Crispy Herbed Shrimp with Chive Aioli with Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

Holy moly that is a long title. Anyways…

I have a confession to make. Shellfish scare me. First, I’m afraid that I’m secretly allergic to them and will have a terrible reaction (it hasn’t happened yet). Second, I’m not confident in my ability to properly cook them. Too little time, and you have raw seafood which may be harmful. Too much, and you have overcooked, chewy sea-protein.

But you have to face your fears sometime, and yesterday was that day. I was pretty impressed with this recipe, and for someone who has all the above fears and isn’t too thrilled with shrimp’s texture, found I actually enjoyed eating it. The directions are straightforward and easy to follow. The only thing I found problems with was peeling and deveining my own shrimp. It was a full immersive, play with your food moment, but it was also frustrating. If you eat shrimp frequently, I would recommend getting a special knife to do this peeling. Otherwise, you can use a paring knife and take some more time to get those shrimps clean.  Continue reading

Colorful Turkey Chili

I know what you’re thinking. Chili? In JULY? It’s hot outside, why would I want to be smothered in the full-body-warmness that is a bowl of chili?

Well, in Florida, it is guaranteed to rain every day. It may be for 5 minutes, it may be for 10 hours, but somewhere in the state, it is raining. And when the clouds roll in and water is pouring from the sky, what sounds good to me is a cup of comfort and a porch chair to look for lightning. If you’re still not sold because it is hot, this recipe is just as delicious at room temperature.  Continue reading

Uncle Eric’s Dinner

As a relatively recent tradition, my family has started visiting California every summer- picking a new city to explore each time we go. My uncle joins us and we have a fun week of rude jokes and adventures. He makes a chicken and salad dish and eats it every night for the past 3 years. That’s right. Every day. I don’t blame him; it is wonderful in its simplicity and has a clean taste. I’ve already asked for it twice this week. To round it out, we added my Mom’s recipe for roasted potatoes.

Each part of the meal has its own ingredients and directions, so you can make individual parts, although I recommend making it all together. The portions depend on how much you can eat, but it is easily saved for leftovers the next day (or two). Also, the measurements are estimates, so you may need to play around with the recipe to suit your own tastes, oven, and altitude.

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Marshmallow-Lemon Snowdrifts

Usually I leave the cookie making up to other members of my family, but this year, my mom and I decided to contribute to the group by trying out this cookie. We are both a big fan of citrus flavored things, and this cookie has a good citrus bite to complement the sugar cookie and marshmallow frosting. They were a bit labor intensive for a cookie, but the result is worth it.

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Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken

I was looking through my Pinterest food board, searching for a Christmas dessert, when I came upon this recipe. Although we haven’t had much luck recreating recipes pinned on Pinterest, we decided to go for it, and I’m sure glad we did.

This recipe takes a little more time and effort than your average breaded and baked chicken, but the result is very worth it. The pretzels add a little something extra to the breading and the honey mustard gives the chicken a nice flavor, even if you don’t add extra as a dipping sauce. (Which, by the way, you can cut in half because it produces so much. Or serve it as a dressing for a side salad.) If you find yourself saying, “Oh, well I don’t really like mustard…” try this anyway and you may be surprised by it.

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Baked Apple with Crisp Topping

My entire food systems lab had been leading up to one thing – our special event. Each team in lab had to produce a dinner for 24 guests. Luckily for me, I had a fabulous team and our event went on without a hitch.

This was my favorite dish from the dinner, my group’s favorite dish, and 22 out of 24 guests’ favorite dish. With apples coming into season (at least in the U.S.), this dessert is perfect for making the most out of the seasonal fruit. The presentation is absolutely adorable and it is a great way to end a meal (especially if you add a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream to it).

Another bonus, this recipe can be prepped a few hours in advance. The topping and the apple can be prepared and then assembled later before dessert is served or the apple can be cooked and then served 1-2 hours later; it all depends on your preference and schedule. However you want to do it, this dessert makes for a really easy addition to your holiday meal.

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Eggplant Romesco Rigatoni

I am a huge fan of freezing things- especially soups and sauces. Because of their high moisture content, they reheat really well without drying out or changing texture.

While this recipe takes a relatively long time to make (for a sauce) you do end up with a lot of sauce, so if you are only cooking for one or two people, you’ll have enough sauce to freeze and use at a later time with a new batch of pasta. It’s a nice, meaty sauce (minus the meat!) and can easily fool picky eaters into eating more vegetables. After combining the sauce and the pasta, I like to add some mozzarella cheese and mix it in for a baked-ziti kind of dish.

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Updated Mac and Cheese

I’m not the biggest fan of mac and cheeses, but my class made this in food systems lab and after eating it, I believe it’s a worthy recipe for saving. Of course it has its comfort food quality, but because dietetics majors made it, you know it’s going to be at least a little bit healthier. And definitely not your kraft macaroni and cheese from a box. It’s definitely something to turn to for a weeknight meal in the middle of winter, surrounded by family or friends.

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Chickpea Soup with Greens, Onions, and Pasta

We made this soup in my Food Systems lab class, and even though I was eating it at 10 in the morning, it was still really good! I enjoyed having the solid chickpeas and noodles contrast with the soft Swiss chard. Definitely add the cheese on top at the end; even if it isn’t a lot of cheese, it does provide extra flavor.

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