Monday, December 31, 2012

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Our daughters are fans of Ina Garten's recipes.  This is the dish that Barbara served at her Christmas party.  We doubled the recipe and decided the dish is better not doubled or fit in a dish that can accommodate four pounds of shrimp.  It is a very delicious preparation.


Baked Shrimp Scampi

2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved
Prep Time:
30 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
13 min
6 servings


  • 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.
Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Pineapple-Ginger Cocktail

Pineapple-Ginger Sparkling Wine Cocktail
Our daughter Barbara offered this recipe.  We both are on a "ginger-kick" during this holiday season.  
Pineapple-Ginger Sparkling Wine Cocktail
Makes 1

Adapted from Saveur.

1-inch cube fresh pineapple
1/4-inch slice fresh ginger, unpeeled
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1 1/4 ounce rye whiskey
Champagne or sparkling wine

1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the pineapple with the ginger and sugar.

2. Add the lime juice and whiskey, then add some ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds. Strain the mixture into a glass then top the glass off with Champagne or sparkling wine and add a twist of lemon or lime to the glass. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms
This is another great recipe from our friend Carrie Jackson.  I have tasted the mushrooms and highly recommend this recipe.
4 pounds whole mushrooms (1-2" cut in half if too large)
1 quart hardy Burgundy wine
1/4 pound butter
11/2 teaspoon worcestshire sauce
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups boiling water
4 beef bullion cubes
4 chicken bouillon cubes
Cut mushroom stems flush with mushroom caps.  (do not pull stems out.).  Bring all ingredients to a boil, add mushrooms and simmer covered.  Remove cover and simmer 3 to 5 hours, until liquid barely covers mushrooms.  Serve with toothpicks in a warming casserole. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lindsay Roasted Olives

Lindsay Roasted Olives
This is a recipe from our friend Carrie Jackson who is an excellent cook and great hostess.
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 cup ripe pitted olives (canned black)
1 cup Greek Kalmata Olives
1 cup garlic stuffed Spanish Olives
1 tablespoon Herbs of Provence
8 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 baguette, sliced 1/4 inch slices, toasted
Mix well and arrange single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake 425 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes.  Cool and serve with toasted baguette. 
Hint:  Rough chop to help stay on the bread slices.  Round olives tend to roll off.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Date Cheese Ball

Date Cheese Ball
Serves 8
Orange zest and fresh thyme give this party staple a gourmet flair. Serve with assorted crackers, toasted baguette slices, and pear and apple wedges. This recipe can be made up to three days ahead.
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 8-oz. pkg. reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 4-oz. log goat cheese or blue cheese, softened
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ⅓ cup chopped pitted dates
1. Toast almonds in small skillet over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until light brown. Transfer to plate to cool.
2. Process cream cheese, goat cheese, orange zest, thyme, and salt in food processor until smooth. Transfer to small bowl, and stir in dates. Coat large rectangle of plastic wrap with cooking spray, and scoop cheese mixture onto it. Shape into ball, wrapping in plastic, and chill 1 hour.
3. Roll cheese ball in toasted almonds, pressing to adhere. Refrigerate wrapped in clean plastic wrap until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Biscotti

This is a recipe that I found on Giada De Laurentis food network.  I am making this recipe to gift neighbors who were so helpful recently.
Holiday Biscotti


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
  • Red and green sugar crystals, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries. 
Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until light golden, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes.

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool completely.

Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

The biscotti can be made ahead. Store them in an airtight container up to 4 days, or wrap them in foil and freeze in resealable plastic bags up to 3 weeks.

Lola Granola Bars

This is a recipe from Food Network.  Commercially prepared granola bars have ingredients many of us try to avoid which are known to be not heart healthy.  This is a healthy choice!

Lola Granola Bars
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup whole raw almonds, skin on
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 7- by 11-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
In a bowl, stir the oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut, flax seed meal and cinnamon. Transfer to a dry sheet tray and toast in the oven for 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
While dry ingredients toast, in a medium pot, add the honey, coconut oil and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the honey turns a copper color, 12 to 15 minutes.
Pour the honey into the dry ingredients and mix until well coated with the honey mixture.
Pour onto the prepared baking pan. Pack down the ingredients. Bake for about 10 minutes; the middle may seem slightly sticky but it will cool nicely. Let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Flip over, take off the parchment and cut into rectangles. Serve.
For other flavors, make the following substitutions to the recipe above:
Ruby (Cranberry): Omit the almonds and add an additional 1/4 cup dried cranberries.
Nathan (Blueberry/Almond): Substitute the cranberries with dried blueberries.
Enzo: (Cashew/Almond): Omit the cranberries and add 1/4 cup cashews to the dry ingredients.
Ellie (Cashew/Date): Substitute the almonds with cashews and substitute the cranberries with dried dates.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Roasted Garlic Soup

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter

Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter 
with Hemp, Flax, and Chia Seed

Maple Cinnamon Almond Butter 

with Hemp, Flax, and Chia Seed

I try to incorporate as many grains as possible in my diet after reading an article several years ago. The Harvard Medical School published that most diets are Niacin deficient due to insufficient use of grains. Reap the benefits of no cholesterol with a nut butter. Serve on bread or with apple slices. This recipe comes from the blog "Oh She Glows". Use a food processor not a Vita Mix to process until smooth as it must be frequently stirred. This is so well worth the ingredients as it is delicious.
2 cup raw almonds
2 Tbsp whole flax seeds
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 300F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a non-stick mat. In a large bowl, mix together the almonds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and maple syrup. Spread out almond mixture onto baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring once half way through.

2. Remove from oven and allow the almond mixture to cool for a few minutes before placing into a food processor. Process for about 10 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl every 30-60 seconds as needed. The mixture will be very drippy and smooth when ready. Add in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon and process until mixed well.

3. Remove the almond butter from the processor. If you’d like crunchy almond butter, add some almonds (~1/2 cup?) into the (now empty) processor and process until chunky. Stir the chunky almonds into the almond butter. Makes 1 and 1/4 cups or a bit more depending on how much you lick the bowl.
Yield: 1 1/4 cup.

Adapted from Ashley and inspired by Naturally Nutty’s.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chia Almond Pudding

Chia Almond Pudding

I saw chia seeds in the bulk food aisle of my grocery store when I was buying my Thanksgiving meal groceries.  All I could think of was cha-cha-cha-chia!  Then I learned the seeds are filled with protein and fiber and were first used by the Aztec Indians to thicken foods.  This article I am posting appeared in my hometown paper.  I also found another recipe for their use which I will post tomorrow.

Top this pudding with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chia seeds. Or drizzle it with a bit of honey or agave syrup.
Start to finish: Overnight (5 minutes active)
Servings: 4
2 cups vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir well. Leave the bowl on the counter and stir once a minute for about 10 minutes. This prevents the seeds from clumping as they absorb liquid. Cover and refrigerate the bowl for at least 6 hours, or ideally overnight. When you think of it, give the pudding a stir.

J.M. Hirsch is the national food editor for The Associated Press.