Lemon Pesto Shrimp Pasta Salad

 

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When it comes to pasta dishes I love to experiment with different ingredients.Pasta is very versatile you can take from nothing to something in less than 30 minutes and voila’ there goes dinner.So with this pasta dish I used spaghetti to make a cold pasta salad.I added pesto and some other ingredients to pull this whole dish together.This a anytime pasta dish you can make.It could be apart of your holiday repertoire.Its’s easy and quick to make .I have made this several times and its delicious.

 

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This pasta salad has shrimp and broccolini florets in it.I used cooked shrimp to make it easy to throw to together in minutes.I used store bought pesto but you can make your own and I added some lemon juice to the  pesto to give it a zing.I put some more parmesan cheese in the pesto.I topped the salad with halved grape tomatoes and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.You will enjoy this pasta salad its so good.you can have this some garlic bread and some excellent white wine.

 

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Spaghetti Pasta
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove -minced
  • 1/3 cup  grape or cherry tomatoes -halved
  • 1 tbsp chopped purple onions
  • Broccoli or Broccolini florets
  • 8-12 cooked shrimp
  • 2 tbsps shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup store bought or homemade pesto
  • 3 tbsps lemon juice
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and black pepper to taste

 

 

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Directions:

 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the garlic and broccoloini florets  saute until they are soft.Add the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and stir.
  • Drain the pasta and Stir in the pesto,broccolini florets , garlic, onions and lemon juice .
  • Transfer pasta to a serving dish and Add the shrimp, tomatoes and parmesan cheese on top of the pasta. Cover the pasta salad and place it into the refrigerator and let it chill for 2 hrs.
  • Serve with with garlic bread and enjoy!!!
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Silly Gingerbread Men Cookies

IMG_5425.JPGGingerbread Men and Christmas go hand and hand like macaroni and cheese.One can’t do without the other.The spice in this cookie are like a marriage made in holiday heaven.Oh my the explosion of cloves,cinnamon and ginger are right on the money. Molasses sweet like honey and the dark brown adds more of a molasses mouth feel that ride the waves of the flavor profile.The gingerbread men are topped with mini m&ms and to hold them is a easy cookie ice made with 2 ingredients.

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I decorated these as if a child decorated them.I wanted to bring the inner child out of me and bring it to life with silly cookie decorating!You can make these cookies with your kids and have loads of fun with them.You can make these cookies at anytime of the year.Make the them for valentines day and decorate them with valentines decorations.Now we can focus on Christmas and how to make these cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter-1 stick of  Butter
  • 1/2 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 egg room temp
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 tsps ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

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Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer until mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the molasses,egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  3. In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients and whisk until mixed.
  4. Add in the flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Shape dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator 1 hour or overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  7. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a floured surface.
  8. Cut into gingerbread men shapes and transfer them to parchment lined pan and place them in the oven and back for 8-10 minutes or until firm around the edges.
  9. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool for 10- 20 minutes.
  10. Now you can decorate them with cookie icing and sprinkle or whatever you have.

Here is the simple and easy  cookie icing recipes:

1 cup powdered sugar

3 tbsps milk

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1. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl and add the milk.Now stir until combined.

2.You can add food coloring to the cookie icing and make different colors for your cookies.

Have a Merry Christmas and Have Fun making these cookies.

Cinnamon Anise Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry sauce is a classic staple for thanksgiving. It goes well with turkey and stuffing.Cranberry sauce makes the seasons bright and it brings holiday magic.I love cranberry sauce I make it every year because I love the tart with the sweet yum yum.I have been making cranberry sauce for years .I used to buy the cranberry sauce in the can and it got boring.Making cranberry sauce from scratch is a lot fresher and better. You can add your own flavor and spices make it unique to your flavor.My cranberry sauce I added a cinnamon stick  star anise and vanilla extract  they add a very unique flavor.You can change it up to the flavors you like or you can leave it plain.

Let’s get onto the cranberry sauce:

 

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

1-1/4 cups orange juice

1-1/3 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

 

Directions:

 

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1. Place all of the ingredients in a medium size pan.

2. Bring to a boil for 5-7 minutes.

3. When the cranberries starts to pop,lower heat and simmer  for another 10-12 minutes.

4. Remove for heat and pour into a serving dish or container let cool. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight for flavors to mingle.

5. This cranberry sauce is really delicious I hope you enjoy it.