lychee fruit
Cooking Healthy Food, Exotic Flavors, Fruit for Dessert, Just Desserts, Microwave Baking, Super Sides

Lychee Nutrition Facts and Recipe

My family and I love to go to the local Chinese buffet. It’s a Sunday afternoon, after-church tradition now. We’ve been doing it for over seven years! You’d think we’d get tired of the same old, same old, but this particular restaurant switches up their menu just enough to keep things interesting. Our favorite things (the sushi, the coconut shrimp, the fried dumplings, etc.) are almost always there, but every once in a while they introduce something new to the spread.

Like yesterday, when they had these strange-looking little round things sitting out at the dessert table. I figured it much be some sort of fruit, but I didn’t have a clue what it was. Still, I’m an adventurous type, especially when it comes to food, so I thought I would try it. Our server came by the table before I’d taken a bite, and I asked her what they were.

“Lychee,” she said, pronouncing it “lee-chee,” or at least that was the way it sounded to me. She smiled at me like she didn’t really believe she was having to tell me what it was. What could I say? I was a lychee virgin.

I’d heard of the fruit before, but I’d never seen it in person, so I’d certainly never tasted it.

I speared one little fruit with my fork and cautiously stuck it in my mouth. Immediately, I tasted the ginger, and I wondered it if that was part of the fruit’s natural taste, but some later research online told me that probably wasn’t the case. They’d probably added ginger to it when they baked it.

My first overall impression? It was quite different from anything I’d ever had before, although the texture was somewhat reminiscent of baked pears, I thought. And it was spicy! But that was okay by me because I happen to like spicy food.

When I got home, I hit the Internet looking for more information about lychees. Turns out, by not knowing anything about this fruit I was really missing out! Lychees are amazingly nutritious!lychee fruit

For example, they:

  • Offer a great source of Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, and phytonutrients like carotenoids, flavonoids, indoles, isoflavones, lignans, and polyphenols
  • Provide high amounts of folate, iron, magnesium, and manganese, which are all required for the formation of red blood cells

Please note, however, that lychees are really high in sugar, which may prove problematic for some diabetics, so consume with caution – and ALWAYS in moderation.

During my Internet search, I even found a yummy baked lychee recipe to try at home. So, I made my husband go out and find some lychees (which was no easy feat in Louisville, KY), tweaked the recipe by adding some things, and baked my lychees in the microwave (like I bake everything else).

Baked Lychees
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 lb lychee fruit, peeled & seeded
Instructions
  1. Spray a Pyrex baking pan with Pam cooking spray.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the butter.
  3. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger to the butter, and stir together thoroughly.
  4. Roll each lychee in the sugar mixture, and set on the baking dish.
  5. Pour remaining sugar mixture over the lychees.
  6. Put the dish in the microwave and cook on medium power for about three to five minutes, until sugar is caramelized.
  7. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers.

If you haven’t yet tried lychees, I highly suggest giving them a try. They’re a really different taste sensation at first, but in a delicious way – especially baked. Try this out, and see for yourself!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

 

Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors, Salads, Sandwiches

Guacamole Chicken Salad Recipe

guacamole chicken salad

It’s National Spicy Guacamole Day! Yum! A couple of months ago (on September 16), it was National Guacamole Day. September is also National Chicken Month. So, I got the idea to combine the two things into this salad (I love guacamole, and I love chicken salad). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to post it then, so I thought I’d save it for today. I didn’t want to let all that work go to waste. Also, I really didn’t want my readers to miss out on the yumminess. So, here it is: my spicy guacamole chicken salad.

Oh, and by the way, this is totally a recipe you can make with any leftover crock pot chicken you might have sitting around. That’s what I used. Score!

Here’s how you make this:

Guacamole Chicken Salad Recipe
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 servings
This delicious recipe combines two of my favorite things to eat: guacamole and chicken salad. It’s the perfect way to add a little spicy Mexican kick to your leftover chicken.
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados (peeled and pitted)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1 large Roma tomato, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb cooked chicken, shredded
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mash the avocados with the lemon juice.
  2. Stir in the garlic powder, salt, red pepper, and cilantro.
  3. Add the chopped tomato and peppers, stirring lightly.
  4. Stir in the cooked chicken, and serve immediately on tortillas.

The hardest part about this unique chicken salad recipe is going to be peeling the avocado. Here’s an easy guide that tells you how to peel an avocado. Or check out this excellent video that actually shows someone doing it in less than two minutes. Be sure to save the pit to stick in the bottom of your guacamole mixing bowl. That will help keep the guacamole from turning brown.

chicken salad recipe

It’s really not that hard to make your own guacamole, once you get used to it. And it’s something I definitely recommend you try at least once. Store-bought guacamole’s not bad (if you can find it), but the stuff you make fresh yourself is so much better.

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

beef stroganoff recipe
Exotic Flavors, Old Family Recipes

Basic Beef Stroganoff

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved a good beef stroganoff. There’s just something about lean, tender beef in a rich cream sauce that really hits the spot on a cold night. The length of time spent cooking is what really helps the beef get tender. You can always add a bit of meat tenderizer before cooking for extra tenderizing power. Here’s the basic recipe to get you started.

Basic Beef Stroganoff
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 50 mins
This classic Russian dish is the perfect treat for a cold night. You can serve this over rice or noodles.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean beef
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. In a heavy skillet, melt the butter, and stir in the onion powder, garlic powder, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Add the beef and brown thoroughly over high heat.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the sour cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and heat through.

I almost always serve this with egg noodles because we really love them at our house. This is easily every bit as delicious over rice.

Traditionally, beef stroganoff is made with sliced mushrooms. I don’t use them because my husband is somewhat allergic to them, but if you prefer to use them you can add them in during the 30-minute simmer stage, just after you brown the meat.

Also, traditional beef stroganoff uses real onions (if you prefer to use these, brown them with the meat), but my husband hates onion, so I use onion powder in everything I cook instead. He doesn’t seem to mind the onion powder. Go figure. It must be the texture that bothers him more than the taste.

You can switch up this recipe in other ways too, like adding green or red pepper slices…or even carrots. Have any other ideas? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking Healthy Food, Exotic Flavors, Soups

South American Ceviche

 

ceviche

It’s National Fried Scallop Day! I don’t know about you, but my husband and I love fried scallops (really, we love any sort of scallop). I get them fried every time we go to our favorite Chinese buffet restaurant. But, admittedly, fried scallops are not the healthiest things you can eat.

I’ve sauteed scallops before, and I’ve boiled them. Really, you do not want to cook a scallop for more than 3-5 minutes any way you cook them because it’s super easy to overcook them to the point that they’re rubbery and near inedible.

Frying scallops is pretty easy. You do it basically the same way you fry chicken (at least, the same way my grandmother taught me to fry chicken. You dip them in an egg and milk mixture, and then roll them in a cornbread and flour mixture before sticking them in a hot skillet. Fry on each side for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, and you’ve got tasty fried scallops.

However, if you’re looking for a healthier way to enjoy scallops I highly recommend an amazing South American dish called ceviche. In this dish, the scallops aren’t fried. In fact, they’re not even really cooked at all. They’re cured to safety in the acidic lemon and lime juices. Now, I’m not one to eat raw seafood (and it’s never recommended for pregnant women, so don’t try this recipe if you are), but even I enjoyed this one. It’s really hard (as far as I’m concerned, anyway) to ruin South American cuisine. I’m so glad I discovered this recipe in one of my grandmother’s old cookbooks. It’s low calorie, low fat, and completely delicious! So, when you’re done celebrating Fried Scallop Day, give this recipe a try.

South American Ceviche
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: South American
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 12 hours
Total time: 12 hours 10 mins
Serves: 6 servings
This recipe is not recommended for pregnant women because of the “raw” scallops, but it’s a definite “must-try” for any other seafood lover!
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1 diced red pepper
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds bay scallops, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 lettuce leaves
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the lemon and lime juices, the green and red pepper, celery, parsley flakes, cilantro, garlic powder, ginger, chili powder, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  2. Toss in the scallops and combine thoroughly.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 6-12 hours.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator and stir in the olive oil.
  5. Lay out the lettuce leaves onto a serving platter.
  6. Spoon the scallop mixture evenly over the leaves.
  7. Serve immediately.
como hacer seviche

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

mexican breakfast
Breakfast, Exotic Flavors

Three Mexican Breakfast Casserole Recipes

 

mexican breakfast casseroles (1)

I’ve always loved Mexican food, and I’ve long been a big fan of breakfast casseroles. There’s just something about cooking all those yummy flavors together that really thrills my taste buds. Plus, breakfast casseroles are 100% portable, so they’re the perfect dishes to take to share with others at Sunday School breakfasts or other morning get-togethers. Get out your favorite skillet and baking dish, and let’s start cooking one of these amazing Mexican breakfast casseroles, which I’ve adapted slightly from Marge Poore’s 1,000 Mexican Recipes to fit my family’s tastes.

Egg and Rice Casserole 

Don’t let the name (or the plain ingredients) fool you.

There’s more to this recipe than meets the eye (or, in this case, the mouth)!

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large (room temperature) eggs
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat for about two minutes.
  3. Add the onion powder, rice, and cumin.
  4. Cook about three to four minutes, stirring frequently. The rice should change color.
  5. Add the broth and salt, and stir to combine all the ingredients.
  6. Cover the skillet with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed.
  7. Remove the pan, uncover, and make four indentations in the rice.
  8. Break an egg into each hole in the rice.
  9. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the rice and egg mixture.
  10. Return the pan to the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 10 to 12 minutes. The whites of the eggs will be set, but the yolks will still be soft.
  11. Serve immediately by spooning out a portion of the rice with each egg.

Egg and Tortilla Casserole

This casserole is a bit spicier than the rice and egg one above, so you might want to make that one for the kids, and this (or the one below it) for the grown-ups if you’re cooking for a family breakfast or brunch.

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 6 chopped medium tomatillos
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 7-ounce can of chopped green chiles
  • 4 7-inch corn tortillas, cut into one-inch strips
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil and stir in the onion powder.
  4. Stir in the tomatillos, salt, cumin, and water.
  5. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for about 5 to 7 minutes. The tomatillos will be soft and light green.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the chiles.
  7. Spread half of the skillet mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.
  8. Layer half of the tortilla strips and half of the cheese on top.
  9. Repeat the layers with the rest of the chile mixture, tortilla strips, and cheese.
  10. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and milk together.
  11. Pour evenly over the tortilla layers.
  12. Sprinkle red bell pepper and green onions on top.
  13. Bake, uncovered, for about 35 to 40 minutes. The casserole will be puffy, but well set in the center.
  14. Let stand for 5 to 8 minutes.
  15. Cut into squares and serve warm.

Chilaquiles: Tortilla Casserole with Eggs and Red Chile Sauce

mexican breakfast

  • 6 7-inch tortillas, cut into half-inch strips
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups red chile sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. Heat the oil and fry the tortilla strips in batches until they are golden brown. Drain them on paper towels.
  2. Pour off all but one tablespoon of the oil.
  3. Add the beaten eggs and the salt and cook for about two minutes, until the eggs are just about to set.
  4. Add the tortilla strips and the red chile sauce.
  5. Cook over low heat for about 2 minutes, until the tortilla strips fully absorb the sauce.
  6. Sprinkle cheese, and then drizzle the sour cream over the top.
  7. Serve immediately, while the chilaquiles are still warm.

Put one (or more) of these Mexican breakfast casseroles on the table, and you’re sure to wow all your breakfast or brunch guests. And you may just decide to put them on the regular meal plan rotation for yourself once you find out how good they really are!

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.  

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!  

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.   

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?  

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page

chicken curry
Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors

Spicy Banana-Apple Chicken Curry

 

spicy banana apple chicken curry

Today, September 21st, the International Banana Festival was celebrated in Fulton, Kentucky, which is about a four-hour drive away from me, so I was unable to make it, with the husband’s work schedule and the girls being in school. But I wanted to celebrate by cooking with bananas today, anyway, since we all love them so much at our house. And, since we’re still in National Chicken Month, I thought it would be fun to combine chicken and bananas, but I was drawing a blank until I did a Google search and ran across the idea of making a chicken curry with bananas.

I used my go-to chicken curry recipe as the base and ran with it, taking a few ideas here and there from banana curry recipes I found online. The apples were an afterthought because I had a few sitting around that were about to go bad, but they turned out to be a wonderful addition.

Here’s the full recipe:

Spicy Banana-Apple Chicken Curry
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 6 servings
Part sweet-and-sour chicken, part authentic Indian curry, this deliciously sweet curry sauce is a unique way to use up leftover crock pot chicken.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of cooked shredded chicken
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons spicy curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 bananas
  • 3 Gala apples
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Spray a large saucepan with Pam cooking spray.
  2. Stir together the chicken, onion powder, garlic powder, coriander, ginger, tomato sauce, salt, cardamom, turmeric, cumin curry powders, red and black pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Cook over low heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Slice bananas and dice apples and add to the saucepan.
  5. Stir in the brown sugar and Greek yogurt until thoroughly blended.
  6. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Serve immediately with cooked jasmine rice.
chicken curry

Since my husband and I were so used to eating the other type of curry, this sweet version came as a bit of a surprise, but we both found that once we crossed over the “curry hurdle,” we both really enjoyed this dish. The girls, not surprisingly, wouldn’t even touch it, but that was okay because it left more for the grown-ups. It’s another winner to add to the “blah-buster leftover chicken recipes” category!

51-wy1JrHcL

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

apple dumplings
Breads, Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors, Old Family Recipes

Chicken and Apple Dumplings

 

chicken and apple dumplings.png

Today is National Apple Dumpling Day, and it’s also National Chicken Month, so I thought it would be neat to combine those two ideas into one scrumptious post with this chicken and apple dumpling recipe. I found an old dumpling recipe in a scrapbook my husband’s mother had made for us as a wedding present, and I decided to stuff those with a filling of apples, spices, and (you guessed it!) leftover crock pot chicken. And the best part is, you can use the leftover broth from the pot that you cooked the chicken in!

Here’s how I did it:

Chicken and Apple Dumplings
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 2 hours
Serves: 40 dumplings
This is a fresh take on an old-fashioned recipe I inherited from my husband’s grandmother. So good! You’ll definitely want to make this the next time you have company. You’ll impress their socks off!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • 2 medium-sized Gala apples, diced
  • 2 tbspns apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbspns water
  • 3 tbspns brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 8 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 2 2/3 cups milk
Instructions
  1. Chop up the apples and shred the chicken into tiny pieces.
  2. Combine chicken and apples together with the water, vinegar, sugar, and spices, in a medium-sized microwavable bowl.
  3. Microwave on high for two minutes, and then stir.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, butter, and milk with a fork.
  5. Flour a flat surface well.
  6. Spoon and flatten out a small portion of the dumpling dough.
  7. Add a teaspoonful of the chicken and apple mixture.
  8. Spoon out another layer of dough and connect the two.
  9. Add the dumpling to hot, but not boiling, broth in a large stock pot on the stove.
  10. Repeat this process until all the dumplings are formed.
  11. Cover and simmer the dumplings, 8 at a time, for 15-20 minutes.
  12. Serve immediately, and spoon the gravy in the pan over the dumplings, for extra flavor.
apple dumplings

The idea to reuse the broth from the crock pot pan is not really my own. I got that from a blog post I read the other day, but I absolutely love it. You can reuse your leftover chicken AND the broth. That’s a double win!

Admittedly, this recipe takes some time and effort, but it is so worth it! Note: These dumplings are pretty big (about the size of a biscuit), so two per person makes a pretty decent serving size. This recipe can be halved, or even quartered, if you don’t want to make so many dumplings at once (or if you don’t want to spend so much time in the kitchen).

 

51-wy1JrHcL

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors

Copycat Restaurant Recipe: Cajun Chicken Linguine Alfredo

 

linguine alfredo

September is National Chicken Month (I love chicken!), and today (the 15th) is National Linguine Day (who doesn’t love pasta?). So, when I thought about what I might blog about for today, Red Lobster’s Cajun Chicken Linguine Alfredo naturally popped into my head. It’s one of my favorite things to eat when I go there. I know, I know. Who goes to Red Lobster to eat chicken? Well, sometimes I do!

The Internet is full of copycat restaurant recipes, and this particular one from Red Lobster is one of them. There are many variations out there, but I finally found one (after a few tweaks here and there) that I thought tasted pretty much like the real thing.

And I love the fact that (did you guess?) you can use your leftover crock pot chicken to make this!

Here’s what I came up with. A definite whole-family pleaser!

Copycat Restaurant Recipe: Cajun Chicken Linguine Alfredo
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 4 servings
This is a copycat variation of the delicious Red Lobster Cajun Chicken Linguine Alfredo.
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (shredded or cut into strips)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 tbspn flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a 2-quart sauce pan, melt the butter and add the cooked chicken.
  2. Sautee over medium heat for about five minutes, until chicken just begins to brown.
  3. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Stir in the half and half, flour, and seasonings.
  5. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Fill a large pot halfway with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the pasta to the water and put in one tablespoon of olive oil.
  8. Reduce heat slightly (to a gentle boil), and cook pasta for 8-10 minutes.
  9. Drain the pasta immediately and toss with the sauce.
  10. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the pasta and sauce, if desired.
copycat restaurant recipes

 

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51-wy1JrHcL

 

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.

 

thai peanut sauce recipe
Cooking Healthy Food, Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors, Super Sides

Delicious Thai Peanut Sauce

 

delicious thai peanut sauce (1)

There aren’t a lot of Thai restaurants where I live, so we don’t eat this type of cuisine regularly, but my husband did take me to a Thai restaurant once, and we both enjoyed it. One of the things I loved most was the peanut sauce served with the chicken. Yum!

So, when I thought about celebrating National Peanut Day today, one of the first things I thought about was that peanut sauce. It’d been a long time since I’d had Thai peanut sauce, so I hit the Internet looking for easy-to-make at-home recipes. There’s a wide variety out there (seems that way for almost any recipe you find these days – everybody has their own take on things), but I took what I thought were the best, combined them, and created my own.

This sauce is a wonderful way to add some zest and flavor to dull leftover chicken. And if you’ve been following this blog long, you know I’m all about sprucing up chicken leftovers. And it’s totally easy. No special cooking skills required!

Here’s the recipe:

Delicious Thai Peanut Sauce
Recipe Type: Sauce
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 6 servings
This version of Thai peanut sauce is so easy, anyone can make it. It’s an exciting addition to leftover chicken.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (either crunchy or creamy)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 8-oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (halved)
Instructions
  1. Add the peanut butter, honey, coconut milk, lemon juice, and soy sauce to a blender jar.
  2. Blend for about 30 seconds on medium speed, and then reduce speed to low for 30 more seconds until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan.
  4. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, red pepper, garlic, basil, and peanuts.
  5. Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until heated through and completely combined.
  6. Serve immediately by spooning over shredded leftover chicken and prepared jasmine rice.
thai peanut sauce recipe

Like I said, it has been a long time since I went to that Thai restaurant, so I can’t attest to how close this recipe is to restaurant quality…and I certainly can’t say how authentic it is, since I’ve never been to Thailand. But I can say, for certain, that this makes for a yummy dinner. Even my kids like this sauce (they love peanuts, peanut butter, and soy sauce).

It looks like this is one recipe that might stay in our monthly dinner rotation for a long time!
//

Cooking with Chicken Leftovers, Exotic Flavors

Blah-buster Leftover Chicken: Chicken Curry Casserole

blah-buster leftover chicken casserole.png

As I thumbed through my grandmother’s old cookbooks one evening looking for inspiration, one recipe in particular jumped out at me: Maharani Chicken Curry (btw, “maharani” means “princess” – and it’s a term often used for the wife or widow of a maharajah). My husband and I LOVE Indian food. I mean, we really love it. We might be tempted to eat it every day, actually…except the stuff you get at the restaurants is pretty expensive. This, however, is amazingly inexpensive in comparison and tastes just about the same, imho.

I make chicken in the Crock-Pot a lot. It seems like I’m never home or am busy with the kids or with writing and editing or a million other different things. Some days, I just don’t have much time for cooking. I’ll usually make this on Saturday when hubby’s home to help with the girls, and I can spend a little extra time in the kitchen. We almost always have a lot of chicken left over from Crock-Pot Chicken night, so this has become my go-to Saturday afternoon lunch for my husband and me. The girls won’t eat it, so I heat them up a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli. They just miss out! 🙂

Here’s what you’ll need, and what you’ll need to do, to make the curry:

Chicken Curry Casserole
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: About 4 servings.
My husband and I love Indian food, and this has become my go-to leftover chicken recipe. It’s deliciously inexpensive to make, and tastes almost as good as the chicken curry you get from Indian restaurants!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp spicy curry powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Slice the margarine or butter and melt over medium high heat in a 2-quart saucepan.
  2. Shred the leftover chicken (if not already shredded) and add to the saucepan.
  3. Stir in onion and garlic powder and ginger and saute for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, cumin, curry, red pepper, and black pepper.
  5. Cook over low heat for 3 minutes
  6. Blend in yogurt.
  7. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Serve immediately.
Chicken Curry Casserole

Now, at this point, you’ll have a delicious chicken curry. The first time I made this, I served it over jasmine rice. The second time I made it, my husband suggested adding the cooked rice to the pan, and that’s how I ended up with the chicken curry “casserole” pictured above.

Here’s how I almost always cook my rice (basically because I only have one working stove burner right now…or at least only one stove burner I feel safe using), and that one is busy cooking the curry. This also gives you something to do while you’re waiting for the curry to simmer.

  • Put 4 cups of water and 2 cups of jasmine rice in a large microwavable bowl.
  • Add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Heat on high for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the microwave (be careful, the bowl’s going to be hot!) and stir the rice.
  • Put the bowl back in the microwave and heat on half power (Level 5) for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the microwave and stir again.
  • Let sit for about 5 minutes, and then stir into the saucepan with the chicken curry.

Spoon the casserole out onto plates lined with lettuce leaves and tomato wedges, and enjoy!

 

51-wy1JrHcL

Screenshot 2020-03-22 at 2.05.23 PM

Fifteen years ago, I went to a party a friend was hosting and bought a stoneware mini loaf pan. I still have that thing today, and it’s just as awesome.

When I got married almost 13 years ago, I let the friend of a friend do a Pampered Chef bridal shower for me. I still have all those things too!

I’ve been buying Pampered Chef products at various parties (mostly online now) ever since. I have never been disappointed by a single thing I’ve bought with Pampered Chef.

So, when I recently attended yet another online party and saw that there was a $19.80 join special, I took the plunge. I’ve been enjoying Pampered Chef myself for decades. Why not share that love with others?

I’m so excited to start my Pampered Chef journey. I would be thrilled if you would consider joining me. Pampered Chef has so many tools that can help you as you seek to eat cleaner. If you have any questions, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page.