Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bangin' Grilled Shrimp

In my desire to eat healthy / lose weight, one of the blogs I frequent is Skinny Taste, and this is one of the best recipes I have found there:  Bangin' Grilled Shrimp Skewers.  I am not going to rewrite the recipe here because I pretty much followed it to the letter even in the procedure, but if you like spicy shrimp dishes, you need to try this.  And please, don't let the fact that it is a low calorie recipe stop you.  You will never know.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Overnight Oatmeal for Breakfast Ideas Mondays

If you are one of those people who want to eat breakfast but never have the time, then this is for you.  It is quick to put together the night before, and there is nothing to do but eat it in the morning. You don't even need to cook it.  Personally, I have not had time for breakfast all week, and when I did eat after no breakfast, it was quick and bad for  me, so I thought it was time to come up with a better plan.  This makes it the perfect addition to Breakfast Ideas Mondays for me this week - even though I'm not getting it on until Monday night.  

I have seen several recipes for this.  Most of them contain some sort of sweetener, but I didn't use any, so I didn't include it in the recipe, but feel free to use your favorite, if you think it needs it.  The recipe calls for applesauce, but I used blueberry applesauce because it is all I had on hand.  I adapted it from this recipe at The Yummy Life.  

As always, make sure you stop by Yummy Inspirations and check out all of the other recipes for Breakfast Ideas Mondays.

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

In search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie...

I have been trying different chocolate chip cookie recipes in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and this is the best so far.  I still think I am going to tweak it a bit, and will share it with you when I do, but this is really good as it is.  It has just a little bit of cornstarch it, and I think that is the biggest difference.  They don't spread and become flat like a lot of chocolate chip cookies.

I very slightly adapted this recipe from Kelsey at Apple a Day on Pintrest.  She adapted it from this recipe by Anna Olsen from Food Network Canada.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Raspberry Rose Panna Cotta

Wow, it has been quite a week!  If you have commented on something, emailed me, sent me a message somewhere else, etc. and I have not responded, I apologize.  I know you really don't want to know about my personal life, but it has really been hectic around here - final exam week, graduation, etc.,  AND we have had car trouble with BOTH cars.  I have literally been away from my computer for over fourteen hours some days.  But, now school is out, and while there will be summer trainings and there are still unresolved car issues, I don't foresee posting and communicating being a problem until August.  Whew!

Now about the panna cotta.  Panna cotta is a wonderfully easy dessert that is also impressive due to its beauty and taste.  And, it doesn't even take long to make.  It probably took me less that thirty minutes to make the panna cotta and the sauce both.  It just needs about four hours of refrigeration time.  It is perfect for a dinner party or any time you need to make something ahead of time - for example, when you have a food blog and want to do something that is actually really good and have the busiest week ever.

The panna cotta recipe here is an adaption of this one by David Lebovitz who adapted it from Secrets from My Tuscan Kitchen by Judy Witts.  You can oil molds and pour it into them instead of the wine glasses if you prefer and then unmold them just before serving.  If you are serving it in wine glasses though, just pour it in with no oil.  Then, after unmolding or not, just before you serve it, top it with the raspberry sauce.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Peas and Carrots

I have been wanting to do something with peas for spring for a while now, but I wanted it to be something not quite typical.  And, of course with this being Memorial Day weekend, if I am going to something for spring, it pretty much had to be now.  These are definitely not the peas and carrots you probably grew up on.  It is tangy, bright, pretty, and healthy.  I love the shaved carrots.  They are so pretty and add just the right crunch.  And, it comes together quickly, so it is great when you don't have a lot of time.  Make sure you do save time to chill it before adding the goat cheese though.

 Spring Pea and Shaved Carrot Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups peas
1 1/2 cups shaved carrots (about 2, shaved with a vegetable peeler)
2 Tbsp. coarse ground Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

Cook quinoa in water according to package directions.  Cook peas in boiling water just until barely done.  Don't let them get mushy.  Allow to cool both quinoa and peas to cool enough that they won't melt the goat cheese.  You can put them in the refrigerator to speed this up.  Combine peas, carrots, and quinoa.  Whisk together mustard, olive oil, dill weed, and pepper.  Pour over salad and stir to even distribute.  Crumble goat cheese on top.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pina Colada Oatmeal Smoothie for Breakfast Ideas Mondays

For the last two Breakfast Ideas Mondays, I have made recipes that were not exactly healthy (ok, that is an understatement), so I thought I would try to do a little better in the health department this week.  It also didn't hurt that I have ingested an enormous amount of cake this week due to having had a birthday, so I really was in the mood for something healthier.  Also, in case you have been observant and seen me say that I don't like bananas, let me just point out that I still don't like bananas, but they are not overly noticeable in this recipe, and I realize that most people think that smoothies must contain bananas.  They do add a bit of thickness that smoothies don't have without them.  The star of this smoothie though is the oatmeal.  I love the texture it gives the smoothie.  Plus, it really keeps you full longer, and it tastes great too.

I adapted this recipe from this one at Prevention RD, which is a great healthy eating blog.  If you want great recipes that are good for you, this is definitely the place to visit!  She adapted it from this Martha Stewart recipe.

As always, don't forget to stop by Yummy Inspirations and check out the other great breakfast ideas this week for Breakfast Ideas Mondays.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lemon Filled Lavender Shortbread Cookies

If you like lavender and lemon, or lavender or lemon, you need to try these.  Actually, you probably want to try them even if lavender and lemon are not your favorite flavors.  They are so good that I am having a really hard time not eating all of them myself.  When I made them, I really didn't have a cookie cutter that I thought was the right size.  I thought this one was too big, but really it is not.  When I am finished eating one, I still want more.  And, I have to confess that even though I like lavender, one of the reasons I made these was because I am watching my weight, and I didn't think would have the urge to eat a whole batch of lavender cookies the same way I would if they were chocolate.  I was wrong.

The shortbread recipe is one that I adapted from this one by  Martha Stewart .  The filling is a lemon cream cheese icing.  They are wonderful with tea and would be perfect for a tea party.  Hope you enjoy!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I am so excited.  Jody at Binomial Baker has given me the Kreativ Blogger Award and the Sunshine Award!  Thank you so much Jody!  You should definitely check out her blog.  It is wonderful!  And, she is studying to become a math teacher, which is what I do, so she has to be awesome.  These are my first awards so that makes the even better.  So, I knew I was supposed to do something, and pass these along, but I wasn't absolutely sure what, and I am one of those people who can't seem to just do what they think they are supposed to do.  I just have to be sure, so I did do a Google search, but it came back with some discrepancies about the numbers, so I went with the higher numbers, which were the numbers Jody used, so it seemed good.

For the Kreativ Blogger Award I am supposed to share ten things about myself, so here they are:

  1. I am a calculus teacher, which you probably already know, but I also teach other high school math.
  2. I have a daughter in college.
  3. I have a son that goes to the school where I teach.
  4. I have two cats - one really large male tabby and one really small female tabby.
  5. I have a West Highland White Terrier.
  6. I feel like I am terrible and listing things like this.
  7. The only food I absolutely won't eat is bananas.  Well, I might eat them blended into something or cooked, but plain or recognizable bananas are completely out of the question.
  8. I have huge cookbook collection.
  9. I have a patio pond that is full of frogs and lizards.
  10. I name the birds that come to my bird feeders.

For the Sunshine Award I am supposed to answer some specific questions.  I think this will be easier.

  1. Favorite Color:  purple
  2. Favorite Animal:  dogs
  3. Favorite Number:  I don't have one - which is probably odd for a math teacher.  I could make one up, but I wouldn't know where to start.  After all, there are an infinite number of numbers. 
  4. Favorite Drink:  lemonade
  5. Facebook or Twitter?:  Facebook
  6. Passion:  baking 
  7. Getting or Giving Presents?:  Giving because I am more comfortable with it.  And, if I have enough money for what I want to give, it is a lot of fun.
  8. Favorite Pattern: Polka-Dots!
  9. Favorite Day of the Week:  Saturday because I can sleep in.
  10. Favorite Flower: hyacinth

Finally, I am supposed to pass them both on, so here are the bloggers I am passing it on to.  I they are all wonderful, so please check them out!  If you are on the list, I will be notifying you with a comment on your blog tomorrow.

  1. Home Skillet - delicious recipes with beautiful photos
  2. Yummy Inspirations - yummy healthy recipes
  3. Plate Fodder - wonderful recipes with great stories
  4. Baking Perfection - lots of yummy baking recipes and other recipes too
  5. Moogie and Pap - great recipes with great photos
  6. Magnolia Days - a blog about life in the south also with great recipes
  7. Better with Veggies - a blog about healthy living with some great healthy recipes
  8. On Sugar Mountain - a baking blog with yummy recipes
  9. Wishes and Dishes - lots of delicious recipes
  10. She Makes and Bakes - wonderful recipes and photos

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

I had a wonderful Mothers' Day Sunday with my kids, my husband, and my parents.  My kids gave me The Pioneer Woman Cooks Food from My Frontier, which is Ree Drummond's newest cookbook.  This book has gorgeous photos, and I can't wait to cook from it!  I will definitely share the pictures of my attempts with you, but you should buy this book.  The photography alone is worth the price.

Now, about what we had to eat.  My Dad brought BBQ, and my husband grilled corn and my daughter (instructed by my husband) made this wonderful peach ice cream for dessert.  I told you my husband was suddenly into making ice cream - now he is teaching the kids to make it.  Peach is my mother's favorite flavor, so it was great for Mothers' Day.  And, it is about to be peach season again around here, so it was also good to use up some of the peaches we still had in the freezer from last year.  He adapted the recipe from this one at All Recipes by NANCED35.

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Best Buttermilk Biscuits with Chocolate Gravy for Breakfast Ideas Mondays

This week for Breakfast Ideas Mondays, I decided to make two southern favorites.  First, buttermilk biscuits, and these are the best, really, and then chocolate gravy.  I grew up in the metro-Atlanta area of Georgia, and buttermilk biscuits are a common staple in the area - though most people don't eat them regularly anymore due to the fat involved.  Chocolate gravy, however, is new to me.  I first saw it here on the You've Got to Taste This blog My Recipe.   I have seen it several other places online, but chose to use this recipe because it was the first.  At first, I could not imagine how any southern tradition, especially one involving chocolate, had escaped me, but after reading the comments, I realized that while it is definitely southern, it is also definitely from a different area - I think primarily Mississippi.  It is a deliciously sweet foil to the salty, buttery, biscuits.

A note about flour:  I use self-rising flour in the recipe, which is typical for a southern biscuit recipe. I believe it is available throughout the U.S. and in other countries, but I could be wrong.  I think using it frequently is very much a southern thing, but at this point, I really only use it for biscuits - though I did use it in the muffin last week because I had it and was trying for quick and easy.  You can convert all-purpose flour by adding 1 tsp. of baking powder and 1/2 tsp. of salt for each cup of flour. Additionally, southern cooks tend to be avid fans of White Lily flour - often saying that it essential to a certain recipe.  It does make particularly fluffy biscuits, but since I know it is not available everywhere, the science behind it is that it is very bleached and low protein similar to cake flour. Hey, I never claimed this was health food...  Maybe I'll try for healthier next week.

Be sure to check out the other great breakfast ideas this week for Breakfast Ideas Mondays at Yummy Inspirations.
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Friday, May 11, 2012

Sweet and Salty Pretzel Peanut Bars

These yummy bars are a sweet and salty version of the seven layer bars I grew up with. They are almost ridiculously easy to make and, aside from the cooling time, super fast too!  My only regret is that I only got one because I made them to send to my daughter to snack on during final exam week in college.  I've even been asked a couple of times by my son and husband if I sent all of them because they wanted another, so I will definitely have to make them again.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Key Lime and Biscoff Ice Cream

It seems my husband has developed a bit of an obsession with ice cream.  Ok, so we've only made two flavors, but he has many ideas and plans, so expect to see more over the next few warm weather months.  This one, in concept, was my idea, but he made it.  Thankfully, he is quite a good cook and enjoys helping me out.  It has been a bit extremely busy at school lately with end-of-the year 'stuff' going on, so I was very happy he agreed to make this ice cream for me.  We made it just because, but it would also make a great Mothers' Day recipe.  

My inspiration for this ice cream was this recipe from Southern Living Magazine.  Southern Living's recipe is for lemon, but I wanted key lime.  And, have you ever noticed how Biscoff cookies taste kind of like graham crackers.  Actually, they have a little more crunch and are a little sweeter than graham crackers and may even taste more like graham cracker crust than just plain graham crackers do.  So, I used Biscoff cookies instead of graham crackers.  The result was a delightfully tart ice cream that really does taste very much like key lime pie.  The cookies add a sweet crunch that is a wonderful foil for the tartness.  I must warn you though, the tartness gives the ice cream the illusion of being less caloric than it really is, so overeating might be a bit of a danger.
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blueberry Muffin in a Teacup for Breakfast Ideas Mondays and Mothers' Day

When I started deciding what to do for Breakfast Ideas Mondays this week, I knew I wanted to do something that would be a great idea for Mothers' Day.  A blueberry muffin microwaved inside a teacup just seems so perfect.  It is pretty and tastes delightful and, at the same time, is simple enough that an child could do it for his or her own mother.  In fact, even a very young child could make it with a little supervision.

This recipe would also be great anytime you want a quick, sweet breakfast or snack without a lot of leftovers to munch on later.  Sometimes you just need something sweet and you know if you make a dozen, you will eat a dozen, but if you only make one, then there is just one to eat.

Before you get started:  Make sure you have a microwavable teacup that holds 10 oz. or more.  If you are helping a young child, remember you will have to help him or her with the measuring.  And, when your muffin is done, BE CAREFUL, because the cup will be very hot.  If you are helping a young child, please remove it from the microwave for him or her.

I adapted this recipe from the Single Serving Blueberry Muffin recipe I found at What's Cooking Love who adapted it from the Blueberry Muffin for One recipe at Chocolate Cover Katie.  My muffin is definitely not overly healthy, but it is meant to be very quick, very easy, and very good, and it is all of those.

And, don't forget to head over to Yummy Inspirations and check out the other great ideas this week on the Breakfast Ideas Mondays post.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shrimp Soft Tacos for Cinco de Mayo

In recent years the celebration of Cinco de Mayo has become quite popular in the United States.  So, if you are looking for something to make for Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, these are definitely my suggestion.  They have some traditional Mexican flavors that also just happen to be flavors that make me think of summer, which is just around the corner.

These tacos are topped with a jalapeno coleslaw, which would also be tasty on the side or served with an entirely different dish.  The coleslaw has quite a bite to it so if you would prefer it a little tamer, just reduce or even eliminate the jalapeno.  If you like pepper without the heat, try substituting bell pepper.  Red or yellow bell pepper would even add to the appearance.  I used corn tortillas just because I like them, but you could also use flour tortillas.  In the photos it is served with black beans and corn.  This is not really a recipe, but I will include it because it really is a good compliment to the tacos.

Note:  Please be careful chopping jalapenos.  I recommend using gloves because they can irritate you hands pretty badly and that is not even the worst of it.  If you were to forget and touch your eyes, it could be really bad. 

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Strawberry Bars for National Strawberry Month

May is National Strawberry Month, and I have been wanting to try this idea for a while, so it seemed like the perfect time.  They are similar to the ever popular lemon bar, but with strawberries. And, I don't mean strawberries and lemons, I mean just strawberries.  Every recipe I have seen was a strawberry-lemon combination, which I am sure is delicious too, but I wanted just strawberries this time, so I came up with my own recipe from a combination of several others.  They are actually the color of the ones in the picture - kind of lavender-pink, so if you want really pink ones, you might want to add a little food coloring.

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From Calculu∫ to Cupcake∫: May 2012

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From Calculu∫ to Cupcake∫