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.

HAPPY HOUR: Patio Margaritas

I know I have posted A LOT of margarita recipes on this blog, but I have come across my absolute favorite, and quite possibly the absolute easiest margarita you could ever make! This recipe is in honor of our neighbor Karen coming back in to town (even if its only for a few days) She is the one who so generously passed this recipe on to me!

 

PATIO MARGARITAS.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Can of  Frozen Limeade

Tequila

Limes

Orange Juice

Corona

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine 1 can of frozen limeade, one can of water (all these measurements you’ll just use the limeade can for!), half a can of orange juice, 1 can of tequila, and half of any Mexican beer (we prefer Corona!) Stir and refrigerate. Garnish glass with a salted rim and a lime wedge and you are good to go!

These are perfect for a casual night of homemade Mexican food or to supply for the masses at a party (they are that easy!)

 

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!

HAPPY HOUR: Dirty Arnold Palmer

Many (well lets be honest a majority) of my followers don’t realize that this weekend is The Masters, but in the Stephenson household it is somewhat of a week long holiday! This happy hour post is dedicated to a famous golfer, Arnold Palmer, and his delicious drink of choice. Now a regular Arnold Palmer is Sweet Tea, Lemonade, and, if you’re of age, Vodka. Here is a great recipe with a little twist.

THE DIRTY ARNOLD PALMER.

THE DIRTY ARNOLD PALMER.

INGREDIENTS:

Sweet Tea Vodka (my personal favorite is Firefly)

8 Lemons

1 Cup of Sugar

Fresh Mint Leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

This recipe starts with a simple lemonade. You can always buy lemonade, but this is quick, easy and delicious!  

The key to good homemade lemonade is making a simple syrup first.  Just dissolve the sugar in water in a skillet on the stove. Next add the zest of three lemons and gently simmer for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally to help the sugar dissolve.  Remove from heat and let cool.  While it’s cooling, squeeze the juice from the rest of your lemons into a bowl.  Strain into a pitcher, strain the simple syrup on top and stir.

 Fill a glass with ice and pour your sweet tea vodka in (about halfway up the glass– don’t be skimpy!) Next, fill the rest of the glass the fresh lemonade you made, add a sprig of mint leaves, and ENJOY!

 

Enjoy a few of these in honor of the real Arnold Palmer!

Enjoy a few of these in honor of the real Arnold Palmer!

Augusta National, the home of The Masters.

Augusta National, the home of The Masters.

HAPPY HOUR: Easiest Corona Margarita

David and I are in Texas this weekend. Our final trip back before we officially move back home. We miss a lot of things about Texas, great tex-mex, margaritas, warm weather! I told David this weekend I need to sit on a patio and drink a margarita, so here is my Easiest Margarita recipe in case any of you want to join in the fun!

EASIEST MARGARITA.

EASIEST MARGARITA.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 can frozen limeade
1 empty limeade can Tequila
1 empty limeade can of water
1 bottle Corona

Mix together in a pitcher and pour over ice! Enjoy!

HAPPY HOUR: Cucumber Refresher

Today David and I are venturing to Columbus to help our friend move apartments. I have a feeling after a long day of lifting and moving (on David’s part) and a long day delegating and directing (of course on my part) we will be in need of a cold drink. Here is a great drink recipe that is refreshing and full of Spring! Enjoy!

CUCUMBER REFRESHER

CUCUMBER REFRESHER

 

INGREDIENTS:

4 mint leaves

1 large basil leaf

1 lime wedge

1½ parts Cucumber Vodka

3 parts soda water

½ tsp. agave nectar

DIRECTIONS:

Squeeze lime wedge into rocks glass, muddle lime wedge with mint and basil

leaves and vodka. Add ice. Top with soda water.

Add agave nectar and stir. Garnish with lime wedge.

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!