Toasted Coconut Cream Tarts

Toasted Coconut Cream Tarts 2

Earlier this summer, yes summer is still in full swing in Austin even though school is back, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Antigua with the tourism board. I went to learn about the Mango Festival and the culinary scene in Antigua. I got to visit a mango farm, eat at some wonderful restaurants and course sneak in some beach time and cocktails.

One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me was the cooking class we took at Nicole’s Table. Nicole was born and raised on a neighboring island but spent a lot of her formative years on the East Coast where she met her husband and had two girls. They moved back to Antigua a few years ago and Nicole started a cooking business out their kitchen. This kitchen has sweeping views of the island and the sea. I kept saying to myself that I can’t believe someone actually gets to live here! It was truly a lovely experience and Nicole was so gracious in sharing her home with us.

Antigua_Nicole

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Coconut Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa (and a Giveaway!)

Coconut Mango Jerk Chicken_Natalie Paramore 5

 

A while back I got the opportunity to partner with one my favorites, The National Mango Board, to work on a recipe for their new cookbook which launched at BlogHer Food in Miami a few weeks ago. I got to get a little creative and come up with a fun recipe using one of my favorite ingredients, the ever popular mango! I love, love, love mango salsa and updated a recipe I have used before to make this one. I wanted something that would capture the tropical spirit of Miami and add a little heat (hello jerk spice!) that would be perfect to serve year round. After doing a little research and calling on some chef friends, the conclusion I came to was that it’s really not that hard to make your own jerk seasoning and chances are you probably already have most of the spices hanging around in your kitchen. I love the flavor combination of spicy and coconut, it is one of my go to’s. It only seemed fitting for this recipe adventure to include them both! You can find my recipe online here, or you can enter to win a copy of the National Mango Board Cookbook! All you have to do is follow my blog on Facebook. Just click here to like my page! Already a fan? You can enter by signing up via email (on the right sidebar) or following me on Instagram, it’s up to you! The contest starts now and ends at 11:59pm on Friday June 13th!

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Shrimp Khoa Soi (Spicy Coconut Soup)

Spicy Thai Shrimp Soup_Natalie Paramore 5

Rain, rain go away! We’ve had quite the cloudy, rainy days recently here in our normally too hot to trot Austin, TX. I spent the better part of this Memorial Day weekend curled up in bed watching the thunderstorms and burning a holiday scented candle. It was practically like Christmas, haha. Which brings me to another point, why does the weather affect how we feel about food? Is it the seasonal vegetables? The heat, the rain, the everything that affects our mode. Hmmm, interesting. I need to investigate this more, but all I can say is, the weather definitely pulls my appetite in all sorts of directions. And rainy, cool days at the end of May mean hot, spicy soup! I found this recipe on Bon Appetit a few months ago and had every intention on making it this winter. Well despite all my efforts, it didn’t quite happen, so all this cool weather was my perfect moment to carpe diem and make this tempting soup!

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