Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pan Seared Lime Shrimp - The Best Thing I Ate All Summer

Texas is a beautiful place to live, with lots of previously unknown-to-me perks, that have enhanced and improved our lives in pleasantly unexpected ways. For example,  we enjoy 2 extended seasons that are compatible with Grilling, Spring and Autumn. Unlike New Jersey, the summer is NOT the best time for grilling, at least for a Yankee, as it's really much too hot outside for THIS Jersey Girl. During the summer we actually do a lot of indoor cooking, and this year we did that cooking with a new toy, a cast iron pan.

Everyone has a cast iron pan... I know!
But we didn't. Now we do! I 
love this thing! 

Because the technique for pan frying is a fairly quick process, we like to cook this way during the summer, as it keeps the house from heating up. So, when my husband came home from Academy Sports with a new pair of sneakers, AND a 14 inch cast iron pan, I knew we'd be using it to pan fry that first nights dinner, a few strip steaks. We had huge success that first night, and set out to cook as much as we could using it over the course of the next few days. A few days turned into pretty much the entire summer and all of fall. We are so in love with this pan, that we bought it a brother over this past weekend. A cast iron dutch oven!

One of the first things we tried with the pan was some shrimp. Very simple with a little salt and pepper and a little garlic and lemon. It was perfectly done and very flavorful. Since then we have made dinner in this pan with the sear technique several times a week, and I'd have to say the shrimp dish is, hands down, the best of the summer. Quick to the table, full of flavor, and friendly to our Paleo diet.  As a recipe does, our pan seared shrimp evolved from that first day with Lemon to what I would call absolute perfection, a simple, spicy, and zesty pan fried lime shrimp with fajita seasoning. I serve it with a side dish of coconut lime risotto and some steamed asparagus! Yummm!

Quick and Spicy Pan Seared Lime Shrimp

Spicy Pan Seared Lime Shrimp

2 Pounds Raw Shrimp (21 -25 count, approx 50) thaw, clean, tails on, and pat dry.
Marinade for 10 min, then lay on wire rack.

3 Tablespoons Light Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons  Lime Juice
1 Tablespoon of White Wine
Zest from 1 Lime
3 Cloves Garlic, Crushed

Allow Shrimp to drip dry for 5 minutes, then sprinkle each side with a generous amount of Fajita Seasoning. About 3 tablespoons total.

Pan fry shrimp in 4 batches, in 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil and 1 teaspoon Butter in a very hot pan for 3 minutes on each side. Deglaze with lime juice before removing from pan.
Dust with lime zest, and serve with Coconut Lime Risotto.

Quick and Tasty Pan Fried Lime Shrimp

Brown the rice

Coconut Lime Risotto

2 Tablespoons oil
1 1/2 cup Diced Onion
2 Tablespoons Garlic Mojo (Roasted Garlic Paste)
 -or- 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Arborio blended rice
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 cups chicken stock or broth (hot)
2 cups coconut milk (room temperature)
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp coconut flavoring
1/4 cup toasted coconut for garnish
Zest from 1 lime


In medium high pan, Saute onion and mojo or garlic in oil until soft.
Add rice and shredded coconut. Stir while toasting. Bring to soft brown color, about 3 minutes.
Beginning with the chicken stock, add a few tablespoons at a time to deglaze the pan. Then add a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. continue alternating between broth and milk stirring to absorb the liquid.
When you've absorbed half the liquid (2 cups) into the rice pour the rest (other 2 cups) in and bring to a light boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and continue cooking for another 8 to 10 minutes. turn off heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
sprinkle with toasted coconut, or lime zest.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dilly Cucumber Salad

A wonderful picnic side dish, or healthy, guilt-free snack, this cucumber and dill salad highlights the fresh taste of dill with the crisp coolness of cucumbers. substituting honey for refined sugar, and yogurt for sour cream or mayonnaise helps keep this dish clean, and guilt free.

Dilly Cucumber Salad

1 large Cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 Roma tomato,  thinly sliced

2 Tablespoons white vinegar
3 Tablespoons honey, warmed
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise (or yogurt)

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Assemble sliced vegetables in bowl
Whisk vinegar, honey, and mayonnaise until smooth, add dill, salt and pepper, then toss with sliced veggies.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spicy Mama Mia Meatball Burgers

Mama Mia Meatball Burgers 
with Sweet Heat Roasted Pepper Marinara and Garlic Bread Buns

My entry in The 2015 Saucy Mama Blogger Recipe Contest, is this crunchy, Meatball-styled, Grilled burger, topped with a spicy, Roasted Pepper and Sun-dried Tomato Marinara, and served on a toasted garlic bread bun.
Inspired by a request of my husbands, to make a meatball sub into a gourmet burger, I've had the idea for this burger in the back of my mind for almost a year. I knew right away, when I tasted the Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade that I had the exact ingredient to finally make this burger a reality.
The Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade has a tangy zip that brings this Marinara Sauce to life, and is the perfect topping for a crunchy, meatball-styled Burger.

Garlic Bread Buns

8 small Kaiser rolls, split
6 T Butter, melted
8 T Saucy Mama Parmesan Garlic Marinade
1 T minced garlic
2 T ground Italian seasoning
2 Cups Shredded Cheese Blend

Whisk butter into Saucy Mama Sauce slowly, until blended, mix in garlic and Italian seasoning. Chill in fridge for 10 minutes, to allow easier spreading. Spread onto split buns and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove tops from pan, and sprinkle cheese blend onto bottom buns. Bake for 2 more minutes.

* For Shredded Cheese Blend I used Provolone, Parmesan, and Fontina* 

Sweet Heat Roasted Pepper Marinara

1 T Olive Oil
1 T Butter
1/4 Cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, diced
1/4 Cup Red Onion, finely diced.
1 T Minced Garlic
1 T Ground Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Roasted or Fresh, Red Peppers, diced
4 oz Tomato Paste
1 Cup Beef Stock
1/2 Cup Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade

In Saucepan, Saute sun-dried tomatoes and red onions in butter and oil for 5 minutes on medium high heat.
Add garlic and Italian seasoning, continue to simmer another minute until garlic begins to turn golden-brown. 
Add Roasted Peppers and Paste. Mix well, then allow to brown in pan, cooking another 3 to 5 minutes. 
De glaze pan with beef stock, and stir until bits stuck on pan loosen.
Reduce heat to simmer, add Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade, Continue to cook on low heat until sauce is reduced. 

The Meatball Burger Patty

2 lbs Ground beef blend of your choice
4 Tablespoons Saucy Mama Cracked Pepper Marinade
2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
2 Tablespoons Burger Seasoning of your choice
1 Cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Form 8 burger patties. Brush each patty with Saucy Mama Cracked Pepper Marinade. Mix Italian Seasoning with Burger seasoning, and sprinkle generously over each patty. Sprinkle each with Panko, and gently press in. Flip each patty over, and repeat process of brushing with sauce, sprinkling with seasons and Panko, and pressing.
roll each burger, like a wheel, in leftover bread crumbs.
Refrigerate until ready to grill.
Grill to temperature preference.

Note - Because these are burgers and NOT meatballs, we don't cook them all the way through, but chose to serve them cooked medium rare to medium. My intention was to have all of the flavors of a meatball, while keeping the patty a burger. This is why I do not mix the seasonings and breadcrumbs into the patty, and chose to coat them instead. The result is a juicy burger patty with a crunchy texture, and the flavors of a meatball. 


 Brush sliced Red Onion and Red Peppers with Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade, sprinkle Italian Seasoning, and bake for 15 minutes at 425. Flip half way through cooking.

Use roasted vegetables in Marinara, and to top burgers.

To purchase Saucy Mama Sweet Heat Marinade, Saucy Mama Parmesan Garlic Marinade, or Saucy Mama Cracked Pepper Marinade, or any of their gourmet sauces,marinades, or mustard, Visit Barhyte Specialty Foods.

The 2015 Saucy Mama Blogger Recipe Contest is a World Food Championship Preferred Qualifying Event. The winner will receive a Golden Ticket to compete at the 2015 WFC, this November in Kissimmee, Florida, $500 Cash Prize and $1,000 Travel Stipend for travel to the WFC. 

The World Food Championships is THE cooking event at the end of every year. Over 400 Chefs, Professional Competitors, and Home Cooks will gather in front of thousands of fans to face off in a 9-category showdown to find the best. At the end of the week-long competition, one lucky competitor will hold the title of World Food Champion and a check for $100,000!

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Candied Bacon & Pineapple ON A STICK!

Yesssss, ON A STICK!

Just a fun little snack for movie night, Candied Bacon and pineapple on a stick, served with a cool lime dip. Yumm!

Candied Bacon & Pineapple on a Stick, With Cool Lime Dip

10 Slices Thick-Cut Bacon
10 wooden skewers
1 Can (14 oz) Sliced Pineapples
1/4 Cup Saucy Mama Cracked Pepper Marinade
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

Assemble bacon and pineapple on skewers. Mix Saucy Mama Cracked Pepper Marinade with cayenne pepper, and orange juice.
 Baste skewers with mixture.

Sprinkle brown sugar onto skewers on all sides, pressing in to coat.
 On wire rack, over foil-covered pan, bake skewers for 1 hour, turning every 10 to 15 minutes or so, until bacon is cooked through.
They will get crunchy after they're removed from oven.

Cool Lime Dip
8 oz Cream Cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 T lime juice
1 (6oz) container lime yogurt.

cream cheese in mixer until smooth, add sugar slowly, add lime juice and yogurt, whip until smooth. chill.

~*~To get your Saucy Mama Cracked Pepper Marinade, or other Sauces, Marinades, or Mustards, visit Barhyte Specialty Foods ~*~

 Don't forget to Comment to #Win a #SaucyMama Prize Pack, by visiting my Facebook Page, 
A Jersey Girl in Texas. Find the Post titled "Are You Saucy". and comment to enter.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Strawberry Caprese Salad

Strawberry Caprese Salad

1 cup Diced Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup Sliced Strawberries
2 cups Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Finely Diced Red Onion
8 - 10  Basil leaves, chopped
1/3 cup Saucy Mama White Balsamic & Honey Dressing
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
Pinch of Salt

Zesty, Fresh, and just in time for your Memorial Day Picnic! This classic, summer-fresh salad gets a makeover using Saucy Mama's All-Natural, White Balsamic & Honey Dressing and adding sliced fresh strawberries.

Get your Saucy Mama Dressings, Marinades, and Gourmet Mustard at Barhyte Specialty Foods

Follow me on Facebook -- Find my post titled, Are You Saucy, and comment for your chance to win a Saucy Mama Prize Pack!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Saucy Mama Blogger Contest -- Prize Give-Away

Time to Get Saucy, With #SaucyMama

As part of my participation in the 2015 Saucy Mama Bloggers Recipe Contest, I am delighted to announce that I am able to run a give-away contest for my readers. This contest will be a random drawing from a list of  entries. Continue reading to learn how you can enter. 

Want to win some fantastic sauces by Saucy Mama?

Enter to #WIN  a Saucy Mama 
Prize Pack including three Saucy Mama Sauces, like Honey Barbecue, Jamaican Jerk and Orange Habanero

 Visit my Facebook page:
A Jersey Girl in Texas and find the post:

Then follow the directions below to be entered into the drawing. One winner will be chosen on Monday, May 25, 2015



1. LIKE A Jersey Girl in Texas on Facebook.
2. LIKE Saucy Mama on Facebook.
3. TELL us how you're SAUCY in the comments of this Facebook post - ARE YOU SAUCY?
(Keep it CLEAN or be Deleted!)
One random winner will be selected on May 25, 2015. If you are the winner I will announce your name in a new posting, and also send you a private message on Facebook. You will need to provide your name, shipping address, and phone number. You will have 24 hours to respond or your prize will be forfeited.
Contest open to U.S. Residents Only

~*~This is a contest on Facebook, you must enter ON  my Facebook page~*~

 And dont forget to visit the contest sponsor, Barhyte Specialty Foods for #SaucyMama products, and great recipes!

Visit Barhyte Specialty Foods

Contest open to U.S. Residents Only
Disclosure: This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, or associated with Facebook. This contest is sponsored by Saucy Mama and A Jersey Girl in Texas. By entering this Giveaway you understand that it is in no way affiliated with Facebook and release them from any liability.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Mother's Day Recipe for Kids

 Since I am a mother I have the day off, but that doesn't mean we aren't going to eat today. I put the fate of eating in the hands of my family, but I feel confidant that we're safe, since I armed them with the power of cooking lessons since they were little girls

My Girls, 2011

I have 3 daughters, twins that are 22 and one that is 20. They all live at home, and are in various stages of young-adulthood, entering the workforce, beginning careers, and educating themselves. They all know how to cook, but they each have a different collection of recipes they've mastered, depending on their interest in certain dishes, and also their availability on the day of the lesson.

~*~  As is the mother, so is her daughter. Ezekiel 16:4 ~*~

Photo Courtesy of Christianbooks.com

I remember a nursery story from when i was a young girl. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, By DuBose  Heyward.
It's about a mother bunny that had many children. she worked from dawn till dusk taking care of them, until she was exhausted. One day, she decided to empower them to take care of themselves.
She taught 2 bunnies to cook and 2 to sew. 2 more learned how to garden, another 2 to clean, and yet another 2 to do the shopping.
 Then she admired the values she instilled in her children as she sat in her rocking chair, watching her babies take care of themselves, and also, her. 
Photo Courtesy of Christianbooks.com

I've kept this little bit of golden knowledge in the recesses of my mind since childhood. Always knowing that a mothers job is to love and protect her bunnies, to comfort and guide them, but the most important gift is to teach them to be productive and independent adults.

~*~ God could not be everywhere, therefore, he made mothers. Rudyard Kipling ~*~

Nana cooking with Maddie
So, each of my girls knows how to cook. While they were growing up I often had them watch me cook, or help me cook, patiently explaining the little tips and tricks, that will help them when they're grown. Things like placing a wooden spoon over a boiling pot of pasta to break the bubbles and keep the pot from boiling over, or learning to let the meat brown in the pan, without touching or moving it.  Or simply teaching them that rinsing a dish immediately makes cleaning it later easier.
Me & Jessie.. cooking?

As they were available, or interested, I cooked with them. Sometimes with all three, but often times, one-on-one. We also like to cook as a family, and always make sure to cook with my mom when she visits.
Each daughter has their own favorite dishes, and I focused cooking lessons on their wish to eat the dish. Because of this method each one has mastered a different set of dishes.

~*~ If at first you don't succeed, do it the way your mother told you to. ~*~
-- Author Unknown

Here is a recipe that all three of my girls learned early on. A simple way to make a perfect omelette in the microwave. So, moms, go back to bed! Let the kids (and Dad) have your kitchen for a day. Relax!
 Let them empower themselves by knowledge. And don't worry about them using the stove!

Microwaved omelette, By Jersey Girl's Girls!

A Simple Microwave Omlette


Eggs scrambled with a splash of
Milk or cream
shredded cheeses
fresh diced vegetables
pre-cooked, diced meats


1.Butter a Glass Pie Plate

2. Pour Scrambled Eggs into Plate

3. Microwave for 1 minute.
    Push Edges into Middle with Rubber Spatula.
    Microwave for another minute

4. Add fillings, such as cheese, diced tomatoes,
 pre-cooked Sausage, ham or bacon. Microwave for
another Minute.

5. Fold in half, and Microwave until Eggs are Cooked Through.

6. Serve!

I'm sure you're wondering if these eggs stand up to a fried Omelette, perhaps made by a chef at a restaurant where they make fancy brunch. Let me ease your wondering mind --they do not.
 They aren't as light, or as fluffy as a professionally made omelette, but, they're quick, they're simple, they're safe to cook by children, and they left your behind in the bed so, just be happy, Mom, and enjoy your day!

Photo Courtesy - www.bunspace.com