Key lime pie

Source: Fine Cooking, filling from #123 (also at FineCooking.com) and Swiss meringue from #116 (also at FineCooking.com)

Who knew key lime pie was actually simple to make? Simpler than lemon meringue pie.

The filling is made from just 3 ingredients: key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks. These ingredients are mixed together, poured into a blind-baked pie shell and baked for 20 minutes.

The hardest part is squeezing the massive amount of tiny key limes required to get the required volume of juice. It’s a marathon for your small finger muscles. If you can, find an assistant.

Some key lime pie recipes call for a whipped cream topping and others call for meringue. My preference is meringue. While I’ve gone crazy in the past and made sky-high Italian meringue, this time I made a more sensible Swiss meringue. It still towers above a regular meringue, but is much simpler to prepare. The egg whites and sugar are whisked over a double-boiler until hot, then whipped in a stand mixer until you have stiff peaks. Pour onto the pie and bake until the peaks turn golden brown.

The pie needs to chill thoroughly (5 hours) before serving, so make sure you plan ahead!

Delicious!

(Note: I used a deep pie dish, so I increased the filling recipe by 50%.)

Key lime pie with meringue
Key lime pie with Swiss meringue

Flank steak tacos with spicy slaw

Source: Fine Cooking #123 (also at FineCooking.com)

Tacos are such a fun and quick summer meal. And there are countless variations so they never get boring.

This version uses grilled flank steak with a spice rub. Get that on the grill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients, and by the time the meat is cooked and rested, you’re ready to eat.

The tacos get topped with a spicy slaw that combines cabbage with grilled onions and jalapeño peppers and a lime vinaigrette. (I cheated a bit by simply sautéing sliced red onion and chopped jalapeño.) Finish with a dollop of sour cream and a squeeze of lime juice.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that corn tortillas are way better than flour tortillas, so go out of your way to find them. I got chipotle-flavoured tortillas to match the spice and smokiness of the steak.

Enjoy!

Flank steak tacos with spicy slaw
Flank steak tacos with spicy slaw

Shrimp tacos with spicy cabbage slaw

Source: Fine Cooking #120 (also at FineCooking.com)

Who doesn’t like tacos? So when I saw this recipe (and how simple it is), I needed to try it. I happened to have some frozen shrimp on hand, so didn’t need to get much else in terms of groceries.

The recipe starts by making a basic coleslaw—made spicy with some chipotle in adobo sauce. It’s then just a matter of warming the corn tortillas (be sure to get corn tortillas… they have so much more flavour and aroma than flour tortillas) and cooking the shrimp.

Then have fun assembling the tacos. They have tons of flavour and a beautiful contrast between the different textures. It’s a perfect weeknight meal or weekend lunch!

Shrimp tacos with spicy cabbage slaw
Shrimp tacos with spicy cabbage slaw

Limoncello gin cocktail with grilled thyme

Source: Fine Cooking #105 (also at FineCooking.com)

Lemon and lime are a classic, refreshing combination. The come together nicely in this cocktail. Gin is stirred with lime juice and limoncello.

The cocktail kicked up a notch with a grilled thyme garnish. Sprigs of thyme are placed on a hot grill for a handful of seconds. The garnish doesn’t add much flavour to the drink itself, but adds a complementary herbal nose to the drink.

Limoncello gin cocktail with grilled thyme
Limoncello gin cocktail with grilled thyme

Cilantro-lime guacamole with tortilla chips

Source: Fine Cooking #58 (also at FineCooking.com)

When I go to the grocery store, if I pass by the avocados, I usually buy some. For some reason, I can’t pass them up. Maybe because they’re a (fruit that gets eaten like a) vegetable that doesn’t taste like one. No other fruit/vegetable has that rich, smooth and creamy texture.

So this afternoon, I found myself trying to figure out what to do with my 2 ripe (bordering on overripe) avocados. It’s a beautify warm fall day, so I was in the mood for a drink… what better to accompany it than guacamole with tortilla chips.

I’ve never made guacamole but I knew it was relatively straightforward. I had most of the ingredients at home. I just needed the cilantro (which was fine, because I also needed the nacho chips).

Having had too many guacamoles that were loaded with garlic, I was surprised to find that none of the Fine Cooking recipes for guacamole that I reviewed even contained garlic. Fantastic.

So within 5 minutes of being back from the grocery store for the cilantro and chips, I had the guacamole prepared and a drink served. Cheers!

(Sidenote: I had a red jalapeño on hand. If you can find a red one, use it, because it adds a delightful splash of red to the otherwise very green guacamole.)

Cilantro-lime guacamole with tortilla chips
Cilantro-lime guacamole with tortilla chips