For lack of a better term I am going to call this ceviche (hmmm, maybe pickled shrimp? No, that doesn’t sound as fun). I know that ceviche is typically raw fish and it is “cooked” when marinating in the acidity of the lemon/lime juice but we are talking about shellfish here people AND I am just a girl somewhere in the middle of America, about the furthest place possible from the ocean; I don’t really know how long that shrimp has been sitting out of the ocean. OK, so with all my justifications of cooking my shrimp feel free to eat your raw…but don’t hate me in the morning!
Here is my recipe for coconut shrimp ceviche…my family loves it!

Coconut Shrimp Ceviche
1 lb raw medium shrimp (I use EZ Peel 51/60 count from seafood counter at market)
8 oz lime juice, fresh squeezed
1 can coconut juice
1 shot tequila
1 medium red onion, chopped
2/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add shrimp and let boil for 1 minute. Drain the water from shrimp and cover the pot with a lid to steam shrimp for an additional 5 minutes. Pour shrimp in a shallow bowl and cover with ice to stop the cooking process.

Once the shrimp have cooled, peel off shell, tail and chop into smaller pieces.
If you are using small shrimp you don’t need to chop into smaller pieces. Cover shrimp with lime juice. Put in the fridge to chill.
Empty the contents of the coconut juice over a colander and drain juice into a bowl (there are little chunks of coconut in the juice).

Add the tequila, onions, cilantro and jalapenos. Stir everything together and then put in fridge to chill along side the shrimp for about one hour.

After 1 hour of "cooking"/marinating, strain the shrimp but reserve about ¼ cup of lime juice. Add the shrimp and ¼ cup of lime juice to the coconut juice mixture, combine and serve. Eat it as is or with tortilla chips.
Feel free to add other ingredients to this if you want. Last time I made it I added some avocado but it wasn't quite what I was looking time I am going to try adding cooked cubed sweet potato. I'll let you know how it turns out.
After the ceviche is eaten, the leftover liquid is known as Tiger Milk ("leche de tigre") and is thought of as a hangover cure!




I keep trying to stray from the safety of my comfort foods to find some crazy new healthy light recipe but let's face's freezing cold and comfort food is all that tastes good to me right now. So here you go, it's a red sauce and I had to share it...too good not to.
3 ingredients...seriously, could it get any easier?! It's basic in ingredients; however, anything but basic in taste. This is my new go-to sauce. Most likely you will already have everything in your kitchen this recipe calls for. The recipe suggests using Italian plum tomatoes, such as San Marzano; however, I used a jar of domestic whole, peeled tomatoes and it was fabulous.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter
Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan
Yields 4 servings with 1 pound of pasta

28-ounce can of whole, peeled, canned tomatoes, with juices
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt, to taste (optional)
Parmesan, freshly grated (optional)

Combine the tomatoes, butter, and onion halves in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. On medium-low heat cook to a steady simmer, reduce to low and simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon or use an immersion blender. Taste and salt as needed. Some tomatoes have added salt so make sure you read the label.
Make the pasta while the sauce is simmering. I used linguine...did you know that means "little tongues" in Italian? Makes me like it even more...or maybe not.

When the sauce is ready...discard the onion (seems like a shame) and toss the sauce with pasta.

Now pass the Parmesan!




I don't have a milkman (although I truly wish I did) but I do have a Honey Girl. It is the best! Her father is a local beekeeper and he makes the most wonderful organic clover honey you can imagine. I honestly have never tasted anything like it.
We eat honey in replacement of most sweeteners. Make sure when you buy honey you buy at a local Farmer's Market. She just dropped off 5 jars this morning and I knew exactly what we needed to make.

Adapted from Ina Garten's Banana Sour Cream Pancakes, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Yields 12 pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream (can substitute Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
2 extra-large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Unsalted butter
2 ripe bananas, diced, plus extra for serving
1 cup of berries, diced, plus extra for serving (I use blackberries)
Cinnamon (optional)
Honey or Agave Nectar

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined. Melt enough butter to cover bottom of skillet. Over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan. Distribute a rounded tablespoon of bananas and berries on each pancake. If you like cinnamon, sprinkle a little on top.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute, until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with whatever you like on top...sliced bananas, berries, honey, agave nectar or pure maple syrup.




I am so excited about this recipe! I even managed to complete it and take pictures for you (not as many as I wanted) while my 4-year old daughter was singing at the top of her lungs, circling laps on her scooter around the kitchen island AND my baby was crawling around my feet on the floor.
Can you believe I find solace in cooking!

Sauce is A la Graham
Fish is adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 4

For the Crust
1 1/4 cups macadamia nuts
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
For the Mahi-Mahi
4 (6-8 ounce) mahi-mahi fillets
curry powder
2 tablespoons coconut milk
For the Sauce
1 ½ cup canned diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
1 ½ cup chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons curry powder
4 cups rice, prepared

Prepare 4 cups of Rice

Roast the Macadamia Nuts
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Chop all the nuts in half so they are all the same size. Put nuts in a casserole dish or shallow pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and bake for approximately 15-25 minutes (every oven and every type of nut is different so watch closely and stir often…don’t burn your nuts! Remove from oven as soon as they turn light brown. You will smell good! Put them aside to cool for now.

Increase the oven heat to 425 degrees. Now onto the Nut Crust.

Prepare the Nut Crust
Chop the nuts up into very small pieces.
Stir nuts, panko, flour, and and melted butter in a bowl.

Prepare the Mahi-Mahi
Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Place the mahi-mahi on the foil and sprinkle each fillet with salt, pepper and curry powder. Bake for 5 minutes.

Prepare the Curry Sauce
Put diced tomatoes, chicken broth, coconut milk and curry in a small saucepan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Now is the time to bust out the immersion blender (my FAVORITE kitchen tool) or use a blender. Blend it up so its nice and smooth. Return to simmer in saucepan.
Back to the Mahi-Mahi
Remove mahi-mahi from the oven and brush each fillet with the coconut milk.

Divide the nut mixture among the tops of the 4 fillets, patting the mixture to spread and adhere to the fillets. Return to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand 5 minutes before serving.

To serve: put one cup of rice in the middle of plate, pour curry sauce around rice and lay fish on top.

Seriously, after typing all this I cannot believe I actually made this with my children in the same room…make sure you use timers!



One of my all time favorites!
Don't be fooled by how innocent these little babies look; they pack some punch! This is a perfect example of why I need some taste testers to come over to my house every night...I am severely paying the "sole taste tester" price this morning!

Loosely adapted from Alison Mesrop's Tequila-Bloody Mary Cherry Tomatoes

2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup liquid from canned tomato with onion, or use tomato juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup lemon juice, approx 1 lemon
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup vodka, peppered flavor preferable
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Cilantro (for serving)
Course salt and course ground pepper (for serving)

Using a toothpick, poke 10 holes in every cherry tomato. Combine all ingredients except the cilantro and course salt and course pepper in a plastic bag, glass bowl or plastic container. Seal/cover and refrigerate, keeping tomatoes submerged in liquid, 1-3 days. (I can never wait longer than 1...they are so good!)

There are so many fun ways to serve:
Take the tomatoes out of the liquid, put in a large serving plate, sprinkle with chopped cilantro, course salt and pepper.


Dip, Roll, Eat…Spear each tomato with a pick, set on platter. Put the marinade in a cup or bowl. Have a separate cup or bowl mixed with cilantro, course salt and pepper. Now dip the tomatoes in liquid, roll in the salt & pepper and eat.


Great on the accompaniment to any of your Mexican meals, GUACAMOLE or tacos.




I've been on a huge kick for Mexican food lately. I think I can feel game day getting closer and for whatever reason we always eat Mexican food when we watch the Super Bowl. So I have been busy trying out all kinds of new recipes…a lot of failures but I have a few keepers that I will share with you like DECONSTRUCTED BLOODY MARY...but for now let’s start with the basics...

Serving 4

2 ripe avocados
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno, diced (I take out about half the seeds)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Salt to taste

Mash everthing together with a fork until desired consistency. Add red onion or another jalapeno (for more heat).



I am not a fan of yogurt (its a texture thing) fortunately, the "texture gene" did not get passed down to my daughter. She loves it, that is until I decided not to give her yogurt loaded with high-fructose corn syrup (basically in all the "kids/fun" yogurt). I now give her Greek yogurt, loaded with protien ranging from 15 to 18 grams per six-ounce serving. Of course, she won't eat because it isn't loaded with the high-fructose corn syrup and it isn't "fun".
No worries, I have prevailed and found a way that we both enjoy eating it.
To make it "fun" for her (and me) I put it in a zip lock bag, cut off the end and pipe it on parchment paper, freeze it for about 10-20 minutes then store it in a freezer bag until we need it for smoothies. She loves to count out how many dots she is going to add to her smoothie.
This is also a great trick when you have yogurt pushing the expiration date...I find myself in that situation a lot.

Serves 1 and 1/2

1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt dots (frozen)
1 cup blueberries (frozen), if you use fresh berries you may want to add ice
3 strawberries
1/3 cup coconut milk or skim milk (more or less depending on consistency preferece)
sweetener to taste (honey or agave nectar)

Blend yogurt dots, fruit, milk, and sweetener until smooth.




There is this Mexican restaurant in Las Vegas that is my favorite place to eat. The good that I actually planned a trip to Las Vegas when I was pregnant based solely on me being able to eat there as much as I wanted.
They serve black bean chicken tacos (my favorite) with pickled onions, which are crunchy, sweet and tangy...a must have in your house.
You can make 3 weeks ahead and it is so easy to make.
Tasty enough to stand alone as a side or perfect for tacos, hamburgers, any kind of sandwich (turkey, chicken, beef), and I have been told they are excellent on hot dogs (but I wouldn't know because I have never ate one and don't plan on it any time soon...I have my limits people!)

Adapted from Bon Appetit January 2010

1 large red onion, halved through core, thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1/2 cinnamon stick

Place onion slices in medium bowl. Bring next 5 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan.

Pour over onions in bowl.

Cover; cool to room temperature. Chill at least over night. They will turn a beautiful deep pink color.
Can be made 3 weeks ahead! Keep chilled. Drain before serving.





I woke up to one of the most beautiful frosts...

the kind that makes you happy that is is still winter...

well kinda...

really it just makes me want to stay inside and eat.

One of my all time favorite foods is mashed potatoes! I would make it every night if I could; unfortunately, I am the only one in this household who enjoys mashed potatoes. So here is my recipe...Garlic Mashed Potatoes For One.
This is SUPER GARLICKY...cut back on the garlic or omit all together if you don't like garlic. Easily multiply by how many servings you need.

1 large Russet Potato
1/3 cup half and half
1 garlic clove
1-2 oz Parmesan Cheese, fresh, finely grated

Peel, dice and put potato in pan.

Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt to water. Boil on medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until potato pieces break apart easily with a fork.
Use a garlic press or mince the garlic clove.

Love my garlic press!

Meanwhile, heat garlic and half and half in a separate pan until simmering.

When potatoes are easily broken apart with a fork drain into a colander.
Put the potatoes back in pan and add the garlic milk mixture and Parmesan cheese.

Mash. The potatoes will thicken. Season with fresh ground pepper.

Note: If you dont have half and half you can substitute milk but you may want to add a little butter and add the milk mixture in parts to make sure it doesnt make the potatoes too runny...or you could go the other route and use heavy cream, which I am so guilty of doing!




I was so excited to try and share this great recipe tonight..however it bombed. I don't know what went wrong but the taste was off. My husband tried it and said, "'s good...but you better not post it." In other words, "This sucks!" Oh well, we basically dined on the only thing that did turn out...Roasted Garlic...yum!

2 Garlic Heads
2 teaspoons Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel away some of the outer paper on the garlic heads but leave the cloves intact. Use a sharp knife and cut off about 1/2 inch off of the top of the garlic head so the cloves are exposed.

Set the garlic heads on tin foil and drizzle with olive oil...approximately 1 teaspoon+ per garlic head.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Wrap the garlic up in the tin foil and put in oven for approximately 50 minutes.

Wait for the garlic to cool, squeeze the cloves out of the skins or if you're like me and can't resist, use a small knife or fork to pull the cloves out and eat 'em.

Spread on bread, crackers, apples
Add to pasta sauces, soups, mashed potatoes...anything and everything!

Store an air-tight container in fridge for up to a month.



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