Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Pies

We decided to mix things up a little with our pie night and do it in the summer instead of the fall. We had a salad bar for dinner and then a bunch of pies for dessert. Here are the ones we tried this time.

Marshmallow Crispy Lemon Pie


1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup dry lemon flavor gelative (1/2 of a 3-oz pkg.)
4 cups miniature marshmallows
3 cups rice crispies cereal
1 pkg. (3.4 oz) lemon flavor instant pudding
1 1/2 cups cold milk
5 fresh strawberries, cut in half, optional


Microwave butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 30 seconds, or until melted. Add dry gelatin mix and marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1 min. or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is blended, stirring after 45 seconds. Add cereal; mix well.

Press cereal mixture onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate sprayed with cooking spray.

Beat pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 minutes; pour into crust. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.

Recipe notes: You can prepare using vanilla flavor instant pudding and your favorite flavor of gelatin. You can also substitute raspberries for the halved strawberries.

How to use remaining gelatin: Add 1/4 cup boiling water to remaining dry gelatin mix in small bowl; stir 2 minutes, until dissolved. Stir in 2 tbsp. cold water. Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.

Yield: 10 servings.

Source: Kraft Recipes. You can find it here.

Notes: This was a fun change from using pie crust. Very kid friendly. Plus, I am always a sucker for lemon.


Macadamia Key Lime Pie


1 cup crushed shortbread cookies
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Key lime juice or lime juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts


In a small bowl, mix cookie crumbs, macadamia nuts and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and up sides of a greased 9-inch. pie plate.

Refrigerate 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in milk and lime juice until blended. Transfer to crust. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours.

In a small bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form; spoon or pipe onto pie. Top with macadamia nuts.

Yield: 8 servings.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: Ooh, this was good. Tart, but not too tart, and very creamy.

Hoosier Pie


1/2 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whole milk
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under; flute.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Add half-and-half, and mix well.

Combine whole milk and egg yolks in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk; add to sugar mixture, and whisk to combine well. Stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture into prepared crust and sprinkle nutmeg over top. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until filling is set and lightly browned. Cool completely before serving.

Recipe notes: This simple custard pie originated in the 1800s as a way to use ingredients typically on hand: butter, flour, and sugar or maple syrup. Similar to the Hoosier Pie is the Pennsylvania Chess Pie; both were created, it's believed, by Shaker and Amish cooks.

Source: Oxmoor House, October 2013. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. Very basic ingredients and super tasty.


Martha Stewart's Crisp Coconut and Chocolate Pie


For the crust:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
11 ounces (about 6 cups) sweetened shredded coconut

For the filling:

1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 51 percent cacao), finely chopped


Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, process butter and one-third of the coconut until mixture forms a ball, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Sprinkle remaining two-thirds coconut over mixture and combine with your fingers.

Place a 9-inch pie plate on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Press coconut mixture into bottom and up sides of pan to form crust, leaving top edges loose and fluffy. Place a foil ring over edge to prevent burning. Bake until center begins to brown, 10 to 15 minutes; remove foil and bake until edges are browned, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer crust to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the filling: Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan; pour over chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Let sit 10 minutes, then stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is combined. Pour into coconut crust. Refrigerate until filling is set, 1 hour, or up to 1 day.

Makes one 9-inch pie.

Source: I originally found this on the Martha Stewart website, but it doesn't appear to be there anymore. You can find it here.

Olive Garden Chocolate Ricotta Pie



1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tbsp. granulated sugar


1 lb. ricotta cheese
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup toasted almonds
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup heavy cream


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar together in a bowl. Shape inside 9" pie plate. If crust is too crumbly, ad a small amount of butter so crumbs will hold together. Bake at 375 for 8-9 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool.

Combine ricotta, confectioner's sugar, and almond extract in a bowl and set aside.

Combine almonds and chocolate. Chop together in a food processor; do not chop too fine.

Fold together cheese mix and chopped almond and chocolate and chill.

Whip heavy cream until stiff. Fold into ricotta and chocolate mix half at a time.

Spoon into chilled crust and let sit overnight before serving.

Serve with chocolate sauce, if desired.

Source: This is an actual Olive Garden recipe found on their site. You can fine it here. Their recipe site used to be a lot more user friendly than it is now though.

Notes: This was one of my favorites. Very rich, but oh so good.

Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie



1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 cookie sheets), divided
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons egg white
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray


1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
1/4 taspoon instant espresso powder (we used Postum)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 3/4 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

To prepare the crust, reserve 1 tablespoon crumbs for topping. Combine the remaining crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well. Stir in egg white an dbutter. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 degrees F for 9 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool completely on a wire rack.

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup sugar, and the next 7 ingredients (through egg yolk) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place the milk in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until milk reaches 180 degrees F or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth.

Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until mixture cools, stirring occasionally. Spoon filling into crust, and cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Chill for 3 hours or until set; remove plastic wrap. Spread the whipped topping over filling; sprinkle with reserved cracker crumbs.

Source: Cooking Light, May 2011. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good. The cinnamon and the red pepper added some great flavor.

 Streusel Peach Pie


Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
5 cups sliced peeled fresh or frozen peaches, thawed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Dash ground nutmeg
1 egg
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons cold butter
Whipped cream, optional


Line a 9-inch. pie plate with pastry; trim pasty to 1/2 in. beyond edge of plate and flute edges.

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, sugar, flour, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk egg and cream. Pour over peaches; toss to combine. Place in crust. Bake at 375 degrees F for 35 minutes.

For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over outer edges of pie, leaving center uncovered.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, covering edges with foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: Really good, classic peach pie.

Cool and Creamy Watermelon Pie


1 package (3 ounces) watermelon gelatin
1/4 cup boiling water
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups cubed seeded watermelon
1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)


In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Cool to room temperature. Whisk in whipped topping; fold in watermelon. Spoon into crust. Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until set.

Yield: 6-8 servings.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here.

Notes: This was our kid friendly pie choice. The kids all gravitated towards it.

Above: Did we make enough pies?

Saturday, August 2, 2014



I made this one awhile back, but I just made it again this week (because I didn't know what I wanted to make for dinner, and I happened to have all of the ingredients for this on hand) and it was just so good that I thought I would post it again (especially since I took new pictures and remembered the parsley this time).

Creamy Pasta with Crispy Salami


3 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 ounces salami
Olive oil
3 crushed garlic cloves
3/4 pound spaghetti
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley


Whisk together eggs and Parmesan in a large bowl.  Cut salami into 1/2 inch strips.  Heat a skillet over medium-high, then coat with olive oil.  Cook salami and garlic until salami is crisp.  Cook spaghetti, before draining, reserve 1 cup pasta water.  Add hot pasta to egg mixture, along with garlic and half the salami.  Toss, adding enough pasta water to coat pasta in a creamy sauce.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.  Serve topped with a sprinkle of parsley and remaining salami.

Source: Martha Stewart, Everyday Food. You can find it here.

Notes: This is a fun variation on pasta carbonara.  If you don't have salami, you can go the traditional route and use bacon instead.

Oh, and I must strongly suggest that you use freshly ground pepper in this dish.  It makes all the difference!

I cooked a whole pound of pasta.  Last time, I forgot the parsley. This time, I remembered. :) It just makes it look so much prettier!

I Love Tomatoes!


Tomatoes seriously have to be my favorite vegetable (or one of my favorite fruits if you are going to be technical).

I had some grape tomatoes that I had gotten to pop into salads, but I bought way too many, and some of them were getting past their prime. So I found this lovely recipe to use them up. It was really good...though my son didn't like the smell of the Balsamic vinegar and he kept holding his nose and saying, "Stinky!" Ha ha!

So, if you need to (because you are like my son), hold your nose and eat these anyway! Besides, I thought they smelled good!

Sauteed Grape Tomatoes


1 pt. grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil


Saute tomatoes and next 3 ingredients in hot oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and stir in basil.

Source: Southern Living, February 2009. You can find it here. It is currently rated 5 stars, and for good reason!

Notes: I thought this was so good. I did add a touch of salt and pepper on top when I served it as well. This would also be so good tossed with your favorite kind of pasta. It makes a lot of yummy sauce that would be great with pasta.

Summer is Ice Cream Time: Part 3


I saw this recipe on and it immediately inspired me. I had an experience similar to Dr. Emmett Brown discovering what would make time travel possible in "Back to the Future."

To quote Back to the Future, "Here's a red-letter date in the history of science: November 5, 1955. Yes! Of course! November 5, 1955! That was the day I invented time-travel. I remember it vividly. I was standing on the edge of my toilet hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, I slipped, hit my head on the sink, and when I came to, I had a revelation! A vision! A picture in my head! A picture of this! This is what makes time travel possible: the flux capacitor!"

Anyway, when I saw that recipe, I thought, "That looks good." Then I thought, "Why didn't they add sugar?" After that I thought, "Also, it would have been better to toast the coconut." Also, "They should have combined the coconut and chocolate together." Then, "Why not make mini chocolate coated coconut haystacks instead of having the chocolate and coconut separate?" Finally, "It would probably work better with cream."

At any rate, it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood sweets that my grandpa used to make for us: Chocolate Coconut Haystacks.

After looking at the original ice cream recipe, I came to and had a revelation! A vision! A picture in my head! A pictures of this:

Chocolate Coconut Haystack Ice Cream


6 cups heavy whipping cream
4 cups half-and-half
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon coconut extract or flavoring
1 (7 oz) bag sweetened flake coconut (2 1/2 cups)
1 (12 oz) bag milk chocolate chips (2 cups)


Place coconut in a microwave safe bowl or dish. Microwave in 1 minute increments, stirring after each time until toasted a light to medium brown. Set aside.

In another microwave safe bowl, microwave milk chocolate chips. Microwave for 1 minute and then stir. Microwave for another 30 minutes and stir again. If necessary, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir until completely smooth.

Mix chocolate and coconut until coconut is evenly coated.

Spread chocolate coconut mixture in one very thin layer on a foil lined jelly roll pan. Place in refrigerator or freezer until set up.

While waiting for the coconut chocolate bark to set up, mix heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, sugar, and coconut extract and freeze in a 4-quart ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

While the ice cream is mixing, break the chocolate coconut bark into small pieces. I used a knife to break it into small pieces (if you use your hands, it will begin to melt, and you will get really messy).

Once the ice cream is set up, gently fold in the chocolate coconut pieces. Ripen in a freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Source: As I said before, this one is my own creation that was inspired by the recipe that you can find in the link above.

Notes: I am not going to lie, it was good that I had the ice cream vision that I had. It was very, very good. This is one of the best ice creams I have ever had. Everyone loved it. Good, good stuff.

You can make additional chocolate coconut bark to use as a garnish when serving, if desired.

Above: This gives you an idea of how thin I spread the chocolate coconut bark.

Above: Half-way done! I would say that each little chocolate coconut haystack nugget was about the size of a small blueberry...or a little smaller than a dime...or the size of a fingernail...sheesh, I'm having a hard time coming up with size comparisons. Just break the bark into bite size pieces.

Above: You will end up with about 4 cups of chocolate coconut haystack bite size pieces.

Above: Here is the ice cream before folding in the chocolate coconut haystack pieces.

Above: Here is the ice cream with the chocolate coconut haystack pieces mixed in. This was so good, we made it twice this summer!

Summer is Ice Cream Time: Part 2


Did we go overboard on ice cream? Yes. We always do! However, it is the dessert that keeps on giving. Pop the leftovers back in the freezer, and they are just as good a week later for your next family dinner! (Or even three months later!)

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream


6 cups heavy whipping cream
4 cups half-and-half
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 can (13.4 oz) Dulce de Leche (such as Nestle La Lechera)
1 small can/bottle caramel ice cream syrup


Whisk 2 cups heavy whipping cream and can of Dulce de Leche until smooth. Continue to add remaining whipping cream and half-and-half, whisking as you go, until completely smooth. Add sugar and stir until combined.

Freeze in a 4-quart ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

When transferring to a freezer safe container, layer the ice cream with the caramel ice cream syrup and swirl as you go.

Ripen in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving.

Source: I used the base vanilla recipe from my ice cream maker and added the caramel to it. This recipe came about simply because I had extra ingredients left over after making a different batch of ice cream, so I thought, "What the heck. Why not?"

Notes: This was so rich, and so addicting. It was hard to stop going back for more!

Peppermint Ice Cream


7 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 (14 ounce) cans fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 1/3 cups crushed peppermint candies (about 75 candies)


Combine 1 1/4 cups 2% milk and egg yolks in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cook until mixture is slightly thick and coats the back of a spoon (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly (do not boil). Cool egg mixture slightly.

Combine egg mixture, 1 1/4 cups 2% milk, vanilla, and condensed milk in a large bowl. Cover and chill completely. Stir in crushed candies. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon the ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

Makes 24 servings (1/2 cup per serving)

Nutrition information: 268 calories, 2.9 g fat, 7.6 g protein, 52.2g carbohydrate, 0.0 g fiber, 62 mg cholesterol, 0.3 mg iron, 99 mg sodium, 238 mg calcium.

Source: Cooking Light, December 2001. You can find it here.

Notes: I tripled this recipe from the original one. The original recipe is more suited to a 2 quart ice cream maker. This is an old favorite recipe of mine and I have made it quite a few time before. One of my favorites. Such a nice flavor and texture. We had previously posted it on the blog here.

Summer is Ice Cream Time: Part 1

I got a new ice cream maker for my birthday (since I had blown out the motor on the last one). So we knew we needed to make some homemade ice cream!

Lemon and Lime Ice Cream


4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
3 tablespoons lime juice
Several drops yellow food coloring (optional)
Lemon and/or lime slices and curls, for serving (optional)


In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine milk, sugar, whipping cream, lemon peel, lemon juice, lime peel, lime juice, and, if desired, food coloring. (Mixture may appear curdled.)

Freeze in a 3- to 4- quart ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer's directions.

Ripen 4 hours. If desired, garnish with lemon and lime slices and curls.

Makes 2 quarts (16 servings).

Source: Razzle Dazzle Recipes. You can find it here.

Notes: This is an oldie, but a goodie. We actually already posted it here. It is so smooth and refreshing. Quite a palate cleanser.

Cinnamon Ice Cream


1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


In a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and half-and-half. When the mixture begins to simmer, remove from heat, and whisk half of the mixture into the eggs. Whisk quickly so that the eggs do not scramble. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla and cinnamon. Set aside to cool.

Pour cooled mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information: 279 calories, 17.5 g fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 28.4 g carbs, 0.3 g fiber, 3.5 g protein.

Source:, submitted by Elizabeth. You can find it here.

Notes: This was one of my favorites. I loved the texture. It was so creamy...and the cinnamon flavor was just right. So, so good.


Cannoli Ice Cream


1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 ts. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 3/4 cups good-quality ricotta
1/4 cup almonds
About 2 ounces dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa


Place sugar, vanilla, salt, and milk in blender and blend until sugar is dissolved. Add ricotta and puree until very smooth; it should be a similar consistency to cake batter.

Pour in your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions to freeze.

In the meantime, roughly chop your almonds and chocolate into small chunks. About five minutes before the ice cream is done, add these.

Ripen in the freezer for 4 hours.

Source: Full Belly Sisters. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: The original recipe called for pistachios, but we substituted almonds because of my son's allergy to pistachios. This was so yummy. One of my favorites. My advice though is that you make sure to soften it plenty before serving it. It should be easy to scoop, if it is too hard to scoop when you serve it, it needs to thaw longer. The reason for this is that it needs to be soft in order for the ricotta to have a smooth consistency--otherwise, it will seem a little icy rather than creamy.

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream


1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
3 graham crackers, coarsely chopped


Mix first 4 ingredients with mixer until well blended. Freeze 4 hours or until almost solid.

Beat cream cheese mixture with mixer until creamy. Blend berries in blender until smooth. Add to cream cheese mixture with chopped graham crackers; mix well. Freeze 8 hours, or until firm.

Remove dessert from freezer 15 minutes before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly before scooping into dishes.

Recipe notes: You can prepare using Neufchatel cheese to make it a little lighter.

Variation: You can prepare using fresh or thawed frozen blueberries for Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream.

Source: You can find it here.

Notes: This was really good, but I would make some changes in the future. I would use a little more whipping cream--at least 1/2 cup, but maybe as much as 2/3 cups.

Also, I wouldn't blend the berries until completely smooth, I would aim for more of a finely chopped texture. Also, I would wait to add the graham crackers until the very end.

I would freeze it in an ice cream maker to whip some air into the mixture and then either add the graham crackers during the last 5 minutes of churning, or I would gently fold them in at the end when I transferred the mixture to a freezer safe container to ripen.

Even so, this was very good, and we enjoyed it a lot!

From the Ocean

I was craving a good shrimp scampi, and this did the trick! I will type the recipe as originally written, and then type it again with my changes (since I made quite a few).

Shrimp Scampi


3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Hot cooked angel hair pasta


In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, saute garlic in butter and oil until fragrant. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, pepper and oreagano; cook and stir until shrimp turn pink. Sprinkle with cheese, bread crumbs and parsley.

Broil 6 in. from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve with pasta.

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition information: 1 cup equals 395 calories, 30 g fat, 177 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 9 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 24 g protein.

Source: Taste of Home. You can find it here. It is currently rated 5 stars, and with good reason!

Shrimp Scampi (with my changes)


2-3 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds frozen cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving, if desired
Dry Italian bread crumbs
Minced fresh parsley
1 lb. hot cooked angel hair pasta (reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid)


Prepare the shrimp by pulling off the tails, if desired.

In a large skillet, saute garlic in butter and oil until fragrant. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, pepper, and oregano. Cook until heated through.

Add angel hair pasta and toss to coat. Add a little of the reserved cooking liquid from the pasta if the pasta is a little dry and needs more sauce.

Sprinkle each serving with desired amount of Italian bread crumbs, minced parsley, and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Notes: I bought cooked shrimp on accident. It did speed up the process considerably. I also pulled the tails off of all of the shrimp.

I used bottled minced garlic simply because it was easier. I increased the amount of lemon juice because I like things lemony. I added salt. I also used Italian bread crumbs instead of plain--just for extra flavor.

Using a pasta spoon, I spooned the pasta right from the pot it cooked in to the lemon butter shrimp sauce.

I also didn't want to make the pasta too dry, so I thought it would be better to sprinkle each serving of pasta with breadcrumbs.

As Easy As It Gets

I wasn't in the mood to cook dinner the day I made this, but what can you do? Families have to be fed. So I made this. It was really easy, and very satisfying. Everyone loved it, and in my house, that is saying a lot because I have picky eaters!

Grands! Crescent Enchilada-Stuffed Sandwiches


1 can (12 oz) Pillsbury Grands Big & Flaky crescent dinner rolls
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup Old El Paso red enchilada sauce (from 10-oz can)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Separate dough into 4 rectangles. Onto ungreased cookie sheet, place 2 rectangles, short ends together, forming 14x5-inch rectange. Firmly press perforations and center seam to esal.

In medium bowl, mix chicken and sauce. Spoon chicken mixture lengthwise in 4-inch strip down center of dough to within 1/4 inch of edges. Top with cheese. Press remaining 2 rectangles to 7x5 inches, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Place each rectangle over cheese, pinching center seam to seal.

Bake 18-22 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Cut into slices. Serve warm.

Serves 6.

Source: Pillsbury website. You can find it here.

Notes: I kind of made a lot of changes, so I am going to rewrite the recipe below with my changes.

Crescent Enchilada-Stuffed Sandwiches (with my changes)


1 can (8 oz) seamless crescent dough
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 (10 oz) can red or green enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 oz)


Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Lay dough out onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

In a medium bowl, mix chicken, enchilada sauce, and cheese. Spoon chicken mixture lengthwise in 4-inch strip down one side of dough to within 1/4 inch of edges. Fold the rest of the dough over the chicken mixture and pinch seams to seal. Cut slits in the top to release steam while baking.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Cut into slices. Serve warm.

Serves 4.

Source: Inspired by the recipe above.

Notes: I used green enchilada sauce instead of red because I was out of sour cream and I was worried that red enchilada sauce would be too spicy for my boys. I thought it would be easier to use a seamless sheet of crescent dough...but I didn't realize that it would be so much smaller (8 oz versus 12 oz). The filling still fit inside though, so I just decreased the serving size.

This was really easy and it really hit the spot. I will have to try it again with red enchilada sauce (and make sure to have some sour cream on hand for my boys).

Quick Substitutions: Cocoa Powder for Chocolate

I saw this in one of my email newsletters. It was a short video, and they didn't even have a written version of the recipe, but I thought it was such handy information to know! It is a video on how to substitute cocoa powder for chocolate. I thought this was awesome because I always have cocoa powder on hand, but I don't always have unsweetened or semi-sweet chocolate on hand.

Homemade Unsweetened Chocolate


3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp butter


Dissolve cocoa powder in liquid that is called for in the recipe. Mix in butter.

Makes enough to replace 1 oz unsweetened chocolate.

Source: Video from You can watch the video here. I think you have time to watch it. The video is only 36 seconds long. :)

Homemade Semi-Sweet Chocolate


3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. butter
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar


Dissolve cocoa powder in liquid that is called for in the recipe. Mix in butter and sugar.

Makes enough to replace 1 oz semi-sweet chocolate.

Source: Same video as the one above.

Notes: I haven't tried either of these, but I thought it was super valuable information to have. You know, if you ever HAVE to have brownies and just happen to be out of bars of baking chocolate. :)

Quick Substitutions: Coconut Milk

Do you need coconut milk, but don't have any in your cupboard? However, do you happen to have some flaked coconut on hand? If so, you can make your own coconut milk!

Coconut Milk


1 cup flake coconut
1 cup milk


Simmer 1 cup coconut in 1 cup milk until mixture begins to foam. Strain. Use in beverages, or in baking and in cooking.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Source: I found this recipe on the back of a package of sweetened flaked coconut (Kroger brand) and thought it was definitely a handy thing to know!

Notes: I haven't actually tried this, but I wanted to keep it in a safe place so that I could try it when the need arises!