Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wholesome Shrimp and Veggie Pasta

I have a guest post from my close friend, Jan. She has been enjoying the good life being retired and she just got back from a little mini-vacation to celebrate her hubby, Mike's birthday. They went to the beautiful Fernandina Beach and both had a wonderful time relaxing on the beach.

After that fantastic vacation, she was back home creating some healthy meals and sharing them with me. This recipe has red and yellow bell peppers that is high in potassium and a good source of dietary fiber. It has walnuts that has omega-3 which is heart healthy. This is an easy and quick weeknight meal with lots of nutrition.


1 box (16 ounces) whole grain pasta
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
15 medium sized un-cooked shrimp, thawed, season with salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons garlic paste
1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


Cook pasta. Drain, then toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
In a large pan, saute peppers and onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute shrimp over medium heat, 3 minutes per side.
Toss in pasta with garlic paste, basil, red pepper (optional), cheese and walnuts. Enjoy!

Just a little reminder of their vacation at the beach. What a sunset! Wish you were their postcard!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I wanted to make some chocolate chip cookies but then I thought of a cake with chocolate icing. So, I came up with this recipe for chocolate chip cookie cake with chocolate icing. It came out rich and sweet with all the chocolate. This is a good dessert with a tall glass of milk or coffee.

Ingredients for the cake:

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 1/2 inch round springform pan with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix flours, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar with a hand mixer. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix together well. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spread the batter into the springform pan and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until light brown.

Ingredients for chocolate frosting:

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium bowl, put melted butter and stir in cocoa. Using a hand mixer, alternate adding powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Add more milk if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes about 1 cup. Spread on cooled cake. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spiced Pecans for Mother's Day

Here is a sweet treat for Mom for Mother's Day. The pecans are spiced up with cinnamon, vanilla and a dash of ground cloves. When you are making this recipe, the aroma of the cinnamon and cloves makes your whole house smell like the holidays. So, go ahead and make a batch of spiced pecans to celebrate Mom on this special occasion!


1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
2 cups pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla


In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, water, cinnamon,  and cloves.  Use a wooden spoon and stir until sugar dissolves and continue stirring for about 8 minutes. The sugar mixture will be boiling. Add pecans and vanilla and continue stirring until the liquid has absorbs about 8 more minutes.

Have ready a cooking sheet and pour the pecans on the cookie sheet, quickly and use your wooden spoon to separate the pecans because the glaze on the pecans will harden fast. Enjoy!