Grilled Mango with Honey and Pistachios Recipe

Grilling mangos brings out their natural sweetness. Just drizzle them with a little honey and a sprinkle of chile powder for a fast and easy grilled dessert or side dish.

Grilled Mango Skewers with Honey Chile and Lime

Summertime is not the time for heavy desserts around these parts.  I like to go a little lighter by throwing some fruit on the grill to caramelize the natural sugars without adding any additional sugar.  Grilled mangos are my personal favorite but grilling pineapple and peaches make a fantastic dessert too.

Serve the grilled mangos with a nice green salad or pile it on top of a bowl of ice cream.  Don’t forget the spritz of lime juice!

I’ve added this recipe to the Clean Eating Challenge that I am co-hosting with a great group of other bloggers who want to make it easy for our families and foodie friends to find good, healthy recipes to help their families “clean up”  the food they are eating and find new, healthy additions to the family table.

Try these Grilled Mango Skewers with Honey and Pistachios and then head on over to my fellow blogger’s sites to see the yummy things they have cooked up.

Clean Eating Challenge- 

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Cranberry Glazed Pork Carnitas Recipe

Cranberry Glazed Pork Carnitas Tacos Recipe

Can it really be New Year’s all ready? Just when you think you have the shopping, decorating, baking, dish washing done and you can sit down and enjoy the holidays… they’re over.

Well, not this year. Not for me. The holidays are not over until I say so.

I’ve decided to take the time to experiment with all of may favorite holiday foods (now that the hustle and bustle is over) and develop recipes to use them in all through the year.

First up, cranberry sauce. Yep, cranberry sauce. I love it. Just try a slice under a scoop of ambrosia salad then call me and tell me you don’t love it.

It was my first thought to use cranberry sauce in a dessert but, that was too easy. I wanted a challenge. After a few tries, I came up with Pork Carnitas. Genious. Pork is perfect with the sweet and sour cranberry. And, carnitas are my family’s favorite pork recipe. We eat carnitas every way imaginable.

Carnitas are small pieces of diced or shredded roasted pork. I roasted the pork for about two thirds of the roasting time before adding the glaze to make sure that the cranberry glaze stayed nice and did not burn.

You can make just about any southwest dish out of carnitas, tacos, enchiladas, chimis or not so southwest like lettuce wraps, bbq pork sandwiches or serve it “as is” with your favorite side dish.

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Fried Avocado with Spicy Shrimp Salad Recipe—Paula Deen, This One’s for You!

Fried Avocado with Spicy Shrimp Salad Recipe

Fried Avocado with Spicy Shrimp Salad Recipe

I cannot tell a lie, I did it. I took an avocado, coated it in breadcrumbs and deep fried it. Then, I covered it with a spicy shrimp salad recipe and ate it for lunch.
Why? By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the Anthony Bourdain, Paula Deen smack down.
You haven’t?
Well… let me tell you about it! For some reason, Anthony Bourdain, host of No Reservations, decided to pick a fight with mothers everywhere by calling Paula Deen, Queen of Southern Homecooking herself, the biggest threat to America, today. Paula responded with a well placed uppercut saying that she and her Food Network friends cook for people who can’t afford $59.00 for prime rib or $400.00 for a bottle of wine.
Let the food fight begin!
I don’t know why I feel so defensive about Paula Deen. I’ve never actually cooked one of her recipes… yet. But, I know those flavors. Like so many of my generation, I grew up on American Regional Cuisine; complete with mayonnaise and tuna noodle casseroles made with condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup. Come back here, Northeast. Ya, we’re talking to you, with your heavy roux chowders and your mayonnaise covered lobster rolls.
Bourdain has made a habit of taking cheap shots at Emeryl and Rachael Ray. So, why the fuss now? Perhaps his jab hit a little too close to home, our home—a little too close to Mom and apple pie.
His point that foods such as Deen’s are seen as unhealthy is nothing new. Funny, I never had to watch my weight back then; not until my kids were grown and I could afford to eat in fancy restaurants such as the ones Bourdain has cooked in. Hmmm… I wonder?
Anyway, I found out that Paula Deen likes fried avocado. Well… who doesn’t? Antonia fried them for her during a quick-fire challenge on Top Chef All-Stars. I was stunned. I actually called out to the television,
“Hey! That’s my recipe!”
Well, not mine exactly, I stole it from my favorite Cowboy restaurant, The Roaring Fork in Scottsdale, which was conceived by one of my favorite chefs, James Beard Award winner Robert McGrath. The Roaring Fork uses a crab salad instead of the fried shrimp that Antonia used. I substituted little salad shrimp for the crab in this recipe, as well. Let’s just say I had to pick my jaw up off the floor when I saw the price of fresh lump crab. It’s a substitution that Paula would approve of.

Spicy Shrimp Salad on Fried Avocado Recipe

Spicy Shrimp Salad on Fried Avocado Recipe

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Bacon Wrapped Chicken Jalapeño Thingies with Inspiration from The Pioneer Woman

Chicken Bites Square II

Okay. Confession time: I don’t like Jalapeño Poppers.

I know, I know. This is a southwest food blog. I should love them, I really should. And I love jalapeño peppers in most everything.


There is something about the texture and the too-much-of-a-good thing feeling when you have a whole jalapeño in your mouth.

I almost became a convert when The Pioneer Woman served up her “Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Thingies” at the Blogher food conference in October 2010. Almost.

So I decided a revision was in order. I wrapped pounded chicken around a filling of cream cheese, minced jalapeños and then sliced them and wrapped them with bacon. Very thin bacon works best, because it gets crispier on your barbecue.

(BTW, are you staying cool? Have you entered our cool giveaway for making frozen pops in a flash? You really should click here!)

These “thingies” are fabulous! Perfect summer appetizer bites you can make if you are already grilling you dinner.

Happy August, Everyone!

— posted by Donna

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One-Bite Shrimp Cocktail Tacos Recipe with a Zesty Vegetable Juice Shot

Shrimp Cpocktail Taco Bites

Shrimp Cpocktail Taco Bites

Looking for a low-cost way to serve shrimp appetizers on Superbowl Sunday or your next party? I saw something similar served once at a fancy wedding reception, and have always wanted to try my own version. This is a great way to serve shrimp because, each guest only eats one shrimp! It’s fun and festive, and looks fabulous on a buffet table.

The trick is to set the shrimp on top of a little shot glass and fill the glass with a little drink to “chase” the shrimp. I like V-8 juice mixed with a little cocktail sauce. I used some votive candle holders that I had left over from my daughters’ weddings a few years ago, and they worked perfectly. The bonus: this is one of those dishes that will make you seem like a fabulous chef who has slaved for hours, but in reality this is one of the easiest appetizers I have ever made!

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