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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Morton Holiday Party

So last night was a special treat. Once a year for work, we get to go up to NOVA to have our Holiday party with consultants that are out of the Richmond area. It was a very long and busy day but was wrapped up with a delicious meal from Maggiano’s! They never let me down! πŸ™‚

As you can see from the menu, we certainly didn’t go without. And that doesn’t even include the appetizers they walked around with before we sat down.

They served deliciously breaded shrimp with a sweet yet tangy dipping sauce and their tasty mini crab cakes. YUM! Too bad I filled up on those before we even sat down. Whoops.

That’s standard procedure for Maggiano’s though, right?

I love these wine glasses. Is the M for Morton or M for Maggiano’s? Perhaps its a double meaning!

Don’t be fooled, that was just my first plate of food. We had plenty to go around so everyone was going back for seconds and thirds.

And the desserts? Well, they never fail me either. Take a look at that tower of chocolate cake!

And the cheesecake? I’ve had a long standing love affair with cheesecake and Maggiano’s is spot on! Its made with ricotta instead of the typical cream cheese so its a little fluffier than a typical cheesecake. Oh, and I devoured it before I could snap a picture. Sorry y’all.

To top it all off, we had a champagne toast with some Dom Perignon! Fancy schmancy!

All in all, everyone had a great time as we shared some great food and wine. It seems we’re all suffering from a food hangover though and we all didn’t get back to the office until 11:45. Eeek! Thank God it’s Friday though and we can all sleep in tomorrow! πŸ˜‰

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

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Firecracker Shrimp

Have you ever tried Bonefish Grill’s Bang Bang Shrimp? It’s absolutely to die for. I could eat an entire order myself easily. Too bad it’s not very waistline friendly…

This is a somewhat failed attempt at recreating that same delicious flavor. I say somewhat failed because it was really good but tasted absolutely nothing like Bang Bang Shrimp. Like, nothing at all.

See, Bang Bang Shrimp is breaded and has a spicy mayo type sauce and looks like this. We all know that mayo and fried, well, anything isn’t good for you so I was trying to keep that flavor while lightening it up a bit.

This idea was based off of The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. I added more Sriracha than her recipe called for because, in my opinion, you can never have enough. I also used less garlic. Normally, I load up on the garlic but Sriracha already has a garlicy flavor so I didn’t want to over do it.

I let it marinate for 20 minutes or so and then threw it into a hot skillet. Now, I used frozen shrimp (faux pas I know but sometimes already peeled and deveined shrimp is just the way to go!) and ran them under warm water to help speed up the thawing process. That being said, I noticed a lot more moisture being released during the cooking process so I kept draining the excess fluids so the shrimp could still get a nice pan sear.

Topped with some green onions and these were right tasty! Unfortunately, I still have a serious craving for the real think…Good thing the new Bonefish just opened up in Short Pump! Whoop Whoop!

Firecracker Shrimp

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 4 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • green onions (green part only)
  • Bag of 30-40 peeled and deveined shrimp

Combine first five ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour sauce and shrimp into a Ziplock bag and massage (for lack of a better word?)Β  it to combine. Put in refrigerator to marinate for about 20-30 minutes.

Pour olive oil into a pan and heat on medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add in your shrimp. Be careful not to add in too much of the sauce in the bag as much of the moisture will be released while cooking and you don’t want to add to it.

When the shrimp is pink and opaque, remove from heat. Top with sliced green onions and serve.

Now, time to finish up Steel Magnolias before getting into bed! Tomorrow is going to be a very long day and a girl needs her beauty sleep! πŸ˜‰

Go-To Weeknight Dinner

Has anyone else noticed that its finally started to get cold out around here? Not a fan. I know its winter and that’s standard but those 60-70 degree days in December were suiting me just fine. Hence why I’m counting the days ’til I leave for Orlando. Rumor has it that it’s in the 70’s still. Sign me up!

So, while I’m dreaming of warm, sunny days, its back to reality of the busy work week. There are many a weeknight when the last thing I want to do is cook a meal when I get home. However, this is just the solution!

It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s healthy. Not to mention it’s just plain delicious!

Who doesn’t love a meal that can be made that quickly? And it’s all thanks to my handy Deep Covered Baker from Pampered Chef! Love me some PC!

Just pop 2 thawed chicken breasts in the Deep Covered Baker, season them with salt and pepper and pop them in the microwave for about 7 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts you’re using.

While those are cooking, pop asparagus that have been seasoned with S&P and drizzled with olive oil into an oven preheated to 350 degrees for about 8 minutes.

Once the chicken is done, pour out the broth that is created while cooking and dice. Cut up the baked asparagus and add them in with the diced chicken.

Roughly chop a can of artichoke hearts and add dish. Lastly, chop about a cup of sundried tomatoes, add them in the dish and put back into the oven for 5ish minutes to allow everything to meld.

Not gonna lie, I usually add in a good amount of feta cheese on top just for good measure. Gotta get your calcium some how! May as well be from some cheese, right?

This will make 2-3 servings depending on your appetite. I typically make it just for myself and have plenty leftover for lunch. This meal always gets rave reviews from my coworkers! They all always think it’s “restaurant food.”

Now, you too can fool your coworkers with your sweet culinary abilities! πŸ˜‰

Tomorrow is Hump Day! Weeee!

Not-So-Fried Fried Pickles

So, I haven’t shared this yet but I am in the beginning stages of getting the blog’s appearance overhauled! It’s very exciting and I can’t wait to share it with you once everything is all done!

One of the things the developer asked me was what type of food I would be sharing on this blog. To be honest, I hadn’t really thought about that at all. All I knew was that I wanted to share my creations with everyone and hopefully inspire some of y’all to get your butts in the kitchen and start cooking!

Since I’m a health-conscious Southern girl I knew I wanted to put a modern and (sometimes) healthy twist on Southern favorites. This is the first of many lightened-up Southern favorites!

Not-So-Fried Fried Pickles

Adapted from Schilling Times

  • 1 jar pickle slices (I used Claussen Slices)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Ranch dressing for dipping

Preheat broiler on high.

Whisk flour and eggs together. Add in Worcestershire, hot sauce, garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder and pepper and mix well.

Pour panko bread crumbs into a bowl. Dip pickles in egg mixture and then in the panko crumbs. Place on a non-stick baking sheet with a rack.

Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until pickles are a nice golden brown.

Dip in Ranch dressing and you’re in business!

You may also want to drink some of the pickle juice before you pour it out…or maybe that’s just me. That stuff is delicious.

Something I don’t recommend: eating the entire batch in one day. You will be incredibly dehydrated and have a stomach ache. And yes, I’m speaking from experience.

I hope everyone has a great Monday!

Bourbon Glazed Salmon

Today, a special Birthday shout out goes to my Step Dad James! Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

We celebrated his birthday Friday night with a yummy dinner made by yours truly!

His only request for his birthday from me was a delicious meal so of course I had to pick something mouth-wateringly delicious. But what to cook? I scoured the blogs I follow regularly to find the perfect dish for the evening.

I know I have shared my love of IGE with you all but I don’t believe I have mentioned my other blog crush of How Sweet It Is. Her photography is out of this world not to mention the awesome recipes she creates so of course she had just what I was looking for!

Bourbon Glazed Salmon

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

  • 1.8 lb Salmon filet
  • 1 1/4 C bourbon
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 T pepper
  • 1 1/2 T salt
  • 2 t cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T honey
  • 1 T course mustard
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce

Start by making your glaze.

Combine all ingredients except the salmon in a saucepan and whisk. Heat over high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Once the mixture has reduced, pour it in a bowl and let it come to room temperature.

Preheat your broiler in your oven. Place your salmon on a baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Broil for about 10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked thoroughly.

Remove salmon from the oven and brush with the bourbon glaze.

This was just the dish that James had asked for! I rounded out the plate with baked asparagus and cous cous which seemed the be the perfect pairing!

Light yet still indulgent thanks to that yummy glaze!

Now, I’m off to finish up my long list of Sunday to-do’s before the work week begins tomorrow. How do the weekends go by so fast?

Have a great week y’all!

Lightened-up Jalapeno Poppers

First off, I wanted to share some pictures of my leftovers from last night’s dinner. Apparently its tacky to take our big ol’ camera into a restaurant and start snapping photos of everything you put in your mouth. Who knew?

I had been to Comfort once before but this time it really sunk in how delicious that place is! The BBQ was traditional Carolina style, just how I like it! Paired with the yummy cheese grits and asparagus was perfection! They serve their BBQ with their homemade hot sauce and chile infused vinegar.

Have I mentioned my love for vinegar lately? Cause that stuff definitely prompted an undying urge to create my own chile infused vinegar…once I find dried chiles.

Did I forget our appetizer of Fried Green Tomatoes? Oh my geez it was so good!

Oh, and they serve your (non-adult) beverages in mason jars. Love!

Second of all, the other day I realized that despite the name of my blog, I really hadn’t posted anything spicy for y’all yet! Um, duh. What have I been thinking?! Well, today all of that changes!

I present to you: Lightened-up Jalapeno Poppers!

Poppers are one of my all time favorite snacks but have you ever looked at the Nurtition Facts on those babies? I once ate 6 and then realized I had just eaten half a days worth of calories (not to mention the Ranch dressing I dipped in).

So what does that call for? A lightened up version!

Lightened-up Jalapeno Poppers

Adapted from Skinny Taste

  • 5 oz neufchatel cheese
  • 5 medium scallions, green part only, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • salt and fresh pepper

Start by cutting the tops off of the jalapenos and cutting them in half. Then, cut out the ribs and seeds and discard. I left a few seeds in mine but that is where most of the heat is so do that according to taste.

**Use gloves when handling the jalapenos. If you don’t have gloves, use Ziploc bags over your hands to keep the juices from getting on your hands.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese and scallions in a bowl. Fill peppers with the cheese mixture.

Combing panko, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Dip stuffed jalapenos in the egg whites and then the bread crumb mixture. Place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Things you should not do: take the poppers out of the oven to make sure the peppers are fully cooked and then let a few slide off and onto the coils in the bottom of your oven. They will burn and create a lot of smoke. Oh, and you might burn your hand trying to get them out.

Everyone likes a nice smokey, charred flavor, right?

Time for Top Chef: Texas! Have a good evening everyone!

 

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Have any of you checked out the website My Fridge Food? I saw it last week and realized that its genius (one of these days I’ll come up with one of these ideas!). Of course. I entered the contents of my fridge/pantry to see what they came up with. It gave me a ton of different options when I’m just staring at everything thinking I have nothing. Again, pure genius.

One of the things it told me to make was Chicken Enchiladas. But regular enchiladas can be boring so why not spice it up a bit and have Sour Cream Enchiladas? That’s certainly not something you see on your typical Mexican restaurant menu.

Sour Cream Enchiladas

Adapted from Food.com

  • 4 chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 can of Ro*tel Hot diced tomatoes
  • 1 40z can green chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • half of a 32 oz jug of chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup flour

1. Cook chicken thoroughly. I cooked mine in my Deep Covered Baker from Pampered Chef in the microwave for 10 minutes but you can do this in a pan or on the grill as well. If using a Deep Covered Baker, make sure to drain out the “broth” the chicken creates while cooking. Shred/chop.

2. Combine shredded chicken, can of Ro*tel and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Spoon mixture into tortillas and roll. Place seam side down in a 9×13 baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

3. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add in flour and stir to combine. Slowly poor in chicken broth stirring constantly. Heat until bubbly then remove from heat. Add in sour cream and green chiles and mix.

4. Pour sour cream mixture over enchiladas and pop in the oven at 400 for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, put additional cheese on top and put back in the oven until cheese is melted for 3-5 minutes.

Once they’re plated, top with your desired amount of hot sauce if you wish and enjoy!

So yummy and there are plenty left over to take for lunch tomorrow! πŸ™‚

Now, a little something I mentioned Sunday night: Candy Cane cookie and Peppermint Ice Cream sandwiches!

This was so good! Very rich but soooo yummy! Tyler, who came up with the ice cream sandwich idea, opted for a bowl of Peppermint Ice Cream with a cookie on top instead which was equally as good!

Now, time to cozy up in my bed with nice clean sheets! I love clean sheet day!

Question:

Are there any recipes that you would like to see on Spicy Richmond? I have a couple on stand by but would love your input if you would like to see something in particular on here.

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