Skillet Asparagus with Grapefruit

Gorgeous asparagus can be found in virtually every small town grocery store this time of year, for a great price. I get so excited when I see those thin, green stalks go on sale – because I know that Spring is finally here!

This recipe comes from the Lee brother’s new cookbook “Charleston Kitchen”. I purchased it in Charleston, and had an opportunity to talk to the brothers for a few minutes. They are just as warm and welcoming as you’d imagine! It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. I was planning to make shrimp & grits as the first recipe I’d try out of the cookbook – but when I saw that asparagus was on sale this week, and grapefruits too – I couldn’t help but move this recipe to the forefront.

It was so delicious, and so different! The sweet earthiness of the asparagus, paired with the bite and tang from the grapefruit was out of this world. And the vinaigrette? Lord have mercy. I’ve had a batch in the fridge at all times since then. To-die-for on a watercress and arugula salad. And aren’t those grapefruit segments so pretty? I used a standard “red” grapefruit to cut up for the salad, but then sliced into one of the Texas Rio Star’s I’ve been hoarding to see the color difference (I used it in the background so you can see the difference for yourself). Wowza, totally see what all the fuss is about now. So much redder, sweeter, and larger – they were about 3x the size of a standard grapefruit. I’ll have to cut a deal with Shawnda to ship me some next year, because I had a hell of a time finding them up here!

So if you’re looking to put a few fun, fresh twists on your Easter table this year – I’d highly recommend this asparagus. It’s super-duper easy and quick, delicious, and special.  Thanks to the Lee Brothers for another new family favorite in our home!

Skinny Chocolate CupcakesThose folks at America’s Test Kitchen – I just don’t know how they do it, or what I’d do without them! They’re working tirelessly, churning out great recipes for us, day in and day out. They’ve taught me probably 75% of what I’ve learned in the kitchen, the other 25% being owed to Alton Brown. Anywho, they’ve got a new cookbook on the shelves that gives our favorite comfort foods a revamp, making them a little bit more figure friendly. A few of my favorite bloggers have been sharing recipes, and when I saw this lightened-up chocolate cupcake – well, I just couldn’t resist giving it a try!

Now, if I hadn’t just told you they were low-fat – you’d honestly never know! Everyone that tried them enjoyed them, and there was nary a peep about them being low-fat. You honestly couldn’t tell! They were incredibly moist and chocolatey, and the frosting was delicious and rich – without being too sweet, like many frostings can. The secret to the cupcakes is the boiling water, which does a great job of “blooming” and releasing the flavors of the cocoa, but also adds moisture. And for the frosting, instead of copious amounts of butter being used – milk is the main component to bring everything together. Along with delicious bittersweet chocolate, and a small amount of butter to give a gorgeous sheen and richness to the frosting.

I’m definitely looking forward to trying more recipes out of this cookbook. I love to cut calories where I can, but refuse to sacrifice taste! I know I can always count on the good people at ATK to do just that for me! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

 

Twice-Baked PotatoesThe guys in my house are great eaters. They never complain when we have a meatless meal, or a fancy salad for dinner. But, they are males – and there is nothing that my boys love more than meat and potatoes. But to stuff said potato full of meat, sour cream, cheese, and scallions? Well, then they’re just in hog heaven.

We don’t eat steak that often in our home these days(as I’m a cheapskate who will only buy it when it’s on sale!) so when we do, I like to make it extra-special by serving these potatoes alongside. They’re easy, filling, and everyone always loves them! You know it’s good when your 4 year old happily gobbles up the potato skin. Sometimes I’ll double the recipe, and stick a few in the fridge or freezer to enjoy for an easy, quick lunch. When paried with a salad, it’s a wonderful meal on it’s own. No steak required!

Shrimp with Spicy Garlic SauceIf I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – we eat our fair share of shrimp in this house. In season, they’re cheaper than chicken – so how can you argue with that? I saw this recipe on Pinterest a few months ago, but always passed over it when making my menu plan for the week. Then Tracey posted it, bringing it to my fore thoughts, and I immediately added it to our menu.

I figured it would be super spicy – but it wasn’t, it was just right. We loved it, and so did the boys. I wasn’t sure they’d be able to eat it, but they eat what we eat, and it wasn’t their first time being introduced to something with a little bit of heat. The original recipe calls for chili sauce, which is like Sriracha. But, I used chili paste in a jar – which is like a chunky version of the infamous rooster bottle. I liked the little pieces of chili in the sauce, but Sriracha would work just fine as well.

We will definitely be making this one again, and again. Might throw some veggies in with the shrimp next time around – maybe some snow peas, perhaps? The sauce was so good, I’m looking forward to trying it with other proteins in the future as well. Take heed, and don’t pass this one over for months like I did!