Apron Strings http://www.apronstringsblog.com Sat, 02 May 2015 22:23:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.4 Gringo Style Sloppy Joe Tacos http://www.apronstringsblog.com/sloppy-joe-taco-recipe/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/sloppy-joe-taco-recipe/#respond Sat, 02 May 2015 22:23:23 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8945

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Sloppy Joe TacosCinco de Mayo is a Mexican/American holiday. The real Mexican Independence day is September 16, but we Americans also celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Mostly it is an excuse to eat guacamole and drink margaritas.

These sloppy joes style tacos are a perfect blend of American comfort food and an icon of Mexican food – the taco. I love the soft and comforting feel of these tacos. I must warm you – they are VERY sloppy. You might even want to eat them with a fork – that kind of sloppy. Since Cinco de Mayo is next Tuesday, and Tuesday is a weeknight, these tacos that take about 30 minutes total time are perfect – and kids and grown ups will all love them. Margaritas or not!


Sloppy Joe Tacos
Prep time
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 12 tacos
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 jalapenos, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tb chile powder
  • 1 Tb galric powder
  • 1 Tb soy sauce
  • 1 Tb ground cumin
  • 1 Tb smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 12 corn tortillas, heated
  • Suggested garnishes: queso fresco cheese; lettuce; tomatoes; radishes
  1. Cook jalapenos and onion in a large skillet over medium high heat in oil until softened, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in ground beef and cook until browned, breaking into small bits.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and reduce to a simmer. Cook until most of liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve on corn tortillas and top with garnishes as desired. I used cilantro, diced radishes and queso fresco.

Other sloppy joe innovations:

 Enchilada Sloppy Joes, Taste and Tell
Vegan Sloppy Joes, Naturally Ella
Sloppy Joe Casserole, Buns in my Oven

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Slow Cooker Bolognese with Carrot Pappardelle Pasta http://www.apronstringsblog.com/slow-cooker-bolognese-carrot-pasta/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/slow-cooker-bolognese-carrot-pasta/#comments Thu, 30 Apr 2015 14:35:03 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8892

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A few killer key ingredients make this slow cooker bolognese amazingly flavorful – and the light carrot noodles add a fresh, naturally grain-free contrast.

Slow Cooker Bolognese over Carrot Pappardelle Noodles

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce (with a secret ingredient!) over Carrot Pappardelle Noodles

There are two parts to this post and I can’t quite decide which is my favorite. The bolognese sauce has a secret ingredient, which came by way of Bon Appetit, but I thought I’d adapt it for the slow cooker, and make it dairy-free while I was at it. It takes some prep, true, but is well worth it. The secret? Okay, I’ll spill right away: a mere 3 ounces of chicken liver that contributes so much depth on top of the dense nutritional punch it packs. The idea in Bon Appetit is courtesy of Chef Mike Easton, who also adds some peppery kick to round out the flavor mix.

But then the carrot pappardelle ‘pasta’ (or, as my housemate suggested, “caroodles”), they’re so simple and easy you won’t even believe it. I love some zucchini noodles as much as the next low-carb/paleo-ish type; I adore my spiralizer and use it often, but you don’t even need special equipment. A regular handheld vegetable peeler is all it takes.

Try these together, or in combination with other components, but do try them!

Slow Cooker Bolognese with Carrot Pappardelle Pasta
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Chicken livers and a bit of hot pepper kick make this slow cooker bolognese amazingly flavorful - and the light carrot noodles add a fresh, naturally grain-free contrast.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 tablespoons cooking fat of your choice (olive oil, rendered bacon fat, etc)
  • 3 ounces chicken livers, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons hot peppers in oil (such as Mama Lil's)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup red wine
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 6 large carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and peeled
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • fresh parsley and salt to taste
  1. In a dry skillet, toast the fennel, red pepper and peppercorns over medium-high for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle, add cloves, and grind away. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil of your choice in skillet over medium high. Add chicken livers and cook, stirring and turning frequently, for about 4-6 minutes, until well-browned (don't worry, you'll be deglazing soon). Add onion, peppers, thyme and salt. Saute all together until onion has softened and is starting to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and the toasted spice mixture and cook for 2 more minutes,
  3. Stir in tomatoes (with the juice) and then add the wine. Deglaze, getting all the flavorful fond off the bottom. Add beef and pork; I like to break up ground meat as it cooks with a masher-style tool. Stir everything together as the meat browns for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to your slow cooker. Stir in chicken stock and add bay leaves. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  5. Remove bay leaves, add red wine vinegar and taste for seasoning, adding salt and fresh black pepper as needed. Finally, get out your immersion blender and blend until smooth, making sure you get all the chicken livers! Keep it warm in the slow cooker while you make the carrot pappardelle.
  6. Now for the fun part: Using your vegetable peeler, simply peel long, broad ribbons, using some pressure so they're a bit thicker than they would be without. I peel several noodles off of one side, then switch to the other side, and back and forth until there's just a central slab left (I save them to shred for slaw).
  7. Heat remaining oil in a skillet, and cook shallots over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add your pile of orange ribbons and toss in the oil and shallot until well coated. Cover and cook for about 5-6 minutes, shaking pan and tossing a bit more occasionally, until they are tender but not, I repeat, NOT mushy.
  8. Transfer pappardelle to plates, top with a generous ladle of bolognese, and sprinkle with parsley and additional red pepper if desired.

Other blogger bologneses:

Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese from Leite’s Culinaria
Roasted Tomato Bolognese from Lauren’s Latest
Lasagna Bolognese Al Forno from Amateur Gourmet
Mushroom Bolognese from The Italian Dish
Vegan Bolognese from Rachel Cooks

Slow Cooker Bolognese with Carrot Noodles

Or should I call them Caroodles?

– posted by Anne

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Skinny Roasted Shrimp Chile Rellenos http://www.apronstringsblog.com/skinny-roasted-shrimp-chile-rellenos/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/skinny-roasted-shrimp-chile-rellenos/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 18:54:09 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8928

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Roasted chiles are so delicious in place of the traditional deep fried style. This easy recipe cuts fat and calories – but not flavor!
Shrimp Rellenos

Meet your new favorite chile relleno – just in time for Cinco de Mayo!

I have grown to love this new way of making chiles rellenos (stuffed chiles) – roasted. Not fried.

Oh sure, I love the traditional battered, deep fried classic Anaheim chiles stuffed with cheese. But. They are a huge mess to make and are loaded with calories and fat. I became a believer in this style when I had a roasted relleno at a restaurant, and I now make them all the time at home.

These have an easy, flavorful sauce of roasted red bell peppers and tomatoes underneath them while roasting. And the shrimp (and/or crab if you like) with a little cream cheese and Monterey Jack cheese make a perfect creamy stuffing.

We celebrate Cinco de Mayo fully at the Kelly casa – and food is front and center at our celebration, of course. Try our fabulous Vegan Nachos with Chipotle Lentil Sauce or our Corn Pudding Poblano Cups. !Arriba! !Arrrriiiiiiiiiiiba!

(( Fun Fact: Can you see The Hubs – my food photographer – in the photo? His reflection is in the spoon! ))

– posted by Donna

Baja Poblanos Rellenos Recipe
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Seafood in a creamy sauce stuffed into fruity poblano peppers - all with the colors of the Mexican flag. A flavor fiesta for your mouth!
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southwest
Serves: 6
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red bell peppers, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes, UNdrained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 1 cup (1 ounce) Monterey jack cheese, grated
  • 2 ounces low fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup queso fresco, crumbled, for garnish
  • ½ cup diced cilantro for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend red peppers, diced tomatoes and salt in a blender until very smooth. Pour into a 9 by 13 baking pan, or in six oblong baking dishes.
  3. Cook poblano peppers in the microwave oven for about 2 minutes, just until softened.
  4. Cut a long slit in one side of the poblanos from stem to tip. Scoop out all seeds and pulp from inside poblanos.
  5. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno and cumin and cook another 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Dice the shrimp and add to skillet. Cook until shrimp is translucent. Stir in cream cheese and then Monterey Jack cheese until melted. Remove from heat.
  6. Stuff the poblanos with the shrimp mixture and then place in the pan(s) with the sauce.
  7. Bake at top of oven for about 40 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly around edges. Serve warm.


Other bloggers do chiles rellenos:

One of the best casserole-style chiles rellenos is made by South Beach Queen Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen
Check out the Mexican classic version at Mexico in my Kitchen
And a Blog About Food has a fabulous version
Must try this Roasted Green Chile Relleno Casserole, Some the Wiser
How about Chiles Rellenos de Picadillo, Mexico in my Kitchen

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Two Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies http://www.apronstringsblog.com/two-ingredient-flourless-oatmeal-cookies/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/two-ingredient-flourless-oatmeal-cookies/#respond Mon, 27 Apr 2015 18:22:08 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8915

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Oatmeal Banana Cookies

Two required ingredients – oats and bananas – make these cookies healthy and easy. Flourless. Gluten Free. Sugar Free. Whole Foods. So much goodness!

Feel free to add some goodies – I added raisins and cinnamon, just to jazz them up a bit. But, if you stick to the two ingredients, they taste just great.

I saw this on Tip Hero – a video with a women squishing the oats and bananas with her hands, and it looked too fun not to try. And so much healthier than most oatmeal cookie recipes.

I tweaked the recipe just a bit. I took half of the oats and whirled them in a food processor just a bit. That way the cookies have a more refined texture than just the whole rolled oats.

The cookies do not rise at all, so you need to pat them out to the texture you want before putting them in the oven. I like my oatmeal cookies thin and crispy, so I patted them out to be very thin. And, you need to use a little oil on your baking sheet. I recommend using parchment paper or a silicone mat actually.

I have a husband who just had open heart surgery, and he loves sweets. So, I am on the hunt for recipes that are comforting and a little sweet. He loved these, thankfully. I will be making them again and again!

Two Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies
Prep time
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You won't believe this until you try them. TWO ingredients!
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Serves: 12 - 15 cookies
  • 2 cups rolled oats (regular, not quick cooking)
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • Optional ingredients: a teaspoon of cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, ½ cup of diced nuts, ½ cup of raisins or craisins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put 1 cup of the oats in a food processor and whirl until oats are in small bits.
  3. Mix well the whirled oats, the rest of the whole rolled oats and the bananas. Squishing with your hands highly recommended, but a potato masher works well too.
  4. Stir any any optional ingredients.
  5. At this point, you can add a little water if needed to thin the dough a little, especially if you are making your cookies thin.
  6. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, parchment paper or a silicone mat. Spray with a little cooking oil spray.
  7. Scoop the dough onto the prepared sheet in about ¼ cup mounds. Wet your fingers and flatten the cookies out to the desired thickness. (I like mine thin and crispy, so i flattened to about ⅓ of an inch thickness. I also lightly sprayed the fps of the cookies with oil to give them a crispy browned finish, but this is obviously optional.)
  8. Bake at top of oven for 18 to 22 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned.

Other flour less cookie recipes:

Flourless Pistachio Cookies, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate hazelnut Cookies, Cafe Johnsonia
Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies, Ambitious Kitchen
Chocolate Quinoa Cookies, The Blender Girl

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Creole Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice http://www.apronstringsblog.com/creole-red-beans-and-cauliflower-rice/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/creole-red-beans-and-cauliflower-rice/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:45:58 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8849

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A Creole comfort classic gets updated: Red Beans and Rice made grain free with cauliflower. 

Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

Cajun Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice

Alternate title: The trinity, the trifecta, and the amen. Let me explain:

The Cajun & Creole kick continues! You may recall that in Donna’s recent Shrimp and Quinoa Creole post, the Apron Strings team was preparing to hit NOLA. Last weekend was the  big (easy) event, and of course it was a nonstop food fanatic’s wonderland. Just taking in all the glorious restaurants is a culinary adventure in itself, but we got to take it a step further, via a class at the New Orleans Cooking Experience. Would recommend!

Less interactive than other stand-alone cooking classes we’ve taken together, the evening was nonetheless equal parts entertaining and educational. Chef Janice “Boo” Macomber regaled us with family recipes demonstrations, anecdotes from her shrimp camp, and the occasional off-color joke, all the while tossing out tidbits and tips for bringing authentic Cajun flavor into your own kitchen – and we got to devour the results of her demonstrations (the best part, of course).

Pretty much any home cook who has passing familiarity with either Creole/Cajun cooking or the Food Network knows what the Trinity is by now, right? Chef Boo adds three other shortcut references, all of which are used liberally in her biographical, homespun cookbook (her chef’s jacket is embroidered with “High Priestess of the Bayou”). If the ingredient list includes the Trifecta, you know you need to add salt, cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce. The Resurrection adds 6 cloves (or “toes”) of garlic to the Trinity. And adding Amen means finishing with a liberal sprinkle of chopped scallions and fresh parsley.

I came home with a craving for one of my favorite Creole classics: red beans and rice. This dish is so quintessentially New Orleans, Louis Armstrong used to sign his letters “Red Beans and Ricely Yours.” I thought I’d make it grain-free (and reduce the carbs a bit) by incorporating cauliflower rice, and lighten it up a bit more with chicken andouille. It’s still every bit the deeply flavorful comfort food. The ham hock adds smoky depth, and the beans make it creamy without a bit of dairy. And like so many other slow foods, it tastes even better the next day.  

Red Beans and Cauliflower Ricely Yours,

Anne and Donna

Red Beans and Cauliflower Rice
Prep time
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A creamy smoky Creole comfort classic gets updated: Red Beans and Rice made grain free with cauliflower.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Creole
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 pound dried kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 2 tablespoons cooking fat (your choice of oil, schmaltz, whatever you prefer), divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced,
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 ham hock, preferably smoked
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 4 andouille chicken sausages, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 glugs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • Tabasco or other cayenne pepper sauce to taste
  1. After the beans have soaked, drain and rinse and transfer to a large stockpot. Cover with several inches of water and bring to a rolling boil, then reduce slightly to a more gentle one. Boil for about 45-55 minutes, until beans are tender. Do all your veggie prep during this time, of course!
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high. Add Trinity and saute for 7-9 minutes. Remove one cup of the vegetables and set aside! Add garlic to pot and saute for another couple of minutes, then add ham hock and bay leaves. Add enough water or chicken stock to cover contents of pot. Cover and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Now, use a potato masher to smash about ⅓ of the beans, and stir to incorporate the creamy beans into the rest of the mix. Then add sausages and Trifecta (salt, cayenne and Worcestershire, remember?). At this point you can remove the ham hock (slicing off some of the meat and adding it back into the pan if you prefer). Cook for another 30 minutes.
  4. While that cooks, prep the cauliflower rice! Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it's about the size of rice. Heat remaining oil in a saute pan. Add reserved cup of Trinity and saute just until warm, then stir in the cauliflower and garlic powder. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
  5. Now all that's left is the Amen! Stir some of it into the red beans and rice, and reserve a little to top it all off! Serve the beans on a bed of the cauliflower rice and add Tabasco to taste.


Cajun Red Beans and Rice - grain free.

Cajun Red Beans and Rice – grain free.

Other Red Beans and Rice riffs from bloggers:

Vegan Red Beans and Rice from Budget Bytes
Jamaican Red Beans and Rice from Skinnytaste
Slow Cooker Red Beans and Rice from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Collards Stuffed with Red Beans and Rice from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

– posted by Anne

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Chicken Salad in Bell Pepper Rings http://www.apronstringsblog.com/chicken-salad-in-bell-pepper-rings/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/chicken-salad-in-bell-pepper-rings/#respond Tue, 21 Apr 2015 19:03:58 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8866

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Chicken Salad in Bell Pepper Rings

Edible bell pepper rings filled with chilled chicken salad. What would bring a smile to Mom for brunch on her special day more than these edible flower rings? I can’t think of a single thing.

These little bell pepper rings are so pretty on a plate – delicious and good for you, too. I used my favorite chicken salad recipe, but you could use any cold chopped salad you like. The possibilities are endless, I say. Egg Salad. Tuna Salad. Pasta Salad. I am going to be using this technique again and again, with a different filling each time.

We are fans here at Apron Strings of edible “rings” for food. Our first try was eggs in bell pepper rings. We loved this idea so much we made many versions: Eggs in Avocados, Eggs in Onion Rings, and the list goes on and on with eggs. Why not with chicken salad?

Mom deserves  to eat festive food, after all.

Chicken Salad in Bell Pepper Rings
Prep time
Total time
Chicken Salad in pretty pepper rings - a festive addition to your next brunch!
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4 to 6 servings
  • 4 cups cooked cubed chicken
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 cup halved grapes
  • ½ cup diced pecans
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced dill
  • ¼ cup plain or vanilla Greek yoghurt
  • 3 bell peppers, any color
  1. Mix all ingredients together and chill at least 2 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, stir in additional Greek yogurt if desired to make the salad creamy.
  3. Spoon into bell pepper rings that are cut about 2 inches thick.

CReative spins on chicken salad that are on my Must Try list:

Shredded Chicken Salad, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Crunchy Kale and Chicken Salad, Budget Bytes
Grilled Chicken and Pecan Salad, Copycat Recipes
Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad, Closet Cooking
Pineapple Chicken Salad, Annie’s Eats
Low Fat Chicken Salad with Curry and Apricots, Cookin’ Canuck

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Berry Cornmeal Cake http://www.apronstringsblog.com/berry-cornmeal-cast-iron-cake/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/berry-cornmeal-cast-iron-cake/#respond Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:46:27 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8824

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Cornmeal Berry Cake

Dessert or a bread for your meal? You decide! This lightly sweetened cornmeal cake is baked in a cast iron skillet and the result is a light, slightly sweet bread / cake that you could serve with butter with your main course, or dollop with a sweet topping to serve as a dessert. Either way, this cornmeal cake is soft and pillowy on the inside and crispy and lightly browned on the outside. I am not a baker, or even a dessert maker, but this cornmeal cake is completely idiot-proof and just perfect for a light touch to a meal.

I love this combo of the corn and berry flavors, they perfectly complement each other. I used a frozen berry mix with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Just delilcious.

We sat on our deck and topped slices of this with whipped cream – the perfect end to our spring meal.

Berry Cornmeal Cake
Prep time
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Total time
Such a versatile recipe - use a sweet topping for a dessert, and slice and spread with butter as a bread for your meal.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¾ cup fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 18 ounces fresh or frozen berries (strawberries should be cut into pieces the size of raspberries)
  1. Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Oil a 9 by 13 baking pan, or a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
  4. Cream the sugar and butter. Add in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla and buttermilk.
  5. Spread in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the berries on top and press them down slightly into batter. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar on top for a crunchy texture to the top of the cake.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour, until set in center. Serve warm with whipped cream.


1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup buttermilk
18 ounces fresh or frozen berries (strawberries should be cut into pieces the size of raspberries)

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.
Oil a 9 by 13 baking pan, or a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
Cream the sugar and butter. Add in eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla and buttermilk.
Spread in the prepared pan. Sprinkle the berries on top and press them down slightly into batter. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar on top for a crunchy texture to the top of the cake.
Bake for about 1 hour, until set in center. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake, Completely Delicious
Vanilla Citrus Cornmeal Cake, Brooklyn Supper
Cranberry Orange Cornmeal Cake, One Perfect Bite
Cherry Cornmeal Upside Down Cake, Eats Well with Others

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Weeknight Quinoa Shrimp Creole http://www.apronstringsblog.com/easy-weeknight-shrimp-creole-quinoa/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/easy-weeknight-shrimp-creole-quinoa/#respond Tue, 07 Apr 2015 14:57:50 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8826

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Shrimp Creole

Apron Strings goes creole this week – literally. Anne and I will be in New Orleans this week in celebration of my impending 60th birthday. What better place to say Let the Good Times Roll! than in NOLA. I ask you?

There comes a time in every girl’s life when the inevitability of the finite-ness of life becomes real. And the 60th anniversary of my birth has done this for me.  And that’s a good thing. Life is short! Seize the day! Eat good food!

This spin on the classic Creole dish is so packed with flavor that you won’t miss the rice. Quinoa is perfect here – and adds a texture that rice can’t. And quinoa is packed with nutrients, so that’s a bonus. This dish comes together in about 20 minutes – so it is doable even for a weeknight, even if you have to cook the quinoa!

I love creole style dishes – and even once made a Vegetarian Shrimp-less Creole for a Meatless Monday Mardi Gras dish.

– posted by Donna


4 tablespoons butter
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
3 tablespoons rice flour
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces clam juice
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce
8 ounces cooked peeled shrimp
2 cups cooked quinoa

Melt the butter over medium high heat and add in the celery, bell pepper and onion and cook until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook another minute or two. Add in tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, clam juice, cayenne pepper sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in shrimp at end and serve in bowls with a scoop of the quinoa.

Other fun spins on shrimp creole:

Shrimp Creole, Closet Cooking
King Creole, Acadiana Table
Shrimp Creole Arepas, My Columbian Recipes
Shrimp Creole Pizza, Always Order Dessert

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2015 Easter Recipe Roundup http://www.apronstringsblog.com/easter-recipe-roundup-2015/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/easter-recipe-roundup-2015/#respond Thu, 02 Apr 2015 14:45:03 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8807

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The time has come for a good old-fashioned Easter Recipe Roundup! We’ll share a few of our savory favorites from over the years. Whether you’re having a brunch, hosting an old-fashioned holiday dinner, or just looking to make some homemade fun for your kids, you might find something inspiring here.

First up, what better way to start your Easter morning than with these Green Eggs (With No Ham) for breakfast?

Green Eggs (No Ham)

Green Eggs (No Ham) for your Easter Breakfast

What’s more fitting for a first course than the Easter Bunny’s Favorite Soup?

Easter Bunny's Favorite Soup

The Easter Bunny’s Favorite Soup (Carrot, of course!)

The dinner table would be dazzling with these Sticky Sweet Balsamic Lamb Chops, no?

Sticky Sweet Balsamic Lamb Chops

Sticky Sweet Balsamic Lamb Chops

Now, how adorable are these Easter Mice? And a perfect low-carb/paleo snack to boot.

Easter Mice Deviled Eggs

Easter Mice Deviled Eggs

And check out this colorful cauliflower Easter Salad, Cauliflower A La Greque.

Cauliflower A La Greque Easter Salad

Cauliflower A La Greque Easter Salad

And finally, one more dazzler of an egg recipe, because of course! These Beet Deviled Eggs use beets to add both color and flavor, perfectly naturally.

Beet Deviled Eggs

Beet Deviled Eggs

Happy Easter from Donna and Anne!

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Hand Held Chicken Caesar Salads with Anchovy Caesar Dressing http://www.apronstringsblog.com/hand-held-chi-caesar-salads-anchovy-dressing/ http://www.apronstringsblog.com/hand-held-chi-caesar-salads-anchovy-dressing/#respond Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:08:44 +0000 http://www.apronstringsblog.com/?p=8795

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Hand held caesar salads

Hand held Caesar salads are made with baby romaine leaves and they are the perfect buffet item for a spring feast. You just pick them up and eat them just like you would Asian lettuce wraps – but less messy. And more garlic-y.

I started out to make a REAL Caesar dressing – just because I read the label on my purchased dressing and couldn’t pronounce half of the ingredients. I turned to America’s Test Kitchen, an organization that has taught me so much, with recipes and culinary history that I trust. My well- worn The New Best Recipes cookbook in my kitchen is my proof.

I followed their recipe very precisely – and it did not disappoint. The dressing is what makes this recipe sing – so creamy and tart you  will want to eat it with a spoon. Not that I’m saying I did that. Ok, I did that.

When I could only find a package of baby romaine leave sin my grocery store, this idea hit me: make a hand-held salad. This works great for a party – or for the kind of group I have on most Sundays: big, come and go groups.

Happy Brunch Easter Week, everyone!

– posted by Donna

Caesar Salad Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Portable Caesar salads!
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American bistro
Serves: ⅔ cup
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Blend the lemon juice, mustard, egg yolk, salt and anchovy fillet in a blender. Slowy stream in the oil while blending.


Other Caesars worth a look:

Kale Caesar Salad, Mountain Mama Cooks
Vegetarian Caesar Salad, The Perfect Pantry
Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad, Kalyn’s Kitchen
Anthony’s Caesar Salad, CopyKat Recipes

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