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I’m BACK! Wow, what a crazy couple of months we have had. After recovering from my broken leg and helping my Mom after her surgery we were ready to tackle Christmas.  However, two days before Christmas our small dog Zelda slipped a disk in her back leaving her unable to walk. Not the best way to start the holiday, but after two emergency vet visits, 6 weeks worth of medicine and two months of her resting, (the best a dog can rest)  I am happy to report that Zelda is now walking unassisted and is back to her playful self. Although she still is unable to tackle stairs she has done amazing!
I have still been tracking all my recipes and pictures so I have so many to share with you! The first recipe I am sharing is Seafood Nachos.  These were delicious! I have been wanting to make this dish for a while now as each summer we do a lot of camping with friends and family and always have a huge lobster/clam bake.  So I thought it would be fun to have a seafood nacho dish one night! This recipe will be made a number times this summer! I used lobster meat, scallops, and shrimp so this can be an expensive dish BUT also a very impressive dish. You can make a couple of shortcuts with this recipe by purchasing already cooked lobster meat as well as cooked, deveined and tails off shrimp if you wanted to. I chose to roast the shrimp myself and pan sear the scallops adding a beautiful color and texture to the scallops. For the lobster, I simply cooked two lobster tails according to the package instructions as they were frozen tails. This recipe is enough for 4-6 hungry people as an appetizer.

INGREDIENTS
1 large bag of tortilla chips
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 Tablespoon Of butter
2 teaspoons roasted garlic
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails off
2 lobster tails, cooked and meat removed and chopped (not too small)
1/2 pound scallops, muscle removed
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup grated asiago cheese
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of salt
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce

SERVE WITH
Sour cream
Pico de gallo
Pickled jalapeño

DIRECTIONS
For the shrimp – place the shrimp on a baking sheet drizzle with olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper and mix to combine. Place in a 400-degree oven for 6-8 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the scallops – place a tablespoon Of butter in a frying pan, let the butter melt and pan heat up. Add the scallops to the hot pan and let sear until turning a golden brown, turn the scallops and do the same for the second side. Remove from pan and set aside.

For the lobster – I bought frozen lobster tail and followed directions on package. Remove cooked meat from shells and set aside. Or purchase already cooked and shelled meat.

In a large sauté pan add the heavy cream, Parmesan and Asiago cheeses, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper. Allow the cheese to melt. When the cheese has melted and is creamy add the lobster meat to the sauce, cut the scallops in half and add to the sauce, add the shrimp cutting in half if they are large shrimp. Stir to combine and warm the seafood through.
Meanwhile, on a large baking sheet spread the tortilla chips over the pan, add the cheddar and pepper jack cheese covering the chips and bake in a 350-degree oven for 2-4 minutes until the cheese is melted. Remove from oven, add a layer of the shredded lettuce over the cheese and top with the seafood sauce.
Serve warm with sour cream, pico de gallo and pickled jalapeño.

Enjoy!

 

 

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This is a super simple five-ingredient dish! Jim loves anything with a Mexican or Tex Mex flavor so he loved this dish! I, on the other hand, am not a huge fan of refried beans so this was not a huge favorite for me. Jim and I both agreed this would make a great party appetizer. I would slice them a little smaller than shown in the picture here.

 

INGREDIENTS
1 crusty Italian loaf
1 can (16 oz.) refried beans – I used the spicy version
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pico de gallo

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread in half lengthwise and then in half widthwise and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Spread about 1/4 of the can of refried beans on each slice of the cut side of the bread. Top each slice with both kinds of cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and top each slice with a spoon full of pico de gallo. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

 

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I’m finally feeling better from the broken leg, but the separated ankle injury is taking its time in the healing process.  But, I am back in the kitchen and enjoying it! These loaded potato bites were one of our favorite things through the summer we made them many times, and they disappeared quickly! Great as a side dish or an appetizer!

INGREDIENTS
5 – 6 baby red potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
olive oil to brush potatoes
Sprinkle with salt
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped
3 Tablespoons of chopped chives

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line two baking sheets with parchment paper, brush both sides of the potatoes with olive oil and place on a single layer on the sheet pans.  Sprinkle with salt and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, flip the potatoes over and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the cheese, bacon, and chives. Put the baking sheets back in the oven to back for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm!

Enjoy!

 

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This week I have a couple recipes for your Fourth of July barbecue or any of your summer gatherings! The first one is this berry/Lime crostini. So easy and easily can make a couple dozen depending on how thick you slice the bread. The bread can be toasted in your oven or lightly grilled. I used a combination of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, but these would be great with strawberries too, or any combination your family likes. These take no time to make and should be served immediately.

INGREDIENTS
1 French baguette, sliced on a diagonal 1/4 – 1/2 inch
Whipped cream cheese, about 1 Tablespoon per bread slice
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – or your choice of berries
Honey to drizzle
Zest of 2 limes

DIRECTIONS
Place your bread slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven on broil, keeping the oven cracked open slightly, DO NOT WALK AWAY…these toast up very quickly! Or place the bread slices on your grill and lightly toast one side. Remove from oven or grill. Top each slice with about 1 Tablespoon of the whipped cream cheese covering the bread slice, top with berries, drizzle lightly with honey and zest lime over the top. Do this for each slice and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

 

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We loved these jalapeño bites! Spicy from the jalapeño and the “hot” sausage cooled slightly with the cheese…with a crisp bite from the bacon! I made two versions, one being bacon wrapped with two kinds of cheese and the second version was gluten and dairy free without the bacon.  Robby did not want the bacon on them. But for Robby’s version I used a gluten and dairy free cheese.  I made 20 bites (10 jalapeños) and let me tell you both plates were empty in record time.  We liked them so much I went to the store the next day and bought more jalapeños. The sausage makes a lot so I had plenty of the filling and bacon left. The filling is also great on nachos or even on pizza. This will be on made many times at my house, even when we hit the road camping! The filling can be made ahead and I would crisp and crumble the bacon and just put the crumbles on top for a camping version.  All you would need to do is assemble them, place on a baking sheet and grill until they are heated through! Our family likes spicy food so I use the hot sausage, but you can use the regular sausage as well.

NOTE – one jalapeno will give you two stuffed portions. I made them twice buying 20 jalapeños in total. Depending on how many you want you can purchase as many jalapeños as needed using all of the filling or using the filling for other yummy things!

INGREDIENTS
jalapeños
1 package Jimmy Dean HOT sausage
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Bacon- I used a half slice bacon per sliced jalapeños
NOTE – If making them dairy free/gluten free use dairy free, gluten free cheese. I used Daiya brand.

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet, set aside. In a large frying pan fry the sausage over medium heat until fully cooked, crumbling the sausage as it cooks through. Drain any fat from the pan and add both cheeses, cook melting the cheese and mixing it into the sausage making cheeses goodness! Remove from heat and set aside.
Slice the jalapeños in half, using a spoon remove the ribs and seeds from the middle of the jalapeño, do this for each one. To fill, simply fill each jalapeño half with a spoonful of the sausage mixture and wrap 1/2 of a bacon slice around the jalapeño. Do this for each one and place on your prepared baking sheet with the baking rack. When all of the jalapeños are filled and wrapped bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until bacon is cooked through and lightly crisped. Remove from oven and serve warm.

Enjoy!

 

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