Thursday, 19 July 2012

Cajun Shrimp and Rice

What got me about this recipe was that it cooks in 8 minutes!!!

Well.... my version did NOT take 8 minutes.  I could not find microwavable whole grain brown rice, so I use the 10 minute instant stuff.  It took me almost 10 min to peel and devein my shrimp.  So now it is a 10 min dinner if i make my rice and devein my shrimp at the same time.  You still have to cook your shrimp, and the other ingredients.

So here is how I made dinner tonight..... I used Uncle Ben's instant 10 minute brown rice.  I think my meat should be cooked in my seasoning, and my husband isnt a fan of onions, so I cooked down my onions and garlic with some of the cajun seasoning and smoked paprika BEFORE I added in my jumbo shrimp.  Once I added in the shrimp I added extra seasoning.  Then I added my tomatoes, lastly the rice for a hot minute.  I did not use the veggies or green onions because my husband does not like them, and dinner was for him tonight. I also drained the tomatoes.  Who wants soggy food? certainly not us!!  Stewed tomatoes give you enough juice, you dont need the extras.

One thing I have learned from cooking Pinterest recipes, they never seem to have enough seasoning for my tastebuds.  Usually the first time I make a recipe I make it according to the rules, today I paid no attention, I made it how we like it.  The recipe was just a guideline.

I think dinner probably took about 20-30 minutes total prep and cook time, but it sure was worth it.  Both my husband and I had seconds.  It was absolutely delicious, and sooooooo easy to make!!!!!

  • 1 (8.8-ounce) pouch microwavable rice (whole-grain brown rice)I used Uncle Ben's 10 min brown rice
  • Cooking spray I think I skipped this step
  • 1 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, salt-freeHahaha - i used way more than this - i did not measure it though
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon bottled minced garlic I probably used at least two
  • 1/2 of a large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables, thawed - skipped this step
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions- skipped this step too
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning- whoops, this one as well :-0
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paparika- definately used more than this
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt added stewed tomatoes, undrained) used a giant can drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt - to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper - to taste
Cook rice according to package directions. 

While the rice cooks, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the shrimp with Cajun seasoning; toss to coat. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm. I skipped this step.  I threw my shrimp in after step 3.  I want all the flavor in my shrimp!

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add the veggies, green onions, paparike, and Italian seasoning; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in cooked rice, shrimp, tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. I added some Cajun seasoning and smoked paprika, then more when I added the shrimp.

Good Luck with this!  Our dinner was delightful!

Happy Cooking!!


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Sounds a little strange I know, but I just had to give it a try.  The picture looked absolutely delicious!!

As many of you know I am always looking for creative ways to hide veggies in food.  My husband does not eat vegetables, and my baby is getting pickier as she grows up.  Not a good thing!  I on the other hand LOVE veggies, well most of them!

I didn't have all the right ingredients.  I did not have any dried oregano, or mozzarella cheese. I figured cheddar would be ok.  for the toppings I used alfredo sauce and chopped cherry tomatoes, it was all we had in the house, and i generally make pizza with left over tidbits!

The cooking time did not seem quite right to me.  I put my crust in as instructed and it cooked (burned) way too quickly.  I did not leave it in as long as I should.  When my pizza was done it was kind of soggy.  The taste was delicious, but who wants to eat soggy pizza?!?!  I think maybe I made my crust too thin? could I need to add more cauliflower?  I think I will play around with it some more because it really was tasty.  I think it would make really great crackers!

I really need to start taking better pictures!!

1/2 LARGE head cauliflower (or 2+ cups shredded cauliflower)
1 large egg
1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese (or try another kind!) I used cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano  i didnt have any of this on hand
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic) 
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
TOPPINGS:  i used alfredo sauce, cheddar, and cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato-basil marinara sauce (or pizza sauce)
1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
3 slices Canadian bacon, cut into strips
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits


1. Shred the cauliflower into small crumbles. You can use the food processor if you'd like, but you just want crumbles, not puree. You'll need a total of about 2 cups or so of cauliflower crumbles (which is about half a large head of cauliflower. Place the cauliflower crumbles in a large bowl and microwave them (dry) for 8 minutes (see Tips below if you do not have a microwave). Give the cauliflower a chance to cool.

2. Prepare the crust: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray (or use a nonstick surface). In a medium bowl, mix the cauliflower crumbles (about 1 1/2 cups since they shrink after cooking) with the remaining crust ingredients. Pat the "crust" into a 9 to 12-inch round on the prepared pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes (or until golden). Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to broil.

3. Prepare the pizza: Spread the sauce on top of the baked crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on top. Add the bacon and pineapple, spreading it out around the pizza. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Broil the pizza 3 to 4 minutes, or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Cut into 6 slices and serve immediately.

I hope you have better luck than me!  If you do please leave comments so we can all learn from my mistakes!! ;-)

Happy cooking!!


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes!

Its been a long time I know!!  

Its hot, and I am home from work with a sick baby, but I still had the urge to whip up some cupcakes... what sounds more refreshing on a hot day than raspberry lemonade?!?!  Ok maybe a margarita or a mojito, LOL, I will attempt those cupcakes soon!

The original recipe the cupcakes are called lemonade cupcakes with raspberry buttercream, but I think Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes sounds much more enticing!!

Cupcakes are never difficult to make, so the recipe was pretty straight forward.  They are quite tasty, but I would prefer that they have a little bit more of a lemony taste.  I think next time I would either use 2 lemons, or add a little lemon extract.

The raspberry buttercream was another story! I used room temperature butter, not good in this heat.  I also probably had just a little more than a cup of raspberries.  My buttercream required WAY more than 3 cups of icing sugar, in fact, I used a whole kilo!  My buttercream was soft and would not hold its form.  I also didn't sieve the raspberry puree to get rid of the seeds.   I frosted the cupcakes using the large star tip, and the seeds kept clogging the tip.  Next time either no seeds or use the larger round tip!  Despite all this, it is absolutely delicious!!

Lemonade Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting
adapted from a lemon cupcake recipe at AllRecipes
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
grated zest and juice of a lemon
1 cup milk, divided
Preheat oven to 375 F and line 24 muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture a third at a time, alternating with half the milk and half the lemon juice after each of the first 2 additions of flour. Beat until just combined.
Fill the prepared tins and bake for 20 minutes, until springy to the touch. Tip the cupcakes in their tins to help them cool. Let cool completely before frosting. If you like sprinkle with colored sugar. Makes 2 dozen.
 Fresh Raspberry Frosting
1 cup fresh raspberries (or thawed from frozen)
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
In the bowl of a food processor, puree the raspberries until smooth. If you like, press the mixture through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and half the sugar until smooth. Add the raspberry puree, then more sugar until you have a fluffy, spreadable consistency. Add a splash of water, too (a tablespoon or two) if it needs it.

Happy Baking!