“Travel Cooking with Bruce” ~ Conch Ceviche…from Beautiful San Pedro, Belize!

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 Check out our latest, impromptu, on the fly, taping of:

Travel Cooking with Bruce ~ Conch Ceviche from San Pedro, Belize!

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Fresh Conch Ceviche & Chips

Here, Chef Bruce shows us how to make Conch Ceviche – from our Kitchen in our new home  –

In Beautiful San Pedro, Belize!

Ceviche is much like Pico de Gallo Salsa, but made with a main ingredient of diced fish,

which is usually “cooked” by marinating in Lime Juice.

Fresh and bright, it is a Caribbean Favorite!

Hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making [and eating] it!

We make these videos just for fun, so please no critiques on my amateurish filming, editing or narration. 🙂

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Beautiful San Pedro, Belize

Beautiful San Pedro, Belize

You can also Click the LINK BELOW to view it on YouTube:

***  Travel Cooking with Bruce ~ Conch Ceviche from San Pedro, Belize! ***

or – Copy & Paste this URL in your browser: http://youtu.be/sNrBIlBn-zg

Poached Pears w/ Condensed Milk & Chocolate Ganache ~ Yum!

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This easy, elegant looking dessert recipe is another example of how to create something delicious to eat with whatever ingredients you already have on hand.

We both wanted dessert. There were three local pears in a bowl that had to be used, like, now. Bruce said “I can poach them in simple syrup.” That sounded good. I said, “I have an open can of sweetened condensed milk, a new bag of chocolate chips, and a little heavy cream left. I have an idea!” ***

Poached Pears with Condensed Milk

& Chocolate Ganache

METHOD:

He peeled the pears, then poached them in boiling sugar and water. Then we cooled the poached pears in the freezer for 10 minutes. Just before serving, Bruce heated the heavy cream over a double boiler, and folded an equal amount of chocolate chips into it. He drizzled the cooled pears with sweetened condensed milk, and then the ganache. I sprinkled a small amount of raw sugar over it, just to make it glisten.

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That’s It! It couldn’t be easier!

We just threw this together with what we had, and it was FABULOUS!

I mean, lick the bowl fabulous. :p

Remember – You CAN go into the kitchen with no ideas, and still come up with something great. You will never know how good you are at it until you try!

All it takes is to Be Creative!

Please feel free to share your photos, recipes or ideas with us.

If it worked and looks good – we’ll post it here

giving YOU full Photo or Recipe Credit! 🙂

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*** For our CHOCOLATE GANACHE RECIPE, click here!

Shrimp in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

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Shrimp & Fresh Pasta in Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

 “It’s no secret that I love tomatoes, homemade pasta and seafood…

…and the multiple combinations and possibilities using herbs, wines, butters and cream. Having worked in many restaurants, we often made tomato and cream sauces, calling them “Rose Sauces”. The term was used as a quick way to communicate to our guests about the color of the sauce, but it did not succeed in describing the flavors or ingredients to them. Over time, I dropped that term from my menus, and wrote descriptively about tomato sauces; offering critical ingredients that dominated the flavors of the dish. If made often, you will see when combining tomatoes and cream, the results can vary depending upon the type of cream and its origin, or where the tomatoes and garlic were grown. These factors do influence the flavors in your sauce. This fact holds true for the origin of all your ingredients. So I am careful and choosy when making classic sauces. For this dish, I decided to bring back a classic sauce using fresh pasta, tomatoes, cream and shrimp. Note: If you do not eat, do not want, or do not have shrimp on hand – this sauce and dish work equally as well without. You may also choose to omit the cream, and use as a delicious “any day” Tomato Sauce.

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Natural, Quality Ingredients

The tomatoes I used for this recipe are ripe whole tomatoes in puree (canned) from Italy, the cream is local and organic, the garlic and basil were grown in upper Bucks County. This is an easy recipe that anyone can make at home. So, Let’s Get Cooking! 🙂 ” ~ Chef Bruce

 Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

(with Shrimp & Fresh Pasta}

Prep Time: 20 minutes ** Cooking time: 20 minutes

* Natural Ingredients: (Serves 2)

4 ounces fresh pasta (you may use dry as well).

** Cook the pasta according to directions, but do not over cook the pasta. The pasta will be added to the shrimp and sauce so it will be cooked a bit more in the sauce.

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Fresh, Homemade Pasta

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

10 Shrimp, shelled and deveined *

1 Tblsp Chopped fresh garlic

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or chopped fresh chilies

1/4 cup dry white wine (I prefer Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)

1/2 cup diced tomatoes in puree, or use your own fresh tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh cream (I used organic half & half)

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh milled black pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

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Simmering the Tomatoes, Herbs & Spices

* Method:

  1. Place a 10 or 12 inch sauté pan on medium flame. Add the olive oil and butter.
  2. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, add the shrimp to the pan in single layer. Cook the shrimp on both sides for about one minute each side.
  3. Add the garlic and stir but do not burn the garlic. Add the white wine and cook for about one minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Add the cream, salt, milled pepper and basil. Bring to a boil again and then add the cooked pasta.
  6. Stir all ingredients together and taste if more salt or pepper is needed. If you think you need more sauce, just add a few tablespoons more cream.
  7. Plate, and serve. If your pasta absorbs the sauce, you may add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock. Enjoy!
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Fresh Tomato Basil Cream Sauce w Pasta

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Easy Butter Pecan Caramel Candy Recipe

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Home Made Butter Pecan Caramels

Butter Pecan Caramels

I love sweets. There. I said it.

I must have a sweet treat after dinner every night. But we try not to eat processed foods anymore.

What’s a girl to do?

That is why I began my quest to make my own sweets. By making my own all natural desserts and treats, I can satisfy my sweet tooth without compromising our goal of eating as few food additives as we can.

I’d been making a lot of chocolates and such lately, and was craving something different. So I set out on a Google Search to find something yummy for my tummy. You can find a recipe for almost everything on the ‘net today. I am not sure how the idea of Squirrel Nut Zippers came to me. For some reason, it did.

My Inspiration: Squirrel Nut Zippers

Squirrel Nut Zippers are individually wrapped, odd little caramel-type candies I used to see only at Halloween time.Back in the days when candy didn’t have to be ‘sealed for your protection’. Anyway… Lo and behold, someone had posted a home made version of them! [original recipe link at page bottom] I couldn’t wait to try it!

I love that this recipe is super easy. I love that it is made in one bowl and one pan. I did not love that it called for corn syrup, as I don’t use it. Instead, I substituted honey in one trial, and  Brown Rice Syrup in another. Both worked fantastically. The original recipe also calls for walnuts. Neither of us likes walnuts, so I substituted pecans. WOW! It taste AWESOME! I made them twice in two months, so they must be good! Well, what are we waiting for?

Let’s Get Cooking!

Butter Pecan Caramels

Butter Pecan Caramels

Easy Butter Pecan Caramels

*Ingredients (makes 40 – 50 small candies) 
All Natural Ingredients

All Natural Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Honey, Maple, or Brown Rice Syrup (or light Karo syrup)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (or other nuts of choice)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Sprayed Pan Lined with Parchment, then nuts

Sprayed Pan Lined with Parchment, then nuts

Method:
  • Prep a 8″ X 8″ casserole dish with cooking spray on bottom and sides, and then line pan with parchment paper. DO NOT skip the parchment paper step!! You need it to remove the candy from the pan.
  • Sprinkle nuts evenly on bottom of pan and set pan aside.
  • In a large microwave safe glass or ceramic bowl (i used corningware) mix together butter, sugars, honey / syrup and condensed milk. The caramel will bubble up when cooking, so make sure your bowl is large enough.
  • Cook mixture on High for 7 total minutes, STOP AND STIR at the 2, 4 and 6 minute marks.
Mix at 4 minutes

Mix at 4 minutes

Mix at 6 minutes

Mix at 6 minutes

  • Remove the cooked mixture from the microwave. Add the vanilla and stir.
  • Gently pour the hot caramel mixture into the lined pan, trying not to displace the nuts.
Cooked mix in lined pan

Cooked mix in lined pan

  • Sprinkle sea salt evenly over the caramel. Set the on the counter to cool for 20 minutes. The original recipe says to fridge the mix at this point, but when I did, it got all moist & sticky the next day. We recommend you simply allow to cool on counter several hours, until firm and no longer sticky.
  • Remove caramels from pan by gently lifting the ends of the parchment paper. If the caramel sticks, gently go around the edge of the pan with a spatula to loosen. They should then lift right out. lip & turn out on flat dish or cutting board. Remove parchment.
Cut into pieces

Cut into neat pieces

  • Using a bench scraper or large chefs knife, cut into 1″ squares, or 1 x 1.5″ rectangles.
  • Plate so they do not touch each other – they will stick. Or, wrap pieces in wax paper to store. Unwrap, eat, and enjoy!

Try them using maple syrup, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, coconut –  experimenting is fun!

Try Peanut  Caramels too!

Try Peanut Caramels too!

 

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** Original Source Recipe HERE: Homemade Squirrel Nut Zippers

Caye Lime Coconut Butter Cream Candies! ~ Made in Beautiful BELIZE!

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Woot! We are on holiday in sunny San Pedro, Belize

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We have been coming to the gorgeous Caribbean Island of Ambergris Caye (prounounced “Amber-Grease [or gris] Key”) for several years, and have developed friendships with a lovely and diverse group of people.

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Just 4 Simple Ingredients!

Today, a dear friend came to cook and lunch with us. While it was a casual thing, I wanted to have a little sweet treat for after our savory meal.

But some ingredients I use often at home are not available here, as they would have to be imported and barged here. Like Lemons.

Some recipes won’t hold up in the tropical heat & humidity.

I had to think about what I could easily purchase that was inexpensive,

quick & easy enough to make in an hour, work,

and still make us go, “Mmmm!”.

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Beautiful San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

As soon as I made my Lemon Coconut Butter Creams, I thought they would be awesome in a Caye Lime Version. So today I whipped them up while lunch was being prepared – AND THEY CAME OUT YUMMY! So, here is the Lemon Coconut Butter Cream again, using LIME instead of Lemon! 🙂

Caye Lime Coconut Butter Creams

*Ingredients

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Lime Butter Cream Mixture

2 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

4 TBSP Butter, Softened

1 or 2 Limes – will need 2-3 TBSP of juice, and 1 TBSP zest

Scant Pinch of salt (adds balance to the sugar)

– Baking Sheet Lined with Buttered Wax Paper

– 1/2 Cup of Toasted Coconut Flakes (Recipe HERE) for Coating  – Optional: mix with 1 tsp Granulated Sugar

*Method:

Sift powdered sugar into large mixing bowl. Add all the rest of the filling ingredients and mix until it becomes smooth.

Taste and adjust to your liking. If it is not Lime-y enough add more zest. If it is too thick, add more juice. If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar.

Place in Fridge 10-15 minutes to chill to firm (in Belize, I used the freezer). Cream should be thick enough be easily handled – the mixing spoon should stand up on it’s own.

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Butter Creams, Ready for the Freezer

Meanwhile, prepare the baking sheet and place the toasted coconut in a shallow bowl, or on a dish. Pull the mix out of the fridge. Using a teaspoon, scoop a bite-sized bit of cream in to your hands, Working quickly so they don’t melt too much, pat into a roundish shape (they do not need to be perfect!), and then drop into the dish of coconut.

Gently cover ball & pat gently in coconut until coated, and place on butted sheet pan[see photo above] Continue until all the cream is rolled in balls, and rolled in coconut. Place sheet pan in the fridge (or freezer) again, for at least 15 minutes.

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Mmm! Caye Lime Coconut Butter Creams!

That’s It! They’re Done!

Now you have scrumptious, decadent, melt in your mouth

Caye Lime Coconut  Butter Creams!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Bloggers Blogging … Us!

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This is a photo of a Blogger

Taking a photo of a Blogger…

Taking a photo of a Blogger…

‘Belize Travel Examiner’, ‘Ambergris Today’ Online Paper, and ‘Our Tasty Travels’
Enjoying Dinner by Chef Bruce

 

taking a photo… Of Bruce’s Cooking! 🙂

TOTALLY COOL!  🙂

This was what they were photographing:

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Belizean Shrimp & Pork Shumai by Chef Bruce

And this:

Crispy Coconut Lobster & Shrimp in Sesame Orange Sauce
Photo Credit: Dorian Nunez

This was a first for us. Lots of fun, and pretty exciting.

Hope they enjoyed it as much as we did!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

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