Friday, February 26, 2010

Leek & Saffron Soup With Sauteed Shrimp

Haven't tried this yet...but I aim to make it real soon! Sounds heavenly...

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
18 uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons butter
5 medium leeks, chopped (green & white parts ~ about 3 cups)
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
5 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 small bunch of chives, cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine parsley, oil and 1 garlic clove in food processor. Blend until parsley is coarsely chopped. Transfer 1/4 cup to medium bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Pour remaining parsley-garlic oil into a cup. Cover shrimp and remaining oil separately and refrigerate.
2. Melt butter in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender and wilted about 5 minutes. Add potato, remaining 3 garlic cloves and saffron, sauté 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Working in batches puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pot. Add cream, season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat heavy medium skillet over low heat. Add shrimp and sauté until just opaque in center, about 1 minute per side. Ladle soup into bowls. Top soup in each bowl with 6 shrimp halves, garnish with chives and several drops of remaining parsley-garlic oil and serve.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sugar Cookies

Got a sweet tooth?  These delicious cookies will definately solve that problem! 
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Additional sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Shape into 1-in. balls. Roll in sugar. Place on greased baking sheet; flatten with a glass. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

For a wonderful and tasty side dish I like to serve these along with some steak...

4 large baking potatoes
8 slices bacon
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
8 green onions, sliced, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
4. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.
5. Bake for another 15 minutes.

And the winner is...

Heidi!  Thanks for posting and I hope you enjoy your new mini grater!  Please email me at to collect your prize! 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On to the FREE stuff!!!

So the time has come!  This is a small little helper in the kitchen, one without fingers...Progressive's Mini Grater.  It grates, zests and slices.  It has a non-slip grip handle and feet on it and is top rack dishwasher safe.  Perfect for cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, cheese, garlic, or any small vegetables.  So if you want to be the lucky winner of this item make sure you post to this comment by Sunday February 14th (Valentine's Day for all you out there!) at midnight.  I will randomly select a number and whoever has that post number will win!  Good luck to all :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kickin Stuffed Chile Peppers

These can pack a hot punch...but they are oh so good!!!  I have always looked for the hot ones cause I like the kick!  To find the hot jalepenos I look for what I would call "stretch marks" on the pepper...Never failed me yet!  For all you hot lovers out there, this is a must try soon!

1 lb maple sausage
1 8 oz package cream cheese
15 fresh jalapeno chiles, halved lengthwise and seeded (leave some seeds in for a hotter taste)
1/4 cup grated Parmesean cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease baking sheet.
2. Place skillet over medium-high heat add sausage and cook till browned.  Drain and return pan to heat, add cream cheese to the sausage and cook till melted.  Remove from heat. 
3. Fill jalepenos with sausage mixture and arrange on baking sheet.  Sprinkle Parmesean cheese over stuffed chiles.
4. Bake until chiles are soft and the tops are lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!   (Make sure you have some milk or something to kill the fire in your mouth if needed!)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pineapple Cranberry Chicken

I was hesitant with these ingredients, but I thought the end result was delightful! Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and a tossed green salad for a mouthwatering meal!

4 chicken thighs (or breast if you prefer)
1 16 oz can cranberry sauce
1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish.  Mix cranberry sauce and pineapple and pour over chicken then sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. Cover dish and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes,  Remove cover and bake for another 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (juices run clear.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Marinated Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp sounds so good today!  When I was a young girl I remember eating shrimp for the first time...I didn't think that crunchy tail was all that great...after I finished my meal everyone wondered where I put the tails...Aaaww the memories, now I know better!!!

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

1. In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar.  Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated.  Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
2. Preheat grill for medium heat.  Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head.  Discard the marinade.
3. Lightly oil grill grate.  Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Beef Steak Alfredo

I came up with this after eating it at a pizza, way better than pizza, at least in my book!  This is definitely one you want to try soon!  Very cream and full of flavor, your taste buds will thank you!

  • 12 oz penne pasta
  • 1 lb cooked steak, sliced thinley
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloved garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 c butter + 1 teaspoon
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 oz grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Boil penne pasta as direscted on package.
2. Sautee mushrooms and garlic with 1 teaspoon butter. Add mushrooms and cook till warmed.
3. Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese, stirring with whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in parmesan, pepper, and mushroom mixture. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

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