Monday, April 6, 2015

Tasty Travels to our California Kitchen: California Shrimp Tacos

Tasty Travels to our California Kitchen: California Shrimp Tacos
Serves: 2 (2 tacos per person)
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
1 t. olive oil
8 large shrimp
1 clove garlic, minced
4 corn tortillas, steamed
1 c. cabbage, chopped
1/4 c. tomato, diced
1 T. cilantro, minced
1 T. parsley, minced
1 T. lemon balm, minced
1 avocado, pitted
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oil over medium in a non-stick skillet and add shrimp. Cook just until pink, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add the garlic the last minute stirring to coat the shrimp with all that garlic goodness.
When cool enough to handle carefully cut the shrimp into bite size pieces and add them to the steamed tortillas.
In a small bowl combine cabbage, tomato and herbs and toss to mix well.
In another small bowl combine avocado, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper and mash into a guacamole.
Evenly top each taco with the slaw and smear with the guacamole an enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Are You Nuts...About National Nutrition Month...and Perhaps Almonds!?!

GO NUTS...for National Nutrition Month! Almonds, walnuts, pistachios oh my, I think I'll give the ALMONDS a try!!! I've had the pleasure to participate with, sharing with you all that is so awesome about almonds. For example, take a look at this almond infographic here...
Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate National Nutrition Month with almonds...

Chocolate Strawberry Banana Smoothie
(almond source: chocolate almond milk)
Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
4 c. frozen strawberries
4 bananas, sliced and frozen
1 c. Greek yogurt, honey flavor
6 c. chocolate almond milk
4 sprigs chocolate mint, to garnish

    Combine, ingredients in a blender beginning with strawberries and bananas then yogurt and soy chocolate milk.
Blend until smooth. Pour evenly into four glasses and garnish each with a sprig of chocolate mint.

Kaia’s Tropical Cinnamon Buckwheat Pancakes
(almond source: almond milk, almond butter and whole almonds)
 Makes: 6 small cakes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 6 minutes
 3/4 c. buckwheat pancake mix
1/2 c. almond milk
1 T. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/8 t. cinnamon
3 t. coconut spread
6 t. creamy almond butter
1 banana, sliced
3 T. honey
1/4 c. sliced almonds
 Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium. In a mixing bowl combine buckwheat pancake mix, almond milk, oil, egg and cinnamon. Mix well and let sit for a few minutes.
Using a 1/4 cup spoon the batter into the hot skillet and cook until golden about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Complete pancakes by evenly spreading each with coconut spread and creamy peanut butter, top with sliced bananas, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Enjoy!
Cucumber, Raisin, Almond Salad with Blood Orange Olive Oil Drizzle Topped with a Port Vinegar Soaked Tomato
(almond source: whole almonds)
Serves: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. almonds, crushed
2 T. blood orange olive oil
4 slices tomato
port vinegar, as needed
Combine cucumber, raisins and almonds in a shallow dish and drizzle with blood orange olive oil and toss gently to coat evenly.
Dish out portions into salad bowls, top with a tomato slice splashed with port vinegar.
Tropical Almond Butter Soup
(almond source: almond butter)
Serves: 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
 1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. vegetable or chicken broth, warm
1 c. creamy or chucky almond butter
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 t. chili garlic sauce, or favorite hot sauce
4 c. fresh spinach leaves
1 banana, diced
1/2 c. pineapple, diced
1/4 c. cilantro, minced
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges
3 c. cooked white or brown rice
 In a large pot heat oil over medium and add onions. Cook until slightly tender about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.
In the meantime combine warm broth and peanut butter in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in tomatoes and chili garlic sauce then add to pot.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and continue cooking until slightly thickened about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach the last five minutes of cooking,
In a medium bowl combine banana, pineapple and cilantro, mix well and set aside.
Assemble dish by placing a disk of rice in the center of the bowl, ladle soup around rice, top with tropical fruit mix and garnish with a lime wedge.
Dark Chocolate Drizzled Citrus Strawberry Tart with Crushed Almonds
(almond source: whole almonds, almond milk and almond meal/flour)
Serves: 8
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
 2 T. almond milk
1 t. fresh lemon juice
½ c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 almond flour/meal
2 t. sugar
1/8 t. salt
¼ c. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
3 T. cold water
3 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
2 T. fresh orange juice
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. sugar
1 c. dark chocolate chips
½ c. almonds, crushed
 In a small bowl combine, almond milk and lemon juice, let sit for about 5 minutes to sour and thicken slightly.
For the crust combine flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbles. Still pulsing slowly pour sour milk and cold water into processor until a dough forms. Turn mixture out onto a floured surface and knead about ten times until pliable. Form dough into a ball, wrap and place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. For filling in a medium bowl combine strawberries, orange juice, cornstarch and sugar. Mix well.
Roll out dough to fit into a 9-inch tart pan and fill with strawberry mixture. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let cool on wire rack almost completely.
In a small sauce pan melt dark chocolate chips over medium-low until smooth. Drizzle over top of tart and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Slice and serve.
Hope you enjoy my recipes. What are your favorite ways to use almonds? I'd love to know in the comments below, always looking for new recipes!
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Meatless Monday Lunch: Falafel Favorites

Meatless Monday Lunch: Falafel Favorites
One of my go-to lunches on Meatless Monday is FALAFEL! There are so many ways it can be prepared and served. Here are a few of my favorites...
My Mediterranean Cobb Salad (simply substitute your normal choice of protein for falafel, paired with traditional Cobb salad ingredients)
Falafel Nachos on Toasted Pita Triangles (decorate with your favorite nacho toppings)
Falafel Burger with Flavored Hummus (I prepare falafel mix as directed, form them into patties using a cookie cutter and then freeze for later use. Make a falafel burger using your favorite burger toppings.)
Mini Falafel Pita Pockets
Falafel Pitas (the possibilities are endless when it comes to pitas my favorites are hummus, honey Greek yogurt, greens including mint-parley-basil-cilantro, avocado, tomato, cucumber, pepperoncini, sprouts, olives-capers and cheese, especially feta!!!)

For more Meatless Monday recipes visit,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Tasty Travels to Italy- Bird in a Pesto Pasta Nest

Tasty Travels to Italy: Bird in a Pesto Pasta Nest

Serves: 2
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
1 t. olive oil
3 c. cooked whole wheat spaghetti or other string pasta
2 eggs
1 T. store-bought pesto
2 t. parmesan cheese
pinch black pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium and add pasta. Form into a a circle and create a hole in the center. Continue to cook another few minutes until pasta is slightly golden.
As carefully as possible use a spatula to flip the pasta and recreate a hole in the center if needed.
Crack an egg into the hole, cover with a lid, reduce heat to low and cook until the egg white is no longer transparent and the yolk is still runny, about a few minutes.
Complete pasta nest by spoons pesto across the top of the pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pepper. Enjoy!  

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014: Tropical Magic Bars

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014

I've had the pleasure and honor of participating in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil and Julie of The Little Kitchen, for three years in a row now. My family and I love receiving the unknown batches of cookies from fellow food bloggers but I enjoy even more baking up some creations of my own to share. This year I decided on making a cookie bar that my mom has always made each year for Christmas although I put a tropical twist on it...
Tropical Magic Cookie Bars
1/2 c. melted butter
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 (6 oz.) package dark chocolate chips
1 1/3 c. or (3 1/2 oz.) can flaked coconut
1/2 c. chopped dried mango
1/2 c. raisin medley
1 1/3 c. (15 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Into the bottom of a lined cookie sheet pout melted butter and evenly sprinkle on graham cracker crumbs. Then also evenly layer remaining ingredients, reserving the condensed milk for drizzling on last.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden.
Allow to cool before cutting into squares.
I would like to give a special thank you to the three lovely bakers for sending their tasty treats our way...
Pint Sized Baker and Karyn's Fudgy Macadamia Nut & Cranberry Pistachio Sugar Cookies
Abbie and Erica's Coast to Coast Adventures and Erica's Peanut Butter Cookies three ways (original, dark chocolate & Pretzel and Marshmallow)
Ink Foods and Kristen's Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Cookies
Want to get in on The Food Blogger Cookie Swap in years to come and help support Cookies for Kids Cancer...visit, where you can sign up to receive notifications about the cookie swap!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kaia's Meatless Monday Lunchbox

Kaia's Meatless Monday Lunchbox
I always have fun packing up lil' lunches for my kiddos, Kaia, who is eight and in the third grade, and Marlee, who is 20 months...both huge eaters and definite foodies in the making. On Mondays we like to celebrate Meatless Monday, filling up the lunchbox with a variety of flavors and colors. Here's what's on the menu today...
~ Egg Salad Sandwich on Whole Grain with Pickle Spear
~ Veggies with Hummus Dip
~ Orange Slices
~ Graham Cracker-Banana-Cream Cheese Squares
~ Carrot Bread with Raisin Medley & Dark Chocolate Chips

Friday, November 28, 2014

2014 Butterball Cookbook Plus Blogger Contest: Ole' Ole' Ole' Mole Left-Over Turkey Quesadilla

Butterball Ole' Ole' Ole' Mole Left-Over Turkey Quesadilla
Butterball is hosting the 2014 Butterball Cookbook Plus Blogger Contest challenging food bloggers to get creative using left-over Butterball turkey meat. Wondering what to do with all that left-over turkey taking up space in your refrigerator after Thanksgiving? Try my Ole' Ole' Ole' Mole Turkey Quesadillas, perfect as an appetizer or a meal paired with rice and beans...
Serves: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30-35 minutes
1 dried poblano chile
1 dried mulato chile
1 dried chipotle chile
Hot water, as needed
2 T. vegetable oil, divided
1 ¼ lbs. left-over Butterball turkey, shredded
1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. cumin
1 t. dried Mexican oregano, or regular oregano
½ t. cinnamon
8 oz. can tomato sauce
14.5 oz. can chicken broth
1 oz. Mexican chocolate
2 T. hazelnut chocolate spread
2 T. unsalted butter
8 large flour tortillas
2 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
½ c. sour cream
8 cilantro sprigs, garnish
Boil enough water to soak dried chilies in a bowl until softened, remove stem and seeds then chop and set aside. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick skillet and add ground turkey. Cook until no longer pink, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, drain then transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
In the meantime heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium pot and add onion. Cook until almost tender about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
Stir in cumin, oregano, cinnamon, tomato sauce, broth, Mexican chocolate, Jif Hazelnut Chocolate Spread and chilies. Bring to a boil reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes for flavors to meld.
Carefully ladle mole sauce into a blender and pulse until smooth. Pour sauce over turkey and toss to coat evenly. Assemble quesadillas by sprinkling half of each tortilla with two tablespoons of cheese, evenly spoon turkey mixture and spread out almost to the edges, sprinkle another two tablespoons of cheese on top of that then fold in half.
Working in batches, melt butter in another large non-stick skillet and cook quesadillas until slightly golden about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
Serve each quesadilla with one tablespoon of sour cream and garnish with a cilantro sprig.
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