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Monthly Archives: August 2012

  • Pineapple Salsa

    Pineapples are a staple in our household.  Whenever I bring one home, the girls first question is: "Is it ready?"  I've figured out now that I need to bring two pineapples home if I intend to cook one.  One for the recipe, one for the girls.  Using the pineapple corer is the best way to get the most fruit out of the pineapples. The best part, is the juice remaining inside the pineapple "cup".  This is where I add a straw and voila, a couple of sips of fresh pineapple juice for the girls.

    At the market we usually get our pineapples from Costa Rica or Mexico.  They are always sweet and juicy.  Every one always asks how to tell if a pineapple is ready.  I've heard of a trick where if you tug on a leaf and it comes out, then the pineapple is ready.  I'm not sure I agree with that approach.  I like to wait for the pineapples to turn a yellowish color.  I also go by the smell.  The scent of a pineapple is so sweet you can sometimes smell it just by walking by it.  That's when I bring them home! :)

    As much as I like to snack on fresh pineapple, I also love to mix it with peppers, onions,  and cilantro for a zesty meal.  Pineapple salsa is super easy to make to top grilled chicken or fish.

    Sprinkle diced pineapple with salt and pepper, lime juice, a bit of olive oil and let it sit while you prepare your chicken or fish.  You can add jalapenos for an extra kick.

    Pineapple Salsa

    1 pineapple, diced

    1/2 onion, diced

    1/2 red bell pepper, diced

    1/2 orange bell peeper, diced

    salt and pepper to taste

    juice from 1/2 lime

    1 tbsp olive oil

    1/2 jalapeno without seeds (optional)

    1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

    1 garlic clove, minced

     

    Mix all ingredients, let them sit for at least 15 minutes.  Top your favorite foods with the salsa.

    What's your favorite topping on grilled chicken or grilled fish?

    How do you pick out pineapples at the store?

  • Pizza Night

    Did you know Publix sells pizza dough?  Every so often, maybe once a month, I will remember to pick up a couple of fresh pizza dough bags.  The girls and my husband always take care of dinner on pizza night.  Jim gets started with the dough.  This is where the fun begins.

    After the dough is rolled, you'll need the sauce.  I've tried both the pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce and couldn't really tell a difference between either one.  Next, come the toppings.  This is the girls' favorite part.  They have the most fun "carefully" placing all the ingredients on the dough.

    On pizza night, we make a "grown-up"  and a kid-friendly pizza.  For the grown ups, we like to add sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms or kalamata olives.  The girls like to keep it simple.  They usually choose mushroom pizza or just plain cheese.

    Having a pizza night is a fun and easy way to make a meatless meal.  There are so many options when you try different veggie combinations.  It's also an easy way to get the kids involved in the kitchen.

    Pair it with a fresh green salad and you have a complete meal!

     

  • Crock Pot Beef Tacos

    One of my favorite bloggers is Jenna from Eat, Live, Run.  Although she's a trained chef with a new book, she comes across very personable and I just love her style.  Her recipes are easy to follow which is a plus for busy moms like me!  While searching her website I found this recipe for Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos and after checking the ingredient list I knew this would be a hit for the family.

    Start with one red pepper, one green pepper two small onions and optional jalapenos.  Follow by rubbing the flank steak with cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, cayenne pepper and chili powder.  All goes in the crock pot set on low for 8 hours.

    Before leaving the market, I ran across the street to the Mexican Store to grab tostadas and queso fresco.  Tostadas are just like tacos except they are not folded.  Queso Fresco or Fresh Farmers Cheese has a very mild taste, almost like a fresh mozzarella.

    Coming home to a crock pot meal after working all day it's so rewarding.  It always makes me feel like Super Woman!   The flank steak was juicy, tender and flavorful.  I think this crock pot recipe will definitively get some use at our household.  Thanks Jenna for helping busy moms like me keep a healthy lifestyle!

    Have you ever tried Queso Fresco?

    Is Taco Night part of your weekly meal plan?

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