Monthly Archives: May 2011

So I may be moving everything…

from blogger to wordpress. I can’t seem to log in to blogger. First let me explain that I hate moving, of all kinds, be it physical or logical. Of course if I move, it will be after my ISP quits fooling around and gets me back my connection. Comcast sent workers apparently tasked with digging several holes in my yard, cutting the cable and leaving.
It has been 5 days. They don’t appear to care. We have called them multiple times. They haven’t been back. I take that back. they sent one guy out. I knew he couldn’t do anything. They needed to send out a crew. A crew who knew to repair cable. Not cut cable. A crew who knows that the answer to the question “Why did you cut my cable?” isn’t “five minutes”.
I really don’t want to move to fios, but, hey, Comcast is making it easier.


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Cinco de Mayo Fiesta!-

Shrimp Tacos -yeah I need a Wacom tabletYup, I’ll admit it, we do not have the hereditary creds to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Being primarily Scottish, Scotch-Irish, Irish and English, with a smattering of French and German, perhaps some Cherokee, perhaps not, but no Mexican, we really aren’t entitled to celebrate this holiday.
But, we love good food and good drink, and that, makes us citizens of the world. In that spirit, our menu is Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde, Mexican Cupcakes, a variation on a recipe from Food Network kitchens for Mexican Brownies, also from the Food Network kitchens, and Margaritas. We used the cocktail recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Bar Guide. This and Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender’s Guide are classics, but numerous cocktail recipes are available. I don’t recommend Martha Stewart’s, simply because, with the addition of the sugar, it is pushing to close to limeade.
First, we made the salsa.
Pardon me while I warn you, but I must! I recommend using rubber gloves to seed the jalapenos, especially if you are sensitive. We’ve had too many adventures with jalapenos not to respect the pain they can inflict. For my older daughter’s graduation party, we had a salsa bar, jalapenos + contact lenses don’t mix! Resulting in a run to the emergency room. Thankfully, her eye watered enough to wash out her eye before she reached the emergency room. Now, she doesn’t chop without gloves. Oh, and watch out for the jalapeno juice and seeds left on the chopping board, too.

Our basic order was to make the salsa, then juice the limes, we needed one per drink recipe made, then mix the chili marinade for the shrimp. This resulted in using two cutting boards. We should have cut the limes, laid them aside for juicing or the wedges aside for rimming/garnish. Then cut up the salsa.

The Margs:
Salt to rim the glass and one lime wedge
2 oz tequila
3 T triple sec
2 T fresh lime juice -about the juice of one lime

Use a wedge of lime to wet the rim of the glass, only on the outside if you prefer.
Fill shaker about 2/3 to 3/4 full of ice, add

The Tacos

We used an outdoor grill, we have a propane based grill with lots of room for both the shrimp skewers and the tortillas.
Soak wood skewers before using; place them in water prior to starting the recipe.
We bought frozen peeled and deveined shrimp and thawed them under running water.

Avocado Salsa:

1 small onion, quartered (ours was closer to medium and we used a yellow onion)
1 jalapeno, quartered, seeds optional (we removed the seeds to reduce the heat)
1 garlic clove, smashed
4 medium tomatillos, (about 8 ounces) husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder (we used the chipotle)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined
8 corn tortillas
8 sprigs cilantro for garnish
2 limes, cut into wedges


Pulse the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt and pulse until chopped but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.

Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.) Spoon sauce on the tortilla, then top with about 2 or 3 shrimp and a sprig of cilantro. Serve 2 tacos per person, with a lime wedge on the side.

The Cupcakes
First let me say that my mama taught me to bake cakes from scratch and, for the most part, that is what I do. To us, when it came from a box it tasted like the box. But, I have to admit that an augmented box cake mix can be really, really good. I recommend the Cake Mix Doctor books.
Also from the food network kitchens, was a “Mexican” Brownie recipe. We made devils food cupcakes, not only because we had no brownie mix, but we wanted to experiment with a cupcake. We’d planned to make icing, perhaps a dulce de leche white chocolate icing, for the cupcakes, something cooling, but opted for the dulche de leche ice cream instead.
We didn’t add other liquid but, we rather needed it, up to a 1/2 of sour cream should do the trick.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

1 pkg Devils Food cake mix
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
3/4 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/3 c oil
1 1/4 c water
1/2 c sour cream (optional)

Line muffin tin with cupcake papers.
Mix together dry ingredients.
Add eggs, oil and water and (optional) sour cream and beat for 1-2 minutes.
Bake according to pkg directions.
Serve with dulche de leche ice cream.

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