Archive for April, 2012


Kathy’s Shrimp Dish

April 29, 2012

Here’s a great recipe from my friend Kathy.  She posted it on Pinterest.  I know I still don’t get, but I’m becoming slightly addicted.  I love going on there and seeing what my friends have pinned.  When I asked Kathy about the recipe she suggested that using the Good Seasonings packet would really bring out the flavor of the shrimp.  She’s probably right, but I didn’t have any and I used the dried Italian seasoning instead.  I think that the way they preserve those bags of frozen shrimp, along with the butter had plenty of salt.  I wanted to use the entire lemon, but my husband is not a fan of lemon in his entrees.  Baked goods on the other hand are an entirely different matter.

This dish is so good.  I could easily make it every week and not tire of it.  I also think you could easily substitute scallops and have a great meal.  I love that it served with pasta, but I think brown rice could also be good.  Thanks Kathy and keep pinning!

Kathy’s Shrimp Dish

  • 1/2 C Butter, melted
  • 2 lb Raw Shrimp, deveined and shelled
  • 1/2 -1 Lemon
  • 1 package Good Seasonings Italian Seasoning packet or 1 t dried Italian Herb Seasoning
  • Pepper to Taste

Layer a baking dish with the shrimp, making sure they are in a single layer.  (I used a quarter sheet.)  Sprinkle with the seasoning, pepper, butter and the juice of 1/2 to one whole lemon.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  When the shrimp change color, they are done.  Serve over pasta.  Kathy said angel hair pasta, I made it with whole wheat linguine.


A Chocolate Lover’s Dream

April 22, 2012

I love to read.  I’m always reading something.  Recently I found a book that also has recipes in it.  Unfortunately, I don’t like the book.  Fortunately, the recipes are good.  I found this recipe and have made it a few times.  Meeshie loves it.  I’ve brought it to work and it’s been a hit.  I knew it was a winner when one of the attorneys in the office gave me a hug.  I’ve never seen her hug someone before.  The things people do for chocolate.

These are a rich bar, so I prefer them with a small amount of nuts in between a few layers.  But, I’ll admit I don’t like chocolate as much as I love caramel.  This is definitely for the chocoholic in your life.  Make these and they will be putty in your hands.  I did mention I got a hug, right?

The book may be a bust, but the recipes have been great.  So if you see someone using their cell phone to take pictures of a recipe or two in the book section of your local Target, just keep walking.  I’ll act like I don’t see you either.

Chocolate Euphoria Bars

  • 1/2 C Butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C Oreo Cookie Crumbs
  • 1 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 C Mini Marshmallows
  • 1-14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 C White Chocolate Chips
  • 2 C Cocoa Puffs
  • 1 C Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 C Chopped Pecans (optional)

Combine the melted butter and Oreo crumbs.  Press them into a prepared 9×13 cake pan.  Layer the semi-sweet chocolate chips, marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk, white chocolate chips, cocoa puffs and milk chocolate chips.  If you are using the pecans, I added a small amount between the Oreo layer, after the sweetened condensed milk layer and on top.  Once assembled, press the layers into the pan with your hands.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely before cutting.  Cut them into bars.

Makes about 35 bars.

From the Devil’s Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke.


M is for Maple

April 16, 2012

Every year, the park district near me has a pioneer pancake breakfast.  It’s always in March.  It’s generally very cold outside.  We have a wonderful breakfast made with homemade maple syrup.  We get to see how the syrup is made, as well as learn about pioneer times.  The volunteers are dressed in period clothing and have demonstrations on school, making candles, trading, hunting and, of course, syrup making.

Usually it’s very cold outside and I feel badly for the volunteers.  Not this year.  The weather was beautiful.  Meeshie played school and a few of her friends tried their hand at archery.  Archery was very popular this year, I think it’s because of the Hunger Games.

A few years ago, I bought a small collection of recipes that feature maple syrup.  Have you ever had chicken wings made with maple syrup and chili sauce?  The sweet glaze has just the right amount of heat to complement the chicken.  This marinade would also taste great on pork chops, or chicken breasts.

I found this recipe and made it for my husband, the lover of chicken wings.  Perfect for grilling, but you can also broil these in the oven.

Maple Glazed Chicken Wings

  • 2.5 lbs chicken wings, (Use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to separate wings at each joint. Discard the wingtips and cook the remaining two sections)
  • 1/2 C Maple Syrup
  • 1-5 T chili sauce (I made it with 2 and Meeshie never said a word.  It still had a small kick, but use your discretion)
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 2 T Cider Vinegar
  • 1 T Mustard
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce

Whisk the syrup, chili sauce, vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire together until combined.  Place wings in a gallon-size Ziploc bag and cover with onions and marinade.  Marinate the wings for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator, turning occasionally.  Grill the wings until thoroughly cooked.

Serves 4.


A Great Salad

April 10, 2012

I found this salad a while ago by watching The Sandwich King, of all things.  I know that recently I talked about how I’ve grown to dislike the show, but this recipe is a winner.  The dressing is sweet, but not too sweet.  The bacon and cheese really complement each other.  I also love the addition of the pasta.  I’ve made it a few times, most recently to add to my Easter brunch.  It’s the perfect salad for a large crowd, but it can also easily be halved.  The original recipe calls for less dressing, but I double the dressing (the recipe listed reflects that) because it just isn’t enough for the amount of salad.

The gorgonzola really adds something to the salad.  I know that it’s like blue cheese, either you like it or you don’t.  I’m not a fan of blue cheese, but a small amount of gorgonzola really adds a lot of punch to this salad.  The dressing is super easy to make and would be a great marinade on chicken or pork.  Make extra and keep it in the fridge, but just make to sure you don’t forget about it.

Chopped Salad with Sweet Italian Dressing

  • Salad:
  • 1 lb Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 C Ditalini Pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1 C Gorgonzola
  • 2 Hearts Romaine, chopped
  • 1/2 Small Red Cabbage, chopped
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 small Red Onion, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • 1 C Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 T Honey
  • 2 t Italian Seasoning
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 C Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the bacon, pasta, romaine, cabbage, tomatoes, red onions and gorgonzola.

For the dressing, place the vinegar, honey, Italian seasoning, garlic, and salt and pepper in a blender.  While the machine is running, slowly add the olive oil until the dressing is combined.  Adjust the oil if necessary.

Right before serving, add the dressing and toss together until well coated.

Serves 8 to 10.


Happy Easter

April 7, 2012

For the first time ever, I had trouble with my lamb cake mold.  I actually made the cake twice yesterday.  I had planned to give one away for after mass today and one for us tomorrow.  After the first try, the cake was raw in the middle.  I have issues with my oven in the kitchen.  I spent a pretty penny for that oven and it runs cold.  Usually I’m on top of it, but yesterday I was involved with too many things.  After the second attempt, the cake would not come out of the pan.  That’s never happened before.

So, this is what I did instead. I cut up the parts of the pound cake I could and made mini lambs.  I frosted them, made the head with Milano cookies and added marshmallows.  The mini lambs are so cute, but I’m still going to use the lamb mold next year.  It’s something that my mother used when I was a girl, and when I moved into my current home, she passed it on to me.  Meeshie loves helping me decorate the lamb (she puts jelly beans all over the body), along with making the coconut grass.

You can tell that the dark cookie head was done first, the eyes are crazy because of their size.  The light cookie head has jelly beans cut in half for the eyes.  Each lamb has cocoa puffs for ears and a tail.

Happy Easter!



Everybody Needs a Great Bread

April 2, 2012

A while ago, I had a conversation with one of my blogging friends about focaccia.  Allison told me that she had a wonderful focaccia recipe, but needed to unearth it.  I had actually forgotten all about it until I saw the Sandwich King a few weeks ago.  He made focaccia and that sent me on a quest.  I know that I could have used his recipe, but he never made it on the show.  What’s the point of having a cooking show on the Food Network if you aren’t actually going to cook on the show?  Plus, I think his show is getting worse instead of better.  I liked his show in the beginning, but now I just wish he would stop talking, and dancing, and singing and just make something.

Sorry, back to the focaccia.  I found a great recipe from Anne Burrell.  I love her.  I love how no-nonsense she is.  Her recipe is really simple, because that’s what focaccia is, a nice simple bread.  Perfect for a sandwich, or not.

The only thing I did differently with this recipe is I used some 00 flour.  It’s used to make pasta, pizza dough and bread.  I used a one cup of 00 flour and the rest was the AP flour.  You can find this flour in Italian specialty shops.  It’s really expensive but worth the price.  I mean more expensive that King Arthur flour.  My one pound bag cost as much as the five-pound one of King Arthur.   Comparing it to regular flour, it’s easier to work with, yeast loves it and it’s airier.  I think it has something to do with they way it’s milled.


  • 1 3/4 C Warm Water (110 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 t Dry Active Yeast (or one package)
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 5 C Flour (or 4 C Flour and 1 C 00 Flour), plus more for kneading
  • 1 T Coarse Kosher Salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 C Olive Oil, divided
  • Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme for sprinkling

Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl, place in a warm place and allow to bubble for at least 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, 1 T salt, 1/2 C olive oil and the yeast mixture on low speed.  Once the dough has come together, continue to mix for 5 to 6 minutes until it becomes smooth and soft.  Add additional flour if the dough is really sticky and tacky.

Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand one or two times.  Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl.  Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place the dough has doubled in size, at least an hour.

Coat a jelly roll pan with the remaining 1/2 C olive oil  Put the dough onto the jelly roll pan and begin pressing it out to fit the pan.  Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil.  Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan.  As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough to give it a rustic look.

Cover and allow the dough to rest until it has doubled in size, about an hour.  Liberally sprinkle the top of the dough with salt, oregano, rosemary and thyme.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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