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January 2013

Baked Mahi Mahi Fish with Strawberry Mango Salsa

Mahi Mahi fish is one of my favorite white fish. It has a mild flavor that is comparable to Cobia or Cod. It's very versatile and can be baked, broiled, grilled, sautéed, pan fried, and even turned into fish tacos.

Baked mahi mahi fish pairs well with an assortment of side dishes. It can be served with vegetables, pasta, rice, potatoes, and fruit. One of my favorite side dishes is bacon and bleu cheese potato pockets.

I also like to serve the fish with a refreshing strawberry mango salsa that has a hint of spiciness from jalapeno pepper. Another option is a tomato-cucumber-red onion salsa that can be found here.


BAKED MAHI MAHI FISH WITH STRAWBERRY MANGO SALSA
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Serves: 2
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound Mahi Mahi fish filet, skin removed
1 Lemon, sliced into rounds
1 teaspoon Everglades Seasoning (This stuff is great on all kinds of food!)
1 teaspoon Beau Monde Seasoning (I use this in almost everything I cook)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

SALSA INGREDIENTS:

1 medium ripe Mango, skin removed, diced
8 medium Strawberries, diced
1 small Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
1/4 small Red Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-1/2 teaspoons Mandarano Balsamic Sauce (substitute with 3/4-teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Prepare salsa and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. In a 9"x12" glass baking dish, arrange lemon slices in two rows.
4. Add seasonings to both sides of mahi fillets and place on top of lemon slices.


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5. Cover with foil and bake for 18-20 minutes or until meat is fork-tender and flakey.
6. Carefully remove foil and transfer to serving plates. Top with salsa and serve immediately.

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Bacon and Bleu Cheese Potato Pockets

Bacon and blue cheese potato pockets are one of my favorite side dishes. Not only are they easy to prepare, they are perfect for grilling out and tailgate parties. They pair well with hamburgers, steaks, hot dogs, and chicken and can even serve as a vegetarian dish if you don't add the bacon.

I add coconut oil to add another layer of flavor to my bacon and bleu cheese potato pockets. Sometimes, I'll swap it out for bacon grease or olive oil, but you can also use vegetable or peanut oil depending on personal preference. If you're feeling extra adventurous consider adding chopped jalapeno peppers with or without the seeds.

Bacon and Bleu Cheese Potato Pockets
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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

4-6 slices thick Bacon, cooked and chopped
2 large Russet Potatoes, quartered and thinly sliced
1 small Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 ounces Bleu Cheese, crumbled
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp; about 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb grease. Let cool and chop into small pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together except coconut oil.
4. Tear off 4 sheets of aluminum foil. Place 1/4 of mixture on the center of the foil.

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5.Add 1/2 Tablespoon of coconut oil to each. Pull foil together in the center and fold over edges.

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6. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes. Carefully unwrap foil and serve immediately. 

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Slow Cooked Cuban Flank Steak and Rice

If you're looking for an exceptionally flavorful slow cooked Cuban flank steak recipe, I think you'll love this one. Although this version is served over rice, you could substitute with quinoa or pile the meat and veggies onto Cuban bread and make a sandwich.

While this slow cooked Cuban flank steak is perfect for dinner, it's also ideal for pitch-ins and parties. It's super easy to make and requires zero pre-cooking, other than the rice. All you have to do is place everything in the slow cooker and enjoy all the goodness later in the day.

 

Slow-cooked-cuban-flan-steak-and-rice
Slow Cooked Cuban Flank Steak and Rice
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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours

Ingredients:

1 small white Onion, thinly sliced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, sliced in ½" strips
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, sliced in ½" strips
2 large cloves Garlic, minced
1 pound Flank Steak, sliced in ½" strips
2 teaspoons ground Chili powder
1 teaspoon ground Oregano
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Lime, juice only
1 cup organic Beef Broth
1 (15 ounce) can organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed

Directions:

1. Lightly grease slow cooker with oil, butter, or cooking spray,
2. Place onions, peppers, and garlic on bottom of slow cooker.
3. Add sliced beef.
4. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Mix together and sprinkle over meat.
5. Squeeze juice from lime and drizzle over meat. Add beef broth.
6. Cover and cook over low for 6-8 hours.
7. Remove beef and transfer to cutting board. Shred beef using two forks and return to slow cooker. Add black beans. Turn heat to high and begin preparing rice.
8. Cook rice according to package directions.  When done, scoop onto plate and add flank steak, veggies, and stock.


Homemade Sour Cherry Cobbler

Personally, I find homemade sour cherry cobbler to be one of the best comfort foods. It's a dessert that can satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly sweet. Or, it can be sweetened up more by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

Today, I'd like to share my mom's homemade sour cherry cobbler recipe and hope that it becomes a family favorite. One challenge I had when making this recipe is finding sour cherries. A few gourmet shops had them, but wanted over $8 for an 8-ounce jar.

I ran across a great deal at Nuts.com. Their cherries are only $4.99 for a 24-ounce jar and they taste amazing! I have shopped at Nuts.com for years and highly recommend them. They have thousands of products, including organics, at very affordable prices.

Home Sour Cherry Cobbler Recipe
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Yield: (1) 8"x8" pan
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

24 ounces Sour Cherries (reserve drained juice)
1-1/4 cup granulated Sugar
2 cups+2 Tbsp. unbleached, all purpose Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
6 Tbsp.unsalted Butter, softened
2/3 cup Half-and-Half (or whole milk)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lightly grease 8"x8" glass or metal baking dish with butter.
3. In a small bowl, drain cherries and set juice aside. Place cherries in pan and arrange in an even layer.

Sour-cherry-cobbler-step-one
4. In a small saucepan, add cherry juice, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a light boil. Stir constantly until mixture reduces into thick syrup.
5. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate, than pour over cherries.

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6. In a mixing bowl, sift together remaining flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add butter and blend until mixture becomes crumbly. Add 1/2 cup half-and-half and stir until ingredients are combined.

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7. Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop and drop topping over cherry mixture.

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8. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush topping with remaining half-and-half or milk. Sprinkle with sugar to taste.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is medium golden brown.

Sour-cherry-cobbler-crust-final-step Sour-cherry-cobbler-bubbly-crust



How to Make High Heel Cupcake Shoes

Have you ever wondered how to make high heel cupcake shoes? They've become all the rage and bakeries charge an arm and leg to make them. The good news is you can make these gorgeous edible shoes for a fraction of the cost. Better yet, recipients will be highly impressed with your baking talent.

Making homemade high heel cupcake shoes isn't difficult, but does take some time. It takes about two hours to make a dozen shoes from start to finish. Here's what you'll need to prepare the shoes, along with a step-by-step pictorial.

Homemade High Heel Cupcake Shoes
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Yield: 12
Prep Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 box Cake Mix
1 container Frosting
12 designer paper cupcake tins
12 Graham Crackers (regular or chocolate)
12 Pirouette Cookies
3 ounces Ready-to-Use Gum Paste
Food coloring
½ cup granulated Sugar

Directions:

1. Prepare cupcakes according to package directions. Use elegant, funky designs, or colored cupcake papers.

2. Make a shoe stencil by cutting a piece of paper the length of a graham cracker and trimming the edges at an angle. Place stencil over each cracker and trim edges with a sharp knife.

3. Apply a thin coat of frosting to each cracker and let air dry for 30 minutes.


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4. Once cupcakes are done let them cool completely before applying frosting.

5. Add a small amount of food coloring to icing. I used the colors of gold and red to create different styles of shoes.

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6. Frost each cupcake and top with colored sugar, sprinkles, or edible gold dust.

7. Now it's time to assemble the cupcake shoes. Begin by placing a small ball of gum paste on the pirouette cookie and gently attach to the angled portion of the graham cracker.

8. Place the graham cracker about 1/3rd of the way on the top of the cupcake. Carefully position the heel and pipe a thin layer of icing to hold it in place.

9. Pipe icing around edge of cracker and across the edge that rests on the cupcake.

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10. Make embellishments from the remaining gum paste. I made bows and balls which I attached to the back of the shoe and on top of the cupcake.

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Tray-gold-cupcake-shoes
Red-cupcake-shoes

11. Put a pair of shoes in a small cake box and surround with tissue paper to prevent them from sliding around.


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12. Stick a candle in a designer cupcake shoe and give them as a birthday gift!

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