Friday, February 27, 2015

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

I love shrimp. It is probably one of the most versatile of all the ingredients I use in cooking. There are so many ways to prepare it. I prefer to buy raw shrimp and cook them myself, rather than buy them pre-cooked. They just taste better. That's why I buy 5 pounds at a time from Pointe Blue Seafood.  The price is right and I can get out whatever I need to use in a recipe. This is one of my favorite recipes and I serve it hot or cold. It makes a delicious salad.  It is wonderful served warm over rice and just perfect in a lettuce wrap! I think you'll like it too.

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined 
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon of lime zest
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and prepare shrimp. You can leave the tails on or off. 

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot and sizzling add the shrimp and garlic and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Turn down the heat to medium and continue to cook shrimp until they begin to curl and start to turn pink.  Do not overcook or shrimp will be tough and rubbery.  Once shrimp are just pink, remove to large bowl stop cooking process. 

Toss the shrimp with the lime juice and cilantro and season to taste. Top with lime zest.  Serve hot over rice or refrigerate to eat cold or in a salad. Or add them to lettuce leaves to make wonderful lettuce wraps.

 Blue Pointe Seafood will send you a big 5 pound box of their jumbo shrimp for a fraction of the cost you can buy it in stores! This is only 1/8 of the shrimp that came in the 5 pound box that I ordered! 

Blue Pointe will send you a big 5 pound box of their jumbo shrimp for a fraction of the cost you can buy it in stores!  Order yours today!  Click on the picture to the left or the link below it.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

♥ Cheese Quesadillas

I only had cheese today for my quesadillas but even without all the extras they are so good. Gooey cheese oozing out of a crisp and buttery tortilla. How simple can you get and how delicious can it be?

Cheese Quesadillas

4 (10-inch) flour tortillas ...
1 cup grated cheese, Mexican blend cheese
4 tablespoons butter
Sour cream, for dipping
Salsa, for dipping
Guacamole, for dipping

Heat skillet on low heat with just a pat of butter. Lay a tortilla in the skillet and sprinkle cheese on top leaving about an inch of space around the edges. Warm the tortilla over low heat. The cheese will begin to melt a little. Lay another tortilla on top and continue to cook on low. Slightly lift up the edge of the bottom tortilla to make sure it is brown and then with a large flat spatula, flip it over, holding the top tortilla down with your finders as you flip. 

Allow the tortilla to brown for about two minutes, then using a spatula, gently lift the edge so you can check to make sure it has browned enough. When it is brown and cheese is all gooey, transfer to individual plates or a large platter. Repeat with remaining butter and tortillas. Top them with the sour cream, salsa and guacamole.

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♥ Chicken Enchiladas In Cheese Sauce

I love Mexican food!  Well, I love my version of it. I am not into hot and spicy but I do like a little kick.  I prefer more mild and creamy like my recipe for these delicious Chicken Enchiladas. Don't get me wrong. You can add all the spices and peppers you want to make them just the way you like them.  

Chicken Enchiladas in Cheese Sauce

10 soft corn or flour taco shells, medium size
1 can of whole kernel yellow corn, drained
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
3 cups Mexican cheese blend, shredded and divided
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese for sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 can (4 ounces) green chilies, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
3 cups white rice, cooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan by lightly coating with non stick spray. Set aside. Make white rice and spread out on the bottom of baking dish.

In a sauce pan on medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in flour and cook one minute while stirring constantly to make sure it doesn't burn. Add chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Add 1/2 cup Monterey Jack and sour cream and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Pour about 1/2 cup of cheese sauce on top of rice and spread evenly with rubber spatula.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, corn, 1 cup of the Mexican blend cheese, red pepper, chilies, and salt. Spread one large heaping spoonful onto one end of the taco shell. Roll up the shell and place it seam side down on top of rice and cheese sauce. Repeat for remaining shells.

Next pour remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas making sure to cover in between and the sides of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining 2 cups of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Then turn on the broiler to high and broil quickly to melt and brown the cheese making sure to keep an eye on it. Remove from oven and serve.

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♥ Tortilla Bake

This is a quick and easy meal to make and there are so many things you can add to it to make just the way you like it. I keep mine pretty simple and on the mild side, but you can give it as much kick as you want by adding spicy peppers and chilies and other seasonings.

Tortilla Bake

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
1 packet taco seasoning
4 medium corn or flour tortillas
2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese
1 (10 oz) enchilada sauce, mild or hot
4 oz sour cream for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is cooked through; drain. Return the beef and onions to the skillet and add taco seasoning. Stir in the enchilada sauce. Leave on low heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray. Lay the first tortilla in the dish and sprinkle meat mixture on top, taking it all the way to the edges. Then sprinkle a layer of cheese on top. Cover with another tortilla and repeat until you use all four tortillas. Sprinkle top layer with more cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until heated through. Serve with your choice of topping such as sour cream, salsa or guacamole.

Other optional ingredients you may want to add....

Green or red chilies
Jalepeno peppers
whole corn
Refried beans
green or red peppers
black olives
Pepper Jack Cheese
hot sauce

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Warm Apple Fritters

There is nothing quite like warm apple fritters on a cold morning with a fresh cup of piping hot coffee and a warm fire going with fur babies at your feet and home made bread baking in the oven. Will you join me?

Warm Apple Fritters

1 cup All Purpose Flour ...
¼ cup Sugar
¾ tsp Salt
1½ teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
⅓ cup Milk
1 Egg
1 cup Chopped Fuji or Gala Apple
Oil for frying


2 cups Powdered Sugar
1½ Tablespoons of milk or more as needed
1 teaspoon vanilla Extract, optional

Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon. Stir in milk and egg until just combined. Fold in chopped apple.

Pour oil into large deep skillet so that it is approximately 2 inches deep. You can also use a large soup pot or dutch oven or even an electric fryer. Heat oil to about 375 degrees. Your oil is ready when a small piece of fritter dough floats to top. Carefully add dough to oil in heaping tablespoons. 

Cook until brown, about 2 minutes, then carefully flip. Cook another 1-2 minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Transfer briefly to paper towels to absorb excess oil, then transfer to cooling rack. Fry fritters a few at a time.

Make glaze by stirring milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl. Drizzle over apple fritters. Wait approximately 3 minutes for glaze to harden, then flip fritters and drizzle glaze over the other side. Best served warm.

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Breakfast Stromboli

I'll make you a promise my friends...if you make this you'll love it. It's the easiest recipe to make and it is absolutely delicious! Flaky, buttery, puffed pastry filled with scrambled eggs and cheese and whatever else you'd like to add. ...I made this with just egg and cheese (my favorite way) but I also sometimes add bacon, ham, steak, even crab and shrimp. I also change up on the cheese and use Cheddar, Jack, Swiss or whatever else I feel like that morning.  

Breakfast Stromboli

1 box (2 Sheets) Pepperidge Farm frozen puffed pastry
5 eggs
1/4 cup evaporated milk                                                 
1 egg+ 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
5-6 slices of cheese (your choice)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pastry dough from package and allow to partially thaw for about 15 minutes on a cookie sheet that has been spray with non stick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Unwrap dough and smooth out seams with a little water on your finger tips. Then mix the egg and water to make a wash and brush all over pastry sheet.

Beat eggs with evaporated milk until blended well. In large skillet, add butter and beaten eggs along with salt and pepper to taste. Scramble eggs until just set. Do not overcook as they will continue to cook in the oven. Remove eggs to a plate and cool completely. I put mine in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool them quickly.                                

Next spoon eggs onto bottom half of pasty sheets leaving at least 2 inches of space on both sides and bottom. If you choose to add ham or bacon, lay strips on top of eggs. Follow with 2 or 2/12 cheese slices cheese slices to cover meat. I usually overlap the cheese to completely cover the meat and eggs.

Next pull top of dough down over the bottom filled portion of dough to cover the egg, meat and cheese filling. Pinch dough together all the way around and fold over or crimp with a fork to make sure it is sealed all the way around. Make a small slit in the top and brush the remaining egg wash all over the top and sides.

Bake on center rack of oven (Leave enough room on top as these can puff up to 2-3 times the size). Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees until golden on the outside. Slice and enjoy!

NOTE: Sausage doesn't work with this one as it is too greasy and the dough will absorb the grease. Also, I make two and keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week or so. They go fast so you probably won't have any to freeze! 

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Breaded Pan Fried Rockfish

There is a real treasure of the Chesapeake Bay and the top recreational sport fish here in Maryland.  The Rockfish, also known as Striped Bass or "Striper" as we call it, is the official fish of the State of Maryland.  It is an amazing fish that is so buttery and so delicious you'll want to make it time and time again. But you can't always get it fresh at your local supermarket.  Most of it has been previously frozen and the taste just isn't the same.  Whenever I want to make Rockfish, I place an order online at Blue Pointe Seafood. And it always shows up at my door the very next day, packed fresh in dry ice and vacuum sealed.  Beautiful fillets ready to make the same day!  You can order too!  Click on the name Blue Pointe Seafood

Breaded Pan Fried Rockfish 
                      (aka Striped Bass)

4 center cut rockfish fillets; about 2 ½ inches thick
1 cup of whole milk
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup flour for dredging
1 cup panko
2 tablespoons olive Oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pour milk in a large bowl and soak your fish for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, lay out  3 pie pans or shallow bowls for the flour, egg and panko. Season the panko with salt and pepper and Old Bay Seasoning. One at a time, dredge the fish pieces in flour, shaking off the excess.  Then dip them in the egg, and then coat each fillet with the panko crumbs. 
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large heavy skillet; set to medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to ripple (not smoke), carefully add the fillets. Do not crowd the skillet. You may have to fry in batches depending on the size of your fillets.

Sear the fillets on the first side without touching them for about 3-4 minutes. You want to leave it alone so that a crust can form to hold the fillet together when you flip it to the other side.  Cook the fillets with the skin on to ensure that they don't fall apart in the pan. Fry the skin-on side first, then flip the fillets and cook the skinless side.  Next, carefully flip and sear on the other side for an additional 3-4 minutes. The fish is cooked when it is opaque in the center and flakes nicely.  Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired.

Rockfish is a fish everyone should try.  It is a hearty white fish is similar to halibut in taste and texture, with a little hint of swordfish flavor. Because of the durability of this fish, any cooking method will be good from frying to grilling. 
Order your fresh Rockfish today and you'll get another 10% off the price and reduced shipping! at Blue Pointe Seafood today!   Click on this link to order!

Blue Pointe Seafood ships to 48 states fresh to your door. Beautiful large Rockfish Fillets!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

I love roasted vegetables!  I actually started eating more vegetables when I learned that you can roast them to bring out the intense flavors.  There is something about caramelizing them in the oven and then adding garlic, or sea salt or Parmesan cheese to  intensify those flavors even more!  If you have never roasted cauliflower in the oven, now is the time to try it!  It's so good!

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

1 medium head cauliflower (4-5 cups florets)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves finely minced garlic
Sprinkling of sea salt

dash or two of pepper
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line your baking sheet with foil for easier clean up.

Cut and break cauliflower head into small, bite-sized florets then wash the florets and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Next, place florets in a bowl and coat with olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic.  Toss the florets to coat in oil mixture.

Spread florets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle sea salt and pepper (and a pinch of red pepper flakes if using) to taste and bake in hot oven for 12-15 minutes.  Then with a spatula, flip florets over and roast for another 10 minutes or until golden and tender.  Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

I love this recipe from my friend Ruthanne's blog at Easy Baked. So much so that it inspired me to make my own chocolate cheesecake this past weekend, which is coming up next.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

9 oz. chocolate wafer coo

kies (I use chocolate animal crackers)
1/4 c. margarine (melted)

2 (8oz.) packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups Nestle Dark Chocolate Morsels (melted)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (divided)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Crush cookies into fine crumbs and add melted margarine. Combine well and press into the bottom of a 9-Inch Springform Pan
  • Beat softened cream cheese with sugar until smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each one.
  • Add remaining cheesecake ingredients, beating until smooth.
  • Pour into crust and allow to sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
  • Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 60 minutes,
  • Turn off oven, open oven door a little and allow to sit for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and run knife around edge of pan. Remove edge of pan.
  • Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature before adding toppings.

  • Put 1/4 cup of whipping cream into small saucepan and heat just until bubbling at edges. Turn heat off, add white chocolate chips, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, stir until smooth.
  • Repeat this process in another saucepan with the milk chocolate chips.
  • Pour white chocolate over cheesecake and then drizzle with milk chocolate until entire cheesecake is covered.
  • Chill overnight before serving.

    Monday, February 16, 2015

    Mushroom Swiss Sliders

    Don't you just love sliders?  There's just something that makes them so much better than eating those bigger burgers. These little juicy morsels are a huge favorite among my friends. There's a secret to them....they have a little kick from the Cara Mia marinated mushrooms I add to the mix.  Tender juicy little burgers filled with cheese and just the right amount of zest that give them even more flavor. These have been a huge success!

    Mushroom Swiss Sliders

    1 pound ground Chuck 
    1/2 cup Cara Mia Marinated Mushrooms, drained and chopped
    1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
    2 tablespoons of heavy cream or evaporated milk
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    salt and pepper to taste
    8 small dinner rolls or potato rolls

    Add chopped mushrooms in a small bowl and add shredded Swiss cheese and set aside.

    In a medium bowl, mix ground chuck with Worcestershire sauce, cream, salt and pepper. Lightly mix in the chopped mushrooms and the cheese and form mixture into sliders. Make a depression in each burger with your thumb so they continue to lay flat while cooking.  Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.

    Pan frying in cast iron or heavy skillet: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to 12 inch cast iron skillet. Sear burgers over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare.

    NOTE: Top each burger with a little more shredded cheese and cover with a sheet of aluminum foil to help melt the cheese before putting the burgers on buns. Then top with your favorite toppings.  Don't forget to
    serve a few mushrooms on the side!  They are so good!

    The Cara Mia mushrooms are available in the produce section or canned vegetable aisle at these retailers: Savemart, Smart & Final, select Walmart stores, King Soopers, select Kroger stores, Schnucks, select Supervalu/Albertsons stores and Ingles markets. They can also can be purchased online at ...

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