Steak & Shrimp Fajitas

Have you ever had a craving for something? That’s what happened this weekend. For some reason I wanted fajitas. Even though we don’t eat tortillas, the meat & vegetables in the fajitas will suffice. So I picked up some top sirloin that was on sale, and red, orange and yellow sweet peppers. I was going to get a fajita seasoning packet but decided that I already had the main seasonings (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano) at the house. I had purchased a small package of shrimp a couple of days before so I included them in this meal.

When it was time to eat, I cut the top sirloin, peppers and an onion into strips. Using the same amount of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano I seasoned the meat and placed a skillet. Then seasoned the peppers and onions and added them to the skillet with the steak. I threw the shrimp in just a minute before the veggies were tender-crisp, . The fajitas were served over a bed of cauliflower rice and garnished with cilantro.

It was delicious. Next time you get a craving, I strongly suggest you act upon it and enjoy!

Shrimp Day

For Shrimp Day, I will be sharing this great Shrimp Quesadilla with Remoulade Sauce from HomeMadeSimple.com. I did make a low carb wrap instead of using regular tortillas. Click this link to get the wrap recipe.

Shrimp Quesadillas

¾ lb. Shrimp, peeled, deveined and cooked
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
2 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
6-8 (6”) flour tortillas
Remoulade Dipping Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Spray one side of the tortillas with cooking spray.

 

Toss shrimp with green onions, Cajun seasoning and cheese. Spread filling evenly among half of the tortillas, then top each with remaining tortillas. Press down lightly to flatten.

Bake 5 minutes on one side, flip and bake 5 minutes on the other side until cheese melts and quesadillas are golden brown and crisp. Let stand a few minutes, then cut into wedges. Serve with Remoulade Sauce for dipping.

 

Remoulade Sauce

Juice of ½ lemon
½ c. onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
¼ c. celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Prepared horseradish
2 Tbsp. Mustard
1 Tbsp. Ketchup
1 Tbsp. Fresh parsley
¼ c. mayonnaise
¼ tsp. Cayenne pepper
Black pepper to taste

 

 

Combine ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until almost smooth. Season with black pepper and chill until ready to serve.

 

 

 

National Shrimp Day

I don’t have any pictures of shrimp that I have cooked. However, shrimp can be prepared simply by seasoning them with salt and pepper, placing them on skewers and then cook them on the grill. Your shrimp can  look just like the ones in the picture below.

Shrimp Day** Observed annually on May 10, it is National Shrimp Day.  Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood, and this is the day to celebrate this delicious seafood.

The word “prawn” is used loosely to describe any large shrimp, sometimes known as “jumbo shrimp.”  Some countries use the word “prawn” exclusively for all shrimp.

Preparing the shrimp for consumption usually involves the removal of the head, shell, tail and “sand vein”.  There are many ways to cook shrimp.  Standard methods of preparation include baking, boiling, broiling, sauteing, frying and grilling.  Cooking time is delicate for shrimp, and they are at their best when not overcooked.

A healthy food, shrimp is low in calories and high in levels of omega-3, calcium, iodine, and protein.  Shrimp is also known to be considered good for the circulatory system.

 

**  http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/days-2/national-shrimp-day-may-10/

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Valentines Pic (5)Happy Valentine’s Day!!

I was looking through my Valentine’s stuff and realized that I must get Mac special boxers as a gift quite often. Not this year though. Can’t share right now as he has not seen his gift yet. Since I have to work, we aren’t doing anything big. We’ll probably run to the store & get shrimp for me and steak for Mac.

 

 

Valentines Pic (3)

 

This year I did get this new kitchen towel just because. Unfortunately I did not finish my flag but at least it is a good start for next year. I’ll just go ahead and get it done as soon as I can so it will be completed.  Enjoy your day with that special someone!

 

 

 

cute-Valentines-day

* Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

 

 

 

* http://www.history.com/topics/valentines-day

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

MardiGras cupcakeToday is called Fat Tuesday the beginning of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana.   Give this shrimp recipe a try:

New Orleans-Style Shrimp

1 ½ lb. Large shrimp (21-25 per lb), peeled & deveined
2 tbsp. Olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Chili powder
2 tsp. Black pepper
4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
Baguette for accompaniment
Lemon wedges to garnish

Toss shrimp with all ingredients except baguette & lemon wedges and marinate at cool room temperature 15 minutes. Cook in a hot skillet about 6 minutes or until shrimp are opaque, stirring occasionally.

If grilling on skewers: Thread 4 or 5 shrimp onto each skewer & grill, turning over once, until cooked through 3-4 minutes total. Push shrimp off skewers into a bowl, then pour the following butter sauce on them and toss to combine well. Heat 6 tbsp. unsalted butter with chili powder, pepper, Worcestershire & remaining ¼ tsp. Salt in a small heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until butter is melted, then remove from heat & stir in lemon juice.

MardiGrasBeads&Mask* A Christian holiday and popular cultural phenomenon, Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Also known as Carnival, it is celebrated in many countries around the world–mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations–on the day before the religious season of Lent begins. Brazil, Venice and New Orleans play host to some of the holiday’s most famous public festivities, drawing thousands of tourists and revelers every year.

According to historians, Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.

Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the meat, eggs, milk and cheese that remained in their homes, preparing for several weeks of eating only fish and fasting. In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.” The word “carnival,” another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, may also derive from this vegetarian-unfriendly custom: in Medieval Latin, carnelevarium means to take away or remove meat.

Many historians believe that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Iberville and Bienville landed in what is now Louisiana, just south of the holiday’s future epicenter: New Orleans. They held a small celebration and dubbed the spot Point du Mardi Gras. In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy rituals, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812.

On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students donned colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, emulating the revelry they’d observed while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day. In 1857, a secret society of New Orleans businessmen called the Mistick Krewe of Comus organized a torch-lit Mardi Gras procession with marching bands and rolling floats, setting the tone for future public celebrations in the city. Since then, krewes have remained a fixture of the Carnival scene throughout Louisiana. Other lasting customs include throwing beads and other trinkets, wearing masks, decorating floats and eating King Cake.

Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. However, elaborate carnival festivities draw crowds in other parts of the United States during the Mardi Gras season as well, including Alabama and Mississippi. Each region has its own events and traditions.

Across the globe, pre-Lenten festivals continue to take place in many countries with significant Roman Catholic populations. Brazil’s week long Carnival festivities feature a vibrant amalgam of European, African and native traditions. In Canada, Quebec City hosts the giant Quebec Winter Carnival. In Italy, tourists flock to Venice’s Carnevale, which dates back to the 13th century and is famous for its masquerade balls. Known as Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching, the German celebration includes parades, costume balls and a tradition that empowers women to cut off men’s ties. For Denmark’s Fastevlan, children dress up and gather candy in a similar manner to Halloween–although the parallel ends when they ritually flog their parents on Easter Sunday morning.

MardiGrasNewOrleans

* http://www.history.com/topics/mardi-gras

Maggot Stew with Brain Dip & Crackers

Today why not try these two recipes as an eerie meal for Halloween.

Maggot Stew

2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
¼ c. flour
½ tsp. each of Salt & pepper

¼ tsp. Garlic powder
1 lb. Stew beef, cut in 1” chunks
2 cans (14.5 oz) plain stewed tomatoes
1 ¼ c. beef broth
1 tsp. Thyme
1 Bay leaf
1 ½ c. frozen carrots
1 c. frozen green beans
 ¾ c. dry orzo pasta

Place oil in stew pot and turn heat to medium-low. Combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a ziploc bag. Drop in stew beef, seal bag and shake until well coated. Pour contents of bag into the stew pot. Turn the heat up to medium. Turn meat every 3-4 minutes, letting the meat brown well on all sides. Cook until the meat begins to look crusty. Add the tomatoes, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to low and let simmer for at least 1 hour. After 1 hour add the carrots and green beans. Cover and simmer an additional 45 minutes.

Cook the orzo in a saucepan according to package directions. When just tender, drain it through a colander, shaking out any excess water. Since these are your maggots, add them to the stew pot and turn off heat.

To serve, ladle stew into bowls and spread a layer of orzo maggots on top.

 

Brain Dip

1 c. mayonnaise + 1 Tbsp.
1 can (1 oz) cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin, dissolved in ¼ c. hot water
½ c. minced scallions
1 ½ lb. Cooked bay shrimp
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Pinch salt

Use 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to grease a 6-cup brain mold or a

 bunch of mini brain molds; set aside.

Pour can of soup into a medium saucepan and heat over medium until warm. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in dissolved gelatin with water until blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Remove from heat and pour into brain mold. Chill until firm. Unmold onto a platter and serve with crackers.

NOTE: If you don’t have brain molds, you can use regular cupcake tins. I halved this recipe to make 6 cupcake tins of dip.

Brain Dip from Celebrations.com

Sesame Shrimp Hearts & Lady in Red

Sesame Shrimp Hearts

1 lb. Large shrimp, peeled & deveined
10 tbsp. Butter, divided
1 tbsp. Grated fresh ginger
4 tsp. Fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. Orange juice
¼ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Ground black pepper
2 tbsp. Sesame seeds, toasted
1/3 c. strawberry jelly
2 tsp. White wine vinegar
1 tsp. Hot pepper sauce
1 medium avocaco, peeled & sliced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice down back of shrimp, almost completely through with small knife. Gently spread and flatten. Arrange shrimp cut-side up on lightly greased baking sheet; set aside.

 Melt 6 tablespoons butter in 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, then stir in ginger, citrus juices, salt & pepper. Evenly spoon sauce over shrimp then sprinkler with sesame seeds. Bake 5 minutes or until shrimp turns pink.

 Meanwhile, heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter, jelly, vinegar and hot pepper sauce in 1-quart saucepan over medim-low heat, stirring frequently until jelly is melted. Strain, if desired. Arrange shrimp in heart shapes on sliced avocado and drizzle with sauce to serve.

Lady in Red

Combine 3 oz. chilled Ruby Red Grapefruit juice and 2 oz. well chilled Cook’s champagne in champagne flutes. Enjoy!!