Welcome to The Pink Kitchen.....where life is fashionably delicious!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Stuck in a "Shrimp Rut"

I'm always looking for a different shrimp recipe to try. I typically make Shrimp Alfredo, but I was craving something lighter and fresher. This recipe was perfect to get me out of my "shrimp rut". It's sweet, salty, and just downright yummy! Plus, the toasted coconut sprinkled on top adds a little something extra. I served this over brown rice for a nice weeknight dinner. If you buy shrimp that's already been peeled and deveined, it really cuts back on prep time. 

Spicy Mango Shrimp (adapted from Myrecipes.com)


3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Juice from 1/2 fresh lime, about 1 Tbsp
1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 semi-ripe mangos, cubed
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place shredded coconut on a baking sheet in a thin layer and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown (watch closely as it tends to burn quickly). 
Remove from oven and set aside. 
2. Heat oil in large pan over medium heat. Saute onion until tender. Add garlic, chili flakes, basil, soy sauce, lime juice, and shrimp. Cook shrimp until pink, about 3-5 minutes. Add mango and cook until heated through.
3. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and serve alone or over rice. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Move Over, Quaker

There's a new granola bar in town! According to one of my new favorite websites, Foodfacts.com, Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bars contain quite an interesting array of ingredients! Who knew?! First of all, and most alarming, they contain TBHQ. TBHQ is composed of butane, the main component of lighter fluid. YUM! When I typed "TBHQ" into the ingredient search toolbar on Foodfacts.com, over 1300 products were found including different types of potato chips, microwave popcorn, soups, and plenty of other things. I also discovered that the FDA only allows a 0.02% maximum of TBHQ in food because 1 gram can cause nausea, vomiting, tinnitus (ringing in ears), delirium, etc. 5 grams can cause death. Remind me to write a letter to the FDA thanking them for keeping such toxic ingredients out of our food! (Yeah right!) As if the TBHQ isn't enough to scare you off, the Quaker granola bars also contain artificial ingredients and BHT, another wonderful preservative. This is why I will continue to be one of those people in the aisle of the grocery store obsessively scanning the ingredient lists on packages. I refuse to be naive and ignorant to what the fabulous FDA is allowing companies to put in our food. Okay, I feel better know. 

So these are The Pink Kitchen version of Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bars. Minus ingredients that you can't pronounce or cause death. Not to mention, this recipe is going down in history up until now as the most delicious-smelling thing I have EVER made. I'm serious! Take a whiff once you add the vanilla to the butter/sugar/honey mixture. It's divine! It only gets better once you stir it into the oats! 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars


1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
4 Tbsp butter 
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips


1. Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking dish (I used a little dab of butter). Set aside.
2. Stir oats and rice cereal together in a large bowl. 
3. In a small saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar, and honey together over medium heat until bubbling. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
4. Pour melted ingredients over oat mixture and stir very well to coat. Pour oat mixture into prepared baking dish and press down. Use a square piece of parchment or wax paper the size of the dish and your hand to ensure the ingredients are tightly compacted. Sprinkle the top evenly with mini chocolate chips and press lightly with the parchment paper until chips adhere. 
5. Cool at room temperature for 2 hours, or until chocolate chips are set. Cut into bars and wrap in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 5 days. (Believe me, they won't last that long!)

Chester and I did not let a single drop of the sticky, honey mixture go to waste! Chester licked this bowl for about 20 minutes, and I scraped the saucepan out with a spatula! We are total oinkers, but we just couldn't help ourselves! 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Simply Sweet

These sugar cookies are more like a hybrid between a butter cookie and shortbread. They are not overly sweet, which is what I love about them. Not to mention they have a crisp, crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. Just be careful, though. You'll be eating them constantly. I ate them for breakfast the next day! This recipe is from my Mom and it's one of my favorites. I make them often throughout the year. They can also be sprinkled with colored sugar sprinkles for special occasions or holidays. They are perfect with a hot cup of tea!

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies


1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. Cream oil, butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients separately, then gradually add to wet ingredients and blend well. Chill until firm.
3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Press down on dough with cookie press dipped in sugar. Don't be afraid to really press hard. You want it to be really flat so the cookie gets nice and crisp. The cookies puff up slightly while baking, so don't worry. You won't be stuck with flat pancakes! :)
5. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 16 minutes, or until just starting to brown. Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks.