Country Tomato Basil Soup

I love Tomato Basil soup and I first had this at a local restaurant, it is the best tomato basil soup I have ever had hands down. I heard that sometimes the chef gave the recipe out but I had no luck getting it from her. Talking to a friend, I happened to mention the wonderful Tomato Basil soup, as luck would have it she had the recipe. It was hand written on a piece of paper and not all the measurements were listed. After making it a few times I got it perfect.  Hope you enjoy it as much as my family does.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 Cup carrots diced
1/2 cup onion diced
1/2 cup celery diced

Heat the oil in a medium size pot over medium heat, along with the carrots, onion, and celery. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes. then add the following ingredients:

1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 to 3/4  cup freshly chopped basil
3 – 14oz cans of stewed tomatoes

Cook over medium heat bring to a boil and reduce, cook for another 10 minutes. Puree the soup with blender or immersion blender and add the following ingredients:

1 cup warm milk
2 cups apple juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Reheat and serve plain or with fresh basil garnish

Balsamic Glaze

This balsamic glaze is from a 5 star restaurant and it is so delicious and easy to make. It adds so much flavor to any dish. It is also works well to decorate a plate for a nice presentation. I can get my kids to eat almost anything if I drizzle it on top.

1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Cup Sugar

Combine and cook until it is reduced by 2/3 it will be a syrup consistency. Watch carefully because it will burn if over cooked and taste terrible. Pour into a squeeze bottle. Enjoy!

Oatmeal Cake with Carmel Pecan Frosting

Oatmeal Cake

This is one of my favorite cakes from my childhood. It is moist, delicious and definitely a crowd pleaser.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan

In a small bowl add
1 cup quick oats
1-1/2 cups boiling water
Pour water into the oats, stir, and let cool while mixing the other ingredients

In a mixing bowl add
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cube butter or margarine softened
2 eggs well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed
Add the oats and water mixture
Mix for 1 minute on medium speed
In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients and stir to mix
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp, baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Add to cake batter and mix 1 minute at medium speed until well blended
Pour the batter into a greased and floured 9×13 inch pan
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes

Coconut Pecan Topping
In a medium saucepan add
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 Tablespoon milk
Heat on medium heat until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved
Stir in
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Pour topping over cooled cake and put under broiler until topping is lightly brown. Watch carefully, it burns easily.

Oatmeal Cake

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail is so delicious and easy to make. Roasting the shrimp gives it a more complex flavor, I love to make this for parties. I usually get a large pack of shrimp from Costco. To keep the costs down, I don’t get the 12-15 count, I get the 21-25 count, they are already deveined and the tails left on.They taste wonderful and make a nice presentation.

For shrimp

2 pounds (12 to 15 count) shrimp
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the sauce

1/2 cup chili sauce (recommended Heinz)
1/2 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (recommended Tabasco)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place then on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them in one layer. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes, just until pink and firm and cooked through. If using smaller shrimp (21-25 count) cook 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

For sauce, combine the chili sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Serve as a dip with the shrimp.

For individual servings I place 1 teaspoon of sauce, one small lemon wedge and one shrimp in container such as miniature martini glass, shot glass or mini plates. Party city has a nice selection of these items.

I got this recipe from the Food Network
This recipe was adapted from 2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to the Basics

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Roasted Shrimp CocktailRoasted Shrimp Cocktail

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