Fajita Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwiches

This sandwich takes the pride and joy of Louisiana and slaps it in the face with one of the best tastes Mexico has ever offered.  It features sizzlin’ shrimp, fajita veggies, and crisp romaine lettuce all piled high onto a perfectly crisp French roll, then slathered with a smoky chipotle mayo sauce.  Ohh my…IMG_0184Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I am so stinkin’ excited to be back.  Like, I might be a little too excited.  Buckle your seatbelts, friends…it’s gonna get crazy!

I’m back.  I’ve got a new last name, new home, new job, and brand spankin’ new, fresh ideas for Karlie and Oats!  I got engaged at the end of March (which is why blogging was on a hiatus) and then married on July 11, 2015.  The wedding was far better than anything I could have ever dreamed and it was simply gorgeous.  Follow me on Instagram to see photos of our day!  I am now married to Joey.  He is attractive, hardworking, and dedicated and a man who is extremely kindhearted and keeps me rooted.  So far our new life is go, go, go; which I doubt will ever stop.  But, we are finally settled and I finally got a chance to shoot some photos of one of the yummy dinners I made this week.IMG_0177My husband has family in the South.  (We spent some time together in New Orleans before we got engaged) And he constantly craves Southern food and anything Cajun. Personally, I think that Cajun food is typically salty and a little overwhelming.  I usually crave Mexican food and could probably eat an unhealthy amount of it before making myself sick.  BUT, being the loving wife that I am, I decided to learn how to introduce Southern flavors and ideas into my cooking.  After just one month of marriage, I have already attempted, and I emphasize {attempted} a jambalaya recipe, thrown some Cajun flavors into random dishes, and now I’m trying out the Po’ Boy.

Notice, though, my Po’ Boy has Mexican flavors added to it.

…aaanndddd marriage is about compromise.

I think we are off to a good start, right?  IMG_0147Here we go!  So, sizzle up some peppers and onions, then season and cook the shrimp. Whip up the sauce, and then prepare those rolls to get loaded with fiesta fajita goodness!IMG_0156Layer these beauts with some sauce, stack on the peppers and onions, layer it with shrimp, top it off with lettuce, douse it in more sauce and cap it offffff! TADAAA! Devour!IMG_0176

Fajita Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwiches

  • Servings: Makes 4 sandwiches
  • Difficulty: You can handle it
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What you need:

  • 1/2 lb of frozen cooked shrimp, thawed
  • 2 or 3 bell peppers (I used yellow, red, and orange)
  • butter or oil
  • 1/2 large onion
  • romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 french bread rolls (baguette-type)
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 7 oz can of chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or substitute BBQ sauce)

What to do:

  1. Heat butter/oil in a large skillet on stove set to medium-high.
  2. Slice bell peppers and onion into thin strips (fajita style) and add to heated skillet
  3. Cook until peppers are cooked through and onions are golden and translucent; move skillet from heat. Set aside.
  4. Place thawed, fully cooked shrimp onto paper towels and blot to remove excess water.
  5. Sprinkle shrimp liberally with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to season.
  6. Heat more butter/oil in smaller skillet on stove; add seasoned shrimp.
  7. Heat shrimp for 1-2 minutes, do not overcook. Set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and about 3 oz of chipotle in adobo to make sauce.
  9. Cut rolls in half and slice lengthwise to make 4 sandwiches.
  10. Load the bottom of the roll with sauce, peppers and onions, shrimp, and lettuce.
  11. Top sandwich with more sauce and put on the lid.
  12. Scarf it down and ENJOY!

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Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

These shrimp tacos are super simple and can be whipped up in a jiffy.  They’re fresh and light and they’ll make you wish you were sitting by the ocean with the sand between your toes.  IMG_7719-2 I am like, a taco addict.  I bet you I could eat a shrimp taco or fish taco every day for the rest of my life and not be tired of them.  They’re just SO good.  I think part of the reason why I like them so much is because I literally never heard of a shrimp taco until I moved to Colorado.  Dead serious.  No joke.  I didn’t even realize that people ate any fish other than catfish, and all I knew was that we ate it at the annual Rotary Fish Fry.  I am not even kidding!  I lived in a tiny town on the Mississippi River until I was 13.  It was Small Town, USA.  I knew Chevy trucks were better than Fords, ground deer meat was a great substitute for ground beef, and the bubbly drink that comes in a can was called “pop”.  Was I sheltered?  Naiive maybe?  Call it whatever you want to call it.  I guess I moved to Colorado and my eyes were opened.  But I’m proud to have Midwestern roots.  IMG_7704-2 I love how versatile tacos are.  If you change the spices and leave everything else the same, it’s a different taste!  If you switch out the shrimp for fish, again, it would taste a little different! Feel free to add or take out anything you want!  This recipe is great for quick lunches on the weekend, or weekday dinners when you are in a rush.  IMG_7725-2These tacos just so happen to be Gluten Free and Dairy Free as long as you follow the recipe!  IMG_7655-2

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 1/2 lbs raw shrimp (frozen work just fine too)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 lime or 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (I used lite soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • small garlic clove or garlic powder
  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for cooking
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • avocado, sliced
  • lettuce, or anything else you might want to put on your taco

What to do:

  1. First, we want to make the sauce.  In a small bowl, add the mayo, lime juice, soy sauce, honey, and garlic.  Combine well with a fork or whisk.  Then add chopped cilantro and stir all together.  Set sauce aside in refrigerator.
  2. Next, we cook the shrimp.  If your shrimp have tails, shells, veins, or anything like that, remove them.  Rinse the shrimp until they are clean, then blot them dry with a paper towel.  When they are dry, season them with garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a pan on medium high heat.  Add shrimp to heated pan one at a time, making it so they are all in one layer.  Cook shrimp for a minute or two on each side until they change from clear to a pinkish white color.  After they’re done, transfer shrimp to a plate so they don’t overcook.
  4. After the shrimp are cooked, heat up your tortillas.  I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to dampen a paper towel and cover the tortillas with the damp paper towel before you microwave them.  Microwave tortillas for 30-45 seconds or until soft.
  5. Slice up some avocado and lettuce or any other ingredients you want to add to your taco.
  6. Assemble your tacos by adding 2 or 3 shrimp to each taco and loading it with lettuce and avocado and topping it off with the cilantro lime sauce.
  7. Eat and ENJOY!

Notes:**These shrimp tacos are gluten-free (GF) and dairy free (DF) as long as you use corn tortillas!  They are also fairly low in carbs, I would just count how many carbs are in your tortilla, and maybe switch out the honey for stevia or agave! These tacos are happy and healthy for just about everyone! 🙂IMG_7686-2

Pantry Pad Thai

This is a pretty darn tasty recipe for Pad Thai that is thrown together with a little bit of everything.  It is a great meal option for when you look into the pantry and all you see are odds and ends.  This dish is also perfect for all those hungry college students who are tired of eating cereal for every meal, but can’t afford takeout.IMG_7332-2  You know what I hate?  Hate is a strong word, I know.  But I hate this one thing.  I really hate when you are so hungry that you are like starving, and you can’t find anything to eat.  Um, Karlie, starving is also a strong word…

Okay, sorry.  So I’m not really ever starving.  But you know those times when you are like really, reallllly hungry and it’s like so hungry that you don’t want to go out and buy food and you just want to eat something from home because you’re THAT hungry…but you can’t come up with anything to make so it is making you angry?  Yeah, that is what I hate.  I hate being hangry.  Anybody know if they’ve put hangry into the dictionary yet…?  It kinda seems like it should be since “selfie” is officially a word.  Selfies…bleh.  That’s another thing I hate.  Okay, [end rant].

On to the good stuff!IMG_7275-3 So, yeah.  This Pantry Pad Thai is flavorful, fast, and really easy to throw together.  You can make it using whatever noodles you’ve got at home, a few dashes of this and that, and some peanut butter.  The peanut butter is the game-changer here.  I think peanut butter is just about the only thing that is absolutely necessary to make this recipe work.  I added shrimp because it packs a little protein and because I am not in college anymore, so I can afford it 😉 IMG_7288-2Before you do anything, you’ll want to whisk together the sauce and let those flavors hang out and mingle for a little while.  After you get the sauce party started, you want to cook the noodles.  If you are adding shrimp or veggies, boil the noodles first and then right before the noodles are done, throw in the shrimp (and/or veggies).  After that, you just mix it all together and eat!  IMG_7354-2

Pantry Pad Thai

  • Servings: Meal for Two
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter of choice
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper or a squeeze of Sriracha
  • 1/2 lb of noodles of choice (spaghetti, linguine, or even ramen would work)
  • 20 frozen shrimp (optional)
  • frozen vegetable mix (optional)
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • red onion (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro (optional)

What to do:

  1. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and place on stovetop set to HIGH.  Boil water.
  2. While waiting for water to boil- In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, ginger, honey, lemon juice, garlic powder, and red pepper. Set aside.
  3. Once water is boiling, add noodles.  Cook noodles for about 7 minutes.
  4. **If adding frozen shrimp and/or vegetables, add to pot with noodles and cook an additional 2 minutes or until shrimp is slightly pink. Remove pot from heat.
  5. Drain water from pot of noodles/shrimp/vegetables.
  6. Pour sauce mixture over noodles and shrimp and combine.

Optional steps (to continue from step 6):

  1. Crack one egg into hot pan on stove, as if making scrambled eggs. Break yolk.
  2. Add some chopped red onion and coconut to frying pan, stirring together.  Cook just for a minute or two until egg is cooked and you can smell the onion.
  3. Add egg mixture to noodle dish.
  4. Top with chopped cilantro for added flavor.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes:  This dish is best served warm and immediately after prepared.  If refrigerated, warm in microwave for a few minutes the next day.  I hope you like it!

Beer Bacon Chili

beerchili5Beer, bacon, and chili.  Three powerful words that tend to grab people’s taste buds on their own.  Put the beer and bacon INSIDE the chili, and you’ll have people knocking on your door for days!

This Beer Bacon Chili is chock-full of flavor.  It is the ultimate chunky chili and can satisfy the brawniest of appetites.  It is the perfect amount of food for a family.  There’s not so much that you’ll have to eat chili for a week, which is nice.  This is my go-to chili recipe.  The bacon gives the chili a bolder, more meaty flavor.  The beer shines through in the end.  This recipe can be made your own by adding additional spices or beans.  The flavors all marry each other incredibly well.  I’ve never been in a Chili Cookoff, but I’m confident that this chili recipe is one that would stand out in a crowd.  I hope you are as enthusiastic about it as I am 🙂beerchili9Earlier this week, it was sunny and 65 degrees.  It was incredibly nice, so I did what every other Coloradoan did– took my car to the car wash.  Then yesterday came. Yesterday was wet and snowy.  Two days of a spotless, shiny car ruined by wet, sloppy slop.  Mmhmm.  Fortunately, this chili did a great job pulling me out of my despair.  (I still might be a tiny bit bitter about it, might be.) But it really is a perfect cold weather, cheer-you-up kind of meal.beerchili8Yeah, baby.

Beer Bacon Chili

  • Servings: Serves 6 (easily doubled)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 3 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 lbs. of ground beef or turkey, thawed (I used 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika
  • cayenne pepper (use up to 2 teaspoons if you want it spicy)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 14.5oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, or crushed
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 bottle of your favorite beer (I used a seasonal Blue Moon from the fridge)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 14.5oz can of pinto beans, drained
  • variety of toppings for garnish: jalapenos, green peppers, white queso, cheese, sour cream, bacon bits

What to do:

  1. In a 6-quart stock pot, cook bacon pieces on high heat until brown.
  2. Add chopped onion to pot, cover with lid, and cook until onions on low/medium heat until they are clear.
  3. Uncover pan, add garlic, stir and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Turn stove to medium/high heat and add ground beef; breaking up with wooden spoon and stirring about 5 minutes.
  5. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.  Cook for another minute.
  6. Add canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire sauce to pot and bring mixture to boil.
  7.  Once boiling, turn stove to medium/low and cover pot halfway.  Set timer for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, drain beans and add to chili. Cook 10 more minutes, uncovered.
  9. Serve chili warm and top with whatever you’d like!

 

Notes** This chili is REALLY good right away, but even better reheated and eaten the day after.  Also, I apologize for not documenting step-by-step this time.  Chili isn’t pretty until it’s done 🙂beerchili4

Deep Dish Meatball Subs

meatballs1Mamma Mia! That’s a spicy meat-a-ball-uh!

Not really, though.  That was just to make you laugh.  This dish isn’t spicy at all.  (Sorry if I got your hopes up.)

I can come up with hundreds of words to describe this delectably tasty, meaty, cheesy, bubbly, mouth-watering, tempting, jaw-dropping recipe.  But spicy is not one of them.

So!  Meatballs, yes.  This recipe is a twist on the classic Meatball Sub sandwich.  I called it Deep Dish Meatball Subs because I felt like if I gave it a name that included the word “casserole”, it sounded like it had some kind of soup in it, and casseroles are generally associated with being boring and bland.  This dish is NOT bland or boring, I promise you.  It’s got biscuits that puff up in the pan, frozen meatballs that cook themselves in the oven, a can of sauce, and cheese all over it.  If you’ve ever loved a meatball sub sandwich, you will be downright dumbfounded when you get a bite of this effortless dinner dish.

meatball3Want to know something?  That “Mamma Mia…!” quote is from an Alka Seltzer commercial from 1969.  I wasn’t even born in 1969.  In fact, my parents were still toddlers in 1969.  And yet, almost all of us know the “spicy meat-a-ball-uh” voice.  That just cracks me up.

meatball6This is one can of refrigerated Pillsbury Grands biscuits.  Just open the can and try not to get scared when it pops (hehe, gets me every stinkin’ time). Then you want to cut them into eighths like this!

meatball7After you combine the biscuits with the sauce, you have a pretty thin and seemingly sparse bottom layer.  Don’t worry, though.  I took the frozen meatballs and kinda filled in the gaps and added some extra ones here and there.  You can certainly make your own meatballs, but I am always shooting for fast and easy.  Of course…the more meatballs, the merrier!

IMG_5561Get some cheese-loaded action going and get that baby into the oven!

Deep Dish Meatball Subs

  • Servings: 6-8 generously
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Pillsbury Grands! refrigerated biscuits
  • 26 oz can of spaghetti sauce, your choice
  • 1 bag of frozen meatballs (found in the frozen appetizer section)
  • 8 oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F) and grease a 9 x 13″ baking dish.
  2. Open can of biscuits and cut each biscuit into 8 pieces.
  3. Place cut biscuits into medium bowl and cover with half a can of spaghetti sauce (1 1/2-2 cups).
  4. Spoon 1 or 2 tablespoons of leftover sauce over bottom of greased baking dish.
  5. Pour biscuits into baking dish and spread into thin layer, covering bottom.
  6. Layer frozen meatballs on top of biscuits, filling in gaps.
  7. Sprinkle bag of cheese over top, liberally.
  8. Bake dish in oven for 30-40 minutes, or until cheese is golden.
  9. Serve warm with extra sauce on top, if you prefer.
  10. ENJOY!

 

And here’s the commercial with the “Spicy Meatball” guy, if you need a little laugh 🙂

 

BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza

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I love every word of this entry title.  BBQ lovin’.  Chicken, mmm.  French (Fries?). Bread…I love bread.  PIZZZZZZAAAAA! Yesss…

Friday nights make me want pizza.

Sometimes I crave cold pizza.  So yum.

Leftover cold pizza the next morning for breakfast? Yeah baby.

There are so many forms and flavors of pizza.  I love mixing it up and crossing boundaries and putting different stuff on pizza.  My favorites are Thai Chicken Pizza, White Mushroom Arugula pizza, and BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Last week I was totally craving pizza, but I wanted BBQ Chicken Pizza and I was kind of trying to hurry up and get dinner over with.

This recipe is easy-peasy, nice and breezy. (I don’t know…never mind.)  I think I just made that up.  My boyfriend gobbled it up and I was pleased with how fast and easy it was.

But really, it’s so easy though.  It takes about 20 minutes TOTAL-start to finish.  If you are looking for a quick pizza idea, look no further!

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BBQ Chicken French Bread Pizza

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 loaf of french bread

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast fully cooked and chopped

3/4 c BBQ sauce

8 oz pkg of shredded pizza cheese or cheddar combination (any cheese blend works)

1 red onion

1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F).
  2. Cut french bread in half lengthwise and lay halves face up on foil covered pan.
  3. Spread halves liberally with BBQ sauce.
  4. Top halves with shredded cheese and chicken.
  5. Slice 1/4 of red onion into thin slices and layer onto bread halves.
  6. Top with a little more cheese and drizzle BBQ sauce on top.
  7. Bake pizzas in oven for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is toasted.
  8. Top freshly baked pizzas with cilantro for added flavor.
  9. Cut into slices and devour!