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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Green Bean and Shrimp Salad

This recipe comes to me from my good friend and former roommate, Halley. Two parts, combined together at the end...

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey dijon mustard
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp snipped fresh chives

In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Gradually drizzle in olive oil, whisking continuously until dressing is emulsified.

Green Beans and Shrimp:
1 lb green beans, trimmed and ready to cook
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add beans and simmer 5 mins or until crisp-tender. Drain and place in large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette; set aside.

Heat the 2 Tbsp oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic and shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook ~2 mins per side or until cooked through.

To serve, toss tomatoes with beans. Place in serving dish. Scatter shrimp and feta over top.

Notes: All ingredients may be found at Aldi. Use frozen beans and shrimp and chopped refrigerated garlic. Chives may be omitted depending on availability and taste. May also use spicy brown mustard in place of honey dijon for a different kick.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Puppy Chow

For those with a sweet tooth, this recipe will definitely hit the spot:

9 cups Rice Squares (or Rice Chex) cereal... about 2/3 of the box
1 regular-sized pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter
1 tsp vanilla
~1 and 1/2 c. powdered sugar (or as much as necessary to coat cereal when finished)

Measure out cereal in large bowl. In 1-qt microwaveable bowl, combine entire bag of chocolate chips, butter, and peanut butter and microwave for 1 minute. Remove bowl and stir. Add vanilla and microwave again for ~30 seconds. Remove and stir. Repeat if necessary until mixture is smooth, though careful not to over-microwave chocolate. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until cereal is thoroughly coated. Transfer cereal to large 2-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add powdered sugar and shake until well-coated. Refrigerate before serving.

Notes: I find this recipe works better if I just sort of wing the amount of peanut butter used. For those who like a decidedly more peanut-buttery taste, use more. For those who like a more chocolaty taste, use less peanut butter.

White Chicken Chili

A favorite for autumn and winter, this recipe is tried and true:

1 med onion, chopped
1(+) Tbsp olive oil (as needed)
~1-2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp cumin (or to taste)
2 15.8 oz cans Great Northern beans
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1 pkg pre-sliced chicken breasts / tenderloins (for stir-fry or similar, roughly 1 lb meat)
2 roma tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes)
1 can corn
chopped carrots to taste

In large skillet or dutch oven, sautee onion and chicken in oil. Add carrots when chicken is half done. After chicken is thoroughly cooked, add cornstarch, tomatoes, and cumin. Cook and stir 1-2 mins, thoroughly coating chicken in spice and thickening agent. Add beans, corn, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 mins or until thickened. Garnish with cheese and sour cream as desired. Also great with tortilla chips.

Baked Oatmeal

The controversy over oats aside, if your system can handle it, this simple southern delicacy is one to keep in the recipe books for years...

1 c. oil
2 c. sugar
4 eggs

6 c. oatmeal
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 c. milk

Pour into a 9" x 13" pan and Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 mins or until the edges are brown and the center doesn't wiggle. Cut into squares and serve warm with Cinnamin Milk (recipe below).

Cinnamin Milk:

In a medium-large pot, combine:
9 c. milk
3 tsp cinnamin
2 tsp vanilla
3 c. sugar

Warm milk over stove, stirring til sugar dissolves. Serve over oatmeal.

Notes: Both oatmeal and milk may be refridgerated for up to a week. Simply pull out of fridge, pour milk cereal and microwave for 20-30 secs.