Pasta Americana a la Tomi

Pasta Americana

My sister Tomi is a great cook and has the gift of hospitality. One Christmas she and her family were visiting us from the east coast and we decided to throw a cocktail party to introduce them to several of our neighbors and friends. At about 8pm the cocktail party turned into a dinner party and we looked at each other saying “What can we make for a party of 12?” Tomi quickly offered to whip up a hearty pasta dish sure to satisfy the hungry bunch. Sure enough, the super easy and delicious pasta was a hit.

I now make it for Sunday night dinner and always think of my sister when I make it. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! The recipe below is modified for 6-8 people.

Ingredients Continue reading

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Spicy Mexican White Chicken Chili

mexican chicken chiliGrowing up as a kid, the definition of chili was both a  small pepper with a very hot flavor and a spicy stew of ground beef usually with beans too. Both meant yummy goodness.  Now chili in our family seems to be synonymous with Monday Night Football.  Our version is a chicken variety with savory mexican spices.  It’s always a hit, even when our team doesn’t win.

Spicy Mexican White Chicken Chili

Ingredients:

2-3 cups shredded chicken (I use rotisserie chicken from the deli section at Sprouts)
2 (15 ounce) cans great northern beans or 2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans
2 cups roasted corn (I use frozen from Trader Joe’s)
1-2 ounces taco seasoning mix (I use part of the envelope from Trader Joe’s)
1 (7 1/2 ounce) can of chopped green chilies (use less if you like a milder chili)
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (14 ounce) can low sodium chicken broth

TOPPINGS

1/2 cup sour cream
chopped green onion (optional)
Monterey jack cheese (optional)

Directions:

Pour beans, corn and chicken in large pot.

In a medium bowl, combine taco seasoning, chiles, condensed soup, and chicken broth.

Pour over top of ingredients and stir together over medium heat.

Simmer for 15-30 minutes.

Serve topped with green onions, sour cream, and jack cheese, if desired.

Flank Steak with Blue Cheese and Herbs

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Got a carnivorous craving? If you’re like me who tries to limit red meat intake but enjoys a great steak now and then, try this steak topper and enjoy the delicious taste of going to a fancy Steak House right from your own kitchen.

This is a great date night meal on a budget too.

Yield: 2 servings

Flank Steak with Blue Cheese and Herb Topping

 

Ingredients

½ – ¾ lb. beef flank steak
5-6 oz. mushrooms
¼ of an onion
1 oz. blue cheese crumbles
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 sprigs of fresh rosemary
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions

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Blueberry Crisp

blueberry-crisp

 

Blueberry Crisp

Filling:

4 generous cups blueberries (24 ounces)           ½ cup sugar

¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour                  ¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Topping:

1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour           ¼ teaspoon salt

dash of cinnamon (optional)                             ½ cup sugar

10 T (1¼ sticks) butter, melted                         1 cup walnuts or pecans

Instructions:

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Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles

I just recently discovered the spiralizer – a fabulous kitchen gadget allowing you to turn traditional pasta meals into healthy low carb ones using vegetables instead of noodles.  Here is my latest family favorite.

SKINNY SHRIMP SCAMPI

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
1/4 cup vegetable stock
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 – 2 pounds (4-5 medium-sized) zucchini, spiralized
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes.

Stir in  lemon zest, lemon juice and 1/2 of chicken stock; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a simmer; stir in zucchini noodles until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add remaining vegetable broth if it seems to dry.

Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan and parsley, if desired.

Nectarine and Tomato Salad

nectarine and tomato salad

Nectarine and Tomato Salad

2-3 nectarines sliced into wedges (select ones that are just a little bit firm, not too soft)

2-3 tomatoes sliced into wedges

4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped (I like to slice them with a scissors)

¼ cup  good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (I like 41 Olive’s lemon-infused balsamic)

¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts

Salt and Pepper

 

Arrange the nectarine and tomato slices in a circle on a round platter overlapping them slightly.

Drizzle with oil and vinegar followed by the nuts and mint.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

 

Note: you can also serve this salad on individual plates if you prefer.Nectarine and Tomato Salad

Lemon Grilled Shrimp with Rosemary and Garlic

Summer BBQs would not be complete without this these tantalizing shrimp hot off the grill.  The platter empties almost as fast as I can make them.  Often I will double or even triple this recipe to satisfy my family’s craving.  I use fresh sprigs of rosemary right from the garden and just picked Meyer lemons straight from the tree in our back yard.lemon grilled shrimp

Lemon Grilled Shrimp

48 large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on (approx. 1 lb)
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, finely minced with ½ tsp. coarse (kosher) salt
1 T finely minced fresh rosemary
Finely ground fresh pepper to taste

Directions

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