Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Orleans BBQ Beer Shrimp

Tim and I have been brewing our own beer for about a year.  I regret not blogging about the process. Maybe in 2016?  It can be a little time consuming and a true test of team work.  Which in our cases is never a problem as long as Tim does it my way.   Ha!  Now that we have our system down, it's a fairly smooth process.  We've made a pumpkin ale, an IPA, a Hefeweizen a Lemon Coriander Weiss and a Holiday Ale.  Besides enjoying and sharing our beers, I love cooking with them.    This bbq beer shrimp is delicious, reminds me a little of good ole spiced shrimp with a kick.  I used our Lemon Coriander Weiss in this recipe.  Any mild or pale ale will work great.  I served this on top of rice with a loaf of crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. 

New Orleans Barbecue Beer Shrimp
Recipe Courtesy of The Beeroness
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • ½ teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
  • 1 cup pale ale
  • 1 pounds raw shrimp, deveined, shell on
  • Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add the remaining ingredients (besides the shrimp), bring to a simmer.
  • Add the shrimp, cook until shrimp have turned pink. Avoid over cooking or the shrimp will be tough.
  • Serve with crust bread to mop up all that beautiful sauce. And lots of napkins.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Loaded Sweet Potato Soup - SRC

For this month's Secret Recipe Club,  I was lucky enough to be assigned Debbie of Debbie Does Dinner Healthy.  Debbie is the hostess of Group C.  Thanks for all you do to make SRC a success.  I've been following Debbie's blog since I began blogging in 2009.  She has some great healthy and low cal recipes on her site!  Stop over and check them out.

I love potato soup but never thought about making sweet potato soup.  After making this recipe, I realized I've really been missing out. This soup is so good and the great thing is, it's healthy.  I did use the bacon, not a lot, but it really adds to the flavor.  I pureed the soup with my immersion blender, next time I will be using the blender instead.  It takes a while to puree this soup and the blender would be so much easier.

I love, love, love this soup.  One of the best soups I've made in a long time.  Thanks, Debbie for an amazing recipe, one I can't wait to make again soon!!!

Loaded Sweet Potato Soup 

Recipe courtesy of Debbie Does Dinner Healthy
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp. bacon grease or oil
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 can broth (chicken or vegetable)
7 - 8 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Pepperjack or extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Sour cream
Bacon (if desired and not vegetarian)

Saute desired amount of bacon. Save bacon grease for sauteeing. 

Add onion, bacon grease, salt and pepper to hot large pan and saute until tender.  Add garlic, thyme, chili powder and cinnamon, cook for a couple of minutes.  Add sweet potatoes, broth, vinegar and about 3 cups of water.  Season with more salt and lots of pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.  When potatoes are tender, puree with an immersion blender or carefully add to a food processor.

Garnish with cheese, sour cream and bacon. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Beef Green Chili Cornbread Skillet

When I saw this recipe on my blogging pal Renee's blog,  I knew it was a recipe I wanted to try.  If you haven't been to Renee's blog, Cheery Kitchen, you should check it out.  She and I have been blogging buddies for four or five years.  Renee has the best recipes and beautiful photos!

I used my favorite hatch chile's for the green chili's in this recipe.  They were a delicious addition to an already terrific recipe.  I also had corn in the freezer from extra ears of corn on the cob.  My husband said "oh this is good, I'd have this again!"  A true compliment!  Renee, thanks for a great addition to my recipe box.

Beef Green Chile Cornbread Skillet
Recipe Courtesy of Cheery Kitchen

Serves: 12 servings
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups green enchilada sauce (I used red)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles (I used Hatch Chile's)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pink beans, drained (I left these out)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box cornbread mix, (I used Jiffy)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 8 ounces cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Over medium high heat in a large skillet, brown beef and onion together. Drain fat and return to pan.
  3. Add green chile sauce, cumin, salt and pepper, green chiles, beans, olives and corn and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix cornbread mix with egg and milk and pour over top of beef and vegetables.
  5. Place skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and serve.
  8. Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, and tomato chunks if desired.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Forever Royal!

 It's been 30 years since my home town celebrated a World Series win.  Over those 30 years, there were many where few people went to games and few watched on TV.  My how times have changed, over the past few years,  The Kansas City Royals drafted a talented group of players.  These players have determination and heart like nothing I've ever seen.  Their determination, talent and heart payed off just after midnight last night when they were crowned the 2015 World Series Champions!

Lucky enough to see these guys in Surprise this year during Spring Training, I was ready for a fun season.  From the beginning I felt they could Take The Crown!  162 regular games and 16 post season games,  I've watched all but a few!  Another come from behind victory last night, these guys never gave up!!

Can't wait for the 2016 season, how many days to opening day?!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta Bites

This recipe was originally presented on The Kitchen as an appetizer.  I decided to give it a try as a side dish.   These polenta bites begin with stove top polenta, poured into a square pan and cooled.  Mine was set and chilled in about an hour.    Once it's set, cut into squares and coat with panko.  I had trouble getting the panko to stick to the top side of the polenta.  Once I gave it a quick spray with olive oil, no problem getting the panko to stick to the top side.

I really wanted to taste the goat cheese in this recipe and neither Tim or I could find it.    Perhaps,  I should have used a bigger pan, made a smaller batch or used more goat cheese.  I love the idea of this recipe and will try again, with a smaller batch, more goat cheese and a little heavier on the spices.  Also, the original recipe says not to use quick cooking polenta.  I did and it worked just fine.  Anyone know how to prevent polenta from bubbling all over your hands and the stove when you make it? 


Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta Bites

Makes 16 Bites
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for pan
1 3/4 cups water, plus more if necessary
1 cup milk
3/4 cup stone-ground coarse cornmeal (not quick-cooking or instant)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup soft goat cheese
2 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs 

Butter an 8x8-inch pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring water and milk to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and gradually whisk in the cornmeal, salt, and pepper. Cook uncovered until the polenta is thick and creamy, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir often to prevent sticking or clumping. If it starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add more water, 2 teaspoons at a time.

Once the polenta is very thick and creamy, fold in goat cheese, 1 tablespoon of the chives, and thyme. Stir a few times until the goat cheese has melted into the polenta. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Scoop the hot polenta into the prepared baking dish, and spread into an even layer. Refrigerate until firm, for at least one hour or overnight. Slice into 16 small squares. Spread the panko and remaining 1 tablespoon chives on a large plate and press each side of the polenta squares gently into the panko to coat completely.

In a nonstick pan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pan-fry the polenta squares for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and crispy. As the polenta soaks up some of the oil, you’ll likely need to add 1 additional tablespoon to keep it from sticking. Once finished cooking, set on top of a paper towel-covered plate to soak up excess oil, and plate immediately. Serve warm.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake

It's that time of year when everything includes pumpkin.  If you're a fan of those pumpkin lattes at your favorite coffee shop, you'll love this cake.  Moist with hints of coffee and a deep pumpkin flavor.  I made this cake a few weeks ago when friends came for dinner.  Normally I would send the leftovers to work with Tim, rather than keep them around to tempt us each evening.  Not with this one, it was so good, I couldn't give it up.  And yes, I ate way too much cake.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cake with Cinnamon Frosting
Recipe courtesy of Baking Bites
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp water
2 tsp instant espresso or 1 packet Starbucks Via

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, egg, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until very smooth. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in remaining flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
In a small bowl, combine water and instant espresso or Starbucks Via and stir to dissolve. Add in 1 cup of pumpkin cake batter and stir until batter and coffee are well-combined.
Place dollops of pumpkin batter around your prepared pan, intermixed with dollops of coffee batter. Use a butter knife or spatula to swirl the two batters together.
Bake for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow cake to cool completely before icing. Spreading icing on in a thin, even layer.
Serves 16-20
Cinnamon Frosting
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp brewed coffee, cold
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2-2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together at high speed. Gradually blend in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is soft and spreadable.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Crock Pot Caramel Apple Cake

Can you believe it's October?  I hope everyone is enjoying a beautiful fall season.  We've been blessed with amazing weather.  I'm hoping for a few more weeks before .....  winter!!  What else reminds you of fall?  Apples?  A couple of weeks ago Tim went with our friend the landscaper to pick apples.  Tim brought me home at least 4 dozen.

The third Monday of the month brings us Secret Recipe Club.  You can find out about this group, here!  For October SRC I was assigned Melissa's Cuisine.  A little about Melissa and her blog....

Let's start with the basics...I'm in my early 20's and I have been married to my sweet husband, Mike, since 2010.  We live in West Michigan with our adorable puppy, Champ.  We have a beautiful baby girl, Summer.  During the day, I am the office manager at a busy (and growing) counseling agency.  I spend most of my free time in the kitchen, so I've started running to avoid gaining a ton of weight from all the food I make!  So far, I've run a handful of 5k races and a half marathon.  I've recently discovered a passion for health and fitness and I love working out!  

I've only made a dessert in the slow cooker one time.  A camping weekend several years ago, I tried a chocolate cake.   It was delicious and fudgy and so easy in the slow cooker.  Tim had requested an apple crisp, busy making jam, apple butter and apple sauce with my bounty of apples, I decided to make this cake.  It's moist and delicious and quick to put together.  A perfect fall dessert.

Crock Pot Caramel Apple Cake
Recipe Courtesy of Melissa's Cuisine
1 C flour 
3/4 C brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large apples, peeled and diced
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
Caramel Topping

1.  In a medium bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

2.  Add diced apples to flour mixture and stir to coat.

3.  In a small bowl, mix eggs and vanilla.

4.  Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently stir.  

5.  Pour into a greased crock-pot.

6.  Cover and bake on high for 2 hours. 

7.  Drizzle with warmed caramel topping before serving. Serve along side whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.  

Note: This recipe is the perfect size for a small crock pot, if you're using a larger one, you may want to double the recipe.