Cranberry Daquiri Night…

Now that I have used up all the margariti mix, I have moved on to the cranberry daquiri mix… for dinner drinks, that is… I am also happy to announce that the asparagus is now gone – on to the other veggies I bought at the Farmers Market (FM) last weekend.

This evening I used up the rest of the margarita chicken I made last night (also had some of it with a salad for lunch today); grilled a zucchini and a couple thick slices of sweet onion, diced up a tomato, and made some more quinoa to come up with tonight’s dinner.

I sliced the zucchini and onion in thick slices, basted them with olive oil and seasoned them with Webster’s Grilling Spices. Once they were cooked, I cut them up and tossed them with the cooked quinoa and diced tomatoe.  After warming up the chicken a bit, I sliced it and topped the quinoa and vesggies with the chicken.

The cranberry daquiri was simply the daquiri mix, one shot rum and crushed ice. 

Boy am I full!!

Margarita Chicken Anyone?

So tonight, I decided to try and make grilled chicken using some margarita mix as a base for the marinade.

I used 1/4 cup margarita mix; two garlic cloves-minced; 1/4 cup (or so) avocado oil; boneless/skinless chicken breast tenders (equivalent to 2 chicken breasts); and salt/pepper to taste. Put everything in a small ziploc baggie (the perfect size for this amount of chicken and marinade), and let it marinate for about 45 min to 1 hour.  While the chicken was marinading, I started a put of quinoa; took a generous slice out of a large onion, and prepped the remaining asparagus I had.  The onion I basted with avocado oil on both sides.  The asparagus I drizzled oil on it and wrapped it in a foil pouch for grilling.

I put everything on a hot oiled grill at the same time, closed the lid and let it cook for 3 minutes; then I turned the onion and chicken, took the asparagus off the grill, and closed the lid, allowing the chicken/onion to cook for another couple of minutes.   I chopped the grilled onion and tossed it with the cooked quinoa, sliced a tomatoe, and drizzled it with avocado oil.  Boy was it YUMMY!!! 

Presentation is Everything

Forgot to publish this yesterday…

Okay , presentation isn’t everything, taste is important too, but presentation sure helps make the dish really appealing.

Today I felt ambitious.  I pulled out some gulf shrimp I picked up at the farmers market on Saturday, and made a spicy rub for it (chili power, garlic powder, cumin, corriander and pepper).  While I let the shrimp marinate in the rub (along with a little shrimp boil) I diced up a red potato and cleaned some asparagus; both were tossed with olive oil, crushed rosemary, sage and salt/pepper.  I put each in foil pouches to cook on the grill.

Once the grill was hot, I put the potatoes on the grill to cook (since they would take longer than the other stuff).  While the potatoes were cooking, I diced a tomato and tossed it with sunflower sprouts. I drizzeled the salad with cilantro vinaigarette dressing.  Then I scewered the shrimp and basted them with avocado oil.  I put the asparagus on the grill at the same time as the shrimp, and took the potatoes off.

When everything was done cooking I arranged the shrimp and potatoes around the salad, placed the asparagus on top of the salad, and topped the asparagus with one of the shrimp.  To top it all off, I made a margarita with Limon tequila and margarita mix, served over ice in a martini glass.  I suppose the presentation might have passed for restaurant fare, had I been more precise/careful about the drops of dressing around the edge of the plate…

Okay – so I couldn’t wait and ate the shrimp on top of the salad.

In any case, it was all YUMMY!

Catching Up…

It has been some time since my last post.  After being out of town the end of July and again the first weekend of August, I just haven’t gotten around to posting much.  I have taken some pics of the meals I have created over the past few weeks.  Here is some of what I have been up to.

Chicken, asparagus, roasted potatoes and corn on the cob (from Indiana).  I made this shortly after returning to Houston from South Bend.




The weather in Houston has been scorching!  So what do I do today (high temp was at least 109*)… I baked.

A blueberry Turnover  and…







A Pear Pie….

Baked them in my convection toaster oven outside on the patio.

Everything was made from scratch.  I used olive oil in the pastry dough. it turned out great!




For dinner this evening I made the grilled chicken again.

Of course, I had to have a nice cold drink to keep me hydrated while cooking on the grill.  So I made a Watermelon Dacqueri (sp?).  It was great, but you know everything tastes even better when served in a fancy glass…  For this I used frozen watermelon (from Indiana), a brazilian liquor some lime juice and sugar.  Mmm, Mmmm, good! 





I got a great recipe for a marinade from my niece, Jessie.  Boy is it yummy!





I even used the marinade on the potatoes and green beans that I made as side dishes.

Everything was made on the grill.  The potatoes and green beans I made in foil pouches,

I timed them so that everything would finish on the grill at the same time.



Of course, I had to have a slice of the pear pie, with whipped cream, for dessert…

Out of town, again…

Not doing much in the way of eating what I have in the house over the past several days.  Why?  Well, because I have been out of town.  I was off to the great Northwest.  It was wonderful, the weather there was very pleasant, given the heat we have been enduring in Houston Texas this summer.

The purpose of my travels was to swim in the “Long Bridge Lake Swim” that had its 17th annual bridge swim event on Saturday.

I am happy to say, I FINISHED!!  🙂   The water temp was around 68 degrees, which may sound rather chilly, but with a full body wetsuit on, it was rather nice.  I also “cheated” a bit, you see, you can, if you wish, use fins, for the swim.  Yes, you better believe I used fins!!  🙂

Yes, I am out there, somewhere…

New twist with Artichoke Spinach Ravioli!

Remember the homemade artichoke spinach ravioli I made a few weeks back?  Well for dinner tonight I came up with a new twist!  Fried Artichoke Spinach Ravioli with homemade marinara sauce!  It was really yummy!!

What did I do?  Well, I took the frozen ravioli, dredged it through an eggwash and then crushed garlic/onion croutons (bread crumbs), and then fried them in a pan of grapeseed oil.  I like using grapeseed oil for a couple of reasons: 1) It has a high flashpoint, so you can heat it up without it smoking a lot or it starting to burn; 2) it is a polyunsaturated fat, and is one of the “good for you” oils; 3) it has a very light and mild flavor, so you don’t really taste the oil, just the food that you cooked in it!

For the marinara sauce I merely took a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, and using my immersion blender, pureed the tomatoes a bit, leaving them a little chunky.  To the pureed tomatoes I added 1 teaspoon of itialian seasoning, a little salt and pepper to taste.  NOTE:  My tomatoes did not have any added sodium – so be careful of over salting if you try this – make sure your canned tomatoes do not have any added sodium, otherwise your marinara sauce is going to be too salty.

I topped everything with freshly grated parmesan/ramano cheese.  Bon Apetite!

Watermelon Rind Preserves

Watermelon Rind Preserves – I made this using the Indiana watermelon rinds I had after cutting up the fruit yesterday.  I now have 15 jars of watermelon rind preserves.  I will be giving it a try on my morning toast tomorrow!

I substituted 4 cups of splenda for part of the sugar, and added one package of geletin (to help the preserves thicken) since I lowered the sugar content.  I also used my immersion blender to puree the rinds so that what I have is a spreadable preseve rather than chunky preserves.  There are still some chunks, just not as much as one would have had I not pureed them.

4 pounds chopped watermelon rind

1  gallon water

1/2 cup salt

9 cups white sugar

8 cups water

4 teaspoons crushed cinnamon stick

4 teaspoons ground cloves

4 lemons – rinsed, sliced and seeded

1 dash red food coloring (optional)


  1.                     Peel off the green part of the watermelon rind, and slice into 2 inch pieces. Soak the rind in a solution of 1 gallon water and 1/2 cup salt overnight.
  2.                     Remove rind from the salt water, and place in a stockpot with clean water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the rind is tender. Drain.
  3.                     In a large pot, combine the sugar, 8 cups water, and sliced lemons. Tie the cinnamon and cloves into a cheesecloth bag, and place in the pot. Bring the syrup to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes. Add the rinds, and cook until transparent. Remove spice bag. Stir in red food coloring, if using. Ladle preserves into hot sterile jars, and process to seal.

Ever heard of Watermelon rind pickles? how about preserves?

When I was home last weekend in Indiana, I picked up a nice seedless watermelon.  I have always wondered – is there anything you can do/make with the watermelon rinds?  Well, low and behold – there is!  I found two recipes that apparently go back generations (to the early 1900’s and I am sure prior to that).  One is for pickled watermelon rinds.  Based on the recipe, it sounds like the end result tastes something akin to bread and butter/sweet pickles.  The second recipe is for watermelon rind preserves – for putting on your morning toast.

I’m going to give both of these recipes a try.  The pickles take a couple of weeks before they are ready to eat once you have canned them, the preserves I should be able to try once it is cooled.  keep you posted on the results!

Mexican Leftovers the last to nights

Sunday I went to a waterpark with some friends.  We had a great time.  Afterwards, we went out to dinner at a mexican restaurant.  I odered chicken fajitas monterey with pablano peppers and grilled onions.  It was great, but a really large serving.  I have been eating my way through those leftovers for the last couple of days.  Dinner Monday, lunch and dinner today!