I have been making these shrimp for over 30 years.  You have to plan ahead, one day is fine if you have the time or up to two days. This makes the great dish for do-ahead parties.


2 pounds medium-sized shrimp or whatever size you want to use, cleaned, shelled and cooked.

When you cook shrimp put them in a pot with water to cover with the shells still on.  Bring water just to a boil; as soon as shrimp turn pink, they are done.  If you cook them any longer, they will be tough and rubbery.  Or take the easy road and buy cooked, prepared shrimp.

2 medium-sized red or sweet white onions sliced THINLY.  Cut them in half and then slice.  You will find that the onions in this dish are just as delicious as the shrimp.  Be sure to slice them thinly.

1 and 1/4-cup salad oil (Canola)
3/4-cup plain white vinegar
1-teaspoon salt
2-teaspoons celery seeds
2-tablespoons capers with juice
3 bay leaves
Dash of Tabasco or
hot pepper flakes to taste

Combine all ingredients and marinate for 24 hours or more in a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator.  Serve well drained with toothpicks or tiny shrimp forks. For best results, make two days before serving.

I slip them into a plastic zip-lock and rotate the bag a few times. I’d like to say this recipe serves 6-8 as appetizers but I’ve never seen it happen. You can double the ingredients.
email me
Here is a great party starter.  It is a molded torte with all store bought ingredients that can be made the day before.  I’m listing the ingredients for a small loaf pan but you can double the ingredients and make it in a larger loaf pan or even a mixing bowl.  Use your imagination and vary the fillings to suite your taste.  I’ve used goat cheese here but mascarpone would also be delicious with chopped sun-dried tomatoes in place of the red peppers.


20 ounces soft goat cheese, softened to room temperature
3-Tablespoons bottled black olive paste or tapenade
1/4-cup finely chopped well-drained bottled roasted red peppers
1/4-cup prepared well-drained basil pesto

Line a small loaf pan with plastic wrap or strips of parchment paper.  Make sure the lining hangs over the sides of the pan enough so you will be able to cover the top.  Spray very lightly with Pam.  Divide the goat cheese in fourths and spread one fourth in the bottom of the pan.  It helps to drop the cheese by spoonfuls and then spread with a spatula.  Top with all of the pesto spread as evenly as possible.  Continue with another layer of cheese, chopped red peppers, cheese, olive paste and end with a layer of cheese.  Fold the plastic over the top and press lightly to release any air pockets.  Refrigerate at least 8 hours, invert torte unto serving plate and remove the plastic wrap.  Serve with crackers or toast points.  Makes enough for 8 to 10 hors d’oeuvres.

I am amazed how improved ready-made breads and piecrusts have become.  Years ago when I tried the ready-made piecrusts they were loaded with grease and oil.  Recently I have used the Pillsbury ready-made piecrusts and I have become a fan in a pinch.  At a recent family gathering my sister’s daughter-in-law strolled into the kitchen took out four ingredients, chopped, mixed, spread, baked and produced the most tasty appetizers.  The texture and taste of the bread was great for ready-made and the filling combinations were perfect.  I am anxious to try the recipe myself using homemade pesto or black olive tapanade.  So with Alison Hackett’s permission here is the recipe!


1-loaf Pillsbury French bread (found in the refrigerator section)
1-cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-cup chopped pepperoni

Preheat your oven to 375° Mix together the cheese, pepperoni and egg in a bowl.  Unroll the French bread at the seam onto a cookie sheet and spread the pepperoni mixture evenly on the unrolled bread.  Roll the bread back up jellyroll style and slice into 1-inch slices and place slices flat on the cookie sheet.  Bake approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.