Friday, August 25, 2017

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

You just can’t get any easier than this folks. I think it might have taken me all of 15 minutes from start to finish.  Easy enough to serve any time and yet fancy enough to serve your dinner guests.  I love this recipe and make it often.  By the way, leftovers are even better!

Easy Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

8 ounces pasta (linguine, spaghetti, angel hair)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/4 cup chicken stock (or use Chardonnay wine)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Shaved or grated Parmesan for garnish, optional

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Remove from heat and drain well.























In a large skillet melt the butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir until just fragrant. 

Add shrimp in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until shrimp just turn pink (about 2 min each side); don't overcook or shrimp will turn rubbery.












Stir in wine or chicken stock along with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add drained pasta, the lemon zest and parsley. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil and toss well. 

Serve immediately, garnished with shaved or shredded Parmesan, if desired.























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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables
























I use a lot of Costco Rotisserie Chickens for meals, sandwiches and casseroles I like to make.  One day I realized I still had a whole chicken still in the container in the refrigerator and I needed to use it right away.  So I came up with an idea to use the whole chicken and it has now become one of my favorite meals.  Love this recipe!

Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables

1 refrigerated Rotisserie Chicken
4 medium unpeeled Yukon gold or red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
4 medium carrots cut into chunks
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange vegetables in a casserole dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from refrigerator and place on plate. Scrape off the jellied juices from the chicken and the container. Put the juices into a small saucepan and heat on low heat until they are liquid. Pour the juices over the vegetables. 





















Cut chicken into individual pieces, leaving skin on and arrange in between vegetables.  Or you can tear the chicken off in pieces, remove the skin, and arrange between the vegetables.  In the photos I show you both ways.  






















Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in oven for about an 45-50 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Serve and enjoy!























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Apple Fritter Pull-A-Part Bread
















Pretty soon it will be that time of year when I love to go to the apple orchards and gather up my favorite ingredient for baking. If you follow my recipes,  you'll find hundreds of apple recipes....like this incredible pull-apart apple fritter bread.  OMG….how can anything so easy to make be this incredible!  Now this is a treat that will make you forget your end of summer blues for sure!  I give you the choice of two different glazes because I like both so much I could choose which one I like better! 














Apple Fritter Pull-A-Part Bread

1 Pillsbury Grands Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits (8 in a can)
2 medium granny smith apples, finely diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small skillet over medium heat, combine diced apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are soft and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Open your biscuits and lay them out on a cutting board.  You now want to either cut each biscuit in half or carefully pull each one apart in the middle to make a total of 16 rounds. I use a paring knife and cut each biscuit in half horizontally. You can use either method.  Flatten each biscuit half with your hands to shape and thin them out a little.




















Add about a tablespoon of apple filling on each round of dough. Once you have topped each round, stack the dough rounds on top of each other in groups of four. Continue to do this until you have 4 stacks of four using all 16 dough halves.
























Now carefully gather each stack of four and lay them in the loaf pan, arranging it so that it fills the pan. Don’t worry about making them even or that they are not the same size. They will all rise together later.
























Cover the loaf pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.

Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes. Then flip it upside down on your rack to let it continue to cool. While the bread cools make the glaze.




















White Glaze

1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup half and half or more if needed
1 teaspoon vanilla

Simply whisk together the powdered sugar and half and half a little at a time to get the consistency you want. I like my glaze thick so I don’t use a lot of liquid. Once you get the right consistency, add the vanilla and whisk again. Drizzle generously over fritter loaf.

Or for a real treat make the cream cheese glaze.....




















Cream Cheese Glaze

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 15 second intervals until it is softened enough to stir it together. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until fully combined. Drizzle over bread and enjoy!




















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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Banana Split Dessert

























I love this summery dessert. I can remember my Mom making it from the time I was too little to even know what it was.  But I know now and I love making it.  It is so cold and creamy and just the best thing out there to satisfy every decadent need!  This is a keeper my friends.


Banana Split Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 whole crackers crushed)
1 ¼ cups sugar, Divided
1/3 cup butter, Melted
2 pkgs (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (20 oz) crushed Pineapple, drained
1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
4 ripe bananas
2 cups cold milk
1 large box vanilla Pudding
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

In a medium sized bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan. Set aside.

Beat together remaining sugar and cream cheese until well mixed. Carefully spread over cookie crust. Top with pineapple. Slice bananas and layer over pineapple. Add sliced strawberries over bananas.

In another bowl mix together cold milk and vanilla pudding and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Remove 1 cup of whipped cream and mix into pudding. Layer pudding over bananas. Spread remaining whipped cream over pudding and sprinkle with huts. Chill for 5 hours before serving.

NOTE: You can also use 1 carton (8 ounces) Cool Whip, thawed instead of the whipped cream.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Panko Breaded Patty Pan Squash





















Wondering what to do with all that squash you still have in your garden? My favorite squash are those little Patty Pan squash that come in green and yellow. Some know them as summer squash or scallop squash. They are a tender summer squash, like zucchini or yellow squash. The scalloped shape makes them a bit of a novelty and kids are tempted to try them because of their fun shape. They taste like any other summer squash.

Panko Breaded Patty Pan Squash

6 small patty pan squash sliced 1/2 inch with mandolin 
2 eggs, beaten 
1 tablespoon milk 
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder






















Beat eggs with a tablespoon of milk in a wide shallow bowl. Mix the panko, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and garlic powder in another shallow bowl. 


























Dredge your squash into the egg mixture, then into the crumb mixture, taking the time to press the crumbs all around each slice. Place breaded squash onto a plate until you have enough to fill (but not crowd) your frying pan. 

In a large heavy fry pan (I use my Mom's old 12" cast iron skillet), heat the olive oil and butter until it shimmers. You can drop in a bread crumb and know it is ready when it sizzles. Place slices one by one into the hot oil being careful not to loose to much breading. Let slices brown for at least a minute or two. When the bottom is golden brown flip each slice over and brown the other side.

Let the cooked slices drain & cool on the paper towels or wire rack and repeat the process until all your batches have been turned into crispy fried deliciousness. I also use this same recipe for zucchini and other squash and even eggplant. 



















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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pull Aparts

























These ooey-gooey miniature cinnamon pull-aparts make a comforting breakfast treat any time of year. I also call them my little personal monkey breads.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pull Aparts

4 – 4½ cups flour
4½ teaspoons dry yeast
2 cups warm water
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1¼ cups sugar, divided
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup whole milk
1 tablespoon butter, room temp
1¾ teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Mix 2 cups flour and the yeast. Add the water, oil, sugar and salt. Beat on low for ½ minute and then on high for three minutes. Stir in the remaining flour until a moderately stiff dough forms.



















Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl, greased side up. Cover the bowl and let it rise for 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide it into half, letting it rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of the sugar, ¼ cup of the brown sugar, milk, butter and 1¼ teaspoon cinnamon in a small saucepan.  Bring the syrup mixture to a boil and cook it for 1 minute. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.


Combine remaining ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Cut each loaf of bread dough into 24 equal portions and roll into balls. Roll each portion into the cinnamon sugar mixture and then lay three balls of dough in each greased muffin tin.

Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough balls. Then spoon the cooled sugar syrup over the dough in each muffin tin.


Cover the pan and let it rise for 35 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately loosen the edges of bread from the muffin tin using a knife.



 Cream Cheese Drizzle

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons milk, plus more if needed


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sugar and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add salt, lemon juice, and milk; mix on low speed until smooth. If glaze is too thick to drizzle, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.



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