Sunday, January 27, 2008

I love my WC sis :)

For my 1 year anniversary my WC sis, Lindsey (Luluk1102), sent me brownies made with a family recipe and she even sent the recipe on a pretty index card with her kitchen stamp on it - so cute! But I was sooooo bored this weekend, and needed to go get an onion for my salsa (below) so I figured I'd give these fabulous brownies a shot so I picked up a few things from the grocery store to make them. I love these brownies, and I love my WC sis - thanks Linds!

Visit Lindsey's blog for the recipe!


The hubby and I enjoy chips and salsa - BUT... I really haven't found a store bought salsa that we like. They all are just too chunky for our taste. My friend, Jess, once said she really liked the Chili's restaurant salsa, so I googled for a knock-off recipe and found one!

And really, when you make your own salsa, you can make it as thick or thin as you like, as spicy or mild as you like - so it's perfect.

Source: Recipezaar

1 14.5 oz can tomatoes and green chili's (Rotel) (I used 2 small cans then weighed the contents to get 14.5 ounces)
1 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes (plus juice) (I could only find a 28 oz can so I took each tomato, deseeded them, then weighed them and added the juice from the can until I got 14.5 ounces)
4 teaspoons jalepenos (canned, dicked - not pickled (I get jarred diced jalepenos by Cento - and of course I added waaaaay more than 4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup diced yellow onion (I use vidalia onions)
1/2-3/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I used 3/4 tsp)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1. In food processor place jalepenos and onions and process for just a few seconds.
2. Add both cans of tomatoes, garlic salt, sugar and cumin.
3. Process by pulsing until you reach desired consistency.
4. Refrigerate a few hours to help blend and enrich the flavor.
Note: I also added about a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of regular table salt.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Potato Soup sans Shrimp

My friend Dana said she wanted to try this potato soup recipe from Paula Deen. It looked easy enough to me, and it was something I always wanted to try making myself, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Only problem - I don't think I'd like shrimp on my potato soup. I'm one of those weird people that if I try something once, and like it, I can only have it in it's original form (meaning the form in which I tried it the first time). So potato soup to me is creamy potato soup topped with chives, cheese and bacon.

So all I had to do was not put the shrimp in it, and it was simple enough. It wasn't no Bennigan's potato soup (the only potato soup I've ever had - and enjoyed), but I did really enjoy this one. I think I'd try a different recipe before I tried this one again though - I think the chicken bouillon in it is what made it different from what I'm used to. But as long as the hubby liked it (and he did) I consider it a success.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The long awaited Shrimp Scampi

Well folks, I've had this recipe bookmarked for 7 months!!!! And I don't even know if this "nestie" is still around because I haven't come across her blog in a long time (good thing I bookmarked it!) because I'm not motivated enough to set up googlepages - so I visit blogs by clicking on the links in peoples' siggies. Anyhow, there was a series of events that led up to my finally being able to make this dish:

1. I've recently become obsessed with Trader Joe's, and I bought a bag of frozen shrimp - something I've never bought or cooked before, and
2. My husband was on night work - again - and he doesn't like shrimp.

Ok, that wasn't so much a series of events, but they were events nonetheless. And so I was 1 hour from leaving work today, and I was scrolling through all of my bookmarked internet favorites, and came across this long-buried link. LIGHTBULB!! But guess what - I don't normally stock lemons or fresh garlic in my house. So, a trip to the grocery store was necessary.

So off I went to the grocery store, grabbed what I needed, along with a beatifully fresh ciabatta roll to go along with it, and set off home and immediately began arranging my ingredients for dinner. Ok, I'm rambling. So here's the recipe with my notations in italics!

adapted from Gourmet, April 2006

about 12-14 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 24 frozen shrimp - the bag said they were large, but they looked small to me, so I read the servings sizes on the package - sure enough, 12 shrimp per person)
3 Tbsp - 1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp lemon juice (I used 2 Tbsp because I love lemon in my pasta)
crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced (I used my handy microplane for this)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (I used dried parsley, because I don't do fresh herbs - didn't measure, just sprinkled however much I liked)
1-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper
1/3 box of long pasta (I used linguini)


1. Boil and salt water and cook pasta according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water.

2. Heat oil over med-med high heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Saute until pink and firm (about 1-2 minutes - do not overcook). Remove shrimp and set aside.

3. Add minced garlic to pan and saute until fragrant (about 30 seconds).

4. Add lemon juice and wine. Cook to reduce just a pinch.

5. Add crushed red pepper (to taste), lemon zest and parsley.

6. Add butter and cook until just melted.

7. Return shrimp to pan. Transfer drained pasta to pan. Mix together.

8. Add as much of the reserved pasta water as is needed until the sauce reaches the desired consistency.

Serve with or without parmesan cheese - I meant to, but was too eager to EAT it so I forgot, and it was FABULOUS! HIGHLY recommend! Thanks Honeybear a/k/a Rach257!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

3 Bananas

I had 3 very ripe bananas. What better to make than a batch of moist banana muffins? Nothing I could think of! So banana muffins it was. I'm sure I found this recipe somewhere on the internet several years ago, because back then, that's how I found all of my recipes. But that was before the days of blogging so I have no idea where it's source is. But anyway, here's my recipe, which is for a standard banana bread, but I halved it based on the amount of mashed banana I had and got 8 perfect sized muffins out of it. For integrity's sake, I'll post the banana bread recipe in it's whole form.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed banana
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Stir together dry ingredients.
3. Cream together butter and sugar.
4. Stir in eggs and bananas.
5. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture just to moisten.
6. Pour into 2 8x4 inch loaf pans
7. Bake 60-65 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Note: As muffins, they took 20 minutes to bake.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Trader Joe's Eggplant Cutlets

These things are amazing!!!!!!! I don't really buy eggplant because I find the salting and removing moisture to be a pain in the butt. My Trader Joe's is not that close to my house, so I just recently started venturing and during my first trip I came across these frozen breaded eggplant cutlets and a lightbulb went off in my head.

So the first thing I decided to try was eggplant lasagna because I had some fat-free ricotta and some shredded mozzarella on hand from earlier in the week when I tried to make calzones (they're not in my blog for a reason, lol). This was absolutely delicious!!! And low-fat! I only used about a half cup of ricotta, a 1/2 cup of shredded cheese, and just a light sprinkling of parmesan/romano to make 2 servings. I used enough eggplant cutlets to make 2 layers and lightly fried them in a little EVOO. For someone who is a convenience cook (that's me, by the way) this totally worked. This will definitely be something I make on a regular basis when the hubby is on night work (cuz yeah, I married the kind of guy who hates vegetables).

WC Recipe Exchange

Well, my experience with the WC holiday recipe exchange wasn't that great - it wasn't anybody's fault, but it just seemed that there was always something working against me. I couldn't meet the deadline because my dad passed away, then it was one thing after another, until finally, today, I was able to get it done. But then........... I don't know what I did but the batter for my recipe never really set up - the directions said to bake for 20-30 minutes. I baked it for 20 and it wasn't done. I baked it up to 30 minutes and took it out. I should've checked it again before taking it out but I figured the extra 10 minutes should cover it. Then while it was cooling I realized that the top crust seemed to be totally separate from the rest of it and so basically I totally botched the recipe, and to the WC nestie who submitted Walnut Bars, I apologize from the bottom of my heart!! Both for the extreme lateness, and for botching it royally. And so, now I present my disaster...