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Cranberry-Lime Infused Vodka

Ok…tired of my Keto recipes. Get ready for Christmas with this festive infused vodka! Makes a perfect hostess gift….do it NOW!

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1 16 oz. glass bottles with toppers (mine have corks)

1 bag fresh cranberries (I counted 150 berries…LOL).

2 limes, peeled with as little pith as possible

2 tbsp sugar

Vodka

Using a knife, pierce each cranberry so the vodka can seep into the berries.  (I took each one and pierced it with an icepick using a cutting board underneath). Alternately fill each bottle with the cranberries and the lime peels. When bottle is full of berries, add sugar. Pour vodka into the bottle until full. Allow to sit and mature for 2 weeks to a month. Be sure to shake the bottles every couple of days to help the flavors meld.

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Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Happy New Year Bloggers! I am going to try something different this year now that so many of you are really setting the bar high with your wonderful blogs. This old dog is not that techie…LOL…but like John Glenn I can take small steps. Hence my New Years resolution to use actual photos of the recipes when I cook them.

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I thought the cocktail looked quite nice in the ice cream dishes we got from our friends one Christmas. Here is the recipe –

Traditional Mexican Shrimp Cocktail (food.com)

Ingredients 

  • 1 (48 ounce) can V8 vegetable juice (spicy if desired)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 12 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, de-veined and steamed or just buy frozen cooked and thaw
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 4 dashes Tabasco sauce

Directions

Mix all ingredients in a large nonreactive container.

Chill and serve with limes and Tabasco sauce.

Do not over-cook the shrimp, as they will become tough!

Be careful when steaming the shrimp; you do not want it tough.

AND here is a BONUS..ta dah…if you do not use all of the mixture, put it into a blender and make…GAZPACHO…refrigerate for tomorrows meal!

 

Thai Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

Just in time for your Thanksgiving dinner! Make ahead and refrigerate. Serve as your first course!

Thai Style Chicken Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. minced fresh ginger
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • ½ cup mango nectar
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup peanut butter (or more)
  • 1 liter low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add chicken and cook about three minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to crock pot. Add celery, carrots, pumpkin, nectar, lime juice, peanut butter, broth and water. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 4 hours,

After the time is up, stir in the following –

3 Tablespoons rice vinegar

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Mix ½ cup heavy cream  and 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch together.Stir into soup and turn cooker to HIGH for  10 minutes or less until soup thickens.

Serve over white rice which has been previously cooked. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts.

 Source – Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.

Mojitos by the Pitcher

We first came to like mojitos when our friend Karen made them at her house in Merida. We dubbed her Queen of the Mojitos, While in Cuba we also enjoyed them at Bodeguita del Medio which is where Ernest Hemingway came to love them as we are told. Some historians would have us believe that they date back to the 1600s and Sir Francis Drake coming ashore in Cuba..??? Summertime and the living is easy, right? What better way to enjoy a sunny day by the pool them with a pitcher of mojitos. Another recipe blissfully discovered on Pinterest!

(If you’ve been following this blog for some time you may recall my earlier recipe according to Hemingway),

Mojitos by the Pitcher (Kitchen is My Playground)

Total Time 15 mins Prep 15 mins

Ingredients    Servings 10

  • 10 limes, fresh pulp and juice
  • 30 leaves of fresh mint1/3 cup sugar (originally 3/4)
  • 1 cup white rum
  • 1 bottle of Sprite 600 ml. (original was Club soda)

Directions

  1. Place lime juice, mint and sugar into a pitcher.
  2. Using a muddle stick mash to release mint oils, and dissolve sugar into juice.
  3. Add rum and lots of ice topped with club soda or Sprite. Adding more club soda or Sprite to glasses if a lighter drink is desired. Fill glasses with ice before pouring!
  4. Garnish with fresh mint and lime slices.

 

Thai Coconut Curry Soup

Thai is undoubtedly one of my favourite foods and this soup is no exception. Hope you will try it and let me know what you think. And..its from Michael Smith, one of my heroes…LOL. (My apologies to Michael for altering the original as shown)

Thai Coconut Curry Soup from Michael Smith
Meat
• 2 Chicken breasts (Good old Costco – I used their chicken strips in a bag – two handfuls partially thawed)
Produce
• 1 handful Bean sprouts (I substituted frozen broccoli pieces)
• 1 Carrot, shredded
• 1 bunch Cilantro, roots
• 1 bunch Cilantro, leaves
• 1 small knob Ginger, frozen
• 2 Green onions
• 2 stalks Lemon grass or 1 Tablespoon lemongrass paste
• 4 Lime, leaves
• 2 Limes, zest and juice
Canned Goods
• 2 cups Chicken broth
• 2 14 ounce cans Premium coconut milk
• 1 heaping tbsp Thai curry paste
Condiments
• 2 tbsp Fish sauce or less as you prefer
• 1 Sprinkle or two salt or soy sauce
Pasta & Grains
• 1 8 ounce package Rice noodles (Or skip either of these if you don’t want the starch)

Scoop the thick coconut cream from the top of just one of the cans into a large stockpot set over a medium-high heat. Melt the cream, add the curry paste and stir for a few minutes until they begin to sizzle.

Add the cilantro roots and chicken and sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut juice from the first can and all the contents of the second can along with the chicken broth, carrot, lime leaves, lemon grass, fish sauce and lime zest and juice. Grate the frozen ginger into the broth with a Microplane grater or standard box grater. Simmer for 20 minutes or so.

OPTIONAL – Stir in the bean sprouts. Add the rice noodles, gently pushing them beneath the surface of the broth. Turn off the heat and let stand until the noodles soften, about 5 minutes. Rice noodles don’t need to simmer like pasta to cook; they simply need to rehydrate in the hot liquid.

Stir in most of the cilantro leaves. Remove the lemon grass stalks. Taste and season with a touch more salt (or soy sauce) as needed. Ladle into large bowls and garnish with the green onions and remaining cilantro leaves.

Zesty Potato Salad and Cebollitas Asadas (Grilled Green Onions)

Two for one day. Both recipes are great for a BBQ party. The salad you can make ahead. The green onions should be done a half hour or so before you want to BBQ them.

ZESTY POTATO SALAD www.cooks.com

4 cups cooked potatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Miracle Whip
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon horseradish* (optional)
dash of green Tabasco or red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Simmer potatoes until fork tender. Remove skins, and cut into cubes. At this point I usually cover the warm potatoes with the cider vinegar and celery seed (that’s how my Mom did it…LOL)
In a bowl, combine celery, eggs, potatoes, onions, vinegar* (see above note) and seasonings. Toss lightly to combine.
In a separate small bowl, mix mustard, and salad dressing. Stir into potatoes.
Refrigerate before serving.
Variation: Add cooked and crumbled bacon bits to the salad dressing and proceed as above.

Cebollitas Asadas (Grilled Green Onions)

Cebollitas is Spanish for little onions. It’s a Latin staple when it comes to grilling. These onions when grilled become soft, fragrant, sweet, and caramelized with a salty and tangy flavor.
Ingredients:
20 spring onions or large scallions (about 4 bunches) washed and trimmed
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Salt
1 lime, juiced (optional)
Directions:
Preheat grill.
Place onions on a large sheet of foil with butter and soy sauce. Seal onions securely in the foil. To do this lay the onions in the middle of the foil sheet, and fold in each side of the foil. Do the same with the remaining two sides. Wrap the foil around the onions like a present.
Grill onions or scallions on a rack set 5 to 6 inches over grill, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from foil and place on the grill (across the rungs) and grill on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes on each side until softened and lightly charred.
This recipe can also be made in the broiler about 3 inches from heat for 10 to 12 minutes.
Broil open for 6 to 8 minutes more until a desired char is achieved.
Transfer onions or scallions to a platter and sprinkle with salt and garnish with lime juice (if using).
www.muybuenocookbook.com

Stefanos Ultimate Pad Thai

Stefano Faita is one of my favourite TV chefs. Thai food is also a favourite of mine. This recipe seems a little complicated, but if you prepare everything in advance it is quite fast to cook for your guests.

Stefano’s Ultimate Pad Thai 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
3/4(14-ounce) package flat rice noodles (1/4-inch thick)
4 tbsp. ketchup
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 block extra firm, pressed tofu, diced or about 1 cup diced tofu
20 small to medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
2 small chicken breasts, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
3 eggs
2 shallots
1 heaping tbsp. ginger
1 heaping tbsp. garlic
2 Thai chilies, or to taste, chopped
3/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2 handfuls bean sprouts
3 limes, cut into wedges
Large handful cilantro, chopped

PREPARATION
Add boiling water to rice noodles. Let soak for about 1 minute. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, let soak in room temperature water until pliable, about 1 hour. (You can soak noodles in cold water and store in fridge 1 day in advance.)
To make sauce: add ketchup, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce to small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Add vegetable oil to wok and heat over medium heat. Fry tofu, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel. (Note this step can be done 1 day in advance).
Remove 3 tbsp. oil from the wok. Increase heat to high. Add chicken and season with salt. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and stir-fry until both chicken and shrimp are just cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate.
Add shallots, chilies, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until lightly golden, about 30 seconds. Add eggs. Let fry for 1 minute.
Add noodles then sauce. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add chicken and shrimp back to the wok. Cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Garnish pad Thai with peanuts, green onion, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges.
Yield: 4 servings.

Green Papaya Salad

Our friend Lynda spent several years in Thailand with her husband. When she cooks Thai food it is incredible! She has introduced this salad not only to us, but also to many Mexicans who never realized you could use green papayas. Of course, Lynda grows them in her yard…. Might be a little hard to find for our Northern friends…

This is great when served with chicken satay….

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Green Papaya Salad

½ pound green papaya shredded in food processor

1 clove garlic

2 to 3 red Chile peppers seeded

1 tomato sliced

1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce (yeah it smells bad but you don’t notice it when it is used in this recipe)

3 tablespoons lime juice

Lettuce leaves or cabbage squares (optional)

1 lime cut into wedges

Peel and seed the papaya. Grind together garlic and red Chile peppers in a food processor or mortar. Mix together the papaya, tomato, fish sauce and lime juice; add in garlic mixture and toss lightly. Serve with lime wedges and garnish with Chile peppers.

NOTES :  Shredded carrots or cucumber can be substituted for the papaya. Thais like theirs with ground peanuts! I agree…

Makes four servings.

Yucatan Sopa de Lima

Looking back and I realize that I have never posted this recipe for a wonderful soup made with limes which is a Yucatecan favourite! If you don’t like the heat, omit the chili peppers. Let your guests add their own spice!

Yucatan Chicken-Lime Soup
(Sopa de lima)

This is about the best chicken soup that I’ve ever tasted. Plus, it’s good for you. Lime juice is loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C. Chile peppers blast open stuffed sinuses. And garlic acts as an antibiotic. I can’t think of a better remedy for a cold or rainy day.

Makes 4 servings

·         4 corn tortillas (6″ diameter), cut into thin strips (or buy the already baked tortilla strips)

·         1 large tomato, halved crosswise and seeded

·         1 tablespoon olive oil

·         1 medium onion, finely chopped

·         8 cloves garlic, minced

·         1 to 2 Serrano chili peppers, thinly sliced (wear plastic gloves when handling) (OMIT if you don’t want the heat)

·         4 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

·         1 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

·         1 bay leaf

·         4 to 6 tablespoons lime juice

·         1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

·         Salt and ground black pepper

1.    Preheat the oven to 400F.

2.    Arrange the tortilla strips on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.

(Skip the two steps above if you can find tortilla strips already baked)

3.    Working over a small bowl, grate each tomato half on the coarse side of a hand grater. Discard the skin.

4.    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes, stock or broth, chicken, and bay leaf. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the lime juice and the cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste and add more lime juice, if desired. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle each with some of the tortilla strips. I usually slice a lime and puts some in each bowl before I pour the soup in…

Coconut Chicken Stew – Thai Style

Coconut Chicken Stew – Food and Drink Magazine
AUTUMN 2007
BY EMILY RICHARDS
1 lb (500 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
½ tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 mL) each Chinese 5-spice powder and Asian garlic chili paste
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1 stalk lemon grass, bruised and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces*
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
1 cup (250 mL) coconut milk
3 cups (750 mL) baby spinach leaves
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp (25 mL) fish or soy sauce
Cooked basmati or Thai jasmine rice*
Lime wedgesShredded coconut

*If you don’t have lemongrass, just had some orange and/or lemon juice to the rice when cooking to get the citrus flavour.

1. Chop chicken into bite-size pieces and place in large bowl. Add cumin, Chinese 5-spice powder and chili paste and stir to coat chicken well. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Heat oil over medium heat in large nonstick skillet. Cook garlic, lemon grass and ginger for about 2 minutes or until light golden.

3. Add chicken and increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until browned. Add coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Add spinach, tomatoes and fish sauce and cook, stirring for about 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted and tender.

4. Serve each bowl with basmati rice and lime wedge and some shredded coconut.

Serves 4