Thursday, May 10, 2012

mmmm... al fresco

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at our house, we love sausage (and we've been teased about the amount of it we cook up). :) how happy to find a recipe product that's made with no artificial ingredients that's delicious.  

it's heading toward summer around here, and who wants to be cooped up inside with a stove cranked up!  we're ready for some grilling recipes, and the al fresco kabobs recipe  from just fits the bill.

nothing like a kicked-up citrus marinade to make fresh veggies pop.

 (thank you, honey, for being patient to get that exact "marinade that makes your mouth water" angle i was going for on this shot.  :)

we may have slightly charred the veggies.  i may, strangely, prefer them that way.  i do say if i had it to do over, i think i'd skewer the shrimp and sausage separately so as not to overcook it to the level i like my veggies.  still, delish.

al fresco sent us coupons to try their latest flavors, and although we couldn't find the vast array they offer in our grocery store, we did find sweet apple, sweet italian, and tomato and basil (they have buffalo style!! publix, it's time to expand the line!!) visit the al fresco site and download your own coupons today. you're welcome. :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

our "siete" de mayo fiesta

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it's a not-so-secret fact that hub's favorite all-time food is, well, anything Mexican. since we deserted him for play practice on his birthday (last of the thirties!), we decided to have a little "siete de mayo" celebration in his honor, and do some SERIOUS Mexican cooking. we made the most amazing version of "amazing southwest cilantro lime mango grilled chicken sandwiches" from (wow, that title rivals one i'd write in length!) with flax tortillas from, instead of french bread.  

since my man is the true guacamole chef, i was nervous to go on my own, but this guac recipe from is divine!  (i can't be held responsible for actually measuring these ingredients, and i ALWAYS add extra lime and cilantro.)  

till this point, i was doing great, but i lost my senses completely when we began to fry up the sopapillas; i had a bite or two more than my fair share, i'm not gonna lie.  

and while we're being real, i also thoroughly enjoyed the coconut margarita with which i bribed my honey to grill the steak for his meal.  :)

what're you waiting for?  it doesn't have to be anything-de-mayo... get cooking!  :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

baked oatmeal, sweet memories, and

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this month, has asked me to share a memory that ties me to my favorite recipe site. the timing is fitting, since this has been a busy week that resulted in ZERO cooking for me. because my kiddos were in the school play and theatre-major mom came out this week, we spent every waking moment at the school prepping costumes, sets, and character development. we are in the midst of turning our whole house upside-down to make better use of space, so literally every room in the house holds mis-matched furniture and paint rollers wrapped in plastic (i HATE to re-wash paint rollers!). 

 our kids have been amazing at building beds, organizing closets, and painting walls to make home -well, "homey-er" for everyone. then at the culmination of an exhausting week, we were blessed to have grandparents (three sets!) visit to watch the play. poor hubs was left to manage the chaos as best possible with the three non-acting siblings. when everyone arrived for the play, i found myself lamenting that i couldn't host everyone properly. i wanted to have visitors for a home-cooked meal. i wanted to have matching sets of towels, freshly laundered and waiting for refreshment and relaxing. i wished i had hot coffee and warm treats, with candles lit and baseboards dusted. i realize that "in the chaos" was where i needed to be this week, using a long-lost love/gift in theatre, and i have let myself off the guilt-hook. however, i am reminded that for me, food has always had a special place in my hospitality, and i want to get back to those roots. 

 as i thought back to some of our sweetest memories, i immediately wished for a bowl of baked oatmeal, one of the first recipes i discovered on, and one i've shared over and over with friends and family who've visited and relaxed over a hot serving doused with cream and accompanied by fresh fruit and hot tea or coffee. baked oatmeal to me is comfort with a bit of extra "fancy" thrown in; it says "welcome," and "i cared enough to bake for you." it says "good morning," and "have a great day!" it's a recipe i've pulled out that i can sort of prepare ahead and always feel like i'm taking good care of our guests. i'm looking for a flashback to that old-fashioned homey comfort, so i think as we settle back into real-life this week (is there such a thing? :)) i may make a batch of baked oatmeal.