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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Orange Olive Oil Bundt Cake: BAKED Sunday Mornings

I feel like I should start referring to these posts as BAKED Sunday Afternoons, since I never seem to get my post together in time.  Ahh well, such is life.  I'm jumping back in this week after missing the last couple challenges.  This was partly due to spending most of those weekends away from home, and partly that the two recipes didn't appeal to me that much.  I'm not a fruit girl, so blackberry or peach pie didn't really make the cut of things-to-shove-into-the-48-hours-I-spent-at-home-in-three-weeks list.  

But, anyway, on to this week's recipe -- Orange Olive Oil Bundt Cake.  Unfortunately I can't even say that much about it yet.  I made it this afternoon to serve as a dessert this evening.  Even though it's in the Baked cookbook under 'Breakfast' I'm serving it after a spanish meal of paella, and I think the olive oil and citrus will pair nicely with the dinner.  I wasn't all that excited about the cake to be honest.  As I said, I'm not a fruit girl, and typically I don't go for citrus based flavors.  So, I expected not to like it, but after tasting the batter I'm pretty intrigued.  The olive oil really came through and the citrus was more of an afternote.  We will see what the finished cake tastes like, but I have high hopes!

Head on over to BAKED Sunday Mornings to see everyone else's cakes and to get the recipe!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cilantro Shrimp Scampi

So.... I wrote this back in May but never got around to uploading the picture and posting it.  I am a bad blogger.  But, now that I am on summer vacation and finally home after three weeks of travelling I hope to get back to a regular posting schedule.  Most importantly, I hope to knock out the vast majority of over 40 draft posts I have sitting half-composed, and make major progress on my 30 in 30 list.  I wrote it up back in November, and actually have made quite a few things, but just haven't gotten them posted yet.  I've got just under 4 months to go and at least 30 posts to get up in that time, so watch out for lots of new recipes!!

This is the second recipe I'm posting from my Cookbook of the Month, the Foster Harris House Cookbook.  When I decided to make this the pick for the month, I did what I usually do for my monthly pick, stick post-it notes on the recipes I'd most like to make/highlight in the month's posts.  Then I hand it over to Zach and ask him to pick what he would like.  My choices are like the first round and his are the second round, since he will usually pick one or two of the 10-12 I've chosen.  As soon as I saw this recipe in the book I knew it would make it past Zach's second round.  He loves anything with cilantro, so you don't have to look much further than the name of the recipe to know he's going to pick it. 

This was super easy and quick to put together on a weeknight.  The notes on the recipe in the book say that while most people serve scampi with pasta, they prefer it with basmati rice to soak up the sauce.  We served it with a parmesan orzo and it paired really well together.

Cilantro Shrimp Scampi
Serves 4

1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound large peeled, deveined shrimp
4 tablespoons minced garlic
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons butter

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes.  Transfer to a plate with tongs, leaving the oil in the skillet.
  • Add garlic, cayenne, wine, lime juice, salt and pepper to the remaining oil.  Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. 
  • Add butter to skillet, stir until melted, then add shrimp.  
  • Serve on top of pasta or rice, whichever you desire.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Salt and Pepper Oven Fries: Secret Recipe Club

Last month I read on one of my favorite blogs, Beantown Baker, about The Secret Recipe Club.  Basically, you join up and at the beginning of the month you are randomly assigned a different blog.  You peruse that blog and pick a recipe from it to make.  Everyone in the Secret Recipe Club posts their chose recipe on the given date and time.  It sounded like a great way to see a few new blogs and try a few new recipes.  So, I joined!

This month I was assigned This Mama Cooks!  There were lots of great recipes to chose from, but I chose something fairly simple, yet I can never get quite right -- oven fries.  Sometimes mine turn out crispy, but sometimes mushy, sometimes burnt even!  I think it's because I don't really rely on a recipe, I just wing it hoping it will turn out okay, but it doesn't always.  So, I figured this was a good chance to follow a recipe, hoping it would give me a foolproof result and it did!  These were crispy and crunchy and delicious!  They would be a great side dish to just about anything -- what doesn't go with fries really??  I cut the recipe in half since there are only two of us, and leftover fries really aren't that great, but otherwise I kept it almost the same.  I did up the amount of pepper, since we like black pepper, and omitted the parsley since we were out of it.

Salt and Pepper Oven Fries
slightly adapted from This Mama Cooks!


1/2 pound potatoes, cut into wedges
2 Tablespoons oil (canola or olive, I used olive)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  On a medium baking sheet, spray cooking spray to coat the bottom surface.
  • Cut potatoes into long wedges.  In a medium bowl, toss potato wedges with 1 tablespoon oil.  
  • On prepared baking sheet, lay out potato wedges in a single layer.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, flip the wedges over and bake for 15 more minutes.  Potatoes should be golden brown and crispy.  
  • When you turn the wedges over, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook over medium-low heat until golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Pour the garlic oil over the wedges, adding in the salt and pepper.  Toss to coat and serve.