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Easy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Rich Chocolate Frosting That’s Creamy, Dreamy, Delicious

Easy Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Rich Chocolate Frosting That’s Creamy, Dreamy, Delicious

“Who buys cookbooks anymore? When I want a recipe I just find one online and print it out!”   Seeing that statement a few weeks ago on Pinterest made me cringe. Who buys cookbooks??? ME!! I buy cookbooks! I love cookbooks! I like seeing my […]

Bitter Greens Salad: Dense Greens Dressed With Super Tangy Mustard Vinaigrette and Pickled Veggies

Bitter Greens Salad: Dense Greens Dressed With Super Tangy Mustard Vinaigrette and Pickled Veggies

This is not your mama’s salad. With that said, it’s not your normal salad either. This is the salad you’d serve with a super rich dish. I thought this one up while making my last recipe, “Tomato Cream Sauce With Linguine.” The pasta has a […]

Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta Recipe: Italian Linguine Enveloped In Creamy Tomato Sauce And Topped With Seared Shrimp

Tomato Cream Sauce Pasta Recipe: Italian Linguine Enveloped In Creamy Tomato Sauce And Topped With Seared Shrimp

It’s officially Spring and I’m officially still eating pasta. Although a lot of restaurants are serving lighter meals with this season I’d thought I’d make this meal lighter with… the salad. muah ha ha ha (Recipe will be posted shortly). For the pasta I used a bronze cut linguine which has a rougher surface area allowing for more  delicious sauce stickage to be possible. I used canned whole tomatoes, homemade chicken stock infused with the shells from the shrimp, some cream, bacon, shallots, garlic, and fresh basil. What more could you ask for?

Italian Tomato Cream Sauce with Linguine and Seared Shrimp

: 2-3
: 10 min
: 40 min
: 50 min
: Easy to Middle of the Road

Crushed Tomatoes, crispy bacon, shallots, and garlic get reduced down in shrimp infused stock and made gloriously delicious with pasta water and heavy cream.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 slices bacon, or pancetta (1/4 cup) diced
  • 1/2 pound raw shrimp, unpeeled
  • 1 can whole tomatoes ( 14.5 oz)
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 4 garlic cloves, about 1 Tablespoon
  • 1/2 package Bronze cut Linguine (8 oz. uncooked)
  • 1 cup Chicken stock, homemade or unsalted
  • Parmesano Reggiano
Directions
  • Step 1 Peel shrimp, devein if needed, and reserve shells.
  • Step 2 In a small pot add chicken stock and shrimp shells. Bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn on low heat to keep warm
  • Step 3 Bring to boil 4 to 5 quarts of water in a stock pot.
  • Step 4 While waiting for water to boil, start sauce.
  • Step 5 In a warmed pan set on medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter. Season shrimp with salt and pepper and place in hot fat, cooking about a minute and a half on each side until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Step 6 Add diced bacon to pan and cook until crispy. Add shallot and cook 1 or 2 minutes or until translucent. Turn down heat. Add garlic and stir and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Strain chicken stock into pan and add canned tomatoes. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands while adding to pan.Turn heat to high and let cook, reducing down
  • Step 7 Your water should be boiling for your pasta. Add salt and pasta and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Step 8 Your sauce should be about 1/2 way up the pan and somewhat thickened. If not, continue to cook until more liquid is reduced out.
  • Step 9 Using the same pot you warmed your stock transfer the sauce from the skillet to the pot and (using a hand mixer) blend all the ingredients until smooth. Or use a blender, but be very careful since the sauce is hot like lava!
  • Step 10 Once blended nicely, add back to skillet. When the noodles are finished cooking remove them to the pan, stirring, and add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the pan with the sauce. Stir and add in 1/2 cup of your cream. Stir until combined. Taste for salt and pepper and the firmness of the noodle. If the pasta is too firm to your liking let it cook in the sauce a bit longer.
  • Step 11 Remove from heat and toss in Seared shrimp as well as some freshly grated Parmesan and shredded fresh basil. Toss together and Serve.
  • Step 12 Buon Appetito!
  • Step 13 If you want to cook your noodles before starting the sauce you can do that as well. Just make sure to reserve a bit of the pasta water. Also pour a little olive oil on the noodles to keep them from sticking. You’ll only need about a teaspoon or so. 🙂

This pasta is tomato rich with a background of shellfish. The shrimp shells really help infuse the flavor of the shrimp for this pasta and the bacon lends a smokiness to the sauce. I did not have to season this sauce AT ALL with salt. You have salt from the pasta (remember that 1/4 cup we added to the water?). You have salt from the bacon. And you have salt from the Parmesan cheese. So please, refrain from salting this dish until everything is combined and ready to be plated.

Serve this rich, but not too too heavy, pasta meal with a bitter greens salad. I’ve got a recipe I’ll be posting shortly which has fresh dandelion greens, baby kale, and a tangy mustard seed vinaigrette that’ll make your tongue pop!

Got any favorite Spring…or not so Spring recipes you’d like to share or have me share? Hit me up below! 🙂 Here’s a little short vid on how your sauce should be looking before you add in the pasta water, noodles, and cream!

Traditional Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe: All Fired Up For St. Pat’s

Traditional Corned Beef Cabbage Recipe: All Fired Up For St. Pat’s

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What’s a Griddle Cake?: Your Query Answered With A Savory Griddle Recipe

What’s a Griddle Cake?: Your Query Answered With A Savory Griddle Recipe

I won’t make you wait that long. A griddle cake is a PANCAKE. Mystery solved. Your welcome. But if you stop reading now you won’t get the juicy details leading up to my deliciously divine recipe: Savory Three Meat n’ Cheese Griddle Cake Topped with […]

Greenhouse Educational Programs: Sustainable Greenhouse “E.34” in Savannah Georgia

Greenhouse Educational Programs: Sustainable Greenhouse “E.34” in Savannah Georgia

I stumbled upon this cool little building while researching one of my last posts on coffee. And by researching I mean drinking… a cup…of coffee. If you read that post you’d remember me saying that the coffee shop was in an area of town “leaning” into revitalization. By leaning into, I mean make SURE you’re aware of your surroundings at all times whilst skipping through the streets sucking down your cold brew.

While driving off from the local coffee roaster I found myself saying aloud, “Wut is thaaaaat?!” and literally stopped my car in the middle of the road. After I made sure the coast was clear, I jerked my car into reverse and pulled to the curb to check out this curious building.

To my right was this guy:

What a super cool idea in a neighborhood that really needs some love. I decided to do a bit of googling. This particular project was the brainchild of a SCAD student, Meagan Hodges, via her masters final project and was brought to life by a local non-profit called Emergent Structures. This organization firstly aids in collaborations between developers, architects, engineers, local government, and property owners and teaches them how to replace common parochial construction demo with sustainable deconstruction.

Several local and nationwide businesses contributed to this awesome cause. IKEA was the largest contributor to the project with notable help from business’ such as Guerry Lumber, Gulfstream, Southern Pine Company, Savannah Technical College, and even Whole Foods.

Their aim is to reduce waste by re-purposing materials such as old timber from dilapidated houses, slabs of granite and marble, and even bath tubs. These materials are used to build structures such as this greenhouse located within an area of Savannah known as a food desert.

This structures intended use is for an agricultural training center for Savannah teens with special needs. The training is provided by Meagan’s local non-profit organization called Design For Ability which trains teens in the area of green jobs.

If you’re in the area and would like to stop by you can find the greenhouse off E. Broad Street and 34th. I think the YouTube video provided below can better explain what the project is all about and how it’s meant to benefit the local surrounding community here in Savannah.

This is such a noble cause. If you’d like to find out more about Emergent Structures and other projects they’re working on or to learn how you can possibly collaborate with them you can find them at: http://emergentstructures.org/

There’s so much you can learn about your community by just driving around it! It’s funny how we get caught up in the day of work, and busy schedules, and family that we somehow forget to look AROUND us. There’s so many things going on around us it’s nice to be reminded that there’s more to this life than what’s going on in mine alone.

What local projects or nonprofits have your heart? Have you ever been a part of something like this that benefits your local community? I’d love to hear about it! Any comments, thoughts, suggestions just leave below!:)

Southern Biscuits With Sausage Gravy

Southern Biscuits With Sausage Gravy

I guess my website will just have to fit into that category of healthy-ish…well in this case…NOT healthy-in any way, shape, or form. But it’s southern, as am I, and a pretty popular breakfast dish here in Georgia. I actually did not grow up eating […]

Georgia Coffee Roasters: Perc Coffee of Savannah

Georgia Coffee Roasters: Perc Coffee of Savannah

If you’ve ever ventured into a coffee shop here in Savannah you may have happened upon an amazing cup of coffee that just so happened to be roasted in a local company called Perc. What I didn’t realize was that Perc (besides selling wholesale to […]

Easy Ham And Potato Casserole: Comfort Food At Its Finest

Easy Ham And Potato Casserole: Comfort Food At Its Finest

I made this dish not too long ago on a whim and kinda threw it together one afternoon for a weeknight meal. It was awesome and I (and my family) gave myself a pat on the back. The next day I realized I didn’t write anything down about the dish and kicked myself for not thinking ahead. This week I thought about that casserole again when my mom had a plate of spiral ham leftover from dinner. This time I wrote everything down and I’m sure you’re gonna love it. It’s a favorite combo of ham, broccoli, potatoes, and cheese. It’s topped with a few ritz crackers for crunch and a little more cheese.

This recipe is easy to put together because of time saving things like leaving the potatoes unpeeled and using packaged shredded cheese. If you’re really in a crunch for time you can sub in frozen broccoli (after a quick thaw under cold water) rather than using fresh and just mix it in the casserole right before baking it.

Easy Ham And Potato Casserole

*4 medium Russet Potatoes, (skins on) diced into 1/2″ cubes

*1/2 pound broccoli florets, cut in half (or bite size pieces)

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*1 cup ham, diced

*1/2 stick butter

*3 Tablespoons flour

*1 teaspoon salt

*1/2 teaspoon black pepper

*1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

*2 cups milk

*2 cups shredded cheese/ divided ( I use a mix of cheeses, your call)

Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray and set to side. Preheat oven to 350°. Cover (over 2″ above) diced potatoes in a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan with cool water and about 1/4 cup salt. Bring water to boil.

In a separate sauce pot melt butter and gently stir in flour and seasonings. Cook about a minute and a half until bubbling and fragrant. Slowly add (while continuously stirring) the milk. Turn heat on medium high and continue to stir until bubbling. Turn off heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Stir until smooth.

Creamy Cheese Sauce Complete

Once potatoes are almost fork tender, drop in fresh broccoli and cook two minutes. Strain.

Heading for the oven

Stir together potatoes and broccoli, ham, and cheese sauce and pour into prepared dish. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and Ritz crackers.

Bake for 25 minutes and turn oven up to 400°. Bake another 5 minutes until casserole is bubbly and golden brown. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

What are your go to weeknight meals? Please share them below!

Mediterranean Diet Meal Prep: Meal Plan And Recipes

Mediterranean Diet Meal Prep: Meal Plan And Recipes

This week has been a doozy. Besides work and social “thangs,” I’ve also been researching how I wanted to do this whole “better eating thing.” If you’ve read any of my stuff before you know that I am a bit of sweetaholic. My dentist can […]


My Diary

Post ID:

This week has been a doozy. Besides work and social “thangs,” I’ve also been researching how I wanted to do this whole “better eating thing.” If you’ve read any of my stuff before you know that I am a bit of sweetaholic. My dentist can attest to that. I love candy. You know, the chewy, get stuck in your teeth kind. I once described one of my favorite candies to her as long chewy tubes of candy straws filled with a sour paste that has the consistency of toothpaste. Her eyes got big and she said “Dear God, PLEASE stop eating that kind of stuff!” I laughed, but now floss after eating my candy craves.

I love chocolate. I could fib and tell you I eat only the darkest of the dark. That it comes from Ethiopia and the cocoa beans are fair trade and grown organically in rich volcanic soil…… But that’d be a lie. One big ol’ fat lie. I love Snickers. I adore Hershey’s Miniatures. Peanut M & M’s. It’s all fair

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game to me. For the most part, I can control my chocolate hankerings until that dark, dark week approaches (cue the lightening storm). You know, that one in every woman’s monthly planner. And then it’s no holds barred.

I’ve read a lot lately about sugar. I’ve mentioned the atrocious amount that I pour into my morning cup (only one cup usually) each day. It actually didn’t even bother me that much (how much sugar I add to stuff) until I read the amounts of sugar that are dumped into most of the foods that I personally enjoy on a regular basis. It also made me realize how much processed food I actually consume. I’m busy. You’re busy! We are all BUSY! Who has time to think about, much less make, breakfast in the morning? Especially if you’re a parent. I usually grab a breakfast bar or even eat one of those disposable cereal bowls that naturally contain a ton of added….sugar..that I throw down my gullet sans the milk. Remember, I’m busy!

These recipes are mediterranean recipes with the exception of the breakfast. It is paleo. There are a few ideas from the paleo diet that I want to incorporate into my new eating habits like the breakfast recipes. I’m also interested in making Paleo sauerkraut. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut

are really good for your digestive track and help keep the guts good bacteria in check while also boosting your immune system. That recipe though I’ll save for another cook day.

Long story short, this post is a meal plan for breakfast lunch and dinner. The recipe is enough for two large breakfast portions. I really don’t want to make more than that because I’m not interested in eating the same thing day after day all week long. I’d rather make use of the same ingredients and make something different with each ingredient if possible.

Menu:

  • Home Fries with pork and kale breakfast bowl
  • Kale salad with roasted sweet potato, pecans, and shaved Parm dressed with a Pomegranate vinaigrette (optionally topped with roasted shredded chicken)
  • Roasted lemon thyme chicken quarters with brussels sprouts and sweet potato

This took a good 2 hours to prep everything and cook. I started with the chicken since it’s total cook time is 1 1/2 hours, and while the chicken baked I prepped everything else including tossing the whole sweet potato in the oven at the same time as the chicken.

roasted chicken lilchefchic

Roasted Chicken:

2 Chicken quarters

1/2 lemon, sliced

4 sprigs thyme

1/2 Tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 300°. Rinse chicken and remove any excess fat or skin that’s hanging. Rinse away any organ meat that may be stuck in the back bone of the chicken. Pat dry. Gently lift skin off thigh and leg but do not detach. Season with salt and pepper and place a slice or two of lemon and 2 sprigs of thyme on top and gently replace skin. Rub skin with softened butter and salt and pepper. Top with lemon and thyme and place in foil lined baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.

*Start prepping Veggies

One Sweet potato: prick skin all over with tines of fork or sharp knife and place on aluminum foil on rack in oven with chicken.

1/3 pound brussels Sprouts and One Sweet Potato: Cut off stem ends of brussels sprouts and cut each in half. Peel and dice one small sweet potato into 1/2″ cubes. Toss in a about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2 cups Kale: Remove thick stem from kale and chop into bite size pieces. This will be used for the salad and the breakfast dish. Set to side.

Russet potatoes: Rinse potatoes well and leave skin on. Cut into 1/2″ cubes.

*Make the Breakfast Dish

Home Fries with Pork and Kale

1/2 pound of ground pork

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, I used Paul Pruhomme’s

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 small russet potatoes, like baby baby potatoes, or 1 large

1 cup kale, chopped for this recipe

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oil in non stick pan on medium heat and add potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and toss to coat in oil. Let sit in even layer in pan for about two to three minutes until the potatoes start to brown. Stir potatoes gently and let cook and brown on all sides and cooked through, another 7 to 8 minutes.

Remove potatoes from pan and set to side. In same pan add pork and seasoning and cook about 3 minutes, breaking meat apart as you stir. Add chopped kale and cook until pork is no longer pink. Stir in potatoes. Serve.

I portion this into two bowls to have for my breakfast for two days.

Right about now, your chicken is probably hitting the one hour mark in the oven. Turn the heat up to 425°. Uncover your chicken. Turn that pan sideways and throw in in your sheet pan full of brussels and sweet potatoes. Turn your whole sweet potato over and set your timer for 15 minutes. Check your veggies and if fork tender remove from oven. If not cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Move chicken to center of oven to get skin browned evenly. Let chicken cook another 10 minutes and remove from oven along with sweet potato.

Serve chicken with brussels sprouts and baked sweet potato topped how you like it. I made mine with a pat of butter and a spoon of maple syrup. The second chicken quarter can be shredded and used to top your kale salad or had with another dinner meal if you want to bake off two potatoes and more brussels sprouts.


*Make the Salad

Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Parmesan, Pecans and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1/2 Sweet potato, diced in 1/2″ cubes and roasted

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup curly leaf kale, chopped

1 cup arugula

1/4 cup pecans, halves or pieces

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Vinaigrette:  

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2 tablespoons water

1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 small shallot, minced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

salt and pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Make vinaigrette. Massage kale through hands for about a minute or so until the leaves

start to glisten, wilt, and turn dark. Toss in arugula. Add dressing to your liking. Add in additional ingredients. Serve.

Note: This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, ” The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook”

The above makes enough for one large salad but since most of us can’t buy vegetables in small amounts you’ll probably have kale and arugula left over…and parm, and pecans. So, you’ll have plenty for more servings if needed. I made the vinaigrette exactly as it’s made in the book and kept the portion size the same to use throughout the week for my other salads, or to have for a marinade.

Cook’s notes:

I realized after this cooking session that I do NOT like raw kale. I don’t. I made a kale salad back in December for this blog and although I appreciate kale and all it’s fibrous green beauty, I’ll pass on it being used raw in a dish. I feel like a cow chewing cud. Besides that, raw kale just smells like chlorophyll to me. Or at least how I THINK chlorophyll smells. It’s just a “Nah, I’m good!” for me from here on out. The salad vinaigrette and other ingredients get a thumbs up, but next time I’ll use spinach instead with the arugula.

What do you like to make/have for breakfast each day? If you had the time and inclination what kind of breakfast would you prepare to start your day and why? Leave a comment below:)


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