Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sides, Sides, Sides! Part 1

I'm trying to catch up with all the dishes that I've made, but haven't had time to post!  Here are two side dishes that are easy and nutritious, sweet potato fries and skillet squash and leek au gratin!  I do zesty fries as we are not big fans of the sweet version using brown sugar.  Both of these dishes take less than an hour and are minimal mess!  I used panko crumbs to top the au gratin, but you could easily substitute corn flake crumbs or some other GF choice.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries:


3 sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil 
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper


Preheat oven to 400*F. Peel, slice, wash and pat dry potatoes.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, mix together the oil and spices.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Gently toss the potatoes in the oil mixture.  Evenly distribute the seasoned potatoes on the baking sheet.  Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Turn once during baking.  If you would like crispier fries, place the fries under a low broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Skillet Squash and Leek Au Gratin:


2 zucchini 
2 summer squash
2 leeks
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
Salt and pepper
1 cup panko crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, divided


Preheat oven to 350*F.  Thinly slice the leeks up to to the dark green.  Soak the leeks in a bowl of cold water to remove sand.  Gently pat the leeks dry.  Slice the squash and zucchini.  Melt 1 tbsp of the butter in an oven proof skillet over med-low heat.  Add the leeks to the skillet and sauté for 2-3 minutes to soften.  

Add the squash and zucchini to the skillet and cook for and additional 5 minutes.  Stir gently several times to avoid over browning.  Mix milk and cornstarch together until smooth.  Add the mixture to the skillet and turn up the heat to medium.  Bring to a slow boil stir several times.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  After the sauce is thickened, top with panko mixture and dot with remaining butter.  Place a skillet in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden brown.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

GF Shake 'n Bake Chicken

I cook lots of chicken in this house and up until I started deleting processed foods from our diets, I used Shake n Bake quite a bit. The boys love the crispy topping.  This is my GF version which looks pretty close to the out of the box version.  Everyone gave it the thumbs up so the recipe will stay in the rotation :). I paired the chicken with corn and roasted asparagus, Yum!  Love the summer veggie choices!  

For the asparagus,  I just drizzle on olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste. After gently tossing the asparagus on the pan, I sprinkle corn flake crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top. Bak at 350* F for 20 minutes and enjoy!

GF Shake 'n Bake Chicken:


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg
1 1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp italian herbs
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk
Salt and pepper to taste


Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts.  Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow dish.  Melt the butter and mix with the corn flakes, paprika, herbs and spices in another shallow dish.  

Dip each chicken breast in the egg mixture and then the corn flake mixture to coat evenly.  Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350*F oven for 40-45 minutes or until the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a fork.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bang Bang Shrimp!

This dish is a family favorite! It is a fusion of a few recipes that I've come across of the yummy Bonefish Grill appetizer.  These shrimp take no time at all to make since I take a shortcut and use pre-cooked shrimp.  I use them to avoid the mess of peeling and deveining, but you could easily do that if you wish! I served the shrimp over brown rice and made a broccoli and cauliflower medley.  The meal took about an hour to put together.  I did a quick crisp in olive oil, but if you preferred baked, you can do that In a 400* oven for 15 minutes. 

Bang Bang Shrimp:



1 cup mayonnaise
6 tsp Sriracha
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp rice vinegar

Mix all ingredients together.  Let chill in refridge for 1-2 hours so the flavors become well blended.

Shrimp Coating:


1 1/2 lbs of pre cooked shrimp
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup flour ( I used corn flour in an effort to eliminate gluten)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (Use corn flake crumbs to make the dish GF)
chives for garnish
1/2 cup olive oil


In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. To the bowl add the  egg, and buttermilk and whisk until you have a smooth batter. In another bowl add about a cup of Panko breadcrumbs.  Dip the shrimp into the batter and then coat them with breadcrumbs, add more breadcrumbs as needed.  Add oil to a large skillet and heat over a med-low burner.  Fry the shrimp for 3-4 minutes turning once.  Remove from oil when golden brown.  Drain on a paper towel. Drizzle shrimp with sauce and garnish with chives before serving.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fish Camp 2013: Fresh Caught Walleye!

I've been away from my blog for a few weeks, but I've been cooking!  One of those weeks was spent on a beautiful lake in the Northwestern Ontario.  This was the 19th year for great Canadian fishing!  My dad has been taking me fishing since I was a young girl.  We fished many a summer evening on Lake Erie catching Perch and Sheep Head.  We also waded into trout streams on opening days hoping to entice a Rainbow out of its rocky home! During my teenage years, we lived on a lake so fishing was plentiful, but then I left home and my time was taken up with school and work.  The trips to Canada started in 1994.  We went to Healy's Gods Lake Narrows Lodge, Manitoba, CA.  It was the first time I caught Northern Pike and Walleye!  We had a great time and made new friends! I was officially hooked!  

I'm rockin that perm!! :)

We travelled to Gods Lake for 6 years and caught hundreds of fish!! We have always done catch and release while keeping a few each day for lunch!  Below is a picture of one of those stringers.

After those years, we found Tukto Lodge, Northwest Territories and Dubwant Lake, Nunevant, CA.  Both of these camps are on the Arctic tundra.  They have large Lake Trout and aggressive Arctic Grayling.  The other inhabitants of the land include Grizzly Bears and Musk Ox!  We saw both from the safety of the float plane which was fine by me!  My record fish, a 33 lb trout was caught in the icy waters of Mosquito Lake where Tukto is located.  Yes, the lake lives up to it's name with lots of mosquitos!!  The lodge is run by a gentleman who also owns several outpost camps in Ontario so last year, we tried one of the camps.  We also added a third to our fishing party, my nephew, Davis! 

It was our first adventure without a guide.  They dropped us off for 3 days of fishing!  It was super hot and the fishing was low, but Davis loved his first taste of the Canadian wilderness although he did do a jig when we got back to electricity to charge his phone! ;). This year, we tried a new lake and caught lots of fish, played UNO, sat around the campfire and made memories to last a life time!  I feel so blessed to make these trips!  My husband is such a great partner and isn't afraid to face a week alone with the boys even when they were babies.  He knows how much this trip means to me!  These trips with my dad and now my nephew too are special to my heart!!

Our cabin this year was very pretty and had a great kitchen run entirely on propane.

Every day we had walleye for lunch which we cooked in a fish cooker much like you do a fried turkey.
The recipe is really simple.

Fresh Walleye:

3 walleye (6-7 fillets)
2 eggs
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

Beat eggs and water together in a shallow bowl. Mix the bread crumbs and spices together in another bowl. Dredge the fish through the egg mixture and then through the crumbs.  

Cook the fish in hot oil for about 2 minutes and enjoy!

Thanks Dad and Davis for another wonderful trip!  I hope we have many, many more!! XOXO