It’s Improv Challenge time once again. This month, the theme is Lime and White Chocolate. With Christmas just a week away, I am betting a lot of the recipes are going to be sweet treats and I cannot wait to see them! Continue reading
I live a short drive from Mayport, FL, one of the state's best shrimping towns. There is a fleet of fishing boats that brings in fresh shrimp every day. I was not surprised when the guy behind the fish counter at my local Publix told me that the fresh shrimp I was buying came from there. I sort of expected it. The Florida waters abound in wonderful shrimp.
There are four kinds of shrimp harvested off the coasts of Florida, brown, white, rock and pink. This time of year, we are mostly eating white shrimp. Brown shrimp is more plentiful in the summer. Rock and pink shrimps are found in the deeper waters farther off the coasts.
I often make shrimp dishes for dinner. There are so many great ideas for using Fresh from Florida shrimp for main dishes. This time of year, though, as the holiday parties are in full swing, my thoughts turned toward appetizers. With their handy little tails, shrimp make great finger food, whether they are plain with sauce or wrapped in something as wonderful as bacon.
This is a simple dish that goes together with little effort. Once your shrimp is clean, simply wrap it in par-baked bacon that has been brushed with honey and sprinkled with garlic powder. Once it's crispy, you are in for a wonderful treat. Use thin cut bacon, not thick, as you don't want to overpower the shrimp.
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp:
1 pound fresh shrimp, deveined, peeled, leaving the tail whole
12 oz thin cut bacon
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp garlic powder
Instructions: Par-bake bacon for 10 minutes at 400 degrees on a wire rack placed in a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Remove bacon from the oven and cool enough to be able to handle it. Cut each strip of bacon in half crosswise. Brush them with the honey and sprinkle them liberally with garlic powder. Wrap each shrimp with a slice of bacon and secure it with a wooden toothpick. Place them back on the wire rack and bake for another 5 minutes. Switch on the broiler. Broil for up to 5 minutes or until bacon is crispy.
What are your favorite ways to prepare shrimp? Do you buy it cooked or raw? Fresh or frozen?
I have an interesting cookbook review for you today. The Bacon Lovers Cookbook is a new addition to the Golden Press line up of “lovers” cookbooks. You may recall that I reviewed the Pumpkin Lovers Cookbook a few weeks ago. This book is full of bacon recipes, bacon tips, bacon jokes and bacon facts, all of which was gathered from other sources and bound together in one bacon extravaganza. Continue reading
Welcome to Day #5 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.
I have had this recipe written in my recipe journal since the early 1990s, waiting to be made. I am shocked that I waited so long to make it because this stuff is seriously amazing. I have been doling it out to my friends by the spoonful. It’s been like, “Oh, you have come by to visit me? Open your mouth, taste this.” No one has been disappointed. Continue reading
Welcome to Day #3 of Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th.
I am back with more candy, because December seems to require it. Although this stuff is as wonderful as it gets, no one seems to make homemade candy any other time of year. If grocery stores put sugar, extracts and other baking supplies on sale in June, maybe the story would be different, but our waistlines can heave a sigh of relief. December is the only homemade sweet month. ..for now. Continue reading
I get tired just thinking about the holiday rush. We add so many things to our schedules: gift giving, buying, wrapping; decorating the inside and outside of our homes; parties at school, work, church and home; concerts or other musical festivals, recitals, etc. As we pile more and more into our already busy lives, we also feel guilt because we aren’t extra loving, charitable or kind 24/7 as we try to get everything done. Songs about good cheer simply add fuel to the fire. Continue reading
Welcome to Christmas Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Jen from Juanita’s Cocina! Each day we will be celebrating the holidays with a different set of Christmas-themed treats, as well as a fabulous Christmas giveaway. We hope you enjoy this fabulous event. Tune in each day starting today, Monday, December 9th and ending Saturday, December 14th. Continue reading
Every year I make up treats for neighbors and friends. What I make changes a little every year, but the fun is in the planning and delivery of the plates. My kids get involved, arguing over who gets to take which plate to which family. We take an evening early in the month of December and instead of sitting in front of the television, we give. It may be wishful thinking on my part, but I like to think that that evening of sharing sweets with friends sets the tone for the month.
This year, I did my ingredient shopping at Dollar General, which has lower prices than most of my local stores. They have a full line up of ingredients for all of my holiday baking needs. I find that their Clover Valley brand is just as good as most name brands. They had a great big section all set up specifially for making treats.
I was able to get plates, candies, sugars, chocolate chips, nuts, crackers, and many other ingredients for less than $25. I came home and fired up my stove and microwave. I made homemade caramels, peanut brittle, fudge, chocolate covered Ritz sandwiches and English toffee and then filled 16 plates.
English Toffee has been a family favorite since I was a little girl when my mom started making it. It is really simple to make. I am not very good at making dipped candies, but because this recipe is broken into randomly sized pieces on purpose, there isn't a lot of stress over whether it looks right or not.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp corn syrup
12 oz chocolate chips
Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan. Add sugar, water adn corn syrup to the pan. Cook over low heat to 290 degrees F, about 20 minutes. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Pour hot mixture over foil. Sprinkle with chocoalte chips. Wait a few minutes and then spread the chocolate evenly over the toffee. When cool, break into bite sized pieces.
The Dollar General Holiday holiday section can serve all of your needs. Not only are there foods and supplies for favorite holiday recipes, but there are decorations, lights, present wrapping supplies, stocking stuffers, and great ideas for presents from toys to electronics.
There is still time to shop for the discerning foodie before the holidays are over! Right in the middle of Hanukkah and a few weeks to go before Christmas, this new cookbook, Cooking Inspired, is filled with recipes taken from the pages of kosherscoop.com, one of the biggest kosher websites on the internet. Continue reading
Let’s face it, getting kids to eat healthy foods is not always easy. I had such plans with all of my children: they were going to love broccoli and hate Sweet Tarts. I did achieve the former; all five of my kids are broccoli lovers, but dang it, all five of them love red and blue dye, ascorbic acid and corn syrup laden candies, too. As babies and toddlers, I had so much control over their diets. They really were pretty good eaters. However, when they got to be school aged and started playing and eating at friends’ homes, all of my good work went out the window. Continue reading
Green bean casserole is something that has appeared on my mom’s Thanksgiving table since I was a child. She adds bacon, cream soup and lots of fried onions. I cannot think of Thanksgiving at her home without that casserole coming to mind. However, that casserole it a big, huge no-no for my gluten free way of eating. The mushrooms are also a source of contention for a few of my kiddos. So this year, I went about creating a new and different kind of Green Bean Casserole. Continue reading
This month a new cookbook hit the shelves. The Cowgirl Creamery Cooks by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith is much more than just a cookbook, though. Half of the book is part autobiography, part cheese making primer. It tells the story of two friends whose culinary journey has culminated in an artisanal creamery and restaurant. The other half is filled with recipes using cheese, glorious cheese. Continue reading
Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving? Is your turkey bought or at least scoped out and mentally reserved? Have you planned your menu or your travel route to the feast? Last year I slaved for two days making food for my family. By the time we sat down, I was tired and cranky. To add insult to injury, my sons complained and then didn’t eat the leftovers. In a fit of pique, I swore I was making enchiladas this year and turkey be danged. Continue reading
I got my first cookbook for Christmas the year I turned eight years old. It was a book made just for children learning to cook and made every dish look like fun. I am sure my grandmother, who gave me the book, had no idea the adventures that would come to my life because of that gift. Today’s review is for a new cookbook for children: Kids Cooking Made Easy by Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek, authors of the “made easy” series of cookbooks. Continue reading