About conniecockrell

A 20-year Air Force career, time as a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling. Cockrell grew up in upstate NY, just outside of Gloversville, NY before she joined the military at age 18. Having lived in Europe, Great Britain, and several places around the United States, she now lives in Payson, AZ with her husband: hiking, gardening, and playing bunko. She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She's published sixteen books so far, has been included in five different anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com and FrontierTales.com. Connie's always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one. She can be found at www.conniesrandomthoughts.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ConniesRandomThoughts or on Twitter at: @ConnieCockrell or on Amazon at amazon.com/author/conniecockrell

Banana-Loquat Smoothy: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Banana-Loquat Smoothie

So last month I posted a coconut-lemon whip recipe which I made from meyer lemons from my daughter’s back yard tree. She also had, loquats, ripening. A loquat is a cross between a plum and a cumquat. Sweet, yellow, small (1 – 2 inch) oval shaped fruit with anywhere from 1 to 4 fair-sized seeds inside, depending on how big the loquat is.

The loquats are delicious, sweet and succulent. Unfortunately, they don’t travel or keep well so not a commercial fruit as far as I can tell. I was very fortunate, then, to get about a pint of them.

Rather than eat them one by one, I cut them in half, de-seeded them, cut in quarters, and dropped into my blender. This time of year I prefer smoothies for breakfast to juice as with a smoothie you get all of the fiber. Also, I don’t, yet, have a juicer.

Banana-Loquat Smoothie

Hardware

Cutting Board

Knife

Blender

Cup and straw

 

Ingredients

1 pint Loquats, cut in half, seeded, then cut into quarters

1 ripe banana, chunks

1 cup Almond Milk (more or less as desired thickness)

 

Directions:

Put the cut loquats, the banana, and the almond milk in the blender. Blend on puree until smooth. Add ice if you want it very cold. (Lessen the amount of almond milk if you do.) Pour into your glass.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite smoothie to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com

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Coconut-Lemon Whip: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Finished Lemon Whip

Coconut-Lemon Whip

I apologize for the lack of posts. March and April were extremely crazy for me but I didn’t forget about you. April saw me take an actual vacation, to see my daughter in southern California. We enjoyed the beach (cold!) and Solvang, CA, (hot!), and my daughter’s and her room mate’s new house. It’s small, but the back yard has producing fruit trees. One was a Meyer lemon, the lemons ripe and ready to pick. So of course, I brought home five of them. What else could I do but make a dessert?

I’m still sticking to my Paleo life-style. Whatever your eating style, there’s nothing wrong with whole, fresh food, especially straight from the tree! Fair warning, because of the coconut oil and milk, this isn’t low fat but it is “good” fat. Enjoy in moderation. It makes four 8oz, ramekins of dessert.

Paleo Lemon Curd

Hardware

Sauce Pot

Strainer

Measuring cups and spoons

Knife

Cutting board

Zester or Micro-plane

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup juice: 5 Meyer Lemons (6 or more regular lemons depending on how juicy they are.)

1 T Lemon zest

3 eggs (whole)

1/4 C Honey

6 T Coconut Oil

 

Directions:

Over gentle heat add the zest, eggs and honey to the sauce pot and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened.

Add the juice and 2 T of the coconut oil. Whisk and adding more oil as soon as the previous additions have melted. Whisk and add until all the oil is added and the mixture is thick and bubbly. Don’t stop whisking. It will burn very fast.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. Cover and put in the refrigerator several hours or overnight. I do let it chill overnight.

 

Coconut Whipped Cream

Hardware

Large Mixing Bowl

Hand Mixer with Whisk Attachment

Ingredients

14 oz Coconut Cream (TastesLovely.com recommends Trader Joes coconut cream. If you’re like me, Trader Joes is a hundred miles away, but my local grocery does carry canned Imperial Dragon Whole Fat Coconut Milk. Refrigerate that overnight, open, scoop out the coconut cream which will be hardened at the top of the can. Save the coconut water to drink or to use in a sauce. You won’t have the full 14 ounces but you can either ignore it, which I do, or use 2 cans, storing any extra coconut cream in the coconut water until you’re ready to do an Indian chicken curry or other savory dish.)

1 T honey. Optional. (I’ve never added the honey to the cream as I like the tartness of the lemon curd and the whipped cream without it.)

 

Directions:

Use a big bowl!

In a large bowl, scoop the cream. Don’t use the little bowl like I have in the picture unless you’ve planned to wash down your kitchen walls and cabinets. Which is what I had to do by using too small a bowl. Fair warning!

Using your hand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream and honey. It will be hard, so keep at it until you have a fluffy mix.

Whisk the lemon curd, to loosen it up and make it fluffy, then add the coconut whipped cream. Whisk until fully combined. You can cover and store the mixture or put it into ramekins as I did. To serve, top with more coconut cream or if you don’t mind going off diet, regular whipped cream.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Baked Cauliflower

 

Serving of Baked Cauliflower

 

One thing I do miss while on my new eating plan is pasta. I have always loved pasta and for many years dedicated Saturday night to pasta dinners. But eating paleo has changed all that. I still want that comfort food for dinner though. So what to do? Recreate it, of course. Now no one is ever going to think that cauliflower is pasta but nevertheless, I made this baked cauliflower and it was so good, the hubby went for seconds!

To make this work, since I also am off of dairy, I had to make a cauliflower ricotta. So, this month you get two recipes, three, if you count the sauce, for the price of one! You can find my spaghetti sauce recipe here.

Cauliflower Ricotta, Makes 1 1/2 cups. From FrugalFreebiesandDeals.com

Hardware

Pot

Strainer

Clean Dish Towel

Measuring spoons

Food Processor

 

Ingredients

16 oz frozen cauliflower

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 T nutritional yeast (Optional)

1 egg (optional if you’re not using this in a baked dish)

Directions:

Cooling Cauliflower

Cook cauliflower according to package directions.

Allow to cool for 5 – 6 minutes

Pour into a colander and drain all water.

Squeeze the water out

Spend 1 – 2 minutes squeezing water out of the cauliflower.

Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.

Finished cauliflower ricotta

Baked Cauliflower from http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a57630/cauliflower-Baked-ziti-recipe/

Hardware

Pot

Strainer

9 X 13 baking dish

Large Bowl

Cutting Board

Knife

 

Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 lb ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T tomato paste

1 tsp dried oregano

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

2 T thinly sliced basil plus more for garnish

1 large head of cauliflower (about 3 cups) cut into florets, blanched and drained well

1 1/2 c ricotta

2 c shredded mozzarella

1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan

Note 1: I’m giving you the directions as listed in the recipe. I used the cauliflower ricotta above and vegan mozzarella. I cheated and used the real deal parmesan. There is no paleo substitute for parmesan. So if you want to keep this totally Paleo, just skip the parm.

Note 2: The above ingredients are for making the sauce. You can use this one or mine, see the link above.

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add meat and season with salt and pepper. Saute until browned. Drain fat.

Add the tomato paste and oregano and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes more, until slightly darkened. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring sauce to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and flavors have melded, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

In a large bowl, pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir to combine. In a large, oiled baking dish, place half the cauliflower in an even layer.

Dollop all over with half of the ricotta, and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and parmesan. Add the rest of the cauliflower in an even layer and top with the remaining cheeses.

Bake until the cheese is melty and golden, 25 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve.

Note 3: I only used half of the sauce on the cauliflower.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite baked dish to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

3-Ingredient Coconut Cookies: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

BananaCoconutCookies008

I should be posting a dinner or lunch recipe this month but I’ve been on my paleo diet all month, and some of you on the Whole 30 program. Aren’t you ready for something a little decadent? These cookies are totally paleo but very tasty! A nice treat for an after dinner dessert, as I did the day I made them.

1 cookie per person, Serves 8.

BananaCoconutCookies001

Hardware

Bowl

Knife

Cutting Board

1 cup glass measuring cup

Measuring spoons

1/3 cup measure

Cookie Sheet Lined with Parchment Paper

 

Ingredients

1 large over ripe banana

2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

4 oz dark chocolate (Optional)

1/4 cup rough chopped walnuts (optional)

1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions:

I have to tell you, I doubled this recipe right off the bat before I’d even tried it. I was glad I did!

BananaCoconutCookies002

Do a rough chop on the walnuts (or almonds or whatever other nut you may be using. Nuts are optional!)

Peel the banana. It should be extremely brown. Mine could have gone a couple more days but after I smushed it up with a fork, I used a whisk to get rid of most of the tiny lumps of banana.

Add the vanilla and mix.

BananaCoconutCookies004

If your coconut is shredded into longish strings, put it into a food processor to take it down to the fineness of instant oatmeal. Note: I didn’t do that, they came out great but processing the coconut may make it able to soak up more of the banana moisture. My batter came out a little on the wet side.

Add the coconut and nuts, combine thoroughly. The batter should look like coarsely mashed potatoes.

BananaCoconutCookies005

Using about 2 Tablespoons of batter per cookie, coop or roll them into balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Then, using a fork, gently mash each ball down crossways, like you would for a peanut butter cookie.

BananaCoconutCookies006

Place the cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 11 minutes. Check the cookies: they should be just starting to show bits of brown around the edges, and if you gently flip one over, they should look nicely browned in spots on the bottom. Put the flipped cookie back on its bottom.

Put the oven on broil. (I have to turn bake-mode off on my stove, then select broil. I used the High setting.)

Continue to bake and watch carefully for another one to four minutes. If after two minutes, they’re not browning on the top, you may move the sheet up to a higher rack, but watch them constantly with the door slightly open, because they can burn quickly. You’re just looking for them to brown in spots.

BananaCoconutCookies007

There may be a few small too-done places but those are easy to pick off.

Let cool.

They can be kept in an airtight baggie or container, either at room temperature or in the fridge.

Note 1: I didn’t check the bottoms of my cookies at the 11-minute mark, seeing a little browning at the bottom. I should have checked. After I broiled them, the top was nicely browned and firm but the bottoms, especially while warm, were quite gooey.

Note 2: Another option. After the cookies cooled, I dipped half of them, halfway, into 70% dark chocolate. The banana and coconut make the cookies surprisingly sweet and the dark chocolate is a nice foil.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

So last month I posted about my new Paleo diet lifestyle and mentioned avocado chocolate mousse. This is a wonderful dessert that you can enjoy yourself or make for a nice dinner with friends and/or family. It’s so delicious I cannot even say. It’s rich, decadent and chocolaty, everything you want in your chocolate dessert. And no, you don’t taste the avocado at all. Even better, it’s no cook!

Serves 4.

Hardware

Blender

Knife

1 cup glass measuring cup

Measuring spoons

Rubber spatula

4 half-cup ramekins

 

Ingredients

2 large or 3 small ripe avocados

3 T cocoa

4 oz dark chocolate

1/4 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla (Pictured is a bottle of homemade vanilla my friend Dee gave me for Christmas. It’s almost gone. ☹)

Directions:

Melt the chocolate in the microwave (pictured) or in a hot water bath. If using the microwave, use just short heating times, 15 seconds, until the mixture melts by stirring.

Test by stirring at the 1st 30 seconds, then every 15 seconds after that. Let it cool while you complete the other steps.

Half the avocados, remove the pits, scoop the avocado into the blender.

Add the milk and blend. If the avocado doesn’t get creamy, add more splashes of almond milk and blend until it does. Trust me on this. If you add everything all at once, you end up with green pieces of avocado in your chocolate mousse. Tastes good but looks a little off.

Add the cocoa, the vanilla and the melted chocolate. Blend until totally mixed. I have to scrape down the sides a couple of times to get it thoroughly blended.

Scoop into the 4 ramekins evenly. Refrigerate for a more solid mousse or serve right away.

 

Note: Even though paleo doesn’t do dairy, I can’t resist a dollop of real whipped cream on top.

Enjoy.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Poached Pears

PoachedPears005

Poached Pears with Frozen Custard and Orange Slice Garnish  Picture by Connie Cockrell

Lots has happened to me since my last post in June. July held the Payson Book Festival for which I am the director, then August is prep for the Northern Gila County Fair which is the weekend after Labor Day. Then, well, I was just tired.

But, news! In August I began eating the Paleo Diet. I love it! I lost 15 pounds in August alone. If you don’t know what the Paleo Diet is, a quick explanation is that you stop eating grains and dairy. You can Google it for a more complete explanation. I have Celiac Disease which is closely related to Hashimoto’s disease. With that, you should also stop eating sugar (well, we all should anyway), caffeine (which I gave up years ago), and raw cruciferous veg (cooked is ok). So that’s what I’ve done.

I don’t feel deprived at all, despite my strong love of anything pasta. But it was making me feel bad so, while I may make the very seldom choice to go gluten-free pasta, it’s gone! Now I eat as clean as possible (meaning organic, grass-fed meat, organic veg, organic fruit. It helps that I have my own pear, apple, and peach trees, and grow a lot of veg in my small garden.

The pears are where this blog comes in. My Bartlett pears became ripe the end of September. They’re not a soft pear. I was having my brother-in-law and his girl for supper and was thinking about dessert. At first, I thought about an avocado-chocolate mousse, (more on that next month), but then I was looking at all of my lovely ripe pears and decided poached pears would be a better choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really missing anything on my new diet, but a girl does like the occasional sweet, am I right?

Serves 4 – 6.

PoachedPears001

Hardware and Ingredients  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Hardware

Cutting board

Knife

Saucepan

 

PoachedPears002

Juicing the Oranges  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Ingredients

4 pears, peeled, cored, cut into quarters or sixths

3 navel oranges, 2 juiced (1/2 cup or more if extra juicy), 1 sliced into rounds

5 – 6 whole cloves

1 tsp vanilla (Pictured is a bottle of homemade vanilla my friend Dee gave me for Christmas. It’s almost gone. ☹)

PoachedPears003

Cutting up the pears  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Directions:

Put the pears, vanilla, orange juice, orange slices, and cloves in the saucepan. The recipe I was using didn’t call for any other liquid and I saw that the pears were not fully submerged. Thinking that if they were going to poach they needed more liquid, I added water to just cover the pears.

PoachedPears004

Everything in the pot, heating up  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Check to see if the pears are completely tender. If not add another 5 to 10 minutes or more until they are.

I made my pears early in the day and after the mixture cooled, refrigerated it until time for dessert. However, you can plate this warm as well.

I served it with Culver’s vanilla custard (broke my diet a little there) and the pears.

For the picture, I did decorate with an orange slice but when I served it to my guests, I left the orange off. I thought it looked a little mushy and not nice to eat. The orange gives the pears a nice floral note and the cloves a little warm spicy flavor. Yum.

Enjoy.

Notes: Culver’s vanilla custard, as of this writing, is gluten-free. I figured the 1/4 cup I ate wouldn’t break the Paleo diet too much.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Arroz con Pollo (Rice with Chicken)

Arroz con Pollo

No pasta this month, it’s rice instead. I saw this recipe on Food Network’s, Farmhouse Rules with Nancy Fuller. An upstate girl myself, I enjoy Nancy’s show and this one was shown around Cinco de Mayo, of course! Anyway, I haven’t made a chicken and rice casserole in I can’t remember when. So while I missed doing it on May 5th, it was shortly thereafter and on a rainy, cold day. I was grateful to have that lovely smell of rice, chicken and saffron filling the house and the heat of the oven making things all warm and cozy.

Serves 4 – 6.

Hardware

Cutting board

Knife

Cast Iron Dutch Oven

 

Ingredients

Ingredients

1/4 c olive oil

12 bone-in, skin on, chicken pieces (I used 6 pieces, thighs and legs)

1 large onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup diced tomato

4 cups chicken stock

One 12-ounce bottle lager beer

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 pimento, chopped (jarred pimento is fine, about 1/4 cup)

Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brown the chicken

Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pieces. My Dutch oven held 3 pieces without crowding. So I browned 3 at a time, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, holding the browned pieces until they were all done.

Onion, Pepper, and Garlic

Add the onions and peppers to the pot and cook until the onions are translucent, 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute.

Add Spices

Add the paprika, cumin, saffron and bay leaves, stirring until incorporated.

Liquids and Chicken

Next, add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beer, rice and another teaspoon of salt. Mix well. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Return the chicken pieces to the pot, cover and transfer to the oven for 20 minutes. Notice how the saffron is already giving the dish that lovely, golden hue.

Add peas and pimento

Remove the pot from the oven, add the peas and pimentos, then cover and return to the oven until the rice is completely tender, another 5 to 10 minutes.

The chicken was falling off the bone tender and hubby really enjoyed the meal.

Enjoy.

Notes: I used brown rice which has a longer cooking time than arborio rice. Adjust your cooking times to fit the rice you use.

I used the exact amounts of herbs and spices as recommended since this was the first time I’d used this recipe. In the future, I’ll increase the cumin and paprika and perhaps add a spicy pepper to bring up the heat a little. As it is, it’s not as savory as I would have liked, but very tasty never-the-less.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite rice or chicken supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Shrimp Scampi: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

ShrimpScampi010

I seem to be on roll with the pasta recipes but I don’t care. I love pasta. I was thinking about what to do differently this week for our Saturday pasta night and it occurred to me that I could do a shrimp scampi. Was I watching an Olive Garden commercial at the time? Maybe. Anyway, I looked on the internet and for a fancy dish, shrimp scampi is surprisingly easy to make.

Serves 2 – 4.

Hardware

Large frying pan

Cutting board

Knife

Serving Bowl

Pot for Spaghetti

 ShrimpScampi001

Ingredients

2 Tblsp butter

1 cup shredded parmesan

1 lb shrimp, rinsed and patted dry

2 Tblsp minced garlic

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Tblsp Lemon juice and the zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup Pinot Grigio

In a large pot, cook 12oz spaghetti according to package directions.

ShrimpScampi002

While the water comes to a boil and you cook the spaghetti, melt the butter in the frying pan.

ShrimpScampi004

When it begins to foam up, add the shrimp, garlic, salt and pepper.

ShrimpScampi005

If you’re using raw shrimp, cook about 2 minutes per side. If you’re using already cooked shrimp, just a minute per side to warm it through.

ShrimpScampi006

Remove from pan to serving bowl, then toss in the lemon juice, zest and wine. Bring to a boil and let reduce a little.

ShrimpScampi008

Add the parsley.

ShrimpScampi009

Return the shrimp to the pan.

Drain the cooked pasta, put in serving bowl, add the shrimp scampi and toss to coat.

Enjoy.

 

Notes: I didn’t think the scampi had enough sauce to coat the spaghetti so I added 2 Tblsp each of butter and extra virgin olive oil and tossed again.

I also added shredded parmesan cheese to my bowl. I know the rule is no cheese in seafood dishes but I really like parmesan cheese.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite pasta supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Avocado Pesto: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

Avocado Pesto

I was scrolling through the channels the other day and landed on Food Network’s Trisha Yearwood’s show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. She had a vegetarian guest on and they were making Avocado Pesto Toast (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/trisha-yearwood/avocado-pesto-toast). I didn’t copy the recipe down and I didn’t go back to look it up when I made this for dinner but my recipe and hers is pretty close.  Next time I’ll remember the lemon. That would be even better.

Why avocado pesto? Some people, my daughter included, find a full basil pesto too much. Basil is a powerful flavor and it can be overwhelming. Cutting down on the basil with avocado (or Swiss Chard, Spinach, Arugula, Asparagus, or some other green) is a really good alternative. The avocado lends the sauce a smooth, rich mouth feel and is good for you too!

The best thing is that this is a no cook sauce and serves 2 – 4.

the ingredients

Hardware

Blender

Serving Bowl

Pot for Spaghetti

 

Ingredients

2 oz package of pine nuts

1 package fresh basil (about 1/2 cup) stems removed

1 cup shredded parmesan

1 4oz package avocado (guacamole that is just avocado) (or 1 whole fresh avocado)

1 Tblsp minced garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Lemon juice (2 Tblsp Optional)

In a large pot, cook 12oz spaghetti according to package directions.

It’s All in the Blender

While the water comes to a boil and you cook the spaghetti, add the pine nuts, cheese, garlic, basil and guacamole to the blender.

Add the oil and pulse to puree.

Blend until smooth drizzling in the olive oil. Add the lemon juice if you so desire. If it’s too thick, add up to 1/2 cup of water. Adding more oil can make the pesto too greasy and the avocado is already pretty fat.

It’s smooth and creamy!

(Note: I probably should have spun the dry pine nuts a few times to break them up first, then added the basil, then the rest but, it all worked out in the end.)

Time to Mix it Up!

Drain the cooked pasta, put in serving bowl, add the pesto and toss to coat.

Enjoy.

My hubby loved the meal. He didn’t find the basil overpowering and the avocado gave the meal a nice rich feel.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite pesto supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Roasted Veggie and Shrimp Salad

Shrimp004

Roasted Veggie and Shrimp Salad

I first saw this in my facebook feed and it looked so good I had to try it. Taken from http://www.buzzfeed.com/mercedesandoval/this-roasted-shrimp-and-veggie-salad-is-perfect-for-a-filling-lunch, when I tried going to buzzfeed to find the actual link, I couldn’t find it. However, a very similar recipe is https://www.buzzfeed.com/alixtraeger/sheet-pan-steak-and-rainbow-veggies?utm_term=.dulwdZ8ry#.ap2yL27Bo. Either way you’re going to end up with a really good meal. Serves 2.

Hardware

Sheet pan

Cutting Board

Knife

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

 

Ingredients

1 pound raw shrimp thawed, rinsed and patted dry

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup carrot, shredded

1 cup yellow bell pepper, large dice

1 cup red onion, large dice

1 cup asparagus, large dice

Olive oil

Chili powder

Oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Lime juice (at least 2 limes)

Mixed Greens

Chili Lime Vinaigrette Dressing:

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C

Shrimp001

Add the cut vegetables to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings to your preference. Toss. Bake for 10 minutes.

Shrimp002

Move veggies to the side to make space in the center of the baking sheet and add the shrimp in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings and lime juice. Toss. Bake for 5 – 8 minutes until shrimp is fully cooked. Be careful not to overcook.

Shrimp003

Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

In large salad bowl, combine the mixed greens, roasted shrimp and veggies and vinaigrette.

Enjoy.

 

What I did differently: I substituted dried thyme for the oregano because I didn’t have any. I substituted left over whole green beans for the asparagus because I forget to get the asparagus. I added the beans to the sheet pan with the shrimp since they were already cooked. I used a baby greens salad mix and when I put the hot veggies and shrimp in on top, the greens wilted some. If you don’t care for that, let the hot shrimp and veggies cool a bit. My hubby loved the meal.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite salad supper? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.