Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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One of my best sister/friends posted a salad with roasted brussels sprouts, yesterday, and it made me think of my Christmas dinner from last year. Thanks for being the inspiration for this post, Jess.😊

I usually make lasagna, salad and garlic bread for Christmas. However, I was watching Tia Mowry’s cooking show, a few days before Christmas, and she was making a holiday dinner for some special friends which included roasted brussels sprouts with miso. I didn’t think that would go over well with my crew, but I know that balsamic and honey pair well and would serve to bring out the sweetness in the roasted little sprouts. So, I gave it a try. Oh my goodness. YUMOLA! Dinner turned out so well that I will be repeating the exact same menu this year. Another sweet girlfriend (thanks Cynthia ☺️) recently gifted me with some scrumpdiliocious balsamic from Williams-Sonoma, so they will be extra tasty this year!

I served the sprouts alongside Tia’s herb crusted beef tenderloin. AMAZING. I changed a few things to suit our taste, but it was truly delish! I will be posting that recipe under main dishes soon. I also made garlic mashed potatoes and just in case my crew said, “Hey, what’s this!”, I made my usual lasagna with homemade garlic bread (look for those recipes to be posted soon, too). But, honestly, the roasted brussels sprouts made the meal complete and were a huge hit. Not a fan of sprouts? They were not my faves either. My hubby loves them, so I was really making them for him. But, this recipe will change your ENTIRE mind. Trust me!

You will need:

1 1/2 – 2 pounds of brussels sprouts

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp of kosher salt

1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 t honey

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off the stems of the brussels sprouts and any yellow or ragged leaves. If some sprouts are larger than the others, cut those in half. Place them in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them onto a baking sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. Shake the pan, from time to time, so that they brown evenly. The sprouts are done when they are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside. Remove the sprouts from the oven and place in a serving dish. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. Toss to coat and sprinkle with additional salt, if needed.

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Kimmie Bee’s Chicken Pot Pie

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As the temperatures turn cooler, we all tend to want some of our favorite comfort foods. Honestly, it doesn’t have to be cool outside for this family favorite to make an appearance on my menu. This chicken pot pie recipe is simple; filled with ingredients that are probably already in your pantry/refrigerator and a huge crowd pleaser.

 

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You will need:

1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in 1/2 lengthwise and then cut into strips

½ teaspoon of sweet paprika

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

1 t kosher salt

1 t freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ onion chopped

½ cup celery chopped

1 cup of sliced carrots

1 cup of frozen peas

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons of flour

2 cups of chicken stock

1 cup of heavy cream (or evaporated milk)

2 pie crusts (see ‘Pie Crust 101’ under the ‘Tips’ tab)

1 egg lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Sprinkle the paprika, thyme, 1/2 t of salt & pepper on the chicken. Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat and add the olive oil. Add the chicken and sauté approximately 4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and place on a plate to cool for a few minutes and then chop into cubes.

In the same pan, add the onions, carrots and celery. Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute while stirring. Sprinkle the flour onto the mixture and stir until the flour is incorporated. Add the chicken stock and simmer, stirring until it starts to thicken. Then, stir in the heavy cream & season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Add the frozen peas and the chicken back to the pan and turn off the heat. Stir to combine and set aside.

Roll pie crust and put one in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate. Add the chicken mixture and top with the other pie crust. Crimp to seal the edges. Add about a teaspoon of water to the beaten egg and brush evenly over the top of the pie crust. Make slits in the top of the pie for venting and place in the oven. Bake for 2o minutes or until golden brown.

Note: If you have leftover chicken filling and pie crust scraps, you can make chicken pot pie bundles like the ones shown in the picture. Just roll out the scraps and cut out a large circle. Put in a large muffin tin, fill with the chicken mixture and pinch together to resemble a pouch.

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Roasted Vegetable Salsa AND Corn Salsa

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Have you got an abundance of corn, tomatoes and other veggies from your garden or the farmer’s market? Are you running out of ideas for using them up? Try this roasted vegetable salsa or corn salsa and enjoy the last tastes of Summer. That’s right, TWO recipes. 😊 They are YUMOLA with just tortilla chips. But if you want to have a fiesta in your mouth, try them on top of grilled; marinated skirt steak, shrimp or fish tacos (look for those recipes soon under main dishes). So fresh. So easy. Soooooo good!

For the Roasted Vegetable Salsa you will need …

2 large tomatoes cut in half

1 small red onion

1 small white or yellow onion

4 green onions

5 cloves of garlic

1 large jalapeño

the juice of 2 limes

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 – 2 T of olive oil

Roast all of the veggies on a griddle or grill pan; turning frequently until charred. Remove the stem from the jalapeño and add all of the veggies into a blender. Add the lime juice and olive oil. Blend until desired consistency and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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For the Corn Salsa, you will need …

2 large ears of corn OR 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped

2 avocados, diced

the juice of 2 limes

1 T of olive oil

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Roast the corn on a preheated grill or grill pan until charred; turning frequently. If using frozen corn, saute in a pan until just tender. Cut the corn off of the cob and add to a large bowl. Add all of the other ingredients, toss and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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The Best Roasted Whole Chicken

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Do you find yourself buying rotisserie chicken? I know it’s so easy to just pick one up and throw a few sides with it and you’ve got dinner. And, even lunch for the next day. But, trust me when I tell you that if you try this method, you will NEVER buy another rotisserie chicken again. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but I’m just saying, it’s SO good! And, SO easy! And, guess what? If you don’t want to brine the chicken overnight, it will still be YUMOLA! All you need is 30 minutes of brining in water and salt. I promise. Don’t have 30 minutes to spare? This is one of the only times I would say you can even skip the brining altogether. Your chicken will still be absolutely delicious. But, only if you’re pressed for time. 20-30 minutes of brining is better than not doing it. Okay, ready?

You will need:

1 whole chicken (3-4 pounder); remove the giblet bag

olive oil

softened butter (about 1/2 stick)

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

3 cloves of garlic (just smash the cloves and remove the peel)

1 lemon, sliced

fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme …. a handful of one, two, all four; your favorite herbs or omit altogether)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees

Rinse the chicken (whether you brined it or not) and pat completely dry; even on the inside. Make sure you lift the wings and legs to remove as much water as possible. This will ensure a crispy skin. Place the chicken on a board and drizzle olive oil all over it. Smear the softened butter all over, as well, and push a little butter under the skin of the breast. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper all over the chicken. GENEROUSLY. Place the lemon, garlic and herbs (if you’re using) inside the cavity of the chicken.

If you have an iron skillet, pull that baby out and use it. Otherwise, any oven safe pan will work. Place the chicken into the pan, breast side up, and place in the oven. Immediately turn down the oven to 400 degrees and roast for 50 minutes. Do not disturb or open the oven. This is KEY! After 50 minutes, remove and check the temperature. It is done when the temperature registers 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh and the juices run clear. If more cooking time is needed, check every 10 minutes. Total cooking time will be between 50 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of your chicken. Once done, remove to a board and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Strain the pan juices and make a simple pan gravy by heating the juices on top of the stove and thickening with 1 tablespoon of flour as you stir continuously until thickened. Add  salt and pepper if needed.

I would love to hear how amazing your chicken turned out. I have NO DOUBT that even you will be surprised at how easy and delicious it is.

Note: You will find instructions on brining in ‘Say, “Goodbye” to dry; tasteless chicken’ listed under ‘Tips’.

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Sheila’s Pineapple Nut Bread

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My sister, Sheila, is 12 years older than me and I spent a huge part of almost every Summer vacation with her and her family. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from those Summers. We took trips to the zoo (my sister LOVED the gorillas at Lincoln Park Zoo), to the air and water show (my brother-in-law, Bob, had a way of getting us THE PRIME viewing spots), to the museums (they took me to see The King Tut exhibit) and I always looked forward to the annual Great America trip (armed with Sheila’s amazing packed lunch of fried chicken and potato salad). We also enjoyed many days poolside. On some of those ‘lazy days of Summer’, we would rise to the smell of her pineapple nut bread baking. Funny how smells can conjure up a memory. To this day, the smell of this bread baking takes me back to the Summer of 1977; my red bathing suit (why I only had one suit is beyond me) and my brother-in-law playing (and singing) ‘The House of the Rising Sun’ on his guitar. The taste is pretty memorable, too!

What you will need for Sheila’s Pineapple Nut Bread:

4 cups of flour

2 t of baking soda

3/4 t salt

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

1 stick of butter (softened)

1/4 cup of vegetable shortening

2 eggs, beaten

1 – 6oz can of frozen orange juice, thawed

1 – 15 oz can of crushed pineapple

1 cup of chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or two butter knives. In another bowl, cream the butter & sugar. Add the eggs and combine. Pour into the flour mixture and add all of the other ingredients. Mix together until combined with a spoon or spatula. Do not beat or use a mixer. Butter and flour two loaf pans and evenly divide the batter between the two pans. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Kimmie Bee’s Curry Turkey Burgers

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I love anything with CURRY! Love, love, LOVE! These burgers are easy to put together and will take your tastebuds on a flavorful journey. So good! I hope you will give them a try.

1 1/2 lbs of ground turkey

2 T olive oil

3 T of tomato paste

1 small onion, grated (use a handheld grater to grate or chop very fine)

1 T grated fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger)

2 T chopped cilantro (optional)

3 cloves of garlic minced

2-3 t of curry powder

1/2 t of cayenne pepper

3 T of Worcestershire sauce

1 t of kosher salt

1 t of freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients, except for the ground turkey, together in a large bowl. Add the ground turkey and combine. Form your burgers (makes approximately six, 1/2″ thick burgers) and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Cook on a heated grill or grill pan (medium high) for 6 minutes per side. You could also pan fry them in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Serve on a bun with red onion, cilantro and tomato. Or, my favorite way to serve these burgers, in a toasted pita with Israeli salad and tahini sauce.

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Thai Chicken Tacos

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I saw this recipe while thumbing through a BH&G magazine, years ago, in my doctor’s office. Yepper, you guessed it, I tore the page right out of the magazine and tucked it into my purse to try later. It was a really old; worn edition, so I didn’t feel badly about swiping the recipe. And besides, now I’m able to share it with all of you! 😊 I tweaked it a tad bit and it has become a huge hit with my family and friends. In fact, it’s one of the recipes I like demonstrating in my cooking sessions because it’s so quick and easy, yet VERY flavorful.

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You will need:

1 1b boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in ½ inch pieces

1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large shallot or 2 small, chopped

the juice of one large lime

1 T fish sauce (check the oriental aisle of the grocery store)

2 t coconut aminos (you can use soy sauce if you prefer)

1 t Sriracha

1 t crushed red pepper

2 T olive oil

16 corn tortillas (or 8 if you don’t want to double the tacos)

Juice ½ of the lime into a large bowl and save the remaining ½ to squeeze onto the tacos before serving. Add the chicken, cilantro, garlic, shallot, fish sauce, red pepper, coconut aminos and Sriracha into the bowl with the lime juice. Toss to combine, cover and refrigerate for an hour. In a sauté pan, heat the oil and add the chicken mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is done.

To serve, heat the tortillas on a dry pan or directly on the burners of a gas stove. Top the tortillas with chicken and cabbage slaw, a squeeze of lime and an extra drizzle of Sriracha.

Cabbage slaw
2 cups of shredded Napa cabbage

½ cup of shredded carrot

½ cup of sliced green onions (tops only)

1/3 cup of sliced radishes

¼ cup of chopped cilantro

½ cup of chopped peanuts

¼ cup rice vinegar

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss. No other seasoning will be needed because the chicken is PACKED full of flavor and heat.

Note: Make the slaw while the chicken is marinating. Also, you can use 1 cup of Napa and 1 cup of purple cabbage. In the first picture, I used both.

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This smiling group of ladies attended one of my sessions and gave the recipe two thumbs up!

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Kimmie Bee’s Banana Nut Bread

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This banana bread is rich, dense and DELICIOUS! It is not fluffy and cake like. In fact, it may even sink a little in the middle while baking. But, it is the bomb dot com. Seriously! And it’s even better the next day. Just wrap the bread in foil and refrigerate. This recipe is a huge hit with my girlfriends, especially Sarah. ☺️ I often make it when I know they are coming over for coffee. My family loves it, as well, but my resident picky eater (aka my son) likes it with no nuts. So, if you are not a fan of nuts, feel free to omit them. It will still be YUMOLA! Want to make it ‘OUT OF THIS WORLD’ good? Spread a little cream cheese on your slice. Mmmmmhhhhmmmm!

1 cup of butter, softened

2 cups of sugar (most times I use 1 cup of regular and 1 cup of brown)

4 eggs

2 cups of mashed, over ripe bananas

2 t vanilla extract

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 t salt

2 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1 cup of chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two loaf pans.

Cream the butter and sugar together with a mixer and add the eggs in one at a time. Mix in the bananas and the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients into the banana mixture in three batches. Do not over mix. Fold in the nuts and evenly divide the batter between the two loaf pans.

Bake for 55 minutes, checking after 45 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean. Let the loaves cool for five minutes in the pan. Then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool them completely before slicing.

Note: If you’d like a less dense and lighter bread, use all regular sugar; add another teaspoon of baking powder and 1/2 cup more of flour.

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Where Gumbo meets Jambalaya

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I have a group of girlfriends and we affectionately refer to ourselves as ‘The Crew’. We get together and go to concerts, plays; celebrate birthdays, graduations, etc. And, sometimes, we just get together for dinner at a restaurant or at each others’ homes. A few years ago, my girlfriend Rochelle invited ‘The Crew’ over for dinner prior to us heading out to see a movie. She made this jambalaya and it honestly ranked up there with some of the best I’ve ever tasted. I have had A LOT of jambalaya; even in New Orleans. I was impressed! She shared the recipe with me and I’ve been making it ever since. When I asked her for permission to share this recipe with all of you, she graciously said, “Absolutely! Girl, it’s not my recipe! I got it from The Food Network.” But, it IS her recipe because she changed it up and made it her own. She doesn’t care for okra and she didn’t have seafood in her recipe, so those additions are mine along with a few other changes. I call it, ‘gumbo meets jambalaya’ because it’s a lot like gumbo. Whatever you call it, you will definitely be including the word YUMOLA in that description. Thanks, Rochelle. 💗

Olive oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise; then cut into strips. Then, cut the strips in thirds.

20 jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined

1 cup of flour for dredging the chicken

5 andouille sausages, sliced (I like using chicken andouille)

7 cloves of garlic, minced

2 green peppers, chopped

2 red peppers, chopped

4 stalks of celery, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1 bag of frozen okra

1 1/2 T dried oregano

1 t thyme

4 T dried parsley

2 T paprika

2 T chili powder

1 T cayenne (can use less for less heat)

kosher salt to taste

2 – 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

4 T Worcestershire sauce

2 cups of chicken stock

Place the flour in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Dredge the chicken in the flour. Heat a deep pan (a dutch oven is perfect for this) on medium high heat. Coat with olive oil once the pan is hot. Add the chicken and brown on one side. Turn and add the sausage. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic, peppers, celery, okra and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add all of the seasonings, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock. Simmer for at least one hour, stirring occasionally. During the cooking time, taste to see if additional salt is needed. Add the shrimp and simmer for an additional 2 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Serve over rice. And, invite all of your friends. This makes A LOT of jambalaya! Whenever I make this, I serve it with fried catfish and cornbread. It is a HUGE hit at Kimmie Bee’s.

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Kimmie Bee’s ‘kicked up’ jasmine rice

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I created this rice when I was doing a detox. It could be served as a side, but is a complete meal on its own. And, oh my word, this so does not taste like a ‘detox’ meal at all. It is FULL of flavor. I looked in my pantry and fridge and started creating. I even surprised myself on this one. 😊 And, with a few changes, this could be a delicious vegetarian meal! My nieces, Robin & Shelly will be happy about that.

You will need:

4 scallions, chopped (or 1 medium onion, chopped)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper chopped

1 pound of lean ground turkey (could use canned lentils or chick peas drained)

1 T of olive oil

1/2 can of tomato paste

4 1/2 cups of chicken stock (could use water or vegetable stock)

1 t ground coriander

1 t ground ginger

1/2 t of cayenne (use less if you’d like or omit)

1 1/2 t turmeric

2-3 t ground curry

1 t chili powder

1/2 t cinnamon

2 cups of brown jasmine rice (rinsed w/cold water and drained)

Sauté the onion, pepper and ground turkey in the olive oil over medium heat until the turkey is browned. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, while stirring. Add the spices (and lentils or chick peas if you are substituting them for the ground turkey) and sauté until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add the rice and another drizzle of olive oil to coat the grains. Add the liquid; bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer and cover for 50 minutes. Uncover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff and prepare to be blown away!!!!! For real!

Note: I used all organic and no sugar added products, but you don’t have to. Also, you could use regular rice, but the brown jasmine rice is seriously DELISH! It has a bit of a nutty flavor.

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