly beat the eggs and half-and-half and add to the flour mixture. Add the bacon, onion and cheese mixture. Using a wooden spoon, fold mixture until it begins to come together.

Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead gently for less than one minute. Pat dough to ¾ to 1-inch thick and cut using 2-inch biscuit cutter or cut into squares or triangles. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


As I said, these scones were delicious! If you’re unsure how to cut butter into flour, here’s a nice tutorial. Best served warm and straight from the oven, scones make a wonderful breakfast or tea-time snack. They can also easily be reheated under the broiler or microwaved covered with a damp paper towel to ensure they don’t become too dry. I found this recipe at BrownEyedBaker.

Sauteed Zucchini Strips

17 May

Zucchini 4.1

I found this wonderfully simple recipe in Cuisine Lite magazine several months ago but had yet to try it until recently. Unsure of how flavorful this dish would turn out, I was skeptic. Thankfully I prepared it for dinner one night and it received rave reviews! The simplicity of the dish brings out the flavor of the zucchini but the options of adding in other flavors are endless! The zucchini does cook down quite a bit so more zucchini than called for may be needed if making for a larger crowd than just two people.

For the Zucchini:

2 large zucchinis

about 1/4 yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

With a carrot peeler, slice around the zucchini. Slice the onion into thin strips. Over medium heat, saute the zucchini strips with the onion and olive oil until the zucchini is wilted and onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste. Done!


This can be served as a side dish or as a meal in itself. I scrounged around the kitchen for Parmesan cheese to add on top, but came up empty handed. Garlic, chicken, or pasta could all be tasty additives.

Sweet & Savory Chicken Salad

14 May

For starters, Happy (belated) Mother’s Day to all you special women out there! Life without my mom would be unfathomable, for she’s my best friend, my guiding light, and my heart. So when you read this mom, know that I love you (in case I don’t say it enough).

Mom and I

With that being said, friday night, as an early mother’s day gift, I cooked my mom one of her favorite meals.. Chicken Piccata. With it being just the two of us, you can imagine the amount of chicken leftover. Instead of freezing and forgetting about it, I decided to pan sear the remaining chicken, forcing myself to later make use of it. While scrounging around for lunch today, I remembered my pre-cooked chicken and turned it into these two recipes for chicken salad. Warning: I measured almost nothing out so these recipes are a “make it your own” sorta deal.

Sweet Chicken Salad

For the Sweet Chicken Salad:

Shredded chicken

Light mayo

Finely chopped sweet apples

Finely chopped dried mango

Finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Unsweetened shredded coconut

Dash of celery salt

Combine all of your ingredients, using as much or as little as desired. Other additions could include raisins, chopped cherries, or bacon.

Savory Chicken Salad 2

For the Savory Chicken Salad:

Shredded chicken

Herb Greek yogurt (recipe follows)

Finely chopped green bell pepper

Parmesan cheese

Combine ingredients using  measurements to suit your tastes. Other bell peppers, feta cheese, or mini pepperonis could also be included.

For the Herb Greek yogurt:

For every 1 tablespoon of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, add 1/8 teaspoon each celery salt, rosemary, basil, and chives. Refrigerate at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld.


Recipes for chicken salad are so versatile, and I enjoyed these both! They can easily be served as a meal on a bed of lettuce, atop a croissant, or in a wrap. For an easy appetizer, ball the chicken salad with a melon scoop or mini ice cream scoop and top on crackers or Melba toast.

Jalapeno Double Bean Soup

8 May

I’ve recently developed a strong taste for black beans. No complaints since they’re heart healthy, although I’ve been at a loss how to prepare them as something other than a side dish on taco night. Gladly, tonight I turned my sad can of black beans into a delicious soup that I threw together with ingredients lying around the apartment. This is a recipe I’ll be preparing for years to come!

For the soup:

1 (15 oz) can low sodium black beans, drained

1 (16 oz) can refried beans

2 cups vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 packet ham bouillion

Drain the black beans and put into a bowl. Roughly mash the beans just until there are few solid beans left. Mix in the can of refried beans and stir together until combined. In a medium saucepan, add the garlic and jalapeno with a tablespoon of olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in bean mixture and remaining ingredients and bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Serve and enjoy!


I thought this soup turned out excellent! Mine was topped with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkled with shredded cheese, and served with jalapeno cornbread. Needless to say, I enjoyed this meal without the help of anti-spicy Adam.

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