Posted at 4:04 pm , on February 22, 2019
I may have mentioned that we vacationed in the Florida Keys recently. We met up with Joe’s brother Chuck and our sister in law, Melody (whom I affectionately refer to as my sister of the heart). Mel found a little cafe tucked in the heart of Key West called Cuban Coffee Queen. She was an instant fan of their coffee and sandwiches and I am so glad she suggested we stop by for a quick bite. Her favorite is the Cuban Mix which is a more traditional Cuban sandwich with Mojo pork, sliced ham, cheese, pickles, mustard; you know what I’m talking about. But they also made some sandwiches that varied a bit from the traditional Cuban. I was intrigued by the Jose Marti which was loaded with Mojo pork, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and a horseradish mayo. Joe loves the traditional Cuban but I talked him into splitting a Jose Marti with me and it was fantastic. I immediately wanted to recreate it when we got home, of course Joe wanted his traditional Cuban with mustard and pickles so I made one of each. I researched how to make Mojo pork and found there are two ways to go about it. I could cook it low and slow in a citrus marinade until it pulls apart like shredded pork or marinate the pork first then roast it until the outer layer has caramelized leaving the inside of the pork moist and tender. I chose the latter and cut it into small bite size pieces to pile on our sandwiches. They tasted so good and much like the sandwiches we ate at the Cuban Coffee Queen. I can’t wait to make them again!
Posted at 9:41 am , on October 29, 2018
There are a lot of versions of Shepherd’s Pie, depending on where you grew up or what part of the country you reside. I’ve always viewed it as a casserole made up of seasoned ground beef and mixed vegetables topped with buttery mashed potatoes. It’s been forever since I’ve made a traditional Shepherd’s Pie simply because Joe doesn’t like many of the vegetables. However, the one thing that will entice him to taste something new is to add green chile, so I made a Shepherds pie with green chile as the main event. And to my amazement he liked it, so much so that I didn’t have to eat leftovers all week. Here in New Mexico the leaves are changing color and it’s damp with rain showers that are welcome, however the fall temperatures are dropping which sometimes makes it feel more like a winter day. On days like these I find myself yearning for some comfort food to take away the chills. Sitting in front of the fire with a warm shepherd’s pie takes away that chill, at least for a little while.
Posted at 10:11 am , on March 2, 2018
Those who are close to me know that I am no fan of coconut, however I do like fried coconut shrimp. It’s a weird thing, I know, most people love coconut but it’s never been my thing. I think one reason why I like this coconut shrimp is that the coconut is fried and has a toasted flavor. I also like the crunchy texture versus fresh coconut which reminds me of eating sweet grass. My whole family loves coconut shrimp plus they’re quick and easy to make. I found endless recipes for Red Lobster’s coconut shrimp which taste pretty darn close to the original. Most people deep fry their shrimp, however I pan fried them which worked just as well and made for a much easier clean-up.
Posted at 1:14 pm , on February 21, 2018
Sweet and sour pork is normally pork that is battered and fried, combined with onions, peppers and pineapple with a rich sweet and tangy sauce. For a healthier version I decided to stir fry the pork which to my surprise turned out really well. The pork was very tender and paired with fresh pineapple rather than from a can made for a very flavorful dish. The recipe comes from The Woks of Life, one of my favorite bloggers for authentic Asian dishes. They have several sweet and sour recipes to choose from but this is my favorite. I love the colors and the flavors of this dish. The sauce is tangy which I think is a better term than sour and the fresh pineapple brings out the sweetness. Ladle over rice for a complete meal that you won’t soon forget.
Posted at 10:26 am , on January 26, 2018
I was cleaning out the pantry recently when I came upon my spiral cutter. It was hidden from sight, forgotten really, until I started removing the clutter. I’ve rarely used it but decided to put it to good use since I had it out. There are so many recipes on pinterest that use spiral cut vegetables to choose from. I decided on a stir fry with peanut sauce. I was surprised at how simple and easy this meal is. You can prep everything ahead of time and stir fry in just a few minutes. In no time you have a great meal, loaded with veggies and flavors to satisfy even the most picky eaters. Joe even commented that the peanut sauce was so good he didn’t mind all the veggies, which he normally would pick over.
Posted at 10:02 am , on January 12, 2018
It’s hard to believe I’ve never posted a recipe for pasta carbonara before now. It has to be one of my top all time favorite pasta dishes. Often referred to as bacon and eggs pasta, it’s traditionally made with bacon or Pancetta, egg yolks whisked with pasta water and a hard cheese such as Parmesan or Romano. When I’m in a pinch for time it’s the perfect recipe because I always have bacon, eggs and cheese on hand. It’s also the perfect recipe to experiment with. I ‘ve found that a few additions to this basic recipe can take it to another level of goodness. My personal favorite is the addition of sun dried tomatoes. You can’t beat the taste of creamy pasta with bits of bacon and sun dried tomatoes. And if you like it spicy, add some red and black pepper. Today I seared shrimp and scallops with blackening seasoning to go on top of the pasta. Oh my gosh, it was so good!
Posted at 9:44 am , on November 28, 2017
These scallops are seasoned with the copycat seasoning that Outback Steakhouse uses for their famous Aussie shrimp. This seasoning is my go to for grilled shrimp and also tastes great on scallops. Seared in butter with lemon and spices, this is simply one of the most succulent and mouthwatering dishes to make. Australia has been on my mind for some time. Over the summer our oldest son Josh announced that he was going to take a year and travel around Australia. He left just over a week ago and is now on his first leg in Melbourne. I am so proud and happy for him, I know his experiences will be life changing. And I hope he will share some new foods that he tastes along the way. He has always shared my love of cooking and good food so this one is for you Josh!
Posted at 9:54 am , on October 27, 2017
I’ve always felt a bit intimidated when it comes to smoking meats. I think it comes from living in Kansas City, known as the barbecue capital of the world. Kansas City is famous for it’s bbq and you will find many restaurants serving up some of the finest barbecue around. And for the serious smokers there is the “American Royal” where hundreds of competitors come from all over the country to show off their best barbecue skills. I live just a few blocks from one of the most famous bbq joints in the country, “Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que” aka “Oklahoma Joe’s”. Yes, they changed their name a few years ago but they will always be “OK Joe’s” to me. Their burnt ends (my personal favorite) are to die for, the most tender and flavorful morsels I have ever tasted. Once I tasted “Joe’s” I’ve never found anything that compares. It’s just that good! We go at least twice a month and it never fails that there is a long line either to the door or out the door and around the building. The original “Joe’s” is located in KCK in a gas station where you can still buy gas and get your bbq to go. Our local “Joe’s” here in Olathe has the Kansas City BBQ store located a few doors down and you can find any and all bbq essentials from wood and smokers to sauce and rubs. Anything you need, they have it. Yes, I’ve always felt a little out of my element when it comes to barbecue but I did my research and felt ready to jump in and see if I could do it myself. I’m really happy with how it came out, maybe it’s not as good as “Joe’s” but pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. And just to make sure it wasn’t beginners luck, I smoked a second batch of ribs. . . Awesome!!
Posted at 9:31 am , on August 15, 2017
Have you ever wondered what to do with those sweet mini peppers that come in assorted colors of red, yellow and orange. They may be small but they pack a lot of flavor, especially when roasted and stuffed full of Monterey Jack and cream cheese. Wrap a thin strip of steak around the stuffed pepper and grill it until the cheeses melt and ooze out like a molten cheese lava. Oh, they are so good!! Some might think they should be served as an appetizer but Joe and I decided they were the main event with a leafy green salad on the side.
Posted at 10:13 am , on July 7, 2017
Josh taped an episode of Food Paradise on The Travel Channel that showcased their top picks for Mexican food. He wasn’t kidding when he said they featured some of the most delectable dishes. This is the first of two that I just had to make. A restaurant in Chicago “Carbon Live Fire Mexican” shared their Stelote burrito made primarily with steak and elotes aka Mexican Street Corn. I have watched that episode more times than I can count and have finally gotten around to making this mouthwatering burrito. Only I pan fried it so technically it’s a chimichanga. Either way you will love it! I grilled the corn along with the steak so they would have those fire roasted flavors. I removed the corn from the cob and added the dressing from my own “Mexican Street Corn” recipe. The steak seemed plain so I added some chimichurri sauce to the mix and wow did that enhance the flavors. Some folks serve rice and beans . . . me . . I just need my guac and salsa to complete this meal!