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!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just Because You Can... Doesn't Mean You Should

About a week ago when Steve and I were driving home from Miami we got off at one of the last exits before the Florida Everglades in hopes of finding a little something to eat. We drove through a beautiful neighborhood and came across a high-end strip mall with a McDonalds, where we ended up getting breakfast. It was about 10:30 a.m. and while eating, a seemingly well-to-do family came in.

The father had what appeared to be a fancy two-toned watch, a nice collared golf shirt and glasses with large black square frames to complete his yuppie look. The mother looked classy with her nice gold jewelry and cute open weave mint colored sweater paired with white capris. The son, who was probably about 12, was wearing a Volcom tee-shirt and patterned shorts with the newest Nike sneakers. The daughter who my guess was 15 or 16, had on skin tight black leggings paired with a tight fitting cropped tank baring mid-drift. I have to admit, I am no prude, but the daughters look actually made me a little uncomfortable. She looked like such a little slut and I found that I couldn't stop staring! I kept thinking, how the hell could her parents let her leave the house in this look that, in my opinion, is completely trampy?

At McDonald's that morning, it was obviously not the first time I have seen somones ass on display in skin tight leggings. I don't know if any of you have noticed the the new trend among teens, wearing leggings incorrectly. Or should I say inappropriately? Although it is not only teens I see looking a hot mess at the mall and around town, they are definitely the biggest followers of this so called 'trend' of wearing leggings as pants. Interestingly enough the day after the McDonald's booty show I read an article in the Huffington Post confirming my suspicions. For the first time in many years, jeans are not among the top 10 selling items for teenagers. Wanna take a stab at what held the number one spot? Yep, you guessed it, those damn skin tight, sometimes see-through, camel toe showing, LEGGINGS.  Gag me.

Oh, don't I look so hot?

So at this point ya'll probably get that fact that I say it is not OK to wear leggings as pants. A good rule of thumb is wear a top long enough to cover your crotch and at least 3/4 of your butt. I know a lot of you are stumped because it is spring and you may only own heavy longer sweaters to cover your booty in leggings. So I am going to make it easy for you. Check out my five favorite ways to keep your camel toe covered this spring:

1. Longer crisp white button down.
White hot is a big trend this spring. White button downs are in every store right now in all different shapes, sizes and prices. Find your perfect crisp white button down and wear it over leggings or fold it under in the back and tie it in the front for a more casual and fun spring look with light washed jeans or shorts. (See below)

2. Over-sized tee-shirt.
Boxy slouchy longer tees are big right now. Worn with leggings and lace up booties you can turn your vibe hipster with the right accessories (and attitude). Or keep your slouchy tee Florida casual over leggings with flip flops and your favorite sunglasses.

3. Sassy tunic.
For all the preppy chic girls out there! Throw on those leggings and grab your favorite Lilly or Tory tunic and cute flats with a bow.

4. Longer lightweight sweater.
Find a great sweater for spring in a bright color that is a linen or cotton blend so it is nice and breathable. This look can be belted with a thin patterned or contrasting colored belt at the waist. Or left loose for a more casual feel. (See below)

5. Supper short dress.
For taller girls, dresses that are too short to wear in public look so cute over leggings. An awesome place to look for a super short dress is in the B.P. department at Nordstrom or at Forever 21.

So people listen up: I don't care if you have a rockin bod. Forget about the time of day. Age doesn't matter.... This A.M. can we please keep it classy instead of trashy?

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


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