Sloppy Joes and Our History

>> Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sloppy Joe recipe
♫Sloppy joe slop, sloppy joe uh-hu, sloppy joe slop, sloppy joe. ♫ Remember that Adam Sandler song the Lunch Lady? OK the song is a bit annoying but I still like it and think it's funny. ( I have a goofy sense of humor. ) I've had such a strong craving for Sloppy Joes and I really don't know why. Perhaps it's because the song popped in my head and it was a subliminal message. Or maybe it was the fact that I kept singing it over and over , out loud and in my head, for like a week. I think if my poor husband has to hear me singing this song again he will lock himself in a room far away where he wont be able to hear me. But I made it up to him with a few Sloppy Joes!

First if I may tell you my "history" with the Sloppy Joe, it started out very badly. You see the first time I had to eat a Sloppy Joe was in a school cafeteria, yuck!, a bad starting point. At the time I was not very familiar with American foods, other than the famous fast food restaurants. I hardly spoke a word of English and didn't have many friends either. Then I get in line at the cafeteria and I'm served this messy, soggy bun, with some reddish sauce and "meat" at which I just stared at with disgust. Back at the lunch table my American classmates quickly and happily ate their Sloppy Joes. I just sat there staring at them (chowing down their Sloppy Joes), and at my plate wondering if I was brave enough to take a bite. I've never been a picky eater and I've always enjoyed trying new foods. Maybe back then I wasn't as open minded as I am now, but it was really more about my dislike of ground beef (it's never been a favorite of mine.) I'll admit that I thought to myself "well this may be a rough school year". OK I actually did take a few bites and it wasn't as unappetizing as it looked. Over the years I grew to like Sloppy Joes and other "strange", well at least to me, and new American foods. But those are stories for another time. Don't get me wrong I'm not giving American food a bad name , there are a lot of delicious American dishes that are just not replaced by any other cuisine.

For those of you who have children I don't have to tell you they usually love Sloppy Joes. Here is my simple yet Sloppy Joe crave satisfying recipe.

Sloppy Joe ingredients

1 LB. ground beef /500 grams
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp. Brown sugar
1 tsp. mustard, yellow
1 TB. garlic powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1-2 tsp. cayenne (adjust to your taste)
splash Worcester sauce
2 cans tomato paste ( 230 grams total or 8 oz)
4 TB. tomato puree
Olive oil or sunflower oil
Hamburger buns
Water or broth* see step 3

1. Chop the onion and bell pepper. In a large pan heat the oil , add both the onion and green pepper and cook until both are soft. Next add the crumbled ground beef and fry until the meat has cooked through. Once the beef is done drain all the fat from the pan.
2. Add all of the spices and mix thoroughly, lastly add the tomato paste and puree. Once again stir to combine all of the ingredients thoroughly.
3. If you want to you can serve the Sloppy Joes right away . Otherwise cover and simmer for 20 minutes or longer. Cooking longer will allow the flavors to really come together. Check on the mixture often to prevent burning. If the sauce begins to dry out too much add a little bit of water or broth at a time to prevent burning.


Once ready to serve, you can either toast the buns or leave as is. Spoon the meat mixture onto the buns and you have your Sloppy Joes, serve right away. Either Potato chips or potato salad make a great side dish.

Sloppy Joes spicy homemadeMessy, yet satisfying!! Now if you'll excuse me I have someone to go serenade or I mean annoy. Sloppy Joe.....slop......♫


Banana Mango Yogurt Popsicles (and Mother Nature is a Tease)

>> Thursday, July 29, 2010

Banana Mango Yogurt Popsicles

Before I share my recipe with you I would like to get my whining out of the way. So the title of this post has me calling Mother Nature a tease, that's right that's what I meant. She keeps teasing all of us in this part of the world with really beautiful, sunshine filled, hot Summer days and then takes them away! The weather here has been crazy to say the least. It has gone something like this since June, one week of really hot record setting sunny days to the next week nothing but rain, then another week of above average heat waves that make you feel like you are going to pass out from the heat. Well finally the Pièce de résistance came these past two weeks when the temperatures dropped from the high 20sC and mid 30sC ( that's 80s and 90s in Fahrenheit ) to -it was actually 15C (59F) dark and grey which felt more like a cool Autumn day than a Summer day. As I sit here typing this today it's been mostly cloudy and 20C. So if I may I'd like to send Mother Nature a message, "This Sucks, and I want a stable warm Summer that we all deserve after a hard and very cold Winter" I hope she gets the message soon. And thank you all for listening/reading my rant.

Banana Yogurt Popsicles

You may be wondering why then I made these on a cold day, below you will see why. Anyways if you are having nice and hot weather you are going to love my easy, fast, low calorie, kid friendly, inexpensive, cold treat. I'd like to think of these yogurt Popsicles as a cousin of the Lassi, you can see the influence. One quick note on the yogurt, you may want to adjust less or more according to the thickness of the yogurt you are using.

Ingredients :
( made 7 Popsicles)

1 large Mango
1 large Banana
1 cup of plain white yogurt ( I used a thick and creamy type)
Honey to taste
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cardamom

Popsicle molds
( and hot weather)

1. Pour the yogurt and honey into the blender container then sprinkle in the spices. Peel and roughly slice both the Mango and banana. Add the fruit to the yogurt place the lid on the blender. Blend until all of the fruit has broken up and you have a thick puree. * if you would like fruit bits in the yogurt Popsicles you can add small pieces to the puree after.* Pour the yogurt fruit mixture into the Popsicle molds and continue as you normally would with the mold you have.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight . Enjoy and cool off!

Yogurt Popsicles

The reason why I'm sharing this recipe with you now instead of a hot summer day here is this...↓
This is my stack of hand written recipes that I have written down every time I cook something. You can see I have quite a back log and I try to catch up as I go.

I leave you with a sunnier warmer photo of Prague . This is under the famous Charles Bridge in the Lesser Quarter a very famous view and probably one of the most photographed places in Prague.

Charles Bridge Prague

And my photo of my Tulips to look at to brighten up my mood while I wait for the sunshine.
White Tulips in Vase


Technical Difficulties

>> Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hi everyone,

Just a quick message to let you know that I am aware some of the images are not loading. We are experiencing technical difficulties with my web server. The problem is being dealt with and hopefully all will be back to normal very soon.

Problem fixed!

Thank you for your understanding

Nancy/ Spicie Foodie


More Awards and Matcha Madness

>> Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hi everyone, I have a couple of things to share with you. The first is that I am happy to have received more awards in the past couple of weeks, yay!

The first two awards are courtesy of Chef Dennis, from More Than A Mount Full - A Culinary Journey . A great blog that quickly became one of my favorites. Chef Dennis is a super nice and amazing Chef, so stop by and pay him a visit. And here are my awards from him, Thanks Chef Dennis!!

substance blogger award and stylish blogger award

The next award I received was from, Thella at I Love. Therefore, I cook. She is fairly new to me but let me tell you she has amazing recipes and it's a blog I'll be sure to visit often and track her progress. Please stop by her blog and show her some love, Thanks Thella!!

Versatile Blogger Award

The next news I want to share with you is that my kindred spirits buddy, Tanantha from I Just Love My Apron, is showcasing some amazing and beautiful recipes with one of our favorite ingredients, Matcha.

Matcha Muffins, Corn Muffins Matcha, Green Tea Muffins, Green Tea Corn Muffins

She was sweet enough to include my Matcha Corn Muffins in her Matcha Madness showcase. You must go take a look at the scrumptious recipes that she has included.

Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie, Strawberry Matcha, Drinks, Smoothies,I have a couple other Matcha recipes if you are interested in cooling off and enjoying a filling treat! Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie and my Banana Pear Smoothie With a Twist (or two).


Grape Jam for 2 ( refrigerator style)

>> Thursday, July 22, 2010

Homemade Grape Jam, toast, purple grapes, jelly

Some of us take many things for granted. But before you think I'm going to give you a moral lesson hold on - this is a food blog after all. What I mean by this is that some of us don't notice nor appreciate the ordinary everyday simple foods. When we arrived in Europe it was Mexican ingredients like tortillas, chili peppers, my Mother's home cooking that made me realize I took for granted and did not appreciate enough when I had them available everyday if I wished. Sure there were other realizations of foods and mostly conveniences that I had been expose to from living in the US. But I won't bore you with a long list of things both my husband and I miss from back home, I'm going to focus on just one. Grape Jelly/ Jam. That's right, grape jelly, for my North American readers I bet you take it for granted.

Some of you may think this is a little weird, how can we miss grape jelly surely there must be grape jelly available in Europe. We searched in 6 different countries and never came across a single jar of grape jelly-jam-preserve. Now I'm not saying that it just doesn't exist, we just never found any. Well let me tell you a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich just isn't the same with any other flavor of jelly. I like to joke with my husband that Europeans turn all their grapes into wine and so there none left over to make grape jelly. Ok that's a goofy exaggeration because there are fresh grapes for sale all over, so not all grapes are turned into wine. (Wait you know I don't think I've seen grape juice here either, wow I'll have to double check the grocery store next time. ) And so not wanting my poor husband to endure a grape jelly-less existence I took it upon myself to surprise him by making our very own grape jelly.

I have been using this recipe and making our very own grape jam for about 5 years now. I actually call this grape jam because I use the whole fruit, minus the seeds of course, rather than using just juice which would then classify this as a jelly. This is my recipe for easy , relatively fast, small portion for 2 grape jam craving individuals who won't be accidently poisoned by incorrect canning procedure - refrigerator safe grape Jam!

ingredients grape jam, pectin,grapes,sugar
Your Ingredients:
1.5 lb. or 680 grams dark grapes
1 1/2 cups or 300 grams Dr. Oetker Gelfix Extra 2:1
( this is a Gelation Sugar with pectin from apples and citrus fruits) Premium Fruit Pectin
1/2 cup or 120 ml of water

large pot
Sterilized jar

1. Wash and remove grapes from stems. Place the grapes inside the pot and pour the water over the grapes cover and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has boiled use a potato masher to crush the grapes to break them down further. You should have a very watery juice with most of the grapes broken down and skins separated. Boil for another 5 minutes.

2. Place a strainer over a large bowl or another pot. Strain the grapes and use a spoon to push the remaining grape chunks through and break them up. Now you'll need to pick out and discard as many of the seeds , that is if you used a grape variety with seeds. The grape skins should be placed inside a blender with the grape juice that was just strained. * Please note that I like to use the grape skins in my jam, if you do not want to you will again need to strain the grape juice and discard the remaining grape skins. *

how to test grape jelly, setting grape jam, grapes,preserves
3. Pour the grape juice mixture back into the same pot used to boil them. Next we will add the gelation sugar into the grape mixture. Cook the grape mixture over medium low until the jam has set. This will take about 40 minutes or so , stir often to prevent burning and bubbling over. If foam begins to form on top scoop out and discard. You can test the jam by dropping about 1/2 tablespoon onto a plate, allow it to cool and using your finger push on the jam if it stays and does not run back down it has set.

jar of grape jam,jelly,preserve, homemade,recipe,easy,fast
4. Once the jam has set quickly pour into your sterilized jar , leave uncovered and allow to cool down to room temperature. Once cooled place the lid on it and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 day before eating. The jam will continue to set as it cools further. This jam should be save in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.

Grape jam and toast, toast and jelly

I bet you wont look at your grape jelly the same ever again. Now I ask you if you've moved away from home is there something you miss terribly and just can't find in your new home?


Taqutios, the taste of home

>> Saturday, July 17, 2010

taquitos; Mexican; ingredients; fried; baked; healthy; chicken; beef; pork; low fat; tomato; onion; chili pepper; green; garlic; tortillas; corn; spices; recipes; easy; cuisine; how to; feta cheese; crumbled cheese; sour cream; avocado; cilantro; plateTaquitos (ta-key-toes) are small Mexican tacos that are made with a corn tortilla , a filling is added then rolled up and fried into a crunchy taquito. In Spanish when you use a word ending in "ito" or "ita" it can means that something is being called little, cute or even sweet. ( For example my love is mi amor but using this diminutive form one would say mi amorsito.) Spanish lesson aside, you may also know these taquitos as flautas ( which means a flute -because they resemble one) or even as tacos dorados which means golden or fried tacos. The typical or most common filling for these taquitos is shredded beef or shredded chicken, well at least in the area of Mexico I am from. I've heard of other fillings being used like potatoes, which sound yummy to me. The taquitos are usually served quite simple with some salsa maybe even some guacamole and shredded lettuce, simple yet delicious.

The day before making these I wanted to defrost the beef so it would be ready to boil in the morning. Well I somehow made the mistake of not really looking at the label of the frozen package and I accidently grabbed pork. I didn't notice until the next day when I went to the refrigerator to grab the meat. I decided to continue anyways and see what happened , how bad could they be right. Well let me tell you these were so so so delicious that I'm glad I made the mistake. Both my husband and I were like yum, yum stuffing our faces, hehe. It was a quiet dinner because we were too busy chowing down to speak a word, only looks and smiles of satisfaction were exchanged. We can't wait to have these again, soon! Well on to the recipe then.

taquitos; Mexican; ingredients; fried; baked; healthy; chicken; beef; pork; low fat; tomato; onion; chili pepper; green; garlic; tortillas; corn; spices; recipes; easy; cuisine; how to; feta cheese; crumbled cheese; sour cream; avocado; cilantro; plateYour Ingredients:
400 grams boneless Pork/Beef or Chicken
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Roma Tomato
1 or 2 green chillies
1 small yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed
12 corn tortillas
oil for frying

shredded iceberg lettuce
sour cream or crema
crumbled Mexican Queso Fresco or feta cheese

1. The Pork needs to be boiled allowed to cool and then shredded. Once the pork is ready to be used prepare the rest of the ingredients. Finely dice the onion,chillies, mince the garlic and roughly dice the tomato. Heat 1 Tbs. of vegetable oil and saute the onion until transparent then add the chillies and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes then add the tomatoes and again saute for another 3 minutes. Next add the shredded pork to the pan and sprinkle the spices over the pork, mix to well combine all ingredients. Cook the pork mixture for 10 minutes then set aside to cool down.

2. It's important to set up a smooth assembly line to prepare and cook your taquitos in order for the process to move along fast and smoothly. In a deep pan heat about 1/2 cup of vegetable to fry the taquitos. Next place half of the tortillas on top of a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and wrap the towel around the tortillas to cover. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 1 minute on medium heat. You want them only warm enough to be flexible enough to work with and roll up with out cracking.

3. Grab one warm tortilla and place some of the shredded pork towards one end of the tortilla and spread in a horizontal line. Tuck in the tortilla , as in the photo below, and roll up to form the taquitos. Use toothpicks to hold the shape for frying. ( Make sure to not over stuff the taquitos or the filling will fall out. ) Place the taquito in the hot oil and fry for a few minutes on both sides or until it turns brown and is crispy. Drain them on top of paper towels. Repeat this process until all of the tortillas and meat have been used up.
taquitos; Mexican; ingredients; fried; baked; healthy; chicken; beef; pork; low fat; tomato; onion; chili pepper; green; garlic; tortillas; corn; spices; recipes; easy; cuisine; how to; feta cheese; crumbled cheese; sour cream; avocado; cilantro; plate

Once all of the taquitos are fried and ready to serve you can begin topping them.

taquitos; Mexican; ingredients; fried; baked; healthy; chicken; beef; pork; low fat; tomato; onion; chili pepper; green; garlic; tortillas; corn; spices; recipes; easy; cuisine; how to; feta cheese; crumbled cheese; sour cream; avocado; cilantro; plate
Simple Tomato salsa:
4 Roma tomatoes
1 red chili ( more or less according to your taste)
1 small yellow onion
handful fresh cilantro
pinch salt
pinch black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano


1. Clean and quarter the tomatoes,chili and onion then place inside blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a smooth salsa.

This very simple salsa is great as a topping or to enjoy with corn chips for dipping.

When I lived at home and my Mom or Sister would make taquitos for dinner my belly was always very happy. I haven't had these in such a long time and had forgotten how scrumptious these really are. As I took my first bite and tasted the salsa and crunchy taco I was instantly reminiscing of many a diner night in my parent's house. They may have been a little bit of work but well worth all the effort. By the way these are fried which in my house is not a very common occurrence but due to the inferno I mean heat wave we are having turning on the oven was completely out of the question, so we had to endure the extra fried calories. As soon as the weather cools down I will try these out in the oven and keep you updated.

taquitos; Mexican; ingredients; fried; baked; healthy; chicken; beef; pork; low fat; tomato; onion; chili pepper; green; garlic; tortillas; corn; spices; recipes; easy; cuisine; how to; feta cheese; crumbled cheese; sour cream; avocado; cilantro; plate

I am participating in Penny's ( Jeroxie -Addictive & Consuming) International Incident Party. This challenge theme is Tacos!
International Incident Party

And if you are looking for more taco recipes have a look at my other tacos.


A Special Treat For A Special Someone

>> Friday, July 16, 2010

This is Mr. S (one of his many nicknames), our furry bundle of love. Yesterday he turned 12 a great milestone for most dogs but particularly special for him due to the expectation that he wouldn't make it to this birthday. You see in the past couple of years we have seen our scruffy, scrappy, crazy energetic Terrier mix begin to wind down and have some medical issues. So needless to say my husband and I feel very blessed that our little "boy" is still here with us. Yes we call him our little boy or even our little man. Much to our families disapproval we haven't had children yet and so this little guy has taken the place of a child. I know I may be sounding a bit strange to some of you out there, but until you have a dog that has completely won you over it's a bit hard to understand. We aren't weirdos that treat or think our dog is a little human we just love him very much and he is a big part of our life. It has been us 3 for a very long time and it would be very hard for it to be any other way, ( even though we do realize that at some point it will be.)

We try or like to spoil our puppy with special treats,privileges and foods. One of his favorite meals is ...... wait I should actually say his all time favorite going crazy jumping up and down dinners is KFC. That's right Kentucky Fried Chicken! So it's been a family tradition that on his birthday we walk him to the pet shop to pick out a new toy and some treats then we head over to KFC and buy him his bucket of fried chicken. Yep the whole original recipe 6 piece bucket is just for him. OK he tries very hard to eat it all in one sitting but it ends up being a 2 day treat. This year being a milestone I wanted to do something extra for his birthday, bake him a cake. So here it is the Chicken Bacon Bit Doggie Cake with Cream Cheese Bacon Bit glaze. (Wow that's a mouthful! ) He also loves bacon so it was great to include these two ingredients.

Your Ingredients:
(Makes one 14 cm X 4 cm or 5.5 in X 1.60 in )

1/2 cup or 80 grams all purpose white flour
1/8 cup or 20 grams whole wheat flour
1/8 cup or 15 grams rolled oats
1/3 cup or 125 grams Chicken and Veggies Baby food
3.5 ounces or 100 grams bacon
1 medium egg
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch chicken bouillon granules (optional)

greased baking dish

1. Preheat the oven to 392F or 200C and grease a small baking dish. Cook the bacon and place on top of paper towels do drain off excess fat. Once it's cooled crumble into small pieces and set aside.

2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix well, then a small handful of the bacon and again mix well. Try not to use too much of the bacon because you will need the rest for the glaze. Next add the baby food and egg and mix until well combined. Pour batter into the greased baking dish.

3. Bake for 25 minutes or until baked through, you can text the cake by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake and it should come out dry. Remove and allow to cool completely. Once cooled you can prepare the glaze.
Cream Cheese Bacon Bit Glaze
50 grams cream cheese
pinch chicken bouillon granules
1 Tbs. milk
remaining bacon bits from above

1. In a bowl dissolve the bouillon granules in the milk. Then add the cream cheese and mix well until well combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture to cover the cake as you like. Then spread or sprinkle the bacon bits all over the cake or just on top. Feel free to be creative on how you use the bacon.

Serve the cake right away or place in the refrigerator.

Did he like it? Well, the smell had him going crazy and he just could wait to eat it.

And here he is with his bucket of KFC!
Happy Birthday Little Man!


Banana Lassi ( Indian Yogurt Drink)

>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Lassi is a very popular yogurt based drink that originates in the Punjab regions of India and Pakistan. They somewhat resemble a milkshake or smoothie and are made the same way, by blending the ingredients. There are savory or salted Lassi and sweet Lassi made with fruits. The salted Lassi are made with yogurt , water , salt and can have some spices and even rose water added. The sweet versions are made the same way as the salted versions just omitting the salt and adding fruit and a sweetener. You may have noticed that at most western Indian restaurants Mango Lassi is typically found in these restaurants. And it's no surprise or coincidence, The reason is that they are the perfect drink to have when eating spicy dishes. The yogurt neutralizes the acid and heat in the spicy dish and so your mouth will feel completely cooled after biting into your Vindaloo. Trust me I know from experience about this because even if I don't drink a Lassi with dinner and instead have a yogurt for dessert after a spicy meal I feel completely cooled down. ( More tips on how to enjoy spicy foods coming in another post. )

While the Mango Lassi is probably the most well know sweet Lassi to us in the west, I have also found variations of all sorts on line. I think the Lassi is one of those drinks or recipes that is about customizing it to your own palette. (If any Indian readers or Lassi experts out there think otherwise leave me a comment and educate me a little :) ) With that in mind I have experimented with both the amounts and with different fruits. So feel free to experiment and have a little fun with your Lassi. I'm no Lassi expert but I do know that they taste phenomenal and are also a great thirst quencher. Don't feel so "guilty" about the calories ( if you are a calorie counter) a Lassi is still lower in calories than a Chocolate Milkshake. Oh and don't forget Banana's are nature's perfect food and extremely good for your body.

Your Ingredients : (2-3 servings)
1 cup plain white yogurt
2 large banana,peeled and sliced
pinch ground cardamom

cold water (optional)*see note
honey to taste (optional)
ice cubes (optional)

*Note* You can add some cold water to thin out the Lassi if you like and that's if you are using full fat yogurt. But I suggest if you are using fat free or thinner yogurt that you skip the water or the Lassi will be too watery.

1. Peel and roughly slice the banana then place in a blender. Next add the yogurt, cardamom and the honey if using, blend until the banana is completely broken down and ingredients are well blended. At this time you can check the consistency of the Lassi and see if you would like to add water to thin out, then blend again for a minute.

Serve straight away with a few ice cubes.

Another way I've experimented is on a really hot Summer day I use the ice cubes by adding them at the beginning of the blending so they break down and blend well with the other ingredients. This makes a very cold and refreshing Lassi too.

Ah yummy memories of earlier today as I sat by the window enjoying my book and cooling off with my Banana Lassi on a beautifully sunny and hot summer day, this is the life!


Strawberry Love and a Linky Party

>> Tuesday, July 13, 2010

fresh strawberries
Hi everyone! You may recognise the photos in this post from my Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie. I am posting this to invite you all to visit a great new site I have found called Crunchy Betty. Leslie (Crunchy Betty) blogs all about using natural ingredients to make home made cosmetics for your hair and skin. Today Leslie wrote a great article all about strawberries and is also hosting a Linky party to some great recipes using strawberries. It's kinda funny that Leslie should invite me to participate since I have been working on some "Natural Beauty" recipes to share with you, I guess the cat is out of the bag :) ( There are also other features and announcements ,that I'm very excited about, coming in the next few months.)

Anyways if you have a strawberry recipe go participate in Crunchy Betty's linky party today. Well even if you don't have a recipe stop by and pay Leslie a visit.

 Strawberry Green Tea Smoothie


Camarones Al Mojo de Ajo, Mexican Garlic Shrimp

>> Friday, July 9, 2010

Camarones Al Mojo de Ajo are Mexican Garlic Shrimp and they are delish! This has been one of my favorite dishes since I was a child and my Mom would make it as a special treat. It was a special treat because we are from a town in the middle of the country away from the sea. Anyways, if you love shrimp and garlic this is most definitely the dish for you. The one down side is that this recipe contains a lot of fat and therefor adds more calories. My Mom would use butter and it will give the shrimp a succulent flavor, but I don't really want those extra calories so instead I use olive oil which has less calories than butter. It is your choice how you decide to cook it with butter or olive oil, either way you will be very satisfied.

The other changes I made was adding the fresh finely chopped cilantro to the shrimp to add another burst of flavor. Also the typical or traditional way to serve the shrimp is with white rice. Most times I cook this dish that is how I serve it but on this particular day I was really craving chilled spaghetti noodles instead of rice. If you are interested in serving it this way just boil the noodles , drain them then toss them with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt then allow to cool before serving. Or another way to serve these shrimp is on their own as an appetizer.

Your Ingredients:
1 Lb. or 500 grams raw shrimp
3-4 Tbs. Olive oil (butter)
1 whole head garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. pepper flakes (or more)
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of black pepper
2 limes, 1 juiced
Handful fresh chopped cilantro

1. Peel the shrimp but leave the tails intact, then de-vein all of the shrimp and rinse them under running water. Using paper towels pat dry the shrimp and set aside. Peel and mince the garlic head and juice one lime reserving the other.

2. In a large pan heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil over medium heat and add the minced garlic frying for 5 minutes. Be very careful not to burn the garlic, if it browns and burns it will have a very bitter taste. You can avoid this by stirring frequently and if you feel more comfortable turning the heat down. Scoop the garlic onto a plate and set aside.

3. In the same pan add the remaining 2-3 Tbs. of Olive oil sprinkle in the pepper flakes and fry for 3 minute. Then add the shrimp and sprinkle the salt and black pepper over the shrimp, stir the ingredients to well combine. Fry the shrimp until they are firm and pink. Once the shrimp is cooked add the lime juice and garlic back to the pan and give the ingredients a good stir. Fry for another 3 minutes then turn heat off.

The shrimp should be well coated in the oil and there should be a bit extra oil floating on the bottom, so if needed add a little more oil. Once the shrimp are ready to serve mix the fresh chopped cilantro to the pan and stir to well combine with the shrimp. Serve with steamed white rice or a simple olive oil coated pasta.

Did I mention that this meal is also a great Summer time dinner?, well it is because there is minimal cooking and it's ready in no time. So we can all have more outdoor time instead of kitchen time, hope you enjoy it. Oh one last thing, please excuse the horrible photos I have a new flash gun I have been trying to learn to use. I absolutely hated it so I don't think you'll be seeing more "flash" photos.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Bohemian Buckwheat with Wild Mushrooms

>> Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today I have a recipe to share with you that well, I have mixed feelings about. I am not sure that I like it so much but I am also not sure that I hate it either. So why share it with you then? well I think the reason for me not being sure if I like it or not may have to do with my palette not being familiar with the main ingredient, Buckwheat groats. In Mexico Buckwheat is something I was never exposed to nor do I know if people even eat it there. During my time in the USA I also never tried it , actually I never even knew what it was until I lived in France. I knew Buckwheat as one of the batter types used for French Crepes,( which were never my favorite ones), so I still didn't really know exactly what it was until coming to Czech Republic. Buckwheat in the Czech Republic is used in breads, porridge (kaše), crepes ( Palačinky) or as a side dish accompaniment to meats, and sold at all grocery stores and markets. The first time I tried Buckwheat it was prepared like a salad resembling Tabbouleh and it was quite tasty. So I decided to try it again prepared a different way.

Since I became familiar with Buckwheat here in the Czech Republic I thought I would pay tribute to it by using Czech spices in my Buckwheat recipe. The two spices are Marjoram and Caraway seed, both very commonly used in Czech cuisine. Actually I think these are the two defining spices of Czech cuisine because they are used in most of their dishes including their most popular ones like Goulash, Bramborak -Potato Pancakes, Breads spiced with Caraway (which are some of my all time favorite breads), both are used in one of the best soups ever invented Czech potato soup. So you see I thought this was a perfect way to go with the Buckwheat.

A great thing about the recipe is that it makes a Vegan meal and is also Gluten-free. Also it's super easy and you can have the whole meal done in 20 minutes. Well here is the recipe and let's see what you think.

Your Ingredients:

1 cup or 180 grams Buckwheat groats
2 cups or 500 ml vegetable broth, low sodium no MSG
40 grams dried wild mushroom mix, soak in hot water
1/2 tsp. ground caraway seed
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 small yellow onion
1 TBS. vegetable oil

1. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water for 10 minutes and set aside. Sort the Buckwheat. Heat the oil and fry the onion until it is transparent, about 5-8 minutes. Drain the mushrooms then add them to the onion and fry for 3 minutes. Next pour in the Buckwheat and add all of the spices , stir to well combine the ingredients. Lastly pour in the vegetable broth and give the ingredients a stir. Leave uncovered and under medium low heat cook until all the broth is absorbed and the Buckwheat is cooked. Mine took 10 minutes.

Serve as a side or as a main course. Serves 2 main courses or 4 side dish servings.

A note on the caraway seed , it should be available at most supermarkets. But if it is not please do not use cumin seed , as many people suggest. Trust me before I knew that Kmin, the Czech word for Caraway, was not Cumin seed as I was told I ruined what would have been a great pot of chili. You may be thinking, duh! why didn't you taste it or smell it first? I was just beginning to teach myself how to cook and didn't know the difference - now I do!

Well let me know what you think and if you have any tips on preparing Buckwheat let me know or post a link to your recipe in the comments.


Buy or Sell Food Photos!

View My PortfolioRoyalty Free Images

Support Me By Clicking on These Links:

living in Czech Republic Expat Women - Helping Women Living OverseasTopOfBlogsBuy Foodie artHonest Cooking The Food Magazine, Spicie Foodie , contributor


©2009-2011 All recipes, articles, blog post, content, and images (*Unless otherwise stated*) are the sole property of Spicie Foodie and Nancy Lopez-McHugh. They should not be used without prior written consent. You can contact me here

  © Blogger template Webnolia by 2009

Back to TOP