Nando’s Peri-Peri Shrimp in lettuce cups, cricket protein in ranch flavor and why I am ready for self driving cars.

Okay I am going to get right down to it….first Degusta review and recipe, I was recently told by another blogger, that he hates having to read the backstory on food blogs to get to the recipe, so for those folks I am putting that info first, it is your choice if you want to take it deeper at that point.
April’s degusta had some really interesting products, my recipe will feature the Nando’s Garlic peri-peri sauce. This recipe is so fast that you could have it on the table before you can even order pizza. It’s healthy, and I do really love it when I make something that isn’t just delicious but also low in carb, fat, gluten and calories. It will counter act the bagel sandwich I ate for breakfast! LOL.
Peri-peri Shrimp:
1 pound of shrimp, deveined, tails removed. So you can eat the whole damn thing with reckless abandon!
¼ Nando’s, I used garlic but they have several other varieties
1 tsp old bay seasoning
½ tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp mirin, or white wine
1 Tbsp peanut oil
4 lettuce leaves that can be good for cupping the shrimp.
Garnishes that you like: I used tiny diced red and green bell peppers.
Marinate the shrimp in the peri-peri, old bay, mirin/wine, pepper, for up to 20 minutes.
Heat a skillet on high, add peanut oil, when the oil shimmers at you like a glitter covered stripper, add your marinated shrimp, making sure they don’t crowd each other, you want them to brown up. After about 3 minutes flip em, and cook another minute or two, turn of the heat. Place your lettuce cups on two plates, fill them with the shrimp and top with garnishes. Ya done, son, eat.
The next product I wanted to review was the Wilton’s Candy Melts drizzle pouch, I had, shall we say less success with this. (pic)
I followed the directions and reheated twice on top of that but mine never really got “drizzle” like, mine was more of a “plop pouch” with the consistency of peanut butter. That being said, it was rather tasty, and my kids really enjoyed it…plop and all. I think it needs a little less stabilizer (palm oil).
The lovely Candy chewy caramels were a hit, they are even wrapped with wax paper like the homemade ones the neighbors would give out at christmas when I was a kid …10 outta 10. I love Mutti tomato products anyway, so I was stoked to get tomato concentrate in a tube, best way to buy and use tomato paste, you utilize more product with the tube as the can, can be precarious to get all the paste out…WINNER! I liked the Bush’s hummus made easy, but the only thing that bothered me is the added sugar, hummus doesn’t need added sugar in my opinion so I probably will stick to buying tahini and making my own. I like the Better oats, and I would buy this again, it’s a lot heartier and tasty than conventional instant oats, great if you add some fresh fruit and toasted walnuts. The PR bar had a chalky aftertaste to me, but my 10 year old daughter loved it, so if i needed a quick meal replacement or snack if I was in a rush, I would feed these to my kids. The “chorido’s” are a snack food made with cricket protein, they have mole, ranch, and salsa flavor, they kind of look like a frito, and my kids loved them. I find it rather inspiring that a company is making a snack food that contains a sustainable protein, yeah I felt a bit weird at first, but other cultures have been utilizing insects as snacks for centuries. I loved the cafe Bustelo instant espresso, it was super easy to make or carry with you to mix with hot water, haters gonna hate on instant coffee, but I think the Europeans do it quite well. I don’t have a K-cup machine for the skinny girl tea, so I will pass those along to a friend who has one!
After nearly getting hit by a speeding van that ran a red light today, I have decided that I am on board with self driving cars. I have been in more than my share of minor-mid range car wrecks in my life. Auto accidents are fucking horrible, and I think that driving is hands down the most dangerous thing we do in a day. Yet, with all the hazards, health consequence, and expense, humans are totally addicted to cars and they are still some archaic shrine to social status! You know those “life flashes before your eyes” moments? I have felt it only twice in my 36 years, the second time was this morning. I made it out unscathed except I spooked myself real good, my heart still pounds due to adrenaline release, some folks do “extreme” sports and things to feel this….I don’t like feeling this, some say it makes you “feel alive”, I totally agree but it’s that lingering sense of how fragile life is that remains. Fragile things are usually beautiful, but often aren’t intended to last forever, just like being a human. I think the lesson is to focus on being present. Anyway, get us some self driving vehicles Elon, I trust the robots more than the humans. And if that offends you…you probably haven’t been in any car accidents.

How to Barbecue chicken anything.

Whoa Nelly! It’s been a while hasn’t it? As life goes, on occasion, things got a bit hectic there for a bit. Usually “no news”…is dull…but “no news” is also known to be “good news”. I got a bit of news, one of those things is my Dad’s struggles with his health (insert frowny emoji here) there is really no point in going into details but for the last several years he has faced some serious setbacks. He is still here to tell about it so that in itself is pretty admirable. I think our society needs to be more open and respectful towards age related issues, add ageism to the agenda, but Dad has again dodged a bullet and I was chatting and laughing with him via telephone 10 minutes ago and I am very glad we could. My oldest child is 10! That’s a decade….a decade is a large chunk of existence….that feels like a milestone (cue the inspiring “eye of the tiger” style music) I remember folks telling me when she was a newborn “how fast it goes” and I remember in my sleep deprived mind thinking how bad I just really wanted to shower….but it is…..time goes by…before you want it to and you try to preserve a tiny little taste of the moment before you lose it. A big shoutout to instagram for helping out in that department, I ain’t much of a scrapbooker myself so digital recording helps me. Last month’s degustabox was a winner, I made that pretty pizza at the top of the page with the Boboli crust sample, and it turned out quite well. You can really barbeque chicken anything if you follow a few simple steps:
Chicken, cooked, it can be breast chunks, or thigh shreds, or ground. Just cooked in advance, about two cups worth.
½ or more cups of barbecue sauce, feel free to chose your own adventure here, I really like that I can buy Podnah’s at Freddy’s!
Smoked gouda…trust me….a few handfuls
Red onions or green onions, do you.
Cilantro good for contrast and adds a fresh element.
Bread like product, premade pizza crust, homemade pizza crust, pita, French bread, country bread, gf pizza loaf, cauliflower crust for you pinteresters!
Bacon is optional
Heat your oven to 450 degrees, top bread of choice with sauce, chicken, cheese, bacon, onions…bake 10 min or so….remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.
We went to Astoria….again…I have these fantasies sometimes to escape the perils of urban living, like when I have to move a homeless camp to park or hit another pothole in traffic, I imagine what life would be like if I lived in Astoria…no one blocking my driveway! Smoked fish ery’day! BEER! But then I zip back to reality and realize that I really actually like where I am….but I do love checking out Astoria homes on Zillow! Anyway, we went to Astoria for a few days while the kids were out on Spring break and for Ava’s birthday it was awesome…well there was one steamer pail of sandy clams…but besides that it was awesome. I, of course drank great beer, ate good stuff, and had fun, but this trip I also met some “characters” you know the type, kinda chatty, but not in a creepy way, randoms that you meet at coffee shops, bowling, shopping, or at crab shacks. You don’t encounter these types often, but when you meet an authentic stranger it can really make the human part of life more inspiring…you will never see these people again, but you had an authentic conversation in that short meeting…and authentic conversations are hard to come by in the city.
One of these “characters’ was “Fast Eddie” he was the sole cook and employee on duty when we went to a crab shack on the way back to Portland. He took orders, handled the cash, cooked, and served! And while doing all this with a rather busy crab shack, he narrated stories about his life. I knew when he told me to ladle my own chowder he would a great guy to work with. He was quite “Fast” indeed and everyone was happy. As he was busing our table as we left I asked if I could take his picture and he seemed rather flattered, he posed by the door to the kitchen and was quite proud, it was inspiring and he seemed familiar to me, like the ghosts of all the cooks who were mentors in my cooking journey. Sadly, Eddie told us that he had a heart problem that was pretty serious and that he isn’t quite as fast as he used to be, but I told him he could smoke guys half his age…and he seemed pleased. My favorite line was when a guy walks in and says “What’s good?” and Eddie says “Everything is good, this is the best seafood on the coast, I fished Alaska for 35 years..what kind of question is that?” then he up sold them a plate of crab cakes……priceless.
I really like people…but sometimes I need a recharge….and changing my scenery sometimes makes what I already have show its full worth and my full admiration.