Bacon and Shrimp Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette


This week’s PPQ pick from Shawnda at Confections of a Foodie Bride was on the lighter side — Prosciutto Tostadas with Shrimp and Parsley. I turned it into a salad for a light dinner without having to turn on the oven.

With the combination of the bacon and shrimp with the tangy dressing, it was delicious!


For the other versions of this week’s recipe, visit the main Project Pastry Queen site.


  • 4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp vinegar (I used sherry vinegar)
  • ¼ C chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 C mixed greens
  • ½ C cherry or grape tomatoes, halved


  1. Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium.
  2. Add garlic and shrimp.
  3. Cook until shrimp is opaque.
  4. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, vinegar, and parsley.
  5. Toss shrimp mixture with greens, tomatoes and bacon.
  6. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Prosciutto Tostadas with Shrimp and Parsley from The Pastry Queen.


How to Cook a Perfect Steak

Are you making steak for your honey (or yourself) this Valentine’s dinner? Here’s an easy no-fail method, especially if you don’t have a grill.

Andy says it’s the best steak AND meal he’s ever had. Woohoo! 🙂

How-to-Cook-the-Perfect-Steak (1 of 1)

2 10 oz. NY Strip Steaks, thicker is better
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Compound butter (my recipe below), butter or olive oil

Compound Butter
¼ C unsalted butter
½ tsp salt
6 cloves, roasted garlic
2 tsp chives, finely chopped

Make into log and roll in wax paper. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

How-to-Cook-the-Perfect-Steak (1 of 1)-2


  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Brush steak with olive oil.
  3. Season steak with plenty of salt and pepper. (Probably a bit more than you think is necessary.)
  4. Heat a cast iron or oven proof sauté pan until very hot.
  5. Place steak in skillet and sear on one side (about 2 min), flip, then move pan to pre-heated oven.
  6. Cook until desired temperature. Depending on thickness, about 5-7 for medium-rare to medium.
  7. Remove from oven, top with slice of compound butter and let rest for 3-5 minutes.


I’ve also used this method to cook Rib eyes and it would probably work for a few other types of steak you might cook on the grill.

Caesar Salad Pizza


This week’s Project Pastry Queen was Caesar Salad Pizzas. I was definitely intrigued. I love Caesar salad and I love pizza. This should be a win-win.

The recipe seems long and difficult but it’s because there are so many parts. I’m not sure if the pizza crust was worth the time (although it really didn’t take too long). Next time, I might use pita bread, Trader Joe’s pizza crust, Naan bread, or maybe even a tortilla.

Either way, it was good.

The dressing may scare some of you with the whole raw egg thing. I’ve had raw egg in a Caesar salad before, but I’ve never made it that way. I decided to stick to the recipe and keep it in. I probably should have bought the pasteurized eggs but didn’t feel like going to the store. While I can’t speak to the taste difference if I had left the egg out, I don’t think it would hurt.

Long story, short; I’ll be keeping the dressing recipe on hand and the concept in the back of my mind.


This week’s challenge (I’m a bit behind.)? Tuxedo Cake!!! Can’t wait for this one.



1 ½ C lukewarm water
2 (1 oz) packages active dry yeast
2 Tbls olive oil, plus additional for brushing on crusts
2 tsp honey
4-5 C flour
3 Tbls semolina flour (optional)
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
½ C coarse cornmeal
1 C freshly shredded Parmesan cheese


2 cloves garlic, minced
1 anchovy (optional – I didn’t use)
2 large eggs, beaten, or ½ C pasteurized egg product
½ C freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 C extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper


1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and cut into 1 ½” slices
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese



  1. Combine the lukewarm water, yeast, olive oil, and honey in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add 3 C of the all-purpose flour, semolina flour, salt, crushed red pepper. Mix on low speed. With the machine running, add 1 C of the all purpose flour to make a soft dough.
  3. Mix the dough on low speed about 5 min longer, until smooth.
  4. Add up to 1 more cup of the all purpose flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl. (I didn’t need any additional flour.)
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10-15 turns.
  6. Place in a large oiled bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30-40 min.
  7. Generously coat two baking sheets with olive oil. Sprinkle the sheets with cornmeal.
  8. Preheat over to 450. (If you have a pizza stone, use it instead of the baking sheets, preheating it along with the oven. No need to grease the stone, just sprinkle it with cornmeal just before you bake the pizzas.)
  9. Divide the dough into quarters. Roll each piece into a ball, place the dough ball on a baking sheet, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 10-15 minutes longer. Use immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 hours.
  10. Using a floured rolling pin, flatten each dough ball into an 8” circle. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ C Parmesan cheese.
  11. Transfer the crusts onto the prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes, until browned and crisp.


  1. Add garlic, anchovy, eggs, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and mustard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth.
  2. With the processor running, add the olive oil through the feed tube in a thin, steady stream.
  3. Pour the dressing into a bowl, stir in Parmesan cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Toss the lettuce and tomatoes with the dressing.
  2. Place a generous amount of salad on top of each warm pizza crust.
  3. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese. Serve flat like a tostada.
Serves 4

Very, very slightly adapted from The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather.