Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Nonna used To Say...

Got Agita? It's Not What You Eat; It's What Eats You

Monday, August 26, 2013

Frozen Margarita Pie

Yep, any excuse for a party. Living in Victoria Gardens is like a 24/7 summer camp. My son likes to say that we party like a bunch of college students who don't have to wake up for class. Yep. We earned it.

Aside from the usual parties...The Christmas Crawl, New Year's Eve (Akvavit, anyone?), Cinco de Mayo, monthly Birthdays, we attend or host a Taco Party, It's May Party, It's Only 80 Degrees Party ;) and the latest....Lime Pickin' Party. Yep.

Got an invite....The Limes are ready for Picking, so bring a basket. We will provide the pizza and dessert. Bring what you drink.
The Host Couple, John and Felicia, have a unique citrus tree. As I mentioned in my post Lime Cookies this tree produces limes, lemons and honey bell oranges alternating every 4 months. Just-way cool. So it's lime season and a great reason to have a party.

I couldn't pass up trying out a new recipe. Any excuse, right? So what to bring, what to bring? Hmmm made Lime Cookies for a Taco Party, so I don't want to repeat. Finger snap! Margarita, anyone? I just happened to have Bacardi Margarita Mixer in my freezer. I used the basis of a popular Lemonade Pie recipe and combined it with cream cheese to give it more body....okay and more calories.

This frozen pie is perfect for a hot, summer evening party. The Margarita mixer is lime-tangy-sweet. If you want an easy dessert that's creamy and very refreshing, this is the one. It will not disappoint the adult palate.

I hear there's a frozen Mai Tai Daiquiri mix....Luau, anyone? Yep.

**tips: this is a simple pie to make, but it does need some prep thought. The night before-put mixer bowl, beater(s), can of condensed milk in refrigerator. Whipped topping should be thawed, but kept as cold as possible. Keep Margarita mix in freezer until ready to use. Doing this will keep the filling from becoming liquidy. FOLD in whipped not stir or mix briskly. Once pie crust is filled, cover with plastic wrap and freeze at least five hours or overnight. Great make-ahead dessert. You can use any flavor frozen concentrate-lemonade, limeade, orange, strawberry, pina colada, etc.

Quick Update: The pie got rave reviews! Not a crumb left on the plate. The Lime Pickin' Party was lots of fun with much laughter and good-natured teasing. We will be doing it again in lemon pickin' season!

Frozen Margarita Pie

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14oz) can sweetened, condensed milk
6 oz. frozen Bacardi Margarita mixer
12 oz frozen whipped topping
2 drops green food color (optional)

Pie crust:
Graham cracker pie crust, ready made
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbs sugar
5 1/2 Tbs butter, melted

To make pie crust: In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until combined. Pour into a 9inch pie plate and press mixture firmly along the bottom and sides of plate. Bake 7-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven, then chill before filling. OR don't bake and chill for 1 hour.

Put softened cream cheese into the cold mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add condensed milk and Margarita mixer and just mix until combined. By hand, fold in whipped topping and food coloring. Once combined, pour into graham cracker pie crust. Cover in plastic wrap and freeze.
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Remember To Make Memories At The Table

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Shrimp, Grape Tomato & Pasta

My son likes to cook. Being a modern husband he shares this duty with his wife. He often calls me for the details of a recipe at least once, okay, twice, even three times. Patience. I remind myself that cooking a good meal takes practice and I've been doing it for, uh, let's say, a long time. Hours after his final call will come the really final phone call...."Mom, it came out great!" The kid is a chip off the old, Italian block.

Back to the supper time phone calls....when Jared's phone number pops up on the caller ID and all I hear is a groan, I pretty much know there's a recipe dilemma.  The most common..."I forgot to defrost something to cook." Now, I have rarely faced this problem in my years of cooking. First, I am a obsessive compulsive grocery shopper. I get a high walking into a supermarket. Sooooo, I have enough pantry staples and frozen food in my freezer to survive a small war. Secondly, I take after my mother. She can grab 4 ingredients and create a feast fit for a queen. So, forgetting to defrost has never been a problem for me, BUT...this trait hasn't formed on my chip off the old, Italian block....yet.

When that supper emergency call comes in, I ask, "Do you have this, this, this or this?" If he has at least two on the list, we've hit a home run.  I will now give my dear foodie readers this gem of advice...Keep a bag of shrimp or a small bag of ready-made meatballs or a package of grilled & ready chicken strips and any frozen veggie in your freezer. If you do, you will never be stumped on what to cook tonight.

The recipe in today's post is simple, quick and tasty. The trick is season, season, season the few ingredients needed and you will enjoy this meal, heartily! It serves 1, so double or triple as needed.

Shrimp, Grape Tomatoes, & Pasta

6 large to jumbo shrimp, cooked or if fresh, deveined and tail removed
6 Grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1 Tablespoon olive oil + extra
1 handful fresh basil
1/2 cup broth, any flavor
3 cloves garlic
salt, pepper & garlic powder
angel hair pasta, enough for one serving OR
Rice sticks/noodles, yes, rice sticks
(I'm eating less wheat these days)

Put cleaned shrimp in a small bowl with garlic powder, salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil. Mix & set aside.  Begin cooking pasta according to directions. While pasta is cooking, drizzle Tbs. of oil in a pan and saute garlic cloves for about 2 minutes. Add grape tomatoes, sprinkled with a bit of salt and more garlic powder, and saute for 3 minutes. Add shrimp and cook approx. 3 minutes on each side. If  using pre-cooked shrimp then saute only 2 minutes.
Slowly add broth while gently stirring all browned bits together with broth. Simmer 2 minutes. Add fresh basil and simmer 1 minute. Drain pasta well.
Serve shrimp mixture over the pasta with a side salad and enjoy!
*you can add more broth, but first be sure to scrape together all those tasty brown bits in the pan, then add more broth.
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Remember To Make Memories At The Table