Lemon Pasta, Shrimp and Capers

Hello! Hello! It’s Friday (in an hour!) and I’m feeling all shrimpy for the weekend. This little pleaser is bright and satisfying, all in the same bite. It’s a cinch to concoct and you’ll be so happy you did. Have a happy weekend and I’ll see ya next week with some child friendly creations that I’m going to make Saturday with my “Littles”, who just turned five this month. What?!

For Shrimp:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper

For Pasta:
1 lb angel hair pasta
1 t kosher salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
1/2 t fresh black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs capers, fried

In medium sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
Add to pan in single layer.
Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until pink. Set aside.

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until tender firm,
around 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water.

Whisk oil, Parmesan, lemon zest, and lemon juice in large bowl to blend.
Toss pasta with lemon sauce, shrimp, and pasta water (adding 1/4 cup at a time until proper moisture is achieved).
Season with salt, pepper, and basil.
Garnish with capers and more Parmesan.

To Fry Capers:
Drain, rinse, and dry capers.
Heat 1/4 inch vegetable oil in small skillet over medium high.
Add capers and fry 2 minutes until they “pop” and are crisp.
Remove with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Hand Held Blueberry Pies

Sliding in to Thursday on a Sweet Note you Good Folks of the InterWeb! I tried and tried to carve out time to make these yummies with my three golden grandchildren…alas, I was so lazily enjoying their hugs and conversation the last couple of times that we were together that I ended up making them on my own last week. But check out that cute little car that Liam left here 7 1/2 years ago; it still lives in my kitchen window sill. So that’s my garnish and nod to my grands, and the children in all of us who love a hand held pie memory from our youth! Yum.

Filling:
3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
3 Tbs cornstarch 
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon 
1 t vanilla extract 
Pastry
3 sheets frozen puff pastry (from two packages, such as Pepperidge Farm), thawed
1 large egg beaten with 2 Tbs water
Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

For the filling:
Combine blueberries and granulated sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar is melted, and berries start to burst.
Stir together cornstarch and lemon juice in small bowl until combined.
Add to the blueberry mixture.
Add lemon zest and vanilla and continue to cook until glossy and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pastry:
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
To make the pies:
Unfold the thawed pastry and roll out to 10-inch squares.
Cut each square in quarters, making four 5-inch squares from each.
Spoon 1 1/2 Tbs of cooled filling onto one corner of each square.

Brush around the squares with the egg wash.
Fold the pasty over the filling on each to make a triangle, pressing lightly to remove air pockets. Crimp the edges shut with a fork.
Put the pies on the prepared baking sheets.
Brush the tops of pies with egg wash.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
For the glaze:
Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/3 cup cold water in a bowl until smooth.
Drizzle glaze over pies and let set until dry.

Jazzy Grilled Cheese

 

Your finished “Grilled to Perfection” product!

Just in time for the weekend…the temp promises to be a bit more comfortable for Fall Ball Y’all! We are all about a jazzy grilled cheese lunch and then heading to the ball park for late afternoon and evening games, under the lights!  Please know that we are super careful; We group together as families, in our own circle of chairs. We are 12 feet apart from the next family. We are not allowed on bleachers. We do not exchange even elbow bumps with other families. But it still brings great joy to be there for the love of the children, grandchildren, and the game!     And now to share a great thought here:

“We believe in friendship,
In community,
And in gathering side by side.
We believe in lively conversation…
The kind where our differences are realized and met with honor.
The kind where we leave having been made better.
We believe that when gathered around the table,
There’s room enough for all of us.
Where strangers become friends.
And friends become family.”
Magnolia Journal, Summer 2020. Joanna and Chip Gaines.

Let’s spread faith not fear. Happy Weekend!

For 4 sandwiches:
8 slices favorite bread
2 cups grated Colby jack cheese
1/2 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
Kernels from 3 ears corn, sautéed or grilled until tender 
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup pimento cheese
2 Tbs soft butter

Mix together Colby jack, tomatoes, onion, corn, salt, and pepper.
Spread on 4 slices bread.
Top with dollop pimento cheese; spread to edges.
Spread butter on all other sides of bread.
Grill or sauté 3 or more minutes per side.

*Try my homemade pimento cheese recipe here!

This is your starting point, just placed on the griddle. I use my George Foreman Rapid Grill for tasks like this all the time. It’s so simple!

Grape and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

I mean seriously, have you ever seen the cooking show Naughty and Delicious? There is a wonderful Brit gal that is as charming as the English countryside…for me, that means the city of London… I’ve been watching her for a while now and hoped to bump in to her on my three day layover in London last year! Alas, that didn’t happen. But to satisfy all of us until I do meet her, here’s a great easy on the cook Bruschetta, reminiscent of her.

Dodge those raindrops outside!Appetizer Grape Goat Cheese Bruschetta
1/2 small sourdough loaf, cut into six 1/2″ slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, cut in half
1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup green seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise
6 fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup soft goat cheese, room temperature
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400°.
Brush both sides of bread slices with oil.
Toast on middle rack 1 minute.
Turn and cook another minute until bread is crispy on both sides.
Rub each slice of hot bread with cut garlic clove as it comes out of the oven.

Add 3 Tbs oil to skillet over medium heat.
Add red grapes and sauté until warm and softened, about 3 minutes.
Add green grapes and toss just to warm. Remove to a bowl.

Add mint leaves to the hot oil and fry until crisp, 15 to 20 seconds.
Remove to paper towel to drain.

Spread goat cheese over one side of each piece of toast.
Top with mound of warm grapes.
Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Top with a mint leaf.
Zest the lemon generously over each slice.

Frozen Lemon Pie

Friday Post Script, a day later than the Thursday Pie Post…Bull City Little League cancelled the weekend tournament. I must say that with my personal fear of Covid, I was relieved in a sense. the don and I were looking so forward to being with Liam for a few days, and Liam was very disappointed, as he adores baseball. Alas, healthy decisions were made by caring coaches and I say a warm thank you to Ray and all involved! Cheers to you and many future tournament weekends together!

I know…It’s been a second since I’ve been here; precisely it’s been 35,942,400 seconds! Yes, I calculated it (meaning that Google actually did the math)! But who’s counting?! Let’s move onward; summer may technically be over since Labor Day has come and gone. But the hot and muggy summer weather still persists here in good ole Eastern North Carolina. So whip up this light and breezy lemon fruit pie for the weekend. Perfection in a pie shell! I’m heading to see the Grands this afternoon, pie in hand. We’re ready for a weekend of Bull City Little League with Liam, all while being smart, wearing masks, and trying our darnedest to remain healthy.  Doing my best to stay safe y’all…my buddies know I’ve been totally reclusive since February! Let’s continue to take care of each other, and always eat pie when it’s available!
Dessert Lemon Pie III

This is All You need!
6 oz frozen lemon concentrate can, thawed
8 oz container whipped topping, thawed*
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 9” graham cracker pie shell, purchased or homemade

And This is How You Do It!
With electric mixer or blender, beat together lemon concentrate and condensed milk.
Fold in whipped topping.

Spread mixture in pie crust; cover and freeze, 6 hours or overnight.
Take pie out of freezer about 15 minutes before serving time.

Garnish with raspberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, lemon slices, and edible flower petals.
Slice and serve.

*I prefer Cool Whip Lite.
It does not change the consistency or flavor of pie, and saves those calories.

Avocado Toast with Yogurt and Honey

This is the best simple breakfast that you will EVER serve your overnight guests, or just your adult children and grandchildren. I promise!!! The vanilla yogurt makes it just a little sweet for the little ones, and the rest is just yummy right down to that tummy. First thing in the morning…it’s a lot better to wait a few minutes before consuming the slight acid in our favorite coffee. Get revved up with that caffeine after you coat that little tum tum. Happy Day My People!
Brunch Avocado Toast with Avocado and Honey

You’ll be so darn happy!

4 slices multigrain bread, toasted
2 avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced
1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/2 t salt

Arrange avocado slices in single layer on toast.
Spoon yogurt over avocado, spreading slightly.
Sprinkle zest over yogurt.
Drizzle with honey.
Sprinkle with pomegranate arils.
Sprinkle with salt.

YUMMY!!!!

Prosecco and Lemon Sorbet Cocktail

The liveliest little cocktail that you will enjoy all summer…I PROMISE! I mean it’s my new “go to” light summer sipper! In this recent heatwave I’ve been enjoying club soda, on the rocks, in a wine glass, with a wedge of lemon..but, hey, this is a wee bit more festive!

Adult Beverage Lemon Prosecco Cocktail

1 bottle Prosecco, chilled
1 cup vodka, chilled
1 pint lemon sorbet
Lemon wedges for garnish

Combine Prosecco and vodka in small pitcher.
Place scoop of lemon sorbet in each of 4 wine glasses.
Pour Prosecco mixture over sorbet.
Top with a lemon wedge.

Adult Beverage Lemon Prosecco Cocktail Sorbet

Author’s Notes: I prefer my lemon wedge squeezed and in the glass, rather than on the glass rim. Also, I use this wonderful sorbet “SorBabes” brand, Jam’n Lemon flavor. It is made with real lemons and lemon zest that pumps up the flavor to unexpected levels of happiness. Enjoy, and…happy almost weekend!

Cinnamon Elephant Ears

 

I had a special pajama clad helper in the kitchen one Sunday morning recently. No makeup, hair unbrushed…but it was magically delicious! I always thought these “elephant ears” were a short cut from a French pastry. Contrarily, my research revealed that it’s adapted from the Native Americans’ “sweet fry bread”…Either way, it’s quick, delicious, and this little three year old did most of it on his own!
A job opportunity awaits!

1 cup sugar, divided
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and salt.
Pour it over a flat surface such as a wooden board.
Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar mixture.

 

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon.
Spread it evenly on the puff pastry.
(This is not about sprinkling, it’s about an even covering of sugar.)
With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it’s a 13-inch square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom.
Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle.
Fold them again so the two folds meet in the middle.
Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book.
You will have 6 layers.
Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices.
Place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies for 6 minutes, or until caramelized and brown on the bottom.
Then turn over with a spatula and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side.
Transfer to a baking rack to cool.
Brunch Elephant Ears VI

Warm Shrimp with Melon and Feta

Entree Seafood Warm Shrimp with Melon and Feta.jpg
OK, Just call me a dichotomous  mess! I loathe the heat, humidity and glaring sun of the summer months. Actually, when May rolls around, I begin praying for the relief of October’s cool deliciousness. HOWEVER, I do enjoy the voice and soul of summer’s culinary treasures…shrimp being at the top of my favorites! p to the s…we enjoy shrimp 12 months of every year thanks to Captain Jim’s who delivers straight from the coast to G’Vegas every other Saturday of the month! I mean it’s just outrageously appropriate people! Just taking heart and getting it “done” completed…finished…anything besides “done”, please!

1 recipe of Lemon Dressing (below)
1 1/2 lbs medium shrimp, cleaned
1 Tbs Salt and 1 t pepper to season shrimp
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chopped shallots
2 heads frisée, or spinach, torn into pieces
1 medium honeydew, cut into small cubes
8 oz feta, crumbled
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint

For Dressing:
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of whole lemon
1 Tbs honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 t black pepper
Combine all ingredients in glass salad dressing jar and shake well.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
In 12 inch skillet, heat 2 Tbs oil over medium high heat.
Add shrimp.
Cook 1 minute.
Turn heat to medium.
Add shallots, and cook 2 more minutes, until shrimp are pink.

In large bowl combine frisée and Lemon Dressing, and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Divide among 4 plates.
Top with shrimp, melon, feta, and mint.

Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread ParkerFairy Bread has been a popular children’s birthday treat for generations in Australia. Simple as can be. So as you prepare for the Memorial Day weekend and the onslaught of family members, you may want to try this special and yummy treat!
Simply spread softened, room temperature butter on fresh bread (That acts as the glue). Top with any sprinkles or colored sugar desired…or let the children decorate their own! That’s what we did in the RockDamKitchen a couple of weekends ago. My grands LOVED making it and eating it! “Art doesn’t always fit in a frame”…nor do sprinkles! PS It was a sugary mess on the kitchen counter! Enjoy.

Fairy Bread Lucy IIjpgBrunch Fairy Bread IFairy Bread L L P