Month: March 2012

Broiled Paprika Shrimp with Crispy Serrano Potatoes

There are moments in life when you don’t mind getting messy.  Now, I am a girl who likes pedicures and gets a high off of organization (my pantry, finally organized this weekend, is sparkling as we speak) but I also like getting down in the dirt.  I even completed a mud run with my sister.  *See exhibit A below* Normally I’m more of a “dainty” food eater but I make 2 exceptions:  BBQ ribs and these shrimp. My obsession lately is Pinterest (like the majority of the free world) and I came upon a recipe for broiled shrimp that made me want to lick my computer screen.  I’d never broiled shrimp before or prepared them “peel-on” but dang was it good.  My other obsession lately has been smoked paprika.  I’d made the shrimp several times as written on The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie (yes, this blog knows their shrimp!) and wanted to add some Spanish flair, which lead into the potatoes with serrano ham and oregano.   It’s important that the peel be on the shrimp while cooking–it does …






Irish Nachos with Guinness Cheddar Sauce

Corned beef is like turkey. No seriously. Reasons for my argument: 1. I feel obligated to make it on it’s corresponding holiday. 2. I always make too much. 3. I keep trying creative ways to continue to consume all of the leftovers. Corned beef = Turkey in this case.  Just go with it. I started thinking about foods my husband likes; trying to find one to substitute corned beef in.  While he is a software developer, his official job is really “Nacho Connoisseur–Southeastern Wisconsin Division”.  Everywhere we go the man orders nachos.  He prefers chicken over beef, jalapenos over no jalapenos, with forks optional. So how could I add a little “luck of the Irish” into this dish?  Potato chips instead of tortilla chips, corned beef instead of spicy chicken, and homemade Guinness cheddar sauce instead of that glowing orange, gelatinous cheese product. The sauce is so good. It goes so well with the beef, scallions, and crunchy chips.  Words just can’t do it justice. It’s also worth mentioning that these nachos are not only …






Spicy Orange Pork Chops

Today was just another Wisconsin-type day in March… NOT! It was 77° today.  No joke.  Yes, you read that right. My “winter” mind had selected chicken pot pie for dinner when I set my menu plan over a week ago.  Yeah right. When we saw the forecast for the week, my husband begged to grill out one night.  How can you serve comfort food, like chicken pot pie, when it’s 77° out and all your husband wants to do is drink a beer on the deck and smell like charcoal and lighter fluid? So I came up with this dish on the fly while driving home.  This recipe is so easy it’s ridiculous. It’s got four ingredients (including the meat!). *Grilling note: The wood chips soaking above are hickory.  Adding soaked chips onto the charcoal adds a ton of flavor.  If you have a gas grill just make a foil packet of soaked wood chips, cut a few slits, and place the packet under the grate.  It’s a cheap and delicious way to add more …






Smoked Salmon Cracker Bread with "Everything" Cream Cheese

I love “duh” moments when you sit and wonder why you never thought of something so ingenious and so simple. You like bagels?  I like bagels.  Especially “everything” bagels. You know what I don’t like about “everything” bagels?  Getting covered in assorted seeds while I’m trying to eat my breakfast. A few years ago, my husband and I were in the Chicago area and we had a wonderful breakfast at the Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park.  I ordered their smoked salmon plate and had a “duh” moment. Those geniuses put the “everything” toppings in the cream cheese instead of on the outside of the bagel! No fingers covered in poppy seeds.  No sesame seeds bouncing all over your plate and the table. You’re still going to be pulling seeds out of your teeth all day but let’s face it.  It’s worth it.  At least my cute top wasn’t bedazzled in poppy and sesame. I’m also a “thin crust” kinda girl.  We’ll save the details for another post but when I came across this recipe for cracker bread …






Smoky Farmhouse Burger

There are generally two truths about turkey burgers: 1.  They are dry, tasteless hockey pucks. 2.  They are a healthier option compared to other beef burgers. Neither is true in this case.  This burger is juicy, packs a ton of flavor, but I wouldn’t calculate the calories if you paid me.  I’m not suggesting it for dinner every night but when you do want to change it up, it’s a delicious option. I want to emphasize how juicy these burgers really are.  The first time I made them my husband grabbed a bottle of hot sauce as we were getting ready to eat.  I gave him the “aren’t-you-going-to-try-it-first-without-covering-it-in-hot-sauce” look and he said, “I’m sure it’s good but it’s a turkey burger.  They are ALWAYS dry.”  As we were clearing plates I noticed the lonely bottle still on the table.  He didn’t touch it once–and knowing my Texan, hot sauce loving husband…that means something. I named it the Smoky Farmhouse Burger after looking at the ingredients (turkey, egg, bacon) and thinking a lot of them come from …






Pear & Brie Crostini with Spiced Honey

I wish I had a great, clever story for you about how this recipe came to be.  I don’t.  It’s just good…really good.  I had a baguette and brie in my shopping cart, pears looked wonderful at the market, and I’ve been waiting for something to strike me as a good vessel to try spiced honey. Plain old honey is great; don’t get me wrong.  Honey with a touch of spice, ginger, and a pop of citrus is even better.  Drizzle it over warm, gooey brie with a slightly sweet, crisp pear on a toasty baguette…it’s divine. Really, talk amongst yourselves. *Linda Richman really was one of Michael Myer’s best SNL characters!* I tried this with a few different varieties of pears and Bosc is the best in my opinion. PrintPear & Brie Crostini with Spiced Honey Feel free to reduce/increase the amounts based on how many servings you are trying to get. Each baguette is different but the one I sliced for this recipe could have easily have served 2 crostini to 12 people.Ingredients1 baguette loaf, …