Sunday, August 26, 2012

Seasonal Front Door Deco

As much as I would love to jump on the Fall/Autumn bandwagon, I'm holding back for another couple of weeks.  With the weather still on the warm side, it's hard to get into the mood ALTHOUGH I did add a couple of Fall decorations around the house.  As I went down to the basement to check out my Fall stash, I was thrilled to find my pumpkins, apple decor, Fall leaves, rustic cans, etc., but I left them behind to wait another couple of weeks.  Hopefully by then it will be a bit cooler and dryer.  Can't wait!!

This is what my front door decoration looked like for the Spring and Summer.  I really liked but it was time for a change.

 It was so easy to update with the Fall flowers and it didn't cost me a penny.  I just pulled out a strand of mini mum flowers and stuffed them in the pot.  Added a sprig of greenery and that was it.  

Bring on Fall, I'm SOOO ready!

Hope you had a great weekend and savored every moment!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

(click on images to get a closer view)

copycat recipe adapted from Todd Wilburs, "Top Secret Recipes"

2 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix
4 tbsps. cold butter
1 heaping cup grated Cheddar cheese (I used sharp Cheddar)
3/4 cup cold whole milk
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Brush on Top
2 tbsps. butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I used a garlic powder spice that already had Parsley flakes)
1/4 tsp. dried parsley flakes
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  Combine Bisquick with cold, cold butter in a medium bowl

Use a pastry cutter or a large fork.  You don't want to mix too thoroughly.  There should be small chunks of butter in there that are about the size of peas.

Add Cheddar cheese, milk

and 1/4 teaspoon garlic.  Mix by hand (I used a small rubber spatula, I was too chicken to use my hands), but don't over mix.

Drop approximately 1/4 cup portions of the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet using and ice cream scoop.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits begin to turn light brown.  When you take the biscuits out of the oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl.  Stir in 1/2 tsp. garlic powder and the dried parsley flakes.

Use a brush to spread this garlic butter over the tops of all the biscuits.  Use up all the butter.

Serve with your favorite seafood.  Pictured here:
Lobster Rolls, Shrimp Quesadillas and Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

Hope you had a blessed weekend and savored every moment.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quesadillas de Camarones

(Shrimp Quesadillas) by Ree Drummond
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
Salt to taste
7 oz. Mexican tomato sauce (or enchilada sauce)
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
6 tbsps. butter, for fying
12 large flour tortillas
2 1/2 cups grated cheese (Monterey Jack is best)
Pico de gallo for serving, optional
Guacamole for serving, optional

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Throw in the shrimp (be careful not to splatter it all over yourself).  Toss around  and cook until the shrimp are opaque, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to low.
Pour in the tomato sauce (all I had were Mexican tomatoes in a can so I put them in the food processor, added some cumin and garlic salt and mixed it to make the sauce).  Stir around and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes.  Remove the shrimp from the skillet and chop it into chunks.  Set these aside for a bit.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil in the same skillet over high heat.  Throw in the onion and peppers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the peppers have a few dark brown/black areas.  Remove the peppers from the skillet and set them aside.

In an iron skillet, sizzle 1/2 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat and lay a flour tortilla in the skillet.  Cover with grated cheese (I used a mixture of block Monterey/Cheddar cheese as that was all I had).

Cover the cheese with peppers . . .

and lay the chopped shrimp on top of the peppers.  When the tortilla is golden, top with a second tortilla. . . 

. . . and carefully flip the quesadilla to the other side (I used a large pancake style spatula), add more butter if you'd like.  Continue cooking until the second side is golden.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas and fillings.

Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with your favorite sides or salsas.

Today I commemorated the end of summer.  I know, I know the calendar shows we still have a couple of weeks left but you bloggy chicks aren't helping.  Seems like everyone is coming out with their Fall decor and ideas that it's getting me anxious for Fall to get here as well.  I'm so ready anyways for this Summer to be over.  What with hot flashes and night sweats, as well as a five day power outage for most of the city back in June when the temps were in triple digits, can you blame me??  I decided to pretend I was in lovely Cape Cod, in a beach house with a wrap around porch, feeling the cool seabreeze blowing through, as I eat my favorite seafood.  These quesadillas were a hit with everyone.  Cheesy, plump, meaty, spicy shrimp quesadillas are so delicious.  I served them with some Lobster Rolls, and homemade Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits (which I will blog tomorrow), yum - finger lickin good!!  Well,  I gotta run to a Football Fan Fest my favorite college team is having tonight :)  Yay, football is just around the corner too!!  Have a great weekend and savor every moment!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Italian Casserole Revived

Leftover Italian Casserole (hubby's version)
1 Jar favorite Italian sauce
2 tbsps. fresh Basil, chopped
1 1/2 tbsps. fresh garlic, minced
2 cups freshly shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 cup Ricotta cheese
Extra virgin Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Hubby made a large pot of Italian style pasta and sauce a couple days ago.  We had so much leftover I decided to tweak it today and make it for supper.  On med-low heat, add pasta to a pot, add half a jar of the sauce, a couple of squirts of the olive oil and stir it in.  Simmer and stir occasionally.

Add garlic

add fresh chopped Basil.  Stir in completely.

In a prepared pan (I sprayed with cooking spray), pour some of the reserved sauce, just enough to cover the bottom of a 13"x9" pan

Add half the pasta, top it off with a couple of drizzles of the olive oil and half of what's left of the sauce.

Next add about 10 tbsps. of Ricotta cheese and a layer of the freshly grated Mozzarella cheese.  Repeat with another layer of the same.  Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until bubbly.
and that's all there is to it.  Very simple, tweaked up meal for a Saturday.

The fresh basil and garlic sure made a difference in this dish as well as the olive oil.  Took it to another tasty and savory level.  I served it with some buttered green beans and toasted garlic bread.

 Here's my fresh Basil plant out back, blooming in abundance.

So enjoy your weekend by cooking something quick and simple and remember to savor every moment.

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