Quick and Easy Seafood Alfredo

This seafood Alfredo recipe is easy, simple and relatively inexpensive. It takes as long to cook as the pasta takes to boil!

I love seafood. I like it any way I can get it and I created this easy seafood pasta dish that you can use for a light meal, or as a side dish or an appetizer.

Ingredients:

Shrimp (4 – 8 ounces)

Scallops or crab meat (4 – 8 ounces)

Old Bay Seasoning

5 – 6 whole Mushrooms (diced)

Alfredo Sauce (16 ounces)

1/4 Chopped onions (if desired)

1 TBSP Minced garlic

Grated Parmesan Cheese

Pasta of your choice (Spaghetti, Rotini, Ziti, etc.)

Olive Oil

Parsley flakes or Italian seasoning for garnish.

Spinach (4-6 ounces if desired)

This dish is so quick, you should first start boiling water with salt (or oil) for the pasta. When the water boils, add a handful of pasta, and cook until your desired texture. While this is happening, proceed to cook the sauce as instructed below.

Now, in most of my pasta dishes I like using minced garlic and onions as a base. The first thing to do is clarify the garlic and onions in olive oil, sprinkled with a little bit of Old Bay Seasoning in a 10 – 12 inch frying pan. Reduce the heat to medium and then add the seafood and cook until it is pink. I like mushrooms in mine, and sometimes spinach. But if you add mushrooms and spinach, make sure the onions and garlic are clarified first, and the seafood has already been cooked.

Add the Alfredo sauce. This recipe will make it thick and rich with seafood content. If you prefer more sauce, then add more sauce or milk and butter to stretch it out. Dust with more Old Bay Seasoning, reduce heat and simmer on low.

I prefer to add Italian Seasoning at this point – just enough to powder the top of the sauce and stir. Some people may not want any seasonings in their sauce, so you may prefer to keep some to the side for those who wish to garnish their own, with either the Italian seasoning or parsley.

At this stage, I prefer to melt the Parmesan cheese into the sauce as I do not keep leftovers. However, if you believe this dish will be too much for your family to manage in a sitting, you may want to add a sprinkle of the Parmesan cheese to the dish as it is served hot on the table.

When the pasta is done, add to a plate and cover with the sauce. Garnish to taste.

This is so tasty, that people will swear you stole it from a restaurant!

Enjoy!

The Braai Recipes That You Have Been Searching For

There is nothing better than celebrating the summer months with a braai outside in the beautiful sun. Now the only thing that can complete this scene is, of course, the perfect braai recipes. But how do you choose the perfect recipes for a braai? After all, you want to make sure that you have got the best variety and that means cooking several types of meat in different ways. If you are preparing the braai meal, you should have at least three different types of meat on offer, as well as a fully-fledged selection of salads at your disposal.

The braai icons

One of the most famous braai dishes is the potato salad. No braai is complete without it! Here are a few pointers on how to get it just perfect. One of the oldest potato salad tricks is to lightly boil and then roast your potatoes before you turn them into salad. By all means ensure that they are roasted with the skin off, but make sure that they have a chance to get that great oven roast flavour. This will also add depth to your potato salad. The next trick is to use a light mayonnaise instead of the normal one that has a distinctive taste to it. You should also be sure to balance it out with a lot of garlic for that extra dash of flavour.

The next icon at a braai is the meat. You can cook this in any way that you please, but one of the most popular ways to do it is to make a barbecue sauce marinade. One of the best ways to go about this is to combine tomato sauce, sugar, soy, and essence of smoke. Let it sit, put some BBQ spices in it and you will have the perfect sauce to marinate your meat in. The ideal marinating time for meat is about thirty hours in the fridge, after which you can cook it on your braai and let it roast up to that goodness that we all love so much. After it has cooked to your satisfaction, let it sit for a few minutes for the flavour to seep in and then sit back and enjoy.

Have you ever wished for a better braai table to put your braai goods on? How about one that has a braai at its centre? Having an all-inclusive braai/BBQ solution is now a possibility!

4 Recipes for No Bake Pie Crusts

For no-bake pie crusts, you can experiment with just about any crispy ingredient as your base. Pretzels, potato chips or shortbread cookies come to mind.

Before you start experimenting, here a 4 tested and proven to work no-bake pie crust recipes. These no-bake crusts are suitable for cream fillings or fillings cooked on the stove top and cooled before adding to the pie.

Why turn on the oven if you don’t have to? Use these recipes for your summer pies.

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

This crust is perfect for cream pies and gelatin based no-bake cheesecakes.

1 cup Graham cracker crumbs

1 teaspoon flour

1/2 cup softened butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.) Crush crackers to fine crumbs in a zip top bag with a rolling-pin. Combine with remaining ingredients and mix well using your fingertips.

2.) Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and sides of a pie plate.

3.) Put in the refrigerator to chill.

Almond Cream Pie Crust

1 cup Graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup of toasted almond slivers

1/4 cup soft butter

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 Tablespoon heavy cream

1.) Grind crackers and toasted almonds to fine crumbs using a rolling pin or food processor.

2.) Mix with butter, almond extract and heavy cream.

3.) Press into pie plate and set in refrigerator to chill until needed.

Notes: You can experiment with different nuts and extracts for this crust. Try using pecans or hazelnuts. Toast nuts in a dry pan on the stove top to bring out more flavor.

Cereal Crumb Pie Crust

Don’t throw your cereal crumbs away! Collect them and in a few days, you’ll have more than enough crumbs to make a tasty pie crust.

5 Tablespoons butter

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 cup cornflake crumbs

1.) Melt butter, add sugar and crumbs. Mix well. Press into bottom and sides of pie plate and place in refrigerator to chill until needed.

Notes: Don’t stop at just cornflakes. Use rice cereal, bran flake type cereal or even fruit loops. If you really like to experiment, then try a combination of two or thee types of cereal.

Holland Rusk Pie Crust

Holland rusks are toasted bread circles used mainly for canapes and dips. If you can’t find them in your local area, they can be ordered online or you can use Melba toasts, which are similar.

1 cup Holland rusk crumbs

1/2 cup softened butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1.) Mix rusk crumbs with butter, sugar and cinnamon.

2.) Press into bottom and sides of pie plate and chill until needed.

Notes: You may need to double this recipe for deep dish pies.

Different Types of Birthday Cakes!

The idea of delicious birthday cakes comes with the excitement of celebration, meeting friends and family along with doing a lot of other things. The birthday cake is an integral part of all these celebrations. Be it a kid or an adult, if you are hosting a birthday party, ordering a delicious cake is mandatory. But, given the extensive variety, one is bound to get confused when they step out to choose a cake. After all, choosing a cake depends on several factors like the age of the birthday boy or girl, the type of celebration, the size of the cake required, etc.

Here is a brief idea about the type of birthday cakes that will help you in understanding the variety and accordingly choosing the right option.

The designer cakes

This is the latest fad and consists of unique cakes with designs that can really sweep you off your feet. You can opt for simple designs or something really fancy depending on your budget and the scale of celebrations that you have in mind. Needless to say, everything designer is a little expensive and so are these cakes.

The tiered cakes

Yet another interested option, tiered cakes are good for big birthday parties thanks to their extravagant sizes. For simple parties, most people like to settle with a two tiered cake but you can take it as high as you want.

Rich cream cakes

If the birthday boy or girl is a chocolate fan, opt for a rich cream cake. With less of bread and more of cream, these cakes are simply delicious and tend to melt with the first bite. So, your guests are guaranteed to enjoy the flavor and give you several compliments for the delicious choice.

The cake brownie

This is a combo cake for people who want to choose something really different. The cake brownie combos are usually heavy cakes with lesser focus on the icing. It is ideal for parties where the cake is the main dessert.

Ice cream birthday cakes

Another addition to the list of fancy options, these are birthday cakes prepared with ice-cream flavors. They look tempting and delicious as well. However, if you are hosting a big party, storing these cakes till the celebrations begin, is a little difficult. This is because the ice cream makes it melt faster as compared to the other options.

These are just the basic varieties of cakes that are available in the market. As soon as you step into a bakery, you will find several more customized options to choose from. However, always remember to choose a good looking cake that is going to be delicious as well. After all, you don’t want your guests to complain about the bad taste on their palate in spite of ordering a good looking cake. Do you?

Black Bean Soup: The Healthy Soup

Eating soups is one of the most comforting foods you can ever eat especially during the colder, winter days as it helps you keep your temperatures at warm. There are a lot of different soups and recipes you can find that match your taste and preference if you want to eat one and most of them can easily be made at home with ingredients fresh from the market.

One of the many exotic soups you can find that is equally delectable and healthy is the black bean soup. This soup is especially poplar in the Latin American region and is made from black turtle bean.

The black turtle bean has a meaty, dense texture and a flavor very similar to that of mushrooms making it a very popular dish among vegetarians. It is used in most Latin American dishes such as Feijoada of Brazil, Moros con Cristianos of Cuba, Gallo Pinto of Costa Rica and Pabellon Criollo of Venezuela.

Black bean soup is a very healthy dish also as it is low on calories yet high on fiber; it contains low cholesterol and saturated fat plus, diabetic people will find comfort knowing that this dish is tagged as diabetic appropriate. So, if you want to eat healthy and would really like to try out this dish, here is the recipe.

Ingredients;

1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 onion, small, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cans of 15-ounces black bean, rinsed
3 cups of water
½ cup of prepared salsa, can be store bought or homemade
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons sour cream, preferably reduced fat (optional)
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

What you need to do;

Heat the canola oil in a medium sauce pan on a medium-high heat until the sauce pan is hot, but not smoking. Then, add chopped onions and cook them until translucent for about 2-3 minutes.

Add chili powder and cumin and keep on cooking for about 1 more minute.

Add the beans, salsa, water and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and then simmer for about 10 minutes.

Next, remove from heat and add lime juice then stir.

Pour half of the mixture into a blender and begin to puree. After attaining a soft creamy texture, pour back to the remaining grainy mixture and serve with sour cream and/or cilantro if desired.

Black Bean Soup is very easy to make and can be prepared by anyone at home. Just do it with caution as pureeing hot liquids can be harmful if not done properly. Enjoy this dish anytime and keep your body healthy.