I had a request for a super easy, minimal ingredient dinner. This is for you Pat!

Aside from salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar…these are staples most people have in their kitchen…this is super easy and yummy…AND only 5 ingredients to buy at the store.

1. Whole wheat penne pasta

2. Cherry tomatoes

3. Basil

4. Fresh mozzarella

5. Grated parmesan cheese

Cook whole wheat penne pasta in a pot of salted boiling water. Drain. When pasta is still warm toss with halved cherry tomatoes, torn basil, bite size pieces of fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt, pepper and vinegar (red wine or balsamic), top with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Another snowy day favorite….hot chocolate. This sure beats the Swiss Miss mix. Takes a few more minutes, but well worth it. Chocolatey, sweet and spicy all the things great hot chocolate should be.

Makes 2 servings.

In a pot wisk together all of the below ingredients (stir consistently to avoid burning), bring to a simmer over medium heat and serve with marshmallows or whipped cream or simply alone in a nice mug. Enjoy!

Ingredients

3 cups of skim milk (I use Farmland skim plus, if you don’t have that you can use 2% or whatever kind of milk you have)

1/4 cup of unsweetened coco powder

Pinch each of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

splash of vanilla extract

tiny pinch of salt

5-8 semisweet chocolate chips

I love soups of all kinds and they are so easy to make!  Sauté any veggies you have in your fridge, add some spices, boxed broth and simmer away for 15 minutes. Healthy. Delicious. And a great way to use up leftovers in your fridge.

This is my super easy minestrone. Sauté a cup each of chopped onions, zucchini, carrots, green beans and celery until crisp but tender. Add in a box of chicken broth, a cup of crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, herbs de provence, oregano and fresh parsley. Stir in a can of drained white beans. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with a small shaped pasta and grated parmesan. Make a batch on Sunday and eat it for lunch all week long. Tons of veggies and protein from the beans…just yummy!

Nothing adds warmth to a snow day like a big pot of chili. I found a way to make it even better today! Add a 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon and allspice…plus a heaping tablespoon of granulated brown sugar. It adds a warmth and spice that compliments the spicy heat of the chili…try it next time! Delish!

In a pinch to make a quick dinner? Serve an easy arugula salad over chicken cutlets. You can make the cutlets or buy them in the store. Top with baby arugula mixed with chopped fresh mozzarella, sliced roasted red peppers, cubed tomato, torn basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Toss with salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Super simple. Super delicious.

Enjoy!

Another hit from my New Years Eve Party.

Ingredients…

2 lbs (16/20 count) shrimp, peeled and devained

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

1 cup shredded coconut

3 eggs

¼ cup milk

2 cups flour

Canola oil for frying

Salt / Pepper

Honey

Dijon mustard

Directions…

Set up a breading station by mixing together the following ingredients. Bowl 1: Flour, salt and pepper. Bowl 2: Eggs, milk, salt and pepper (beat together). Bowl 3: Coconut, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Start by dipping the shrimp in the flour mixture, then egg mixture (drip off excess), then into the breadcrumb mixture. Continue process until they are all breaded. I found if you put them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and refrigerate them for about an hour, it will help the breading stay in tact while frying. This is not an essential step, but is helpful if you have the time.

In a medium saucepan with steep sides, add about ½ inch of canola oil. Heat on medium high heat. Add the shrimp about 5 at a time to the oil. Try not to over crowd the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel lined dish to drain the oil. Continue in batches until all the shrimp are fried.

Mix equal parts honey and Dijon mustard together for a dipping sauce. Depending on your taste, you may want to add more honey if you want it sweeter, or more mustard if you want it to have more of a tang.

This was part of my New Year’s Eve menu and it was a HIT. Enjoy!

Ingredients….

Premade pizza dough (you can get it in the dairy aisle of your grocery store or local pizza shop)

1 green pepper, sliced

½ yellow onion, sliced

3 sausage links, out of casing

oregano

crushed red pepper flakes

olive oil

handful pecorino romano cheese (grated)

flour

Directions…

Bring pizza dough to room temperature. Leave it out of the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 425. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, heat a teaspoon of olive oil. Add sausage to pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown and crumbled. Remove from pan with slotted spoon, reserve on a plate. Pour out most of the oil. Add the sliced peppers, onions, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for about 8 minutes until the veggies are tender.

Roll dough with a little bit of flour into a large rectangle. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet (with sides). Add filling on half of the dough (long side), leaving a one inch space on the top and bottom. Begin rolling, starting on the side the filling is on. Keep rolling until you have a log shape. Seal off the edges by pinching them and folding them under the roll. Brush the top with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with the cheese. Cut 3 slits in the top to let the steam escape. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Slice and serve.


My apologies for the lack of postings! I moved during the holidays and things got crazy!

It’s a new year…so that means lots of new recipes!

Send me a message…let me know what kinds of recipes you are looking for! Need a weeknight meal? A way to spice up chicken? Having a get-together and need some menu ideas? Let me know!

I am moving to a new place in a few weeks so I am on a mission to clean out my fridge / freezer / pantry. The more stuff I use, the less I have to move….and the cheaper the grocery bill will be over the next few weeks. So this dish was developed based on this adventure! I just threw it together and didn’t measure, so here are the approximate directions.

For the pork chops:

Marinate for about 10 minutes in chipotle in adobo, orange juice, olive oil, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Sear on both sides (about 4 min per side) in a hot skillet with melted butter and olive oil. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

For the sauce:

Saute finely chopped onion in olive oil with salt and pepper until tender. Pour in about 1 glass of red wine (I used cabernet) and a splash of orange juice. Let reduce by half. Add in lots of cracked pepper, salt, 2 tbsp  honey and a cup of blackberries. Let simmer for 10 minutes or until the blackberries start to break up and the sauce thickens.

Serve the sauce over the pork chops. Round out the meal with some cous cous and green beans.

Here are some great ways to use up your leftovers….

  • Turn your veggies and turkey into a turkey pot pie or turkey and veggie soup
  • Use leftover biscuits to make egg sandwich sliders for a yummy breakfast
  • Turn mashed potatoes into potato croquets by mixing with chopped parsley and shredded mozzarella, rolling into a ball, dip in breadcrumbs and fry.
  • Scoop the inside out of a pecan pie and warm, top with caramelized bananas (saute with brown sugar until brown)
  • For a side dish, put candied yams in a food processor and blend to make whipped yams to serve along side chicken or fish
  • Use stuffing to stuff a pork tenderloin or chicken breasts to make another dinner

 

About Me

My name is Ashley and I'm a self taught cook. Getting home from work, popping open a bottle of wine and cooking up dinner with my boyfriend is my favorite part of the day. I want to show you that making dinner can be fun and easy. I have some great tricks for the young professional...like me, that I know you will love! Follow me and I'll make you the talk of all of your friends! You won't believe the things you can whip up in the kitchen that are...Just Delicious!

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