Part of our California gang!

As part of our annual trip to California we get the added pleasure of visiting with my aunt & uncle who live in Temecula (one of the most heaven-like cities on the planet). It is so beautiful with walkway’s throughout their neighborhood, swimming pools, tennis courts, basketball courts, 70 degree weather ALL year round, citrus trees on their own property and everything beautiful and green. Every time we leave we think, “why do we live in Utah again??” Besides the exotic scenery we are always bound to have delicious food! My Aunt Nancy is an amazing cook and we spend hours just visiting and looking through cookbooks. We always make her Neiman Marcus Cookies (which we all LOVE) and have some type of barbecue in their backyard. Her Grilled Citrus Shrimp is a must have each year, as well as her Paradise Island Salad. They both scream summer and warm weather and go perfectly on the side of any other dishes we might be serving while we are there. This year they roasted whole chickens on their grill which were amazingly heavenly. My Aunt & Uncle are pretty much saints. They let all of us (that’s 10 adults and 16 children under the age of 12) come and crash for a weekend at their house, they feed us and make sure we all have a warm bed to sleep in, and lots of laughs. Thanks guys for another great weekend getaway!

If you are needing a little summer citrus flavors and are stuck in snowy, cold weather like we are back home, give these recipes a try. They will conjure up memories of a warm, summer bbq and get you excited for the upcoming months 😉

(Fresh lemons, grapefruit and oranges from your own backyard. Is that fabulous or what?!?)


Paradise Island Chicken Salad
  1. 12 oz. spinach
  2. 6 oz. green or red leaf lettuce, chopped
  3. 2 cup julienne red, yellow or orange bell peppers
  4. 1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts
  5. 1 mango, peeled and sliced
  6. 1 avocado, chopped
Sesame Ginger Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  2. 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  3. 1/3 cup sugar
  4. 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated
  5. 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  6. 1 tsp. salt
  7. 2 tsp. grated onion, or dried minced onion
  8. 1 garlic clove
  9. 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped fine
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  1. Prepare the salad ingredients (peppers, mango, avocado, etc.). For the dressing, place all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Serve over chopped and assembled salad.
  1. *The dressing for this salad is so great I love to double it and keep some in my fridge for later salads. I could pretty much drink it, it is that good!
Deals to Meals

Sorry, we didn’t have any pictures of the shrimp. Once we skewered them and put them on the bbq they were devoured too quickly to take a picture 😉

Grilled Citrus Shrimp
3 lbs. large shrimp, shelled and deviened
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
3 T. grainy mustard
1/4 c. cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 large lemon
6 T. olive oil
2-3 T. cilantro, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Combine marinade ingredients. Place raw shrimp into the marinade and marinate overnight. When ready to grill, place the shrimp on skewers and grill over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are tender and pink.