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Crock Pot Roast Chicken

Crock Pot Roast Chicken

Crock Pot Roast Chicken, delicious fall off the bone easy goodness.  I love a whole roasted chicken, but putting it in the oven and watching for hours, just doesn’t always fit with our busy schedules.  This is a very easy, set it and forget it […]

Baked Ravioli

Baked Ravioli

Seriously,  sometimes we just don’t have enough time or patience or ……. whatever.  It happens to all of us every now and then.  I love to cook, but since my son passed away, I just don’t always have the oomph or energy.  I usually try […]

Cajun Shrimp Scampi

Cajun Shrimp Scampi

Cajun Shrimp Scampi, succulent shrimp, butter, spices, and parmesan cheese – baked to perfection. This is one of my all-time favorites.  And I do mean all time!  The first time I ever had Scampi, I fell madly and truly in love.  I made this version after our trip to New Orleans.  Talk about fabulous food, I could live in the French Quarter and never leave.  I absolutely adore Creole and Cajun flavors, so I decided to jazz this up just a bit.  Fresh shrimp is the way to go, but that’s not always possible.  Even if you live on the coast, the shrimping season is only going to last for a certain period of time.  I now live in a landlocked state and have learned to adapt.  Frozen shrimp is way, way better than the alternative of no shrimp.  Try to find fairly decent sized ones – preferably large ones. And if at all possible – caught in the USA.   I prefer a quick bake instead of sautéing to allow the shrimp to soak up a bit more flavor.  But – heat up the skillet if you prefer – just don’t overcook them.  Serve as an appetizer, side dish or over noodles for the main course.  Enjoy!

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Cajun Shrimp Scampi

Delectable Spicy Shrimp, baked to perfection.

Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Cajun, Creole, Seafood
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Author Gina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Shrimp
  • 4 tbsp Butter 1/2 stick melted
  • 1/2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Chives
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese optional freshly grated

Instructions

  1. If using frozen shrimp, thaw.  Peel and devein.  

  2. Pre-heat oven to 350.

  3. Pour melted butter into a small oven-proof dish.  Add shrimp and Cajun Seasoning.  Stir to blend.

  4. Bake on 350 for about 10-15 minutes, until shrimp are done and just starting to curl.  Do not overcook, or they will get tough.  

  5. Drizzle with lemon juice.  Sprinkle with chives.

  6. If adding cheese, scatter it across the top and bake for another minute or two.  

  7. Enjoy!

Mexican Lasagne ~ Small Batch

Mexican Lasagne ~ Small Batch

Mexican Lasagne, made in a small batch version.  All I can say is Yummy, Yummy, Yummy!! This is such an easy and versatile recipe. This is a fairly basic recipe, but it’s oh so satisfying and tasty. It fits, just barely, into an 8×8 inch […]

Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Southern Black-Eyed Peas

Nothing says southern much more than a large pot of homemade black-eyed peas.  Simmered long and slow, they are truly a southern staple.  Fresh is best, but I live a long way from any type of good (keyword-good) fresh grown veggies.  Canned and grocery store […]

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie, pure comfort food. Bite-sized morsels of chicken and your favorite vegetables immersed in a savory chicken gravy, topped with the easiest crust ever. I’m not a baker – never will be, and I live at over 11,000 feet, so traditional pie crusts just don’t work for me. Frozen crusts are usually pretty good, but I have a tendency to forget about thawing them out until it’s too way late. For an oh so delectable crust, this recipe uses a blend of crushed crackers, butter, seasoning and freshly shredded parmesan cheese. This blend also works great for any of your casseroles that call for a crushed cracker topping. It is oh so delicious and super easy to make – hooray!
I make this in my favorite 10 inch cast iron skillet. It is literally a two-pan dish, which makes for such an easy cleanup. This whole thing can be done, from dicing the veggies to putting on your plate, in about an hour. Homemade goodness in an hour, that is my kind of dish. This is a fairly simple and easy recipe. Don’t let the list of directions worry you. I just broke them down into three separate areas to make it easier for you to follow along. The gravy is the nowhere near as hard as it looks. Up until several years ago, I let home-made gravies and roux intimidate me. My trick is to remove it from the direct heat. This helps slow the process down just a tad little bit. The milk to broth ratio is adjustable if needed. You are just looking for about 2 1/2 cups total. Since I still have a picky person at home, my recipe just calls for potatoes and carrots, but omit a potato and/or a carrot and add some green beans, corn, or any vegetable your heart desires. I love being able to use what I have on hand.
Beef Pot Pie is also a scrumptious meal my family enjoys. Swap the chicken for beef, use beef broth, exchange Italian seasoning for the poultry seasoning – boom you are done!! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

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Skillet Chicken Pot Pie

Delectable morsels of chicken, with bite-sized pieces of potatoes, carrots, and onions, cooked in a hearty chicken gravy.  Topped with a simple but savory crust

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Gina

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 and 1/2 lb Chicken Breast diced
  • 1 stalk Celery diced
  • 2 medium Carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 small Potatoes diced
  • 1 cup Sweet Onion diced
  • 1/4 tsp Sage
  • 1 tbsp Creole Seaasoning
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic use fresh if available
  • Olive Oil as needed

Chicken Gravy

  • 1 14 oz can Chicken Broth low sodium
  • 6 oz Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1/3 cup Flour

Crust

  • 10-15 Ritz Crackers crushed
  • 15-20 Club Crackers crushed
  • 4 tbsp Butter melted
  • 4-5 tbsp Parmesan Cheese freshly shredded
  • 1/4 tsp Poultry Seasoning

Instructions

Crust

  1. Finely crush approximately 25 crackers

  2. Add poultry seasoning and parmesan cheese.  Stir to mix.

  3. Drizzle in the melted butter and blend thoroughly.  Set aside.

Filling

  1. Steam potatoes and carrots until softened.

  2. Use a 10 inch cast iron skillet if possible.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and saute onions and celery over medium-high heat  Saute until slightly softened.  

  3. Add chicken and spices.  Use more olive oil if needed.  Stir often and cook until chicken is browned and completely done.

  4. Remove from pan and set aside


Chicken Gravy

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Blend milk and broth in a pourable container.

  2. Reduce heat to medium.  Melt butter.  Slowly sprinkle in the flour.  Stir constantly for several minutes, allowing the flour to slightly brown.  

  3. Remove pan from direct heat.  Stir in about 1/4 to 1/3 of the liquid.  This must be stirred or whisked constantly and thoroughly.

  4. Return pan to direct heat and continue to slowly add remain liquid.  Add about 1/4th to 1/3 at a time.  .Add seasoning.  Continue cooking until a nice rich gravy has formed.  

Finishing it All

  1. Once you have the gravy to your preferred consistency,  add the veggies and the chicken mixture to the skillet.  

  2. Stir gently but completely

  3. Spread cracker mixture evenly over the top.  

  4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the topping has browned to your preference.  Remove from oven.  

  5. Let cool for about 10 minutes.  This will allow for the flavors to finish mingling, creating a mouthwatering potpie. 

  6. Enjoy!

Small Batch Lasagne

Small Batch Lasagne

I absolutely love just about any Italian food. My mom was definitely not a cook. I started trying out things on my own way before the internet was available. My first attempts at Spaghetti were very, very basic. It is actually amazing what you can […]

Hearty Homemade Beef Stew

Hearty Homemade Beef Stew

Hard to believe – I just built a fire. All by myself, I might add. Not an easy task in my book. It took me a little while – but mission accomplished! First days of fall for most, but we may have snow this weekend. […]

Delicious Goodness Mexican Casserole

Delicious Goodness Mexican Casserole

Now that I’m cooking for fewer people, I am always looking for ways to use the same ingredients in completely different recipes. Variety is the spice of life – Right? I hate having to throw things out or pay more for the smaller cans. This casserole evolved from using leftover veggies. I cook my Shrimp and Black Bean Enchiladas with 1/2 can each of black beans and corn. I decided to throw all of this together on a whim. I only had a bowlful left over and gave it to my assistant at work – “delicious goodness” is what she named it. It is very adaptable – throw in whatever suits your fancy and clean out the fridge. Bell peppers, jalapenos, diced potatoes – even fine diced carrots would possibly work. Try some different things – let me know what you come up with.

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Delicious Goodness Mexican Casserole

Inspired by using veggies remaining from a different recipe - this is definitely a bowl of delicious goodness.  It incorporates my favorite ingredient - tomatoes with green chilies. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Gina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Hamburger Meat Lean
  • 1/2 medium Yellow Onion diced
  • 1/2 medium Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper diced optional
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Diced
  • 1 15oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies Del Monte
  • 1/2 15oz can Southwest Style Corn drained
  • 1/2 15oz can Black Beans not drained
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Power if not using fresh
  • 1 cup Instant Rice
  • 4 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese fresh shredded is best
  • olive oil as needed

Instructions

  1. Over medium-high heat, using your favorite 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, saute the onions and peppers in a drizzle of olive oil.  Cooked until almost softened.  Add hamburger meat and cook until browned.  If using fresh garlic, add and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Drain any excess grease. 

  2. Add veggies and seasonings.  I generally drain the corn, but not the black beans.  I tend to use black beans seasoned with either jalapenos or cumin.  Bushes and Kuner's both have excellent versions.  Add seasonings and taste.  The chili powder and cumin do not make it extremely hot or spicy, but everyone has their own level of comfort.  You can always add more, but once it's in there - it's in there.

  3. Add 1 can of water - about 2 cups and the instant rice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or so.  This just allows for the flavors to blend.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Taste again and adjust if needed. 

  4. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees while the mixture is simmering.

  5. Sprinkle with Cheese - use more if you prefer.  Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and turning brown.  Sometimes I broil it for a few minutes - I like my cheese toasty!!!

  6. Can be served with warm tortillas and a side salad.

    Enjoy!!!

Jambalaya by Gina

Jambalaya by Gina

Oh, my goodness.  Jambalaya – need I say more.  I am a true southerner.  I may live in the mountains now, but my cooking inspirations are almost always going to come from the deep south.  I generally tend to cook with more of a Creole flair, but this […]


My Diary

Delicious Goodness Mexican Casserole

Delicious Goodness Mexican Casserole

Now that I’m cooking for fewer people, I am always looking for ways to use the same ingredients in completely different recipes. Variety is the spice of life – Right? I hate having to throw things out or pay more for the smaller cans. This casserole evolved from using leftover veggies. I cook my Shrimp and Black Bean Enchiladas with 1/2 can each of black beans and corn. I decided to throw all of this together on a whim. I only had a bowlful left over and gave it to my assistant at work – “delicious goodness” is what she named it. It is very adaptable – throw in whatever suits your fancy and clean out the fridge. Bell peppers, jalapenos, diced potatoes – even fine diced carrots would possibly work. Try some different things – let me know what you come up with.

Print

Delicious Goodness Mexican Casserole

Inspired by using veggies remaining from a different recipe - this is definitely a bowl of delicious goodness.  It incorporates my favorite ingredient - tomatoes with green chilies. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Gina

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Hamburger Meat Lean
  • 1/2 medium Yellow Onion diced
  • 1/2 medium Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper diced optional
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Diced
  • 1 15oz can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies Del Monte
  • 1/2 15oz can Southwest Style Corn drained
  • 1/2 15oz can Black Beans not drained
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin or to taste
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Garlic Power if not using fresh
  • 1 cup Instant Rice
  • 4 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese fresh shredded is best
  • olive oil as needed

Instructions

  1. Over medium-high heat, using your favorite 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, saute the onions and peppers in a drizzle of olive oil.  Cooked until almost softened.  Add hamburger meat and cook until browned.  If using fresh garlic, add and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant.  Drain any excess grease. 

  2. Add veggies and seasonings.  I generally drain the corn, but not the black beans.  I tend to use black beans seasoned with either jalapenos or cumin.  Bushes and Kuner's both have excellent versions.  Add seasonings and taste.  The chili powder and cumin do not make it extremely hot or spicy, but everyone has their own level of comfort.  You can always add more, but once it's in there - it's in there.

  3. Add 1 can of water - about 2 cups and the instant rice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or so.  This just allows for the flavors to blend.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.  Taste again and adjust if needed. 

  4. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees while the mixture is simmering.

  5. Sprinkle with Cheese - use more if you prefer.  Bake uncovered for about 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and turning brown.  Sometimes I broil it for a few minutes - I like my cheese toasty!!!

  6. Can be served with warm tortillas and a side salad.

    Enjoy!!!


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