Simpatico: September 2011

Simpatico

Just the life and times of a silly girl, her dachshunds and all things Southern!

Cajun Chicken Linguini

For some reason Reed has gotten on this 'spicy' kick of late. I'm pretty sure it was right around the time college football started because we did our annual 'go watch the opening game and pig out' night with wings and cajun shrimp alfredo. Since then, bring on the spicy and Reed is a happy boy. So after much griping and complaining that I've never made cajun chicken for him, but for others, I made him some last night. He proclaimed it on of the Top 5 things I've ever made for him. Hope you enjoy my recipe, too.

*The vegetables do not have to be chopped finely as I have done, but picky eaters, like me and Reed, like the flavor but oftentimes do not like the consistency of certain vegetables... for us, its Red Pepper. I chopped the onion, as well, just for visual consistency.

Cajun Chicken Linguini

3 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Cubes
3 teaspoons Tony Chacheres Cajun Seasoning
1 pound Linguini
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Seeded and chopped finely
1/2 whole Large Red Onion, chopped finely
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
2 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup Heavy Cream
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Fresh Parsley


Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun spice over chicken pieces. Toss around to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over high heat. Brown the chicken until no longer pink. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean plate.

Add remaining olive oil and butter. When heated, add peppers, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle on remaining Cajun spice. Cook over very high heat for 1 minute, stirring gently and trying to get the vegetables as dark/black as you would like. Add tomatoes and cook for an additional 30 seconds to a minute until tomatoes are soft and falling apart. Remove all vegetables from the pan.

With the pan over high heat, pour in the chicken broth. Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in cream, stirring/whisking constantly. Cook sauce over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until cream starts to thicken the mixture. Taste and add cajun seasoning if necessary, remember the sauce should be spicy!

Finally, add Parmesan cheese, chicken and vegetables to sauce, making sure to include all the juices that have drained onto the plate. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until mixture is bubbly and hot. Add drained linguini and toss to combine.

Top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired, and a slight sprinkling of Parmesan cheese right before serving.

Just Cause....





Just cause a dachshund always can make you smile....

xx Milo and Dixie xx

Yay We Got Mail!!

A couple weeks ago I won this contest for free cookies. As my hips didn't need the extra goodies, I asked Mrs. Nancy if she would give cookies to Milo and Dixie. :) And she did!!

Boy did they LOVE them!! It was just as much fun sniffing the package as eating the cookies, I believe.

Thank you Miss Hildy and Mrs. Nancy!! You all rock!!


Sloppy Joe Turnovers

I will apologize for the picture. :) I would love to blame it off on someone else, or the camera, etc. But I just wasn't paying attention and was hungry! xx

These are so easy. We modified the original recipe that someone had given me to suit our own taste buds. Well, actually Reed modified it and I just simply wrote down his modifications. So you could call this Reed's first blog recipe! Yay, him!!

Sloppy Joe Turnovers
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
10-oz can of the larger biscuits **

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Brown the ground beef and onion, drain. Add the ketchup, bbq sauce, sour cream, salt, paprika, cayenne and garlic powder, stir to combine. Roll out dough to 4 inch rounds. Place 1/4 cup (or so) meat mixture in center and fold over top. Seal edges firmly with fork. Bake 15 minutes.

**I mistakenly got the wrong type of biscuits, so I simply rolled out smaller biscuits into about 3 inch rolls, placed the meat filling inside, then placed another roll on top. I crimped the edges with a fork and baked the same amount of time.

Wordless, But Not Snoreless, Wednesday



Long Days of Winter....

The long days of winter are coming.... Doxie is in training for them.


Vegetable Oil Brownies

Ok, so I didn't have any margarine or butter and couldn't force myself out of the house last night to get some but I wanted turtle brownie sundaes. Yes, I had pecans, caramel, and ice cream, just no butter or margarine. Haha, well my priorities are straight!!

So I did a little search and found a recipe which I adjusted to suit my needs (and my pantry items). My dessert was lovely... how could it not be? Brownies + ice cream = nirvana!

Vegetable Oil Brownies
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cup vegetable oil (divided)
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa, 1/3 cup vegetable oil and boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 cup oil. Finally, add the flour and vanilla; mix just until all of the flour is absorbed. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

Sausage Egg Muffins

It might not be officially fall, but it is cold enough that my fall comfort food cooking genes have gone into hyper-drive. So this morning, when it was all cool and cloudy, I decided a warm breakfast was what was needed. So enter these lovely little gems.

Sausage Egg Muffins
1 pkg. sausage Patties (I used Jimmy Dean)
1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red pepper, chopped
2 eggs
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pkg. refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

In a skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, basically long enough to chop into small pieces. Add green onions and red peppers. Cook and stir 3-5 minutes longer or until sausage is no longer pink; drain on paper towels and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and sausage mixture.
Separate dough into 10 biscuits; press or roll each into a 4 in. circle. Press into the bottom and up the sides of ungreased muffin cups.
Spoon sausage mixture into cups; press down lightly.
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until filling is set.

Milo and Dixie are Featured in the DoxieClubhouse!

Check out my babies who were featured new members to the Doxie Clubhouse!!

The Best Home-fries Ever!!

I have some left over red potatoes in the garden... I know they are best during the spring, when they are soft and creamy inside. And, to be honest, these are very unlovable looking. But being a thrifty girl on a very (read extremely) tight budget now with the new house, I needed to use find a good use for them.

And I did!! Ok, so Reed and I did. He was my official spice sou chef. :)

Redskin Home-fries
4-6 (depending on size) large red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/8 cup red bell pepper, chopped finely
1/8 cup green onion, greens and whites chopped finely
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Microwave red potatoes, without water, in a loosely covered container until al dente. I microwaved mine 8 minutes. When finished be sure to strain any water that steamed out of the potatoes during cooking.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil, onions and bell pepper and saute until fork tender. Add potatoes and toss gently. Add your seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.

The Artist Simply Known As Milo

Milo is daydreaming of his future exhibits at the MOMA or Louvre, under the shadow of his first piece of dachshund art.

*Milo's is toward the left, and Dixie's toward the right.


Practicing for the Summer Olympics

Milo is showing his concentration and form on the Dachshund Olympic Event: Couch Arm Balance Beam


The Sick House

When you are ill, there is nothing better to have than a snuggling dachshund!


Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

I've been really busy this week with one of those little 'side projects' I work on from time to time. This was for a benefit concert which is tonight at a small theatre in Glasgow, Kentucky. Should be fun. The TD there was the one time bassist for the Kentucky Headhunters. Do a little google for Dumas Walker if you ain't familiar (yup... I used ain't) :D

So, with my busy schedule I have had quite a few crock-pot meals. They are easy to prepare for cooking and are ready when I get home from work. -wham!- Perfection for me!!

So this is a new recipe out of my slow cooker arsenal. It was very well received by Reed, which is the only barometer I use in my cooking.

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore
1 tbsp olive oil
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6 ounce can of tomato paste
3/4 cup of chicken broth
1 4 ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 pound linguini noodles


Prepare the sauce in the base of the slow cooker by stirring together the olive oil, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, broth or water, mushrooms, onions, garlic cloves, Italian seasonings and salt and pepper.

Add the chicken breasts or thighs to the sauce in the slow cooker, spooning over the sauce on top of the chicken to cover. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for eight hours.

Just before the chicken is finished cooking, prepare the linguini noodles as directed on the package.

Serve the chicken cacciatore over the noodles with some warm crusty bread.

Snuggles Are Best!!

No matter the problems of the day, a dachshund snuggle makes it all irrelevant.

Sauteed Green Beans

I am blessed now with my new house to have a garden. VERY blessed as the old owner's garden is still here and I can have anything I want from it as long as they were allowed to come back and harvest through the summer. Duh, yeah!!! Squeeee!!

French Green Beans. There is nothing that makes my mouth water like sauteed green beans, and to have them fresh from the garden to my skillet then plate? Heavenly.

This is my grandmother's recipe. I actually had no set recipe for it, as most of the grandmother recipes are usually just watch and learn things, so I had to figure out what I did with my last recipe. I would always just adjust depending on how many green beans I had purchased at the store.

I am just looking at the picture and thinking Oo omg what a huge plate of food. :D Don't be hating on me! I was hungry! The other sides to my lovely green beans was crock pot chicken cordon bleu and some left over red potatoes from my low country boil.

Sauteed Green Beans
1 pound French Green Beans (haricot vert for those who want to know)
1 small shallot, chopped VERY finely
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped very finely
4 tbsp butter or margarine
Salt
White Pepper
4 strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled, for garnish

Clean your beans thoroughly in fresh water and remove any bad spots as well as nip the tips off. Cook in a pot of lightly salted, boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, drain in a colander and shock in ice-cold water, drain and set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter or margarine until bubbling but not browned. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute until softened, about 30-45 seconds. Add the beans and toss a couple of times. Add the salt and pepper and continue to saute until all is hot throughout. Serve immediately with a crumbled bacon garnish.

Orange Chicken

First off, let me apologize for taking a picture of the dish in a plastic container. Honestly its aroma was SO YUMMY we didn't think to take a picture all plated up. I should also apologize for the ugh-ness of the photo, too. But meh, its a cell phone picture, can't expect much, right?

Orange Chicken = love. Even if Reed did not like it as he is totally non-chinese after an ugly bout with food poisoning after some take out about 2 years ago. Hey, I had food poisoning, too. But I still slide up to the table for some Chinese... I just make sure that I make it and its not on some buffet. :D

This was amazing. It was time consuming, yes, but the end result was OMG. I do hope you try it soon.

I used a deep fryer to fix my chicken, but you can easily fry in a skillet with oil.

Orange Chicken
1 1/2 Pounds boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
3 eggs, scrambled
Flour
Panko breading
12 oz can Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate (low pulp), thawed
4 heaping tbsp Brown sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
6 heaping tbsp ketchup

Dredge the pieces of chicken in flour, then egg then panko breading prior to deep frying. I made it easier for myself and created four separate batches to fry. It takes around 5 minutes per batch to cook. Just to be careful I would pull out one of the bigger pieces of that batch and slice apart to see if it was cooked through.

Drain the batches on paper towels while you create the sauce.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a dutch oven and heat through. Prior to serving combine the fried chicken bits in the sauce and serve over hot rice.

Low Country Boil

Last weekend I had a couple friends around for a Low Country Boil. If you've never had one, well you just haven't lived. Its not a terribly complicated thing to make. It's quite informal. It's just delicious and a great way to spend a hot country day.

Most important part of the meal is the turn out onto paper. Most use newspaper, but as I haven't touched a real newspaper in years, I had to use white craft paper. You eat with your fingers for the most part, but I do provide forks for those who are a bit weirded out.

Low Country Boil
Crab Boil in a Bag (I use Zatarain's)
12 red new potatoes
1 pound smoked sausage link sausage, cut into 4-inch pieces
6 ears corn
3 pounds fresh seafood, any combination of crab and/or shrimp deveined but in the shell)

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Add the crab boil and bring to a boil. When the water boils, add the potatoes and sausage. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Add corn and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add shrimp or other seafood and cook for no more than 3 minutes. Drain and serve with warm bread, clarified butter and lemon.

Best part about this dish it can be adjusted to feed a few or many.

Canine Commandments

Dixie's Gotcha Day has come and gone, but when I saw this I was immediately taken back to the day we brought her home. She was so small, mistrustful and weary looking. Today she is still haunted by her past, a past we do not truly know, but we have found our way together to become a family no matter her fears.

Remember getting a pet, any pet, is a lifelong commitment. Nothing to be taken lightly or in haste...


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Simpatico Is Defined as:

agreeable, likable, being on the same wavelength, congenial, sympathetic, of like mind or temperament, compatible.

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