Monday, January 30, 2017

Shrimp and Guacamole Bites

The big game is coming up on Sunday and is a great excuse to make lots of snacks. After making these recently for a dinner party appetizer, I can guarantee that these delicious shrimp and guacamole bites will make the list, probably along with apple keilbasa, Greek layered dip, and creamy brussels sprouts dip.

This fun app could not be easier: make guacamole (or use store bought!), spoon it into some tortilla chips, and top with a shrimp that you've covered in delicious spices and warmed up. These are addictive, and rightly so: such a great combination of creamy, spicy, crunchy, shrimpy. Who are you cheering for on Sunday? I really don't care this year, but you can be sure I'll be rooting for the snacks.

Find more ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Recipe Sharing Party, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy, Sugar and Spice, Pin Me, Weekend Potluck.

Shrimp and Guacamole Bites

2 avocados, peeled and pitted
juice from half a lime
1/3 tsp. salt; possibly more to taste
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1 tsp. minced garlic

Tortilla scoop chips
1/2 pound medium cooked shrimp (about 24-30)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. salt

To make the guacamole: Mash up the avocado in a small bowl. Add in lime juice, onion, garlic and salt. Stir well to combine; taste and add more lime juice or salt to taste.

In a small bowl, toss the shrimp with olive oil. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin, paprika and salt. Stir well to coat all the shrimp. Transfer the shrimp to a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 2-3 minutes.

While the shrimp cooks, scoop the guacamole into the tortilla chips. Place a warm shrimp on top of each guacamole-filled chip, and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Triple Chocolate Donuts

Homemade donuts are a great way to impress people, especially children. (Or maybe adults? Both at my house were equally impressed.) It's also a fun way to change up breakfast, or breakfast for dinner. I get a lot of cooperation with quiche and egg casserole when donuts are involved. And since these are baked, there's (virtually) no guilt. Go ahead, eat chocolate for breakfast.

We got creative, too - I let the kids decorate these as they wished. I waited to glaze them until everyone was at the table, then handed out freshly glazed donuts and a variety of sprinkles. Sprinkles practically guarantee happiness. Try it!

Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us.

Triple Chocolate Donuts

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

For the glaze:
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, brown sugar, egg, melted butter, and vanilla.

Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and gently fold them together. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into well greased donut rounds, filling each about 2/3 full.

Bake at 325 for 10 to 12 minutes until they spring back to the touch. Let cool on a wire rack.

Make the glaze by placing the glaze ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwaving on 50% power at 45 second intervals until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Dip the donuts into the glaze. Decorate with sprinkles, coconut, or additional chocolate chips, if you like. Makes 12-16 donuts.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes

Monday, January 16, 2017

Coconut Bundt Cake

It's been awfully cold and blustery here in the North. So when I needed to make a birthday cake recently, I wanted to evoke some sort of tropical paradise. If it's cold here, at least we can pretend to be warm by eating cake that's chock full of coconut!

This cake is so easy - and SO delicious. I got multiple requests for the recipe.

So whether you need to pretend you're in paradise, or not, get the ingredients to make this wonderful cake! I also think this would be wonderful at Easter, decorated with Easter candies in addition to the toasted coconut. Hmmm. I'm looking forward to Easter already!

Find more inspiration at Mix it Up, Inspiration Monday, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, What's Cookin, Wow Me, Wow Us, Hearth and Soul, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Coconut Bundt Cake

1 white cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding,
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup toasted coconut

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pudding, eggs, sour cream, sugar, oil, water and coconut extract and beat for three minutes. Stir in the coconut.Pour into a greased bundt pan and bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Then remove from pan and cool completely.

For frosting, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. If necessary, add milk, a teaspoon at a time, to achieve the desired consistency. Alternatively, add powdered sugar if you need to. Spread the frosting over the top of the cake, then sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Serves 16.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Chef in Training

Monday, January 9, 2017

Chicken and Brie Flatbread with Spinach and Raspberries

I love, love, love flatbread and all the different combinations that can be invented. This was a quick dinner that I "threw together" for convenience and to use up leftovers. And sometimes those turn into the best dinners!

I loved the combination here of spinach and brie with just a hint of raspberries to for color and to brighten the flavors. I'll need to make sure I have these ingredients "leftover" again soon!

Although we ate this for dinner, it would make a fabulous snack/appetizer for all those football games coming up, or any kind of party you're throwing. And you could easily sub blackberries for the raspberries, or a different kind of cheese if you don't have brie. It's all very versatile.

If you're using cooked chicken (I had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge) this dinner/app can be ready in a matter of minutes. It will probably take longer to heat up your oven than to throw this together.

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Full Plate, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us.

Chicken and Brie Flatbread with Spinach and Raspberries

2 large Naan or flatbreads (garlic or regular)
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup cooked, shredded chicken
2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
8 slices Brie
10-12 fresh raspberries

Place flatbreads on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Divide the mozzarella cheese between the flatbreads, then top with spinach, chicken, raspberries and Brie. Bake at 425 for 10-13 minutes until flatbread is crispy and cheese is melted. Makes 2 main dish servings or 6-8 appetizer servings.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Seafood Lasagna

I love seafood, especially shrimp, scallops and crab. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. It took me a few years, I will admit. I was intimidated by the steps and the many ingredients. But that was a lot of worrying about nothing! This lasagna is DELICIOUS! Seafood with a white cheese sauce, spinach, layers of pasta, ricotta, what is not to love? And it's really not that difficult - just pay attention to the steps.

I adapted this from a recipe that filled a 9x13 pan, which I knew would be way too much seafood lasagna to eat for my family; I put it in a 11x7 which was perfect. I didn't cut the sauce down, though, cause I love a saucy lasagna. You may want to adapt it for your preference.

This is certainly special occasion-worthy dish - but don't be shy like I was. Make this soon!

Find more great ideas at Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Seafood Lasagna

6 oven ready lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces cooked shrimp
8 ounces bay scallops
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. white wine
2 tsp. lemon juice
8 ounces crabmeat

Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash ground nutmeg

Ricotta Mixture:
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
5 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add scallops; cook 2-4 minutes or until scallops are firm and opaque. Remove from pan.

Add garlic to same pan; cook 1 minute. Add wine and lemon juice, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1-2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add crab; heat through. Stir in shrimp and scallops.

For cheese sauce, melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta mixture ingredients; stir in 1 cup cheese sauce.

Spread 1/2 cup cheese sauce into a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, half of the ricotta mixture, half of the seafood mixture and 2/3 cup cheese sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6-9.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Countdown to 2017: What I'll Make This Year

Happy New Year!

It's the final day of the Countdown hosted by Sarah at Fantastical Sharing, and that means it's a Wild Card - but it's been my tradition to post what I'll make in the New Year. Last year, I only batted .500, making only half the items on my list. I guess the rest should automatically come to this post, but there are too many recipes to choose from!

I really loved the three things I DID make - Seafood Lasagna, Cherry Coffee Cake and Shrimp Scampi Dip. And I'm sure when I make these seven things, I'll really like them, too!

Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

Cajun Shrimp Linguine

Butternut Squash Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp

Nacho Soup

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Samoa Cheesecake

S'mores Ice Cream Cake

Peach and Raspberry Pie Bars

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