Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cajun Shrimp

We love shrimp in our house.  Really LOVE it and I'm always looking for yummy variations.  I found this on Tasty Kitchen and we loved it so much, I made it twice in one week!  And then I made it again for my birthday.  Even the kids loved it, despite a slight kick from the Cajun seasoning.  This is seriously delicious and super fast and easy to whip up.  We paired it with a loaf of Frech bread and used our bread to sop up all the delicious buttery liquid that was in the bottom of the pan.  It may not be pretty on my thighs (nothing really is), but it was SO worth it.  A perfectly quick, easy, and delicious weeknight meal, made even better in that you can use the shrimp either defrosted or still frozen.  Just adjust your baking time accordingly.

Recipe Source: Tasty Kitchen
Serves: 4

1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. coarse salt (I used Kosher)
1 tsp. black pepper
2 lb. bag of shrimp (the original recipe only calls for 1 1/2 lbs., but I thought that made the dish too salty)

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan and saute the garlic.  Add Cajun spices and salt and pepper and stir well.

3.  Place shrimp in a baking dish and cover with Cajun butter mixture.  Toss to combine and evenly distribute the butter mixture.

4.  Bake uncovered for at least 10 minutes, or until shrimp is pink.  (Mine typically takes about 15 minutes or even longer if I put my shrimp in frozen--then it takes 20-25 minutes.)

5.  Serve with French bread to soak up all the remaining buttery goodness at the bottom of your pan.  Yum!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Slider Cupcakes

I made these for my brother's birthday party this year. He is a big fan of hamburgers and I am a big fan up we combined the two to make Cupcake Hamburgers!! These were so much fun to put together, I can't even tell you. My mom and I had a blast making these and coming up with ideas for each part. I got ideas off of various different sites and this is what we came up with!

What you'll need:
24 yellow cupcakes
9x13 pan of brownies
bag of shredded coconut
small amount of fondant
red fruit chews (we used laffy taffy, but starbursts would work too)
small amount of frosting
sesame seeds
food coloring
Tooth picks
orange juice

How to put it all together:
Bake your cupcakes accroding to the package directions. Same with the brownies. Cut the cupcakes into thirds- large top, thin middle and then small bottom. You won't need the middle part, which is why to keep it rather thin. We just found that by cutting it into thirds and not using the middile, our cupcakes didn't get too tall and un-eatable. Once they are cut, brush the top with a small amount of orange juice and then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Mix a tiny bit of water with about a cup of shredded coconut and enough green food coloring to get a decent shade for your shredded lettuce.

We then used a cup with a decent sized opening to cut out round brownie pieces for the hamburger patties out of the 9x13 pan

Add a small amount of orange food coloring to your fondant and mix until you get a good cheese color. Roll it out thin and cut into squares for the cheese slices.

Heat up your fruit chews for about 15 seconds in the microwave (all of them at the same time or they will turn to jelly). Mix about 1 1/2 fruit chews together into rounded patties for your tomato slices.

Get two bowls of frosting, one red and one yellow for your mustard and ketchup. Put into zip lock baggies and cut the corners spread on top of the tomato to hold the bun down.

Lastly, insert your toothpick for the finishing touch.

The best part about these was that I actually fooled my dad. He was all excited for sliders, and took a bite only to realize this was not a hamburger! He's pretty gullible, but that's pretty impressive!