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Every other year, my husband’s extended family all come home for the Christmas holidays. It’s an awesome time, with 50 of the clan in town to celebrate Christmas and catch up with each other. This past year, a couple of us were hanging around the table, talking about our favorite meals to make, favorite new ingredients, etc. It’s a fun conversation, since my hubby’s family is all from the south, and I grew up in New England, so our favorite meals are pretty different. Anyway, I was telling everyone how I really love cardamom, but it’s not used in many of my recipes – my mom and I discovered it when we made a cranberry-pear tart one year. Ever since then, I’ve been seeking out new recipes to test out this spice. Renner, the soon-to-be newest addition to the family, was telling me about this baked tilapia recipe he makes using cardamom. First I heard of it – I had to have the recipe. Well, Renner apparently cooks like I do – he must do a little of this, and a little of that, because in lieu of a recipe, I got a list of ingredients (Thanks Renner!) The first time I made the tilapia, I measured, using the below proportions (skipping the fresh rosemary just because I didn’t have any in the house). Ever since then (and I have been making this weekly since we tried it out), I throw on a little of everything until I’m satisfied. This recipe has become a hit in our house – hubby and I both love the fresh basil, the slightly crunchy Parmesan, and the smoky hint of the cardamom. Quick and easy, this is has become one of our regular weeknight dinner. Enjoy!

Renner’s Tilapia with Cardamom & Basil

Yields 3 filets (2-3 servings)


  • 3 tilapia filets
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh basil
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Set tilapia filets on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and rub in.

Combine salt, pepper, and cardamom in a small bowl. Sprinkle on tilapia.

Combine basil and Parmesan in a small bowl. Sprinkle on tilapia.

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until tilapia is cooked through. For a slightly crispier coating, broil for last 3 minutes of cooking.

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Last week was crazy, but I still got a few precious minutes of tv time. And how did I fill it? Food Network, of course!

I was watching Giada de Laurentiis do a picnic menu, and thought her Chicken and Shrimp with Pancetta Chimichurri sounded like a great recipe for the grill this weekend. I prepped the chicken and shrimp, and got started on the chimichurri early in the day, and went to taste the chimichurri to make sure it was good. Not such a fan. I found it very acidic. To salvage the chimichurri, I decided to use it as a marinade instead of as a post-grill sauce. This ended up working out great – the chicken and shrimp were flavorful and moist (definitely use fresh herbs for this marinade and not dried herbs).

Serving Suggestion: I would recommend serving this with a flavorful tomato or fruit salsa.

Herb Grilled Chicken & Shrimp Marinade

Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Yields enough marinade for 2 lb. shrimp and 2 lb. chicken


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 c. fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • ground black pepper (to taste)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulsing until smooth.

Marinate chicken and/or shrimp for 2+ hours before grilling.

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As the temperature goes up, I spend less time cooking and the hubby spends more time grilling. We’ll grill just about anything – meat, seafood, veggies, fruit – and are always looking for new recipes to try out. We ended up bringing these shrimp over a friend’s house a couple of weeks ago and they were a huge hit! We had these as part of the main dish, with burgers, but they would also be great as a hot, room temperature, or cold appetizer, or in a salad.

Thanks to Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen for choosing such a nice light dish for this month’s Barefoot Bloggers.

Grilled Herb Shrimp

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa‘s Barefoot Contessa Parties!

Serves 2-3 as a main dish


  • 1 lb large shrimp (16 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined (see note)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, small-diced
  • 1/8 c. minced fresh parsley
  • 1/8 c. minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp.  Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp.  kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 c. good olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

If grilling on skewers, don’t forget to soak any wood skewers in water for 30 minutes. These can also be grilled in a grill basket.

Combine all ingredients except shrimp and set aside.

Skewer the shrimp, using 3-4 shrimp per skewer. (I removed the tails, but feel free to leave tails on.) Pour marinade on shrimp and allow to marinade for 1 hour at room temperature, or covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Heat grill on medium heat, and brush grill with oil to prevent shrimp and herbs from sticking.

Grill shrimp, bout 90 seconds per side. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature

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This month’s Barefoot Blogger’s recipe was chosen by Jill of Insanely Good Food.  And what did Jill chose? She chose the Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Shrimp Scampi, a tasty and easy dish that has become a new staple recipe in my house. I had made this recipe a couple months ago (blogged here) but wanted to take a minute to once again, encourage you to try it. I skip the butterflying and arranging to make it even easier – I buy the frozen peeled and deveined shrimp. Simply defrost, remove the tails, marinade and make the crumbly topping, and bake. A super easy and flavorful weeknight meal. Serve over pasta or rice.

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Baked Shrimp Scampi 009-1

Serve over pasta for a quick weeknight meal. I added a bit of extra panko breadcrumbs and parsley for some extra crunch. It was really good; there was a great layering of sweet and salty flavors, with just a hint of spice from the red pepper flakes. Next time, I’ll probably try to mix it up a bit, and add in some Parmesan cheese.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Source: The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten

Serves 6


  • 2 lb. (12-15 per pound) shrimp in the shell; peeled (tails on) and deveined
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 Tbs. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1/4 c. minced shallots (I used 1/8 c. dried onion flakes)
  • 3 Tbs. minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425.

Place shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, wine, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper.

Baked Shrimp Scampi 006-1

In another bowl, mix softened butter and all other remaining ingredients, except the lemon wedges.

In a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer, cut side down, with tails pointing up. (Ina recommends beginning at the edge and working towards the center.) Pour what’s left of the olive oil and wine mixture on top of the shrimp. Spread/crumble butter mixture on top of the shrimp.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until hot and bubbling. Then, broil for 1 minute, until top is slightly browned.

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This is a favorite appetizer of ours – we serve this both hot and at room temperature (grill and keep warm in the oven, if you prefer). I haven’t tried it, but I bet this would be fantastic in a taco, topped with a light, fresh salsa.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

Source: Emeril Lagasse’s Spicy Barbecued Shrimp Skewers


  • 1/4 c. vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (less to cut the heat)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. light brown sugar or honey (I’ve made it with both)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined


If using bamboo skewers during grilling, soak skewers for 30 minutes, prior to threading the shrimp. You may also skip the skewers and place the shrimp directly on the grill.

In a large ziplock bag, combine all ingredients except for the shrimp. Once thoroughly mixed together, add shrimp and toss to coat. Preheat grill, if serving immediately. Otherwise, refrigerate marinating shrimp until ready to grill.

Grill shrimp / shrimp skewers until pink and lightly charred on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

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Rich & Easy Clam Chowder

Fix It & Forget It Cookbook

Makes 4-5 servings

I made this a couple months ago for some friends. I don’t actually eat clam chowder and have no idea what it tastes, so this was an experiment for me. The entire pot was gone, so I guess it went well!


3 – 10 ¾ oz cans cream of potato soup

2 – 10 ¾ oz cans of New England clam chowder

½ c. butter

1 small onion, diced

1 pint half-and-half

2 – 6 ½ oz. cans clams, chopped

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Original instructions say to cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours.I added 1-2 tsp of black pepper to the above for a bit more flavor.  I found that it was ready in closer to 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.

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Sunday Supper Movement