Monday, May 30, 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad in Parmesan Cups

Happy Memorial day! I did work today, but this afternoon I had a fun early dinner with my boss Brook and our other manager Krista. We always enjoy each other's company, but rarely work together so we arranged a date to get caught up! We ate my favorite food (and Brook's too), PIZZA. Krista knows all about fun places to eat in LA, so she had us try thisswanky pizza place in Venice Beach called Gjelina. It was a fab afternoon!

These parmesan cups were fantastic! They were gorgeous and would be so fun to serve at a dinner party. I am thinking of other salads that would taste good in the parmesan maybe a pasta salad! PS they really are not as hard as they look...I made them in about 20 mins. If you buy pre-grated cheese it will be even faster!
Strawberry Spinach Salad in Parmesan Cups
2 cups fresh spinach
3-4 strawberries
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Rosemary
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted (you can also use almonds, pecans or walnuts)

Grate parmesan cheese
Chop rosemary.
Mix parmesan cheese, rosemary and flour in a bowl.
Heat a nonstick skillet to medium. Sprinkle parmesan cheese in a circle about 3-4 inches wide. Cook for about 1 minute or until lightly golden.
Turn and cook for 15 more seconds.
Quickly and carefully press circle of cheese into a muffin tin.
You should make 4-6 cups depending on the size of the cups. Allow to completely cool before removing from pan.
Mix together oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Toss spinach with dressing and nuts.
Stuff parmesan cups with spinach and top with sliced strawberries. Serve!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Crispy Shrimp Pasta

The countdown begins....3 days till Disneyland with the 3Bs!!!!! We are going Wednesday for a fun girls day. It is my first time at Disneyland and I am going with two veterans who know all about the park. Can't wait to meet the Mouse!!

Crispy Shrimp Pasta
1/2 pound shrimp
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
 1 Tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 pound linguine
Remove shells and tails from shrimp.
Mix flour with salt and pepper. Coat shrimp in flour.
Melt butter and olive oil in pan.
When hot, add shrimp to pan. Cook for 2 mins on each side.
Meanwhile, cook pasta.
Remove shrimp and set aside. Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan, scraping brown bits off the bottom. Cook for 5 mins until reduced. Reduce heat and add cream to pan.
Whisk in Cajun seasoning.
Cook sauce for about 5 mins until it starts to thicken. If you want it to thicken more, you may need to sprinkle some flour into the sauce.
Drain pasta and add to sauce.
Serve pasta, topped with shrimp.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Beef Stew Carbonnade

Sunday night we had a lovely evening at Aunt Kathy's house to celebrate Aunt Carol's birthday. I enjoyed just getting to relax and enjoy the company of my wonderful extended family.

The amazing veggie tray! I think I have a new found love of jicama!
 Me and Mellie
 We were having good laughs
 So much fun!
 Enjoying the veggies...(don't be impressed with our nutritious snacks, we ate hamburgers later!)
 So nice to spend quality time with the fam!
 All in a big circle hearing about "old times" from the Parents!
 Carol and Mellie, such a sweet look!
 Izzy was so happy to be in her crate, just as long as she was near us. Perfect pup!
 Happy Birthday Carol! We love you!!
The beautiful sisters!
I know it is almost summer know, but just in case you get a hankerin' for beef stew here's a recipe for ya!

Beef Stew Carbonnade

3 slices bacon
1/2 onion
1/2 pound cubes stew meat
3 carrots
Tbsp flour
5 prunes
1/2 beer
1/2 Tbsp thyme
1/2 cup beef broth
Chop carrots and slice onion
Coat beef in flour.
Cook bacon in skillet until fat is rendered, remove from pan.
Add beef to bacon grease and brown on each side.
Place onion, carrots, prunes, thyme, bacon and salt and pepper in crock pot.
Add beef and stock to pot.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
Serve with a piece of toasted bread.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beer Battered Fish with Mandarin Salsa

I am home! After a long day of traveling.... frustrating flight delays, yucky airplane food and stopped up ears! It was worth it though, I had a blast visiting our family! Melissa's 30th birthday was a success. It was a little too hot, but manageable. We had awesome food. My favorites were the fried chicken, fried okra, and strawberry basil lemonade. 

 Mel's S-I-L, Marqui was the party planner and decoration designer. Isn't this the cutest?!

Mel had no idea where her party would be, she was so excited when she got there. We all loved wearing hats! Mel's mom made her this hat!

The adorable party place.
 Mommasita with aunties, Carol and Kathy
 My S-I-L, Katy and her Hubby James. They just bought a new Golden Retriever Puppy, she was adorable.
 Pinkie (Jeffrey's dad), Aunt Rolie and Ozzy Boy!

Katy and I bought Mel and planter, plant and honey bee wind mill.
 Mel loves honey bees!

 Opening presents.
 Izzy was pooped!
 Mommasita playing with her grand-dog
 You are never too old to have a piñata at your birthday.
 Enjoying the sun, aren't these ladies beautiful!
 Whack it Mel!
 We are so silly!
 Mel with her beautiful mama, Diane
 Diane even made Mel's cake! It was fantastic!
 Love this pic!
 Girlies in our hats! Carol's birthday on the next post...

This is one of my new favorite dinners! Sooo good! Please make it soon.

Beer Battered Fish with Mandarin Salsa

2 tilapia filets
vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup beer
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp chili garlic sauce
1 - 11oz can mandarin oranges
2 Tbsp cilantro
 Stir together 1/2 cup flour, beer, baking powder, salt, pepper, and egg.

 Chop oranges and cilantro
 Stir together oranges, cilantro, chili garlic sauce, lemon juice and a little bit of salt and pepper. 
 Mix and set in fridge until ready to use.
 Pour about 1/2 cup of oil in a skillet and allow it to heat up. Set up your dipping station. Put 1/4 cup of flour in a shallow dish.
 Dry fish really well.
 Dredge fish in flour.
 Dip in beer batter.
 Allow to drip so that there is a thin layer left.
 Drop fish is a pan of heated oil.
 Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden.
 Remove from oil and blot of paper towels. Salt.
 I served the fish over a bed of Jasmine rice mixed with roasted corn. Then I topped it with the mandarin orange salsa!
Oh and I got this recipe from a new cooking blogger who is posting lots of great looking recipes...Sweet Beginnings