Friday, July 31, 2015

Peel and Eat Shrimp

Sounds fancy, huh?

Nah it's all good. Sometimes even I don't even realize how many good things are out there that are easier to make than my go-to recipes. This shrimp was the perfect appetizer, especially when they were fresh from the gulf. Lucky for us Louisvillians, we get some of the freshest seafood flown here daily. My go-to in Lou is Highland Fish Market. Any other places you have seen that have great seafood?

How to do it:
Can you boil water? Good, great first step! ;-)

This shrimp is a breeze then.

Recipe adapted from Southern Living

2.5 quarts (10  c) water
1/4 c old bay
3 lb shrimp (preferably deveined) with shell on

Bring water and old bay to a rolling boil in large stockpot or dutch oven. Add shrimp to pot, cover and take off heat for 12-15 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Sometimes takes sooner - you don't ever want to overcook shrimp!

Then drain, place in bowl with lemon slices and cover. Place in fridge until shrimp are cooled - or if you prefer them hot, they are ready for dipping in some cocktail sauce!

It is hard to wait for these to cool down, but so worth the wait in the end.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Soy Honey Glaze

We eat a ton of salmon. It's easy, relatively cheap, and delicious.  Needed to switch it up a bit and started to play with some different flavor combinations. It's not earth-shattering by any means, but this glaze to finish off the pan-roasted salmon we made the other day was super awesome. p.s. charred lemon squeezed over salmon is the

Sorry for the crap picture, but we were starving and it was real life happened, forgive us! ;-)

Here's the recipe:

1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp soy sauce (I used lite sodium, but live dangerously!)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp lemon or lime squeeze

Whisk together ingredients with fork/whisk. When you take salmon off your skillet, I just poured this mixture in the skillet and rolled it around a couple of times to deglaze the pan and heat it up. Keep on the side or generously pour over your dish. I bet this would also be good with tilapia served on rice or even on chicken breast! Here's the baked salmon I've made in the past and this would be great poured on top right before serving.

Any other flavor combos you like to try?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Grilling Season - Shrimp and Veggie Skewers

When I think of Spring and Summer, I think of patios, cold beers, outdoor concerts, pools and most of all GRILLING. You can cook pretty much anything on a grill if you want to. In this particular case, I wanted to grill things on sticks. Worked out in my favor pretty well if I do say... 

The main trick to grilling things on skewers or sticks, is that if you are grilling with wooden skewers, SOAK THEM IN WATER first. I found some bamboo skewers at Kroger. Mine were soaking for about an hour or so. If you are able to, just plug up the sink and let them swim around in there for a bit. Otherwise, you'll have some pretty charred up sticks.

I went for the basic veggie skewer: zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, red pepper, mushrooms, and tomatoes. If it can be skewered, try it out! The world is your oyster.

I skewered them in no particular order, but just made sure there was a variety on each stick.  Coat or spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

The shrimp should be peeled and deveined - doused heavily with Old Bay (praise hands emoji for some Old Bay!) and about 5 fit on each skewer but it really depends on the size of your shrimp or your skewer. Say shrimp skewer five times fast...

A little secret for grilling shrimp: After putting all the seasoning on I gave them a quick spray with an olive oil spray to help them not stick too much to the grates on the grill.

Now for the fun part. Joey is the grill master here, so he cooked the veggies first over high heat, flipping occasionally with lid on until the veggies softened, around 10 minutes. You want the squash and zucchini to get tender and everything should be done by the time those are nice and charred.

The shrimp took about 3-4 minutes on each side, being very careful when you flip. Joey used tongs to grab end of skewer and rotated them over. When the shrimp are an opaque pink, you are good to go.

Serve it up!

It was a really quick dinner, pretty healthy and delicious! This will be a repeater all summer and into the fall!

Serves 3-4
1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
2 red bell pepper, 1 inch cuts
1 red onion (really only need about a quarter) quartered
2 zucchini sliced into discs about 1/2 in
2 yellow squash sliced into discs about 1/2 in
10-15 baby bella mushrooms halved
Olive oil and salt and pepper
Old Bay ~ 1 tbsp

Pre-soak skewers in water for 1-2 hours
Carefully push veggies onto skewers - varying type of veggie. coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper set aside
Carefully push shrimp onto skewers and season with salt, pepper, and lots of old bay

Grill on high heat - veggies first, for about 10-15 minutes rotating occasionally
On med-high heat - grill shrimp for about 3-4 minutes per side, rotating once or twice.

Note: our grill is really small. If you have a bigger propane grill you can do both at the same time!

That's it. Seriously. Now make that this weekend!! Easy and a lot better than the plain old chicken and veggies you have been making lately (true story!).

Monday, June 8, 2015

Garlic and Chive Mashed Cauliflower

Going way on trend here and making use of the most uneaten vegetable on the veggie tray at a party. You know that it's true. Everyone is all yum, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers...then they see the white stuff (not the ranch dip) and pass.

It makes crusts, steaks, roasts, filling for tacos, and has recently has made headlines for its excellent substitution for potatoes in the ever classic mash. Without further ado (had to google that because I have only ever said it, not written it!), I give you.....Mashed Cauliflower.

Here's the set up. 1 head of cauliflower, 1/4 c chives/green onions, 2 cloves garlic minced (if you aren't using the frozen Trader Joe's, why not?), 1 tbsp chicken or veggie stock, and 1/4 c cream cheese. In the picture I have the fake cream cheese but use real if you have it! Although I will say the vegan cream cheese was really great in them and Joey didn't even notice. 

 Chop cauliflower into similar sized pieces. They can be big, small whatever you prefer, but they will cook all the same if they are close to each other in size.

 Bring pot of SALTED water to boil and throw the cauliflower in. It will take about 10-15 minutes to cook.  To know that they are done, you should be able to stick a fork right into the pot and easily pierce the cauliflower - a.k.a. fork tender.

The fun begins. Break out the gadgets! Use a hand blender, or a real blender if you don't have this guy.
 I put the chives, garlic, stock, and cream cheese (not pictured sorry!) right in the bowl.  Drain cauliflower when done and put directly into the bowl. Fire up the blender and blend to your desired consistency.

Voila! You have mashed cauliflower. Pat yourself on the back for being trendy and kind to the lonely white veggie.

Recipe Recap:

1 Head Cauliflower
1/4 c green onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced 
1/4 c cream cheese
2 tbsp chicken or veggie stock

Bring pot of salted water to boil
Put cauliflower in boiling water for 10-15 minutes until fork tender
Drain and combine with rest of ingredients in a bowl
Hand blend or use a stand blender until your desired consistency.


Make these and come back here and tell me how you liked them. :-)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Googled...

Dinner discussion that we had on vacation...

So, when you eat shrimp, peeled and deveined.... it's totally clean and delicious, non?

So....what about peel and eat shrimp? They aren't deveined....

Which leads me to google this:

So...still unsure. I guess I've been eating a lot of shrimp poop in my life.
p.s. you don't ever ever ever want to see my google search history. It holds all of life's questions you don't want to ask... but google always answers. ;-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shrimp Verde

A.K.A. Green Shrimps. Probably one of the easier recipes I've made, simply for the fact there are 4 ingredients. Shrimp, rice, Salsa verde, and chicken broth. Probably everything is in your pantry minus the shrimp. Super uber delicious.

Cook rice according to directions with 1 cup broth, 1/2 c salsa verde. Let those flavors get all up in the rice. I love the Trader Joe's organic brown basmati (quick cook). It is done in around 20 minutes. P.S. as a side tip, if you want any extra flavor with anything that is usually boiled in water, flavor it up with your favorite broth or add any seasonings you like. Adding the salsa verde from the get go really gave the rice a great flavor.

 Olive oil on med-high heat.

 Oh yes, one more ingredient if you are garlic lovers like us, I add 2 of these beauties into pan right in with the shrimp.

 I use Trader Joe's Argentinian Red Shrimp from the frozen section. It's peeled, deveined, and cooks up really nice. They are a little bit bigger too.

 Right after you add shrimp, add rest of the salsa verde (1/2 c) into the pan along with the shrimp with a little salt and pepper (just a pinch or two).

 Let them simmer for 2-3 minutes until pink and your shrimp will be done. Be careful to not overcook your shrimp or it'll taste like rubber. Shrimp cooks incredibly fast so don't think just because it's just a couple of minutes they won't be done...promise, they will be!

 I just serve up the rice and shrimp all together and enjoy.

Here's the rundown:

1 16oz. bottle of mild salsa verde (still gives it a nice kick)
1 lb shrimp peeled and deveined
1 cup quick cook TJs basmati rice
1 cup chicken broth
Optional 2 cloves garlic

Cook rice according to directions on package until done (substituting salsa verde and broth for the water)
1 tbsp olive oil in med/high heat pan. Add shrimp, s&p, garlic and salsa verde. Simmer and flip shrimp for 2-3 minutes each side until slightly pink.

Serve together and enjoy.

Joey and I were huge fans of this and will make it again soon. Inexpensive and delicious, and took about 20 minutes start to finish, and there were plenty of leftovers to dig into the next day!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Gifts for Mom

Moms are super special - including mother-in-laws, friends that are moms, moms-to-be, dog moms, caregivers, the list goes on and on. Show the moms in your life some love this Mother's Day. Here are a few gift ideas!


1- Ring Dish - This cute dish holds rings, knick knacks, loose change, etc. I have a similar one next to my sink and when they are sweet and whimsical like this one, the receiver of this gift will always think of you when they see it!

2- Spirilizer - need I say more? Turning veggies into noodles will make any mom happy!

3- Tea Towels - I am a huge fan of tea towels that add color and sweetness to any room. There are so many more on that link that are so beautiful!

4- Cookbook - I love the Skinny Taste cookbook and website so much, there are so many great things for anyone to make, and for the mom in your life, this could save her during the week figuring out what to make for her family - plus cutting through the repeats and trying something new that is still healthy!

5- Apron - Aprons make any mom, great cook or not, look like they know what they are doing in the kitchen! ;-) This comes in all types of colors and is durable and high quality.

Show the moms in your life some love this year!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My First Garden

I've been talking about growing some vegetables of my own for a while now, and had an idea of how I wanted to do it. I got started with research early and was able to set up my first vegetable garden this year. I hope it turns out, cause it was a ton of work!
First, getting the ground ready was the toughie. Luckily, with all the rain the ground was nicely saturated so it was easy to dig and till the ground in the area that I saw had good sun most of the time (obviously not in picture below!).

Then I wanted to have a small garden to start with. I found a 4x8 garden "kit" at Home Depot for less than $100. If I tried to build myself, it would have been a hot mess and well over $100 due to mistakes. This was really easy to build and took me about 15 minutes total!

Not pictured, but still essential to the project, adding soil. RESEARCH, read the reviews, its the best advice I can give. This is still really brand new, so I don't have my review yet, but I chose an organic soil that had rave online reviews.  I put a couple of bags down, watered, raked, then put another bag down, watered and raked. I kept doing this until I thought there would be plenty for the plants to root in. I added around 8 inches high, with my 32 sq ft boxes. I used about 7 bags.

Now to the good stuff!  I got my starters from a local greenhouse and they all had convenient detailed instructions on how far apart and how deep to plant them. I just followed the instructions as best I could, so help a girl out and cross your fingers and hope I did it right!

These are my pots with the herbs we use most!



And here are the garden choices. I went for 'relatively easy' to start with for my first time, so it might look way simple, but you gotta start somewhere, right!?

 Summer squash
 More summer squash
 Bell peppers


 Cherry tomatoes

 More lettuce! I heart salads, and I think I will feel a huge sense of accomplishment if I get to eat a salad that I personally grew! I also have some jalapeƱos that I didn't take pics of (it would have been a picture of soil, so sorry!)
 All together now:

Checking out the goods.

That's it for now, a cage for keeping the critters out is built and I owe that to my sweet Joey and his best friend Scott. They know how to keep a gal happy!

If you have a garden, what do you have growing?