Archives for July 2010

Red, White, and Berry De-licious!!!

Hey ya’ll! So, I decided to “give in” to the all-American holiday spirit and create a red, white, and blue themed dessert. I love fruit desserts, especially crisps and cobblers. To me, there is no better way to enjoy the summer’s best fruits. I am a supermarket-aholic! Seriously, it’s become such an addiction that my sister and I have made friends with the local check-out guy at Central Market. Not to mention…my sister has also made a “friend” with the young, not to mention handsome, counter guy at Whole Foods. Needless to say, he serves her up some tofu just how she likes it…hot and spicy! Hahaha! Anyhow…I simply get my inspiration for dishes by going to the supermarket and browsing the produce isle for fruits and vegetables that are “in season.” Fortunately, summer berries, such as strawberries and blackberries, happen to be at the top of the heap for in season fruits. What do ya know…they happen to be the main event today in my strawberry/blackberry crisp. While I used fresh strawberries in the recipe, I had to resort to using frozen and thawed blackberries. You see…this is because Central Market is obviously oblivious to the recession that we are in and as a result, feels the need to hike up the prices on their blackberries. In other words, they enjoy price inflation. Because I am on a college budget, I feel compelled to purchase the large bag of frozen blackberries for $2.06, than a small 6 oz. carton of fresh “organic” blackberries for $3.99! Also, another thing you will notice in the recipe is that I used the splendid no calorie sweetener, Splenda. I only used a small amount because the berries are already naturally sweetened and this gives them a hint of sweetness, while regular sugar would overpower the natural flavor of the berries. If you don’t like Splenda I have also tried this recipe with 1 TBS of maple syrup, also another time with 1 TBS agave nectar (or honey). It gives the dish that subtle hint of sweetness that it needs. I hope ya’ll are enjoying your 4th of July and eating your hearts intent of red, white, and blue desserts. I have an inkling “flag-themed” cupcakes, cakes, and pies are adorning many of your tables this holiday. Enjoy!

1 32 oz. carton fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
1 16 oz. bag frozen blackberries
1/4 c. Splenda
1/2 c. raw walnuts
1 c. raw pecans
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a 7×11 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Stem the strawberries, and using a cutting board, begin to slice the strawberries lengthwise. Cover the baking dish with the strawberries.
4. If the blackberries are not already thawed, thaw them in the bag in a microwave proof bowl for 1 min.
5. Pour the blackberries in the baking dish over the strawberries.
6. Sprinkle the Splenda over the berries and mix to combine.
7. Put pecans, walnuts, and cinnamon into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground.
8. Scatter the nut mixture over the berries and mix to combine.
9. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the berries are bubbling and the topping looks golden brown.
10. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream (My favorite is to serve this dish with a dollop of Greek yogurt, it gives it that balance of tangy/sweet flavor) Also….it wouldn’t hurt to enjoy this dish with a good ole’ heaping of BLUE BELL homemade vanilla ice cream….i’m just saying.

My Bada-Bing! Shrimp and Sauce

Hey ya’ll!!! What can I say? Welcome to my food blog! I decided after spending numerous occasions chatting with my father about the dishes I create every week, that it was high time I begin jotting down all of my ideas. What better way to keep track of my dishes and share them with others, than a food blog! Are you happy Dad? I am finally organizing my dishes, even though I have a mental recipe log in my brain. Anyhoo…today is the day before the 4th of July. To me, 4th of July just screams the three f’s: food, fireworks, and family. I have great memories of my dad dressed in his red chef’s apron holding a grilling spatula, grilling chicken, steak, seafood, you name it. Don’t forget that patriotic dessert for the 4th, which for my family, usually consists of my mom’s go to dessert: chocolate delight. It’s not red, white, and blue but it definitely screams American-made. Unfortunately, I will not be spending the 4th with my family in Houston as per usual. My sis has started a new job and I am working/interning all summer long. To comfort myself with the grief of not being able to see my family I needed some comfort food. Nothing says comfort food to me like a huge pot of pasta sauce. Yet, I wasn’t exactly “feeling” the meatballs today, and was leaning more towards some shrimp. This is what I came up with:

1/4 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
3 TBS. water
1 0.7 oz packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. water
1 med.-lrg. yellow onion, chopped and diced
10 cloves of garlic, diced
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
Palmful of Italian Seasoning
Palmful of Oregano, dried
3 8 oz. cans of No Salt Added Tomato Sauce (Like to add my own salt)
1 14.5 oz. can of No Salt Added dice tomatoes
1/4 c. Sweet white Riesling wine (I used a Italian Moscato)
black pepper

1. Place the shrimp in a small bowl.
2. Prepare the dressing: put 1/4 c. white wine vinegar and 3 TBS. water into a salad shaker. Add dressing packet and shake the bottle until mixed. Add 1/4 c. olive oil and 1/4 c. water to the bottle and shake vigorously.
3. Pour the dressing over the shrimp and let marinate while preparing the sauce.
4. For the sauce, chop the onion, garlic, and basil.
5. Heat a large saucepan with olive oil over low-medium heat.
6. Add onions and garlic and stir continuously with a spatula until lightly browned.
7. Add the shrimp to the saucepan and cook until they are slightly pink.
8. Remove the shrimp from the saucepan after 3-4 minutes and place in a clean bowl.
9. Add tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, spices, basil, and wine to the saucepan.
10. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes.
11. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the shrimp.
12. To serve, garnish with freshly shaved parmesan (don’t skimp on the parm: i use it religiously).

And….bada-bing! This dish would be great over some angel hair pasta, or served over rice if you like. Also, don’t forget garlic bread…hell forget forks and knives, use the bread as a utensil! I hope ya’ll enjoy the dish. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY! May you and your family share food, fun, and laughter for years to come!

Chelsy’s Bada-Bing! Shrimp and Sauce