White Chocolate Key Lime Pie with Coconut Crust

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This luscious White Chocolate Key Lime Pie is as good as it sounds. It’s sweet and tart at the same time, with the creamy texture of cheesecake. Best of all, there’s no baking required, so it’s perfect for summer!

White Chocolate Key Lime Pie with Coconut Crust

It’s really easy to put together too . . . well, except for squeezing the juice from all of those @#$% tiny key limes. The key lime flavor really is worth the effort, but I won’t judge if you choose to use regular limes instead. My grocery store sells bags of key limes that happen to yield exactly the amount of juice need to make this pie. I neglected to count the number of key limes in the bag, but I’m guessing it was around 15 or so.

I’ve been on a coconut kick lately, so I decided to jazz up the standard graham cracker crust with some unsweetened shredded coconut, which was a perfect complement to the tangy lime flavor of the pie.

I made this pie for Easter, but it would also be perfect for Mother’s Day (hint-hint dads). It is very rich, so plan to serve small slices. We had 8 adults tackle this pie (some of whom had seconds), and still only made it through ¾ of the pie (I have the rest of the pie in the freezer, but haven’t had an excuse thaw it out yet. I’ll be sure to let you know if it freezes well or not).

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup heavy whipping cream
11 ounces white chocolate chips*
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lime zest
1/3 cup key lime juice
Optional: additional white chocolate for garnish

To make the crust, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling.

To make the filling, add the cream and white chocolate chips to a small saucepan over low heat. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream, lime zest, and lime juice.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight. Before serving, garnish with white chocolate, if desired. Enjoy!

* Note: some chocolate chips contain fillers that help them keep their shape, but can result in a grainy texture when melted. I had good results with Ghirardelli White Baking Chips. You can also use baking bars, but they are generally more expensive than chocolate chips.

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Honey Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork

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I have recently discovered little cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Hispanic food section of my grocery store. They are my newest pantry staple. The adobo sauce adds a smoky spiciness to food that really makes the flavor pop.

Honey Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork

This pulled pork recipe features chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, complimented by honey and fresh squeezed lime juice. The pork is sweet, smoky, spicy, and tangy. The best part is that it’s cooked in the Crock Pot! I served this on toasted buns, but it would also be great in tacos or a burrito bowl.

1/2 cup juice from 3-4 limes
1/3 cup honey
1 7-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (you won’t need the entire can)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 pound bone-in pork shoulder

Stir together the lime juice and honey in a small bowl. (Note: it may help to warm the honey a bit first.) Add 3 of the canned chipotle peppers (don’t worry about chopping them up) and 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce from the can to the bowl. Refrigerate the remaining chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to use in another recipe (eggs, roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, etc). Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt to the bowl and stir to combine.

Pour about half of the sauce into the bottom of your Crock Pot. Place the pork shoulder in the Crock Pot and then pour the remaining sauce over the top of the pork.

Cook on high heat for about 4.5 hours (or low for 8-9 hours). Use a large spoon to skim any excess fat off the top of the sauce, and then shred the pork using two forks and mix well to incorporate into the sauce. Season with salt, if needed. Serve hot and enjoy!

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Chile-Lime Chicken

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This Chile-Lime Chicken is a wonderful way to kick-up your usual chicken dinner. The chicken is coated in several tasty spices, sautéed, and then finished with lime juice and a bit of butter (because butter makes everything better!). This recipe is quick and easy, so it’s great for a busy weeknight meal. 

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 limes, juiced

Combine all of the spices together in a small bowl and set aside.

Pound the chicken breast with a meat mallet until flat and evenly thick (use a large zip-top bag to contain the mess). Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with the spice mixture and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter and all of the olive oil to a large skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add 2 of the chicken breasts to the skillet (or as many can fit without touching) and sauté for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through (the cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken). Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and cook the remaining chicken.

Once all of the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet, and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the lime juice to the skillet. Use a spatula to scrape up the cooked bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat in the sauce.

Serve hot with rice and your favorite veggie. Enjoy!

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Grilled Chicken Tandoori

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This grilled chicken is flavored with lovely aromatic spices and is super-tender, thanks to a yogurt-lime marinade. The combination of spices may seem a bit strange, but it gives the chicken a mild Indian flavor, without being spicy. The chicken is excellent served right off the grill, but would also be great served with your favorite Indian sauce and some naan bread for dipping. The cooking time is quick, but the chicken does need to marinate for several hours, so be sure to start this recipe in advance.

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 lime, juiced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Stir together the yogurt, spices, and lime juice in a small bowl. Add the mixture to a large zip-top bag or shallow baking dish. Add the chicken and coat thoroughly with the yogurt mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the grill over medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels to remove most of the marinade.

When the grill is hot, put the chicken on the grill and cook for 2 minutes with the lid open. Close the lid and continue to grill for about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken, close the lid and grill for another 6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with basmati rice and your favorite green veggie. Enjoy!

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Grill-Roasted Red Snapper

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This delicious recipe produces fish that is light, tender, and full of flavor. It’s easy to prepare and lovely to look at too!

1 pound red snapper fillets
Black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
2 small tomatoes, sliced
1 lime, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 whole fire-roasted green chili, sliced (I used canned)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 bay leaf
Olive oil

Preheat your grill to about 450 degrees. While the grill is heating, place a pizza stone on top of the grill rack and then place a wire rack, or another grill rack on top of the pizza stone (the pizza stone should be sandwiched between two wire racks).

Line a metal baking pan (I used the bottom of a broiler pan) with aluminum foil. Place the snapper fillets in the baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Scatter the remaining ingredients, except for the olive oil, over the fish. Drizzle the olive oil on top.

Place the baking pan on the grill and grill-roast until the fish is fully cooked and flakes easily with a fork (the time will depend on the temperature of your grill and the thickness of the fish).

We served our fish with tabouli (I’ll post that recipe soon) and salad for a wonderful warm-weather dinner!

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Key Lime Pie, oh my!

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We celebrated my best friend’s birthday this weekend and I baked a key lime pie for her, instead of the traditional birthday dessert (am I the only one that doesn’t get excited about birthday cake?). The pie was delish (even the kids wolfed it down) and it’s one of the few key lime pie recipes I’ve seen that doesn’t contain eggs. Be sure to buy key limes, which are smaller than standard limes. My grocery store sells a bag of key limes, which just happens to have the perfect amount of limes needed for this pie. The recipes is simple, but be prepared to get a workout squeezing the juice from all of those tiny key limes!

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
18 key limes (or enough to get 3/4 cup juice)
2 cans sweetened condensed milk (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream (I like Daisy brand)
Fresh whipped cream (see recipe below)

To prepare the graham cracker crust, mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until well blended. Firmly press the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate, using your hands. Set aside while you make the pie filling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a lemon zester or a grater, zest a few of the limes until you have about 1 tablespoon of lime zest (do this while the limes are still whole). Now it’s time to get squeezing. The easiest way to juice the limes is to use a garlic press. Just cut the limes into pieces small enough to fit into your garlic press and then squeeze the juice into a measuring cup. An advantage to this method is that the garlic press contains the seeds, so you don’t have worry about fishing them out of your lime juice later. If you don’t have a garlic press, then cut a lime in half, and then stick a fork into the cut side of the lime and squeeze the lime around the fork in a circular motion to extract the juice. Repeat until you have 3/4 cup of lime juice.

In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until the filling is smooth (no lumps), and pour into the graham cracker crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes (a few tiny bubbles on the surface of the pie is a good indication that it is done). Watch carefully and ensure that the pie doesn’t brown. Chill pie thoroughly before serving.

Fresh Whipped Cream

Nothing compares to homemade whipped cream. All you need is a bowl, an electric mixer, three ingredients, and about two minutes to create rich, creamy goodness that can’t be found in a can (and don’t even get me started on that frozen stuff). The beauty of making your own whipped cream is that you can adjust the sweetness to your taste (or your recipe). I used less sugar in the whipped cream for the key lime pie, since the pie was already very rich, but you can adjust the amount of sugar to your liking.

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium metal mixing bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat the mixture until soft peaks form. Be sure not to over mix.  (Note: chilling the bowl and beaters before adding the ingredients will reduce the mixing time.)

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