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Showing posts from February, 2015

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!

Plum Cake Tatin

Simple and delicious. Serve with fresh whipped cream or ice cream.

Ours was just a bit under baked (okay, a lot under baked). We had a timer malfunction. Really delicious even so. Many thanks to erinnish for the recipe. Enjoy!

Grape & Ginger Ale "Chunky" Punch

For my Mardi Gras party I was looking for a dark purple punch that would compliment the traditional mardi gras colors of purple, yellow and green. I came across a video recipe for Grape & Ginger Ale Punch by Sister Felicia. I loved the story she told of her grandmother making this punch and I recommend you watch the video as well.

I call this delicious drink "chunky" punch as it contains crushed pineapple and cherries, which give you a bit of something to chew on as you drink this.

The color turned out beautiful and everyone enjoyed it. Many thanks to Sister Felicia for this recipe. Enjoy!

Mardi Gras Party + King Arthur Flour King Cake Mix

We had a small celebration for Mardi Gras this year. The kids, grandma and I made a king cake which I think turned out delicious. Along with the king cake we made a pretty dark purple punch.

I got a mix from King Arthur Flour this year. For as much as I mention KAF you'd think I was being paid to promote the, but I am not. Onto the King Cake Mix. Right now they have the price listed at $12.99 but a few weeks ago when I bought it, it was a whopping $19.99. Not exactly cheap when you add in $8 shipping.

As you can see there is a thick almond filling running through the cake which I happen to love. The quality of the sprinkles was outstanding. They have such a deep, vibrant color.

I probably could have baked it for another 5 minutes but as I have mentioned, my oven is a bakers worst nightmare. It runs hot, it's uneven and to boot we are at a very high altitude. So I try my best and cross my fingers when it comes to baked goods.

The kids helped decorate the cake. Even though we h…

Cafe au Lait Pie (Chocolate, Vanilla & Espresso Meringue Pie)

Happy Mardi Gras! Today I have an indulgent and rich Cafe au Lait Pie, recipe courtesy of King Arthur Flour. While I didn't nail the technique 100% in my layering, it was still delicious. I think my mistake might have been not letting the chocolate filling cool long enough. Lesson learned!

This recipe is for all the sweets and coffee lovers out there. A thin slice goes a long way as it is very rich. Enjoy!

Mardi Gras Lemon Cupcakes w/ Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

These pretty little cupcakes are perfect for Mardi Gras. Made from scratch and to die for good. A lemon cupcake is tipped with lemon cream cheese frosting then sprinkled in green, purple and yellow.

There are a lot of cupcake recipes out there that produce just ho-hum results, but these are incredible!

I spotted the recipe for these delicious treats at the King Arthur Flour blog. I made them exactly as directed, using my favorite ingredient, Fiori di Sicilia. If you love to bake, you've got to try it out. Enjoy!

Cajun Sausage & Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Next up for Mardi Gras Month are these Cajun Sausage & Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. I adapted a recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything to give these a Cajun twist.

Although I tweaked a few things, the proportions of my filling were close to the original, yet I found myself with a bunch of leftover filling. Were my mushrooms to blame? I'm not sure what happened there, but if you make these please let me know if the filling amount was too much. If you happen to have leftover filling like I did, wrap some up in a crescent roll and bake those suckers.

The only change I would make to these next time around is to add a small amount of sauteed celery and bell pepper. Not even a lot, just 1/4 cup each to give it a traditional Cajun holy trinity flavor. I'd love to hear your feedback if you thought these were hot enough as well. Please let me know and enjoy!

Lemon & Wine Bay Scallop Gratin

When I was picking out what recipes to make for Mardi Gras Month, my hope was to make recipes using crawfish, oysters and lots of Cajun spices. Thus far I have struck out on being able to find crawfish, which is depressing. 
I did pick up a pound of bay scallops and made this recipe instead for a lemony Scallop Gratin topped with crispy panko. It isn't Cajun and I doubt it could be called Creole either, even if it seems French inspired, but it is delicious so I decided to include it for Mardi Gras Month. Hope you don't mind.

Notes: I bumped up the amount of bay scallops to one pound. I honestly don't think it is necessary to double the topping amount if you do this, but I will let you be the judge. The important thing for this recipe is not to overcrowd the scallops in your baking dish. I did and it caused them not to cook through properly. 
If this mistake happens to you as well and it is too late to transfer to a larger pan, I simply stirred up the scallops to expose th…

Creamy & Spicy Cajun Sausage Alfredo

Today I have a pasta dish that is creamy, spicy and very filling. I used sausage, but feel free to switch it up to chicken, shrimp or a combination of any of the three.

This meal reminded me of the Spicy Romano Chicken from Johnny Carino's. If you were to swap the sausage for chicken, all that would be missing was artichokes. This was a big win for me, as I inadvertently made one of my favorite eating-out pasta meals. Enjoy!

Cajun Shrimp Dip

I've had great success with spicy shrimp dips. You can't go wrong with Cajun seasoning, shrimp and cream cheese. This dip is a bit different than my popular Spicy Creole Shrimp Dip. That particular dip has cheddar cheese and jalapenos and is a much 'saucier' style of dip.

This dip, however, is all about the shrimp and Cajun spices. We absolutely loved it. It isn't the prettiest dip but it is one of the best tasting I've ever made.

 I adapted this recipe from one I spotted over at Annie's Eats, omitting the okra. Enjoy!

French Quarter Cheese Ball

May I just say that I think cheese balls can be beautiful? This pretty little appetizer is a tasty combination of (primarily) savory and (a little bit) sweet. I spotted this recipe over at Plain Chicken, one of my long time favorite food blogs.

In terms of size, keep in mind that this cheese ball only uses one block of cream cheese, so it is rather small when compared to other cheese balls that have two or three blocks of cream cheese.

I was afraid that the original recipe might not have enough pecan topping so I doubled that. Pictured is the original amount, however, to give you an idea of how much it makes.

If you have leftovers, store then in the fridge. To reheat, I put it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Enjoy!

New Orleans Praline Brownies

With this recipe I was reminded of the importance of thoroughly reading a recipe and following directions.

Luckily my brownies still turned out delicious but I did berate myself a little bit for not paying attention to the directions.

For the first dessert post for Mardi Gras Month I went with a deliciously sweet recipe for New Orleans Praline Brownies from Menu Musings of a Modern American Mom. I love Julie's food blog. She is truly a mom who does it all -- she is a professor, mom to a large family, a cookbook author and more. Many thanks to Julie for the recipe and be sure to check her blog out after you read through for the recipe. Enjoy!

Escalloped Oysters

Today is a recipe for all the oyster lovers out there. Oyster itself is the main flavor component, with a few small things added to compliment it. If you hate oysters, move right on along, you have been warned.

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to making the crumb component of this dish. I've seen it made with buttery cracker crumbs, fresh bread crumbs, panko and mixtures of those listed as well. For what it is worth, I think either all butter cracker crumbs or a mixture of 1 1/2 cups butter cracker and 1/2 cup panko would be the way to go. I'd love to hear your feedback on this dish and be sure to let us know what type of topping you used. Enjoy!

Spicy Cheez-It Oyster Po Boy

To start off Mardi Gras Month I thought it appropriate to post a recipe for a Po Boy sandwich. This spicy sandwich gets a flavor kick both from the spicy Cheeze-It crusted oysters and from the Remoulade dressing. I found a pint of great looking oysters at Costco recently and used half of the jar to make these tasty sandwiches.
I adapted this recipe from one I spotted over at The Sweet and Savory Sisters, who have a recipe at their site for a homemade Remoulade sauce. I went the quick route and bought a bottle of premade sauce. 
If for some reason you find yourself missing the Cheeze-Its and aren't able to pick them up, we did try a few oysters using just the flour and cajun seasoning coating and they turned out great as well. For that you would use the standard dip in flour, dip in egg mixture, dip back in flour method.  Enjoy!