CIC: Pineapple & Sweet Potato

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I’m {finally} back with another Crazy Ingredient Challenge!

This month’s mission: to combine pineapple and sweet potato. Two of my husband’s favorite ingredients.

At first I was thinking of some sort of savory/sweet empanada, which does still sound insanely delicious. But as things have their own way of developing, pizza became the final answer.

I made slow cooker pineapple barbecue pulled chicken on one of our 100 degree days when preheating the oven seemed like the worst idea on the planet. We served that chicken over rice. The leftovers had gone to work with my husband for 3 days. Firecracker and I loved it re-purposed as nachos, too.

As I sat there with still an insane amount of chicken in my fridge, the light bulb went off. (Not the one in my fridge.) I had half of the CIC challenge done! Now to incorporate the sweet potato. Ding! Pizza!

I made a gluten free pizza dough out of a white sweet potato. (Hello sneaky veggies!) Topped it with barbecue sauce, cheese, the leftover chicken, and some extra pineapple for good measure. The pizza dough was incredible easy to make and held up to the heavy toppings I layered on top. Maybe I’ll make it again using an orange sweet potato for Halloween!

sweet potato crust

This recipe makes 2 servings.

Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2/3 C rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2-1 tbsp olive oil
  • barbecue sauce
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • leftover slow cooker Hawaiian barbecue chicken, finely chopped
  • fresh pineapple, diced

Steps:

  1. Peel potato. Cube. Place in a pot covered with salted water. Boil 10-15 minutes, until potato is fork tender. Drain and allow to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place cooled potato in a food processor along with the rolled oats and the egg. Process until smooth.
  4. Using wet hands, transfer the pizza dough to the prepared baking sheet. Form into a circle, 1/4-1/2″ thick. Bake 25-30 minutes. Allow crust to cool. Flip the crust, peel off the parchment, and brush with olive oil. Bake another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Top pizza crust with barbecue sauce, cheese, chicken, and pineapple. Bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the toppings are warmed through.

*The crust recipe is modified from Lindsay at http://pinchofyum.com/sweet-potato-pizza-crust*

Pineapple Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Sweet Potato Crust for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

Blogger CLUE: Citrus Shrimp

blogger CLUE

After a month of endless desserts and party foods the Blogger CLUE crew and I are on the hunt for healthy foods to bring in the new year.

This month I was tasked with searching through Wendy’s blog, A Day in the Life on the Farm. As her blog name suggests, Wendy lives on a farm where she and her husband are fairly self sufficient. They raise chickens, turkeys, and pigs for meat, have hens for egg laying, and have fruit trees and gardens on their 12 acres of land. I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Isn’t retirement supposed to be relaxing?!

I am very familiar with Wendy’s blog as I have worked with her in many events and blogging clubs. Surprisingly though I’ve not actually cooked anything from her recipe box. (She’s ambitiously tackled my Busia’s recipe for pierogi for a Secret Recipe Club post.)

I really wanted to return the favor of celebrating Polish cuisine and make her recipe for beet soup. I was pretty excited about it, too, and I don’t tend to get excited about soup. I went to the grocery store on a Sunday (something I tend to avoid). Kroger was packed! Post-holiday fridge-restocking was on everyone’s mind that afternoon many items were out of stock (I snagged the last carton of organic whole milk!). The missing ingredient that threw me into a tizzy was beets! How was I to make beet soup without beets!? Granted, there were some golden beets that looked pretty sad. I pushed my cart to a corner of the produce section, trying to be as out of the way as possible, and frantically searched through some of the other recipes I’d book marked from Wendy’s blog: between grilled mahi mahi, cranberry chicken, and spicy citrus shrimp, I decided on the shrimp.

This shopping curveball was a huge blessing in disguise. This shrimp dish is incredible! I served it over rice as dinner. It’s a perfect weeknight meal that I will be returning to. I had to swap the mango for pineapple due to allergies and the pineapple was my favorite part. I liked that the fruit wasn’t cooked with the shrimp, it was simply warmed through from the sauce, a perfect compliment to the flavors.

Citrus Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 12-14 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chile paste (I used Gourmet Garden)
  • 1/2 C diced pineapple
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Pat shrimp dry and toss in the flour. Place in a glass baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, salt, and chili paste. Pour over the shrimp.
  4. Bake shrimp for 7 minutes. Flip the shrimp and bake another 7 minutes.
  5. Add the pineapple and scallions to the shrimp and toss to combine, thickening the sauce.
  6. Serve over rice.

*This recipe is modified from Wendy at http://adayinthelifeonthefarm.blogspot.com/2015/02/triplesbitesspicy-saucy-sexy-bites-for.html*

citrus shrimp for blogger clue from sew you think you can cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

Pineapple Beef Lettuce Cups

“Quick! The little man is sleeping! Go write something!”

At least that’s what the little voice in my head is telling me right now.

But it’s not telling me anything else!

Hello, writer’s block, we meet again.

How do you jump the hurdle and share a wonderful story? Help!

At least I have this great recipe to share with you, though. It’s Stir Fry Day Friday, everyone! And today’s edition is getting all dressed up in a bright lettuce cup suit. (I’d actually suggest some added bling by very finely dicing some more fresh pineapple as garnish and an extra drizzle of Sriracha to the lettuce cup!)

This recipe only serves two. In fact, it might be better off as a lunch or even an appetizer. However, you could always serve the stir fry over rice to “beef” it up for dinner.

Pineapple Beef Lettuce Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 C cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (I used Gourmet Garden stir-in chunky garlic paste)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used 1 tsp Gourmet Garden stir-in ginger paste)
  • 1 lb stir-fry beef strips
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 8 leaves Bibb lettuce
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Place pineapple, soy sauce, molasses, vinegar, Sriracha, ketchup, garlic, and ginger in a blender. Blend until combined. Pour into a bowl and add the beef. Place in the fridge and marinate for 1-6 hours.
  2. Remove beef from the marinade. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the beef for 3-5 minutes; do this in batches if needed so as not to over crowd the pan. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet or wok saute the thinly sliced veggies until tender, season with S+P. Remove and cover to keep warm.
  4. Assemble the wraps by dividing the beef and veggies among each leaf of lettuce. Garnish with sesame seeds and more Sriracha, if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Liz at http://www.floatingkitchen.net/spicy-pineapple-beef-lettuce-wraps/*

Pineapple Beef Lettuce Cups | Sew You Think You Can Cook

And he’s awake. Until next time!

CIC: Pineapple and Rosemary

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I was so happy when the votes were in for this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge. It was a close battle but pineapple edged out zucchini.

CIC ingredientsI know I already made a lemonade this year, but can you really have too many flavor options for summer’s perfect beverage!? I decided to make a simple syrup with the rosemary, puree some fresh pineapple, and add in freshly squeezed lemon juice.

I actually didn’t make the simple syrup strong enough which is why you see 2-4 sprigs listed in my ingredients; I used 2 sprigs but would venture to say you could double that amount. To get more rosemary flavor in my lemonade I served fresh sprigs in the glasses, because if you smell the rosemary while you drink it you still get that flavor. I then threw in a few more sprigs in the pitcher in the fridge and after just a few hours the rosemary flavor was there.

An Original Recipe

Pineapple Rosemary Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 4 C water, divided use
  • 2-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 – 2 1/2 C fresh cubed pineapple
  • 1 C fresh lemon juice (from 7-8 lemons)

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat dissolve sugar in 1 C water with the fresh rosemary sprigs. Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved and let cool. Remove rosemary.
  2. Place pineapple in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the pineapple puree (this takes time). You should get 3/4 C pineapple juice (measure from the liquid line, not the foam line).
  3. Return pineapple juice to the blender along with the simple syrup, lemon juice, and 3 C water. Blend just to combine. Serve cold with additional rosemary sprigs for garnish.

Pineapple Rosemary Lemonade | Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

A Spring Time Potluck Party

When we moved to Ohio my neighbor told me about a group of gals who get together once a month for a potluck. As soon as we were settled in I knew I had to go with her to one of these events. And I’m so glad I did – I’ve made many friends through this group and there’s always someone new to meet.

The person who organized this club moved at the end of March and I have since taken over the organization. We always host the event at one of the neighborhood clubhouses so all I have to do is bring the collection of plates, cups, and bowls and make sure the clubhouse is cleaned up when we’re done. But the fun part is getting to be the one to pick the theme for the month’s potluck!

A Spring Time Potluck

For April we did Spring. We had such a vibrant and colorful display of food. Here are just some of the recipes from the night:

  • Mango Black Bean Salad: 2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 mangoes (diced), 1 red bell pepper (diced), 1 bunch scallions (sliced), 1/2 C chopped cilantro, 1 jalapeno (minced), 1/2 C red wine vinegar, zest and juice 1 orange, zest and juice 1 lime.
  • Creamy Cucumber Salad: 1 cucumber (thinly sliced), 1 tsp salt – laid flat and then patted dry after an hour. 1 tbsp sour cream, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 tsp chopped dill, 1 tsp vinegar, 1 tsp sugar – combine and refrigerate for an hour before tossing with prepared cucumber slices.
  • Pineapple Fried Rice: I don’t know if she used my recipe but it was very similar – https://sewyoucancook.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/pineapple-fried-rice/
  • Spinach and Strawberry Salad: 4 C baby spinach, 1 pint strawberries (sliced), 1/2 oz sliced almonds – for the salad. 1/4 C sugar, 2 tbsp sesame seeds, 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire, 1/4 tsp paprika, 1/4 C red wine vinegar, 1/2 C EVOO – for the dressing.
  • Fruit Salsa: 32 oz strawberries (diced), 8 oz raspberries, 3 kiwis (chopped), 1 golden apple (diced), 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp fruit jelly.
  • Lemon Squares: 2 C flour, 1 C butter, 1/2 C powdered sugar – whisked and pressed in 9×13″ pan, 20 minutes @ 325deg. 4 eggs, 4 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp lemon juice, 2 C sugar – place on crust, 20 minutes @ 325deg.
  • Chocolate Cheesecake Filled Peanut Butter Bundt Cakehttps://sewyoucancook.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/bundtbakers-hidden-surprise/

I was caught up in making sure I had everything needed for hosting my first potluck that I forgot my camera! A big thank you to my friend Emily for remembering to take some pictures. So, I’d like to give her a little shout out – Emily is a very talented crafter and has started her own blog, Emmy’s Crafty Corner! Please go check it out, I promise you you’ll find something unique!

Next week we’re throwing a Cinco de Mayo party – and I couldn’t be more excited! Stay tuned next time for a round up of Mexican favorites, even if it’ll be after the holiday.

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

My 2015 New Year’s Resolution of developing a new recipe every month is batting 100 right now. Sure, month 3 has only just begun, but you can’t get a perfect score if you don’t get the first two. (Or as my Grandpa Ray would say whenever we played cards, “You can’t win ’em all if you don’t win the first two.”)

In February my hand was forced. It was Ash Wednesday and there was a lot of snow on the ground preventing trips to the grocery store earlier in the week. I took stock of what I had in my freezer and pantry and decided to work on my original recipe! I did manage to get to both Ash Wednesday Mass and the grocery store so I could pick up some chow mein noodles to give my original stir fry a little somethin’-somethin’.

11008433_10102770035154211_4726077019926716777_nMy mother-in-law was visiting over the long weekend and thanks to the snow storm (I think it was Octavia?) Tilly got an extra 5 days with her grandson. Because of a bitterly windchill of -25 degrees F I took advantage of the situation and left the little man at home where it was warm. I have to say, as crazy as it sounds, I missed him terribly during Mass.

For Valentine’s Day we had Chocolate Kahlua Fondue for dessert and one of the dippers was pineapple (perfect combination). I used the leftover pineapple in my stir fry. I had cooked frozen shrimp in the freezer – I’ll have shrimp cocktail for lunch – which were also used. I would suggest using raw shrimp in stir fries so the shrimp doesn’t get too rubbery but in a pinch, it’s perfect! I wanted to go for the sweet and spicy combination that makes stir fries so popular so I added some Sriracha. To date I’ve always thought that there’s never enough Sriracha in recipes, so I used a full tablespoon. Being heavy-handed with the popular chili paste provided a great warmth to the dish, the perfect amount to slowly build with each bite. The acidity and sweetness from the pineapple combatted the spiciness quite beautifully.

An Original Recipe

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2″ piece of ginger root, grated
  • 3/4 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 6 oz chow mein noodles, cooked and rinsed according to package directions
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 scallion, sliced

Steps:

  1. Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. When hot saute the onions and carrots. When the onions soften add in the garlic and ginger and stir fry for 60 seconds.
  2. Add the shrimp and saute until they turn pink and are completely cooked. Add in the pineapple and cook until warmed through.
  3. Add the soy sauce, fish sauce, and Sriracha. Bring to a bubble and toss in the cooked chow mein noodles. Coat noodles in the sauce. Garnish with scallion.

Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Pineapple Fried Rice

The next time you make rice as a side dish to your dinner, I encourage you to make extra. 3 C worth of extra rice to be exact. Or just make this dish from scratch, just plan for extra time to cook the rice. For 3 cups of cooked rice, you’ll need approximately 1 cup of uncooked rice (and two cups of liquid).

Today’s Stir Fry Day Friday is a perfect side dish to accompany fish or chicken. I served it alongside my Brown Sugar Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon.

This fried rice isn’t your typical Chinese take out or Hibachi staple. This rice gets a kick from the ginger and a tropical sweetness from the fresh pineapple.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 C peas
  • 1 1/4 C pineapple, cubed
  • 3 C cooked rice
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Steps:

  1. In a wok or large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add in the onions and white parts of the scallions. Cook until tender.
  2. Add the carrots, bell pepper, and peas. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the pineapple and cook another minute. Add the rice, soy sauce, and white pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook two minutes. Add additional salt if desired. Garnish with green parts of the scallions.

*This recipe is adapted from Manali at http://www.cookwithmanali.com/pineapple-fried-rice/*

Pineapple Fried Rice | Sew You Think You Can Cook

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