zesty bacon wrapped shrimp

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Just like we would recommend with your Thanksgiving turkey, brining is a great way to lock in moisture and ensure these shrimp don’t dry out on the grill! It’s not an entirely necessary step, but we love it if you have time! To brine, combine 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup sugar and 4 cups water, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the ice and shrimp and let sit for 30 minutes at a maximum. Remove the shrimp and pat them dry.

In a bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, chili powder, lime juice, lime zest and a pinch of salt. Add the shrimp and toss well to coat.

In order to get the bacon thoroughly cooked on the grill (without overcooking the shrimp!) you should partially cook the bacon ahead of time. Either in the oven or the microwave, cook until the bacon begins to cook but is still pliable.

Heat the grill to high heat. Wrap the partially cooked bacon around the shrimp and secure on skewers (flat ones if you have them!). Brush with extra marinade from the bowl and grill uncovered for 3 minutes on each side, or until the bacon is browned and the shrimp are just cooked through.

When done, remove from the grill and serve with an extra squeeze of lime juice and some fresh cilantro! These skewers are great by themselves as an appetizer, in shrimp tacos, or served with beans and rice! Yum!

strawberry shortcake in a jar

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Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons of sugar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch baking dish and bake until golden, 18-20 minutes.

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a wire rack to cool slightly. Cut into small cubes.

Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.

Assemble the jars by placing shortcake on the bottom, followed by whipped cream and strawberries.

*Note- To take this recipe up a notch, mix the strawberries and sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375°F and roast strawberries for 30 minutes before placing in shortcake jar. YUM!

zucchini cakes & herb garlic sauce

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farmers market guide

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Market season is here and we can’t wait to get our hands on some fresh local produce! There is something magical about getting up and heading into the local market and browsing through all of the local fruits, vegetables, meats, as well as talking to all of the wonderful farmers. Stay tuned, as I feature some of our favorite market recipes to use up all of the market goodies you pick up, as well as some shopping and preserving tips!

In the meantime…..

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cherry & pistachio stuffed french toast

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In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, thawed cherries, 2 tablespoons of reserved cherry juice, honey, salt and pistachios. Mix until combined and the mixture turns pink. Cut a slit down the middle of each challah slice, creating a pocket but not cutting all the way through. Stuff each piece with a hearty amount of filling. Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator or freezer to chill and firm up, about 30 minutes.

Heat a heavy duty skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the milk, heavy cream, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Dip the stuffed challah into the milk/cream mixture turning every so often to allow the bread to soak up the liquid. Since the slices are pretty thick make sure they soak up enough liquid. Add a pat of butter to the skillet and swirl it around to melt. Place the soaked french toast, two pieces at a time (depending on the size of your skillet), and cook for 3-5 minutes on the first side or until golden brown. Flip and continue to cook another 3 minutes. Keep the finished toast on a baking sheet in a 250°F oven while you cook the rest.

To make the glaze, brown the butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan until it’s amber to brown in color, about 5 minutes. Watch closely to avoid burning! Transfer the butter, including the brown bits at the bottom of the pan to a large mixing bowl. Add the confectioners‘ sugar, vanilla bean paste and a pinch of salt. Slowly add the milk or cream, whisking until smooth. Add additional cream or confectioners’ sugar to reach the desired consistency.

Serve french toast immediately with a drizzle of glaze, a sprinkling of pistachios or maple syrup!