follow us on pintrest follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on google+ follow us on youTube rss feed



Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Orzo with Basil


(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookbook, “One Pot Meals”)

Hello, my beautiful Friends!   I have really missed you!   

I am so excited to get back to blogging after this long hiatus I have been on.  I thought it would be simple to blog while my family lived in our tiny little apartment for the past 6 months, but boy was I wrong.  We were falling on top of each other all the time and adding blogging to that situation was a NO GO!  We just recently started liking each other again.  LOL!

I kept telling myself that one day I would be able to look back on this temporary decision and be happy I made it.  Honestly, I second guessed myself ALLLLLL THEEEEE  TIME!


I can finally say that the day came when I could finally say that the decision did actually pay off.  We couldn’t afford to build our home while still living in the home we had.  So, we sold first, then did a 6 month lease while it was built.

That is behind us now since we recently moved in.  (Everybody take a deep breath with me and exhale slowly now…………AHHHHHHHHHHH! )

Ok, enough jibber jabber!

In honor of the interesting Summer I had, I want to share a recipe that represents everything Summer to me!  Shrimp, basil, and tomatoes!

This recipe is both yummy AND light!




Recipe:  Shrimp, Tomatoes, and Orzo with Basil

•  3 Cups halved Grape Tomatoes, Halved

•  6 Garlic Cloves, Minced

•  2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

•  3/4 lb. Orzo

•  3  1/4 Cups Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

•  1  1/2 lbs. Large Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined

•  1 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Chopped


•  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Position rack in the top position.

•  In a large ovenproof skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat.

•  Add garlic and cook until just beginning to brown, 1 minute.  Increase heat to high and add tomatoes;  season with salt and     pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 minutes.

•  Add orzo and broth, and bring to a simmer.

•  Cover and bake until liquid is mostly absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.

•  Toss shrimp with remaining teaspoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Remove skillet from oven, and place shimp on top of orzo.

•  Heat broiler.  Broil until shrimp are opaque throughout, 4 minutes.

•  Sprinkle with basil and serve.



Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Lee’s Lemon Cupcakes

Lee's Lemon Cupcakes-2

So, my oldest turned 11 today………………  11 , y’all!

It breaks my heart…………..  mostly because it means I’m getting old.


It doesn’t break my heart to share the cupcake recipe I made for her birthday.

A little while back, I shared a recipe of a cake that was my cake version of this very cupcake.  Confusing?  Hopefully not.

We bought some cupcakes that were called “Lemon Bliss” Cupcakes at Sam’s Club.  They were instantly a HIT!  Problem is, they are a seasonal item and you can’t get them all the time.  One of my favorite things is to try to recreate foods that I have tried and put my own twist on them in the process.  The cake was awesome and we had it for her birthday last year.  You can check that post out here.

This year, we decided to do the actual cupcake version so we made a few adjustments.


With the cake I made, I used whipped cream as the “icing”.  This time, I decided to go with buttercream and lemon pudding in the middle and also filled the inside of the cupcake with the pudding like a hostess cupcake.

The result was pure AWESOMENESS!  The great thing is this cupcake is not heavy at all!  I didn’t say it was’t fattening, just not heavy.  So, I guess you might want to be careful since you could probably eat a few without blinking an eye.  😉



Have fun and let me know how your’s turn out!

Recipe:  Lee’s Lemon Cupcakes

NOTE:  It may be helpful to read entire recipe before starting.

Makes 24 Cupcakes (filled half way) or 20 Cupcakes filled 2/3 way high


– 1 Boxed Lemon Cake , plus additional items needed for cake such as eggs, oil, water (etc.)

– 1 Box Instant Lemon Pudding, plus 2 cups milk needed for Pudding instructions.

– Lemon Buttercream Frosting (Recipe Follows)

– Cupcake Liners

– 1 Cupcake filler tip

– 1 Tip for Buttercream Frosting

– 2 Large Freezer Ziplock Bags

Lemon Butter Cream Frosting:

– 2 Sticks room temperature softened unsalted butter

– 6 Cups Confectioners Sugar

– 1/2 Cup Milk (I use Skim)

– 1   1/2  Teaspoons Lemon Extract


– Line Muffin Pan with liners and mix and bake cupcakes according to cake instructions.  Allow to cool completely.

– Meanwhile, make Lemon Pudding according to package instructions and put in fridge for 15 minutes to allow to “set up”.

– Make Buttercream frosting by beating 2 sticks butter with a hand mixer until smooth (about 2 minutes).  Slowly add confectioners sugar and alternate between milk and confectioners sugar until all has been used.  Add lemon extract and beat until completely smooth and all lumps from sugar are gone.

– Once cupcakes have completely cooled, take a large ziplock bag, snip one corner of bag at an angle and insert large long decorating tip for cupcake filling into bag.  Fill bag with Lemon Pudding Filling.  Seal bag and set aside.

– Take other large ziplock bag and snip a corner of bag at angle and insert another large decorating tip of your choosing for Butter Cream frosting.  Fill bag with Butter Cream Frosting and set aside.

– Take cooled cupcakes and inserting the tip of the Lemon Pudding bag into center of cupcake, gently squeeze bag until you can see the lemon pudding filling come out of top.  Finish filling remainder of cupcakes.  You should have left over.  Do not throw away!  We will use at end.

– Take Butter Cream Frosting back and make a swirl around top outer edge of cupcake twice, allowing for a “circle” to remain on center of cupcake.  Finish frosting remainder of cupcakes.

– Take remaining lemon pudding filling bag and fill remaining center “circle” on cupcake until pudding is level with butter cream frosting.

– Your done!  Enjoy!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Salmon Chowder

DSC_3731 2

I know that you can eat fish pretty much any time of the year, but let’s be honest, it’s the best during the Summertime, right?  When I think of fish in general, I think of the ocean and that usually leads me to thinking of the beach and that ultimately is the goal for most of us during the Summer!

If you love Salmon as much as I do, YOU MUST TRY THIS RECIPE!  This might not seem like it would be very “kid friendly”, but I swear….. my  little BABIES eat this up!

Maybe they are just weird or maybe they just can’t taste the salmon, or ……. yeah, maybe they are just weird……….  😉

Regardless the case, they really do love this one!

Salmon is probably one of the healthiest kinds of fish out there.  The best part is that this meal is very light too!


Check out the Recipe below!


Recipe:  Salmon Chowder

•  1 lb. fresh skinless Salmon

•  1 – 2 Tbsp. of Olive Oil

•  2 cups Shredded Carrots

•  1 cup Chopped Onions

•  1/2 cup Thinly Sliced Celery

•  2 1/2 cups Cubed Red- Skinned Potatoes

•  4 cups Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth

•  1 (16 oz.) package Frozen Corn

•  1 Tsp. Fresh Chopped Dill Weed , plus more for Garnish (Optional)

•  1/4 Tsp. Salt

•  2 Cups Milk (I used Skim)

•  2 Tablespoons Cornstarch (for thickening)

•  Water for Poaching Salmon


•  Rinse Salmon and pat dry.  Set aside.

•  In large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high heat.   Cook and stir carrots , celery, and onion in hot oil about 10-12 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

•  Meanwhile, in another large pot, bring water (about 2 cups) to a boil.  Add salmon.  Return to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.   Remove salmon, flake into 1 inch size pieces  and set aside.  Discard water.

•  Stir the broth, potatoes, corn, dill, and salt into cooked veggies.  Bring to a boil.

•  Reduce heat to medium low heat .  Cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

•  Stir together 1/2 cup of the milk and cornstarch.  Add milk mixture to pot.

•  Stir in remaining  1  1/2 cups milk to pot.

•  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and slightly bubbly.  ( about 5-6 minutes)

•  Gently stir in poached salmon and heat through.

•  Serve in bowls and top with additional fresh dill.

•  Goes GREAT with Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread!





Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Desserts   Entertaining
Perfection Plus Painting
Jenny Lou & Co.