Thursday, April 26

Fresh Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa and Chipotle Lime Sauce

Nine years ago this summer I ate my very first fish taco. We were on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico. We stopped at a little cantina in San Miguel de Cozumel for a "bottle" of coke and noticed the sweet smell of fresh fish cooking. The Porters are lovers of seafood, any kind. I am not too crazy about anything that is overly fishy tasting....I may have mentioned this before. The longer we sat there in the shade we just couldn't resist the aroma of grilled fish and ordered a plate of fish tacos, the house specialty.

That was such a great day, not a cloud in the sky. Our table looked out over the Caribbean Sea, sand under our feet, salt air filling our lungs and a wonderful lazy breeze keeping us cool as we waited for our tacos.  When they arrived I was struck by how 'simple' they looked. Flour tortillas filled with light green cabbage that was chopped lacy thin, topped with fantastic looking huge chunks of grilled fish with wedges of lime on the side.

Needless to say the four P's were hooked. On the fish tacos. It's funny how something so simple can be so wonderful. Not sure if it was the setting, but is couldn't possibly have  been more perfect. Sea, sun and sand with a side of  Fresh Fish Tacos! And a can of Coke.
I love mangoes. I love limes. I love cilantro. Combine them altogether in this sweet and spicy salsa and it will send your fresh grilled fish tacos over the top! Oh so delicious! Choose fish that is readily available and fresh. Mahi Mahi, Tilapia, I like to use a good firm white fish, one that won't fall apart while grilling, but yet stay tender and flaky. This recipe is my version of a great fish taco. Read it, cook it, try it.....if you like. Assembled either way, fancy or plain, this is a wonderful way to eat fish, trust me on this.                                       
Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
Chipotle Lime Sauce


For Fish:                                        For Mango Salsa:     
1 lb. firm white fish                                 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp. canola oil                                     1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice                           1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
3 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro              2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder                1 handful cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt                                               1 cloves garlic, minced
10 flour tortillas                                        Juice of 1 lime
                                                                    Salt to taste

For Lime Sauce:                               Toppings:
1/2 cup sour cream                                   1 bag pre-shredded green cabbage
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice                  Avocado, thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lime                                              Mango Salsa
1 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce,               Lime Sauce
   finely chopped                                         Extra lime wedges
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Prepare the fish marinade by combining the fresh lime juice with all other ingredients. Add the fish and marinade to a zip lock bag, turning to coat. Leave to marinate while you prepare the Mango Salsa and Lime Sauce.

  • Prepare the lime sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt. 

  • Prepare mango salsa by mixing all ingredients together in a medium-large bowl and season to taste with salt.
  • Remove fish from the marinade and place on medium heat grill. Cook for 5-8 minutes depending on the thickness of your fish. Turn fish and cook another 2-3 minutes. Remove from grill and let rest for a few minutes. Warm the tortillas. Set out individual bowls of the Lime sauce, Mango salsa, sliced avocado, shredded cabbage and lime wedges.
  • For each individual taco, place some of the fish, breaking off chunks of the cooked fillets, on a tortilla, drizzle with the lime sauce, and top with cabbage, mango salsa and avocado.
Makes 2 servings, can be double to feed as many as you like.
ENJOY a bit of Mexico and thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, April 25


The Neiman Marcus $250 Cookie Recipe

If you hail from Texas I'm sure you have heard of the 'Neiman Marcus $250 cookie recipe caper'. It's a decades-old tall tale* kept alive by vengeful individuals who don't have anything better to do but sit around baking and eating Chocolate Chip cookies. Don't get me wrong or misunderstand my intentions, I am but a simple Texas woman who is VERY uncomplicated coming to you with truth on my side. For my faithful readers who live VERY far from Texas and may never have heard of Neiman-Marcus I will relate this tale of woe for it is:

Email text contributed anonymously, Nov. 1997:

FWD: Free Neiman-Marcus Cookie Recipe

This is a true story... Please forward it to everyone that you can.... You will have to read it to believe it.... My daughter and I had just finished a salad at Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas and decided to have a small dessert. Because both of us are such cookie lovers, we decided to try the "Neiman-Marcus Cookie". It was so excellent that I asked if they would give me the recipe and the waitress said with a small frown "I'm afraid not." Well" I said, "would you let me buy the recipe?"

With a cute smile, she said YES". I asked how much and she responded, "Only two fifty, it's a great deal!" I said with approval, "just add it to my tab". Thirty days later, I received my VISA statement from Neiman-Marcus and it was $285.00. I looked again and remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20.00 for a scarf. As I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said, "Cookie Recipe - $250.00". That's outrageous!!!
'Neiman-Marcus Cafe' at the Flagship store in downtown Dallas.

I called Neiman's Accounting Dept. and told them that the waitress said it was "two-fifty," which clearly does not mean "two hundred and fifty dollars" by any POSSIBLE interpretation of the phrase. Neiman-Marcus refused to budge. They would not refund my money, because according to them, "What the waitress told you is not our problem. You have already seen the recipe - we absolutely will not refund your money at this point." I explained to her the criminal statutes which govern fraud in Texas. I threatened to refer them to the Better Business Bureau and the State's Attorney General for engaging in fraud. I was basically told, "Do what you want, we don't care, and we're not refunding your money." I waited a moment, thinking of how I could get even, or even try to get any of my money back. I just said, "Okay, you folks got my $250.00, and now I'm going to have $250.00 worth of fun." I told her that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover in the United States with an e-mail account has a $250.00 cookie recipe from Neiman-Marcus... for free..She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this" I said, "Well you should have thought of that before you ripped me off", and slammed down the phone on her.. So, here it is!!! Please, please, please pass it on to everyone you can possibly think of. I paid $250.00 dollars for this...I don't want Neiman-Marcus to ever get another penny off of this recipe....

Neiman-Marcus Cookie Recipe 

2 cups butter, room temperature
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal, measure oatmeal and pulse in blender to chop it up a bit
24 oz. semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
4-8 oz. Hershey bars, chopped
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bars and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies. Have Fun!!!
This is not a joke - this is a true story. Ride free citizens!!!! This isn't some stupid chain letter either.. pass it on. If you don't, you won't die or get dumped. You'll just do the world an injustice... it isn't true dear friends. It's a classic urban fact, it is a version of another tall tale folklorists have traced as far back as 1948, when the ridiculously expensive recipe came from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The recipe in question there was for a Red Velvet Fudge Cake, supposedly asking price for that recipe at the time was $25. A lot in 1948! I may have to hunt this recipe down, real or not it sounds delish!
So everyone relax, Neiman's is NOT trying to scam us with their cookie recipe. I'm thinking Neiman's is doing fine on cash with out sticking it to the general public! Bake them up, real or 'tall tale', no matter these are excellent cookies as any Texan would tell you!
 I just love this photo of the Neiman Marcus Dallas Store circa 1947.  It is a Dallas icon and not to be missed. Window shopping on a beautiful Fall day is the BEST!

For my readers that live in other countries, here is the definition of a tall tale.
**A Tall Tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some such stories are exaggerations of actual events, for example fish stories ('the fish that got away') such as, "that fish was so big, why I tell ya', it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in!" Other tall tales are completely fictional tales set in a familiar setting, such as the American Old West. Hope this helps.

Thanks for stopping by and ENJOY the cookies!

Monday, April 23

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle-Orange Glaze

Nourishing our bodies with healthy food sometimes seems hard, especially when our lives are filled to over-flowing with work, church, children's soccor, cleaning the house, PTA meetings, Friday night Texas High School Football games....I could continue on down this road but what would be the point. Long story short: WE ARE ALL BUSY!  But taking care of our bodies should be high on our list, notice the reference to 'should'...that's for me in case y'all were wondering. What if I were to say that you could eat healthy with recipes that are full of zap, zeal, zest and zing AND quickly too? Well you can. Here is one of the P's favorite healthy, quick 'we've got church and three hours of homework' kind of busy night meal.

Eating right is easier than you think! This healthy, delicious grilled chicken is low in fat and calories and high on taste. I personally like this chicken recipes because it can be cooked in a flash and it uses ingredients I almost always have on hand. Best of all, it's scrumptious, visually impressive and is many things can you say that about? Smoky chipotle peppers gives this citrusy sauce that spicy ZIP everyone loves! It works equally well with skewered shrimp or pork chops on the grill. Slide a large green salad underneath and you've got yourself one fantastic healthy meal.

This fresh, spicy dish delivers loads of flavor without all the calories. Take it from the fridge to the table in under 30 minutes. Your family will be glad you did!!

Grilled Chicken with Chipotle Orange Sauce


  • 2 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce*
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Whisk orange juice concentrate, chilies, vinegar, molasses, mustard and salt in a small bowl. Pour half of the sauce into a Ziplock bag along with the chicken. Marinate anywhere from 15 minutes to eight hours.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high. Lightly oil the rack. Remove the chicken breast and grill for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken, brush with the remaining chipotle-orange glaze, and cook, brushing occasionally with more of the glaze, 4 minutes more. 
  • Turn the chicken again, brush with the glaze, and cook until no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 5 minutes more.


  • Chipotle Chilies in adobo sauce are smoked jalapenos packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Ethnic foods in your supermarket. Use more or less  depending on how much heat your tongue can stand! Once opened, they'll keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.
  • I always keep a can of orange juice concentrate in my freezer for occasions like this. I also freeze the concentrate in an ice cube tray, making it easier to take out only what is needed. With the Summer months ahead of us it comes in handy when making nice cool fruity drinks, smoothies, marinade and salad dressings.
  • This recipe can be doubled over and over again, feeding many.

I eat this grilled chicken with a green salad and a drizzle of aged Balsamic Vinegar.


Wednesday, April 18

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

Happy 110th Birthday Barnum's Animal Crackers!

  The year was 1902, date April the 18th and Nabisco's Barnum's Animals hit the shelves. Nabisco took a cookie, which had been popular in England for years, baked them in the shape of animals and created Barnum’s Animals, the official name of the soon to be popular "cracker". Animal crackers were made with a layered dough like crackers but were sweet like cookies. That same year the Wright brothers flew their first airplane, children smelled new boxes of Crayola Crayons for the first time and Strom Thurmond was born. It was a good year for longevity.
  Barnum’s Animals were an instant success thanks to marketing, Nabisco put their Animals in a package that looked like a circus wagon. Later that same year they attached a string handle onto the boxes so they could be hung on Christmas trees. In 1948 Nabisco officially changed the name to Barnum's Animal Crackers. Over the years, 54 different animals have made their way through the circus wagon. At the moment there are only 17 animals housed in the wagon shaped box. They for the most part have been animals one would see at the zoo or circus.

Speaking for my myself, I have fond memories from childhood of carrying the little stringed boxes of Barnum's Animals Crackers. Drinking them with milk, playing with them and sharing with friends. How is it possible that something so simple and let's be honest, not that grand be so lasting? I think it is the simplicity of this beloved cracker that has kept them on store shelves, kitchen counter tops, high chairs and in lunch boxes for 110 years. I do believe they're keepers!

Animal Crackers Seven Layer Bars

1 3/4 cups animal cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup vanilla chips
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 (14 oz) can condensed milk

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I like to use a 13×9 inch metal pan lined with non-stick foil or the new parchment/foil, I AM A FAN! Check it out.
-Mix together crumbs and melted butter; press into bottom of pan.
-Mix all the chips, coconut and nuts together in another bowl and sprinkle all but about ½ cup of the mixture over the crust. Drizzle the condensed milk over top. Sprinkle remaining chip mixture over top and press down firmly with back of a spatula.
-Bake on center rack for about 25 minutes. Cool completely. Lift foil from pan and cut into bars. Makes about 32 bars   


Sunday, April 15

Kitchen Essentials: Tools, Gadgets and Equipment

Let's talk kitchen gadgets. When it comes to matters of the kitchen, some cooks will argue that without their favorite pieces of equipment, it's difficult for them to cook their best. Some believe that a sharp knife is all you really need....don't get my family started on the subject of knives, they seem to think mine are never sharp enough! I am not one to have a cabinet full of gadgets and equipment, only the essentials. So what tools, equipment or gadgets would I consider an essential in my kitchen?  I have 3 criteria for what makes a good kitchen essential. 1. Ease of use. 2. Ease of clean-up and 3. Is it multi-purposed? Let's count down my beloved, can't do without, kitchen equipment. These are not the 'bare' essentials nor a comprehensive list for a fully equipped kitchen, this is middle of the road equipment that just makes life a little bit easier. Tools I would hate to live without, but I could if I had to!!

Here are my Top 12:

In no particular order.

1. Fine strainer or sieve: It can be used for several things. Straining water off of pasta, sifting flour or other dry ingredients and if you add a good clean piece of cheese cloth you can strain soups, stocks or even seeds from fruit. Leaving a very clear, smooth and fine liquid behind. I love multi-purpose items!


2. Digital Scale: Okay, I hear you. I know you think I am nuts, right? Why would we possibly need a digital scale? When baking you need to always be as precise as possible. Baking is not like cooking. When you 'cook' you can throw in what ever tastes good. Not so with baking, it really is like being in a Chemistry class. The right amount of baking powder for 2 cups of flour would be....???? Not everyone measures the same. Some take their measuring cup and reach down into the flour sack and come up with a big scoop. WRONG! You should always loosely spoon it into your cup and gently scrape off the top with the straight side of a knife. A digital scale takes out the guess work. Nothing is more accurate for prepping ingredients for baking. My absolute favorite thing to do with my digital scale is to weigh things like bread or cookie dough, cake pans filled with uncooked cake mixture etc.....this ensures that my rolls, cookies, cakes and other pastries all come out evenly! It makes my OCD happy! I just love it.


3. Citrus Juicer:  Whether it be a simple hand held wooden juicer or a more expensive electric juicer, you need a tool that will ensure you get every bit of juice out of your lemons! Pretty self explanatory, one is not better than the other, I personally like my hand held wooden juicer because of the easy clean up.



4. Kitchen Aid Electric Mixer: A good electric mixer can take care of ALL your mixing from cookie dough to marinades to whipping homemade cream. With additional attachments you can knead yeast dough, make pasta and even stuff sausage! Very versatile and saves your arms!


5. Mortar and Pestle: Used for centuries in all cultures. I use mine to crush spices and herbs making seasoning rubs, pesto, curry pastes and other herb spreads. I know that these things can be accomplished in a food processor with a click of a button, but sometimes you want to 'bruise' your herbs and not massacre them. Believe it or not it does bring out a different flavor in your herbs. Also I like it because of the easy clean-up. Quick!


6. Offset Spatula: Well this little gem doesn't need a lot of explanation. I have several in different sizes. I use them for icing cakes of course, but also to flip pancakes, remove cookies from the pan or even moving a whole baked fish to a serving platter. Great little tool.                                                                                


7. Parchment Paper and/or Non-Stick Foil: How did I live before non-stick foil? I praise whoever invented this most versatile of kitchen necessities. Every time I bake brownies or quick breads I line my pans with non-stick foil, what a wonder it is.....I don't have to grease and flour my pans anymore! A huge time saver and NO MORE washing of pans, what a joy these two items have been! Now they have Parchment Paper Foil! All in one! I can hardly wait to use that!!

8. A Set of Good Quality Knives: At least one paring, one 8 inch, one serrated blade and a good knife for chopping herbs. Good quality and proper care ensures a long life for your investment. Also having the right tool for the job will save you time as well. You will be able to cover all of your kitchen cutting job with these few knives.

9. Microplane/Rasp Zester: This long skinny handheld tool can be used to zest citrus, grate hard cheese like Parmesan or even shave chocolate for a garnish. I LOVE mine, I no longer have to fear leaving a little of my DNA in with whatever I am grating! I hate it when that happens!


10. Instant-read, Oven and Candy Thermometers: Not all ovens run the same temperatures, buy a descent oven thermometer and hang it on the middle rack in your oven. No more surprises when you open up the oven door to find your chicken went from golden and roasted to fried! Use an instant-read thermometer to determine if your chicken or fish is cooked through. You may not want a candy thermometer, I make candy around the holidays, so I made a good investment in a candy thermometer that will last for generations to come.


11. Kitchen Aid or Cuisinart food processor: It slices, dices, purees and whips. You can grind nuts and meat. It will even grind whole grains into specialty flours. Really?? WOW! It will make homemade peanut butter, mayonnaise, pasta, pie and pizza dough as well as cookie and bread crumbs. Need I say more? Who knows it might even unclog your sink! It's a great piece of equipment for any kitchen.


12. Good Quality Blender: Makes quick work of beverages like smoothies and milkshakes, marinades, salad dressings, crushed ice and even good homemade baby food.

Your kitchen - the bare essentials:

If you are just starting to cook, a newlywed or stocking a basic kitchen, running out to buy a 40-pound mortar and pestle may not be your first priority. But there are a handful of tools that should be in every kitchen, no matter your skill level or passion for cooking.

These would be my recommendations:

-- 8- or 10-inch chef's knife
-- Paring knife
-- Bread knife
-- Whisks, 2
-- Spoons - wooden and metal, solid and slotted
-- Vegetable peeler
-- Spatulas - rubber, metal and silicone
-- Cutting board
-- Tongs
-- Measuring spoons
-- Measuring cups
--Baking Sheets, 2
--Baking Pans for cakes,3
--Pie Plate
--Oven-Proof Casserole Dishes
--INVEST in Good Quality Pots, Saucepans and Skillet
--Varying Sizes of Mixing Bowls

This list doesn't include absolutely everything, but if you are just starting out buy only what you need and add when you can. Buy yourself a really great cookbook and a pretty apron and get busy!

ENJOY, and may the Cooking Fairy shine down on you!

Saturday, April 14

Herb & Garlic Crusted Fillet of Beef

  There are a few cooks I have enjoyed watching over the years. They inspire me to cook outside of  "my box". I love Ina Garten, Lidia Bastianich and Lucinda...I don't know her last name but it's 'Mad Hungry" Lucinda..she's great. I enjoy these cooks amongst a few others. I mean really....the food these women prepare is readily assessable, NOT overly complicated and totally eatable. Does that make sense to you? Well it does to me. Why would I want to spend my time watching a cooking show if I'm never going to try any of their recipes myself? I certainly don't want to watch a cooking program that is going to make me feel totally inadequate in the kitchen or talk down to me either. I have been cooking for 25+ years now and I have been around that block a few times myself.
 Use a selection of whatever herbs you have on hand, such as thyme, rosemary, flat-leaf parsley, oregano and basil, or use coriander, lemongrass, grated lime rind and ginger for an Asian twist. The success of this dish is in the quality of it's ingredients. Make sure the herbs are fresh and the beef is USDA Prime. My favorite combination being flat leaf parsley, rosemary, garlic and a little lemon zest.


3/4 cup chopped fresh mixed herbs
2 pounds beef fillet, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, crushed


1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Spread the chopped herbs on a sheet of parchment paper.
3. Brush the beef with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season liberally with salt and pepper, spread over the crushed garlic then roll in herbs to coat, pressing in with your fingers. This can be done up to 3 hours prior to cooking.
%nrecipes Recipe: Herb & Garlic Crusted Fillet of Beef with Aioli
4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sturdy cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat.
5. Add the beef fillet, sear each side until evenly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
6. Transfer skillet to oven and cook 20 minutes for rare, or 30 minutes for medium.
7. Cover the beef loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

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Enjoy it served with roasted red potatoes, asparagus*, salad and store bought aioli sauce.........
%nrecipes Recipe: Herb & Garlic Crusted Fillet of Beef with Aioli

......or simply sliced and served with drippings from the skillet. Works for me!

*Asparagus recipes!

Friday, April 13

~Dark Chocolate Heaven~

Double Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes


Mocha Buttercream Frosting

As we traveled through France we stopped at many 
Pâtisserie, Fromagerie and la Boulangerie.
I can sum France up for you in  
3 words. France Loves CHOCOLATE!
I had finally made it to my mecca. I was in Chocolate Heaven.
Not just any chocolate but DARK, RICH VELVET-Y CHOCOLATE.
Almost daily we ate something with chocolate in it or on it.
Hot croissants stuffed full of melted dark chocolate, oh my!
The quality of the chocolate was over the top, superb.
It became routine for Mr.P and me to stop every morning and
pick up our pastries and cafe au lait. Find a nice sunny spot in one of the parks or
wander down to the river Seine. Finding a lovely old bridge, we would sit
and enjoy the beauty and mystery that is Paris.
......and our chocolate too!


Makes 9-inch double layer cake or about 14 large chocolate cupcakes.

For the chocolate cream:
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup milk
1 large egg

For the batter:
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 ¼ cup sifted flour, sifted BEFORE measuring
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2/3 cup cold water, can replace half of the water with coffee
1 tsp vanilla
*1 ¾ tsp baking soda
*1/4 cup warm water

 The Chocolate Custard:
Whisk the sugar, cocoa powder, milk and egg together in a medium saucepan until thick, creamy and very smooth. Place the saucepan over low heat and very gently bring to a low boil. Whisking constantly, continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer until it becomes a thick sauce or custard. Remove from the heat, set aside and allow to cool.

The cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Either grease and flour two 9-inch or three 8-inch cake pans. Line the bottom of each with parchment paper or line cupcake tins with paper cup liners.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until blended and light. Beat in the eggs one at a time just until blended. Beat or stir in the chocolate custard in a few additions, blending thoroughly. Stir the sifted flour, baking powder and salt together; beat the flour mixture into the batter in three additions alternating with the cold water/coffee in two, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Add the vanilla.

**Dissolve the baking soda in the warm water then stir quickly into the cake batter until very well blended. Pour into the prepared cake pans or ladle into the cupcake cups and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until puffed, the center is set and a tester inserted in the center comes out dry.

Allow to cool on racks – if baking the cake layers, allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes before running a sharp knife around each cake to loosen and turn out onto cooling racks. For the cupcakes, remove the cupcake cups from the tins and allow to cool completely on cooling racks.

Frost when cooled.


If you are making a layer cake make a double batch of icing for spreading in between the layers, the top and sides of the cake. A single recipe will suffice for cupcakes.
6 oz powdered sugar
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbs boiling coffee
or café au lait!!

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and the powdered sugar together. Add the cocoa powder and the boiling coffee and beat, scraping down the sides as necessary, until well blended and fluffy.

It is SO easy to make a cake instead of cupcakes. Notice there is no frosting on the side of this cake.
Forgot to make extra icing, oh well it's still DISHY!
It won't last the weekend at Porter South.

This cake has been inspected and given the Mr.P Stamp of Approval!

Tuesday, April 10

Cancun's Underwater Museum



 Cancun, Mexico has a new tourist attraction that combines sculptures and ... snorkeling? That's right. The Cancun Underwater Museum, called the MUSA, attracts divers from all over the world.
Cancun is a beautiful place to visit. Many visitors vacation there every year and one of the most popular activities people take part in is snorkeling. I posted a few weeks ago of my love for snorkeling. When I saw pictures of this amazing underwater museum off the coast of Cancun I was intrigued. I began searching for information on these statues. My first question was, why?  Who would put life size statues on the sea floor and why? Artist Jason deCaires Taylor that's who. He was inspired to help conserve Cancun's Reefs.  
This amazing underwater museum is located a short distance from the famous
Manchone Reef off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Taylor's goal is
to give Cancun’s reef areas a much needed boost from past hurricane damage.
This unusual museum, named MUSA, consists of over 400 permanent life-size sculptures.
Artist Jason deCaires Taylor was inspired to use local people as models for his statues.
The sculptures in MUSA Cancun are created from special materials which promote marine life and were specifically designed to eventually become artificial reefs. The longer the sculptures are in the water, the more they will change as coral and other sea life begin to call the artworks home.
Eventually many species will take up residence here, bringing new forms of life. Long term, Taylor's objective is to preserve the Manchones reef. Avid divers have been drawn to his artwork keeping them away from the natural reef allowing it to grow and thrive. The MUSA is the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world. The museum is free, and open to all. However it is recommended that you are accompanied by a licensed diver.
       If you are planning on vacationing in the Yucatan, make sure you dive into the
beautiful waters of Isla Mujeres and swim through one of the most innovative art
exhibits in the world:  MUSA......ENJOY!