The conventional and unconventional sides of my life.

Archive for July, 2010

Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Guacamole

We recently made shrimp tacos with grilled guacamole for dinner. This is one of our new summertime favorite recipes. Here’s how we made them:

Shrimp Taco FixingsShrimp Taco 

Shrimp Marinade

2 lbs. of peeled & deveined shrimp

1/3 c. olive oil

1-2 cloves of garlic – minced

1 t. salt

1 t. black pepper

1 t. crushed red pepper flakes

Juice of 1 lime

1 t. lime zest

Mix all ingredients and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Grilled Guacamole (We really like cilantro and lime so we use a lot of it in this recipe)

4 avocados – halved and pitted

1 can of Rotel (regular)

1 jalapeno

Small diced red onion

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Juice of 4 limes

Salt & Pepper to taste

We sprayed our gas grill with non stick spray and grilled the avocados for 5-7 minutes on each side until soft. Once we removed them from the grill, we stuck them in a bath of ice water to stop the cooking process.

After the avocados have cooled, we scoop them into a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

It’s All About the Toppings

We briefly grilled our flour tortillas and wrapped them in aluminum foil to keep them warm. We set up a topping bar which included:

  • Chopped nappa cabbage  (raw and sautéed) – We only used 1/2 the cabbage for this recipe. I chopped it up and used 1/2 of what I chopped as a raw topping and sautéed the other half in olive oil with salt & pepper
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Grilled Guacamole (recipe is above in case you missed it somehow)
  • Diced red onion
  • Sliced sweet peppers
  • Lime wedges


Assemble and Enjoy! Yummmm!!!!!


I’ve Been on Vacation!

Last week, my husband, Wakko and I went to upstate New York. We spent four days in the Finger Lakes Wine Country to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary before we headed a few more hours east to spend the weekend with family and celebrate my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary!

The first day we flew into Rochester, NY and drove 90 minutes south to Corning, NY. We stayed at an awesome place called The Inn at Gaffer Grill which was right in the Gaffer/downtown district of Corning. The “room” was more like a suite with a hallway that led to a living room/kitchenette area. Sadly, we were only in Corning for one night. I’d love to stay there longer.

The next day we went to the Corning Museum of Glass where we spent the next 5 hours! I am pretty sure Wakko doesn’t care to see another piece of glass in his life! I’ve always been interested in glass blowing and I was able to try it out and make my own glass sculpture!

The picture on the left is a shot of the glassblowing area in the make your own glass studio and on the right is the glass sculpture I made! I’ve always been interested in glass blowing and this experience has prompt me to look up local glass studios to take a class or two.

After we finished at the Corning Museum of Glass, we drove to the bed & breakfast that we stayed at on Seneca Lake. I was exhausted by the time we arrived. We took a little nap and then headed down the road to the Stonecat Cafe for dinner. The Stonecat Cafe uses a lot of organic and regional food in their menu. I was impressed to find such wonderful local food and especially impressed to come across a restaurant in rural NY that not only knows what falafel and quinoa are but has them on their menu! We sat out on the deck which overlooked their organic garden (in the shape of a labyrinth!) as well as grapevines and the waters of Seneca Lake.

On the left: Photo of the Garden at Stonecat Cafe. On the right: View of the Stonecat Cafe Deck from the Garden.

I loved the restaurant so much that Wakko and I decided right then that we would be back the next night for dinner there as well.

This was our appetizer the following night. Local Chevre cheese with organic mixed greens and fresh strawberries. All drizzled with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil and served with their homemade focaccia bread. It was delicious!While staying at Seneca Lake, we toured many wineries. In fact, I toured too many wineries a bit too quickly before lunch on Thursday! We hired a driver/tour guide for 6 hours to take us around to the various wineries. Because there are so many great wineries so close together on Seneca Lake, we visited six of them in the first two hours. I realized that I really needed to slow down my wine tasting. I didn’t see how I was possibly going to last another 4 hours. We took an extended lunch at one of the wineries and then headed over to Cayuga Lake to visit a few more wineries. I was so glad we slowed the pace down. With the long lunch and drive over to the other lake, we visited just three more wineries in the last four hours.

On our final day in the Finger Lakes region, we went to Watkins Glen State Park to hike the gorge. The gorge is about 400 feet deep and was formed by a stream cutting through the rock. There are over 800 steps winding though several waterfalls, cascades and pools as you climb the gorge. The scenery is so beautiful. I would often take a picture in front of me and turn around to look behind me and it was just as beautiful to view where I had just come from! It took us about 90 minutes to hike to the top. I was thankful for the gift/snack shop and restrooms at the top. i munched on a soft pretzel with nacho cheese and drank some water before heading back out of the gorge. The hike back out was only 45 minutes. Here are some of the pictures we took while on our hike.