Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grilled Shrimp

If there was ever a time that I try to incorporate more fish into my diet, it's summertime.  Even though I don't live on the coast there's something about the summer air makes me crave fresh fish and seafood.  Maybe it's the heat or maybe it's the fact that I have to put my bathing suit on, but I really do love fish dinners in the summer.

This recipe for grilled shrimp came from Cook's Illustrated.  I grilled it on my Big Green Egg and added the Charmoula Sauce for flavor.

Grilled Shrimp 
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
2- Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 teaspoons sugar

Charmoula Sauce
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 red pepper, diced small
1/2 red onion, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt

Thread the shrimp onto skewers.  I used small 3 inch skewers to make more appetizer size portions.  Salt and pepper the shrimp.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sugar.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a disposable aluminum pan.

Put the aluminum pan on one side of the grill and the shrimp on the other. 

Grill shrimp for 2 minutes on each side.  (It won't be completely cooked through.)

Put the skewers into the charmoula sauce to finish cooking.

When the shrimp is finished cooking, it will have absorbed all sorts of yummy flavors from the sauce. 

I served my shrimp with a side of jasmime rice and a sprig of fresh thyme.  Ahh - summer.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Strawberry Naploeons

I make a lot of birthday cakes throughout the year, so what kind of cake to I like for my birthday?  Not a cake at all really - this year I celebrated my birthday with strawberry napoleons.

The inspiration for this delicious recipe came from a Cooking Light recipe.  When I saw the picture of the Napoleons in the magazine, I knew I had to make them.

Strawberry Napoleons
2 Tablespoons almonds
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 sheet frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons raw sugar
1 cup part skim ricotta
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
2 cup sliced strawberries
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 Tablespoons whipped cream
fresh mint

Place almonds in a food processor with sugar and pulse until finely ground.

Unwrap phyllo and lay flat on counter.


Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat and place 1 sheet of phyllo on top.   Combine butter and oil and brush over phyllo.  Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons almond mixture.

Top with another phyllo sheet and repeat brushing and sprinkling about 8 more times.  Brush top phyllo with butter mixture and sprinkle with raw sugar.

Cut phyllo into 18 pieces and separate slightly on baking sheet.
Bake 20 minutes at 350.  Cool on wire rack.


Combine ricotta and honey.

Combine berries with 1 T. sugar.

Chop some fresh mint.  


Place 1 piece of phyllo on plate,

top with ricotta mixture and strawberries.

Repeat.  Top the dessert with a Tablespoon of whipped cream.  Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and a sliced strawberry. 

The only problem with this beautiful birthday dessert?  It was really hard to put a candle in it.  After some creative tilting, we managed to get the candles to stick in the whipped cream just long enough to sing.  It was a fabulous birthday treat.

I had a wonderful birthday with my wonderful family.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rainbow Jello Slices

Rainbow Gelatin Orange Wedges

I saw this idea for rainbow gelatin orange wedges on pinterest and I immediately knew I wanted to make them for my daughter's pool party.  I modified the recipe slightly from its original version from

Rainbow Gelatin Orange Wedges
12 oranges
6 boxes of jello (I used lemon, lime, strawberry, berry blue, grape and orange.)

Cut each orange in half.

I used a pairing knife to cut around the edges of the orange and then I scooped out the inside with a spoon.

This job would be MUCH easier if you used a juicer. 

 Put the empty orange halves in a muffin tin to hold them upright.

Prepare each 3 ounce box of jello by adding 2/3 cups boiling water.  Stir until dissolved.  Pour jello into orange halves.  

Refrigerate the jello for at least 4 hours.  Slice each half into thirds. 

The rainbow gelatin orange wedges were so pretty that I couldn't stop taking pictures of them.  (I got a little carried away and I went a little overboard on the photography.) 

These gelatin wedges would definitely brighten up any party table.  

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Salad


The warm weather has put me in the mood for big summer salads.  I picked up a recipe for Bourbon Sear Steaks at Eggtoberfest last Fall but for some reason it slipped to the back of my new recipe pile and just recently got rediscovered.  Since I've been in the mood for grilling AND salads lately, I decided to combine the two and make steak salads for dinner. 

Bourbon Sear Steaks from the Certified Steak and Seafood Company
2 Teaspoons dried shallots
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons garlic
4 flat iron steaks (I used thin cut strip steaks.)

Combine ingredients in a ziploc bag and refrigerate about 6 hours.  Sear steaks on a hot grill.

To prepare my salad, I washed a head of Romaine lettuce and a head of hydroponic butter lettuce.  I love my salad spinner!

My salads was loaded with vegetables.  (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, yellow peppers)  I also added chick peas, olives and sunflower seeds.

I put the steaks on the grill while I whipped up some lemon vinaigrette

Once the steaks were cooked, I sliced them thinly and put them over my salad.

Of course the salad for the kids looked a little different than this one.  I did manage to sneak in a few carrots and cucumbers with their lettuce.  I cleverly disguised them under a sprinkling of shredded cheese so that they would not be identified as healthy.  They were so focused on the steak on top of the cheese that I think they forgot about the vegetables that they had inadvertently consumed.  The fact that they ate their veggies somehow made up for the fact that the salad was smothered in ranch dressing.  It's all about compromise.