Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pan Seared Shrimp and Arugula Risotto

I found this recipe in the May issue of Cooking Light. I'm no stranger to making risotto, thanks to Mary Ellen's fantastic recipes.

This one did not dissapoint. The arugula was the perfect spicy complement to the shrimp. Mr. Tote loved it, as well. We'll definitely be making this again!

4 C chicken stock
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
dash salt and pepper
1 shallot, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 C Arborio rice
1/2 C dry white wine
1/2 C grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 Tbsp butter
3 C baby arugula
1/2 C thinly sliced fresh basil - I omitted since I didn't have any on hand

Bring chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Keep warm over low heat.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with a dash of salt and pepper. Add shrimp to pan and cook or 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil and the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to pan. Sautee for five minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add rice and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine. Cook for one minute or until the liquid is almost all absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add 1 C stock. Cook four minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining stock, one ladle at a time, stirring frequently until each amount of stock is absorbed before adding the next. This should take about 25-30 minutes.

Stir in shrimp and cook one minute or until done. Stir in cheese. Remove from heat. Stir in arugula and basil until slightly wilted. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

I found this recipe on Stephanie's A Year of Slow Cooking blog. Stephanie comes up with the most amazing recipes. Her creativity when using a slow cooker is definitely something to envy. Below is her recipe for Chicken and Dumplings in the Crockpot. Mine didn't turn out so "soupy" and was more like a casserole, but still equally delicious. My slight modifications appear below. Please visit A Year of Slow Cooking for the original Chicken and Dumplings Soup Recipe and lots of other fantastic finds.

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, defrosted

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
16 ounces frozen corn
2 cans cream-of-something soup (I used one can cream of mushroom and one can cream of chicken)
1 can refrigerated biscuits, or one batch drop biscuits (I used the drop biscuit recipe on the back of the Bisquik box)

Spray a large slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place the chicken and vegetables into the bottom of the crockpot. Add the cream-of soups. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5. An hour before serving, shred the chicken with two large forks, and drop in the biscuit dough.

Cover and cook on high for another hour. The biscuits are done when you can insert a knife and it comes out clean. They will be spongy and will brown a bit on the sides and top.

Serve in bowls, with a biscuit or two per person.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Another One Month Hiatus

So, if you've been following my blog for awhile, you'll remember that I unpurposely took a one month hiatus last year, due to the climation of my professional efforts all year... the Annual Conference that I plan. Well, like a bad cold, that sucker came around again. Ahh, who am I kidding. I love my job and it's great to see all the hard work pay off. More on that later...

................................ OK, I'm not quite sure how to say this. I guess I'll just spit it out. On April 6, I lost my father-in-law to cancer. After a five-year battle with Leukemia, his body decided it was time to stop fighting. He received a bone marrow transplant in 2006, but faced various complications that weakened his body (but certainly not his spirit). He passed away peacefully in his own bed, surrounded by all of his family, after coming home on hospice care for about five hours. We held a wonderful memorial service at Riverview Church, celebrating his life. We are holding together strong as a close-knit family. In fact, last night, we took family pictures with Amy Carroll. We had scheduled them awhile back, intending for Dave to be in the pictures, but we know he is all smiles up in heaven. Here's a few pics from our wedding back in June 2008.

So, I took a week off of work to be with my husband's family and returned to work four days before my big conference. Nothing like hitting the ground running! I worked long hours but it all paid off when I arrived in Grand Rapids and saw 700+ participants enjoying the three-day event that we had been planning for the last year.

Oh, and I forgot to mention I had a birthday, too. I turned 28 on April 18. With all of life's craziness, it came and went just like any other day, which is fine by me. Matt let me pick out a new Coach purse, so I got a cute green sling and watermelon coin purse. Also, I did get a delicious cake during the conference. :-)

I'm definitely looking forward to getting back to a more normal routine. I have lots of blog updates that need to be written and shared! Nice to "see" you all again!!!