Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Old Bay Shrimp & Pasta

I'm a big Old Bay fan, I got this recipe from their web site it was quick, easy and we all liked it.   Old Bay with seafood is always good but try it on corn, french fries, homemade snack mix, tuna melts........the list goes on and on....

Old Bay Shrimp & Pasta

8 oz penne pasta
1/2 C frozen peas
1 T butter
1 lb shrimp peeled & deveined
1 1/2 C  1/2 & 1/2
2 green onion sliced thinly
1 T Old Bay (reduced sodium)
1 T parmesan cheese freshly grated

Cook pasta till al dente, add peas to water last minute of cooking (I also added spinach with the peas).  Drain.

Melt butter in large skillet over med heat.  Add shrimp cook for 2-3 min.  (I like pan a little hotter so there is a little bit of a sear on the shrimp)  Add green onion then add 1/2 & 1/2 and Old Bay simmer till warmed through, slightly thickening.  Stir in pasta and parmesan, serve.  I like a squirt of lemon with this.

Quick & easy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cherry Kiss Cookie

Wow, saw this recipe and new it was a must try.  Cherry Cordial Kiss Cookie I found it posted on food.com read through it quickly, stopping to pick up Maraschino Cherries, kisses and white flour on my way home from playing tennis in 95° weather!  Yes, I heated the oven up in this weather and they were worth it.  After I got home realized it calls for the cherry flavored kisses but I used the regular flavor and it was still yummy.  I can't think of to many people that don't like chocolate covered cherries, this has a lighter cherry flavor.  The only negative is they hard to store since you can't stack them up while the kiss is still soft, so that takes a bit of planning.  Which I didn't do so they are sitting around the kitchen and every time you pass by you have to try another so they may not make it to their destination.

Cherry Kiss Cookie

1 C softened butter
1 C powdered sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C chopped maraschino cherries
Hershey Kisses
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 325°
Beat butter for about 30 sec. add powdered sugar & salt beat till just blended.   Beat in cherry liquid and almond extract.  Beat in flour a little at a time till just blended, add chopped cherries.  Scoop dough into 1 inch balls, depress with thumb print and sprinkle with a pinch of granulated sugar.  Bake for about 13 min till bottom edge begins to brown.  Remove from oven and quickly add kiss to cookie then allow to cool on rack.

butter, powdered sugar, salt blending

chopping cherries

Hershey's  (try not to eat them all ahead of time)

scoop into 1 inch balls

thumb print

sprinkle with granulated sugar

add kiss quickly

These would be adorable for a pink party.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fiesta Night

Well when it is your birthday at our house and you are here, you get to pick the menu.  I actually love suggestions any night.   So for Austin's birthday his choice was a Mexican  meal.  Chicken Quesadillas, Chicken Nachos, Guacamole, Pork Carnitas, and Corona.   We all enjoyed it!

lime juice & zest
salt & pepper
tomato chopped fine
Jalapeno chopped fine

I mix this together seasoning to taste with a pastry blender.  If you want more of any particular flavor or less adjust to your taste.  We have different likes around here so if someone wants it hotter they can add more hot sauce to theirs.  We really like the Avocado flavor so tend to keep our Guacamole quite simple. If you make it ahead place plastic wrap down in bowl upsides and around bowl, this is to keep any air out so that the Avocado doesn't turn dark.  Tabasco is a staple at this house, the original formula the all time favorite......believe me they have tried a million hot sauces.....Tabasco is the winner.

Whole Grain Tostitos
refried beans
chicken in sauce
spread refried beans onto chips, top with chicken mixture, layer onion, jalapeno, cheese
bake @ 350° till heated and cheese melts
(You can also mix the beans with the meat in your
saute pan and then drop by spoonfuls onto chips.)
---any chips will do we are partial to the multi grain flavor

Chicken Sauce:  any taco, enchilada seasoning sauce will do, I used some of the
canned enchilada sauce this night because I had a lot going on in the kitchen.

-----can make this ahead cover with
wrap then heat when ready

whole wheat flour tortillas
Chicken in sauce mixture
grated pepper jack cheese

Layer mixture onto flour tortilla, grill in large pan till cheese melts flipping once, cut into triangles, serve with sour cream or Greek Yogurt, and salsa.

Pork Carnitas

Pork Shoulder Roast or Pork Tenderloin

1 T chopped garlic
1 T Cumin
1 T Oregano
2 Bay leaves
 Salt & pepper
 chopped Onion
Broth or water (enough to cover meat)
 3 T Tomato paste

Sear meat in preheated saute pan in a little olive oil, salt & pepper, remove to crock pot. 
Saute onion in pan till translucent, deglaze pan with broth add to crock pot.
 Add rest of ingredients simmer on high 3 hours.
Remove meat, using fork pull pork apart stir back together with sauce.
Serve with soft flour tortillas, lettuce, tomato, salsa,
 cheese, guacamole, ---the "usual trimmings".

Pull/shred pork

stir juices back in, I felt some of it should be strained

Corona it screams summer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pasta Zucchini

Zucchini is in abundance this time of  year so I am throwing it into every recipe.  This pasta actually highlights it though.  Zucchini is one of the vegetables most everyone will eat, mixed with onions & cheese you can't go wrong.  I have made this or similar for years, good way to get kids to eat vegetables mix it with pasta.

Pasta Zucchini

Penne Pasta--I use a whole grain Barilla
salt & pepper
pasta water or broth
1/2 & 1/2

In large skillet drizzle bottom with a little oil (you don't need much zucchini is a little watery) add zucchini, onion and saute till edges begin to caramelize.  Zucchini will really soften down.  Meanwhile boil pasta till aldente, drain.  I use a little pasta water maybe 1/2 a cup to deglaze my pan of zucchini/onion (you could use broth or wine also), stir in pasta and then incorporated about 1/2 cup of 1/2 & 1/2 remove from heat add Parmesan and serve.  I also do this without the 1/2 & 1/2 if you want a less "saucy" outcome.  I really adlib a lot if it needs more liquid etc just add to your liking.  I also like mushrooms but you have to watch the browning of them it can give the pasta a color that isn't always as attractive but goes well with beef.

Had it with chicken kabobs this night.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Easy sides

I love a farmers market!

Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to eat a cooked vegetable, it really adds a delicious flavor.  Adding some warm goat cheese to a salad makes it seem special and it is so easy to do.  Caprese is a must with all the fresh tomatoes.  Other favorites this time of year Corn on the Cob with Old Bay, Roasted Broccoli drizzled with sesame oil after removing from oven or Cauliflower with some grated cheese.......more to come.
Just a few easy, quick sides.

Caprese Salad

Fresh Mozzerella
Basalmic Vinagrette

Just slice tomato, mozzerella, chopped Basil and drizzle
with Basalmic.

Roasted Asparagus 400° for 20 min.
Mixed greens, carrots, walnuts, with warmed goat cheese.
Just dip the slice of goat cheese in some egg whites then
bread crumbs (I used panko) and saute in a hot pan
 with a drizzle of olive oil.

Roasted green beans, pecans 400° for 20min
and top with fresh Parmesan
after removing from oven.
Herb oven fries 400° for about 30 min.

An old favorite slice your potato and onions, your favorite spices, a little drizzle of olive oil.  You could also do bacon, chives, anything you'd like on a baked potato.  Cover with foil add to your grill or do them in the oven.  When you remove them you can sprinkle on cheese the warm potato will melt it.

Breaded zucchini--healthy style:
Cut zucchini to desired shape, toss in egg whites, then bread crumbs (this is panko)
bake @ 400° on cookie sheet till crisp.  I used foil but clean up wasn't that bad.
This is a common way to do healthy zucchini......just wish it didn't take up so
much room to cook it!