Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chicken Gyro's.

Here's a spin off of some chicken gyro's. 

I threw together (with the help of Damian and Caitlin) this recipe one day because we were feeling like using the grill but wanted something simple and quick to make. Remember my Greek cucumber sauce? Well, I currently have mass amounts of Greek yogurt so I whipped some up quick, and a few other things to go along with it...

If you couldn't tell by now, I LOVE cooked peppers and onions so any excuse I get to add them to a dish I will. This meal is easy peezy!

Chicken Gyros

What you need:
- 1 1/2 Lb chicken, cubed
- 2 Tbs olive oil, separated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp Oregano, and Dill
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- lettuce (to top gyro)
- tomatoes (to top gyro)
- 4 Pitas
- All the yummy stuff for the sauce; see recipe HERE

Marinate cubed chicken in one Tbs olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano for a few minutes. Place chicken on skewers and grill at 450 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Place sliced peppers and onions into skillet with olive oil, top with salt and pepper and saute for about 15-20 minutes or until soft and browning. 

Top pitas with all your favorite choices and enjoy!

The cutting board is in the shape of a pig, isn't that adorable?

We charred them a little but they were still delicious! 

Were almost to hump day!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Strawberry Chobani Smoothies.

Doesn't that title sound amazing!?!

This recipe is a little gem I found on the side of the large tub of Strawberry Chobani yogurt. It's quick, easy, and refreshing! I eat yogurt just about every single day so changing it up with a smoothie every once in a while is nice. 

No that's not bean dip, I recycled the container and froze my own strawberry's!

Easy Summer Smoothie

What you need:
-1 Cup Chobani Strawberry Greek Yogurt
-1/2 Cup fresh or frozen strawberry's or rasberries
-2 ice cubes (optional)
- 1 frozen banana 
- 1 tsp honey (optional) <------ I thought they were sweet enough without. 

In a blender, mix yogurt, fruit, and ice. Blend until desired (about 4 minutes). Top with fresh or frozen fruit!

Warning these pictures do not have the same ingredients as the recipe!

The raspberries were a little frost bitten, oops!

I think the moral of the story here is USE WHAT YOU HAVE! If you don't have all of the ingredients, be creative and substitute. I didn't have a banana so i used frozen raspberries and I probably added way more fruit then the actual recipe. But they were still good DELICIOUS! 

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Breakfast on the go.

If you are anything like me and you would rather sleep longer and get out the door faster, then this is the recipe for you!

Last night I went to dinner with Kristen, who is a friend/mentor from St. Thomas. I ran to the grocery store after to pick up a few things and didn't end up getting home until around 9pm (this is late for me). I try to go to bed around 9:30pm every night because I have to wake up at 6:15 am and drive an hour to work! Yes I know i'm a grandma but without a proper night's sleep I can not make it through the day.

Generally in the morning I'm up and out of the house within a matter of 25 minutes, therefore NOT a whole lot of time for breakfast. This means I need to find ways to get a little protein in my body to get me through my morning. Here's the recipe that will do it!

Easy Bake Breakfast Sandwiches

What you need:
- Eggs (they last up to a week cooked so usually about 4-5 for one person)
- Muffin Tin
- Cooking spray
- Spices of choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Crack desired amount of eggs individually in each slot. Add spices of choice and place in oven for 15 minutes. If you want your eggs to be a little runny take them out in around 12 minutes.

I only used a little salt and pepper but there really good with Caribbean jerk or chili powder!

You can store these baby in the fridge in a Tupperware and heat them up for 30 second before you make a sandwich.

I toasted an English Muffin and added a little feta cheese and prosciutto!

Stay tuned for Strawberry Chobani smoothies!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni.

Ever been to Buca Di Beppo

Ok seriously, this is my favorite restaurant! I have eaten here probably over 100 times. I usually get the baked ziti because it is to die for but the spicy chicken rigatoni is another fav, and of course Damian and Brian's  FAVORITE. I could go on and on about how much I love Buca's but this recipe speaks for itself and tastes just like the real thing.

Check out recipe recap: Spicy chicken Rigatoni to see where I remade this recipe with spaghetti squash.

So... I tried making it. And HUGE SUCCESS! (this recipe comes straight from Buca's)


Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

What you need:

- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 Tbs crushed red pepper (I doubled this)
- 1 Tbs Chopped garlic
- 1 lb of chicken, sliced
- 3/4 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
- 1/4 cup peas (I used a whole can)
- 1 lb Rigatoni Pasta, cooked 
- additional 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper for garnish

In a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and garlic. Saute long enough for garlic to caramelize and red pepper to release flavor into the oil. Add sliced chicken and saute briefly to coat in spices and garlic. Add marinara sauce first and then Alfredo sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until sauce thickens slightly. Turn off flame and add peas. Stir sauce and add cooked pasta tossing gently. Garnish with crushed red pepper and serve. 

I served the pasta with some grilled asparagus topped with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon slices.

I didn't get a whole lot of photos because these two wanted to eat really badly! 

After dinner we headed out to the midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises, go see it!

Camdi Restaurant

I also wanted to share a new Vietnamese restaurant Damian and I tried on Friday night! Its right in dinkytown next to Mesa Pizza, Camdi Restaurant. This place is nice and quaint and the food is made fresh by the owners. Check out what we got:

These are the spring rolls we shared (Cold rolls of shrimp & bbq pork,
with green salad).

Damian was sad because I made him wait so I could snap a few photos.

He got Bun Bo Hue (Modeled after the Vietnamese Hue style of 
spicy beef and pork noodle soup).

And this baby was mine: Pho Noodle Soup, Vietnamese beef.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Salsa Verde Tacos.

Two words: Slow Cooker. 

Have a crock pot or access to one? Then make this recipe. 

Let me introduce you to my little friend, Mrs. Renfro's green salsa. A while back I was introduced to this brand of salsa by Damian's family (who always have at least two jars in the house). This stuff is great to cook with and mixes with just about anything. You may have seen it in on my Oyster's post a few days back (on top of the avocado halves). 

Here's a little Wikipedia history on this stuff:
"Mrs Renfro's is the brand name for the line of award-winning salsassauces and relishes made by Renfro Foods in Fort Worth, Texas. The Mrs. Renfro’s brand is sold in leading supermarket chains, gift shops and specialty food stores in all 50 states, the CaribbeanCanada and the U.K. "

Anyways, this recipe is EXTREMELY easy. I turned on the crock pot in the morning, and i got back after work and poof the chicken was cooked to perfection!

Salsa verde chicken tacos in the crock pot

What you need:

- 2 pounds chicken breasts
- 3 cups medium green salsa, divided (which was about two containers)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 8-10 flour (or corn) tortillas
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- feta cheese
- lime, for squeezing on top

Whisk together 1 cup green salsa, chicken broth and garlic salt in crock pot. Add chicken breasts and cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low ( I did 8 hours on low). Remove chicken from crock pot and discard remaining liquid. Shred chicken with forks and place in a bowl. Add remaining 2 cups of salsa and chopped cilantro to chicken, mix to combine. Fill tortillas with chicken, onion, cheese, and a squeeze of lime!

I served sweet potato fries on the side that were baked to perfection! I modified the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers Carrotsncake 's recipe ( I didn't have paprika at the house!). 

What you need:

- 3-4 sweet potatoes, cut into strips
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large plastic bag, add sweet potato slices, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Seal the bag and shake to coat fries. Spread onto a baking sheet covered in tin foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning fries every 10 minutes. Allow fries to cool for a few minutes when done. 

I served some extra limes on the side to drizzle individually over tacos! 

This meal makes great leftovers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pasta with Garlic and Butter.

Yep, that's right, BUTTER. 

I still have yet to find a way around this recipe so i can use something other then butter but for right now its the only thing that can give the sauce the right consistency. 

Did you know? In 1997, India produced 1,470,000 metric tons (1,620,000 short tons) of butter, most of which was consumed domestically! Source Now that's a lot of butter.. 

Check out this original Indian butter churn! (No I did not take this picture)

Don't get me wrong, I love pasta, but i just cant eat the mass consumption of it that Damian can (just topped with olive oil, cheese, and spices). Every once in a while I need to mix it up, therefore I present to you:

Pasta with Garlic and Butter (*** This recipe is meant to have chicken in it but I used what I had in the kitchen)

What you need: 

- 1 box of spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)
- 1/4 stick unsalted butter (original recipe calls for 1/2 stick!)
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- 4 Large cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 2.5 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup grated parm cheese
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes

Place saute pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil. Saute garlic for 2 minutes or until soft (my favorite smell in the whole world!). Add the flour and cook for 1.5 minutes. Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened. Add chopped basil and season with salt and pepper. IF USING CHICKEN: Add cooked chicken at this time. Place the cooked spaghetti into sauce and finish with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. 

I served the pasta with some mozzarella cheese that is wrapped with prosciutto and basil, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil from the garden! 

For dessert? Strawberry Chobani Smoothies! (recipe to come)

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I can definitely say I had my fill of oysters this weekend! 

I really love seafood but I don't tend to cook with it as often as I should which means, I order fish or seafood EVERY time I go out to eat. This weekend was nice and relaxing, which was much needed after last weekend in La Crosse! On saturday afternoon, Damian and I meandered over to The Galleria in Edina so I could get some jewelry cleaned, browse furniture and to check out what what stores were there. I did a little research on food because I have heard they have some pretty good restaurants. We tried Pittsburgh Blue, which is a steakhouse also located in Maple Grove. The food was phenomenal but beware, VERY PRICEY. 

Tip: If you want to go to a nice restaurant to try out there food but can't afford to, either go
1. During lunch -same menu always cheaper
2. During Happy Hour- Bar menu with smaller portions

Pittsburgh Blue has Happy Hour from 3pm-6pm daily with drink and food specials. We arrived right at 3 and dug into there menu. We started with Oyster shooters (raw oyster in a shot glass mixed with bloody mary mix) and four oysters on the half shell.

It was hard to choose a main dish but after a recommendation from the waitress, I had the Sea Scallop benedict while Damian enjoyed the half steak with fries. Let me tell you, I have had the privilege to eat at a lot of really nice restaurants with top chefs and this benedict sits high on the list. 

400 couches later and we were ready to rest up before a night of fun! 


Ever since I was a little girl we always had a tradition of making brunch on the weekends with BLT's! Today was no different. I ran to the store and headed over to Damian's for the prep work. You can't really go wrong with a BLT and well they are pretty delicious. 

We also had avocados on the half shell and poured in a little green salsa!

I sipped on a sparkling pomegranate Izze's soda that was delish!

After lunch we headed to Hidden Beach (best beach ever!) with Dan and Sarah and proceeded to try The Lowry in uptown to conclude our afternoon. What did I order? Oysters on the half shell!! Damian and I shared 6 of those babies and the tuna tar tar appetizer. 

Check out that bacon cheddar burger Dan got! 

Doesn't Sarah's Caesar salad look amazing? It even has a deviled egg!

All-in-all it was a great summer weekend! Too bad tomorrow is monday...