• Recipes

    Yum Yum Shrimp Boil

    When it comes to seafood, my family seems to devour it like hungry wolves. We seriously can’t get enough. (Emily’s family – not so much, but that’s another story.) Not a week goes by where we don’t eat seafood in some form or another. Maybe we should seek out shrimp-aholics anonymous.

    This recipe is one of our absolute favorites. There are many variations and ours is by no means an exact science. (It kind of mimics Old Bay’s Shrimp Boil Shrimp Fest Recipe with several tweaks.) I know we don’t share recipes on EJD very often, but when we do, you can count on them being something that we absolutely love to make and eat.

    You will need some smoked sausage, polska kielbasa or something similar. I usually choose smoked turkey sausage, which still tastes amazingly sinful, but cuts out quite a few more calories and fat. We also use 5 red potatoes, 3 ears of corn on the cob, 1 lb. of shrimp, 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning, and 1 Tbsp salt.

    Shrimp Boil 1

    To start, fill a stock pot about half way full of water and put in on the stove top to boil.

    While that is heating up, chop up the smoked sausage and red potatoes into bite sized pieces and cut your corn into 2-3 inch sections.

    Shrimp Boil 2

    Next, add the Old Bay Seasoning and salt to the water, do the hokey pokey, and mix it all around.

    Shrimp Boil 3

    Once the whole combo is boiling hot, grab your timer. Throw in the potatoes and set the timer for 7 minutes. When the bell sounds, put in the sausage and allow another 4 minutes to pass. Ding, ding. Next is the corn. That needs about 8 minutes. By now it is smelling super yummy. Toss the shrimp in and allow everything to keep on cooking for another 4 minutes, then strain and serve to your hungry bunch.

    Shrimp Boil 4

    There are only 4 of us and with this amount, we definitely had plenty. Feel free to tweak it to your liking.

    Shrimp Boil 5

    Yum Yum Shrimp Boil from Elizabeth Joan Designs

    4 servings

    – 1 lb. Uncooked Shrimp, Shell On
    – 1 lb. Summer Sausage, cut into 1 inch portions
    – 5 Red Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
    – 3 Ears of Corn, divided into 2-3 inch sections
    – 1/4 Cup Old Bay Seasoning
    – 1 Tbsp. Salt
    – 12 Oz. Beer (optional)
    – Water
    – Parsley

    Combine the water, Old Bay Seasoning, salt and beer in a pot and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and allow to boil for 7 minutes. Add sausage and allow to boil for 4 minutes. Add corn and allow to boil for 8 minutes. Add shrimp and continue boiling for another 4 minutes. Strain, garnish with parsley, and serve.


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    We All Scream, For Ice Cream!

    “This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wet-Nap, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #showusyourmess  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

    Here in upstate New York, everyone is eagerly awaiting the warm weather to arrive and stick around a bit. But, as usual, mother nature is taking her sweet old time. To show her that she can’t bring us down with her frigid windy weather and casual snow storms, I decided to have an ice cream party for myself my boys.

    Ice Cream Party 3

    I headed off to Walmart, you know, because of their every day low prices, to pick up some of the essentials for the party. While I was there, I decided to forgo the traditional napkins and picked up a canister of Wet-Nap. After all, this was a party for a 2 year old and 4 year old. Things were bound to get messy. (I used a $0.55 off coupon. You can get it here, while supplies last.)

    Ice Cream Party 5

    As party time was approaching, my four year old kept reminding me “Mommy, it’s not just any party. It’s an ice cream party!” To say that he was excited would probably be an understatement.

    I set up the ice cream bar, using a fun colorful bed sheet I had purchased at the thrift store for only $2 as my table cloth. It was the perfect thing to bring some bright cheeriness to our gathering.

    Ice Cream Party 1

    I also made a few tissue paper flowers for more color. The back drop of my display was a chalkboard wall we have in our playroom. This made for inexpensive decorating.

    Ice Cream Party 6

    Aqua washi tape was added to my neon green plastic spoons to jazz them up a bit. Super simple!

    Ice Cream Party 12

    My little men had a blast with this party.

    Ice Cream Party 4_edited-1

    As predicted, things got pretty messy.

    Ice Cream Party 7

    Ice Cream Party 2

    But nothing my two year old couldn’t clean up. The Wet-Nap made it a breeze!

    Ice Cream Party 9

    So, take that mother nature! Finally, a win for us!

  • Recipes

    Loaded Red Potato Soup

    During cold and flu season, I strictly crave comfort food. This year is no different. My family has been sick for a couple weeks and a few of us still are. I am finally feeling a little better and ready to get back in the kitchen and cook. This loaded red potato soup is one of my favorites this time of year.

    Loaded Red Potato Soup 6

    Here are the ingredients I used (plus water, not pictured.)

    Loaded Red Potato Soup 5

    First, I used sharp shears to cut the bacon into small pieces which was then cooked in a skillet and set aside. Mmmm bacon!

    Loaded Red Potato Soup 2

    Next, I fried the onions and garlic in olive oil until tender.

    Loaded Red Potato Soup 4

    Then, the potatoes were cubed and boiled in a large pot until soft.

    Loaded Red Potato Soup 1

    After that, I drained the potatoes and added the cooked onions, garlic, half the amount of crispy bacon, milk, water and spices to the pot. It was all brought to a boil and then I turned the burner to simmer for 20 minutes. I mashed the potatoes a couple times to break up the chunks a bit. This helped thicken the soup.

    Finally, I stirred in 2 cups of shredded cheddar until melted. The soup was dished up and garnished with cheese and bacon. As my husband always says, “Everything is better with bacon!” I know a lot of people in my family would tend to agree with him.

    Loaded Red Potato Soup 8

    We would love to hear about your favorite comfort foods that get you through this time of year. Hope everyone is staying well.

    Loaded Red Potato Soup from Elizabeth Joan Designs
    Yield 4 servings

    – 14 small to medium red potatoes – cubed
    – 1 onion – chopped
    – 2 cloves garlic – minced
    – 6 strips of bacon
    – 1 cup of water
    – 3 cups of milk
    – 2 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
    – 1/4 teaspoon salt
    – 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    – 1 teaspoon parsley
    – 1 Tablespoon olive oil

    1. Cut the bacon into small pieces and brown in a skillet.
    2. Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil until tender.
    3. Cube potatoes and boil in a large pot until soft.
    4. Drain the potatoes and add the cooked onions, garlic, half the amount of crispy bacon, milk, water and spices to the pot and bring to a boil.
    5. Simmer for 20 minutes.
    6. Stir in cheese.
    7. Garnish with bacon and cheese.


  • Recipes

    Grilled Bread Salad

    A few years back, I took a knife skills cooking class and made a salad that over the years has transformed into the one I will be sharing with you today. This salad is so delicious and bursting with flavor.

    Grilled Bread Salad from Elizabeth Joan Designs

    Olive oil for brushing bread
    1 Baguette
    6 Handfuls of salad greens
    Fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
    4 oz. Spicy capicola, thinly sliced and cut into bite size pieces
    1 Red bell pepper- finely chopped
    1 Green bell pepper- finely chopped
    2 Tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
    2 Tbsp. Basil leaves, roughly chopped
    4 Tbsp. Chives, minced
    1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper

    First, slice the baguette.

    Grilled Bread Salad 2

    Then brush bread with olive oil.

    Grilled Bread Salad 5

    Grill until brown on both sides.

    Grilled Bread Salad 3

    In a large mixing bowl, put salad greens, bell peppers, mozzarella, capicola, crushed red pepper, basil and chives. Toss.

    Grilled Bread Salad 4_edited-1

    Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve with bread and dressing of your choice.

    Grilled Bread Salad 1

    This is one of my favorite salad recipes of all time and I love it with a good vinaigrette. Yummy!!! What salad dressing would you choose?