How to Brine a Turkey

Let’s talk turkey.  Specifically, how to brine a turkey.

It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds, and I’m going to walk you through it.

Brining a turkey is easier than you think!  I'll walk you through it at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

Last year, my uncle made a comment that struck fear deep in my heart: he suggested that sometime soon, my cousins and I should start hosting Thanksgiving.  It’s embarrassing to admit, but even though I blog about food, I really have no desire to take over the reigns of this family tradition.

Preparing that much food for 20+ people?  Ugh, not top on my list of wants, unless we can also serve these.  And lots of ‘em. ;-)

Anyway, I decided I should give this whole brining/roasting a turkey thing a go.  Get some practice in so that when my time comes, my family event doesn’t end up like the Griswold’s Christmas Vacation.

I fervently began doing research on turkey preparation, brining, and roasting, and I was a bit overwhelmed at first.  But when I stepped back, broke it down, and took it step-by-step, it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it might be.  In fact, this bird turned out amazing, even on my first try.

So here’s my message to any of you who are cooking your first Thanksgiving turkey this year: if I can do it, you can, too.

Brining a turkey is easier than you think!  I'll walk you through it at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

I am by no means an expert here, so feel free to weigh-in with your turkey brining tips and tricks. I just want to share with you what I learned, and why I think brining is the way to go.

What is brining, anyway?

Brining involves soaking a turkey in a saltwater solution before cooking, which protects it from the ravages of heat and guarantees tender, flavorful meat from the surface all the way to the bone.  In other words, the brining liquid distributes moisture and seasoning into the meat, helps the meat retain more of its total weight after cooking, and makes for a moister and more flavorful meal.

Who wants dry, bland turkey, right?

Make sure you do not use a self-basting or kosher turkey, otherwise your turkey will end up too salty.  After defrosting your bird, remove the giblets and the neck from the inside.  Rinse both the inside and the outside of the bird, and pat dry with paper towels before placing it in the brining liquid.

What do I need for brining?

Not much – just a container large enough to hold your turkey and all of the brining liquid.  Much of my research suggested using a 5-gallon bucket with a lid, but that wasn’t about to fit in my refrigerator.  I also read that extra-EXTRA-large Ziploc bags would work fine, as would turkey size oven bags.  I went the Ziploc bag route since that’s what I found first. ;-)

Since I was worried the bag could leak a bit, I placed the bagged turkey onto a rimmed sheet to catch any potential drippings.

What do I put in my brine?

The general rule of thumb is one cup of salt per two gallons of water.  From there, you may also add sugar, vinegar, spices, and other aromatics.  In mine, I used a combination of salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, orange peel, fresh thyme and sage, and Worchestershire sauce.  I’ll provide my measurements below, but I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules on your aromatics here – use what you like and what you have in your kitchen.

Brining a turkey is easier than you think!  I'll walk you through it at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

Okay, I have my turkey in the brine.  Now what?

Make sure it’s covered and refrigerated (or in a very cool spot – 40 degrees or less) for at least 6 to 12 hours.  I turned mine over halfway through to make sure both sides had equal time to marinate.

After removing the turkey from the brine, rinse it, and then pat it dry to prevent soggy skin.  You may also place the turkey on a wire rack in the refrigerator set on a baking sheet and allow it to dry overnight.  Again, this encourages the skin to crisp during roasting.

Brining a turkey is easier than you think!  I'll walk you through it at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

How do I roast my turkey?

Preheat oven to 275 degrees and place turkey in a roasting pan.  Cover with foil and bake, approximately 10 minutes per each pound.

Then, raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees and remove foil.  Brush the turkey with melted butter every 30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 to 170 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing – avoid the urge to cover the turkey with foil, since this can make the skin soggy.  Next?  Call someone else in to carve it, while you go relax with one of these.

My Favorite Turkey Brine

makes enough brine for a 20-pound turkey

My Favorite Turkey Brine

Ingredients

  • 2 gallons warm water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 5-6 cloves smashed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • peel of one orange
  • 1-2 sprigs each fresh thyme and sage

Instructions

  1. In a large bucket or container, mix salt and brown sugar into the warm water until no granules remain. Add in remaining ingredients, and allow mixture to cool to room temperature or refrigerate until cool.
  2. Remove the giblets and the neck from the inside of the turkey and reserve for later use, if desired. Wash the turkey inside and out with cold water and then place it in the bucket or brining bag. Cover with the brining liquid and then place in a cold place for at least 6 to 12 hours, turning once halfway through the brining process.
  3. After removing the turkey from the brine, rinse it, and then pat it dry to prevent soggy skin. You may also place the turkey on a wire rack in the refrigerator set on a baking sheet and allow it to dry overnight.
  4. To roast the turkey:
  5. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and place turkey in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake, approximately 10 minutes per each pound.
  6. Raise the oven temperature to 350 degrees and remove foil. Brush the turkey with melted butter every 30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 to 170 degrees.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/how-to-brine-a-turkey/

If you have turkey tips, leave ‘em in the comments below!

Looking for some other dishes to serve along-side your perfectly brined turkey?

Try these:

This Ultimate Green Bean Casserole is a fresh spin on the classic, using fresh mushrooms and cream to replace the traditionally used canned condensed soup. #recipes #thanksgiving #side dishes

 

 With just three basic ingredients, this Simple Cranberry Sauce comes together in practically the same amount of time that it takes you to open the canned version!

 

Copycat King's Hawaiian Rolls from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - these taste just as good as the store bought version, and are so easy to make: even for the novice bread maker like me! #recipes #bread

pumpkin-marshmallow-pie-title

XO, Ashley

 

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Honey Sesame Crock Pot Chicken

Would you be horribly offended if I started sharing crock pot recipes with you on a regular basis?

Honey Sesame Crock Pot Chicken - even take-out can't beat the 10-minute prep time of this flavorful, family-friendly meal!  #recipe #crock pot

Because with our new, nearly five-night a week karate schedule, the crock pot and I are about to become the very best of friends.

This recipe was simply amazing. So yummy, so flavorful, and so darned easy.  Guys?  The prep time on this was around 10 minutes.  Turn on the crock pot, walk out the door, and when you get home–chow down!

I’d love adding onions in with the chicken while cooking, and garnishing with green onion when serving, but Doodle won’t come near anything that might have possibly brushed up against an onion. But, if you aren’t feeding someone quite so onion-phobic, add them in for me, okay?

Do you use your crock pot?  What’s your favorite crock pot recipe?  Please share some recipes in the comments below–I’m desperate for family-friendly meals to use on busy work nights!

Honey Sesame Crock Pot Chicken

serves 6

Honey Sesame Crock Pot Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (optional)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
  • sesame seeds
  • 3 scallions, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Lightly season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, and place into your crock pot.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour mixture over chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from crock pot, but reserve sauce in the pot. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace the lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until it thickens slightly.
  4. Shred chicken into bite size pieces. Serve chicken over cooked rice and spoon some sauce on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/honey-sesame-crock-pot-chicken/

XO, Ashley

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Lightened Up General Tso’s Chicken

We’re huge Chinese food fans in my house.

I loveitloveitloveit.  But if we ate the take-out from the restaurant down the street from our house, I’d weigh a bizillion pounds.

The great thing about making Chinese at home is that you can really tone down the salt, oil and/or butter content, and add a mad amount of veggies to make sure all the food groups are covered.  See?  Totally healthy.

This recipe is hands-down my favorite make at home Chinese dish.  We’ve made it a number of times, and it never disappoints.  It’s definitely one of our staple rotation meals, and I love that it has the “take-out” taste without the “take-out” calorie-count.  We usually serve this meal with brown rice, but if you really want to jazz it up a bit, serve it with my favorite version of fried rice.

Lightened Up General Tso’s Chicken

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and peeled
  • 6 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Stir together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 cup cold water until smooth. Add veggies, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes; toss to combine, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, and toss to coat.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Remove chicken from the egg mixutre and add to skillet. Cook until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning occasionally.Transfer chicken to a plate; and set aside (reserve skillet).
  4. Add veggie mixture to skillet. Cover; cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat. Serve with brown rice or fried rice.

adapted from Martha Stewart

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/lightened-up-general-tsos-chicken/

Have a great Tuesday, everyone!

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Two-Ingredient Chicken Tacos

Is anyone else out there feeling end of summer stress? Or is that just me?

Doodle starts kindergarten next week, and I still have a million things left to do.

Including having a semi-nervous breakdown. How is my kiddo old enough to be in kindergarten?

We went to an open house at the school a few nights ago, and he refused to hold my hand or walk next to me.  What’s up with that?  I thought I still had a few more years before he was too embarrassed to be seen with me.

So, would it be weird if I stalked his classroom during the week?  You know, just to make sure he’s doing okay and hasn’t forgotten about the person who gave birth to him.

In the meantime, I’m on the look-out for quick and easy weeknight meals as we start our new schedule for the school year.  And it doesn’t get much easier than this recipe.  Chicken, a jar of salsa, a crock pot, and my pie-hole.

What’s your favorite easy weeknight meal?

Two-Ingredient Chicken Tacos

Two-Ingredient Chicken Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 16 oz jar salsa

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in the bottom of your crock pot and pour the salsa on top. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours, until chicken is tender.
  2. Shred, and serve in taco shells with your favorite toppings.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/two-ingredient-chicken-tacos/

If you have leftovers, add shredded chiuhauha cheese (a Mexican melting cheese; smoked Gouda or Monterey Jack would also work well) to your chicken. Roll the mixutre up in corn tortillas, and place in a baking dish. Top with additional cheese, and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Serve with salsa verde and your favoite toppings!

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All-American Barbeque Chicken

Oh my gosh, guys.  Oh. My. Gosh.

I did not intend to post this recipe.

I wasn’t planning on photographing a single thing Sunday night as we sat down to dinner, but then…

…we took a bite of this chicken.

Amazeballs.

So I quickly snapped one shot to share with you guys and then went back to shoving my face full of this messy, saucy, wonderfulness.

I’m not sure if it was the Tall Boy’s fabulous grilling skills or what, but this chicken might have been the best I’ve ever eaten.  And I’ve eaten a lot of chicken, let me tell you what.  I’d made a very simple (like four ingredient simple) marinade earlier in the day, threw my chicken in a ziploc bag in the fridge and forgot about it until grilling time.  I’d planned to use some bottled barbeque sauce for basting and serving, but then I decided to try my hand at making my own sauce.

Holy macaroni, I’m glad I did.

I’ll preface this by saying that the sauce took a little while to make.  Well, the actual preparation took no time at all…it’s just that the sauce needs to simmer for around an hour or so.  But it’s so, so worth it.  No joke.  Make this for your Fourth of July cookout, and then come thank me later.

All-American Barbeque Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds chicken breasts or thighs
  • For the marinade:
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • For the Barbeque Sauce:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in a ziploc bag. Combine your marinade ingredients in a small bowl, then pour over chicken. Marinate 6 hours, or up to overnight, turning occasionally.
  2. For the sauce:
  3. Combine water, onion, butter, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients. Return to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Use sauce for basting the chicken during the last 10 minutes of grilling. Serve chicken with remaining sauce.

adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Tailgating Issue, 2011

http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/all-american-barbeque-chicken/

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, Weekend Potluck and The 21st Century Housewife!

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Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers

We grill out almost exclusively in the summertime, simply because it’s too darn hot to do much of anything else.

And it’s still only the beginning of June.

If you’re like me, you get tired of the same old meats and veggies thrown over the open flame–and by the time dinner time rolls around, I’m usually too hot and tired to do very much kitchen prep.

Which is why I love quick and simple marinades–you can mix ‘em up in less than five minutes early in the day, and all you have to do at dinner time is throw stuff on the grill.  This is hands-down my favorite kind of cooking.

What’s your favorite way to cook in the summertime?

Honey-Lime Chicken Skewers

If you're using bamboo skewers, soak your sticks in water for at least 5 minutes. Cut chicken into large chunks, and skewer. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.

adapted from Grocery Budget 101

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoon Siracha
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine your ingredients, through the cilantro. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Pour marinade over chicken breasts and turn to coat. Cover and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Grill on medium high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/honey-lime-chicken-skewers/

I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos,  I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, and Weekend Potluck!

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Chicken Pie

chicken pie

I don’t like chicken pot pie.

Not even a little bit.

chicken pie 3

But the Tall Boy does.  When we first got married, he liked to take those tiny little frozen pot pies in his lunch.  You know the ones I’m talking about, right?  The kind that you warm up in the oven for like 30 minutes, and taste like cardboard.  Complete with gross, rubbery “vegetables” and some sort of mystery meat that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.

This was my impression of pot pies pretty much my entire life.

Until about eight years ago, when a coworker suggested I make a pot-pie for a special anniversary dinner for the Tall Boy.

I was unconvinced.

I mean, it was my anniversary, too.  Why should I be forced to eat some goopy, mushy mess of a meat and vegetable “pie”?  Seriously, if I’m eating pie, it should be chocolate.  Or coconut.  Black Forest, maybe.  Or pretty much anything other than a pot pie.

But since we were are actually still in the honeymoon stage of our relationship, I thought I’d surprise the Tall Boy with a special meal and give this recipe a try.

While it may not photograph well, this dish has now become a signature dish around our place.  I make it every year for our anniversary, and any other special occasion the Tall Boy can talk me into it.  Even if you think you don’t like pot pie, you’ll like this.  I promise.  Take it from a non pot pie eater like me.

If you need a special meal to impress, this is it.  This isn’t a quick meal, so there is some planning time required.  I usually make the filling in the morning and assemble the pie, popping it into the oven about 45 minutes before dinner.  I’ve made this so many times now that I don’t really follow a “recipe” anymore, and I tend to mix and match my cheeses depending on what I already have open in the refrigerator.  What I’ve listed below is the basic recipe, so feel free to switch it up to find a combination of flavors that most appeals to you!

chicken pie 2

Chicken Pie

Ingredients

  • pie crust (I cheat and use refrigerated)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • sliced mushrooms (I usually use about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: parsley, chives, and dry mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: garlic powder, white pepper, and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • cornstarch (about 1 tablespoon; just eyeball it)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Dice chicken and onion and saute in butter over medium heat, until chicken is cooked through. Add mushrooms, and ingredients through the bay leaf. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf.
  2. Combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into your chicken and vegetable mixture until boiling. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in cream of mushroom soup and cheeses.
  4. Place in a deep dish pie plate. Bake at 400 for 30 to 40 minutes.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/chicken-pie/

Have a great Monday!

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Thai-Glazed Chicken Lettuce Wraps

chicken wraps

Look, I’m not gonna lie to you guys–my lovely, lovely, invisible internet friends.  I am sort of fascinated with Rachel Ray.  I know, I know, there are a lot of people out there who say she is not a “real chef.”  But guess what?  I’m not, either.

I’m just a girl who likes to cook, and am learning as I go.  And I appreciate all of you travelling down this path with me.

One of the first shows on Food Network I ever watched was 30 Minute Meals.  Now, this was back in my single days–the days when I was still eating macaroni and cheese directly out of the saucepan and claiming it as fine cuisine.  So attempting to prepare a meal that required more than a few ingredients or didn’t come pre-packaged seemed a little overwhelming time consuming.  I mean, really, I would rather have spent my evenings reading fashion magazines, talking on the phone with my girlfriends about guys and taking belly-dancing classes (mm-hmm, that’s a story for another day.  When I’ve had a glass or two of wine, perhaps.).

Anyway, when I saw this show, it was the first time cooking actually appealed to me, and looked like something I could actually do.  And while my cooking techniques have definitely improved over the years, it’s nice to have some quick and easy fall-back recipes to rely on when you’re too stressed out from the work-week to think about doing much more than throwing chicken into a pot.

This is one of mine.

Thai-Glazed Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Note - you'll need a lot of napkins when you eat this, but that's part of the fun!

If you need to use up the rest of your bag of shredded cabbage mix, use it to make Fake-Out Fried Rice as a perfect side dish!

Adapted from Rachel Ray

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • grill seasoning, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large bell pepper (I typically use green since it's less expensive, but red would work great)
  • 1 cup packaged shredded cabbage and carrot mix
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 cup plum sauce (found in the Asian food aisle)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, chopped

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice chicken into strips and sprinkle with seasoning.
  2. Heat a large skillet to high heat. Add vegetable oil and chicken; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the ginger, garlic, pepper, cabbage mix, green onions, and red pepper flakes (if using), and cook another 2 minutes.
  4. Add plum sauce to glaze the mixture; add soy sauce and turn to coat.
  5. Transfer chicken and veggies to a bowl. Place spoonfuls of chicken into a piece of lettuce with cucumber and eat like a taco.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/thai-glazed-chicken-lettuce-wraps/

 

 

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Garlicky Marinated Shrimp with Jalepeno Cocktail Sauce

marinated shrimp 1

I’m not sure what to say about this dish, other than imploring you to make it right now.

The Tall Boy and I made this for New Year’s Eve, and inahled it all within 15 minutes liked it so much we knew we had to add it to the menu for last Friday’s Cotton Bowl.

Even though I was thrown into a deep depressive state and moped around the house the rest of the weekend slightly bummed about the game, this shrimp got rave reviews, which cheered me up some.

This is so quick and easy to prepare, but with enough flavor and color to convince your party guests into thinking you spent hours in the kitchen.  Don’t be scared to try the jalepenos in the dipping sauce.  You can reduce the heat by removing the seeds and membrane.  But if you like things a little spicer, by all means, include some of the seeds.

marinated shrimp 2

 

4.0 from 1 reviews

Garlicky Marinated Shrimp with Jalepeno Cocktail Sauce
Author: 
Recipe type: appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
For the shrimp:
  • 2 pounds large shrimp, boiled and peeled
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the dipping sauce:
  • 1 12-ounce jar chili sauce
  • 2 jalepenos, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
Instructions
For the shrmp:
  1. In a large ziploc bag, combine all ingredients. Seal bag, and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to two days.
For the sauce:
  1. In a small bowl, combine ingredients; cover and chill up to three days.

 

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Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Soup 1

Okay, moment of truth time:

I’m not a huge fan of chicken noodle soup.

I guess it just reminds me of the meals I eat when I’m either (a) sick or (b) dieting, and doesn’t spark much culinary excitement.  Typically, if I’m going to make soup, I want it to be one that’s super fattening hearty, like meatball soup or chili.

That being said, I’m not one to back down from a challenge–so when I saw Tina’s featured food item this month was chicken noodle soup, I set out to find a recipe that was not only full of flavor, but would also keep me satisfied past mid-afternoon.

And I think I found it with this recipe, ya’ll (at Doodle’s request, I’ve been tasked with talking like the “ya’ll girl” (Paula Deen) when I cook).  I was a little hesitant about the ranch seasoning mix in this, but it gave the dish a very mild, but interesting flavor.  The original recipe calls for heavy cream, and while I’m not dieting per se, I’m also not out to intentionally sabotage any chance of wearing shorts this summer.  I used fat-free half and half, which was just creamy enough to keep me fuller longer than just plain old broth.

In a word: YUM.

Maybe the best chicken noodle soup I’ve ever had.  Served with some crusty bread, cheese and crackers, I had a warm happy, and very full tummy.

 

Chicken Soup 2

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 32 ounce box chicken broth
  • ½ cup carrots, chopped
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • small bag of egg noodles
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 pint fat-free half-and-half
  • 1 packet dry Ranch seasoning mix
Instructions
  1. Bring chicken broth, carrots, onions and celery to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook in the broth until noodles are tender.
  2. Add the cream of chicken soup, chicken, half-and-half, and ranch seasoning. Stir to combine and cook until heated through.
Notes

Photobucket

 

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