Paella adventures

You all know I love to cook, I picked up a new paelo cookbook last week and decided the paella recipe sounded great. So here it is, I used chicken sausage instead of pork and supplemented with a whole gang of Thai chilies to spice it up. I loved it and it was the first time I’ve used saffron.

Don’t tell my son who hates cauliflower but there’s a whole head in this dish, ha, he had no clue. I just pulsed it as the recipe called for. Flavor was unbelievable. I can post the recipe if anyone is interested. This over 50 eating plan may be fun after all since my metabolism has decided it doesn’t want to work anymore.

Food changes and the gym will make it all ok

Kitchen remodel a wrap

The kitchen remodel is done. 3 weeks front to back is amazing, my builder is the man. To see the before look at the previous post but I have outlets and lighting everywhere not to mention unlimited cabinet space. My husband will be thrilled when he sees it for the first time in person this week. I have sent pictures daily but you can’t appreciate it until you walk in.

Mini banana cheesecakes

My youngest and his friend are visiting this weekend and his favorite thing in the world is banana cream pie. I decided to switch it up and make mini banana cheesecake and omg are they great. Plastic plate I know is super fancy, ha but these will be gone tonight. Glad I love to bake. Let me know if you want recipe.

Mushroom meat balls yes

The meal tonight for our pescatarian expedition was mushroom meatballs. Let me just say yes, these are great. You would never know unless I told you that there is zero meat. Recipe below:

  1. 2 containers button mushrooms
  2. Diced onion 1
  3. Rosemary and basil (as much as you like)
  4. Diced pepper (any color)
  5. Garlic
  6. 1 cup quick oats
  7. 1 cup bread crumbs
  8. 2 eggs
  9. Parmesan cheese
  • I threw the first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulsed it, threw it into a skillet with some olive oil and sautéed with garlic until the liquid evaporated. This is important.
  • Now simply mix with the last 5 ingredients roll into balls and bake at 400 until golden brown. Spray the baking dish so they don’t stick
  • Then I opened a jarred marinara and added some fresh tomatoes, cheese peppers n heated it up, add the cooked meatballs to the sauce and you have dinner
  • I love carrots so I poured some half and half in a pot with fresh rosemary and some butter reduced and they were delicious
  • I know my photos suck but man was it great
  • Chimichurri BBQ Chicken

    Chimichurri-ChickenChimichurri BBQ Chicken

    Sauce: (

    1st Photo and sauce recipe foodandwine.com

    2nd photo is my chicken hot off the grill

    chicken

    • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • 4 large garlic cloves, minced (2 1/2 tablespoons)
    • 2 tablespoons oregano leaves
    • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Make sure you taste it, I like it spicy so add some extra red pepper

    2 large picnic packs of bone in breast and leg quarters

    1. In a food processor add all the ingredients and pulse until coarsely chopped
    2. Add the chicken to a 2 gallon sealable bag
    3. Add the chimichurri and massage the sauce around in the bag to coat all pieces evenly
      1. Reserve several tablespoons to finish with prior to serving
    4. I refrigerate overnight
    5. My husband heats the grill to 400 degrees, and then reduces the heat and places the chicken skin side down to begin with to create those beautiful grill marks
    6. Reduce the heat and let the chicken cook, turning as needed
    7. Internal temp will be approximately 165 when done
      1. Add the reserved sauce to the top of each piece prior to serving

    Mini dogs

    image

    I am a super pinterest lover and saw a post where someone took Rhodes rolls and hotdogs and made them into a appetizer. At my monthly cocktail party I decided to try it but in a mini version with lil smokies and here they are, so fun. Eyes are havarti, with peppercorns then we dipped these lil guys in bbq and they were delicious. The cocktails were harvey wallbangers and grasshoppers.

    Funny

    I was watching some random show today and they were going over how to properly eat nachos, ha really. A food that is by design supposed to be messy and shared, why would there be rules. Use a fork and only take two chips, shut up. I truly believe that food is to be enjoyed and if everyone in the room wants to dig into anything I cook, go and have a great time, oh and in the process have a cocktail too. My husband and I LOVE to cook and this is something that is truly a fun thing that we enjoy, we invite everyone to participate and even if you know nothing about food come on over and get your hands dirty, please don’t take the joy out of something so fantastic.

    Birthday Month

    happy
    August is birthday month for me and as a teen I never could have imagined I would ever be turning 48. Every year I look at my life and it is amazing as I age the things that become important, none of them being material possessions. I read this morning that Sandra Lee (one of my favorite food network stars and author of semi homemade cooking) was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and is in the hospital with some complications from surgery. This really puts into perspective that you have to live your life to its fullest as you never know when you might not be able to. We all work so hard to make a living that I think we miss making a life. So here it is, I have several things (these are not resolutions) but rather actions that I will take to enjoy life just a little more:
    • Sock every extra penny I get to paying off the few items of remaining debt
    o If you have no debt you can choose to work hard not be forced to work hard to survive (thanks Dave Ramsey)
    • Travel more with my husband
    o We have never taken a real vacation
    o We go visit family and have made lots of road trips with our kids when they were growing up but nothing for us just to relax and enjoy doing NOTHING together
    • Realize my children are grown and that as there momma I have to let them become men all by themselves
    o I cannot fix everything (this is the most difficult one for me)
    • Spend more time with the few girlfriends I have
    o Plan road trips with my friends atleast once every couple of months since we are only a few hours apart
    o Even if it is meeting for dinner and drinks, make it happen
    • Purchase some Oprah and Deepak cd’s for meditation, I love love love his teachings and need to take some time out each day just for me and my peace of mind
    • Dress up for no reason
    o I have a million cute maxi dresses and heels that I need to put on and be cute in just for fun
    o This may include me letting my hair grow out some (but no guarantees on this one, ha)
    In closing I am posting a few recipes from Sandra Lee I hope you enjoy
    BARBECUE SHRIMP and GRITS:• 4 bacon slices
    • 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)*
    • 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
    • 4 whole cloves garlic
    • 3 tablespoons Creole seasoning, Tony Cachere’s®
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper Creamy Cheese Grits (recipe follows)
    • Chopped green onion, for garnish
    FOR GRITS:
    • 1⁄4 cup butter
    • 3 cups whole milk
    • 2 1⁄3 cups chicken broth
    • 1⁄2 teaspoon hot sauce, Tabasco®
    • 1 1⁄3 cups instant grits*
    • 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon until crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Crumble bacon.
    2. In a jelly-roll pan, place shrimp in a single layer. Drizzle with reserved 2 tablespoons drippings and butter. Add garlic, Creole seasoning, and pepper, tossing to coat. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and firm.
    3. Serve over Creamy Cheese Grits, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon and green onion, if desired.

    Avocado Caviar
    Ingredients
    Makes: 6 cups
    • 2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
    • 2 (11-ounce) cans shoepeg corn, rinsed and drained
    • 2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
    • 2 Avocados from Mexico, peeled, pitted, and diced
    • 1/2 cup diced red onion
    • 3/4 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • Tortilla chips
    Directions
    1. 1. In a large bowl, gently stir together black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes and green chiles, avocado, red onion, salad dressing, lime juice, and salt. Cover and chill, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips