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Shrimp Flower Appetizer

With another holiday meal coming up next weekend, I thought I’d share a variation of my Shrimp and Avocado Roumelade appetizer.  I fixed it a bit differently and tweaked the recipe too.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Start by gathering your ingredients. Remember my thrift store score of these parfait glasses? No one says they can only be used for ice cream. They are the perfect thing to create these pretty appetizers, just for us two.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

So, I combined the ingredients for the dressing, and split the avocado, shredded the lettuce and chopped it.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Place the chopped lettuce in the bottom, arrange the avocado like flower petals, add the dressing in the middle.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home<

Then add the shrimp.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

You can stop here, and have a lovely appetizer.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

One thing I like is Bold Smoked Salt. It is a large crystal, smoky flavor salt that goes well with seafood and veggies. You could also do some fresh cracked pepper with sea salt.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Dressed up or served plain, it is a festive appetizer that only takes a minute to prepare. It is perfect for a holiday or to make an everyday meal just a bit special.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Enjoy!!

Shrimp and Avocado Flower Appetizer

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or smoked paprika)
2 teaspoons horseradish sauce
8 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, chilled
1 medium avocado, peeled and sliced into eight slices
1/4 cup chopped lettuce
Optional – Bold Smoked Salt, Cracked Black Pepper

Mix mayonnaise with next three ingredients.  In pretty parfait glasses, place half of the lettuce in the bottom of each. Arrange avocado slices around the edge in a flower shape. Dollop dressing in the center. Add whole shrimp to the top fanning the tails out between the avocado. Optional, top with a pinch of bold smoked salt, or freshly ground black pepper. Two servings.

Shrimp Flower Appetizer at From My Carolina Home

Here is a download for you! – Shrimp and Avocado Flower

Do you have a quick and easy, special appetizer recipe?

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Pork Quesadillas

I often cook a pork roast in the slow cooker, but it makes way too much food for just two of us.  I have made it a mission to create recipes using the chopped pork to make different meals.  I generally cook the roast itself with simple spices to make it easy to turn the leftovers into something else, then divide it into three or four meals.  My basic recipe is on my post Pork Roast and More, or you can see the links in the Recipes page at the top of the blog.  This time, I used the leftover pork for a quick meal, suitable for just two, perfect to whip up dinner after a day of work.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

This is another of my no-need-for-a-recipe recipes, as you can add what you like. Here is what I gathered from the frig. Spinach and lettuce for crunch, flour tortillas, leftover pork and cheddar-jack cheese, tomatoes, green onions, and a fresh avocado.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

Start with heating up the pork in a large frying pan. This is the only way the quesadilla will get hot all the way through before the tortilla burns. Once the pork is thoroughly heated through, take it out and set aside.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

While it heats, chop the tomato and onion, and take the largest tough stems off the spinach.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

You can put the avocado on a side salad of lettuce and tomato, like I did. Then stuff it in the quesadilla as you eat it. This will keep the cold ingredients from wilting in the skillet.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

In the same skillet, lay a tortilla flat and add a serving of pork to one side.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

Quickly top with cheese, green onion, spinach and tomato. You can add anything else you want.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

Fold the free side of the tortilla over the stuffing.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

After a minute or so, turn the whole thing over to brown the other side and make sure the filling is heated through. This will make the flour tortilla a bit crispy too.  Trust me, it is a lot easier to do it this way than to try to flip 2 flat tortillas with filling between (ask me how I know, LOL!!).

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

When the second side is warm and lightly browned, serve with the avocado salad.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

It will take about 2 minutes to make another one, using more of the warm pork and filling ingredients.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

Yum, serve with some sour cream if you like, or taco sauce. The spinach is still vibrant green and has some crunch, yet mildly wilted, with melty cheese on moist and juicy pork filling. Yum! You could add beans or olives, jalapenos or bell peppers, whatever suits your taste and fancy.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

Chicken or steak left over work great in these too. They are kind of a kitchen sink dinner, whatever is left over can usually work, kind of like my Anything Quiche, but this meal will have a Mexican flair. Add some cumin or chipotle chili powder to the pork, or a bit of packaged taco seasoning mix to add more spice if you like spicy food.

Pork Quesadillas | From My Carolina Home

Enjoy!

 

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Homemade Guacamole with Green Onions

Today is Cinco de Mayo, which for our country is a great excuse to eat Mexican food (and maybe have a Margarita after work, LOL).  I love avocados, but the guacamole you get in a restaurant is usually full of raw white onions, which I don’t like.  So, I have a recipe for my own guacamole that is more to my taste, with milder onions and a few spices.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

I gathered what I had on hand to use. I didn’t have any fresh cilantro, which is a type of parsley, so I used some dried parsley.  The Chipotle Chili pepper will add a lot of heat, so use it sparingly.  If you don’t have this, use paprika.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Do you know the secret to picking perfect avocados every time? Buy them hard and not ripened, then leave them on the counter for a few days to ripen. They turn brown and black when they are squeezed in the store by people trying to buy ripe ones. When the little stem comes off the avocado easily and the flesh exposed is green, it is ready to eat.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Roughly chop the avocado and add your spices.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Mash together. Add lime juice and sour cream and mix well.  These will help prevent the guacamole from turning brown, and add some tang to the dish.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Remove the seeds from the tomato. Chop tomato and green onion. The milder green onion works well raw, and give the guacamole its characteristic crunch without the bitterness of white onions.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Add the tomatoes and onions to the avocado.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Serve and enjoy!

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Guacamole with Green Onions

1 ripe avocado
1 small tomato, seeded
1 green onion
1/8 teaspoon each garlic salt, lemon pepper, dried parsley and Chipotle pepper
1 tsp lime juice
1 tablespoon sour cream

Chop tomato and onion. Mash avocado, add spices, lime juice and sour cream.  Add tomatoes and onion.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Enjoy!

Guacamole | From My Carolina Home

Are you having Mexican food today?


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Dinosaur Eggs for Easter – a healthy alternative

I really enjoy doing silly stuff for the ladies that I work with.  For years I have done candy and sweets for various holidays, but with the staff we have now, one of the girls is diabetic.  I certainly cannot add to her difficulties with her diet by giving her sweets.  She is struggling hard with her weight, as we all do, and I am trying to lose weight as well.  So, what to do for an Easter goodie?

Colander project - 1

I was in World Market over the weekend, and I saw these little colanders.  Cute aren’t they?

Colander project - 2

I thought they would make a nice ‘basket’ for something, useable and geared toward a healthier idea for a gift. I got some green grass, and started thinking about eggs.  Hard boiled, maybe, but what might be a little different?

Colander project - 3

Then it hit me, avocados!!  I love them, they are readily accessible now too.

Colander project - 4

So, how do you like the dinosaur eggs?

Colander project - 5

Something for the girls that is healthy, yet seasonal!

Colander project - 6

Yes, I am a little crazy, but I think this is a cute idea for a sugar free gift.

Colander project - 7

I think they liked them too! Something good to eat, and a handy little kitchen gadget too.

Happy Easter!

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Christmas Tablescape and an Appetizer recipe

Whether the celebration is on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, the perfect menu needs a pretty setting.  This year I set my table with the Lenox Holiday Tartan china I inherited from my mother.  Red placemats embroidered with green holly leaves and cutwork are at each place, with matching napkins in holly berry metal napkin rings.

Christmas Table 2014 - 2

Under everything is a Christmas quilted table runner I made to fit the table.  It is made of blocks that I did as tests for a Block of the Month several years ago.  It was suggested that we use red and green for our practice blocks so we would have a Christmas quilt when we were done.  I liked that idea!

ChrTopper1

There are twelve 8-inch blocks in the center, and two 12 inch blocks on each end.  Three 8-inch blocks and two 12-inch blocks both add to 24 inches, so they fit with each other.

ChrTopper2

Then a border was added with cornerstones.  It looks cute by itself, and looks nice with a solid placemat too.

ChrTopper3

Each place has a dinner plate with a rimmed bowl in the center.  Coffee mugs and small bowls for the salad course complete the setting.  I also have bread plates, but didn’t put those out this year.  I’ll probably be using them for the cinnamon rolls I plan to bake for breakfast.

Christmas Table 2014 - 1

The center decoration has evergreen boughs with glittery birdhouses at each end next to the red candles.

Christmas Table 2014 - 4

Small Christmas music boxes are nestled into the faux evergreen branches. Each one plays a different Christmas song.

Christmas Table 2014 - 3

I used candle rings with gold balls and pine cones around the red candles.

Christmas Table 2014 - 5

I will use the pretty rimmed bowls for the appetizer course.

Shrimp Avocado Remoulade

The holiday menu is elegant yet doable by one slightly obsessive, foodie home cook.

Shrimp and Avocado Remoulade

Prime Rib with Sauteed Mushrooms

Buttery Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions

Pear Salad with Mayonnaise and Cheddar Cheese

Steamed Broccoli

Crusty French rolls with Butter

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Here’s the recipe for the appetizer.

Shrimp and Avocado Remoulade

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons ketchup

1/2 teaspoon paprika (or more to taste)

1 teaspoon horseradish sauce (optional)

12 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, deveined, chilled

1 medium avocado, peeled and cubed

lettuce leaves

Mix mayonnaise with next three ingredients, adding horseradish if some heat is desired.  Cut shrimp in half and add to a bowl with cubed avocado.  Add dressing by tablespoon, stir until the shrimp and avocado are lightly covered in the dressing.  The amount is variable by taste preference and size of the shrimp.  Serve on lettuce leaves.  Four servings.  Store the remainder of the dressing in a jar in the refrigerator, it will keep for a couple of weeks.

Shrimp Avocado Remoulade 2

We’ll enjoy our meal with a fire in the fireplace.  The table is set for four, with the end areas holding the serving dishes this year.

Christmas Table 2014 - 9

The library is also in here, and has our Christmas stockings this year. It makes a large, high ceiling room seem cozy.

Christmas Table 2014 - 8

Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday, full of love and laughter, family and friends.

Merry Christmas!!

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