Saturday, June 20, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

These cookies were made by accident. They were part of the food I made for my friends' shower, and were not planned. But I accidentally messed up the caramel brownie bites I had planned. I know, I know.... who messes up brownies? Well, me, apparently. However, I did have everything on hand to make these delicious cookies.

They are very light and moist, and very muffin like. A not too sweet, biscuit like dough is studded with pieces of fresh strawberry and topped with sanding sugar, or in my case, a sprinkling of turbinado sugar. A very unique cookie, they were a hit at the shower. They did turn out a little bit overly soft, but I think that had to do with the humidity outside. I think these would be even better drizzled with a glaze. A perfect summer cookie!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes about 3 dozen
  • 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • Sanding sugar (or turbinado sugar), for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dilled Artichoke Potato Salad

I often think of potato salad as a quintessential American dish, a must at any summer barbecue or picnic. However, potato salad has been around since the 16th century, and was first introduced to America by European settlers who adapted it to local ingredients, according to this article at Many peoples around the world have their own versions of potato salad.

I made this version for a cookout / picnic / shower that I helped throw for 2 friends of ours who are getting married next month (congratulations Matt and Sarah!). The recipe was originally given to me by my friend Samantha. I have to say, so far, this is the best potato salad I have ever had. It's not like the typical plain Jane southern versions of my youth that were laden with mayonnaise. It does have mayo, but it also is very creamy and has tons of flavor from the dill and all of the seasonings. I think everyone at the cookout liked it, too.

Try this recipe out for your next cookout or barbecue. I promise you won't be disappointed!

Dilled Artichoke Potato Salad
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, original recipe here


  • 3 pounds tiny new potatoes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh dill or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried dillweed, crushed
  • 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 6-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickles (if you love dill pickles like I do, I would double this)


1. Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush under running water. In a Dutch oven cook unpeeled potatoes, covered, in boiling lightly salted water about 20 minutes or just until tender. Drain. Cool potatoes; cut into bite-size pieces.

2. In a very large bowl stir together mayonnaise or salad dressing, vinegar, mustard, lemon-pepper seasoning, and dill. Gently fold in cooked potatoes, eggs, artichoke hearts, onion, and pickle. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours. Stir gently before serving. Makes 16 side-dish servings.

Make-Ahead Tip: Cover and chill salad up to 24 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 224,
  • Total Fat (g) 14,
  • Cholesterol (mg) 61,
  • Sodium (mg) 572,
  • Carbohydrate (g) 22,
  • Fiber (g) 1,
  • Vitamin C (DV%) 27,
  • Iron (DV%) 13,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shrimp and Grits Casserole

Don't let this pretty dismal picture fool you, this shrimp and grits casserole is pretty delicious, if not the most photogenic thing in the world. Shrimp and grits is a classic Southern dish, and it's one of my favorites. Delicious gulf shrimp meet creamy grits. Even though I've lived in Alabama my entire life, I never actually had shrimp and grits until a couple of years ago. Once I tried it, I was hooked, and whenever we go to a restaurant that has it on the menu, I always order it.
This casserole is a quick and easy version in casserole form. And, even better, it's from Cooking Light magazine so it's healthier for you than the typical shrimp and grits. This would be the perfect side dish for a Sunday brunch, or you can serve it for dinner as an entree all to itself.
You can find the recipe here.
Some tips: Do not cook the shrimp before putting them in the casserole. Shrimp do not need very long to cook, and if you over cook them, they will be tough. Watch the casserole while it's in the oven, too. I cooked mine for the full 25 minutes given in the recipe, and to me, it came out a little dry. Next time, I will try 10-15 minutes and check to see if the shrimp looks done. I also topped my casserole with a sprinkling of paprika to give it a little more color.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Crispy Salmon Cakes with Lemon Caper Mayonnaise

So it would seem I have fallen off the food blogging universe. My posts are basically non existent in the month of May. That's what an extremely busy month will do! Between all of our commitments and family gatherings every weekend, my hubby and I also celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. It's hard for me to believe we've already come to the one year mark! We celebrated by taking a trip to the beautiful Florida gulf coast and of course, enjoying some great food. Our anniversary meal was shared at this wonderful bistro..... there truly is nothing better than fresh seafood caught right off the coast. It was one of the best meals I have ever had.

This seafood meal is by no means 5 star restaurant worthy, but it is definitely a wonderful meal for a busy weeknight, and I think it is even special and delicious enough to entertain with. It's a good one to keep on file because it uses simple ingredients that can easily be found in your pantry. You could even substitute the salmon for tuna if you do not have canned salmon on hand. I served these alongside roasted brussels sprouts, but any fresh vegetable side would be wonderful.

Crispy Salmon Cakes with Lemon Caper Mayonnaise
recipe adapted from Robyn Webb, Cooking Light, APRIL 2001


Flavored Mayonnaise*:
*I did not have capers on hand, so I left them out. I also added a few dashes of Texas Pete in lieu of the cayenne pepper, and it turned out great.
  • 6 tablespoons fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Salmon Cakes:
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (I subbed carrots)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup crushed fat free saltine crackers, divided (I subbed these with panko breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (7.5-ounce) cans salmon, drained, flaked, and bone pieces removed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

To prepare flavored mayonnaise, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; cover and chill.

To prepare salmon cakes, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and celery; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup crackers, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, salmon, and egg in a medium bowl. Divide salmon mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Coat each patty with 1 tablespoon crackers. Cover and chill 20 minutes.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add patties; cook for 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve the salmon cakes with flavored mayonnaise.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 306 (32% from fat)
Fat: 11g (sat 2.6g,mono 3.4g,poly 3.9g)
Protein: 22.8g
Carbohydrate: 27.3g
Fiber: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 55mg
Iron: 3mg
Sodium: 1214mg
Calcium: 215mg