Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

 

I love fruit barbecue sauces, it adds that little element of sweet in a fresh and unexpected way. This sauce would be great on chicken wings or pork tenderloin as well.

Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

2 ripe mangos peeled, seeded and chopped

1 T brown sugar

1 jalapeno minced ( optional)

1 t chopped garlic

1 T soy sauce

1 t mustard

1 T apple cider vinegar

add all ingredients to a small sauce pan, cook over med/low until mango breaks down and sauce in about 25 minutes ( you can puree the sauce with an immersion or regular blender if you want it smoother) Also depending on you mangos ripeness you may want to add some more sugar.

Mango Barbecue Sauce

To use with shrimp, get 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp thread on skewers. brush shrimp with barbecue sauce and grill over med heat, about 3 min per side or until shrimp is opaque.

Shrimp with Mango Barbecue Sauce

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Childhood Comfort Food: Chili Mac

Chili Mac

Chili Mac was one of my dinners almost every week growing up, I am the oldest of 6 kids and there were always a few extras at the table so this dish was filling, and went a long way. No matter how many people were at the table there was always enough for seconds. I crave it still to this day but I had to make a couple of adjustments. The original chili mac did not have any beans or cheese, but my kids said then it isn’t “chili” mac, (they love chili and beans) so I added a few ingredients but it still goes a long way and there are always left overs and best of all it reminds me of my childhood.

Chili Mac

1 lb ground beef

1/2 t chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can tomato soup (condensed)

1/2 can of water

1 can red kidney beans (drained)

2 T brown sugar

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T chili powder

1 t cumin

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

1 box elbow macaroni cooked and drained

Brown meat and onions in a large skillet or pot for about 5 minutes, add garlic and saute until golden. Add tomato soup, water, beans, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Chili Mac

Add the macaroni noodles and stir, cook over low for about 5 minutes or until macaroni absorbs some of the sauce. Top with cheese and chopped onion if desired.

Chili Mac

Secret to the Best Corned Beef: Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

Best Corned Beef with Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze

I used to eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day because I had to, it was tradition. Now I eat it because I love it all thanks to one on my good friends. We were making copious amounts of Corned Beef and cabbage for a St. Patrick’s Day Party and she showed me how to make a delicious glaze for the beef that her family had made for years. It is so easy and simple, just 2 ingredients, brown sugar and Dijon mustard.

Easy Mustard and Brown Sugar Glazed Corned Beef

1 package corned beef brisket flat cut

seasoning packet from beef

brown sugar

dijon mustard

Cook beef with seasoning packet as directed, usually about 3 hours on simmer (or all day in a slowcooker). Remove beef and place on cutting board, let cool slightly. Preheat oven to 375. coat meat on all sides with dijon mustard, then press brown sugar into meat. I used about 1/4 cup mustard and 3/4 c brown sugar.

Best Corned Beef with Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze

Place in oven and cook until a golden crust forms on the beef, about 20 minutes.

Best Corned Beef with Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze

Slice and serve. We had it this year with roasted cabbage and Bailey’s Mashed Potatoes

Best Corned Beef with Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze

Best Corned Beef with Mustard and Brown Sugar Glaze

Guinness Beef Stew: Alternative to Corned Beef and Cabbage

Guinness Beef Stew

I myself love Corned Beef and Cabbage , well if it’s cooked the right way, but I know many people who do not. So if you are planning a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and want to veer slightly from the traditional, give this recipe a try.

Guinness Beef Stew

2 lbs Beef Stew meat

1/4 c flour

1/4 t garlic powder

1/4 t salt

1/8 t black pepper

1/8 t dried thyme

1T oil

1 large onion cut into 8ths

115 oz can diced tomatoes

1 t chopped garlic

1/2 c Guinness stout  (or any stout)

1 T brown sugar

2 T Dijon mustard

3/4 c beef broth

6 carrots peeled and cut in half

10 small potatoes peeled and cut in half

1 cup baby portabella or button mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

Add flour, garlic powder, salt, pepper and thyme to a large ziplock bag, add meat and shake until well coated. Heat oil in a large pot, add meat and onion sauté until browned. add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add beer, tomatoes, mustard, brown sugar and broth. Cover and simmer 45 minutes, add potatoes and carrots and cook 45 minutes more. Add mushrooms and cook 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Guinness Beef Stew Guinness Beef Stew

Raspberry and Nutella Granola Bars

Well here is another thing I won’t need to buy at the grocery store, I just made my first granola bars and they were easy! I am already thinking of new flavor combinations, They are perfect for on the go snacks and breakfasts.

Raspberry and Nutella Granola Bars

2 c old-fashioned oats

1/2 c dried raspberries

6T butter

1/2 c nutella

1/3 c brown sugar

1T honey

Mix oats and raspberries in a large bowl. Melt butter over low in a saucepan, mix in nutella, sugar, and honey. Pour over oats and place in an 8×8 pan lined with tin foil, that has been sprayed with cooking spray of butter.

Raspberry and Nutella Granola Bars

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, cool and cut into bars.

Oatmeal Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Kisses

I bought a bag of the pumpkin spice Hershey’s kisses and liked them but thought these would go great with an oatmeal cookie, and so the idea was born. I made them and even my finicky kids who aren’t crazy about oatmeal cookies devoured them. Shh don’t tell but it’s my new favorite fall breakfast , sweet with a touch of spice.

Oatmeal Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Kisses

1c brown sugar

1/2 c sugar

3/4 c butter

1/4 c water

1 egg

1 t vanilla

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

1 c chopped Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses

Preheat the oven to 350

In a large mixing bowl combine sugars, butter, water, egg and vanilla, mix on low- med speed until creamed

In a medium bowl combine oats, flour, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon. Slowly add this to the butter mixture, mix until well combined.

Stir in Chopped kisses. ( I refrigerate my dough for about 10 minutes,  this  keeps your cookies from spreading and becoming too thin while baking) Drop 1 T rounds onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool, store in an air tight container.

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

 

This dip is perfect for a Fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving gathering. All the taste of pumpkin pie with out the hassle of baking, and its a finger food so it is perfect for parties.

Creamy Pumpkin Dip

1 8oz brick of cream cheese softened

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 c brown sugar

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 t vanilla

ginger snaps

sliced apples

Mix the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, spice and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric beater until smooth and incorporated. Serve with apples and ginger snaps.

For a pretty and festive presentation, hollow out a small pumpkin or gourd and serve dip inside.

 

Creamy Tomato Soup with Pesto

I don’t know what it is about Fall, but this time of year makes me go right for the comfort foods and classic combinations I grew up with. As I looked at my menu board for the week I thought this could have been one my mom had when I was a child. Last night’s dinner was grilled cheese and tomato soup. I made the soup in the crock pot so it was done and ready for whenever my family decided to make their appearance for dinner, and the bonus is you get to smell its deliciousness all day.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Pesto

1 28 oz can of peeled whole tomatoes

1 20 oz can of petite diced tomatoes

1 1/2 c vegetable stock (chicken would work too)

1 T italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

1 t salt

1/4 c brown sugar

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 c cream

2 T butter

For Pesto

1/2 c  fresh basil

1/4 c parmesan cheese

1/4 c pine nuts

1 large clove of garlic

1/4 c olive oil

Add tomatoes, stock, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt, sugar, onion and garlic to a large slow cooker/ crock pot. turn on high and cover. Cook for one hour and then turn to low. Cook for 2-3 more hours or until tomatoes and onions have completely softened. Add cream and butter and use an immersion blender to puree. You could also use a regular blender or use a wooden spoon to mash. Place on warm until ready to serve. Taste for salt and sugar add more if desired.

Meanwhile place basil, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts into a food processor, pulse until smooth and then slowly add olive oil while processor is on until pesto is the desired consistency.

Serve soup with a drizzle of pesto over the top.

Pinspired: Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls

I was looking for a starter to bring to a barbecue at my in-laws. It’s August and its hot as can be here in Florida so I didn’t want to do anything that required an oven. I was stumped so I went on to Pinterest,  and reviewed my boards, I had pinned this Summer Roll recipe from Williams-Sonoma awhile back. It seemed perfect but I have never made Summer rolls before, never used rice paper, so I had my reservations. I couldn’t come up with anything else though so I decided to go for it. I am glad I did. I have to say as long as you prep all the ingredients before hand and follow the instructions it’s pretty easy and the rice paper is much more forgiving that I thought it would be. My husband even rolled a few and had no trouble and he is not a patient man. They were so fresh and delicious, I will be making these again, and again. My only snag was my neighborhood supermarket was out of rice paper ( normally my market has it by the pre-made sushi/fish counter). I had to take a trip to the Asian market, but that was fine, they were super friendly and had several different kinds, their prices were cheaper than the supermarket too.

Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls

For the dipping sauce:

juice from 1/2 lime

2 T canola oil

2 T rice wine vinegar

1/2 Dijon mustard

1/2 soy sauce

1 t brown sugar

1/4 t red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

For the Rolls:

1 package rice paper rounds (I used about 12)

1 head green leaf lettuce, washed, leaves left whole (not iceberg or romaine hearts, it needs to be soft and flexible)

1 bunch basil

1 bunch mint

about 2 c matchstick carrots (or carrots and shred them yourself)

2 haas avocados peeled and diced

2 T lime juice

1/4 t salt

1 english cucumber peeled and cut into matchstick like strips

Prep all vegetables. put into piles or bowl for easy access. For the avocado, toss with lime juice and salt to prevent browning. To cut the cucumber, cut into 4 pieces and then slice into planks

turn on its side

and then cut into thin strips

Get a large sallow pie plate or bowl and fill with warm water, must be big enough to submerge whole sheet of rice paper. Place a clean kitchen towel in front of the water and all prepped ingredients next to it. (I had not yet chopped my avocado in this picture)

Submerge 1 sheet of rice paper into water until pliable, place on towel, submerge 2nd sheet and place directly on top. Each roll will have a double ply of rice paper. Then Place one lettuce leaf on top of paper (tearing if needed to fit) the Horizontally , one row of carrots, one row of cucumber and one row of avocado, then place 2 mint and 2 basil leaves on top.

lift bottom edge of rice paper up and over the filling and roll once to make a tight cylinder. If paper sticks to towel, use water to wet fingers and gently pull off. Fold in the sides of the paper and continue to roll into a cylinder shape, place seam side down on a platter and continue rolling the rest of the rolls, place a wet paper towel between layers to prevent sticking.

Cut on the bias and serve with dipping sauce.

A Nod to My Northern Neighbors: Peach Pecan Pie

 

It’s that time of year here in Florida where you can’t drive on a major road and not see a sign for fresh Georgia peaches. We are lucky to be a neighboring state. Georgia also grows delicious pecans so I decided to try to use them both in a dessert. My oldest son’s favorite dessert is pecan pie which he usually gets only once a year at Thanksgiving, so I decided to lighten it up with the fresh peaches and make it into a summer dessert. Turned out delicious and best of all this recipe doesn’t contain any corn syrup.

Peach Pecan Pie

1 9″ ready to bake pie crust

2 eggs

1/2 c melted butter

2 T flour

1 c brown sugar

1 T milk

1 t vanilla extract

1/4 t salt

3/4 c pecans

1 c fresh peeled and diced peaches

Beat eggs with a whisk in a large mixing bowl, add melted butter and continue whisking. Stir in flour, sugar and salt. Add milk and vanilla and then stir in peaches and pecans.

Pour into pie shell and bake 45 minutes. Tent with foil if crust starts to get too brown.

 

It is done when sides are set and there is only the slightest jiggle in the middle

 

Let cool and serve with whipped cream if desired