Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and this time of year especially! I've only ever made the cheater cookies where you add one can of pumpkin to one box spice cake mix and add chocolate chips and then bake. I was excited when I found this recipe and it didn't disappoint. They were delicious and super soft!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
(courtesy of Food Network, specifically George Duran)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 cups (12 ounce bag) of milk chocolate chips (not semisweet)
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake them for 15-20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chicken Fricassee

I am always looking for new ways to cook chicken for Mart, I feel like I always cook him the same kind. I got my Cooks Illustrated magazine in the mail the other day and saw this recipe and thought I would try it out. It's just a chicken breast with a creamy mushroom sauce on top. He said he liked it and would want it again. (That's saying something!)

Chicken Fricassee

(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I cooked three smaller breasts and had plenty of sauce for all three)
Salt and black pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (my store was out the day I bought them so I just used plain old button mushrooms)
1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp)
1 1/2 cup chicken stock/broth
1/3 cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp juice from 1 lemon (I just used all the juice from the lemon)
2 tsp minced fresh tarragon or parsley

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. When foaming subsides, place chicken in skillet and cook until browned (about 4 minutes). Flip chicken and continue to cook until browned on second side (about 4 minutes longer). Transfer chicken to a large plate.

2. Add mushrooms, onion and wine to the now empty skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are browned (8-10 minutes). Add flour and garlic. Cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add broth/stock and bring mixture to a boil, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in breasts (5-10 minutes).

3. Transfer chicken to a clean platter and tent loosely with foil. Whisk sour cream and egg yolk together in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly stir about 1/2 cup of the sauce into sour cream mixture. Stirring constantly, slowly pour sour cream mixture into simmering sauce. Stir in nutmeg, lemon juice and terragon/parsley. Return to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Soup

'Tis the season for soups! I love rainy days or crisp fall days. They make the perfect day for a nice hot bowl of homemade soup. I decided to try a new one tonight and wasn't disappointed. It was pretty tasty. I may change it a little next time I make it, but it wasn't bad for a first time attempt.

Broccoli Cheese Soup
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)
*I altered this recipe from the original*

5 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, minced (about 1/3 cup)
1 small rib celery, minced (about 1/4 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups stock (chicken or veggie)
2 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 bay leaf
pinch cayenne pepper
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3 cups) *I didn't have sharp cheese, so I used colby jack and added a couple of handfuls extra, it tasted just fine*
1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme leaves or about 1 tsp dried

(The soup pictured does not have any carrots because I was feeding someone who was allergic to them)

1. Heat butter in a large soup pan or heavy bottom dutch oven over medium high heat until foaming. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 4 minutes). Add carrot, celery and garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant (about 1 minute). Add flour and cook, stirring to coat the veggies until mixture begins to brown on the bottom of the pot (about 2 minutes). Gradually whisk in stock and milk and add bay leaf. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until vegetables soften (about 10 minutes).

2. While vegetables are simmering chop up some broccoli into bite size florets (I also dice up the stems too) and put into a deep frying pan with a little bit of water and cover. Steam until they are bright green and still have a bit of a crunch to them. Drain and set aside.

3. Off heat add cayenne to the soup. Cool the soup for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the cheese and thyme; season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately! (Mine needed a little extra cheese because I didn't have any sharp cheese so I just added more to taste).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Zucchini Soup

During the summer I always have more than enough zucchini from my garden, plus my neighbor always gives me some of his as well. You can only make so much zucchini bread before it becomes too much so I thought I'd try something new.
My 2 1/2 year old is a super picky veggie eater but LOVES soup! I love to make him soups that are chuck full of veggies and puree them so that he has no idea they are in there but will eat a huge bowl of it and love it. This soup was no exception. He loves bacon which helped but he ate a huge bowl of this soup. It really is delicious for such a simple soup.

Zucchini Soup
(Courtesy of
*I altered this recipe slightly from the original*

1 cup chopped onions
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
3 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups chicken broth (I used veggie bouillon cubes in water)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup half and half or milk will work fine
*Optional garnishes*
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Bacon cooked crisp and then crumbled

In a large saucepan cook onions in melted butter until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and sliced zucchini. Stir. Add broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until tender (about 15 minutes). Cool slightly. Pour mixture into blender and puree it. Stir in half and half or milk. Return to saucepan and reheat, but do not boil. Taste to test seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with cheese, sour cream and bacon bits.
Makes 6 small servings.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I don't know about you, but when I plant my garden I always have zucchini growing like crazy (and I only plant one plant!) and on top of that, my cute neighbor always wants to share some of his so we have MORE than enough for all of us with a year supply on top of that. Aside from savory ways to prepare all my zucchini, my house loves zucchini bread. My husband is a chocolate fanatic, so when I found this new recipe I knew I had to try it. It didn't disappoint.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

(Courtesy of
*I altered this recipe slightly from the original*

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup melted butter (cooled)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 small bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

Beat together the eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla. Add the remaining ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) mix until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour batter into greased and sugared loaf pans (Sugaring is just like flouring a pan, just use sugar instead. It will make the crust sweet and crispy)

Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

*This batch made 2 smallish loaves in disposable loaf pans, I doubled it and ended up with 4 loaves!*

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad

Grilled Veggie Pasta Salad
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

1 bunch (about 1-1 1/2 pounds) of asparagus, tough ends trimmed
3 large red bell peppers (I used red and orange)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to toss with vegetables
1/4 cup fresh squeeze lemon juice from 2 lemons
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 pound short, bite sized pasta
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Grill peppers and asparagus on grill until lightly charred and tender. Cool to room temperature (They could also be roasted if you'd prefer that)

2. Chop the veggies up and toss with oil, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and salt to boiling water. Cook until pasta is al dente and drain.
4. While pasta is cooking make dressing. Whisk lemon juice, zest, 3/4 tsp salt, garlic and ground black pepper to taste in a bowl. Whisk in 3/4 cup oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth.
5. While pasta is hot toss with veggies, chives, basil, parmesan cheese and dressing and mix thoroughly. Cool to room temperature. Adjust seasonings and serve.

(Can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 1 day; return to room temperature before serving.)

Orange Chipotle Grilled Chicken Breasts

Grilled Chicken Breasts
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

4 bone-in chicken breasts
1/3 cup salt
Cold water
1 recipe for the glaze (see below)

1. Dissolve salt in 2 quarts cold water in a large container. Add chicken, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. When finished, rinse chicken under cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Season chicken with pepper.

2. Turn all burners to high heat with the lid down until very hot. Cook chicken until the thickest part of the breast reads 150 degrees on a thermometer.

3. Brush both sides of the chicken with the glaze. Continue to cook until browned and the thermometer reads 160 in the thickest part of the breast. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve. Pass remaining glaze separately.

Orange-Chipotle Glaze
(Also courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

(I would at least double this batch, I barely had enough to brush on the chicken once while cooking and none leftover to brush on afterward.)

1 tsp orange zest
2/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges
1 small shallot, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1-2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced (1-2 Tbsp) - I used 1 chile
2 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp light molasses (I just had regular molasses in my pantry so that's what I used)
3/4 tsp cornstarch

Combine zest, juice, shallot, chile and thyme in a small saucepan, then whisk in molasses and cornstarch. Simmer mixture over medium heat until thickened (about 5 minutes). Season with salt. Reserve half the glaze for serving and use the other half for brushing on chicken while grilling. (Again, I would at least double this recipe if you are going to reserve some for serving, I didn't have enough in the end.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Orange Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Orange Garlic Grilled Pork Tenderloin
(Courtesy of Cooks Illustrated)

2 pork tenderloins, silver skin trimmed off
3 Tbsp kosher salt (or 1 1/2 Tbsp table salt)
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups water (hot)
2 cups water (cold)

In a medium bowl, dissolve the salt and sugar in the hot water. Stir in the cold water to cool the mixture to room temperature. Add the tenderloins and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until fully seasoned (about an hour). While the tenderloin is in the brine, make the wet rub.

Orange Garlic Wet Rub

1 Tbsp grated orange zest from 1 large orange
2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp orange marmalade
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.

10-15 minutes before the pork is ready, turn all burners on a gas grill to high, close lid and let the grill get nice and hot. Will take about 10-15 minutes.

When the tenderloin is fully seasoned, remove from the brine, rinse well and dry with paper towels. Rub tenderloin with wet rub. Cook with grill lid closed until well browned on three sides (about 3 1/2 minutes per side) then cook on the final side until well browned and the internal temp. is 145-150 degrees in the thickest part of the meat. Pull the pork off the grill and let rest under a tin foil tent for 5 minutes. Slice and serve

Italian Brine Grilled Chicken

Italian Brine Grilled Chicken Breast


Chicken breast
Cold water
Italian seasoning

Fill a bowl with cold water and add a decent amount of salt. Add about a palmful of Italian seasoning. Add chicken and let sit in the fridge for about an hour. When you are ready, preheat your grill for 10 minutes until nice and hot.

Pull chicken out of brine and dry off with paper towels. Season both sides with pepper and a little extra Italian seasoning if it all came off when you dried the chicken. Grill until the chicken is juicy and fully cooked. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving (this will continue to cook the chicken, so don't over cook on the grill).

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce
(Courtesy of


1 bunch fresh asparagus
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut or snap the ends off the washed asparagus and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes or until tender (but not mushy). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Let it lightly simmer until the sauce thickens a little bit or it won't stick to the asparagus.

Pour finished sauce over roasted asparagus and serve!

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts


Fresh brussel sprouts
Olive oil
Garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

Cut the brussel sprouts in half or quarter them if they are huge. In a frying pan, heat some olive oil and the minced garlic. Be careful not to burn the garlic! When the oil is hot, add the brussel sprouts. Toss in the oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Saute in olive oil until the sprouts are as tender as you want them to be. I like a little crunch left in mine.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Protein Blueberry Waffles

These are super delicious and so good for you! They have the option of being either pancakes or waffles, which ever you'd prefer.

Protein Blueberry Waffles:

1 cup oats
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
6 large egg whites or 5 XL egg whites (or better yet, 5 oz [which is just over half a cup] of egg whites)
A couple packets of equal, splenda, or any other sweetener you want to use
1 tsp vanilla
A couple handfuls of FROZEN blueberries
A handful of chopped walnuts

Combine in a blender or food processor the oats, cottage cheese, egg whites, splenda and vanilla. Blend until it's no longer chunky and smooth like a batter should be.
Stir in frozen blueberries and walnuts. Poor into a preheated waffle iron (I use a Belgium waffle iron).
Top with your favorite ingredients! My favorite are fresh strawberries, whipped cream and a delicious sugar free syrup that I found!

Protein pancakes:

1 cup oats
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
6 large egg whites or 5 XL egg whites (or better yet, 5 oz [which is just over half a cup] of egg whites)
A couple packets of equal, splenda, or any other sweetener you want to use
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla

Combine in a blender or food processor the oats, cottage cheese, egg whites, splenda, cinnamon and vanilla. Blend until it's no longer chunky and smooth like a batter should be.

Cook like normal pancakes. Top with your favorite toppings!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, eggs, and melted butter. Make well in center of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients; gently stir until just combined (batter should remain lumpy with few streaks of flour). Do not over mix. Allow batter to sit 10 minutes before cooking.

2. Grease pan. Using 1/4 - 1/2 cup measuring cup (depending on how big you want your pancakes), pour batter into pan. Cook until edges are set, first side is golden brown, and bubbles on surface are just beginning to break, 2 to 3 minutes. Using thin, wide spatula, flip pancakes and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve pancakes immediately. Repeat with remaining batter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chicken Marsala

We love mushrooms at our house so I decided to make Chicken Marsala for Martin and Traves. This chicken turned out a lot sweeter than I expected, so if you like sweet chicken and mushrooms you'll love this!

Chicken Marsala

1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, patted dry with paper towels
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-4 slices of pancetta (or 2-3 slices of bacon) cut into 1" pieces
4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp tomato paste
3/4 cup marsala wine (sweet)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened, cut into 2 pieces
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set large heatproof plate on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. Place flour in shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper; working one piece at a time, coat both sides with flour.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy-bottomed, 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook chicken until golden brown on first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining oil and using tongs, flip chicken; continue to cook until meat feels firm when pressed gently and second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to heated plate and return plate to oven.

3. Return skillet to low heat and add pancetta; cook, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits, until pancetta is brown and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel-lined plate. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally and scraping pan bottom, until liquid released by mushrooms evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, and cooked pancetta; cook while stirring until tomato paste begins to brown, about 1 minute.

4. Off heat, add Marsala; return pan to medium heat and simmer vigorously, scraping browned bits from pan bottom, until mushroom sauce is slightly syrupy and reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Off heat, add lemon juice and any accumulated juices from chicken; whisk in butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley. Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

If there was a list of my top favorite chocolate chip cookies, this would definitely, hands down be on it ... most likely at the top! They are super delicious and my husband goes crazy whenever I make them. He's a major chocolate fanatic. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Super Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies:

3/4 cup butter flavored crisco
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp vanilla (the cheap kind. If you use the 100% vanilla use a lot less)
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 cups chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees
2. Combine the crisco, sugar, milk and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until blended. Beat in egg.
3. Combine flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a separate bowl. Beat into mixture at low speed. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet
5. Bake 8-9 min. for chewy cookies, 11-13 min. for crisp.

Let cool and enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Marinated Steaks

Marinated Steaks:

Steak (whatever cut you prefer)
Worcestershire Sauce
Fresh garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Poke the steaks with a fork all over the top and bottom and put in a bowl, ziplock bag or a small pan. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. Pour some worcestershire sauce over the top. (A few tablespoons will work, just enough to coat them) and add a spoonful or two of minced garlic. Toss the steaks to coat and let them sit in the refrigerator for 1-4 hours. Pull them out and bring them to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Heat an oven safe skillet/frying pan until crazy hot. Add steaks and brown on both sides. Once browned, move into the oven to finish cooking. (You can transfer to a different pan if you need to). Cook as long as you like your steaks cooked. (Remember they need to rest before you can cut them so don't overcook them in the oven! They will continue to cook as they rest so pull them out a few degrees early).

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Classic Granola

I love granola and have been looking for a good recipe to make myself. This one is very tasty!

Classic Granola
(Thanks Cooks Illustrated)

1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup blanched almonds, slivered (or halved)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup raisins or craisins (optional)

Kelsie's Extra:
Brown sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Mix first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl.

Heat syrup and honey together with oil in a small saucepan, whisking occasionally until warm. Pour mixture over dry ingredients. Stir with spatula until mixture is thoroughly coated. Put mixture onto a cookie sheet and spread into an even layer.

Bake, stirring and respreading mixture into an even layer every 5 minutes until granola is light brown, about 15 minutes. Immediately turn granola onto another cookie sheet to stop the cooking process. Stir in raisins, then spread granola evenly in pan. Set on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Loosen granola with a spatula. Store in an airtight container.

**Optional: If you like it a little sweeter, toss the finished mixture in a little bit of brown sugar. It is delicious both ways!**

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Beef and Shrimp Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

2 oz (4 Tbsp) vegetable oil
3 oz (6 Tbsp) lime juice
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 lb beef skirt steak, flank steak or london broil
1-2 bell peppers (assorted colors) cut into strips
1 onion, cut into thick strips
Mushrooms, sliced
Pepper jack cheese, grated
*Optional ingredients: Guacamole, sour cream, salsa, extra lime*

Mix together 3 Tbsp of the vegetable oil, the lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the meat in a ziplock bag or a bowl and cover with the marinade. Turn the meat so it is coated on all sides. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Remove meat from the marinade. Grill the meat on both sides on a grill or under a broiler until it is lightly charred and rare to medium done.

While the beef is grilling, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the peppers and saute briefly, keeping them slightly crisp. Remove peppers from the pan and saute the mushrooms and onions the same way.

When the beef is finished, remove it from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice the meat across the grain into thin slices.

Warm the tortillas and top with the veggies and sliced beef, cheese and any optional ingredients.

For the shrimp fajitas, I just used a garlic & lime shrimp marinade that I have. It is delicious!

Garlic & Lime Shrimp

1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp onion powder

Mix the salt, pepper, cayenne, parsley, garlic powder, paprika, thyme and onion powder together in a small bowl.

Preheat a skillet. Add butter and stir in garlic. Let the garlic cook for about 30 seconds to a minute on medium heat. Add shrimp. Cut lime in half, squeeze over shrimp. Sprinkle seasoning mixture over and stir. Cook until shrimp turns pink. Taste your shrimp and check to see if your seasonings are right.

Spinach Enchiladas

These enchiladas are so delicious! They are a little time consuming, but by doing a couple things different, I was able to cut down the time a little bit. I will post my revisions instead. This is not the most beautiful plate, but enchiladas really aren't that pretty. :)

Spinach Enchiladas
(Thanks Emeril Lagasse!)

4 Poblano chile peppers (Last time I went to the store they didn't have any, so I looked on the heat scale they had and ended up buying anaheim peppers instead and got 2 extra because they were smaller and they tasted good as well. Poblano are still my favorite, but you can substitute if you can't find them)
2 pounds frozen spinach
A couple handfuls of mushrooms, chopped up
8 Tbsp unsalted butter (split)
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch cayenne
1/2 cup all purpose flour (split)
2 cups half and half
1 cup cubed queso fresco (I used this the first time, and couldn't find it the second time so I used mozzarella. Both tasted really similar)
1 cup cubed pepper jack (Plus a little extra grated for the top)
Parmesan (or I used asiago or just straight pepper jack for the top)
6-12 flour tortillas (this will depend on how big you want your enchiladas. We make huge ones and get 6 out of it)
1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Thaw out your spinach and let drain in a colander. When you are ready for the spinach, squeeze out all the excess water. (There will be a ton!)

Roast the peppers and then place them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap, a ziplock bag or a paper bag and let them rest until cool enough to handle. Peel the peppers, split in half lenghtwise and discard the seeds, veins and stems. Roughly chop and set aside.

In a large saucepan or a large tall sided frying pan, melt 4 Tbsp of the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the onions are very soft. Add the garlic, chili powder, salt, pepper and cayenne and cook stirring for about a minute. Add 1/4 cup of the flour and cook stirring to make a light roux (about 2 minutes). Gradually add the half and half and cook until thick. Add the spinach and stir incorporate. Remove from the heat and fold in half of the chopped chiles, adjust the seasoning to taste. Fold in the cubed cheeses and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt the remaining 4 Tbsp of butter of medium heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and cook, stirring constantly to make a light roux. Slowly add the stock and cook until thickened. Add the cream and cook until thick. Add the remaining roasted peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Fill your tortillas with the spinach mixture and put into a 13 x 9 pan (or bigger if you have more) and pour the sauce over the top. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover evenly with the grated pepper jack and either parmesan or asiago (or neither if you don't want them) and return to the oven and bake until the cheeses are melted and the enchiladas are completely warmed through. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
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