Grilled Tequila Lime Culantro Shrimp

August 26, 2014

Tequila Lime & Culantro Shrimp garnished with lime and mango

Tequila Lime & Culantro Shrimp garnished with peppers, lime and mango


Summer screams Tequila, doesn’t it?  This month I am participating in a fabulous virtual progressive dinner just in time for Labor Day!  I made sumptuous shrimp for our appetizer and they are refreshing and light, perfect for a summer barbecue.  If you don’t have an outside grill, these can be made just as easily in your oven.  I have featured culantro in the recipe, which is an herb I happen to love.  It is  a different plant to cilantro entirely–it has a stronger flavor and is fabulous when paired with basil if you are new to this herb.  It is very popular in Latin countries and happily it will grow it year round in my patio herb garden.

Grilled Lime Tequila and Culantro Shrimp

Grilled Lime Tequila and Culantro Shrimp
Adapted from




Tequila Lime Culantro Shrimp

Tequila Lime Culantro Shrimp

 Stop by and visit all of the wonderful blogger links below to get recipes for the full summer cookout!

Main Course








Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

 We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

This month’s theme is Summer Barbecue hosted by Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake. You’ll love all the summertime recipes that will be perfect for your next cookout or Labor Day gathering.

Florida Citrus Salt

February 24, 2013

Here is a simple recipe for preparing a citrus salt that you can use on seafood, chicken, meats, potatoes (any vegetables really), rice, pasta and in your salad dressings.  We love it on our popcorn too!  I use so much citrus to prepare my jams, and this is a great way for me to make sure that the zest does not go to waste.  Make sure your citrus is not treated with pesticides and be sure to scrub it well and dry before zesting.  I use the microplane zester myself.   You can vary the amounts of citrus for your taste, I happen to like it heavier on the lemony side.

Florida Citrus Salt

Florida Citrus Salt


Peach Ginger Cardamom Pie for Pie Day!

June 20, 2012

Cardamon Ginger Peach Pie

Here is a recipe for a lovely pie I baked today to particpate in Pie Party 2012  across the country!  I have combined fresh peaches with cardamom, crystallized ginger and a few scrapes of nutmeg to make a luscious fruit filling.   The crust comes from one of my standard go to books, The Joy of Cooking.



Peach Cardamom Ginger Pie with Lattice Crust


Fresh Orange, Soursop, Vanilla Bean and Bourbon Jam

April 6, 2012

I myself am not a great lover of marmalades.  My husband, on the other hand, loves the sweet bitterness they impart on the tongue….whereas I can only think of bile to be honest.   But I am so grateful to be living in the midst of citrus heaven here in Central Florida.  I have access to a small grove of orange and grapefuit trees in Apopka where I can go to pick oranges to my heart’s content.  I created a new jam this year combining these fresh oranges with frozen soursop pulp.  I am usually a purist and like to stick with fresh fruit only–but until I can grow my own soursop, I will be using the frozen pulp that I can purchase at our local hispanic store.   Soursop tastes like a combination of strawberries and pineapple and almost to me a bit “watermelony” with citrus undertones.   It is known as guanabana in the Carribean countries and is used to make fruit drinks, smoothies and ice creams.  I was introduced to this fruit by my Columbian friends who make glorious popsicles each summer using the frozen pulp.

This recipe does not even use any of the zest of the fruit and to me has all the sweet qualities that citrus has without any of the “tough” bitter bits!  The preparation is a bit intense, but it is so worth it when you tuck into your fresh preserves long after the season has passed.


Fresh Orange Soursop Jam with Ladyfingers and Expresso

For the preparation, I take the whole oranges, I cut them in half, then quarter them.  I place all of these orange quarters in a large working bowl,  and then I carefully cut the flesh out of the skin and “clip out” the membrane containing the seeds.  I save the seeds and membranes in a ziplock and then freeze, so I can use in my other jams that require more pectin.  These fresh orange sections have plenty of pectin and do not need the added seeds to help the jam come together to a beautiful consistency.  You will have lots of juice on your cutting board, keep scooping up the juice as you work and add to your completed bowl of orange flesh, all of these juices add to the flavor!  Do not worry at all about how the oranges look, just add all the tender bits that you can.  Once the fruit is added to your jam pot, you will use an immersion blender to break the fruit down into the bit size pieces that make this preserve so wonderful.  I cook mine in a large french copper jam pot, you may use any type of wide bottomed pot that you have in your kitchen–the heavier the better.  This jam will require standing and stirring towards the end of the cooking process, it cannot be left to cook on its own.



Droolworthy Orange Soursop Vanilla and Bourbon Jam





Orange, Soursop Vanilla Bean & Bourbon Jam on Punk Domestics

Spring and My Favorite Banana Bread

March 23, 2012

And so it is Spring once more.   I went outside to pluck a lemon from my tree, and I found a beautiful nest with three precious eggs which will be hatched in the next week.  Momma Cardinal was off for a quick bite and soon enough returned to the nest after I photographed her perfect eggs.  The seasons tend to blurr here, as it is always green and full of flowers, but the birds always let me know that the weather will be changing and all will be renewed.

Here is a recipe for my favorite Banana Bread, the one that my Mom always made when I was growing up.   The only time this was made in my house was when we had to “use up” the overripe bananas,  and I have continued the tradition in my own family.  I don’t know where the recipe originated, if it was with my Mom or her Mom, or a magazine from long ago.  It is not overly sweet, but nice and moist from the addition of sour cream.   This is considered a quick bread because it uses the addition of baking powder and soda as opposed to yeast.   I baked mine in a 10 1/4 by 4 1/4 clay baker, but you can use the standard loaf pan and adjust the cooking time to 55 minutes.  This recipe can also be easily doubled.



Driscolls Berry Moments

November 6, 2011


On November 4, I was fortunate to be able to participate in a Virtual Tasting Event put on by Driscolls Berries.  This was in essence a live twitter party in which we syncronized our twitter accounts by logging into a Driscoll’s Platform using hashtag #driscollsmoments.  We then joined a live video stream to watch Chef Rick Rodgers preparing not only the recipes we received earlier, but also giving fabulous tips for cooking your holiday turkey.  The event was coordinated by Steven Gilberg of @winetwits,  and I really was delighted to see all the techology working together to make it a truly fabulous event!  We received our goody bag almost two weeks earlier which included berry coupons, a Thanksgiving 101 Cookbook by Rick Rogers, a berry strainer, a flash drive with tons of recipes and an apron, all put together in a reusable Driscoll’s tote bag.  With recipes in hand, I invited a few of my close friends that could attend and set about to have my little get-together which seldom happens at my home anymore.  My dining room has been taken over with jars, ready to be labeled for my markets, and gifts, papers, and crates in queue ready to be shipped across the country at a moments notice.   I ask everyone that comes in through the front door to please close their eyes and remember what my home used to look like before I started my business three short years ago!  And, I have to say, that I was really thrilled to partner with Driscolls as I use their berries exclusively in all of my jams.  At 8:00 pm on Friday night, my friends came over, we enjoyed our appetizers and I logged into the Driscolls website for our event.  Bloggers and Social Influencers from across the country (several of which I am honored to know!) were tweeting about their party and we were all joined together to watch the live cooking event.  It was really, really lovely is all I can say.  Chef Rick Rogers is a hoot and I would have him over anytime.  I picked up a few turkey tips which is always wonderful, and now I will put them into action this Thanksgiving.  His book is available on Amazon, ahhh… I will always have a soft spot for those Jersey boys.

I selected three of the recipes I received to prepare for my party, I want to share them with you here now as they are perfect for the upcoming holidays.

I also invite you to enter the Driscolls Sweeter Moments contest for your chance to win a Viking Cookware set worth over $1,300 and second prize chances to win $100 coupons to purchase fabulous Driscolls berries.





Acorn Squash with Raspberry Sauce





Wild Rice and Raspberry Dressing





Whole Grape Jam

October 14, 2011

Whole Grape Jam on Toast

I have always wanted to try to make grape jam, but the needs of my business have always taken a front row to lots of things I would like to try.   I love grapes, I get asked for grape jam probably once a week at my farm stand, so I scoured the internet to research and find some recipes I could work with.  My two favorites were from two women I really admire, one from @drwinne on her blog Healthy Green Kitchen and another from Kaela over at Local Kitchen.  I wanted to combine elements from both of these recipes and techniques.  I purchased seedless red table grapes and I was hoping the seeds did not provide all of the pectin I was going to need to make this recipe a success.  You will need a Vitamix or a very powerful blender to get the skins fine enough so that they just dance around your tongue when the jam is finished.  So…I can assure you this jam is easy to make, gels beautifully,  and tastes better than any storebought grape jam I have ever tasted!   Enjoy this 🙂




The Season for Peach Crisp

August 13, 2011

Peaches began to appear in Florida three months ago!  I have watched them come in from Georgia, South Carolina and hopefully very soon, gorgeous peaches from Pennsylvania.  Our local Florida peaches were small and beautiful, but I must say they are getting better and better as we move up the coast.   I have canned some glorious pie filling which is available at my market stands in Winter Park and at Lake Eola for those that are local to me.  I have wanted so much to begin to post recipes that make use of the seasons bounties.  This recipe uses one 16 oz jar of my pie filling along with 6 other ingredients–what could be easier on a warm summer evening?


Finished Peach Crisp

Recipe Development

July 15, 2010

One of my favorite parts of my business are the recipe creation. I get to sit and do a bit of research on recipes that are already working out in the world and have been created by those who have come long before me. I really enjoy doing the research and love the quietness of being at the computer and then pouring through my cookbook collection. I usually use about four different recipes to create my “base” recipe. I then have to sit and crunch the math to work the proportions and ensure the recipe maintains the correct acid proportions. For me, then comes the best part. I kind of go into this zone and rely on my intuition to add or layer new spices and flavors into the mixture. I guess this is where Wendy the Witch comes in….bubbling and brewing! It is the most creative and exciting part for me, when I just get to totally relax, have fun and trust myself, it is what I call divine. More on this later 🙂