Sunday, January 8, 2017

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad

























I love this recipe. It's perfect for that elegant luncheon with friends. The shrimp are tender and succulent, the asparagus is perfectly blanched to keep that slight crunch and the walnuts are the delicious added touch! The Vinaigrette has a wonderful light and citrus flavor with just a touch of dill that goes perfectly with the shrimp. This is a keeper my friends! 

Shrimp and Asparagus Salad 

1 pound cooked large shrimp, peeled, cleaned and tails removed
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut to 2 inch pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 cloves fresh garlic minced finely
1 cup walnuts, chopped and then lightly toasted in a skillet
salt and pepper to taste 



Blanch asparagus in boiling water for about 1 minute then plunge in bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.   Toast walnuts in a skillet over low heat for about 3 minutes making sure not to burn. Set aside.

In a large bowl add the chilled asparagus, sliced onions, shrimp, garlic and the toasted walnuts. Toss with chilled Lemon Dill Vinaigrette and season to taste if needed.  

Lemon Dill Vinaigrette 

1 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon Juice
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of dill or use 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, shallot, dill, salt and pepper, and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. With the blender on, slowly add the oil until emulsified.  Transfer the vinaigrette to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. 

























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Waldorf Salad

























Tender chunks of chicken with granny smith apples, grapes, celery and walnuts to give it the perfect crunch.  Served on crisp buttery club crackers. So good this way but I made enough for later this week to serve on a nice soft buttery croissant or Kaiser roll. I love this salad and it's so easy to make.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken breast, cubed
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 Granny Smith apple, cored and cubed
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste




















Lightly toss chicken with grape halves, apple, celery and walnuts in a salad bowl. Whisk mayonnaise, vanilla yogurt, and lemon juice in a separate bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss again to coat. Salt and pepper to taste.





















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Chef Salad With Homemade Ranch Dressing

























I love a great salad and a chef's salad is one of my favorites.  And what's a salad without homemade dressing.  I like blue cheese but this time I went with my homemade ranch dressing.  Oh Yum!

Chef Salad With Homemade Ranch Dressing

1 head of lettuce 
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup cooked ham, sliced into strips
1 cup cooked turkey, sliced into strips
3 medium whole fresh tomatoes, quartered
3 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced

At least an hour before serving the salad, wash and dry the salad greens, and tear into bite-size pieces.  Wrap in paper towel, and place in refrigerator. Meanwhile, get your other ingredients ready. Peel and slice hard-boiled eggs.

Place lettuce in large bowl. Toss lettuce to lightly coat leaves with dressing.  Add more dressing if necessary and salt and black pepper to taste. Add the remaining ingredients and toss lightly. Serve chilled.

Ranch Dressing

1 cup of Hellman’s or Dukes Mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon dried chives
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dill weed
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, parsley, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.




















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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

























This thick and creamy soup is the perfect solution to leftover chicken or turkey.  Served with dinner rolls or homemade biscuits, it is the ultimate comfort food! 

Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

1/2 cup butter, cubed
1 carrot, diced small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
½ cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken or turkey broth
2 cups cooked wild rice
2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup half and half (half cream/half whole milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery and onion; cook and stir until tender.






















Stir in flour until blended; cook until bubbly. Gradually stir in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in remaining ingredients; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

For thinner soup add more broth.






















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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Orange-Honey Sticky Wings



























I am not into spicy hot wings. But I love sweet sticky wings like honey or honey mustard. Last year for the big Super Bowl game, I made the regular hot and spicy wings as usual, but I also came up with my own version of sticky wings with orange and honey and they were a huge hit! 


Orange-Honey Sticky Wings

2 pounds fresh chicken wings, cut in 2 pieces at joint or 2 pounds frozen chicken wings, thawed.
1 16 oz. can of frozen orange juice, thawed.
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
4 cloves of finely chopped garlic 
A dash of Worcestershire sauce
A pinch or two of red pepper flakes if you like them hot and spicy too! 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine honey, sesame oil, Worcestershire sauce, orange juice, brown sugar, and garlic in large bowl. Toss in your chicken wings. Arrange two 9 x 13 baking pans with your wings. Brush wings with a little additional sauce and cover with foil. 


























Bake wings at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and turn wings over and brush with more sauce. Bake uncovered for another 20 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil. Broil wings close to broiler element, turning occasionally, for 8 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Remove wings to a serving dish and spoon more sauce from the foil over top. 

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nacho Scoops

























Listen, I'm all about throwing parties but I don't like to do a lot of work. So I am constantly looking for simple ideas that taste great and take minutes to make.  Put a tray of these little morsels out for the next football game and count how many times you have to put out a new tray! They are delicious. They are addicting.  Lately I have gotten very creative with what I fill them with but for now I will start off with the basic recipe.  If you can call it that!  


Nacho Scoops 

1 bag of Tostitos Scoops 
2 cups of Mexican Blend cheese 
1/2 pound of ground beef 




























In a large skillet, brown the beef and salt and pepper to taste.  Drain off all fat from beef and set aside in a separate bowl. 

























Lay out scoops in a baking dish. Choose any size depending on how many you're making.


























Fill scoops with ground beef and top with cheese.



























Add cheese up over the top of the scoops as it will melt down.

























 Bake in a 350 oven until cheese is melted. Serve warm! 


























Now let's talk about what  you can add to these if  you want to be creative:

Chili with or without beans
shredded chicken
different cheeses
Jalapenos
refried beans
chili peppers
hot sauce
lettuce and tomato
guacamole
sour cream

The sky's the limit!

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Caramel Cream Cheese Spread


























Need a quick appetizer when unexpected guests arrive?  I'm almost embarrassed to call this a recipe....it's more like a tip!  This is my go to when I'm caught totally off guard!  I literally throw this together in 2 minutes and they love it! 

Caramel Cream Cheese Spread

1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese
1 jar of caramel sauce (I use ice cream topping)
toffee bits or chopped pecans

bread rounds, crackers, sliced apples, pears, pretzels for serving

























Place cream cheese on a pretty serving plate. Pour as much caramel topping as you want evenly over cream cheese and let it run down the sides. Sprinkle with a nuts or toffee bits.
































Oh Yum!  It's especially good served with sliced apples or pears.






















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