Rice Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Grits AND a Hamilton Beach Giveaway!

rice-cooker-cajun-shrimp-and-grits-chew-nibble-nosh

I know what you’re thinking.  Shrimp and Grits in a rice cooker?  I thought exactly the same thing.  But, when my friends at Hamilton Beach offered me their spectacular, multi-functioning 4-20 Cup Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker to try, and then suggested this recipe for Rice Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Grits, I thought, why not!  After all, this rice cooker isn’t your average rice cooker.  Sure, it cooks rice. Every size and variety. But it also cooks oatmeal, quinoa, cream of wheat, Farro, and other whole grains and dried beans. It has a simmer function for pastas and soups! And it has a steamer basket that loads in the top, so you can cook veggies, meats and fish right along with your rice and grains. It’s a one stop meal maker!

Sugared Lemon-Rosemary Scones

Sugared Lemon & Rosemary Scones - Chew Nibble Nosh

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to recreate a scone I found at my favorite local coffee spot.  I stumbled across it quite by chance one day when I stopped in to grab a quick cup to go and my stomach happened to grumble at just the right time during the ordering process.  I looked to my left and saw a plate of beautiful, fresh, speckled scones, asked the barista what kind they were, and she replied “Lemon-Rosemary”.  And from there, a love affair was born.

Sour Cream Cranberry-Almond Pound Cake: Mix Up the Holiday with OXO On

Sour Cream Cranberry Almond Pound Cake - Chew Nibble Nosh

A few weeks ago, I was using my hand mixer while baking up something in the kitchen, and I mentioned to my husband that it seemed that the mixer I’d received as a wedding gift, nineteen years ago, was finally reaching the age of retirement.  It just didn’t have much get-up-and-go anymore, and it sounded pretty pitiful.  It was kind of sad, and bittersweet…mainly because I’m realizing that I’m old enough to send reliable appliances into retirement.  Not too long after the old mixer was put out to pasture, I heard from my friends at OXO, and they asked if I’d like to try out their new OXO On Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer! Do they have perfect timing, or what?

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Maple-Sage Butter

Skillet Pork Chops with Apples and Maple-Sage Butter - Chew Nibble Nosh

This, my friends, is a really, really tasty meal.

And the beauty of it is, it’s so simple to throw together for a quick weeknight meal, but definitely impressive enough to serve to guests.  The flavors are spectacular, it’s beautiful on the plate, and that maple-sage butter melting over the pork and apples?  Holy smokes.

I started by making that very special butter.  I combined some softened butter with some chopped, fresh sage, salt, pepper, and a good drizzle of maple syrup.

Skillet Pork Chops with Apple and Maple-Sage Butter - Chew Nibble Nosh 1

That’s it. Simple, and fresh.

Pear Streusel Kuchen: Inspired by the New Holiday Film, Love the Coopers

Pear Streusel Kuchen - Chew Nibble Nosh

Do you live in the Indianapolis area?  Do you love a good holiday movie fix?  Well, hang tight, because at the end of this post, you can find out how you and a guest can attend the Indianapolis screening of the new CBS Films celebrity packed holiday extravaganza, Love the Coopers!

Garlic Confit Toast

Garlic Confit Toast - Chew Nibble Nosh

People ask me all the time why I started writing a blog.  It’s probably a question I get at least once a week.  Blogging, though increasingly common, still has this kind of weird aura around it.  People don’t get it, and I have to admit, sometimes I don’t get it either.  It blows my mind that there’s this little space on the internet with my name on it, that I’m in charge of.  There’s also this weird ego-thing around blogging in general. Like, why on earth would I think that anyone would ever want to read anything I’ve actually written…about my dinner, no less?  It’s a battle I’m constantly struggling with.  I am notoriously bad at self-promoting my blog.  It’s only been quite recently that I even tell people that I write a food blog when they ask me what I do.  My go-to answer for a long time was just “I do a little work from home.”  Anyway, my point is, I often feel like my job is pretty weird.

Hot Ham & Cheese Party Roll Ups

Hot Ham & Cheese Party Roll Ups - Chew Nibble Nosh

Oh, boy…these are good.

Melty, toasty, cheesy, sweet, salty, tangy, chewy, bready (I’m not so sure that’s a word.), and just plain good.  Plus, they can be whipped up ahead of time and baked later for whatever possible reason you could need to make them.  They’d be wonderful paired with a salad for dinner, or delicious as a pot luck contribution, or, in my case, the perfect thing to bring to a friend’s house for us to nibble on as we watched the game on TV.  They are just…so…good.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Amaretto Brown Sugar Butter

Roasted Acorn Squash with Amaretto Brown Sugar Butter  - Chew Nibble Nosh

I love acorn squash.  I’m pretty partial to any squash in general, but I love to indulge in butternut and acorn squash in the fall, when the color or the squash matches the color of the leaves outside my window.  I have fond memories of my mom roasting some up with our dinner, and it always involved brown sugar and butter, which made it seem like a dessert vegetable when I was growing up.  She’d cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and then fill the middles with brown sugar and butter, which would just sizzle and caramelize and sweeten up the squash as it baked.  Good stuff. It’s like comfort food to me.

Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce

Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce  - Chew Nibble Nosh

I love it when I run across a meal that my whole family enjoys, is easily adaptable, AND I can throw together at a moment’s notice with stuff you can always find in my pantry and fridge.  This is one of those meals.  This sauce is incredible, so deliciously tasty that you’d think someone had spent hours on it.  In reality, it takes just a few minutes of prep time, and a little bit of slow cooking in the oven.

Elvis Presley’s Fool’s Gold Sandwich and a “What If” Movie Ticket Giveaway!

Fool's Gold Sandwich - Chew Nibble Nosh

Do you love movies?  I LOVE movies, and I would love to send YOU to a movie!  So keep reading!

 What If, a wonderful new romantic comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, opens this month in theaters.  Check out the trailer here: