Archive for April, 2014

Cream of Squash and Garlic Soup

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 4 TB maple syrup (or maple-flavored)
  • 4 tsp butter
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 cups chicken broth (vegetarians can substitute vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup whipping cream (I just use milk unless I’m feeding company)
  • snipped fresh basil or Italian parsley (optional)

-> Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place each squash half, cut side up, in a shallow roasting pan.

-> Place 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 teaspoon butter in each squash half. Arrange the garlic, carrot, and onion around the squash in the pan.

-> Pour 2 cups of the chicken broth into the pan (not into the squash halves) and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

-> Bake at 350F for 2 hours until all of the vegetables are very tender. (Sometimes I need to add a little more chicken broth and bake another half hour so the onion and carrot are soft enough.)

-> Cool slightly and scoop squash pulp from the shells and stir into the vegetable mixture. Discard shells.

-> Place half of the squash mixture into a blender and blend until smooth (make sure to cover blender first…hee hee). Repeat with the other half of the squash mixture.

-> Put all of the blended squash mixtures into a large saucepan and stir in the remaining chicken broth.

-> Bring just to a boil and then drop the heat and stir in the cream or milk. (don’t let it boil again)

-> Season to taste with S & P and cool for later or garnish and serve. It thickens as it cools, so add more broth or cream/milk to taste if needed.

A loaf of crusty bread is good with this.

Categories: Recipe

Blackened Shrimp with Sunshine Salad

Sidenote: feel very privileged that I am sharing my infamous super-secret salad recipe with you! Seriously though, I’ve only given it to one other person, my sis-in-law, and only because my 6’2″ 300 lb bro-in-law threatened my life for it!

The Salad

  • 1 package Spring Mix salad
  • 1/2 package (more or less to taste) Athenos brand Crumbled Feta Cheese with Basil and Tomato
  • 1 8oz. can Mandarin Oranges, save the juice (well, actually a bit less than a can. I help myself to some of the slices and that makes a perfect amount left over!)
  • A generous sprinkling of Praline Pecans (Nut House sells big jars of them)
  • A generous sprinkling of dried cranberries

The Dressing

  • 1/4 c. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (note: use Extra Virgin, not Extra Light! Extra Virgin has a more robust flavor.)
  • approx. 1-2 T. Worcestorshire Sauce
  • approx. 1/4 -1/3 c. Dijon-Spicey Mustard (I like Emeril’s “with Horseradish”)
  • approx. 1/4 c. sugar or sugar substitute
  • Honestly, I just mix all the above to taste. Sorry for inexact measurements. If it comes out too thick, syrupy-like, I enjoy adding the mandarin orange juice to it. You can also just add water.
  • The dressing will last for 2-3 salads, depending on coverage.

Blackened Shrimp

Coat the shrimp lightly with Extra Light Olive Oil. Sprinkle (as generously as you dare!) Chef Paul’s Seafood Magic Seasoning, covering all sides of the shrimp.

Get a cast-iron skillet white-hot. If you don’t have good ventilation use the grill outside on HIGH heat. Scoop some margarine and when it hits the skillet it should “dance” and sizzle.

Immediately add the shrimp and keep flipping/stirring. They don’t need to cook long, only a few minutes before they’re done.

Top off the salad with the shrimp, serve some rolls alongside it, and yummy!!! That’s what I will be enjoying this evening!

As an entrée will serve 2, as a side will serve 4.

Categories: Recipe

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