Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tiny Chef

I mentioned on my Instagram feed (follow me if you don't already: eguill3) when I made this dish that I hardly cook alone anymore.  Rex loves to help me in the kitchen.  As soon as he notices me in there pulling out ingredients and starting to prep he inquires, "Mama, you cooking dinner time?"  Shortly after my confirmation he makes his way to the pantry and pulls out his step stool and puts himself right in the mix.  Normally his first choice is to place himself somewhere in the kitchen that is unsafe, inconvenient and detrimental to my progress.  It usually takes a bit of adjusting on my end and then we are ready to conquer the recipe together.  This particular dish required a bunch of chopping, which of course Rex was more than eager to participate in.  We had to bring in his wooden knife from the toy box, but after he had the right tools he was steadily on his way to claiming his spot as my all time favorite sous chef!

Rex's Veggie Prep Shot from Instagram

Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe
Adapted from Cooking Light October 2012


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1/2 cup sliced baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta) 
  • 5 ounces green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast 
  • 2 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)


1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through thyme) to pan; sauté 4 minutes.

 Add broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil.

2.  Add pasta and beans;

cook 5 minutes. Stir in chicken,

and sprinkle with cheese.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Craving Crab

I don't cook with Crab much.  It really is a shame because I adore the flavor of delicate lump crabmeat, but a pound of crabmeat is just so expensive that I can't justify it unless it is for a special occasion.  I made an exception for this recipe because it looked so very delicious.  I love lettuce wraps and I love grilled corn so I figured crab meat would just take this to a whole new level.  Even though this was a very expensive weeknight meal, it truly was worth the money.  It was a nice change in the usual weeknight rotation and it was a great tasting meal!

Corn and Crab Lettuce Wraps
Cooking Light September 2010



  • 5 ears shucked corn
  • 1 cup chopped bottled roasted red bell pepper, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 16 ounces lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 
  • 3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 12 Boston lettuce leaves



1. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Place corn in pan; cook 8 minutes or until slightly charred, turning frequently. Cool slightly. Cut kernels from ears of corn; place in a large bowl. Add bell peppers, green onions and stir to combine.

Gently add crabmeat  to corn mixture; toss gently to combine.

2. Combine lime juice, mayonnaise, black pepper, salt, and ground red pepper in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

 Pour dressing over crab mixture;

 toss gently to coat.

 Serve salad over lettuce leaves.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Trump Card Casserole

My Mom is a school teacher.  And for me as a person who works year round and has little patience for stranger's children, by far the most appealing part of that profession in my opinion is the summers off ;-)  Oddly enough, that is the thorn in my Mother's side.  Although she always welcomes the break from the school year come late May, she is normally going stir crazy two weeks in to her summer break.  She doesn't sit well and after the first few weeks of furiously working her way through stacks of novels as tall as she is, she is normally ready to pull her hair out.  So she basically plays tourist in her own city for the rest of the summer months.  She and one of her other teacher friends attend every NOMA art exhibit, take every French Quarter tour and dine at several local restuarants to keep busy during the days.

On one of her French Quarter excursions she picked up a very "souvenirish" gift for me, but something so neat that I was ecstatic to be the recipient.  It was a deck of playing cards called "Deck 'o Meals, 52 Creole recipes".  The deck of cards had more to offer than just 52 classic creole recipes, the recipes had to fit on one side of a standard playing card so they were all very easy recipes with few ingredients.  I quickly thumbed through them and decided I would be making several of them very soon.  The first one I chose was this zucchini casserole.  I wanted to add it as a side for a weeknight meal, but this was so good that I immediately deemed it Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner worthy.  I made a few changes in the preparation of the recipe, but stuck with the original ingredient list and it was AMAZING!

Zucchini Casserole
Loosely adapted from Creole "Deck 'o Meals" Playing Cards


  • 2 slices of bacon, cut up
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onions
  • dash of garlic salt
  • 3 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 1/2 cup cracker crumbs (Saltines)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt


1.  Partly cook bacon slices.  Remove from pan and place aside in large mixing bowl.

 Drain all but 1 Tbs of bacon grease from pan.  Cook the onions and mushrooms in the remaining bacon grease.

2.  Add cooked mushrooms and onions to the bacon.  Combine the remaining ingredients.

Adding cracker crumbs and eggs last.

3.  Bake in a 2 quart casserole dish, un-covered for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Click Here for My Printable Recipe