Shrimpy Eats

alcohol-1239314_960_720I recently went to lunch at a restaurant I have never been to before. One of its specialties is tacos. With an entire list of tacos to choose from, I couldn’t make up my mind! I asked the waitress which one I should pick, and she answered “100% the shrimp tacos.” I was skeptical, since usually I stay away from shrimp unless it’s grilled on a kebob or in a traditional pasta dish like shrimp scampi, but I trusted her judgement. I am happy to say that it was absolutely one of the best tacos I have ever had!

After I was so impressed by this shrimp dish, I knew I had to branch out and

Garlic Shrimp Scampi

Garlic Shrimp Scampi

start to use more shrimp in my everyday cooking! Yes, shrimp can get expensive, but I have found it on sale a few times. I also don’t mind getting frozen shrimp, thawing it, then cooking it as well! I keep a bag of frozen shrimp in my freezer for an easy meal. I sauté oil and fresh garlic in pan, add my shrimp, then season with salt and pepper. I usually lay the shrimp on top of a bed of brown rice or quinoa with a side of veggies. Simple, easy, healthy, and yummy! But now I am ready to branch out of my usual shrimp habits by searching through the  Forq app.

I’m excited to try some classics. I usually put my shrimp on the grill or in a pan, but eventually I want to try a classic Boiled ShrimpI’ve heard good things, plus it’s a generally healthy way of cooking (rather than something like frying/ battering and frying). Another classic shrimp dish I am dying to attempt to

Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce

Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce

make myself is shrimp and grits. I have had bites of this dish when I am in the south, but I bet homemade is even better! I am going to try to make it off this New Orleans Style Shrimp and Grits recipe. I have never been to New Orleans, but I heard their food is delicious so I have to try it! There are other versions of shrimp and grits on the Forq app as well, like these Shrimp and Grits with Tasso Cream Sauce. There are tons of variations, and I’m sure they’re all super tasty!

Paleo Coconut Shrimp

Paleo Coconut Shrimp

I also love battered and fried shrimp because I love that crunch it gives, so I searched the Forq app to see if it would bring me to a fried shrimp recipe that might be a little healthier than some. It brought me to Paleo Coconut Shrimp. For those of you that don’t know, a “paleo diet” means that you only eat things that were available way back in the day. Pretty much, if a caveman didn’t eat it, you don’t eat it. It means not eating a lot of processed foods such as cereals and crackers, so it’s easier to eat more natural. Therefore, all the ingredients in this dish are paleo friendly, but still super tasty!

These are only a few of the shrimp recipes that caught my eye on the Forq appCheck out Forq’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more foodie news and recipes.

 

We All Scream for Ice Cream!

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Everyone loves ice cream. How can you not?! Even if it’s not your favorite dessert, you at least have that one flavor you can’t get enough of. For me, my

Classic chocolate ice cream

Classic chocolate ice cream

favorite flavor is classic chocolate. But of course, I like to add a few toppings like marshmallow and fudge. Yum! One of my family members recently invested in an ice cream maker, so we’ve been making use of it! I looked through the Forq app for some tasty ice cream treats to try in it; but don’t worry, there’s some ice cream recipes in case you don’t have an ice cream maker, too!

Vanilla ice cream is by far one of the easiest to make, so of course I had to try that one first! This Old Time Vanilla Ice Cream recipe did just the trick. If you don’t have an ice cream maker at home, this Vanilla Ice Cream calls for whipped cream to be folded in, so you can just freeze and scoop! This recipe can be used for vanilla ice cream, but also has the option of adding fresh strawberries into the mix for a different flavor. These simple flavors are great because you always have the options of adding mix-ins or toppings like chocolate chips, cookie dough, fudge, cookie crumble… The list goes on and on!

Vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles

Vanilla ice cream with rainbow sprinkles

Now let’s get into some other flavors. My mom’s personal favorite is Butter Pecan. This one has a few more steps than others, but my mom says it is worth it! When it comes to ice cream, I definitely trust her taste buds. My dad’s favorite ice cream is Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, so we are really excited to try a homemade version with this Sweet Cherry Ice Cream. If we add in some chocolate, I think it’ll taste just like his favorite!

Now let’s get a little ~funky~. While scrolling through the Forq app, I came across this Green Tea Ice Cream. Matcha, or green tea powder, is a big food

Green tea ice cream

Green tea ice cream

trend right now. I’ve read about its health benefits and even tried things like matcha lattes and matcha cakes. I love green tea and have enjoyed the matcha flavor, so I am very excited to try this ice cream! Another unique ice cream I’m excited to try is this Marshmallow Ice Cream. I’m thinking I’ll add some chocolate and graham cracker and turn it into a s’mores flavor, which is one of my favorites!

Now for the people that don’t have an ice cream maker, there are a lot of innovative ways to make ice cream yourself! Of course, a maker that does all the work for you is a bit easier, but these ways are just as tasty, if not even more! There’s something about homemade ice cream that is better than all the store-bought brands, so a little extra work is definitely worth it. In the past, I have used this Ice Cream in a Bag recipe and method to make homemade ice cream. It really works, and is super fun for kids to do, too! Another way is to use a coffee can. Both are pretty much the same concept; they use salt and ice to freeze the ice cream ingredients.

mfp_d51f5f006513034d1d738cb15afcdbacice-cream-done-in-bag

Ice Cream in a Bag

There are tons more ice cream recipes on the Forq appCheck out Forq’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more foodie news and recipes.

Citrus- The “Main Squeeze” of the Summer

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Citrus is one of the best ways to infuse fresh flavors into your cooking. Citrus can be squeezed, used for its zest, as a garnish… the list goes on and on! I love citrus because it’s relatively inexpensive and available year round. My favorite time to use citrus, of course, is summer. The freshness a squeeze of lime can add does wonders!

I recently was inspired to investigate some citrus recipes when I came across a trick for grilling

Grilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon

salmon. I am a very picky seafood eater; if I am going to eat fish it has to be cooked just right. I’ve always had difficulty cooking salmon in the oven, so I decided to try it on the grill. It was tasty, but it left such a mess! After doing a little investigating, I found that if you lay down sliced lemons on the grill and put the salmon on top, cleanup will be much easier afterwards and the lemon flavor will be beautifully infused in the salmon! I am super excited to try this new trick with this grilled salmon recipe.  If you still think cleaning lemon slices off the grill will be too difficult, another way of having minimum cleanup is using tinfoil like these Grilled Salmon Packets. If your not a salmon fan, this Citrus Fish recipe calls for any white fish and will still have that citrusy taste!

Of course, grilling isn’t just for fish! These Lemon Honey Pork Chops can be cooked on the

Lemon Honey Pork Chops

Lemon Honey Pork Chops

grill or on a stovetop grill pan. The honey in the marinade makes the citrus not as harsh; I love some sweetness with my pork! Next, we have some citrusy chicken. What do you prefer, lemon or lime? We have recipes for both! For the lemon lovers, we have this Grilled Lemon Chicken. For the lime lovers, this Basil Lime Chicken is sure to tickle your tastebuds!

Citrus isn’t just for grilling; there are plenty of recipes for the stovetop! Classic Orange Chicken is a generally easy meal to make, and packed with orange flavor. Another orange chicken meal is this Orange Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus. This is a bit healthier since nothing is being fried. Both are great with a side of rice!

Now of course to go with these delicious citrusy recipes, we need some citrusy side dishes. Or, if you think it’s too much citrus for one meal, these sides are perfect to add some citrus to any meal! This Cilantro Lime Rice is a great recipe because you can control how much lime flavor you want in the rice. I also like it because it’s healthier than

Strawberry Mandarin Orange Salad

Strawberry Mandarin Orange Salad

adding butter to rice, which is what I normally do! Citrus is also great in a salad, like this Strawberry Mandarin Orange Salad. Mandarin oranges are generally sweet, so it adds great flavor that counteracts the tartness of the dressing, as well as add a great pop of color to the salad!

There are tons more recipes that call for citrus that can be found on the Forq appCheck out Forq’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more foodie news and recipes.

 

Food for… Mom!

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I’m lucky enough that my mom is still around, and boy does that woman deserve to be celebrated! This year, instead of going to the usual

Me, Mom, and brother (circa 2015)

Me, Mom, and brother (circa 2015)

crowded Mother’s Day Brunch or dinner, we are celebrating by cooking at home. And by me, I mean my brother and I! My mom is usually the one to do the cooking, so this should be a special treat for her. I think this year, she will enjoy relaxing at home instead of sitting in a crowded restaurant.

My brother and I have been going back and forth on the Forq app trying to choose recipes for our Mother’s Day lunch. Here is what we have come up with so far:

Of course, we don’t want to keep Mom waiting, so we will have a nice pitcher of this Mango

Mango Pineapple Sangria

Mango Pineapple Sangria

Pineapple Sangria for her (and I, wink wink) to drink while lunch is being prepared. The bits of tropical fruit will hopefully give her thoughts of relaxing on a dessert island somewhere instead of focusing on the inevitable bickering between my brother and I in the kitchen!

To keep Mom from getting “hangry” while she waits, we’ll start with some of her snacking favorites like Deviled Eggs or this Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip… or maybe both! The goal with these apps is to keep mom satisfied before lunch and keep her out of the kitchen!

As for the main course, I am definitely grilling. One of my mom’s favorites on the grill is

Lime Shrimp Kebobs

Lime Shrimp Kebobs

shrimp, so I will be making these Lime Shrimp Kebobs. I’ll also grill up some Lemon Chicken for the family members that don’t appreciate shrimp as much as my mom and I do!

On the side, I think we need something simple and light like this Onion Cucumber Salad. I’m also thinking of a pasta salad like this Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Blue Cheese. Both are super simple and easy to make ahead of time, so it will help with the timing of lunch!

Now for the best part… dessert! My mom absolutely loves chocolate, so of course the dessert

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

has to be 100% chocolate! I am going to make a Chocolate Cake topped with Creamy Chocolate Frosting. I saw that my local grocery store is now selling small boxes of edible flowers, so I think I will garnish it with that! If your grocery store doesn’t sell edible flowers, you can still find them online on sites like this. They’re an adorable, unique way to decorate pretty much any dish!

There are tons more foods that would be perfect for Mother’s Day, or any day at all that can be found on the  Forq appCheck out Forq’s FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for more foodie news and recipes.

Happy May!

Waffles

April showers bring May flowers and May brings… food! When a new month arrives, one of my favorite things to do is see what food holidays are coming up. May certainly did not

Strawberry Caprese Bourbon Spritzer

Strawberry Caprese Bourbon Spritzer

disappoint! First of all, May is National Strawberry Month. We are prepared; all I have been blogging about for the past two weeks is summer berries! First, we had A Berry Delicious Taste of Summer where we discussed tons of ways to use berries in everyday meals and snacks, like this  California Giant Strawberry and Jalapeño Salsa. Next, we had A Berry Delicious Taste of Summer- Part 2 where we discussed drink tasty recipes that use berries, such as this Strawberry Caprese Bourbon SpritzerIt looks like we’ve got the National Strawberry Month side of May covered.

Not only is May National Strawberry Month, it is also National BBQ month. And National Beef Month. And National Hamburger Month. Don’t these all kind of overlap?! I love it! I have been grilling for the past month, even though it is still a little chilly up here in the

Backyard Baby Back Ribs

Backyard Baby Back Ribs

Northeast sometimes! But nothing beats the taste of a burger fresh off the grill, or skewered meats and/or veggies like these Beer and Honey BBQ Chicken Skewers. But of course, it can’t be a BBQ without something like these Backyard Baby Back Ribs. Making ribs like this takes a decent amount of time and effort, but once you bit into that rib it is worth it! Another ribs recipe that is a little less time-consuming are these Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Country Ribs. And of course if you like classic steak, (let’s face it, who doesn’t!?)

Steaks basted with Chimichurri Marinade

Steaks basted with Chimichurri Marinade

you should definitely try this Chimichurri Marinade next time you grill up a steak! I find that it is most commonly found used with rare flank steak. Originally of Argentinian cuisine, this easy sauce can be used as a marinade, to baste while grilling, and/ or to pour on top of your steak.

And of course at any barbecue, you have to have side dishes! My favorites are the kind you can grill, like this Grilled Vegetable Platter. It’s super simple to do, yet super tasty and super healthy! Or, you could try this spin on the traditional Caprese Salad: Grilled Green Tomatoes Caprese.

Grilled Green Tomatoes Caprese

Grilled Green Tomatoes Caprese

Speaking of salad… May also just happens to be National Salad Month! Everything is

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

coming together. The month of May food holidays cover an entire meal! I have two favorite salads I love eating at barbecues: potato salad and pasta salad. Both of them just scream “summer” to me. Plus, they’re easy to make and should be made in advance so they can cool. I have found that the longer they sit in the fridge, the better the flavors come together. That’s perfect for my busy schedule!

There are tons more foods that are celebrated all throughout May. Don’t worry, I have them all in my calendar! Check out Forq’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more foodie news and food holidays!

A Berry Delicious Taste of Summer- Part 2

berries-erfrischungsgetrank-drink-healthy-162841Last week I decided that its time to break out one of the best summer foods– berries! Summer may be two months away, but the weather has made me feel like I need summer food ASAP. Berries are healthy, tasty, and readily available! They’re a perfect way for me to get my summer flavor fix before the rest of the summer foods are available.

In summary of last week’s post, berries can be used for so much more than you may think! I love putting berries in salads, salsas, and of course desserts. You’re supposed to eat between five and thirteen servings of fruits and veggies a day, depending on a few things such as age and weight, so make sure to eat your berries!

Not only are berries great in foods, they’re great in drinks! Nothing says summer more than fresh berries infused into a drink with some leftover as a garnish. One of my favorite

Berry drinks are perfect for drinking with friends!

Berry drinks are perfect for drinking with friends!

things to do is infuse fresh berries into my water or seltzer. I just mash them a little and stir them in!

Another great way to get your berry fix is through smoothies. There are countless recipes for smoothies. I personally have tried so many that I have finally figured out the perfect ratio of fruits, veggies, yogurt, and protein that I like to add. But until you figure it out, smoothie recipes are always a great help! For example, this Berry Smoothie with a Twist is full of healthy berries! This Blueberry Smoothie is also super tasty. Similar to a Blueberry Smoothie is this Frozen Blueberry Lemonade… except it is more of an adult drink. Of course, the alcohol in these next few drinks make them not as healthy as a smoothie, but they taste like summer and are perfect for entertaining or just enjoying after a long day! Although, of course these beverages should be consumed responsibly.

If you don’t would rather a regular refreshing blueberry lemonade minus the vodka, try this recipeOr you can feel free to add vodka if you would like, of course! My favorite thing is to make recipes my own. If I’m feeling adventurous that day, what not try to switch things up?! Another tasty berry-based lemonade is this Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade. It’s insanely refreshing!

Strawberry Lemonade Sangria

Strawberry Lemonade Sangria

Getting back to the party drinks, there are tons of recipes for a good berry-based sangria in the Forq app! To get a taste of all the berries, try this Mixed Berry SangriaMade with red wine, it’s more of a traditional sangria. There is also the option of this Strawberry Lemonade Sangriamade with a white wine base. Similar to that is this Strawberry and Lime Moscato PunchIt’s similar to white sangria but very sweet because of the moscato wine!

Last but certainly not least, we have a Strawberry Caprese Bourbon Spritzer for all

Strawberry Caprese Bourbon Spritzer

Strawberry Caprese Bourbon Spritzer

the whiskey lovers out there! This may be the prettiest, most refreshing-looking drink we have seen so far.

Some of these recipes come with the ingredients to garnish them while some do not. My favorite way to garnish drinks like these is with things like leftover fresh berries, citrus wedges, and mint leaves. Sometimes I will even mull the berries first to give the drink some more flavor!

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