WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Belated V-day goodies February 16, 2011

Filed under: Pasta,Shrimp,Sweets — WannaBe Chef @ 11:45 am

Hello, loves!  Just wanted to share our yummy Valentine’s dinner and dessert.  I sort of have to thank my friend Ashley for this one.  As I was desperately trying to come up with a menu for the week, she texted me, asking if I had a recipe for a chipotle pasta sauce.  I didn’t, but I went off on a Google search to find some ideas for her.  Well of course, the more I looked, the more I wanted some chipotle pasta!  This shrimp pasta was very tasty, and I wish I had taken the time to take a better picture because it was 100 times better than it looks! 

Shrimp Pasta with Creamy Chipotle Sauce

I followed the recipe pretty much exactly.  I highly recommend adding lots of parmesan cheese to the sauce to give it more flavor and also to help thicken it.  Also, start with one chipotle and add more after tasting.  Ours was just a tad on the too-spicy side, so I wish I would have added just a little less chipotle. 

I also made dessert.  Even though it was from a mix, I still managed to dirty about three cookie sheets and a bunch of other stuff.  Baking is such a pain!


Farewell… again September 15, 2010

Filed under: Shrimp,Side dish — WannaBe Chef @ 8:01 pm

Just popping on real quick to say bye bye!  Wayne, Ziggy, and I will be heading out super early tomorrow and won’t be back for about 10 days.  I’m bringing my computer with me but making no promises to blog, sorry!  Hopefully this boring dinner holds you over for awhile haha…

  • Cold shrimpies and cocktail sauce
  • Quinoa cooked in chicken broth with carrots, onions, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese

See you all on the flip side!!


Shrimpie Enchis August 21, 2010

Filed under: Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 6:34 pm

Happy Saturday, lovelies.  Wayne and I have done basically nothing today, and it’s great.  We went to dinner at Wayne’s coworker’s house last night.  We had the most amazing steaks, ratatouille, and potato croquettes.  Fancy!  And Wayne has a new best friend in their 6 year old son hahaha.  Anyway, dinner time rolled around and I threw together this dish based on what I had in the fridge and freezer.  Of course, I didn’t have any enchillada sauce, so I made my own.  These turned out quite well and defintely were a good way to use up the veggies at the bottom of the veggie drawer! 

Shrimp and Veggie Enchilladas


  • 7-8 small, low-carb, whole wheat tortillas
  • Approx. 1/2 pound shrimp
  • Veggies – I had yellow bell peppers, zucchini, and red onions
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Enchillada sauce, canned or homemade (recipe follows)


  1. Saute veggies until softened, season as desired.  Stir in shrimp and heat through.  Add some cheese and a ladle of enchillada sauce. 
  2. Spoon mixture into tortillas, roll, and place seam side down in a greased baking dish.
  3. Cover finished enchilladas with more sauce, cheese, and salsa (if desired).
  4. Bake at 350 until bubbly and heated through. 

Red Enchillada Sauce
Based on recipe HERE


  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • 2 cups water


  1. Saute garlic in oil for a minute or so
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes 

**You’ll have a lot of sauce leftover… stick it in the freezer for next time!


Shrimpies and Randoms July 22, 2010

Filed under: Products,Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 6:13 pm

Hello, lovely people!  I’m still up to my ears in wedding projects today.  Well, I guess now I would say I’m up to my… waist?  It’s been frustrating at times, but for the most part, all my projects are turning out well and I can’t wait for little sister to see everything 🙂  So anyway, the other day I totally got lost in Super Target while shopping for components for said projects.  I literally had to stop in the middle of an aisle and think to myself “Which Target am I in?” and “What did I even come in here for?”  That’s what happens when I don’t have a list.  Two hours later, I emerged with many things for my sister, but also:  a cute tank top for myself, a clearance tankini top, cute metallic ballet flats, this awesome nail polish…

Kinda mango-y, no?

and this new-to-me Sabra.  I almost did a little “Squeeeee!” in the aisle because I was so excited about finding it.  It was delicious and seriously rivaled my beloved Greek Olive.  It was gone in less than 48 hours.

Also, have I told you about my recent obsession with cherries?  Gotta love in-season fruit. 

That brings us to tonight’s dinner.  I find myself, once again, in a state of minimal groceries, so I had to get pretty creative tonight. 

  • I took some cooked shrimp (about 1/2 pound) from the freezer, thawed them out, and took the tails off. 
  • Then I sauteed onions and garlic in a dab of EVOO till they were nice and brown, then stirred in the last of a jar of salsa, the last of a jar of plain spaghetti sauce (about 1/2 jar), and some water.  I seasoned it up with garlic powder and lots of Frank’s hot sauce and let it simmer for awhile while my brown rice and broccoli cooked. 
  • Just before serving, I stirred in the shrimp and let them heat through.   

This meal was ridiculously easy, surprisingly tasty, and 100% from the “pantry!”


Our first visitors: Part 1 June 21, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Oatmeal,Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 11:19 am

Hello loves!!  It’s so nice to be back after totally unplugging from my computer all weekend.  Along with catching you up on my fun weekend, I have a LOT of blog reading to do!  So anyway, after much deliberation about how to write these posts, I finally just decided to take the predictable route and go day by day.  First up is Thursday night and Friday.  My mom and aunt arrived at my second home the airport around 5:30 PM on Thursday.  Poor auntie was sick from the evil plane snack/turbulence/unknown sources, but after a trip to the restroom and some rest, we were off.  The weather was totally sketchy, but we made it back to the apartment before the rain/wind/tornado warnings and creepy highlighter-yellow skies hit.  I had dinner all ready to go:  Shrimp Taco Salad bar.

On the bar:

  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Fresh salsa
  • Avocado
  • Tomatoes
  • Romaine
  • Sour cream thinned with water
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro
  • Corn
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Black beans
  • Peeled, deveined, pre-cooked, tail-less shrimp heated through with:
    olive oil, lime juice, chipotle in adobo, syrup, cumin, and minced garlic
  • Homemade Spicy Lime Vinaigrette (I made 2 batches)

This salad was a big hit!  I love doing food bars for company.  That way, everyone can have exactly what they want.  I love bars so much, that I planned one for breakfast on Friday morning.  Thursday night, I made everyone an Oatmeal Pancake consisting of: 1/3 cup quick oats, 3/4 tsp baking powder, lots of cinnamon, pinch salt, splash vanilla, and 1/3 cup liquid egg whites.  After those sat overnight, I cooked ’em up and everyone topped their pancake with whatever they wanted.

On the breakfast bar:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Light syrup
  • Sugar-free syrup
  • Toasted pecan pieces
  • Sunbutter
  • Naturally More PB

I forgot to take pics of the finished pancakes, but I’m sure you’ve seen enough of them on the blog!  This bar was another huge hit.  My mom has been patiently waiting to try an oatmeal pancake, and I think this one exceeded expectations!  After breakfast, mom, auntie and I went to the mall (not the mall, but a smaller one) and did some shopping and roaming.  Wayne had to stay back and get some work done.  The pancakes held us over for a LONG time, so all we had for lunch was RED MANGO!!!  Yuuummmmm.  I had Madagascar vanilla fro yo with raspberries, mangoes, and my first ever mochi.  Loved them!  They tasted like soft, chewy marshmallows. 

After our little shopping trip, we picked Wayne up and headed out to an early dinner at Axel’s Bonfire.  I had a refreshing glass of Riesling and the woodfire baked Taco pizza.  My mom had the BBQ Chicken pizza, and we exchanged a piece.  Mine was very good, but I think I liked hers better!  Wayne got their special rotisserie chicken and shared a bite… it was AMAZING.  My aunt had a mango chicken sandwich which she liked a lot.  Overall, a great meal… love this restaurant! 

After dinner, we all went to see Toy Story 3 in 3-D.  It was hilarious, adorable, and full of adult humor.  We all loved it, and I highly recommend seeing it!  🙂 

Whew!  Well, that’s it for Thursday and Friday!  Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 🙂


Blog mods and a beast salad May 24, 2010

Filed under: Salad,Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 6:39 pm

Hello, friends and blends!  <— new term I recently learned… it means “blog friends”… creative, no?  Today I spent a lot of time messing around on this here bloggity.  I am really dumb when it comes to blog-building, but I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out what a “widget” is and actually adding/changing some of them!  So I ended up adding a couple new things in the green sidebar on the right, changing up the order a little bit, adding a new blue “contact” tab on top, updating my blogroll, and tweaking my “about me” section.  I also caved and started a Twitter account, which is another whole new world that I will have to decipher.  Someday, I think it would be fun to create my own layout instead of using a pre-fab wordpress one, but that will be a looong time from now!


Moving on… tonight’s dinner was a big, refreshing salad.  It’s in the 90s outside (YUCK!), and even though we have central air, I wanted to make something cool and light tonight.  

Shrimp Taco Salad
Inspired by “A Reader’s Taco Salad” in May 2010 issue of Cooking Light (pg 216) 

Salad components:
cooked, deveined shrimp, rinsed with tails removed
romaine lettuce
canned corn, drained
black beans, drained and rinsed
avocado, diced
cilantro, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
crushed blue corn tortilla chips
low-fat sour cream, optional
shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Sauce/dressing components:
(This made enough for 2 large salads, if you’re making more, I suggest doubling the sauce)
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice from 1 lime
1-2 tsp chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp minced garlic

Basic Method:
-Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, pour about half of it over the shrimp (I made 1 pound of shrimp)
-Build your salad on a large plate or in a large bowl
-Warm the shrimp through in a skillet over medium heat, stir in some cilantro if desired
-Top salads with warm shrimp, a little sour cream, and the remainder of the sauce mixture


I might as well re-name my blog… April 15, 2010

Filed under: Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 6:17 pm

“Rachael Ray Recipe Maker” or something.  So, I have this big binder that I keep all my loose recipes in… you know… all the ones I print from blogs or rip out of magazines.  Tonight’s dinner was one of those.  I totally did not realize it was another Rachael recipe until I sat down to blog and saw it on the bottom of the page.  In my defense, though, it appears that this recipe was developed by a “test kitchen associate” named Katie.  So, there!  I kept all the ingredients the same, but changed up the process quite a bit and also have some ideas for next time.

Hoisin-Glazed Shrimp over Crispy Noodle Cake
My version of recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray (Sorry, I don’t know which issue it’s from, I’m guessing March or April 2010)

2 packages (3-ounce) Ramen Noodles (discard the seasoning packets)
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 can (20-ounce) pineapple chunks, reserve 1/2 cup of the juice and discard the rest
Olive oil or vegetable oil for sauteeing
Hot sauce
1 bag (10 ounce) frozen, cut green beans, thawed with excess liquid removed
14-16 ounces large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used a 14 oz. bag of pre-cooked, frozen shrimp that was thawed and rinsed – Walmart sells it pretty cheap!)
3 cloves garlic, minced

– In a medium bowl, stir together the hoisin, pineapple juice, and hot sauce.  Set aside.
– Cook noodles in boiling water until al dente and drain.  Press noodles into a greased 9-inch pie pan and let cool slightly.  Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet and slide the noodle cake into the pan.  Let cook until golden brown, flip carefully (I cut mine in half first, then used 2 spatulas to turn each half.)  Let cook on the other side until brown.  Remove noodle cake(s) from pan and set aside.
– In the same pan, add another bit of oil, the green beans and pineapple.  Stir occasionally and let cook on high heat until the beans and pineapple start to brown/blister.
– Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. 
– Add the hoisin mixture, let cook for a minute or so, then add the shrimp.  Mix to combine, just until the shrimp are heated through and coated with sauce. 
– Serve immediately over noodle cake.    


Another satisified customer, here!  This was really good, and I loved the mix of textures.  Just some thoughts, though:  I think I would use pineapple tidbits next time, because every time I had a bite with pineapple, it was a bit too sweet and overtook all the other flavors.  Also, I’m not sure I would go through that whole noodle process again.  Once you put the shrimp and sauce over the noodles, the crispiness kind of goes away, so next time I would just serve it with the plain cooked noodles or rice.  That would also save on the calories a tad because you wouldn’t need to saute the noodles in oil.  By the way, the original recipe called for SEVEN Tbsp of oil!!  Totally not necessary in my opinion.  I used just enough to get everything going.