Mango and Cilantro Guacamole

We made this while Annie was here last weekend.  It’s a chunky quac and delicious.  Everything is to taste.

  • 3 avocados, diced large
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • t. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • splash of balsamic vinegar

This is a taste as you go recipe.  The balsamic was an improve move because it tasted like it needed more acid.  Mix together (but not too much) and serve with delicious tortilla chips.

Mango and Cilantro Guacamole

Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette

Posted by Annie.

This dressing is made for this tasty salad. It’s simple, and if you keep lemons, you probably have what you need without a trip to the grocery. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 shallot, finely chopped
kosher salt and black pepper

Directions
In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the oil, lemon juice, honey, shallot, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette

Boston Lettuce Salad with Herbs and Toasted Almonds

Posted by Annie

I tried this salad this evening, paired with a pasta dish on this site! The Boston lettuce (appropriately named for my relocation) is buttery and delicious. It has a bit of spice from the cilantro and chives, and the lemon vinaigrette adds the perfect snap. If you love salty/savory but want to keep it light, this is the perfect salad to add as a side dish.

(If you’re unsure what Boston Lettuce is, there’s a good description here. Most groceries carry it.)

Ingredients
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 large head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves torn (6 cups)
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
10 chives, cut into 1-inch lengths
4 to 5 tablespoons Lemon and Shallot Vinaigrette
or bottled Italian vinaigrette

Directions
1. Heat oven to 400° F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, parsley, cilantro, chives, and almonds with the vinaigrette.

Boston Lettuce Salad with Herbs and Toasted Almonds

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Posted by Annie.

I like to serve these with Corrie’s Brussel Sprouts. This is quick and easy – and a comfort food, even if you’re in a hurry. I use the butter pretty sparingly because the bread tends to soak it up quickly in the pan. Enjoy!

What you need
2-3 slices of high-quality turkey lunch meat, I used Boar’s Head
1 slice cheddar cheese
2 slices of bread. I use gluten-free, but your preference will work
mayo (optional)
poultry seasoning
salt and pepper
butter for the skillet

Instructions
1. Saute turkey, small pad of butter and seasonings in a skillet over medium for about two minutes, until then the turkey slightly browns.
2. Take out of pan, build sandwich (turkey, mayo and cheese)
3. Place back in pan and heat through until cheese is melted. Keep an eye on it so the bread doesn’t burn! (unless you’re into that kinda thing)

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Bacon, Leek and Parmesan Pasta

Posted by Annie.

I tried this recipe recently and absolutely love the combo of leeks and bacon in the pasta. This works for a one-dish meal, or is perfect paired with a spring salad. This is easy and delicious!

Ingredients
one 8 ounce package of pasta (linguini or spaghetti is best)
12 ounces bacon, sliced in small pieces
3 leeks (tops trimmed), sliced thin
6 cloves garlic
¼ cup Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup starchy cooking water (from pasta pot)
½ cup parmesan cheese

Directions
1. Bring a pasta pot filled with water to a boil, salt the water and add pasta. Cook according to directions (make sure and save ¼ cup of pasta water for sauce).
2. In a separate skillet, sauté chopped bacon at medium high heat (just until cooked through).
3. Add leeks, olive oil, grand marnier, garlic, 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt, pepper and sauté for 12 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked and liquids have reduced.
4. Before adding pasta, add in 1 more tablespoon of vinegar (totaling 2), and scrap up all the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
5. Add cooked pasta along with parmesan cheese and starchy cooking liquid. Mix to incorporate ingredients and simmer on low for 5 minutes, just enough to let the flavors blend. Serve warm.

Bacon, Leek and Parmesan Pasta

Penne a la Betsy

Posted by Annie.

Last Christmas, I received the Pioneer Woman Cooks book in my stocking, and I pulled it out this week to see what I could find. Admittedly, like other books, I still love flipping through pages and trying to hold down recipes with greasy hands while cooking. There’s something so lived-in/loved about a good book of recipes with stains, wrinkles and hand-written notes. So here’s my first contribution from this book.

I loved the recipe, and the basil gave the house a perfect scent. This is great as a hearty main course or full dinner. The recipe makes four very generous servings. Danny and I split it for dinner three nights in a row, with a bit of salad on the side. Also, it only takes about 25 minutes start to finish – Enjoy!


Ingredients
1 lb shrimp (like the frozen bag, peeled and deveined – and thawed)
1 lb Penne (or other short pasta; I use brown rice pasta)
2 tbsp butter, olive oil
Small onion, minced
A few cloves of garlic, minced
2 small cans of tomato sauce
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Basil, chiffonade, to taste (I used 8 leaves)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c dry white wine (optional)

Directions
1. Bring water in a pot to a boil for the penne. Either cook the pasta all in one step, or come back to this as you have time between the other steps. Add some salt to that water. Drain the pasta and set aside.

2. Bring a saucepan to medium heat with 1 tbsp each of the butter and olive oil. Saute the thawed shrimp for about two minutes (they should have just turned opaque.) Remove to a cool plate and set aside.

3. Back to the saucepan on medium heat, add the remaining 1 tbsp each of butter and olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally for several minutes. Keep an eye on this because garlic in olive oil that’s too hot can burn. Keep the heat to medium, and keep stirring. (This happened to me the first time, and it’s no bueno.)

4. Optional: at the point, you can chop the shrimp into smaller pieces, if you’d like. If not, skip this step.

5. Optional: here add the cup of dry white wine. (I didn’t do this, and it came out fine, but it sounds good.)

6. Add the two small cans of tomato sauce, and stir well.

7. Reduce the heat to low, and add the cup of heavy cream. Stir well.

8. Add the shrimp to the tomato cream sauce, and stir well.

9. If you haven’t chopped the basil and parsley at this point, do that now. Add the herbs to the tomato cream sauce, and stir until well combined.

10. Add the pasta to the tomato cream sauce, and stir until well combined.

Penne a la Betsy