Summer Means Sun Tea!
Making Sun Tea is easy and the variations are endless. I like to put anywhere from 5-6 different bags together depending on how strong you like the tea and what type of tea you use. I generally mix different herbal teas together. My favorite: Bengal Spice, Mint, Licorice and then I add 3 Earl Greys. Fill your container with water from the tap and put the tea outside in the sun for a few hours or even all day. If you don’t have a big glass jar, a glass pitcher covered with foil works fine. Serve over ice with lemon, mint or even a big sprig of basil.
My husband, Jerry and I have been on the South Beach diet for the last month which has somewhat cramped my cooking style. We are eating tons of fresh veg and fish or chicken and I just wasn’t sure most of these meals were blog-worthy, but since this is what we are eating I am going to share the last couple of dinners. The good news is we have each lost 15 pounds. 10 more to go and then back to a little more creative cooking, but we are both truly enjoying our new diet…and waistlines!
We had our neighbors over for dinner the night before last and I made little triangles of puff pastry stuffed with shrimp and caramelized onion. Yum! Yum! Definitely NOT South Beach, but you do have to go off occasionally. Having the shrimp stuffing already prepared made this dish fast and easy to put together. Here is how I made the stuffing.
Ingredients for stuffing:
1/2 large vidalia onion, sliced
2 Tbps. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
About 10 shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
|I love kitchen gadgets and this cute little fork, actually called a Crab Zipper, is perfect for cleaning
and deveining shrimp. Thanks Francine! What a thoughtful gift!
Heat Butter and Olive Oil in frying pan to medium high. Add sliced onions. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes until onions get golden brown, very soft and sweet. Add chopped shrimp and cook until shrimps turn pink; about 5-7 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.
To make the hors d’ouevres, cut puff pastry into 3 inch squares. Drop 1 Tbsp. of shrimp/onion mix and fold the pastry in half to form a triangle. Pinch edges. Brush top with egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 Tbsp. water–you will have leftovers here, too which can be used in the mornings scrambled egg.) Bake in 400 degree preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Back to the fish…
To make the Fillet of Sole over Steamed Spinach…
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbsp. Olive oil to a frying pan. Bring pan to high heat. Rinse a bag of spinach and drop into the pan and stir for a few minutes until spinach is just barely wilted. Salt/Pepper. Take off the heat. Place a couple Tbsp. of shrimp/caramelized filling in the center of each piece of fish, roll up. Spritz with the juice of 1/2 lemon. Top with chopped chives. Place the fish on top of the wilted spinach and cook in oven no more than 10 minutes. We made an impromptu sauce using ketchup (homemade-see previous recipe in this blog); mayo, a little horseradish mayo, 4 drops Lemon Essential Oil, a couple drops hot sauce, Salt, Pepper, fresh thyme. Heat for about 20 minutes to thicken.
I am going to close with a couple shots of some shrimp and veggie skewers we had the other night.
I usually let the cut up vegetable, in this case, zuchinni, summer squash, 2 types of mushroom, baby sweet peppers, vidalia onion, marinate for a few hours in olive oil and a Victoria Taylor spice mixture called Tuscan Seasoning. Salt/Pepper. Marinating in a zip lock allows you to keep turning so all the vegetables benefit from the marination.
I also grilled an eggplant. The next day these veg are great on a salad or work well in an omelet.
Tomorrow is my birthday and my husband is treating me by cooking for me! I have requested grilled steak, since we so rarely eat it (even when we’re NOT on South Beach!) with blue cheese-butter, grilled asparagus and a roasted beet salad with feta cheese and candied pecans. I cannot wait!
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