IN MY KITCHEN: New Cookbook, Against All Grain

Cookbooks are the most beautiful thing, they really are! They are always full of the possibility of delicious meals, and great entertaining. I have a true addiction to cookbooks. Though the funny thing is, I have an extremely difficult time actually following a recipe exactly. I rarely look at measurements and just get the general gist of the idea, yes this is something I am working on, but I will always love to improvise in the kitchen! I recently got a great new cookbook called Against All Grain. I mainly purchased it because I am trying to cut dairy out of my diet and its a “pale” cookbook. No I’m not a paleo eater, but I do need to cut dairy out of my diet so this was a perfect way to start!

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

 

These are two of our favorite recipes we tried, Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp and Sausage and Peppers Arrabbiata (which is a crockpot recipe! yay!) There are plenty of crockpot recipes (we all know as a working gal I am addicted to my crockpot) and quick prep recipes for great weeknight meals!

 

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

 

Check out Danielle Walker’s website for all her new cookbooks, recipes, and great blog!

LOVE LETTERS TO HOME.

Her Recipe Index.

Her Recipe Index.

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IN MY KITCHEN: Southern Shrimp Boil

I have always been a seafood lover, especially shrimp! This is an amazing and EASY way to cook for a crowd or just your family. Having a Shrimp Boil is just a great excuse to get together, eat great food, and enjoy great drinks with people you love! With warm weather finally arriving this year, this is a great meal to enjoy on a patio because its a bit mess, but all you have to do is throw some newspaper over an outdoor picnic table and you are good to go! Here is what is going on in my kitchen…

SOUTHERN SHRIMP BOIL.

SOUTHERN SHRIMP BOIL.

INGREDIENTS.

2-3 Pounds of Raw, Deveined, Shell on Shrimp

8 Red New Potatoes

3 Ears of Corn

Sausage (of your choice)

Old Bay Seasoning

Butter

DIRECTIONS.

Fill a large pot (I am talking VERY LARGE– this recipe works great in a turkey fryer, added bonus is there are very few dishes in this recipe!) with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of Old Bay Seasoning to the water. Place whole Red New Potatoes in the boiling water and wait 7-8 minutes. Next, Cut the ears of corn in half and add the corn and wait 5 minutes. Next, slice up the sausage in 2 inch pieces and cook for another 8 minutes.

Take a ladle full of the boiling water and set it aside in a bowl with half a stick of butter.

Strain the shrimp boil mixture and place in a big bowl or right on the table with newspaper. Pour the butter mixture over top. Chop up some fresh parsley and sprinkle on the finished meal!

For homemade cocktail sauce for dipping: Mix a cup of ketchup with your preferred amount of horseradish! Homemade cocktail sauce is simple and delicious. So much better than the store bought stuff.

(this recipe will feel 4 hungry people with leftovers, if you are feeding more just double the recipe!)

Here are a few great pictures from our Kiawah Island Shrimp Boil!

Our fresh shrimp right from the boat that caught them!

Our fresh shrimp right from the boat that caught them!

The finished product!

The finished product!

Our table for the week, always full of wine, great food, family, and love!

Our table for the week, always full of wine, great food, family, and love!

IN MY KITCHEN: Apple Walnut Brie Dessert

Here is a delicious dessert we encountered on our adventures in Charleston, South Carolina. It is so simple and delicious and is great for entertaining. I called it a dessert, but really it could be a sweet and savory appetizer or small plate!

APPLE WALNUT BRIE DESSERT.

APPLE WALNUT BRIE DESSERT.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Green Apple

Brie Cheese

Whole Walnuts

Honey

DIRECTIONS:

Slice the green apple very thin using a mandolin or just a sharp kitchen knife.

Layer the thin apple slices at the bottom of the plate. Cut the wheel of Brie cheese in

to quarter inch strips. Layer the strips over the green apple slices. Sprinkle

Whole walnuts (or small pieces of walnut) over top the cheese. Drizzle

with honey and serve with thick crusty bread slices.

IN MY KITCHEN: Easy Cheddar Jalapeño Cornbread

So David has made it very clear (in a loving and very hungry way!) that there are several recipes I need to conquer now that I am going to be living in the south. Well I consider myself a decent cook but I always love an easy and simple baking recipe. Here is my newest adventure in my kitchen, easy cheddar jalapeño cornbread. Next stop Chicken and Dumplings!

EASY CHEDDAR JALAPEÑO CORN BREAD

EASY CHEDDAR JALAPEÑO CORN BREAD

INGREDIENTS:

2 Boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix

2 Eggs

2/3 Cups of Milk

1/4 Cups of Natural Honey

1 Jalapeno, Chopped and Seeds Removed

1/4 Cup Cheddar Cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Grease a 9×9 pan and put batter evenly in pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Let cool and Enjoy!

IN MY KITCHEN: Hot Chocolate

With all the TERRIBLE weather that is rolling through Texas I am at home snuggled up with a cup of Hot Chocolate! Here are some of my favorite recipes...

With all of the bad weather rolling through Texas I am at home snuggled up in bed with a warm cup of Hot Chocolate! Here are some of my very favorite UNIQUE hot chocolate recipes…

SALTED CARMEL HOT CHOCOLATE

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (makes 2 large servings) Needed: 16 ounces milk or cream (I used a combination of 8 ounces milk and 8 ounces cream),  4 ounces dark chocolate,  4 ounces chocolate caramel (such as Hershey's version), a pinch or two of sea salt. In a sauce pan or small pot heat half (8 ounces) of the milk and 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate and salt until melted. Continue heating and whisk in the remaining milk and 4 ounces chopped chocolate caramel. Continue whisking until the entire mixture is warmed through and smooth in texture. Serve with a little whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt. *from www.abeautifulmess.com

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
(makes 2 large servings)
Needed: 16 ounces milk or cream (I used a combination of 8 ounces milk and 8 ounces cream),
4 ounces dark chocolate,
4 ounces chocolate caramel (such as Hershey’s version),
a pinch or two of sea salt.
In a sauce pan or small pot heat half (8 ounces) of the milk and 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate and salt until melted. Continue heating and whisk in the remaining milk and 4 ounces chopped chocolate caramel. Continue whisking until the entire mixture is warmed through and smooth in texture.
Serve with a little whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt.
*from http://www.abeautifulmess.com

GINGERBREAD HOT COCOA

GINGERBREAD HOT COCOA Ingredients: 1 cup almond milk (or any milk) 2 tsp brown sugar 2 tsp molasses 2 tbsp cocoa powder 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp ground ginger pinch of nutmeg whipped cream and Peeps gingerbread marshmallows, for topping Directions: In a small saucepan over low heat, continually whisk together all of the ingredients except for the whipped cream and marshmallows until hot. Pour into mug and top with whipped cream and marshmallows. *from www.lovintheoven.com

GINGERBREAD HOT COCOA
Ingredients:
1 cup almond milk (or any milk)
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp molasses
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
whipped cream and Peeps gingerbread marshmallows, for topping
Directions:
In a small saucepan over low heat, continually whisk together all of the ingredients except for the whipped cream and marshmallows until hot.
Pour into mug and top with whipped cream and marshmallows.
*from http://www.lovintheoven.com

NUTELLA HOT CHOCOLATE

Nutella Hot Chocolate (Serves 2) Ingredients: 2 cups of milk (almond or soy will work, too) 1/4 cup of Nutella 1 tsp vanilla extract Directions: Set a saucepan to medium low heat. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk and the Nutella. Whisk until well combined. Add in the remaining milk and heat until piping hot. Serve with marshmallows or straight up. Note: the ratio is 1 cup of milk to 2 tablespoons of Nutella, so if you’d like to make 3 servings it would be 3 cups of milk and 6 tablespoons of Nutella, and so on. *recipe from www.channelingcontessa.com

NUTELLA HOT CHOCOLATE
(Serves 2)
Ingredients:
2 cups of milk (almond or soy will work, too)
1/4 cup of Nutella
1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions:
Set a saucepan to medium low heat. Add in 1/2 cup of the milk and the Nutella. Whisk until well combined. Add in the remaining milk and heat until piping hot. Serve with marshmallows or straight up. Note: the ratio is 1 cup of milk to 2 tablespoons of Nutella, so if you’d like to make 3 servings it would be 3 cups of milk and 6 tablespoons of Nutella, and so on. *recipe from http://www.channelingcontessa.com

Enjoy! Stay warm and drive safe!

IN MY KITCHEN: Seared Tuna Pepper Steaks

So I decided to start a new little section on my blog about my culinary adventures (and sometimes misadventures) David and I LOVE seafood so we are always cooking up something new. Most of the time I do a lot of research before I cook up something new so I thought I would share my tips, tricks, triumphs and failures with you guys in this new little section. The first documented culinary experience is Seared Tuna Pepper Steaks.

Here is the recipe I got on Pinterest. Click on the photo above to get more great recipes from New Frontiers Natural Marketplace!

Here is the recipe I got on Pinterest. Click on the photo above to get more great recipes from New Frontiers Natural Marketplace!

TIP #1 for Seared Tuna Pepper Steaks… when it comes to Tuna, quality is REALLY important!! The best Tuna we have found is at Costco!!

The Costco near our house in Plano gets their seafood in Tuesdays and Thursdays! But check your local grocery store or local Costco to see when they get their shipments in so your seafood is as fresh as possible!

The Costco near our house in Plano gets their seafood in Tuesdays and Thursdays! But check your local grocery store or local Costco to see when they get their shipments in so your seafood is as fresh as possible!

TIP #2 is all about timing. Make sure that you use the timer on your phone or on your oven/stovetop because when you’re cooking seafood a minute makes a big difference! Keep in mind sushi grade tuna (which is what you should be buying) can be eaten raw, and the worst way to serve tuna is over cooked! Our tuna steaks were about 2 1/2 inches thick and searing them for 3 minutes on each side was perfect! If yours are any thinner cook them for a shorter amount of time!

Don't be afraid to be adventurous in the kitchen! Enjoy!

Don’t be afraid to be adventurous in the kitchen! Enjoy!