RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Cherry Tomatoes

Grilled Chicken Breasts and Tomato Mix Bruschetta

We had a nice break in weather yesterday afternoon and T decided he would grill chicken breasts.  It has been weeks since our last barbecue.   I put the chicken breasts to marinate before he changed his mind.  First I crushed some garlic and in a zip lock bag I put some olive oil, the crushed garlic, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a mix of herbs: oregano, sage, and a little parsley.  A couple of shakes of smoked paprika and mixed it up and added the chicken breasts.

I decided it was time we could use some of our cherry tomatoes that I had frozen last summer.  I have been saving what was left of them for exclusive uses… celebrating that spring is springing and that we had some sun and would be having a grilled meal seemed special enough.  I would use a third of them and hideaway the rest for a couple of other exceptional meals for their use.

T cut up the veggies for the bruschetta: red and yellow cherry tomatoes, red onion, green and black onions.  While he was busy chopping I cut the French Bread down the middle and put some butter on to melt adding a small clove of well minced garlic and some fresh dried parsley to the butter.  Once the butter had melted and had simmered just a bit I spread it on half of the bread.  T was through with the veggies about the same time.  We misted the veggies with just a little olive oil and sprinkled some seasoning on them (basically the same mix as I had just put in the marinade for the chicken.) 

While I was broiling the bread and veggies… I decided to throw together a quick apple salad… T was getting the grill ready.  I waited until the chicken on the grill was about finished to add the broiled veggies to the bread and topped it off with some shredded Apple Smoked Gruyère Cheese.  About the time he was coming in with the grilled chicken breasts, that smelled like heaven I put the bruschetta under the broiler to melt the cheese some, just to add a little color.

The meal took no time at all to come together and it was delicious.  All the blends from grilled chicken, the seasonings and the wonderful little tomatoes, crusty bread were a wonderful blend of flavors and textures that we both enjoyed immensely.  The leftovers would be really good tomorrow….

Taken last summer by one of my deck gardens

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Florida Pink Shrimp Salad

We eat a lot of salads for our main course dinners.  I love to make richer dinners and deserts as you all know… but to make up for the caloric highs, fat and such we revert to lots of wholesome salads.   It makes up for the guilty pleasures in life.  Cannot have too much of a good thing all the time.  We also eat a lot of homemade cabbage soup and such for lunch.

Tonight we had a lighter dinner with our Florida Pink Shrimp Salad.  I make my own croutons… they have very little olive oil misted on the bread cubes I have cut from my bread with adding seasoning of garlic powder, onion powder, a little dry sage or oregano (depending on the meal I am mixing with,) parsley, smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper and a little sea salt.  I put them in the oven and bake to a golden brown… I bag them and then have the extras for many others uses.

The shrimp I marinated for about an hour in olive oil with crushed garlic, pepper flakes, parsley, some fresh ground black pepper and a little sea salt.  I stir fried them in a little olive oil.  Then I placed them on a paper towel to drain some of the oil off before adding them to the salad.

The salad can be any lettuce you like or a mix of lettuce and add anything you like, in ours I added some avocados, red onions, cherry tomatoes and julienne carrots  (basically what I had on hand…) adding the croutons and shrimp.  The dressing can be your choice.

T had been working on the wood pile this afternoon so I made up a small 6” skillet of baked rolls for him to have with his salad.  When I make bread I always take some and make dinner roll size dough and place on baking sheet several inches apart and place in freezer.  When frozen I put into a freezer bag… when I need to have rolls for dinner I take out what I need (they will rise as they thaw) doing this we always have fresh dough dinner rolls ready anytime we should want.   

The Pink Florida Shrimp salad makes for a nice light dinner and fills you up with a very appealing as well as appetizing meal.  It was delicious….   

Taco Pizza

First I have an update to my last post… Hummingbirds!  I was stating that the Rufus Hummingbirds were late in arriving this year.  While I was having my first morning cup of tea I was watching the feeder and a bright little male Rufus Hummingbird arrived and shortly after he was followed by a female Rufus Hummingbird.  They made repeated trips to the feeder all morning.  It has been a long haul for them coming all the way from South America.  It sure was good to see them!  Before long we will have lots of hummers… the Anna Hummingbirds were not too happy with the new arrivals… but they will get use to them pretty quick.  I will give them a few days to get use to the area again and get settled in before I start pointing my camera in their direction!

Now for the pizza… When my children were young Friday night was usually reserved as  Pizza night.  They loved pizza, and Taco Pizza was their favorite, mine too.  I do not know why we have not had taco pizza in a very long time… I cannot even remember the last time we had it!  T says he has never had Taco Pizza and I have been with him for fourteen years! 

I have to admit at this point in time I have a little secret that I do not tell too many people.  I like Taco Bell Taco Sauce.  Not much else at Taco Bell makes me want to eat there, but I do like their sauce.  I noticed at Amazon the other day when I was looking for some things I needed to buy they had Taco Bell Taco Sauce by the bottle, you had to buy two, but hey… maybe I will make Taco Pizza more than once every fourteen years!

While there I decided to see if they sell Santa Fe Instant dried beans… Santa Fe Bean Company makes the best instant dried beans and has a variety of beans including black beans, pinto beans, southwestern style beans and I think there is one more.  I was introduced to the dried beans several years ago and they are delicious.  The store we usually shop at quit stocking them, we have not said anything… maybe if we spoke up they would restock… but I now know where I can buy the instant dried beans!  I could not make any better beans from scratch!   I do not normally go with instant anything but the taste and texture of these beans is incredible.  They are so good and Amazon did sell them (and at a better price)… you had to buy at least eight packages… but that was okay I love these beans, they are that good, I would give them a high hummingbird score!  They make a nice side dish with so many different meals.

The pizza dough was from Central Market; they have ready-made pizza and sell their dough too!  It is very easy to use and makes it so much quicker to make your own pizza.   There are many good recipes out there for making pizza dough if you want to make your own.  Besides when you are basically for the time being a one-armed person… you take all the help you can get! Once I have the dough spread onto the pan I spread the dough with a layer of the Santa Fe beans I have already made per package directions (you can use canned refried beans or make your own they do not have to be instant beans.)   I spread half of the pizza with seasoned cooked ground turkey meat (when cooking I added some onions and when cooked I add some taco seasoning, chopped fresh parsley and then mixed well.)  Next you will spread on some Mozzarella Cheese.  Bake in 475˚ oven, placing rack on the lowest position for 9-14 minutes… when the crust is golden brown it is done.  Watch it carefully, you do not want to over-cook and let it get dried out!

Once you have your pizza out of the oven you cover with thin sliced avocados, some thin sliced lettuce, thin sliced red onions, and diced tomatoes, then throw on a few black olives.  I put some sour cream and taco sauce into squeeze bottles and put the finishing touches on the pizza.  It was now ready to eat.

T said the pizza was really good and would like to have it again… I do not know why it took me so many years to revisit one of my favorite pizzas; it was delicious and full of flavor… excellent to the last bite ….

Making a good dent!

 

 

Parmesan Cheese Nests with Grilled Veggies

We needed to use up the veggie’s in the refrigerator and decided to do some grilled veggies.  I heated up the Panini Grill and misted the veggies with a little olive oil.  We had cherry tomatoes, sweet little peppers, asparagus, and red onions.  To top it off I sliced some garlic and fried it in a little olive oil.  Once the garlic is done place on paper towel to absorb some of the oil. 

The parmesan cheese nests are so easy.  First make the cheese bowls and then do the veggies.   To make the nests use about a half cup of parmesan cheese per bowl and put in a heated stainless skillet, spread the cheese a little.  When it is melted and a golden brown flip it onto an inverted bowl (I used cereal bowls.)  Then gently press the melted cheese around the bowl put aside until you have your veggies grilled. 

Mound two nice piles of spinach on grill when they are each browned some flip over and brown the same.  I left the cherry tomatoes whole, sliced the red onions and mini sweet peppers around ¼ inches thick.  Grill the asparagus whole, grilled each until you see the grill marks. 

What a nice mix with the drizzled balsamic vinegar.  We had some mushroom soup and bread sticks to finish off the meal….

I wanted to let everyone know that a friend of mine Geraldine, at My Real Life Reviews has some contests going on right now that gives away “free prizes!”  She has invited all of us to visit and to join in on the prize give-aways!  Hope to see you there!

I am still waiting for the face of spring….

Almost!

Nothing kills moss… here is deer moss or deer lichen.

Chicken Panini and Spinach Orange Salad

It been a long month so to speak, it is time to try to have a normal day in and day out life again.  As normal as can be at the present time… I have not been eating right and my body is telling me that I need something that is fresh, crunchy, something with a little zing to it… something a little different that we have not had in some time.

T went to the market yesterday and stocked up on all kinds of fresh fruit and veggies.  Produce is something that I have always been very keen on.  As a child and even as an adult I have been known to eat right out of the garden.   I love fresh produce, the fresher the better!  We had a wonderful roasted chicken the other night and then had a nice cob salad but still have a little left.  We need to think of something that can use the last of the left over’s and still be enjoyed… thank goodness T does not mind having the same thing several days in a row.

We neither one felt like cooking and wanted something easy, quick and with little clean up.  But we were both ready for something that would left us up so to speak.  I told him I would do dinner; he has been so good to me the last few weeks.  Not one complaint out of his mouth and making sure I have everything I would need and more.

I decided to make us a Chicken Panini… spinach, sliced chicken, some cranberry relish… nothing fancy just a simple sandwich.

Then I thought a Spinach Orange salad would be really good with… I had everything I needed… everything was so fresh it would be perfect.  The salad I decided to mix some romaine hearts and spinach together and throw in some red onion, cherry tomatoes, orange slices, pistachios, to bad T forgot to get an avocado… it will not be missed.  With the Orange Salad Dressing I make it will be perfect.  It has lots of zing that we need to help left our spirits… it would put it out of the park that is for sure.  Late this evening after dinner I was trying to get caught up on my blogs and commenting and found that someone had the same thing in mind… a different version than mine but it sure looks look too!  Check it our at Chef in disguise, her looks incredible!

Orange Salad Dressing

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon Lemon Pepper… can use fresh ground black pepper too
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon French Grain Mustard
  • Shredded Apple Smoked Gruyère Cheese for topping (not mixed in dressing)

Put everything into a jam jar (or such) and put the lid on tight (that is important… I know) and give it a really good shake.

The salad did not let us down and the  panini’s were perfect.  Everything united together to make one spectacular dinner.  We were both pleasingly surprised.  T said I could cook for him anytime….

‘Ninnie being Ninnie’ Things have not been normal around here and animals do pick up on when you are sick or down and such.  She has followed me around like a dog and wants to make me happy, she has even been sleeping at my feet at night, I think she thinks she has done something wrong… we all know better!  Today she got lots of love and was so happy until the high winds started and then rain was added to the mix… she decided to sleep through it all.  She is not a happy camper when the weather does not cooperate and she cannot go in and out a gazillion times!  Look at her wrapped up in her own little goodness!

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