Recipe Collections

Chocolate + Chocolate = Love

by Shawnda on February 10, 2012

in Chocolate,Holiday Favorites,Recipe Collections

Chocolate-Valentine's Day Series

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. I can tell because everything in every store is pink, red, and chocolate. And 4 of the 5 most viewed posts on the blog this week are indulgent chocolate desserts (the popular non-chocolate recipe is the recipe for a Blood Orange Margarita – now that’s why we get along). So if you’re looking for a chocolate dessert to knock your significant other’s socks off (let’s stick with “socks” – my 11-year old niece reads this), I’ve got a couple of favorites:

Chocolate Overdose Cake

Chocolate Overdose Cake. This is the most viewed post over the last few days. Inspired by a dessert that our favorite pizza place used to serve, it’s a layer of chocolate mousse sandwiched between a brownie base and a top layer of chocolate cake. If that’s not enough, it’s coated in chocolate ganache. You’ll need a few hours and almost 2 pounds of chocolate to make the recipe. You’re welcome. (About the chocolate, not the few hours. I’m sorry for that part.)

Individual Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake. A rich, gooey chocolate center inside a cake. The recipe can easily be made without a fancy mixer and scaled to serve only 2 people. Should you not want a couple of extras hanging around for breakfast the next morning.

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Dark Chocolate Mousse. Correction, the world’s best chocolate mousse.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries. They’re probably a lot little cliche. And a little messy to make. But is it really Valentine’s Day without them?

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet Cupcakes. I’m an unapologetic Red Velvet fan. I strongly feel that copious amounts of scary red food coloring should be dumped into every baked good possible… and then slathered with cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Raspberry Tart

Chocolate Raspberry Tart. A dense, rich chocolate tart spiked with raspberry liqueur. You can say “I love you” and “You have a gym membership, right?” without really saying anything at all.

Chocolate Truffles with Grand Marnier

Chocolate Truffles. You melt chocolate, cream, and maybe a little booze, let it cool, and then scoop it into rounds. That’s it. A fancy dessert with little effort.



Winter Citrus Recipes

by Shawnda on January 11, 2012

in Recipe Collections

Winter Citrus Recipes

It’s here! Winter citrus season!

Our dwarf citrus trees in the backyard are dotted with dozens of key limes and a handful of pink and Meyer lemons. Our grapefruit tree is still a little young but the Rio Grande valley picks up the slack when it comes to our sizable demand. They churn out wonderful, softball-sized Texas Rio Star grapefruits at only ~.20/lb. It’s totally worth waiting a couple of years for better production from our tree.

I’ve pulled together a collection of recipes where the citrus can really shine. And for the next 2 1/2 months, we’ll be whipping up lots more :)

Winter Citrus Recipes



Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

You know what today is, right? Only 44 shopping days left ’til Christmas! As if you weren’t stressed enough, trying to figure out where everyone and their +1 is going to sit and then realizing that with each dish broken over the last year, you moved closer and closer to hosting Thanksgiving on paper plates.

Our menu is set! I mean, you know, mostly. I’m always on the look for the next new great side dish. I’m still debating between a classic baked mac & cheese or a fancier one that uses goat cheese.

And after I typed that, I’m not even sure why it’s still up in the air :)

If you’re still working on yours and need a little inspiration, I’ve pulled together some of our fall favorites and the greatest hits from our holiday menus over the last few years.

Items marked * are on our menu this year. Probably. Almost definitely.

*Cranberry Margaritas
*And the usual drink selection (wine, water, sweet tea)

*Baked Brie en Croute with Orange Cranberry-Apple Sauce
Goat Cheese Phyllo Purses
*Veggie plate and Homemade Ranch Dressing for dipping

Soup & Salad
*Fall Salad with Roasted Pears, Cranberries, and Blue Cheese
Butternut Squash Soup

Main dishes
Roasted Turkey with Citrus and White Truffle Butter
Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic-Cranberry Sauce
*Garlic and Citrus Roasted Turkey (the drippings make a wonderful citrusy gravy)
Roast Pork with Pears and Caramelized Onions

Side dishes
*Dad’s Baked Beans
Butternut Squash Orzotto
*Baked Macaroni & Cheese
*Homemade Cranberry Sauce
*Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Dressing
*Thyme-Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese
Grilled Sweet Potato Rounds with Maple Vinaigrette
Roasted Green Beans
*Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Wedges with Bacon Vinaigrette

Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread (round loaves)
*Soft Dinner Rolls with Black Pepper & Rosemary

Pecan Pie Bars
Cranberry-Cream Cheese Bundt Cake
Pecan-Pumpkin Tart
*Southern-Comfort Apple Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
*Apple Dumplings
*Pecan Pie



Cilantro Tandoori Chicken Tacos

After being teased with bathing suit weather and endless fresh gulf seafood at Food Blog Camp in early January, we just couldn’t go back to heavy winter foods. So for the last couple of months, we’ve been eating like it was 80 degrees outside, even if it was only 35.

I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve had Cilantro Tandoori Chicken since January. The chicken sits in a fragrant and flavorful marinade and is then grilled to crispy and juicy perfection. While it’s very good as a grilled cut-up whole chicken (the original recipe), it’s excellent when served as tacos.

We serve the tacos with our favorite pineapple salsa, wrapped in a fluffy tortilla. Prior to cooking this recipe, neither of us were crazy about dark meat but we were quickly converted. We now “fight” over the last thigh and leave the white meat for the baby :)

A couple of notes: There is a lot of marinade here. The original recipe called for the legs, thighs, and breasts from a 4 lb chicken. The first time we made it, I realized it could easily handle double the chicken as I was pouring a bunch of used marinade down the drain. So now when I make it, I marinate 10-12 skin-on/bone-in chicken thighs in the biggest glass bowl we have. These leftovers don’t suck!

Tandoori Chicken Tacos

The chicken sits in a fragrant and flavorful marinade and is then grilled to crispy and juicy perfection. While it’s very good as a grilled cut-up whole chicken (the original recipe), it’s excellent when served as tacos.


  • Up to 12 chicken thighs (see note above)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander (I used 2 rounded tsp of whole coriander)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling grill pan/grate
  • Flour tortillas, for serving


  1. Place chicken in a large bowl. Place remaining ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. If you use a really thick yogurt, you might need to add a little milk if your blender struggles with the marinade.
  2. Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for several hours to overnight.
  3. Oil grill (or grill pan) and heat to medium. Remove chicken from marinade and shake off the excess marinade.
  4. Grill ~10 minutes each side (for bone-in/skin-on – use your meat thermometer), until juices run clear and the skin has nicely browned. Remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes before serving.


Yields: 4-6 servings (whole chicken) or up to 12 (individual thighs)

Adapted from Fresh Mexico, by Marcella Valladolid