Oh boy…I knew I loved Shrimp & Grits but didn’t know how much I loved it until I made Pimento Cheese Shrimp & Grits!

Please tell me you eat Pimento Cheese! I know it’s an old-timey Southern thing, but it’s easily one of my favorite things to put on a sandwich…probably tied with the BLT for my favorite. And we all know that Cheese Grits are a staple of any good cook’s repertoire so why not combine the two?

Another big positive for this dish is that it comes together very quickly. You can have this on the table in under 30 minutes with time to spare. More time to make yourself some sort of bourbon-laced cocktail!

Here’s what you need:

Large Shrimp, Grits (I use quick but NOT instant), Onion, Celery, Cheddar Cheese, Pimentos, Heavy Cream, Old Bay Seasoning*, Butter*, Green Onions* for garnish, and Salt & Pepper*

Click here for a Pimento Cheese Shrimp & Grits Shopping List

*Yes, a lot of ingredients didn’t make it into the ingredient photo. The pictures, or lack thereof are not great for this one but as you know, it’s been a while since I’ve been here at Idiot’s Kitchen so I didn’t want to wait for better pictures. We have Pimento Cheese Shrimp & Grits to eat and no time to waste. Plus this is an easy one…we’ve got this.

Here we go…do a little prep work. Finely chop 1/2 a small onion, about 1/2 cup, and 1 stalk of celery.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Hello Friends! I’m hoping to make up for yet another long absence by giving you a recipe that you will love to make again and again…Chicken Stir Fry with Green Beans & Basil!

This is another winner of a recipe that my friend Nikolay made for me after an orchestra rehearsal. He and Colleen are gracious to host me occasionally which saves me from the big old boring drive and has the added benefit of getting to dine on Nikolay’s fine cooking.

Right when he started cooking this one, I knew I had to have the recipe. It has simple ingredients combined to make an incredibly tasty and easy dinner. Plus, you get to hone your Iron Chef chopping skills!

Here’s what you need:

Chicken Breasts, Thin Green Beans, Onion, Red Bell Pepper, Thai Basil, Oil, Chili Garlic Sauce*, Tamari/Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Fish Sauce, Hoisin Sauce (optional), Brown Sugar, and Rice

Click here for a Chicken Stir Fry with Green Beans & Basil Shopping List

Prepare 2 cups of rice in advance of cooking. In the past, I’ve used regular long grain white or brown rice, basmati, or jasmine. For 2 cups of rice I cook 1 cup of dry rice in 2 cups of water in my rice cooker. You can do this in advance and reheat it if you are in a hurry.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow so I’m getting in just under the wire to share the recipe again for THE BEST CORNED BEEF!

It’s baked, not boiled, and has an amazing, zingy mustard crust.

This is what I’ll be having on Sunday – opera performance tomorrow so no shenanigans for me.

Really, you must try it. It’s so tender and not stringy and super salty like deli corned beef.

You can find the recipe here – The Best Baked Corned Beef

If you’re a traditionalist, and want the good old Irish Boiled Dinner, we can do that too.

Click here for Boiled Corned Beef & Cabbage

Or, if you’re not a fan of corned beef, why not try this delectable Shepherd’s Pie?

Of course, it’s mandatory that you sing songs from Sweeney Todd while you cook the Shepherd’s Pie.

Go forth and celebrate with some good food and good friends.

May the Luck of the Irish be with you!

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How to Freeze Greens! Those deep, dark, vitamin filled greens!

In my last few posts, I’ve mentioned that I’ve joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) this year so I’ve been receiving farm fresh, organic vegetables every other week for the past few months. For everyone else, this is a summer gardening thing but here in Florida prime farm and garden season is underway right now.

A staple of the CSA haul, especially for the first month or so, has been a variety of dark leafy greens. I’ve received huge bundles of mustard greens, collard greens, kale, and a few funky varieties of Asian spinach. My goal is to not waste or throw away anything from my CSA boxes…and so far, so good!

However, sometimes the greens schedule and the flute playing/travel schedule do not align so I had to quickly learn how to deal with big bunches of greens and figure out a way to save them for a later date.

Fortunately, it’s very simple to process and freeze any hearty, thick greens like mustard, collards, Swiss chard, and kale. More tender, water filled greens like lettuce and bok choy are better kept in the refrigerator as they will turn to mush when frozen.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Stir Fried Shrimp & Bok Choy has quickly become a new favorite at our house.

The shrimp part is a no brainer – we love it and I always have good, flash frozen, wild-caught pink shrimp in my freezer. One of the perks of living in Florida is easy access to good shrimp.

The bok choy part was an easy addition. I often buy baby bok choy and sauté it as a super quick side dish. However, this year I’ve joined a CSA for the first time. For those who don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It’s basically signing up with a real life farm (and farmer!), paying a fee, and receiving fresh produce on a weekly basis.

Because Florida weather is all upside down and sideways, our CSA farming season happens in what everyone else calls winter. Every other week (I bought a half CSA share because there are only two of us) I go out to the farm, which is only about 15 minutes from our house, and pick up whatever fresh veggies they are offering.

Look at all these gorgeous, organic veggies! I’m in heaven!!! This is a picture of my first haul from the farm. Left to right we have Green Beans, Turnips, Garlic Chives, Oregano, Daikon Radish (that’s the long skinny white thing…delicious!), Yellow Summer Squash, Zucchini, Bok Choy, Patty Pan Squash (I stuffed those! Recipe coming soon.) and Roselle which is also called Florida Cranberry. It’s related to a hibiscus so I made tea with it.

So far, I’m really happy that we haven’t wasted anything we’ve received. This also speaks VOLUMES for the quality of real, fresh from the farm, organic produce. I’ve kept some of these things in my fridge for well over a week (in fact, this bok choy is a good example) and nothing has wilted or gone bad. Can’t say that about any of the produce from the regular grocery store.

So far I’ve received 3 big heads of bok choy so this recipe was born of necessity.

Here’s what you need:

Shrimp, Bok Choy, Onion, Soy Sauce/GF Tamari, Rice Vinegar, Ginger, Chili Garlic Sauce, Brown Sugar, Oil, White Wine, and Fish Sauce (not pictured)

Click here for a Stir Fried Shrimp & Bok Choy Shopping List

Also not pictured is rice, which I suggest for serving. Start that first as it takes 20 minutes and this recipe cooks in half that time.

Thanks to my CSA, I’m branching out and learning to eat all kinds of greens! Here’s one of the other boxes…

Another Daikon Radish (I’m making a salad with one of those tonight), Mustard Greens, Chinese Spinach, Collard Greens, Kale, another Bok Choy, and my favorite….Arugula!!!!

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Happy New Year, Friends! I hope 2018 is starting off easily and peacefully for everyone. 

I thought I would start the year off by sharing this easy recipe for Zucchini Muffins. It was my first real victory in gluten free baking…which is saying something since I’ve been gluten free for 4 years. 

Obviously if you’re not gluten free (you lucky pizza eaters!) you can make these with regular old all-purpose flour and they will be just as good. In fact, I’m making a regular batch as soon as I post this.

But the secret to finally achieving some small measure of gluten free baking success is finally finding a good GF flour blend that I like. I have lots of books on GF baking but let’s be honest, I’ve been too busy to cook and post recipes so I’m pretty sure that means that I am way too busy to buy, weigh, measure, and concoct my own GF flour blend.

Enter Namaste Gluten Free Flour! (And no, this is not a sponsored post, I’m just sharing the love.) On the advice of my friend Jen, I started searching for this at my Costco. They also sell it at Amazon and I’ve seen their baking mixes in some of the higher end grocery stores like Fresh Market and Whole Foods.

My Costco doesn’t sell it yet (I keep begging) but I was able to buy it from Costco online…the kicker was I had to order a whole case! Good grief. Oh well, it’s happily living in my freezer.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Friends…we need Smell-O-Vision in a big way for this recipe!

Trust me when I tell you that you do not want to miss this one.

Korean Braised Pork could not be easier, more tender, tastier — dig out your crock pot/slow cooker and this one practically cooks itself!

And options! We have many delicious options for serving this from rice bowls to tacos to eating it right out of the pot.

Here’s what you need:

Boneless Pork Ribs, Green Onions, Rice Vinegar, Soy Sauce/Tamari, Chili Garlic Sauce, Ginger, and Brown Sugar

Click here for a Korean Braised Pork Shopping List

My friend Jen made me a version of this recipe for one of our famous carpool dinners. Yeah, imagine that you’re expecting to eat fast food in the car and your best friend brings you a warm rice bowl full of slowly marinated tender pork. That’s a friend worth keeping!

As with most of my crock pot cooking, this is a Dump & Run Recipe – no pre-cooking or browning the meat – just dump it all in there, set the crock pot, and go about your day.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Hi Friends! Happy first day of fall!

We’re back with a super simple, amazingly tasty, Easy Broiled Fish.

I’m working in Minnesota this week (hello…fall? It’s 90 degrees here today. What?) and last night in the symphony carpool we got to talking about food, cooking, and recipes. That’s no surprise to anyone who knows me and my symphony friends – many of their recipes have been featured here.

The conversation turned to fish recipes and while driving, I explained in about 2 minutes how to make this delicious Easy Broiled Fish. It’s a perfect recipe to get us back in the swing of things – Perfect for busy schedules and week nights but also so delicious that you’ll want to make it for friends too.

I’ve made this for everyone in my family and they all gave it rave reviews. Speaking of family…

A small disclaimer from my sister who when I made it for her this summer was all, “What? Mayo and cheese on fish? Did you fall and bump your head?” This fish is truly delicious. The topping makes a creamy, tangy sauce which she has pronounced as “Not weird at all.” HA!

So set aside any preconceived notions about what properly goes on fish and give this a try.

Here’s what you need:

Fish* (Grouper, Snapper, Halibut or the like), Butter, Lemon, Mayonnaise, Hot Sauce, Pecorino Romano (or parmesan) Cheese, Salt & Pepper

Click here for an Easy Broiled Fish Shopping List

Note:  This cooks in minutes – about 5 total, so be sure you have anything else you are serving (rice, salad, veg, etc.) ready to go.

Preheat the boiler to high and place the rack in the top 1/3 of the oven.

*You have many options with the fish. Choose something light and flaky that has a little thickness to it (at least ½ inch) rather than a completely flat fish like sole or tilapia. I’ve made this three times and used grouper, red snapper, and halibut. All were delicious.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Hi Friends! 

Remember me? Sorry for the unplanned hiatus which has apparently extended a month longer than expected. Everything here is fine…I’ve just been busier than usual this summer and posting recipes (and let’s be honest, cooking…it’s a million degrees here) have not been happening.

I had an awesome Shrimp Pad Thai recipe to share with you this week – we’re having it again for dinner tonight – but in what can only be a HUGE case of the Mondays, Flickr has decided to lock me out of all of my photos and the website here is also acting all wonky. Grrr.

So, I’ll try to get all our tech issues figured out and get back to you in a few…

Meanwhile, Henry helped me put together all of our camping food for our big backpacking trip this week.

Yeah, that’s a lot of zip lock baggies but we reuse. Since I’m gluten free, I started making my own backpacking food and it was so good that even the gluten eaters wanted it again this year.

Once I get back, I’ll share way too many pictures of our trip.

Until then, I hope you’re having a wonderful summer wherever you are and it’s not too hot to cook!

xo – Claudia & co.


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Broiled Fish with Lemon Curry Butter.

So much to love about this recipe! It’s fast. It’s easy. It takes only a few ingredients that you will likely already have on hand. It’s delicious!

I always think of my friend Larry when I come across a recipe like this because he loves fish recipes that are quick and easy to prepare and don’t require specialty ingredients. After the first time I made it, I told him about it, then promptly lost my photos and couldn’t post it.

Happily I found the photos and I also made it again with a few tweaks – so here you go!

Oh…and lemon curry butter on fish? Genius idea! Such a great little spike of flavor. 

Here’s what you need:

Thin fish fillets*, Butter, Lemon, Garlic, Fresh Thyme, Dill/Parsley (optional)*, Curry Powder, Ginger, Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Broiled Fish with Lemon Curry Butter Shopping List

*We have some options here with the fish…I have 2 sole fillets that are about 6 ounces each. You can also use Tilapia, Swai, Flounder or any other mild, white, thin fish.

*We also have options with the herbs…I have fresh lemon thyme but you could also use regular English thyme.  For a garnish you can add dill or parsley if you have it. If you don’t have fresh herbs, skip them completely. Dried herbs are NOT a good substitute here.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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