Stories from a Texas mom and wife, enjoying a blessed peachy life...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Apple Pie in a Bag

My step mother-in-law and sister-in-law visited us a while back. They are from Mexico. They wanted to tour parts of the east coast before school started back. They were here for 4 days so we wanted to get in as much sight seeing as possible. On the first day we went to the Georgia Aquarium. It's the world's largest aqaurium so of course we had to take them there.

Jellyfish are so cool!
They look like they're dancing!
We chatted about what all they wanted to see in the small time they had here. We decided on a history museum and one quiet night at the house. The museum would have been really neat, had we went on a day they were open. Doh! So, we were able to have TWO quiet nights at home.
One night we sat on the back patio and roasted smores, listened to music, the kids played frisbee and the grown-ups chatted. Very nice & relaxing evening. 

The next night I wanted to cook a really good meal and dessert. I asked my MIL about apple pie. And that was it. I mean, you come to the USA in summer you need to have apple pie, right? So, that's what I made for dessert.  Immediately I got on my laptop to find the best apple pie recipe. I asked my cooking group and after about an hour of looking and talking to some people, I came across Beau's Dutch Apple Pie on Pinterest.
This isn't just some apple pie though. This is baked in a brown paper sack. In the oven. Uh-huh, the pie is baked in the sack in the oven. Yes, I'm serious. Nope, the house didn't catch fire-- not even a hint of smoke. And you know what? It's the BEST apple pie I have ever eaten in my life. I will NEVER deter from this recipe or try a different one. Don't fix what's not broken, right?
photo credit: Beau's Dutch Apple Pie

I am a bit sad that I didn't take pictures of the process. I was entertaining guests and I didn't even think of it, but when I make this again I will make sure I take pictures. The process is cool. It's easy. It's fun and the clean-up is a cinch!
So, on to the pie....
For the Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and pat into the bottom and sides of a pie pan. (Don't roll the dough out.)
For the Apple Filling:
  • 5-6 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • Combine all ingredients except the apples in a bowl. Mix well, then toss the apples in the mixture. Put the apple filling into the unbaked pie crust.
For the Crumb Topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the four and sugar, mix until crumbly. Cover the apple filling with the crumb topping.
  • Yes, you really do put the pie inside a brown paper bag. Once the pie is inside, roll up the the top of the bag and close it together with either staples or large paper clips. Place the bag on the lowest shelf in the oven. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. Don't open the bag until the time is up and you have let it cool outside the oven for about 5 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream. So good!
This is what mine looked like after I took it out of the bag.

 And then when I plated it with a scoop of Blue Bell Vanilla.
Seriously, it's amazingly AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!! My mouth is watering.
You should stop what you're doing now and make this. You will thank yourself. Your family will thank you. America will thank you.
Until next time,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grandma's Chocolate Pie

My husband and I were in a bookstore looking at the next cookbook we'd like to use for a cooking group we belong to. We came across many awesome books, but I came across a book that touched my heart. The Homesick Texan. In case you haven't read my tagline or the "About Us" section on this blog, or even the name of my blog, I am a Texan living in Georgia. I'm always homesick. Always. I miss Texas. I miss the air. I miss the bluebonnets. I miss the "home" feel you get when you KNOW you're in Texas. You don't know that feeling unless you're from there. I love the people. I love the crazy weather. I love the food.

I swear Texas is in a seperate category for food. There is NOTHING like Texas food. Chicken Fried Steak with cream gravy....never had a better one outside of the state. Tex-Mex ... now I was raised on real Mexican food, but when you can't get the real stuff, Tex-Mex is a close second. The recipe for the Chalupas in this book....oh. my. word. I seriously could eat those everyday.

A staple for any Texan & my dad....Pecan Pie...and if you say "puh-can" you're saying it wrong. It's "pea-can". Ask any Texan. My dad taught me how to say it correctly. I love hearing him say, "pea-can". He stretched that one syllable into about 4. Peach Cobbler...serve hot with Blue Bell Vanilla. I have VERY fond memories of all five of us kids literally licking the pan the cobbler was baked in. When cold of course. We had it on rare occasions and it was another favorite of dads. Chocolate chocolate with a buttery crust and a cool, fluffy meringue. Again, my dad loves chocolate pie. Yes, he has a bad sweet tooth. Sopapillas. Now there is a recipe in the book for these, but I cannot bring myself to make them. My granpa Tony & Aunt Helen made the absolute best sopapillas EVER. There was no imitating their recipe. They've both passed and I miss them terribly. Maybe one day I can get my granma to tell me the recipe. Somehow, I doubt there was ever a recipe. I never saw either with a written recipe.

So back to The Homesick Texan cookbook. I walked out of the door that day not buying a single book. I was a little sad going home without the book. A few days went by and I made a comment about the book to a friend. She had the book. Well, it is her husband's cookbook. He got it for a Father's Day gift. She lives 45 minutes away so she put it in the mail and I had it the next day. I was giddy!! I immediately knew the recipes I wanted to try. I had mentally taken notes of some of the recipes while I was at the bookstore.

I have eaten most if not all of these recipes in some varied version at one time or another in my life. It's the reason I love this cookbook so much. It makes me feel like I'm home. Certain recipes remind me of people or a time or a tradition. It helps relieve that homesick feeling just for a moment, one sweet or savory bite at a time.

So, which recipe is this post about: Grandma's Chocolate Pie. There are two pies my dad loves. Pecan pie & a Chocolate Pie. I miss my dad. I made this pie to remind me of the great man he is and how much he would love a slice of it.

Grandma's Pie Crust
For the crust (Makes enough for two. Cut the dough in half. Freeze the half for up to 6 months)
2 cups of flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk

Mix flour and salt. Mix oil and milk. Pour oil and milk into flour and salt and stir until combined into a dough. Can add more milk if dry. Separate into two balls (save one ball for another pie). Roll crust out between two sheets of wax paper, line a buttered pie pan with crust.

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie
Filling ingredients:
4 tablespoons of cocoa or 1 1/2 squares of baking chocolate
3/4 cups of sugar
5 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 tablespoon of butter

Meringue ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar

Mix your sugar, flour, salt, cocoa, eggs and milk (all except vanilla and butter) with a whisk.
Cook while stirring on medium until it bubbles and thickens, about five to 10 minutes. If it becomes lumpy, just beat out the lumps. (It will not get any thicker in the oven so cook until it's as thick as you want it.)

Remove from heat and stir in your vanilla and butter. Meanwhile, poke holes in your pie crust with a fork and bake it at 350 until it’s brown, about 20 minutes.


Beat your egg whites with salt and when they start to get fluffy add the sugar. Pour the chocolate custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites. Bake it until it the peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 - 15 minutes.

Grandma says: “It’s real good hot, wonderful cold and you can even eat it frozen—then it’s like a popsicle!”

Note: All that's happening in the oven is the browning of the meringue. So be sure and keep cooking the custard in the pan until it's your desired consistency.
My dad would love this pie. Since I can't send him a slice, I'll eat it in his honor. Love you, dad!
Until next time,

Saturday, August 25, 2012


I don't know why I started thinking about traditions. But I did. I started thinking about the things we do at holidays, birthday's, special occasions, random days, and traditions that I'd like to start. I think it's important to have traditions. It helps carry down a legacy to your kids. It gives everyone involved good memories, fun times and typically a lot of love and laughter are least that's always my goal.

This may not be a tradition, but I do it when we cook spaghetti. It might be considered just plain silly and I'm ok with that. Some traditions are suppose to be silly. I don't even know where I learned about this or where I read it, but every since that day we have done it. Do you know there's a funny way to check to see if spaghetti is ready? A really funny way. And the kids love it everytime.

See her hand behind her head...she has (what we hope) is cooked spaghetti....and yes she is about to throw it...

She threw it at the cabinet above her. If it sticks it's ready. If it does not stick, it needs more time to boil. Funny, right? Now, there have been times when we threw it and it was not ready but it stuck anyways...I never said this was full proof. But it does work 99% of the time. And if we catch a time when it doesn't work that just means we get to throw it again!!!!
Birthdays. I love birthdays. I love to celebrate the people who are in my life with the day they were born. Make them feel special and loved like they make me feel. My husband says I go WAY overboard on birthdays, but I think it's once a year and so who cares! ;-)
Every year on each of my kids' birthday I decorate their door like this. I have a ton of pictures of their doors throughout the years, but not on this computer. I love doing this even with my boys who are almost 17 and 13. I don't care how old they get, if they're in this house I will decorate their room door. When they move out, I may even go to their house and do this.
I love seeing their faces when they open up their door to a curtain of crepe paper, balloons, and the same birthday banner that I have used for each of them for YEARS.

Speaking of doors...I started this tradition this year on Valentine's Day. I wrote things I love or admire about each of my kids and taped their "special" hearts to their door.
This is Ethan's door. Our oldest. His hearts stayed on his door for months. I loved that. Some of his hearts say: Dimples. Leader. Out going. Good heart. Strong faith.
This is Kaitlyn's door. She's 3. Hers are on the lower part of the door so she could really see them. Her hearts say: Baby girl. beautiful. Love bug. Friendly. Girly.

This is Braylin's door. He just turned 13. His hearts say: Beautiful eyes. Good friend. Athletic. Shy. Loyal.
Adam and I have NEVER gone out for Valentine's Day. We say everyday around here is V-day. We don't need to celebrate it just one day a year. So, instead every year we take off from school. I make goodie bags for the kids. We play cheesy games. I bake a heart cake or cupcakes and we have a special Valentine's Day themed family dinner. It's always a hit with the kids. I'm sure that's b/c they get a free day from school. Whatever the reason, it's a favorite tradition of mine.
Holidays: Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. It has my favorite things: faith, food, family & football. A tradition that I got from my mom- I cannot remember ONE Thanksgiving that my mom didn't cook or one that we weren't at home. Thanksgiving dinner is ALWAYS at my house and I ALWAYS cook. Now, there have been times in the 17 years of our marriage that this tradition has been broken. Ask Adam. I'm miserable! I know. I know. It's a day for thankfulness, I should be happy and full of thanksgiving. But I just hate it when we go somewhere else and I don't get to cook. Plus, my menu is a tradition. It's ALWAYS the menu and I never change it. I love being in the kitchen and preparing my menu for my family. Some of the recipes ONLY get made on Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving even more this year b/c we have MORE family coming to our dinner!!! I love when my house is FULL of people. My table this year:

Again, my actual picture of my Thanksgiving table is on a different computer. I got this picture from Martha Stewart as an idea for this year's table.
Halloween- 2nd favorite holiday. A new tradition started last year for us: The Halloween Party. Everyone had to dress up. We had great food and played games. It was a blast. It'll happen every year now.
Donna was a hippie. Lesia was Queen bee. I was Red Riding Hood. I can't find the picture of the guys!!! Adam was the Big Bad Wolf. Darin was also a hippie. Wonder what we'll be this year?
The kids were: Braylin a jester. Jordan a cowgirl (she's hugging Brae.) Ethan was Elmo. Danielle and Caleb were a redneck couple. Preston was a knight.
Kaitlyn was Princess Belle.
Christmas: We have a lot of Christmas traditions. One is an advent box. I do not have a picture of this and can't believe it!!! I love our Advent box. I will get one soon. Here's one very similar.
I do something a little different. I put a little candy in each day. But I also put in a piece of paper with maybe a joke, an extra special gift like $5 Starbucks, a verse, a freebie like no chores. One year I put in no school for the day, movie night, stay up until midnight. One time I asked for the child to pray for their family. I change it up so my kids never know what to expect. I also rotate who goes first each year. This year Kaitlyn gets to go first, then Braylin, then Ethan. So each kid gets to open every 3rd door.

Another tradition: The gingerbread house. We've been making one every year for about 7 years.... since we moved to GA.
A new tradition this year: Elf on the Shelf
Excited about this one!!!
Another tradition: We always decorate together & Braylin always puts a fire on for us.
Christmas music is a must in this house. I have it on very lightly in the background while we do school. I love Christmas music. Don't you?
We have a Jesse tree that we decorate daily as we read about the Advent story. I can't find pictures of our Advent tree. I'll post one this year.
Christmas Eve: This tradition started last year for us but I hope to continue with it for many, many years. We go to Olive Garden. We go with a group of close friends and have a ball.
New Years...of course we have a PARTY!!!!
This picture says it all. I'm sworn to secretsy on what they're laughing at.
On New Years Eve we always drink Sparkling Apple Cider from wine glasses. We eat fabulous fatty food. I have never eaten black eyed peas on New Years Day. Have you??
 And our cake from last year's NYE party....
Walkfishory....a very special meaning. :-)

 A tradition I want to start this year will be for Thanksgiving. I want to make a thanksgivng tree. Each day in Nov. up until T-Day we write down somehting we're thankful for and hang it on our tree.
These are our traditions. These are the things & days that I hope my kids look back on with fond memories. I hope they carry down some of these traditions. I pray these days surround them with love, joy and comforts of home like they do me.
Until next time,

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Strawberry Bread Sandwich w/Fresh Whipped Topping


What comes to mind when you think of summer?

Scorching heat...the south set records this year!

Grilling out.... grilled hot dogs! I take mine with ketchup & mustard only, please.

Iced cold a glass of sweet lemonade to quinch my thirst.

Watermelon....sweet, juicy, cold watermelon....mmmmm....

Swimming in a cool pool...ah! So refreshing!

Fireflies....I love sitting outside on a long summer evening watching fireflies.

Strawberries....fresh, bright red, juicy strawberry shortcake! Yummy!

Summer holds such fun times and promise but yet in a blink of an eye it's over. Is it me or is summer the fastest season? 

Fall starts September 22nd. So we have about 5 weeks left...what are you going to do to finish up the season? I made this:

Strawberry Bread Sandwich with fresh whipped topping ... NOT Cool Whip!

I  will never buy Cool Whip again. Never. My friend Sandra told me about a better alternative. It's so easy and taste better than CW.

I don't have any pictures of me making fresh whipped cream, but it's so easy you don't need to see instructions. I promise.

Here's what you need: a bowl, about 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, sugar & blender.

Take your whipping cream and pour about 1 cup of it in the bowl. Pour some sugar in...just a little. You'll add some later if you need to. Get your blender, turn it on and whip the cream until stiff peaks form. About 4-5 minutes. Taste. If it needs some sugar stir in some sugar.  Done. That's it! And I gaurantee you it taste better than anything you could buy at the store.

I couldn't pick which one was the better picture so I am showing you all of them.

This is a little dark, but it still looks delish, huh?

Strawberry Bread Sandwich
Adapted from Pike Place Market

I changed this recipe a little. You can do that. Whatever suits ya that day. First, I didn't add nuts. Second, the actual name of this recipe is Strawberry- Nut Bread. Third, they serve it as a stand alone bread. It's delicious by itself. They give some ideas on how you could serve it, so really they leave it up to you on if you want to serve it alone or with toppings. I had two toppings available. I made a sugar and milk icing and the fresh whipped topping. My youngest son loved it with the icing and my older son & I loved it with the whip cream. My daughter & husband liked it plain. You could add fresh berries, ice cream, yogurt & granola, or dust the top with some powdered sugar. Fourth, I used a carton of fresh straberries. The recipe calls for 2 cups of frozen berries.

3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 c. chopped pecans
1 1/4 oil- they suggest a light vegetable, canola, corn or soy oil.
2 cups of frozen, unsweetened, sliced strawberries, thawed- they suggest that if you're going to use fresh berries to let them sit out on the counter 'til room temperature..about an hour. This way they can get juicy. My berries were very juicy. I didn't leave them out for the hour. I didn't measure 2 cups. I just cut all the berries in the carton into slices and let them sit while prepping the other ingredients. I didn't feel the need for them to get juicier, they had enough.

Preheat oven to 350* and grease 2 9x5 loaf pans with spray,

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, & sugar.

In a seperate bowl mix eggs, oil, strawberries, & pecans.

Now...another thing I didn't do...the recipe suggest making a well with the dry ingredients  & then add the wet ingredients. And then dividing the batter between the two grease pans.

I took my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and threw in all the dry ingredients. I used the flat beater to make sure they were all incorporated. Then I threw in all the wet ingredients. Once mixed together I divided into the pans.

Bake for 1 hour. I had one 9x5 and an 8x5 loaf pan so I had to bake the bigger one a tad longer. I just put foil on it after the hour so it didn't brown too much.

Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Turn out loaves. Slice into 8 slices per loaf and serve as you wish!

Enjoy this summer treat b/c before you know it you'll be making pumpkin bread! Ahhh....fall does sound nice.

Until next time,

Friday, August 10, 2012

My hearts content...

As a parent we all see things in our kids that make us tear up or fill our hearts with pride. We see them doing things that makes us laugh and then we see things we wish we never had. Over the years we forget these little moments. I was thinking about these "moments" the other day b/c I came across some pictures that I need to get into a scrapbook. Some made me laugh. Some made me sad. Some made me tear up. Some made me wish I could go back to the age they were at the time the picture was taken. I would tell myself to relax and enjoy them more. Being a parent is, without a doubt, the hardest job I've ever had. It makes you feel worthless, little, scared, pathetic, and downright lost at times. There are times that being a parent makes you feel joyful, pride, more love that you can ever imagine and downright happy. Sometimes the bad days outweigh the good days. Sometimes the good days make you feel like you've NEVER had a bad day! I love my children with an unconditional love they'll never know until they have children of their own. I fail everyday, but I gain more knowledge everyday in how God would want me to mother them. It is always my prayer that my children, no matter a good day or a bad, never doubt the love their father and I feel for them. There is never a day that goes by, not even a minute, that we are not thinking of how to be the parents they need us to be. It is my prayer that God would give us the wisdom, grace, love and compassion and to mold and teach Adam and I to be the parents he intended for us to be for Ethan, Braylin and Kaitlyn. They deserve that from us.

So, back to those little moments that fill our hearts with such emotions...

I love this picture of Braylin. There's nothing like being a carefree kid. This fills my heart with laughter.

Kaitlyn is full of life. She is always happy. This fills my heart with delight!

Ethan likes this pose. I have noticed through the years I have several of this pose. It's funny when I see them all together b/c he has changed in such dramatic ways throughout the pictures. This fills my heart with nostalgia.

Until next time,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Hand Made Egg Pasta

I have never made pasta from scratch. And especially not by hand. I've never considered doing it  b/c I buy pasta in bulk at Sam's. Why make it when I have 600 pounds of it sitting on the pantry shelf? Besides, I like simple & easy. It's nothing to toss in some pasta with a pot of boiling water. Set timer and drain. Nothing to it. However, I am in this cookbook group. The main premise of this group is to cook from another persons cookbook (within the group) and to challenge yourself while finding some incredible recipes.

When I took a glance at this recipe it was just that. A glance. I didn't give it a second thought. I bookmarked the recipes I wanted to try and hand made egg pasta didn't make the cut. Again, I have that 600 pounds of pasta all ready for some boiling water.

Then for some reason as I was getting the book ready to send off to the next member of the group, I asked myself if I had done one recipe that I was afraid of. My goal is to always learn something new and to become an amazing cook. I want to carry down a legacy of loving the kitchen and make memories my kids can share with their kids about mom being in the kitchen and great food. I want them to crave "mom's cooking" when they are older. I also want them to laugh with me at the mistakes I make in the kitchen. It is going to happen. As a matter of fact, I made a terrible chicken recipe just the other night. It was way too dry. The kids liked it and scarfed it down, but Adam and I gave that look to one another that said, "horrible".

So, I had not made one recipe I was afraid of. I made an incredible Patate e pomodori al forno aka Potatoes Baked with Tomatoes. It was awesome. I will make that again. I also had made a Granita di limone aka Lemon Granita that was so refreshing and delicious. I love anything lemon. I need to grow a lemon tree...anyway...

So, I had made nothing too hard. And then it hit me...MAKE THE HAND MADE EGG NOODLES. Yup, that'll make ya stretch. And it will teach you something new. Instead of packaging it up to mail, I opened up the book to the recipe and started Mise en place!

Adapted from Cook's Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking by Carla Capalbo
This recipe is for 1 - 2 servings.
1 cup flour
2 eggs
pinch of salt

(Did you know that that is all you need to make pasta? I didn't. Probably why I never considered making fresh pasta.)-- HEY! I'm learning!

You will need toppings: cheese, red or white sauce or whatever color you want, pepperoni, chicken, red pepper flakes, pepper, butter. etc....what are you in the mood for?

For more servings add one egg for every 1/2 cup of if I had 1.5 cups of flour = 3 eggs serves 4-6, 2 c. of flour = 4 eggs serves 6-8 etc.

Make a well in the middle of the flour. (BTW- let me apologize for the photos up front. I like to think I take better pictures normally, but these aren't that great.)

Add the eggs and pinch of salt. See the fork? Take the fork and gradually mix the eggs and flour until you have the below pic....

Roll until it's a nice elastic. Your fingers will be sticky, just add more flour. The excess flour gets shaken off and when you boil it, the flour washes away. Roll out the dough until paper thin (for spaghetti or angel hair.) I made mine a little thicker b/c I like a thicker  noodle.

Take a sharp knife or pizza cutter (that's what I used) and cut the dough into strips. You can cut them however you like...big, small, just remember the noodle will swell a bit once boiled.

Shake off excess flour and place in a bowl. Set aside. Get a pot of water boiling. Add salt to water.

Don't forget to give the kids some of the dough so they can kneed and cut, too. It's about memories and loving the kitchen, right?

Notice her sleeves are rolled up. She did that. Not me. She's serious about this noodle business.

Now, as tempting as it might be-- DO NOT add noodles until the water is a rapid boil. Once water is boiling, add noodles. They only need to cook 30 seconds after the water comes back to a full boil.

Drain but don't rinse the noodle. This keeps the good starchy goodness on them. Add your favorite topppings or sauce. I added red pepper, fresh shaved parmesean and romano and butter.

So, there ya have it! I challenged myself to do something I have never done before. I can't fib. I did feed my kids a different meal just in case I completely messed this up. Boy, did they miss out!

Until next time,

Perfectly Round Burgers

I love tips and tricks. Don't you? Why would you not love something that makes your life easier and more simple?? Right? I knew you'd agree.

I learned a new tip yesterday that will transform homemade future burgers in this house. Yes. It is THAT life changing!

My friend at Dear Lauren, Love Mom blogged about an amazing Frto Pie Burger her husband makes. She gave this tip in the post. I'm almost certian that I am going to use this trick when I make that burger. Try two awesome things out at once! Why not, man!?

So, the trick?

Take a lid. Any size lid. Small one for sliders. A bigger one for a bigger burger.

Put a piece of saran wrap on top of the underside of the lid.

Press your ground meat into the lid.

Take the burger out by lifting the saran wrap.

Viola! Perfectly round burgers! Don't believe me or need to actually see it? Go here: Perfectly Round Burgers!

I want a burger!

Until nect time,

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coconut Shrimp

Ever had a recipe that you wanted to make over and over b/c not only was it so easy, but delicious?! That is this recipe. You cannot mess it up. It's always tasty. It's not loaded in fat. It's always a hit with everyone.

1/4 cup of  sweetened shredded coconut (if you don't use sweetened coconut add 3/4 tsp of sugar to step 3)
1 tbsp. cooking oil
 1 lb. raw, deviened shrimp; patted REALLY dry
2 tbsp. butter
4 green onions; cut into 2 in lengths
1 tbsp. of finely minced garlic
3 tbsp. Rum ( you can use cognac or brandy, but I use Rum b/c it's not as strong. I sometimes use Coconut Rum.)
generous pinch of Sea Salt (I use Ocean's Flavor Low Sodium Sea Salt)
Angel hair pasta (You could also use another pasta or rice if you wanted. Or you can put it on a salad. Oooo!! A salad...I'm gonna have to try that!)

Some of the best cooking advice I ever recieved was Mise en place. It means to prep everything before you start cooking. Have it all out and ready. I LOVE this and it has changed my cooking for the better. I'm never hurried or rushed to get to the next ingredient. Love it.

 In a wok or frying pan add coconut and toast. Usually takes 4-5 minutes. Don't leave it and keep stirring. Watch it carefully. It can burn FAST! Once toasted, remove from pan and plate to cool.

Toasted coconut!

Start a pot of boiling water for the angel hair pasta. Salt water.

Wipe the wok/pan you used for the coconut clean. Set on high heat. When you add a bead of water & it instantly sizzles and evaporates, add oil & shrimp. Keep shrimp in a single layer. Flip and cook other side of shrimp. Cook thoroughly. If they're 100% defrosted, it takes about 5 minutes. Remove and plate.

Is your water boiling? If so, add pasta.

 Back to the same pan, turn heat to medium. Add butter and when it boils add onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Add Rum, salt and sugar if you did not buy sweetened coconut.

Stir and return shrimp to wok. Let it bubble and thicken just a bit. The sauce should cover the shrimp in a light coat.

Check pasta. When al dente, drain and plate a portion. Add shrimp mixture. Sprinle on toasted coconut.

I added red pepper flakes and shredded parmesan cheese. You can add anything you like or eat it as is. It's amazing either way.

This recipe is adapted from The Steamy Kitchen cookbook by Jaden Hair. I love this cookbook. She says if there was just ONE recipe you could cook from her book- it should be this one. If you make it you'll taste why.

Until next time,