Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp with Bacon Recipe

Cheesy Stuffed Shrimp with Bacon is a Great Appetizer!! or just a little snacky snack!

4 oz. of cream cheese, softened(you can zap it for about 10 sec, stir and then zap another 10 sec and stir, you want it soft, not runny)

4 tsp horseradish

1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated~please use fresh Parmesan Cheese, it’s so much better!

I use a microplane grater to grate the hard cheese. It’s real easy! You can get one here!

1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked. You can buy shrimp already cooked, it’s pink, or cook it yourself; the uncooked are gray. If it says 40-60 or 90-100 on the bag, that means there are that many pieces per pound. The lower the number, the bigger the shrimp. You want to get the bigger ones so you can put filling in them. And if you are going to cook them, please don’t overcook!! They will get rubbery!! Shrimp cooks in about 4 minutes! Real FAST!! (add a little salt and pepper in a little bit of olive oil to saute)

Put the cream cheese into a small mixing bowl.

Then add the horseradish and Parmesan cheese and mix it up until it’s blended and smooth.

Put the mixture into a little sandwich sized baggie and cut one corner out of the bag. (Just a little snip at the corner.)

Cut the shrimp along the outside curve about 2/3 through the shrimp. Don’t cut all the way through, you are going to fill these.

Squeeze the cream cheese mixture into each of the shrimp being careful not to overfill.

Put the little stuffed shrimps on a plate and put them in the fridge for a bit. (At least 30 minutes)

Add cocktail sauce on the side for dipping.

Caramelized Grilled Pineapple

All you need for this naturally sweet grilled treat is a grill and a fresh pineapple! Love these kind of recipes!!

So, you will need to prepare the grill for a low fire.

Lop off the top and the bottomof the pineapple.

Slice down the side and remove the peel and eyes.

Cut the pineapple into quarters and remove the core.

Cut the quarters into 1/2 inch thick slices.

Place the pineapple slices on the grill rack. You can use skewers if you have them. If you are using bamboo skewers,make sure you soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before you grill.

Ya might want to spray the skewers lightly with cooking spray so the pineapples will slide off easily! :)

Grill the slices for 15 minutes, turning once or until they are a little brown.

Should make about 4 servings

The outsides of the pineapple slices may be a little dry, but the insides will be very juicy.

When grilling pineapple y’all don’t have to add any type of sweetener: the natural juices will make them sweet and yummy!!

Enjoy!

Apricot Grilled Shrimp Recipe

I love seafood! Shrimp, fish, lobster, squid(!)…you name it, if its seafood….I’m there! Now if it’s grilled, even BETTER!!

Here’s what y’all need to make these scrumptious Grilled Shrimp:

  • 1/2 C of apricot preserves
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined and uncooked.

And here’s how to make it:

  • Heat your grill to medium temperature.
  • Place the preserves in a small mixing bowl.
  • Whisk in the canola oil and soy sauce.
  • Fold the red pepper flakes into the mixture well.
  • Thread the shrimp onto metal skewers. Coat them lightly with cooking spray to make it easier to get them off the skewers.
  • Baste both sides of the shrimp well with the apricot mixture.
  • Place the shrimp on the grill and do not cover.
  • Grill 3 minutes, basting a couple of times.
  • Turn and continue grilling and basting for an additional 3 minutes or until the shrimps turn pink.
  • Makes about 6 servings

If grilling is just not possible, these shrimp can also be cooked under the broiler 4 inches from the heat source for about 3 minutes on each side.  They will turn pink when done!  Y’all can serve these over white rice. YUM!!

Hope you enjoy!

2018 Charcoal Grilling Tips!

I live in So Cali, so I can grill year round and I do! Make kitchen clean up virtually non-existent! Yay! for the poor kid on kitchen duty!

I have been grilling for about 20 years and one thing I know about grilling is that you can’t rush it, no matter what!! 20 years?? (You would think after all that time I would know how to make one of those pig-in-a-pit deals)

Do your burgers fall apart? Quit messing with them. Let ’em cook. Don’t over knead the raw meat and when you shape them, make the centers thinner than the outer edges and they won’t curl up! (How cool is that?) Make sure the ground beef is at least 15-20% fat for outdoor grilling.

Are your steaks too tough? Quit messing with them and DON’T poke them with anything! Makes all the juices jump out of the steak and into the fire and makes for a dry nasty steak. Don’t over cook steaks, either. Best way to tell if a steak is done is to push on it. It gets firmer as it cooks, so if you like it more rare, squishy is good. If you want it more well done, wait a few minutes until it firms up a bit.

Now if you have to marinade, do it in the refrigerator in resealable plastic food storage bags. Makes clean up a breeze!

If you are also using a marinade for brushing the meat during grilling, reserve part of the marinade for brushing before adding the remaining marinade to raw meat, poultry or fish. The same good food safety practice applies to a sauce that will be used for both brushing on meat during grilling and for passing at the table. Make sure you divide the sauce for the two uses before starting to cook.

For grilling fruits and vegetables, lightly coat the grill grate with vegetable oil or cooking spray before placing it over hot coals to keep foods from sticking. Never spray vegetable oil directly over hot coals!! You can also lightly spray the fruit/veggies so they don’t stick to the grate.

Asian Sweet and Sour Meatballs (Original Recipe)

These meatballs ROCK! Good appetizer food!

½ cup finely chopped water chestnuts (from a can in the Chinese Food section)

1 teaspoon peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger root, divided

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions with tops

1 ¼ pounds lean ground beef (or turkey of you like)

1 ½ cups soft white bread crumbs

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 garlic clove, pressed

¾ cup plum preserves

¼ cup chili sauce

Preheat oven to 400F. Finely chop water chestnuts and slice ginger root. Slice green onions.

Combine ground beef (or turkey), bread crumbs, water chestnuts, ½ teaspoon of the ginger root, green onions, soy sauce and garlic in a bowl; mix gently but throughly.

Shape the meat mixture into balls; place in single layer baking dish. Bake for15 minutes, then remove from oven. Remove juices from baker using a baster and throw away.

Meanwhile, combine the preserves, chili sauce and remaining ½ teaspoon ginger root, evenly pour over meatballs. Put it back in the oven for about 15 more minutes. Give it a little stir before serving.

Should make about 40 meatballs

Little cooking tip on Ginger root…

Ginger root has a really thin, light brown skin that needs to be removed before use. Store it in a plastic food storage bag in the ice box for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months. To use frozen ginger root, just slice off as much as you need.

Hope y’all enjoy!

P.S. I always use a small food chopper to chop all my veggies and cooked meats. Makes my life easier!!

They are really helpful for small chores.

Grilled Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Have y’all ever heard of grilled toast? with cinnamon? AND strawberries?? With a banana?? Yay! How cool is that?  Here is a very easy recipe and it’s soooo YUMMY!

1/4 C of sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
8 brown and serve rolls, cut into quarters
4 T of butter, melted (you can melt in the micro in 10 second intervals)
1 pint of strawberries, hulled
2 firm bananas, peeled and cut into chunks

Prepare the grill for low heat.

Toss together the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Mix them up good!

Brush each of the roll pieces evenly with the melted butter.

Roll the pieces in the cinnamon sugar mixture until they are evenly coated.

Starting with a strawberry thread a strawberry, a roll piece and a banana chunk onto 4 skewers until the skewers are filled. (Remember to soak the skewers for at least 30 min if you are using the bamboo or wooden ones)

Grill for 8 minutes, turning often until the rolls are toasted.

Should make about 4 servings

Hope y’all enjoy!!

A Sneak Peak At My New Garden

Summer is finally here and I am excited to begin my new garden. Personally, I love to plant new vegetables each year and tomatoes are usually my favorite. I use the tomatoes to make a homemade BBQ sauce that everyone in my family loves. The sauce is especially unique because I grow the tomatoes myself without any pesticides.

This year I will also be growing several varieties of super duper hot peppers. I have grown peppers in the past but they require a lot of sun and hot days which I hope we will get this summer. Hot peppers are great to grow but can take a long time. My other favorite thing to grow is broccoli and lettuces.

One of the biggest challenges I have with my gardens is getting them enough water. This I has been the reason most of them have not gone so well. A friend recommended to me a site to research some new garden hoses called garden hose advisor. I am thinking about getting a new expandable hose, which is a new kind of garden hose that expands up to 3x its normal length. This is the first time I have seen this.

The problem I have with all my garden hoses is that they break or get chewed up by my dogs. I have a feeling this one will too but they are pretty lightweight, so after you’re done using them you’re supposed to carry it into the house to protect it from dogs. I never did this before because my garden hose was too darn heavy. The other big thing I wanted to get this summer was a new garden hose nozzle. There are so many cool ones out and I have been using the same brass nozzle for a few years and I wonder if that’s why I haven’t had the best luck.

Here are some images of last years garden in my backyard. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun as well. I did things a bit different last year and didn’t put cross sections the raised bed, so it led to a few problems. Now, I wanted to cut the raised bed into sections so that I could plant and water things a little easier.

Personally, I feel that growing and eating food from your own garden is one of the most rewarding experience you can have. The food tastes better and it’s free! The most important thing is getting good organic seeds and having access to good water. It’s been tough to find sources for seeds but there are plenty of places online. I had luck on ebay in finding some really rare tomatoes and pepper seeds.

Hopefully I will have better luck this year with my new garden hose and hose nozzles. In the past I have had problems with them shutting off my water and I was unable to water my plants and they dies because it didn’t rain/ Watching your plants die can be very frustrating and it hurts me a lot. This year will be different because I have learned from my past mistakes.

As you can see I didn’t use the cross sections on the raised beds and they were a bit lower, making the plants smaller than I wanted. I decided with my new raised bed to go with a height of 12″ rather than 6″. You need more soil and more water but the plants grow bigger. This year I’m hoping to get some massive tomatoes and peppers and lettuces. Still have plenty of work to do, so back to the garden I go!

Beginning the Gluten-Free Lifestyle

My sister recently approached me, asking how to go about adopting a gluten-free diet. Although she was never diagnosed, autoimmune disorders and digestive problems – likely stemming from a gluten sensitivity—run rampant in my family. Of course, I’m the only person who has managed to live entirely gluten-free. I guess it goes without saying, stubbornness also runs in my family. I digress.

As I’ve been living gluten-free for about six years now, I often find myself engaged in conversations with others curious about the gluten-free diet, especially those with persistent stomach aches and discomfort. Before anything else, I strongly urge anyone with problems to see a real doctor to rule out anything serious. But for those interested in saving some time and money (both of which doctors can tend to waste), I like to offer a quick guide and some helpful tips if considering a gluten-free diet.

First, there’s the basic rule: read the labels and eliminate anything made of wheat or white flour. Next, consume only foods found on the parameter of the grocery store, i.e. fruit, vegetables, unseasoned meats, nuts and dairy. Finally, try to avoid eating out at restaurants for the first week or two. For many, these rules sound easy enough. However, when seriously maintaining a gluten-free diet, there’s a lot more to know and understand.

Google Everything

In this day and age, using Google to find out information is pretty much commonplace, but it is important for living gluten-free. And when looking for answers to specific questions, a simple Google search isn’t always enough. I often consult at least 10 different Google results before making a decision because the gluten-free online knowledgebase is still growing and developing.

Be Prepared

So much of socialising can often center on food. If eating gluten-free, attending a dinner party or eating out at a restaurant can cause anxiety or leave you hungry. Bring your dish or talk to the party host before if attending a party where food will be served. Look up restaurant menus or call ahead to know of gluten-free options before dining out.

Talk to Your Server

Just because the restaurant offers gluten-free entrees or even boasts of a gluten-free menu, doesn’t always ensure a wholly gluten-free eating experience. When eating out, politely chat up your server and explain your sensitivity to gluten. You certainly don’t need to get into the gory details, but make sure your server understands that you cannot have anything made with wheat or flour. Casually alerting your server of a gluten intolerance will hopefully inspire personal attention to your meal and ensuring a safe outing.

Get a Gluten-Free Mentor

When I first started eating gluten-free, I stayed lost. However, I was lucky to have a friend who had been living gluten-free for nearly ten years, and she kindly offered to serve as my gluten-free coach. Whenever I was unsure of an ingredient or what to eat at a restaurant, I would text my friend, and she would just reply with a ‘yay’ or ‘nay.’ (Mind you, this was before Internet phones.) Regardless, this simple exercise helped me learn and build a wealth of knowledge to better arm me for living gluten-free.

Embarking on the gluten-free lifestyle isn’t just about changing what you eat, but it also requires you to change how you eat. Avoiding bread and cookies is one part of a very complicated equation.

Gluten-Free Diet: What is it?

A gluten-free diet is unlike a fad diet as it serves the purpose of treating celiac disease. It is recommended for gluten-intolerant people that have special dietary and nutrient requirements. Despite it being the only solution to sufferers of celiac disorder, a doctor should always be consulted for proper advice on how to go about the diet.

Gluten is a protein found in rye, wheat and barley. It gives products processed from these raw materials its elasticity thereby allowing the dough to rise and maintain its shape. The final product derives from gluten its chewy texture. While it is found to exist in cereals and bread, grains such as wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans and sunflower seeds do not have it.

Gluten is not necessarily only found in wheat-based products. It’s also a stabilising agent or thickener for ice creams and ketchup. Other products that contain gluten are medicines and vitamins. It is used in cosmetics products such as lipstick, lip balms, and lip glosses.

There are people who adverse reactions to gluten. This sensitivity to gluten is due to an immune reaction that obstructs its digestion. This condition is known as Celiac Disease, and it affects about 1 in 133 people.

Gluten intolerance is a genetic disorder, and symptoms include diarrhoea, weight loss, and gastrointestinal implications. Celiacs suffer intestinal damage specifically in the villi, the small protrusions that line the small intestine that is responsible for the absorption of nutrients. With the villi in excellent condition, nutrition is not absorbed into the body. The most efficient resolution to this problem is a gluten-free diet.

A gluten-free diet is a life-long commitment to a diet the leaves out foods containing gluten. Additionally, it is the only diet that is medically accepted and prescribed for the treatment of celiac disease. It is also suggested for patients with dermatitis herpetiformis and wheat allergy. Wheat, rye, barley, triticale, durum, Graham, Kamut, semolina, spelt, and malt products are explicitly not allowed to be used. However, specific grains and flours that are allowed to be eaten are rice, corn, soy, beans, sorghum, quinoa, millet, arrowroot, amaranth, flax, and nut flours.

Uncontaminated oats may be consumed only in moderation. This translates to up to half a cup of dry oats each day. Gluten-free oats may be used, if available. Certain alcoholic drinks such as wines, hard liquor and distilled beverages are gluten-free; however, malt vinegar, lagers, and beers that are not distilled are made from gluten-containing grains. Thus, they should be avoided. Fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy products are allowed to be consumed.

Cross-contamination of products is an issue for some. Contamination occurs when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods containing even a small amount of gluten. This can be avoided by preparing gluten-free foods separately from gluten-containing ones. In addition, utensils such as knives, flour sifters, chopping boards and mixing bowls should be washed thoroughly before using them to prepare gluten-free food. Dips and oils used that come into contact with gluten-containing foods should be replaced as well.

Marinated Raw Salmon

I would like to keep my cooking blog very easy to follow and extremely straightforward and clutter-free. One of its goals is to present ideas for those who work full-time and have little time or inspiration to come up with new creative ideas every time. More importantly, this blog is for the exchange of recipes, which is why I am also inviting contributors, who are interested in sharing their recipes but are not necessarily interested in creating and maintaining a blog of their own.

This blog is constant work in progress and will keep changing. Enjoy looking through the recipes and feel free to modify them when cooking as you like, comments and contribution are of course much appreciated. This dish is light and flavorful, a variation of another recipe that I have been working on for a while, but requires a lot less time and work. Can be served on its own or on the top of a salad.

Ingredients

300 gr salmon fillets

juice of 1 orange

juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsps Himalayan salt or another salt of your choice

2 tsp stevia powder, or sugar (brown sugar works best)

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Get Ready to Drool

Cut the salmon into two thin slices and then in bite-size 3-4 pieces, put in a bowl. In another bowl mix all of the ingredients together. Pour over the salmon and mix well with a spoon, pushing the salmon down to be covered with the marinade. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and put in the fridge for 24 hours. When ready, take the salmon pieces out of the marinade and serve with fresh chopped greens of your choice.