Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shrimp Scampi ~ different variations

My mind is still on Shrimp Scampi . . . 
and I have run across two other variations to try

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (about 16 to 24)
1/3 cup clarified butter
4 tablespoons minced garlic
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh if possible
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper, to taste


Rinse shrimp and set aside. 

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. 

Cook garlic 1 or 2 minutes or until softened but not browned. 

Add shrimp, green onions, wine and lemon juice.

Cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. 

Do not overcook the shrimp! 

Add chopped parsley and salt and pepper before serving. 

Garnish with lemon slices and parsley sprigs if desired.

Recipe Source


1/3 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 teaspoons OLD BAY® Seasoning
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon McCormick Parsley Flakes
1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. (Do not brown.)

2. Add shrimp and Old Bay; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink. Stir in lemon juice and parsley.

3. Serve over cooked pasta or rice, if desired.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pasta Bella!

Pasta meals are my favorite and I'm always searching for new variations to mix things up a bit.  I happened to catch one of the best episodes of Barefoot Contessa I've seen yet . . . Ina prepared five or six different pasta dishes . . . the episode was aptly named Pasta Bella.  This post features two of my favorite pasta dishes she prepared.

You would think with all the pasta I make that I would crave something different when I go out to eat.  I'm actually very picky about the pasta dishes I order when eating out, but when I want pasta and someone to wait on me, Carrabas Italian Restaurant is my favorite.  I always order Shrimp Scampi that seems to be very similar to the first recipe.  Believe it or not, I've never made this at home, but now that I have this recipe, we will be making this very soon!

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi


  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 pound large shrimp (about 16 shrimp), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, zest grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 lemon, thinly sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes


Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.
Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.
When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

As I was watching Ina make this pasta dish, the thought occurred to me that this is like a very fancy macaroni and cheese.  Of course I would add a variation to it . . . grilled italian sausage cut in diagonal slices, but you could also add chicken for another variation.

Penne with Five Cheeses


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes in thick tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup shredded imported Italian fontina (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Italian Gorgonzola (1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound imported penne rigate pasta
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil in a stockpot.
Combine all the ingredients except the penne and butter in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Drop the penne into the boiling water and parboil for 4 minutes. Drain well in a colander and add to the ingredients in the mixing bowl, tossing to combine.
Divide the pasta mixture among 6 shallow ceramic gratin dishes (1 1/2 to 2-cup capacity). Dot with the butter and bake until bubbly and brown on top, 7 to 10 minutes.

Click on the link for more recipes from this episode
Source:  The Food Network

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Italian Cream Cake

You would think this is a
made from scratch cake,
 but it is one of those
semi-homemade recipes 
to kick  up a plain cake mix 
and  frosting in a can.  


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package white cake mix with pudding
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 (3-1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
  • 2/3 cups chopped pecans, toasted and divided
  • 3 tablespoons rum (optional)
  • 2 (12-ounce) containers cream cheese frosting

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) round cake pans.
  2. Beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk, and oil with an electric beater on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in coconut and 2/3 cup pecans. Pour into prepared cake pans.
  3. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
  4. Sprinkle each cake layer with rum, if desired; let stand 10 minutes.
  5. Stir together frosting and remaining 1 cup pecans. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake (see Tips). Chill 2 hours before slicing.

Frosting Tips

Always cool the cake layers completely and brush away excess crumbs before frosting. Stack the first 2 layers on a serving plate, bottom-side up, then place the top layer right-side up. This will make a straight and tall cake. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the sides to set any crumbs then spread frosting generously on the sides and tops.

Recipe source and photo:  Mr. Food's website

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Potato Nests


  • 1  20-oz. pkg.  refrigerated shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 2    eggs, beaten
  • 1  Tbsp.  snipped fresh chives
  • 1/2  tsp.  salt
  • 12    eggs
  • 2/3  cup  milk
  • 1/4  tsp.  salt
  • 1/4  tsp.  ground black pepper
  • 2  Tbsp.  butter or margarine
  • 1-1/2  cups  shredded American cheese (6 ounces)
  •     Fresh chives (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together potatoes, the 2 beaten eggs, chives, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Shape mixture into 12 mounds (about 1/3 cup each) on prepared baking sheet. Press the back of a tablespoon into each mound, making a nest. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and set.
2. Meanwhile, beat together the 12 eggs, milk, the 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper with a rotary beater. In a 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat; pour in egg mixture. Cook over medium heat without stirring until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edge.
3. With a spatula, lift and fold the partially cooked egg mxiture so that the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through but is still glossy and moist. Remove from heat.
4. Spoon about 1/3 cup of egg mixture into each potato nest. Sprinkle cheese over eggs. Return to oven; bake about 2 minutes or until cheese melts. If desired, garnish with chives. Makes: 12 servings

nutrition facts

  • Calories205.3, 
  • Total Fat (g)12.4, 
  • Saturated Fat (g)6, 
  • Cholesterol (mg)266.3, 
  • Sodium (mg)487.6, 
  • Carbohydrate (g)11, 
  • Fiber (g).6, 
  • Protein (g)12.2, 
  • Vitamin C (DV%)5,
  • Calcium (DV%)13, 
  • Iron (DV%)6, 
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

My variations . . . Use large muffin pan instead of baking sheet . . . substitute cheddar cheese for american cheese . . . add bacon or sausage.  What an awesome presentation!

Recipe and photo source:  Better Homes and Gardens

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gooey Butter Cake

The title says it all . . . 
a decadent cake from Paula Deen!



1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
8 tablespoons butter, melted 
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer.  
Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.  
Prepare Filling
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  
Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. 
Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well.  
Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes.  
Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

Source:  Paula Deen
Visit Our Etsy Shop