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.


Field Greens with Spiced Pecans, Goat Cheese, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

Field-Greens-Spiced-Pecans-Goat-Cheese-Balsamic-Vinaigrette-5A few things today.

One – sorry for being a little off the radar recently. My excuse? Laziness and a busted computer. But…just because I haven’t been posting, doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking.

Two – Emily from A Gilt Nutmeg chose a great recipe for this week’s Project Pastry Queen. Don’t let the length of this recipe stop you from making this. It just looks like a lot. I actually told Andy that if I had to pick one salad dressing for the rest of my life, this would be it. The whole meal took about 25 min to make and I was also cooking other items at the same time.

Three – Back to the busted computer. I’m going to post a few recipes without pictures. You see, I shoot in RAW which means the files are huge. My computer has crashed a few times and opening just one file takes a few minutes. Then, trying to save them in a format I can use on the web…another five min. This doesn’t include the time it takes to do any editing. I don’t have the patience. Once the computer is functioning again, I’ll repost them with some pics.



Spiced Pecans
1 ½ C pecan halves
3 T unsalted butter\
tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp salt

Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 T honey
½ C balsamic vinegar
¼ C red wine vinegar
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp salt
½ C – 2 ¼ C extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1 C)

1 (6 oz) goat cheese round, at room temperature (I used a 4 oz log)
3 C assorted baby greens
1 small bunch arugula
1 pint cherry tomatoes


Spiced Pecans:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Place the pecans in a medium bowl.
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, and salt.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the pecans and toss to coat well.
  5. Spread the spiced pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 7-9 min, until golden brown and aromatic. Set aside to cool at least 15 min.

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  1. Blend the garlic, mustard, honey, both vinegars, lemon juice, and salt about 15-20 seconds in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade.
  2. Pour ½ C olive oil through the feed tube in a slow stream and blend until the mixture emulsifies. Add additional olive oil as desired (I used 1 C.).


  1. Cut the goat cheese rounds into quarters and gently form each into a disk.
  2. Coarsely grind ½ C of the spiced pecan halves in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pour the ground pecans into a medium bowl. Roll the goat cheese rounds in the ground pecans to cover completely.
  3. Just before serving, toss the baby greens, arugula, the remaining 1 C of spiced pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette to taste in a large salad bowl.
  4. Serve on individual plates. Top each salad with some of the cherry tomatoes and a disk of pecan-coated goat cheese.


4 servings

The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather

Tuxedo Cake…kind of

Remember last week I said I’d be posting about the Tuxedo Cake? Well, sometimes bad things happen. I wish all of my attempts in the kitchen were successful. Sadly, they are not. Some are disasters.

I was so excited for this cake. Chocolate cake with a whipped cream frosting and a chocolate glaze. Yummm-mmmyyy!!!

Long story, short…the cake crumbled on itself. As I put the cake together, each layer crumbled the one below. It was a mess. Thankfully, it was a tasty mess.

Instead of a beautiful three-layer cake, I made two trifles. One with just the cake, frosting, and glaze and the other I added cherry pie filling. It was delicious! Ugly, but delicious.

So, instead of looking at my terrible attempt at this cake, check out these lovely blog posts from other Project Pastry Queen participants.

The next Project Pastry Queen assignment is a lovely fall treat! Hint, hint – I’ve already made it and it was NOT a disaster. 🙂


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.