Fresh Mex + A Life Update

I cannot believe I haven’t posted since Christmas break. I think about it a lot, but somehow never actually sat down and posted. I don’t think there’s any way I could possibly summarize this spring semester, except to say it’s been quite insane. Just since April 24th a few things that have happened: state tennis tournament, prom, a wonderful trip to NYC, a dramatic physics boat race, multiple lake trips with both family and friends, a wedding shower for my sister, helping pack and move my other sister (while also moving my stuff and sending much of it up to where I’ll be living in the fall), I turned 18, graduated high school, drove to Colorado (which included spending some time in Santa Fe which was awesome), where I now am and am enjoying spending time with my parents. So, quite a few things going on.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to do and experience so many things this year. I know I’m truly blessed. Of course, it hasn’t all been perfect. There’s been the not so great stuff, too. This whole partially living in Texas while my dad works in Colorado has been challenging on my family. There was an unexpected college acceptance letter that actually caused more tears than a rejection letter ever would have. There’s been AP tests and other school stuff that brought upon plenty of stress. The realization that I really am an adult, 18 and done with highschool,  brings both sadness and excitement. In just a few days, I’ll be boarding an airplane by myself and spending six weeks in a place with all brand new people. I’ll be a day camp counselor for kids from an Indian tribe as part of a mission set up in North Dakota. I’m greatly looking forward to it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a bit nervous. Your prayers would be lovely!

Anyway, last night I decided to cook dinner for my parents.

The Menu:

  • Homemade guacamole and homemade salsa with chips
  • Spinach Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing,red onion and jicama
  • Flambéed Margarita Shrimp

Basically, a cover everything in lime and cilantro kind of dinner! My favorite thing about all of it is that none really requires formal recipes or exactness, but a more add stuff in until it taste good type meal.

 This salsa with the juice of one lime added (it makes everything better!) and guacamole (avocado + lime juice + kosher salt + tomato + onion + garlic). Delicious, but pretty ordinary.

Mexican Summer Salad

This delicious salad is fresh, bright and bursting with summer flavor. My apologies for not being able to give amounts. But, it’s not an exact science. I could try, but I never measure making salads. Just combine the amounts that feel right to you!

Ingredients:

Baby Spinach

Jicama, sliced into thin strips

Crispy, tricolored tortilla strips

Red onion, sliced into thin strips.

Cilantro Lime Dressing:

Olive oil

Fresh lime juice

Chopped fresh cilantro (lots!)

Drizzle of honey

Sprinkle of kosher salt

Minced garlic

Dash of chili powder.

Instructions

Combine salad dressing ingredients well. Taste and add more of desired ingredients. Toss with spinach, tortilla strips, jicama, and onion. Serve Immediately.

Next up Margarita shrimp. Don’t worry if you aren’t of age, the alcohol cooks off just leaving delicious flavor. Combined with two of my favorite things ever (cilantro and lime) this shrimp is light and tasty.

Margarita Shrimp

Ingredients:

Medium sized raw shrimp, peeled with veins removed and tails still on

Butter

Cilantro, cleaned and shopped

Fresh Limes

Tequila

Instructions:

In a medium skilled, melt about one tablespoon of butter. Add about 10-12 shrimp. When shrimp are pink and almost completely cooked through, pour in a couple of table spoons tequila. Tilt skilled towards flame. If this doesn’t work or you do not have a gas stove, light with lighter. At this point, the pain should flame up a decent amount. Shake the pain as this is happening, the alcohol will burn out and the flame will go out quickly. Add this point, toss into the pan a small handful of cilantro and squeeze in the juice of half a lime. Toss to coat shrimp. Make sure shrimp is cooked through, remove from pan and serve. Repeat process with remaining shrimp.

The cilantro has not been added at this point, some just remains in the pain from the previous batch

You can sort of see a tiny flame in this picture, it should definitely get way bigger than this.

Cilantro and lime are added

Shrimp is ready to eat!

Dinner is served.

Not too shabby, eh? Serve up some limeade or even a Margarita and you’ve got yourself a nice summer evening.

What is your favorite type of cuisine?

I’ve definitely been loving using some Mexican flavors. Espically during summer, I like to use them in a fresher, lighter way than traditional Mexican cuisine (not that that isn’t delicious too).

Hittin’ the Trails of CO

Greetings!

The retreat I mentioned last post went wonderfully. It is amazing to watch the retreatants as they truly open up and grow closer to God.  It’s neat to think, “Hey, I was a part of that.” But, at the end of the day, I know none of it was me. It was all Him.

I arrived “home” in Colorado on Monday night. Greeting me upon arrival was a box from Neman’s Own Organic with tons of goodies.

I couldn't believe the variety of products they sent!

 Tuesday evening my parents and I went hiking and saw some pretty scenary and cool wild life.

Nesting Eagles. Thank goodness for zoom.

See the bunny?

While out hiking we snacked on some of these pretzels….

The company definitely doesn’t require me to say nice things about them, but these pretzels are delicious.

What is your favorite trail/on-the-go snack?

Weekend Eats and Random Facts About Me

Happy Weekend!

Thanks for your comments on my potential giveaway. Sounds like many of you like the Cashew Cookie Lara Bars which is great because I certainly want someone to enjoy them! Isn’t it funny how people’s taste buds are so different? I’ll be sure and let you know more about the giveaway soon.

I had tons of recipes I wanted to try last weekend like I mentioned I would be doing in this post. However, with a last-minute trip out-of-town it just didn’t happen. Never fear, this weekend is here!

I already made some of Averie’s High Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls earlier today.

Yum! I almost follow her recipe to a “t”, I just did it in my food processor and used regulur salted cashews. Next time I’ll use the raw cashews and maybe a bit less sweetener and just a splash of water to keep the texture the same because my taste buds are wacky and I don’t like things as sweet as most people do. For “normal people” the sweetness level is probably perfect!

Paola at Sol de Luna tagged me with the Stylish Blogger Award and since most of you really don’t know anything about me, I figure what the heck I”ll share a few random things about myself.

Stylish Blogger Award

Here are the rules!

There are 4 duties to perform to accept this award:

1.  Make a post + Link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Award recently discovered great bloggers
4.  Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

1. I was homeschooled through 8th grade. I’m often asked if I prefer being homeschooled or going to school. Honestly, that’s a tough question. I”m glad I was homeschooled when I was, but I am glad I’m in school now. There are certainly pro’s and con’s to both.

2. On Wednesday I ate a bowl of popcorn with a spoon. Yeah, I know, I’m a weirdo. I just really hate how popcorn makes my hands all greasy.

3. I have 2 older sisters and an older brother.

4. When I was younger, whenever I cooked I explained everything that I was doing out loud, pretending there were cameras filming me on my very own cooking show….what can I say I was (and still am) a total Food Network junkie.

5. I try to avoid eating at chain restaurants. I think dining out is all about finding special and unique places. In my opinion, anything that can be mass-produced across the country can’t really be that special. I also like to support local chefs and entrepreneurs.

6. I will be spending the majority of my summer in Colorado

7. I love traveling. I have already visited quite a number of countries and there are so many more I want to go to. On the top of my list are Spain,  South Africa, and New Zealand. In college, I really, really want to study abroad. I just love the idea of experiencing a totally different culture.

I tag you! All of you bloggers out there are so stylish and unique in your own, so please consider yourself tagged!

Also, I have some meat marinating in the fridge which I will be making beef jerky out of tomorrow. This is totally new to me so we’ll see how it turns out. Vegans/vegetarians/non red meat eaters, you might want to bypass my blog tomorrow!

What are you planning to make this weekend? Trying anything new? Do you like quick and  easy recipes or do  you like spending lots of time cooking?

While, during the week I’m into quick n’ easy out of simple necessity, I like spending lots of time in the kitchen. If I have the time, I really don’t mind long complicated recipes. Cooking is relaxing and fun to me!

Enjoy your weekend.

-Ann Claire