Grilled Greens With Shrimp And Grilled Pineapple Salsa

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Grilled Shrimp, Romaine and Pineapple Salsa Salad

Summer Summer Summertime…….time to kick back and……well I will let you insert your favorite activity. When I was growing up in the Northeast, summer was my favorite season which may explain why I moved to Southern California the first chance I got!  Summer in my childhood meant two things.

1. Downthashore.  Translation for those not from New Jersey or Philadelphia… it means: Going to the beach. If you are from the garden or keystone state, this must be said as if it is one word: Downthashore. It’s a rule.

2. The foods of summer!  Jersey tomatoes and corn, crabs and lobsters, salt water taffy and ice cream, and of course cooking on the grill…. 

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Ratatouille by Julia Child

Honeybrook Farms, NJ

Honeybrook Farms, NJ

For someone who loves to cook, I don’t often follow recipes exactly.  I mean I use them all the time, but I tend to have a rather loose manner with them, altering them to my tastes or using my own experiences with a dish.  Except of course with baking.  Baking is a science and experimenting with it can have disastrous results. But in cooking I feel a bit more confident, and use recipes more to educate myself on a technique, or flavor ideas. There are exceptions to this rule of course, and one of them is trying to cook a specific dish from “Mastering The Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child.  You don’t mess with Julia’s way of doing things…. 

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Gluten Free SuperGreen Calzones

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I don’t even know where to begin I am so excited.  I have posted many times about my search for gluten-free pizza crust that was more then just “it’s not bad, it’s ok”.  I was just hoping for taste, I didn’t even dare to dream about ease of preparation! I mean gluten-free dough is always difficult to work with right?

Oh no….no no no no no.  I appears I have found it.  The Pizza Crust Holy Grail!

I must pause and catch my breath…. 

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Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili

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I love my new slow cooker.  I may have mentioned that before.  The only problem I have is that I tend to make a LOT of whatever dish I am making, which wouldn’t BE a problem if I could guarantee the little ones would always like what I have made. That would be nice.  So nice.  Alas, that is not always the case so the adults usually end up enjoying and eating most of it. <hmmmm perhaps why I am gaining “winter weight” when I live in Florida>

Here in Florida we have had a few colder than usual snaps giving us a taste of “winter”. I am not by ANY means complaining about it, basically every other place in the country is having a rough winter…(Polar Vortex anyone?)…..here it has been lovely.  Even on those few days it was in the 40’s / 50’s.  I LOVE that weather, cold and sunny.  The only issue we have had is that the Littledude and the Ladybug have ZERO attire for actual cold days, but if that is the worst of our problems, a problem that can be remedied by a quick trip to the clearance rack for kids in Target, I will take it…. 

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Kale. It’s What’s For Breakfast.

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Or brunch……or breakfast for dinner, you get the idea.  Generally when you think of Kale, you may not think of it as a breakfast element unless you are juicing it or using it in a smoothie.  That’s how I used to think of Kale in the morning, then I put it in scrambled eggs and realized it’s far more versatile and goes REALLY well with eggs.

Organic Girl 100% Baby Kale is very sweet and tender as I have mentioned before, munching on it straight out of the package is delicious, so I decided to experiment with it for breakfast dishes beyond scrambled eggs and the results were very yummy.  I actually served both as “breakfast for dinner” a big favorite of mine but I think both or versatile enough to be served at any time of day you like, it all depends on how much you like breakfast.

I like it a LOT…. 

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It’s Time To Stuff It

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Stuffing, it’s not just for Thanksgiving!

A few weeks ago I was in some sort of “stuffed foods” mood.  Not entirely sure why, but I went with it.  First up was the stuffed burgers.  I won’t spend much time on that, as everyone makes stuffed burgers. A friend bought us almost 6 pounds of ground beef from Costco.  Not sure why he got us so much, but a had a bit of burger making to do so we could freeze them, and I looked at some of the things we had in the house and thought “Stuffed Burgers”

Next up were the gi-normous, ridiculously big and beautiful mushrooms he brought us.  PERFECT for Stuffed Mushrooms! Except, well as silly as it sounds and simple as they are to make, I had never made stuffed mushrooms before.  So I thought, oh what the hell, I will make it up!… 

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Why is it called Chicken Pot Pie?

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Just one of those culinary questions I have.  I mean why is it called POT pie?  It’s a “pie”.  Is it because it is made IN a pot? In that case shouldn’t most things have the term “pot” in the description? It confounds me.  These are the things that keep me up at night.

I know I know….I need a life.

But if I had a social life and other things to occupy my brain other than food and cooking, my family wouldn’t be eating half as well.  That and Mama Sis wouldn’t be complaining she has put on weight – like 2 or 3 pounds – get over it! (she has always been the “skinny” sister.)

So I did what any mildly culinary obsessed person would do.  Googled it…. 

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Wedding Soup

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He ate it!  He ate it!  He who eschews all food except bread and pizza ate it!

I’m a little excited over here in case you can’t tell.  Sunday was a stormy and rainy day here in South Florida.  Grey weather outside.  Air conditioning making the house cool enough to trick your body into thinking it is cool outside…and I had a hankering for soup.  My families favorite - Italian Wedding Soup, and in case you missed it….Littledude ate it!

Interestingly enough, this “famous” Italian soup favored in many italian restaurants is virtually unknown in Italy itself.  The term “wedding soup” is a mistranslation of the Italian language phrase “minestra maritata (“married soup”),” which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. … 

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Fish Taco Tuesday

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Or it could be called Taco Tuesday Madness.  Madness because of the undertaking of this meal when you are making (almost) everything from scratch and dealing with 2 kids under the age of 2. A mad undertaking it was, but it was for Mama Sis’s birthday and truth be told I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good fish taco and I have learned to make them pretty decently.

Ok there was a lot to this meal, a few things were store-bought like the corn tortillas for example – I’m not COMPLETELY mental in trying to make those.  I also bought a Pico de Gallo and black bean dip this time because I really didn’t have the time and there is already a crazy amount of chopping involved in this meal. The rest however was made by little old me…. 

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Let Them Eat Cake

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This past Saturday night was Mama Sis’s birthday.

I asked her what she would like for her birthday dinner.  Going out is not an easy feat with the monkey’s so a dinner at home was a given.  Nonna was going to be out of town so I had the run of her apartment and kitchen…thank god….because sis requested my Mexican Fiesta Fish Taco Dinner. I LOVE this meal.  Guests always love this meal. I am good at this meal.  But….. it takes a LOT of time to prepare.  I am working on the blog post to share some of the recipes for my Baja Fish Tacos, homemade Baja Sauce, Tomatillo Salsa Verde, Jicama salad, Guacamole….you can see there a lot of elements going on!

Today however, I am going to talk about the cake.  Mama sis loves Chocolate.  I mean who doesn’t like chocolate right?  I love it as well.  The difference between us though is in the fact that I can have chocolate sitting around, in the freezer or apothecary jars  (it looks pretty)… 

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