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For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Scallop Ceviche

Hey, Foodies! Happy Friday!

Today I’m sharing my recipe for Scallop Ceviche which is quick, easy, and uses only 5 ingredients. I could eat this every day and be happy.

ff6I love scallops, and I’ll be honest here – I think they taste best raw, but my husband . . . won’t even try it. Not happening. I’m a sashimi girl and he’s a tempura guy, but we both love this recipe, which makes it a perfect compromise.

Ceviche is the Peruvian method of curing or ‘cooking’ seafood by marinating it in citrus juice. The citric acid actually changes the proteins in the fish, turning the flesh firm and opaque, similar to the way heat does. There’s a great article on the process over at Chowhound.

There are endless variations on ingredients, marinating times, spices, etc. – it’s not uncommon to add bell peppers, hot peppers like jalapenos or habaneros, and tomatoes -you can also use different types of fish, shrimp, and even octopus! But I prefer to keep it simple.

I’d like to note that while this recipe is gluten free and paleo friendly, people with certain health conditions shouldn’t try it. If you can’t eat sushi or raw oysters, then, unfortunately, this recipe probably isn’t for you.

Also, you want to find dry packed scallops. This means that there are no chemical additives, unlike wet packed scallops. The flavor is better, and you know exactly what you’re eating.

This recipes makes an appetizer or side dish for 2 people.

Ingredients:

6 large dry packed sea scallops

2 limes

1 avocado

1 small red onion

1 handful of cilantro

Preparation:

Slice the scallops through the eqatorial middle to make them thinner, then cut into chunks. I usually cut a large scallop into 12 pieces. ff7

Juice the first lime into your marinating dish. You’ll want one big enough to fit all of the ingredinents. (I used a  measuring cup this time – this recipe makes about 2 cups when all the ingredients are added.) Add the scallops to the dish, then juice the second lime on top. Stir and refrigerate.

Different seafood requires different marinating times. I let this marinate for an hour and ff8a half, stirring at least twice. After the scallops have been in the lime juice for an hour, chop the avocado, onion and cilantro. Add to the scallops, and stir to coat with the lime juice. Refridgerate for another 1/2 hour. Then serve! It’s really that easy!

Don’t be scared to play around with ingredients to tailor this recipe to your tastes and make it your own! If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think! And if you have your own ceviche recipe, I want to know what you’re doing so I can give it a try!

 

 

 

Thursday’s Thoughts On Writing: Creating Suspense

I have a love/hate relationship with books that keep me up most of the night reading: I love when a story is so good that I can’t put it down! I hate the gritty, tired eye feeling in the morning (even if it’s worth it!).

And I know I’m not alone here. I know there are other readers out there pulling late nights with a good book. But what is it that makes us sacrifice sleep?

For me, it’s not the bam-bam-bam of action that keeps me reading. It’s the tension of needing to find out what happens next. The slow burn as the flame travels up the wick, getting closer to the stick of the dynamite, keeping me in suspense.

And here’s the thing – it’s not just thrillers that need that steady draw. Don’t all writers want to keep their book clutched in a reader’s hand? This applies to all genres.

Here are some helpful articles to help you develop suspense in your writing:

Just Writerly Things: How To Create Suspense In Your Story

The Write Practice: 7 Steps To Creating Suspense by Joe Bunting

Writer’s Digest: 6 Secrets To Creating And Sustaining Suspense by Steven James

Keep your readers hooked! Happy Writing!

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This was sweet, and cute, and everything good. I didn’t like it as much as Simon, but it checked all the boxes you look for in a feel good YA story. Quick and easy and fun (and funny!), well developed characters and a plot that makes you care.
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I almost DNFed this multiple times. There were too many POV characters, and Hawkins didn’t develop them well enough in the beginning for me to keep them straight and know who was who, which I found frustrating. It finally picked up about 60% in. Yikes! It ended up a decent story, but I doubt I’ll read one of her books again.

I just started:

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Sunday’s Scenes From The Trail

Here are some of my favorite shots from my recent hikes:

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Because sometimes it isn’t what you expect when you get there.
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Because you should hold your head high and be proud of who you are.
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Because sometimes you have to make the most out of a bad situation.
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Because sometimes the bad situation isn’t as bad as it seems. (Banded water snake, not water moccasin.)

If you enjoyed this week’s photos, check back next Sunday for more Scenes From The Trail.

For Foodies: Friday’s Flavors ~ Bacon Quiche

qu4If you’re a foodie like I’m a foodie (and Friday’s are for us foodie’s, right?), then you appreciate a dish that delivers major taste without requiring hours of hands-on laboring

When I’m craving something that’s rich and savory, I make what is essentially Quiche Lorraine but what is known of in my house as Bacon Quiche. I know it’s hard to go wrong with a meal that includes both bacon and cheese, but this is seriously tasty!

Quiche seems to have a bad wrap as something that’s difficult to prepare. Here are my hacks for ANY quiche:

  1. Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes, checking at 25 minutes. I put my pie pan on a baking sheet to catch any crumbs, but this also makes checking if the quiche is done super simple – just wiggle the baking sheet. If the quiche jiggles on top, it’s not done yet.
  2. Mix 1/2 cup milk for every egg you use. I suggest using at least 2 eggs, (so, 1 cup milk), but if you want to use 3, simply increase the milk to 1½ cups.
  3.  Add your spices, i.e. salt and pepper, nutmeg, etc. to the milk-egg mixture. I also add about half the cheese I use to this mix.
  4.  Buy a piecrust. Every time I made my own from scratch, I’d crash and burn when it came time to transfer the crust from the rolling board to the pie pan. They sell 2 packs in the dairy section by the Pillsbury items. (Bonus – the off brands don’t use yeast, which I sadly have a sensitivity to.) (Bonus² – if you make the recipe below, you only use half the cheese, so you already have some of the ingredients to make another quiche!)
  5.  Make the quiche ahead of time! I try to let mine cool for at least an hour – it allows the inside to set so it stays together when you serve it. You can always reheat if you prefer it piping hot, but it tastes great warm.

 

Roth Cheese, Alpine-Style, Grand Cru, Original
This is what I use, but any variation of Gruyere or Swiss should work.

Ingredients:

1 pound thick cut bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

1 sweet Vidalia onion

2-3 handfuls spinach

3 oz Grand Cru (or Gruyere) cheese

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1 pie crust

salt and pepper to taste

optional: fresh grated parmesan

 

Preparation:

qu
Put cooked ingredients in crust.

Begin by cooking the chopped bacon and grating the cheese. When the bacon is done, place on a paper towel lined plate, and remove most, but not all of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving just enough to sauté the onion.

Add the onion. Cook until translucent, then add the spinach, tossing with onion until wilted (you can do this with the heat off). Return bacon to the pan, mix ingredients together.

Place your pie pan on a baking sheet, then put the piecrust in the pan (I use a glass pie pan), and lightly press down to shape it to the cooking container.

qu1
Add 1/2 the cheese.

It helps if you set the crust out for 15-20 minutes to let it warm up a little. You can cut the crust with a knife to neaten it up, and even pattern the edges if you want to get fancy. I’m usually in a rush when I cook this, so I don’t bother.

Next, add the cooked ingredients to the crust. I sprinkle about 1/2 the cheese over the ingredients. Then, mix your milk and eggs together (using the ratios above), add the other 1/2 of the cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the mixture over the cooked ingredients.

qu3
Pour the mixture.

I like to sprinkle just a bit of fresh parmesan on the top if I have some around (I usually do). Place the pan on the baking sheet into the oven, then begin checking at 25 minutes. It usually takes closer to 35, but depending on your oven, and if you use different ingredients, (like a Mediterranean quiche), cooking times vary, and it’s easier to keep cooking than to scrape black crust off your dinner.

When the quiche does not jiggle when you wiggle the baking pan, and the top begins to turn golden brown, it’s done. I make mine ahead of time, and allow to cool for at least an hour before cutting so the inside sets.

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Sprinkled with parm because I’m a cheese glutton!

That’s it! Prepare yourself for cheesy, bacony goodness! This is one of the few dishes where going back for thirds is the norm!

I usually serve this with something light, like a salad. Caesar goes especially well with it!

If you try it, I’d love to hear how it went and if you liked it!

 

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This was a page turner – plenty of suspects, lots of suspense, and danger round every corner. That said, I wasn’t feeling any of the characters, which kept me from being as vested in the outcome as I would have liked, but still a stellar read. Recommended for readers who want to be kept on their toes. Not recommended for those who want to scoop the mystery.
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I’ve had a hard time with non-fiction lately, but I enjoyed reading about the naturalist aspects of this book – the plants, animals and science. It took a while for the author to approach the purpose of the book – the story of how his son went missing while hiking in Costa Rica, and what he had to do to find him. Recommended for those who like a slow burning true mystery. Not recommended for those looking for light entertainment.

I just started:

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Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

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