Our favorite meal this summer has been Shrimp Tacos. The are so packed with flavor and these suckers are super healthy! So we thought why not share the goodness with everyone. So here we go!
We get 2lbs of shrimp. You can get frozen if you don’t have access to thawed or fresh but obviously the fresher the better.
Peel and rinse the shrimp and skewer them. Make the marinade and brush the skewered shrimp.
Grill them till they are pink and have a nice little char on them. Then let them rest in the remaining marinade.
We make a nice slaw to go on top and sometimes we get creative and make our own charred pepper tomatillo sauce. (All those recipies are below)
Jicama tortillas are a GREAT alternative to tortillas so we use those as our base. A little shrimp, a little slaw with a touch of sauce and it’s the perfect summer meal!
Jicama Tortillas ( flour or corn tortillas for a non healthy option)
1 bag of shredded cabbage
1/2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
A pinch of paprika
1/4 tsp of chili powder
1/2 Tsb of minced garlic
1/3 tsp of melted butter
1/3 cup of Franks Hot Wing sauce
Roasted Green Sauce:
2 poblano peppers
1/3 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp of light ranch dressing (optional)
1. In a bowl add red wine vinegar, cabbage and spices and mix and put in fridge.
2. Peel, skwer and marinade shrimp.
3. Roast poblano and tomatillos on the grill. When you take them off put the shrimp on. Cook them and baste as needed.
4. Once everything is off the grill brush remaining marinade on the shrimp and let them sit.
5.Remove tops and seeds of the poblano. Put poblanos and tomatillos in a blender. Blend for 30seconds before adding oil in. ** if you want more of a salsa taste stop there. If you want more of a creamy sauce ranch.
6. Pull the slaw out of the fridge and assemble.
If you aren’t on a super strick healthy eating plan add your favorite taco toppings like a slice of avacado, hot sauce or queso fresco.
I portion out my protein and sauce to make sure I’m getting good balanced and healthy portion, where as my husband (who can eat anything and still loose weight) piles all his favorite toppings on top along with fresh jalapeño.
My husband and I love to cook, especially big meals. When the family Thanksgiving plans started to circulate we were at first eager to do a turkey. Then my brother and sister-n-love volunteered to handle the turkey, gravy and stuffing so we then began to divide up all the sides and desserts amongst the rest of the families. For a moment we were actually a tad relived that the overwhelming task of cooking a turkey wasn’t on our shoulders.
Then my mom called. They were expecting 20+ people to be at Thanksgiving and she was a tad nervous that one turkey wasn’t going to be enough for everyone to eat to their hearts content. So our relief was short lived.
For the past 7 years Albert and I have always cooked our turkey the same way… and it’s good, but we like change and my brother was going to be cooking his in the oven so we wanted to offer a different type of turkey. Frying seemed a little overwhelming to me personally so we figured, since it’s our first year as Texans we will smoke us a turkey.
Wednesday morning we lined our gumbo stock pot with a brining bag, made our brine mixture and let the turkey bathe in it for 24 hours.
After weeks of research, conversations with pros and friends we were ready for the big day. The only problem is, our family planned to eat at 12… which meant we had to start our turkey smoking adventures EARLY.
1:30 AM early. Al got up and started the fire in the smoker and I headed to the kitchen to start the first pot of coffee.
About 4:30AM the smoker was up to temp and the fire was now a pile of hot coals. So out came the bird. We let it dry for about 30 min before basting it and putting it on the pit.
Over the next 8 hours, Albert stuck next to the smoker like glue. Tending the coals, basting the turkey and swapping out wood chips when needed. When we first put the turkey on the smoker we covered the wings with foil to keep them from overcooking and burning. About half way through we removed the foil and rotated the turkey.
The last 2 hours he sprayed the skin with apple cider every 15 minutes which made the skin nice and crispy and flavorful!
Finally it was done and it was worth every second! Albert was also really proud.
It didn’t last long once it was carved and on the table. It was so good we are ready to smoke another one for Christmas.
If you plan to smoke a turkey in the near future…. then here’s our 2 recommendations.
Brine that baby…. I don’t think we will ever cook another Turkey without bringing ever again. You can find tons of great brine recipes on Pinterest. How to Smoke a Turkey this pin has a great brine recipe and some great tips! Perfect Smoked Turkey here is another article we used.
Schedule your meal for 3 or later…. if not you’ll be up early and on your 5th pot of coffee by lunch.
We are huge fans of Texas Hill Country. We try to make a trip out every year preferably in the summer. Give me the warm summer sun, the breeze off the river or lake with a faint hint of suntan lotion and I’m a happy girl. Flip flops, sunroofs open, country road exploring that’s my kind of summer.
We like to travel to places that aren’t as popular. My husband is a foodie and I love small towns with a vintage feel. It was easy for us to fall in love with Gruene.
In 1845 a German immigrant, Ernest Gruene, and his family tried to buy land in Nee Braunfels but land was scarce, so he ventured out across the Guadalupe and bought land. His son Henry decided he would plant and grow cotton around his home. Soon after they built a cotton mill and soon families flocked to the area in need of work. The town quickly sprang up but soon after a string of miss fortunes and the depression eventually lead to its demise. Everything closed except for Gruene Hall. In 1974 an avid kayaker later discover the abandoned town fell in love and saved it from demolition. He along with others started the restoration and helped make it into the quant antique town that it is today.
The streets of Gruene are in the form of T with Gruene Hall and the Gristmill at the center. The hall is now a host to live music, community gatherings and good ol’ honky tonks.
The Gristmill Restaurant and Bar sits behind it and is by far one of our places to visit. The original mill was burned in the 1922 which makes the restaurant have a unique look and feel. It’s open air, outdoor atmosphere with the subtle sound of the Guadalupe below makes for a relaxing feel. The restaurant itself is made up of old bridling remains, rustic decor and modern structure. Nestled on the side of a hill, over looking the Guadalupe, it’s like dining in a structure straight out of Swiss Family Robertson.
The food,like it’s atmosphere, is fantastic. On our most recent trip, Albert and I had lunch and both enjoyed sandwiches on delishious sourdough bread. The country club I had was the perfect blend of refreshing and filling for a warm summer day. One of their signature sauces is called “Prime Sauce” let me just say, I would of ordered a few bottles had it been available. Traditionally it comes on the country club sandwich but I opted for it on the side. Man, I dipped everything in it. If your a suace collector and a foodie like us, prime sauce is something to try. It had hints of horseradish and Dijon mustard amongst other creamy flavors. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The food was so good we were to full to try desserts but from their six layer German chocolate cake, to their chocolate sundae it all sounded amazing.
After lunch we took a short walk down to the Guadalupe. This trip the river was to high and flowing at about 4,300 CFS, which is to dangerous for recreational tubing or kayaking. In the past though, I have floated it numerous time and it’s always a blast. Rockin’ R and Gruene River Co. are located across the river in Gruene and both make tubing and rafting trips a memorable one. The Guadalupe is large and rough in places so it’s not one I would recommend take young kids or weak swimmers on. Don’t worry though the Comal River host tubing in New Braunfels and is a mild and fun ride for all ages.
After checking out the river we headed back up the hill to Gruene, walked around the quant town and explored many of the antique shops and unique boutiques.From clay pots, pieces of American history and Texas proud souvenirs there are certainly treasures to be found. Every third Saturday, Gruene host a open market filled with all kinds of vendors with homegrown to homemade goods. If you plan to visit during Gruene Market Days make sure to get there around 9am or before. The market opens at 10am but parking is often hard find once they open.
If you live outnumbered like we do, quant towns with that step back in time feel are the much needed break you need. If your wanting to plan a romantic weekend then check out the Gruene Mansion Inn. It’s a perfect foundation to a great vacation.
So if your looking for something a little different to do in the great state of Texas consider the Hill Country and well… Go Gruene.