A Cookie and A Cookbook: A Mother’s Day Giveaway

one last bite...

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This past weekend proved to be an especially delicious one and after putting in a little extra time today at the gym, I’m excited to share some more recipe inspiration from the Seven Stars Cookbook. Either or both recipes would be perfect for Mother’s Day.

Almost every Friday night, is pizza night for us. Since we were having friends join us this past Friday, I thought it would be fun to make a special appetizer. While looking through the Cookbook I spied Chef Jason Carlisle’s recipe for the “Gulf Coast Bloody Mary” which features a shrimp and crab leg garnish! How fun! As much as I love crab legs, they can get a little bit messy to eat so I stuck with the shrimp and created a cocktail and appetizer in one!

First I made the cocktail using tomato juice, fresh lemon and lime juices, horseradish and lots of spices like pepper and old bay…

bloody mary with lots of spices

While the cocktail was chilling in the fridge, I used Ruth Reichl‘s tips for making better shrimp cocktail. I love her tips for making a custom “broth” to boil your shrimp in. So smart! Once they came to room temperature, I also chilled the shrimp which gives them that extra snap to each bite.

Just before our guests arrived I speared 3 olives per glass and chilled the glasses by filling them with ice…

glasses chilling with olives

Then I poured the cocktail into each glass and garnished with 5 shrimp per person…

Gulf Coast Cocktail Shrimp Cocktail

It's a little crazy and over the top but so delicious!

Christina samples cocktail

Our friend, Christina takes a sip- totes delish!

Everyone LOVED this appetizer cocktail! I will definitely make it again. Substituting chilled gazpacho for the bloody mary could also make for a delicious alternative. Either would be a fun  & fabulous starter for your Mother’s Day brunch or dinner!

Sunday was cold and stormy here in Weehawken, and I couldn’t have picked better weather for testing the Seven Stars recipe for Mac & Cheese. The recipe from Chef Eric Damidot of the much loved (but now closed) Nero’s just might be the cheesiest I have ever tasted (in a good way). The recipe called for pipette pasta but instead I opted for fusilli gigante since I love the way the cheese seeps in between each crevice.

Mac and Cheese with fusilli

This cheddar based sauce is decadent and plentiful. Since I was using my cast iron pan, I had to pour a bit of it out to fit the pasta. Not to worry, I will gladly freeze it for future use!

Mac & Cheese Sauce

I crisped up long strips of prosciutto in the oven while the pasta was boiling…

crispy proscuitto

I know there are some who do not like breadcrumbs on their mac & cheese- I am not one of those people! The recipe calls for a browned breadcrumb topping but since there was so much cheese to spare, I sprinkled the un-toasted breadcrumbs on top, with the prosciutto and placed the pan in the broiler for 5 minutes…

Mac and Cheese

Rustic, cheesy and delicious- the perfect comfort food dish!

Thanks to Total Rewards, I have another Seven Stars Cookbook to give away! In honor of Mother’s Day, I will gladly gift wrap it for the winner and include a Sweet Dani B signature packaged cookie as well!

Here are the rules and regulations…

Total Rewards/ Sweet Dani B Cookbook Giveaway: Share Your Foodie “JUICE” with “the JUICE”!

In the comment section of this post, please tell us about the best bloody mary you ever had (details please! who made it and where it was from? Was it spicy? Was there a cocktail shrimp garnish around the rim?!)… OR let’s talk Mac & Cheese! What is your favorite? Where is it from? Fresh made or a box? Cheddar or Provolone? Lobster or prosciutto?

Since we will be giving away 1 cookbook, you are welcome to share your thoughts on both topics but please comment only once.

Don’t forget to include your email address! We’d really, really appreciate it if you like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to “the Juice”, but we aren’t forceful kind of people so that is simply a sweet request.

We will be collecting “Foodie Juice” comments on this post up until midnight on Friday, May 4, 2012. The lucky winner will be chosen using random.com. International entries are welcome but you may be required to contribute to shipping costs.

I can’t wait to hear your latest and greatest “Foodie Juice”- YUM! …and what a great gift for Mom! Spread the love!  If you want to check out all the “juice” going on at Total Rewards click here…  Xo Dani

one last bite...
one last bite…