Cashmere Apron

shrimp scampi appetizer

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Next week is Labor Day and who couldn’t use some great appetizer recipes? This appetizer is “shrimply delicious!” This week we are posting some great appetizer ideas that we hope will get you in the holiday spirit. This shrimp scampi appetizer pairs nicely with one of our favorites, Chalk Hill Chardonnay.

Ingredients
2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell (we bought ours at Whole Foods)
3 Tb good olive oil
2 Tb dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 Tb (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 Tb minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp  crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Lemon wedges, for serving

PicMonkey Collage
Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp and if you like, sprinkle some dried panko all over the top.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 6. Compliments: Ina Garten

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garden bloom

Lead Garden Bloom
Fresh summertime fare has been the pursuit of Cashmere Apron this week. We see the “Back-To-School” commercials and ads everywhere. ESPN is a flurry with pre-season football analysis and games (yay). And Fall’s fashion trends have been revealing themselves to us since July (have you seen the size of the September InStyle issue-it’s their biggest EVER).

Being on the water on separate coasts though (C=Florida & T=Cali), summer is STILL in the air and we are taking our culinary inspiration from the season that hasn’t ended just yet. So enjoy today’s recipes which feature fresh foods right out of the garden- a blooming cocktail to go hand-in-hand with an heirloom tomato and white bean bruschetta (scroll below for bruschetta). Get your cocktail shaker out and fire up the grill cause summer is still in BLOOM.

Ingredients
1 strawberry
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
3/4 ounce Lavender-Rosemary Syrup (see recipe below)
2 ounces Sauvignon Blanc
3/4 ounce Grey Goose La Poire (pear-flavored vodka)
edible flowers to garnish

Directions
Muddle strawberry with lemon juice. Add Lavender-Roseemary Syrup, Sauvignon Blanc and vodka. Shake with ice. Double strain into an ice-filled glass. Float edible flower(s) on the surface of the drink.

Garden Bloom Collage

Lavender-Rosemary Syrup Ingredients
1 cup brewed lavender tea
1 cup white granulated sugar
25 leaves plucked from fresh rosemary sprigs

Lavender-Rosemary Syrup Directions
Bring all of the above to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low. Simmer on low for ten minutes. Let cool. Double strain into a glass jar or bottle and refrigerate.

Recipe courtesy of Natalie Bovis, The Liquid Muse, and Edible Cocktails

tomato, rosemary and white bean bruschetta

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This is the perfect appetizer for a warm summer evening. Fire up the grill and serve this bruschetta poolside with a cool glass of chardonnay or our beautiful “Garden Bloom” cocktail (see above)

Ingredients
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2- 4 inch sprigs plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
2 large ripe heirloom tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch dice (about three cups)
2 Tb chopped fresh mint
Kosher salt
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 to 2 Tb fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

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Heat the oil, garlic and rosemary sprigs in a small saucepan over medium heat until they start to sizzle steadily and become fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Let the oil cool to room temperature. Strain the oil into a measuring cup (if making ahead, store in the refrigerator and use within 3 days).

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Put the tomatoes in a medium bowl and toss with 3 Tb of the garlic oil, the mint and 1 tsp. salt.

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Put the beans in a food processor and add about 6 Tb of the garlic oil, the Parmigiano, 1 Tb of lemon juice, the chopped rosemary, and 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper; puree until smooth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper and lemon juice.

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Heat gas grill to medium-high heat or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. Brush both sides of the bread with the remaining garlic oil (if you run out, use plain olive oil to finish). Sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill the bread until crisp, with nice grill marks on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

PicMonkey Collage

Spread the grilled bread with the bean puree, top with a generous spoonful of the tomatoes and their juices, sprinkle lightly with pepper, and set out on a large platter for your guests to help themselves. Serves 10 to 12. Compliments: finecooking.com

Say a toast to your friends, enjoy the painted summer sky and watch the sun slip behind the ocean and out of sight.

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summer sangria

Summer Sangria LeadIt seems as if we have hit our summer stride…warm nights (blazin hot if you are in Florida with Christi), beautiful sunsets, meals on the patio and every reason to ignore the tick-tick-tick of the calendar and the impending change of the fall season. And following are two more reasons to keep summer going…a fresh, healthy and sustainable sangria (it’s totally organic, so that counts as healthy, right???) paired with light and crispy shrimp cakes. These two recipes scream SUM-SUM-SUMMERTIME!

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups diced organic fruit (peaches, strawberries and raspberries in this recipe. leave the raspberries whole)
1/4 cup honey syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 cup certified organic vodka
1/2 cup peach juice
2 bottles organic white wine (Pinot Grigio used here)

Fruit and Syrup

Directions
Place the diced fruit into a glass bowl or plastic food container. Drizzle with honey syrup, vodka and half the peach juice. Let marinate several hours. Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavor infusion. When ready to serve, strain the juice from the fruit into a large pitcher. Save the fruit. Add remaining peach juice and all the wine to the juice in the large pitcher. Spoon one spoonful of marinated fruit mixture into each glass, fill with ice and top with wine mixture.

Honey Syrup

Ingredients
1 part honey
1 part water

Directions
Slowly heat honey and water into a small saucepan, stirring often, until nearly boiling. Let cool, then store in a sealable bottle. Refrigerate. Recipe from Edible Cocktails by Natalie Bovis, The Liquid Muse

Final Sangria Collage

pineapple and ginger cocktail

LeadIngredients
2 shots of Pineapple vodka (we use Skyy)
1 shot of Cointreau
Ginger beer
1 whole pineapple or pineapple spears, cut into squares
1 orange, cut into thick slices
drink toothpicks
crushed ice

Drink Collage

Directions
Add crushed ice to a martini shaker. To the shaker add the pineaple vodka and cointreau and shake. Pour evenly into two cocktail glasses. Top with ginger beer, add ice and mix gently.

For garnish, use drink toothpicks and layer a small piece of pineapple leaf (if you used a whole pineapple), a cube of pineapple, an orange spear, a pineapple leaf and another pineapple cube. Place gently across cocktail glass and serve. Aloha.

 

ahi poke

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The trick to this recipe is to buy sashimi grade tuna

I went out on a limb with this recipe because I don’t eat fish myself (that’s Christi talking, not Terry). The recipe sounded so yummy (if I did like fish) so I thought to myself, “Why not give it a shot?” I went online to read other ahi poke recipes and the most frequent advice I found was to buy sashimi grade tuna. I went to our local fish market, followed the instructions to this recipe and in about 15 minutes witnessed two grown men alongside my 14-year-old daughter fight over who was going to get the last bite! Yay, a successful fish experience from a non-fish eater!  They all three said to post this on our blog so here it is….

This recipe makes 4 servings
Ingredients
3/4 pound sashimi grade tuna steak, diced small
1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and small dice
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and small dice
1/4 cup fresh chopped green onion
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tb toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup soy sauce

Directions
In a medium bowl combine the tuna, cucumber, avocado, green onions, red pepper flakes and toasted sesame seeds. Pour in the lemon juice, sesame oil and soy sauce and stir carefully to blend so not to mash the avocado. Place this bowl into a larger bowl that has been filled with ice. Chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes but no longer because the fish will begin to cook and the freshness of the fish will be lost.

Once chilled, remove the bowl from the ice and plate the poke. Serve with toasted bread, your favorite crackers or tortilla chips.

 

low carb strawberry crunch smoothie

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My daughter is a Type-1 Diabetic so I am always looking for low carb treats for her. I was particularly interested in this smoothie because of the chia seeds that are incorporated into the drink (see health benefits below). I know they aren’t as enticing as a box of Little Debbie snacks but I promise they will bring more to the party than Little Debbie ever did!

  1. Chia seeds help you to lose weight by reducing food cravings
  2. Chia seeds help to hydrate your body
  3. Chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 which protects our bodies against inflammation
  4. Chia seeds help to reduce blood pressure
  5. Chia seeds are beneficial to diabetics because they slow down how fast our bodies convert carbohydrates into simple sugars

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  Make sure to check the back label.  Try to find the one that only has 2 grams of carbs for every cup.
1/2 cup frozen organic strawberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon.  Cinnamon is a great tool for helping to control blood sugars.
2 tsp raw almonds
1 Tb chia seeds
Splenda to sweeten if desired

Healthy Yumminess

Healthy Yumminess

Directions
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  The whole smoothie has roughly 7-8 carbs.

 

ultimate nachos

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Ingredients
2- 9 ounce bags of tortilla chips
1 can refried beans
2 cups of your favorite chili
1 small sweet onion, diced small
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 fresh jalapeño, seeded and sliced thin
2 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup homemade guacamole
freshly chopped cilantro

Directions
Heat oven to 450 degrees and arrange the oven rack into the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the  tortilla chips out on the baking sheet and distribute the beans on top of the chips. Sprinkle the onions and the chili all over the top of the chips then cover with the cheese.

Bake the nachos until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top of the nachos with the chopped tomato. Finally, put a dollop of the sour cream and the guacamole on the very top of the nachos and sprinkle with the sliced jalapeño peppers and the fresh cilantro to your liking.

coconut shrimp

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Ingredients
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
2 cups dry breadcrumbs
kosher salt and ground pepper
2 cups all purpose flour
4 large eggs, beaten
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Dipping sauce
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1-2 Tb dark rum

vegetable oil, for frying

Directions
In a large bowl, combine coconut and breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Place flour, eggs, and breadcrumb mixture into 3 separate bowls. Dredge the shrimp in the flour and shake off excess. Dip the shrimp into the eggs then into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the shrimp are well coated with the breadcrumbs and coconut. Lay the shrimp out so that they do not touch on a parchment-lined baking sheet until ready to fry. In a fryer or a large Dutch oven, heat several inches of oil to 350 degrees. Fry shrimp in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

For the dipping sauce: heat the marmalade in a small saucepan over low heat. Thin out the marmalade with the rum as desired. Serves 6 to 8.

Cooked to perfection

 

 

homemade grilled corn guacamole

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Ingredients
3 Hass avocados, peeled, pit removed and chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup onion, small dice
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded small dice
3 ears of grilled corn, cut off  the cob
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Gently mix the above ingredients and serve in a bowl with corn chips on the side. Serves 4 to 6.

avocado feta and corn salsa

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Ingredients
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 avocados, diced small
1/4 cup chopped, sweet onion
2 ears of fresh corn, grilled and cut off the cob
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped, fresh cilantro
1 Tb olive oil
2 Tb red wine vinegar
4 oz crumbled, feta cheese
pinch, red pepper flakes or 1 jalapeño seeded and chopped fine
salt and pepper

Directions
Mix all ingredients and serve with corn chips

mango jalapeño margarita

Margarita with a little kick!

Margarita with a little kick!

Ingredients
2 jalapeño split in half and seeded
2 ounces Cointreau
1.5 ounces jalapeño Tequila (instructions below)
2 ounces Rose’s Lime Juice
2.5 ounces Mango mixer
splash diet Sprite

Directions
Let the jalapeño marinate in the tequila for 24 hours or longer. Mix the rest of the ingredients along with the jalapeño tequila. Mix well and pour over ice.
Serves 1

black bean and avocado salsa

IMG_3763Ingredients
6 green onions, chopped small
8 radishes, chopped small
2 avocado, chopped small
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
juice of two limes
1/4 cup vegetable oil (do not use olive oil)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

Directions
Combine all ingredients and mix gently. Can be served with tortilla chips or over grilled chicken or fish.

mango jalapeño margarita

Margarita with a little kick!
Margarita with a little kick!

Ingredients
2 jalapeño split in half and seeded
2 ounces Cointreau
1.5 ounces jalapeño Tequila (instructions below)
2 ounces Rose’s Lime Juice
2.5 ounces Mango mixer
splash diet Sprite

Directions
Let the jalapeño marinate in the tequila for 24 hours or longer. Mix the rest of the ingredients along with the jalapeño tequila. Mix well and pour over ice.
Serves 1