Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

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Sometime dinners come together a little easier when you have the help of a crockpot. The potatoes came out really tender and it’s really easy to toss together in advance then start the crockpot when you ready.

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

(Adapted from Damn Delicious)


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3 pounds baby Dutch yellow potatoes, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Lightly coat the inside of a slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place potatoes, olive oil, butter, garlic, oregano, basil and dill into the slow cooker; season with salt and pepper, to taste.


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Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours, or until tender.*


Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan and garnished with parsley, if desired.


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*Cooking time may need to be adjusted depending on the size of the potatoes.

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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This is a WAY overdo post! I made these back in March of 2016 for a good friend for her surprise birthday. Her favorite flavor is carrot cake and it’s been YEARS since I’ve made a carrot cake. I had to try out a new recipe and I’m glad I did because these little puppies are AMAZINGLY good!!

I didn’t use the decorations mentioned in the directions, I candied a few of the carrot shavings, which where ok and a little different.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

(Adapted from Cooking Classy)


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1 1/4 cups (178g) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 1/2 cups (195g) finely shredded carrots (from about 4 medium carrots)

2/3 cup (140g) granulated sugar

1/3 cup (78g) packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup (64g) unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil

3/4 cup (82g) chopped pecans

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, softened

8 oz (226g) cream cheese, softened

3 1/2 cups (412g) powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Optional carrots for decoration

50g Marzipan (about 1/4 cup)

Orange gel food coloring

Cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)

12 small curly parsley stems


For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg for 30 seconds, set aside.


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Shred carrots as directed in notes below, set aside. Perfect job for a toddler itching to help!


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In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together granulated sugar and brown sugar, then add eggs and using an electric hand mixer, blend mixture on low speed 30 seconds, until slightly pale.


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Mix in applesauce and vanilla extract.


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With mixer running on low speed, slowly pour in vegetable oil and mix until combined, then mix 20 seconds longer.


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Mix in half of the dry ingredients, then pour the shredded carrots into the bowl with the remaining flour mixture and toss in flour mixture to coat carrots (they'll clump together a bit but that's fine). Pour carrot mixture into the batter and blend until evenly combined.


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Pour batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean, about 19 - 21 minutes. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.


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For the frosting:

Using an electric mixer whip together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla extract.


With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. If frosting is slightly runny freeze several minutes then mix again and repeat if needed. Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting then immediately roll edges of frosting in chopped pecans.


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For the decoration:

Tint marzipan with orange gel coloring and knead to evenly incorporate color. Separate small pieces at a time (I did 4g carrots) then roll into carrot shapes (roll a tapered log shape). Dip a toothpick lightly in cocoa powder, shaking off excess then gently roll carrot across toothpick (in random places) while slightly rotating to make slight indentations (to give it that natural look). Poke a small hole in the top of each carrot and insert parsley. Gently press carrots into frosting on tops of cupcakes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator. Allow to rest at room temperature until no longer cold before serving.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Carrabba's Spiedino di Mare

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I was excited to try this recipe as it sounded like a different way to do scallops. We should have put them on skewers. Half of the coating came off on the grill from using the tongs. I think if you used a grill pan and did them stove top they would come out much prettier looking than mine. I honestly need to redo this dish to see how it should really taste.

Carrabba's Spiedino di Mare

(Adapted from Carrabba’s Italian At Home)


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4 medium scallops

4 medium shrimp

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

2 ounces lemon butter

fresh parsley (chopped)


If using bamboo skewers soak in water 1/2 hour. Season scallops and shrimp with salt and pepper.


Lightly coat with olive oil, and then dip in seasoned bread crumbs. Skewer and grill on both sides.


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Melt lemon butter and serve with seafood. Sprinkle chopped parsley on top.


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Creamy Bacon Grits

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Today’s post is kind of a 2 part post. I’ll show you the grits today and on the next post you’ll see the scallops I did. Overall the grits where good. I used home made bacon which I’ll show in an upcoming post this year. (It’s actually easier to do than you think!) Since we where on vacation I forgot to get the onions, but it still tasted good without them. I

Creamy Bacon Grits

(Adapted from My Gourmet Connection)


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1/4 lb thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped

4-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1-1/2 cups white (or yellow) corn grits

2 tablespoons butter

1-1/2 cups corn kernels (about 3 ears fresh corn)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, drain all but 2 teaspoons of fat from the pan and reserve the remainder for later use.


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Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Sauté until soft and just starting to turn golden.


Remove the pan from the heat and set aside. I pan fried the corn a little at the end of the bacon cooking.


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Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in the grits and immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring continually, until the liquid is absorbed and the grits are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.


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Add the butter, reserved bacon, sautéed onion and corn. Combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside to keep warm. I added a little jalapeno jack cheese to make it more creamy and add some zip.


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Note: Grits will stiffen up a bit as they sit, so you may want to stir in a little warm milk or water just before serving to restore the creamy texture.

Makes 4 servings


I served the leftovers with grilled lobster we did the next night.

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Monday, January 9, 2017

Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini

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We love zucchini and this is an easy one to do. We grilled them along with scallops we had that night and they turned out wonderful.

Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini

(Adapted from Damn Delicious)


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1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Juice of 1 lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


In a small bowl, whisk together butter, garlic, Italian seasoning and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Brush zucchini slices with butter mixture.


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Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Add zucchini in a single layer and grill until charred on both sides and just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes per side.


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Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.

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