I am excited to write about all things I am passionate about...and some, well, that I may not be passionate about. But all things are happening in this LIFE. And, I want to document and have accountablity to living life with intention. And so it goes...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Almond Joy Anyone???

Guess what we had waiting for us after our softball game this evening? Chocolate Coconut Pudding!!! Overall this pudding is very much chocolate with a hint of coconut to it. The kids loved it, but when it comes to chocolate, they ususally do. I have never used coconut milk before so that was interesting. It was almost curdled, which was extremely unappetizing to me. But after cooking it and stirring it smooth with the chocolate chips, I was brave enough to try it.
YUMMO!!! I think Chocolate Coconut Pudding would be even better with a few slivered almonds and some spray cream on top. But, next time I will be making 2 recipes. This one only feeds four people. What was I thinking?!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Salsa Duo!!

There are many things that got me excited about having Monterey Jack nachos with two different fresh salsas this evening. First of all, it is VERY hot here. Like miserably hot. Like there is no way I want to even think about heating up my stove, grill, or microwave for that matter. Secondly, PW had this recipe posted a few days ago and I could not wait to try it. Thirdly, there was a huge semi load full of Mississippi sweet corn yelling at me to come buy it, so I did. I thought I remembered seeing this recipe for a fresh corn salsa and I was right!

Both of these salsas included fresh cilantro, jalapeno, lime, and red onion for ingredients. So why not make them both? I was buying those ingredients anyway. So after some chopping and a trip to the grocery store for a lime that I forgot, we had our "light" supper. Not sure it can be called "light" when I ate my weight in chips. But darnit, these salsas were good!

Pineapple Mango Salsa was not a huge hit with my kiddos. They have not yet captured the idea of the gloriousness of sweet and savory. But I loved it---fresh pineapple, mango, along with the flavors of spicy jalapeno and cilantro. YUM! Definitely not something I could eat a lot of, but love it for a different twist on salsa. Steve liked it too, but felt the same way I did.

Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa was a huge hit with my kiddos (and Steve!). In fact, Landon was eating it with a spoon and no chips! The only thing I began questioning is what we would feel like after eating spoonfuls of this salsa that uses fresh uncooked corn....so far, so good. My family loves avocados and that added a lot to this dish. It was sweet enough without the optional tsp. of sugar because that Mississippi sweet corn was SWEET!!

I am envisioning a big Mexican fiesta to celebrate the end of harvest with these salsas plus PW's Restaurant Style Salsa to be center stage alongside her enchiladas. I also have the yummiest fruit salsa recipe with homemade cinnamon/sugar chips that is to die for! Got to go get this fiesta scheduled!!

Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp

The minute Natalie saw the orange juice out while I was making the shrimp and she realized it was out to be part of the shrimp dish--well, let's just say, she was CONCERNED!! I had her peeling the tails off the shrimp as I got everything else ready and her concern grew as the sauce began to boil...

All concerns aside, she loved the shrimp. It's a definite different flavor with the added sweetness of the orange juice. I added a bit more salt because at first it was too sweet for me. I was needing the savory out of this meal. I used a New Orleans rub/seasoning instead of the Old Bay as it calls for, so maybe my seasoning wasn't quite as salty.

Overall, Spicy Orange Garlic Shrimp was a nice change for eating shrimp. And the critics gobbled it down---not even one tiny little shrimp left!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Coffee Cake

Thought I'd do something nice today for all the FATHER's in our Sunday School class in honor of Father's Day. It's the thought that counts, right? All I can say is I am thankful that my sis-in-law shared the "something nice" today with me and made her own bundt cake, for my coffee cake was stuck to my pan!
The coffee cake tasted fine, but all the yummy stuff ran to the bottom and just stuck there. We really needed a chisel to get the good stuff. It would have tasted SO much better had it looked like PW's. But no, something went wrong. Thankfully there were a few gracious people in class that took some---and a good number of starving kiddos after Sunday school that pounded it down.
But due to the mishaps as stated above, paired with some of the obnoxious details of whipping egg whites and folding them in to the batter, I will be sticking to my good 'ole favorite coffee cake recipe that turns out yummy each and every time!
Happy Father's Day to all you wonderful father's...but mostly I wish my awesome Dad and hubby a very special day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Enchilada turned Chimichanga...

If you have not made the enchiladas from PW yet, you must do it this week. Get to the store, buy the ingredients, GET 'ER DONE!!! They are awesome! You can find the post all about them here.

A good friend of mine turned 40 last week and we celebrated with a Mexican fiesta! It was so fun and so yummy! I made PW's famous enchiladas and I made a TON of them. In fact, I made some extra for my kiddos who went to stay with Steve's grandma for the evening. Which left me with about a half of a pan leftover. I love leftovers! But my kids can only tolerate the same meal maybe one more time. Which leads me to my dilemma. I had about 5 enchiladas left over and we had already eaten leftover enchiladas. What to do?!

Well, I must give credit where credit is due. I have this friend of mine, whom after this suggestion of his that I took him up on, I believe has a bit of culinary brilliance. Yes, I said it. He did actually impress me with this one. I wanted to use my leftovers but I didn't want my critics knowing they were indeed eating these enchiladas AGAIN. So he suggested re-wrapping the enchiladas in flour tortillas and frying them up like chimichangas. How easy! No, they did not become any more nutritious, but with homemade Restaurant Style Salsa, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and guacamole---we got a whole new meal which the kiddos LOVED by the way.

Just thought I'd share! The enchiladas and Restaurant Style Salsa are two of our very favorite recipes we eat from PW.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finger Lickin' Ding Dongs!

Oh my goodness...I have been craving chocolate something FIERCE and I think maybe, just maybe, I have been satisfied. That's a good thing, right? The kids and I have been "eye"ing this recipe since I first noticed it and I finally bought what I needed to make them.
Homemade Ding Dongs are dingdongdelicious! I had no doubt that this would give way to 5 smiley stars especially after an afternoon of swimming. I even got the kids to each read a bit while I finished making the ganache for the tops of the ding dongs. Oh the power of DING DONGS!! I wonder how well they will work on Steve? Hmmm... Let's see, I still have a few pictures I need hung--ha!
The best part about these ding dongs? Easy ingredient list: Devil's Food Cake Mix, Cool Whip, Chocolate Chips, Whipping Cream, Corn Syrup.
I am on a huge chocolate high right now. Maybe you're more of a twinkie type like me. I've got a great recipe for homemade twinkies too. But if nothing else, grab a spoonful of ganache. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Who Needs SONIC?!

Anyone else feeling the heat of summer? This past weekend was so hot and humid--it felt like late July and early August! And it's the beginning of June... Thankfully, the last couple of days have brought a brief reprieve with some rain and cooler temperatures.
Honestly, I have enjoyed the last two evenings that were supposed to be filled with ball games, but were canceled due to soggy fields. The kiddos have been disappointed, but I think we have all needed this break. And if you are in need of a break during these hot summer nights, you really need to try Lemon Granita. Truly, you can say good-bye to your Sonic runs...sorry, Sonic! Very refreshing and easy to make if you are home for the day. The most effort in this recipe is stirring it every hour and a half or so while it freezes in order to keep it flaky-like.
I am also kind of excited about the possibility of creating a Lemon Cream Slush which is one of my favorite drinks to get at Sonic. I think all you would have to do is combine some vanilla ice cream with the Lemon Granita. Yummy! I hope to try that sometime soon...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bananaberry Muffins

Behold! A morning starring something other than cereal, bagels, or toast!!! Bananaberry Muffins hit the spot this morning and left smiles on faces all around...
They are kind of hard to pronounce but definitely simple to make. I love that you are using all whole ingredients from home and not from a box. Simple, real food. They are moist and bursting with both flavors of banana and blueberry. I used 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour and a 1/2 cup white flour and the kids thought they were wonderful. The muffins bake in 20 minutes and there you have it---homemade Bananaberry muffins. Hoping they'll freeze well too. I'm adding these to my list of favorite muffins!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spicy Marinated Fish Tacos

Tilapia was on sale at the grocery store, and these people love tilapia around this house. But I seem to make it basically the same way. We grill it, broil it, bake it--almost always with the same flavors. So I was looking for something different and I FOUND IT--on PW's Tasty Kitchen site. The site she launched for sharing recipes.

Fish Tacos has become one of our favorite meals and I've made them a number of times. I've used tilapia with a fresh slawed cabbage that was really yummy. These were different. A marinated tilapia (for 6-8 hours---did ours overnight) with black beans and monterey jack cheese. Before I go on, I must address the fact that I have heard from some of my "culinary friends" (whom I trust when it comes to cooking, by the way!) that you should NEVER put cheese in your fish dishes. But for this dish it worked!!! Just saying...

Anyway, the marinated tilapia is delish! I could have woofed down all of the fish. It has a blend of flavors with the fresh lime juice, honey, cumin, chili powder, etc... so it does have a sweetness to it. I have been in a major quesadilla making movement lately, so that is what I did with this fish. I did not use very much cheese---just enough to melt through with the fish and ranch style black beans. This recipe also calls for a sauce made with sour cream which I am sure is yummy too, but since I went the quesadilla route, I did not try the sauce.

My kids LOVED these. We added avocado for the ones who love avocado. It was a great way to use tilapia in a different way and sure makes your fish go further than if you would just grill a piece for everyone. A light meal that's great for the summertime!