Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Sweet Chili Shrimp


The New Year usually means resolutions to get healthy, exercise more and change our diets. I used to make all kinds of resolutions but have decided not to lie to myself. Even so, my first recipe of 2019 is healthy, low in calories and low in fat. Sweet Chili Shrimp also happens to be delicious.

You can make this even healthier by serving it in lettuce wraps, rather than over pasta. You could also add in 4 ounces of matchstick carrots and/or shiitake mushrooms with the veggies.

Serves: 6 servings
Time:  Active time 20 minutes; Cook: 15 minutes, Dinner in about 30 minutes
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a plate, paper towels, a heavy skillet (frying), a large pot, tongs, a wooden spoon

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds large shrimp (21-25 count) You can buy them cleaned without tails
  • Vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the skillet
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (6-8 ounces)
  • 4 green onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (¼ teaspoon ground ginger)
  • 5-6 large basil leaves (1teaspoon dried basil)
  • ¼ cup Sweet Chili Sauce (I used Mae Ploy. I found it in my local grocery store)
  • ½ cup water
  • 8 ounces of a wide lo mein noodle (I used Ka-Me)
  • Sriracha to taste (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ a lime


Sweet Chili Shrimp
 1.     Remove the white ribs and seeds of the red pepper. Cut it into long, then strips. Chop the green onions. Keep both the green parts and the white parts but separate them. Roughly chop the garlic. Grate the ginger and tear the basil into tiny pieces. Set everything aside.
2.      Rinse and pat the shrimp dry. Generously salt and pepper the shrimp. Set aside. Put the large pot of water onto boil.
3.      Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Heat it on medium high. When the pan is very hot. Add the shrimp. As soon as the shrimp begin to color, flip them. Then remove them from the pan to the plate. You only want to partially cook the shrimp. You will finish them later.
4.      Add the bell peppers, the whites of the onion, the garlic and the ginger (if using fresh) to the hot pan. Use the tongs to continually toss the veggies until the red peppers begin to soften a little. I like my veggies crispy, so I only tossed them for about 3 minutes. You can cook them longer if you like.
5.      Add the sweet chili sauce and the water to the pan, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the sauce to simmer.
6.      The pot of water should be boiling by now. Add the noodles. The noodles only take 4 minutes to boil.
7.      Return the shrimp with the basil to the sauce. If you are using ground ginger, add it now. Flip the shrimp to make sure that they cook through.
8.      As soon as the noodles are finished, use the tongs to remove them from the boiling water and add them to the sauce. Toss everything to make sure that the noodles are coated in sauce. Add sriracha to taste. Adjust the salt.
9.      To serve, toss in the onion greens and squeeze the lime over the entire dish.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers




Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? We usually go to my cousin’s, but she is visiting her son this year. So, we are staying home. We are still dressing up and having snacks and cocktails. We are just doing it alone.

I’m making Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers and Wings. I know poppers are very mid-90s. I also know that I don’t care. I eat what I like. These are super delicious.

Thanks for following my blog this year. I hope next year brings you nothing but happiness.

Servings: 12 poppers
Time:  Active: 15 minutes; Freeze: 1 hour; Cook: 40 Minutes; Pops in about 2 hours
Hardware:  A cutting board and a paring knife, food prep gloves, a food processor, a silicone spatula, a mixing bowl, a mixer, a spoon, a large plate, foil, a baking sheet

Ingredients:

  • 1-8oz package cream cheese
  • 12 large jalapeños
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked, crumbled bacon (just buy the pre-cooked bacon you can find with the salad dressing and croutons in the grocery store)
  • 6 pieces of good bacon
  • Cooking spray
  • Ranch or blue cheese dressing

  1. Put the cream cheese out to soften.
  2. Make sure to wear the gloves while working with the peppers. Wash the peppers. Leave the stems on them. Lay them down to discover how they can lay without rolling. Cut a long section from the top of each pepper so it resembles a canoe. Remove the seeds and white ribs from inside the jalapeños.
  3. Place the pieces you removed from the peppers into the food processor. Pulse them until they are the size of gravel. Scrape them into the mixing bowl. Repeat with the bacon and the cheddar cheese.
  4. Add the cream cheese to the crumbled bacon, jalapeños, and cheddar cheese and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Stuff the mixture into the peppers. You can mound it up a little. Place the peppers into the freezer for at least on hour. If you have any stuffing left over, it makes a great cheese spread.
  6. Cover the baking sheet in foil and spray with cooking spray. Pre-heat the oven to 325˚.
  7. Cut the bacon long ways down the middle. You should now have 12 thin bacon strips. Remove the poppers from the freezer. Wrap a piece of bacon around each one. Try to have the ends under the pepper. Place the poppers onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes. If the bacon isn’t crispy enough for you at this point, you can turn on the broiler. However, monitor them carefully, as they will burn quickly.
  8. Serve right away. Offer your guests ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Baked Brie with Apricots

Baked Brie with Apricots

Are you having people over for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Do you need a last-minute appetizer or snack? Baked Brie with Apricots is delicious, truly beautiful and so, so very easy.

I used bacon crumbles that are available in the salad dressing aisle, just to speed things up. However, when I am cooking bacon, I cook 2 extra slices. I then wrap those slices tightly in aluminum foil and place them in a Ziploc freezer bag. I use that bacon for recipes as needed.

Servings: 8 ounces of brie 10-12 bites (make two)
Hardware: A cutting board and knives, a small skillet, a microwave safe bowl (I used a glass measuring cup for easy pouring), a silicone spatula, a baking sheet, parchment paper, a serving platter and cheese spreaders or butter knives for serving
Time:  Active time 6 minutes; Cook: 13 minutes, brie in about 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8-ounce wheel of brie
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • 2 slices of crumbled bacon
  • 2 ounces of dried apricots
  • ¼ cup apricot preserves
  • Slices of baguette or crackers

  1. Measure everything and set aside. Roughly chop the apricots
  2. Cut a square of parchment that is 11”x11”. Preheat the oven to 350˚. Place the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Place the brie wheel in the center of the parchment paper. Place in the oven for 8 minutes.
  3. While the brie is baking, melt the butter in the skillet over medium. Add the chopped pecans and toast until just golden. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Stir the whole time. Add in the bacon, stir and remove from the heat.
  4. After the brie has baked for 8 minutes, sprinkle the chopped bacon, pecans and apricots on the cheese and return it to the oven for another 3 minutes.
  5. While the brie is finishing, warm the preserves in the microwave safe dish until easy to pour. I microwaved mine for 1 minute on 50% power. Microwave at 15 second intervals after that until it is the proper consistency.
  6. The cheese is very soft now, so be gentle. Carefully, using the parchment paper, slide the brie onto the serving platter. Use the silicone spatula to scoop up any wayward toppings and return them. Pour the warmed preserves over the brie and serve right away. Offer your guests slices of baguette or crackers.