Tag Archives: shrimp

Prawns and Avocado

On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, my hubby and I enjoyed a delicious lunch appetizer called Prawns and Avocado. I was hesitant to order the dish at first because I sometimes have a reaction to shrimp but I decided to give it a try. Boy was I glad I did. The appetizer was so refreshing.

The dices of avocado were fresh and the prawns were soft and sweet. I have to admit it was difficult sharing the appetizer with hubby after I took the first bite. Fortunately for hubby, I love him dearly so I did share two pieces. After we both looked at the empty plate we agreed I should try replicating the appetizer once we got back home. I wasn’t able to get the exact recipe from the chef so I recreated Prawns and Avocado from a photo I took with my phone. Yes, it looked so appetizing and tasted so good I took a picture before we gobbled them all up.

My version of Prawns and Avocado is not quite like the wonderful dish we enjoyed in Puerto Rico but it is pretty darn close. There definitely is a difference between the shrimp I get at the local market but the flavor is similar.

Remembering how the appetizer was described on the menu helped me keep the recipe simple. Prawns (shrimp), avocado, red onion, lime juice and cilantro was all I needed to make this tasty treat pop!

Ahhh…. the memories.

Prawns and Avocado


½ avocado diced

½ lb medium cooked shrimp cut in half

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp fresh cilantro chopped

1 tbsp red onion diced small

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

3 dashes hot sauce

1 baguette or ciabatta bread sliced

Place shrimp in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and hot sauce. Stir to mix. Set aside.

Place avocado in a medium sized bowl along with lemon juice and a pinch of season salt. Mash the avocado until smooth but leave a few chunky pieces. Spread avocado over bread slices. Top with shrimp mixture. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

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Shrimp with Crab Grits


I recently went to a fantastic restaurant in Maryland with my daughter and youngest son. We were doing an overnight visit with baby girl so I treated us all to dinner. The restaurant was eclectic with modern tables, a small library of books to purchase, great artwork, a stage for poetry readings and wonderful service. The crowd was diverse and so was the food.


I was amazed at the variety of dishes on the small menu which had a basic organic theme but offered foods anyone could enjoy. I decided to try a shrimp dish that was layered over crab grits and smothered in a light sauce with crisp veggies. After the first bite I knew I would have to try and re-create this dish when I got home.


What I created does not taste exactly like the wonderful dish in Maryland but it comes pretty close. The key was to make sure each layer of flavor complimented the next. The grits were nice and creamy with the subtle hint of crab. The veggies were crisp and naturally sweet. The shrimp added their own layer of flavor along with an underlying level of spicy heat just enough to make your taste buds tingle. Although I used jumbo shrimp for the recipe, I think scallops or a nice grilled fillet of salmon or cod would be enjoyable too.


Shrimp with Crab Grits

1 lb lump crab meat shelled
2 shallots diced
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 tomato seeded diced
1 cup coarsely ground grits
1 cup thin asparagus chopped
2 cups water
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup half and half
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
juice from ½ lemon
Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Stir in half and half then add grits and reduce to medium heat. Cook until thick and tender approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted and well blended. Gently stir in crab and try not to break up the lumps of meat. Set aside and keep warm. Add a little milk if needed to thin out grits.

In a medium pan melt 1 tbsp butter with 1 tbsp olive oil. When heated add shrimp and sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Cook until shrimp are pink and remove from heat. Set aside.

In a large pan saute shallots in olive oil and 1 tbsp butter until slightly browned. Stir in garlic then add asparagus, tomatoes, parsley and seasonings. Let simmer for 3 minutes then remove from heat.

Place grits into a bowl then spoon veggie mixture over the grits. Top with shrimp and sprinkle a little fresh parsley over the top. Yummy!

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Shrimp Summer Rolls


My family and I love Asian cuisine and the spicier the better for my hubby and youngest son. I have limited experience making Asian style foods but thought I would try my hand at making Shrimp Summer Rolls. We often eat Vietnamese spring rolls whenever we go to the Cheesecake Factory and recently found handmade spring rolls at one of our local grocers that sells fresh sushi daily.


I wasn’t sure what kind of wrap to use for the spring rolls but discovered Blue Dragon Rice Pancakes which are used for summer rolls. Turns out spring rolls are not too hard to make. Although the rice pancakes are delicate, they roll easily. Once I rolled a couple of spring rolls I really got the hang of it. The test of whether or not I had done a good job of making Shrimp Summer Rolls was in the taste. In my opinion and fortunately the opinion of my family they tasted as good as the fresh summer rolls we get at the local grocer.


Since this was my first attempt at making Shrimp Summer Rolls I took that as a very nice compliment. My next goal is to make fresh Shrimp Summer Rolls as good as the Cheesecake Factory. Now that is saying something! In the meantime, I can at least say my Shrimp Summer Rolls are pretty tasty. Next time I think I will try frying the summer rolls. Stay tuned.



Shrimp Summer Rolls

1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 pkg Chinese noodles
1 pkg rice pancakes
1 pint snap peas
1 cup shredded carrots
2 heads butter lettuce
3 cups cold water
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
juice from ½ lemon

Prepare Chinese noodles according to package. Drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium size non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add shrimp, sriracha sauce and lemon juice. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir shrimp until they turn pink. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside in a small bowl. Add carrots, snap peas and a little more salt and pepper (add cayenne pepper if you really like heat) to the frying pan. Stir and let cook for 1 minute. Add oyster sauce and mix with veggies until they are well coated. Reduce to low heat and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Dampen a clean dish cloth. Add water to a large bowl. Place 1 rice pancake in the cold water until it softens and becomes pliable (about 10 – 15 seconds). Lay rice pancake on the dish cloth and add two pieces of butter lettuce to the pancake. Place a small amount of Chinese noodles in the center of the lettuce. Top with a little bit of the snap peas and carrots mixture then layer three shrimp on the veggies. Fold one end of the rice pancake towards the center over the shrimp then fold the sides towards the center as well. Gently roll up the pancake like a cigar. The pancake will seem delicate but should roll easily. Tuck in the sides as you roll the pancake if necessary. Chill for 30 minutes or serve immediately.

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Shrimp Lo Mein

   IMG_0153_1The day I made Shrimp Spring Rolls I also made Shrimp Lo Mein. Most of the ingredients I used as the filling for the spring rolls was also used to create Shrimp Lo Mein. How great is that? Two meals and I only cooked one time.


As I said in my Shrimp Spring Rolls post, my family loves Asian cuisine. We could eat it a couple times each week but I am sure that would get old as time goes on. We all need variety when it comes to food. At least I do. Anyway, Since I had quite a few extra ingredients I decided to make a quick Shrimp Lo Mein. The other thing my hubby and son love is pasta so Shrimp Lo Mein was definitely right up their alley. Thankfully, it did not take much to get them to agree to be my taste tester for this recipe.


In case you didn’t know, there are all types of noodles used to make Lo Mein. I used Chinese noodles since that is what I used to make the Shrimp Spring Rolls. However, you can also used thin wonton noodles which are stringy and cooked in wonton noodle soup because they are light and delicate. Wide wonton noodles can also be used for Lo Mein. These noodles are often used in heartier soups like beef noodle soup. Of course you can just look for Lo Mein noodles which are thick and used in stir-fried noodle dishes made with a heavy sauce or gravy. In researching the variety of noodles used for my recipe I found out that Lo Mein noodles are probably the best choice when making a Lo Mein dish because they stand up better to reheating.


Bottom-line. You can use whatever noodle you like to make Shrimp Lo Mein. In a pinch I think I would even use spaghetti noodles or linguine noodles if that was the only thing available. The most important thing to remember is add a little love to your recipe. It makes everything taste good.


Shrimp Lo Mein

1 lb large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 pkg lo mein noodles
1 pint snap peas
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
juice from ½ lemon

Prepare lo mein noodles according to package. Drain and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium size non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Add shrimp, sriracha sauce and lemon juice. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir shrimp until they turn pink. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside in a small bowl. Add carrots, snap peas and a little more salt and pepper (add cayenne pepper if you really like heat) to the frying pan. Stir and let cook for 1 minute. Add oyster sauce and mix with veggies until they are well coated. Reduce to low heat and cook for another 2 minutes. Toss with lo mein noodles. Enjoy!

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Shrimp and Pasta Salad


Pasta salads are one of the most versatile dishes anyone can prepare. A pasta salad basically consists of pasta and any vegetable, meat or seafood you can think of tossed with a nice dressing. Since there are such a variety of pasta noodles available it is easy to be creative. Even if you use the same basic ingredients when you prepare a pasta salad it can become new all over again by using a different type of pasta. Shells, gemelli, bow tie and cavatappi are a few of the pastas I like to use in cold salads. They have little ridges that absorb whatever dressing you use and most of them just have a cool shape.


For my Shrimp and Pasta Salad I used small pasta shells because I wanted the pasta to cuddle some of the dressing and provide a subtle burst of flavor with every bite. The veggies I used with this pasta salad were meant to make the dish colorful with the deep green of the asparagus and the bright red of the peppers and tomatoes. The shrimp added a pretty pink hue that pulled everything together.


Most of us are first attracted to a dish because of the way it looks. If a dish looks weird, we figure it will taste weird too. Although that is not always true it is human nature to judge certain things by the way they look. That is way it is important to add rich vibrant color to every meal. My Shrimp and Pasta Salad is both appealing to the eye and tasty on the tongue. Try it as a main course or side dish. Either way I think you enjoy this simple flavorful salad.



Shrimp and Pasta Salad

2 lbs ex-large shrimp peeled and deveined
2 boiled eggs chopped
1 bunch asparagus cut into 1” pieces
1 bag arugula
1 box small pasta shells
1 large tomato seeded and diced into cubes
1 shallot sliced thin
½ cup red pepper diced
½ cup black olives chopped (optional)
½ cup vinaigrette
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1juice from ½ lemon

Prepare pasta shells according to the package – al dente. Set aside.

In a large skillet heat butter with olive oil over medium high heat. Add shrimp and lemon juice. Stir and then add ½ tsp salt, ½ black pepper and old bay seasoning. Cook until shrimp are pink. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Set aside.

Add veggies (except for tomatoes) to the same skillet and add remaining seasonings. Cook for 2- 3 minutes until veggies soften slightly but still crisp. Do not over cook.

In a large bowl add pasta, shrimp, veggies, arugula, eggs, tomatoes and olives. Drizzle with vinaigrette and gently mix. Serve with a nice side salad.

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DMarie’s Jambalaya


Jambalaya is a combination of sausage, seafood and chicken. At least in my recipe. Although Jambalaya is similar to Gumbo there is a slight difference. Gumbo is considered a thick soup or stew you can serve with rice. Jambalaya on the other hand is really a rice dish. Both are delicious with incredible flavors. I like to make Gumbo strictly with seafood not sausage or chicken. However, my Jambalaya is a little bit of everything.


Although the mantra of dmariedining.com is Healthy, Quick and Easy, this recipe takes some time to make but you won’t be disappointed at the time well spent. Most folks will want to come back for a second helping and the leftovers will be few.


Good down home cooking is not easy to get in parts of the northeast. I have been fortunate to discover a couple of restaurants along the east coast that have fantastic southern dishes and occasionally Cajun dishes that truly remind me of the South and Cajun country. Unfortunately, I have to travel too far to enjoy those wonderful dishes on a regular basis. So, I am left to create my own versions of those delectable meals. DMarie’s Jambalaya comes close to what I experienced in Louisiana but even I know nothing will ever beat the real deal.


Still, I haven’t had any complaints so I must be doing something right. Enjoy!


DMarie’s Jambalaya

1 14 oz pkg smoked kielbasa sliced
1 14 oz pkg andouille sausage sliced
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 lb ex-large shrimp peeled and deveined
1 large onion diced
1 large green pepper diced
3 cloves garlic minced
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 10 oz can of tomato puree
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 12 oz bottle “good” beer (Dogfish Head India Pale Ale)

1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp Adobo seasoning
2 tbsp flour
½ tbsp chopped fresh or dried parsley
½ tbsp gumbo file seasoning (if available)
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tbsp basil
½ tbsp thyme
1 tsp old bay seasoning
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Boil chicken thighs in 1 quart of water, ¼ cup of diced onions, 1 stalk diced celery, salt and pepper until cooked all the way through. Remove chicken then drain broth from vegetables. Shred the chicken thighs and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of chicken broth and freeze the rest to use later for soup or another recipe creation.

Brown andouille and kielbasa in 1 tbsp of oil. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Place oil in a large pot and heat over medium heat. Whisk flour into oil and continue stirring until mixture turns to a rich brown color to create a roux. Be careful not to let the roux burn. If necessary, turn down the heat a little to prevent burning. Gradually whisk in chicken broth and beer to the roux. Add seasonings, tomatoes, tomato puree, green pepper and onion. Simmer for 20 minutes then add chicken and sausage. Let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add raw shrimp and stir into mixture once they turn pink.

Serve with corn muffins.

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Creamy Shrimp and Pasta


Creamy shrimp and pasta has become a party favorite when we host big celebrations or a small get together. Typically, I use penne pasta when I make pasta for a party lately I have been trying different types of pasta with this dish. The last time I made this for my family I used mafalda pasta which looks like little lasagna pasta ribbons. I fell in love with this pasta and so did the hungry folks that gobbled it up.


My son’s best friend (who I consider my third son) recently spent the weekend with us so the two of them could hang out. I had decided to include my creamy shrimp and pasta recipe on dmariedining.com so I needed to prepare the dish so I could take some photos. I thought the guys could have a little for lunch and then I could have leftovers for later. I quickly found out that “leftovers” is not in a teenager’s vocabulary. Fortunately, I had put aside of bowl of the pasta for my hubby before the boys jumped on the pot. I on the other hand only had one forkful!


My youngest son surprised my when he said Mom I know I eat a lot but K cleaned out the pot. I asked them if all of the pasta was gone and K said with a big grin on his face “Sorry, I just love pasta!”. I am happy anytime my family enjoys the meals I make so I couldn’t be upset. Plus, by the sound of their forks scraping the bottom of the bowls I knew they liked it. What more can you ask for when feeding a hungry crew?


Creamy Shrimp and Pasta

1 lb penne pasta
1 lb extra large shrimp peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 scallion chopped
1 tbsp basil chopped
1 tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 14oz fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup white wine
¾ cup heavy cream or half and half
½ cup parmesan
¼ cup olive oil

Prepare pasta according to package.  Saute shrimp in olive oil over medium high heat in a large frying pan. Season with salt, pepper and garlic. Cook until shrimp is pink. Remove shrimp from the pan and add tomatoes, scallions, parsley, red pepper flakes and wine. Cook for 1 minute then stir in cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens. Add cheese, basil, pasta and shrimp. Toss until well mixed.


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Endive Stuffed with Shrimp Salad

shrimp salad 2_1

Have you ever experienced riding along and all of a sudden you get a great idea and have to scramble around for a piece of paper so you can write it down? That is what happened when I thought of making a shrimp salad then stuffing it into endive. Because life is so busy right now I have to write down my ideas or they fly out the window and may or may not come back home.

shrimp salad_1

My hubby and I were driving back from a basketball tournament and I was trying to create new recipes for dmariedining.com when I started thinking about seafood and a different way to present a nice light seafood salad. I don’t know why the thought of endive popped into my head since I had never worked with it before. I just wanted something that would be easy to make, pleasing to the eye and wonderful to eat.

endive with shrimp salad 9_1

The combination of the shrimp salad and endive created a cool refreshing appetizer that makes you want more. The first time my daughter taste tested this for me it left her speechless for a few seconds. When she finally did say something she told me it was a hit!

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For a light crisp appetizer consider making endive stuffed with shrimp salad. This will be a hit at any party and is pretty simple to make. So try this recipe the next time you have a few friends over and you want to show off your new culinary skills.

endive and shrimp salad 2_1

Endive Stuffed with Shrimp Salad


1 lb shrimp

2 boiled eggs chopped

1 stalk celery diced

1 tbsp red onion diced small

1 tbsp parsley chopped

1 tbsp spicy brown mustard

1 tbsp old bay seasoning

1 tsp dill

2 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

pinch sugar

Juice from 1 small lemon

Add salt to 1 quart of water and bring to a boil Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Let cool then peel and dice shrimp. Pour lemon juice and set aside. Combine shrimp with lemon juice and remaining ingredients to a large bowl. Chill for 30 minutes.

Separate endive leaves and stuff with shrimp salad.  Garnish with dill and lemon zest.

Fishermen’s Stew

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My Mom celebrated another birthday recently and we are all grateful that she did. As our parents get older it is nice to spend time together and celebrate life, family and love. For my mom’s birthday I thought I would fix her a special meal and use her as a guinea pig for a new dish at the same time. She loves seafood so I decided to have fish as the centerpiece of the meal

Fishermen's Stew 12_1

Both my parents grew up fishing in the south so you can only imagine what I learned to do when I was old enough to hold a fishing pole. There were many weekends we loaded up the car and cast our poles out on a pier or lake in a nearby town. One of the best parts of going fishing was preparing the day before we went. My dad and I would walk down to the compost pile in a nearby field and dig for worms. No, I was not afraid of worms and found them to be quite interesting. Besides, if I was going to fish I had to learn how to bait my own hook. We created a lot of fond memories fishing together and trying to out do each other by catching the biggest fish. If we were fortunate, we would catch enough fish to last a few weeks to keep in the freezer. Thursdays was fish fry day and we would have it with either fried potatoes or grits, hot sauce and a slice of bread (told you I was a southern girl at heart).

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I came up with the idea of fishermen’s stew because there was one southern dish my mom liked to fix that I could never bring myself to eat. Fish head stew. Yes, you actually cook and eat the fish heads in a stew. Me? I only like the parts that are used for fillets.

Fishermen's Stew 9_1

Fishermen’s stew is a combination of fish, shrimp and scallops in a flavorful broth. I would suggest you use a firm white fish or catfish. I used two types of fish just to shake things up. If you really want to make it a hearty dish you can add diced potatoes or corn sliced off the cob.

Fishermen's Stew 3_1

Thanks mom for inspiring me to make a wonderful stew and for teaching me how to fish.

Happy Birthday !!!

Fishermen’s Stew


1 lb of tilapia cut into chunks

1 lb of halibut or cod cut into chunks

1 lb of shrimp peeled and deveined

1 lb scallops

1 large onion sliced thin

1 large green pepper sliced thin

2 14 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp seasoned salt

1 tsp old bay seasonings

1 tbsp smoked paprika

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp cilantro

½ tsp red pepper flakes

½ cup fish broth or chicken broth

1 14 oz can lite coconut milk



diced potatoes

corn sliced off the cob

Stir together lemon juice, seasoned salt, pepper, garlic, cumin and paprika in a large bowl. Add fish and shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes. Reduce to medium heat and add peppers, tomatoes, remaining seasonings and broth. Cook for 5 minutes then add fish and shrimp. Pour coconut milk over the mixture and stir gently. Cover and reduce heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the fish is cooked through and the shrimp turns pink.

Shrimp and Grits

shrimp and grits_1

You would think that I have eaten shrimp and grits for most of my life since I am part southern girl. But, the truth is I just discovered shrimp and grits about 4 or 5 years ago while having lunch with my in-laws. My brother and sister in-law came to the east coast on business so my hubby and I drove down to Washington, DC to meet them. We don’t often get to see our mid-west family so it was great to sit around and catch up on what our kids were doing and life in general.

shrimp and grits 2_1

During our very long chat a chorus of stomach growling could be heard loud and clear. It didn’t take too long for us to decide we needed to get some lunch and stop the hunger-music-blues. We found a wonderful restaurant with an interior garden full of tall trees and huge leafy plants. I can’t remember what I had for lunch but I definitely remember the shrimp and grits my sister-in-law ordered. The smell of the shrimp was intoxicating and because she is a wonderful person my sister-in-law let me taste her shrimp and grits. I instantly became a fan!

Shrimp and Grits cooking_1

Trying to recreate the shrimp and grits I had in DC became my goal when we got home. What I finally came up with may not taste exactly like the shrimp and grits I discovered in DC but I must say it is pretty good. The flavors are well balanced with smoky flavors and a hint of spiciness.

Shrimp and Grits 7_1

Thanks Sis for introducing me to a fantastic dish and awakening me to more of my southern roots.

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Shrimp and Grits


1 1/2 lb of large shrimp peeled and deveined

2 slices of bacon sliced

2 14 oz scans fire roasted tomatoes

¼ cup green onions sliced

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 tsp black ground pepper

2 tsp salt

½ tsp old bay seasonings

½ Adobo seasoning

½ tsp cayenne pepper

½ cup diced green pepper

½ cup diced red pepper

½ cup diced onion

2 cups of water

1 cup low sodium chicken stock or broth

½ cup half and half

1 cup coarsely ground grits

1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

Bring water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Stir in half and half then add grits and reduce to medium heat. Cook until thick and tender approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Add cheese and stir until melted and well blended. Set aside and keep warm. Add a little milk if needed to thin out grits.

In a bowl mix shrimp, remaining salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Set aside.

In a large skillet cook bacon until crispy over medium heat. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. Add butter and garlic to bacon drippings. Stir in flour. Reduce heat to medium low and stir roux until dark brown. Be careful not to burn the roux. Whisk in chicken stock then add peppers, onions and shrimp. Cook until veggies are softened and shrimp are pink but not tough.

Place grits into individual bowls and top with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, green onions and parsley.