White Sangria

I know it’s only Monday, but it’s never to early to start planning for the weekend.  This Sangria recipe has a nice fruity flavor but is not overly sweet… which can be dangerous because it’s easy to go back for more.

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Baked Shrimp Scampi

I watched Ina Garten make this dish on her show a few weeks ago and was dying to try it out.  Let’s just say, it did not disappoint.  This dish kind of blows baked stuffed shrimp out of the water – it’s full of so much flavor and is really easy to put together.  I made some small adjustments and it tasted like perfection.


  • 2 lb. large shrimp (U8-12), deveined with the tails still on
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp dry white wine
    • 8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
    • 4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
    • 1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
    • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
    • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 extra large yolk
    • 1 cup panko


  • Butterfly the shrimp but leave the tails on
  • Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and combine with the olive oil, white wine, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper – let the shrimp sit and marinate at room temperature while you prepare the topping
  • In a small bowl, mash the softened butter together with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest and juice, egg yolk, panko and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Arrange the shrimp in one layer, cut side down around the edge of a 14 inch oval gratin dish, you want the tails curling up facing in towards the middle of the dish – pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp
  • Spread the topping evenly over the shrimp
  • Bake at 425°F for 12-15 minutes or until its hot and bubbly and the shrimp is totally pink – you can broil it for a minute or so to brown the top if it’s not crunchy enough

Caesar Salad

This classic Caesar salad dressing recipe comes from my mother-in-law’s cooking files.  I’ve been to a restaurant where they make the Caesar dressing table-side… but I couldn’t exactly take notes.  I was looking for a recipe to try out and this one seems to match!


  1. 3 large eggs, room temp
  2. 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  3. 5 medium garlic cloves, pressed
  4. 1 tsp Worchester sauce
  5. 3/4 tsp anchovy paste
  6. 1 cup olive oil
  7. 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  8. 1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce
  9. 3 cups freshly grated Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
  10. 3 large heads Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  11. 9 pieces of thickly sliced country bread, crust cut off
*Recipe yields approximately 2 cups of dressing


  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients in small bowl
  • Gradually whisk in olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (if the dressing is getting too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to whisk in the olive oil)
    • Alternatively, you could put the first 5 ingredients into a food processor or blender and then slowly add in the olive oil, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce (again, if dressing gets too thick, add in a little bit of warm water and then continue to add in the olive oil)
  • Brush the bread with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt and cut into cubes (you could also sprinkle the bread with garlic powder if you desire)
    • Bake at 300°F until crisp and golden brown, approximately 10 minutes
  • Finally, toss together the lettuce, enough dressing to coat the lettuce and the grated cheese – then top it off with the fresh croutons

Marushka’s Tabouleh

Here is my mom’s recipe for this traditional Middle Eastern salad.  It’s refreshing and full of so many different flavors.


  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed wheat (bulgar)
  • A few chopped leaves of fresh mint or 1/4 tsp of dried mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing*
    • Mix equal parts of fresh lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste – so easy!


  • Rinse the crushed wheat (bulgar)  in cold water and squeeze it dry
  • Combine the chopped tomatoes with the crushed wheat (bulgar) – mix well
  • Finely chop the scallions and season with salt and pepper – add this to the tomatoes and bulgar
  • Pick the leaves off the parsley stems and wash them well and squeeze them dry
  • Either finely chop the leaves by hand, or BRIEFLY place them in a food processor – one pulse and it’s done (don’t over process, it will turn to mush)
  • Combine the parsley with the mint and add it to the rest of the ingredients
  • Pour the lemon and olive oil dressing over the tabouleh and serve with fresh romaine lettuce