Tag Archives: recipe

Mexi-Shrimp Bowl with Garden Fresh Veg

29 Jun

abundant tomatoes!
(or, “What to do when you have tomatoes coming out your ears”)

This year, my friend Brittany let us plant a small garden in one of her raised beds. My main focus was tomatoes, since I’d never grown them on my own before (and I just straight up love tomatoes). I don’t know what I was expecting, but not that the plants would flourish so well that we’d have a giant bowl of tomatoes every week. Amazingly, they do and we do.

I’ve been trying to find little ways to add them into the dishes I cook. On Monday, I made up a random dish from an assortment of what we had in the fridge, and those extra ‘maters really made it sing! The recipe is below–apologies in advance, I completely forgot to take any pictures of it before I ate the whole thing (it was pretty delicious). Feel free to adjust as needed, since this is a pretty thrown-together recipe to begin with.

Mexi-Shrimp Bowl

Serves 2

• 1 Tbsp. butter or coconut oil
• 1 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp
• 1 tsp. blackened seasoning
• a can of black beans
• two ears of corn
• two handfuls of cherry or grape tomatoes (10-12)
• a handful of grated cheddar cheese

Heat the black beans in a small pot (you may want to drain some of the extra liquid from the can) over medium low heat. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Sprinkle generously with blackened seasoning.  Add shrimp to pan, cook until pink. With a serrated knife, cut kernels from the ears of corn (it helps to cut over a bowl so it will catch all of the kernels). Add to the pan, along with the tomatoes.  Cook for two or three more minutes, until the shrimp is opaque and the tomatoes are just starting to soften. Remove from heat. Put a scoop of black beans in a bowl, top with shrimp/tomato/corn mixture and sprinkling of cheese. Garnish with cilantro or avocado slices.


Real Food Wednesdays

Valentine’s Seafood Risotto

16 Feb

seafood risotto

Mr. Jones and I have a Valentine’s Day tradition that I’m pretty fond of. It started when we both had to work on our first Valentine’s together (in college), so we couldn’t go out to eat anywhere. Luckily, we worked together at one of the student hangouts on campus, so we spent most of the evening playing scrabble and serving coffee. One by one, our friends began returning from their dates, complaining about the long waits and crowded restaurants. And we decided — we didn’t want to mess with all of that. Instead, we would cook some sort of crazy, extravagant dinner for ourselves and enjoy each other’s company without reservations or loud dining rooms.

It’s a pretty good plan. I’m sure we’ll end up making adjustments when we have kids underfoot someday, but for now, we have a blast picking out the unusual dish we’re going to cook up and knowing that we aren’t waiting in any lines.

This year, we did seafood risotto, roasted asparagus, and a brie cheese plate. We’ve never attempted risotto before, but it turned out deliciously. Yes, it’s a lot of stirring, but that’s part of what makes it the perfect “team” recipe — when one of you gets tired of stirring, just trade off!

The recipe we used is below, and it turned out wonderfully without any adjustments. Though, I will give you a hint: if you happen to have any brie around, it’s pretty fabulous to put a little on your fork before scooping up a bite of risotto. So scrumptious.

risotto before

Seafood Risotto

Bon Appétit | August 1998
Yield: Serves 6

• 2 1/2 cups water
• 2 8-ounce bottles clam juice
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped shallots
• 1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1 14 1/2-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
• 3/4 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, coarsely chopped
• 3/4 pound bay scallops
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

1. Combine 2 1/2 cups water and bottled clam juice in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer. Keep warm over low heat.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until light golden, about 4 minutes. Add rice; sauté 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes; cook until liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes.

risotto after

As you slowly stir in liquid, the risotto will absorb it, becoming gradually creamier

2. Add 1 cup clam juice mixture to rice. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring often. Continue adding clam juice mixture by 1/2 cupfuls until rice is tender but still slightly firm in center and mixture is creamy, simmering until liquid is absorbed before each addition and stirring often, about 25 minutes. Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, scallops and garlic and sauté until shrimp and scallops are opaque in center, about 6 minutes. Mix seafood into rice. Cook 3 minutes longer. Remove risotto from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Stir in chopped parsley and serve.

seafood risotto and roasted asparagus

There are a number of comments in the recipe’s reviews with suggestions and tweaks, and some of them sound pretty delicious. I’m excited to try it again, with some more creative changes next time. Either way, risotto is a great bet when you have someone to keep you company (and help you sitr) in the kitchen.

Real Food Wednesdays

Friday Faves, February 4th

4 Feb

1 :: This Creme Daisy Applique dress from Top Shop would be great on a date (say, Valentine’s Day?) with a wrap or sweater and tights, but it’ll also transition nicely in to warmer weather.

2 :: Sunday is the Superbowl (in case you didn’t know), so it’s time to start rounding up some recipes for munching (and avoid buying the case of frozen quesadillas). Pioneer Woman’s Beef Fajita Nachos look incredibly tasty and will definitely keep hungry tv-watchers’ appetites at bay.

3 :: I’m loving this fun promo film from House Industries. They own some of my favorite typefaces, along with a bevy of smartly designed objects and posters. The sign painting and lettering shown in this film blows my mind–I don’t know how they do it!

4 :: If I could put just one thing on my Valentine’s Day wish list, it would be this I Love My City print from Judy Kaufmann. Her illustrations are beautiful, and this print is by far my favorite.

5 :: If you’re looking for a fun DIY project to add a little charming fun to your decor, these coffee filter pom poms from Creature Comforts are perfect! Cheap, simple, and easy–they also make great gift toppers.

6 :: The days are slowly starting to get longer, but there’s still lots of evening darkness floating around (even here in the Sunshine State). Say “Goodnight, Moon” with this embroidered wall art from Jenn Pierce. Her embroidered pieces really make me want to try my hand at embroidery!

Real Food Wednesday: Mini Veggie Frittatas

14 Jul

Mini Veggie Frittatas

These mini frittatas are super simple and a great way to spend a little weekend time preparing for the busy work week. I feel like I’m always running short on time in the mornings, so whenever I can make breakfast in advance, I go for it.

Frittatas are also a great way to use up extra eggs and vegetables that you don’t want to spoil. They’re a flexible recipe, so you can change them up depending on which ingredients you have around. Spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions, even sausage or chopped up bacon will all work well as fillers.

You can also bake them a number of different ways–I like to use my silicone baking cups, but they work just as well in a buttered muffin pan (or even a pie/tart pan, if you’re having company over and want a regular frittata). Use them for a quick breakfast, or serve them as an appetizer or brunch side.

whisked frittata mix

Mini Veggie Frittatas


• 8 eggs
• pinch of black pepper
• pinch of kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons of milk or cream
• 1 medium tomato or 4-6 cherry tomatoes, diced
• two green onions, thinly sliced
• a bell pepper (any color), diced
• a handful of cheese (I used goat cheese)
• a generous pinch of chopped herbs (I used basil)

Set your oven at 370º F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs with the kosher salt and black pepper until smooth and frothy. Whisk in the milk (or cream), then add the veggies, herbs, and cheese and stir until well mixed.

Use a 1/4 measuring cup to fill your baking cups (or muffin tin) so they are 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until the egg is firm and just slightly browned on top).

ready to bake frittatas

Allow to cool, then place in a resealable bowl or bag and keep in the fridge. They’ll be good for 3-4 days (if they make it that long–I made these Sunday and they’re already gone, with a little help from Mr. Jones and his midnight cravings). To reheat, just place in the oven or a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes.

Real Food Wednesdays

Chocolate Mousse Pavlova

24 May

Chocolate Mousse Pavlova

This past Friday was one of my favorite events of the month: Ladies Supper Club. It’s a monthly dinner that rotates hosts, with each gal bringing one of the courses for the meal (usually based on a theme of the host’s choosing. It’s a wonderful time to let go, catch up, experiment with recipes and have an all-around-good time. If you’re interested in starting your own, I’ll be doing a post later this week with tips to set it up.

But that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about chocolate.

Chopped Chocolate


This month’s theme was (you guessed it) chocolate, with the host serving Seitan in Mole sauce (with a cocoa kick). My course was dessert, which I’ll admit was a little intimidating. I decided that since we were going to be having hits of chocolate throughout the evening, I didn’t want to overdo it–no thick chocolate cakes covered in chocolate frosting (although just typing that makes my taste buds leap).

I wanted something that was chocolate through and through, but still fairly light. When I heard the words “chocolate” and “dessert”, the cover of How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson immediately popped into my head. I began browsing through some dessert recipes on Nigella’s website and stumbled on Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova. I’ve made meringue-based desserts in the past but hadn’t tried adding flavors (like chocolate) or doing a large pavlova-style meringue. It was almost perfect! Almost, because as mouth-watering as the raspberries and cream on top looked, it wasn’t quite chocolaty enough.

After a quick search on AllRecipes.com, I had a highly rated recipe for Chocolate Mousse and a vision for the ideal franken-recipe:

Chocolate Mousse Pavlova Detail

Chocolate Mousse Pavlova

(adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova)


Pavlova Base

• 6 large egg whites
• 2 cups superfine sugar (if you have a food processor, pulse regular sugar in it to make it superfine. It will make the meringue lighter and fluffier)
• 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
• 1 teaspoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
• 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped

Mousse Topping

• 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 3 tablespoons water
• 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
• 1-½ tablespoons vanilla extract
• 1-½ 2 cups whipping cream
• 3 tablespoons sugar

[note: you only need 6 eggs for this recipe—put aside three of the yolks in a bowl when you separate them]

Make the mousse: In a small heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with water over low heat; stir until smooth. Stir a small amount of hot chocolate mixture into egg yolk; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Cool, stirring several times. In a mixing bowl, beat whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Fold in cooled chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Make the meringue: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Draw a 9-inch-diameter circle on the paper (I just traced a 9” round cake pan). You can flip the paper over so the meringue won’t touch the ink/pencil but you can still see the circle.

Beat Eggs Until Stiff

Beat the egg whites with a mixer until satiny peaks form, and then beat in the sugar a spoonful at a time until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Sprinkle the cocoa, vinegar and then the chopped chocolate over the egg whites.

Fold in Chocolate

Gently fold everything with a rubber spatula until the cocoa is thoroughly mixed in. Secure the parchment to the baking sheet with a dab of meringue under each corner. Mound the meringue onto the parchment within the circle, smoothing the sides and the top with a spatula.

Mound the Meringue

Place in the oven, then immediately turn the temperature down to 300 degrees F and cook for one to one and a quarter hours. When it’s ready, it should look crisp and dry on top, but when you prod the center you should feel the promise of squidginess beneath your fingers. Turn off the oven and open the door slightly; let the chocolate meringue disk cool completely in the oven.

When you’re ready to serve, invert onto a large, flat plate and peel off the parchment. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to spread the mousse on top, and grate a piece of dark chocolate over the mousse for a nice finishing touch.

Chocolate Mousse Pavlova, Served

This recipe is great when you need to take a dessert to a party—you can bring them separately and quickly put the pavlova together when you arrive. Both the meringue and the mousse can be made up to a day ahead: the mousse should be kept covered in the fridge and the meringue in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Oh. And it’s fabulously, heavenly delicious.

Blackened Mahi Mahi with Fruit Salsa

28 Apr

Blackened Mahi Mahi with Fruit Salsa and Corn on the Cob

To celebrate being back in sunny Florida, I decided to make something a little colorful tonight. Mixed with a little something from the sea.

I’ve been wanting to make fruit salsa ever since I ate Mango Mango’s Mahi Mahi (which has some of the best fruit salsa on the planet). If you’re ever in St. Augustine, you definitely have to try it. Or really, anything from Mango Mango’s. It’s all amazing.

Fruit Salsa, Before & After

I threw this recipe together from looking at a couple of recipes online, modifying it with what I had on hand. My secret to making it quickly was to grab a carton of fresh tropical mixed fruit while I was at Publix. It had chunks of pineapple, some strawberries, and kiwi. I only used half of it, and now I have enough left to make a green smoothie tomorrow morning.

Blackened Mahi Mahi with Fruit Salsa

• 1 cup pineapple chunks
• 1 kiwi, sliced
• a few strawberries (optional)
• two green onions, white and light green parts, sliced
• pinch of fresh ginger
• 1/2 bell pepper (I used orange), sliced
• 1 small tomato
• juice of one lime
• small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
• 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette
• a few sprigs of cilantro

• 2 Mahi Mahi fillets
• salt and pepper
• Cajun seasoning
• 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Combine all the salsa ingredients in a food processor (you can also just chop/dice them finely and combine in a bowl). Pulse briefly until the salsa is well combined/chopped, but not soupy. A few quick pulses should do it!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the fish with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Swirl a tablespoon of the olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or any skillet that you can place in the oven) over medium heat. Sear the fish for a minute and a half on each side, then place the skillet in the oven for 6 minutes. Top with salsa and add a fruity drink (especially if you have any of those fun umbrellas)!

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