Mini Chicken Pot Pies

I recently saw a recipe on Facebook for what they called Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes. Tonight I decided to test my own version on the kids!

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, chopped into small pieces, sautĂ©ed with a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 6 baby new potatoes boiled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 box of puff pastry defrosted

I used my muffin pan, sprayed it with some pam, stretched out the puff pastry a bit more to make it a bit thinner. I cut 6 large round circles and lined each holder with it.

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In a bowl, mix the chopped chicken, chopped potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, chopped chives and cayenne pepper.

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I filled each holder to the top with the mixture and then cut some cute little hearts out of the left over pastry which I placed on top of each one.

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Bake in a 400 Deg F oven for 25 minutes.

I am pleased to report that they turned out pretty darn good, kids polished them all off 🙂

Cheers to a successful dinner…. ❤

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Testing semi-ready meals

In a couple of weeks I will be doing quite a bit of traveling, and my families main concern is, oh my god Ma, what are we going to eat?

So whilst doing some shopping this past weekend at Trader Joe’s with my son, he decided in his infamous wisdom, that we should buy “stuff” than he, his sister or the hubby, could easily cook and still end up with a nice homemade tasty kind of dinner, bless his cotton socks 🙂

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He chose some lovely looking Beef Sirloin in BBQ Sauce and some Garlic Fries.

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Today was the day to put this menu to the test. He turned on the oven to the temperature stated on the beef package. Opened the packets and placed them in a roasting pan.

He let the beef cook away for the time stated on the packet, took it out of the oven when it was done and under Mamacitas instruction, covered it with foil to keep it warm and let it rest whilst he cooked the Garlic Fries.

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Oven temperature was changed, in went the fries and whilst they were cooking away, he placed the packet of chopped garlic and herbs in a bowl, ready for tossing.

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This time round, I sliced the beef so he could see in which direction to go, so hopefully he is all set! Next time, he’s on his own!DSC05901

Out came the fries and whilst piping hot, they got tossed in the bowl with the garlic and herbs mix.

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Finally, time to eat dinner and decide if these ingredients stay “ON” the list of must have in the freezer whilst Mama is traveling 🙂

And it’s a “YES”, we have a winner! Everyone enjoyed and agreed that, it won’t be a Mamacita’s homemade meal, but it will be ok under the circumstances!

Gotta love my family ❤

 

 

Food & Love, the perfect combination…

We have all heard the the way to a man’s heart is through is stomach! Well I tend to think of food as something that not only brings love into the equation, but it brings family and friends together, helps you make new friends and meet new people! The kitchen in every “foody” household is the heart of the house, the place to “be” ❤

Tonight’s dish is not only a favourite of mine and my hubby’s but also a fave of my daughters! Its simple, its elegant, its tasty and even kinda healthy!

I stopped by the store on my way back from work battling the bad weather and picked up some fresh salmon, avocados and some limes.

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I chopped up my salmon tartare style and mixed it with some salt, pepper, grated ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha mayo and a squeeze of lime.

Whilst I was prepping the salmon I made about 1/2 cup of brown rice and let it cool down.

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Sliced my avocado and now I was ready to put this special treat together.

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I pulled out my heart shaped cookie cutter ( usually used for everything else but making cookies) and placed it in the middle of my plate, filled it with brown rice and neatly pressed it to the bottom.

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Then I topped the rice off with my salmon tartare and finished it off with my sliced avocado and a sprinkle of black and regular sesame seeds.

In less than a flash, a wonderful meal is ready for my lovely family! Yep love is in the air, that’s for sure <3, now all I need is for the hubby to come back from dry-dock, in the meantime I will enjoy it and think of my family.

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Cod Poached in Thai Ginger Broth

I have to say that today’s dinner was a meal fit for a King and guess what? It only took me under 30 minutes to make it and it does qualify as a healthy meal ❤

I started with some lovely fillets of cod that I had purchased at Trader Joe’s this weekend which I lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and put them to the side.

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Turned my oven on to 400 Deg F, grabbed a roasting pan and placed some lovely Broccolini on it. Drizzled it with some Lemon infused olive oil from the lovely Sedona Olive Oil Company, garlic powder, salt and pepper and into the oven it went for aprox 15 minutes, make sure you turn them over every 5 minutes or so to ensure that they don’t burn.

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Whilst the broccolini was cooking away, I chopped some scallions and garlic and gave it a quick sauté, then I added about 2 cups of Thai Ginger broth and some chopped cilantro and let it simmer away for a few minutes to infuse all the flavours.

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I then added the cod, covered the pan with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes on each side basting it every now and then.

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I removed the cod from the pan and poured about 1/4 cup of coconut milk into the broth.

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Placed one of the cod fillets in a bowl, added about a cup of the broth, topped it off with some of the roasted broccolini and there you have it. A lovely thai spicy broth with some hearty cod and delicious broccolini. Don’t tell me that is not a meal fit for a King?

Family Evening SoirĂ©e…

Today was the first time we had a family dinner, with everyone present, eating at the same time and in the same place for a long long time…..

Family time is so precious and hard to come by in this busy hectic world, that its a nice feeling when we all manage to get together. So with that said and although I ‘m still not feeling myself after my surgery, I still found some strength to put together a tasty meal and a little sweet treat which we enjoyed whilst chatting , having a drink and catching up!

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I started by preparing the little sweet treat which was inspired by 2 lovely huge pomegranates that were sitting on the counter without a purpose. I cut them open, took the lovely juicy seeds out and put them to the side.

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Then I melted some milk chocolate (preferred over dark chocolate in our home) and then put to good use my handy dandy Pampered Chef herb gadget, which obviously was not used to store/freeze herbs 🙂

I filled 1/3 of each cavity with the melted milk chocolate, then spooned in some pomegranate seeds and then topped it off with more melted chocolate and into the fridge they went.

I still had some chocolate and pomegranate seeds left, so I mixed them up and plop them on some wax paper into clusters and they also went straight into the fridge.

Then I pulled out some lovely skirt steak, seasoned it well and let it rest a bit before it went onto the grill.

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I did mention that I am still recovering from surgery, which is my excuse of using a few ready prepared sides to stop me from standing too long in the kitchen.

I had been to Trader Joe’s and found some frozen Asparagus Risotto which turned out to be pretty good but next time I need to doctor it with a little extra salt, some black pepper and maybe a dash of cayenne pepper and fresh parmesan cheese to give it a little umpf if you know what I mean.

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I also bought at Trader Joe’s a Greek Spinach Spanakopita tart which again wasn’t too bad but I have to say that I prefer my home made Pascualina which is a Uruguayan version of the Greek Spinach Pie. No feta cheese is used in the Uruguayan one but its so much tastier, or so I think of course…..

Evening was greatly relaxing, ate, drank, chatted and caught up with Mama Gaye whilst also enjoying the company of by busy teenage kids and hubby, oh and let me not forget the cats that of course made sure we knew they were there ❤

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After dinner we got to enjoy the lovely sweet treats that ended up being a big hit so they for sure will be part of future menus…..

 

Tradition with a twist

Down at home (Uruguay) we have a traditional dish that I love making for my family. Of course as always, I love putting a little twist into the traditional recipe.

This dish is called Tortilla de Papas, also known as Spanish Omelette.

The basic ingredients for it are:

  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Eggs
  • Salt and pepper

So here is how I go about making it. Some people slice the potatoes really thin and then sautee them until they are cooked. I start by boiling the potatoes until they are just slightly tender (you should be able to slice them without them turning into a mush).

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I used to slice them but in recent years I have opted to cube them instead.

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Whilst the potatoes are cooking, I slice a bunch of onions and chop up a few cloves of garlic and cook them in a pan till they are nice and golden.

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This time round I added some lovely bacon to the pan and let it crisp up nicely. The added bacon is my little twist for the day. Then I tossed in the cubed potatoes and tossed them around with a bit of olive oil till they got a nice color going and before I took them of the heat I added some chopped cilantro, you can use parsley if you prefer…..

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In a bowl, I beat up a bunch of eggs, added salt and pepper and then I added the the potatoes, onions, garlic and bacon.

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Give the mixture a nice toss to ensure that everything is coated in the egg mixture.

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Then heat up a frying pan , drizzle some oil and as soon as its nice and hot, put the mixture into it and spread it out evenly.

I cook it for about 5-7 minutes on one side, then place a plate on top and flip it over and gently slide into pan to cook the other side for aprox the same time.

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Some people finish it off under a broiler in the oven to avoid flipping it over but once you do it a couple of times you will find its actually very easy!

And there you have it, a little Uruguayan tradition with a bacon twist, its also excellent with any leftover meat chopped up (steak, pork or lamb).

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We usually eat it with a side of salad but the options are endless. Of course its fabulous the next day, nice and cold out of the fridge, perfect breakfast with some smoked salmon 🙂

 

 

 

 

Sunday Lunch, actually more like Sunday Dinner…

Sunday Lunch, this is a tradition that I really loved when I lived in England and kind of miss it. Sunday Lunch is about family time, after lunch table stories, was going to say good food, but now that I think about it everything was kind of under-seasoned and not too tasty, but what the heck, we had lots of Gin and Tonics before and, followed by lots of wine and finished it all off with some delectable port wine so by then, we had forgotten all about the food :-).

My lovely daughter had asked me a few days ago if I could make some Roasted Lamb, and I couldn’t think of a better day to do it than on a Sunday. Instead of lunch I made it for dinner, and by the end of the evening I had to very happy kids.

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Earlier this afternoon I seasoned my lamb with lots of salt and pepper, stuffed it all over with lots of garlic, and gave it a nice lemon and olive oil rubbing and of course lots and lots of fresh Rosemary from the garden.

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Whilst the lamb was roasting away, I thinly sliced some (6) peeled potatoes.

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Then in a large saucepan I melted 3 tbsp of butter over low heat. Stirred in 3 tbsp of flour,  1 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper until smooth. Gradually added 2 cups of milk. Brought it to a boil and cooked and stired it for 2 minutes or until thickened. Removed from heat and stirred in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese until melted. Add sliced potatoes and 1/2 chopped onion.

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Transfered it to my pyrex oven dish, covered it and baked for 1 hour at 350 Deg F, then Uncovered and baked for another 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and nicely golden.

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By now my lovely lamb is at the perfect medium rare (160 deg) took it out, covered it with foil and let it rest for a bit.

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I also steamed some broccoli that got tossed with salt and pepper and some sesame oil.

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Made a quick gravy (real gravy, not that thick sludgy white stuff) with the lamb drippings and got the mint jelly and sauce and there we have it, Sunday Dinner is ready. Pity we were missing the hubby but as he loves telling everyone, “I have to work so my wife and go shopping at Kohl’s”!

Yeah I know, he has issues ❤ but I till love him to bits 🙂