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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roasted Shrimp with Feta

I have to give my mom all the credit for this dish. My mom made it for dinner tonight and I loved it so much that I decided to post it. Seriously, it is amazing! The title doesn't describe it or do it justice at all. The feta melts and makes the dish incredibly creamy, the bread crumbs on top the shrimp are just so buttery, and the dish tastes so fresh because of the lemon! It is mmm mmm good!! Thanks mom!

My mom placed the shrimp on top of pasta which worked really well. The tomatoes along with the wine, garlic, fennel, etc makes a great sauce. I would also recommend serving the shrimp itself as a side dish to meat or chicken. That would be delicious as well!
This recipe is from Ina Garten aka the Barefoot Contessa. I have always loved Ina and her recipes. Her recipes always come out delicious! I think I'm also drawn to her because I am slightly jealous of her life in the hamptons, her clan of rich friends, her entertaining, and her ability to cook and bake gourmet all day every day for her husband Jeffery. Its really quite the life (or so it seems)!


Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups medium-diced fennel
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds (16 to 20 per pound) peeled shrimp (Ina left the tails on...my mom took the tails of-they were much easier to eat that way!)
  • 5 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 lemon 
Recipe:
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat
  • Add the fennel to the olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes, until fennel is soft. 
  • Add the garlic to the fennel and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add wine and bring to a boil
  • Scrape the skillet to take up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until liquid is reduced.
  • Add the tomatoes with the liquid, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper to the skillet.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes
  • Place the shrimp in the skillet over the tomato mixture.
  • Scatter feta over the shrimp.
  • In a bowl combine bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Sprinkle bread crumbs over shrimp and feta cheese.
  • Place skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. 
  • Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon over shrimp and serve!

May Foodie Penpals

I can't believe May is already over! It has definitely been a busy month for me! I ended my second year of grad school and my internship, went on vacation, started summer classes, and started a brand new internship. Its defintiely been quite a transition.
I was lucky enough to have Lorraine as my foodie penpal this month. She sent me some goodies from Windy Knoll Farm Market and Creamery which is a family farm that has been in business since 1976. It is located in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania which is about 25 miles west of Gettysburg. The surrounding area has a large farming population including many Amish and Mennonite families. I know all this fun information because Lorraine was kind enough to send me all this information with the package. She even emailed me pictures of the farm.


 In the package Lorraine sent me.......

Milk and Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts...can't go wrong with these!
 
Hawaiian Snack Mix that had raisins, dates, coconut, and dried fruit like papaya, pineapple, and banana.What a great snack!
Peanut Butter Almond Granola that I have been eating with my yogurt. Its delicious!
 BBQ seasoning that I am sure I will use on things like grilled shrimp and chicken this summer.
Raspberry Key Lime Jam...I was so excited to try it as I love raspberry jam but I have never had it with lime before.
And finally my favorite of the entire package was the Indian Summer Rice Snack Mix...It was so addicting!! My favorite were the little green pieces that were covered in wasabi powder...yum so good!

Thank you Lorraine for such a great package!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mini Taco Cups

I love finger food! These mini taco cups are so cute and are delish! I had a few of these taco cups with a salad for dinner. They could also be made for a party. Serve them with margaritas and you can't go wrong!

Recipe Source: Dashing Dish

Serving Size: Makes 12 taco cups

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 large tortillas to cut out 12 small circles
  • 1 cup ground turkey (I used 1 cup Morning Star Meatless Crumbles)
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 tsp dry taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup low fat refried beans
  • 1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Your favorite toppings: olives, lettuce, sour cream, jalopeno, tomatoes
Recipe:
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 12 count muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Using a cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles out of 3 or 4 tortillas.
  • Place each toritlla cirlce into the muffin tin.
  • Mix together ground meat, salsa, taco seasoning, and refried beans in a bowl. 
  • Scoop 1/8th cup of the mixture into each tortilla cup.
  • Top with shredded cheese.
  • Bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Wait for cups to cool slightly then remove the cups from the muffin tin using a knife.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Las Vegas Trip

Sorry for the lack of posts lately! This past week my boyfriend and I took a much needed vacation to Las Vegas. It was our second time there, and we had an even better time than the first! There are just so many fun things to do (and more importantly places to eat!) that we always run out of time. Here are some pictures of the delicious food we ate.
Our first day there we went to Senor Frogs which is located in Treasure Island. We got a seat outside so we could look over Treasure Island's lagoon and the strip. Pictured above are the margaritas that we ordered in souvenir palm tree glasses. Mine is the one on the left and was called "Pancho Villa" It had tequila, orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and jalapeno juice. If you like spicy you will love this one!! I may try to recreate it sometime soon. The one on the right is called "Wild Frog's" and had tequila, cranberry juice, pomegranate liqueur, lime juice, and grenadine. It was perfect for Dan since he only drinks red margaritas....don't ask...

We stayed at the Mirage and absolutely loved it. We had such a great view of the strip and the mountains from our room!
The pool area at the mirage was beautiful as well. It made you feel as if you were in a tropical paradise. I loved all the tropical drinks I had at the pool including the tequila sunrise shown below!
 There was also a great frozen yogurt and crepe place at the Mirage. I ordered a couple crepes there and brought it to the pool for breakfast. The first picture is of "The Elvis" which has banana, peanut butter, and honey. The second crepe (which I can't remember the name of) has nutella and banana (my fave!).
If you are as obsessed with nachos as I am then you have to try the Volcano Nachos at Margaritaville. They are the best nachos I've ever had! Not to mention they are HUGE. We split these for dinner one night and couldn't even finish them!
One of my favorite places on the strip is called First Food and Bar in the Palazzo. They have really unique and fun dishes. My favorite is the doritos mac and cheese which is pictured below. Not only does it have a doritos crushed topping but it has doritos seasoning mixed in with the cheese. It is unbelievably good!
 A fun place to go spend some time is the world of coca cola. It is located right on the strip. Upstairs they have a small cafeteria where you can try all of the coca cola products, even international ones! We tried the float sample. They give you a sample of 8 floats. My personal favorite was the float made with fanta strawberry. It tasted like strawberry cream..yum!! The fanta orange and mello yellow was delicious as well.
The best place I think we ate this entire trip was Hash House a go go which I saw on Man Vs Food. The restaurant is now located in Imperial Plaza Hotel, right on the strip! Hash House a go go is known for their twisted farm food and mammoth food proportions. Seriously, go to this place hungry! I got the Fried Chicken Eggs Benedict which was featured on Man vs Food. The dish is fried chicken with fresh spinach, bacon, tomato, griddled mozzarella, chipotle cream and scrambled eggs on top of biscuit and mashed potato. It is INSANE! I have to admit the dish was pretty delicious espeically the fried chicken which was crispy and moist inside. The chipotle cream on top completely made the dish! The picture really doesn't do it justice. If you want to see them make it on Man Vs Food check out this video.
I hope you enjoyed this post. We had such a fun trip and I honestly can't wait to go again!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Skinny Low Calorie Margaritas

Happy Thirsty Thursday! Ever since I got the crystal light margarita mix from my last foodie pen pal, Lyndi, I have been dying to make these margaritas! (Lyndi is awesome...you can see her blog here). I told myself that I would wait to make these margaritas until after my finals were done as a way to celebrate. I think these might have been the easiest margaritas I've ever made and they do not lack in flavor at all!! And of course since they are "healthy" I can indulge in two drinks instead of one....or three...or four...haha just kidding! I do have to work tomorrow!

 Ingredients:
  • Crystal Light Margarita Mix
  • Water
  • Sprite
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Ice
  • Tequila
Recipe:
  • Buy the crystal light margarita mix. The individual packages look like this:
 
  • In a large pitcher, add the crystal light mix, 8 cups of cold water, 1-1/2 cups of sprite (i used diet sprite...to stay with the skinny theme), juice from a whole lime, and ice.
  • Rim your margarita glass with salt (the crystal light mixture is very sweet so the salt helps to cut it). 
  • Measure 2-3 ounces of tequila in your glass and top with crystal light mix. If you are not worried about calories you can just poor the tequila directly into the pitcher. 
Hope you enjoy your thirsty thursday!

On a random note...I found these 26 fun facts about grad school. Anyone who is in grad school would totally appreciate it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Guilt Free Breakfast Cookies

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. I have been a little overwhelmed with work and the end of the semester. Tomorrow is my last final though (YAY!) so I decided to do a quick post!

My breakfast usually consists of grabbing whatever I see first and eating it in the car as I rush to work. I'm always trying to find new things that have grab and go capabilities. These cookies are perfect for that and are totally guilt free and healthy. What I love most about them is that all of these ingredients are usually stocked in my kitchen so I can make them whenever I need them.

Notes:
  • This recipe makes about 25 cookies. 
  • Each cookie has about 45 calories.
Ingredients:
  • 3 mashed bananas (ripe)
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp Splenda 
Recipe:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  • Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes so that all ingredients can incorporate
  • Place batter by the spoonful on a greased cookie sheet
  • Cook for 15-20 minutes
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