Homemade Basil Butter

Homemade Basil Butter    Some of my favorite things are the simplest, like this basil butter.  I love love love all things basil and practically eat pesto by the spoonful.  I actually bought a basil plant two years ago for the sole purpose of always having fresh basil around.  I have to say, I was so amazed at how well it grows!  Seriously, it grows like a weed and if I forget to water it for too long, it always perks right back up.  It is an insanely low maintenance plant!  Don’t believe me?  There are entire websites devoted to helping you grow basil, but you won’t need the help.  All you need is a sunny window and an occasional watering!Homemade Basil Butter

The cream cheese I added to this basil butter makes it very smooth and spreadable while adding a subtle creamy flavor.  You don’t notice the taste though.  My husband hates (and I mean HATES) cream cheese and he was in love with this butter.  It took everything in us to stop ourselves from eating it all.  Could you imagine eating an entire stick of butter in one sitting?  Ick.  I’m telling you though, this butter will make you want to.Homemade Basil Butter

There’s no such thing as too much garlic in my kitchen, but  if you’re nervous about using raw garlic, you can substitute a bit of garlic powder for fresh or saute the garlic in oil before adding it.  You could also use a couple teaspoons of pesto instead of basil leaves if you want to cut out that step…or you could use pesto and fresh basil.Homemade Basil Butter

I love any kind of flavored butter or spread as an appetizer, especially in spring or summer because it requires no oven use!  This was absolutely mouthwatering topped with a thin slice of feta and a fresh basil leaf.  I plan on generously spreading what is left on a halved french loaf, sprinkling it with shredded parmesan and a little extra garlic, and baking it.  I think it will make the most perfect cheesy basil garlic bread.Homemade Basil Butter

Basil Butter

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3/4 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 4 Tbsb cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or magic bullet, puree basil leaves and olive oil or finely dice the basil.
  2. Beat butter and cream cheese until incorporated. Mix in pureed basil leaves and remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.
http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/05/07/basil-butter/


Shrimp Tartlets

Shrimp Tartlets

Every once in a while, my husband and I have an appetizer night, where rather than eating a traditional dinner, we just stuff ourselves full of appetizers.   Whenever there are appetizers present, I end up filling up on them anyway, so why not make that the intention?  We’ve had countless dips (a favorite being baked artichoke dip), finger foods, cheeses, and fondue.  Appetizer night is always a treat, as is fast food night, where we make our own knock-off versions of favorite fast food meals (think quesadillas, snack wraps, etc).  It’s almost always enjoyed on the couch while watching a movie!  If you don’t have evenings like this, you should consider starting to – it’s the perfect way to spend a date-night-in!

shrimptartlet2

I love recipes like the one for these amazing shrimp tartlets because they are so versatile.  You could use the filling as a dip, use wonton wrappers or phyllo dough instead of bread, and mix up the ingredients as you choose.   I also love it because it is absolutely delicious!  The subtle shrimp flavor, green onions, cream cheese, and Worchestershire sauce are a perfect combination that will leave your mouth begging for more!   The crisp crust and creamy filling pair so perfectly together!  After I made shrimp tartlets for the first time, I fell in love and they made another appearance in my kitchen just a week later.  Even my nieces who claim to not like shrimp enjoyed these.  They had a lot of fun helping make them too, especially flattening the bread slices! :)

Shrimp Tartlets

Don’t know what to do with the left over bread crusts?  Don’t throw them away!  Toss them in the oven and toast over low heat to turn them into bread crumbs (or croutons), use it for bread pudding or baked french toast, or put them on the lawn for the local fauna.

shrimptartlet

Shrimp Tartlets

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 8 tartlets

Ingredients

  • 1/4-1/3 cup finely diced/shreddd cooked shrimp
  • 8 whole cooked large shrimp for garnish
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onion
  • 1 Tbsp finely diced onion
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 8 pieces of white bread
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Cut the crusts off of each bread slice. Use a rolling pin to flatten the bread; you want them as smushed as they can be. They will feel very thin and dense, almost doughy.
  3. Using a pastry brush, gently coat each side of the bread with olive oil. Fit each slice into the well of an ungreased muffin tin.
  4. Place them in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until the tops begin to brown.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  6. When the crusts are ready, remove them from the oven and reduce heat to 300. Let them cool for a couple minutes.
  7. Distribute the filling evenly into the crusts and top each with a whole cooked large shrimp. Place back in oven and bake for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Notes

Add whatever you'd like! Other optional mix-ins: mozzarella cheese, crushed bacon, dijon mustard, paprika, hot sauce/red pepper flakes, mayonaisse. You could cut the bread slices into a circle first if you prefer. I left it them as a square because I like how the overhanging corners look.

http://paintchipsandfrosting.com/2013/03/21/shrimp-tartlets/