Friday, December 28, 2012

Hodge Podge Recipes {Recipes 85-93}

Well, it's almost the end of 2012. 

I have almost finished my 100 recipes for the year.

Here are some snapshots and reviews of a few more recipes I have tried.

Fruit Salad with Melon Balls

I made this fruit salad with Kyle for this previous Easter. It was really simple and fresh and allowed us to test out the skill of balling melons. I loved the mint in the salad, together with the honey it gave it a really nice flavor. I found the recipe here.

Chicken Tacos with Tropical Pico De Gayo

This recipe was really simple and I actually added things to make it more exciting. It called for plain cooked chicken pieces but I seasoned mine with cumin and cayenne. The pico is a mix of fresh mango, pineapple, red onion and cilantro. Mix and refrigerate to let flavors meld. I think this would be even better as a bowl type meal. Or just to serve the pico by itself with chips.

Shrimp Tacos

I read a blog post that talked about shrimp tacos but contained no recipe, I decided that sounded amazing so we made up our own as well. I really think {like the chicken above} that you don't need a taco shell at all for this meal. This is a really great example of how Mexican food can be very healthful and flavorful!

Thawed, fully cooked shrimp {deveined and tailed}
cumin to taste
a handful of finely chopped cilantro
garlic powder to taste
cayenne pepper to taste {about 1/8 tsp. is good if you don't prefer spicy things}
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
avocado pieces {optional}

1) Heat the shrimp in a skillet with the spices to taste. Do not over cook. If you buy cooked shrimp you should only need 4 minutes maximum to warm them through. Once warmed and seasoned set aside and keep warm.
2) In the same skillet add corn kernals with a bit of butter or oil to char them a bit. Once they are charred, remove them and add to the other chopped veggies and cilantro. Mix into a pico type salsa.
3) Top your tortilla or put shrimp in a bowl and serve with chopped salsa and avocado on top.

Feel free to add any other spices you may want or other toppings like salsa, guacamole, sour cream etc.


Crock Pot Shredded Pork Tacos

I sadly do not have a picture of this recipe but it was pretty darn tasty! You essentially cook a pork roast in the crock pot with canned diced green chiles and salsa. It becomes incredibly moist and flavorful. Then you add whatever toppings you like. This recipe was incredibly juicy and delicious!

Olive Oil Crust for Garlic Ranch Chicken Pizza

I was searching for a great pizza crust and I tried this one made with olive oil that I really liked. It was very bread-y and thick though which did not suit the topping recipe that we tried. But I think I will try it again in future recipes.

Mini Pain Au Chocolat

Kyle loves Pain Au Chocolat. He gets it nearly every time we have breakfast at Panera and tries it whenever we go to bakeries. He even had some in Quebec City on our Honeymoon! I wanted to try to make it and I came across and easy version of the recipe as a Christmas Morning surprise. Sadly, we were in a rush and tried eating them when they were too melt-y {HOT!}, but they turned out pretty ok. I am sure they aren't as good as the "real" thing, and they aren't really to my taste, but Kyle thought they were pretty good. 

Makes 14 mini pastries

Frozen Puff Pastries {1 sheet}
2/3 cup of chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate

1) Thaw pastry overnight following box instructions.
2) Cut the sheet of puff pastry in half lengthwise. Then cut each half into small triangles {about 6 per half}.

3) After the triangles are cut fill them with the chocolate of your preference starting at the wide end and then roll the pastries up. Place them seam side down on a baking sheet.
4) Bake at 350-375 degrees F. depending on your oven's temperature tendencies for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before eating.


Penne A la Betsy

This recipe came via Pioneer Woman, so of course it's fantastic! My good friend Teri and I made it together on one of our movie nights and ADORED it! You can find the recipe here. I will say, our wine did not evaporate very well... so we had to make a roux {1 T. melted butter + 1 T. flour mixed and whisked into the sauce} to thicken, but that's no big deal and it was totally worth it. This pasta is creamy, a bit tomato-y and it has shrimp! What's not to love! :) I will admit though, this recipe does not reheat very well. So invite friends over or halve the recipe to suit your needs.

Taco Salad with Cilantro Sour Cream and Homemade Tortilla Chips

This is a recipe that I had sort of made before, but I really improvised a lot. I am only counting it this time because of the cilantro sour cream. Basically you just brown hamburger and season it. You add black beans and corn, put it on a bed of lettuce and top with cherry tomatoes and the sour cream. To make the sour cream you just add some lime juice and chopped cilantro to the sour cream. Kyle and I weren't crazy about it, but it definitely adds more flavor to your salad. To make the chips, cut a tortilla into triangles and bake on a cookie sheet after sprinkling them with oil and salt. Bake until golden brown. Note: we used whole wheat tortillas.. so they look browner. 

Greek Pasta Salad

Again I do not have a picture of this. It is a whole wheat penne salad with sun dried tomatoes, greek olives, feta, red onion and spinach in it. You cook the spinach and onions in olive oil to wilt them and make them softer for the salad. You make a olive oil and cider vinegar vinaigrette and toss all the ingredients. We ate ours cold. It was pretty good, nothing too terribly special, but I liked the unique flavors in a pasta salad.

I hope these recipes and notes help you to think of new and fun culinary adventures to embark on. 

My last 7 recipes will be coming soon! And I can promise that at least 3 of them are FANTASTIC! :) 

All for now,


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