Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pineapple Chutney/ Pineapple Skewers

This A.M. I have a killer recipe for you to make out by the grill. The recipe includes one of my favorite summer foods: pineapple. I made a sweet and slightly spicy pineapple chutney that I served in a hollowed out pineapple. We dipped grilled chorizo, poblano pepper and pineapple (extracted carefully when we made the pineapple bowl) along with tortilla chips in the delicious chutney. The real key to this recipe is charring the pineapple to get a nice smoky flavor that really complements the fruit's natural sweetness.

Before building skewers to grill, I par cooked the chorizo sausage. I pan fried them until the inside wasn't raw but the outside casing wasn't crispy. This enabled me to slice the chorizo and will allow it to char more quickly later while on the skewers, with out having to wait on them to fully cook and possibly burn the rest of the skewer ingredients to a crisp. When it was time to build the skewers I kept it simple, no seasoning or marinade, just the chorizo, pineapple and poblano. I use metal skewers but if you are using wood or bamboo I recommend soaking them in water over night. Grill skewers on medium high heat turning as needed, until a nice char has formed. The skewers may look a little burnt if you haven't done this before, but trust me it is so flavorful and delicious. Make the pineapple chutney recipe below earlier in the day and use as a delicious dip for your smoky skewers!

A nice char with bring out the flavors of the pineapple, pepper and sausage

Roasted Pineapple and Jalapeno Chutney

1 large jalapeno
1 14 oz can chopped pineapple
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3/4 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
sprinkle of sea salt, black pepper
1 lime

Preheat oven to Broil 450. Cut jalapeno in half and remove seeds and stem. On a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, arrange pineapple chunks (reserve juice) and jalapeno. Broil for 10-15 minutes until the pineapple and jalapeno have a little char (this can also be acheived on the grill, but i find it a little quicker and cleaner just doing in the oven). Rough chop the jalapeno, then in a shallow sauce pan, combine all ingredients, including reserved juice and broiled mixture, but not the lime. Bring to a boil. Stir well and reduce heat to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The liquid should be boiled off and a nice textured chutney will remain. Remove from heat and mix juice from lime in. Cool mixture. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, until ready to serve.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Things to Make You Smile

This A.M. here are a few things that made me smile during my Toronto visit with Amy:

Enjoying my morning routine of having coffee and catching up on news, except this morning I did it with my best friend,

Sunday dinner with family always makes me smile,

Being able to still find beauty in a harsh world,

I don't know how to explain the sudden excitement, but spotting the CN Tower always makes me smile,

Finding Bob hidden on a maple tree in Trinity Bellwood Park,

and saving the smallest for last, Ames' cute little buddy Usher could put a smile on anyone!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Red Hair, Don't Care

This A.M. it is Ames' Birthday! Our firey red (for now) head is smokin hot and another year....young. My fashionably hungry friend has many admirers because of her sweet, out going, glass is half full take on life. I had a few admirers that care very much about Ames, join me in wishing her an awesome birthday. Check it out:

Sara and Amy turning Japanese!

Hey Amy I want to tell you that I love you so much and I wish you a happy birthday. Love,  Sara

Natalie, Amy and their friend a few years ago having fun

To my Dearest Amy,

Wishing you the most wonderful birthday and reminding you how very much you are loved and how blessed I am to have you in my life.  We have laughed together, cried together, worked and played together and created such a wonderful supportive place for each other. It is rare that we have we find friends that remain in our lives for so long despite all the changes that happen as we grow older.  Here's to many more years of those wonderful times and celebrations!  Happy Birthday Ames!  Love you! xoxo Natalie
Steve and Amy in Las Vegas 2014
  Though I've only been around you when we've been hangin' in Las Vegas,
Your zest for life is awesome and oh so very contagious.
Can't wait until we meet again,
to revisit all our sins <3
Love you girl,

Joe and Amy in Las Vegas 2014
Amy, I just want to wish you a very happy birthday. I really had a good time in Vegas hanging out with you... Next stop Chicago, can't wait! xoxox Joe B

Michelle and Amy in Chicago

Ames, I feel like we became best friends from the moment we met. The second time we ever saw each other, in Chicago (which I think needs to be a trip in the near future), it was like we had known each other for years and years and years. Remember jammin' to BEP in the hotel room?? I miss you, I love you and I want you to have the birthday you deserve... the happiest of the happiest! Love you so much my sister from another mister! ♥Mackers

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Terra Sur

This A.M. or Este a.m. I am a chica that amores Peruvian food!

Saturday night the gang tried out a new restaurant in South Tampa, Terra Sur, taking up residence in The Fox's former location. Since the days of The Fox, the decor hadn't changed much, a little wood was added to soften the room, the lighting seemed a bit brighter and the new art was beautiful and abstract. As a Peruvian duo began to play classic Latino songs on their guitars, we scanned the double sided menu. The names of the dishes on the menu were in Spanish but the descriptions were in English. The combinations were unfamiliar, even intimidating in some cases for a few in our party... for me, it was just an adventure I could hardly wait to embark on!

We started our meals with various Peruvian fusion cocktails, my choice being the more traditional Pisco Sour. Our group of six ordered at least 8 appetizers and ceviches that we all shared. The papa a la huacienda (boiled potatoes with spicy cheese sauce) was good but what was even better was the fried yucca served with the huacienda (spicy cheese sauce)! That yucca was the best fried yucca I had ever had... It had to have been fresh, never frozen. The ceviche was excellent and I was glad they served it with the leche de tigre ('tigers milk' which is the the leftover marinade). The appetizers were great and the entrees even better, with Asian and European elements found in many of the dishes. Seafood seemed to have a heavy influence on the menu, as well as the aji amarillo chile pepper, which our Peruvian friend Carlos and his family simply call the yellow pepper.  All the food we had at Terra Sur was fresh, beautifully presented and full of flavor.


Pisco Sour (half drank)

Mashed potatoes mixed with the yellow pepper and layered with chicken salad

Papa alla Huacienda (boiled potatoes with room temperature cheese sauce made with the yellow pepper)

Mixed ceviche y leche de tigre

Cevice a la Casa (Spicy fish ceviche)

Mozzarella wrapped in a wonton and fried, served with a side of guacamole (So yummy!)

Steak fried rice... Egg, scallion, hint of lime and tender filet mignon pieces

Fried mixed seafood entree


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