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Showing posts from February, 2011

Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta

For out last get together I made this delicious Cheesy Shrimp Ciabatta. This is an appetizer that shrimp fans will love. In our family this is one of our most favorite recipes. It's so delicious!

You can go with a baguette instead if you would like bite sized portions, but it is hard to beat a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread. The baguette slices will get much crunchier so if you prefer that mouth feel, you can go with a baguette. A fresh French bread would also work great. Enjoy!

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Typically I am not a blueberry fan, but even I loved these Blueberry Crumb Bars. I kept mine in the fridge to cool before cutting into squares. I put them back in the fridge and served them cold, which to me was far better tasting then serving at room temperature. Enjoy!

Italian Nachos - Johnny Carino's Copycat

From the menu at Johnny Carino's:
Italian Nachos - Crispy pasta chips baked with ground Italian sausage and/or sliced grilled chicken, pepperoncini peppers, black olives, roma tomatoes and jalapenos. Topped with creamy alfredo sauce, melted mozzarella and parmesan cheese.I think we got everything here except the black olives and tomatoes. This is so incredibly yummy.

Penzey's Secret Banana Smoothie

Bananas are standard fare for breakfast at our house. After awhile, even I get sick of bananas, so this is a welcome change. In case you were wondering, the secret is a tiny bit of almond extract.

Funky Chicken and Sesame Noodles

I doubled the amount of pasta and sauce for the noodles. I also cut my chicken into quarters before cooking in vegetable oil. The noodles were by far my favorite part. Just delicious. The chicken was good, but at times overpowering. I have a feeling I'm going to make the noodle component of this dish a few times a month when I want a quick and cheap dinner. Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon Dip

I used the dried, flaky variety of smoked salmon, as opposed to the super soft orange stuff. I would recommend making a double batch if this is for a party. This stuff goes fast.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies Treats are a classic childhood dessert. It was a special night in our house when mom pulled out the ingredients to make a batch, and you can bet they were gone by the next day. I wanted to jazz up the classic recipe so I went on a recipe search. Up came this recipe that included peanut butter in the krispies mix, with a dunk in melted chocolate to finish it off. They are deliciously addictive.

Pimiento Cheese

Pickle Wraps

By far the ugliest little things I've ever made. Tasty though!

Note: Save yourself some money and don't get the kind in the jar. Instead, buy the Karl Buddig brand of beef lunch meat at the grocery store. It is the cheap stuff but it works awesome for this recipe.

Tootsie Pop Cocktail

Tootsie Pop Cocktail
Makes 1 serving

1 part Coffee liqueur
1 part Root beer

1. Prepare a tall glass full of ice then add the coffee liqueur, next add the root beer. Add a tootsie pop to garnish. Out of the wrapper preferably.

Best Spinach Dip Ever

Unlike a lot of spinach dip recipes that use a vegetable soup mix, this recipe calls for leek soup mix. The flavor is amazing. I received a lot of compliments when I made this for a party.

Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles

I know what you are thinking—goat cheese in a truffle?
Trust me, these are so good.

There is a slight tangy aftertaste, but primarily it is a sweet, chocolaty, and tangy flavor that I am addicted to. The consistency is killer. A warning: If you hate goat cheese, I wouldn’t suggest them. If you are a fan of goat cheese, try them out, I had a hard time stopping myself from eating them all.

Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles
Makes many servings

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces fresh (mild) goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1. In the top of a double boiler, or in a metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water (make sure the water does not touch the bowl), melt the chocolate, stirring until it is smooth. Set the melted chocolate aside to cool for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2. In a bowl whisk together the goat cheese, sugar, and vanilla until it is lig…

Orange Cream Mimosa

Orange Cream Mimosa
Makes 8 to 10

2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (5 to 6 oranges)
1 orange, zested
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup superfine sugar
1 bottle sparkling wine or Champagne*
Strawberries, for garnish
*Non-alcoholic sparkling wine, sparkling cider, or ginger ale can be substituted

Put orange juice, zest, half-and-half, and sugar into a blender and process until the sugar has dissolved, about 30 seconds. Pour this mixture into a shallow pan and freeze until hard, 4 hours or overnight.

Remove the frozen orange mixture from the freezer and let it sit to soften slightly, about 10 minutes. With a scoop or tablespoon, scrape out a small scoop and put it into a Champagne glass. Slowly fill the glass with Champagne and serve garnished with strawberries.

Recipe from Tyler Florence

Ritzy Chicken Nuggets

I did a test with her Nigella's Ritzy Chicken Nuggets recipe. She says you can marinate the chicken in buttermilk for up to 2 days, but it didn't specifically say how long she marinated them for. She also gave two options for cooking them: In a pan with oil or in the oven.

I tried marinating them for about an hour then baking. They were pretty blah. Nothing I'd make twice.

I tried marinating them for about 8 hours, then pan frying. Better.

I tried marinating them for 1 day, then pan frying. Even better.  The chicken nuggets were so juicy and flavorful. I was in heaven. I would highly recommend serving them alongside a dipping sauce. BBQ, honey mustard and ranch all tasted great with the nuggets.

Isn't it funny how they could taste so ho-hum one time, then completely delicious the next time? It just goes to show you that preparation technique is very important.

I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts because I had them on hand.

Ritzy Chicken Nuggets by Nigella
Makes sev…

Ultimate Spaghetti Carbonara

The Ultimate Spaghetti Carbonara
Serves 4

Kosher saltExtra-virgin olive oil8 bacon slices, cut crosswise into thin strips1 onion, chopped (I would get a small one)4 large eggs6 Tbsp. heavy cream1/4 c. fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese1 lb. spaghettiCracked black pepper1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti.Heat a 3-count (Meaning pour olive oil for 3 seconds) of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and onion and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the onion is caramelized and the bacon is crisp. While that is cooking, crack the eggs into a large serving bowl. Add the cream and cheese and whisk together. Scrape the bacon and onion into that bowl along with the cooking fat.When water has come to a boil, throw in the spaghetti and stir to separate the strands; cook for 8 to 9 minutes, until al dente. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and add that to the bowl with the bacon…

Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise

Summer on a plate is how I'd describe this delicious sandwich. I know it may seem very simple but the flavors just burst in your mouth. Get the best tomatoes you can find. If you are lucky enough to have access to heirloom tomatoes go for those for sure. In a pinch I've used Roma tomatoes and it still turns out great. You also want to use fresh bread for this, no floppy white sandwich bread allowed. (That bread is for fluffer nutter sandwiches only, hah)

Although the sandwich is very basic, the tasty basil mayo adds a ton of flavor.

According to Ina, this is for 1 serving, so if you are only making one sandwich you can scale back the mayo ingredients. I did that just using whatever looked right for the amounts and taste tested it along the way. If you make the full recipe for the mayo you will want to store it in the fridge and use it up within a couple days. Ready for the recipe?

Caesar Salad with Crisp Prosciutto, Homemade Soft Croutons and Freshly Grated Parmesan

Caesar Salad with Crisp Prosciutto, Homemade Soft Croutons and Freshly Grated Parmesan
Serves 8

3/4 pound prosciutto, sliced 1/2-inch thick2 pints cherry tomatoes5-8 slices good quality Italian or white breadGood olive oilButterKosher saltFreshly ground black pepper2 large heads romaine lettuce1 cup freshly grated ParmesanFavorite bottle of Caesar dressing

1. Cut the prosciutto into 1/2-inch cubes and cook it in a skillet over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove to paper towels and drain.

2. Cut or tear the white bread into bite sized pieces. Drizzle a saute pan with olive oil (a few tablespoons) and a dab of butter heat over medium heat. Add the pieces of bread and stir to coat with olive oil. Stir occasionally, until slightly browned. Set aside

3. Wash the lettuce leaves carefully and spin-dry in a salad spinner. Stack the leaves on a cutting board and cut them crosswise into 1 1/2-inch slices. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Add Caesar …

Seafood Lasagna

Amazingly good. Seafood Lasagna is a special dish that is perfect for a special meal.

Seafood Lasagna 
Serves 8

Make ahead tip: Prepare the day ahead by assembling the casserole and storing in the fridge. I simply cooked the scallops and combined with the already cooked shrimp and crab, then followed the directions below. I also used regular lasagna noodles -- not even the 'no boil' noodles and it turned out perfect.

2/3 cup Alaska Shrimp, cut into bite size
2/3 cup Alaska Scallops, cut into bite size
2/3 cup Alaska King Crab meat, cut into bite size
15 Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 cup Milk
2 cup Chicken Broth
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Basil
2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped
1 cup Cottage Cheese, small curd
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over low heat until melted. Add garlic. Stir in flour and salt. Cook, stirring constantly unti…

Soft But Sturdy Cutout Sugar Cookies

These updated cookie photos were taken in Christmas 2015. Strawberry Sugar from King Arthur Flour was used on the pink cookies, with Swedish Pearl Sugar on the trees and a Birthday Party Sprinkle Medley from Sweetapolita Sprinkle Shop on the blue snowflakes.

Just look at these darling little cookies. Sanding sugar on top of colored icing makes these gems really sparkle. These are a great little cookie for the holidays. Not super soft by any means, but more tender than a lot of crispy sugar cookies.

Scallop and Corn Chowder

There is a big perk being married to a picky eater. It means I get a delicious soup like Scallop and Corn Chowder all to myself. I love this recipe, nothing is complicated and you are in and out of the kitchen within the hour. Bacon, scallops, onions, wine, corn and cream. If that lineup doesn't convince you, I'm not sure what will.

Scallop and Corn Chowder
Makes 4 servings

5 slices bacon
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops (about 16) -- I used bay scallops, the smaller kind because they are waaay less expensive. Just cook them for a much shorter time.
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced into half-moons
1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, peeled first if desired
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup corn kernels, frozen or fresh (from 2 ears) -- I used a can of creamed corn
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

1. Fry the bacon in a large skillet or stockpot over medi…

Raspberry Charlotte

Light and fluffy, tart and sweet. It is a refreshing dessert that you don't see around much anymore. Why is that?
Raspberry Charlotte
Serves 8-10

Raspberry Cream:
3/4 cup raspberry puree (Blend Raspberries, add sugar to taste and then strain mixture)
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 envelope of unflavored powdered gelatin
Raspberries for garnish

2 dozen ladyfingers

1. In a small bowl stir together the gelatin and 1/4 cup of the raspberry puree. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes and then microwave for a few seconds to dissolve the gelatin. When the gelatin has dissolved, stir it into the remaining puree. Transfer the mixture into a larger bowl ontop of an ice bath.

2. Beat the cream until stiff peaks form, then fold it into the puree mixture (which is still resting over the ice bath).

3. Line your dish with the ladyfingers, adding your raspberry cream then another layer of ladyfingers, until you end with a smooth layer of the cream on top. Garnish with raspberries. Let it rest in t…

Pastrami Mac and Cheese

This is the ultimate mac and cheese. It has a delicious twist with some little chunks of pastrami thrown in, then it is topped with some buttery bread crumbs. Delicious.

Pastrami Mac and Cheese
Makes 4 to 6 Servings

4 Tbsp. butter, plus extra for the baking dish
1/2 lb. farfalle
1/4 c. flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups (about 1/2 lb) grates sharp cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 lb pastrami, diced (scant cup)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
10 Ritz crackers, pulsed in the food processor, about 1/3 cup crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350-f degrees. Butter an 8 x 8-inch baking dish.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the farfalle until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

3. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the 4 Tbsp. butter. Sprinkle the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, stirring, and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, unti…

Banana Split Brownie Pizza

As to be expected, this was easy and delicious. I would recommend trying out light cool whip to cut a few calories.

Pina Colada Slush

Save this one for Summer time, it is delicious and refreshing.

Pina Colada Slush
6-8 servings

1/2 pt. rum
1 (16 oz.) can cream of coconut
1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice
1 liter 7-Up

1. Combine cream of coconut and pineapple juice; mix well. Add the rum. Freeze at least 24 hours. Spoon into glasses and add 7-Up.

Banana Butterscotch Cake

This is one of my all time favorite dessert recipes. Moist, delicious, and the flavors are a bit unique.

Banana Butterscotch Cake
Makes 24 servings

1 2/3 cups (11-ounce package) NestlĂ©® Toll House® Butterscotch Flavored Morsels, divided
1 package (18.5 ounces) yellow cake mix
4 large eggs
3/4 cup (2 medium) mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 10-cup bundt or round tube pan.

2. Microwave 1 1/3 cups morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Combine cake mix, eggs, bananas, vegetable oil, water and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until moistened. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Stir 2 cups batter into melted morsels. Alternately spoon batters into prepared bundt or round tube pan.

3. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in…

Lasagna Rolls

Giada creates another winner. Cute little lasagna rolls are baked on top of a creamy bechamel. Have you ever noticed that Giada describes everything as creamy?

One great thing about this recipe is that serving is a breeze. Traditional lasagna might fall apart a bit when you are trying to serve it. With lasagna rolls you just use a spatula to scoop a roll out and you are good to go. Enjoy!

Simple Rhubarb Pie

Rhubarb pie has got to be one of my favorite desserts in the world. Tart and sweet, with a scoop of ice cream it is completely delicious. My mom's recipe for Rhubarb Pie couldn't be easier. Enjoy.

Super Easy Rhubarb Pie
Makes several servings

4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/3 cups white sugar
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
Ready made pie dough

1. Preheat oven to 450f. Place first dough in baking dish and form to your liking. Combine flour and sugar in a separate bowl. Add 1/4 of mix to the bottom of your pie crust. Add chopped rhubarb then add the rest of your flour/sugar mixture. Break up butter into small pieces and dot on top of rhubarb. Bake for 15 minutes on lowest rack. Reduce temperature to 350f and bake for 40-45 minutes. Drape pie loosely with tin foil once crust has browned to your liking to avoid burning. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or at room temperature. Now go eat!

Recipe from my mom.

Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding is one of my favorite comfort foods. My mom made it often while I was growing up, but in recent years she made a chocolate version. So delicious! Just be sure to add whipped cream on top and enjoy.

Chocolate Tapioca Pudding
Makes 6-8 Servings

1/2 cup tapioca pearls (I used the Reese brand)
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I am more of a milk chocolate lover, so next time I'd try milk chocolate instead)

1.In a bowl, soak tapioca in 2 cups of room temp. water overnight. Drain water.

2.In a double boiler, heat milk just until no longer cold. Add salt and tapioca. Continue to heat until small bubbles appear at sides of pan. Cover, turn heat to very low and cook for one hour. Make sure the milk mixture does not simmer or boil.

3.Separate egg whites from yolks. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light yellow in color. Add a little of the hot mixture to the egg yolks and blend thoroughly. The…

Cheeseburger Ring

A ring of cheeseburger, I kid you not. So the nice thing about his recipe is that if you are feeding a crowd it slices into portions very easily and it looks cool to boot.

Tweak the ingredients to your liking. I omitted the mustard and didn't add the cheese to the ground beef mixture so it would melt and combine. Instead, I added partial slices of cheese on top of the puff pastry, then the ground beef and pickles, then another slices of cheese to top it off. It doesn't really matter how you do it. It is completely trashy and good eats.

Cheeseburger Ring
Makes 1 ring, serves 3-4 people

1/4 cup onions, diced
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
8-10 slices cheddar cheese
2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
16 slices dill pickles
3 large plum tomatoes
2 cups lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In frying pan, cook ground beef with onions over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain.

2. Add ketchup, mustard and 5…

Shrimp & Pork Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Pork, Crab Rangoon

I winged the Pork Fried Rice. I was wanting a lot of the pork, a little bit of eggs and a moderate amount of carrots and peas. Please change the amounts according to your preferences. This recipe is more of a guideline than anything else.

Shrimp & Pork Fried Rice
Makes Many Servings (4-6 Generous Servings)

4 cups cold, cooked rice (Make the day before)
1 cup diced carrots
1 to 1 1/2 cups peas (I used frozen)
Dash or two of dried minced onions
2-3 Medium garlic cloves, minced
Chinese BBQ Pork (However much you want. I used upwards of a pound)
1 small can shrimp (You can use fresh and chop it up if you prefer, which I do)
Vegetable Oil for frying
Dash or two of sesame oil
Soy Sauce
Terriyaki Marinade
Salt/Pepper to taste

1. Using a very large saute pan or wok, add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Turn heat to medium/high. Add a dash or two of sesame oil -- being careful not to add too much as this is very potent stuff. Add your carrots, garlic, onion and peas. Let them cook fo…

Lemon Parmesan Pasta with Chicken

I am a big fan  of cooking certain ingredients for a meal ahead of time. For instance, I cook all my ground beef and chicken ahead of time and store it in the freezer so it is ready to be added to a quick meal. If you are able to spend an hour on the weekend prepping, you can save yourself a lot of time throughout the week.  Simply pull out your cooked meat the day before you plan to use it and store it in the fridge to allow it to thaw.
One tip I have is to store your cooked protein in serving size containers, either Ziploc or Tupperware containers. It is inconvenient to have to try to pry apart frozen chicken strips when you've frozen a three pounds of it in one Ziploc bag. (Not that I have ever done that..ahem.)
Onto the recipe! Many thanks to My Happy Meals for the original recipe that I slightly changed to suit our tastes. The lemon taste in this is very mild. In the past I have gone overboard with the lemon so this time I scaled it back. Using my already cooked chicken breas…

Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches

Paula's Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 to 3 ripe bananas
8 slices white bread

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1. In a frying pan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter. Make sure butter does not burn. In a small bowl mix together the peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon. Slice the bananas into 1/4-inch thick slices. Spread the peanut butter mixture on 4 slices of bread and cover with banana slices. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread. Spread the remaining butter on both sides of the sandwiches. Grill the sandwiches in the frying pan until each side is golden brown.

2. For topping, combine the sugar and cinnamon in shallow plate. Coat the grilled sandwiches with the mixture. Cut diagonally and serve hot.

Recipe from

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{M) Melt in Your Mouth Mon, Motivate Me MonMaking the World Cuter, Made By You Mon, Ma…

Chocolate Cream Dessert

Chocolate Cream Dessert
Makes 12-16 servings.

3 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 90 wafers)
2/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 milk chocolate candy bar (7 ounces), plain or with almonds, broken into pieces
1 package (10 ounces) large marshmallows
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sliced almonds, toasted, optional

1. In a large bowl, combine the vanilla crumbs, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside 1/3 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. pan; refrigerate until firm.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the candy bar, marshmallows and milk over medium-low heat until chocolate and marshmallows are melted, stirring often. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature.

3. Fold in whipped cream and vanilla; pour over crust. Chill for 3-4 hours. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture and almonds if desired.

Recipe from Taste of Home