Saturday, March 26, 2011

Copy Cat Recipes

I was opened to a new world of cooking when it dawned on me that I could find recipes of my favorite recipes from my favorite restaurants and make them at home! And it's easier than you might think! Doing this not only saves you money but you can modify it to your family's taste, diet and budget needs!

Our family favorite is Red Lobster's Cajun Shrimp Linguini.

This recipe is great because it is very versatile. I make it with shrimp and/or chicken and a little less spicey than called for. For those gluten/low carbers, just leave out the pasta and you have a yummy sauce with protein!

So I start off in the afternoon making my bread (that takes about 3 hrs-mostly wait time). I'll blog that eventually :) .
I cover the protein in cajun seasonings and put them in the skillet with butter (if cooking chicken you'll need extra fat. ie. butter, oil, lard).  I start my water for boil for the pasta and make up my salad.

I will remove the chicken- but if I'm using shrimp I'll leave it in. I let the chicken rest and work on the sauce.

I use the lower side of the recipe for the amount of cream. This time I used a lot of chicken and probably should have used more cream.Toss in the other spices and stir it in(sometimes to save time and stress I will measure out the spices and have them in stand by in a custard bowl).

Add in your protein and pasta and make sure your burner is on a low setting. You want it to simmer and thicken/reduce a little.

I toss in a hand full of parmesean cheese. I usually grade some myself but this was on sale...don't judge me :).


½ pound peeled shrimp uncooked 
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning 
2 tablespoons butter 
1-2 cup heavy cream 
1/4 teaspoon dried basil 
1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning 
¼-½ tsp. Cayenne pepper 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
4 ounces linguine, cooked and drained 
grated parmesan cheese (optional) 
Place shrimp and ½ Cajun seasoning in a bowl or resealable plastic bag, toss or shake to coat.
In a large skillet over medium heat sauté shrimp in butter until almost tender, about 4 minutes, just until pink
Reduce heat.
Add cream, the rest of the cajun seasoning and remaining seasonings; heat through.
Add linguine to sauce and toss; heat through.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

And that's it! mmmm. Fast and delicious!
Not including the bread, I can get this meal out in 20-30 minutes- not bad!

So, the weather getting warmer gets me in the mood for a yummy iced coffee. I  am almost always in the mood for an iced coffee...
So, my knock off iced coffee is super simple.
I like a nice strong coffee flavor and punch, so I like to use espresso. 

2 shots espresso 
2 tablespoons homemade vanilla syrup (I do a mix of 1 part water and 1 part sugar and bring it to a boil then after it's cooled just slightly I put tsp of vanilla- then I store it in a glass jar in the fridge) 
2 tablespoons half and half 
1 cup ice 
1 cup ice cold water.

I do use espresso, but you could make it with strong coffee. If you wanted to you could even make a few trays of ice with coffee so that it doesn't water it down as they melt. My sister got me a cool silicone coffee bean shaped ice "tray." How fun is that!?

Cheaper and healthier than going out to McDonald's or Starbucks. And you're in complete control!


  1. I love your iced coffee idea (and the alfredo looks great, too)! Question, and this shows my ignorance, but how do you do espresso at home?

  2. Thanks!
    The metal pot on the left is my stove top espresso maker. :) I got this years ago on ebay but you can get them about anywhere now. The key is to look for stainless steel instead of aluminum (my opinion). Super easy! I had a machine and was so hard to deal with; this is so simple and has lasted me five years!

  3. That looks yummy! Funny you should Copy Cat a Red Lobster recipe.... I just did a lowcarb (almond flour) version of their amazing Cheddar Bay Biscuits a couple nights ago! :)

  4. That sounds delish! How did they turn out? I make those on occasion but I just wing it by adjusting my regular biscuit recipe. Low carb biscuits? now that is an accomplishment!

  5. You're making me hungry. That looks so good! And I need to make some bread. MMMMMM!!!!