These rich and decadent Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are flavorful, delicious, and quick to prepare. They're perfect for date night, 'fancy-schmancy' dinners, or an indulgent dinner for one!

Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce

These rich and decadent Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are flavorful, delicious, and quick to prepare. They're perfect for date night, 'fancy-schmancy' dinners, or an indulgent dinner for one!

Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce

These rich and decadent Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are flavorful, delicious, and quick to prepare.  They’re perfect for date night, ‘fancy-schmancy’ dinners, or an indulgent dinner for one!

If you’re looking for a decadently delicious seafood meal, you might think– “Lobster.  I love lobster.”  Typically I would agree with you, but if you haven’t tried sea scallops– they give lobster a fight for the Fabulous Seafood Award. (I just made that award up, but let’s pretend it’s real.)  These Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are rich, delicious, and fast– the perfect date-night meal.  They’re also perfect if you want to treat yourself to an easy, fancy-schmancy meal.  You know, the kind where you get to eat everything yourself instead of sharing.

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Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce- Delicious, Easy, and Ready in 15 Minutes

Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce

This Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce is a delicious, simple to prepare dinner that’s ready in about 20 minutes!

I just wrote a love poem to my tuna– want to hear it?  ‘Ahi Tuna, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  I love thy flavor and freshness and–‘  Okay I’ll stop.  Seriously, though, ahi tuna is FANTASTIC.  If you’ve never tried it, it’s typically served either raw or VERY lightly seared.  It also tends to be on the pricey side at restaurants, which is tragic, because I want to eat it ALL. THE. TIME.  The solution to my (and your) tuna-budget woes is to cook it at home.  This Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna with Ginger Soy Sauce is simple to make, and is so bursting with delicious flavors that you’ll giggle with happiness.

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Lemon Pepper Octopus

Lemon Pepper Octopus

Lemon Pepper Octopus - Perfect for seafood lovers!

Do you need a fancy recipe for date night?  A romantic dinner for two?  Are your in-laws or boss coming over for dinner, and you need to impress?  Periodically, Champagne Tastes will be featuring ‘Gourmet’ recipes.  These will still be budget friendly and relatively simple, but will help you confidently serve a gourmet meal without hiring a chef.

Are you feeling adventurous?  Let’s talk octopus.  That’s right, those eight-legged sea monsters that spend their days looking like they’ve escaped from a Jules Verne novel.  The spineless, fascinating creatures that can fit through any space they can squeeze their jaw bones through.  Well, my friends, those leggy beasts are also completely and utterly delicious.  The husband talked me into buying one on a Jungle Jim’s trip, and that’s how our invertebrate obsession began.  This recipe for Lemon Pepper Octopus is easy, and sure to leave you with a tender and flavor-packed meal.

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Basil Pesto Salmon

Basil Pesto Salmon

Easy Basil Pesto Salmon- all you need is salmon, pesto, and seasoning.

I’ve been eating ridiculous amounts of salmon recently.  I just can’t stop myself– it’s delicious.  It’s flavorful, flaky, and filling.  Salmon is an easy and quick main dish on a busy night.  However, as amazingly tantalizing as perfectly cooked salmon is, it is also incredibly easy to overcook and dry out.  Few things in life are sadder, my friend, than hard, dry salmon.  (Okay sure, that’s not true.  A ruined dinner, however, is always a minor tragedy).  One way to make sure your salmon stays tender is to smother it in pesto.  That’s right- whether you make your own or buy it pre-made, this herb-filled sauce will lock in the salmon’s natural moisture and help make your fish perfect.  This recipe for Basil Pesto Salmon has 5 ingredients (6 if you include the lemons) and is incredibly flavorful.  My favorite part, the best part, is that it’s ready in 15 minutes.

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Cheesy Shrimp + Grits. Easy to make, and ready in about 30 minutes

Cheesy Shrimp and Grits

Pescetarian Friendly (No Sausage or Bacon) Cheesy Shrimp + Grits. Easy to make, and ready in about 30 minutes

A few years ago, I worked as a server at a ‘country-food’ restaurant, and all the breakfast meals came with grits.  When I wasn’t trying to master a fake country accent, or showing customers how to win the little peg game that tormented them during their meals, I was throwing away massive amounts of uneaten grits.  This was a minor tragedy, because I’m guessing most people didn’t even taste the grits before pushing them aside.

That said, some grits are most definitely better than others.  Some are “instant” (that means they’re partially pre-cooked), and can be cooked extremely quickly.  These grits can be useful, because they’re fast, but they don’t have the flavor and texture of stone ground grits.  Just like with instant oats versus steel cut oats, when it comes to texture and flavor, instant grits lose to stone ground grits every time.  One of my favorite ways to use stone ground grits in a meal is this Cheesy Shrimp and Grits.

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