Sauteed Scallops in Garlic Cream Sauce

Looking for an easy but gourmet dinner idea? This scallop and pasta recipe is to die for! I am a huge fan of white sauces with seafood since it really brings out the flavor. Enjoy this recipe, it’one of my favorites!

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Ingredients:
1 lb scallops
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
1⁄4 cup white wine (optional)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1⁄2 cup cream

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DIRECTIONS

Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat; add the garlic, parsley, wine, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the scallops, then simmer for another 5 minutes. While scallops are cooking, boil your favorite pasta as directed.
Once scalloped are slightly browned, stir in the cream. Continuing heating, but do not boil, stirring constantly until sauce begins to thicken.
Serve immediately while scallops are hot. Spoon excess sauce from pan and drizzle it over the scallops. Serve over your favorite pasta!

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Baked General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

A perfect night in for me is ordering some Chinese food, grabbing a bottle of wine, and watching a great movie (usually a chick-flick).  So last weekend, we ordered 50 Shades of Grey (the hubby was not impressed) and got a nice bottle of wine.  I decided I wanted to try this Low-fat General Tso’s recipe I had been eyeing on pinterest and was so impressed with how it came out. I was, however, missing Also, you absolutely have to try the Organic Jasmine rice from Trader Joe’s.  I decided taking on the chicken recipe was enough so I took a shortcut and got this rice and it is seriously the most delicious sticky white rice and is ready in 3 minutes.   The movie, on the other hand, was just okay.  In my opinion, the books are 100x times better.

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Ingredients
2 -3 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut in strips
1 egg + 2 tbsp water whisked together to make an egg wash
1 cup flour
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt

For the Sauce
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar (white wine vinegar is fine in a pinch)
2 tbsp toasted sesame seed oil
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp hot crushed chilli paste or sauce (use more or less to taste if you don’t like it very hot)
3 cloves minced garlic
3 tbsp freshly grated ginger
¼ cup water
2 tsp corn starch

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Instructions
Combine the 1 cup flour, ½ tsp black pepper, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, 3 tbsp ground ginger, 1 tsp salt.  Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dip them in the egg wash to dredge them in the flour mixture.  Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and lightly drizzle or the tops with a little more olive oil.  Bake at 425 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Flip the pieces at half way through the cooking time.
To make the sauce, while the chicken is baking, prepare your sauce. Don’t walk away from this sauce; it gets very hot when making the caramel base and can burn easily so pay careful attention while cooking it.
In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ¼ cup water, toasted sesame seed oil, paprika, chilli paste or sauce, tsp salt, corn starch, cloves minced garlic and freshly grated ginger. Set this mixture aside.
In a medium saucepan or wok, boil together the 1 cup of sugar and ¼ cup of water.
Boil this over medium heat, watching constantly until the caramel starts to turn a light amber color and you can begin to smell the caramel. Do not stir. When it reaches this stage, give the other ingredients in the bowl a quick stir to make sure the corn starch is dissolved then add it all at once to the hot caramel. (Careful: This mixture is very hot and will release a lot of steam at this point!)  Be careful at this stage because this sauce can foam up considerably for a few seconds and it is very hot. Simmer for only few minutes and remove from the heat and allow to cool down slightly.  Toss the sauce with the cooked chicken pieces and serve over plain steamed rice or Chinese noodles.  Recipe from Rock Recipes.

“Left-overs” Chicken Quesadillas

As a new mom, it is almost impossible to have time to cook dinner every night, let alone eat dinner.  I find myself trying recipes that are quick and take more shortcuts than ever.  I bought a chicken rotisserie breast and made some roasted potatoes and asparagus for a side which was the perfect wholesome and easy meal.  I had some leftover chicken breast and definitely did not want to waste it so I looked in the fridge and threw together some ingredients to make the perfect left-over dinner, Chicken Quesadillas.  You can make this with chicken, steak, vegetarian.. basically whatever leftovers you have.  I do not have a quesadilla-maker but I do have a panini press which worked out perfectly.

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Ingredients (can vary based on what left-overs you have)

  • left-over chicken cut into small squares
  • cheddar cheese
  • salsa
  • sour scream
  • avocado sliced thin
  • large wraps

Directions:

Lay wrap flat and layer chicken, cheese, avocado, salsa and sour cream on one half.  Fold wrap to close over all ingredients.  Put in panini press for about 3 minutes until all ingredients are hot.  If you do not have a panina press, simply fry on pan for 3 minutes each side. Enjoy!

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The Perfect Homemade Iced Coffee

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Iced coffee is truly my guilty pleasure and now that temperatures are starting to finally get warmer, I am embracing every opportunity for a refreshing and creamy iced coffee. Ahhhhh.

For some reason, retail stores think it’s OK to charge $4 for a simple iced coffee and I always cringe when buying one. This iced coffee recipe is perfection and will be sure to make your taste buds and wallet happy all through spring & summer cold coffee cravings! My personal secret is to freeze some coffee into ice cubes so your iced coffee is never watered down. You’re welcome.

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You can use a Kuerig (or any other single server coffee-maker) or traditional coffee pot if you want to make more than a single serving. I use my Kuerig since I am usually making just a cup for myself. However, the wonderful thing about iced coffee is since it’s refrigerated, you can make it for the whole week without it getting stale-tasting.

Directions: Place desired amount sugar (or any sweetener you like) in cup first. This way the coffee will melt the sugar & won’t be “crunchy” when you sip (one of my pet-peeves). Brew your coffee as directed and make a little extra coffee for your “coffee ice cubes.” Once brewed, put coffee in large mason jar and let sit to cool. If you have time, refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes and if not, add cold milk or creamer and serve over the coffee ice cubes. I usually try to make a big batch of this overnight so it’s cold & ready for the morning.

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Coconut Macaroon Nests

One of my friends is the Executive Producer of the local show, Better Connecticut, and when she shared her segment of making these adorable coconut macaroons that looked like little nests with eggs, I was sold.  Best part is, it’s only a few ingredients and I happened to have everything in my pantry that was needed for this recipe. I had some pink sprinkles on hand so I threw into the mix to add some color.  It’s the perfect treat for Easter!

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Ingredients
1 14-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut
4 large egg whites
2/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
Heat oven to 325° F.
In a medium bowl, combine the coconut, egg whites, sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla.
Roll into balls and place onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart.
Using a small spoon or your finger, press the center of the cookie down, and form into “nests.”
Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until lightly golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
Allow to cool, and then put 3 Cadbury mini eggs in the center of each cookie.