Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Chorizo on the grill!

I'm going to have to rename the series to "Tasty Some Random Day of the Week" if I keep this up. For whatever reason, I want to do the cooking ON Tuesday, and then I don't have time to write it up the same evening. I need a different strategy. Whatever. So I made this last week and skipped the post until today. You're welcome.

And apparently I'm on a shrimp kick on Tuesdays. For you shrimp/fish haters, hang in there and eventually I'll write about something else. 

This was honestly the easiest meal. You could make it with chicken instead of shrimp, but the combination here was really, really good. Check out the easy ingredients:

Peeled shrimp (or cubed chicken), EVOO, chili powder, salt and pepper, and chorizo sausage. I know, the sausage looks like it doesn't belong, but trust me that the flavor it gives the shrimp is divine. 

 Just brush the shrimp with the olive oil, then sprinkle the chili powder and salt and pepper. Toss it around to get it mixed. Slice the chorizo longways (Is that even a word?) 

 Heat the grill to medium high. I use a grill pan for the shrimp -- you could put them on skewers, but that defeats the "easy" in this meal. Throw the shrimp on, and lay the sausage cut side down on the grill. 

The sausage will be done in about 8 minutes - you can turn it if you want the pretty grill marks on both sides, but you don't have to - you're just getting it hot. Toss the shrimp a time or two so they'll all cook evenly. They're done when they are opaque.

Lay out some lettuce leaves (okay, you could use tortillas if you had to), slice some avocado, and top with some salsa.

So VERY easy and delicious! I'm very likely to pick up some chorizo the next time we make fajitas - it would be an excellent variation.

Okay, just to prove that I don't just cook shrimp, here's a bonus Tasty Tuesday:

I had some nectarines that were about to go bad, and we were grilling chicken that night. So I made a quick salsa for the chicken. I've made mango salsas before, and a few other types, but this was a little different.

2 chopped nectarines
4-5 strawberries, chopped
A handful of craisins (dried cranberries)
Purple onion, couple of slices chopped
Cilantro, small handful
Lemon juice, teaspoon or two
Balsamic vinegar (about a tablespoon)

It's not an exact recipe, but base it on how much fruit you're using. Add a little and then taste it. Make this when you  put the chicken on, then let it sit in the refrigerator while you cook. Spoon it over the chicken and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gathered Thoughts.

It's not news that there are things about Facebook that aren't ideal. You hear all kinds of crazy stories of people getting ripped off and identities stolen, etc. Who knows if they're true. But one thing Facebook does really well -- reconnects old friends who would have very little chance of renewing a friendship otherwise.

It has been fun catching up online, but the in-person meetings are my favorite! A few months ago, I met up with a friend from 8th grade -- we'd literally not seen each other since then. Different high schools, colleges, lives... This girl just makes me laugh. I got to see her last weekend when I went to visit my mom. And this came out of it:

My friend has a shop that sells lovely things. She's closed on Saturdays, but we got a special opening just for us! I scored a nice Washington state chardonnay, and this notepad. I have a fetish for paper. THIS paper just makes me happy. Look inside:

My brother-in-law said it was like a fancy Big Chief tablet, and it's true! Every page has a quote at the bottom, mostly about friendship, and it's perforated. You're supposed to tear off the quote and keep it or leave it laying around for someone to find. This one says "Friends are lights in winters; the older the friend, the brighter the light." How perfect is that? 

I used a page to send a note to a friend who recently suffered a loss. There's nothing quite like handwritten pages - typing is faster, but writing just satisfies a different part of my soul. 

Thank you, dear friend, for letting us into your store and for the visit. If any of you are going to be in Waco, Texas, leave me a comment and I'll tell you where to go!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; 
they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  
- Marcel Proust

Am I the only one with a paper addiction? 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Kitchen Stuff

In lieu of a recipe posting today, I've got some random kitchen stuff to share. Let's see where this goes.

Mesquite Country Seasoning - I discovered this seasoning mix at a home show last year. I had been looking for flavor with no sugar or MSG or any of that stuff that's bad for you. I use this almost every time I roast vegetables - it's spicy but not over-the-top - and I've tried it on everything from chicken to pork. I'm running low so I either need to go to another home show or get online.

Iced coffee - Pioneer Woman has this recipe that I thought was ridiculous and too much trouble. I didn't try it until a few weeks ago, and now I don't ever want to run out. I use her process, with 4 ounces of coffee and 2 quarts of water (less than she makes at a time). I tried a recipe out of the newspaper last week and it was a disaster. So I'm sticking with her recipe. Thanks, PW!

Mrs. Meyers cleaning products -- BASIL scent! This one is still hard to find in the stores. Central Market has come through for me, but mostly I just buy it on the website. A friend that I visited in Santa Fe had this scent and it just made me feel happy. I've been buying it ever since. Any Mrs. Meyers is nice, but basil just speaks to me.

Flavored olive oil -- I'm headed to my mom's house this weekend and I have to make a special stop to get some garlic flavored olive oil at a shop down there. I love brushing this on fish and steak. It adds just a little something...I use it on veggies, too, but mostly on meats. Check it out if you find it in your store.

Balsamic vinegar - I've experimented with all different kinds for all sorts of things. I found a tangerine balsamic at the same specialty shop as the garlic olive oil that is just lovely on fruit - strawberries dipped in balsamic is a go-to dessert. Even the store brands (Target especially) are great for marinating steak or pork, but they won't overpower the other seasonings.

I know there's more stuff, but I'm out of time and I'm determined to actually post on a Tuesday!

What can't you live without in your kitchen?