Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

I love the combination of blueberries and basil, so when I was asked to make salsa for a wine and cheese party, I decided to add a little twist. This salsa is great with goat cheese, brie, blue cheese or even cream cheese, serve over top the cheese on a cracker or bread. This would also be great on chicken or fish.

 Blueberry and Basil Salsa

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 c red onion

5 large fresh basil leaves

1 tsp honey

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until salsa consistency.

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Time on your hands? Try Martha Stewart’s King Cake for Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras: King Cake

Mardi Gras: King Cake

Last year at this time I was still on crutches from my debilitating and nightmare of a knee surgery, so I had a lot of time on my hands and I was BORED. I decided to make the traditional King Cake for Mardi Gras, it is more danish like than a cake, not too sweet and the best part is you get to hide a small plastic baby in it. I followed all the instructions from my idol Martha Stewart’s recipe found here. The only difference was that I rolled my dough in cinnamon sugar before braiding it. It was delicious and I was quite proud of myself, I even colored my own sugar. However this is a process, an all day affair if you will. Well it’s Mardi Gras time again, Fat Tuesday is less than a week away and I don’t think I will be making one this year, I have proved that I could so I am going to save my day for something more productive. (Mardi Gras Cocktails may be an option) ¬†I will probably buy a King Cake at Publix just for the pomp and circumstance of the holiday, and make some sort of New Orleans themed dinner, but as of now the cake is out. If you are feeling up to the challenge you should definitely try it , it was delicious, let me know how it turns out. Here’s more pics to prove I did it.

Mardi Gras King Cake IMG_0330 IMG_0334

 

 

Valentine’s Day: Personalized Candy Box

Valentine's Day Personalized Candy Box

Valentine’s Day Personalized Candy Box

Here is an easy and inexpensive Valentine’s Day gift. Take your usual box of chocolates and cut paper to fit under each piece of candy. Write a memory or something you love about your valentine on each paper and place the candy back on top. Write a heart felt message on paper in the shape of the candy box and place on top of the candy, decorate the top of the box with hearts, the recipients name or what ever is meaningful to you and place on top. I made this box for our 20th Valentine’s Day which was also the 20th anniversary of our first date. I even found a box that had 20 pieces of chocolate so there were 20 messages. This would also be great to do for milestone birthdays and anniversaries.

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

This is bursting with flavor and super easy to make.

Roasted Succotash Salad

1 box frozen corn, thawed

1 box frozen lima beans, thawed

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved

1 T chopped fresh basil

Olive oil

lime juice (from 1 lime)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss corn and lima beans with about 1 T olive oil. I do this in a colander so I don’t use any excess oil. Place on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 15-20 minutes or until corn get brown on the edges. Add to a mixing bowl with tomatoes, basil and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top, season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Great warm or room temperature so it’s perfect for pot lucks.

Shrimp Salad

Shrimp Salad

I guess I forgot to post this recipe, I made this for November’s Book Club for the excellent book, This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. It is the tragic but funny tale of a disjointed family that comes together to sit Shiva after their father dies. It was one of the best books I have read in a really long time. It’s already slated to become a movie with Jason Bateman and Goldie Hawn, two of my favorites. Of course in the story friends and family drop by to bring deli platters and lots of bagels so I made a delicious shrimp salad and served it on bagel chips.

this is where I leave you

Shrimp Salad

1lb shrimp peeled and deveined

1 1/2 lemons sliced

1 T plus 1-2 tsp

2 T chopped arugula

1T worcestershire sauce

1/4 c chopped onion

1/4 c celery

1/2 c mayo

1 T lemon juice

I steamed my own shrimp but you can buy them pre steamed from the store. I used the steamer part of my rice cooker, I laid the sliced lemon on the bottom of the steamer and than tossed the shrimp with 1 T of Old Bay seasoning, then turned on the cooker and steamed until the shrimp were opaque and cooked through.

Shrimp Salad

Steamed Shrimp

Then chop the cooked shrimp and add them to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, including another 1-2 tsp of Old Bay. You could serve as sandwiches or as an appetizer on toasts, crackers or bagel chips.