Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pickle Shrimp

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less but may require additional unattended time.

3/4 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon English-style dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 cup olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pounds (24 to 30) large shrimp , shelled and deveined
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1 lemon, sliced thin
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley leaves, or to taste, plus a dill sprig for garnish

In a bowl whisk together the vinegar, the pepper, the salt, the sugar, the mustard, the red pepper flakes, the mustard seeds, and the coriander seeds and add the oil in a stream, whisking.

Whisk the marinade until it is emulsified and stir in the garlic and the bay leaf. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water cook the shrimp for 1 minute, or until they are just cooked through, drain them well, and add them to the marinade.

Let the mixture cool, stir in the onion and the lemon, and let the shrimp mixture marinate, covered and chilled, stirring occasionally, for at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

Stir in the minced dill or parsley, transfer the pickled shrimp to a bowl, and garnish it with the dill sprigs.

Serves 8

Baked Potato Soup

This soup is sure to warm you up on a cold day.

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (12-ounce) can NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
2 large or 3 medium baking potatoes, baked or microwaved
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons sliced green onion

MELT butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour. Gradually stir in broth and evaporated milk. Scoop potato pulp from one potato; mash. Add pulp to broth mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just comes to a boil. Dice remaining potato skin and potato(es); add to soup. Heath though. Season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with bacon, cheese and green onion.
Makes 4 servings.

VARIATION: For a different twist to this recipe, omit the bacon, cheddar cheese and green onion. Cook 2 tablespoons of shredded carrot with the onion and add 1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed to the soup when adding the broth. Proceed as above.

Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake

Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
4 squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted, slightly cooled
1 Keebler Ready Crust Graham Cracker Pie Crust (6 oz. or 9 in.)
1 cup thawed whipped topping
1 1/2 cups cherry pie filling
1 to 2 Tbsp. cherry-flavored liqueur

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until
well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Blend in melted chocolate. Pour into
crust. Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool
Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top chilled cheesecake with whipped topping.
Mix pie filling and liqueur; spoon over whipped topping. Garnish, if desired.

Makes 8 servings

Pumpkin Pie

cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
cup Original Bisquick® mix
cup sugar
cup evaporated milk
tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2
teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
teaspoon vanilla
Whipped topping, if desired
1 .
Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 9-inch pie plate.
2 .
Stir all ingredients except whipped topping until blended. Pour into pie plate.
3 .
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until chilled. Serve with whipped topping. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft)Bake about 55 minutes.

Bonding With Friends and Eating Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Friends are very important in life. For a while I thought that I didn’t need friends. Well, keep in mind that most of my so-called “true friends” would lie to me, steal from me and try to cheat me. Friends don’t do that. At least not one of my “true friends.”

But there is a friend who, at some times, gets on my last nerves, but I still very much enjoy her company. This is my friend Asia. We are very close and she is a wonderful ear to talk to, when she is not talking about her problems or clothes. She has gone through a lot in her life (like I have) and she likes to have a shoulder to cry on sometimes. But for the last few days I hadn’t been around. She would call and suggest that I come over and I would just not show up. Don’t get me wrong, things would pop up but for the most part I could have made an attempt to see her.

Things got worse. Her father died and I still wasn’t there for her just to keep her company. It was the most awful feeling knowing that you are not there for your best friend. Things were started to feel different between us and we needed to build that bridge to each other again.

Finally I drove over her house and we decided to go to Ruby Tuesdays. It was great. We laughed harder than we laughed in days. The waitresses and waiters were all trying to take sneak peeks at us (I guess they thought we were attractive).

And in the mist of enjoying time with my friend, I had the most wonderful broccoli and cheese soup. I’d never heard of it before and ordered it because I wanted the soup and a couple trips at the salad bar. It was the most creamy delicious soup I’ve tasted in a while. We also stuffed our faces with bacon cheese fries, and a turkey sandwich with onion rings.

If you have any close friends, I suggest you call them or make a time to spend a few hours with them. A close friend of Asia and me died at the age of 20. We always put off spending time with her because we knew we would see her the next day, week or month. Well, we were wrong. Your friendships mean a lot and you should cherish them.

I found the waiter and asked if I could speak to the cook. When I did speak to the cook I bribed him into giving me the recipe for the broccoli and cheese soup. Below you’ll see it. So, make it, eat it and enjoy it! Until the next post, love, peace and empathy.

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
1 c. water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 pkg. ( 10 oz.) frozen chopped broccoli
1 med. carrot, grated
2 to 3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2 c. milk
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 tbsp. Worcestershire saucePepper to taste

Heat water and bouillon cube to boiling. Add broccoli and carrot; cook 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, do not drain. In separate saucepan, melt butter, slowly stir in flour. Gradually add milk, cook until thickened. Stir in cheese, soup, onion, sauce and pepper. Add broccoli, carrot mixture, heat and serve.

Avoiding the Cheese

Don’t you hate to go to a club or bar and have the most unattractive man hitting on you. Okay, well, usually the man isn’t physically unattractive, but his lines are. So many times women get caught at a bar with a guy named Rich who’s breath smells like Vodka and he wrecks of some cheap smelling after-shave.

The thing that will make a woman the most uncomfortable is the fact that the guy’s lines are so damn corny. It’s like, if you want me to be interested then please act natural. The one exception I can see being made in this situation is when a man is mocking other men who do the cheesy line stuff. Then its okay to laugh and pay a little more attention. But then they are left in more of a worse position than the cheesy guy. Because while the cheesy guy is being honestly cheesy, the mocking guy could be just as cheesy and made fun of someone who he is 65% like anyway.

To avoid going through this type of torture always make sure that you spark up a small 1 minute conversation with the bartender and the guy next to you. Even if the guy is not your type, make sure that you let him know you just want to talk. This is a small way at keeping the timid cheesy guys at bay.

Next, if a guy sits next to you and you can read the signs of a cheese, still give them the benefit of the doubt. But once he turns to you and says the line... something like, "I like you. You’re just like me. When I R.S.V.P. to a party, I make it my job to cum," and smiles, then you know it’s time to cross one leg over the other, making sure your buttocks is facing him but not giving him too much to make him think you want him to cop a feel.

If this technique does not work and he continues to spit the awful lines at you, just politely touch the guy’s shoulder who you were initially talking to. Once you do this, the guy will be away from you in 2.5 seconds.

And we all know that if this doesn’t work it’s best to grab your purse and get the hell out of dodge. I normally wouldn’t suggest that anyone stop having a good time because of a nuisance. But the questions is: would you keep running in a park if you heard gunshots? No, you’d get the hell out of the way and say, "I’ll jog another time." Same thought process here.

Below I have listed a recipe for- you guessed it- Cheese Ham Strata. Until the next time I post, watch out for the "cheese."

Cheese Ham Strata
8 slices white bread
2 c. cheddar cheese, grated
3 c. buttermilk4 eggs, beaten
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 c. sliced ham, chopped

Alternate buttered layers of bread, cheese, and ham in a greased baking dish, ending with cheese on top. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over layers. Allow to stand one hour in refrigerator. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cut into squares and serve.

The "Gumbo" Complex

When it comes down to our mates, we tend to know them like the back of our hand. Yet we find ourselves constantly thinking to ourselves, “what in the world were they thinking?” It’s something that anyone in a relationship or marriage can relate to. We’ve been with someone for so long that we should know them in and out. The truth is: we never will.

This is what I like to call the gumbo of individuality. So many people have different layers and flavors in them. It’s so amazing how people can react to different situations in different ways. This is one thing that makes us attracted to each other.

Think about this:
Most men who marry women that they control or who are robotic in actions tend to be bored with them. And lots of women (not all, of course) tend to fall head over heels for the “bad” boy. The boy who follows the rules and is constantly polite seems to be...well...boring. One thing that we have to realize is that we are a mixture of different emotions, feelings, thoughts and actions. This is what makes the human race such a unique and dominant species.

So the next time you are sitting with your mate and they say something that is off the wall, look at them and think to yourself, “it’s just the gumbo effect.”

Below I’ve added a recipe for shrimp gumbo. Hope you enjoy!

1 box Zatarain's gumbo base mix without rice
1 lg. onion, chopped fine
3 bay leaves
1 bunch green shallots, chopped
1 (16 oz.) pkg. cut-up frozen okra
1 lg. can cut tomatoes, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. gumbo file
3 lb. shrimp, peeled and cleaned

In large soup pot, cook gumbo base mix according to directions, add 3 bay leaves. After mix has cooked for 30 minutes, add onions and shallots and cook for 15minutes. Add okra and cook for 15 minutes. Then add tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook for another 15 minutes. Add shrimp and cook over medium heat until shrimp are pink. Stir well. Turn heat low and cook for another 20 minutes. Add gumbo file' before serving. Serve gumbo over rice. Serves 8 to 10.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


When I was younger, my aunt would always make chicken salad. I hated it. I don't know why, but I just did. One day, while sitting in the kitchen with her as she prepared the salad, I suggested that she make it hot. She laughed at me as said, "Honey, somebody beat you to it. But I'd be happy to make it for you." And she did. It was some of the best chicken salad I'd ever tasted. Below is a recipe for this marvelous dish.


2 cups chicken, chopped
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
celery salt, to taste
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 ounces chopped pimiento, drained
salt and pepper, to taste
1 small can French fried onion rings


Mix all ingredients except French fried onion rings; put in shallow greased baking dish. Cover with onion rings and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
Serves 4.

The Recipes for Life Staff

Recipe for A Hot Blog

The perfect recipe for a good site should be followed to a T. My fellow writers and I (just two) put research, love and hunger into these recipe. Lots of them we find and post and some are old family secret recipes (they aren’t secret anymore).


200+ cups of information
3 tablespoons of writers
½ cups of pictures
1 ½ cups of catchy titles
5 cups of passion
10 tablespoons of readers
10 teaspoons of suggestions


Start with the 3 tablespoons of writers. It doesn’t matter if they are fresh or not because once you mix the 5 cups of passion in with the writers it should turn out nice. You can choose between 1 and 200 cups of information, but the more of it, the better the taste. ½ cups of pictures are added. Please, don’t overdue, but too little can make the taste bland and uninteresting. 1 ½ Catchy titles should be added into the mix as well. Now mix this together by way of html and web hosting and stuff it in the eOven (internet). It’s a slow process but it should start cooking and gather nicely. Once it’s gotten nice and crispy on the outsides, add 10 tablespoons of readers and 10 teaspoons of suggestions (or comments). This is a dish that keeps on cookin’!!!!! And you want it to become as hot as you possible can. Unlike other dishes, you want this one to not just be smokin’ but to catch on fire!

The Recipes for Life Staff