Creole Shrimp & Pasta Salad with Remoulade Sauce

Are you looking for a tasty shrimp salad to serve during our hot summer weather? Then try a traditional New Orleans-style shrimp and pasta salad. It is cool and refreshing and the unique Remoulade Sauce in the recipe makes the seasoned boiled shrimp really “pop.” You can’t get much more Southern than this dish. The salad is quite different from most shrimp salads which you will find served here in the South but I love my recipe. The idea comes from the proprietor of Martin’s Wine Cellar — a venerable New Orleans establishment which relocated to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Katrina.

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Aspen’s Lime Gelato with Agave

This week I made the best homemade ice cream that I have ever cooked. “Lime Gelato with Agave” is a cool, tart and soothing frozen ice cream. It is the perfect dessert for these hot summer days. Recently, I sampled a version of Lime Gelato at the Saturday Farmer’s Market on a trip to Aspen, Colorado. The lime flavor was intense and agave added an interesting sweetness. Although gelato frozen desserts are considered to be Italian in origin and really have no unique relationship to Colorado, the farmer’s market vendor was a family-owned Colorado purveyor, using local ingredients and recipes. After returning home from my Aspen trip, I decided to attempt to make my own Lime Gelato. And success!. It was delicious!

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Easy Cook: Chicken Taco Soup

“Chicken Taco Soup” is a hearty and satisfying soup to cook for a hurry-up lunch or supper meal. It is a quick recipe and doesn’t require much of effort — just open several cans — which is very nice once in awhile. I used left-over rotisserie chicken in the soup along with several canned and frozen vegetable ingredients and a packet of dry taco seasoning. That’s it; this recipe made a very tasty soup–entrée. Sometimes I will purchase a rotisserie chicken for a meal and find that about half of the chicken is left-over after we eat. Rather than let the chicken go to waste (which can easily happen), I have several recipes which make good use of the chicken. This is one such recipe. Plus, by reading the labels, I have found ways to cut down on the sodium in the soup.

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Freezer Banana Chocolate Chip Waffles

Freezer waffles make such an easy and tasty breakfast and snack. We eat more Kellogg’s Eggo-Waffles at our house than I ever care to admit. So, why not make my own waffles? Should be easy enough, I thought. First, that meant purchasing a waffle iron, since I couldn’t find my old one. Second, it meant coming up with a recipe for waffles that taste like the commercial ones. Eggo-waffles are crispy, thin and flavorful. I wanted a square, thin waffles so that the waffles would fit in my toaster. The waffle iron which I purchased from Amazon turned out to be a Belgium waffle iron which makes thick waffles — and they are not square. Plus, the waffles are not crisp! But the waffles are very, very tasty. And, and I am happy to report that the frozen waffles do crisp up when re-heated in the toaster. Success!

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Easy Cook: Zucchini, Cherry Tomato & Couscous Medley

Here’s a rather unique dish for using some of the abundance of zucchini which shows up in our gardens, grocery stores and farmer’s markets each summer. This recipe is simple to mix up and quite tasty. The dish pairs roasted zucchini squash and cherry tomatoes with couscous and a splash of red wine vinegar. What is couscous? It is sort of like a pasta which is about the size of small barley. This pasta-like ingredient sits on my kitchen shelf, lonely, just waiting for a recipe to come along to use it. Here’s a great pairing — the neutral couscous blends well with the tomatoes and zucchini. We really like this recipe!

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Yellow Squash Ratatouille

It looks like I am going to have a bumper crop of yellow squash this summer if my giant squash bushes keep growing. I am actually observing a few bees in my garden; that’s a good sign. If yellow squash is fixed properly–it is very tasty. Otherwise, it can turn out to be the vegetable that nobody likes. To get ready for my explosion of squash, I am trying to recall all the squash dishes that taste really good! Today I am making an easy recipe which marries yellow squash with tomatoes and herbs. The dish bakes slowly in the oven which allows all the herbs and spices to meld with the squash and tomatoes. Even if you are not a fan of squash — the dish tastes great! I served the ratatouille with pasta.

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Kansas City PlowBoys Dry Rub Roast Chicken

My blog post this week is about a delicious Oven Roast Chicken recipe inspired by a cross-country road trip. Several weeks ago my daughter and I took a marathon auto trip — driving from Boston, Massachusetts, to Aspen, Colorado, where she was going to live for the summer. Let us just say, it was a long — and boring — drive! We listened to lots of murder-mystery podcasts and watched the scenery go by. Kansas was interesting — this state must have the record for most windmills; a sight that you don’t see in Louisiana. The huge, silent and futuristic windmills filled the countryside and provided lots of photo opportunities for the passenger. Clean energy and our future, I presume!

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Easy Cook: A Small Batch of Air Fryer Granola

Wow, I’ve just made the best and easiest batch of granola possible. It is crunchy and aromatic. And I used my newest kitchen “gadget,” an air fryer, which I purchased around the holiday season. The air fryer was intended as a Christmas present for a relative. But when the relative stated that she already had an air fryer, I decided to keep this Christmas present for myself. Do you ever do that? Although other friends say that they “love” cooking with air fryers, I really haven’t figured out a way to make good use of my air fryer. Today I decided to give this little appliance another try and am pleased to report that I made a very successful batch of granola.

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Love ‘N Knishes Cheesecake with Blueberry Swirl Sauce

I love cheesecakes. It is one of my favorite desserts. There are so many variations to the cheesecake theme that I don’t have to worry about running out of ideas for blog posts. My cheesecake recipe this week makes a delightful little dessert which is incredibly easy to mix up. Plus, it is rather unique — as there is no sugar in the bottom layer. At first I thought I was reading a misprint of the ingredients. But, I followed the instructions exactly and everybody loved the resulting cheesecake. Sometimes “sweet” isn’t always the best thing. I added a blueberry swirl topping and sauce made with fresh blueberries from this year’s crop. I hope you will try making this recipe, too, and I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

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Easy Cook: Skillet Zucchini and Corn Sauté

Everyone should have a couple of good zucchini recipes for the summertime. This squash is so plentiful and inexpensive during the summer months; it’s a great way to get fresh vegetables into a person’s meals. And cooking zucchini doesn’t have to be difficult. My recipe for “Skillet Zucchini and Corn Sauté” sort of sneaks the zucchini into the dish. It is turning out to be one of our favorite zucchini recipes. The dish has only a few ingredients, uses “one pot” (a skillet) and tastes great. Let’s eat zucchini!

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