Pasta Salad 5 Ways…5 Recipes for Healthier Pasta Salads!

Host the Toast

Host the Toast

Is this turning into a food blog?  Here’s the thing, so much of my life is consumed with cooking and feeding little mouths that sometimes that’s all I can think about!  Or is that an just an excuse for the fact that I love to eat?  A little of both, maybe : ) So, one of my current summer food obsessions is cold pasta salad.  It’s cheap, great for left overs and weekday lunches and is completely versatile depending on the ingredients.  What it’s not exactly great for – the waistline.  With that in mind, I’ve been in search of some cold pasta salad recipes that are both delicious and won’t require me to wear stretch pants simultaneously. Eating Well’s step by step guide to ‘Making a Healthier Pasta Salad’ along with 5 awesome recipes was the perfect solution!

Eating Well

Eating Well

#1.  Antipasti Pasta Salad

Eating Well

Eating Well

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pasta Salad

  • 6 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) whole-wheat medium shells
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper
  • 1 cup quartered canned artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cubed salami
  • 5 tablespoons shredded Provolone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pepperoncini
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. To prepare dressing: Combine oil, broth, vinegar, marjoram, shallots, salt and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well combined. (Or whisk in a bowl.)
  2. To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add fennel, bell pepper, artichoke hearts, beans, salami, cheese, pepperoncini, pepper and the dressing; toss to coat.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition

Per serving: 298 calories; 14 g fat ( 3 g sat , 9 g mono ); 11 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 7 g fiber; 535 mg sodium; 269 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (64% daily value), Vitamin A (21% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 2 starch 1 vegetable, 1/2 high-fat meat, 2 fat

#2.  Broccoli & Feta Pasta Salad

Eating Well

Eating Well

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Pasta Salad

  • 8 ounces (about 3 cups) whole-wheat fusilli
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 3/4 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. To prepare dressing: Mash garlic and salt in a medium bowl with the back of a spoon into a chunky paste. Add buttermilk, mayonnaise, oregano and vinegar; whisk until combined.
  2. To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add broccoli, tomatoes, chickpeas, feta, pepper and the dressing; toss to coat.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition

Per serving: 264 calories; 6 g fat ( 2 g sat , 1 g mono ); 14 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 6 g fiber; 457 mg sodium; 367 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (42% daily value), Folate (20% dv), Vitamin A (19% dv), Magnesium (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 medium fat meat, 1/2 fat

#3.  Melon & Chicken Pasta Salad

Eating Well

Eating Well

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Pasta Salad

  • 8 ounces (about 3 cups) whole-wheat bowtie pasta
  • 2 cups cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon
  • 2 cups thinly sliced baby spinach
  • 2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto (about 3 ounces)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. To prepare dressing: Mash garlic and salt in a medium bowl with the back of a spoon into a chunky paste. Add buttermilk, mayonnaise, tarragon and vinegar; whisk until combined.
  2. To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add melon, spinach, chicken, cranberries, prosciutto, pepper and the dressing; toss to coat.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition

Per serving: 294 calories; 6 g fat ( 2 g sat , 1 g mono ); 54 mg cholesterol; 38 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 25 g protein; 4 g fiber; 633 mg sodium; 400 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (57% daily value), Vitamin C (38% dv), Magnesium (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 fat

#4.  Vegetable & Tuna Pasta Salad

Eating Well

Eating Well

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Pasta Salad

  • 8 ounces (about 3 cups) whole-wheat fusilli
  • 3 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 medium)
  • 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped soft sun-dried tomatoes
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. To prepare dressing: Combine oil, broth, vinegar, basil, shallots, salt and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until well combined. (Or whisk in a bowl.)
  2. To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add arugula, zucchini, tuna, cheese, tomatoes, pepper and the dressing; toss to coat.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.

Nutrition

Per serving: 285 calories; 12 g fat ( 3 g sat , 8 g mono ); 15 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 17 g protein; 3 g fiber; 401 mg sodium; 354 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (15% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1 1/2 lean meat, 2 fat

#5.  Peas & Ham Pasta Salad

Eating Well

Eating Well

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Pasta Salad

  • 10 ounces (about 2 cups) whole-wheat elbow noodles
  • 1 3/4 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 3/4 cups peas, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs (see Tip), chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced Cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. To prepare dressing: Mash garlic and salt in a medium bowl with the back of a spoon into a chunky paste. Add buttermilk, mayonnaise, dill and vinegar; whisk until combined.
  2. To prepare pasta salad: Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Add mushrooms, peas, ham, onion, eggs, cheese, pepper and the dressing; toss to coat.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate, without dressing, for up to 1 day. Toss with the dressing about 1 hour before serving.
  • Tip: To hard-boil eggs, place in a single layer in a saucepan; cover with 1 inch of water. Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook at the barest simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, immediately pour out hot water and cover the eggs with ice-cold water. Let stand in the water until cool.

Nutrition

Per serving: 315 calories; 9 g fat ( 4 g sat , 3 g mono ); 88 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 21 g protein; 6 g fiber; 671 mg sodium; 379 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (36% daily value), Vitamin C (24% dv), Zinc (18% dv), Iron & Magnesium (16% dv), Folate (15% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1/2 medium fat meat, 1/2 high fat meat, 1/2 fat

Savory Steak & Mushroom Pot Pies…

Simply Delicious

Simply Delicious

I love chicken and we eat it for dinner often…so much so then when I serve fish my daughter refers to it as “soft chicken.”  lol.  It’s time to switch things up a bit…which is why I was so excited to find this recipe for Steak & Mushroom Pot Pie.  It calls for puff-pastry, sliced mushrooms and stewing beef along with garlic and herbs and veggies…it looks delicious – I can’t wait to give it a try!  I might add a little red wine to the mix for another layer of flavor.  Mmmmm.

Simply Delicious

Simply Delicious

Steak & Mushroom Pot Pies

Makes 4-6 pot pies

1.5kg (3.31 pounds) stewing beef (I used chuck steak cut into chunks, bone removed)
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
250g (8.82 ounces) mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp each dried thyme, dried rosemary and dried oregano (I like the earthiness of the dried herbs)
2 bay leaves
500ml (16.91 fluid ounces) (2 cups) strong beef stock (alternatively add a heaped tbsp bovril to 500ml (16.91 fluid ounces) water)
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 50ml (1.69 fluid ounces) milk
salt & pepper to taste
1 roll ready-made puff pastry, rolled out slightly
1 egg, beaten

Simply Delicious

Simply Delicious

  • For the filling, brown the beef in a large pot. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same pot, fry the onion, carrots and celery sticks until soft and fragrant (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 5 minutes before adding the paprika and herbs.
  • Pour in the stock and add the browned beef back into the pot. Stir to combine everything and reduce the heat. Cover the pot and allow the stew to simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
  • When the meat is really tender (when you press a piece with a spoon it should break apart), turn the heat up and pour in the cornflour mixture. Allow the sauce to simmer rapidly and thicken for about 10 minutes.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
  • Divide the beef and mushroom filling between 4-6 oven-proof dishes (depending on size).
  • Cut the pastry into squares big enough to cover the dishes, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Brush the rim of the dishes with some of the beaten egg then place the pastry on top and pinch the pastry onto the rim.
  • Cut 2 slits into each pie to allow the steam to escape and brush with the rest of the beaten egg.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and golden brown.
  • Remove and serve with vegetables of your choice.

Simple 4th of July Spritzer…With and Without Alcohol

mom.me

mom.me

A simple spritzer recipe – with alcohol and without – to add to your 4th of July festivities!  Fresh berries in carbonated beverages are the best – refreshing and beautiful!

4th of July Day Spritzer

Dan 330

Dan 330

 

Ingredients: 

One pound strawberries

One pound blueberries

Two large apples

48 oz of Seven-up or Sprite

24 oz of carbonated lemonade

 

Directions: 

Halve the Strawberries

Slice the apples in large thin slices

Use a star cookie cutter to cut the stars out of the apple slices

Pour Seven-up into large pitcher

Pour Carbonated lemonade into large pitcher

Add ice and fruit to pitcher

 

Red, White and Blue Wine Spritzer

 

Pretty Plain Janes

Pretty Plain Janes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup simple syrup (1 part sugar plus 1 part water, boiled until dissolved and cooled)
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries (sliced in half)
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  • club soda or tonic water
  • ice
  • few sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

Directions

  1. Fill Pitcher with ice and top with berries (save some to place in glasses).
  2. Pour in simple syrup and then wine until pitcher is 3/4 full.
  3. Top off with club soda or tonic water, stir and serve in ice filled glasses. Garnish with mint sprig.

Puff Pastry Jalapeno Poppers…

 

Rachel Shultz

Rachel Shultz

These poppers (made with jalapeno, bacon, garlic and cream cheese among other heavenly things) are the reason why I’ll never fit back into a bikini before the end of the summer…and you know what, I think I’m ok with that.  These would make a perfect starter for the 4th of July festivities tomorrow – if you don’t eat them all first!

Rachel Shultz

Rachel Shultz

Puff Pastry Jalapeno Poppers

 

Author: Rachel Schultz
Serves: 24 poppers
Ingredients
  • 12 jalapenos, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 box puff pastry (2 sheets)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup bacon pieces
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • Olive oil
Rachel Shultz

Rachel Shultz

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast in oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, unfold thawed pastry sheet and roll into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Slice each sheet into twelve 3×3 inch squares, making for a total of 24 squares with both sheets. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, bacon, cheddar, and garlic. Spoon cream cheese filling into jalapeno halves.
  3. Wrap pastry squares around stuffed jalapenos and arrange on a baking sheet.
  4. Whisk together egg and 3 tablespoons water. Brush egg mixture over poppers. (Top with additional cheddar, if you like.) Bake for 20 minutes.

Selecting the Perfect Wine…Cheat Sheet

Explore with Payal

Explore with Payal

Yet another amazing guide to selecting the perfect wine – this one from The Grape & Grain Co.  I did a post on Food and Wine Pairing a few months ago and I love keeping it handy when I’m planning a meal.  The right wine can really accent the taste of your food and help pull everything together.

The Grape & Grain Co.

The Grape & Grain Co.

7 Centerpieces for Your 4th of July Table…

4july6

Controlling Craziness

So, we’re getting closer to the 4th and now that we’ve figured out who’s bringing the cold pasta salad and jello mold we can focus on decorating the table, right?!?  This is my favorite part because for me, the decorations are what pulls everything together and gives the day meaning outside of just a family get together.  I’ve come across a lot of fun and festive July 4th centerpieces in the last few days – here are the ones at the top of my list!

#1. 

Controlling Craziness

BHG

Look for inexpensive lanterns at your local consignment or thrift shop and pick up a few cans of spray paint.  These don’t come around often though, so if all else fails you can find them at IKEA for relatively cheap.

#2. 

Giggles Galore

Giggles Galore

So easy!  Bright container, fresh fruit and marshmallow…this one can be admired and eaten simultaneously!

#3.

Top Dreamer

Top Dreamer

I love this idea because I have 4,000 glass vases (ok, that might be a slight exaggeration) lying around my house…a festive ribbon, a $2.50 bag of Twizzlers and your set.  This is a perfect option for the decor procrastinator.

#4.

Decor for the Holidays

Decor for the Holidays

You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers and I love the vintage look of the tag.  Add a few pops of red to round things out…sometimes the simpler the better.

#5.

BHG

BHG

Blue glass can be found everywhere from Dollar General to Wal-Mart and you may even have some stashed in your cabinets.  How amazing do they look in a collection of heights with stems of red flowers?

#6.

Chicken Scratch NY

Chicken Scratch NY

If you have access to scrap wood or wood cutting materials, get yourself 3 cuts at varying heights , drill a small hole in the center an inch or so deep and fill with wax.  Use rope to simulate a wick and paint to finish.  Follow the picture link for the complete tutorial…love these!

#7. 

BHG

BHG

Scrapbook paper is a great medium for decorations any time and the 4th of July is no exception.  For this piece, roll a section of festive paper and adhere with glue.  Cut a circle, add a slit and glue together for the topper.  Add sand to a metallic tin to hold your fireworks in place.

7 Fast and Fun 4th of July Day Desserts…

Gimme Some Oven

Gimme Some Oven

The 4th of the July is right around the corner and if you’re the one bringing desserts this year than this list might come in handy!  The holiday falls mid week so we’re looking for limited prep time with fabulous results-here are 7 desserts that fit the bill.

#1. 4th of July Rice Crispy Treats

Lil' Luna

Lil’ Luna

SUPPLIES:

– 6 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

– 1 package marshmallows

– 3 TB margarine or butter

– Food coloring (red and blue – preferably Betty Crocker Gel Food Colors)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Gather your supplies and divide the Rice Krispies and marshmallows in three for the three layers.

2. Microwave marshmallows –  stick them in for a few minutes or until they start to get big and almost touch the top of the microwave. Take them out, stir well and add the food coloring. Then add the 2 cups of Rice Krispies and stir well. Press into well greased 9×9. If you want yours to come out thicker use a 9×9 (8×8 would work as well).

3. Do this for all 3 layers starting with the blue, then white and then red. Pat down all layers really well using wax paper.

4. Let set for a bit, then cut, serve and enjoy!

#2. Flag Pretzels

Passion for Savings

Passion for Savings

Ingredients

  • 1 Bag Pretzel Rods
  • 24 oz. Almond Bark
  • 2 Tbsp. Shortening
  • Food Coloring
  • White Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Melt the Almond Bark with 2 Tbsp. Shortening
  2. Dip the Pretzel Rods in White Almond Bark
  3. Divide remaining Almond Bark in half and add Red and Blue Food Coloring
  4. Dip ⅓ of the White Chocolate Pretzels back in Blue Chocolate
  5. Add White Sprinkles before drying
  6. Drizzle Red Chocolate over the remaining white section to create stripes

#3. Revolutionary Berries

Spoonful

Spoonful

What you’ll need

  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips
  • Strawberries
  • Blue sugar or edible glitter

How to make it

  1. Melt 12 ounces of white chocolate chips in a microwave according to the package directions (make sure the container and the berries are dry; even a little moisture will alter the texture of the candy).
  2. One at a time, dip strawberries into the chocolate and then into blue sugar or edible glitter.
  3. Set them to harden on waxed paper.
  4. Makes 35 to 45 decorated berries.

#4.  4th of July Cupcakes in a Jar

The Tomkat Studio

The Tomkat Studio

~ How to make 4th of July Cupcakes in a Jar ~

You’ll need…

Jars (I used 1/2 pint canning jars)

1 Vanilla cake mix (from a box or from scratch)

Frosting (from a can or homemade)

Instructions:

Prepare the batter of your favorite vanilla cake (from a box or from scratch).  Divide the batter as equally as possible  into three bowls.  Color one bowl of batter red, and one blue (using concentrated gel coloring).  The final bowl will remain uncolored.  Prepare 3- 9″ cake pans (round or square) by greasing the pan lightly (with butter or oil), and lining with parchment paper.  Fill pans with batter.   Bake cakes according to recipe instructions.

Once baked, cool cakes completely.  Remove cakes from pans, and level cakes as needed.  Then, use a 2″ round cookie cutter to cut out circles of cake.  Prepare a batch of frosting (I used my Cream Cheese Frosting) and fill a piping bag fitted with a large round or star tip.  Layer cake and frosting as shown above (blue cake, a little frosting, white cake, a little frosting, red cake, a nice swirl of frosting).  Top with festive sprinkles.

*Note- the cupcakes in a jar could also be make using cupcakes, cut in half, then used as directed above.

#5. Patriotic Fruit Pops

Sheek Shindigs

Sheek Shindigs

  • To make these, used watermelon, apples and blueberries.
  • To keep the apples from browning, lightly brush them with lime or lemon juice. I prefer limes for the flavor and that they seem less tart.
  • Cut watermelon and apple pieces to thickness of the cookie cutter, then place cookie cutter on top of slices and push straight down. Place one fruit inside of another and finish with a blueberry in the middle.
  • Push the straw through all three pieces of fruit to keep it everything in place. If you have trouble pushing a paper straw through the apple portion, use a plastic straw first to create a pathway and then replace with the paper straw. Popsicle sticks will work as well.

#6. 4th of July Marshmallow Pops

Wenderly

Wenderly

What you’ll Need:

1 bag of red candy melts
1 bag of blue candy melts
20 large marshmallows
20 red & white striped paper straws

What you’ll do:

1. Melt red & blue candy melts in separate bowls according to package instructions.
2. Insert a straw 3/4 deep into each marshmallow and take out again. This will leave the hole where the straw will go after dipping marshmallows.
3. Dip the side of the marshmallow with the hole into the melted blue candy coating. Hold marshmallow over bowl after dipping and tap your hand until excess candy coating has been tapped off of the marshmallow.
4. Place marshmallow with the dipped side up and insert straw into each hole. Let dry completely.
5. Once the blue coating is completely dry, hold the marshmallow by the sides (not the straw) and dip into the red melted candy coating. Tap hand to shake off excess candy coating.
6. Place  the marshmallow pop (straw side down) into a heavy glass to dry.

#7. Red, White and Blueberry Popsicles

Nourishista

Nourishista

Ingredients
2 c. fresh strawberries, washed and stems removed
2 c. fresh blueberries
1 1/4 c. low-fat vanilla yogurt
2  T. honey (do not feed honey products to children under 1 year of age)
Popsicle molds
8 popsicle sticks
 
Directions

1. Place strawberries in a bowl and add 1 T. honey.  Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree.  You should taste the mixture.  If it does not seem sweet enough, you may want to add some more honey.  Some strawberries are sweeter than others.

2.  Place blueberries in a bowl and add 1 T. honey.  Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree.  You should taste the mixture.  If it does not seem sweet enough, you may want to add some more honey.  Place the blueberry mixture in the refrigerator.

3.  Take your popsicle molds and using a spoon add enough strawberries to fill the mold 1/3rd full.  Try to make the layers as even as possible.  But don’t stress about it too much.  They don’t have to be perfect. (Tap the molds on the counter gently after each layer to help get rid of air bubbles.  I didn’t do this and there were air pockets in my popsicles. Also be sure to wear an apron when you tap the molds on the counter, or you will get the popsicle filling on your clothes.) Freeze you popsicles for 1 hour.   

4.  Now add the popsicle sticks.  Push them into the strawberry layer about 1/2 an inch.  You do not want to push the popsicle stick too far down or they will be sticking out.  Freeze popsicles for another hour.  Next add the yogurt and fill to 2/3rds full.  Let freeze for 2 hours.

5. Now add the blueberry layer and freeze for another 2 hours.  Run the molds under warm water to release. Your popsicles are ready to enjoy! 

10 Shrimp Recipes…Easy and Delicious Weeknight Meals

The Washington Post

The Washington Post

I really enjoy cooking with shrimp…they’re low in fat, high in protein, easy to cook and versatile.  My son eats them cold by the handful and my daughter thinks they’re chicken – anytime I can work them into dinner at my house everyone’s happy!  Here are 10 exciting recipes for all the shrimp lovers in your home…

#1.  Roasted Basil Butter Parmesan Shrimp

how sweet it is

how sweet it is

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

2 pounds raw, peeled and deveined shrimp

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

additional fresh basil and cilantro for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine butter, basil and 1/4 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl, mixing to combine. Place butter on a piece of plastic wrap, shaping it into a ball or a log and wrapping it up. Set in the fridge to harden.

Add shrimp to a large baking dish. Cover in salt, pepper and olive oil, tossing to coat. Roast for 10-12 minutes (or longer or shorter for the size of your shrimp, I actually roasted mine for 15 minutes because they were super jumbo. Just keep an eye on them and the minute they are pink, remove from the oven.) then remove and slice basil butter over top. Cover in parmesan and another sprinkling of herbs, then serve immediately.

#2.  Shrimp Tacos

Grocery Coupon Network

Grocery Coupon Network

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp (peeled)

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

4 limes (cut into quarters)

Kosher salt

8 6-inch corn tortillas

2 cups of shredded lettuce or cabbage

salsa

Directions

  1. Heat grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, and cumin. Set aside.
  2. Skewer the shrimp. (If using wood skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes beforehand.) In a small bowl, combine the butter and garlic. Brush the shrimp with the garlic butter.
  3. Place the shrimp on grill with the limes. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until the limes are browned. If you prefer you can lightly salt to shrimp.
  4. Grill the tortillas (30 seconds on each side)
  5. Take the shrimp off the skewers and place inside the tortillas. Top with the cabbage, sour cream sauce, and salsa. Squeeze lime over everything and enjoy!

#3.  Jamaican Shrimp

relative taste

relative taste

Ingredients:

  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 3 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 1 medium mango, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small red onion, sliced and separated
  • 1 medium lime, quartered and sliced

Directions:

In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add shrimp and boil for 3 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag.

In a bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lime juice, jalapeno, honey, and jerk seasoning. Pour 3/4 cup marinade over shrimp. Seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Refrigerate remaining marinade.

Just before serving, drain and discard marinade from shrimp. On a serving platter, layer the shrimp, mango, onion and lime. Drizzle with the remaining marinade.

#4.  Warm Summer Shrimp Salad

Food 52

Food 52

  • 2 pounds large shrimp (21/25 count), peeled and deveined, shells reserved
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels scraped (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon corn oil, preferably unrefined, or pure olive oil
  • 2-3 medium to large tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cored and chopped
  • 2 lemons (finely grated zest and juice of 1, and 1 quartered)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
  • 1 small bunch basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed microgreens or arugula
  1. Place the shrimp in a bowl. Rub and toss with 1 tablespoon of the coarse salt. Wash under cold running water. Rub once again with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt, wash well under cold running water, then drain in a colander. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the shrimp generously with the white pepper. Set aside. Combine the shrimp shells and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to simmer and let cook until the shells are pink and the broth is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Strain, reserving the broth and discarding the shells. Wipe the saucepan clean.
  2. Return the strained broth to the now-clean saucepan. Add the corn and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to simmer and cook until the corn is tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve. Place the corn in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the reserved shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and chopped tomatoes to the corn. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, mayonnaise, and basil. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide among chilled plates. Garnish each with microgreens and a wedge of lemon. Serve immediately.

#5.  Spicy New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Poore Amy

Poore Amy

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh,jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 tablespoons Heinz Chili Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke (hickory)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
5 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Directions:

Peel and devein the shrimp.
Add all of the other ingredients in a saucepan, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let cool.
Arrange the shrimp in an oven- proof casserole dish and pour the sauce over the shrimp.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bake shrimp for 15 – 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with crusty French bread, new potatoes and a crisp salad.

#6.  Shrimp, Tomatillo and Corn Ceviche

shrimp-ceviche-tray-above

Verses From My Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of medium shrimp
  • 3 tomatillos, husked, washed and cut into 8
  • 2 avocados, halved, pitted and chopped (plus 1)
  • 2 cobs of corn, grilled and corn removed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 4 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp. garlic paste
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeded and finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • lime wedges, for serving

Prep:

  1. Using a large mixing bowl, add in the tomatillos, 3 avocados, cilantro, half the lime juice, corn, jalapeno pepper, garlic and salt. Mix well. Cover and chill for at least an hour.
  2. Peel and devein shrimp and cut into thirds. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the remaining lime juice, mango and scallion. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. When ready to serve, add the avocado mixture to the bottom of 6-8 cups and top with the shrimp mixture. Sprinkle a few tomatillo and avocado pieces over top with some additional cilantro. Season and serve.

#7.  Buffalo Shrimp Tostadas

Bev Cooks

Bev Cooks

Ingredients:

* 1 pound extra-large shrimp, thawed and deveined
* 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
* 4 corn tortillas
* 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
* 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
* 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
* lime wedges, for serving
* cilantro, for garnish

In a large bowl, combine shrimp and buffalo sauce. Let sit in fridge for 15 minutes. The acid in the buffalo sauce will start to cook the shrimp, so don’t let it sit too long.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high. Add the shrimp in a single layer and sear on both sides until cooked through, about 3 minutes total. Remove from heat.

In the meantime, preheat your broiler. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and broil on the BOTTOM rack for about 4 minutes. Flip the tortillas, add the shredded cheddar and broil another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tortillas have crisped up and the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven.

Now, all you do is layer. Evenly divide the shredded romaine over the tortillas, followed by 4 or 5 shrimp, the blue cheese crumbles and the cilantro. Spritz with lime juice and serve with the wedges!

#8.  Pan-Seared Shrimp with Sweet Soy-Ginger Glaze

The Washington Post

The Washington Post

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces extra-large (21-25) peeled and deveined shrimp (defrosted as needed)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 inch fresh ginger root
  • 1 scallion
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (kecap manis, available in Asian markets; see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:

Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a mixing bowl. Season them with the salt, pepper and sugar, tossing to coat evenly.

Peel the ginger, then mince it to yield 2 teaspoons. Trim the scallion, then cut the white and light-green parts on the diagonal into very thin slices to yield about 3 tablespoons.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sweet soy sauce, water, ginger, vinegar, scallion and crushed red pepper flakes in a liquid measuring cup.

Add the shrimp to the skillet; stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes so the shrimp are just cooked through. Add the sauce mixture, tossing to coat. Cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

Divide among individual plates; serve hot.

#9.  Spicy Shrimp

Food 52

Food 52

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Sriracha
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 handful cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds large shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled and deveined
  1. Mix together the Sriracha, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cilantro, and sugar. Season aggressively with salt and pepper. Put in a 1-gallon plastic bag, add the shrimp, and mix together in the bag. Marinate in the fridge for 2 to 4 hours. Or longer.
  2. Heat a grill. Skewer the shrimp (4 to 6 shrimp per skewer) and grill until pink and delicious, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the shrimp from the grill, slide the shrimp from the skewer using a fork, and pile on a serving platter. Sprinkle with finely chopped cilantro, and throw a few toothpicks in a few shrimp. Watch them disappear.

#10.  Rhubarb-Glazed Shrimp

Sunset

Sunset

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (preferably red rather than green)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (36 to 42 per lb.)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced diagonally

Preparation

  1. Heat a grill to high (450° to 550°). In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook rhubarb, ginger, garlic, hoisin, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. When rhubarb starts to break apart, about 3 minutes, whisk in soy sauce and transfer half the glaze to a small bowl.
  2. Thread shrimp onto 4 metal skewers. Brush both sides of shrimp with glaze from pan. Grill shrimp, turning and basting generously as you go, until they’re opaque and grill marks appear, about 8 minutes total.
  3. Transfer to a serving plate and brush with glaze from bowl. Sprinkle with onion. Serve with remaining glaze from bowl on the side.

How to Make Pasta in One Pot…

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

An easy and delicious meal in one pan…perfect for weeknights and last minute entertaining!

Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart

via Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces linguine
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

10 Color Combinations for a Beautiful Bedroom…

Fabulous Home Blog

Fabulous Home Blog

I love introducing new color combinations into my bedroom – I recently went from greens and yellows to browns and blues and the change is really nice!  There was a time (unfortunately not too long ago) where I thought the more color the better…blue bedspread, green curtains, yellow pillows and a red throw…yeah, that kind of works, right?  (My husband very graciously let me work through that phase in my own time.). What I found though was that focusing in on one or two complimentary colors and adding in neutrals around them really gives the room a polished finish and allows the eyes to rest.

Here are 10 beautiful color combinations to consider for your room!

#1.  Pink and Green

The Suite Life Designs

The Suite Life Designs

#2.  Blue and Orange

Northern Lights

Northern Lights

#3.  Gold and Navy Blue

Style Design Life

Style Design Life

#4.  Purple and Teal

Turn View

Turn View

#5.  Orange and Brown

Coastal Living

Coastal Living

#6.  Greyed Jade and Salmon

Decor Hound

Decor Hound

#7.  Pink and Navy Blue

Sheridan French

Sheridan French

#8.  Brown and Red

Style at Home

Style at Home

#9.  Brown and Pale Blue

Sunday in Bed

Sunday in Bed

#10.  Coral and Taupe

Fabulous Home

Fabulous Home Blog

And here’s mine!

Reclaiming Your Castle

Reclaiming Your Castle