Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shrimp Scampi

James has been after me for a little while now to make shrimp scampi. I've never made it before and frankly hadn't felt like looking up a recipe! Then lo and behold, good friend ShoeFanatic posted a recipe for it on her blog! It looked so delicious and she gave it such a great review that I just had to try it. Here is the recipe she used:

Shrimp Scampi

1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp
Seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder)
Olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, diced
1/2 tsp dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 c. dry white wine
Salt & pepper
5 T butter
3/4 lb angel-hair pasta
Fresh parsley, chopped


Boil pasta to your liking. Reserve at least 1 cup of pasta water for later.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. You need just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

Sauté shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes, and transfer to a large bowl. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and wine to skillet. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute.

Add butter to skillet, stirring until melted, and then add shrimp back in. Add the parsey as well and coat the shrimp well. In the large bowl, toss the pasta and shrimp mixture well. Add some of pasta water if necessary to keep moist.

The Ingredients

The Finished Product

The Verdict: This was fantastic! I was a little wary of it because it just didn't look like there would be enough sauce for the noodles. I used the medium size shrimp to save money and was just as happy with them. It was great, it wasn't dripping butter down your face like often happens with scampi. James and I both went back for seconds and we will be happily enjoying the leftovers tomorrow night! I highly recommend it! Thanks, Shoe!

Turkey Baby Food

My baby girl is now at the stage where we're trying out meat. So after looking up a few recipes, I decided to try my own spin on a "Thanksgiving Dinner" for her. Here it is:

Turkey Puree' Baby Food


Ground turkey (I purchased mine as a package of 4 patties)
Cooking Spray
Mrs. Dash


Heat a nonstick skillet sprayed lightly with cooking spray to medium heat. Add patty, seasoning VERY lightly on both sides with Mrs. Dash. Cook, chopping up to be sure it cooks thoroughly. When done, empty into a bowl and puree' using an immersion blender. You may need to add a small amount of water in order for it to puree' correctly. Put into individual servings in the ice cube trays, cover well and freeze. Then pop them out and put them in a ziploc bag for proper freezer storage.

When ready to serve, simply microwave along with a spoon of cranberry sauce or sweet potato puree'.

The Ingredients


Made into puree'. Yes I know it looks disgusting. Be glad you're a grown up!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ham in the Crockpot

This recipe is the best ham you could ever have, considering it's out of a crockpot and sooo easy! And that says a lot because I don't usually like ham and I REALLY don't like cherries, but I love this! It's compliments of Bettee Markins (sorry I don't know your married last name!). Make sure your ham says READY TO COOK and not FULLY COOKED and make sure you buy one that will fit into your crockpot!

Ham in the Crockpot


1 butt portion ham, ready to cook, 7-8 lbs.
1 small can pineapple slices, drained
1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 small bottle of honey


Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Place ham, pointy side down into the crockpot. Dump cherries, pineapple and honey on top. Cover and cook on low for 6.5 hours. Check for doneness. Ham shouldn't need to cook more than 8 hours because it'll dry out.

The ingredients

In the crockpot, ready to cook!

I realize this isn't the most appealing picture, but it shows how tender the ham was when I took it out of the crockpot, literally falling off the bone!

All sliced up and ready to eat!

Verdict: This ham is fabulous! When I took it out of the crockpot, I kept the juices in a separate bowl that people could spoon over their own meat. It was incredibly tender and I was told it was the best ham ever! It's so easy you'd be crazy not to try it!

Christen's Meatloaf

I'm not a fan of meatloaf. This is a recipe I've been cooking for years to rave reviews, therefore I'm not going to put a verdict because everyone has liked it for years. I call it meatloaf for people that don't like meatloaf. It's different. And sorry, I didn't take pictures of it, but I cooked it last night with a salad, instant potatoes and a can of turnip greens with some ham in it. Good stuff.



1.5 lbs. lean ground beef
1.5 tsp. salt
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. pepper
8 oz. can tomato sauce (I use roasted garlic flavor)
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP spicy brown mustard
1 egg
1 TBSP vinegar
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1.5 tsp Tony's Creole Seasoning


Mix meat, breadcrumbs, 1/2 tomato sauce, egg, cheese, salt, pepper and Tony's. Shape into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Poke small holes along the top. In a bowl, combine the remaining tomato sauce with the mustard, brown sugar and vinegar. Pour evenly over the loaf. Bake at 350 for 75 minutes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Grilled Shrimp Soft Tacos

James and I couldn't agree on what to cook for dinner tonight so we landed on this, our very own concoction! We wanted grilled shrimp but couldn't decide what to cook with it. So we thought up these tacos and made homemade tartar sauce with olives in it to spread on. Here is the recipe for the tacos:

Grilled Shrimp Soft Tacos

1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 envelope of McCormick's Baja Citrus Marinade
1 TBSP water
2 TBSP tequila
juice of 1/2 lime
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

Mix envelope of marinade, water, tequila, lime juice and vinegar together in a bowl and add shrimp. Coat evenly. Keep refrigerated until ready to put on the grill. When ready to grill, place shrimp on skewers and grill on the bbq. When they are cooked through make soft tacos using toppings of your choice. We used the homemade tartar sauce, lettuce, cheese, avocado slices, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro and a few shakes of hot sauce. You can eat it like a soft taco or fold like a burrito.

All the toppings...

Folded up like a burrito

The verdict: This was fantastic! James was not too sure about adding the tartar sauce as a topping but he did it and was glad. The olives in the tartar sauce gave it a little more of a "fancy" feel. We ate all of the shrimp, as one pound only had 18 shrimp in it. Since we wish we had more to have as leftovers, we just might make this again tomorrow night :) Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coconut Cream Cake

Happy Easter everyone! Today's recipe is courtesy of a woman I used to work with. It's a light cake that is served cold which makes it a perfect dessert after eating hot Louisiana boiled crawfish! Most people in South Louisiana have boiled crawfish for Easter (I can't imagine having ham or something!!) so it's nice to have a cool, sweet treat. This hit the spot!

Coconut Cream Cake


1 box white cake mix, along with whatever it calls for on the box to bake it
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
whipped topping


Bake cake as directed in a 13x9 pan. While cake bakes, mix together the condensed milk and coconut milk. As soon as cake is baked, remove from oven and use a fork to poke holes all over the top. Pour on the milk mixture while the cake is still hot and allow to settle. Cover and refrigerate. When ready to serve, spread whipped topping over the top of the cake.

The ingredients (minus the tub of whipped topping, which I forgot to include in the picture)

Cake baked with holes poked all over it

Milk mixture poured over it

With the whipped topping, ready to eat

The Verdict: Well I should have taken a picture of the empty pan! There was NOTHING left. Need I say more?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mexican Casserole

This recipe is compliments of my mother-in-law, Aubrita. It is fantastic as a side dish to fajitas, or as a main entree' with a side salad. I cut it in half, so if you are making it for more than a couple of people, please be sure to double the recipe.

Mexican Casserole


1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning (I like the hot flavor)
1/2 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken and Mushroom soup (it's a blended flavor can)
Crushed tortilla chips
1 cup shredded cheese


In a non-stick skillet, brown ground beef and saute' onion and bell pepper. When meat is browned and veggies are softened, add package of seasoning. Mix well, if needed you can add a small amount of water.

In a bowl, mix your can of soup with the Rotel tomatoes. Set aside. In a casserole sprayed with cooking spray, layer crushed chips, meat mixture, soup mixture. Repeat. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

The ingredients

The baked casserole

Verdict: This is delicious! We made it just like this recipe I typed, which is the half recipe of what she gave me. So remember to double it if needed. We had it with a salad and it was the perfect easy dinner! Highly recommend it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creamed Chicken over Biscuits

This recipes is courtesy of the Cooking Light 15-Minute Cookbook. In August I had some pretty serious heart problems after giving birth to my baby girl, Elise. As a result, I had to watch my diet pretty close and I used recipes from this cookbook often. Everything I've ever cooked out of it was delicious! I told my husband that we needed to go back to using it for our meals so we can stay on the right track, and asked him to pick a recipe and I would fix it. This is what he chose.

Creamed Chicken over Biscuits

1 can flaky buttermilk biscuits
Cooking Spray
1 (9-ounce) pkg frozen diced cooked chicken breast
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (10-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 (10 3/4) can condensed cream of roasted chicken with savory herbs soup, undiluted (such as Campbell's Healthy Request)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Bake biscuits according to package directions, set aside and keep warm.

While biscuits bake, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in vegetables and remaining 4 ingredients; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender and thoroughly heated, stirring often.

To serve: Split biscuit in half, place on serving plate. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over biscuits.

Only 254 calories per serving!

Notes: Since I couldn't find the chicken soup it calls for, I used regular cream of chicken soup and some dry herbs. Also, I didn't have cooked chicken so I used one raw chicken breast, added a little creole seasoning and cooked it in 1/2 tablespoon butter. I also added 1/4 cup chopped onions, then the garlic and followed the recipe after that!

Creamed Chicken over Biscuits Ingredients

The finished product

The Verdict: We both LOVED this. I truly didn't think I would like it. I was wrong. And my husband ate IT ALL. There are no leftovers! It was so easy to make, very inexpensive (buy a good but inexpensive wine - Redwood Creek is only like $6). We will definitely be making this again in the near future!

Vegetable Beef Soup

When I was growing up, if I ever so much as got a case of the sniffles my grandma would have a pot of soup coming my way. Unfortunately I didn't get the recipe for her vegetable beef soup, but I do have another of her soup recipes and was able to use it to concoct my own veggie beef. I believe I've come quite close in replicating her recipe. Warning - it makes a TON! But it freezes great!

Vegetable Beef Soup

1 pkg frozen seasoning blend
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 can tomato paste
2 (14 oz) cans stewed sliced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 can original Rotel tomatoes
1 can Summer Crisp Corn (DelMonte)
1 can sliced carrots
1 small can peas
1 small can lima beans
2 cans beef broth
1 large cooking spoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 large cooking spoon of Lea & Perrins wine sauce for chicken
2 teaspoons sugar
chopped cabbage
1 large turnip, peeled and chopped
1 red potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 pkg. tender stew meat
salt, black pepper, Tony's Creole seasoning to taste

In a small pot, add the stew meat and cover with beef broth just till covered. Bring to a boil, then simmer until cooked through.

In a very large pot, make a roux using oil and flour. Oil must be hot before adding flour, stir constantly until the oil/flour mixture turns the color of a brown paper bag. Don't rush it, it's the secret. Add seasoning blend, cook until tender. Add 1/2 can beef broth to dissolve the roux, then add remaining 1/2 can. Once it comes to a boil, add the tomato paste and Rotel tomatoes. Stir well. Add the tomato sauce, stir well. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the broth that the stew meat was simmering in. Cover and simmer on med-low for 45 minutes. Check and adjust seasonings, if needed. Extra beef broth or water can be added if needed.

Vegetable Beef Soup Ingredients

The Soup

Verdict: Fantabulous! While this soup does make enough to feed an army, it's so delicious you will want to eat it for days. Once you get tired of it, put it into quart sized ziplocs, label and freeze. Defrost for a quick dinner on a cold night or when you don't feel well. It has magical healing powers ;)