Cinco de Mayo Taco Tuesday Party

Whole Wheat Tortillas 3
Cinco de Mayo falls on Tuesday this year…coincidence? I think not. It would be a travesty not to participate in Taco Tuesday this week. So to help you out, I searched around the internets for some of the most delicious looking tacos that will totally do the holiday justice. I hope one of these inspires you for an all-out taco par-tay!

Carnitas = Best.Tacos.Ever.

Sweet Potato Tacos are skinny but still delicious and could do double duty on Meatless Monday.

The Quesarito isn’t quite a taco but I had to share this one with you. A cheese quesadilla is filled with toppings and rolled up burrito style. Dying.

Korean Tacos for a little Mexican Asian fusion.

Grilled Taco Lime Chicken is great for busy weeknight meals and one I have made over and over. Soo easy and delicious.

Loaded Carne Asada Tacos. Carne Asada + Fries + Guacamole + Cheese. Need I say more?

Smoky Shrimp Tacos with Chorizo Beans and Mango Salsa – smoky and sweet is always a winning combination.

Huevo Rancheros Tacos for something on the lighter side and another meatless option.

You all know I don’t really like fish but these Blackened Fish Tacos with Avocado Cilantro Sauce look incredible.

Chicken Fried Steak Tacos. Ummm, whaaaaat? Mexican and Southern, the fusion of my dreams.

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Slaw and Avocado Cream are all about the texture. Oh, and they are vegan too.

Apple Pie Tacos, because what’s a Taco Tuesday Cinco de Mayo party without a dessert taco? I mean, at this point, do the calories really matter?

And wash ’em all down with Lime Sorbet Margaritas.

 

 

 

 

Honey Orange Shrimp

Honey Orange Shrimp 1
During Lent I ate a lot of shrimp. I’ve never been a big fan of seafood but shrimp has always been something I could tolerate. During the past month and a half, honey walnut shrimp has become a new favorite of mine. I decided it was about time to try an at home version but I wanted to change it up a bit since Joel doesn’t like nuts. So I took out the candied walnuts and added some orange zest to make it our own.
Honey Orange Shrimp 2
Not only is this a tasty recipe, but it’s really quick and simple too. The shrimp are dredged lightly in cornstarch then cooked in a small amount of olive oil. While the shrimp were cooking I whipped up the sauce, lightly steamed broccoli and warmed up some brown rice. Less than 30 minutes FTW.
Honey Orange Shrimp 3
Honey Orange Shrimp
recipe adapted from Le Crème De La Crumb

2 lbs large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1/2 cup cornstarch
4 Tbsp. olive oil

for the sauce:
2/3 cup mayo
1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk
1 orange, zested

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dredge the shrimp in the cornstarch. Place shrimp in a single layer in the skillet and cook about 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove to paper towel lined plate.

2. Meanwhile, mix sauce ingredients together. Toss sauce and shrimp together and enjoy.
Honey Orange Shrimp 4

Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Salsa

Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Salsa 1
I haven’t shared a seafood recipe with you all in forever! So, when I was watching The Chew recently and saw a recipe for shrimp tacos and roasted pineapple salsa, I knew that would be a great summer meal to share with you all. I searched around the internet and found this delicious recipe that just screamed summer and tropical. And it gave me a reason to try homemade corn tortillas.
Roasted Pineapple Salsa 2
This recipe may seem like a lot of steps but you can make the pineapple salsa the night before, which is what I did. I think it’s even better that way since it gives time for all the flavors to mingle together.

Then night you are making these, all you have to do is set up your stations to bread the shrimp and cook them up. The corn tortillas are so easy to whip up that you can do that right before the shrimp and keep them wrapped in a tea towel on warm in the oven.
Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Salsa 3
The combination of the slightly sweet, crunchy shrimp with the soft corn tortillas and sweet, spicy salsa was pretty amazing. I loved the combination of flavors in the salsa and the kick it had from the jalapenos but if you don’t dig spicy, remove all the ribs and seeds from the peppers and it should be just right for you. I probably should have done that since I live with a wimpy boy. It always is a little funny to see his face when he eats something spicy though. I’m kind of mean that way.
Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Salsa 5
Coconut Shrimp Tacos with Roasted Pineapple Salsa
recipe from Mangoes and Palm Trees

Coconut Shrimp Tacos:
2 lbs. large shrimp (16/20 ct), peeled & deveined
1/4 cup flour (coconut or all-purpose)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 – 1 1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
Salt & pepper
Canola oil, for frying

Corn Tortillas
Shredded Lettuce
Lime Wedges, for garnish

Roasted Pineapple Salsa:
2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
2 tomatoes, seeds removed & roughly chopped
2-3 large jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed for a less spicy salsa (I left seeds/ribs in one and took them out of the rest)
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked pepper
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro

1. To make salsa: Evenly layer all of the pineapple and vegetables onto a foil or parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and lightly toss everything together. Roast for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees, until everything is tender and caramelized. Transfer to a food processor, add lime juice and as much cilantro as desired and puree until as smooth as preferred. Set aside until ready to use.

2. To make coconut shrimp: Place the flour in one pie plate, coconut milk and water in another and the shredded coconut in a third pie plate.  Season each with about 1/2 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Dip the shrimp in flour, then the coconut milk mixture and then the coconut.  After all of the shrimp is breaded, saute in a pan over medium-high heat. Shrimp only need about 1 minute per side, until browned and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter to drain.

3. Top tortillas with shredded lettuce, coconut shrimp and roasted pineapple salsa. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Top 12 Recipes of 2012

2012 has been a wonderful, busy, crazy year and I’m so glad I have been able to share it with you all! My readership and views have skyrocketed this year and it’s all thanks to you. I truly appreciate all the views and comments and just for giving me a little of your time each day! So here are the top 12 most viewed recipes of 2012. I hope you take a look and {hopefully} enjoy them again! Happy New Year!

Chocolate Cake with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Chocolate Cake with Mint Chocolate Chip Frosting
Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken
Extra Crispy Spicy Fried Chicken
Sweet Cornbread
Sweet Cornbread
Cheesy Bread
Cheesy Bread
Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins
Whole Lemon Blueberry Walnut Muffins
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
Mexican Chicken Salad with Chili Lime Vinaigrette
Mexican Chicken Salad
Salted Pretzel Caramel Bark
Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
Bang Bang Shrimp
Lasagna Cupcakes
Lasagna Cupcakes

Sesame Shrimp Stir Fry

Sesame Shrimp Stir Fry

It seems like I am always on the hunt for quick, easy and healthy weeknight meals and I definitely found all those things in this dish. It literally only takes 20 minutes because while the rice cooks, you can prep and cook the stir fry. Can’t get much better than that!

We love a really saucy stir fry so when I saw the list of ingredients I knew it would be a hit for our family. The chicken broth and cornstarch slurry along with the teriyaki creates a rich, creamy sauce that is abundant and soaks into the bed of rice.

This recipe is easily adaptable to suit your family’s taste. I decided to add broccoli because I personally don’t think a stir fry should ever be without it. I also tossed in some sliced mushrooms for our fungus loving little man. Add your favorites or just toss in whatever you having in your produce drawer.

Sesame Shrimp Stir Fry
recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

2 cups water
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
3 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/8 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a medium saucepan, bring salted water to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. While rice is simmering, combine shrimp, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, sesame seeds and black pepper in a large plastic food storage bag. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator.

3. Heat sesame oil in a large wok or skillet. Add red bell pepper, green onions and broccoli; sauté 3 to 4 minutes to soften slightly. Add teriyaki sauce. Add peas, mushrooms and shrimp with seasoning; sauté 4 minutes or until shrimp are opaque.

4. Stir cornstarch into chicken broth and add to wok; cook, stirring until mixture boils. Sprinkle with salt. Spoon shrimp and veggie mixture over rice.

 

New Orleans Food Tour {Part I}

We had a great time during our trip to New Orleans! I especially had a great time eating all the local grub! We didn’t get to eat as much Cajun food as we would have liked (because of the times of the games we had to eat at the dome a few times) but still managed to eat (and drink) quite a bit of unique fare that we couldn’t get around here. So here are our favorites….Joel thought that when we went on vacation he would escape the obsessive photo taking of our food but he was wrong. And embarrassed, which isn’t easy to do. If you ever travel to New Orleans, be sure to check out these eats!

Our first meal was at The Ruby Slipper which uses all local products from the sausage to dairy to bread. They also have a great story behind the name of the restaurant. The owners are big Wizard of Oz fans so when they came back to the city after Katrina they decided on this name because “there is no place like home.” They serve breakfast, lunch and brunch offerings with a New Orleans flair. Joel decided on the BBQ Shrimp and Grits while I had a Cheese Omelet with Breakfast Potatoes and a Biscuit. There other breakfast items sounded amazing (check out the pancakes and french toast options) but I just wasn’t in the mood for sweet and they all came with meat which I was trying my hardest to avoid.
Cheese Omelet, Potatoes and Biscuit
The omelet was good but the breakfast potatoes and biscuit definitely stole the show. The potatoes were so brown and crispy while the biscuit had a crunchy bottom (in a good way) and soft, moist middle. {The Ruby Slipper, New Orleans – downtown and midtown}
Shrimp and Grits
The BBQ Shrimp had an amazing, spicy Cajun rub that was great on the shrimp. I can’t be a judge on the grits because well, I hate grits. I tried them because I haven’t had them in awhile and thought maybe I wouldn’t mind them but the hate remains. Joel enjoyed them though and they looked yummy. {The Ruby Slipper, New Orleans – downtown and midtown}

We stayed about 45 minutes outside the city in Picayune, MS and when we were driving in the first night, I spotted this little place and my heart skipped a beat. When we walked inside I just about died because it was even better than my wildest dreams!
Paul's Pastry Shop, New Orleans
They displayed case after case of pretty much any Southern (or any other region for that matter) pastry you could imagine. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult to make a selection…so we went a second time in order to get the full effect. I didn’t get any pictures inside the shop because Joel looked like he just might die if I pulled out the camera.
Paul's Pastry Shop, New Orleans
Paul's Pastry Shop, New Orleans
Joel indulged in his first ever eclair and it was pretty heavenly to say the least. He tried to compare it to a Long John and thought the doughnut version was better but let’s be honest…he is crazy and doesn’t know what he is talking about. The pastry was light and airy, the filling creamy and the chocolate rich. Yum! {Paul’s Pastry Shop – Picayune, MS}
Paul's Pastry Shop, New Orleans
I had my first cannoli and it was divine! It has definitely moved to the top of my “to make” list. The shell was sweet and crispy, the filling was light, fluffy and slightly sweetened and the chocolate chips added that extra richness. Oh, I’m still dreaming about it! {Paul’s Pastry Shop – Picayune, MS}
Paul's Pastry Shop, New Orleans
On our last day we stopped by one last time for a cream puff, mounds macaroon and little key lime cookies. The cookies were tart and melted in your mouth. The macaroon was sweet, dense and rich…everything it should be. And the cream puff was just as heavenly as the eclair. I actually enjoyed it more since I am not a huge fan of chocolate. If you are EVER in the area, you have to stop by and try one of everything! You won’t be disappointed. {Paul’s Pastry Shop – Picayune, MS}
Smoked Prime Rib Sandwich
Another favorite spot we visited was L.A. Pines Cafe in Slidell, LA. We were there for our swamp tour and had seen this little place featured on Diners, Drive-In’s and Dives so it was on our list of places to try. Their specialty is the Smoked Prime Rib Sandwich. It consists of delicious French bread slathered with horseradish sauce and topped with an enormous amount of smoked prime rib, caramelized onions and melted cheese. They had a lot of business that day due to all the people in town so they were running short on the prime rib and I managed to snatch up the last one. Score! It was the first Sunday I cheated during Lent and it was so worth it. I don’t normally cheat on Sundays but I made an exception since we were on vacation. The prime rib was so incredibly tender and paired so well with the horseradish sauce (which I normally don’t like and almost asked for the sandwich without it). The bottom half of the roll is dunked in au jus…need I say more? {L.A. Pines Cafe – Slidell, LA}

Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp

Joel’s new favorite meal…and it’s a light version! It’s a miracle. As I’ve said before, I don’t really like seafood but this shrimp was to die for. The batter was light and crispy so that we were actually able to taste the shrimp and it was so refreshing over the lettuce.
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
This recipe is a copycat of Bang Bang Shrimp from Bonefish Grill. I have never eaten there as we don’t have one around these parts so I can’t really compare it to the original but I’m telling you, it was sooo good. The original recipe is battered and deep fried while this is lightly coated with cornstarch and cooked in a small amount of oil.
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
It was Joel’s absolute favorite new recipe that I have made in quite awhile. He actually hasn’t stopped talking about it and I made this about 2 weeks ago. I always think about changing out the seafood for chicken since that is what I prefer and I think chicken would be really great prepared this way too.

The calories, fat, protein and much more are all included with the recipe which is really great. It is from one of my new finds, Skinny Taste. There are so many great looking dishes that I am sure to try out soon.
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
Skinny Bang Bang Shrimp
recipe from Skinny Taste

5 tbsp light mayonnaise
3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha

Shrimp:
1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp canola oil
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup shredded purple cabbage (I totally forgot to pick up this at the store so we skipped it but I will remember next time!)
4 Tbsp. scallions, chopped

1. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha. Set aside. Combine lettuce and cabbage and divide between four plates. Set aside.

2. Coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands.

3. Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, when hot add oil. When oil is hot add the shrimp to hot pan and cook tossing a few times until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and combine with the sauce coating well.

4. Place shrimp on lettuce and cabbage then top with scallions.

Recipe linked to Mangia Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, What I Whipped Up Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday and Fusion Friday.