Gasparilla Cookbook

Brownies 


Good morning! I hope you are having a great week so far. If you live in the Tampa area then you know that Gasparilla is right around the corner and these brownies happen to be from the Gasparilla cookbook!

It is a super easy recipe and they are quite delicious. Perfect for your pirate festivities or a casual ladies night in! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 1 ounce chocolate squares unsweetened
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 well beaten eggs
  • 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the chocolate and margarine over hot water and blend. Gradually add sugar then eggs and beat well. Add flour gradually, mixing just until it disappears. Add nuts and vanilla. Pour into two 8 x 8 2 inch pans which have been greased and paper lined. Cook 25 to 30 minutes at 350. Cut each pan into 16 squares. Let stand for 5 minutes before turning out to cool. Makes 32.

 

The Life of the Party

Bananas Foster 


Are you looking for a perfect dessert recipe for the holidays? Well I found one easy one for you…bananas foster. This classic and delicious dessert is a favorite amongst everyone. 

Who doesn’t like bananas and some rum?! Anyways, here’s the recipe below and the ingredients you’ll need. Most of them you should have at home as well. Enjoy! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur 
  • 1/4 cup dark rum 
  • Dash of 151 rum 
  • Dash of cinnamon 
  • 4 firm bananas, sliced 
  • Vanilla ice cream 

Steps to make the bananas foster: 

Melt the butter in a skillet. Stir in the brown sugar. Cook until melted and well blended. Add the banana liqueur, dark rum, 151 rum, cinnamon and bananas. Cook until the bananas are warm and softened; do not let bananas get mushy. 

Scoop the ice cream into dessert bowls and top with hot banana mixture. Serve immediately. 

Capture the Coast

Fish and Bubbles Party Mix


It’s that time of year again, when the birds start chirping and the smell of summer lingers in the air. This is personally my favorite time of year because the weather is perfect and there are plenty of birthdays and events to celebrate. My Birthday is in May and since it is around the corner I want to share this amazingly fun and easy recipe with you.

Now I don’t know about you, but I often have great intentions of channeling my inner ‘Martha Stewart’ and making a fabulous dish, only to find myself in the checkout lane 5 minutes before the party. Well, if you can relate, then this is the perfect recipe for you. It is super fun and easy. Plus kids love to help make it and everyone enjoys diving in to devour it. So the next time you need to whip up a quick snack, try this party favorite. You can find this recipe in the Tampa Bay Junior League’s very own, Capture the Coast cookbook, on page 47. Enjoy!

Capture the Coast, pg 47

5 cups crispy corn and rice cereal, such as Chex

3 cups Cheerios

4 cups fish-shaped cheese crackers

2 cups fish-shaped pretzel nuggets

2 cups “M & M’s” Chocolate Candies

1 cup peanuts 1 ½ cups pecan halves or pieces

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Combine the cereals, crackers, pretzel nuggets, peanuts and pecan halves in a large bowl and mix it well.  Bring the butter and brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan.  Boil until frothy, stirring constantly.  Pour over the cereal mixture and toss to coat.  Spread evenly in a large roasting pan.  Bake for 10 minutes and stir.  Continue baking for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.  Add the chocolate candies and toss well.  Store in an airtight container.

Uncategorized

Bunco Jumble


Bunco Jumble

This is a delicious sweet and salty snack that you can be creative with to make your own. Feel free to add mini cookies, graham cracker bears, popcorn, candy corn or pecans. The possibilities are endless!

1 box mini Ritz peanut butter sandwich crackers 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
12 oz bag mini pretzel sticks or twists
1 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz package mini or regular M&M’s chocolate candy

Combine the sandwich crackers, peanuts, and pretzels in a large roasting pan.

Heat the sugar, butter and for syrup in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in the vanilla and baking soda.

Pour over the cracker mixture, stirring to coat well.
Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes.
Remove to waxed paper to let cool completely. Add the chocolate candies. Break up the mixture into small pieces as necessary.

Savor the Seasons · Uncategorized

Best Ever Ginger Snaps


Best-Ever Ginger Snaps  (pg 116, Savor the Seasons).  The ingredients are fairly simple and include the following-

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Best-Ever Ginger Snaps, you preheat the oven to 350 degrees and combine all
Ingredients except the butter and molasses; the butter is ‘cut into’ the flour mixture and then molasses are added.  This forms a dough, which is then rolled into 3/4-1 inch balls and those are covered in sugar.  The dough balls are then baked for 12-15 minutes or until brown.  These are delicious and not too sweet; they’re perfect for holiday parties (can be used for Thanksgiving and Christmas) as well as fun cookie exchanges during the holidays!

Capture the Coast

Hamwich Time!


Hamwich

Capture The Coast pg. 40

3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons mustard
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/3 cup chopped onion
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 (16 oz) package frozen dinner rolls
1/3 pound shaved ham
2/3 cup shredded swiss cheese
Hamwiches are easy to prepare and are always a crowd pleaser. For this recipe, instead of using traditional dinner rolls I sweetened things up by using King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. I thought it paired well with the ham, swiss, and tangy mustard and onion spread. These little sandwiches are great for football parties or to take along with you to a picnic or potluck.
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The Life of the Party

Life of the Party’s Sassy Salsa


Life of the Party’s Sassy Salsa (p. 40)

We’ve all been there. You arrive to your friend’s football watch party/girls night gathering with a heaping pile of cookies….that no. one. touches. In this day and age, oftentimes the men are even trying to count their calories!

Take heart! The Junior League of Tampa has the cure all for appetizer agonies. Sassy Salsa!

It’s healthy, easy to make, and did we mention, delicious? Read on for the quick secret for ALWAYS going home with a cleaned-out casserole dish.

Most of the ingredients for Sassy Salsa are already likely stashed in your pantry.

Start out with two cans of black beans, and a can of corn. Drain and rinse both…and add to a big bowl.

Fool proof, right?!

Alright…here comes the real leg work of the recipe. Break out that cutting board. Whew! Now, get to chopping! Chop up cilantro, green onions, red onion, and a few limes. Juice limes. (Strenuous activity like chopping may require wine…for hydration purposes, obviously).

Add all that gorgeous color to your bowl…along with some vegetable oil and cumin. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper. Now the best part, do some taste-testing! Add more lime juice, salt or pepper according to your taste.

If your party is later on…cover this bad boy with plastic wrap and forget about it till the last minute. If you’re heading out the door soon, read on.

You thought you were done with that cutting board (and wine). Not quite, domestic goddess! Dice up some tomatoes and one avocado. Add to that big bowl again (isn’t it looking gorgeous in there?!). Add one small can of chopped green chiles to add some depth to the flavor. Stir up everything…and if you’re feeling spicy…add some of your favorite hot sauce to the mix!

Get ready for it….that’s it! You did it! Just pair your Sassy Salsa with some tortilla chips…and prepare to really be the Life of the Party!

Recipe:

2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained, rinsed

1 (16oz) can  corn, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon cumin

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped avocado

1 (4oz) can green chiles (optional)

Hot sauce (optional)

Combine the beans, corn, cilantro, green onions, red onion, lime juice, oil and cumin in a large bowl and mix well. Add salt and pepper. Chill, covered, for up to 24 hours. Stir in the tomatoes, avocado and green chiles immediately before serving. You may also add hot sauce to taste if desired. Serve with corn chips or crostini.

Yield: 6 cups (12 to 15 servings)

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The Life of the Party

Cajun Shrimp and Lemon Pasta


Cajun Shrimp and Lemon Pasta

Capture the Coast, pg . 78

Weeknight meals can be a challenge in our house.  With two kids running around and jobs and volunteer commitments to juggle it’s a major accomplishment to get ANYTHING on the table.  We have our staple meals and takeout places, but I do like to mix it up occasionally and I was feeling adventurous this week.

I’m always looking for something that can be prepped in advance and is easy to finish and when I saw this Cajun Shrimp and Lemon Pasta dish, I knew we had to try it! The recipe is very adaptable according to your taste and was a huge hit in our house. The kids even enjoyed the pasta by itself!

Cajun Seasoning:

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon oregano

¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Combine all of the seasonings together in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Secure lid and shake well. *I used a small mason jar for this step.

Spicy Shrimp:

½ cup olive oil

1 garlic clove

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 pound large shrimp

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients with the Cajun seasoning.  Peel and devein shrimp and rinse and pat dry.  In a 9×13 inch dish, combine the shrimp with the marinade and toss to coat.  Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 1 to 12 hours.

When you are ready for dinner, preheat the over to 450 degrees. Discard the garlic clove from the dish and bake the shrimp for 7 to 10 minutes until pink, stirring occasionally.

Lemon Pasta:

½ cup olive oil

2/3 cup grated parmesan

juice of 2 lemons

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

1 lb spaghetti or penne

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped

zest of two lemons

Whisk the olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving a ½ cup of the cooking water. Combine the pasta and the sauce and add the lemon zest and basil, toss to coat. Add reserved water a tablespoon at a time, as needed (I didn’t need to add any).  Top with the shrimp and serve.

Cooks notes:

  • We don’t care for parsley so I skipped that ingredient in the marinade.
  • You can use whatever pasta you want in this recipe! I only had gluten free penne in my pantry and it was delicious.
  • The recipe suggests that you can use parsley instead of basil in the pasta and also can add capers. I took them up on the latter part and we weren’t disappointed!

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The Life of the Party

Hot & Spicy Spinach Dip


Hot and Spicy Spinach Dip

The Life of the Party, p.43

     Well it’s the start of college football and we all know what that means! Tailgates and watch parties. If you’re like me, the food is ALMOST as important as the game itself. I have a few “go to” appetizers that I bring to parties or make for my guests. The Hot and Spicy Spinach Dip is one of my favorites. It’s an easy prep and it makes a lot. I usually make mine the day of so its nice and fresh and I serve mine with blue corn tortilla chips. You can serve it with just about whatever but that happens to be my favorite. The dip itself is very flavorful with butter, spices, onions, and cheeses that all join forces to make your mouth water!

 

Be sure to try it out and let us know what you think!

 

½ onion, finely chopped

½ cup (1 stick) butter

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained

8 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes

1-cup sour cream

¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped

crushed red pepper flakes to taste

salt to taste

pepper to taste

1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

 

Sauté the onion in butter in a large skillet until tender. Add the spinach, cream cheese, sour cream and parmesan cheese, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the artichoke hearts, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; remove from heat. Pour into baking dish. Top with pepper jack cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot with assorted crackers and bread slices.

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

The Life of the Party

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf


Good morning and happy Friday!! Can you believe it is already the end of August already? This year is seriously going by way too quickly. But hey at least football is around the corner and I have the perfect snack to make while watching a game. This lemon poppy seed loaf is super easy and quite delicious to bake for you and some friends.

It’s not messy which means it’s easy to clean up and that sounds like a pretty good deal to me when entertaining others. Anyways, here is what you’ll need in order to make this loaf!

Ingredients for the Bread:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds

For the Glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

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For the bread, beat the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the lemon zest, flour, baking powder, salt and milk and beat at low speed until combined. Mix in the poppy seeds. Do not overmix the batter. Pour into a greased and floured 5×9 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

For the glaze, combine the lemon juice and confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl and mix well. Prick the top of the hot loaf with a fork. Pour the glaze slowly over the hot loaf. Wrap in plastic wrap and let stand for several hours to overnight before slicing to serve.

Yield: 12 Servings