Introducing Parker Calhoun

This weekend, Jay and I went down to my hometown with Allyson, John and Elizabeth to go and visit our friends Rebecca & Kris and meet their newest addition to the family, Parker. He is such a cutie! Everyone seems to be adjusting very well, including a very energetic and proud big brother, Austin. Austin had fun attacking Jay (aka. Mr. Ants in your Pants) while Rebecca gave us a tour of their beautiful new home. It was a lovely day and a fun visit. There is nothing better than catching up with old friends on a Sunday afternoon. Congratulations Rebecca, Kris & Austin! Parker is a sweetheart.

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Wine Night with Laura

Laura's hubby is in Brazil this week for work, so I went over to visit her and miss Sarah last night. When Sarah went to sleep we cracked open the chardonnay and talked and talked and talked....just like old times. I didn't get home until midnight and I am very sleepy today but it was so fun catching up! In between all the talking we managed to cook up a tasty new recipe, Brie with Shallots and Bacon. It was so good that I would eat it for dinner again tonight, but of course there wasn't any left after we got through with it! Here is the recipe:

Shallot & Bacon Brie

2 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon (we used 4 because why not?!)
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 tsp. Honey or Dijon Mustard
1 wheel Brie cheese (8 oz.)

Cook bacon in nonstick skillet on medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon, reserving drippings in skillet; set bacon aside.

Add shallots to bacon drippings in skillet; cook until shallots are tender, stirring frequently. Crumble bacon into small bowl. Add shallot mixture and mustard; mix well. Spoon over cheese in microwaveable serving dish.

Microwave on high 45-90 sec. or just until cheese is warmed. Serve as a spread with the crackers.

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Yummy Summer Dinner

I decided to try out a new recipe from my Food Network Favorites cookbook yesterday, Angry Shrimp with Citrus Spinach Salad. It was quite tasty if I do say so myself. Of course, we were starving so probably anything would have tasted good by the time we ate dinner, but I do think I will make this one again. And Jay made us some yummy baked potatoes to go on the side, because we can't not have potatoes on Sunday at the Newberry house!

Angry Shrimp with Citrus Spinach Salad
(courtesy Michael Chiarello,

Flour Mixture:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons California chili powder
1 tablespoon gray salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 blood oranges, peeled and sectioned, pith removed
2 tangelos, peeled and sectioned, pith removed
2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned, pith removed
Salt and pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds (16 to 20 count shrimp) 4 per person, peeled but with tail on
6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups basil leaves, stemmed and cleaned
1 tablespoon orange, julienned
1 bunch basil, cleaned
3 cups pre-washed spinach, stems removed

Mix the flour mixture for shrimp: Combine the ingredients and set aside in container. This step can be done the day before dinner.

Peel and cut the citrus fruit into sections over a plate. Drain the juice from the plate into a bowl. Season liberally with gray salt and black pepper. Whisk in olive oil to form a vinaigrette (it should be in proportion, about 2 parts juice to 1 part olive oil).

Season citrus sections with salt and pepper. Drizzle a little of the vinaigrette on them to marinate and put them on a platter.

Season shrimp liberally with salt and pepper. Preheat a saute pan on high. Dredge the shrimp in the flour mixture. This will give them a nice crust and allow them to stay crispy and fresh at room temperature. Add olive oil to the pan and put in 1 layer of shrimp. You want them to caramelize, so don't toss or move them. Add a little more oil if the flour absorbs what's in the pan. After about 3 minutes, turn over the prawns. Let it caramelize, toss and turn out onto a cookie sheet. Add about 1/4 cup more olive oil to the already hot saute pan.

Drain pan juices from the cookie sheet into the saute pan. Add sliced garlic and let it get light brown. Add chiles and let them get soft. Add the basil and stand back - there's a lot of water in basil and it will pop. Let it get crispy, less than a minute. While this is happening, arrange prawns over the citrus salad. Add the orange zest to the basil/garlic/chile mixture in the saute pan. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon basil/garlic/chile mixture over the prawns.

Toss the spinach with the citrus vinaigrette and mound on top of the prawns. Serve.

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Panthers Preseason Party!

Our Panthers Preseason Party on Saturday turned out to be a huge success! We had tons of friends over, with babies and food galore...the only snafu was that we ran out of hamburger buns, but of course our crew was not shy to improvise! We'll make sure we buy extra next time everyone, promise. :)

I tried out two tasty new recipes that seemed to be a hit so I will share:

Chocolate Hazelnut Ravioli
(courtesty Giadi De Laurentiis,
16 wonton wrappers 1 egg, beaten to blend
1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (recommended: Nutella)
Vegetable oil, for frying
16 fresh mint leaves
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Granulated sugar, for dredging
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place 1 wonton wrapper on the work surface. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with egg. Spoon 1 tablespoon of chocolate-hazelnut spread into the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper diagonally in half over the filling and press the edges of the wrapper to seal. Place the ravioli on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers, egg, and chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Add enough oil to a heavy large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F.

Working in batches, carefully add the ravioli to the hot oil and cook until they are golden brown, about 45 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Then, transfer the cooked ravioli to another baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while frying the remaining ravioli. (The fried ravioli can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool them completely, then cover and refrigerate. Before serving, place them on a baking sheet and rewarm in a preheated 375 degrees F oven just until they are heated through, about 7 minutes.)

Spray the top side of the mint leaves very lightly with nonstick spray. Working with 1 leaf at a time, dredge the coated side of the leaves in sugar to coat lightly.

Teriyaki Chicken Wings
(courtesy Tyler Florence,

Teriyaki Sauce:

1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup grapefruit juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 fresh red chiles, halved
5 garlic cloves, halved
2-inch piece fresh ginger, whacked open with the flat side of a knife

Chicken Wings:
2 dozen chicken wings, about 3 1/4 pounds, rinsed and patted dry
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

Prepare the teriyaki sauce by combining the soy sauce, grapefruit juice, hoisin sauce, ketchup, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, chiles, garlic, and ginger in a pot. Bring to a slow boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken wings generously with salt and pepper. Lay the chicken wings in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the skin gets crispy. With tongs, dip the wings in the teriyaki sauce and return to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to glaze. An impressive presentation is to serve these chicken wings family style; arrange them on a large platter, pour the remaining sauce over them and sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro. Don't forget the wet naps!

Lastly here are some party pics...and for those of you who didn't make it to the end of the game, the Panthers won!

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House Guest!

We puppy sat for our friend Crista back in July and I am just now getting around to posting some pictures of our house guest, Maggie. She and Roux got along really well and we think he still misses her! Daisy pretty much slept through Maggie's whole visit, except for a few attempts to eat her food, but what's new? And not surprisingly, the toy you see in the pictures did not survive Maggie's stay at the Newberry home (sorry Crista!).

And here are some pics of Roux trying to put the moves on Tera last time she came over. He thinks he is quite the ladies' man!

Give it up buddy, we keep telling you, she's taken!

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