Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Scampi


I love how zoodles (zucchini noodles) are everywhere.  Most grocery stores now carry a selection of spiraled veggies, like squash or beets.  My favorite, however, are definitely zoodles.  Mostly because they are fun to say.  Oodles and oodles of zoodles, zoodles!  I smell a children's song coming on.  

A couple of weeks ago I made a shrimp scampi dish using zoodles and it was so good, I've since made it a few more times.  I used this recipe, omitting the scallops (although I have had the dish WITH them and it's delicious).  It's the perfect light and vibrant spring dish!

I hope you all have super weekends.  I have something to share with you soon, and I can't wait :)

Spicy Chicken Rice Bowls



Ok, how did I do this again?  This blogging thing?  I would type nonsensical thoughts, you would read them, chuckling loudly while slapping your knees, there were food photos, recipes... ok, it's all coming back, it's all coming back to me now.  There were moments of gold and there were FLASHES OF LIGHT.  

I haven't forgotten about you, it's just we were out west for eleventy days (my favorite not-a-number), and as my kids get older it seems to be taking them longer and longer to adjust back to their accustomed time zone.  My son becomes a teenager, staying up too late and playing dead in the morning (like seriously, I know you can feel that I've just ripped the blankets off your body and I know you can see the sunlight burning through your closed eyelids as I've just violently opened the shades).  My middle child decides to pick 8pm to run laps around the house, wearing three winter coats (??), until I finally decide to give her a leeeeeeeeetle Benadryl (hahahahahahahaha, kidding).  My toddler keeps waking up with night terrors... first, there was a "bird" in her bed and the next night a "crab" (I won't go there).  Needless to say, I am a walking asleep person...

...but I haven't forgotten about you.

In fact, I've made the same dinner the last 3 nights in a row in an attempt to get more photos so I can post the recipe, but somehow I just have one?  Remember how I said I was a walking asleep person? 

Alas!  It's time for me to just POST it already.  Because it's so delicious, and because you deserve it.  It's basically a chicken and rice bowl on top of arugula and topped with various yummy things, and it's based on a dish called 'Le Bowl' from a restaurant called Zinque in Los Angeles.  I toss the chicken in a little mayo and sriracha, which is why I'm calling it spicy, and if you watch "Sing" as much as I do, then you just heard Gunther the pig in your head.  Enjoy!

Spicy Chicken Rice Bowls
Servings: 2 bowls

2 cups arugula
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups roasted chicken, shredded
Sriracha sauce
Shaved Manchego cheese (or Parmesan)
1/2 avocado, diced
Cherry tomatoes, diced
Corn shredded off the cob

Divide the arugula and brown rice among two bowls.  In another small bowl, add chicken and desired amounts of mayo and sriracha (I do about 1 Tbsp mayo and 1 heaping tsp sriracha), stir together.  Top each bowl with chicken, cheese, avocado, tomatoes and corn.  Drizzle some more olive oil and more hot sauce (if desired) on top.  Season to taste with salt and pepper!   

Pull Apart Pizza Bread


Over the weekend I made this ridiculous, absurd, out-of-this-world, cheesy, gooey, flavorful pull-apart pizza bread.  Should I even keep talking?  Writing?  Blogging?  Whatever it is I'm doing.  Basically, you should probably make this as soon as possible.  It requires a little effort, but it's not hard.  Added bonus?  Your children will totally want to help, and by "help" I mean they'll want to sprinkle flour all over their bodies and the floor like the fairies do.  The pizza bread dough only has to sit for an hour, so the whole thing comes together relatively quickly.  Once it's ready, you stuff little circles with a cheesy, saucy mixture (one you could add any of your favorite pizza toppings to!), and then you shove them all into a bread dish and bake.  Oh, and you top it with a buttery chive sauce because it's not sinful and delicious enough as is.  (Sarcasm)    

You can find the recipe HERE.  Enjoy!  

{Mozzarella, Parmesan, pizza sauce, sliced pepperoni, Italian seasoning}

{My little helpers, flour EVERYWHERE}

{Pockets stuffed, ready to bake...}

{Voila!  Topped with a chive butter sauce}

How to make a great Chicken Paillard


The other day I put up an Instagram story about our dinner and got so many requests for the recipe.  So here you go!  Your wish is my command!  Well, it's sort of my command, because I'm not actually going to write out a recipe... because I'm too lazy.  Sorry not sorry.  However, I will be as descriptive as possible on just how I make this salad that has become a weekly staple in our house!

It's all about the chicken.  I like to buy boneless, skinless, thinly sliced breast cutlets, but breasts or tenders would work as well.  Whatever chicken you have, the key is to pound it so that it's as thin as can be.  I place my breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and I pound it with a meat tenderizer, however you can use just about anything: wine bottle, soup can, your fist (this is particularly fun if you have anger issues).      

Next, you need to set up a breading station (of course, you can skip this step if you'd like to just grill your chicken as is, but I like a little crunch to mine).  I use flour, whole wheat breadcrumbs combined with Parmesan, and two egg whites.  IMPORTANT: salt and pepper each bowl.  This will help with developing flavor.  The order for dredging is: flour, egg whites, breadcrumbs.  Get your skillet ready by covering it with olive oil, about 1/4 inch deep, over medium-high heat.  Cook chicken for no more than 3 minutes a side, less if you're using cutlets or tenders.  You'll know when to flip because the bottom of your chicken will become nice and golden.    

As for your salad, anything goes!  Last night I used arugula, cherry tomatoes, sweet yellow peppers, toasted pine nuts, leftover corn, avocado and grated Parmesan.  I make the same dressing almost every time: 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, about 1/4 cup of good olive oil and salt and pepper, all whisked together.  Chicken on the bottom, salad on top, voila!

Leprechaun Bait


Top 'o the morning to ya, lads and lassies!  I read that in my mind with a really lame Irish accent as I wrote it.  I also had a weird daydream this morning about a leprechaun running in the room and pinching my butt as I brushed my teeth.  Probably didn't need to tell you that, huh?  I've obviously eaten too much of this sweet and savory Leprechaun Bait that I saw on Pinterest.  Basically you throw a bunch of stuff you probably already have in your house - popcorn, rice cereal, pretzels - and add Lucky Charms (I found the St. Patrick's day limited edition box), green M&M's (I used a bag of mint ones), and drizzle green candy melts over the whole thing!  Kind of gross?  Yes.  Fun for the kids to make?  Yes.  Will it really trap leprechauns?  DUH!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  

Similar recipes here and here.    

Also... more St. Patrick's Day dishes and treats HERE!

Baked Spaghetti Squash Carbonara


What would be your last meal on earth?  I hate that question, so I apologize for asking you.  But now you have to answer, so do it.  The question stresses me out, because I love too much food!  Would it be an indulgent short rib dish?  Something Mexican?  An entire chocolate cake??  I can't decide!!  Pasta is definitely high on the list, and specifically Spaghetti Carbonara.  Pasta in a creamy egg sauce with bacon, I mean, come ON!  It's always my go-to order at a nice Italian restaurant.  However, since I can't eat like there will be no tomorrow EVERY night, I like to modify my favorites to make them slightly healthier.  Like this carbonara dish made with spaghetti squash!  

I followed this recipe and modified it by using whole milk instead of ricotta (because it's what I had on hand).  It was so tasty, and a fun variation of the classic dish.  Of course if it really WAS my last night alive, I would throw the squash straight out the window and go for the real stuff.     

Roasted Carrots and Asparagus w/ Avocado


I've made dishes similar to this one before (seen here) but I just can't get enough of the carrot/avocado combination.  I can't, I tell you, I can't!  Even though our weather is seventy degrees one day and snowing the next, I'm channeling springtime with these vegetables: sweet carrots and crisp asparagus, roasted in garlic, red pepper flakes and cumin, and then topped with a zesty greek yogurt, creamy avocado and crunchy pumpkin seeds.   It's a delicious blend of flavors and textures, and I think you'll love it as much as I do.    

Roasted Carrots and Asparagus w/ Avocado 
Adapted from here
(Serves 4)

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed off
1 bunch small carrots, stems removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 cup greek yogurt
Zest of one lime
1 avocado, sliced
Handful of pumpkins seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Place carrots and asparagus in a large bowl, and add garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes and a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Pick the carrots out of the bowl and place on baking sheet.  Roast for 10 minutes, then add asparagus and roast for another 20.  Remove from oven and place on a serving dish.  While the carrots are roasting, add the lime zest to the yogurt and stir.  Top veggies with sliced avocado, dollops of yogurt and pumpkin seeds.  Season to taste.  


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