Thursday, April 30, 2009

French Fries

Some days after taking care of a little one I don't have energy to make dinner, but I still want to provide something for my husband and I, without having to get take out. I keep a bag of Tyson chicken nuggets in the freezing in a quick fix. Then I grab a large baking potato and make some homemade french fries. They are delicious and so much better than McDonalds or Wendy's fries. These are great for any side and take no time at all.

1 large baking potato
2 c vegetable oil
seasoned salt

Without peeling, slice the potato into long strips. In a frying pan pour vegetable oil, make sure it's enough to cover the potatoes. Heat oil on high. Put potatoes into frying pan and cook until golden brown. Place potatoes on paper towels to absorb oil. Sprinkle seasoned salt to taste. Serve.

Serves 2

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes

My husband is a big fan of twice baked potatoes but they some times take a lot of work when you have other things cooking. I thought up making them into the entree instead of just a side. I added broccoli and chicken and it made a delicious, really simple meal.

3 baking potatoes
2 1/2 c cheddar cheese
2 slices of Kraft singles American cheese
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 crown of broccoli
1/4 c Milk

Preheat oven to 350, place unwrapped potatoes in oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, cook chicken in skillet with a little olive oil until cooked all the way through. Cut into chunks. Chop broccoli and steam. When potatoes are done, let cool, then carefully scoop out potato meat leaving the skin, it doesn't have to be completely skin, leave some potato meat in so the skin doesn't rip. Mix potato meat with milk 1 c cheddar cheese and Kraft singles until creamy like mashed potatoes. Add chicken and broccoli. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into potato skins. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of potatoes. Put in oven for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and it's hot. Serve.

Serves: It probably will serve about 4 people, unless they are big eaters then only 3. I was full from one, so it could serve up to 6.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Orleans Barbecued Shrimp

I grew up on this recipe. It is one of my favorite shrimp recipes, it has a lot of flavor and is really simple to make. Just serve it over some rice and add a side of green beans or a salad. This makes enough for two with leftovers for one. Add more shrimp if serving for more.

1 lb peeled & deveined shrimp
1 stick of butter or margarine (I prefer margarine)
1/8 t ground red pepper
1/4 t salt
1 t garlic salt
1 t barbecue spice (seasoned salt)
1/8 t paprika
1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 lemon sliced

Rinse shrimp well, cover with cold water 1 tsp salt and lemon. Refrigerate 1 hr. (If I'm in a rush I skip this step, and it still turns out delicious). In saucepan melt butter on low heat. Add all other ingredients. Mix well, pour over drained shrimp. Cook at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Buffalo Wild Wings

Often the weekends are the time to take a break from the kitchen and head out for a great dinner. Once you decide you want to take a break and head out this conversation occurs..."Where do you want to eat?" "I don't care, wherever" "I don't care either, you pick" and on and on it can go. Well I've decided every Friday I will post one of my favorite restaurants in hope that you don't get stuck in that dreaded conversation. Some of my picks will be local, regional or national. If you don't have one by you, at least whenever you make a trip to the Chicago area you'll know of some good places.Buffalo Wild Wings has become one of my favorites, it has a great atmosphere. Especially with the many playoff games and ball games going on it's a great place to watch many games while eating good food. Their buffalo wings are really good and they offer 14 different sauces, ranging from very mild to "blazin". Warning: stay clear of the "blazin" unless you want to burn your mouth off, plus it's not very good. They offer plenty of other options besides buffalo wings, including burgers and sandwiches. Buffalo Wild Wings also offers take out if you aren't in the mood to eat there. They are reasonably priced too!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Teriyaki Wraps

Recently I've tried to establish one night a week that is a meatless meal, for the purpose to save money and to cut back on meat. It hasn't gone over well with my husband but I still try. Teriyaki wraps are a light meal with lots of color.

Teriyaki Wraps

1 cup rice
2 cups water
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 small yellow squash, chopped
1 1/4 c teriyaki sauce
3 T soy sauce
2 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1 t black pepper
4 whole wheat tortillas

In a saucepan bring 2 cups of water to boil, add rice. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. *Or cook your rice in a rice cooker. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, pepper, zucchini and squash until onions are tender. Stir in teriyaki sauce. When vegetables are tender, stir in the cooked rice, soy sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Place 1/4 of the rice and vegetables in each tortilla, and roll up. I add a little Parmesan cheese.

*I cut out the soy sauce and extra salt because I make my own teriyaki sauce and I don't want too much sodium

Teriyaki Sauce

3/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c honey
1/2 c sugar
1 clove garlic
1/2 t ginger

Versawear Crock-pot

A Crock-pot is a must in the kitchen. It is a wonderful thing to have, especially when you don't have time to cook a meal. Dump all the ingredients into it in the morning and you have a fabulous dinner ready when you get home. I have two different Crock-pots and this one is my favorite. This is a Versawear Crock-pot from Target, again another wedding present. My favorite thing about it is that I can brown a roast on the stove in the pot then place it in the holder to cook. And it's nice enough that I can serve the meal right out of the pot, which means less dishes. This is dishwasher safe though after I accidentally smashed the handle against the counter and broke it I hand wash it to make sure the handle doesn't fall off again.
I highly recommend having some typed of a crock-pot on hand. You can't mess up a dinner in a crock-pot, well unless you just put it to warm (guilty).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Shrimp Scampi

Even on a budget we are still able to eat shrimp almost once a week. It's delicious and high in protein. This is a very simple recipe and can be made under 30 minutes. I usually buy shrimp fresh from the the store but last time I bought a two pound frozen bag of deveined and peeled shrimp and it's allowed me to have shrimp on hand.

1 pkg angel hair pasta
1/2 cup butter
4 cloves minced garlic
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup dry white wine*
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

*I don't keep any kind of white wine on hand. I found that you can substitute by using half white wine vinegar and half water but I didn't even have white wine vinegar so I used vinegar and water and it was still delicious.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in pasta and return pot to boil. Cook until al dente. Drain well. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes. Stir in wine and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds while stirring constantly. Mix shrimp with pasta in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Serve.

Serves 4

To make it a healthier option you can use whole grain pasta and cut back half of the butter and use olive oil. Also add a spinach salad to the meal to make it complete.

Penne With Chicken and Asparagus

In my family we love asparagus. love it! Except I was getting sick of the same way we were having it. I found this recipe and I love it, plus it's healthy! Not fattening. It's got enough flavor and it's delicious warm or cold. Plus it makes great leftovers for the husband.Penne With Chicken and Asparagus
  • 1 (16 ounce) package dried penne pasta
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bunch slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in chicken, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until chicken is cooked through and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to paper towels.Pour chicken broth into the skillet. Then stir in asparagus, garlic, and a pinch more garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cover, and steam until the asparagus is just tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Return chicken to the skillet, and warm through. Stir chicken mixture into pasta, and mix well. Let sit about 5 minutes. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, stir again, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 8.

Calories Per Serving: 321
Total Fat: 10.2 g
Cholesterol: 17 mg
Sodium: 77 mg
Carbs: 43.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 15.7 g

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa & Rice

Cafe Rio is a hit in Utah and is making a hit in Arizona and Nevada. This is one variation of the recipe for their pork barbacoa which can be served either on a tortilla or as a salad. It's a hit with my husband, who doesn't like Mexican food. I usually cut the roast in half and only cook half of it and that makes enough for about four people or two with leftovers.

Pork Barbacoa

Boneless Pork Roast
1/4 c brown sugar
8 oz tomato sauce
black pepper
chili powder
garlic salt
chopped fresh cilantro
green chilies (optional)
hot sauce
minced onions (optional)

Trim off excess fat. Rub roast generously with spices. Place roast in crock pot. Add chilies, tomato sauce, brown sugar and cilantro. Cook for 5-6 hours on high, or until tender. Add hot sauce. Pull pork with two forks until shredded. Serve with tortillas, rice, beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and lime sauce.


4 cups water
4 t chicken bouillon
4 t garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 can green chilies
3/4 t salt
1 T butter
1/2 onion
2 cups rice

Blend cilantro, green chilies and onion together in food processor. Place in rice cooker with all other ingredients. Cook until done.

Lime Cilantro Sauce

1 lime
dash of hot sauce
1/2 pkg dry ranch dressing
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream

Chop cilantro. Place in food processor and add buttermilk, sour cream and ranch mix. Add more sour cream if needed. Add lime juice and hot sauce. Blend well.

Aroma Rice Cooker

My all time favorite kitchen gadget is the Aroma Rice Cooker 5-in-1. I received this three years ago as a wedding present and it is used at least once a week. Not only does it cook rice, it can also steam vegetables. Plus this one is even better than the one I have because it offers TWO steaming trays. I highly recommend a rice cooker if you don't have one already. I prefer this rice to minute rice and it is what I will use repeatedly in recipes. I always use two cups of water to one cup of rice to achieve sticky rice.

If you don't have a rice cooker and don't want to run out and get one (though you should, Target has a great selection) you can boil your water in a saucepan, add rice, reduce to simmer and cover until rice is tender, usually about 20 minutes.

About ...In My Cupboard...

I created ...In My Cupboard... to share my favorite recipes and kitchen gadgets. The recipes I share use ingredients that you can usually find in your cupboards. If it's not in your cupboards then you can find the ingredients at your local grocery store. I rarely use items that come from a specialty store. I strive to serve healthy dinner items as well and provide a balanced meal for the entire family. I also want to share my favorite kitchen gadgets. Many of them I use repeatedly for recipes and if you don't have one there are other things to use to achieve the same results. I hope you enjoy looking my cupboard... as you prepare meals for you and your family.