04/30/15

Lobster & shrimp stuffed acorn squash

I watch a LOT of Food Network.
So much so that I feel as though I’m BFF’s with Bobby, Ree, Scotty (so hottie) and Ina.

One of my favorite shows is Chopped, but I’ve always been confused about one thing the judges seem to point out anytime seafood makes a basket appearance:

Seafood and cheese don’t go.

Where did this ridiculous notion first start?
I can think of 500 different delicious dishes that combine 2 of my all time favorite ingredients!

Hello lobster mac and cheese?
Shrimp scampi?
Crab rangoon?
Crab stuffed mushrooms?
Shrimp alfredo?

Food Network stars- ya’ll crazy.
But I still <3 you.

Well, I’m breaking all of the rules here with this recipe for lobster and shrimp stuffed acorn squash. And you know what? I don’t care. Because this concoction is sooooo delicious.

Don’t have lobster? Just use shrimp. Don’t like shrimp? Just use the lobster. Or lump crab meat! Or scallops!

The best thing about this recipe is it’s a sneaky way to get your pickiest eater to each squash! Acorn squash is the perfect vessel for this recipe because it’s naturally buttery and tender.

Droool.

Lobster and Shrimp stuffed acorn squash serves 2
Ingredients
1 whole acorn squash (health benefits)
1 steamed lobster tail (if using frozen, defrost and remove meat from the tail)
6-8 medium sized raw shrimp (shelled, deveined, tail off, defrosted)
1/2 lemon
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove roasted garlic (I pre-roast ahead of time to have this on hand)
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. nonpareil capers
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.Carefully split the acorn squash in half. Use a melon baller to remove the seeds (like a pumpkin). Place flesh side down onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 1 hr or until flesh is soft.
2. While the squash is roasting, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute just until shrimp start to become pink. Remove shrimp and garlic from the skillet. Set aside.
3. Remove squash from the oven and let it cool until it can be handled. Using a melon baller or spoon, remove the roasted flesh and place into a bowl. *Tip: leave a bit of the flesh still inside the squash as the skin is very delicate and thin and this will provide extra support.
4. Add cream cheese, lemon juice, roasted garlic clove, capers, salt and pepper into the squash flesh. Mix to combine. Dice shrimp and lobster and fold into the squash mixture.
5. Divide the mixture evenly into the acorn squash shells. Top with Parmesean cheese and bake at 400 for 20 minutes, raising the temperature to a high broil for the last 5 minutes.

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04/11/15

Grief becomes joy

Three years passed by in a blink.

And in these three years I have learned more about myself than in the 32 years prior. 

When I first lost my mom, it was difficult to look into the future and envision a normal life. I was 31 going on 32, and could not believe that my time with my mom was over; just like that. 

For weeks and months my nights would be filled with thoughts of sorrow. How she would never get to see all the milestones my brother and I still needed to reach, and how my future children would go without knowing their maternal grandmother. My mind was littered with worry, and sadness and until I learned to cope with it all, it would turn out to be one of the hardest times of my life.  Continue reading

04/2/15

It’s time to get rad! #ColorMeRad5k

I was given entries to the upcoming Color Me Rad 5k in Tampa, FL as part of my work with The Tampa Bay Bloggers in exchange promoting, participating and reviewing the race here at Orangespoken.

It’s BACK!

That colorful, messy and FUN 5k event- COLOR ME RAD!

The Tampa Bay Bloggers will be there representing our group and helping to spread the word before race day. 

This year, for the 2015 Tour, we’ll be running through eight color stations where RAD volunteers will cover us from head to toe in pink, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

There’s also something new this year: COLOR GEL!!! And this year they are promising the color bombs are packing twice the punch!! Double the color stations guarantees that color bombs will be raining down on you from 5K start to finish. 

You can sign up HERE and use the code TBB40 to save 40% off your registration!

imageHope to see you there!

Steph

 

04/1/15

Mango habanero grilled shrimp

This hot sauce can be easily used as a marinade or a sauce!  The mango and honey give it just enough sweetness to balance out the spice, and the cilantro gives it a bit of freshness to really liven up the flavor of the sauce!

You can kick up the heat by leaving some of the seeds/ribs of the habanero peppers in, or milder by removing all of them.  Continue reading

04/1/15

Chocolate peanut butter covered strawberries

Who doesn’t love peanut butter cups?
Well, I guess people who are allergic to peanuts…

Sorry to those friends.
Other than that, peanut butter cups are where. it’s. at!

Way back in once upon a time time I was whipping up some chocolate covered strawberries for one of my game nights at the house. I walked away for *just a second* and burned half of the chocolate I was melting for the berries. I didn’t have time to go to the store, so I figured I would just have less berries to serve than I had originally planned.

That’s when I spotted them in my pantry: about 10 mini peanut butter cups.
Ding! Ding!

And so they were born: The peanut butter cup dipped strawberries.
I know it sounds weird. I know it sounds strange. But trust me. These are winners.
And because after I tried them I wanted to eat them <all day> <every day>, I needed to clean these up asap!

It just so happens to be strawberry season around these parts! I live just 20 minutes away from the Florida strawberry capital: Plant City! And starting in December these sweet little gems are at their prime. So while I was coming back from a day trip in Lake Alfred today, I decided to stop and pick up a flat of berries.

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And the first thing I did… make these. And if you’re finding that you’re in a pinch for an easy New Year’s Eve recipe to bring to a party- make these of course! 😉

Peanut Butter Cup Dipped Strawberries
Ingredients
12-15 strawberries (health benefits of strawberries)
4oz unsweetened chocolate (I used Baker’s brand)
1-2tbsp of raw honey (start with 1tbsp and add more to your sweetness preference)
2tbsp natural peanut butter (just nuts- read the label!)
teeny pinch of sea salt

Directions
In a microwave safe bowl, combine all ingredients, place in the microwave and melt at medium-high heat in 30 second increments- stirring in between- just until chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth and then dip berries to coat. Place on a wax paper lined baking sheet and let cool. You can also melt the coating over a double boiler. *Can’t eat peanuts? Try another nut butter! 1743446_10153029193977474_1926049949099331926_n

04/1/15

How to make friends (and not get hashtagged #Targetstalker)

Have you seen this yet? Ball Pit Turns Strangers Into Friends
No? Go ahead and click on it. It’s only a few minutes and sooo worth the watch. I’ll wait.

……….. *this is me waiting*………….

Back? Great! What did you think? Amazing huh? Don’t you think we need more ball pits in the world? Continue reading