Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lemon-Butter Shrimp

This is a great and easy meal for the week. It will not disappoint. In the words of my husband, "We will be making this again." This sentence is angels singing in my ears. He is a picky eater but, I love to find recipes that we can both enjoy! This recipe only took about 30 minutes to whip up and it was so perfect. It is spicy without overpowering the shrimp and the dish is so pretty it will impress your guest!
Source:Paula Deen

1 stick of Melted Butter (I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Stick will work great)
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 tablespoon of Ground Pepper
1/2 tablespoon of Hot Sauce (I used Louisiana Hot Sauce)
1 clove of Garlic; minced
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1.25 lbs of Unpeeled Large Raw Shrimp
1 lemon-sliced

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Next, rinse your shrimp. I put the shrimp in a colander and run cold water over them in the sink. While these shrimp are rinsing, let's get the marinade together!

Melt your butter in the microwave, takes about 45-60 seconds. Add the worcestershire, lemon juice, salt and pepper, hot sauce and garlic. Stir it all up, it smells absolutely divine!

Now, go back to your shrimp. Peel the entire shrimp, but leave the tail on.

Next, get out your favorite oven-safe dish, pour half of your butter mixture in the dish.

The next step is the layering, layer the shrimp and half of the lemon slices. Continue by placing another layer of shrimp and lemon slices. All the shrimp and lemon should now be in the dish.

Top with the remaining half of the butter sauce and bake for 20 minutes.

Check on your shrimp at 10 minutes and stir. When you do this pop a pan of sliced french bread in the oven.

Stir the shrimp again at 5 minutes.

After the longest five minutes, your dinner is ready!

Dip the bread in the juices, this is the one time it is absolutely acceptable and some may argue...mandatory. Serve with a simple side salad for a crunch and to make you not feel so guilty about indulging in this wonderful dinner!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Crackers

My husband loves bacon, I mean loves bacon, really REALLY loves bacon. But then again, who doesn't? This simple snack was a cinch to prepare and just baked away in the oven. I cannot wait until I need an appetizer next to take somewhere. Mark my words, this will be it!
Source: Bacon Freak

Club Crackers
Parmesan Cheese
Thick Cut Bacon

The measurements on these are simple, however many you want to make! One piece of bacon will make 4 crackers. You will need 1/2 teaspoon of parmesan for each cracker.

First, preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Take the amount of bacon you want to use and cut it as a whole, instead of piece by piece. You want to cut it horizontally and then vertically. Each piece of bacon should now be into 4 pieces.

You are going to want to use a wire baking rack on top of a sheet pan to catch the rendered fat and drippings.

Place one piece of bacon on the rack.

Place the cracker on top of the bacon.

Put 1/2 teaspoon of parmesan in the center of the cracker.

Wrap the bacon around the cracker, and push it firmly together.

Complete these steps for all of your crackers.

Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are the definition of comfort food. They are decadent, rich, creamy and not to mention, downright easy to make. This is a perfect dish for in the middle of the week and a bonus is you probably have all of the ingredients you need in your kitchen!
Source: Mueller's Pasta

1 lb Package of Jumbo Shells
1 lb Ground Beef
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
15 oz of Ricotta Cheese
1 cup of Shredded Mozzarella
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
1 Egg
1 Batch of Alfredo Sauce from my Easiest Weeknight Pasta

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the pasta according to package directions. The package I used suggested boiling the pasta for 9 minutes if additionally baking, which is what I did. Drain the pasta and let cool.

Brown the ground beef with the cloves of garlic.

While the meat is browning, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and egg into a large bowl. Stir until well mixed.

Drain the excess off of the beef and add the beef to the cheese mixture. Stir well.

Spoon enough alfredo sauce into your 9inx13in pan to cover the bottom, well.

Now for stuffing the shells! Your pasta should have cooled off by now. Pick up one shell and put about one spoonful of the meat and cheese mixture into each shell. Place in the pan when finished. You are going to want to put the shells close together to get the most into your pan!

When you have finished stuffing all the shells your pan will allow, pour the remaining alfredo sauce on top.

Bake for 25 minutes.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Marinated Grilled Mushrooms

I LOVE mushrooms, absolutely love! I am always trying to new ways to prepare them and savor every juicy moment of them! These mushrooms were so easy to prepare and this recipe is just in time for summertime. It took just 10 minutes to grill these mushrooms and they were perfect, in all ways. They had great flavors from the marinade, the grill, and they were ready in no time.
Source:dinners & dreams

1/2 tablespoon of Chile Garlic Sauce
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon of Dried Oregano
2 Large Portobello Mushrooms, or 8 ounces of your favorite mushrooms

Rinse mushrooms lightly and pat dry.

Whisk the hot sauce, olive oil, vinegar, and oregano together in a medium bowl.

Get a container that you will use for the marinated mushrooms and put the mushrooms in that container. Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, at least.

If you are grilling, cook for 5 minutes on each side. If you are roasting these, cook in the oven on 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spicy Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders is one of the most basic but yet satisfying foods. My husband and I both love them for lunch, dinner, whenever. These have just the right amount of kick with a crunchy and crispy outside layer on them.

12 Chicken Tenders
1/2 cup of Flour
1 cup of Buttermilk
3/4 cup of Breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon of your favorite seasoning- I used Desert Heat from Buffalo Wild Wings, any pre-made seasoning that you love will go great.

First, heat 5-6 cups of oil in a pot until it reads 350 degrees.

While your oil is heating up, whisk together the flour, breadcrumbs, and seasoning. Now, pour the buttermilk into a separate bowl.

Put the bowls side by side, use your right hand to put the chicken in the milk and use your left hand to rub it in the dry seasoning. Coat well. This technique will help you from getting "gummy hands."

Drop each chicken tender in the oil for 4 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy your homemade chicken tenders.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Donuts

My husband loves desserts and is always finding new ones for me to make for him, which I love. He loves chocolate and caramel and anything in between, so this was perfect. It was super easy to put together, looks impressive, oh yeah and the drawback, it makes the house smell like the state fair! These donuts are so yummy and decadent that you will only need one to fix your craving!
Source:The Way to His Heart

2 1/2 cups of Flour, plus more to coat the work space
1 cup of Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 cup of Sugar, plus more to coat the donuts when finished
3/4 cup of Buttermilk
4 tablespoons of Butter, melted
2 Large Eggs
30 Soft Caramel Squares, unwrapped
5-6 cups of Vegetable Oil

First, in one large bowl whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

In another bowl mix the sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, and eggs. Combine the dry mixture into the wet mixture. If you have a stand mixer with a dough hook this is the perfect time to use it. It will be done in one minute or less. If you do not, mix by hand until the two mixtures are thoroughly combined and you cannot see any of the dry mixture.

Next, coat a working space with flour. Put your dough onto this space and pat the top of the dough with a little flour and start rolling it out. Roll it out until it is about 1/3 of an inch. Use a circle cookie cutter, one with a 2 1/2 inch diameter. Roll the scraps back up and re-roll so you get every bit of this great chocolate dough!

Place one caramel square into each cut cookie and roll it into a ball in your hand. Put all of these balls in a bowl to keep them from running around.

Place about 1 cup of sugar into a small bowl for coating the donuts when they are done cooking.

Place 5-6 cups of oil into a shallow pan and heat the oil until it is 350 degrees. Fry each ball for 4 minutes, rotating to get all sides.

Place each ball onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up additional oil and let them cool for 4 minutes. Once the donuts are cooled roll them in the sugar and serve immediately!

The caramel will harden so put in the microwave for 20-25 seconds to melt the caramel again for leftovers! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Perfect Eye-of-Round Roast

Growing up, roast beef was a very typical Sunday night meal at the Lewis household. I decided that I wanted to make a roast for my husband. This is when I realized I had never actually helped with the actual roast, I was shocked that I did not know how to prepare a roast. So, I went on a search for one that would work perfect for us and man did I find one. I will never try another recipe again. This had the perfect spice rub to make it delicious. However, this is a fork and knife roast, which I prefer.
Source: Paula Deen's Kitchen Classics

1 Beef Eye-of-Round Roast, 2.5-3 lbs
1 tablespoon of Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon of Seasoning Salt
1 teaspoon of Paprika
1/2 teaspoon of Sugar
1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon of Dried Oregano
1/4 teaspoon of Ground Ginger

First, preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

Next, add all of the ingredients, except the oil, together well. Now, it is time to get your hands dirty! Rub your roast with the vegetable oil and rub the spice rub all over the roast. Make sure to get all sides and inside of every crack and crevasse you find!

Place the roast into an iron skillet. Put the roast into the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 350 degrees. You need to cook the roast for 20 minutes per pound for a perfect medium rare. If you use a meat thermometer it is 125 degrees for medium rare or 135-140 for medium. After your roast has cooked to the desired temperature, let cool for 15 minutes before carving. Carve and serve this delicious roast!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Homemade Crunchy Granola

Granola. That's right, granola. I know you may be thinking, "Is this really blog acceptable?" The answer is simply, yes. Granola does not just come from the box in the cereal aisle. There are so many variations of granola. After making this first batch, I know it will not be my last. This granola recipe was made with my husband in mind- no fruit, and no coconut. This is a sweet and salty snack that can be munched on all day long or with plain yogurt for a breakfast parfait. Who knew that making granola was such a cinch? Goodbye cereal aisle granola!
Source:David Lebovitz

5 cups of Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
3 cups of Almonds, roughly chopped
1 cup of Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup of Golden Brown Sugar, packed firmly
2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 teaspoon of Ginger
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
3/4 cup of Unsweetened Applesauce
1/3 cup of Corn Syrup
1/4 cup of Honey
2 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

First, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Next, get out a LARGE bowl. You want to have some room to mix the ingredients up! Now, add the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and sea salt.

Next, get out a small saucepan. Warm the applesauce, corn syrup, honey, and oil. Once warmed, pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.

The final step, separate the granola onto two sheets pans. This is very important to use two sheet pans. It helps the granola clump together and get each piece to a golden brown.

Bake the granola for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If your granola has not reached a deep golden brown color continue the process until it is perfect!

Make sure to let the granola cool before transferring into a container. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Everything Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is a great addition to grilled meat or you can have it for a meal. It is perfect for lunch, dinner, or even a snack. It is a pasta salad that is meant to be served chilled aka made in advance and kept in the fridge! This is very easy to prepare and impressive. All you need is some time to chop! It is very easy to omit the vegetables that you do not like and add in some of your favorites. It is highly addicting and a crowd pleaser. This is something that will not be kept long in your refrigerator!
Source: Katherine Catogno (family friend)

Ingredients for Pasta:
1 lb. of Mini Farfalla Pasta
1/2 lb. of Shaved Turkey Breast (I go to the deli and ask them to thinly shave it. It is much easier to cut this way, but you can use the lunch meat package)
1/2 lb. of Shaved Honey Ham (same method as turkey)
2 cups of Chopped Pepperoni (one package of Hormel Pepperoni's, chopped)
1 cup of Black Olives, chopped
1 cup of Green Olives, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 cup of Onion, chopped finely
1 jar of Artichokes, marinated and chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
2 cups of Mozerella Cheese, shredded

Ingredients for Dressing:
1/2 cup of Vinegar
3/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Basil
1 tsp of Pepper

First, cook your pasta according to package, al dente.

Now get to chopping. Chop all of your ingredients and add to your pasta as you go. This keeps your cutting board clean!

After all of the ingredients are chopped and added to the pasta, make your dressing.

Simply mix the vinegar, oil,salt, basil, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix the ingredients well and drizzle over the pasta. Mix well and refrigerate.

Yes, it was really that easy! Enjoy.