Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa

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Oh, these tacos. We had something similar at Revolucion a few years back and were inspired to try making our own- to phenomenal results. These are a perfect summer taco, especially paired with an icy margarita. The salsa is sweet with a kick, the perfect compliment to shrimp sautéed with sriracha and honey. Great for an at-home fiesta or date night!

Ingredients:
For the salsa:
1 mango, diced
2 tbsps diced jalapeños
1 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup cilantro
Squirt of lime juice

For the tacos:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb small-medium cooked, deveined, tail off shrimp
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp sriracha
Squirt of honey

For assembling:
1 package corn tortillas
Queso blanco or similar Mexican shredded cheese

Directions:
First, make your salsa so the flavors have time to stew and combine. Dice up a yummy mango and the rest of your ingredients. Stir ’em up, cover it and refrigerate for at least an hour or two before serving.

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Next, heat olive oil in a medium-large skillet. Toss in garlic and shrimp and give ’em a few quick stirs. Add the sriracha and honey and continue sautéing, just until shrimp reach doneness. You’ll know your shrimp is overcooked if they curl into O’s!

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Heat tortillas, top your shrimp with salsa and cheese, and enjoy! Delicious and super easy 😄
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Recipe inspired by Revolucion, located in the Fountain Square neighborhood at 1132 Prospect St, Indianapolis, IN 46203.

Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

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As much as I LOVE breakfast, we don’t do anything too exciting around here… Usually some scrambled eggs and fruit for the kiddo and I; on the rare occasion we’re all home and awake for breakfast we typically whip up some pancakes, biscuits and gravy, etc. In an effort to start my morning off a little more flavorfully, I threw some spinach and goat cheese in a skillet with some eggs. YUMTOWN! (I should credit here that Mark did it first… This was my recreation 😉) Plus it’s a fun way to add some veggies to your morning. Great way to start the day!

Ingredients:
2 large eggs (or if you prefer to do egg whites only, use 3)
1 oz goat cheese
1/3 cup spinach
Salt
Pepper

Directions:
First, preheat your broiler. Beat your eggs together in a small bowl.
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Spray a medium skillet with some cooking spray and preheat to low-medium. Pour beaten eggs in slowly. Add spinach and goat cheese, pressing lightly into eggs. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stirring lightly into mixture.
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Without flipping, cook on low-medium heat until edges begin to brown slightly. The top may still be runny, and this is fine! The next step will take care of that.
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Pop your skillet under the broiler for just a minute or two, just long enough for the rest of the egg to cook and the top to set. Remove from broiler and slide onto plate. Slice and serve!

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The options are endless… I’ve made this with sausage and broccoli; you could add bacon, chorizo, any assortment of cheeses, even fruit if you dare. I challenge you to break up your breakfast rut! 😄

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

I made these beauties in an attempt to branch out of my chocolate/strawberry rut. Well, is it really a rut if you really like it? Anyway, a light lemony cake gets a sweet but tart raspberry filling. Topping the cake is that infamous Swiss meringue buttercream- raspberry this time! Delicious, beautiful, and a perfect summery treat.
Ingredients:
For the cupcakes:
1¾ cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1¼ cups sugar
Zest of 1 large lemon
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup milk
Juice of 1 large lemon

For the filling:
16 oz. raspberries (fresh or frozen)
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
Squeeze of lemon juice

For the frosting:
3 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp. fresh raspberry puree
Zest of ½ lemon

Directions:
To start, make the filling so it has plenty of time to cool. Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan.
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While this mixture is cookin’, whisk the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Once the berries and sugar are bubbling, pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for a few minutes, thickening the sauce. Remove from heat and stir in a squirt of lemon juice. Set aside to cool.
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Next, zee cupcakes! First preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare cupcake tins. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, whisking to blend. Now measure the sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer and add lemon zest.
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Mix on low speed to combine the zest and sugar until it smells lemon-y and wonderful and kinda looks like wet sand. Next, add the butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the sour cream, milk and lemon juice, again whisking to combine. Finally, with the mixer on low speed, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Do this in 3 additions, mixing just until incorporated each addition. Fill each liner with batter til about ¾-full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Let cool completely, then cut a piece out of the middle of each cupcake using method of your choice.
*I’ve decided to stop photo’ing the basic cupcake baking process. You’ve seen it a few times; no need to be redundant!*

Now that you’ve got cored cupcakes and cooled filling, go ahead and fill those babies. I used about 2-3 tsp of filling for each cupcake.
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Lastly, let’s make this pain-in-the-butt-but-oh-so-tasty frosting. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit and the sugar has dissolved. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the mixture has cooled to room temperature. Reduce the speed to medium and add the butter a few tablespoons at a time. If the frosting looks soupy or curdled (and trust me, it probably will), continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth again. Again, this can take as little as a couple of minutes to nearly 20, but it’s so rewarding when it comes together. And by rewarding I mean melt-in-your-mouth frosting that is lighter than air and absolutely delicious. Fold in the raspberry purée and lemon zest with a rubber spatula. Frost your filled cupcakes and admire your handiwork!
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Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

Kale Pasta Salad

Now, I’ve never been one for the various salads commonly found at cookouts/barbecues/what-have-ya… Pasta salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, etc. Never did it for me. But you guys, THIS pasta salad… I think I could eat it every day until I died. Crunchy kale gets tossed with farfalle, pine nuts, and shredded cheese, all of which is drizzled with a garlic-infused olive oil. Are you drooling yet? Better yet, it’s stupid simple to make. I know what I’m bringing to the next pitch-in! Besides cupcakes, of course 😉 Disclaimer: this easily feeds a group, so if you’re making it for a couple of people you will have TONS left over… Not that that’s a bad thing!

Ingredients:
1 lb farfalle pasta
3 tbsp pine nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 3 tsp of the jarred stuff)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 bunch kale (I used prewashed/cut kale, about 2 cups out of the bag)
1/4 cup Italian cheese blend

Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process and transfer to a large bowl, where it will await it’s tasty fate. Next, toss your pine nuts into a skillet and toast just until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

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Next, pour the olive oil into a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and let simmer for about 5 minutes to really let the garlic flavor soak in. (Make sure not to let your garlic brown too much, or it’ll get a bitter flavor to it.) Stir in salt and pepper, then set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

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Once the oil mixture has cooled, pour over the pasta. Make sure you get all that garlicky goodness in there!

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Without washing the skillet, toss your kale in there over medium heat. Cook for a couple of minutes or until it wilts ever so slightly.

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Let’s bring the final pieces together! Add that luscious kale to your pasta bowl, along with those toasted pine nuts.

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Now the recipe I used called for freshly shaved Parmesan, which I’m sure would be a-mah-zing. However… Ain’t nobody got time fa dat, at least in this house. So I sprinkled some of that famous Italian cheese blend in there instead. I’ll make it properly one day and let you know if we missed out terribly… I doubt it 😜 Toss all that deliciousness together until well coated with the garlic oil.

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This is the hard part- cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to give the salad a chance to absorb some of the salt in the oil mixture, and just make everything super yummy. After a couple of hours, serve up a scoop with dinner and marvel at how pretty it is. *Sigh*

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We’ve had this with grilled chicken, burgers, hot dogs… It’s a nice compliment to any meal. I hope
you enjoy as much as I do!

Recipe slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Zucchini Fries

How on earth have I not posted any sides on this blog?! Probably because we’re usually pretty boring when it comes to sides… Quinoa, couscous, frozen sweet potato fries, simple salads… Nothing that requires much work. In an effort to incorporate more veggies into our meals, I figured some cheese-covered zucchini would be a great place to start 😜 But really, these are a tasty addition to any meal. I recommend chopping your zucchini into smaller sticks than I did to get them nice and crispy, otherwise they were fantastic!

Ingredients:
2 medium or 1 large zucchini, cut into small sticks
1 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
2 large eggs, beaten
Splash of olive oil
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Italian cheese blend
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large, shallow dish, combine the flour and garlic. In another shallow dish or bowl, beat the eggs and add a splash of olive oil. Finally, in a large ziplock bag, combine the panko, cheese, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (if using). Line them up in that order, with a baking sheet covered in foil at the end. I like to use a cooling rack fitted on to the sheet to help air circulate all over without having to flip my fries over halfway through cooking. Crispier fries that way!

Now that you’ve got your assembly line ready, let’s make some zucchini fries! First, coat your sticks in the flour mixture.
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Next, dunk ’em in the egg/oil mixture.
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Finally, give them a good shake in the baggie full o’ goodness.
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Keep going until you have a sheet full of these babies. As you can see, some of mine were cut a bit thick and didn’t fully crisp. That’s why I recommend cutting smaller!
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Bake for about 20 minutes. Try not to drool at the smell coming from your oven. Try popping them under the broiler for a few if you fancy! I did.
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Cool and serve! These would be great with marinara sauce, but we didn’t have any on hand and were having them with black bean burgers. Also a delicious combo, and meatless if you’re looking for that kind of meal. Enjoy! 😊
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Recipe inspired by Pinterest.

Sriracha Lime Salmon

As I was telling some of the girls at work, I needed to post some real food on this blog… Don’t need y’all thinking all we ever eat at our house is dessert! 😜 This was another Pinterest find and success. The recipe is intended just to be used as a drizzle on baked salmon, but I prefer to use it as a marinade and grill it because it IS summer after all. A great high protein dinner option!

Ingredients:
About 1 lb salmon fillet, skin removed
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp sriracha
Juice and zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine your maple syrup, sriracha, salt, lime juice and zest. Whisk or use a fork to combine.

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Pour over salmon in Tupperware/a coverable dish of your choosing. Allow to marinate for about 30 minutes. (Much longer and the salt starts cooking the salmon, and it gets flaky and difficult to handle.)

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Heat grill to high heat and coat grill grates lightly with oil or cooking spray. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

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Remove from grill and serve.

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Delicious!

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Recipe slightly adapted from Self

Caramel Brownies

You know that one thing you make that’s always a hit and everyone asks for when there’s a pitch-in? These are that thing. My work crew absolutely loves these brownies, and with good reason. The brownie recipe itself is fairly basic, but a layer of caramel filling really sets them apart. Slice ’em up small because they’re pretty rich, but I can guarantee just one won’t be enough! 😉

Ingredients:
For the brownies:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the caramel filling:

  • 14 oz. caramel candies, unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray. Combine the butter and chocolate in a small bowl.

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  • Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until smooth and glossy.

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  • Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla.

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  • Stir in the flour and salt just until combined.

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  • Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the pan in an even layer.

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  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, keeping the oven set for the same temperature, and let cool for 20 minutes.

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  • Just before your bottom layer is finished cooling, make your caramel filling. Combine the candies and cream in another small bowl.

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  • Heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.

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  • Immediately spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer.

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  • Spread the rest of the brownie batter over the top of the caramel layer. This can be a bit difficult, and you may end up swirling the caramel and batter in some spots. However, I’ve never had a complaint so I refuse to change my technique. 🙂 Ha!

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  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips  on top. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving… and I mean COMPLETELY, or you will be fighting a losing battle with some ooey, gooey goodness.
  • Lift the brownies from the pan using the edges of the foil. Remove the foil and cut the brownies into individual squares. Store in an airtight container.

*I have no photos of the sliced brownies because they were packed up and eaten THAT quickly. They’re that good!

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Recipe slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats