Spanish Rice

Spanish rice is the perfect side to any Spanish or Mexican dish.  When making this Spanish rice recipe, I like to use a large skillet with a cover.  You can use a large pot but I like to have a lot of room to stir things around, getting the flavors to combine, and then cover it and let the rice slowly fill up all the space.  It looks so pretty when it’s ready and it fills the skillet. Just fluff the rice with a fork when it’s done and serve.

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Beef Enchiladas

Beef enchiladas are the perfect dinner for Cinco de Mayo!!  This recipe is super easy and pretty inexpensive.  I love the flavors of Mexican food but I am a total wimp when it comes to spice so feel free to add heat to this recipe.  I use mild green chilies and mild enchilada sauce so adjust the recipe for your taste.  For the adults, these enchiladas pair quite well with a margarita.  Or two.  

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Deviled Eggs

I love holidays.  I love the decorating, family time, the meal planning, and all the traditions that go along with it.  As the kids get older they seem less enthused about the decorating and traditions but most of the time they go along with it, if only to humor me.  This year I was pleasantly surprised to have a lovely group of teenage girls who wanted to decorate Easter eggs.  Yay!  It’s so much fun to decorate the eggs.  But what to do with all those eggs once Easter has passed?  Devil them!

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Olive and Walnut Bread

I have a cookbook addiction.  It’s bad.  About every six months I have to weed through to see what’s a keeper and what I should donate to the library.  I’m not a fan of clutter so I try to keep my bookshelf manageable.  It’s backfired a few times and I have literally checked out my own former book from the library.  But there are some books you just know you will never, ever give away.  My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz is my new obsession.  I got it as a birthday gift from one of my favorite friends and want to make everything in the book.  One of the recipes is for salted olive crisps.  I’ve made it a few times now, tweaking it a bit here and there to my liking.  The original recipe calls for almonds in the crisps but I prefer walnuts.  This week.  It may change next week.  But for now, let’s go with walnuts.  The recipe is really in two parts.  In the first part you bake the bread.  The second part is after it cools, you slice it thinly and toast it to make little crisps.  If you can’t wait, just stop at the first part.  Warm olive walnut bread right from the oven is so good.  I’ve decided the warm bread goes nicely with red wine and the crisps go nicely with white wine.  Why?  Because that’s how I ate them and loved them both times!!

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Oven Roasted Bacon with Maple Syrup

Oven roasted bacon with maple syrup is on the menu for our lazy Sunday morning.  And it goes perfectly with my favorite pancakes.  There’s nothing like the smell of bacon cooking.  This recipe is so easy and quick.  The bacon cooks in the oven on a wire rack.  Most of the fat drips off and you don’t need to worry about splattering your stove and getting it all messy.  The secret to this recipe is to use real maple syrup.  Not that high-fructose corn syrup fake stuff.  If all you’ve got is the fake stuff, hey, I’m not the syrup police but I’m telling you, the real stuff makes all the difference here.

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Chicken Paprikash

Chicken paprikash is a Hungarian comfort food recipe.  It’s made many different ways but the consistent theme is chicken with lots of paprika.  It’s a very old, traditional meal that even appeared in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula. In the first part of the novel, Jonathan Harker dines on chicken paprikash during his journey through the Carpathian Mountains to Dracula’s castle. The actual making of the recipe is much less scary, I promise.

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Chicken Scallopini

Chicken scallopini is a great weeknight dinner.  The ingredients are simple and the pounded cutlets cook in just a few minutes.  When all the pieces of chicken are finished, the sauce comes together quickly by adding the liquid ingredients and scraping up the little browned bits left in the pan.  And it sounds so fancy, doesn’t it?  Scallopini is the plural form of scaloppa, which means just what you think, scallop.  Or thinly sliced cut of meat.  Dredge the meat in some flour, cook in some butter and oil, and then make a nice wine sauce to serve atop it.  Very fancy indeed.

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Healthy Omelet

Omelets are a great hot breakfast that can range dramatically in calories.  A great way to reduce the amount of fat and increase protein is use egg whites instead of whole eggs.  For my go-to healthy omelet, I like to use 2 egg whites and one whole egg.  The whole egg keeps the color and flavor of the egg while dramatically reducing the calories.  Add any kind of vegetables and a sprinkle of cheese and you have yourself a fabulous breakfast.

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