Monthly Archives: October 2012

Shrimp Cocktail…Elegance At Home!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten shrimp cocktail at a restaurant…..It’s screams at me from the menu

“Pick Me…Pick Me”

If I can get over the sticker shock, then I order them. If not, then I just crave them and move on.

There are several menu items that drive me right over the edge of…. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME”! This is one of them.

I understand that prep and labor and all that jazz goes into the price of food on a menu, I truly do! But dining out should feel like a treat, not a procedure that you walk away sore from!

So let me show ya how easy it is to create restaurant quality shrimp cocktail:

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Hodgson Mill Prize Pack Winner

After a few long weeks of biting my nails over the Hodgson Mill “Build a Better Pizza” contest…..the day is finally here!

Voting ends today at 5 pm central time.

Thanks to each and every one of you who voted! Now I need to give away this prize pack…

The winner, chosen by a tedious process of assigning every comment a number then using to pick a number/winner is………


Congratulations Paula! Please email your mailing address to to claim your prize. I will send that info to the folks at Hodgson Mill, and they will mail your package to you.

Thanks again for all your support and don’t forget….Hodgson Mills is drawing ten more names from the pool of voters to win additional prize packs!

Signing Off,

Modern Mrs. Cleaver

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Stuffed Mushrooms

Let me start by saying…THESE stuffed mushrooms are probably the quickest way to make me weak at the knees. I love so many kinds of stuffed mushrooms, and despite several past flops at restaurants…I’m always tempted to order them again. I’m a glutton for punishment I guess!

Most of the ones I’ve been served at restaurants fall into one of these categories:

1.) Lukewarm

2.) Just barely stuffed

3.) Soggy

I don’t like ANY of those categories!


I make my own

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Frito Boats

These delicious little goodies go by many names, depending on what part of the country you’re in. You might know them as Frito Pie or Walking Tacos.

Whatever you call them….just know they’re GOOD!

Versions of these Frito dishes have been made for years and years. The most popular way, before the creation of the small snack size bags, was to layer Fritos, Chili, and Cheese in a casserole and bake it. That was the dawn of Frito Pie….we all need to pay homage to the casserole ladies of old!

Now, everybody has their own version of chili that adorns their Fritos, and most people are as dedicated to THEIR chili as they are their Turkey Dressing/Stuffing.

If you DON’T already have your own chili….take a look-see at mine and give it a try. It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s kid approved. That works well in my world!

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Stuffed Tex O Lanterns

So here it is for public viewing……PROOF that Modern Mrs. Cleaver still plays with her food!

The proof is in the pepper

I LOVE stuffed peppers, but why not make them something unique and kid friendly for Halloween? This is super cinchy to do and they turn out amazing. I grab orange bell peppers because they look like mini pumpkins when they are on the plate, but you can carve any color ya like.

Stuff em’ with your favorite pepper stuffing, or use my Mexican Rice recipe with the link posted below.

~Mexican Rice Recipe~

The Mexican Rice is enough to stuff 6-8 large peppers, or have some for leftovers!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

So grab a pepper and slice around the top to create a circle and pop the lid off. Cut the seeds and membrane away to flatten the bottom of the lid.

Carefully remove seeds and white membrane from inside the pepper.

With a sharp paring knife, cut faces into your peppers. Make them happy, scary, or even include teeth. Get creative 🙂

Place the peppers into a baking dish and stuff with your choice of stuffing.

Place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes until the peppers are nice and soft. Allow them to cool for a few moments, then plate and serve. I like to put a dollop of sour cream on top of my Mexican Rice and sprinkle with cilantro.

Here they are….aren’t they awesome???

So go ahead and play with your food….I won’t tell!

Signing Off,

Modern Mrs. Cleaver


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Mexican Rice

My family doesn’t go out to eat all that often…for a few reasons

1.) Taking a family out to eat is EXPENSIVE nowadays!

2.) I LOVE to cook

3.) I tend to be happier with my own food

Now I’m not a food snob, but I’ve been served PLENTY of meals that have left me wishing I would have just made the dish at home and saved the money!

Often times, when trying to recreate a dish at home, you find that you have ALMOST nailed the taste, but there’s just one or two things missing. A lot of people have that problem when making Mexican Rice. Have you ever tried to make the rice that saddles up next to your favorite enchiladas at the local Mexican restaurant? It can lump together and be sticky if you’re not careful…..Not the light and fluffy texture that you’re looking for.

Stick (pun intended) with me for a moment and I’ll show you a recipe that’ll have you shaking your maracas!

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There’s still time to enter the Giveaway!

Hodgson Mill is letting me giveaway a prize pack valued at $25.00 to one of my readers!

Most of you know that I entered my Caprese Pizza into their “Build a Better Pizza” contest…and SO FAR I’m in the lead!

{insert happy dance}

But I need YOUR help to stay there!

You, the voters, will have 2 chances to win a prize pack.

1.) Click the link below to vote for your favorite pizza (hint mine is at the top of page 5 and looks like the one below). You will need to “Like” the Hodgson Mill facebook page and enter your email. They will select 10 random voters to win a prize pack.

2.) Leave a comment here letting me know that you voted and I’ll be giving away a prize pack to a voter soon!

Here’s the link

Hodgson Mill Pizza Voting

Here’s my Caprese Pizza

Thanks guys….you truly are the BEST 🙂

Signing Off,

Modern Mrs. Cleaver


Filed under The Cleaver Challenge

Burgers…the old-fashioned way

We are a house of cheeseburger fanatics, and there’s not TOO many things you can do to ruin one in my opinion! I like to experiment and put unique toppings on them and create new sauces to adorn the buns.

We stuff the patties, we bacon wrap the patties, we’ve even smoked the patties!

But here’s the deal folks….those old-fashioned burgers right off the flat-top are STILL my favorite! The ones you found in the old diners that were being cranked out as fast as people could flip em’. A single patty with a nice crust, topped with cheese, and served on a soft bun. YES PLEASE!

So let’s create a burger “old-school” style shall we?

Now I don’t have a restaurant sized flat-top in my kitchen… (YET)

And I want the flavor of the grill without having to light, and preheat, and make a nice bed of coals…

Cast Iron to the rescue folks! Perfect crust, perfect flavor….PERFECT!

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Portobello Grilled Cheese

I love crisp fall nights that beg for a dinner of grilled cheese and soup…there’s just something magical about that combination.

The classic grilled cheese of my youth was 2 (if we were lucky) slices of Kraft cheese on white bread, served up with Campbell’s tomato soup. While it was dee-licious then…I’m a grown up now (most days) and I want a grown up sandwich!

Over the past couple of months I’ve been creating new “grown up” sammies as often as I can….this is the latest creation and boy o boy is it a keeper!

I didn’t use real precise measurements but it really couldn’t be easier….or tastier….or

Let’s just cook this already! Continue reading


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Hodgson Mill Giveaway…Take 2

Earlier I posted a Giveaway from the fine folks at Hodgson Mill. As part of their “Build a Better Pizza” contest, they are allowing me to giveaway a prize pack valued at $25.00.

I submitted my “Caprese Pizza” to the contest and so far…I’m out in the lead and I couldn’t be more proud.

Unfortunately, the winner of the giveaway did not claim her prize so I’ll try it again 🙂

To enter to win the prize pack…please click the link provided near the end of this post and go vote for a pizza! While I would LOVE to have your vote…it is by no means mandatory to vote for mine to enter the giveaway.

If you want to vote for mine, it looks like this


Click the following link, “Like” the Hodgon Mill page and enter your email. Ten voters will win Hodgson Mill products and they will contact you via email.


Then vote for your favorite pizza and leave me a comment here letting me know that you voted!

I will select a random winner right before the voting ends on October 30th.

Thanks to all of you for voting…it means the world to me!


Filed under The Cleaver Challenge