Monday, April 30, 2012

Pineapple Shrimp Tacos


Last week, I was gone on spring break with our friends, Shawn, Melissa and family in Tucson, Arizona to stay at their house, soak up some rays, drink margaritas and lay by the pool. What I didn't know was that while all of that did happen, our "vacation" quickly turned into taking care of sick kids, staying up at night with Olivia who thought it would be cool to "angry cry" for hours in the middle of the night, at certain nap times and whenever her fever came back. She also thought it would be hill-freakin'-larious to wake up at 3am for the day, then not nap later and upchuck in the parking lot at the frozen yogurt place, then many, many times afterwards. Poor baby. Poor parents.


Some other things I learned on vacation:
1) County Fairs are nasty. Period. I'm pretty sure my kid got conjunctivitis from one spin on the carousel
2) When riding on carousels at county fairs, pick the ugliest horse. No kid wants to ride on the ugly horse, which means there is less chance of catching anything, mainly conjunctivitis
3) My husband makes better margaritas than I do
4) According to Shawn, Melissa does not securely screw lids on anything
5) Trying to let Olivia cry-it-out in a smallish house with no insulation is A) hell. and B) impossible

What Melissa and Shawn learned while on vacation:
1) You don't order dessert or appetizers only if your going to finish them. Because spending $8 for a slice of cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory when you don't go there that often is not about being too full to finish it, but rather the experience of having a few bites. This is a philosophy we pretty much live by. Would you spend a few bucks for the "experience"? The answer is always yes, young grasshoppers.
2) Olivia is not as easy as she once seemed, and, you can get conjunctivitis from county fairs

Luckily, we did have some real vacation moments. The silver lining of the storm so to speak. Olivia napped one afternoon and we took full advantage of those much talked about margaritas, pool and sun.







This particular afternoon, I may or may not have threatened Melissa by telling her, and posting to facebook that, and I quote, "If you flush the toilet in the house while Olivia is sleeping, I will cut you"

But obviously, she woke up at some point. And isn't she the prettiest little thing?








My favorite parts from the trip besides that one blessed afternoon by the pool while Olivia slept, was a dinner at Olive garden, which was surprisingly fancy after spending the afternoon at that damn county fair (which, for the record was equally fun and nasty) with all it's fried and processed food from greasy trucks that smell suspiciously like dog and sugar and fat. I also loved the night we made homemade pizzas which turned out perfectly, our trips to In-N-Out, and this really sweet taco place named "Blanco"where we drank things like white peach and hibiscus margaritas and ate fresh chips and salsa, guacamole and fish and shrimp tacos.

at Blanco


Which brings me to our own homemade pineapple shrimp tacos. I wrote a post for this before I left on our trip. Then, for some reason I lost everything I had written which, for the record, is frustrating beyond belief. But if you would have seen it, you'd have read that before our trip I had Melissa and Shawn over for a shrimp taco fest on our deck to test two different recipes so we could decide which one we wanted to make while in Arizona. Long story short, we had an avocado crema slaw shrimp taco, and this pineapple one. I liked the pineapple taco better. Melissa liked both. Typical. Shawn liked the avocado crema one the best. So, on vacation, I made the one Shawn liked because I'm gracious like that. But now that were home I'll be making the pineapple version again. Join me?

The shrimp is smokey, slightly spicy and charred from the grill. Pile that up on a warm flour tortilla with cool, sweet and fresh pineapple salsa and a small pinch of sharp white cheddar cheese and get ready...even if it's only for another one because, oh, you will have another one. I can tell this is going to be a regular on my table this summer and I can't tell you how excited I am to entertain with it. Everything can be prepped ahead of time and the shrimp can be grilled while your guests are sipping on something refreshing (Coronas anyone?) and eating scoopfuls of chunky guacamole. Make some dessert. Have a feista!


Spicy Garlic Shrimp
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
serves 4 

1 fat clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (if kids are eating, add a little less)
1 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes before grilling

In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients, except for the shrimp, to make a paste. Toss the shrimp with the sauce in the bowl until coated and set in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, to marinate for 2 hours (and up to 6 hours). 

Preheat the grill to medium heat and lightly oil the grill grate. Skewer the shrimp and cook the shrimp on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until opaque. When done, take the shrimp off the skewers and pile them in a bowl for serving.

Pineapple Salsa
4 cups diced fresh pineapple pieces
1 red pepper, diced
5 scallions diced thin (or purple onion)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, diced (take out seeds and core so it's not too hot) 

1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 tea. pepper)

Mix everything and let the flavors blend for a few minutes or overnight in the fridge.

For the Tacos:
1 recipe pineapple salsa
1 recipe grilled spicy garlic shrimp
10-12 flour tortillas
sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Make the salsa first, then marinate your shrimp. After the shrimp have cooked, quickly warm the tortillas on the grill for a few seconds on each side and wrap tightly in foil. To serve, pile the shrimp on a warm tortilla and top with the pineapple salsa and a pinch of the sharp cheese. Smile. Then serve yourself another.

In other news, we are finishing our house this week and moving in either Thursday or Friday! It doesn't really feel like it's happening and it probably won't until the day actually comes. So, as of right now, I feel rather incredulous about it all. That was for you, Danielle. Read about our last Arizona trip here.

Oh, and I'll share the recipe for the avocado crema slaw shrimp taco we made soon, so no worries. Except I probably won't call it that. That's a terrible name. 


  1. DELISH! These look amazing. I am going to make these asap :) you posted this just for me right? Don't answer that.

    Your vaca looks so much fun. I love that you are holding up Bloom in that pic! did you love the book?! I LOVED it.

    xoxo enter my giveaway!!

  2. Yum! I love all of the flavor combinations here. So tasty! Glad you had a wonderful vacation. :)

  3. Wonderful pictures! These taco's sound amazing, love the flavor combination!

  4. oh yes pineapple shrimp tacos, yes please!! and margaritas yummy!

  5. I read all your posts and somehow I had NO idea that you were moving. My memory apparently sucks :P This recipe looks fabulous and I am going to have to try it out ASAP. Especially now that it is warm enough here to want to grill :)

  6. Oooh, yum! Those look amazing! I'm so usual. Are you moving in the same city or somewhere else?