Look at what's cookin

My adventure's in feeding my family

Chicken, Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas May 31, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

The original recipe for this does not have any meat in it. I adapted it by throwing in two chopped chicken thighs because I wasn’t sure how it would go over. In reality, the chicken thighs were not needed. We loved this meal. So much flavor! Pretty simple to put together once you get used to stuffing the tortillas.


{For the sauce}

  • 3 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Salt/pepper

{For the enchiladas}

  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
  • 6 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 chicken thighs, cooked and chopped
  • 3 cups shredded 3 cheese blend (I used half cheddar half queso fresco)
  • 8 whole wheat or flour tortillas

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Make the sauce: in a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tomato paste, flour, 2 tsp. cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. Cook 1 minute, whisking. Whisk in broth, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, and cook until slightly thickened about 8 minutes. Salt/pepper to taste, and set aside. (I put mine in the blender to make it extra smooth)

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Saute the spinach in olive oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted.

In a large bowl, combine beans, 2 cups cheese, spinach, corn, green onions, 2 tsp. cumin, chicken and cilantro.

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Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish, and pour a small amount of the sauce to coat the bottom.

Generously fill tortillas with mixture, roll up tightly with ends tucked in, and place seam side down in dish.

Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas, coating evenly. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top.

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Bake about 20 minutes, and garnish with cilantro and/or green onions (optional).

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Seared Scallops and Peas May 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I saw this recipe and knew it was one I needed to make. All the ingredients are ones I enjoy. But I forgot something. The texture of plain ricotta is not pleasing to me. Had I thought about it I would have made the sauce creamy instead of just plain ricotta. Overall the flavor was great but everyone who ate it agreed about the texture thing.


  • 1 box pappardelle or fettuccine pasta
  • 12 large fresh sea scallops
  • 4 tbsp good-quality olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh green peas, shelled and blanched
  • 4 tbsp fresh thyme, minced (pref lemon thyme, if you have it)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 container ricotta cheese


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Cook the pasta per package directions until al dente.

While pasta is cooking, rinse scallops and pat dry. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter over high heat in a skillet until foamy. Sprinkle scallops with a little salt and pepper; place in skillet in single layer. Cook, turning once, until brown on outside and just opaque in center, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Drain pasta and return to the pot over low heat. Stir in lemon zest, juice, remaining 3 tbsp olive oil, peas, and thyme. Toss to coat, then season with salt and lots of pepper. Add the ricotta and mix gently until pasta is coated evenly.

To serve, divide the pasta between four plates, topping each with three scallops and a sprig of fresh thyme.

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Grilled Halibut Tacos May 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

Living in Alaska, we have a lot of fresh fish. I love fish tacos but was looking for some that weren’t fried. It’s surprising how similar all fish taco recipes are! I came across this one and loved it because of the salsa (and lack of frying/mayo). You need to use a firm fish for a grilled fish taco or it turns out mushy. Halibut is perfect for this.


  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cubed
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and cubed
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges for garnish
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 1.5 lb firm fish
  • 1 tbsp blackening spice
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups finely shredded red cabbage (I used cole slaw mix)

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Mix the mango, avocado, onion, and the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Season with cilantro, salt, and pepper.

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Heat a grill or stovetop grill pan until hot. Drizzle a light coating of oil over the fish and rub on the blackening spice. Cook the fish, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Carefully flip with a spatula and cook for another 4 minutes. Remove.

Warm the tortillas on the grill for 1 to 2 minutes or wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 1 minute until warm and pliable.

Break the fish into chunks and divide among the warm tortillas. Top with the cabbage and the mango salsa. Serve with the lime wedges.

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Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus May 25, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I just love pasta carbonara, its a household favorite. We also enjoy asparagus and it was on sale so I searched around and found this recipe. I liked that there wasn’t any cream since the bacon and egg yolks can make this meal very rich. The lemon also added a nice bright flavor. A highly recommended meal!


  • 1 pound egg noodles
  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed then cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 pound pancetta, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • Zest an juice of 1 lemon

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In a large pot, bring water to a boil and season with salt.

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, add the pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. In another pan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter and add in the breadcrumbs and lemon zest. Stir until all combined and breadcrumbs are moistened. Set aside.


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Add in the wine and reduce the heat to low.

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While it’s reducing, you can go ahead and add in your egg noodles to the pot of boiling water. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package. When pasta is halfway done, add in the asparagus to cook together. Once finished, drain pasta and asparagus, while reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Set pasta, asparagus, and water aside.

Lightly beat the egg yolks and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

Now, you can add the pasta and asparagus to the skillet. Toss around and then add in the egg yolks. Turn off the heat and toss for 1 minute, adding in the reserved pasta water slowly to thin out the mixture. Stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Divide up the pasta in bowls and top with lemon breadcrumbs.

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Braised Lamb Shanks with Vegetables May 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

The store had a major markdown on lamb shanks one week. Not sure what to do with them, I bought them and put them in my freezer. A couple weeks later I came across this recipe and decided to give it a try. Overall we loved the taste but the smell when it was cooking gave us pause. Maybe it was because I used anchovy paste instead of anchovies? Either way the flavor was great.


  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 6 lamb shanks (about 1 pound each)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 large fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 pounds total), cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 1 pound baby red-skinned potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 pound medium carrots (about 3), peeled, cut into 3-inch lengths, halved lengthwise, if large
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley

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Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 325°. Toast fennel seeds in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Grind in spice mill or with a mortar and pestle. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb shanks, reducing heat as needed to prevent overbrowning, until browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb shanks to a plate.

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Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Add ground fennel seeds, garlic, anchovies, thyme, and tomato paste and stir just until fragrant, about 1 minute.

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Add wine, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until wine is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.

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Add broth and bay leaves. Return lamb shanks to pot, arranging shanks “head to toe” so they fit in an even layer (the meat should not be completely covered). Cover pot and transfer to oven. Braise for 1 1/2 hours.

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Turn lamb shanks over.

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Add fennel, potatoes, carrots, and 1/4 cup olives and tuck in around lamb shanks, submerging some in the liquid (they will cook whether they are submerged or not). Braise until meat and vegetables are fork-tender, about 45 minutes longer.

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Using tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer lamb shanks and vegetables to a serving platter. Scatter remaining 1/4 cup olives over and cover with foil to keep warm.

Discard bay leaves from cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Simmer liquid until it thickens slightly, 15-20 minutes (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Season sauce with salt and pepper and pour over lamb shanks and vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley.

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Bacon Cheddar Onion Biscuits May 21, 2013

Filed under: Pioneer Women — kariryerson @ 12:00 am

I have baked a recipe from The Pioneer Women in the past and didn’t enjoy it, so I didn’t post it. I tried again with this recipe and while I wasn’t wowed by it, every one else loved them so I decided to post it. Well, the hubs didn’t love it because of all the onions but I  expected that.


  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 10 tbso Milk
  • 4 tbso Vegetable Oil
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 10 slices Thick Cut Bacon, Fried And Crumbled
  • 1 cup Finely Diced Onion
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

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Cook bacon and onions

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Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening until all combined.

Combine milk, oil, and egg in a separate bowl. Whisk together.

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Combine flour mixture, milk mixture, bacon, onions, and cheddar cheese in a large bowl. Stir gently until all combined.

Spoon batter into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes on 375 degrees until golden Remove from pan and serve warm.

(I forgot to take a post cooking photo but I will let ya’ll use your imaginations)

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