Category Archives: Quick Fix

Easy Oven Jambalaya

A while back my coworker Kim had the misfortune of her freezer messing up.  She had to quickly cook a lot of the meat she had frozen and one of the things she cooked was this easy oven jambalaya.  She brought some to work for our lunch the next day and it was SO good!  She gave me the recipe and I cannot even tell you how many times I’ve made it since.  My husband is always asking for it, even my picky daughter loves it!

The recipe calls for Uncle Ben’s original rice.  Make sure to get that, Kim said that it does make a difference!  The ingredients do sound a bit strange for a jambalaya but trust me, this is one of the best jambalayas I’ve ever had!  You can be creative with your proteins also.  While jambalaya does typically contain chicken and sausage, shrimp would be delicious and so would crawfish (I know because I did it!).

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya
Recipe from the Barth/Cutrera Family

Ingredients:
1 can French Onion Soup
1 can beef broth
1 small can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup green onions
2 cups Uncle Ben’s Original uncooked rice
1 tbsp minced garlic
Tony’s Creole seasoning and thyme to taste
1 lb. boneless diced chicken and sliced smoked sausage (or shrimp, or crawfish)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients.  Pour into an oven-safe casserole that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.  Cover with foil and bake for an hour and a half.

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Easy Oven Jambalaya

Browned Butter Frosting

I’ve been making the same pumpkin spice cake with chocolate chips for nearly ten years and until recently always held fast to the belief that it was so good on its’ own that it didn’t need a frosting.  It really is, without frosting it goes from cake cake to more of a breakfast cake, fabulous with coffee in the morning.  But then one day I thought that it would be good with browned butter, and off I went to find a recipe for browned butter frosting.

I ended up using a recipe from Martha Stewart and it is SO easy.  I really love browned butter, it gives food a nutty taste and is so decadent.  This frosting was super simple to put together, just make sure you put it on the cake quickly, it sets really fast and will end up looking a little gloppy.  Hence the picture of one side of my cake!  ;)  It was a huge hit despite that, I made it for Thanksgiving and my mother-in-law asked me to make it again for Christmas and for her upcoming birthday.  I don’t know about you, but I’d call that a success!

Browned Butter Frosting

Browned Butter Frosting

Browned Butter Frosting
Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients:
4 tbsp butter
1 cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk, depending on desired thickness

Method:

In a small saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat, stirring often.  It will start to bubble and brown, let it get a good golden brown and then remove from heat, around ten minutes.

In a bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, butter (leave as much sediment in the saucepan as you can), and 1 tbsp milk.  Mix until smooth, you may add more milk if needed.  Use immediately.

Portobello Pesto Pizza

Pizza is one of the greatest, most versatile foods ever.  Practically everyone loves pizza and you can put ANYTHING on them.  They can be simple, budget saving pizzas or gourmet treats.  This pizza is about a middle of the road, probably closer to the budget than the expensive.

When I have pizza, I want it to be full of gloppy stringy cheese.  I know those words aren’t appealing, but hey, that’s how it is.  When I saw the picture of this Portobello pesto pizza on Brown Eyed Baker, the cheese looked fantastic and that’s what caused me to make it.  It didn’t disappoint, my husband and I both loved it – so much in fact that we made it twice in one week!  It’s so simple, the hardest part is slicing and cooking mushrooms, which we know isn’t difficult at all.  The first time we made it, we made it as the recipe states with the Portobello mushrooms.  The second time the supermarket didn’t have any, so we used regular mushrooms which worked fine, FYI.

Portobello Pesto Pizza

Portobello Pesto Pizza
Recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients:
1 pizza crust, we used Boboli brand
basil pesto
1 tbsp butter
salt
1 lb. Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
Parmesan cheese
Smoked Provolone cheese slices

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place a pizza stone inside to warm.
  • In a pan, saute the mushrooms and onion in the butter until soft, season lightly with salt while they are cooking.
  • Assemble the pizza, spread the pesto on the crust, just as you would pizza sauce.  Top generously with the mushrooms and onions, then the Parmesan cheese.  Lay slices of Provolone cheese on top, covering as much of the pizza as you can.
  • Slide pizza onto the heated pizza stone, then bake until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

 

Quick and Easy Salsa

I love chips and dip, it’s one of my favorite snacks.  Every time I would go to my friend Kelly’s house, she would have this super yummy salsa.  Finally I asked her to send me the recipe and it was a link to a blog.  I made it.  And the next day I made it again.

This recipe really IS quick and easy.  The ingredients are inexpensive, something you can keep in your pantry to pull out for a last-minute appetizer.  It takes literally minutes to make.  And it’s quite tasty.  It says it’s a copycat recipe for the Chili’s salsa, and it may be.  I don’t eat there often enough these days to compare, but I do love this one!  Thanks for sharing, Kelly!

Quick and Easy Salsa

Quick and Easy Salsa
Recipe from:  Six Sisters Stuff

Ingredients:
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained
1 small can (4 oz.) diced jalapenos
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt (or 1/2, depending on taste)
1 tsp cumin
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp sugar

Method:

Add all ingredients to a medium-sized bowl.  Using an immersion blender, puree until the consistency is to your liking.  Alternately, you could put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it is to your liking.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Caesar Salad Dressing

In the MOM’s  Club I’m in, we do lots of potlucks.  It sometimes gets hard to think of something new to bring, often I just end up doing pigs in a blanket or something, things that the kids will eat too.  But frankly, the kids rarely eat anyway, they are too busy playing.  So when my friend Tiffani hosted the April potluck, I decided to bring one of her favorites, caesar salad!

This was really easy to make, though I did make some adaptations to the recipe I followed.  I added one egg yolk, a splash of milk and some parmesan cheese.  Just because it isn’t Caesar without it!  It came out really good.  I do have one piece of advice.  If you do use the anchovies, you will not use them all.  Just throw the rest away, do not try to make another batch of dressing days later.  Trust me.  ;)  But everyone seemed to really like it and asked if I would post the recipe, so here ya go, ladies!

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad Dressing
Recipe adapted from The Food Network

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk

Method:

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely puree’d.  Pour into a tupperware and keep cold.  When making a salad, place romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, croutons and some dressing in a ziploc bag and shake until  well mixed.  You can also add chicken to make it a meal.

Pan-Fried Green Beans

Spring is here, flowers are blooming and fresh produce is plentiful.  Kroger has been having some great produce sales lately, one of them being green beans.  When my husband decided he wanted to do some steaks on the grill, I knew I wanted to have fresh green beans with them.

I have a couple of green bean recipes I always cook, but I just wanted something different this time.  It’s fun to mix it up sometimes!  After a little search on allrecipes.com, I landed on “Dad’s Pan-Fried Green Beans.”  It sounded easy and delicious, and it really was.  The flavors were so deep and delicious, all that was left at the end was an empty plate!  I’m sure you could fix this with frozen green beans, but if you find some on sale, you can’t beat fresh!

Pan-Fried Green Beans

Pan-Fried Green Beans
Recipe from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
3 tbsp soy sauce (I used Tabasco brand)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp white granulated sugar
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp minced garlic

Method:
Place the green beans in a pot with one inch of water.  Bring to a boil, cover and cook for five minutes.

While that’s cooking, stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.  Drain the green beans, then heat the sesame oil.  Add the green beans and garlic, cook for about a minute, just until the garlic is toasted.  Add the soy sauce mixture, toss to coat and allow to cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened and reduced.

Transfer the beans to a serving dish and drizzle the remaining sauce over them before serving.

Nutella Pop-Tarts

Despite the large number of desserts I’ve been posting lately, I’m not actually a big sweets eater.  Often when I make something sweet, I bring some to friends and neighbors, otherwise it’ll go bad at my house.  But that’s not always the case.

I took my daughter and her little BFF to a cupcake bakery in our town.  While I’m not one to get a big cupcake, I am one to get the chocolate hazelnut pop-tarts they offer!  They are amazing!  I think it is all in their crust, it’s buttery and flaky, oh so good!  I was telling my dad how wonderful they are and he found me a recipe for Nutella pop-tarts.  It’s basically a cheater recipe because it uses store-bought pie crust dough, so it isn’t quite as good as the local bakery.  But it’s still darn good!  These are so quick and easy, perfect for a last minute dessert or breakfast.  I’m going to try soon making my own dough, but for now these satisfy the craving nicely.

Nutella Pop-Tarts
Recipe from The Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

Ingredients:
1 package refrigerated rolled pie crust (in a box by the biscuits)
1 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
powdered sugar
milk
vanilla
sprinkles

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Unroll a pie crust and cut the rounded edges off, then cut into rectangles (a pizza cutter works well here).
  • Place a dollop of Nutella on half of the rectangles, then cover with the other rectangles.  Seal edges with your fingers, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.
  • Repeat process with the other pie crust.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, until turning golden.
  • Allow to cool completely, then make a glaze with powdered sugar, very little milk and a splash of vanilla.  Top with sprinkles.

Mozzarella and Onion Stuffed Bread

Some foods just go together, you can’t have one without the other.  Perfect example?  Pasta and bread.  For the bachelorette party, I was serving crawfish fettuccine but I needed the perfect bread to serve with it, and the search was over once I saw this recipe.

This was incredibly easy to make, and it was phenomenal.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that I got it from a Trim & Terrific cookbook, each slice was relatively low cal!  The only change I would make next time is to add some minced garlic or garlic powder, it would have been great with that.  Make this next time you need a yummy bread as a side dish!

Mozzarella and Onion Stuffed Bread

Mozzarella and Onion Stuffed Bread
Recipe adapted from Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific – Home Entertaining the Easy Way

Ingredients:
1 loaf Italian or French Bread, (1 lb)
6 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp Dijon mustard
dash of hot pepper sauce (I used Sriracha)
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make 1-inch diagonal slices in the bread, making sure not to cut all the way through the bottom crust.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Once melted, add the onion (and minced garlic if you decide to add that) and cook until soft.  Remove from heat and stir in the mustard and hot sauce.  Mix in the cheese.
  • Spoon the mixture between each slice of the bread and a little on top.  Bake on a baking sheet for 10-15 minutes, until bread is golden and cheese is melted.

136 calories per slice

Mozzarella & Onion Stuffed Bread

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp

This recipe is another recipe from the MOMS Club Biggest Loser Brunch potluck.  My friend Marci brought it and it was so unusual, but so delicious!  I saved a taste for my hubby and he loved it and said I needed to get that recipe.  Marci emailed the recipe and I made it that same night!

I actually had a lot of the ingredients on hand, so it ended up being a really inexpensive dish to make.  I only used a half pound of shrimp, cut in half and to compensate, I used the whole can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans.  Plus, I didn’t want to end up wasting half a can, what else was I going to do with it?  I’ve never been the greatest fan of whole wheat pasta, but I used it anyway, I bought the Ronzoni brand whole wheat, and it was actually very good.  The recipe below will be without my adaptations though.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp
Recipe from Marci G., originally from Cooking Light

Ingredients:
1 pkg whole wheat pasta, cooked per package directions
1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
12 oz. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1.5 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tbsp capers

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the mustard, lemon juice and garlic, whisking to combine.  Slowly add the oil, whisking to incorporate, then add in the salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp and cook through.  Add in the spinach, beans, red onions and capers and toss, cooking until the spinach wilts.  Add the pasta and juice mixture, stirring to coat evenly.  Serve

4 servings, 487 calories each

Warm Pasta Salad with Shrimp

Chinese Cabbage Salad

Normally for New Years Day we have black-eyed pea soup and egg rolls.  But this year our family Christmas get together was postponed to New Years Day, so I knew I wasn’t going to want to come home and start making egg rolls.  What goes better with soup than salad?  I remembered having a cabbage salad with ramen noodles in it and my husband LOVED it.  A quick Google search brought me to the recipe and it was a winner!

It was so quick and easy to make, I advise letting it sit on the counter for a little while to let the flavors blend together.  It was not as good refrigerated, the ramen kind of got soft.  If you’re making this ahead of time, I’d keep the ramen out until you’re ready to serve it.

Chinese Cabbage Salad
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1.5 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 cups cabbage coleslaw mix with shredded carrots in it
1 pkg ramen noodles, crushed (I used creamy chicken, the oriental would probably be good!)
slivered almonds

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, mix together the vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, olive oil and ramen seasoning packet.
  • In a large bowl, mix the cabbage slaw mix and crushed ramen noodles.  Toss with the dressing and coat well.  Top with the toasted sesame seeds and toss well.  Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.
  • Serve topped with slivered almonds, if desired.

Chinese Cabbage Salad