Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shrimp Enchiladas

These were so good, Brooklyn and I thought...Tony is not a fan of hot shrimp so they were  not his favorite.  I will double the recipe next time because it only made 6. I will also make them spicier.  They lacked a kick. I served them with chopped avacados, Mexican crema, sour cream, hot sauce and then refried beans, queso, chips and guac.  to go with them. YUM!

*adapted from Annie's Eats*
Remember to double this is you are making food for more than 4 people

3 tbsp. butter, divided
1 lb. medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 red bell pepper, diced
¾ cup onion, diced
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. salt
Dash garlic powder
Dash cayenne pepper**use more**
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
¼ cup sour cream
6 oz. shredded cheese (such as Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, etc.), divided
1 cup tomato, seeded and diced
8-10 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Cooking spray
In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the shrimp to the pan in an even layer and let cook without moving, about 1 minute.  Flip the shrimp over and continue to cook until just pink and opaque, 30-60 seconds longer.  Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.  When the shrimp is cool enough to handle, roughly chop into bite sized pieces, if desired. **I recommend this**
Melt the remaining butter in the pan.  Add the diced bell pepper and onion, and cook until just tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the oregano, salt, garlic powder, cayenne and flour to the pan; stir well and cook briefly until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.  Lower the heat to medium-low and add the heavy cream to the pan, stirring to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Cook just until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in the sour cream, half of the shredded cheese, and the tomatoes.  Return the shrimp to the pan as well, and mix everything together until the sauce is well blended and the cheese is melted. **This is where I would taste it and add some serrano pepper or some heat**
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.  Scoop 1/3 cup of the filling and sauce mixture down the center of a tortilla.  Sprinkle lightly with some of the reserved cheese.  Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place seam side-down in the  prepared baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining filling, tortillas and cheese.  Spray the tops of the finished assembled tortillas lightly with cooking spray.  Bake uncovered for about 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned.  Let cool at least 5-10 minutes before serving. It is a good base recipe...add to it and play with it!! Enjoy~

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lime Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce

This recipe is versatile and Delicious!! I have made it this way below and for Easter I made it a lemon cheesecake with a raspberry sauce. Both ways were FABULOUS!!!! YUM!! It is an easy recipe as well...double score! 

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 2 limes
For the blackberry sauce:
6 oz. blackberries, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. cornstarch
1½ tsp. cold water
To make the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 325 ˚F.  Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a medium bowl.  Stir together until well combined and moistened.  Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (or 6 4-inch mini springforms).  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth.  Gradually mix in the sugar.  Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the lime juice and lime zest until well combined.  Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust.
To minimize cracking, place a shallow pan half full of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven during baking.**This really works**  
Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the center is set (25-33 minutes for mini springforms).  Turn the oven off and prop the door open about 4 inches.  Let the cheesecake stand 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack.  Let cool 10 minutes.  Carefully remove the sides of the pan and let cool to room temperature on the rack.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before slicing and serving.
To make the blackberry sauce, combine the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release some of their juices and the mixture is simmering.  Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberries and mix well.  Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens slightly.  Remove from the heat and press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.  The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools. Drizzle the blackberry sauce over the cheesecake before serving. Enjoy~

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Snickerdoodle Blondies

These were sooo good! I made them one day for Brenn's lunch. That afternoon at the basketball game I was asked to make a whole pan!! They taste just like a cookie.  These are a definite favorite here!
adapted from Crepes of Wrath**great website**
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
a pinch nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease and/or line a 9×13 inch pan. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and set aside.
 In large bowl, beat together butter and brown sugar for 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla, and beat until smooth.
Stir in the flour mixture until well blended. Spread evenly in prepared pan (mixture will be somewhat cookiebatter-ish, so it’s best to spread it out with a greased spatula or your hands). Combine the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a little bowl. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the batter. Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. Cool before cutting

Friday, April 15, 2011

Korean Beef with Cilantro Sauce

This marinade was outstanding! I cannot wait to use it again! YUM-O! I was not a huge fan of the sauce, but I will try it again with less cilantro.  I am a cilantro fan so I was surprised that this had too much.
This calls for at least 1 hour of refrigeration.  I usually marinade at least 4 hours.
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 boneless strip steaks
Combine all ingredients in a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak to it.  Marinate for at least 1 hour. Grill until desired doneness.

Cilantro sauce
3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tsp minced seeded serrano chile
Combine in a bowl and whisk well. Serve with the strip steaks!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blueberry Banana Cake with Lemon Cream Frosting

I made this cake for dessert and I think it would be a better breakfast cake.  It is packed with heaviness and flavor and I will definitely make this again but for a brunch or a snack cake, I think.

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas(I used 3 bananas)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 lemon juiced and reserve the zest for the frosting
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups blueberries, washed
extra blueberries and sliced almonds for garnish

1/2 cup butter room temp
1 8 ounce pkg cream cheese, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt a
3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, with enough that hangs over the ends for easy removal.**I don't see the point in this.  I will keep it in the pan next time** Grease pan lightly.  In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugars.  Blend in eggs 1 at a time and ship until creamy.  Add vanilla and bananas and mix until creamy.  Add four, baking soda and salt.  Stir the mixture until just combines, not over mixing at this stage.  In a large measuring cup mix the milk with the lemon juice**remember keep the zest for the frosting**.  Slowly pour the milk into the batter as the mixer is running and mix until well incorporated.  Fold in the blueberries.  Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 75 minutes or until tester comes out clean. I checked mine starting at 60 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.  Lift the cake out of pan using parchment paper ends and cool on a rack.
For the frosting* whip the butter and cream cheese together until very smooth.  Beat in vanilla.  Add the powdered sugar and lemon zest and salt.  Beat on low until well combined and then on high until frosting is very smooth,  Spread on cooled cake and garnish with blueberries and almonds. The frosting is such a great recipe, I can see using in on much more than just this cake! Enjoy~

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ragu ala Bolognese

Holy Goodness!! This was really good. I. Mean. Reeeeeallly.  Reeeeallly.  GOOD! A definite keeper! It takes a few minutes to get all the goodies chopped and cooked then it just simmers for 2 hours...add to spaghetti noodles and Presto! A terrific dish!
"some" extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 celery stalk finely chopped
1/2 pound minced ground beef**I used turkey**
2 ounces finely minced prosciutto crudo or bacon**I used prosciutto**
1/2 cup red wine
1 large can crushed tomatoes**I used a good quality**
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti

Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Saute onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add meat and prosciutto.  Pour in the red wine and cook until it is evaporated.  Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and simmer for 2 hours.  Cook spaghetti and and stir the sauce into the cooked pasta.  This is a great dish! Enjoy~

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Banana Crumb Cake

Love coconut.  Love bananas.  Thought this would be a yummy hit.  I thought it was too heavy.  It was a good breakfast cake but not a snack cake, in our house. It gave 1/2 to the neighbors and they said they looked it.  It needed vanilla ice cream if you were using it as a dessert.
2 cups sugar
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 stick butter
2 eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup flour

Spray a 9 x 13 pan.  Add bananas and sugar to a mixing bowl and beat until bananas are liquid.  Add butter and mix until creamed.  Add all other ingredients and blend well.  In a medium bowl place all topping ingredients and cit together with a fork until blended.  Pour 1/2 batter in the bottom of the prepared pan and top with 1/2 crumb mixture...pour remaining batter and top with remaining topping.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Enjoy~

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Creamy Lemon Rotini

This is a great side dish with a ton of flavor. This was the first time I had made it and it was a perfect addition to the dinner.

4 cups rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
2 Tbsp butter
 4 ounces of cream cheese, cubed
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp dried parsley**I used fresh**
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
Melt butter in a large sauce pan and mix in the cream cheese and milk.  Stir constantly until the cream cheese is completely melted and the sauce is well blended.  Stir in 2 Tbsp of the Parm. Toss the cooked rotini with the sauce, the zest and parsley until evenly coated.  Top with the pepper and the rest of the Parmesan cheese. YUM!


Monday, April 4, 2011

Romaine Salad with lemon cream dressing

Fresh! Springy! Yum! This simple salad is easy and delish!
Whisk together ~
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp shredded or grated Parmesan
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups romaine lettuce chopped
*I added tomatoes, more shredded parm cheese and croutons **

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Slow Cooker Swiss Steak

Eh....not what I thought this would be! But it was cold out and I wanted to use the slow cooker.  It was too tomatoey for us.  I will pass it on and you can decide for yourselves!

2 Tbsp oil
2 lbs of beef round steak cut into serving pieces
1/2 cup flour
4 potatoes peeled and quartered
5 carrots sliced
2 onions sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
Heat the oil in a skillet and coat the steak in the flour and brown in the oil.  Remove the steak from the skillet and drain.  Place the potatoes, carrots and onion in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Place the steak on top of the veggies and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Pour the tomatoes and tomato sauce over the meat.  Cook on low for 10 hours. Enjoy~

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chicken and Asparagus in White Wine Sauce

    • I came across this recipe in an old issue(from 2007) of Cooking Light! I love to make asparagus and I found some great spears, tops only, really tender and YUMMY! I thought this would be fabulous. MY only complaint is that it did not keep well.  Tony was a little late from the airport and his asparagus wasn't as good as ours was when he ate it.  But the kids and I really enjoyed it!

    • ~Recipe~
    • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 3/4  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
    • 2  tablespoons  butter
    • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
    • 1/2  cup  dry white wine
    • 1/2  cup  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
    • 2  garlic cloves, minced
    • 1  pound  asparagus spears, trimmed
    • 2  tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
    • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
    Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness. Sprinkle chicken breasts evenly with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
    Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add wine, broth, and garlic to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 minutes. Add asparagus; cover and cook 3 minutes or until asparagus is crisp-tender. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and juice. Serve asparagus and sauce with chicken. I served it with broiled garlic bread and it was great! Enjoy~

Friday, April 1, 2011

Carrot cake

We love carrot cake! For my birthday my friend brought me a carrot cake.  Her birthday is today...her daughter requested I make HER a carrot I did! I also made one for us....that is ok, right?

4 eggs
2 tsp soda
1 1/2 cups oil
3 small jars of carrot baby food
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
**you can add in raisins or nuts if you wish**
Mix all together and put in a greased jelly roll pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Cream Cheese frosting
3 1/2 cups  powdered sugar
1 8 ounce cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup butter
Beat together and frost!
Easy and De-lish!