Deliciously Cute Cupcake Recipes

Valentine’s day is coming up quickly, (February 14th, for those who might have forgotten) which means getting a gift or doing something special for your loved one. I always find that doing something your significant other is always a better option, because their reaction upon seeing what you’ve done is always really heartwarming!

This year, we decided to do a blog post on different cupcake recipes, because who doesn’t appreciate something sweet on Valentine’s Day?

All recipes are courtesy of our friends at bhg.com!



These cupcakes are perfect for writing a sweet note to your significant other and are easy to make, seeing as they rely mostly on boxed cake but handmade frosting.



  • 2-layer-size package German chocolate cake mix
  • 2 ounce bottle (1/4 cup) red food coloring
  • Recipes for frosting (below)


  1. Line twenty-four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with paper bake cups. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, except use a mixture of the red food coloring and water to equal the amount of water called for in the package directions. Fill muffin cups and bake as directed for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
  3. Spoon White Chocolate Whipped Cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip. Push tip into the top of each cupcake and force some whipped cream inside cupcake.
  4. Frost cupcakes with some of the white Mascarpone Frosting, pink Mascarpone Frosting, or Chocolate Buttercream. Place the remaining frostings in separate pastry bags fitted with writing tips or small star tips. Pipe messages or draw hearts onto cupcakes. Cover loosely and chill to store. Makes 24 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.

White Chocolate Whipped Cream


  • ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • cup whipping cream


  1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine white baking chocolate and 1/4 cup of the whipping cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is nearly melted. Remove from heat; stir until smooth. Cool for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, beat remaining whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Add the cooled white chocolate mixture. Beat just until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). If desired, cover and chill for up to 24 hours.

Chocolate Butter Frosting


  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • teaspoons vanilla
  • cups powdered sugar
  • Milk


  1. In a very large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in cocoa powder. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in 1/2 cup milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in an additional 6 cups powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to reach spreading consistency. Makes enough to frost tops and sides of two 8- or 9-inch layers.

Mascarpone Frosting


  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • cups powdered sugar
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons milk


  1. In a large bowl, combine mascarpone cheese and softened butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach spreading consistency.



For those who enjoy a fun take on the classics. The heart shape made of icing sugar really makes these cupcakes stand out.



  • eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ounce bottle red food coloring (2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar
  • Small chocolate heart-shaped cookies (optional)
  • Powdered sugar(optional)


  1. Let eggs and butter stand 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 28 2-1/2-inch cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In medium bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, and 3/4 tsp. salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl beat butter on medium-high 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. One at a time, add eggs; beat on medium after each. Beat in food coloring on low.
  3. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low to medium speed after each just until combined. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter; beat just until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 15 to 17 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely. Top with small chocolate cookies, if desired. Dust with powdered sugar. Makes 28 servings.


For someone who doesn’t like chocolate, or just prefers fruity flavours. Cute enough for any occasion, not just Valentine’s Day!



  • 10 ounce package frozen halved strawberries in syrup or one 16-ounce container sliced strawberries in sugar, thawed
  • package white cake mix (2-layer size)
  • 1/2 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • cups powdered sugar
  • Red food coloring (optional)
  • 24 strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line twenty-four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups; set aside. Drain packaged strawberries, reserving syrup. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the syrup for frosting. Add enough water to the remaining syrup to measure 3/4 cup total liquid. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, substituting the syrup-water mixture for the liquid called for on the package. Stir in the drained strawberries. (Batter will be thick.)
  2. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups.
  3. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks.
  4. For frosting, allow cream cheese and butter to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and the reserved syrup with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. If desired, beat in 1 or 2 drops red food coloring. Pipe or spread frosting over cooled cupcakes. Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator. Before serving, top each cupcake with a whole strawberry. Makes 24 (2-1/2-inch) cupcakes.



Which cupcake recipe is your go-to? Alternatively, what do you like to do for your special someone on Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Tasty Pizzas to Wow your Guests


Pizza is a favourite of many people for a reason- it’s simple, savoury, and hot! However, we wanted to find pizza recipes with some more depth to them, so they could be used both for a weekday dinner or entertaining guests.
All three of these recipes are courtesy of our friends at bhg.com.


Baked Potato Pizza


  • recipe Pizza Dough or 1 pound ball purchased pizza dough
  • medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, skin on (1 1/4 lb.)
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup very finely sliced sweet onion
  • slices applewood-smoked bacon, crisped cooked and crumbled
  • tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives


  1. Preheat oven with pizza stone to 500 degrees F
  2. For pizza, evenly divide dough in two pieces. Thinly stretch or roll each piece, dusting with flour. Set aside.
  3. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Using a mandoline (or very sharp knife), slice potatoes paper-thin Place slices in water; swirl to remove excess starch and prevent potatoes from turning brown. Drain off water; lightly pat potatoes dry with paper towels. Add garlic, onion, bacon, and thyme to potatoes in bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Mix well.
  4. Combine Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese Divide cheese between pizza dough, spreading evenly. Divide potato mixture and spread evenly on cheeses. Drizzle each pizza with olive oil. Top with some flaked sea salt, a little cracked black pepper, and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano.
  5. Bake pizzas for 8 to 10 minutes each, until crusts are golden brown, potato edges are lightly curled, and cheese is bubbly.
  6. To serve, cut pizzas in squares. Top with a dollop of sour cream, diced tomatoes and chopped chives. Makes 2 pizzas (about 12 servings).


Pizza Dough


  • teaspoon sugar
  • cup warm water (113 degrees F)
  • tablespoon active dry yeast (or 2 packets)
  • tablespoons olive oil, plus more to grease bowl
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the sugar in the 1 cup warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy. Add the olive oil and salt to yeast mixture, then use the dough hook to mix in the all-purpose flour. Mix until the dough comes together. Add more flour as needed and allow the machine to knead the dough until smooth.
  2. Add the olive oil and salt to yeast mixture, then use the dough hook to mix in the all-purpose flour. Mix until the dough comes together. Add more flour as needed and allow the machine to knead the dough until smooth.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead about 2 minutes more (dough will no longer be sticky). Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat the surface. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; let stand in a warm place about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
  4. Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Divide in half. Form into smooth, tight balls. Cover loosely with a floured kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise again for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. When ready to use, press dough with fingers to flatten as much as possible. Drape dough over hands, stretching to desired size and thickness. Place dough on a floured pizza peel. Top and bake as directed in recipes.


Banh Mi Pizza


  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • tablespoons honey
  • tablespoons ketchup
  • tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
  • clove garlic, minced
  • pound boneless pork country-style ribs
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • carrots, cut into thin ribbons
  • small daikon, peeled and cut into thin ribbons
  • teaspoon cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil
  • pound purchased or homemade pizza dough
  • Liver pate or Braunshweiger, optional
  • ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded(2 cups)
  • 1/2 of an English cucumber, peeled if desired, and thinly sliced
  • jalapeno or Fresno chilli peppers, stemmed and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Purchased Japanese mayonnaise


  1. In a gallon-size resealable plastic bag combine soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine, honey, ketchup, hoisin sauce, Chinese 5-spice, and garlic. Reserve 1/3 cup of marinade; store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Add pork to remaining marinade in bag and seal. Gently toss to coat pork. Chill and let marinate 2 to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drain ribs, discarding marinade. Transfer ribs to a 2-quart baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes; thinly slice.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add carrots and daikon. Set aside to marinate.
  4. In a small saucepan, whisk together reserved 1/3 cup marinade and cornstarch. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Brush a large baking sheet with vegetable oil. Roll pizza dough out to a 14- to 16-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Spread thickened marinade over dough. Top with sliced pork, pate (if desired) and cheese. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.
  6. Top with daikon, carrots, cucumber, peppers, cilantro and green onions. Drizzle with sriracha and mayonnaise.


Napa Valley Pizza


  • recipe Homemade Pizza Crusts for Grilled Pizzas
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sauteed sliced kale
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (6 medium)
  • cups grilled grapes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled blue cheese and/or shredded Gruyere Swiss cheese (6 ounces)
  • tablespoons snipped fresh thyme
  • tablespoons toasted hazelnuts(filberts) or walnuts, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Honey


  1. For a charcoal or gas grill, place one of the Homemade Pizza Crusts for Grilled Pizzas on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium-low heat. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes or until dough is puffed in some places and starting to become firm. (If the crust is frozen, grill for 2 to 3 minutes.) Using tongs, carefully turn crust over and transfer to the back of a baking sheet. Quickly brush grilled side of crust with oil.
  2. Sprinkle crust with 1/4 cup of the kale and 2 tablespoons of the shallots; drizzle lightly with additional oil. Transfer pizza from baking sheet to grill rack. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes more or until crust is crisp, rotating crust as necessary to prevent burning. Top with 1/3 cup of the grapes, 1/4 cup of the cheese, and 1 teaspoon of the thyme. Grill for 1 to 2 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Remove pizza from grill. Repeat with the remaining crusts and toppings.
  3. Before serving, sprinkle pizzas with hazelnuts and pepper. Drizzle with honey.



Homemade Pizza Crusts for Grilled Pizzas


  • cup warm water (105 degrees F to 110 degrees F)
  • tablespoon honey
  • package active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil


  1. In a medium bowl combine warm water, honey, and yeast. Let stand about 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy. Meanwhile, in a large bowl stir together 1 3/4 cups of the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir in yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil. Gradually stir in as much of the remaining 3/4 cup all-purpose flour as you can.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding enough of the remaining 3/4 cup all-purpose flour to keep dough from sticking. Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
  3. Punch dough down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, adding enough of the 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour to keep dough from sticking. Return to the lightly greased bowl. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 40 minutes). Punch dough down again. Divide into six portions. Cover; let rest for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Invert a large baking sheet; brush the back of the sheet with additional oil. Place dough portions, one at a time, on the prepared baking sheet. Using your hands, spread and press dough into an 8-inch circle. Line another baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Stack dough rounds on baking sheet, separating rounds with waxed paper or parchment paper. Use immediately, chill up to 4 hours, or freeze for at least 2 hours or until very firm. Use as directed in individual grilled pizza recipes.


Do you make your own pizza? Or do you prefer to order in? Let us know what your preference is in the comments below!

December 2017 Market Watch

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has just released their numbers for December 2017. Below you’ll find our video recap, and a more in-depth written report on what happened last month. You can also go to TREB’s own website for the raw data HERE.  To compare this information to last month’s report, click HERE.

Overall sales are down from this time last year by about 7.1%. 2016 had 5,305 sales compared to 2017’s 4,930. New listings are up 51.9%, from 2016’s 4,166 to 6,330. Perhaps the most interesting number, though, is the increase of active listings year over year. We went from 4,746 in 2016 to 12,926 active listings in 2017, which is a 172.4% increase!

Fig. 1

Our months of inventory- that is, how many months it would take to sell everything on the market without adding any new listings-  is currently at 2.62, which indicates we are still in a seller’s market. If we go above 5 months of inventory, the market would turn in the favor of buyers instead.

Fig. 2

December saw 38.1% of all listings sold, which is much less than 2016’s whopping 86%, however 2016 was an incredibly hot (way above average) market.

Our average days on market (DOM) is up from this time 2016 by 7 days, rising to 27.


2017 overall was an interesting year for the market. In the first quarter, the market was incredibly strong, coming off the 2016 high. However, it dipped significantly after the Ontario Fair Housing Plan was announced. If you don’t know what the Ontario Fair Housing Plan is, click HERE.

The market is expected to cool slightly beginning this month due to the new mortgage rules that went into effect January 1st. You can find out more about what the mortgage stress test is in our video HERE.

Condos are continuing to thrive due to their position as the option for homebuyers who want the best value for their dollar. In the 905 area prices are up 14.5% from last year. Interestingly, townhouse sales have gone up 10.6 percent from last year as well.

That’s all for our summary of the December TREB report, but let me know if you’d like more information or if you just want to chat!
You can contact me anytime at 647-504-0690 or steven.ho@ssbhg.ca.




Events and Festivals to Get you through the GTA Winter


The winter season can feel incredibly long for those who don’t like the cold and snow. However, to get your spirits up, consider going to any of these incredible events, some of which are free! There’s something for everyone on this list!



Monster Jam
Not for the faint of heart! These trucks are rib-rattling loud, and pretty stinky. If you don’t mind those two things, it’s a great time for the whole family! (But bring ear protection for the little ones).

January 13 and 14 2018

Rogers Centre, Toronto

Tickets around $30- buy HERE.


Fire and Ice Festival

A festival of flames, food, and fine art! There will be skating, live ice sculpture, bonfires, story time, crafts, and a snow slide!

January 20 2018

Alton Mills Arts Centre, Caledon

Admission is by donation! See more HERE.


Modern Bride Wedding Show

Pretty self explanatory, these events are great for anyone getting hitched! The low admission cost makes for a fun day of testing and planning!

Jan 21 2018

International Centre, Mississauga

Admission:  $10

More info HERE.


Niagara Icewine Festival

The Niagara Icewine Festival is great for everyone that loves food and drink!

Runs on weekends from Jan 12-28 2018

Admission is free, but to taste you must purchase tokens.

More information HERE.





Flashback Film Festival
Head to your local Cineplex to see great retro movies on the big screen, including classics like Back to the Future, Dune, and Gremlins.

Feb 2-8 2018

Admission for each film is $7.99

Check which theatres are participating HERE.


Toronto Light Festival

This festival is in it’s second year and returning to the Distillery District! It transforms the picturesque neighbourhood into one of the largest open air galleries in North America.

January 19 to March 4 2018

Admission is FREE!

Find out more HERE.


Hamilton’s Kids Fest

Family day weekend is the perfect time to take your kids to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. There will be inflatables, shows, interactive activities, crafts, and more.

Feb 17-19 2018

Admission is $60 for 2 kids and 2 adults. Parking is free!

Find out more HERE.


Icefest Village of Yorkville Park Toronto

Icefest is incredibly cool. It’s an outdoor exhibit of amazingly detailed ice sculptures, with children’s areas and a maple taffy station so that you can get a sweet treat too! All proceeds go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

Feb 24-25 2018

Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.

Find out more HERE.




Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival

Pretty self explanatory, if you feel like laughing, get some tickets!

March 1 – 11 2018

Festival Passes vary in price.

More details and tickets HERE.


Winter Brewfest (Enercare Centre, Toronto)

Winter Brewfest is the best place to be if you love craft beer. There will be more than 150 beers to sample, and gourmet food from Toronto’s best food trucks.

March 2-3 2018

Admission ranges from $25 to $79

Details and tickets HERE.


Toronto ComiCon (Metro Toronto Convention Centre)

Geek out at this awesome show of all things nerdy! There’s lots of cool merchandise for sale, celebrity autograph and photo sessions, and the artist alley, where you can get custom drawings of your favourite characters!

 March 16-18 2018

Info and tickets HERE.


National Home Show

The Home Show is the largest North American display of innovative products, new ideas, and great deals for all things home and garden.

March 9-18 2018

More info HERE.

Info and Tickets: Contact Steven Ho for complimentary tickets to the Home Show!


Which of these events do you think you’ll be attending? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Recipes for When You’re Totally Sick of Turkey

With the holidays comes a plethora of holiday parties and, usually, very specific kinds of food. I look forward to turkey and other holiday foods all year long- ham, stuffing, sweet potatoes…until after the holidays- when I never want to see those foods again!

We found that a lot of people have the same sentiment about turkey after the holidays. Because of this, we scoured the Better Homes and Gardens website for the most un-holiday recipes we could find!



Chicken and Asparagus Skillet Supper


  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 small yellow summer squash, halved crosswise and cut in 1/2-inch strips
  • 4 green onions, cut in 2-inch pieces



  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. In 12-inch skillet cook chicken and bacon over medium-high heat 12 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Carefully add broth; cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes more or until chicken is tender and no longer pink (180 degrees F).
  2. Meanwhile, in microwave-safe 2-quart dish combine asparagus, squash, and 2 Tbsp. water. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Cover with vented plastic wrap. Cook on 100% power (high) 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring once. Transfer to plates. Drizzle cooking liquid; top with chicken, bacon, and onions. Makes 4 servings.



Potato, Bacon, and Parmesan Frittata


  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped (2 large)
  • 6 thick slices bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley or a mixture of snipped fresh herbs, such as marjoram, thyme, mint, basil, and/or oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley or a mixture of snipped fresh herbs, such as marjoram, thyme, mint, basil, and/or oregano (optional)


  1. In a covered medium saucepan cook the potatoes in enough boiling lightly salted water to cover about 10 minutes or just until tender. Drain; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat broiler. In a large broilerproof skillet with flared sides cook bacon over medium-high heat until starting to crisp. Add onion; cook about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the cooked potatoes.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, Parmesan cheese, the 2 tablespoons parsley, the salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture. Cook over medium-low heat. As mixture sets, run a spatula around edge of skillet, lifting egg mixture so uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking and lifting edges until egg mixture is almost set (surface will be moist).
  4. Place skillet under the broiler, 4 to 5 inches from heat. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until top is set and no longer wet. (Or, preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake about 5 minutes or until top is set and no longer wet.) Let stand for 5 minutes. Slide frittata out onto a serving platter. If desired, sprinkle with additional parsley.



Shrimp Salad with Lime Dressing


  • 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp in shells, peeled and deveined
  • avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced
  • 1 large tomato, cut into chunks
  • ½ sweet onion (Walla Wall or Vidalia), thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • ½ cup packed fresh cilantro
  1. For Lime Dressing, remove 1 tsp. zest from lime; juice to get 3 tablespoons In a small bowl combine zest, juice, cayenne, and 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Slowly whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until combined.
  2. In a medium bowl toss shrimp with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Grill shrimp on the greased rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until opaque, turning once halfway through grilling.
  3. On a large platter arrange shrimp, avocados, tomato, and onion. Drizzle with dressing and top with cilantro.



Moroccan Chicken And Peppers


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 – 2 small dried red chiles (like chile de arbol), torn into pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups coarsely chopped sweet peppers (red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1 Meyer lemon, sliced
  • Harissa paste


  1. In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, grind coriander, cumin, and chilis; stir in cinnamon and salt. Sprinkle mixture over chicken.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes. Cook chicken 15 to 17 minutes or until done (170 degrees F). Remove to a platter; cover to keep warm. Add peppers and lemon slices to skillet. Cook 6 to 8 minutes or until peppers and lemon slices are tender and lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add to platter with chicken. Serve with harissa paste.


Hopefully these dishes are different enough to get you out of your holiday food coma!

Which of these recipes looks the most delicious to you? Let us know in the comments below!