Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Like WonderBra

To be WonderBra, to be supportive, to uplift...
that's my goal for the week, the semester, the year, our lives together.
When I started planning our meals for this week I decided to make five days of Josh's favorites. His first week of law school would be filled with intense reading, new classrooms in a new school surrounded by people he's never met. What would be better than coming home each night to his favorite, familiar smells wafting from the kitchen? Here is my plan for the week:

Monday - Shrimp Creole with Salad and Crusty Whole Wheat French Bread
Tuesday - Crab Cakes with Baked Potatoes and Roasted Asparagus
Wednesday - Barbecued Ribs with Black-Eyed Peas and Potato Salad
Thursday - Reuben Sandwiches with chips and various dips
Friday - Lasagna Rolls with Salad and Garlic Bread
Desserts - White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies & Raspberry Cream Cheese Cake

I've decided to blog about Monday's dinner, Shrimp Creole. On my first trip to Frost to meet Josh's family I enjoyed this delicious meal. It reminds me of new love, nervous first meetings, and the butterflies that accompany the first kiss with your future spouse. Magical.

All you need to make your own Shrimp Creole is

1 pound of medium shrimp
1 medium onion chopped, about 1/2 cup
2 stalks of celery chopped, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup green bell pepper chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of butter
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (or 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (to taste)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups hot cooked rice

First defrost, peel and devein shrimp, set aside.
Cook rice according to package directions.

Saute butter, onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, parsley, paprika, ground red pepper, and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

Remove bay leaf. Combine cold water and cornstarch, stir together.

Stir cornstarch mixture and shrimp into skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, cook and stir for 2 minutes more or until shrimp turn deeper pink.

We enjoyed our Shrimp Creole with salad and crusty French Bread with Boursin cheese.
Thanks to my sweet husband for the flowers, he's quite a WonderBra himself.

Ava enjoying her yummy dinner

Note the "Crimson and Cream" colored Fiesta dishes in honor of OU.

Dinner was completed with Josh's favorite cookies, White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut. Simply mix up your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and substitute white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts for the chocolate chips. Yum!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Oh so much has happened since I last blogged here. I promise that this little neglected spot is going to be more active now that I'm a stay-at-home mom. Catch up with our happenings here and then scroll down for a Lockett family favorite meal. My goal is to feature one of the meals I cook each week, with recipes and tips to go along. Enjoy!

The Meal:
Summer Vegetable Pasta with Citrus Sauce, French Bread
Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding with Vanilla Whipped Cream

Summer Vegetable Pasta
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook

8 ounces dried tri-color rotini pasta
(I buy the vegetable pasta with spinach, tomato, and beet flavored pasta)
2 cups asparagus, cut in one inch pieces
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
(To cut calories, spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and omit oil.)
1/2 cup whipping cream
(You can do this with milk to cut a few calories, but it's not as creamy)
2 teaspoons lemon zest

1st - Cook pasta according to package directions in a large pot
2nd - Saute asparagus, squash, zucchini, and garlic in olive oil in large skillet
3rd - Drain pasta and return to large pot
4th - Add vegetables to pasta
5th - Pour whipping cream and lemon zest into skillet and cook until thickened, and reduced to about 1/3 cup
6th - Pour sauce over pasta and vegetables, stir well

French Bread
from The Peach Tree Tea Room Cookbook, Fredericksburg, TX

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 cups unsifted unbleached flour
1 cup unsifted whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Extra virgin olive oil

1st - Dissolve yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water.
2nd - Combine the flours and salt in stand mixer fitted with bread hook attachment. Add yeast mixture to mixing bowl.
3rd - Allow mixer to knead dough until completely combined, and no longer sticky. Scrape edges as needed
4th - Brush inside of large bowl with olive oil and place dough inside, brush top of dough with olive oil, cover with towel and allow to rise one hour.
5th - Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured cutting board. Divide into two parts. Shape each part into a long narrow loaf.
6th - Place loaves on a greased cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover, and let rise about 30 minutes.
7th - Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.

Serve one loaf of bread with dinner, but save the second for making this fantastic bread pudding.

Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding
adapted from Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons, Too cookbook

1-pound loaf French bread, cut into cubes
(or any bread you have around the house, seriously, I've even made it with whole wheat bread and no one knew the difference.)
3 cups milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Kahlua
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Hershey cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips

1st - Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.
2nd - Place bread cubes into baking dish.
3rd - Wisk together next 10 ingredients and pour them over the bread evenly.
4th - Sprinkle chocolate chips over entire baking dish.
5th - Smoosh bread with back of a large spoon, forcing it to absorb liquid, allow to stand for 20 minutes.
6th - Bake the pudding for 1 hour, or until set, serve warm with vanilla whipped cream.

Vanilla Whipped Cream
my own version, thank you very much

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in stand mixer bowl fitted with wisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form.

This whipped cream is heavenly on coffee or hot chocolate too!

Questions, food victories? Please share and comment below!