BARBARA MCCLELLAN

Barbara McClellan

Now, sit down. The statistic that I am about to give you will throw you into an absolute swoon. Never mind that it comes from that infallible source called Google, is 12 years old and has many variables.

Here goes. Senior citizens are beginning to use technology. Now, first of all, what determines if one is a “senior citizen”? Is it at age 50, when AARP begins to recruit you? Or age 62, 65, 67 when you can apply for Social Security and retirement benefits? Maybe it is when you are given a “senior benefit” at a fast-food restaurant for the first time?

Here’s how I got onto this. Several times recently I ate something that someone had cooked. Naturally, I wanted the recipe (most of the time), and when asked got almost the same answer: I got it online. I will admit I have done this before, but sometimes found I had to “join” a group, after which I was deluged with all sorts of “stuff.” However, in a moment of panic when I realized I had nothing planned for dinner, that question, “What’s for dinner?,” had already been asked twice. I had a pound of wonderful shrimp thawing in the fridge. Here is the recipe I made, straight from an online sight. (Hint: If you don’t copy the recipe, but think you will remember it, write the name of the website it’s on for when you don’t remember the details.) I did not change a thing. It was great.

Lemony Garlic Butter Shrimp

4 tablespoons butter

1 pound large (16-20 per pound size), peeled and tails removed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

2-3 teaspoons minced garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

Melt butter in large deep skillet and add shrimp. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stir until shrimp are pink. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in lemon juice, and parsley. Serve while hot. Makes 4 servings.

I served this with cilantro-lime rice, a mix that was a snap to prepare in the microwave.

We also had a green salad and hot breadsticks.

I promised a Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie to a friend recently. There is a small problem when you make a promise without checking on a couple of things:

Where’s the recipe and how easy is it to find blueberry pie filling?

Well, I just jumped in and created a recipe. I know I have had one, because I have made one (or some) for my theater friend, Kate Wells. However, it’s a little embarrassing to call someone to see if they have a recipe (which you cannot find) for something that you have made for them.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie (sort of)

1 cookie crust pie shell (either graham cracker or shortbread)

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 package (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, slightly thawed

1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can blueberry pie filling

Directions

Beat cream cheese with electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Stir in powdered sugar and mix well. Add thawed whipped topping, vanilla or lemon juice. Beat another 1-2 minutes until well mixed and light and fluffy.

Spread in pie shell and chill.

Top with blueberry pie filling (or a flavor of your choice). Makes 6-8 servings.

I am more open to looking for and using convenience foods, such as the rice mix. If you know about and have tried any new products, let me hear, so I can share the news.

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— Barbara Richardson McClellan is a longtime food columnist. Write her at bayrm12@gmail.com or in care of the Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606