National Creme Brulee Day

I just read an article that today (July 27) is National Creme Brulee Day.  What a great day!!!  So in honor of this, I am sharing a delicious recipe; hope you enjoy it.

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Chocolate Creme Brulee

Ingredients:
1 quart heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1 ounce chocolate liqueur (recommended: Godiva Liqueur)
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 ounces dark cocoa powder
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (the better the quality, the better the taste)
11 large egg yolks

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, add heavy cream, sugar, liqueur, and vanilla. When mixture is warm add cocoa powder and chocolate and whisk until blended.
Place egg yolks in large stainless steel bowl.
Slowly add warm chocolate mixture to eggs a little at time while whisking.
Strain and pour into individual porcelain ramekins.
Place ramekins in a large baking pan.
Pour enough hot water into pan to come half way up sides of ramekins.
Bake until firm in center, about 30 minutes.
Remove ramekins from water bath and let cool completely.
Place in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Dust with sugar and caramelize with propane torch. Serve immediately.

Homemade Shrimp Cocktail Sauce

Shrimp cocktail sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco

Instructions:

Stir all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and season with more pepper as needed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!!!!

Jerk Shrimp & Tomato Bruschetta

Had to share this; love anything with “jerk” spice.  I have to give credit to the Margaritaville website.  One of my favorite recipes for entertaining.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 – 8 oz package Margaritaville Jammin’ Shrimp

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

3 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 loaf sliced grilled or toasted French bread

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook shrimp according to package.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Add garlic, olive oil, tomatoes, green peppers, basil, salt and pepper to same skillet.  Heat through for 1 minutes.
  3. To serve, spoon tomato mixture on slice of French bread and top with shrimp.

PEANUT BUTTER ESPRESSO SMOOTHIE

Love smoothies in the morning especially if coffee is involved.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 frozen banana (if banana not frozen, add ice)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup almond milk

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
  3. On the weekend for a late breakfast, sometimes I put in a little Irish Creme Liquor for flavor…..

Peanut-Butter-Banana-Smoothe

 

Sugar Alternatives to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Thought I would try a healthy blog for this one; hope you learn something and enjoy it!

Craving sweet flavors is something we all have from time to time but there are alternatives to conquer those cravings without the calories!

A lot of the way highly processed sugars such as granulated sugar and high-fructose corn syrup have popped up in foods where we do not expect them like breakfast cereals, dairy products, salad dressings and nut-butter spreads. These sugars are highly processed and have been zapped of nutrients during refinement.

Luckily, there are a variety of foods that contain natural, unprocessed sugars you can enjoy.

RAW HONEY

This is honey from flowers that still contains healthful vitamins A, C, D, E and K, various B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium and live enzymes that are removed when honey is heated, filtered and processed.

Raw honey is also rich with bifidobacteria, a group of bacteria associated with digestive and immune health. An effective probiotic, raw honey stimulates bifidobacteria growth in the intestine and aids in digestive health.

raw honey

MAPLE SYRUP

Similar to honey, maple syrup contains antioxidants, vitamins and phytonutrients not found in refined sugar. Maple syrup comes from the sap of maple trees and also contains trace minerals absorbed from the ground by the trees.

maple syrup

DARK CHOCOLATE

Not all chocolate bars are created equal, and dark chocolate — containing more than  70% cacao — has a higher quantity of superpowered cacao than chocolate bars, which contain more milk and sugar. The cacao portion of a chocolate bar is made by grinding the nibs in cacao beans. The nibs are dried, then fermented and ground for making chocolate. The percentages you see on a chocolate bar wrapper are indicative of how much cacao is in each bar out of 100% by weight. So, if you read 45% on the bar, it means the bar is 55% milk and sugar and only 45% cacao. But a 75% bar contains only 25% milk and sugar, making it a lower-sugar choice. A bar that reads 100% would be made entirely of cacao nibs and cacao butter without added refined sugar or milk solids.

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COCONUT PALM SUGAR

Similar to the way that maple syrup is harvested, coconut palm sugar is made by harvesting the sap of a coconut plant. Then, the sap is dried to evaporate the liquid out,  leaving the natural sugar crystals behind. Coconut palm sugar is lower on the glycemic index than both honey and maple syrup and is a great substitute for granulated sugar in baking recipes.

coconut palm sugar

DRIED FRUIT

Dried blueberries, cherries, peaches, apples, dates — even kiwi and mango — are all great options when you’re reaching for something sweet. Dried fruits are made by evaporating the juices out of fresh fruit, leaving concentrated flavors and natural, unprocessed fruit sugars behind. But be warned that in addition to being a concentrated source of flavor, dried fruit is also concentrated in calories, so once again, a little goes a long way.

 

dried fruit

Sweet Potato Casserole

One of my favorite sweet potato recipes is a Sweet Potato Casserole.  Ruth’s Chris Restaurant has one of the best but my Mothers is just as good.  So I am sharing my Mother’s recipe with you today.

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

SWEET POTATO MIXTURE:

  • 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (I use canned to save time but make sure you drain them)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 bag mini-marshmallows

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Combine brown sugar, flour, nuts and butter in mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and butter in a mixing bowl in the order listed. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour mixture into buttered baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle the surface of the sweet potato mixture evenly with the crust mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Put marshmallows on the top then cook for another 5 – 8 minutes to melt them.
  8. Allow to set at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

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Chicken Kabobs on the grill

I recently visited my parents in Kentucky and we made the most fabulous chicken kabob.  It was a hit and I will make it again.

Chicken Kabob on the grill

INGREDIENTS:

2 – 3 lbs cubed chicken breasts

1 Yellow Pepper (cubed)

1 Red Pepper (cubed)

1 Green Pepper (cubed)

1 Medium Onion (cubed)

1 package large Mushrooms (cleaned and dried)

1 package Cherry Tomatoes

Italian Dressing

Teriyaki Marinade

Wooden Skews (soak in water for 20 minutes prior to using)

Salt & Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Place 1/2 the chicken in freezer bag with Italian Dressing and the other 1/2 in a freezer bag with Teriyaki Marinade and let marinade for 24 hours.  Once grill is ready, put meat and vegetables on skews alternating until all is used except the cherry tomatoes.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Put cherry tomatoes on skew and grill for the last 5 minutes of the chicken cooking.  Season all with salt and pepper to taste.  We served with Texas Toast and a side of Sangria.  You can use any vegetable you like that taste well with chicken.

Great recipe and very filling!!!

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