Tag Archives: Black pepper

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros

I have made these before and this is my first attempt at cooking the chicken via slow cooker for this recipe. They have turned out succulent and full of fresh flavors. I hope you give these a try and please let me know what you think?! I would love to hear from you!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Chicken:

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2  tsp lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dill

1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. coriander

salt & black pepper, to taste

6-8 flatbreads (I used store-bought)

Tzatziki sauce, homemade or store bought (recipe follows)

Feta Cheese crumbles

Cilantro

Diced:

  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red onion
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • kalamata olives
  • romaine lettuce

Directions: 6-8 hours

Place chicken breasts along with minced garlic, thyme, oregano, coriander, lemon juice, and dill in bottom of slow cooker.

greek chicken gyros

Cover and turn on LOW. Let cook for 6-8 hours.

Shred the chicken and stir with the juices it made while cooking.

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 medium cucumber, chopped

1 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tsp dried dill

black pepper

Directions: Prep time 10 minutes

Place a diced cucumber in a mesh strainer or colander and sprinkle with salt, toss to evenly coat the cucumber then allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. (I peeled the cucumber, sliced it lengthwise, and used a spoon to clean out the seeds then proceeded with dicing).

Rinse cucumbers and place over several layers of paper towels. Squeeze some moisture as if you’re wringing out a cloth. You can place cucumber in a large mixing bowl, add Greek yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, and salt & pepper to taste. (If you want it more blended, you can always put these ingredients in the food processor).

This sauce can be stored in an air tight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Here comes the most anticipated part of this decadent and succulent meal…………

THE ASSEMBLY:

Layer chicken in a row in the middle of the flatbread, top with lettuce (optional), tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, red onion, feta cheese, Tzatziki sauce, and cilantro.

Breakfast Pizza

We wanted a little bit of a change for breakfast and this is what we had…hope you try it soon and enjoy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

beginnings of a masterpiece!

beginnings of a masterpiece!

  • 2 (6 ct. small tubes) of buttermilk biscuits
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 lb. country pork sausage
  • 1 cup frozen hash browns (shredded and thawed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (your choice)

Directions:

Cook sausage until browned, drain fat. Breaking it up as you cook so that it’s ground. Open the tube of biscuits and press flatly on a 9×12 cookie sheet (it will hold all 12 biscuits as in the pic above). Sprinkle with hash brown potatoes, cooked sausage, and some shredded cheese…we also added onions and green peppers….

almost ready for the oven!

almost ready for the oven!

In a separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, salt, and black pepper…evenly pour over pizza in the middle (it will seep to the edges on its own)…

doesn't it look great?!

doesn’t it look great?!

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese over entire pizza (I used shaved but it preference, really!)

shaved parmesan

shaved parmesan

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes….

perfection!

perfection!

Guacamole

This is such a simple recipe and avocados are such a healthy and tasteful way to get in some of those required nutrients. Now that spring and summer are on their way, why not get started with a great snack!? This is full of flavor and can be adjusted to your liking! Enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Makes: approx. 1 1/2 cups

Here’s what you’ll need:

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2 ripe avocados

2 Tbsp – 1/4 cup minced onion

1 jalapeno, finely diced

1 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp cilantro (I used dried cilantro)

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Dash of black pepper

1/2 ripe tomato, chopped

Directions:

Cut avocados in half….

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Remove seed (pit), and scoop out the avocados from the peel, put into a mixing bowl….

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Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado (don’t overdo it, this should be a little chunky!)….

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Add the diced onion, cilantro, lime juice, tomato, jalapeno, & salt and pepper…

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Be careful handling any kind of peppers when removing the seeds. I wear gloves and then thoroughly wash my hands after handling…

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Remember…DO NOT TOUCH YOUR EYES OR FACE FOR SEVERAL HOURS  after handling peppers.

Cover guacamole with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole (helps to prevent oxidation)…

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Refrigerate until ready and you can change the spice level as needed!

Enjoy!!

South-of-the-Border Chicken Thighs

Ahh! I love grilling outside and especially when the weather is just right….however, in Illinois….we get it all around here so when we get a nice evening to grill out…we take it! We love chicken thighs, but you can use this on pork, chicken, or use this as a steak marinade….etc. I have only used this on chicken…so please, if you use it on anything else…I would love the FEEDBACK! Hope you enjoy….

Makes: 4-6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

South of the Border Chicken 001

1 cup Olive Oil (EVOO-works best)

5 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp lime juice

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cloves

3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

1/2 tsp black pepper

6 garlic cloves, minced

6 boneless chicken thighs (you can also use bone-in) about 2 pounds

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients (you can adjust spiciness as you desire)…..

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Set aside 1/2 of the marinade (I only reserved 1/3 cup) for basting….(cover and place reserved amount in the fridge)…..

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Add chicken thighs to the remaining marinade in the bowl….stir the chicken making sure all pieces are covered well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours…..

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After the chicken has marinated, remove chicken from the marinade and discard the remaining marinade from the bowl. Grill chicken thighs, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 20-40 minutes (until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees)…..turn and baste frequently with the reserved marinade that was set aside….and watch closely as chicken tends to burn easily…..

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We served this entrée with homemade macaroni salad and sweet corn! Mmm!

Hamburger, Macaroni, & Bean Soup

It’s only 16 degrees here today and all I have thought about is SOUP! I have some ground beef thawing in the fridge and yet I was craving soup for dinner. I looked through my soup and stew cook books and found one comfort food that was at the top of the list. This soup is great for those families that are hustling and need a hearty meal that doesn’t take all evening to prepare. The kids will love it too! Enjoy!

Makes: 6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

Hamburger, Mac, and Bean soup 001

1 pound lean ground beef

3/4 cup chopped onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice

6 cups beef broth or beef stock

1 tsp worcestershire sauce

1 (5.5 oz) can V8 vegetable juice (optional)

1/2 tsp dried basil leaves

1 Tbsp taco/chili seasoning

1 tsp salt

black pepper to taste

1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni noodles

1 (15 oz) can drained and rinsed kidney beans

Directions: 

In a large pot over medium heat, combine and cook beef, garlic, bell pepper, and onions until beef is cooked through (no longer pink) and the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes)…..

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Add taco seasoning…..

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Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil…..

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Reduce heat and let simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally until macaroni is tender and flavors are blended, 15-20 minutes (this is where you’d add the V8 juice if desired)…..

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Cover and keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.

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We served ours with garlic bread…Mmm!

**You can also omit the kidney beans if you prefer beanless soup. 🙂

Pot Roast Italiano

Sundays are known around this house as “Lazy Day” and we took full advantage of it! This is another reason that I love my slow cooker so much….I could just give it a big hug (if it wasn’t so hot…whew). Back to the topic at hand, I love new cookbooks and new ideas so I received a new cook book and I took it upon my self to change a few things and this pot roast turned out succulent and very flavorful….I used less garlic, onion, salt, and added mushrooms. I hope you like it! Feedback would be greatly admired! 🙂

Makes: 4 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

Pot Roast Italiano 001

1 (about 3 pounds) chuck roast or bottom round roast tied with butchers twine

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 large onion, sliced

1 Tbsp rosemary leaves

2/3 cup white cooking wine (or zinfandel)

1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (I used bella mushrooms)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

flat leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

Place a slow cooker liner in the slow cooker and then place the chuck roast in the bottom. Turn slow cooker on LOW…..

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Add minced garlic, salt, black pepper, rosemary leaves, and mushrooms…..

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Add white wine…..

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And lastly, add the onions and tomatoes…..

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Cover the slow cooker and let cook for approximately 8 hours on LOW…..

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After the 8 hours, add mozzarella cheese and turn slow cooker on HIGH let cook for another 30 minutes or until cheese is completely melted…..

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Voila! Because of the juice that this can release, this can be served over pasta, polenta, garlic bread, or with garlic mashed potatoes….Mmm! I also garnished this dish with more mozzarella cheese and parsley!

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**Make sure to remove the bones (if there are any) out of your chuck roast and the excess gristle and fat.

Shrimp Pasta Bake

I love pasta and shrimp! I also love casseroles and I found this recipe in one of my Taste of Home cookbooks, and I cut the amounts in half and I took out the green pepper, sautéed onions and mushrooms (fresh not canned), and I used shredded cheese and mixed it into the noodles and shrimp prior to putting the baking dish into the oven….it worked out beautifully. This recipe is for an 11×7-inch baking dish if you double the recipe it will accommodate a 13×9-inch baking dish. I hope you enjoy!

Makes: 6 servings

Here’s what you’ll need:

shrimp pasta bake and honey lemon marinade 016

6 oz. whole wheat fettucine noodles

5 green onions, chopped (including greens)

3 Tbsp butter, cubed

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 lb. raw medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used half of the bag shown below)

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Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook fettucine noodles according to package directions, set aside and keep warm.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter, add green onions and mushrooms and saute for approximately 5 minutes or until onions are tender….

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Add minced garlic, cook 1 minute longer….

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Gradually stir in flour until blended…..

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Stir in the shrimp, celery salt, and black pepper…..

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Cook, uncovered over medium heat until shrimp are pink and firm, approximately 6-8 minutes…..

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Add tomatoes to shrimp mixture, stir and let simmer for 3-5 minutes while you get the baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray…..

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Add the shredded mozzarella cheese and the cooked fettucine noodles, stir to incorporate…..

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Pour into prepared baking dish…..

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Sprinkle with parmesan cheese…..

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Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven (mine took about 25 minutes) or until heated through….

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We served this dish with a spring mix salad and garlic bread. ENJOY!!

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