Confession: normally when I see a recipe starting with a tin of biscuit dough, I quickly turn the page. They just don’t taste like real biscuits in my opinion, and many of them contain trans fats and ingredients I can’t pronounce. But I saw this recipe for Shrimp Puffs in Food Network Magazine on two occasions, and I kept thinking about how much my daughter Samantha would like them. And I seem to have a weakness for recipes that call for fresh dill. Once I tracked down a tin of biscuit dough without any funky ingredients (Pillsbury‘s Simply brand), I decided to give it a go. I had a larger tin of biscuits than the recipe called for, so my youngest kitchen helper Lauren broke eight pieces of dough into thirds and then we pressed them into all 24 mini muffin tins (the recipe states 20). Even with this change, there was a ton of the shrimp-cheese filling, so we didn’t need all of it. I had chives on hand (and thought they would go over well with the kids) so I used those instead of scallions.
As expected, Samantha loved these cheesy shrimp-topped biscuits. So did my husband. Lauren adores plain biscuits and was not happy about having shrimp stuck to the top of them…she was looking around for her usual strawberry jam. And not surprisingly, I thought they were “okay”. They would be a good party snack, but we had them with a big salad for a quick weeknight dinner. Even though they weren’t my favorite creation to date, I will make these again since Samantha enjoyed them so much (and Lauren had a lot of fun “helping” with the dough).
Bowties with Salmon & Peas
My kids (like many kids I know) are happiest when the components of their meals are all separate from one another — protein, grains, fruit/vegetables are mixed together at your own risk. I prefer the exact opposite: easy one-pot meals that incorporate everything into one dish. I’m especially happy when the recipe calls for lots of vegetables, herbs, and spices (a nightmare to my children). This kind of cooking makes for easy leftovers too. Every now and then I will see a recipe that incorporates everything in one dish but features ingredients the kids actually like to eat, and this Creamy Farfalle with Salmon and Peas from Self Magazine fit the bill. Well, I take that back – they would happily pass on the peas, but you can’t get everything you wish for.
This meal turned out really well. The sauce was thick and creamy (save some of the starchy pasta water to thin it out if necessary) and the smell of cream cheese with fresh dill was fantastic. It was a mild, “kid-friendly” combination. For the pasta, I used Barilla’s “Piccolini” Mini Farfalle. When my girls first eyed their bowls, they made faces about all those peas, but after a bite of pasta I heard lots of, “Mmmm, this is actually pretty good”. The recipe could easily be modified to use cubed chicken or ham instead of salmon, and you could switch out the peas for another favorite veggie. I will definitely be keeping this one on hand for an easy one-dish meal that everyone at my table will eat.
- Salmon Pasta (mummysknee.wordpress.com)