Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Shrimp Prima Vera

We had a birthday in this house, recently, and my Shrimp Prima Vera was requested.  Hubby is not a fan...but it was not his birthday.  So, I got out my big skillet, the olive oil and garlic, and got started!  Again, this is something I've made for a long time and do not have a recipe to follow, so I'll just go through the steps.  

1.  Sautée a sliced (I use sweet Peru) onion and two cloves of minced garlic in a couple of TBSP of good olive oil in a large skillet.

2.  Slice two or three different colored bell peppers and white mushrooms.

3.  Add to the skillet, once the onions are transparent.  (Be careful not to get your garlic too brown!)

4.  Cook until tender, adding garlic salt to taste.  When vegetables are cooked to crisp/tender stage, add your favorite jarred marinara sauce (tomato basil is good).

5.  Simmer on low, adding thawed cooked (tailess) shrimp at the end.  Just leave on the stove until heated through.

6.  The pasta:  at the same time, I cook spaghetti or linguini in a large pot of boiling, salted water.  Drain.  Then, toss with a little olive oil, garlic/herb blend (mine is McCormick) and some Parmesan cheese.  Pour the sauce over each serving.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ham Salad

I had leftover ham and a craving for some ham salad.  It's great on fresh bread or spread on crackers (or even on celery!). This is not really a recipe, but just the way I've always made my ham salad.

1.  Grind sliced cooked ham until fine.  (Here, I'm using the Cuisinart chopper my son got me for Christmas). It does a great job!

2.  With finely-ground ham, I add Hellmann's mayo, sweet pickle relish (and a little of the juice for moisture), and a few spashes of hot sauce.  All to taste!

3.  Blend to a smooth spreading consistency.  Chill.

4.  Place in container with a tight lid for storing in the fridge.

Monday, January 18, 2016

My Favorite Comfort Food Meatloaf

It is bitter cold outside!  But still, folks have to brave the snow and ice to get to work, go to the Dr. Appointment, walk the dog...!   When you get back home, after you thaw out, you need a meal that not only nourishes the body, but comforts the soul!   Nothing is better for this task than warm meatloaf.  For me, it's the ultimate comfort food.  I like it hot out of the oven or cold the next day on sandwiches.  Here's my favorite recipe for meatloaf.  (Thank you to my friend, Juanita Covert!)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Easy Baking Tips

  Like anyone who bakes frequently, I employ a few shortcuts and ways to make clean-up easier.  I thought of sharing a couple of these with you as I faced my Christmas cookie and fudge-making marathon, but I was just too busy to write the post!  This is precisely why I need shortcuts!
  As you can see in the above picture, after I've chilled my dough, whether it's pie dough, sugar cookie dough or gingerbread, I cut it in sections and place a ball of it between two sheets of Saran Wrap.  Then, rolling from the center out, I make a thin circle of dough using my rolling pin.  Just peel back the top layer of plastic wrap and you're ready to make your cut-outs!  No flour-covered counters!  And, no extra flour on your dough to make it tough!

You can even use the bottom plastic to neatly lift the cut cookie shape off the counter!

Here's the same process with sugar cookie dough!

Oh!  Here's that sugar cookie recipe!

When making fudge, I always butter the rim of my heavy pan so that my fudge never boils over!

Also, using a pizza cutter to cut your fudge makes for quick and straight edges!

I always use my pastry cutter to blend nuts and other ingredients for streusel!

When making toffee, let the heat of the brittle layer melt your chocolate.  Then just smooth out the melted chocolate chips with a spatula or butter knife!

I hope you find at least one of the tips helpful!  Happy baking!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Banana Bread Recipe is a Bisquick Treasure

This is a recipe for banana bread that I've used for several years.  It's very moist and has a great rich, banana taste.  The best part of this recipe is how fast it is to make, and the process only dirties one bowl so there's very little mess!  You will make this recipe over and over again!

(I actually used 4 bananas!)

All done!