Mexican Rice


I made this with the beef fajitas, but I thought it deserved its own post. There are too many things you could make and use it as a side dish.

Mexican Rice
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Original
Servings: 4 
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    • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
    • 1 green pepper, sliced into strips
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 cups cooked brown rice
    • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
    • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. cilantro
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • salt and pepper
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
2. Add the onion and corn and cook 2-3 minutes more.
3. Stir the rice into the vegetables. Add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain).
4. Mix in all of the spices and stir until everything is combined. If necessary add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water or chicken broth so the mixture doesn't stick together.
5. Eat and enjoy!

Beef Fajitas


The week of my final dress fitting, I should be eating really healthy in attempt to lose as much weight as possible, but I'm not. I used way more sour cream on my fajita than necessary, had a boston cream donut yesterday morning and then had some chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream on a sugar cone for dessert tonight. Ooops?

Beef Fajitas
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Original
Servings: 4
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    • 1 lb. flank steak, cut into 1 inch strips
    • 1 bag frozen peppers
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1 tsp. cilantro
    • 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 tsp. fajita seasoning (optional, but I think it gives it better flavor)
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • fajita sized tortilla shells

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Season the beef strips with garlic powder, cilantro, chili powder, cumin and fajita seasoning. Add to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink.
3. Add the bag of frozen vegetables and cover with lid. Cook for 3-5 minutes more or until the vegetables are soft.
4. Warm the tortilla shells (I do this in the microwave with a wet paper towel between them for 15-20 seconds).
5. Serve the meat and peppers mixture on the tortilla shell. Top with sour cream, cheese, guacamole, salsa...whatever you want.

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto


All week I couldn't wait to make this recipe. I have a serious obsession with risotto and when the idea to add shrimp and asparagus came into my head, I knew I had to try it out right away.

Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
Servings: 4
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Creation
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    • 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and de-veined
    • 1 bunch asparagus
    • 1 box chicken stock
    • 1 3/4 cup arborio rice
    • 1/2 onion, diced
    • 2 tbsp. garlic
    • 1/3 cup white wine
    • 4 tbsp. butter, divided
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
    • salt and pepper

1. In a small pot heat the chicken stock over low heat.
2. In a large skillet, add the olive oil. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Add the rice to the skillet and stir well until the rice is coated and transparent. Pour in the white wine and stir occasionally until the rice has absorbed it.
4. Pour the chicken stock into the rice 1/2 cup at a time. Stir well. Once the rice has absorbed the first portion of the chicken stock, add the next 1/2 cup.
5. While the rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 450. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
6. Break the ends off of the asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil and roll asparagus around on cookie sheet until coated. Season with salt and pepper. Put the asparagus in the oven approximately 10 minutes before the risotto will be done.
7. Right before you add your last 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the rice, melt 2 tbs. of butter in a medium sized skillet. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the shrimp becomes pink. Flip each shrimp over and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
8. Remove the shrimp from the skillet onto a plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
9. Once the rice has absorbed all of the chicken stock, add the remaining two tbs. of butter, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Stir continuously until the cheese and butter are melted.
10. Remove from heat. Add risotto to the plate, top with shrimp and asparagus.
11. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Beef Lo Mein


Apparently its improvisation week at my house. I found a recipe online for chicken lo mein that called for using noodles from a package of Ramen. Since we usually have Ramen lying around in the pantry, I thought this would be a good way to get rid of it. But today, when I went to pull it out, I found out we only had two packages and I needed three. So, I decided to use capellini noodles instead. The other problem is that you're supposed to use the flavor packet from one of the Ramen packages. Which would have worked out, had I had beef. But we had chicken and shrimp. I also somehow managed to not have beef broth, stock or bouillion cubes in the house. Yeah...I think we need to do some restocking of the pantry.

I had to scrap the recipe I had found online almost entirely since we didn't have most of the necessary ingredients. Hence, the original part. 

I do think this would taste better with a beefier flavor so I'll have to have one of those items on hand for the next time that I make this. Tom decided to add A1 to his and he said it made it better, but considering he could drink A1 right from the bottle if I let him, I can't tell you whether or not that is really a good idea.

Beef Lo Mein
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Original
Servings: 4
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    • 1 lb. flank steak or london broil
    • 1 package frozen stir fry vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, snap peas, etc.)
    • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp. sesame oil 
    • 1/4 box capellini pasta
    • 1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
    • salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, ginger

1. Cut the meat into approximately 1/2 inch strips. Season liberally with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and ginger.
2. In a large pot add water and salt. Cook the pasta according to directions.
3. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. Add the meat and cook until the meat is no longer red.
4. Add the bag of frozen vegetables and reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened.
5. Add the soy and teriyaki sauce. Drain the noodles and stir into the meat and vegetable mixture. Stir well until combined and noodles are a light brown color.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll Ups


It was a really ugly rainy day on Sunday and I didn't make it to the grocery store until close to 4 PM. I gave up on making the pierogi that night and figured I would do it on Monday. Well, it turned out to be quite the disaster. I'm not sure if I didn't have the dough thick enough or if I'm just so used to frozen pierogi that I didn't think it was very good. The dough was still kind of chewy even though I followed the recipe exactly. So, next time I think I'll use wonton wrappers and see what happens. Maybe baking them first would be a good idea too. We'll see.

Last night I had planned on making chicken cordon bleu but forgot to pull out the chicken. When I called Tom to have him do it, I found out that we were out of chicken breasts and only had chicken tenders. So I decided to improvise and this is what I came up with.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll Ups
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Original
Servings: 4-6
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    • 1 package chicken tenders
    • 1/2 lb. lunchmeat ham
    • 8 oz. package Swiss cheese
    • 10 oz. cream of mushroom soup (or homemade)
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 2 tbs. water
    • salt, pepper, garlic and paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 450.
2. Spray a large baking dish or pan with non-stick spray.
3. Season the chicken tenders with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika.
4. Wrap each chicken tender in a piece of Swiss cheese then wrap with ham. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.
5. Bake the chicken tenders for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.
6. In a small saucepan, add sour cream, cream of mushroom soup and water over medium low heat. Stir well until soup thins out and keep warm over low heat until chicken is done.
7. Drizzle cream of mushroom soup mixture over chicken cordon bleu roll ups.

I think for improvising last minute this turned out pretty well. Next time I might brown the chicken in a pan first just so it has more color since it kind of blends in with the Swiss cheese while its baking.

Weekly Menu Breakdown #21


I haven't went to the grocery store yet, but I'm really excited to blog this menu. On Sunday, after we go to the store, I'll update it with the prices of everything.

Earlier this week the thought popped into my head that it would be really neat and different to have a different cuisine each night. It's not perfect, since I have two pretty picky eaters in the house, but at least the main ingredient represents a different cuisine.

Sunday - Polish Night - Homemade Pierogies
1 onion - $0.14
1 1/2 cups sauerkraut - $1.29
5 potatoes - $0.80
8 oz. sour cream - $0.99
Total: $3.22

Monday - French - Chicken Cordon Bleu with french fries and corn
3 chicken breasts - $2.77
Swiss cheese $2.69
Ham - $2.89
1 can cream of mushroom soup - $0.79
1/3 bag french fries - $0.75
1/4 bag frozen corn kernels - $0.35
Total: $10.24

Tuesday - Chinese - Beef Lo Mein
1 lb. flank steak - $5.00
2 packages Ramen noodles - $0.20
1 bag frozen stir fry vegetables - $2.00
Total: $7.20

Wednesday - Italian - Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
Arborio rice - $0.39
1/4 cup white wine - $0.15
1/4 onion -  $0.04
1/2 lb. shrimp - $3.29
6 asparagus stalks -free (leftover from last week)
Total: $3.87

Thursday - Mexican - Beef Fajitas with Mexican Rice
1 lb. flank steak - $5.00
green pepper - $1.29
red pepper - $0.99
1/4 onion - $0.04
boil-in-a-bag rice - $0.66
1 can tomato pasta - $0.50
1 can chicken broth - $0.89
1 bag frozen peppers -$2.00
Total: $11.37

There isn't a dinner planned for Friday night because we're going to visit my aunt at the beach. I can't believe that summer is almost over (and the wedding is almost here!) and I'm ridiculously pale. I usually have some semblance of a tan by the end of June but we've been so busy with wedding stuff and since our pool is surrounded by bees and wasps, I look kind of see-through. It's not good! 

Garlic Parmesan Potato "chips"


So I lied. I was planning on making homemade french fries with tonight's meal but when I pulled out the potatoes I had a new idea. Of course I couldn't decide whether I wanted garlic Parmesan or Old Bay seasoning on them, so I decided to make both.

Garlic Parmesan Potato "Chips"
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Original
Servings: 4
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    • 4 baking potatoes
    • 2 tbsp. olive oil
    • 3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
    • 2 tsp. garlic powder
    • pepper
1. Wash off the potatoes and cut into thin slices.
2. Fill a medium sized bowl with cold water and soak the potato slices for 20-30 minutes.
3. Drain the water and pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.
4. Preheat the oven to 425. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.
5. Arrange the potato slices in single layers on the baking sheet.
6. Brush both sides of the potatoes with the olive oil.
7. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and pepper over the potato slices.
8. Baking for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are slightly browned and crunchy.

Snickerdoodle Blondies


Yesterday I said that since I don't have any dinners to blog this week I would probably make a dessert today. I was flipping through my baking binder and this one popped out at me.

I love snickerdoodle cookies. They're light and fluffy and covered in cinnamon and sugar. They almost melt in your mouth when you bite into one. Yum....

Luckily all of the ingredients for this recipe were currently hanging out in my pantry.

Snickerdoodle Blondies
Source: BrownEyedBaker
Servings: 16
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    • 2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
    • 2 cups brown sugar
    • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a medium sized bowl. Stir well to combine.
3. In a large bowl beat together the brown sugar and butter.
4. Add in the eggs one at a time.
5. Add in the vanilla extract.
6. Add the flour mixture in 3-4 parts making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding more flour.
7. Spread the dough into the baking dish. I had to scoop it out with a large spoon and then used a spatula to spread it out evenly.
8. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon topping. Sprinkle over the dough.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Blondies should spring back slightly when touched, not crumble.
10. Cool completely then cut and serve!

Mine came out thicker than the BrownEyedBaker's did but they are still really good. 

Weekly Breakdown #20


This week was a bit different. After I got an oil change this morning, I did a ton of cleaning. Not just the usual cleaning but the "spring cleaning" type of cleaning. Yeah, I know, its August and definitely not spring but we've been in the apartment for 6 months now so I thought we were a bit overdue.

Since I still had another 2 hours or so to complete all of my cleaning, Tom volunteered to make the meal plan for this week if I would make the grocery list. I was slightly worried about letting him and C go to the grocery store alone. The last time they did it, they came back with moldy strawberries and partially brown lettuce. This time was much better. They somehow managed to squish half a loaf of bread though...   :-)

Sunday - crab cakes with homemade french fries and corn on the cob
A couple of weeks ago we went to a restaurant that sells pre-made crab cakes. It's $50 for 6 of them, which is ridiculously expensive but Tom and I had planned on turning them into 3 meals while Calvin was in Europe. I'm not counting the price of the crab cakes into this because they were purchased a while ago.

4 potatoes $0.64
corn on the cob $1.98
Total: $2.62

Monday - hot dogs with velveeta shells and cheese
I am not a big fan of hot dogs or mac and cheese from a box so I think I'm just going to eat a salad this night, but either way...
4 hot dogs 1.92
4 rolls $0.94
velveeta shells and cheese $2.50
Total: $5.36

Tuesday - tacos
1 lb. ground beef $2.09
1/2 cup cheddar cheese $0.62
1/4 container sour cream $0.25
lettuce & tomato $0.30
1 can kidney beans $0.75
4 tortilla shells $0.95
Total: $4.96

Wednesday - cheesy bacon chicken with cajun roasted potatoes and asparagus
3 chicken breasts $2.91
1/2 cup cheddar cheese $0.62
5 red potatoes $0.80
1/2 bunch asparagus $0.99
Total: $5.32

Thursday - sloppy joes and chips
Tom's mom sent him two jars of sloppy joe sauce from a place near where he grew up. Its sat in the pantry for a few weeks and now since we're on operation eat-cheap I decided it was a good time to try it out. 
1 lb. ground beef $2.89
5 hamburger buns $1.56
Total: $4.45

Friday - "man"cakes and bacon 
Two years ago when we were on vacation in North Carolina, Tom decided that a standard pancake for breakfast just wasn't good enough. The house we were staying in had a super huge griddle and he decided to create a "man"cake. Or you know, just a gigantic pancake.
1/2 box pancake mix $1.45
1/2 package bacon $1.25
Total: $2.70

Tom is really happy with himself because they managed to only spend $97 at the grocery store and even picked up cereal and soda that weren't on the list. Last week we were at $112 I believe. Unfortunately, we still need to go to Walmart and buy paper towels, dish rags, cat litter and a few other things.

The total for meals this week is...$25.41. Not bad. Unfortunately I'm not really cooking anything this week so I don't have anything to blog. Maybe I'll make a dessert tomorrow. Next week I'm planning on making homemade pierogies. I'm excited!

Another new template


Finally, after searching for way longer than any person should search for a food-themed blogger template, I stumbled upon this one. Cute, huh? There was also a baking one on the website but I cook more than I bake so I thought this one was a bit more fitting. I like that its not just cooking either, since I'm also the one who cleans and I read all of the time.

Now, just to get out of this wedding funk and start adding more recipes!

Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna


I've never had ahi tuna unless it was on sushi, but the grocery store had them on sale and I thought it would be fun to try them out. I honestly have no idea if I made the recipe correctly or not, but it tasted pretty good so maybe I did.

I combined different parts of recipes I found online so I'm just going to call this my own creation.

Seared Sesame Ahi Tuna
Source: A Cookaholic Wife Creation
Servings: 3
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    • 3 ahi tuna steaks  
    • 3 tbsp. sesame seeds
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 lime juice and zested
    • 1 tsp. minced garlic
    • 1 1/2 tbsp. honey
    • 2 tbsp. cilantro
1. Combine the marinade ingredients and mix well. Remove about 3 tbs. to use pour over the tuna when done.
2. Put the tuna steaks into a ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Toss well to coat and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Remove the tuna from the fridge. Heat 1 tbs. oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.
4. Put the sesame seeds, salt and pepper on a plate.
5. Remove the tuna steaks from the marinade and pat with a paper towel. Roll the tuna in the sesame seeds coating on all sides.
6. Sear the tuna for 1-2 minutes on each side, just until the sesame seeds turn brown.
7. Drizzle with remaining marinade.
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