Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of my most favorite foods.  It has every component for a complete meal too and uses ingredients I always have on hand!  My family doesn’t love them as much as I do…but they will eat them.  The girls like the filling, so it works!  They are very, very simple and so delicious.  I LOVE red peppers and don’t love green….so I usually opt for the red, but will use green too.  It’s really just a personal preference!

This is one recipe, I have other recipes too for stuffed peppers….stay tuned for more!

Stuffed Peppers

4 large red or green peppers (cut tops off and clean inside seeds out)

2 cups of rice (cooked)

1 lb. ground turkey

Diced Vadalia Onion (about 1/2 c)

2 gloves of garlic (minced)

Oil

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small can of tomato sauce 

Breadcrumbs

Shredded Cheese — I used cheddar but you can use anything.

8×8 (or 9×9) Baking dish

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In a large pan heat oil and add garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add drained can of tomoatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and add to the mixture. Add handful of cheese and mix well. Stuff the peppers with mixture.  You can either half the peppers (like I did this time) or keep them whole and standing in the pan.  

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Top the peppers with a little more cheese and breadcrumbs.

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Cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Enjoy!

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~gianna~

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Ropa Vieja (Crockpot)

This might be my first meat/beef/steak recipe, but it won’t be my last.  Even though I don’t eat it very often at all there are a few ways I will eat it.  This is one of the ways.  Ropa Vieja is a Spanish (Cuban specific)  way to cook flank steak, shredded in a sauce.  It is normally served over rice.  You can also serve plantains or beans with it!   Just a little fact that I heard about once, when I went to a Cuban restaurant in our area….Ropa Vieja means “Old Clothes”.    Who knew??

I have a few recipes for Ropa Vieja (that I will eventually add)….and I like the others better, but this one is still good!  The others have more spice to them…this one doesn’t.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!  I love cooking (and eating)  ethnic foods.   I just think it’s like a new little adventure when you cook with new spices, new ways, with new ingredients.  So if you have any great, different foods you think I should try…let me know!!!

Ropa Vieja

1 TBSP vegetable oil

2 LBS flank steak

1 C beef broth

1 8oz can crushed tomato (or just 1/4 of the larger can)

1 onion – sliced

1 green pepper — seeded and sliced

1 red pepper — seeded and sliced

2 cloves garlic

1 60z can tomato paste

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp cilantro

1 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP white vinegar

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In frying pan, heat vegetable oil and cook steak about 4 minutes on each side.

Place steak in crock pot.

Add all other ingredients.  Mix well.

Cook on LOW 7-8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.

ENJOY!

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~gianna~

Shrimp Fettuccini Alfredo

My beautiful, talented, amazing cousin, Rachele just had a brand new baby…… yesterday  (YAY!!!!)    So it’s only fitting I post about it now, since it came from her!  🙂  CONGRATS, MAMA!!!

I had been looking for a new shrimp recipe recently and my cousin  sent me this recipe for Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo.    I don’t think she had even tried it yet……when she first sent it to me, but I’m glad she did!!  My husband and I really enjoyed it, Ava only liked the shrimp part and Olivia didn’t like it at all.   So I guess you’ll have to make it for yourself and decide how you feel.   It was very simple, very filling, and very good too!

Shrimp Fettuccini Alfredo

1 box (12 oz) fettuccini (I used plain, but you can use spinach too)

1 TBSP olive oil

1 small red onion (halved and sliced)

2 cloves of garlic

1 pound shrimp (cleaned, thawed and deveined)

2/3 cup Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 TBSP dill (chopped)

2 TBSP capers

2 TBSP lemon juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

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Cook pasta as package suggests — cook, drain and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat.

Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in shrimp, cream cheese, dill, capers, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Cooked 3-5 minutes or until shrimp are cooked.

Add pasta and reserved water to skillet.

Enjoy!

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~gianna~

Shrimp over Angel Hair

I cook shrimp a lot in my house because everyone loves it!  This recipe has been in my rotation for a long time.  When I say rotation I mean I make it every few months or more because I have so many other recipes that I make, but this one I know is a sure winner every time!  It’s another simple recipe and if you have shrimp on hand (I always have a bag or 2 of frozen uncooked shrimp in my freezer) it’s a great weeknight meal.  Add some garlic bread and a salad and you’re done!  Easy Peasy!

Shrimp Over Angel Hair

1/2-1 pound of angel hair pasta (cooked)

2 TBSP olive oil

3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)

2 ripe tomatoes (I use the small ones on the vine) — seeds removed and chopped

1/2 c water

chicken bullion cube

1 pound uncooked shrimp (cleaned and deveined)

basil

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Cook Pasta

In a pan on stove add oil and garlic and brown.

Add chopped tomatoes.

Add water, basil  and bullion cube and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add shrimp and cook until they turn pink.

Serve over pasta.

**We put Old Bay on the finished dish  just to add a little more spice/flavor, but you don’t have to!

ENJOY!

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~gianna~

Meatloaf…..Smeatloaf….Double Beatloaf……

I was never a huge fan of meatloaf….in fact growing up my Mom made it all the time and I never really ate it.  And if I did it was smothered in ketchup and the rest would be hidden in a napkin and thrown out after dinner.  I did like the potatoes that she made with it.   As I’ve grown up I still didn’t love it, but I have finally created a recipe that has added meatloaf to things I make!  It’s simple, a one pan meal, and it uses ground turkey instead of beef.  As you will see in a lot of my recipes I don’t cook a lot of  red meat (I just don’t like the taste)…so I try to swap it out lot of times with chicken or turkey!  It’s not that I’m against red meat or worry about the health aspect of it (obvii…just look at my other recipes) I just like the taste a bit better….this recipe pretty much tastes the same as ground beef, but it feels and tastes a little “lighter” to me.

Turkey Meatloaf 

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey

1 egg

Approx 1 1/2 c. Italian bread crumb

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Salt and pepper

A nice large, handful of shredded mozzarella cheese.   (Did I say LARGE….Do it!)

1/2 of a Vidalia onion  (You can use any kind of onion)

Potatoes (any kind you like, I used red this time)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix all ingredients in a Kitchen Aid Mixer on medium until everything is incorporated.

Using olive oil, grease the bottom and sides of a 13×9 baking dish.

Form meat mixture into a loaf and put it in the center of baking dish.

Cut potatoes into large, bite-sized pieces and sprinkle them in the pan around the loaf.

Cut up some onions and sprinkle those around the loaf with the potatoes.

Sprinkle the potatoes and onions with a little garlic salt.

Cover w/ foil and cook for 45 minutes.  (Oven times may vary)

***Halfway through cooking….remove foil and give the potatoes and onions a good stir around the pan so they get browned and don’t burn.

***Remove foil with 10 minutes left…so it gets brown on the top!   You may want to slice a few pieces and make sure it’s not pink inside…sometimes depending on how thick the loaf is…it may need a little more time to cook.

 ***Don’t be alarmed if it starts to ooze white stuff…it’s the cheese! I freaked out a little the first time.****

ENJOY!!

meatloaf

When it’s done slice and serve …….I still like mine with ketchup!!!!!

~gianna~

 

Creamy Taco Mac

Here’s another recipe that has circulated around the internet and has gotten rave reviews….once I finally got around to making it I was happy I did.  It’s simple, easy and my family really likes it!    Even the girls  (usually my tough crowd) LOVE it!  It’s even better as a leftover!  Normally we aren’t big leftover people…..but I have made extra of this so we have leftovers for another night!   It’s that good!

Creamy Taco Mac

1 lbs ground turkey breast
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
8 oz dry pasta + 1 cup reserved pasta water
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
4 Tbsp mild taco seasoning
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese
salt & pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta per directions. Reserve one cup of pasta water.

Over medium heat, brown ground turkey until no longer pink.

Add onion and cook for 5 minutes.

Add taco seasoning and diced tomatoes.

Allow to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Add cooked pasta, reserved water, cream cheese, and sour cream.

Give it a good stir until cheeses are melted and totally incorporated.

Simmer over low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Season with salt & pepper, as desired.

Top off with Mexican cheese.

ENJOY!!

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~gianna~

Lemon & Wine Salmon

Whenever I am asked, “Where did you learn to cook?”  My answer is simple……”My Nana and my Mom are 2 of the best cooks, EVER and they taught me everything I know!”  That’s 90% true….the other 10% comes from my love of cooking and other bloggers and friends who give me yummy recipes!  🙂

This recipe is one of my Nana’s recipes.   We eat a lot of fish in our house (mostly salmon, shrimp, scallops, tilapia), but salmon is one of our favorites.  My kids gobble it up, which makes it a great dinner choice for us!  This recipe is one of our favorites, and while I definitely do it’s justice, I’ve got nothing on Nana!

1 pound filet of salmon (skin removed)

Half a sick of butter

1/4c white cooking wine (or any white wine you use to cook with)

1 lemon

garlic powder

paprika

 

Preheat oven to 375°

Grease bottom of baking dish with butter.

Wash salmon and pat dry with paper towels.

Place salmon in baking dish.

Pour wine over salmon.

Squeeze lemon over salmon.

Sprinkle garlic powder and paprika.

Place in oven; uncovered for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

 

ENJOY!!

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~gianna~

Kung Pao Shrimp

Taking a little break from football foods today, in honor of Chinese New Year,  tomorrow!

I had originally gotten a Kung Pao Chicken recipe from Sing For Your Supper.    I have made a bunch of her dishes and they are always excellent!    I’m sure you’ll see me blog about her recipes in the future….but in the meantime, you should definitely check out her blog for yourself!

OK back to the recipe…..I used her chicken recipe, but just swapped the chicken with approx. 1 pound of large, deveined shrimp.
As usual I served it with fried rice (I like it much better than white rice) and my husband and I both enjoyed it very much!    The perfect combo of sweet, nutty and spicy.    This recipe is nice because you can adjust how much spice you want in your life and it’s still very good!  My little ones aren’t huge fans of spicy foods, so I cut back the red pepper flakes on this one, but it was still pretty PAOerful!  Ha Ha Ha!  Sorry I had to!  🙂

Kung Pao Shrimp

1lb uncooked, deveined, shell removed large shrimp.

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons sesame oil

3 tablespoons of Vidalia onion chopped

3 garlic cloves (minced)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used less than she called for b/c 2 of my taste tasters are my kids)

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

Combine shrimp and cornstarch in a small bowl and toss to coat. Heat sesame oil in wok (or large deep-dish skillet) over medium heat, add shrimp and stir fry approx.  5-7 minutes (or until pink and fully cooked).    Remove shrimp from wok.

Add onions, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger to the wok and stir fry for 15 seconds.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and add the sauce to the wok.

Return shrimp to the wok and coat with sauce. Stir in roasted peanuts. Heat thoroughly.  Place over white or fried rice.  

ENJOY!!!

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GONG HEY FAT CHOY!!!!

~gianna~

Sausage & Peppers

This is always a crowd pleaser because it can be served as a main dish during a party or it can be served as an appetizer.  It can be served on bread or just in a plate and some do it over pasta.   I have become a huge fan of turkey sausage, so feel free to use that instead…..AND if you like a little spice in your life you may opt for hot sausage as opposed to sweet.    So as you can see, it’s very versatile.  It easy to make for a large group too.  My Mom used to make it all the time when she had large amounts of people over.   This recipe is what I usually make for my family of 4 (with a bit leftover),  so if you are making it for more people make sure you make more.   In the summer I usually  throw them on the grill for the last 10-15 minutes just to give them that nice grill taste, but here in Jersey it’s way too cold to be grilling when it;s just as easy and delicious to keep them in the oven.

Sausage & Peppers

1 package of sweet Italian sausage

1 red bell pepper

1 green pepper

1 vidalia onion

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Rolls, baguettes or a French loaf of bread

Preheat oven to 375.

Lightly oil the bottom of a 8×8 Pyrex dish.

With a fork pierce a few holes in each sausage link and lay them in Pyrex.

Cook for approx. 30 minutes.  Half way through flip them over.

At 30 minutes remove from oven and slice the links open (butterfly them) and return to oven.  Cook for about 15-20 more minutes until no longer pink inside.

OR

Slice links and put them on a preheated medium heat grill and cook for about 15 minutes until no longer pink.

While  sausage is cooking…

Slice peppers and onion and stir fry on stove top in olive oil  ans salt and pepper (to taste) until cooked, but still slightly crispy.  I like mine on the harder side, but if you like yours softer you can cook them longer.

Once sausage and peppers and onions are fully cooked serve both on bread of your choice.  I like to eat mine with ketchup, but you can also use your favorite marinara sauce or eat it plain!

 ENJOY!

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~gianna~ 

Potato Soup’s On!

Baby, it’s cold outside……

In Jersey we’ve had some extremely cold temperatures lately.   Like -5°, feels like -70°.   Ok not that cold, but with all the talk…. and the kids missing school because it’s “too cold” and these crazy weathermen terms  like “Hercules” and “Polar Vortex”and people doing “fun” science experiments throwing boiling hot water into oncoming polar vortex wind gusts….giving themselves 3rd degree burns on their faces….one would think the entire U.S.A turned North Pole.   Well it’s not THAT cold, but it’s cold enough to keep me in the kitchen and not anywhere near the outside.

So last night I decided we need soup.    I set out to see what I had on hand and what kind of soup I wanted to make and decided on Potato Soup.   I found a bunch of different recipes……and kinda mashed them all together to create my own yummy soup!   It was the perfect dinner for a cold night (inside).  HA!    We really enjoyed it and I hope you do too!!!

Potato Soup

8 slices of bacon — chopped 

1 Medium Vidalia onion — diced

3 celery stalks — diced

3 carrots — cleaned and diced

8 small/medium russet potatoes — washed, peeled and diced

8 c. chicken broth

2.5 TBSP flour

1 c. milk

1/3 c heavy cream

1 tsp parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Shredded cheddar cheese.

In a large soup pot cook bacon until nice and crispy.

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Remove bacon from pot and put aside.

Discard most of the oil — leaving a small amount in pot.

Add onions, celery and carrots and cook on medium heat until veggies are tender  (approx. 5-7 minutes).

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Add diced potatoes and cook for another 8 minutes.

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Add chicken broth and bring to boil.

Cook for 10 minutes on a gentle boil/simmer and until potatoes are tender.

In a seperate bowl, mix together milk and flour, removing lumps and pour into soup.

Cook for another 5-10 minutes –stirring often.

Remove soup in batches and puree in a blender until all is completely smooth.  

Add all soup back to the pot and add heavy cream, stir and heat it just for another few minutes.

Spoon into bowls and garnish with bacon pieces and shredded cheese.

ENJOY!!!

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~gianna~

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