Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Friday, March 20, 2020

Shrimp Scampi with Veggies

Friday Fish Fry is out; eating at home is the current norm.  I felt like trying a new recipe and wanted to use the last of the shrimp in the freezer so I made this Shrimp Scampi recipe.  I had some leftover asparagus that I threw in there too.  It was good, but not fabulous.  Kinda boring.  Some bites had more flavor than others.  I think next time I would add butter or lemon juice at the end to kick up the flavor.  It was fine though. I was excited because I got to use the ribbon setting on the spiralizer for the zucchini and yellow squash.

Shrimp Scampi with Squash Ribbons
Recipe from Food Network, slightly adapted

8 oz spaghetti
1 yellow squash, peeled or spiralized into ribbons
1 zucchini, peeled or spiralized into ribbons
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
handful asparagus spears, chopped (optional)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chicken broth

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti to al dente.   Save 1/4 cup of the pasta water.   Place the zucchini and squash in a colander and drain the pasta into the same colander.  Stir to combine pasta and squashes.

In the now empty pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.   Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper and add to the pot.  Cook until just pink around the edges, about 2 minutes.  Add the asparagus, tomatoes, garlic, and pepper flakes, and cook until tomatoes have softened, about 1 minute.  Add the pasta, squash, broth, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil.  Cook, tossing, until warmed through and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Add pasta water if more liquid is needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings

I wanted comfort food, so I made this recipe.  Luckily, we had some chicken breasts in the freezer since the stores seem have no chicken at all.  For veggies, I used carrots, celery, onions, peas, and asparagus.  Fast and easy and it tasted great.  We were nervous that 3 minutes pressure-cooked wouldn't be enough time to fully cook the chicken and dumplings, but it was perfect.  The dumplings were just what I needed to lift my spirits. 

Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
Recipe from Food Network, adapted slightly
Makes 4 large servings

Dumpling Ingredients:
1 tablespoon baking powder
1&3/4 cups flour
pinch salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup milk, room temperature

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1-1&1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
1 cup frozen peas
handful asparagus spears, chopped (I added this)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For dumplings, in a medium bowl, mix together the baking powder, flour, and salt.  Stir in the milk and melted butter until well combined.  Set aside.

Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode and add butter, stirring constantly while it melts.  Once melted, add onions, celery, carrots, and pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Stir in the thyme and flour until combined.  Pour in the chicken stock and wine and stir.  Add the chicken, peas, asparagus, salt, and pepper.  Turn the pot off.

Carefully drop the dumpling dough by large spoonfuls into the pot (about 9-10 dumplings).  Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes, then quick release.   Spoon the dumplings and soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.