Posted by: Melissa | January 26, 2012

Recipe: Corny Cajun Shrimp

This recipe is a Rachael Ray budget recipe that’s also a 15-minute meal. Love that it’s both of those! It’s simple, fresh and delicious, and I love that it’s so fast to put together when we get home from work. You can add 2 oz. of diced ham to the recipe, but I chose to leave it out and make the shrimp the main attraction. Enjoy!

Corny Cajun Shrimp
Serves 4
From Every Day with Rachael Ray, November 2011

1 bag (16 oz.) frozen corn kernels
1/2 large onion, coarsely
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. creole seasoning
8 oz. frozen peeled cooked shrimp
Salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine the corn, onion, celery, tomatoes, thyme and creole seasoning. Cover and cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the shrimp. Cook, covered, until the shrimp are just heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

photo credit

Posted by: Melissa | January 26, 2012

Recipe: Coffee Cake Pound Cake

This cake is so good. I made it last weekend for my grandparents’ birthday party. Even though Ryan and I are doing the South Beach Diet, I failed that night and ate a piece of this cake. It was soooo good, but it actually gave me a headache, sadly. I guess almost two weeks with no sugar or carbs had my body used to eating only healthy things, and then I threw a whole bunch of butter and sugar in there, and whoa. My body no likey. But anyone who hasn’t starved themselves of sugar and butter (and flour too) will love this combination of coffee cake and pound cake. The cake part was so good, I will use this as my go-to pound cake recipe. Mmmmm. So yummy!

Coffee Cake Pound Cake
Serves 12
From Southern Living, January 2012

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Prepare Pecan Streusel: Combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles small peas. Stir in 3/4 cup pecans.

Prepare Pound Cake Batter: Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 1 cup pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Stir together flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Pour half of batter into a greased and floured 10-inch (12-cup) tube pan. Stir together toasted pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Spoon remaining batter over pecan mixture; sprinkle with Pecan Streusel.

Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

photo credit

Posted by: Melissa | January 26, 2012

Recipe: Egg and Hash Brown Tacos

Are you ready for some recipes? As I’ve said before, I get way too many magazines in the mail each month. Since Logan was born, the stack gets higher as the months pass when I don’t have time to read them all. Recently, I’ve gone through quite a few, and I’ve pinned them to my Pinterest account so I can keep the recipes until we try them without having stacks of paper in our house. (Ryan is happy about that!)

I also haven’t done a good job lately of posting recipes here that we cook and love. (If we make a recipe and don’t love it, I’ll unpin it — is unpinning a word? — and/or throw away the recipe.) So, coming up, I’m going to post a few recipes that we’ve made, and I want to cook them again. Sadly, another thing I haven’t been good at lately is taking photos of them when we cook them. It’s always such a rush to get food on the table so we can eat with Logan that I forget the photo. I’m pulling photos from the websites where the recipes came from, and I’ll credit those… and then hopefully replace the photo with my own the next time I make the dish.

Now, about this dish… I love breakfast. I could eat it for every meal of the day. This is a delicious breakfast dish we had for dinner a few months ago. Enjoy!

Egg and Hash Brown Tacos
Serves 4
From The Food Network Magazine, October 2011

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups frozen shredded hash browns (about 8 ounces)
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup prepared salsa (we used medium heat level)
8 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (original recipe was Monterrey Jack)
8 6-inch flour tortillas, warmed (we used wheat)
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and roughly chopped (I’m not a huge fan of avocado, so we omitted this)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the hash browns and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and salsa, reduce the heat to low and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Pour into the skillet with the hash browns and cook, stirring, until the eggs are almost set, about 2 minutes. Stir in half of the cheese and cook until the eggs are just set, about 1 more minute. Divide among the tortillas and top with the bean salsa, avocado (if using), cilantro and remaining cheese.

photo credit

Posted by: Melissa | November 2, 2010

Recipe: Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Delicious is all I can say about this recipe. I made these chocolate-pumpkin cheesecake bars to take to dinner with friends on Sunday night, and they were so good! It’s definitely a great dessert idea for Thanksgiving because it still includes pumpkin but with a twist. Enjoy!

Chocolate-Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Makes 16
Adapted from

For the crust
20 chocolate wafer cookies (I couldn’t find these, so I used 20 Oreos and scraped off the white filling.)
2 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling
2 (8 ounce) bars of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.

In a food processor, blend the cookies and sugar until finely ground. Add the butter, and pulse until moistened.

Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan, and press gently into the bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, about 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place the cream cheese in the food processor, and blend until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt. Process until combined. Set aside.

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add one cup of the pumpkin mixture, and stir to combine. Set aside.

Pour the remaining pumpkin mixture into the prepared pan. Drop dollops of the chocolate mixture onto the pumpkin mixture. Using a knife, swirl the two together just slightly. Bake until the cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.

Cool in pan. Cover, and chill until firm, at least two hours (and up to two days). Using the overhang of parchment paper, transfer the cheescake to a work surface. Cut into 16 squares, and serve!