Coconutty Shrimp

I spent the better part of one evening going back and forth to the fridge to see if anything for dinner had magically appeared. I was just trying to find something for myself and had no ideas.

Then I finally switched things up and checked out the freezer. When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a bag of frozen jumbo shrimp. Too early for Christmas quotes? No? Great!

I recalled adding coconut shrimp to my list. Baked Coconut Shrimp it was and there’s no time like the present!
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Ingredients:

6 jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined
3 tbs cornstarch
1 eggwhite, wisked
¼ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Dredge the shrimp in cornstarch
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Then into the egg white (whisking it makes it more dip-able since egg white stays goopy and stuck to itself.)cocoshrimp_egg_590_390

And finally into the coconut & panko (plain coconut will burn without some breadcrumbs in there)
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Lay on baking sheet. Does mine look small? I put these guys into my toaster oven and set it to bake!
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Bake for 8 minutes, flip, then bake for another 8 minutes.
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Voila!

I wanted something sweet and spicy to dip them in so I again checked the fridge. I did notice a crate of clementines I’ve been eating up the ying yang to keep up with them. Perfect!

I peeled a clementine and added it to a pot. I put in some apple cider, apple jelly, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. I brought it to a boil and mashed it up a bit then turned the temperature down until the shrimp were ready.
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These were so good and super easy. I figured I could whip them up anytime so I only made enough for myself to eat right then. They’d be great to prep in advance and just bake for guests. I hate frying things because of the mess, the grease, and the timing so baking them was much better. It also makes these a lot lighter.

My sauce needs some perfecting. I think I was on the right track but probably needed to refine the quantities.
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I’ll definitely make these again. My Mum would love them!

Watch Out Now: Food Truck Critique

If you’re not too fooded out from the holiday, here’s a wordy nugget about a fun fall activity. On a whirlwind weekend I managed to fit in my first ever Food Truck Festival. I’m an avid watcher of the Great Food Truck Raceand I enjoy food trucks whenever I can. I was SUPER excited about this festival. It was $5 to get in and I thought it was totally worth it.foodtruck_sign_590_390
Once inside the Suffolk Downs racetrack we saw a swarm of people because it also was a race day. I wonder if they throngs of people would have been there if there weren’t races? It was a beautiful day and so fun.

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I scoped out all the trucks before deciding. I’m not picky but I wanted my choice to be a good one.

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I ended up enduring the line at Lobsta Love. This food truck is normally near Harvard. I was 100% NOT impressed and wouldn’t do it again.

I expected a line. I didn’t expect to wait 25 minutes AFTER ordering for my food. Literally. I timed it. I ordered the lobster mac & cheese but unfortunately I didn’t realize it was going to be instant mac & cheese (minus the instant).

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It’s my own fault that I cheaped out. The sliders were $6 each and seemed very small. While spending some quality time in line (15 min or so)  I couldn’t see the menu and didn’t realize till afterwards that if I had chosen a slider I could have gotten the bisque shot for $1 which would have helped a tiny slider seem like enough.

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Mr. J waited in a line, got a crazy hot dog, ate it, and waited some more with me.

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While we waited and waited and waited, bisque came out of the truck, sliders, rolls, etc all came out. No mac & cheese. I was pretty disappointed when I saw the Annie’s Mac & Cheese powder go in. Bummer. I could have done that myself.

A bunch of us all waiting for mac & cheese asked if it was really coming or what. The owner said yes, but we were told it would take awhile when we ordered. I said no, I’d ordered from him and didn’t hear that. He’d give us our money back. I said I’d already put in 20 minutes of waiting after my order so I’d stick it out. I definitely gave him some ‘tude but he didn’t seem to care that we were waiting a pretty exorbitant amount of time. Watch out now sir, The Three Bite Rule was here!

I think he really could have thrown a few bisque shots our way, or opened the baggies of cookies they were selling to appease us. I’ve always felt really well taken care of when eating at Clover…not so much at Lobsta no-Love.

When I finally got my mac & cheese I was disappointed. There was about 1 normal fork-full of lobster split into about 3 bites. They dump some bisque on top of instant mac & cheese. Bahh. Sorry Lobsta no-Love, you weren’t impressive. Did I think you were cooking and cracking lobsters to order? Nope. Doubt it. How could it have taken so long? I still can’t figure it out.

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Now I’m going below the belt: why do they have a facebook page and a twitter account if they don’t use them? I get it you’re busy, but don’t have them if you a) don’t know how to use them or b) don’t bother to use them.

Anywho, the festival got a lot more fun when Mr. J and I discovered a FAST moving line for cookie ice cream sandwiches! Check ‘em out! Also, they know all about using their facebook and twitter accounts.

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We chose a gingerbread cookie with pumpkin ice cream. AMAZING! We split it and it was plenty. The cookie was perfect. It was strong enough to hold the ice cream but soft enough to bite into. The ice cream? Woah. So good.

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What a great idea…and more importanly, they know how to move their line though. Follow them on twitter or facebook (they know how to use ‘em).

Bottom line for food trucks: don’t run with the big dogs if you can’t keep up!

Honey Limey Shrimpy

Here’s a quick dinner I wanted to share. Today I’m off to NYC for work after only been home from my honeymoon for 10 days. I was away for the weekend too. Phew! What a whirlwind! November definitely quiets down so I can’t wait to get some fall-ish meals going!

One night we thought a his & hers dinner would be good so we shared some roasted asparagus and each made our own thing. I had some grilled shrimp and Mr. J made some beefy thing. Chicken fried steak maybe? The only trick was that I started the asparagus wayyy too early, and my shrimp didn’t take long to cook either. Our tiny kitchen isn’t really conducive to 2 chefs so it didn’t surprise me that the timing wasn’t perfect.
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Anywho, onto my made up marinated & grilled shrimp!

Ingredients

7 shrimp, peeled & deveined (I buy them frozen that way)
1 tbs lime salad dressing (or lime juice)
1 tbs honey
½ tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp crushed red pepper
salt & pepper

Directions

Soak 2 bamboo skewers in water for 5 minutes to avoid splinters
Whisk marinade together and let shrimp rest in it for 10 minutes
Grill 4 minutes on each side, flipping once
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The asparagus was just roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The shrimp was really delicious. It got a great carmelization from the honey and was perked up from the lime and red pepper.
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I like skewers just for the ease. Do you remember my ‘On A Stick’ appetizer for fried ravioli on a stick? I thought the stick just made it easier. Same story for the grilling.

I don’t always think about shrimp when I’m coming with up a quickie dinner but maybe I should!

Much Needed Scutra for Dinner

Before we return from our honeymoon, I needed to share a drool-worthy meal we had before the wedding.During major wedding planning crunch time we were lacking groceries, we were in need of a date night, and we definitely needed a fun distraction while racking our brains for creative table themes. The wedding wasn’t a DIY affair, but Mr. J designed everything and the table blurbs in frames was our only project. Luckily we had a gift certificate to Scutra in Arlington that was burning a hole in our pockets!
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It was such a blissful and relaxing evening. We got dressed up, kissed the pup goodbye, and headed to our reservation. Of course I scoured the website menu before going and honestly I’m sure I would have enjoyed everything on the menu. Love Mediterranean food!
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I started with the garlic baked muscles. Garlic butter and feta? YES PLEASE! They were beautiful and thought the feta was great for a touch of saltiness.
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Mr. J had the roasted tomato soup with Parmesan encrusted scallops. He just recently started to enjoy scallops and I think the Parmesan crunchy exterior was a perfect contrast in texture for him.
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These aps were awesome and got us really excited for the main dish. Each was a perfect size to leave us adequate room to keep eating!

I got seafood crusted salmon. Oh. My. Goodness. My perfectly pink salmon was topped with crab and lobster. It doesn’t get any better than that. It was served with an asparagus risotto and a pesto drizzle. This was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It was hot and flavorful. Such a great combination of flavors that didn’t overpower one another.
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Mr. J got a special, and boy was it special. He had 14oz sirloin steak with a butter and raspberry beer sauce over mashed potatoes. Mr. J heard it listed with the specials and was hooked. He loved it and finished every bite.
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I had a crisp chardonnay knowing I’d have seafood for dinner and Mr. J had a final Sam Adam’s summer ale. I enjoyed every bite. This was such a wonderful dinner. Mr. J was happy with his choices and we definitely got dinners we couldn’t/wouldn’t make at home. There was no room for dessert.

The reviews seemed mixed regarding the service and atmosphere. We thought it had a really nice atmosphere, our server was friendly, and I’d be happy to go back anytime. I liked that it was classy and well decorated, allowing us to dress up a bit for a really special meal.

Have you had a meal recently that you just thoroughly enjoyed AND appreciated happening right when you needed it? This was one for me. I’ll be back next week with LOTS of tastes to relay from my trip to Spain & Italy! Stay tuned!

Lobstah

Just as the end of summer my mum and I squeezed in a lobstah fest. All the non-seafood eaters had burgers, which they seemed to enjoy, though nothing compares to a lobster.
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I love them! I really prefer to eat them at home. Having a server checking on you while you’re dredging meaty chunks into sweet butter isn’t necessary. Also, I don’t don the plastic bib.The thrill is actually in the meat. Mr. J peered over since we were crackin’ away after the burgers were gone. He inquired if the tail or the claw was better. It really made me think. I don’t think I have a preference. I love it all. Check out the size of the claw!
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I had a lobster roll at Anthem this summer and was unimpressed. Lobster as a roll is my least favorite form since I prefer it hot and buttery.

“Lobstah” makes it really feel like summer.

Fish-Fish Tacos

I’m usually on my own for dinner a few nights per week when Mr. J plays hockey. Sometimes I go for leftovers, sometimes it’s an opportunity be lazy (read as: ramen), and sometimes it’s my chance to whip up something I wouldn’t normally make for dinner.  A week ago I made some fish tacos that were amazing. I grilled some mahi-mahi and called in some leftovers to complete it.

Do you remember the movie House Bunny? “Instead of the mahi-mahi can I just get mahi cause I’m not that hungry?” hahaha

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Ingredients:

2 pieces of marinated mahi mahi
veggie mix (corn, red peppers, or taco veggies of your choice)
1 tsp lime juice or lime salad dressing
salsa
1 10” flour tortilla

Directions:

Marinate and grill mahi mahi
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When cooked, fork the fish apart
Mix veggies and drizle with lime juice or lime salad dressing
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Warm tortilla and assemble taco
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These were really good and especially easy. I get the frozen mahi mahi from Trader Joe’s and swear by it. It’s the best anywhere. Remember I made pepperjack chicken and succotash recently? I saved the leftover succotash and that’s what ended up as my veggies for the tacos. Love it when a little bit of leftover something can make another meal complete!

I think a lime aioli or something creamy with a zing would have made these even better, but for an unplanned dinner, these were awesome. It was the perfect light but interesting dinner. I ate some leftover fish on a spinach salad the next day and loved it just as much.

bermuda BAHAMA come on pretty mama

Ohh thank you Beach Boys for such a catchy tune for my vacay. Sis and I returned from our trip in the Bahamas after having a great time. It was beautiful and we loved the cruise and island stay combo.

I usually felt delayed by the slow pace but at meals it was perfect! We wandered towards the shopping and restaurants after spending the day between the pools and beach. After checking out the local fare, we ended up on the porch at After Deck.
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Our waitress was adorable! She brought some warm, local, potato bread and butter to us. It may not look like anything fancy but it had great flavor!
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We shared eggplant fritters to start. They were good, but I think the eggplant was a bit too thick. As eggplant can be, they were a bit bitter. The garlic yogurt on them was amazing and counteracted the bitterness. I’ve always shredded the eggplant for fritters so it was a nice change.
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I got stuffed red snapper with fries. It felt like the perfect beachy meal. It was stuffed with crab and shrimp. I loved it. I ate all of the fish.
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Sis got the fisherman’s platter. She asked for no shrimp and to double up on anything else. It included fried conch, conch fritters, and a few other items. The conch is a very popular fish for them so she wanted to try it. I found it a bit chewy when left in big pieces like calamari can be but it was pretty comparable to a tougher scallop.
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I really loved my meal and want to cook more fish at home.
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If Phantom approves Amrheins…

So work gives me the day off for by birthday (yes, the bday posts continue) so I spent a leisurely day off before a celebratory bday dinner with Mr. J. They day wasn’t actually very lazy since I was cleaning and prepping for the Mac & Cheese taste off.Anywho, after feeling like a 50s housewife waiting for the man to get home, we went to dinner of my choosing. I love Phantom Gourmet and had seen Amrheins and really wanted to try it. I had seen Lobster Mac & Cheese and some steaks they boasted as better than downtown’s steakhouses.
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This Southie original was full of historical charm. They have the oldest hand-carved bar in America. Since they don’t take reservations for parties fewer than 6, we took our chances. We only waited about 15-minutes…just long enough to grab a drink at that bar I was talking about!

Our waitress had an intense Boston accent which added to her charm. The wait for our meals wasn’t as charming but since it took so long, they threw in another round of drinks-on the house. The menu is pretty sizeable. I thought it was cute that they had some unexpected specials like boiled dinner.

I got the Lobster Mac & Cheese despite the fact that I’d be having the taste off the following day. Since I was privy to the sizeable portions mentioned on Phantom Gourmet, I went with the half size and it was perfect. Perfect in size, perfect in noodle texture, perfect in lobster quantity.
amrheins_lob_290_200Love love love that they garnish it with a fried lobster claw. How cool is that?! Also, I got mine without the peas. I’m pretty sure peas are the the only veggie I don’t care for.

Mr. J got the Cowboy Steak. He was going back and forth and went with this one and steak tips. The Cowboy had blue cheese and carmelized onion butter on top. Yum! He really liked it and thought it was cooked perfectly.
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When I heard his came with mixed veggies I was thinking what you are probably thinking: broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots? Nothing of the sort! The peapods, shreaded carrots, and onions looked amazing. His mashed potatoes were also, very noteworthy.

We had already thought about dessert but since the meals took so long, and we had some drinks, we decided to skip it. Since we were pleasantly full, keeping it that way was the right choice.

Outside the restaurant I lost my camera case taking a photo. I took it as a sign for a new one and everytime I see the new one I’ll remember this birthday!

P.S. Birthday meals are official concluded. I bet you wish yours was as long and delicious as mine was!