I grew up in the midwest but Mother would buy shrimp every once in a while which she always served boiled. We didn’t do a traditional coastal shrimp boil, however, just boiled shrimp as the entree. Served with her shrimp sauce — half mayo and half ketchup. Sheet pan dinners are a fad now and they certainly are easy. You dump everything on a sheet pan, put it in the oven and voila, you have a one pan dinner! This sheet pan shrimp boil made the icy weather go away — it’s simple and delicious!
I adore scones and a special tea treat are cheese ones. They’re easy and bake up quickly. They are a cousin to a biscuit and this recipe can be transformed into those beloved Red Lobster Biscuits by dipping them in a half cup of melted butter to which a ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder has been added. Me, I prefer them as is with a steaming pot of tea in the afternoon!
1 ¾ c. flour
2 t. Baking powder
½ t. Salt
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 450
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Stir in cheese and mix. Stir in cream until soft dough forms. Put on floured board and knead a few times. Pat out ½ to ¾ inch thick and cut with biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until done.
IF, making Red Lobster biscuits, spoon the butter/garlic powder mixture over the biscuits as they come out of the oven.
I like simple cakes and this one is superb! A nice lemony cake made moist by the addition of mascarpone. It’s like the LBD of cakes — you can dress up or down!
1 ½ c. flour
½ t. Baking powder
¼ t. Salt
⅔ c. powdered sugar
½ c. butter, melted
7 oz. mascarpone*
½ t. Vanilla
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a loaf pan (I like to put a piece of parchment in the bottom)
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat together with whisk attachment, the eggs and powdered sugar until creamy. Add the melted butter and the mascarpone and beat on low. Add the vanilla and the lemon zest and juice.
Add flour mixture and beat slowly until the flour is all incorporated.
Pour batter in the prepared pan. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
*My container of mascarpone was 8 ounces so I used the full carton.
I’m not Swedish but we do enjoy a few Swedish foods — spritz cookies, Swedish tea cakes, Swedish pancakes and Swedish meatballs. They’re easy to make and taste best when served on top of noodles and with lingonberries if you can find them (cranberries are a good substitute if you cannot.)
1 pound 80% (or leaner) ground beef
½ pound lean ground pork
1 small onion, finely chopped
¾ c. panko bread crumbs
2 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
½ t. Salt
⅛ t. Pepper
1 t. Worchestershire sauce
½ c. milk
¼ c. butter
¼ c. flour
1 t. Paprika
¼ t. Salt
⅛ t. Pepper
2 c. water
¼ c. sour cream
In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients until well blended. Shape into 1 ½ inch balls. Place meatballs in large skillet, cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until browned. Remove meatballs from skillet; cover to keep them warm.
In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. With wire whisk, stir in flour, paprika, salt and pepper; cook, stirring until bubbly. Slowly add water, stirring constantly until mixture boils and thickents. Add meatballs to gravy. Cook over medium low heat 8 to 10 minutes or until meatballs are throughly cooked. Stir in sour cream until blended and hot.
Daughter Sarah lives in Minnesota and creamy wild rice soup is as much tradition there as is The Hot Dish. We always have wild rice in the larder and it can easily be made with leftover chicken or with rotisserie chicken. It’s a good soup and we like the nutty flavor of the wild rice!
1 c. wild rice
¼ c. oil
1 onion, chopped
2 medium carrots (peeled and chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 t. Dried thyme (or 1 T. fresh)
¾ c. flour
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
Salt and pepper
1 c. half and half (or cream)
½ cup chopped parsley
Cook wild rice in 4 cups of water for 45 minutes or until it fluffs up. Drain any remaining liquid left in the pot. Set aside.
In a large pot, add oil. Saute onions, carrots and celery until soft, about 3 minutes. Add thyme and flour. Cook and stir for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in chicken stock. Bring to a boil
Add cooked chicken, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and allow soup to simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked wild rice and pour in half and half (or cream). Bring soup back up to a boil and allow it to heat through, about 5 minutes.
I like easy chicken recipes. One that you can throw in the oven and in 30 minutes or an hour you have your dinner entree. This is good and easy and I like the hint of cinnamon. My favorite way to serve it is with Garlic-Sour Cream Noodles (really linguine).
6 chicken breasts, skinned and deboned
¼ c. butter
1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
¼ c. butter
2 T. sesame seeds
1 ½ c. chopped onions
12 oz. jar apricot preserves
½ t. Cinnamon
1 T. pepper
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Roll chicken breasts in seasoned flour and place in skillet. Saute breasts until lightly browned on each side, then place in a 9 x 9 glass casserole. Melt ¼ c. butter and sautee onions and sesame seeds until onions are tender. Add apricot preserves, cinnamon and pepper, cooking until preserves are dissolved, and sauce is smooth. Pour sauce over chicken breasts, cover tightly (I use foil) and bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
This time of year I love seasonal desserts. The flavors of Christmas. This peppermint cheesecake pie is so simple, must be made ahead and is the flavor of the season! It’s no bake and goes together quickly. And who doesn’t like something made with cream cheese and cream? It would make a good dessert for any holiday dinner.
PEPPERMINT CHEESECAKE PIE
22 Oreo cookies
3 T. melted butter
1 T. sugar
16 oz. softened Cream Cheese
16 oz. heavy cream
1 c. sugar
¼ c. powdered sugar
1 t. Peppermint extract
6 drops pink food coloring
Crust Oreos in food processor and add melted butter and sugar. Press mixture into bottom and partway up sides of springform pan.
Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to firm.
Beat cream cheese and sugar until well mixed. Set aside.
Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
Fold and blend cream cheese mixture into whipped cream mixture
Add food coloring and peppermint into filling mixture.
Pour/spread into pan.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours or until firm.
You can garnish with dollops of whipped topping and crushed peppermints if desired.
It seems that this time of year there are a lot of “come and bring” parties. The trick of lining a small bundt pan with Saran to form your “cheeseball” works with other recipes — as long as you use two 8 ounce packages of cream cheese. This recipe is festive for this time of year, but good at any time — just form it into a ball if it is not December!
HOLIDAY CHEESE BALL
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces Cheddar, shredded
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
½ c. pickled Peppadew peppers*
Salt and pepper to taste
½ c. freshly chopped parsley
¼ c. freshly chopped chives
Line small bundt pan with Saran Wrap. Mix cheeses, add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Fold in all but 2 T. of the peppers. Pat into lined mold and refrigerate at least overnight. Next day unmold and pat parsley and chives around the outside. Use the reserved 2 T. of peppers to decorate the top of “wreath”.
*If you can’t find Peppadews, plain old pimentos would work well.
This is the time of the year that often you need to take something to a party — “finger food” — as it is often called. Although I have a lot of old favorites, I’m always looking for new recipes. I tasted this first at Kitchen Connections Holiday Open House in Nevada. It’s one of those simple recipes that you just put together. Often you have all the ingredients on hand, however, I think it needs time to develop so I think it needs to be made a day ahead.
ORANGE MARMALADE CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
8 ounces softened cream cheese
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
1 bunch green onions, chopped (unless you buy the big package, then use 6), white and green parts
1 ½ c. mayonnaise
½ c. orange marmalade
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds, chopped
Sliced almonds, for garnish
Mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onions and mayonnaise. Add chopped almonds. Put into a wide shallow dish. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
I adore special desserts during December and although old favorites are often on the menu, I also enjoy trying new things. Some of which become favorites like this recipe for Cassata. An Italian dessert it’s an easy dessert for it starts with a boughten pound cake and then it’s just put together. But for as little effort as it takes, it is a “wow” dessert.
2 c. Ricotta cheese
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. liqueur (sherry, brandy, Amaretto, I used Maraschino liqueur)
1/4 c. finely chopped candied cherries
1/4 c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 pound cake (I used Sara Lee frozen)
1 c. mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 t. instant coffee dissolved in 1/4 c. boiling water
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, chilled
sliced almonds for garnish
Combine ricotta, sugar, liqueur and mix until silky. Fold in candied cherries and 1/4 c. semi sweet chocolate chips. Set aside.
Cut pound cake in half horizontally using sharp serrated knife. Cut each half again horizontally. Place pound cake on serving platter. Spread 1/4 ricotta mixture evenly over cake. Repeat procedure twice. Top with remaining cake layer; press lightly to compact layers. Cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile heat 1 c. chocolate chips and coffee in top of double boiler over hot, not boiling water. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Add butter pieces, one by one, stirring constantly, until all butter is added and melted. Remove from heat; let cool to spreading consistency, about 2 hours. Spread top and sides of cake with chocolate frosting. I garnished the cake with sliced almonds on top.