Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pantry Pick of the Month: Marinated Artichoke Hearts/Lime Shrimp Scampi with Marinated Artichoke Hearts over Angel Hair Pasta

On impulse, I purchased two LARGE jars of marinated artichoke hearts at Costco.  What am I going to do with these?  They are my pantry pick this month.  I looked at several pasta recipes that included artichoke hearts, but in the end, just made up my own.  It turned out SO good.  Here are some of the star ingredients:

Lime Shrimp Scampi with Marinated Artichoke Hearts
1 lb. angel hair pasta
1/2 bag frozen shrimp
1/2- 3/4 cup or so marinated artichoke hearts
3-4 Tablespoons Garlic Butter
Juice of 2 or 3 limes  (more or less to taste)
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 1/4 tsp.- blow your head off a lot
Two big handfuls grated Parmesan cheese

You may have detected that I am so guessing on amounts.  I just made it up as I went along.
In boiling, salted water, cook the pasta.  While it's cooking, make the sauce:
Start with a large sided skillet or Le Cruset' pan.  Put in a big hunk of the garlic butter in a large sided skillet or Le Creuset pan.  Squeeze the lime juice right in the pan.  Add the shrimp, artichoke hearts, a few Tablespoons of the marinade from the artichokes, red pepper flakes, and a ladel full of the pasta cooking water.  Cook until the shrimp turn pink. Add the drained pasta right into the skillet and mix together.  Add the parmesan cheese and salt if needed.  Serve while hot.

PS  The garlic butter makes delicious garlic bread!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream- Hinton Family Tradition!

I can almost type out this recipe from memory, I've made it so many times over the last 35 years.  Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream was on the menu for nearly every extended Hinton family gathering, as well as nearly every summer holiday barbecue in our family.  We've always made it in our old, large, ice and salt ice cream freezer. We just recently discovered that by cutting the recipe in half it fits perfectly in our smaller 2-quart Cuisinart ice cream freezer.  I've tried many ice cream recipes in this cold core freezer, but this is still our favorite(with Wendy's Frosty  being a close second.)  Remember, if you're using the newer, smaller freezer, you'll need to half this recipe:

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
7 cups milk
3 cups whipping cream
2 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a very large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light with a hand mixer.  Add the sugar gradually, beating until thick.  Add the remaining ingredients, beating well.  Pour into the ice cream freezer.  Makes 1 gallon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cinnamon Muffins -- With a Healthy Twist

Mmm. My house smells like autumn. Yours can too. With this delicious, healthy recipe!

This time of year I am always looking for new ideas for after school snacks and yummy things to send in school lunches. My children love cinnamon and this muffin recipe went over really well. It calls for applesauce instead of oil so it is low fat and scrumptious. We have a fair amount of zucchini hanging out around here from our garden, so I used shredded zucchini instead of apples and it worked great.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
 3/4 cup sugar (The original recipe called for "granular no-calorie sucralose sweetener, e.g., Splenda ®") 
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
 1 egg, lightly beaten
 1/3 cup milk

 2 apples - peeled, cored and chopped OR shredded zucchini

1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a 12 cup muffin tin with foil liners or spray with cooking spray.
2.      In a large bowl, whisk together the 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup sweetener, salt, baking powder, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
3.      In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup applesauce, egg, and milk. Stir the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Fold in the apples. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full.
4.      Optional Step: In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sweetener, 2 2/3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 2/3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and oats. Spread evenly over the muffin batter.
5.      Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

I skipped the optional step for the following less healthy, but “more appealing to my children” option:

1 Tablespoon butter
Cinnamon and sugar mix

Brown butter on the stove. Put cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl. After muffins are cooked and have cooled for 4 or 5 minutes, dip muffin top in browned butter and then cinnamon/sugar and give them to your hovering children to listen to them “ooh” and “aah.” Or satisfy your own cravings and enjoy a guilt free snack.

Creamy Sweet Pasta Salad

This a deliciously sweet pasta salad that is full of yummy vegetables.  It makes a great side dish for a potluck party or barbecue. It makes a lot! You can add whatever raw vegetables you like.

Creamy Pasta Salad
1 lb. box pasta, cooked el dante and drained- be sure to cook in well-salted water
4 medium carrots, shredded
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 big stalks celery, diced
Any other raw veggies you want

2 cups mayonaise
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup white vinegar
0- 1/2 cup white sugar (add if you want it sweeter)
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix together the cooled pasta and veggies.  In a separate bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients.  Pour sauce over pasta and veggies and stir well.  Refrigerate to blend flavors.

Monday, September 1, 2014

What's For Dinner? September

Nectar of the Gods Soup with Ham Sammies

Taco Salad
Labor Day Barbecue:  Marinated Chicken Breasts, Potato Salad, Fruit Salad, Baked Beans,Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

Swedish Meatballs in Cream Sauce
BLT Sandwiches (it's tomato season!)
Shrimp Scampi/ Rice/ Brocolli

Baked Eggs/ Toast/ Orange Julius

Chicken Stir Fry/ Rice

Easy Chicken Parmesan/ Garlic Bread/ Green Salad

Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches/ Cheetos

Ono Burgers/ Oven Fries

Summer Squash Casserole

Pantry Pick of the Month: Marinated artichoke hearts/ Creamy Artichoke and Sun-dried tomato Penne

Blueberry Turnovers
Homemade Oreo Cookies
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream