LEMON SHRIMP SCAMPI

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes! I love making it in spring time because my glorious lemon tree is absolutely covered in huge lemons!

It’s flavorful, zesty, spicy, light and so fresh! I like this dish a lot more than the heavy, oily, creamy version that you’d find in restaurants. The flavorful sauce just soaks into the pasta and the leftovers taste even better the next day!

Here’s the recipe, definitely give it a try if you’re a lover of lemon and garlic!

Ingredients

8 garlic cloves, pressed or grated

2 lemons, zested and juiced

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied (reserve shells)

1/4 onion

1 pound thin linguini

2 tablespoons butter

1 small bunch parsley, leaves chopped

Directions

In a bowl, combine the garlic, zest and juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the shrimp. Set aside to marinate.

Meanwhile make a quick shrimp stock: In a small pot, over medium heat, add the shrimp shells and onion. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a bowl and discard the shells and the onion.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add a generous amount of salt. Add the linguine and cook until just tender, 2 minutes less than instructed on the package. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking water.

Heat a skillet over high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook until they turn pink and start to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate and add the reserved marinade. Let cook a few minutes then add about 1 cup of shrimp stock and about 1/2 cup pasta water. Continue to cook until sauce reduces by half. Add the zest and juice of the remaining lemon, the butter and the parsley and stir to combine.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in the shrimp and pasta and toss to combine with the sauce. Turn out into a serving bowl and serve immediately.

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I am submitting this recipe to the amazing Angie’s Fiesta Friday #61 at http://fiestafriday.net/2015/03/27/fiesta-friday-61/

LEMON EVERYTHING!

My lemon tree is totally covered with lemons and no matter how many neighbors I share with or random people I meet on the street *don’t you judge me!*… I just can’t seem to use these bright yellow babies up fast enough!

Soooo I’ve decided to make every lemon recipe I have plus a few new ones! So be on the lookout for lemon bars, lemon meringue, lemon brownies, lemon chicken, lemonade *spiked of course* and many more!

Also if you have any lemon recipes please send them my way!

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WHAT’S FOR LUNCH?

I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier, and lose a little weight, shooting for 25 lbs. So far I’ve lost 15lbs *yay me* but now the weight loss has slowed… or maybe it was that burger and animal fries and milkshake that I had at In n Out 😀 *shhhhh*

My friend and I are trying to cut out carbs, flour and rice, which makes meals a little difficult, since I am a bread fiend *sigh*. But I pulled out my trusty spiralizer and I was determined to make something healthy and delicious. I came up with Roasted lemon, garlic and herb chicken and a mushroom and veggie noodle stir fry.

It’s so much easier to eat veggies when they’re so bright and colorful and it feels like you’re eating pasta 😀 *and who doesn’t love guilt free veggie ‘pasta’*

What are you having for lunch today?

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BAKED ZITI

OK… so maybe I have a little thing going on for Italian food! I swear it’s my best friend’s fault and her name is Katherine Pagaaaannnnoooo * I just tried to pronounce it in her voice, not the same, I miss her and Italy and her cooking is so far away*… anyways, I digress! I decided to try this recipe because the seasonings looked about right! Am I the only one who chooses recipes based on what the seasonings look like? Show of hands!? *bunch of weirdos* 😀

This recipe turned out delicious and my small family of four devoured a meal made for 8! Well I guess if I didn’t starve them half to death while I took pics, I might have had some left overs for lunch! Here’s the recipe, have at  it! Bon Apetite or whatever! *insert weird hand gestures*

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb dried pasta (ziti or penne are best)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (8-oz) package shredded Italian cheese blend ( I used half and it was plenty cheesy)
  • basil, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over high heat, brown sausage, about 10 minutes. (I drain the oil to cut down on the fat)
  2. Add tomatoes, sauce, paste, Italian seasoning, dried pasta, and water. Stir to combine, cover and bring to a boil. Boil until pasta is al dente.
  3. Meanwhile; combine ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Stir ricotta mixture into pasta. Preheat oven to broil. Top skillet with shredded cheese and place in oven. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Keep a close eye on it or you will have crispy cheese pretty quick.
  5. Garnish with basil and serve. Easy peasy!

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LOADED TACO POTATO

SO…someone forgot to buy taco shells *points to husband*, therefor taco Tuesday became Loaded Taco Potato Tuesday and it just so happens that I like this twist very much!

I cooked up 1 lb of ground beef with a packet of Mc Cormick spicy taco seasoning. You can also mix up a batch of your own taco seasoning too, but I’ve been a little busy this week! Arghhh!

Bake a couple of spuds in the oven. I use the microwave, so much quicker. I stab the potato a few times, *great stress reliever when your husband forgets to buy taco shells 🙂*, coat with a little oil and some salt, and pop in the microwave for about 8 mins on each side or until tender. Or you can pierce, oil and salt your potato, wrap in foil and bake at 425F for about 45-60 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare all your favorite taco toppings. I use diced tomatoes, onion, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and cilantro.

Cut open your cooked potato and fluff with a fork, toss a tbsp of butter in there *or more, I won’t tell*… some salt and pepper and load on your taco toppings! Easy peasy!!! And oh so deliciousssss!

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SPICY TURKEY FARFALLE

Spicy turkey farfalle is a huge favorite in my family. It’s quick and easy to prepare, spicy and cheesy and goes nicely with some crusty garlic bread! My 4 year old son calls this dish butterfly wings and sausage 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1 t extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
13 oz Smoked Turkey Sausage, sliced (I used Hillshire Farms)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ¼ cups low sodium fat free chicken broth
10 oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes & green chiles, original (you can reduce by half and add diced tomatoes if you can’t handle spicy)
½ cup fat free half and half ( I use regular milk)
½ t salt
½ t black pepper
10 oz uncooked wheat pasta (I used farfalle/bowties)
4 oz reduced fat Pepper jack cheese, shredded (I used Cabot 50%)
4 oz shredded mozzarella
2 medium scallions, diced

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet or sauté pan (oven-safe if you have it – I don’t!), add the olive oil and bring over medium heat.

Add the onions and sausage to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until sausage is browned and onions are tender.

Add the garlic and stir. Continue to cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add the broth, Ro-Tel, half and half, salt and pepper and mix together.

Add the uncooked pasta and stir together until the liquid covers the pasta.

Cover the skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep covered. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.

Set your oven to broil and make sure one of your oven racks is in the top 1/3 of the oven. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in half of the shredded cheeses. If your skillet is oven-safe, you may continue to use it in the following steps. If it isn’t (mine isn’t) or you aren’t sure, transfer the pasta into a baking dish. I used a 7×11 dish but you can certainly use a 9×13.

Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the pasta and follow it with the sliced scallions. Place the dish in the top 1/3 of the oven and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown (keep checking because broiling can happen really fast!).

Serve with garlic bread and maybe some wine, if you’re fancy 🙂

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BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Today I made my favorite breakfast! I deserved it after a super trying week! My lovely girl, Hailey, fell and hit her mouth pretty hard and now her front tooth is a little wiggly! * I’m so not ready for the missing tooth pictures yet*. So instead of making my usual waffle breakfast on a Sunday morning, I decided to make blueberry pancakes because they would be easier on her sore mouth * poor thing* 😦

Luckily I still had some blueberries left from our last adventure to the Santa Barbara Blueberry Fields. We go every year and fill a couple buckets and I freeze a some baggies so I can have them throughout the year! It’s so beautiful there and they don’t use pesticides! They even encourage you to eat your fill while you’re filling your bucket! 🙂

We always try to see who can find the biggest berries and as usual, I won!! yessss!

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Santa Fe grilled chicken

The weekend is finally here and we’re supposed to have perfect 80F weather! So that means, pulling out the old grill and getting it ready for months of use! *someone get me a virgin piña colada* 🍹

I love making my own rubs, they’re so versatile and you can experiment so much! I’d like to share with you one of my favorite rubs! It’s spicy, sweet, smoky and just tastes delicious!

You can use the grilled chicken in tacos, or on top of your favorite salad! I love adding avocado, cilantro, chopped onions and tomatoes with sour cream and cheese to these tacos with a squeeze of lime! AMAZZZINGGGGGG!!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper *or less if you’re 🐣*

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded thin (about 4 large breasts)

Preparation

1. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, red pepper, salt, pepper, cayenne and brown sugar. Stir in oil; mixture will be moistened but crumbly.

2. Generously rub chicken on all sides with chili mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to marinate (or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day).

3. Preheat gas grill to medium, or preheat broiler to high and set rack 6 to 8 inches from source of heat. Grill or broil chicken until firm, about 5 minutes per side. Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into thin strips.

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CURRIED CHICKEN

I’m just gonna leave this right here! No fancy camera and lighting… Just a pic from my phone and sheer hunger as I wait patiently for this large pot of curried chicken to finish so I can stuff my face and then take a nice nap! I deserve it!

Hope you’re having a great day! *secretly I hope I just made you ravenously hungry 😁😁😁*

OK so I’ve had my nap, here’s the recipe as promised! I’ve adapted this recipe from http://caribbeanpot.com/heavenly-curry-chicken-with-tender-potato

3 lbs chicken cut into pieces

2-3 tbsp curry powder (chief madras curry is my favorite)

1 tsp geera (ground cumin)

1/2 of a scotch bonnet or habanero  pepper (use more or less to your taste)

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp green seasoning mix.

3-4 leaves of shadow benny (chopped) or 3 chopped tablespoon of cilantro.

2 pimento peppers (chopped)

1 medium onion (chopped)

1 tomato (chopped)

2 cloves of garlic (chopped)

2 tablespoon lime or lemon juice

2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable)

2 medium potatoes (peeled / sliced into chunks)

2 cups water

Start by washing the chicken pieces with the lime or lemon juice and water (not the water mentioned in the recipe). Then start seasoning by adding all the ingredients mentioned above, except the oil, potato and water. Allow this to marinate for a couple hours for best results. Feel free to cook immediately if you’re in a rush.

On high heat, in a saucepan (with a lid) add the oil and wait until you start seeing gentle smoke. Try fishing out the pieces of onion and garlic from the marinated chicken and add to the now hot oil.

guyana chicken curry

Allow this to cook for about 2-3 minutes (you’ll notice that other recipes will ask that you cook the curry powder – I don’t), then start adding the seasoned pieces of chicken. Move everything around so it gets in contact with the heated oil. Cover and let simmer for a few minutes. After about 8 minutes you’ll notice that the chicken released some natural juices – lets turn up the heat and get rid of that.

chicken curry with potatoes

As you wait for the liquid to cook down, peel and dice the potatoes. Place it into the same bowl that the chicken was sitting in. When the liquid that was released is gone, add the potato pieces and stir around. Pour the 2 cups of water into the same bowl and try to get any remaining seasoning that was left behind.

curry potato with chicken

cooking curry chicken

After you’ve added and moved the pieces of potato around the pot a bit, add the water and bring back to a boil. Cover the pot and turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow this to cook for about 20 minutes or so. The goal is to have tender pieces of potato (melt and thicken the sauce) and a rich-thick sauce. If there’s still a lot of liquid left after the 20 minutes, using the back of your spoon, smash a few pieces of the potato. This will help thicken the gravy/sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust salt and pepper to your liking! Serve with rice or roti (flat bread).

chicken curry

trini curry chicken

curry chicken

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Curried Chicken

Sunday Lunch in Trinidad

Sunday is the day that families get together for the biggest meal of the week! Its carb loaded, rich, devastatingly delicious and sure to put you into a coma for at least 3 hours.

The typical Trinidadian Sunday lunch includes, rice (fried or plain), potatoes (baked, mashed, stuffed), vegetables (steamed, fried, stewed or baked), meat or fish (stewed, baked, fried, steamed), callaloo, coo coo, peas or beans and some sweet drink (soda) or juice or punch and of course, a salad, because…well you know.. we eat healthy *rolls eyes* HA!

Here’s a couple of pics of my Sunday lunch, I didn’t make all the regulars, but I did make my favorites 🙂
Lentils
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Macaroni pie
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Vegetable rice
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Oven BBQ chicken
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My plate
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I forgot the macaroni pie!
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