tacos

I have a confession. Up until recently, I was a taco spice packet user. I tried to make my own spice mixture, but it was just never as pungent as the kind from the yellow packet. After taking a gander at the nutritional information, and the whopping amount of sodium (I’m a salt lover folks, but come on. How do they pack that much sodium into that tiny little package? The world may never know) I decided it was time to ditch the packet for good!

As far as taco shell selection goes, we like to fry our own corn tortillas in this house. Every once in a while I get a hankering for a boxed shell that you just warm up in the oven.  But, there is definitely something to be said for the pan-fried corn tortillas. They aren’t soft, yet they aren’t completely crispy either. I find that the outer portion of the shell gets nice and crispy, while the center stays soft and pliable.

I’m sure this recipe would be just as wonderful with ground turkey or chicken as well.

peachberrycrumble

For this trip to the orchard I got white peaches, as they were larger and prettier in general this week. Blueberries happened to be on sale this week too, for $1.28 a pint. So, I made this dessert for almost nothing. I think it would also be absolutely wonderful with raspberries, or even blackberries.

The original recipe calls for making individual crumbles in ramekin dishes. But, it was just us chickens here tonight – and I diddn’t feel like getting into all that for just us. I went ahead and doubled the crumble portion of the recipe as well – just ’cause that’s how I roll.  If you do decide to do individual portions, you’ll want to cut the crumble amounts in half and shorten the cooking time to 40 to 45 minutes.

friedshrimp

Fresh shrimp are very easy to come by here on the Eastern Shore. Shrimp are wonderful, you can virtually do anything you want to with them. I will spare you all any Bubba Blue quotes, but the man did have a good point. I’d go as far as to say they are the most versatile thing in the whole ocean. But, I have to say, my favorite preperation of a shrimp is the good old batter and fry. While I absolutely adore a zesty shrimp scampi, or an piping hot batch of Old Bay-laiden steamed shrimp, there is something to be said about the simplicity of a fried shrimp.

Because shrimp cook so quickly – things easily go awry. The difference between perfectly cooked and shrimp jerky is a matter of seconds. And, nothing is worse than an overcooked shrimp. Well, okay, I’m sure there is something worse…but, it’s pretty damn bad people!

Feel free to use frozen shrimp (I pity the fool!). Just make sure they have been thawed completely before battering and frying.

zucchinispice

My father has got one of the greenest thumbs that I’ve ever seen. Every summer, for as long as I can remember, my dad has had a HUGE garden. It’s actually come to be quite the spectacle at their current home. They live on Chincoteague Island, which is a popular tourist destination in summer. Evidently, people are not used to seeing a garden up close and personal. Every time we are visiting, there are folks stopping in the street to take pictures. Poor souls – I don’t know what I would do without a garden at my fingertips!

Last weekend my dad gave me two HUGE zucchinis. You know, the kind that are too big to do anything with? Then, I came across a post over at Erin’s site. It was the perfect use for these goliaths. Actually, I only used one. Any suggestions for the other?

These were seriously some of the best cupcakes I’ve had in my life. And, I’ll tell you kids, I’m no stranger to a cupcake. The were so moist and delicious, they literally melted in your mouth. They would have been awesome “as is”. But then, to slather them with heavenly cream cheese frosting? OMG, make these.

I always have a cache of spices I am trying to use up, so I tweaked the original recipe a bit. I added in some allspice, as well as a pinch of 5-spice powder. If you don’t have those – feel free to omit them, they will still be just as good!