Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bang Bang Shrimp Skewers

One of my favorite appetizers to get from Bonefish Grill is Bang Bang Shrimp. It's crispy shrimp covered in a spicy creamy sauce. The Bang Bang Chicken Tacos are also very good. So, if you don't care for shrimp, the sauce works really well with chicken, too!  I've seen a few copycat recipes floating around, including one for bang bang cauliflower! I settled on this grilled version when I saw how quick it would be to make (great weeknight meal or party appetizer idea!), not to mention, the calories saved without the deep-frying. 

When I went to make dinner, I could not find the sweet thai chile sauce.  I thought for sure I had some, but must have used it or tossed it.  It was nowhere to be found. I ended up googling to make my own sauce, which ended up being very easy - I had everything in my pantry already.  Since the original recipe only calls for 1 1/2 tbsp, I scaled down the sauce recipe I found, but still ended up with about 1/4 cup of sauce.  I used it all and the sauce was a little sweeter, which I really liked.  I'm excited to have this lightened-up version of a restaurant favorite.

Source: SkinnyTaste

  • 2 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sweet thai chile sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha
  • 40 raw shrimp peeled and deveined
  • pepper
  • oil spray

Soak 8 skewers in water for 30 minutes.

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

After the skewers have soaked, season the shrimp lightly with pepper. Place 5 shrimp on each skewer.  Lightly oil the grill.  Grill the skewers for 3-4 minutes per side over medium heat, or until cooked through. Remove the skewers from the grill and brush the sauce on both sides.  Serve immediately.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Carne Asada Tacos

We celebrated Cinco de Mayo a day late in our house this year.  I forgot to marinate the steak in time, so rather than rush, we waited until seis de Mayo to enjoy this winning dinner. This was a fantastic change from our more regular chicken tacos. I think I could probably eat these tacos every day and never get tired of them.  The steak was that good. This was my first time making carne asada, so I don't have anything to compare with, but I really think this recipe was perfect! 

Source: For the Love of Cooking


Carne Asada Marinade:
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs of flank steak
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
Taco Ingredients:
  • tortillas
  • Cotija cheese
  • Guacamole
  • corn
  • red onion
  • roma tomato
  • cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste
  • jalapeno (optional)
Directions:   Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a gallon size ziploc bag and marinate the steak for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.   Grill the steak to according to your liking. After grilling, let the steak rest 5-10 minutes before slicing into thin strips, across the grain.   While the steak is resting, make the guacamole. Next make the pico by mixing chopped tomato, onion, cilantro, corn (I used thawed frozen corn, but fresh would be even better), and the lime juice. Add salt to taste and if you want a little heat, add jalapeno.   Next, warm the tortillas and assemble the tacos with the steak, guacamole, pico, and cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pineapple Upside-Down Cupcakes for Krystal's Virtual Baby Shower

Today I'm offering this sweet treat in honor of a sweet baby boy who is about to take Krystal (from Mrs. Regueiro's Plate) & Eric's family of three to a party of four. I was excited to be invited to participate in this Virtual Cupcake Themed Shower to celebrate their new addition. Does it get any better than babies and cupcakes?!  If you haven't 'met' Krystal, you really need to visit her blog and see for yourself how talented she is in the kitchen and with her camera, making amazing crafts, and on top of all that, what a great mother and wife she is. She really does it all! This baby boy is going to be blessed.

When I heard the theme was cupcakes (Krystal calls her baby boy Cupcake), I decided to use pineapple as my main ingredient & flavor to go along with the thought about pineapple bringing on labor. I know it's just an old wives tale, but it doesn't hurt to try, right? Exactly one year ago today, on May 6th, I was pregnant with my son.  38+ weeks. Miserable.  I ate fresh pineapple, walked a mile under the full moon (the Super Moon!), and was holding my baby boy less than 48 hours later. Just throwing that out there, Krystal. ;)

Congratulations again, Krystal! I can't wait to watch your babies grow!

Please visit Eva Bakes to see the other fantastic cupcakes for Krystal's Virtual Shower. Thank you, Eva, for hosting a fun shower!

Source: The Kitchen is My Playground

1 (14 to 15 oz.) can pineapple rings, drained with juice reserved
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 T. butter
1/8 c. pineapple juice, reserved from draining pineapple
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Vanilla Cupcakes:
1 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 T. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. whole milk (I used 1%)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Maraschino cherries for garnish


Combine brown sugar, butter, and pineapple juice in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter is melted and brown sugar is dissolved.  

Remove from heat and stir in ground cinnamon.  Set aside.
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in a mixing bowl. Beat on slow speed until everything is combined and you have a crumb mixture with a sandy consistency. Gradually pour in half of the milk; beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk together the remaining milk (1/4 cup), egg, and vanilla. Pour into the flour mixture and beat until all ingredients are just incorporated. Beat for about another 30 seconds to one minute until the batter is smooth. Do not over mix.

Assembly & Baking:  
Generously grease 12 muffin cups with butter.  Spoon a scant tablespoon of brown sugar topping into each muffin cup and top with a pineapple ring. (The pineapple rings were too big to fit into my muffin pan, so I had to cut a section out of each ring to make it smaller.)  Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring. Spoon in cupcake batter until cups are 2/3 full.

Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, or until light golden and the cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool slightly in the pan.

Remove cupcakes from the pan.  While still warm, run a knife around the edge of each cupcake.  Then gently scoop each cupcake out of its muffin cup with a spoon and place inverted on a platter.  Spoon any pineapple bits and brown sugar topping that remain behind in the pan over the inverted cupcakes.
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