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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Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

Sprinkles make me SO happy!  This recipe makes me happy too!  Easiest birthday treats ever! Cake mix + Rice Krispie Treats + SPRINKLES!  birthday2HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR KARLIEEEEEE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!

Today is indeed my birthday!  Hooray!  I am officially 24 years old. Weird. The big 2-4.  This is the first birthday I’ve had where I feel like I am actually getting older.  23 didn’t seem too bad last year, but 24…not sure how I feel about it.

Birthdays.  Gotta love ’em!  Since it is my birthday, I thought it would be nice to share a fun little birthday treat recipe!  It is pretty darn easy.  If you have ever made Rice Krispie Treats successfully, I will guarantee you can handle this one.  It’s literally the same as making those, but you add one other ingredient to bring out the birthday flavor: cake mix! birthday Tell me this picture doesn’t make you happy?!  They’re chewy, gooey, marshmallow-y, and festive!  Any person at any age will appreciate this fun recipe! These treats are great, too, if you are in a hurry because you can whip them up in like 5 minutes.birthday5 

Birthday Rice Krispie Treats

  • Servings: Makes 12-15 squares
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 (10 oz) bag of large marshmallows (or mini)
  • 2/3 cup of dry yellow or white box cake mix (dry mix straight from the box, not batter)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of sprinkles of your choice

What to do:

  1. Grease a pan of your choice (8″x 8″, 11″x 7″, or 9″x 13″) and set aside.
  2. Over low heat on stove, melt butter in large saucepan.
  3. When butter is melted, add entire bag of marshmallows and stir constantly.
  4. Stir in dry cake mix when marshmallows are completely melted.
  5. Remove from heat and mix in cereal.
  6. When cereal is coated, mix in half of sprinkles. (Don’t mix too much or the sprinkles won’t be as pretty!)
  7. Press into greased pan and top with remaining sprinkles.
  8. For firmer treats, let sit 30 minutes before cutting into squares.
  9. ENJOY!

 

 

 

I got the idea from: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2012/03/25/cake-batter-rice-krispie-treats/

Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

The recipe for these Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks contains ZERO flour.  They are totally gluten-free and extremely low in carbs! You will want to keep this recipe close!IMG_6332 Holy smokes!  Is it really February already?!  Where does the time go?  In case you didn’t know, today is Groundhog Day.  Good old Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow once again.

So, yes.  It really is February already!  One month has really passed since New Years and I really need to start getting back on track with my low-carb eating habits.  This recipe for Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks is a winner, winner, chicken dinner!  The cauliflower binds with an egg and some parmesan cheese to make a hearty, flavorful crust.  Gluten free friends– this concoction is a terrific alternative to buying a prepackaged GF mix because the main ingredient is a vegetable, hello!? Even if you are not avoiding gluten, it is pretty darn easy to eat vegetables when they don’t taste like vegetables!  Now you can be sneaky with those picky eaters in your life! IMG_6287I used to hate cauliflower as a kid.  It was always cut up raw and served cold next to broccoli on veggie trays…and it was disgusting.  Bleh.  It was powdery, chunky, gritty, and tasteless.  I guess I probably still feel that way.  I can’t eat it raw.  I just can’t.  It’s just not good.  But…if I grind it up, mix it with some cheese, add a little ranch flavor, and top all that with even more cheese, I could eat cauliflower for days.IMG_6174

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Cheesy Ranch Cauliflower Breadsticks

  • Servings: Makes about 12 sticks, depending on how you slice it
  • Difficulty: A little advanced, but YOU CAN DO IT!
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Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz bag of frozen cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1oz dry ranch dressing packet
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Empty bag of frozen cauliflower into food processor.  Pulse until finely ground.  Cauliflower should resemble a powdery, rice substance.
  3. Transfer ground cauliflower to microwave-safe bowl and cook in microwave for two minutes; stirring after each minute.  This helps to fluff/steam cauliflower–you want the moisture to be pulled out of it.
  4. If steamed cauliflower is warm, refrigerate until cool.
  5. Add parmesan cheese, egg, ranch packet, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to cauliflower. Stir until combined. (Mixture will be wet and sticky.)
  6.  Pour mixture onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread/shape into a pizza crust or breadstick shape. Do not spread too thin; should be about 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Bake crust in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  8. Remove crust from oven and layer with ranch dressing (like pizza sauce) and top generously with shredded mozzarella.
  9. Place pan back into oven for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden.
  10. Slice and serve with marinara sauce or a sauce of your choice!

***Notes:  If you do not have a food processor, I would suggest grating the cauliflower with a cheese grater and chopping it as finely as possible.  If you do not have parchment paper, you can still make this!  Just grease the pan extra, extra well.  You can also use raw cauliflower, of course.  You’ll just have to prepare it and steam it and start at step 4.  This recipe is also perfect for pizza crust!  The base is the same.  You can change the seasonings and substitute Italian seasoning or oregano.

 

 

 

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!