Thursday, June 30, 2011

Linguine with Garlic Shrimp

This is one of my favorite dishes. It's easy you just have to prep the veggies and bake the garlic for about 40 minutes. If you plan ahead it's a great dish to make for guests just make sure they like garlic!

Linguine with garlic shrimp

2 large bulbs garlic
12 oz fresh or frozen peeled, deveined medium shrimp
8 oz plain linguine
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium yellow sweet pepper
1 medium green pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
pepper to taste
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

The key to this recipe is to read through the whole thing first and plan each step to sort of happen simultaneously. Do any all prep work first.

Cut a 1/2 inch off the pointed top of the garlic bulbs. Remove as much of the papery layers and cover with foil to form a pouch. Bake in oven set at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 min or until very soft. When cooled, use your fingers to press garlic pulp from each clove. Put pulp into bowl. Mash the pulp with a fork. Set aside

While that's going on make sure your shrimp is thawing if frozen. Rinse your shrimp and pat dry with paper towel. Set aside. Cook your linguine as directed, drain. Keep warm while cooking shrimp and veggies.

In a large saucepan, cook mushrooms and peppers in hot oil until peppers are tender. In the garlic paste bowl, stir in, water, basil, cornstarch, oregano, bouillon granules and pepper. Add to mushrooms in pan. Cook ans stir until thick and bubbly. Add shrimp to pan. Cover and cook for about 3 min until shrimp is cooked through. Stir in tomatoes. Heat through. 

To serve, toss shrimp mixture with the linguine and then sprinkle Parmesan on top.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Basic Waffles

My whipped cream is melting from the piping hot waffles but who cares. This looks pretty tasty!


1 3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
3 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat waffle iron. Whisk together in large bowl the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix wet ingredients. Gently mix the wet into the dry ingredients. You only need to stir about 10 times. Just until the dry is incorporated. Serve as desired.

recipe from: joy of cooking

Monday, June 27, 2011

Steak (How to cook and a great way to serve it!)

I have been practicing and testing this method for a few weeks now. I think I have finally mastered it. I used it n Father's Day to make one of the best steaks I have ever had. I want to share how to make it and a yummy dipping sauce for serving it. Now usually I would us an outdoor grill to make steaks but when we moved to another state last year, we couldn't fit out grill in the moving truck so we had to leave it. Sad I know but I am using what I have to make it work.

I would recommend a flank steak (takes less time to cook though) or a good top sirloin about 1 inch thick.

How to cook a steak:

1. take your steaks out of the fridge about 20 minutes before you plan to cook them. This will bring them to room temperature.

2. Heat your heavy frying pan on high heat. Pour about 1 Tablespoon of oil into your pan. You don't need too much. Once it starts to smoke a little it's ready for the steak. Now I seasoned my steak with salt and pepper before I put them in the pan and it worked just fine. I have heard that putting salt on it before you cook it can draw out moisture so it's your choice. Generously salt and pepper your steak either before you cook it or right after.

3. Using tongs place your steak in the pan. There will be some spatter so be prepared. Let it cook untouched for about 3 min. If you have a steak thinner than 1 inch it will be 1 1/2 to 2 min.  Once the time is up, use the tongs again to turn the steak over once. Cook again the same amount of time on the other side. If you like your steak well done you will want to cook it more. This method is for medium.

4. Once you are don't cooking the steak on both sides get a plate and a cooling rack ready to rest the meat. See picture above. Place the meat on the rack and put foil over it to keep the heat in. Cooling it on the rack helps not to ruin the nice sear you have achieved. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes.

Horseradish Sauce 

1/2 cup light mayonnaise dressing
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons horseradish

Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This drink is great for summertime and entertaining. It's easy because you make it ahead of time so it's ready when you are. The mint gives it a refreshing taste.

Mojito Drink

One can frozen lemonade from concentrate
Fresh Mint depends on taste. About a handful.
2 liter Ginger Ale, chilled
about 2 1/2 cups Water

Make lemonade as directed with a little less water (1/4 cup less). Blend a portion of lemonade with Mint leaves in a blender. Combine with rest of lemonade. Pour in freezer zip lock bags. Freeze for 4+ hours. Make sure you mix every hour so it gets slushy and not solid. When ready to drink, pour equal parts Ginger ale and frozen lemonade into cups.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Malted Brownies

Here is the dessert I made for my hubby for Father's Day. Let me just say that these brownies could stand alone as an amazing dessert. I have said it before but I really don't think I will ever make brownies from a box again. Seriously people! If you haven't tried one of the brownie recipes from this blog or ANY homemade recipe for that matter it's time to start. They are so much better. Here is the recipe for the malted brownies. The recipe for the whole dessert is under my recipe index under malted brownie sundae.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

I have come to the realization that if I don't make my husband a lunch that can be eaten on the run or hand held he won't eat it. Simply due to the fact that he is so busy he doesn't even have time to eat. This recipe is really great if you love buffalo wings. I personally do and for some reason have been craving them the last 5 months:) You can eat this a just a salad or get some healthy tortilla wraps like pictured and turn it into a wrap!

a few of the ingredients needed
Still not sure how to capture what this wrap is all about when it is rolled up so here it is open faced.

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

2.5 oz crumbled blue cheese
6 oz. Ranch-style salad dressing
2large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce
1 tablespoon salad seasoning mix (such as McCormick® Salad Supreme Seasoning)
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
for salad one head for wraps
Your choice tortilla wraps

In a small bowl, combine crumbled blue cheese and Ranch-style dressing; set aside. Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat, and pour in the vegetable oil. Just before the oil starts to smoke, add the chicken. Cook to brown evenly, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and add butter, hot sauce, and salad seasoning mix. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Assemble wrap with lettuce, ranch and blue cheese sauce and meat. Makes 4 wraps or one large salad.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

I am a sucker for Red Lobsters Cheddar Bay biscuits. So here is a recipe similar so that I can get my fix without dropping $50+ eating out.

 I used TOO much oregano the first time I made these so I cut it back in the recipe. So ignore the fact that there is a lot of oregano on these biscuits.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

1 1/4 cup biscuit mix ( I use Bisquick heart healthy)
1 packed cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 stick butter or butter substitute
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Mix together first 4 ingredients. Batter will be VERY sticky. Drop by large spoonfuls on greased pan. Bake in oven set at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. While those are baking melt butter with oregano and garlic salt. After the 10 min take biscuits out and brush butter mixture onto biscuits. Bake again for 2-3 minutes. makes 10 biscuits

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day dessert

 For Father's Day the kids and I will be making this recipe from Martha Stewart. His favorite dessert is brownies and ice cream. Hope it turns out good! I will post pics of it then:) Now if I only knew what I am going to get him as a gift.

Recipe found HERE

Monday, June 13, 2011

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

I have to say that these are the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had. They combine my two favorite things about cookies chewy and crunchy at the same time. My sister told me about this recipe and the other day I was REALLY craving cookies so I started getting ingredients to make my chocolate chip cookies and I realized I didn't have chocolate chips. Hoping to avoid a massive breakdown from my kids I whipped these bad boys up and they hit the spot.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking oats 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the oats until just combined. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until just light brown. Don't over-bake. Mine took about 13 min. Just keep an eye on them.
Recipe adapted from: Michele

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Taco Soup

I was introduced to this recipe in my college cooking class. I have made some slight changes but overall the idea is the same. This is one of those meals that doesn't sound too appetizing until you smell the aromas it spreads through your home. Then after one bit you are hooked and pretty soon you are going for seconds. We don't use spoons to eat this. We use tortilla chips. Garnish with some sour cream and cheese and it's a pleasing meal.

Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans Mexican style stewed tomatoes (or regular. sometimes I can't find the Mexican style)
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp corn starch
1 can corn, drained
cheese and sour cream for garnish

Saute onion in large pot for 5 min on med heat. Add meat and garlic. Cook until meat is browned. In separate bowl, mix all other ingredients together. I usually put tomatoes first so I can crush them into smaller pieces. Mix well so that corn starch is incorporated. Add mixture to pot of meat. Once it's boiling, simmer on low-med heat for 20 min. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tilapia Tacos

You can't get a better summer dish than fish tacos. These have a kick to them with the Chipotle cream sauce. These are simple! Trust me, you can whip these up and please any crowd. This recipe makes about 5-6 good sized tacos.

Chipotle cream sauce on the left and the tomatoes, cilantro and onion on the right

Tilapia Tacos

3 fillets of tilapia
1/2 cup Fat Free sour cream
2 tsp.  chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/4 red onion, chopped
4 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 Tablespoons butter
3 limes, for zest, juice and garnish
one package small flour tortillas, warmed

Thaw fish, if frozen. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels and set aside. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, chipotle chile and 1/8 teaspoon salt; set aside. Saute red onion over med heat for 5 min to sweat out.  In another bowl, combine onion, tomato and cilantro; set aside.
In another small bowl, combine garlic salt and cumin. Rub evenly over both sides of fish using your fingers.
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add fish and cook for 3 minutes. Turn fish and cook for 2 minutes more. Break fish into bite-size chunks; sprinkle with lime zest and juice. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until fish begins to flake when tested with a fork. Remove from heat. Remove fish mixture from skillet with a slotted spoon, discarding liquid.

 Serve with lime wedges.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Greek Salad

My friend Nikki I mentioned earlier also introduced me to this salad. Seriously, if you haven't tried any of the salads I have posted, you are missing out. This one is another winner. You can substitute the sugar for sugar substitute if needed. This salad makes enough for a large group. The dressing makes enough for 2 salads but will keep in the fridge a least a week.

Greek Salad

1 cup canola oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar 
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
1 salt
1/4 small red onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon Poppy seeds

Blend first 6 ingredients in blender until smooth.  Stir in poppy seeds. Refrigerate until chilled.

3 romaine lettuce heads, rinsed dried and chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
4 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 package feta cheese

Toss all salad ingredients and serve with dressing once ready to eat.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Teacher gifts

Why does this ALWAYS sneak up on me? I am never prepared for teacher gifts for holidays OR the last week of school. Yes the easy route for me would be to give them flowers (since my hubby is in the flower business) but somehow I even forget to have him bring me home some flowers. Luckily this week I was prepared with some gifts on hand. I like to keep a cupboard stocked with random gifts I can grab in a hurry. Whenever I see things on sale I get them and put them away. Today I grabbed some hand made soaps (not by me...someday:) and these cute little window boxes I got from the container store. Yes I finally live near one which I am so psyched about. Anyway not really homemade but at least I was prepared! If you have good ideas to stock up on let me know!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Boy oh Boy!

This is the 2nd baby card I have done in a month. I love doing baby cards though and I was really running low on boy cards so here is the 2nd one! The blue card slides out from the yellow card so it doesn't open like a traditional card.