dinner and a drink, #steviva #sweetandeasy

Mexican flatbread pizza

I was recently allowed to opportunity to participate in the Steviva Brands Sweeteners Blogger Recipe Challenge. Of course, I accepted the challenge before a few big unexpected  events in our  life happened; a hurricane and a newborn baby. Life has a way of saying “surprise” at just the precise time. And, during the time of  chaos and construction, my mind was whirling with recipe ideas. Then, our power came back and it was testing and tasting…. and now: I have for you,  my friends: dinner and a drink. There’s dessert, too. But that’s another post. Let’s talk taco. Let’s talk […]

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lobster rolls and summer 101

lobster rolls

Lobster Rolls: quintessntial summertime-beachy food. You know how some foods relate to seasons and situations? For instance; pumpkin spice and Fall, peppermint and Winter? For me; summertime has a slew of flavors , from the sweet summer fruit in season to buttery salty lobster rolls, and refreshing  sweet sun tea and lemonade. The inspiration to make these came from a children’s book, “Night Of The Moonjellies” – it’s a beautifully written memoir of a boy growing up at his family’s seaside restaurant. Decriptive  food words fill the book: crispy, crackling, buttery, sweet… just to name a few.  It was part […]

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cajun boiled peanuts

homemade boiled peanuts

Boiled peanuts are a Southern thing, or so I am told. I know nothing different than boiled peanuts. Sure, there are roasted, salted, honey roasted and candied. But: I know boiled. Raw “green” peanuts  boiled in a spicy, salty broth… Cooked peanuts take on a different texture than traditional roasted; they are nutty and meaty, almost like a bean but not as mealy. And, fun to eat, like Edamame. Sometimes; food you have to work at tastes better…. for instance: Seafood. Crab legs, lobster, peel and eat shrimp… Candy. Tootsie pops, blow pops…. And: seeds and nuts: pistachios, sunflower seeds, […]

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Meatless Monday: Smothered Burritos

smothered burritos

 These are what’s for dinner tonight. Vegetarian burritos, smothered in a spicy tomato and green chile sauce and gooey melted cheese. This meal will make you look forward to leftovers, too- because it makes a lot. You’re welcome. Two dinners in one, woo-hoo.    I realize there is a lot of Latin foods here. I just showed y’all homemade tortillas, there’s tamales, and I am pretty sure there will be a post with black beans here shortly. But, remember: I was born and raised (and still living) in south Florida, with lots of Latin influence. So: these are part of […]

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paprika and peppercorn shrimp with spicy sesame sauce


This is one of those recipes that you want everyone to try. Seriously,  folks -when I made this I was very tempted to run to all of my neighbors and have them try a bite ! Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of it to go around. (Sorry, everyone!) Succulent shrimp sautéed in a buttery sauce with smoked paprika and fresh cracked pepper. Nestled upon a bed of baby kale and arugula; and drizzled with a spicy sweet sesame and soy  sauce that is downright addictive. But first: let me share something with y’all: I would have never made this recipe if […]

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butter chicken and other adventures

butter chicken

  Butter Chicken~ (n) : A savory, spicy concoction of Indian spices in a creamy coconut sauce, that makes me wonder why it’s called butter chicken since there really is not that much butter in it to merit a word in the title of the recipe. Mmmmm, Butter Chicken. It took me close to ten years to introduce this to my husband. However: I  have  had “Butter Chicken” on my weekly-monthly-want-to-make list forever. Well, about ten years, but: who’s counting? Oh wait. Me. I’m counting. I’m counting a lot these days. Now, I am down to a count down. But: […]

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Spanish spiced roasted turkey

Note: This is a sponsored post, however the opinions expressed are my own. A while back, I had the opportunity to feature Rioja wine in a festive appetizer, I created a festive little Caprese bite that is the perfect accompaniment to a holiday meal. Caprese bites with a rioja wine reduction glaze This season, I’m happy to share with you a new twist on the traditional brined and roasted turkey… Nowadays, everyone seems to brine their turkey- which is awesome because the world needs less dried turkeys, and brining is the secret to a moist, flavorful bird. But, why stop […]

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Swiss, caramelized onion, ham and leek quiche

I’m continuing the French theme this week with this rich, creamy and savory quiche. It’s funny how many people I know that claim they don’t like quiche…. then they love it. For example: Me (to my 8 year old): “Let’s make a quiche to go along with our French studies” My 8 year old: “I don’t like what ever you said” Me: “What? Quiche? When have you had quiche?” Her: “Never. It just sounds gross” Me: “It’s like scrambled eggs, ham and onions  in a buttery crust” Her: “Oooo. That’s sounds good, let’s make that.” Maybe it’s just the word […]

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chicken and yellow rice

Chicken and yellow rice~ sans the yellow dye A few months’ ago, my mother gave me stacks of old cookbooks. In the stack of dusty and tattered bindings were titles ranging from diet fads of the 70’s (grapefruit diet, anyone?) to more modern gems like Nigella. But.  the diamond in the bunch was an old navy blue cloth covered binder, it’s once pointed corners now frayed,  worn and rounded with time… bursting with handwritten recipes collected over a span of 70 years, small amber colored  clippings from newspapers and magazines, and assorted labels from wine bottles, that were carefully soaked […]

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spicy chicken dumplings

Years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Chicago, courtesy of Kenmore. And… with that trip I was able to take a culinary tour with two of my best food blogging friends, and we went to Chinatown and had Dim Sum. Ever since that trip, I crave those little tasty morsels on occasion pretty much every day.  So, when there is an occasion for bite sized foods (Superbowl, New Years Eve..) you can bet I’m making some sort of Dim Sum.   These were filled with a mixture of ground chicken breast, green onions, ginger, garlic and chilli […]

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grilled lemon thyme kabobs

Kabobs are the ultimate in traveling meals. You have your veggies and protein all in one convenient skewer, and you can eat it with one hand. I guess the only danger involved is that stick. Kabobs should have a warning label: Not intended for children under the age of 5. Because those sticks can quickly become swords when you’re a little kid. Just sayin’

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