Sunday, August 13, 2017

Coconut Shrimp copycat inspired by Red Lobster

Quick Coconut Shrimp Recipe photo by Taste of Home

One of my favorite meals ever!  

This copycat recipe was inspired by Red Lobster's Parrot Isle Coconut Shrimp.

Can't wait to try out these shrimp as well as the Pina Colada Sauce!


1 pound uncooked jumbo shrimp (about 12), peeled and deveined
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1-1/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
Oil for deep-fat frying
1 jar (12 ounces) pineapple preserves
1 tablespoon frozen nonalcoholic pina colada mix, thawed


Starting with the tail, make a slit down the inner curve of each shrimp; press lightly to flatten. 

In three separate shallow bowls, place the flour, egg whites and coconut. 

Coat the shrimp with flour; dip into egg whites, then coat with the coconut.

In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375°. 

Fry shrimp, a few at a time, for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. 

Drain on paper towels.

Pina Colada Sauce

In a small bowl, combine preserves and pina colada mix. 

Serve with shrimp. Yield: 4 servings.

Originally published as Coconut Fried Shrimp in Simple & Delicious November/December 2006, p46, Taste of Home

Inspired by: Parrot Isle Jumbo Coconut Shrimp from Red Lobster

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Sunday, July 30, 2017

National Cheesecake Day

PHILADELPHIA Classic Cheesecake

Happy National Cheesecake Day!

One of my favorite cookbooks is from Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese which is loaded with all types of cheesecake and other cream cheese delicacies.  The Classic, pictured above from their website, is the mother of all cheesecakes.  The link includes a video for this delicious and easy cheesecake.

Anyway, the cookbook is the most used in my collection and includes the cheesecake I make most often . . . Chocolate Chip Cheesecake.

Click here for all of the cheesecake recipes on my blog.

Here is a list of cheesecake links you can get lost in searching for your perfect cheesecake: Cheesecake Recipes

Taste of Home Top 10 Cheesecake Recipes

Southern Living To-Die-For Cheesecakes

Food Network Cheesecake Ideas

Kraft Recipes Cheesecakes

Martha Stewart - Our Favorite Cheesecake Recipes

Simply Recipes Perfect Cheesecake

The Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake Recipe (copycat)

Reddiwip Cheesecake Recipes

The 91 Most Delish Cheesecake Recipes

BBC Good Food Cheesecake Recipes Collection

Epicurious Cheesecake Recipes

Betty Crocker Cheesecake Recipes

Moms Who Think Cheesecake Recipes

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Coconut Cream Cheese Pie

Both The Captain and I are big fans of desserts that include cream cheese . . . we are definitely making the pie this week!  

This recipe from is quick and easy . . . only 15 minute prep time!  

Please note the substitutions at the end of the recipe for flavor variations, how to make a lower fat version and how to toast coconut.


48 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)

1/4 cup butter, melted

1-1/4 cups BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, divided

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, divided

2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding (see substitutes at the end of recipe)

2 cups plus 1 Tbsp. cold milk, divided

2 cups thawed COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping

1 Tbsp. sugar


Heat oven to 350º F.

Combine wafer crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup coconut. 

Press into bottom of 9-inch pie plate. 

Bake 10 minutes. 


Microwave cream cheese in bowl on HIGH 10 seconds or just until softened.  Stir until creamy. 

Beat pudding mixes and 2 cups milk in large bowl with whisk for 2 minutes. 

Add half the cream cheese and mix well. Stir in 3/4 cup of the remaining coconut and 1 cup COOL WHIP.  Pour into crust.

Add sugar and remaining milk to remaining cream cheese and mix well. Stir in remaining COOL WHIP and spread over pie. 

Refrigerate 3 hours. 

Toast remaining coconut.
Sprinkle toasted coconut over pie just before serving.


Prepare using 

JELL-O Coconut Cream Flavor Instant Pudding 
. . . or . . . 
JELL-O SIMPLY GOOD Vanilla Bean Flavor Pudding

For a lower fat version, substitute low fat or no fat milk and cream cheese.  I have used them in many recipes and can barely notice the difference.

How to Toast Coconut:

Spread BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut evenly in shallow baking pan. 

Bake at 350°F for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. 

Or, spread in microwave pie plate. 

Microwave on HIGH 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring every minute. 

Watch carefully as coconut can easily burn!

Recipe and Photo Source

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

I never would have thought of this very clever combination of my favorites!

This seems like a quick and easy recipe!  The most difficult part is stuffing the pasta shells.  I was thinking that this recipe would also work with manicotti pasta shells.

The recipe comes from Pillsbury.


8 oz uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 24 shells from 12-oz box)

1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix

1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted crushed tomatoes, undrained

1 package (8 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend (2 cups) 

1 cup diced plum (Roma) tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oven to 350°F. 

Cook and drain pasta shells as directed on box.

While cooking pasta, cook beef  in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thoroughly cooked; drain. 

Add taco seasoning mix, crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of the shredded cheese; stir well until cheese is melted.

Fill each pasta shell with about 1 tablespoon beef mixture; place in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Top filled shells with plum tomatoes and chopped cilantro; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Serve warm.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Coconut Cream Cheese Poundcake

A piece of this pound cake, preferably warm out of the oven, with a cup of coffee is my idea of an awesome breakfast.

The combination of cream cheese and coconut topped with that fabulous glaze makes me want to make this pound cake right now!

The recipe can be found here, at Cookies and Cups, one of my favorite food blogs.

Click here for more pound cake recipes on my blog!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Triple-Layered Strawberry Cake

If you love strawberries, this is the cake for you!

The cake was very easy to make, however, it turned out to be a comedy of errors for me. 

First of all, the original recipe called for a buttercream frosting with 1 cup of finely chopped strawberries, which was way too much liquid and made the frosting way too runny. Please note the section about the frosting in the recipe.

Error #2 for me was not paying attention to what I was doing and made the cake with two pans instead of three.  If you choose to make yours two layers, make the cooking time 30 minutes.

The delicious smell of strawberries fills the air when you bake this cake!

Ingredients for cake only:

1 (18.25-ounce) package white cake mix
1 (3-ounce) package strawberry gelatin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk


Mix all ingredients together for one minute, scrape down the sides, and beat an additional two minutes.

Pour batter into three greased and floured cake pans. Bake for 23 minutes at 350 F or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove from the pan to cool completely.

To assemble the cake, place one cake on a plate. Spread the strawberry buttercream frosting over the top, and place the next cake on this. Press slightly, and then spread more buttercream frosting on top of this cake. Place the third cake on top, pressing slightly. Use the remaining frosting to frost the outside of the cake.

Frost cake with your favorite cream cheese or buttercream frosting with 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries added.  The original recipe called for 1 cup strawberries, but it made the frosting way too runny.

Source: Southern Living

Friday, February 17, 2017

Almond Danish Puff

Pastry is one of my favorite things for a quick breakfast with a cup of coffee. Almond danish is my favorite! I'll have to figure out how to sneak in some cream cheese after I've made it once.


1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water

1⁄2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs

Creamy Almond Glaze
1 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
1 or 2 tablespoon warm water or 1 or 2 tablespoon milk
sliced almonds


Heat oven to 350º F.

Using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, cut 1/2 cup softened butter into 1 cup flour, until particles are size of coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water over mixture; mix with fork.

Gather pastry into ball and divide in half.

Form each half into rectangle, 12x3 inches, about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Heat remaining 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water to rolling boil in 2-quart saucepan and remove from heat.

Quickly stir in almond extract and 1 cup flour.

Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute until mixture forms a ball and remove from heat.

Add eggs and beat until smooth. Spread half of the topping over each rectangle.

Bake about 1 hour until topping is crisp and brown and remove from pan to wire rack.

Cool completely.

Spread with Creamy Almond Glaze and sprinkle with almonds.

Creamy Almond Glaze:

Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.  Glaze the Danish puff.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mario Batali's Chiles Rellenos Casserole

The Captain and I love spicy texmex meals . . . this one doesn't look like it will disappoint us!

The recipe comes from Mario Batali from The Chew, so you know it has to be good :)


10-12 peppers (either Hatch or Anaheim, 1 pepper seeded and chopped)
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion (peeled, sliced)
2 cloves garlic (peeled, thinly sliced)
4 teaspoons ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (plus more to taste)
1 can evaporated milk (13 ounces)
4 large eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups jarred salsa (divided)
10 ounces cheddar cheese (shredded)
10 ounces monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
sour cream (to serve)
raisins (to serve)
pecans (to serve)


For the Roasted Chile Peppers: 

Char the peppers, by putting them either over the open flame of a gas grill or under a broiler for a few minutes, turning them to make sure they don't burn. Put the charred peppers in a zip-top bag or a bowl covered with plastic wrap and let steam for 20 minutes. The skins should easily slip off. Pull the stem off to remove the seedpod. Slit open the side of the chiles and scrape out the remaining seeds and veins. Discard the skins, pods, seeds, and veins. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, chopped Anaheim pepper, onion, and garlic. Add the chili powder, cumin, and salt to taste.

In a bowl, beat the milk, eggs, cilantro, and flour together.

Arrange half the chiles in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the ground beef mixture, half of the salsa, half of the cheese, the remaining peppers, the milk mixture, the remaining salsa and the remaining cheese. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges are brown. Turn on the broiler and put the casserole under the broiler for 6 to 8 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.

Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve with sour cream, raisins, and pecans.

Tip: If you can't find Hatch or Anaheim peppers use poblano peppers.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chicken Bacon Ranch Tater Tots Casserole

This recipe sounds and looks delicious and easy!


1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion 
1 can (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend (8 oz)
1 package (1 oz) ranch dressing & seasoning mix
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 bag (32 oz) Ore-Ida™ Tater Tots™ frozen potatoes
1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon 
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes 
1/4 cup sliced green onions


Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat oil over medium heat in nonstick skillet (8- or 10-inch). Cook onion in oil, stirring occasionally, until tender (3 to 5 minutes).

In medium bowl, combine and stir onion, condensed soup, sour cream, milk, 1 cup of the cheese, 2 tablespoons of the dressing mix and the black pepper until mixed well.  Stir in chicken.

Place half of the frozen potatoes in single layer on bottom of baking dish. 

Spoon and spread chicken mixture on top of potatoes and sprinkle 1/4 cup of the bacon on top.

In large resealable food-storage plastic bag, add remaining potatoes with remaining dressing mix.  Seal and shake bag to coat.  Arrange on top of casserole.

Bake 40 minutes; top casserole with remaining 1 cup cheese and 1/4 cup bacon.

Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and potatoes are lightly browned. Top with tomatoes and green onions.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Rice

Pati made this stew on her cooking show and I had to search for the recipe since it looked delicious.  

The recipe is versatile as far as using the seafood that your family prefers. When I get around to making this, it will include shrimp, fish and crab.


1 whole (about 3 pounds) white-fleshed, mild-flavored fish, such as red snapper, grouper, or rock fish, boned and filleted OR 1 pound fish fillets
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
2 jalapeño or serrano chiles or to taste
8 garlic cloves, 5 finely chopped, 3 peeled and left whole
1/2 cup coarsely chopped white onion
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher or coarse salt or to taste, divided
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound cleaned squid rinsed and sliced into 1/4" rings
1 pound medium shrimp peeled (shells and tails reserved if making broth)
2 cups long or extra long white rice or jasmine rice
5 cups seafood or fish broth (homemade or store bought)
1 large fresh epazote sprig or 3 cilantro sprigs
12 small to medium fresh clams scrubbed and rinsed
12 small to medium fresh mussels scrubbed and rinsed


NOTE: If you plan on making the seafood or fish broth, get the whole fish and ask your fish monger to clean it for you and to give you the head, bones and tail to use for the broth. Also, save the shrimp shells and tails to use in the broth, as well. 

Cut the fish fillets so that you have 6 more or less equally sized pieces. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside. 

Place the tomatoes, jalapeños, and the 3 whole garlic cloves in a medium saucepan, cover with water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer until the tomatoes are fully cooked and very soft, about 10 minutes. 

Transfer the tomatoes, garlic cloves, and only 1 of the jalapeños (puree one chile at a time, taste for heat, and add the other if desired) to a blender, and add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Puree until completely smooth. 

Rinse and dry the saucepan and heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in it over medium heat. Once hot, add the tomato puree and cover the pan partially with a lid, as the puree will sputter and jump. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick, dark and fragrant, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. 

In a large, wide casserole, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over high heat. Once hot, toss in the squid, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, add half of the finely chopped garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove the squid and the garlic with a slotted spoon and place in a heatproof bowl.

Add the shrimp to the casserole, along with another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and half of the remaining chopped garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring and flipping the shrimp over halfway through. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the bowl with the squid. 

Reduce the heat to medium and add 1/4 cup of the remaining olive oil to the casserole. Once hot, add the rice and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the casserole, until the rice is crackling and coated with oil, feels heavier in the pan as you stir it, and the color of the grains has changed from a pale white to a deep milky white. 

Pour the cooked-down tomato puree over the rice.  It will sizzle and smoke a bit, which is what you want. 

Cover partially with a lid and cook, stirring a couple of times, until the rice absorbs most of the sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the seafood broth and stir the rice, scraping the bottom of the casserole. Add the epazote or cilantro sprigs and reduce the heat to medium-low. 

Gently arrange the reserved shrimp and squid on top of the rice, adding any of their juices from the bowl, as well as the clams, mussels and seasoned fish fillets. 

Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and can be easily pulled apart with a fork, and the clams and mussels have opened up. 

Turn off the heat and serve immediately in soup plates. The rice should be tender and the mixture very soupy.

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