Grilled Basil & Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to eat shrimp.
And shrimp is probably one of my favorite foods.

This recipe is from my friend Rosemary--a super awesome cook,
who made these for me many years ago.
Everytime I make them I always think of her and all of her delicious recipes.

I'm sure that I've adapted this recipe over the years, 
but the concept is the same.

Grilled Basil & Prosciutto Wrapped Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp (I usually buy the "colossal"-about 12-15 shrimp) peeled and deveined
8 slices prosciutto, halved vertically
12-15 large basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons stone ground or creole mustard
2 cloves garlic, pressed

Place shrimp in a shallow dish for marinating.  Add the olive oil, mustard, and garlic.  Stir to combine and coat the shrimp well.  Cover and refrigerate for a few hours.  

Preheat grill to 400 degrees.  Wrap each shrimp in a basil leaf and slice of prosciutto.  Secure with a toothpick. 

Grill until prosciutto is crisp, about 6-8 minutes.

These are excellent served as a main course or appetizer.


Thirsty Thursday-The Negroni

I thought that I would change things up a bit with a classic cocktail...
The Negroni.

I normally stick to sweet, fruity cocktails, 
but thought that I would venture out a little this week.

This cocktail is subtly sweet due to the Sweet Vermouth, 
herbally thanks to the Gin,
and a little bit bitter due to the Campari.
All in all, 
a very good cocktail.
This cocktail is best enjoyed slowly...
it is quite strong.

Don't get me wrong,
I'm not complaining.
I still enjoyed it VERY MUCH!!

The Negroni

2 ounces gin
2 ounces sweet vermouth
2 ounces Campari
1 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
orange twist for garnish

Combine the gin, vermouth, Campari, and orange juice in a glass with ice.  Garnish with an orange twist.

(The classic Negroni doesn't have the orange juice, but I really liked the addition of the freshly squeezed orange juice to this cocktail.)


Black Bean and Chimichurri Goat Cheese Quesadillas

I'm a huge fan of Fine Cooking and
It is one of the best food magazines that I've found.
Some of my most favorite recipes lie in the annuals of the magazine, 
with helpful tips and ideas.

A while ago this recipe popped up on my email via Snooth.
(If you haven't ever checked this site out you should.  
It's full of great information regarding my favorite drink--wine!!)

I knew immediately that this recipe was definitely for me.

I just had to make it my own.
I have to do that (you know--I always have to change it up a little).
I don't know why I can't leave well enough alone, 
but I'm always wondering what can I do to make a recipe really, really good?

So for this one--chimichurri was the answer.

We absolutely love some chimichurri around here.
So goat cheese mixed with chimichurri had to be quite possible the best idea that I've had in
I don't know, EVER.

The chimichurri is spicy and herbally (is that a word),
paired with creamy and tangy goat cheese is just plain heavenly.
Add black beans, fresh flour tortillas, and spicy guacamole-
that my friends is a winner.

Black Bean and Chimichurri Goat Cheese Quesadillas
(adapted from

Printable Recipe

makes 3 quesadillas or 12 pieces

1 tablespoon chimichurri sauce, drained
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3 tablespoons butter
6 flour tortillas

In a small bowl, combine the chimichurri sauce and the goat cheese.  Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat.  Cook the onion until soft and translucent.  Add the black beans, chili powder, and cumin.  Mix well and use your spoon to smash the black beans.

In another medium-sized non-stick pan melt 1 tablespoon butter.  Place 1 tortilla in the butter covered with 1/3 of the black bean mixture and a few crumbles of the goat cheese.

Cover with the other tortilla.  Cook in the butter until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted on the inside.
Remove from the butter and cut into fourths.

Serve with guacamole.


Mango Black Bean Salsa

I really just can't stop with the fruit.
I've got to have it in everything.
Maybe I have a fruit deficiency???

I am also having a love affair with black beans.
I recently made some black bean and goat cheese quesadillas (will share soon) and have been putting them in everything.
They are just so darn good.

This is a quick and simple, just chop it up and go, kind of recipe.
You could definitely serve this as an appetizer or with fish or chicken.
Either way, you will finish off the bowl in no time.

Mango Black Bean Salsa

2 mangoes, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 small onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.