Spicy Shrimp Pasta

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted a new recipe, so here we go! Last night I made Spicy Shrimp Pasta and we loved it. Super fast and easy recipe! I used frozen shrimp, thawed them and cooked them up. You can also use fresh shrimp, just one less step you have to do! It’s best to get the kind that are peeled, tails removed and deveined but if you want to do the work yourself, you can do those steps too. The frozen ones I bought had the tails on but were peeled and deveined. I just thawed them, rinsed and removed the tails prior to sautéing!

If you love shrimp but don’t want a dish that’s too spicy, use a little less red pepper flakes or just leave them out. If you want this low carb friendly, instead of using pasta as the base, you can serve the shrimp on top of a bed of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash noodles, or cauliflower rice. This recipe makes 4 servings, also perfect for dinner for 2 with leftovers.

This is a 12oz bag, you can use up to 16oz of shrimp for this recipe.
Thaw, rinse, and remove tails.
Sauté the shrimp in 2 Tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle on seasonings and cook each side about 1-2 mins.
When finished cooking, remove from pan, set in a small bowl & cover to keep warm.
Add diced onion and minced garlic cloves to pan. Add more olive oil if needed to sauté. Cook for about 2 mins to soften.
Caramelized looking onions due to paprika in the pan!
I use canned diced tomatoes mixed with green peppers, celery & onions. It adds a lot of flavor & texture to this dish.
Add in diced tomatoes and chicken broth, stir. Add in oregano and basil and stir.
Simmer for about 10 mins.
Stir throughout simmering to make sure all the flavors are incorporated.
Add heavy whipping cream and stir.
Add shrimp back in!
Stir it all up and serve on top of your favorite pasta.
We cooked up elbow macaroni pasta to serve with the shrimp & sauce.
Perfect!

Air Fried Pork Chops

I haven’t made pork chops in ages so we wanted to try a new recipe and air fry them! We used boneless pork chops so they cook a bit faster than bone-in, but you can use bone-in for this recipe if you’d like. Also, if you don’t have an air fryer you can use my marinade in this recipe and cook up the pork chops on your grill, sauté on your stove top or bake them in your oven.

I put the pork chops in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour all of my marinade ingredients into the bag and mix around. I put the bag in a glass dish in my fridge for at least 4 hours to marinate, or up to overnight.
We have a combo toaster oven/broiler/air fryer by Cuisinart.
Spray nonstick spray on basket and tray. Place pork chops on top, season with salt, pepper & red pepper flakes. Air fry for 10-12 mins flip over halfway. Cook until internal temp is 145 degrees F.
All done! Now they need to rest covered in foil for 3-5 mins prior to serving/slicing up.
Served ours with mashed potatoes but if you want it keto friendly or low carb, serve up with a side salad or oven roasted asparagus!

Slow Cooker Carnitas 🌮

I definitely had some help prepping this dish! Our toddler wanted to help by stirring, pouring and supervising 😂 Something about mommy having all the fun up on the counters with food makes her want to “help.” It doesn’t always mean I get things done quickly but I appreciate her wanting to be a part of my recipes. And since we are using our slow cooker to cook the pork roast all day, it makes our meal time easy once it’s all done!

We’ve been craving carnitas tacos for a long time, and we needed to make them ASAP. For this recipe I used a 5 lb pork shoulder roast (sometimes they call it a butt roast at the store). I mixed up a few seasonings and rubbed them on it, chopped up a couple onions, a jalapeño & minced some garlic and added all that to the slow cooker. I used my 4qt slow cooker for this recipe. Then I squeezed a couple oranges on top and put the lid on it! Slow cooked on low for 10 hours and it was juicy! I also broiled the shredded meat in our oven to make it crispy at the end too. 😋

Little hands helping me stir the seasonings ❤️
Sprayed my slow cooker with nonstick spray & put the roast in fat side up.
Rubbed it all over with my seasoning mix.
Added 2 chopped yellow onions, 1 chopped & de-seeded jalapeño, 4 minced garlic cloves, & 2 juiced oranges. Set the lid on my pot & slow cooked on low for 10 hours. Can also cook on High for 7 hours.
Shredded the pork with 2 forks in an 8×8 baking dish. The juices will stay in the dish better than using a flat cutting board.
Put shredded pork on the baking sheet poured about a cup of juices from crockpot on top. Broiled for about 5 mins.
Mmm crispy on top and ready to be eaten!
Made ours into tacos with shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa verde! Also made fried shells, yum!

Chicks & Ducklings Update!

Our chicks and ducklings are growing like crazy! This past week we moved all the chicks over to our chicken coop. They had all of their feathers come in, so we moved them over gradually. We first moved our biggest chicks, the white leghorns. Then a couple days later we moved over our Red Sex Links, and this past weekend we moved over our Bantam Red Sussex chicks!

Our leghorn girls are loving this big space!
Our chicken coop with run attached.
Changing out their pine shavings bedding and moving the Red Sex Links to the coop!
Our daughter loves the chicks!

Our ducklings are getting huge btw, and their brooder bin kept getting wetter. We were out there changing out their bedding twice daily to keep up with their wet messes they made. Had to come up with a better option for the ducks, so I did some research and we moved them! In our carport area we have sand and it seemed like the better and drier alternative for the ducks. Since the bin would hold the water when it spilled, we needed to put them in an area that drained better. No more wet brooder bin! Plus the ducks have more room to move around too.

Cleaning out the ducks’ brooder bin is a wet mess.
Ducks come out daily for a swim, the pen around them keeps them in there and safe. They love eating weeds in their water.
Ducks in their new area! Much drier and happier.

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

Have you ever used your Instant Pot on the slow cook setting? It’s pretty awesome! It saves having to sauté in one skillet and then transfer everything to your slow cooker or crockpot. You can sauté your ground turkey and veggies in the instant pot and then add all the liquid ingredients to start slow cooking.

I’ve made turkey chili in our instant pot before, but I wanted to update the recipe a bit! I also wanted to include the instructions if you’re going to cook it on your stove and transfer to your slow cooker. I used canned beans for my recipe, but you can also use dried beans. You would need to soak them overnight prior to cooking them in the chili.

Sautéing diced white onion & bell pepper.
Brown up the ground turkey. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin & red pepper flakes.
Stir in tomato paste and minced garlic cloves.
Add in diced tomatoes and stir.
Add in drained and rinsed beans. I used black and northern beans this time. You can also use kidney beans or any other small white beans for this chili.
Add in measured seasonings and diced chicken bouillon cube.
Add in water and stir, put on lid and set to slow cook on High for 4 hours.
Smells amazing! All done!

Crockpot Pinto Beans & Mexican Brown Rice

Making pinto beans in my crockpot is so easy! Pretty much just dump everything in and let it slow cook all day. This time (and some other times too) I forgot to soak my beans overnight. I did a quick soak method on my stovetop and the beans still turned out great. So if you’re like me, and sometimes forgetful, the quick soak method is a great way to prep your beans to slow cook!

This recipe is made with a chicken bouillon cube, but you can also substitute and use vegetable broth. If you use vegetable broth, you would only add 2 cups of water to the pot. If you want to use chicken broth instead, you would do the same thing as with the vegetable broth and only add 2 cups water. If you do not like coconut oil, you can use olive oil instead. I personally love coconut oil! 🥥 For this recipe, I made it with 1 cup of dried beans so it ended up being 4 servings. Sometimes I like to make smaller batches that way we don’t have a ton of leftovers. This recipe is perfect for a dinner for 2 with leftovers or for a family of 4 and no leftovers. My Mexican brown rice recipe will be after the pinto beans recipe! ❤️

Put beans in a pot with at least 2” of water above them. Put the lid on and get the water to boil.
Let the water boil for 2 mins then turn off the heat and let the beans sit for 1 hour with the lid on.
Drain and rinse the beans.
Spray nonstick spray on the crockpot. Add all ingredients to the pot, then add in the beans and water.
Stirred beans & all the ingredients together before adding the water.
Pour in the water and stir, put the lid on and set to slow cook on High for 8 hours.
We put the cooked beans in burritos with ground beef, sautéed onion, chopped tomatoes, cheese and sour cream 😋

I made Mexican brown rice to go with the burritos, it just ended up being done later than I thought it would be. We had this as a side. Brown rice takes quite a bit longer to cook than white rice, so keep that in mind when you are timing everything. My white rice will normally take 20 mins to cook in the rice cooker, while the brown rice took about 45 mins! I have the recipe and pics for the rice below.

Add all ingredients to the rice cooker, except for the water. Stir it all up! No need to rinse brown rice prior to cooking it.
Add water and stir, set lid on and turn on rice cooker.
All done and ready to be served!

New Additions to Our Farm ❤️

We have been living at our farmhouse for almost a year! We have a little over 6 acres here, a 2 story detached garage. and a chicken coop that was built here by a previous owner. We’ve been talking about getting chickens and other farm animals for quite some time and we finally pulled the trigger!

Since our chicken coop is pretty big, we thought “why let this huge thing go to waste??” There is a run attached to it that is about 10’x20’ and it has 12 nesting boxes built in. To start off, we purchased 4 white leghorn and 4 red sex link pullets. Pullets are girl chickens. I could’ve purchased straight run chicks, but then we wouldn’t know if the chicks would end up being roosters or hens. I didn’t want to take a chance and end up with a bunch of roosters. Pics below!

A couple days later, we decided to get a few more chicks and ducklings too! We picked up 4 more pullets that are red Sussex’s and 4 pekin ducklings. With the ducks, you cannot pick them already sexed so we will have to see what we end up with. The red Sussex we have are bantams which mean they are a smaller breed. Never would we have thought we would be raising farm animals! I’ve had friends along the way answering all of my questions and have been so helpful to get us started on this.

Our daughter is pretty excited!
Pekin ducklings and red Sussex pullets.
Pekin Duckling 🐥

Since the ducks need more water to dip their beaks into, I swapped the larger water from the chicks to the ducks bin. Soon we will be taking the ducklings outside in the yard with some water for them to play in! Shortly after we set up the brooder bins, we moved them outside to our screened in porch. We set up a kennel around them with poultry netting on top to keep them safe and sound until we move them out to our coop. Heat lamps were also set up out there too ☺️ More farm updates will be coming out soon!

Bantam Red Sussex chick 🐥

Greek Steak Pitas 🥙

Greek food is so tasty, I had to make another recipe! Marinated our steaks overnight and the flavors were just amazing. While we cooked the steaks, I seasoned them even more. If you like pitas, this is the recipe for you.

I served up the steak pitas with tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, sliced cucumber, and tomato. As a side, we did a Greek salad. Next time, I’ll make my yellow turmeric rice as a side too. If you need my tzatziki sauce recipe, I have it posted with my Greek Sausage Pitas recipe with photos & steps.

Marinade the steaks overnight in a Greek vinaigrette dressing. We put ours in a ziploc bag in a dish just in case if it spilled or leaked. Resting the steaks prior to cooking.
Heat up 2 Tbsp olive oil in the cast iron, place steaks in the skillet. Season each side while searing.
Cooking away after searing.
Sliced and chopped up the steaks into 1” pieces. Perfect for pitas.
Served steak meat in pita bread with sliced cucumber, tomato, fresh tzatziki sauce and feta cheese. Greek salad on the side!

Street Tacos & Spanish Rice

When we lived in SoCal, we could go to our local grocery stores and buy pre-marinated Carne Asada steaks. There would normally be steaks that are marinated in a citrus or ranchero flavored marinade. It was so easy to just buy them marinated and grill them up! But since we haven’t found this down here in the South, we decided to make our own marinade. We bought 2 top sirloin steaks and 1 flat iron steak and marinated them for a whole day! My husband made these for me on Mother’s Day and I was really impressed! 😍

If you know the way to my heart, it’s through food. Not just any food, a home cooked meal! I’d rather make dinner at home than go out to eat, especially when it’s a holiday weekend. We didn’t want to go out and try to beat any crowds on Mother’s Day 😂

As a side dish for our tacos, I made my Spanish rice in our rice cooker. I put the recipe below the street tacos pictures. We cooked the steaks up on our cast iron skillet, it saves all the juices. For the steaks, we cooked them medium/medium rare. First we seared each side for about a min and then cooked each side for about 3 mins. Making them on the cast iron is a fast dinner for sure. Also, I might need to hire my husband out as a taco man!

For the steaks, we marinated them with : 2 cups of orange juice, 3-4 limes (squeezed & juiced), head of cilantro chopped w/ stems included, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 2 tsp onion powder, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic salt, 2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. You can also put in Hoisin sauce if you have any on hand, about 1 Tbsp. All of these ingredients can be modified to your taste preference, exact measurements don’t have to be made.

We sliced them in half lengthwise to 1” thick. Marinated these for a whole day! Put them in a Ziploc bag and then took them out of the fridge for 20 mins prior to cooking them.
Fried up on our cast iron.
Sautéed up onions, Serrano and jalapeño peppers while the steaks were cooking.
Ready to be sliced up! Then we will rest the meat prior to eating.
Now we are going to assemble our tacos. My hubby made his Pico de Gallo and chopped up cilantro & onion to put on top of the tacos.
Delicious!

If you don’t have my Spanish rice recipe, I have more pictures and the recipe below that ❤️ I use our rice cooker so it makes the rice perfect every time. The rice cooker we have is the Oster brand. Here’s a link to it on Target’s website!

https://www.target.com/p/oster-diamondforce-nonstick-6-cup-electric-rice-cooker-black/-/A-50972594

Added rice and ingredients to rice cooker.
Added water and stirred, turned rice cooker on.
All done!

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Lentil Soup

I have another recipe with lentils! We can’t get enough of them 😂 Lentils are : Cheap, Good for You, and Easy to make! I like to make them at least once a month. For this recipe, I used our Instant Pot, I love it! You can also use a regular slow cooker or crockpot, but you will need a skillet to sauté the onions, bell peppers and garlic before adding it to the slow cooker. I love slow cooking, it’s so nice to have it cook while I’m able to get other things done around here 😂

Most of the items for this recipe I keep in our pantry and are readily available at your local grocery if you don’t have them on hand. Since I love Greek & Mediterranean food, this recipe is perfect. If you have a vegan diet, you’ll just need to make one change to my recipe. I used chicken bouillon cubes, so instead you would need to use vegetable broth. I served our lentil soup with fresh pita bread. Hope y’all enjoy!

Sautéing up the diced onion & bell peppers in olive oil.
Added in minced garlic & sautéed more.
Added in the rest of the ingredients and stirred.
Slow cooked on High for 4 hours. You can also slow cook on Low for 8 hours.
Served up with pita bread, mmm!