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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Warm Your Tummy With Greek Spices While Frosting Your Cupcakes!

Happy Tuesday all! I made sure to lay out time just for you because I don't want you to feel forgotten! Today I'm bringing you one of my faaaaaaaaaaavorite shrimp recipes (Bonus: it's healthy too!) AND a tip for today - literally. First, the shrimp. This bad boy uses a variety of interesting spices that all meld together into one deliciously aromatic dish. I serve it with a multi grain baguette.

Greek-Spiced Baked Shrimp
Gourmet Andrea Albin, Nov 2008

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 1/4 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/4 pound feta, crumbled (2/3 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
Accompaniments: crusty bread or steamed white rice; a green salad

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  2. Cook onion and garlic in oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in spices and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes with juice and sugar and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Season shrimp with 1/8 teaspoon salt, then stir into tomato sauce. Transfer to a 2-quart shallow baking dish and top with feta. Bake until just cooked through, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve sprinkled with dill.

Now for my baking tip of the day! Woot woot.

This weekend I made special birthday cupcakes, using a new recipe I might add - very moist and sticky - just how I like my cupcakes. I topped my spectacular mini cakes with swirls of vanilla cream cheese frosting because it's a very stable frosting. Getting that bakery-quality swirl on top of your cupcake is easy, if you start from the right side and move up the mountain. Using a star tip in a pastry bag filled with your frosting of choice, start at the outside of the cupcake. Putting light pressure on the bag while holding it steady with your other hand, circle the cupcake, working your way in. As you get closer to the center, allow your hand to rise slightly, creating more of a mound of multi-dimensional deliciousness, rather than a flat plane of frosting. Release the pressure on the bag before moving it away from your cake. Work slowly; this gets easier with the 6th cupcake you'll be a pro!

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