Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mashed Potato Tacos

This recipe showed up in my inbox from Allrecipes.com.

I didn't really follow the recipe... so I guess just the idea came from Allrecipes.

Anyway... this is perfect for leftover mashed potatoes.

There are no exact measurements.


Mashed Potato Tacos
Mashed Potatoes
Green chiles, diced
Grilled corn
Pepperjack cheese, shredded
Corn tortillas or taco shells
Taco sauce

I made creamy yukon gold mashed potatoes. Then stirred in diced green chiles, grilled corn kernels, and lots of shredded pepperjack cheese.

Then into tortillas if you like them soft or taco shells if you like them crunchy.

I made pretty much almost every kind.


Stir corn kernels & green chiles into your hot mashed potatoes...
And you stir whatever you like into your mashies... other leftover veggies, meat, whatever...


Add some shredded pepperjack cheese, or whatever cheese you like.

Mix well.

Now into your favorite taco shell.

If you put some wadded up foil inside your taco shells when you heat them, they don't close up.

A pair of crunchy

The soft and crunchy combo

Oops... Bob doesn't care for mashed potatoes... so he had Spaghetti Tacos

But my FAVORITE way to have these was Mashed Potato Rolled Tacos!


Into some oil heated to 350F.



Top with more cheese and DEVOUR!

All the versions were tasty... but I could eat my weight in Mashed Potato Rolled Tacos!

So next time you have leftover mashies, make tacos! Don't even wait for leftovers, just make some and make tacos! And I'll bet mashed sweet potatoes would be just as good... or any mashed veggies! Oooohhhhhhh.... mashed celery root & parsnip tacos?? I think I'm gonna add those to the list of things to make!!

Seriously! Make tacos!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Amazing Shrimp Marinade

My friend, Erin & I had been dying for grilled shrimp for quite a while. Ericka was in town for the weekend, so I decided it was a perfect time to make it!

I kinda dawdled trying to find a recipe for the marinade. I had looked at a few that looked OK, but nothing looked really great.

So finally... being the procrasti-slacker that I am... the morning of dinner, I jumped online again to look for a marinade.

Not wanting to waste time, I went to allrecipes.com. I found a five star recipe with over 1600 reviews. Even with people reviewing... and changing ALL of the ingredients before they make it, I figured this had to be a good one... and let me tell ya, I was NOT disappointed!!


Marinated Grilled Shrimp
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
2 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large bowl, stir together the garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, and red wine vinegar.
Season with basil, salt, and cayenne pepper.
Add shrimp to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated.
Cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, stirring once or twice.
Thread shrimp onto skewers, piercing once near the tail and once near the head.
Discard marinade.
Preheat grill for medium heat.
Lightly oil grill grate.
Cook shrimp on preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until opaque.


So I doubled this recipe. I started with a 5 pound bag of frozen shrimp. (I left a pound in the freezer)

Since I procrasti-slacked, I had to thaw mine in the sink under cold water instead of in the fridge.

Then I set up my peel & clean station in the sink.

Colander filled with thawing shrimp. Empty colander for peeled, cleaned shrimp and a ziplock bag to collect the shells to make stock at a later date.

The shells & legs pull off easily, put them in the ziplock bag.

To devein the shrimp, just slice along the center back, pull out the vein and wash it down the drain.


Now I have a big bag of shrimp shells to make stock!

Just store them in the freezer.

And a big bowl of cleaned shrimps!

Whisk everything together... I added extra cayenne, because we like it spicy...

I put the shrimps and the marinade in a ziplock bag and into the fridge.

After about an hour I skewered them on wooden skewers that had been soaking in water for about an hour.

I put them in a glass baking dish for easy storage until I was ready to grill.

I also poured the leftover marinade over them, since it would still be a little while before I was ready for grilling.

Then onto a pre-heated grill.


And it's dinner time!

I spiced mine up a good bit, but they weren't too spicy.

These shrimps were a HUGE success. Everyone really really loved them. I can't say enough about how delectably delicious they were!

If you actually have leftovers, which I doubt you will... they'd be awesome on a salad or in a wrap.

Plus they were so easy!!

To BlondiePerez on allrecipes.com.... Well done!!

I'm going to be trying this marinade on chicken, beef and pork!

If you want to leave your dinner guests, ooooing and ahhhhing over your mad culinary skills... I highly recommend you try this!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cranberry Lime Margarita

July 24 is National Tequila Day!!

Why not celebrate with a Cranberry Lime Margarita?

It was a Saturday morning. I left to go out for coffee and shopping with Ericka (who would be returning with her hubby later that evening for dinner at our house)

I told Jon I wanted some kinda tequila cocktails for our dinner party that night and I wanted them to be pink!

My awesome hubby came up with this!


Cranberry Lime Margaritas
2 oz reposado tequila
3 oz cranberry juice
1 oz lime juice, fresh squeezed
2 oz triple sec
lime slice for garnish

Shake tequila, cramberry juice, lime juice and triple sec in a shaker with ice.
Pour into glasses and garnish with lime.

Ericka and I decided this would be nice rimmed with sugar (for Ericka) or salt (for me). Also we both would have preferred it on the rocks... still shaken... but on the rocks.

These were so good! Exactly what I was looking for!

Great job!! Thanks Baby!!

Looking for more tequila recipes?

How about a Rested Rosemary

or a POM-a-RITA

Happy National Tequila Day!! It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bacon (no) Pimento Mac & Cheese

So last semester, my daughter had a job out by her school. That meant she rarely came home for the weekend. But one weekend, she ended up with rare time off and was in Pittsburgh.

I wanted to make something to ensure she'd eat at least one meal with us and not be off gallivanting around Pittsburgh the whole time. I was kind of thinking that out loud and Jon said, "Just make Fried Chicken. She'll definitely come home."

He's so right! (Jon, bookmark this page... I put it in writing for the whole world to see!)

One meal sure to get Tawny to the table is Fried Chicken with all the trimmings... mashed potatoes & gravy, greens, corn, mac & cheese, biscuits and sweet tea.

I had just watched an episode of Paula's Best Dishes, where she made Bacon Pimento Mac & Cheese and decided to give it try.


Bacon Pimento Mac & Cheese
6 bacon slices
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
One 4-ounce jar diced pimientos, drained (I didn't use these)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cracked black pepper
1 pound small penne pasta or macaroni, cooked, drained and kept warm
3 cups shredded smoked Cheddar
3 cups shredded Parmesan

Preheat the broiler. Spray five 1-cup ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove from the Dutch oven and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1/4 cup bacon drippings in the Dutch oven, and discard any remaining drippings. Crumble the bacon set aside.

Add the butter to the drippings, and heat over medium-high heat until the butter melts. Whisk in the flour, whisking until smooth. Whisk in the half-and-half, and cook until the mixture is thickened and smooth, whisking constantly.

Add the ground red pepper. Stir in the cream cheese and let melt. Add the pimentos and bacon. Season with the salt and pepper. Add 2 cups smoked Cheddar and 2 cups Parmesan.

Spoon the pasta mixture evenly into the prepared ramekins. Top with the remaining 1 cup Cheddar and 1 cup Parmesan. Broil until cheese is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


First, I shredded all of my cheeses.

Fry the bacon.

Set bacon aside.

Add butter to 1/4 C of bacon drippings.

Whisk in flour. Whisk until smooth.

Whisk in half & half.

When that's thickened, add cream cheese & red pepper and stir until melted.

Stir in bacon.

And 2 Cups of the Cheddar and 2 Cups of the Parmesan.

When that's all melted together. Stir it into the cooked pasta.

Spoon it evenly into ramekins and top with remaining shredded cheese.

Then under the broiler until golden & melty. (someday I'll have a stove that I don't have to lay on the floor to use the broiler!!!)


Time to enjoy!

Now first let me say this recipe makes WAY more than indicated. It calls for 5 1-cup ramekins. I used 6 2-cup ramekins and still had lots left! So this totally feeds an army.

Second... I made it to go 'with' a fried chicken dinner. This mac & cheese IS dinner. Add a salad to this and you're done!

It's very rich. But it was really tasty.

It would be great on a cold night. Not that there's a cold night likely in our near future, unless you're reading this in Australia. And I don't know for sure how cold their winters get!

If you get a cold snap, this would be a nice dinner. Or just file it away until those crisp fall nights are upon us!