Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baja Shrimp Tacos

This just sounded like something that would go well when making guacamole, so I pretty much went out, bought some shrimp, and threw this together. I added the onions and lime as an afterthought when I had some leftover from the guacamole recipe, but it actually turned out REALLY well.

1 lb. Shrimp, Peeled and De-veined
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 Small Onion, Diced

1 Teaspoon Garlic Chili Paste

1/2 Lime

Salt to taste

Other ingredients: Taco shells (Or whatever you want to use), other taco toppings of choice... I used guacamole, lettuce, and a little dab of ranch.


Cut the shrimp into small pieces. Meanwhile, heat olive oil and garlic chili paste on medium high heat. Once oil starts to bubble a little bit, throw in shrimp, squeeze the lime juice over the shrimp, and toss to coat.

Let shrimp cook for a few minutes (this is a good time to throw taco shells in the oven if that is what you are using!), then add the chopped onions and toss again. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and opaque.

Serve as desired... whether it be in taco shells, tortillas, etc!


Homemade Guacamole

I have been craving guacamole for days. Really random, I know. Even more random considering I didn't even like guacamole until earlier this year. Anyways, I looked through a few recipes, and came up with this one... the Garlic Chili Paste really just adds a little bit of extra kick and can be left out if you want. Really all of the other ingredients can be adjusted to taste preference as well!


3 Avocados
1/2 Small Onion, Chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
1 Small Roma Tomato
1/2 Lime
1 Heaping Tablespoon Sour Cream
1 Teaspoon Thai Garlic Chili Paste
1 Tablespoon Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste

Avocado Side Note: I'm not going to lie, I could not have described to you what one of these looked like before I went to the store. I had, however, read that you know when it's RIPE but not TOO RIPE by pressing on it- you don't want it to be hard, but you don't want it to be "too squishy". I was that woman in the grocery store grabbing every single one trying to find the perfect avocados. This was the worst of the 3... I just scooped out the little brown parts. Just cut them in half around the center section, pop it out, and the flesh should be pretty easy to scoop out of the outside.


Half the avocados, remove the center, and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Use a fork or potato masher to mash the avocado.

Add remaining ingredients, squeezing the juice from the half of lime, and mix. If needed, mash the mixture until it reaches the desired smoothness. (I like it a little chunkier)


Monday, September 13, 2010

Cheesecake Nutella Brownies

This recipe came from the lovely Red Vines for Breakfast (Check her out! She has all sorts of great recipe posts!). The original recipe (here) was for Cheesecake Brownies, but Valerie added the Nutella, which makes them THAT much better! They are a definite indulgent dessert, with all the goodness of both a brownie and cheesecake, with those delicious gooey center spots spread throughout them!

Here is the recipe as found on the original website. You can also replace the first section of ingredients with a box-brownie mix to save time. I also used a 9x13 in glass baking dish, which worked fine as well.

One 9-inch (23cm) square pan

6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces (115g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (70g) flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80g) chocolate chips

8 ounces (200g) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons (75g) sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: Several tablespoons of Nutella


1. Line a 9-inch (23cm) square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly. (I didn't use the foil, but I think this might make it much easier if you're planning on cutting the brownies out to serve on a platter)

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the 2/3 cup (130g) sugar, then the eggs.

4. Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.

5. In a separate bowl, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons (75g) of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

6. Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter. (Before swirling the mixture, I just drizzled a few spoonfuls of Nutella and then swirled)

7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set.

Let cool, then lift out the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares if desired!