Cooking with Twitter

1 note &

Do you like shrimp? Do you like stuff that’s easy to make? Do you like summer?
Cool. Because this is easy to make, has shrimp, and tastes like SUMMER IN YOUR MOUTH.
For the main salad:
2 cans of corn.
1 small red onion - diced.
4 fist-sized avocados - diced.
1 fist-sized amount of cilantro - chopped finely.
2 pounds of de-veined, peeled shrimp.
Ready for this? Mix the avocado, corn, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Throw the bowl in the fridge and let the flavors mix together for a half hour or so. Cook the shrimp in a little bit of oil with garlic and salt and pepper until they turn pink. Throw THEM in the fridge too.
For the dressing:
1/4 cup honey
3/4 to 1 cup lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped/pressed garlic
Blend that shit.
Combine the salad and the shrimp in bowls and top with dressing.Easiest, tastiest fucking dinner of all time.

The dressing recipe really shouldn’t be fucked with, but if you’re NOT feeding four people, feel free to cut ingredients for the salad part in half.

Do you like shrimp? Do you like stuff that’s easy to make? Do you like summer?

Cool. Because this is easy to make, has shrimp, and tastes like SUMMER IN YOUR MOUTH.

For the main salad:

  • 2 cans of corn.
  • 1 small red onion - diced.
  • 4 fist-sized avocados - diced.
  • 1 fist-sized amount of cilantro - chopped finely.
  • 2 pounds of de-veined, peeled shrimp.

Ready for this? Mix the avocado, corn, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Throw the bowl in the fridge and let the flavors mix together for a half hour or so. Cook the shrimp in a little bit of oil with garlic and salt and pepper until they turn pink. Throw THEM in the fridge too.

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 to 1 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped/pressed garlic

Blend that shit.

Combine the salad and the shrimp in bowls and top with dressing.
Easiest, tastiest fucking dinner of all time.

The dressing recipe really shouldn’t be fucked with, but if you’re NOT feeding four people, feel free to cut ingredients for the salad part in half.

0 notes &

Jess’s Creamy Dreamy Baked Ziti

I tweeted something about making this ziti the other night and due to the number of people who replied wanting the recipe, I thought I had better post my ziti recipe ASAP.  This recipe can be made as the ultimate savory comfort food (read: not for those with heart problems or worried about their daily calorie consumption) or you can tweak it to be a little more health conscience.  Personally, I go middle of the road and offset it with a side salad to make me feel better about the meal.

THINGS YOU NEED TO CREATE THIS ITALIAN FEAST:

  • 16 oz (approximately 4 cups) ziti pasta, uncooked.  If you want to go a little more heart/health friendly, substitute whole wheat/whole grain pasta.  I usually make 1/2 regular ziti and 1/2 whole grain ziti…you know, to make myself feel a smidgen better about eating ziti.
  • 1 lb ground beef.  You can also use a ground italian sausage, which is incredibly delicious.
  • 1 jar marinara sauce.  Use a high quality (read: not Prego) marinara sauce.  Seriously, you can taste the difference when you use high quality ingredients.  I like Newman’s Own Marinara Sauce.
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained.  If you’re like me and have someone you are cooking for who doesn’t like big chunks of tomato, you can use the Petite Diced Tomatoes.
  • 6 oz. (3/4 of a 8 oz. package) cream cheese, cubed. I use the low fat cream cheese, but you can use the regular cream cheese to make it extra delicious, or the fat free if you’re watching your waistline…but seriously, if you’re worried about your diet, you should make a salad and stop reading this recipe
  • 3/4 cup sour cream.  Again, I use the reduced fat sour cream, but you can use whatever you like
  • 12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese.  This is one area where you shouldn’t skimp on the fat.  Low fat/fat free cheese is absolutely disgusting and does not melt like it should.  I actually know a girl that got kidney stones due to eating too much fat free cheese.  Your body can’t digest it and whatever they add to the cheese to make it cheese-like when they take out the fat is really terrible for your body.  I really love the Sargento Artisan Blend Shredded Whole Milk Mozzarella.  This stuff seriously melts in your mouth and sends you to a very, very happy place…and it’s already shredded so it saves you time!
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese.  You can either use the grated stuff that comes in the shaker that you put on pizza, or you can glam it up and get either pre-shredded parm or get a block of it and shred it yourself.  I like to shred it myself.
  • Optional ingredients to have on hand: olive oil, italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper.

HOW TO MAKE THIS ITALIAN HEAVEN IN A DISH:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef in a couple tbsp of olive oil and season with a bit of italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.  Make sure to taste the beef and add seasonings as needed.  If you’re using Italian Sausage, just brown in a bit of olive oil.  Drain and set aside.
  3. Cook pasta in a large sauce pan according to package directions.  Drain, remove from pan and set aside. 
  4. Add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes and cream cheese to the sauce pan used to cook the pasta.  Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended.  Depending on the marinara sauce, you may want to add a bit of garlic and onion powder to the sauce.  Make sure to taste before adding spices.  I also put a bit of fresh ground black pepper in the sauce for a little added zing.  Stir in the ground beef or sausage.
  5. Return pasta to the pan with the sauce in it and mix well.
  6. Layer 1/2 the pasta in a greased 13x9-inch baking dish.  Cover with sour cream and 1/2 the mozzarella.  Top that with the remaining pasta mixture.  Finish it off with the parmesan and the rest of the mozzarella.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and the cheese is just starting to brown on top.
  8. Enjoy.  And then go directly into a happy Italian food coma.

You can make this a vegetarian dish by omitting the meat.  If you want to make a more glamorous vegetarian dish, you can add frozen spinach (thawed and drained).  Mix the spinach in with the sour cream and place between the layers of pasta.  *Insider Tip: to easily drain thawed spinach, wring it out in a cheese cloth*

If you have any questions about this recipe while cooking, you can find me on twitter at @JessicaPechin

0 notes &

Fantastical Chicken Tartlets

Perfect for your next holiday party!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • mini muffin tin
  • 1 package prepared pie crust
  • 8 oz cream cheese - softened
  • 10 oz chicken breast (I use the Kirkland brand canned chicken from Costco)
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (I’ve used both the grated parmesan, like you put on pizza or spaghetti, and the shredded parmesan.  Both work great.  The shredded version will make little cheesy pockets in the tartlets, whereas the grated will give it an all over cheesy flavor)
  • 2-3 tablespoons garlic pesto (you can find this in the refridgerated pasta section)

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Cut out 24 mini pie shells
  2. mix all other ingredients together
  3. divide mixture into the 24 pie shells in the mini muffin tin
  4. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes

ENJOY!

If you have any question while making this, catch me on twitter at @JessicaPechin

1 note &

Slow Cooker Stuffing

I was totally skeptical when I first heard of doing stuffing/dressing in the slow cooker, but the thought of having only one oven to cook an entire thanksgiving meal for 10 pushed me to try it.  I am SOOOO glad I did!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (*Insider Tip: if you don’t have fresh herbs, you can substitute dried herbs, but dried herbs are more potent.  If you use dry herbs, the conversion is 1 teaspoon of dried herb for every 1 tablespoon of fresh in a recipe.  For example, if you were to use dried parsley in this recipe, you would use 4 teaspoons instead of 4 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley)
  • 12 oz sliced mushrooms - optional
  • 12 cups dried bread cubes - I used a sourdough to bump up the flavor a bit (*Insider Tip: to easily create dried bread cubes, place bread slices on a cookie sheet and put in the oven for a few minutes until they are a little crispy, but not toasted.  Once the slices are dried, then cut into cubes.  In my experience, about 14-16 slices = 12 cups)
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Chicken broth (enough to moisten bread.  The original recipe says 4 cups, but that was WAY too much.  You’re going to have to eyeball this when the time comes in the recipe to add the chicken broth)
  • 2 eggs beaten

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt butter or margarine in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, mushroom, and parsley in butter, stirring frequently.  Onions should be translucent when they’re done.
  2. Spoon cooked vegetables over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Pour in enough broth to moisten, and mix in eggs. Transfer mixture to slow cooker, and cover.
  3. Cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours.

To make the slow cooker stuffing in the oven, prepare as directed using the full amount of broth. Transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish or other large casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Makes 16 servings.

If you have any questions while making this dish, you can find me on twitter at @JessicaPechin.

ENJOY!

0 notes &

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Casserole

I came up with this recipe (read: it’s a combo of other recipes) trying to find something to fix on Christmas mornings when my step-son was little that was easy to prepare, didn’t take much time from me (after all, there are presents to be opened!), and everyone would like.  I’ve used it a few times when hosting brunch or I have out of town guests.  I’ve never had any complaints…hopefully that streak will continue!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS SCRUMPTIOUS DISH:

  • 6 slices bread - I use a fluffy, thickly sliced sourdough but any fluffy bread will work.  In my experience, a heavy whole grain bread isn’t going to work as well in this dish.  Save that for your sandwiches.
  • 1 lb ground sausage.  Any variety will work.  I’ve made it with ground italian sausage from the deli, Jimmy Dean sage sausage or maple sausage…I’ve even broken up sausage patties and morning star veggie sausage patties when I’ve been in a pinch.  They all work great!
  • 1 cup shredded cheese.  Normally I use a shredded blend, but that’s only because that’s what I usually have stocked in my fridge.
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp pepper - I just eyeball it since I use a pepper grinder.  It’s hard to make it too peppery.

HOW TO PUT IT TOGETHER:

  • Heat oven to 350F
  • Place bread in 13x9-inch greased baking dish.  Top with sausage and cheese
  • Beat eggs, milk and pepper until well blended
  • Pour over ingredients in dish
  • Bake 40-45 minutes until it’s set in the center and the top is just slightly browned

VARIATIONS:

I’ve made loads of variations of this dish depending on who I’m making it for.  If you’re a veggie, replace the sausage with whatever veggies you would put in an omelet.  I’ve personally done a mozzarella and mushroom version as well as a mexican version with peppers, tomatoes, ground beef (instead of sausage) and onions.  I’ve also added wilted spinach or thawed and drained frozen chopped spinach (*Insider Tip: to easily get all the water out of thawed frozen spinach, wring it out using a cheese cloth.  It works like a charm).

Pretty much you can mold this recipe to any taste.

I’d love it if you posted what variations you come up with and how they turned out!

If you have any questions while making this dish, you can find me on twitter at @JessicaPechin.

Enjoy!

0 notes &

Baked Bacon

So this is nothing mindblowing, but I thought I would share because my boyfriend was so amazed by this while I was making breakfast this morning.

Ever wonder how restaurants get bacon so uniformally crisp and done?  Well it’s because they don’t cook it in a skillet like most of us do at home.  They bake it in the oven.  Seriously, if you love bacon (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?!), you will never make bacon another way again.

Preheat oven to 400F.  Place bacon slices (not touching each other!) on either a broiler pan or a cookie sheet with sides (not those straight flat cookie sheets.  Think this through…the bacon grease has to go somewhere, right?  We don’t want it to run off onto the bottom of your oven.) lined with tin foil.  It’s not necessary to line the cookie sheet, but it makes clean up easier.  Bake the bacon until desired crispiness.  It really depends on the oven, the thickness of bacon you buy and whether you are using a broiler pan or a cookie sheet, but I start checking my bacon 15 minutes into cooking and check it every 5 minutes after that.  Usually it’s done around 20 minutes.  Use tongs to move the cooked bacon onto paper towels to soak up some the grease.  Enjoy.

This is the PERFECT way to make a big batch of bacon that is all ready at the same time.

If you have any questions while making this, you can find me on twitter at @JessicaPechin.

2 notes &

Sour Cream Enchiladas

These are my absolute favorite enchiladas EVER and what’s so great about them is you have left-overs that are actually BETTER than they were the first night.  This dish is perfect for having people over as well because it EASILY feeds 6 hungry people.

Hope you like it!

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons margarine or butter, melted

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove minced

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 (8oz) container of sour cream (I use either fat-free or light sour cream)

1 (4oz) can of chopped green chilies, drained

2 cups shredded mexican cheese blend (I use reduced fat shredded cheese.  Do NOT use the fat-free cheese - it won’t melt properly and causes kidney stones)

1/4 cup milk

6 burrito size tortillas (I use the carb-balance tortillas, but any of them will do)

1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken

DIRECTIONS

To make sauce, melt margarine or butter in sauce pan over medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup onion and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Add soup, 1/2 cup sour cream and green chilies.  Mix well.

Reserve 3/4 cup sauce.  Set aside.

Stir in chicken into remaining sauce.  Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded cheese (I just grab a handful or so).  Stir until all melty and gooey.

In a bowl, combine the 3/4 cup reserved sauce with remaining sour cream and milk.  Mix well.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce over bottom of ungreased baking dish (mine is the 3 qt. pyrex baking dish that fits 6 enchiladas perfectly).

Place 1/6th of the melty, gooey chicken mixture in each tortilla, roll them up and place them seam down in the dish.

Cover enchiladas with the remaining sauce.  Cover with cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*if you are a vegetarian, you can substitute sauteed onions and bell peppers for the chicken.

Enjoy!

Questions while cooking? Find Jess on Twitter at @jessicapechin

0 notes &

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Apparently I’m all about chicken enchiladas today - 2 entries, all about the enchiladas in one form or another!

This recipe is fantastic because you can freeze it, making it perfect for those of us who live alone and are plagued with too many left overs to actually eat before they go bad.  I freeze individual sized portions in freezer bags for an easy meal in a snap. 

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 lb. of skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets

1/2 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, pressed

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup masa flour (you can find this flour in the mexican food section.  It might be labeled “tortilla flour”.

3 cups water

1 cup enchilada sauce

one 16 oz. box Velveeta, diced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

GARNISH

shredded cheddar cheese

crumbled corn tortilla chips (I like the blue and white corn chips for a little added color)

salsa or pico de gallo

DIRECTIONS

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large pot over medium heat.  Add chicken breasts to pot and brown for 4 or 5 minutes per side until done.  Set chicken aside.

Add onion and garlic to the pot and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes, or until the onion begins to become translucent.  Add chicken broth.

Combine masa flour with 2 cups of water in a medium bowl and whisk until blended.  Add masa mixture to pot with onion, garlic and broth.

Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, velveeta and spices to pot and bring to a boil.

Shred the chicken into small, bite-size pieces and add it to the pot.  Reduce heat and simmer soup for 30-40 minutes or until thick.

Serve soup in cups or bowls, garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled corn tortilla chips and a spoonful of your favorite salsa or pico de gallo.

Makes approximately 12 servings

Questions while cooking? Find Jess on Twitter at @jessicapechin

0 notes &

T’s FAVORITE “Special Rice”

This is seriously the most ridiculously easy recipe and is a great side dish for chicken.  My BF wants me to make this ALL. THE. TIME.  In fact, we were just discussing dinner and he wants me to make this as the side dish to - get this - stuffed hamburgers.  I don’t understand the combination…but it is THAT good.

INGREDIENTS

1 can Campbell’s French Onion Soup

1 can Campbell’s Beef Consumme Soup

1 can’s worth of white long-grain rice

2 tablespoons butter or margarine (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Combine both soups and rice in a 8x8 baking dish.  Stir.  Place 2 tablespoons butter or margarine on top. Cover with foil.  Bake at 375 for 1 hour.  Remove foil.  Stir.  Serve yourself up a big ol’ helping and get ready to take your taste buds on an adventure you’ll never forget.

If you need help while making this, or any of the recipes I’ve posted, you can find me on twitter at @JessicaPechin.  Although if you need help with this recipe, you are opening yourself up to being made fun of incessantly across the twitterverse ;).

2 notes &

Cheesy Chicken Shells

This is actually a Weight Watchers recipe, but you would NEVER know it’s actually not that bad for you!  I’ve done this recipe in both jumbo shells and manicotti, just depending on what the store has in stock.

INGREDIENTS

12 shells uncooked jumbo shells

1 1/2 cups canned tomato sauce

2 medium egg whites, lightly beaten

1 3/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

4 oz chicken breast, cooked, skinless, diced

3/4 cups chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained of excess water (Insider Tip: use a cheese cloth to wring out the spinach)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp ground oregano, or other Italian seasoning

3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook jumbo shells or manicotti in boiling water according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent them from further cooking.  Set aside.

Coat a 9x13-inch pan with cooking spray.  Spread 1/2 cup of sauce evenly over bottom of pan and set aside.

For filling, in a large bowl, stir together egg whites, ricotta cheese, chicken, spinach, garlic powder and seasoning.  Stir in 1/4 cup each of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

To assemble, spoon cheese mixture into manicotti shells or jumbo shells (Insider Tip: spoon cheese mixture into either a pastry bag or zip lock bag, cut off the corner and squeeze into pasta shells to keep the shells from breaking).  Place filled shells in the baking dish.  Spread remaining sauce on top.  Sprinkle with remaining cheeses and bake 30 minutes. 

Yields 3 shells per serving.

Questions while cooking? Find Jess on Twitter at @jessicapechin

0 notes &

Southwest Chicken

My friend’s mom used to make this every time I came over growing up.  It’s super easy, keeps well and, most importantly, is YUMMY!

INGREDIENTS

2-3 cooked chicken breasts - cubed

1 cup salsa

1 package taco seasoning

2 cups water

2 cups Minute Rice (white rice) - uncooked

1 can black beans - drained

shredded cheese

sour cream

sliced olives

DIRECTIONS:

Bring chicken, salsa, taco seasoning and water to a boil in a large skillet.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in rice and beans.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and cook on low 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Top with sour cream and olives.  Enjoy!

Questions while cooking? Find Jess on Twitter at @jessicapechin

0 notes &

Sassy Salsa Pumpkin Soup

Okay, this recipe is from Hungry Girl, and it is SO GOOD and also pretty good for you.  WIN-WIN, my friends.  Related: Can you tell that I love making soup?  Because I love making soup.

Here’s the scoop:

Sassy Salsa Pumpkin Soup

(Serves 4 - calories: 162.5, fat: 0.75g, sodium: 1128mg, carbs: 13, fiber: 12g, sugars: 6.5g, protein: 10g = 3 Points)

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
4 cups Fat Free broth (chicken or vegetable)
15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 
1 cup corn 
3/4 cup salsa (this is where you can add or reduce the spiciness)
Optional toppings: shredded reduced-fat or fat-free cheese, and reduced-fat or fat free sour cream. I personally love this soup with both the sour cream and cheese on top.  Yum.
 
Directions:
Spray pot with non-stick cooking spray and heat pan on medium.  Add garlic, chili powder and cumin, and stir for one minute.  Add broth to the spices, and bring to a simmer.  Add pumpkin and mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serves 4.

So simple and straightforward.  This is a perfect autumn/winter meal.

Sassy salsa pumpkin soup

The soup really does look like this in the end, by the way.  

Questions while making this soup?  Find me on Twitter @LovelyAnomaly!