San Diego Zoo: Day Four of Sharing

This day is for Shannon Stacey, who tells me she loves polar bears. Some of my favorite pictures are in this group! Also, I think the baby hippo may have been one of my favorite exhibits. He was so cute and playful. I wanted to spend more time watching him, but the viewing area was super crowded.

 

San Diego Zoo: Day Three of Sharing

If yesterday was the day of monkeys, today is the day of birds. Mostly flamingos because I spent a lot of time watching the baby flamingos. I’d never seen a baby flamingo before!

I should also share the “Backstage Pass” photo of me feeding the flamingos. Love!

San Diego Zoo: Day Two of Sharing

Today I’m going to share some of the monkey pictures with you. Yes, there were enough pictures of monkeys to show only those in one day. Remember, I was at the zoo by myself. No child to tell me to “Hurry up, Mommy, let’s gooooo” so I could stop and watch whatever I wanted for as long as I wanted. Probably why I ended up spending so much time at the zoo (8 hours) and still not seeing everything (I missed an ENTIRE section!)

So below are some of the monkey shots I took. I have to admit I am disappointed because somehow I missed the orangutans. I’ve always been fascinated by them. I blame Clint Eastwood. So, no pictures of orangutans.

San Diego Zoo: Day one of sharing

Two weeks ago I was in San Diego, hosted by the fabulous RWA chapter there. I went in one day early to do something I rarely get to do when I travel: sightsee. I was determined to spend one free day in San Diego, and see more than the hotel and airport. I spent all day Friday at the San Diego Zoo, which was fabulous. I had an amazing time there. And took a lot of pictures. So I’m going to share them with you every day this week (while I’m off at RWA Nationals in NYC!)

For the first set of pictures, the first thing I did when I got in to the zoo was took the 40-minute guided bus tour they offer as part of admission. I was so glad I did, because it gave me some insight into the zoo layout, and I also got to see a lot of the animals wide awake and active first thing. Here are my favorite moments from that bus tour.

Summer cooking: Spicy Fish Tacos with Corn Salsa

I love fish tacos and it’s hard to find good ones where I am. Odd, since I’m near the ocean. But I’m in Maryland, and I must say that California (and Arizona and Texas) have much better fish tacos than around me. So I went searching for a recipe, and came up with this one from AllRecipes.com. Of course, I promptly changed it, but still. Loved it! Warning: these are spicy. If you want not spicy, you’ll need to change the seasoning on the fish.

Ingredients:

    For Salsa:
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped jicama*
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (I omitted.)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • For Fish:

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons salt
  • 6 (4 ounce) fillets tilapia (I used about a pound and 3/4) You don’t have to use tilapia, any white fish will work, including cod and catfish.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 flour tortillas, warmed (original recipe called for corn. Blech!)
  • For sauce:

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • leftover spices (anything you didn’t sprinkle on fish, or to taste)
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • rest of cilantro (will probably be about 1/2 to 1 cup after you add 1 cup to salsa)
  • salt to taste
  • a dash of olive oil

*Jicama can be a bit difficult to find. Don’t look for it in Walmart, you’re going to have to go to a grocery store with a good produce section. I found mine separated from the other veggies, where they sell some of the more exotic veggies. If you’ve never had jicama, and are worried you won’t like it, or should skip it, don’t. It’s a tuber, one with a very subtle, almost sweet flavor. Once it gets in the salsa, you know it’s there, but it doesn’t have an overwhelming taste, and it adds a fantastic, and necessary, crunch. The salsa wouldn’t be the same without it.

1. Mix together cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Sneeze repeatedly like I did from pepper floating through air. Don’t sneeze on the food. Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with seasoning mix. The heavier you coat, the spicier it will be. Set aside.

2. Mix corn (I boiled corn on the cob and then stripped it from the cobs. You could use leftover corn or corn from the can, but fresh is best!), red onion (yes, red, not white or yellow, red), cilantro, jicama and lime juice in a bowl. This is your corn salsa and it’s amazing.

3. Grill or fry the fish fillets. I fried mine, using no more olive oil than I brushed on the fillets. It was perfect!

4. While you’re grilling/frying the fish, prepare the sauce. I used my mini food processor (have we talked about my love for this thing?) but you can use a blender or regular food process. Put all of the ingredients in the mini food processor and combine until in liquid form. This should be to your taste, so test it and add ingredients as you want. It’s meant to be a combination of spicy and cooling. I felt mine had too much lime this time (I used a whole lime) so next time I’ll use only half. You could add more sour cream, if you wanted to stretch it. Put the sauce in a bowl or squeeze bottle.

5. Serve the fish tacos. Lay out flour tortillas. Let hungry folk top their tortilla with fish, then salsa and sauce. Can also serve plain sour cream alongside.

6. Drink with beer to reduce spicy effect. Enjoy!

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