Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp with Coconut Rice, Fried Plantains and Avocado

There are no words for how delicious this dinner was on Sunday evening.  It’s insane how much flavor is packed in one bowl of food.

At the beach I picked up a pound of our favorite shrimp that we then marinated in a mixture of olive oil, honey, garlic, ginger, jalapeño (I used one), cumin and cilantro.  We let our marinate for a few hours but you can let it rest from 30 minutes to 24 hours.  The coconut rice is a must!  Jasmine rice is cooked in coconut milk instead of water for the creamiest and richest rice that has the slightest hint of coconut flavor.  Don’t skip this step!  I added a pinch of salt once the rice was cooked.  The plantains are also something you cannot skip.  I repeat, do NOT skip the plantains.  Plantains can be found in most grocery stores – in fact, I picked mine up at Walmart.  Yellow plantains are best for frying – a little sweeter than the green/less rice plantains.  The plantains are fried for 1 to 2 minutes on each side and then sprinkle with flaky salt as soon as they come out of the hot oil.

The shrimp take such a short amount of time to cook – so do this last!  Melt a small amount of butter in a pan and then sauté the shrimp until almost cooked through.  Add in the butter and allow it to melt and simmer with the shrimp until browned – but NOT burnt.  Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk.

Serve the shrimp by spooning the rice into the bowl and then top with the tantalizing shrimp, crispy plantains and creamy avocado.  Give the whole bowl a pop of freshness with a sprinkle of fresh basil.

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I promise you’ll love this dish.  So many flavors.  So many textures.

And despite saying I have no words for this dish, I just wrote 315.

Bacon & Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers + Avocado Spinach Artichoke Dip

I’m back from a wonderful couple of days at the beach for our third annual Flamingo Fling.

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Flamingo Fling is basically an excuse for all the Bell ladies to get together without the men and enjoy a weekend doing whatever, whenever we want.  And of course we use ALL the things “flamingo.”

After enjoying a little sunshine on Friday afternoon, it was time for a fun flamingo drink!  My Momma made a delicious blackberry lemonade spritzer that was sweet and bubbly.  Maggie spiked hers with a little Prosecco – last year she was the pregnant one.

Typically on our first night, we dine “appy hour” style.  Meaning lots of small bites and appetizers.

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We had quite the assortment.  I made bacon and goat cheese stuffed mini peppers which exceeded my expectations.  Sweet mini peppers were stuffed with a  mixture of goat cheese, cream cheese, chives, garlic and crispy bacon before being baked and then dipped in a balsamic sweet chili sauce.  A super easy recipe that I’ll definitely be making again.  Momma made avocado spinach artichoke dip that was addicting when paired with crunchy pita chips.  The food processor does all the work with this recipe – whirling together avocado, lemon juice, garlic, spinach, artichokes, a little EVOO and red pepper flakes.  Go a little heavy on the salt – it needs it, especially when paired with raw veggies. Maggie picked up some fantastic chicken salad from a local restaurant and she also provided a variety  of dark chocolate for dessert.

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The rest of the weekend was full of relaxing, learning about Young Living essential oils, sun, a little shopping and more eating!

My heart is always full after Flamingo Fling and I’m already looking forward to our weekend together next year.

Friday Favorites

The weekend is here!  I’m heading to the beach a little later this morning for our third annual Flamingo Fling.  That means I’m leaving Big Guy behind and I’m meeting my Momma and sister at the beach for some girl time (aka flamingling).  I’m excited to see them both and imagine there will be lots of “baby” talk while we’re together.  After taking two weeks off from Friday Favorites, I’m back!

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Favorite Nostalgia:  Salted Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars.  These sweet treats remind me so much of the ice cream Snickers bars I used to love growing up.

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Favorite Date Night:  Creamed Corn Pasta with Fried Herbs.  We have so much corn and I would love nothing more than to pair it with some homemade pasta.

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Favorite Splash:  Cha Cha Tassel Drop Earrings.  How pretty are these?  I adore the colors.

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Favorite Meal Prep:  Crunchy Thai Peanut & Quinoa Salad.  Say hello to my lunch for next week.  I think this would be perfect to prep on Sunday and then eat all week long.

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Favorite Addicting:  Grain Free Salted Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies.  Ummm, I need these.  Homemade pecan butter gets transformed into bars that look ridiculously delicious.

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Favorite Daydream:  44 Islands That Should Be at the Top of Your Travel Bucket List.  I could scroll through these pictures all.day.long.  #dreamingofournextvacation

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Favorite Side Dish:  Mexican Street Corn Salad.  This would be perfect for a summer potluck!

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Favorite Sunday:  Southwestern Taco Pizza.  I think I know what I’m making for our next Pizza Sunday.

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Favorite “Appy” Hour:  Caprese Salad Platter.  Part of me wants to dig in because it looks so delicious and the other part of me wants to just stare at it because it’s so gorgeous.  (p.s. burrata for life)

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Favorite Sip:  Pink Flamingo Punch Cocktail.  I couldn’t resist.  To make this a mocktail, I’d simply leave out the rum.

Cheers!

Balsamic Roasted Veggie and White Bean Pasta

Yesterday I shared an indulgent dinner and today I share a recipe that is LOADED with veggies.  In fact, you’ll feel good eating this dinner and serving it to your family.

Dinner starts by roasted all of the vegetables including broccoli, sliced mushrooms, red bell pepper, zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes and red onion.

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The veggies were tossed with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried herbs, garlic, salt and EVOO before roasting at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  While the veggies were cooking I went ahead and brought my pasta water to a boil so that it was ready when I needed it.  No one has time to watch a pot of water come to a boil.  I also prepped a batch of skinny pesto.

When the veggies were almost done cooking, I tossed the pasta into the boiling water and let it cook until al dente (about 9 minutes for gluten-free pasta).

As soon as the pasta was perfectly cooked, it was drained and then mixed with the white beans, pesto and parmesan before adding all the yummy veggies.

To serve, I sprinkled a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes over my portion.

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Another successful dinner loaded with veggies from the garden.

Not only is this a great dinner option but it’s perfect to make ahead and have for quick lunches throughout the week.  The portion size is large and the recipe makes a TON of food.

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Pesto Caprese Pizza

I love pizza.  And with our garden producing lots and lots of beautiful basil and tomatoes, there’s no better time to make a caprese pizza.  

This caprese pizza is a little different because you make a basil vinaigrette (verrrry similar to the cilantro one I made for the salad) that serves as the sauce/base for the pizza.  I should also add that the basil vinaigrette is one of Gaby’s most popular recipes and can be used in SO many different ways.

The basil vinaigrette is made by whirling together a shallot, lots of fresh basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, EVOO, red wine vinegar and salt.  This can be made in advance and keeps for about a week in the fridge.

We made are favorite dough and then pre-baked it for about 10 minutes before adding the toppings.

Toppings include a generous slather of the basil vinaigrette, lots and lots of shredded mozzarella (always use fresh!) and halved cherry tomatoes.  I also shook things up a bit and added a little bit of goat cheese for a little tang.  Totally optional – I simply had some and wanted to use it.  Bake until the crust is brown and cooked through and the cheese is melted.  Finish with a sprinkle of fresh basil.

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Like I said, I love pizza.  And I think you’ll love this one, too.

Loaded Grilled Steak Salad

Oh, hi!  Unfortunately I can’t tell you I’ve gone missing because of a fabulous trip somewhere; the truth is that our internet was down.  Not an exciting excuse but a valid excuse.

But I’m here and making it up to you with a delicious dinner you MUST make.  This salad screams summer and it’s quite possibly one of my favorite salads ever.  Bold statement, if I do say so myself.

The only time-consuming part of this recipe is marinating time.  So basically you’re not doing much work after you place the flank steak in a mixture of EVOO, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, red pepper and pepper.

The beef marinates for about 2 hours and then grilled to your liking (medium-rare around our house).  While Big Guy manned the grill, I prepped the salad ingredients.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Fresh salad greens
Tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes from our garden and halved them.
Nectarines – You can totally use peaches but we’re currently obsessed with nectarines.
Avocado Slices
Sliced Green Onion
Cilantro Vinaigrette – quite possibly the best part of the salad.

I tossed the greens with the vinaigrette to make sure that the flavor was on every.single.bite.  Then top with the other ingredients plus the sliced flank steak.

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Not only is it delicious but it’s a beautiful salad.  This is simple enough for a low-key evening at home but it’s quite a stunner and would be totally acceptable to serve if you have dinner guests.

I promise I won’t disappear again!

 

 

Friday Favorites

Plans this weekend revolve around keeping cool in this summer heat wave. Ways to stay cool:  go to the pool and stay IN the pool; staying home and cooking epic summer meals; or going out to lunch where the AC is blasting and cool drinks are flowing.

So while I’m trying to not think about the heat – here are my favorites from the week!

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Favorite Sunday:  Strawberry Pizza with Bacon and Caramelized Onions.  We don’t have many plans set in stone this weekend (see above) however, “pizza Sunday” hasn’t happened in a couple of weeks so I’m thinking that needs to happen.

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Favorite Craving:  Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies.  These would be worth turning on the oven.  Salty. Sweet.  CHIPS IN COOKIES!

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Favorite Dream House:  Katie Lee’s Hampton House is For Sale.  Rarely do I find a home in which I like everything.  Until now.  Everything about this house is perfection.  Except the price tag.

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Favorite Dinner Party:  Go To Summer Menu – Bo Ssam Dinner Party.  Don’t let the name turn you away – it’s basically slow roasted pork that gets turned into lettuce wraps with ALL the toppings.  Delicious, right?
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Favorite Appetizer: Skillet Cheesy Corn Dip.  Would it be bad to eat this as diner?  Asking for a friend.

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Favorite Summer:  Loaded Caprese Grilled Cheese.  Thick sourdough bread, melted mozzarella, fresh tomato and garlic sauce, and herbaceous pesto.  I can’t deal.

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Favorite Food for Thought:  Marriage Isn’t About Your Happiness.  Because the more we give, the better we become. Real love is not self-seeking, and it will always cost you.

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Favorite Weeknight Dinner:  Chipotle Black Bean Roasted Veggie Enchilada Casserole.  I need some Mexican-inspired food in my life.  This could do the trick.

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Favorite Tips and Tricks:  How to Print Mix in Your Home.    I’m obsessed with Gray Malin’s photography and I dream of owning one of his prints.

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Favorite Cocktail:  Rosé and Watermelon Sunshine Spritzers.  The best thing on a hot day is an ice cold drink.

CHEERS!