Friday, July 22, 2016

147.6...Shrimp Salad

One of the many salads I made at my Bunco on Monday was Shrimp Salad. I had never tried the recipe before but wasn’t worried. It’s an Ina Garten recipe. She can do no wrong in my book. The salad was fabulous, of course!

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Shrimp Salad (Serves 12)

Recipe from Ina Garten


3 Tbsp plus 1 tsp. kosher salt

1 lemon cut into quarters

4 pounds large shrimp in the shell (16 to 20 shrimp per pound)

2 cups good mayonnaise

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp white wine or white wine vinegar

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6 Tbsp minced fresh dill

1 cup minced red onion (1 onion)

3 cups minced celery (6 stalks)


1. Bring 5 quarts of water, 3 Tbsp salt, and the lemon to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half the shrimp and reduce the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for only 3 minutes or until the shrimp are barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Let cool; then peel, and devein the shrimp.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine or vinegar, 1 tsp. salt, pepper, and dill. Combine with the peeled shrimp. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours. 

Printable Recipe 

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Lunch yesterday was a turkey sandwich, veggies and ranch dressing. 

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After all the camp pickups were done, I took the kids to Pizza Rev for dinner. 

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It had been WAY too long since I’ve had this beautiful pizza!

This morning’s breakfast:

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Another crazy morning of camp drop offs. Then I went to Zumba at the gym, ran errands and came home for lunch. Same as yesterday:

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Happy Friday!!

Is there a certain chef that you trust their recipes implicitly? 

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

147.8...Shrimp Crostini with Dill and Lemon

 One of the appetizers I made for my Bunco on Monday night was Shrimp Crostini with Dill and Lemon. The shrimp salad itself is so delicious….it could just be served with crackers if you don’t want to bake it on the baguette slices. Or just eat it by itself! :)

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Shrimp Crostini with Dill and Lemon (Makes 3 dozen)

Recipe from Phillis Carey 


36 (1/2 inch thick) diagonal baguette slices

1-8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 lb. cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup minced green onions

1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

1 tsp. lemon zest

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


1. With a mixer, beat cream cheese, mayonnaise and mustard to blend. Fold in shrimp, green onions, dill and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. (Can do up to two days ahead.)

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread 1 Tbsp shrimp mixture on each toast and sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese. Arrange in a single layer on 2 baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes or until bread is crisp and cheese is softened and top is browned. Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm. 

Printable Recipe 

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Tuesday’s lunch was an array of all my salad leftovers from Bunco. 

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I can’t decide which one is my favorite!

Tuesday was also my 13th wedding anniversary! My husband and I celebrated at dinner at The Pony Room at Rancho Valencia

 We split the Heirloom Tomato Salad (white balsamic, burrata, grilled ciabatta, herb salad, basil oil):

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Quite possibly the best tomato salad I’ve ever had. Everything about it was perfect.

I ordered Brandt Steak Frites (flat iron steak, chimichurri, watercress salad, truffle fries):

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I’ve ordered  this before and it’s fabulous. 

Dessert was another winner:

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The H&J Cookie Sundae (tahitian vanilla bean ice cream, chantilly cream, brandied cherries). Happy Anniversary to us!

Yesterday’s breakfast:

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I did my normal 2 1/2 hour camp drop off routine and came home to get ready to head to the Del Mar Racetrack with some friends. We were going to eat a later lunch and I was already starving so I had toast with peanut butter to hold me until then.

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Then it was off to the races!

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We all shared the Tempura Green Beans with Wasabi Dipping Sauce:

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These things were out of this world. We ordered a second basket.

We also shared the Mezze Plate:

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I ordered the Sea Bass special for lunch:

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Great sauce!

We shared several desserts. Mud Pie (my favorite):

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Carrot Cake:

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Apple & Berry Cobbler a la Mode:

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While we didn’t walk away winners, we should had a great time!

I was so full from all that food, I did something I rarely do…skip dinner. I’m glad I did.

Today’s breakfast: 

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Camp drop offs are done. I’m going to get some stuff done around the house, then it’s off to tennis!

Do you have a favorite appetizer recipe that you like to take to parties?

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

147.8...Puff Pastry Heirloom Tomato Tart

 Last night I hosted Bunco at my house. I made a ton of new recipes that I can’t wait to share with you. One of them was one of the appetizers I made: Puff Pastry Heirloom Tomato Tart. It was easy to make and tasted fabulous! 

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Puff Pastry Heirloom Tomato Tart (Serves 6)

Recipe from Food Network Magazine


1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of a 17-ounce package), thawed

All-purpose flour for dusting

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup sour cream

1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives, plus more for topping

12 ounces assorted small heirloom tomatoes, sliced


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Unfold the puff pastry onto a floured piece of parchment paper and roll out into a 9 by 11-inch rectangle. Score 1/2 inch in from the edge, all the way around, using a paring knife. Slide the pastry (on the parchment) onto a baking sheet. Poke the middle all over with a fork, then bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth; stir in the chives. Spread evenly over the cooled crust. Arrange the tomatoes on top; season with salt and pepper and top with more chives. 

Printable Recipe 

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Friday night I took the kids to see “The Secret Life of Pets”. Cute movie. Afterwards, we had dinner at Mia Francesca. I ordered Scott’s Signature Roasted Half Chicken (garlic, shallots, lemon, olive oil and veggies instead of roasted potatoes).

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Saturday’s breakfast:

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I went grocery shopping and came home for a snack of cheese and crackers since I was having an early dinner. 

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Kate came to my house and we went to dinner at Karl Strauss. We split the Spicy Hummus and Flatbread (jalapeƱo, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, red onion and almonds):

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Eh. It was just ok.

I had the Ahi Poke (sashimi grade chopped ahi, avocado, tomato, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, tossed in a spicy firecracker sauce, with wonton chips):

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I’ve had this before and it’s pretty good.

Then it was off to Cathi’s house to meet everyone and our limo for the Pitbull concert! If you’ve read my blog long enough, you know we like a theme. This time we decided to all wear white (think Pitbull’s white suits) and wear matching aviator sunglasses. 

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The concert was at the Sleep Train Amphitheater which I had never been to before. 

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We shared fries and this ridiculously giant pretzel:

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The concert was SO fun! He is such a great entertainer!!! 

What didn’t suck was eating doughnuts in the limo on the way home. :)

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Breakfast on Sunday:

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I started prepping for my Bunco in the morning. Then we were off to Petco Park for a Padres Game. One of our friends was throwing out the first pitch so we attended a big party for it. 

I had a couple of plates of goodies for lunch:

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After we got home, I prepped a bit more before heading to our club for Burger Night. 

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I had a beef burger, lettuce wrapped with pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, red onion, arugula, tomato and sweet potato fries. Yum!

Breakfast Monday:

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Breakfast was extra early because I had to get my daughter to a camp that’s pretty far by 8AM. Then it was back to get my son to take him to camp. Two and a half hours round trip. Ugh. At least it’s only for a week!

I cooked ALL DAY. I stopped for a quick lunch. Half a turkey sandwich, veggies and ranch dressing:

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Finally, it was time for the party to start! 

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 Let’s get to the food, shall we? I made two appetizers. Puff Pastry Heirloom Tomato Tart:

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Shrimp Crostini with Dill and Lemon (recipe coming):

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I made several salads. When I planned the menu, it seemed so simple. It’s not simple, when you make FIVE salads, apparently. I don’t think I’ve ever chopped so much in my life. 

Tomato Feta Pasta Salad (recipe coming):

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Gina’s Orzo Salad (recipe coming):

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Shrimp Salad (recipe coming):

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Panzanella Salad (recipe coming):

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Chopped Salad with Garlic Oregano Vinaigrette (recipe coming):

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My plate:

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Don’t forget dessert!

S’mores Brownies (recipe coming):

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Lemon Cheesecake Squares with Lemon Curd Topping (recipe coming):

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Phew! It was a lot of work but completely worth it. The recipes turned out great and I think everyone had a good time. I know I did!

Today’s breakfast:  

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I’m definitely dragging this morning. I got the kids to camp and somehow managed to get through an Orange Theory class. 

Today is my 13th wedding anniversary! I’m looking forward to spending a quiet evening with my husband tonight.

Discovered any good salad recipes lately?  I think I’m going to always make salads at my Bunco…just not as many. :)

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