Friday, May 20, 2011

Shrimp Ceviche & Mango De Gallo

I made this for dinner tonight, it's called Shrimp Ceviche. I found it from the blog I Love Feta Cheese. It was really delicious and super easy to make and it only takes about 5 minutes to throw together!
(My dad brought this shrimp back with him fresh from the coast of Florida.)

Shrimp Ceviche

1 lb of shrimp (around ~ 40 shrimps), cooked. I buy them frozen and cooked from Whole Foods.
2 lemons
2 limes
2 small tomatoes
1/2 an avocado
1/4 cup, or 1 handful, of chopped cilantro
sea salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of EVOO

Start by rinsing frozen shrimp to defrost and take tails off. Chop tomato and avocado into about 1 inch pieces and add to shrimp. Top everything with the juice of  lime,  lemon, some chopped cilantro, a drizzle of EVOO, sea salt and pepper. So easy and delicious!!

*You can also chop these ingredients up real fine and serve it as a dip or a topping.

Mango De Gallo

You make this just like Pico De Gallo, except you use mango instead of tomatoes.

Mango De Gallo:
Red onion
Lime juice

I put the Mango De Gallo on my scrambled eggs this morning. Oh so yum.
I thought I had some blue corn chips here I was going to finish off the rest of it with and when I went to get them, they were nowhere to be found! Guess I ate them, don't you hate it when that happens? Anyway, I am sure they would be great with chips.

My garden is really taking off with all this rain we've had. I sure am glad I planted the rows down hill this year or they probably wouldn't  have survived.  It's been rainy and gloomy all week, but this weekend is suppose to clear up and get up to 80F degrees. About time! 

Just like last year, my thai basil it growing like wild fire. I already cut off a bunch of it today so I can freeze it. I  just rinsed it off under water, let dry on counter and freeze.  I can add it to soups and meals later, I really regret not freezing a bunch of it last year. This year I learned my lesson, I'm freezing as much as I can.

My Thai Basil from the garden.

I'll probably take some pics next week to show how well the garden and deck plants are doing. My tomato has almost doubled in size, I had no idea these were going to get so big, maybe it isn't such a good idea to try to grow them in pots, but they are doing fine so far.  I just know last year my tomatoes did horrible out in the garden, so I didn't want a repeat of that.

Lou and I have decided to only do our Tuesday night dinners every other week as the summer is approaching since this time of year is busier for the both of us.  It's my turn to pick and I have a yummy recipe already picked out.  Sorry for those of you that hate seafood, we seem to keep picking seafood recipes.  Seafood is one of my favorite foods on the planet. Growing up in Florida I had access to more fresh seafood there, so I just grew up on it and can't imagine ever giving it up.  My dad went on a deep sea fishing trip this year to FL and brought me back a bunch of fresh fish they caught and a bunch of fresh shrimp caught fresh that day. He froze it that day, too, so it would be the freshest it could be. It doesn't get better than that. Well, I guess me catching it and living on the coast myself WOULD be better than that, but I'm going to try not to have those daydreams! haha

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Start of This Years Gardens

We got our gardens started this week. I love gardening!  My dad plowed the field over at his house and a friend and I planted all the seeds and plants for him.  I'm not sure if I can remember everything we planted for him or not, but here's the list...

  • Green beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Bell peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Chard
  • Hot peppers
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
I'm sure I forgot something. We are going to have tomatoes coming out our ears this year.

My friend and I planting the garden.

And  now we have farmers tans. haha
It took us most of the day to plant everything, it's a pretty big garden.

Here is my tiny tiny little garden I planted behind my house.

That is the plum tree at the end of my garden. See how much it's grown?  :)
I paid my lawnboy to come plow it for me with his tractor. He charged me 10 dollars. What a bargain!
It didn't take me most of the day to plant mine of course.

What I planted:
  • Thai basil
  • Sweet basil
  • Dill
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers (A LOT of them)
  • Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Leeks (I replanted the smaller ones left from last year)
Bell peppers are just so over the top expensive in the stores, so I figured I would plant me a bunch of them this year and freeze what all I don't use. I'm planning on freezing a lot this year, even the tomatoes.

The things on my deck are doing really great, too.

Look! I already have a tomato! 
I can't wait for it to ripen.

I did the Topsy Turvy thing like I said I was.  It will be interesting to find out how this works.
I planted a cherry tomato plant in it, I figured they wouldn't weigh it down as bad.

The chives survived from last year.
 My lawnboy mowed them down, so I went out in the garden and dug them up and put them in pots to save them.

I feel I have learned some things from last year that will help me this year.  I planted the rows facing down the hill so the garden can drain better. I made little drainage areas on each side of the row that is lower than the plant so the garden can drain.  My tomatoes didn't do well in the garden last year at all, that is why I am growing them in pots on  my deck instead. I did more herbs this year than last because I use a lot of them to cook with.  Here's hopes to a successful garden this year!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mexican Salad with Avocado Dressing

So Delicious!

This salad turned out absolutely amazingly fabulous. 
The flavors are so perfect and flavorful.

Mexican Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

For the dressing:
1 large avocado
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Cover and refrigerate.  Toss salad with dressing right before serving.

For the salad:
1-1/2 to 2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
2-3 large tomatoes or 6-7 small tomatoes
2 cups corn chips, crushed into pieces
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
15 ounce can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
5 green onions, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a big serving bowl and toss well with dressing.  Serve immediately.


Okay so my dressing curdled a little, but once you mix it all together you can't tell. I'm not really sure why mine did that, I followed the directions to a T.  Here's the website I got the recipe from, it has photos of each step you take to make it. Their dressing looks real creamy.  I used the Olive oil mayonnaise for mine instead of regular mayo, not sure if that is what did it. Anyway, the flavor was awesome.

I didn't use canned beans for mine. I made my own beans. I let dry beans soak over night, then cooked  my beans this morning and added some salt, garlic and cumin for flavor. Left them in the frig all day until I was ready to make the salad this evening. 

I picked the dinner for our Tuesday dinner across the miles.  Here is Lou's site and she should have her photos of her dinner up soon.