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Showing posts from September, 2009

Lemony Shrimp Scampi Pasta - Melissa d'Arabian

***If you ask Brad what his favorite dinner is, Shrimp Scampi will definitely be at the very top of that list. THIS recipe from Southern Living magazine is the one that I usually follow, and it's been his favorite for a long time now. Recently, I was watching another episode of Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian , and she made her Lemony Shrimp Scampi Pasta. It looked easy, affordable and really tasty, so I decided to give it a try. There are a few key differences between this recipe and my old stand-by. First of all, I usually make Shrimp Scampi using angel hair pasta. This particular recipe calls for linguine. Secondly, the old recipe uses hot sauce, while this one uses red pepper flakes. The old recipe also incorporates green onions. I do really like that Melissa uses every bit of the shrimp in this recipe...including the shrimp shells. So, nothing goes to waste! With this dish, you'll learn how to whip up a quick shrimp stock, and then incorporate part of the s

Gorgeous Vol-Au-Vents with Homemade Puff Pastry!

Vol-Au-Vents with Crab, Avocado, Tomato and Lime Salad Vol-Au-Vents with Chocolate & Frangelico Flavored Whipped Cream + Fresh Strawberries ***The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon . She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan. We were given the chance to select our own filling recipes this month, which I loved. I made both a sweet and savory version. My fillings included (recipes are at the bottom of this post): 1. Crab, Avocado, Tomato and Lime Salad 2. Chocolate & Frangelico Flavored Whipped Cream with Fresh Strawberries & Blackberries The Crab Salad was incredible. It had a wonderfully fresh flavor. The sweet version was equally delicious...especially with the addition of Frangelico. That just sent it over the top! Homemade puff pastry is enough to make most people run for cover. It involves massive amounts of butte

And The Winner Is....

First of all....I want to say a HUGE "Thank You!" to every single person who took the time to enter my very first giveaway. Hopefully, this will only be the first of many. I'd love to start offering more giveaways here at Sugar & Spice for my wonderful readers! :) Now, on to our next order of business...announcing the big winner! Drumroll Please................................................................................................................................................................................................ The winner of a brand new copy of the Taste of Home Big Book of Soup cookbook is......................................................................................................................................................................................................... Comment #27 comes from jidgede She says... "my favorite?? YOUR taco soup!!!!! jennie in tn <><" Congratulations Jennie!!! Please e-mail me

A Fun Fall Giveaway!!!

There's always a big smile on my face this time each year...Autumn is here! It's without a doubt, my favorite time of the year. You can already feel it in the air here in Alabama! The rustle through the trees as the first leaves begin to change from green to a deep golden hue, the sight of a fun pumpkin patch decorated with yellow mums, and yes...even the spooky haunted house attractions that pop up throughout the city! I'm so excited about pumpkin pies, apples, pears, squash, cranberries, pumpkin spice everything , and hearty bowls of scrumptious SOUP! So, in order to celebrate the changing of the seasons, I'm so excited to tell you about my very first giveaway here at "Sugar & Spice by Celeste"! I'm giving away a beautiful, brand-new copy of the Taste of Home Big Book of Soup cookbook! Here's a blurb from the Taste of Home website with the details about the book: "There's nothing like a hot bowl of soup, and this book's full of them

Date Bars - King Arthur's Flour

I was so excited the other day when I visited Joelen's Culinary Adventures , and saw that I was the winner of her Foodie Freebie Friday Giveaway! I was the lucky winner of a month's subscription to King Arthur's Flour Mix n'Magic Baking Club! Check out my awesome loot HERE ! My goodies arrived very quickly and I got right down to business with the Date Bars Mix! Wow...this stuff was SO delicious! The mix made the Date Bars uber easy to put together, they baked up in a flash, and it wasn't long before Brad and I were digging in. The only thing that could have made these better would be a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! Now, I still have the Oatmeal Cranberry Cookie Mix, Soft Molasses Cookie Mix, and the Buttermilk Bran Muffins left. And I'm equally excited about trying all of them. I'll be sure to post my results! Oh, and if you haven't visited Joelen's Blog , then you are surely missing out! Her blog has long been one of my very favorites. She featu

Crazy-Good Crab Cakes!

I think it's so cool how certain foods just bring back warm memories from the past. Your Mom's Cornbread Dressing...your Grandmother's Cherry Pie....your favorite dessert from childhood...or in this case, some absolutely amazing crab cakes. I'm in a descriptive mood, so here we go...It was summertime a few years ago, and a warm breeze floated across the shimmering ocean and over the sand...eventually finding its way to me where it danced through my hair. It was a perfectly serene evening at the beach...If I close my eyes, I can smell the salt in the air and feel the sand between my toes at this very minute. The beautiful sounds of a live band wafted out of the restaurant and into my ears, and I browsed through an eclectic store just across the street while we waited for our table. Brightly colored, unique gifts filled the store...things that just scream "BEACH!" A funky, hand-painted kitchen table and chairs, a crazy wire statue, a zebra print ottoman.

Melissa d'Arabian's Crispy Skinned Chicken a l'Orange

***I adore a simple chicken recipe that's different from the same old thing, but also has a delicious flavor...and is very affordable! This recipe from Melissa d'Arabian is all of those things...Extremely easy, delicious, and affordable! If you're like me, you were an avid watcher of last season's "The Next Food Network Star." I was rooting for Melissa the entire time. She's like a breath of fresh air, and she proved to America that you don't have to be a professionally trained chef to be on national television. Instead, she's a home cook and simply loves to cook dinner for her adorable daughters and husband. If you ask me, she did a phenomenal job on the show and definitely deserved to win. So far, I've really enjoyed watching her new show, "Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa d'Arabian." Sure, she seemed a little bit nervous on her very first episode, but who wouldn't?? I watched her cook this recipe for Chicken a l'Orange,

Swiss & Prosciutto Tartine

***What in the world is a tartine, you say? Well, a tartine is traditionally an open-faced, French sandwich. They can be topped with countless combinations of meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and herbs. I've wanted to make a tartine ever since we traveled to Paris back in February of this year. This particular meal reminded me of a wonderful lunch we had in Paris at a sandwich shop. I had a delicious sandwich served on a fresh baguette....Mmm....I can taste it now! Yesterday, Brad and I were getting hungry and I was already busy working on the Daring Baker Challenge for this month (And no, I can't tell you what that challenge is until the 27th!) I didn't particularly want fast food...we were craving something scrumptious. Even more important, I wanted to make something easy! So, I peered into my fridge and pantry and realized that I could make a yummy tartine. I made THIS French Bread very recently, and I just so happened to have an extra baguette in the freezer. I popped

Lemony Honey Butter Glazed Chicken

***Okay, so I got a little creative in the kitchen again last night. Instead of following a recipe, I sort of looked in the pantry and went with what I had on-hand. Hey, it's a fantastic way to save money on food in this economy! And sometimes, you get a kick-butt recipe out of it. At my last trip to the grocery store, I asked the butcher to cut one of the whole roasting chickens into 8 pieces for me. Don't hesitate to ask your butcher to do the will make your job in the kitchen much, much easier! If you're like me, cutting up a chicken is not very high on my "Things I Like to Do" list. I decided first on the chicken...Next, I moved on to my next dilemma: How in the world did I want to prepare it? As I scanned my pantry for items my eyes came across artichoke hearts, a can of San Marzano tomatoes, and....peanut butter?? Um, No, No and NO! Was this pantry thing such a good idea after all? I looked some more....and then, I had it! Honey, Lemon and Butter.

Creamy Orzo with Asparagus & Parmesan

***After making this Athenian Orzo recently, I was inspired to try another orzo dish. Every once in a while, I'll get a little more creative than usual in the kitchen and attempt something completely new without using a recipe. This Creamy Orzo with Asparagus & Parmesan was my reward! This turned out way better than I expected. Brad and I both loved this side dish! The creamy orzo pairs perfectly with the yummy crunch of the asparagus...and of course, parmesan makes everything better! This dish pairs perfectly with a variety of main courses...chicken, steak or seafood. Next time, I may even add a little prosciutto or bacon to this. With that addition, it would even make a great meal in inself! Because it's been a few days since I made this, I am going to guesstimate at the quantities of the ingredients. Please feel free to adjust the quantities to your own liking. You can't mess this dish's super easy!*** Creamy Orzo with Asparagus & Parmes