Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise!!! Fiesta Friday #55

35 Comments

Hello everyone it’s another Fiesta Friday!!! I want to thank our host Angie@The Novice Gardener and her co-host today Sue@birgerbird and Suzanne@apuginthekitchen.  Suzanne has become a great blog friend and I want to thank her 🙂  So enjoy Fiesta Friday everyone!!!

So earlier this week I went to my favorite place “Flying Olive” 🙂

The Flying Olive has 50 varieties of olive oils and vinegar’s, I love going there because you can taste anything before buying it 😛 check out their website for all the info and check out their 2 locations one each in Ohio and Kentucky.

I currently have Strawberry, Red Apple, Wild Blueberry, Cranberry Pear in the vinegar’s and in the olive oils I have Butter, Persian Lime, Cilantro and Roasted Onion and Tuscan Herb 🙂

During my recent trip I got Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar as I just love coffee so I knew I had to get it.

So I had some strawberries at home so I knew I was going to use those some how and I was thinking of using mascarpone cheese. After getting home and checking out what I had already in my pantry, I thought this would be a perfect mini dessert.  A couple of years ago for Christmas my friend Danny gave me a few sets of mini plates, bowls, spoons and forks, he know how I like to entertain 🙂 so this is my is my mini dessert.

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Ingredients (ended up not using the half n half)
If you wanted mascarpone to be more creamy
then I would add a little half n half.

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Added the vinegar to my strawberries

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Added the vinegar to the Mascarpone cheese

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Mixed up

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I crushed the Biscotti and added a little to bottom on the dishes

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Topped the biscotti with the strawberries that were soak in the Vinegar
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Then a dollop of the mascarpone mixture

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drizzle of more vinegar

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shave some chocolate, I thought this chocolate would go perfect

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Done…serve or chill until your party begins 🙂

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Mini Strawberry Espresso Surprise

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3/4 cup Flying Olive Dark Espresso Balsamic Vinegar, divided
2 containers tiramisu flavored mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
3 chocolate biscotti’s, crushed
1 piece dark chocolate

In a bowl add the chopped strawberries and 1/4 cup vinegar, stir and set aside.

In another bowl add mascarpone and 3 Tbsp. of vinegar and whisk together, set aside.

Set out your mini dishes that you are going to use, add about a teaspoon or a little more of the crushed biscotti to each dish, then add strawberries on top of biscotti, start with a teaspoon on each then add more to each to finish up the strawberries.  Dollop mascarpone cream on each dish, then with a teaspoon drizzle a little of the vinegar over top the mascarpone and finish with some of the shaved chocolate.  I like this recipe as a mini since it has a great richness to it 🙂

Serve or chill until needed.

This was so good, it was not overly sweet, and that tartness at the end from the balsamic vinegar was just perfect!!!  Enjoy the rest of your Fiesta Friday!!!

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

10 Comments

Test Kitchen was back open last week and I had some Blueberries so I thought why not a Blueberry Upside-Down Cake 🙂

Great for breakfast with your coffee or tea, maybe as an afternoon snack or after dinner, I hope you make it for your next baking adventure 🙂

As I thought about the topping I thought I would cut the brown sugar with some honey, hence the name 🙂 so this is my recipe 🙂

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Ingredients

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Spray your pan, draw out the bottom of the pan on parchment and cut it out

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Place parchment in pan and spray paper

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I fail to take a picture of the topping melting, but just melt butter, brown sugar and honey together
and pour in pan

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sprinkle blueberries over the topping in the pan

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Cream together the butter & sugar until fuffy
then add eggs, one at a time

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then add lemon juice and vanilla, then add flour and milk (read below)

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Fold in lemon zest

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pour on top of blueberries and bake

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let cool for about 10 minutes

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place platter on top of cake and flip upside down

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and there you have your Honey Blueberry Upside-down Cake
let cool completely

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slice and serve

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Honey Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Topping

1 pint fresh blueberries (if using frozen use 2 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)

Cake

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons

Heat oven to 350 degrees, spray a 9×2 round baking pan with baking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Add 1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), honey and brown sugar to a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring frequently.  Pour into baking pan; top with blueberries, set aside.

Whisk cake flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat sugar and stick (1/2 cup) butter in a large bowl at medium speed for 2 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in lemon juice and vanilla, at low speed beat in flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fold in lemon zest then pour over top of the blueberries; smooth out evenly.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Using a small knife, loosen  cake from the side of pan, invert onto platter; remove parchment paper, cool completely.

This was super moist and honey delicious 🙂 Enjoy!!!

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Crispy Red Pepper Jelly Chicken Tenders!!

9 Comments

Braswell’s Red Pepper Jelly…Yum!!!

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I got a couple of samples of this jelly from the office and well my mind starting thinking of something to do with it.
Of course what most people do with it is pour it over cream cheese, which is good…but

When I got home I was like I want crispy chicken tenders, I thought why not use the jelly 🙂

So I added the Jelly to my eggs mixture and it worked out awesome, this Red Pepper Jelly is great you can use it on some many things, here are just few that I thought of:

Brush on Grilled Corn
Mix into your Corn Bread or Muffin Mix
Brush on Grilled Chicken or Pork
Brush over grilled peach halves or pineapple rings, serve with slices of grill pound cake
I could go on and on 🙂

Diffidently worth a try for sure!!

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whisk jelly and egg together

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Seasoned flour

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chicken tenders

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dredge the tenders in flour

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coat in egg mixture

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dredge in panko

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place on baking sheet and spray with olive oil

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Bake at 400 degrees

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microwave jelly to drizzle

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Drizzle over top the tenders and enjoy!!

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Chicken Tenders

seasoned flour
egg
Panko breadcrumbs

I keep seasoned flour in my freezer so I have it whenever I need to coat something.
Mix together egg and a couple tablespoons of the jelly and whisk together
Place panko in shallow dish or on a plate

Dredge chicken in flour to coat, then coat with egg mixture and then dredge in panko and place on baking sheet, spray chicken with an olive oil spray and bake at 400 degrees until chicken is done about 20 minutes.

Take a couple of tablespoons of the jelly and heat in microwave for 15 seconds and drizzle over the chicken.

I really enjoyed the sweet heat to the chicken tenders will make this again so sure, so hit up your local Remke Markets or your local grocery for Braswell’s Red Pepper Jelly!!

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Cinnamon Quick Bread…Two Ways!!!

15 Comments

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Cinnamon Strawberry and Cinnamon Strawberry & Blueberry!!

I always have strawberries in the freezer for my kale smoothies 🙂 I will buy various fresh fruit, clean it, cut it up and freeze it, then I always that it on hand 🙂

So I was trying to think of a quick bread to make and well the strawberries came to mind, when I was testing my double batch (so I could give to family and friends) I was a little heavy handed with the cinnamon…but I have to admit it was pretty good and I got great reviews 🙂

I recently got some Coconut sugar and I had been wanting to use it, so I try it again but this time with blueberries, coconut sugar, coconut oil and whole grain pastry flour, this one is a little healthier for you 🙂

Here are both recipes, make both or just one of them…they both are Great!! 🙂

1st – Cinnamon Strawberry

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2 bowls, one wet, one dry

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whisk each individually, add strawberries to wet

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mix together

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then mix in the dry

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put into loaf pans and bake

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Cinnamon Strawberry Quick Bread

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters (if frozen, let thaw)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups canola oil
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray two 9×5 inch loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans.

In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, whisk until fully combined.

In a med bowl whisk together eggs and oil; fold in strawberries, then pour into flour mixture and fold together just until combined.
Scoop into loaf pans and bake.

For mini pans bake 30 – 35 minutes for larger loaf pans 45 – 50 minutes, always check at first time by inserting a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean it is done.

2nd more healthy for sure – Cinnamon Strawberry Blueberry

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whisk dry in one bowl, add blueberries, toss around to coat

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mix wet with strawberries

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then add to dry

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put into loaf pans and bake

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Loaf is much darker because of the coconut sugar

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Cinnamon Strawberry Blueberry Quick Bread

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters (if frozen, let thaw)
1 cup blueberries
3 1/4 cups whole grain pastry flour
2 cups coconut palm sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 – 2 tbsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid state
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, spray two 9×5 inch loaf pans or 5 mini loaf pans.

In a large bowl add flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda, whisk until fully combined, toss in blueberries and mix around to coat.

In a med bowl whisk together eggs and canola oil; then whisk in coconut oil, if you need to heat a little to melt then do so, just let cool down first before adding it to egg mixture, fold in strawberries, then pour into flour mixture and fold together just until combined.
Scoop into loaf pans and bake.

For mini pans bake 30 – 35 minutes for larger loaf pans 45 – 50 minutes, always check at first time by inserting a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean it is done.

Enjoy both these recipes I hope you make them both!!! 🙂

 

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Banana Bread!!!!

8 Comments

Okay who doesn’t like Banana Bread 🙂

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I love Banana anything…cakes, muffins, cookies, bread, ice cream, yogurt, candy!!!  

Oh and have you seen the **NEW** Dole Dippers, slices of bananas dipped in dark chocolate and FROZEN can you say

YUMMMMMMMMYYYY!!!!!!   download

I can, I have had them and they are addicting, they even have them with chopped almonds sprinkled on top too 🙂  They come 6 packages in the box, 100 calories a package, so well worth it 😛

So have a pack of those so when you have a slice of this Banana Bread you will not feel so guilty 🙂

So we’ve all had the few bananas sitting on the counter that are slightly or way past their prime…right 😛

I think what most people think of when that happens to the bananas is….BANANA BREAD TIME!!

So here’s my Banana Bread recipe 🙂  Hope you enjoy it!!

Ingredients

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whisk together, four, salt and baking soda

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add bananas to bowl and mash

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then add sour cream and vanilla to bananas

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mix together

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cream butter and sugar

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for about 3 minutes

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add egg yolks

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beat to combine

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fold in half flour mixture

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then add banana mixture and rest of dry

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beat egg whites just until frothy

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fold into batter, but don’t over work it

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I used mini loaf pans, you can also find paper baking loaf size too, for easy gift giving

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Then bake and done

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This recipe is so moist you will never use another 🙂

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Recipe

1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. sour cream
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

pans – 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan, or mini loaf pans or small bundt pan.

In a small bowl add mashed banana, sour cream and vanilla, mix to combine.

In another small bowl add flour, salt and baking soda, whisk to combine, set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl for about 3 minutes, then add egg yolks and beat until combined.
Fold in 1/2 of dry mixture, then add banana mixture and the rest of the dry.

In a clean dry bowl add egg whites and beat for about 30 – 45 seconds just until frothy, then fold egg whites into the batter.

Just until combined, try not to over work the batter.

Bake for regular size loaf pan 45 minutes to 1 hour, mini loaf pans about 30 minutes, check by inserting a toothpick in the center and comes out clean.

Enjoy!!!!

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Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Comments

Well summer is here and the gardens are producing some awesome vegetables!!  Every year we always make zucchini bread with the zucchini.  

This time I decided to make a Cake instead….now I’m sure someone out there has made a zucchini cake…but I have have, this really is no different then the bread just in cake form, so this is what I came up with 🙂

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along with the things I would change next time 🙂

Did I say change…yes I did 🙂  No one is perfect!!!!!!!!!!  

Ever watch Top Chef or I like Top Chef Masters myself, (in case you don’t, it is a cooking competition show with mostly well know chefs)  I like this show better since I do admire some of the chefs that have been on the show and am amazed at the talent they have  that have made them famous.

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This new season just started last Wednesday night on Bravo, this season does not have many chefs that are TV known except Chef David Burke he has multiple Awards, Restaurants, and few products.  They have many talented Chefs this season and I am excited to watch.

 It is hosted by Chef Curtis Stone images and recently he posted a picture of dish he was trying make and it just flopped, and he said “see not even Chefs are perfect”  I love him for that 😉

Which brings me back to telling you as I made this cake and it did not turn exactly as I wanted it too, so next time I know the things I’ll change (which I will let you know in the recipe what that is) 🙂

So I’ll tell you a secret, not everything I make turns out just right, including “my new idea for a cookie” that I tried to make this week 🙂
I was trying to make it with no flour, butter, oil…okay health and using things I already had around the house…well I am going to admit, the garbage had its share of treats 🙂  

Oh my goodness I can’t describe the texture…closest word I can think of is “RUBBER”LOL  Hey at least I tried 😛  

UPDATE on this post – I brought this cake into the office today and everyone loved just as I made it, so I’ll leave it up to you on the changes, that are below 🙂

Alright, alright lets move on to the cake 🙂

Ingredients

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add dry indgredients to a bowl

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whisk together to combine

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add eggs, oil and vanilla to large bowl

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whisk to combine

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Grate zucchini over the wet mixture bowl
or just add the grated zucchini to the wet mixture

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fold in to combine

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then add dry to wet

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just mix until everything is moist

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Pour into a 9×13 pan
(this is what I would change, if I use a 9×13 again I will double the recipe or I’d use a 9×9 baking dish)

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Bake and let cool completely

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Cream Cheese Frosting ingredients

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add softened cream cheese and butter to bowl

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with hand mixer or stand mixer, just mix to combine

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then add confectioners sugar a little at a time

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add as much sugar as you like for taste of sweetness and consistency

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I use only 3/4 of a 1 pound bag

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frost your cake

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done, you can dig in right now, but keep in the refrigerator

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Zucchini Cake Recipe

 (exactly as I made, with what I would change)

1 large zucchini, grated (about 3 cups or so)
3 eggs
1 cup oil
3 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
 1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. cinnamon (I would have put in a least 1 more tablespoon, I also would have added 1/2 tsp. nutmeg)

Nuts are optional I did not use any

In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk to fully combine.

In a large bowl add oil, eggs and vanilla, whisk to fully combine, add grated zucchini and stir to combine.
Then add dry to zucchini mixture, fold just until everything is moist.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pour mixture into a greased or non-stick sprayed baking dish*** see Note below

(In the pictures I used a 9×13, for this recipe  would change that to a 9×9 baking dish.  I felt that the cake was too thin, I would have liked it to be thicker.  Therefore if using the recipe above and  you want a thicker cake use a 9×9 baking dish, if you like it thin (about 1 1/2 inch) then use a 9×13 baking dish.  Now you can also double this recipe and use a 9×13, resulting in a thicker cake)

Bake time using above recipe in a 9×13 done in 30-35 minutes,  using a 9×9 pan check at 35 to 40, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   Cool completely 

Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz. cream cheese, very softened
4 tbsp. butter, very softened
1 box confectioners sugar (1 pound box)

in a medium mixing bowl add cream cheese and butter, beat on med-high speed just until combined, then on low speed add sugar a little at time until you have the sweetness and desired consistency.

Frost cake, slice and serve, or this can kept in the refrigerator until you serve. 

This cake is Super Moist!!

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and Cream Cheese Frosting is so creamy 🙂

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I hope you try it!!! Enjoy!! 

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Shrimp Po’ Boy & Shrimp with Creamy Polenta

2 Comments

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I made Shrimp Po’ Boy’s for a recent get together with friends, and it was a HUGE hit!!  I must admit I’ve never had a Po’ Boy, shrimp, seafood, beef or otherwise, but this one turned out down right delicious.

I had gotten a couple extra piece’s of shrimp for my dinner the next day and I made the shrimp the same way, but served it with creamy polenta.  
So you get both recipes in one blog 🙂

You can also I serve this shrimp with just the Remoulade sauce at party, I just love the light crispy coating on the shrimp.  Also would be great on a salad too, summer is coming and this would be a quick addition to a great refreshing summer salad.

Now I used large 16/20 shrimp 4-5 per person, I also used ciabatta rolls, you can use any fluffy crusted bread or roll.

Or you could also serve these as sliders on slider buns, one piece of shrimp is diffidently a nice size for this different party appetizer

First you need a Remoulade sauce/slaw, this usually starts with mayonnaise, then after that its your own taste buds that will take you to the end.  Just Wikipedia it, it will tell you were to begin and give you ideas on what to add…here’s mine

Shrimp Ingredients

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Add spices, flour and cornstarch together whisk,
then whisk egg & milk together

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Divide flour mixture into 2 dishes

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dredge shrimp in first flour dish, then into egg,

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then into 2nd flour dish

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get  your oil hot, about 350 degrees            to know your oil is hot and ready
                                                                            take the end of a wooden spoon
                                                                            press to bottom of skillet if it
                                                                  sizzles then you know it hot and ready

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add shrimp and cook for about 30 seconds each side

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Place them on a paper towel

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Remoulade Sauce/slaw  ingredients

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Slice cabbage or lettuce thinly       in a small bowl add Remoulade 
You can use pre cut as well                sauce ingredients, mix to combine

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add in cabbage/lettuce                    mix together

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Slice roll add some of the slaw

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top with the shrimp and top of roll

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Recipes

Remoulade Sauce

1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
3 tbsp. horseradish
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. each kosher salt and white pepper
3 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 1/4 tsp. paprika

Mix all together and refrigerate until ready.

I take 1 bag of shredded lettuce,  or if you like more of a “crunch” then use a bag of angel hair cabbage, or thinly slice it off the heads, place it in a large bowl and add about half to 3/4 of the remoulade sauce, toss to fully combine.   Keep the rest of the sauce if you like more on your sandwich. 

Shrimp

Peel and devein shrimp, tails off, just as much shrimp as you want to make for each sandwich.

1/2 cup each all-purpose flour and cornstarch
4 tsp. each cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp. half and half
Oil for cooking

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, cayenne, onion/garlic powder, paprika and salt in a medium bowl, divide mixture into 2 shallow dishes, in another shallow dish whisk eggs and half n half together.  

In a medium/large skillet add enough oil so it will come up half way to the side of the shrimp.  Heat over medium high heat, (adjust heat as cooking so not to burn).
Once oil is hot, take shrimp and coat them in the first dish of flour mixture, then dip them into the egg wash, then into the  other dish of the flour mixture, coating evenly.
Carefully place them into the hot oil and cook on each side for maybe only 30 seconds each side.  Shrimp cooks quickly, so you want to work fast not too ever cook the shrimp.
Once cooked place on a platter lined with paper towels.

To make a Po’ Boy

Cut your roll or bun in half, on bottom piece layer some lettuce/cabbage mixture and top with the shrimp, if you want to add a little more remoulade sauce on top then do it, top with other half of the roll.

Grab a cold beer (if you like that) or some cold Iced Tea or Lemonade and dig your chops right in…yummmmmm

Now for the Shrimp with Polenta

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Ingredients for Polenta

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once the water/broth comes to a boil whisk in polenta

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add butter and let cook for 30 minutes it will look like this

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The stir in cream cheese

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until fully combined and creamy

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serve with shrimp

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Shrimp with Polenta

Use recipe above for shrimp 3 or 4 shrimp per person

Polenta

2 cups water or broth (chicken or veggie)
1/2 cup polenta
2 tbsp. butter
4 oz. cream cheese

In a medium sauce pan add water and bring to a boil medium high heat, then quickly whisk in polenta until it has been fully incorporated.  Reduce the heat to low simmer, add butter and allow potenta to cook uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Then stir in cream cheese (marscarpone cheese can be used as well), season with salt, stir until cream cheese in fully incorporated and creamy.

You can serve with just like I did above or serve as a side with the shrimp and some delicious grilled or roasted asparagus, what a great summer dinner!!!

Enjoy!!!!