Friday, May 23, 2014

A Trio of Showstoppers for a Triple Celebration

Shrimp Deviled Eggs, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Blue Cheese, and Planked Salmon
Best Showstopper of All:  Watching Grill Master Adam Cook!


     As I'm writing this on Friday of  Memorial Day Weekend, I can hardly believe that it's already been two weeks since we celebrated three events on the same day. Allison graduated from college with flying colors; Jenn, who flew in for the graduation, had a birthday along with her cousin Maddie; and it was Mother's Day. Because Jenn's birthday usually falls on or is close to Mother's Day and we have aunts and a grandma that live close by, I am usually the hostess of the get-together.  This year I felt like a guest at my own party because Caroline's boyfriend Adam showed me how to make  planked salmon ever and his version of roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and blue cheese. Uncle Russell brought over a huge salad and assisted Adam with the salmon. I rounded it out with deluxe deviled eggs with shrimp Dijon filling. It was a fabulous meal but the most wonderful part about the day was catching up with the Yates family and seeing the cousins enjoying each other's company. A house filled with love and laughter is really what it's all about  <3

Deviled Eggs with Shrimp and Dijon

12 hard boiled eggs*
1 cup frozen cooked salad shrimp
1/2 cup mayonnaise
                                       2 tablespoons Frank's Hot Sauce                                   
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
1 generous tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional: salad greens and baby dill for garnish

*(Click here for how to hard boil eggs)


     Peel the shell away from the hard boiled eggs and slice each one in half. Remove the yolk from each half, place it in a mixing bowl, and set the halves on a serving platter. With a fork mash each yolk.  Add the mayonnaise, hot sauce, green onions, Dijon mustard, and black pepper.  Combine well and gently stir in the all but a few shrimp.  Spoon a teaspoon of the yolk mixture into the well of each egg half. Top with the remaining shrimp. If desired, garnish with a bit of dill. A nice touch is a bed of few greens on the serving platter.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Blue Cheese

1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 pieces bacon (I used turkey bacon)
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (I used Gorgonzola)
Optional: Some really good balsamic vinegar to drizzle before serving


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Rinse and drain the Brussels sprouts.  Peel off the tough outer leaves and cut the tough stem at the base off.  If they are on the large side, cut each Brussels sprout in half and place in baking pan.  Dice up the bacon and sprinkle it over the Brussels sprouts.  Pour the melted butter over the Brussels sprouts and bacon.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from over and distribute the crumbled blue cheese over the top.  Replace in the oven and bake for another five minutes.  Then place on a serving platter and drizzle with a bit of some really good balsamic vinegar if desired.

Planked Salmon

1/2 pound of salmon per person is more than enough
Dry rub made for salmon*
Cedar planks

*recipe for Dry Rubfrom Food.Com:  


     Submerge the cedar planks in water and let them soak for a couple of hours.  Cut the salmon into serving portions and rub the seasoning into each one.  *Uncle Russell brought over a salmon rub made by Weber Grill and everyone loved it.  Adam likes to take the skin off before cooking, but Uncle Russell and Uncle David say to leave it on. Heat the grill up, then lower the temperature to 350 or low to medium low.  Place the empty planks on the grill for 3 minutes.  Then turn them over and place the salmon pieces on them.  Close the cover and continue to cook for 20 minutes.  Keep a watch on the temperature and try to keep adjusting the heat so it stays close to 350 degrees.  It's best to cook it low and slow.  After 20 minutes, check a piece of salmon to see if it flakes with a fork in the thickest part.  If its not ready, give it more time and keep checking it often - just be careful not to over cook it.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Greenfield Dough Company GIVEAWAY!

It's been a while since I hosted a giveaway so I'm excited to get this one underway, especially since it involves a product developed by an old friend.  Lynne and her family lived behind us for several years and my three girls spent as much time over at her house playing with her two daughters as they did in their own home.  All five of the them seemed to have a flair for the dramatic; and we parents were often treated to some hilarious thespian events :)

Lynn, left; Me, right 
Sign in Tuttle's Orchard Store which sells the dough


I had lunch with Lynne a couple weeks ago and we had a wonderful time catching up.  It was fascinating to hear how she has developed a small batch cookie dough company while working full time and still being a wife/mom/coach to her husband, daughters, and well loved horses.  It took her about eight months but after a lot of trials and testing, she came up with an all natural, no preservatives, no eggs, frozen cookie dough. 

Enough dough to make about 36 melt in your mouth cookies comes packed in a cute little lined container. Each box includes its own rectangle of parchment paper to use on a cookie sheet while baking.  There are two flavors at the present time: Chocolate Chip Crisps and Lemon Lights.

When the mood is right for some light and crisp cookies, just pull a box out of the freezer and drop by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet covered with the parchment paper.  Bake just a few minutes in a preheated oven and then enjoy the resulting deliciousness without the fuss of messing up the kitchen.

Can't wait for the contest? The dough may be purchased at these retailers:

So Here's the Details of the Giveaway:

Enter from May 21, 2014 to May 28, 2014 

The winner will have a choice of being shipped two cartons of cookie dough 
A $20 dollar gift certificate redeemable at Tuttle's Orchard Farm Store
Winner will be randomly chosen by Rafflecopter and be notified by an email requesting your choice of the prize and your mailing address.

Insulated in special packaging and shipped in mainland United States, the cookie dough will arrive at your door still frozen.  If the gift certificate is opted for, Indianapolis area Tuttle's Orchard Farm Store has online purchasing during the month of November ( ).

Click Here to Enter this Giveaway via Rafflecopter

Contest is

And the winner is...

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Entry #18Brittani A.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Loaded Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies

Here's a confession:  No matter how healthy I eat during the day, I always want a bit of something sweet at night.  This cookie recipe came about one evening when there wasn't anything in the kitchen that was going to meet my little craving.  Roy loves oatmeal raisin cookies, but I wanted something that at least gave a nod to being halfway nutritious.  So I substituted whole wheat flour for white and threw in other accouterments besides regular raisins to jazz it up.  I knew I had a winner when I took some down to Allison and her college roommates, and she asked for me to make them again.  She graduates this weekend, so I made some for the celebration.  They freeze well and are in the freezer now - hopefully they will remain undiscovered until Saturday! 

For a Printable Recipe Click Here

Ingredients For About Three Dozen Cookies:

The Good Stuff

1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
1/4 cup pepita seeds (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

The Dry Stuff

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal (uncooked)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

The Sweet Stuff

3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using an electric mixer combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter together until "creamed" (it will look spreadable).

Add the eggs and the vanilla and blend well.

Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt.  The electric mixer could be used to combine this as well.

Using a wooden spoon or something similar, add in the oatmeal, almonds, raisins, pepitas, cranberries, and apricots and mix until everything is combined together.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.  Drop the dough by rounded spoonfuls onto it.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cookies start to get brown on top.  The cookies will feel very soft when they are first removed from the oven, but they setup as they cool. Let them sit for at least a minute on the cookie sheet before they are transferred to a cooling rack or platter. Pour a glass of milk and enjoy!