Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Vincenzo’s, Weather.

Colman's Mint SauceWe both had to go get our hair cut today, mine was so bad I was thinking of braiding it. We then decided to go to my favourite store, Vincenzo’s which I have mentioned several times. I needed a jar of mint sauce, the English kind which is thick with mint unlike the thin one available in most stores or the mint jelly which, admittedly I have never tried, but doesMint Jellyn’t appeal. I didn’t know before that Colman’s, who are the makers of the only dry mustard that I will buy, also make mint sauce. Not seen it for sale here though.
NA Mint sauce

I could be wrong, but I imagine the jelly is quite sweet and the other one has trouble finding the mint leaves although this bottle is labelled thick mint. The one we saw today was nothing but vinegar. The sauce I buy has to be mixed with a little vinegar to serve. For my English readers, jelly is jam to all intents and purposes. We had trouble finding a bottle of sauce and ended up having a number of the staff helping us. This annoyed Matt because Parmesan chipsnobody seemed to really know where it was. I agree, the store is so full of stuff it is difficult to find things, but he has now decided he doesn’t like the store. Pity, I could spend hours browsing, there are lots of things there that I have no idea they sell. Whilst there I bought some cannoli for supper on Saturday, a friend is coming over, some capers which we are low on and some of my favourite Parmesan chips. Very expensive but a nice treat. They go really well with my Sunday champagne. You can make these chips at home (never tried them with parmesan) from cheddar, but it’s so easy to buy them and they are delicious.

Sadly their parking lot is terrible. It isn’t paved and today, because the snow is melting, it was a mass of puddles. That, to me, is the one thing wrong with their new location. It really is a lousy parking lot at any time of the year, but right now, its ghastly. However, I shouldn’t complain, it’s a gorgeous day with lots of sunshine and the snow is melting well. Sadly, tonight, they are forecasting freezing rain. Enough already. I hope it will be all over and the roads OK by lunchtime as Matt has to go to the next town to have an ultra sound. It’s part of his annual heart check up. Next week he has the joy of a 24 hour BP monitor. Won’t be as bad for him though, his blood pressure is really low. Lucky beggar.

This is a Red Lobster copycat recipe from I was hoping they would have my favourite, but it’s not there. However, this one looks pretty good to me. I will be eating at the Red Lobster at the end of the month for our Travel League. One of the things I have trouble avoiding is their Cheddar Bay Biscuits. The copycat recipe is here

Red Lobster Piña Colada Shrimp

By Brandess 
Photo by alligirl

  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Serves: 2, Yield: 12 Shrimp

About This Recipe

"Those Red Lobster commercials get me every time. Just can’t resist those visuals of endless shrimp, crab legs and lobster tails! Now I have said it before, that I’m not a huge seafood fan, but I do love shrimp. Cook this recipe for someone special, fix a nice cocktail, close your eyes and imagine yourself sitting on a sunny beach. Ahhhhh…summer will be here sooner than you think."


    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1/4 cup piña colada non alcoholic drink mix
    • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple ( canned)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 6 cups canola oil ( for use in the fryer)
    • 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tablespoons rum ( Captain Morgan's Parrot Bay coconut rum)
    • 1 cup panko Japanese-style bread crumbs ( can be found in the Asian section of your local grocery store)
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


  1. Prepare piña colada dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Sour cream, piña colada mix, crushed pineapple and granulated sugar. Cover and chill.
  2. Heat oil to 350 degrees in a deep fryer or a large heavy skillet.
  3. Measure 3/4 cup of flour into a medium bowl.
  4. In another medium bowl mix together the remaining 3/4 cup flour, sugar, and salt. Stir milk and rum into flour mixture. Let this batter stand for five minutes.
  5. In the meantime, combine panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut into a third bowl.
  6. Butterfly cut each peeled shrimp before you start the battering- leaving the tail intact.
  7. Dip each shrimp once in the flour, then the wet batter, then coat each shrimp with the panko/coconut mixture. Place the shrimp on a plate until all of them are battered.
  8. Fry shrimp by dropping one at a time into the hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shrimp are golden brown. Only fry a few shrimp at a time. Remove shrimp to paper towels to drain.
  9. Serve shrimp with piña colada dipping sauce or shrimp cocktail sauce along with salsa.
Have a great day.


  1. Both the parmesan chips, and the piña colada shrimp look delicious! Now I'll be thinking about food when I should be going to bed. I'll have to stop by earlier in the day next time.


    1. Grin. Not a bad thing to think about when you are going to bed. Dream about food.

  2. Hi Jo - I can only really take home-made mint sauce .. so much nicer and home-made mint jelly too ... I don't like the bought versions.

    Parmesan crisps are so easy to make .. I use hard goats' cheese too ... and sometimes put in snippets of tomato ... but I eat too many - so don't remember to make them!!

    Cheers Hilary

    1. I prefer the bought so long as it's a good one. Not quite sure why. Never eaten mint jelly, didn't know it was available in England, but then I haven't lived there for a while.

      My mother used to make cheese crisps when I was a kid, I have never been successful with them. Matt has made them though. They are very moreish.

  3. I'm not sure I would want mint jam or jelly. I imagine a little goes a long way.

    1. Well you don't eat lamb anyway, so it wouldn't affect you. I love mint sauce on lamb, completely makes the dish for me. But I agree, mint jelly would need to be used sparingly I imagine.

  4. Do you like lamb stew? I bought ready-made lamb stew at Costco and it was terrible, but my brother-in-law who is in the food business suggested I put a slosh of red wine in it. What a difference! We were able to finish the stew and I did not have to throw it out. I still hate to throw food away. Mint Jelly-yum.

    1. I've only ever made my own lamb stew and not for years, lamb is so very expensive in this part of the world. Glad you made it edible.

  5. I have never tried mint jelly or jam. I am not crazy about lamb. The chips look interesting. Are they baked or fried?
    I wanted to stop by and wish you the best of luck on the A-to-Z Challenge. I cannot believe how quickly March is passing by.
    I am looking forward to your posts.

    1. Being English originally, I love lamb. The chips we have made are fried, but the ones I buy are baked. Thanks for the good wishes Doreen.