Old Bay Shrimp Boil

 

I know this didn’t make it in time for your July4th shindig, but we had it for ours and it was amazing.  Have you ever tried one of these shrimp boils/low country boils/whatever boils?  So easy and so much fun to eat.  No plates or utensils required.  Easy-peasy clean up and easy to double or triple, depending on the size of your hungry crowd.  And kids even like it–have pizza delivered if there are a few hold-outs.  This was the first time that I have ever personally been in charge of making the boil–usually my sister Amy prepares it–but she wasn’t staying at the beach for the 4th and my Dad really wanted to have it for a big family meal.  He calls it a “Shrimp Dump.”  As you can see from the picture above, that is a good description.  

Here are a few time-saving tips if you can spare a few more dollars–and it is well worth it:

  • Buy the mini frozen ears of corn–I got store brand.
  • The mini red or white potatoes that are already washed and ready to cook work great
  • This can be cooked on your stove, but we have a propane-powered turkey fryer and it was so great being able to do this instead of having two large stock pots on the stove at the same time.
  • Have your Dad pay for and pick up the shrimp fresh the morning of your meal–ours was caught the night before and they were so fresh and tasty.
  • Use plastic, disposable tablecloths because when you are done with the meal and have put away any small amount of leftovers, you just roll those tablecloths up and toss them in the garbage can, shells and all.
  • I purchased some cute cardboard food trays that were displayed with the tablecloths and these were perfect for guests to put their shrimp shells into.

Get at it!

Shrimp Boil
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
  2. 2 T. salt
  3. 1/2 c. minced onion (you can use large Vidalia onions cut in quarters)
  4. 4 quarts water
  5. 1-2 pkgs. of ready-to-cook baby white or red potatoes, skin on
  6. 2 lbs. Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa, cut into 2-inch chunks
  7. 2 pkgs. (6 each) mini frozen corn cobs
  8. 4 lbs. medium shrimp, in shells
Instructions
  1. In an 8-qt. stock pot, bring Old Bay, salt and water to a boil.
  2. Add potatoes and onions; cook over high heat for 8 minutes.
  3. Add kielbasa; continue to cook on high for 5 minutes.
  4. Add corn and boil another 7 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp, shells on, and cook for about 4 minutes. Once they turn pink they are ready. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  6. Drain your liquid from the pot and pour contents onto your table--make sure the tablecloths are on. You could also use newspaper.
Notes
  1. Original recipe calls for 1 (12-oz.) can of beer, but we don't drink so we just left it out and added a little more water.
  2. We use Crosse & Blackwell Cocktail Sauce and just pour it right onto the tablecloth in as many "piles" as you need.
  3. Also good to melt several sticks of butter and put into small bowls on the table so that guests can either dip their corn in it or maybe their shrimp. Or why not the spuds?
Adapted from Food.com
Adapted from Food.com
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Southwest Cornbread Salad

 

Here’s a tasty, healthy summer salad that makes a great side dish to just about any cookout or family meal.  I used this for a cookout with my daughter’s in-laws just the other day.  Use your favorite cornbread recipe or do like I did and search our site.  I found this delicious recipe right HERE.  This is now my go-t0 cornbread–delicious!! 

A couple of things to note about this recipe: the pumpkin seeds are a little chewy so next time I am going to make it with sunflower kernels; the dressing is made with plain yogurt, so if you want a little sweeter taste use French or regular Vanilla; if you don’t like lime so much, just reduce the amount. My husband was skeptical about the dressing because of the lime.  Go figure.

And again, thanks for your continued support and patience as we try to work out our crazy lives so that we can cook again…and actually blog about it!

Southwest Cornbread Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 6 T. lime juice
  2. 4 t. sugar
  3. 2 c. plain yogurt
  4. 1/2 c. olive oil
  5. 1 (8 x 8 pan) cornbread, cut in 1 inch pieces
  6. 6 c. romaine lettuce, chopped
  7. 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  8. 2-3 avocados, chopped
  9. 2 c. chopped tomato
  10. 1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds
  11. 1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, sugar, yogurt and oil.
  2. In bottom of a large glass bowl, distribute cornbread cubes to cover the bottom.
  3. Layer the following ingredients in this order: romaine, beans, avocado, tomato and the dressing.
  4. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds & cilantro.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Notes
  1. Dip your serving spoon to the bottom of the bowl to be sure and get all the flavors from the foods! And if you make your own cornbread, try baking at 375 degrees in a convection oven for 18 minutes.
Adapted from Relish
Adapted from Relish
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Crazy Leftover Soup

 

It was one of those days when I just could not think of anything to fix for supper, it was Sunday so I wasn’t going to the store, so I checked my “home store” and found a couple of packages of frozen Vegetables for Stew (I don’t know why I bought these and don’t even know WHEN I bought them), I had one leftover cooked chicken breast, and of course, I had plenty of Thrive Foods to add to any dish.  And that, my friends, is how you end up with some crazy soup made from leftovers.  And guess what?  It tasted really good!  

Crazy Leftover Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 bags frozen Vegetables for Stew Mix
  2. 3-5 T. of chopped fresh cilantro
  3. 1 15-oz. can of Cannelini Beans
  4. 1 15-oz. can chopped tomatoes with juice
  5. 1 cup cooked brown rice
  6. 1 cooked chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
  7. 1/2 c. THRIVE cooked ground beef
  8. 1 c. THRIVE Sweet Corn
  9. 1 c. THRIVE Green Peas
  10. 1 c. THRIVE Zucchini
  11. 2 T. Bacon grease
  12. THRIVE Chef's Choice Blend Seasoning to taste
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 4 cups of water or more, as needed
Instructions
  1. Dump all the ingredients in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer as long as you would like to. I did mine until the house started smelling yummy.
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Sweet Corn Cakes

 

Hello from the other side!  We have certainly missed our food blogging with all of you.  As you know, we thought our site may have been hacked, so we took it down for a bit.  Well, for a long bit. Anywho, whatever the issue was it has certainly been resolved through no effort on our part.  We went back in to fix the issues and they were gone.  Thank goodness, because we have been away far too long and are anxious to get back into it.

Today’s post is a favorite comfort food of mine.  I got the recipe from my sister, Amy, who lives in a neighboring state.  We took a trip up to help with some outside projects at their house and she had Slow Cooker Taco Soup simmering away while we worked.  Every once in a while I would come inside to thaw out and the aroma was amazing.  And, as if that wasn’t enough to tempt me to stay inside, I found out she was making Sweet Corn Cakes as a side.  What?!  Oh my goodness, y’all, what a perfect meal for a frigid day full of outside work “fun”.  It’s super easy, too.  

Right at the moment I wanted to post this we discovered that there are still issues with our Recipe Card format, so for now we are going Old School…

Ingredients:
1 box Sweet Corn Muffin Mix
1 15 oz. can cream-style corn
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. melted butter

  1. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased loaf pan.

  2. Bake for 40 minutes at the temperature suggested on your box of mix.

 

Notes:  This will be bit squishy, but that’s the beauty of it–and that’s why you use a cookie scoop to serve it.  Double the recipe.  Seriously, it is that good.

Source:  Amy Eason

 

 

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Finding Peace

“Angels, shepherds, and Wise Men sought and found peace from their faith in Jesus Christ. So will you. The Savior’s birth is the gift that makes it possible for the Father to give us ‘peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.'”
—President Henry B. Eyring, First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional

A friend recently sent to me a copy of a talk entitled “Peace in this Life”, by Henry B. Eyring.  What a timely message this is.  Our world is in turmoil; oftentimes our personal lives are extremely challenging for many reasons, both within our control and not so much.  But amidst whatever trials, challenges, another’s choice that affects our lives, or influences that can impact us on a global level, we can find peace.  That one word means so much.  Where can we turn for peace?  We turn to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate this month.  The following quote from this talk was very meaningful to me, as I had just prayed that improving my relationship with my Savior would strengthen me on those days that are especially trying.  I hope it helps you and gives you some direction during a difficult time.

“It is only through following the Savior that any of us can find peace and serenity in the trials that will come to all of us.”

And it just now occurred to me that we should remember that our relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as our Heavenly Father, can make the good days even sweeter.  They aren’t just there for us on the rough days.

Image from LDS.org.

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Slow Cooker Taco Soup

 

Slow cooker or crockpot.  However you say it, this is probably my most favorite kitchen tool.  How much fun is it to throw a bunch of ingredients into a pot, put the lid on, plug it in and come home to dinner?  I was at my sister’s house last week and she had just started her new job and asked me if I would mind throwing the Taco Soup in the crockpot and making the Sweet Corn Cakes (another recipe–stay tuned).  I was delighted to help out and we had just had this recipe a couple of weeks before at her house and I was excited to have it again!  You do need to brown some ground beef and add it at the end of the cooking time, but that was no problem.  I think you will really enjoy this–I sure did!  And of course the house smelled wonderful all afternoon.

This is a great dish to have during these crazy busy days leading up to Christmas, when we are all over-extending ourselves with holiday prep.  You know I’m right.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
  2. 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  3. 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  4. 1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  5. 1 (15 oz.) can sweet corn, drained (I used creamed corn undrained--because who wants to drain that?)
  6. 1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce
  7. 1 (10 oz.) can red enchilada sauce
  8. half an onion, chopped
  9. 1 cup chicken broth
  10. 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  11. 1 (1 oz.) packet taco seasoning
  12. 1 T. cornstarch + 2 T. water
  13. 1 lb. ground beef
Instructions
  1. Add all beans, tomatoes, corn, onions, peppers, enchilada sauce, chicken broth and taco seasoning to a large crock pot. Stir to combine. Cover with lid and cook on low heat 3-6 hours.
  2. Mix together the cornstarch and water to create a "slurry." Add to the soup in the crock pot as a thickener.
  3. Brown and crumble the ground beef in a large skillet until thoroughly cooked. Drain off the grease and add beef to crock pot and stir to combine.
  4. Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, etc.
Adapted from Life in the Lofthouse
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Inspiration from an Unexpected Source

 

We have been serving as Church Service Missionaries in the Welfare Services Department of our church. Our area of focus is in a regional Home Storage Center where members of our church, as well as those who are not members, can come and purchase pre-pack and bulk items of foods such as flour, wheat, sugar, beans, etc. for everyday use or for food storage.  Ask me about the Hot Cocoa Mix.  We have been doing this for a few months now and have really enjoyed our service.  

This past week things were a little slow, until a young mom came in to buy a couple of items while she was in the area. She does not live locally, but sometimes stops by when she is in town on business and picks up a few things.  She was probably in her 30’s, and was just a delight to talk to.  She radiated the spirit of the Gospel: her light was warm and beautiful.  As I sat there chatting with her about her current assignment in church–she is Primary President in her congregation–I was struck by how strong her testimony was of the Savior and living the Gospel–she has only been a member of the church for 4 years!  

I am 58 and was baptized at 8 years old, and she is more spiritually mature than I am.  I was honored and blessed to be talking to her and I kept thinking that it was so cool to be having this conversation with a perfect stranger, and yet, because of our beliefs we were really sisters.

She set an example for me that day of a loving mother, a beautiful daughter of God, a strong warrior for our Savior Jesus Christ.

It was a good day.

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Crunchy Cinnamon Ebelskivers

 

Ebelskivers (pronounced “able-skeevers”) are snacks or desserts–hailing from Denmark–traditionally served during holidays and celebrations.  These puffy, sphere-shaped pancakes can be served in a variety of ways, from sweet to savory, and can include toppings and/or fillings.  I have tried them only a couple of times in my kitchen and each time I learn a little something new about how to prepare them.  

I am still learning how to NOT cook them so long, and maybe someday when I have a gas range again–instead of an electric or ceramic cook top–I will be able to better control the heat and not overcook so many!  But I did manage to salvage a few for the post today and I hope you will give me some grace and try the recipe even if you don’t they they look all that awesome.  I plan to keep honing my ebelskiver skills, so one day you might just see something amazing!

The only necessary tool is a seven-welled pan that forms the pancake’s cool shape.  You can use wooden skewers to turn them or purchase special ebelskiver turners–yes I did–which help flip these babies nicely.  I also have a really cool ebelskiver cookbook and that is where I got the recipe that I am sharing with you today.  According to the cookbook, the brown sugar and butter that ends up as the topping should crack brulee-style with every bite.  Still waiting on that!

Crunchy Cinnamon Ebelskivers
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 1/2 t. sugar
  3. 1/2 t. baking powder
  4. 1/4 t. salt
  5. 2 large eggs, separated
  6. 1 cup whole milk
  7. 3 T. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled,divided
  8. 2 t. ground cinnamon
  9. 1/4 t. nutmeg
  10. 3 1/2 T. light brown sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks, then whisk in the milk and 2 T. of the melted butter.
  3. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon, stir until well-blended--batter will be lumpy.
  4. In a clean bowl, using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites until stiff--but not dry--peaks form. To lighten the batter, use a rubber spatula and gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the rest of the egg whites just until no white streaks remain.
Notes
  1. Cooking Tip: You might want to cook these on a little lower temperature if your stove tends to cook things a little too hot. Trust me on this.
Adapted from Ebelskivers: Filled Pancakes and Other Mouthwatering Miniatures
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Strawberry Pretzel Bark

I love quick and easy recipes.  Especially when they look impressive!

This beautiful, swirly chocolate treat is a fun way to enjoy a little decadence–you could even give this as a gift!  Just remember to keep it cold as the chocolate warms easily to the touch and the freeze dried strawberries will have a better texture cold.

pretzel-bark

(this recipe is also shared in my Thrive Life recipes….hence my Thrive website url)

Strawberry Pretzel Bark
Easy but elegant, sweet and salty.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  2. 8 ounces white chocolate for baking (could also use vanilla candy melts)
  3. 1 cup freeze dried strawberry slices (I used Thrive, of course!)
  4. 1/2 cup salted pretzel sticks
  5. sprinkles of your choice
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
  2. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and melt for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time, until the chocolate is smooth and melted completely.
  3. Pour 3/4 of the chocolate onto the paper lined baking sheet. Use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate into a thin, even layer so that it ends up in a rectangle about 9"x 12".
  4. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in the same way you did the chocolate chips. Drop by spoonfuls onto the chocolate rectangle. Use the remaining melted chocolate chips to drop spoonfuls over top of the white chocolate spoonfuls. Swirl with a toothpick.
  5. Immediately place the pretzel sticks and strawberry slices on the surface, pressing down lightly.
  6. Refrigerate until set. Slide the bark with the paper onto a cutting surface and cut the bark into pieces. Serve right away, or store in the fridge in a covered container.
Notes
  1. You can use different freeze dried fruits--blueberries, raspberries, cranberries. All sorts of combos! And if you like it a little saltier, sprinkle on some sea salt too.
Adapted from Five Heart Home
Adapted from Five Heart Home
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/

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Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats

This recipe was originally posted on February 16, 2012.  We thought we would bring it back for the holidays!

These are a tasty rendition of the classic Rice Krispie Treat and are great for any holiday involving chocolate and mint–and they are so pretty!  I have made these for our youth at church and for several family gatherings and they are a big hit.  Personally, I can’t stay away from the platter–so many favorite flavors.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats
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Ingredients
  1. 1 10.5 oz. bag of peppermint mini marshmallows*
  2. 4 tablespoons butter, plus extra to butter the pan
  3. 5-6 oz. krispy rice cereal
  4. 3 tablespoons semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  5. 3 tablespoons white chocolate chips
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided (I used shortening)
  7. a few drops peppermint extract
  8. 2-3 medium sized candy canes, crushed
Instructions
  1. Line a 9×13 pan with foil and lightly butter bottom of pan and about 1 inch up the sides.
  2. Melt butter in a very large bowl in the microwave. Add marshmallows and stir to coat. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time until melted and smooth, stirring as you go.
  3. Add the krispy rice cereal and stir to evenly combine. With buttered hands, press mixture into pan.
  4. Place the white chocolate chips and about 1/2 teaspoon or less of shortening in a small bowl. Heat in microwave in 30 second intervals on 50% power, stirring in between until melted and smooth. Repeat same process with the semi-sweet chocolate chips and add a few drops of peppermint extract.
  5. Drizzle both chocolates on top of the treats and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes–I used those that are more porous, you know, the kind you can stick into a hole in an orange and suck the juice through? Really…have you never tried that? Anyway, let sit until chocolate is set. You can put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process. Cut into squares and oh my goodness….
Notes
  1. * If you can’t find the peppermint marshmallows, use regular and add about 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract to the melted marshmallow mixture.
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Mormon Mavens http://www.mormonmavens.com/
 
 
 

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