Monday, April 23, 2012

Spice Things Up in the Kitchen

Obviously, I have been less than stellar at updating this past weekend. But, I have good enough reason: Game of Thrones, True Blood, sunny days, and my husband's birthday.

We've been a little caught up with HBO. Which I am definitely not complaining about; Game of Thrones has finally helped me get back into writing. After being gone visiting my parents, I had been a little out of the habit and in need of a little push. I am on the verge of breaking 60,000 words, which gets me about halfway. Getting some good-ole-fashioned fantasy on the brain has helped immensely to get me to the peak of halfway.

Anyway, since I have nothing of real worth to post about, I thought I would make a quick list of some fast dinner fixes I tried this last week (completely made up from my own head, so there really is no "recipe" to write up).

  • Grilled vegetables brushed with Thai Sweet Chili Sauce and cilantro. I made a spicy coconut-and-pecan crusted shrimp for dinner last night to go with ginger and lemongrass rice. I threw some zucchini and yellow squash onto the grill  with the shrimp and used the left over chili sauce and cilantro marinade over the veggies--it was fantastic and a nice departure from the usual olive oil and Italian herbs approach I normally take. (Seriously. Chopped cilantro and that sauce. That's it. Done).
  • That ginger and lemongrass rice I mentioned? Yeah, throw some fresh lemon grass, a tablespoon or so of minced ginger, a couple cloves of garlic, chopped cilantro, and fresh basil into the pot (or rice cooker) and just let it go. Great flavor.
  • Cream cheese stuffed chicken. Don't tell my vegan mother. She might have a heart attack. I had planned to use mascapone I had left over from the quiche I made a couple weeks ago, but it had grown some rather unappealing looking spots, so I ended up using regular Philadelphia brand cream cheese instead. I mixed it with some pepper, a little salt, minced garlic, fresh basil, shredded spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. I rolled it up into a couple chicken breasts, and voila. Dinner. It was fantastic with a brandy reduction sauce and steamed mix of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
  • Savory whipped sweet potatoes. I usually make my sweet potatoes with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, but changing it up a bit was actually a pretty good idea. Try them with a little salt, scallions, and paprika. Very tasty.
  • Real Guac. One of my friends posted about getting real guacamole a few weeks ago. It reminded me how much I love a real, fresh guacamole. And it makes a great side or salad. Just chop up a couple avocados, a large tomato, mince up about about a quarter of a red onion, a clove of garlic, and stir. Spritz the juice of half a lime and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Fantastic.

I'm trying to come up with some new and exciting things for dinner around here, so keep your eye out for new recipes. Next time I promise I will have colorful pictures and actual recipes (not just my usual "that looks about right" approach).

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