Lime Chicken Orzo Soup

This soup when I went to the grocery store started as a thai chicken noodle soup. However,  the store required me to change my game plan since they were out of a few key ingredients like cilantro.  I stopped looked at what was in my basket already and ran with it!

Seriously, who knew lime would be so tasty in soup. I am definitely considering more opportunities to use it or other citrus in soups. What could be more great when you’re sick, vitamin C and chicken broth!

•2 limes
•2 Chicken breasts
•1 onion
•1 yellow bell pepper (can be any color pepper)
•1 lb orzo
•1 pack of Mushrooms
•4 cups Chicken broth
•2 cups water
•1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
•Avocado (topping)
•Feta cheese (topping)
•Salt and pepper to taste

Chop veggies and chicken breast add to crock pot. Add chicken broth and water. Juice your two limes straight into the pot.  Let cook for an hour on high in the crock pot then add your orzo. Cook for another hour on high. Serve hot with avocado and feta.



Crock Pot Asian Beef with Green beans and Shitake mushrooms

I was craving chinese and decided to experiment on my own instead of ordering delivery! This was the result:

– 2 lbs of cubed Stew Beef
-1lb of fresh Green beans
-1tsp sesame oil
-4 stalks of chopped Green onion
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-Garlic powder
-2 cups beef broth
-1 cup red wine
-1/2 cup soy sauce
-3-4 cloves of garlic
-Shitake mushrooms

Combine all ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on high for 6 hours, stir whenever possible. Serve over rice.



Radish Cucumber Guacamole

Ever had that moment that you have really awkward ingredients in your fridge that you never really use? Yeah that moment was how this recipe happened.

I received cucumbers and radishes in the mix box from the local farmers market. All I have ever done with cucumbers is put them in salad.

I had the idea to make some chorizo burgers and was searching for a great topper. Guacamole is good, and why not use what I had! The cool of cucumber and radish plus the spicy of the jalapeno and sausage: a perfect match!

-1 medium cucumber
-4 small avocados
-1 medium jalapeño
-2 limes
-7-8 small radishes
-3 green onions
-3 cloves of garlic
-half an onion
-salt and pepper to taste

Dice all the ingredients together except the avocado and lime. Cut and add each avocado and the pit to the veggies.

Mash and whip all your ingredients together. Add salt, pepper, and lime to taste as you whip the guacamole.

Special tip:
– Leave the pits in your guacamole after it is made, it keeps the guacamole greener longer!



Southwest Potato Hash

I have made this recipe twice since concoting this idea. It is simple and fast. It can be very versatile and easily adaoted for those who are vegan or gluten free. It can be eaten for any meal, really isn’t that harsh on the pocket book, and very easy on the dishwasher. This dish even makes for good leftovers.

When I initially put this dish together, I was greeted by hesitation from my fellows that would be cooking it for. I heard I don’t particular like sausage or spicy or sweet potatoes.  However, they thoroughly enjoyed it!

-2 medium sized potatoes
-1 large sweet potato
-1lb ground hot sausage
-1 onion
-1 bell pepper
-1 can of corn
-1 can of black beans
– 2 jalapeños,  if using ground beef, ground turkey, or mild sausage

Cut and prep potatoes, onion, and bell bepper. Brown sausage in a large skillet. Drain most of the grease. You want to leave some grease or add some oil to cook down your onions, bell pepper, and potatoes.  Add onion, bell pepper, and potatoes to pan. Cook until your potatoes are soft. Add in your black beans and corn when dish is almost done. Only leave them cooking in the pan long enough to get warm. Serve hot!


Special Notes:
-This dish is delicious with a fried egg on top for breakfast. The dish is good by itself for lunch or dinner.
– I also ate this dish with some nacho cheese mixed in for my lunch at work. It ended up very tasty.
– With a gluten free version sub the meat for ground beef or turkey. For a vegan version, take the meat away from the recipe, an extra can of beans or more potatoes or even tomatoes can be added if desired.



Fig, Gouda, and Bacon pie

So it is fig season in southern Louisiana. Most of us down here, either have a fig tree or know someone who does. And anyone of us from around here also has great memories of figs.

My great grandmother, down the bayou, had a fig tree. She’d pick them every year, and leave a big bowl in the fridge for everyone to munch on. She made the best fig preserves too!

It really makes me want a fig tree in my mom’s backyard. Unfortunately,  we have dont have much room for plants since there is a pool, but I will live!

I had to try this recipe twice to get it right. The first time was okay, but I knew it could be better and less greasy! This is a more involved recipe than most of the ones I post too. I will say it was worth the effort.

• 30-40 fresh figs (approx. a pint)
• 1 pack of bacon
• 1/2 cup of smoked gouda cheese
• 1 pre-made pie crust
• 1/2 cup of sugar or fig preserves
• tinfoil
• pie pan

Directions: First of all, I made a bacon weave top to this pie. The easiest way to do this is to lay tinfoil on a cookie sheet and weave your bacon on there so it can go straight into the oven. It should look sorta like this but on your pan not the pie.

Bake in the oven at 400° for 10 minutes. Drain the pan of the extra grease and flip. Bake again at 400° for another 10 minutes. This is the best way to get nice criso bacon, and your pie won’t be full of grease like my first try where I just broiled the bacon on top.

While that is baking you can make your filling. Cut and quarter all your figs. Toss into a saucepan, add your sugar or fig preserves. Cook on medium heat til your mixture is at a boil, then reduce to low heat. Place your crust in pan, pour in the filling, sprinkle the cheese on top. Cover with your bacon weave pie top,  and fold over the pie crust.  Bake as per the crust instructions.  The bacon should not burn but keep a watchful eye on your pie.

Special Notes:
– Smoked gouda is not required for this pie. Other cheeses pair well figs too, but gouda has naturally smokey flavor and even more so if you use smoked gouda. Suggestions for other cheeses are goat cheese or cream cheese.



Crockpot Gumbo

I recently made my first gumbo ever. Hard to believe since I am a native New Orleanian. I did a lot of research. Of course, I also consulted my Mama.

From everything I learned, I found out to my surprise that you don’t need a roux to make gumbo. It is all about the okra! You can if you want, but a roux is not a necessity. Roux takes time and patience both of which I have little to spare. It is part of the reason I do a lot of crock pot cooking.

That being said this recipe does take time and preparation, but you don’t have over the pot. This is a two day process. First the okra has to be cooked down to make the base for the gumbo. Then you add broth to get your gumbo going and ready to eat!

• 1.5 lbs of okra
• 4-5 medium tomatoes
• 4 sticks of celery
• 1 bell pepper
• 1 onion
• 4 tbsps butter
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 lb andouille sausage
• 1/2 lb tasso
• 2 chicken breasts
• 2 bay leaves
• oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, tony chaceres, garlic powder

Add chopped okra, tomato, celery, bell pepper, and onion in the crockpot. Season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, and tony’s. Add 4 tablespoons of butter. Cook for 8 hours on low and stir intermittently. Once cooked down, chop all your meats, and add to the pot. Also, add your chicken broth, and add more seasonings if you want to. Cook again on low for 4 hours. Serve over rice.

Special Notes:
– Sadly, I have no picture to share. My roommates and I consumed it before I even thought of posting this!
– Also, this recipe fed about 4 people for 3 days, so it makes a good amount! This also means that the recipe can be scaled back to make a smaller portion. Gumbo freezes extremely well though.
– The stewed okra can be made in a bigger portion and frozen as well for when you need gumbo starter!
– Frozen okra also works instead of fresh okra. I just personally had fresh okra handy when making this.


Blackberry Blood Orange Pie

Blackberries are in season right now! I got a pint from a local farmers market with a grab bag package they do. The blackberries sat in the fridge for a few days, and I was really stumped. Cobbler was the first idea that came to mind. Personally, cobbler is one of my favorites.

One morning while the blackberries were the fridge and I was browsing what was already in the fridge to see if I could use any of it for any of my meal plans before heading to the grocery. I found on the door, 4 jars of jelly! One of them was blood orange, and I had a light bulb moment. Blackberry + Blood Orange would be amazing!

It really was amazing, a bit tart for my taste but nothing a scoop of ice cream can’t help with. It is also super simple!

• 1.5 pints of blackberries
• 6 oz. Of Blood orange jam
• Ready to bake pie crust
• Honey

Toss the blackberries in a sauce pan with the blood orange jelly. Use Medium to medium heat. You want to get the pot boiling and the jelly liquefied.Prep your crust in a pan. Lower the heat on the pot. Once the mixture is not boiling pour it into the pie pan.


Liberally drizzle honey over the top of the berries with jelly mix. Cover with another pure crust and bake according to crust instructions.

Special Notes:
– I bought the blood orange jelly from World Market.
– I think the pie would benefit from adding some spices like clove and cardamom
– Again this pie is tart, so vanilla ice cream or whip cream really helps sweeten this dish.




Jalapeño popper stuffed mushrooms

This recipes is one of those moments where I just wanted to try something different. I was craving stuffed mushrooms, junk food, and bacon! Well, bacon is sort of an ever present craving really.

Fortunately, this recipe was also one those moments where trying something new paid off! Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the product as this was made before I started the blog. I haven’t made it again because my boyfriend had two new people, and this was a really a dish for two or an appetizer. When I make this again, I will be sure to add a photo.

• 1 block of cream cheese
• 2 cups of shredded cheese
• 1.5 cups bacon bits
• Green onions
• 1 fresh Jalapeno, chopped
• Panko bread crumbs
• 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
• 1 carton of baby portabella mushrooms

Let cream cheese come to room temperature. Remove the mushroom stem from the cap. Place all mushroom caps in a pan. Chop all mushroom stems. Put all the ingredients including the mushroom stems but the panko bread crumbs in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Fill the caps with the mix. Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs on the filled mushroom caps. Bake at 375° for 17-20 minutes.

Special Notes:
• The filling makes a really great dip, so don’t waste the excess, eat it with some tortillas chips. We did!
• I removed all the seeds from the jalapeño before adding it. This really prevented the filling from being too spicy to be enjoyable.
• When I made it, I also added the panko into the filling mix, but it isn’t necessary. That extra step did not bring much to the table.

Dessert, Recipes

Mediterranean Fried Bananas

Sometimes my want to cook comes out of boredom and or from looking at pinterest all day. This recipe is a combo of both, and it came out wonderful. It is a healthy, simple dessert. Great for those who are dieting or for those with food allergies. Also, a great recipe for those only want to make dessert for one or two people!

My mom was very hesitant about this dish. She told me she never knew you could fry yellow bananas. She tried it and loved!

This dish was inspired by the traditional dessert Bananas Foster with a dash of Lebanese tea.

• 1 banana
• olive oil or butter (I used butter)
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1/2 tbsp orange blossom water
• 1/2 tbsp rose water
• cinnamon
• clove

Directions: Slice banana. Coat pan with oil or butter. Put pan on medium high heat, toss in bananas. Cook bananas until brown on both sides. In a separate dish, combine honey, rose water, and orange blossom water. Stir well. Once the bananas are about ready to be served reduce heat to low, toss on your honey water mixture. Coat with cinnamon and clove then serve.

Special notes:
– Cardamom could be added to the spices or substituted on top
– I ate mine with butter pecan ice cream, so delicious!
– I also feel pine nuts, like in Lebanese tea, could bring something to the table, but I had none in the kitchen.


Leftover Ideas, Recipes

Leftover Red Bean Chili

As I have examined before, I am not one to eat the same foods over and over. I can’t even do it with my favorite foods. However, I generally don’t cook in small portions.

Again this does involve a crock pot. We’re kinda lazy, and whatever I cook in the crock pot stays in until we eat all the leftovers or freeze them. This I just put the crock pot with leftovers back in the heater and cooked this meal.

• leftover red beans (we had about a half a pot)
• 1 can of black beans
• 1 can of stewed tomatoes
• 1 packet of chili seasoning
• 1 lb of ground beef
• 1 lb of ground hot sausage
• 1 cup of beef broth

Combine all ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours, stirring occasionally.

If you used the previous red bean recipe to make your beans then your chili should not require too much additional seasoning.

The hot sausage in this recipe can be replaced with another type of ground sausage or more ground beef.

I like my chili with Frito chips and cheese. Others serve it with cornbread or crackers!