Karen’s Crispy Shrimp Shredded Wheat Appetizer

Cereal … The fast food that saved many a parent’s sanity as their kids were growing up. Had we known then how addictive the sugars in these breakfast treats were, we might have never opened a box and poured a big bowl for our little Alice and Jerry. Ha Ha Ha … nah, who am I kidding? We were the moms who were breaking that glass ceiling. Fast convenient and yummy to their tummies, we would worry about the sugar addiction another day. We had to get to work, make a presentation, get dry cleaning, head home to make dinner then off to pick up the kids for soccer practice and piano, then attend the PTA meeting, followed by a volunteer assignment meeting for the community fundraising gala. Yes, cereal, the breakfast of champions, was always on our breakfast table, and we would let the teachers deal with our kids all buzzed up on sugar. Heck, we had a corporate ladder to climb and doors to open for those that followed us!

Along the way we had to budget everything … remember the coupon craze? OMG, there were clubs, kaffeeklatsches, TV shows and even DVDs on how to use coupons for everything. As for me, I was too busy for the coupon clubs but I always used coupons for my cereal purchases. Cocoa Puffs, Fruit Loops, Golden Grahams, Sugar Smacks, Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes and our middle daughter’s favorite, Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But since we were pinching pennies and on a tight budget, we never threw away a box with even only a tablespoon or two in it. Our kids had the unique and creative cereal on the block. I created it myself and named it our “Crazy Mixed Up Cereal.” The recipe? Take a Tupperware cereal container, you know the one with the wide mouth snap on lid (come on, I know you bought a few, too) and start dumping all of the bottom of the box cereals into the container. Any and all brands and flavors went into the container; as long as they were sugar coated … in they went! Shake up the container to evenly distribute the multiple varieties then give the kids a bowl and smile as they groaned and spouted off “not again, please open a new box of cereal” … But alas our cupboard had none! They still talk about that cereal to their friends who can’t believe that I was a bad mom and made the kids eat my creative cereal creation! So, on that note, “Please Join Our Table” as I share what you too can do with cereal besides putting it in a bowl!

Our middle daughter, Lorie, had a birthday a few days ago, and since Cinnamon Toast Crunch was, and still is, her favorite cereal, I’m dedicating this recipe to her.

Chocolate Drizzled Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bars

(Makes about 16 bars)

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup butter

4 cups miniature marshmallows
4 1/2 cups Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal

TOPPING

1/4 cup chocolate chips

1/2-2/3 cup powdered sugar

1 dash cinnamon

1-2 tablespoons whole milk or half and half

DIRECTIONS: Generously grease an 11 x 7 or 9 x 9 pan with softened butter, set aside. In a large pot, melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and cook over medium-low heat until marshmallows are completely melted. Once marshmallows are melted, remove pot from heat and add cereal to the pot, stirring to coat. Press into prepared pan and cool. While cooling, make the chocolate drizzle. Drizzle chocolate over cooled pan, cut cooled cookie into bars and serve.

Growing up in Ohio, when the weather got cold, I would make my, and my father’s, favorite hot cereal breakfast. Two Shredded Wheat squares, topped with really hot milk, sugar and a generous pat of butter. We would stir until the butter melted, sometimes sprinkling cinnamon on top before enjoying this winter treat. Give it a try! And next time you need to make an appetizer, consider this yummy crunchy shrimp appetizer made with Shredded Wheat.

Crispy Shrimp Shredded Wheat Appetizer

(With red pepper feta dip)

INGREDIENTS

*2 full size Shredded Wheat squares, carefully opened up and laid flat

6 jumbo shrimp, cleaned and shelled, keeping tail intact

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

1/4 teaspoon Greek seasoning

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Baking sheet

Parchment paper

6 wooden skewers soaked in water for 10 minutes and wiped dry

*You can also use 2-3 sheets phyllo, stacked and sliced/shredded into threads (think angel hair thin).

DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, combine shrimp, EVOO, lemon pepper, Greek seasoning and garlic powder. Mix carefully and set aside for flavors to meld about 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On your working surface, divide the Shredded Wheat into 6 flat rectangles. Remove the shrimp and skewer each with the wooden skewers. Wrap the shrimp with the flattened Shredded Wheat squares, place on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and serve immediately alongside your favorite dipping sauce.

Red Pepper Feta Aioli

This is an add ingredients as you go kind of dip. I sometimes add other olives, peppers, artichokes, etc. So have fun experimenting!

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup roasted red peppers or canned pimentos

3/4 cup Greek yogurt, plain, strained before measuring

1/4 cup Duke’s mayonnaise (or use crumbled feta with 1 teaspoon olive oil)

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and lemon pepper to taste

*Optional: Kalamata olives, pitted, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS: Place all ingredients except the olives in a food processor/chopper and pulse until finely blended, pour into a bowl and fold in olives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 2 cups.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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