Fresh Shrimp Salad: Start the New Year’s Right

Start the New year’s right with this Fresh Shrimp Salad. In just 30 minutes, you will have a perfect healthy main dish to serve over greens, eat with crackers or put on a sandwich. Four ounces of boiled or steamed shrimp contains just 112 calories. This serving provides nearly 24 g of protein and 1.2 g of fat–only 0.3 g of which is saturated. Shrimp contains no carbohydrates. Shrimp has been said to build strong bones, stabilize blood sugars, boost energy and fight depression. My three kids loved this recipe, and it’s perfect for dinner or lunchtime.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and welcome to 2013! This past year has been a really tough year for me and my family. I am hoping for a bright future ahead, clean slate and to try to make the best of every day in the coming year. I appreciate every one of you who has been there for me, supported me, and sent me emails, text messages and sweet comments over the past year. The picture (below) is the latest picture of my three kids.  I wish for them love, friendship, gratitude, happiness, great health and for all of their wishes and dream to come true. I love y’all! Here are a few more thoughts for the New Year ahead:

10 New Year’s Recipes and Ideas

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday. Our break has been great so far. I can’t believe New Year’s Eve is next week. I have been receiving so many emails for New Year’s recipes so I thought I would share some of my top 10 favorite New Year’s recipes and ideas starting with my  Pear Pecan Gorgonzola Crostini  recipe from my first book 400 Best Sandwich Recipes. It’s so easy to make, and it’s the perfect New Year’s eve appetizer. Happy holidays everyone!

Happy New Year Cookies via Annies Eats

Champagne Tower via Society Bride

Caramel Rum and Banana Bread Pudding via Bakers Royale

Spicy Blood Orange Champagne Punch via Spoon Fork Bacon

Good Luck Gifts via Martha Stewart

Chocolate Chip Chunk Cookies via Averie Cooks

Party Blowers via Martha Stewart

Cupcake Sparklers via Stay at Home Chic

Pom Pom Swizzles via Martha Stewart

New Years Greens-Spinach with Dried Fruit and Goat Cheese

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While black-eyed peas are supposed to bring luck for the New Year, another superstition in the south is to serve greens such as cabbage, collards, greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money or prosperity in the New Year. As a Recipe Developer, I have created hundreds of spinach recipes for magazines and food companies, and I wasn’t sure which one to share with you for the New Year. I made this version two nights ago by just using what I had in my pantry and in the refrigerator, and it was an instant hit at our dinner table. It’s only 5 ingredients and is healthy, colorful and has a sweet and salty crunch along with the creaminess of goat cheese. Feel free to use what you have in your home. and I wish everyone much hope for a happy prosperous New Year!

 

Spinach with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Goat Cheese

Prep and cook: 3 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach

Kosher salt to taste

2 tablespoons organic fruit and nut trail mix (I used “Good Sense Organic”)

2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese

Preparation

1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh spinach to skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with salt, trail mix and goat cheese. Serve spinach with slotted spoon or tongs.

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years

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I have always wanted to learn how to make Chocolate Lava (molten) Cakes, as it is one of my favorite desserts. I have been searching for a way to prepare these without a lot of effort, and I finally hit the jackpot with this recipe. These are simple to prepare, and you can even make the chocolate mixture at least 12 hours ahead of time. Pour the mixture into ramekins, cover and refrigerate. Be sure to bring to room temperature 30 minutes before baking. I also had a couple of baked and prepared ones left over, and I left them in the ramekins and reheated them in the microwave for 15 seconds, and they worked great! Try them on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years or just for a weeknight or weekend surprise. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or just with confectioners sugar.

 

Easy Chocolate Lava Cakes

Dark chocolate may be substituted for semisweet in this recipe.

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate (I used Ghirardelli)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Lightly grease 4 (8-ounce) ramekins (custard cups or souffle dishes). Place on a baking sheet.

2. MIcrowave chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on High 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla and confectioners sugar until well blended. Whisk in eggs and yolk. Stir in flour and pour batter evenly into prepared custard cups.

2. Bake 13 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Let stand 1 minute. Carefully loosen edges with a knife. Invert cakes onto serving plates and sift powdered sugar over the top. Serve immediately.