Saturday, July 26, 2014

Shrimp tacos for a summer meal: because you’re worth it

From Victoria Abbott aka Mary Jane and Victoria Maffini

First of all, a HUGE thank you to everyone who commented and posted pix during our Fifth Anniversary fun and frolicking.  We are so lucky to have you wonderful readers and friends, to say nothing of pets.  Big hugs all 'round.

Beep, beep, beep. Krista interrupts with the WINNERS of the Photo Contest!
Your submissions to our photo contest astonished and delighted us. We laughed and we smiled. We were jealous of our books having fun! You were so clever and original. We loved every single one of them! Next time, we're going to make you choose the winners. It was hard! We thank each and every one of you. Each of us had favorites that didn't win. The list is actually quite long. And in the end, some of the pictures were so close that we decided to make a list of runners-up, each of whom will receive one book. Congratulations to all of the winners, and our most heartfelt thanks to everyone who submitted a photo!

The winners of a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen tote bag and seven books are:

One of our books with a cat - Sandy Long, Sarah the Kitty

One of our books with a dog - Colleen Blackmore, Soufflé Takes the Cake 

One of our books having summer fun - Becky Prazak, Hayley Upgrades

One of our books in a library - Kimberly Sams, Quiet As a Mouse in the Library

One of our books in a bookstore - Cathy Moscariello, Love These Mystery Ladies


Elaine Klingbeil, Having Summer Fun!
Linda MacDonald, Sandy Loved Murder, She Barked
Anne VanderHaeghen, The Cat’s Day of Summer
Missy Schwebach, Heidi in the Library
Margaret Rushton, Summer Fun
Elisa Varey, Peering In To See
Lynn Gietz, Decisions, Decisions
Amy Newman Connolley, Cappi’s Favorite Way to Relax

Back to Victoria!

But now we're hungry.  We love summer meals and we’ve been grilling our happy heads off here, but sometimes you feel like something different, but still summery.  MJ has been exploring ideas for shrimp tacos for a while and collecting various recipes.  Too bad every one either had an ingredient we didn’t have or couldn’t get or didn’t like.  So this recipe is a real blend of ideas, plus some of our own favorite ways of doing things.  It also has ingredients we almost always have on hand.  

Because of those complicated origins, we were worried about how it would taste. Needlessly worried, it turned out.  We loved the results and will definitely revisit shrimp tacos again and again.  

You will need: 

Four 8-inch tortillas (could be larger!)
2 tablespoons butter
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
1 pound peeled raw large shrimp (frozen is fine)
1 tsp sugar
2 tablespoons prepared (squeeze tube) parsley
½ cup sliced sweet red peppers (we used sweet African peppers)
1/8 tsp cayenne
½ iceberg lettuce, shredded (or sliced)
Small package goat cheese with herbs, crumbled
1 avocado, peeled and diced
½ cup chopped cilantro (optional)
Fresh ground pepper

All you do is:

Make the tacos.  Okay you can just use the tortillas as is, but if you really want tacos and don’t have shells or want a more natural shell, you can do this: 

Preheat your oven to 375. Brush the four tortillas with light oil (we used canola oil) or light spray.  Drape tortillas one by one over rack in oven, shaped to make a taco. 


 Bake for 7 or 8 minutes until crispy. We didn’t think this would work, and they weren't as regular as a purchased taco, but they were delicious!   We left them in for a couple of minutes with the oven off, to crisp ‘em a bit more.  Just keep an eye on them.

While they’re cooling off on a plate, make your filling:

Melt butter in a large sauté or frying pan and sauté onion for three to five minutes until wilted and smelling great. Add shrimp and sugar and cook for three minutes until just pink. Don’t overcook or it will become rubbery. 

Stir in peppers, cayenne and parsley.  Heat through about two minutes.  Add ground pepper to taste.  This will all smell wonderful.   Just about done!

Top your taco with lettuce, add filling and then add goat cheese, avocado and cilantro.  


No elbows. There’s plenty for everyone. Some people around here don’t like cilantro, so it’s optional.  

Next time we will try this with sour cream instead of goat cheese. Today, it was one of those ingredients we didn’t have. The goat cheese was terrific too, but we are more likely to have sour cream on hand. 

You can change this to suit yourself, but the sautéed shrimp mixture would be hard to beat. Just sayin’. 


Eat up and enjoy your summer meal!  Have we mentioned that it's messy?  Don't try it on a first date. 

But you know, these tacos are not the only thing we're really really excited about. 

 The Wolfe Widow, the third in our book collector mystery series, will hit the shelves and e-readers on September 2nd.   We'll get dressed up to launch the book and  Peachy the Pug (aka Walter) will put on her party dress.  She likes the dress. It's the camera that worries her.

 If you just can't wait to read Jordan and Vera's latest adventures in the dangerous (yet amusing) world of book collecting, why not Just click here to PRE-ORDER

Or, if you don't scare easily: Watch the trailer


  1. Delicious! If I ate shrimp for breakfast, I'd go make this right now! xo

    1. Shrimp for breakfast? I don't want to rule that out, Lucy/Roberta! XO

  2. I won the contest, who do I send my address to?
    Becky Prazak

    1. A little bird says you know now!

      Hugs and congrats, Becky!

  3. Congrats to all the winners and thanks for joining us in this fun contest! These tacos look yummy, and I usually have frozen shrimp on hand so a great quick dinner!

    1. Hope it works out for your dinner! Shrimp are so flexible. Hugs, MJ

  4. Thanks for the fun contest, loved looking at all the cute photos.

    I just happen to have frozen shrimp on hand. Maybe tacos for dinner.

    1. So glad you had fun! Keep us posted about your taco results. Hugs!

  5. Great picture winners! Talented people there.
    Facebook is do strange. When I click the "like" link the picture shows the yummy tacos. When I click the "share" link, it shows Peaches in all her glory.
    Go figure.
    Clever idea for crisping the tortillas over the oven rack.
    And delicious sounding ingredients.
    The pictures of the two of you are such fun!

    1. Thanks, Libby! You're seeing the good photos (chuckle!). I never understand the ways of Blogger and what it chooses to show. Sheesh,



  6. How exciting! Thank you so much! You ladies are amazing and I look forward to reading all your books!

    1. We loved your photo, Cathy! Thanks for coming by.

      Hugs, MJ/Victoria

  7. Thanks to everyone who entered. It was really difficult to choose winners! We loved them all!!!

    Mary Jane, this sounds perfect for the almost 100 degree weather we're having. Nice and light with lots of flavor!

    1. Hope you like them, Krista. It's cooler again here but we had heat and humidity earlier in the week. I just keep reminding myself of the minus thirty winter situation,



  8. Thank you so much for the photo contest and for choosing my Summer Fun picture as a runner up! Thank you, thank you!


  9. Congrats to the contest winners. That is cool I was a runner up. :) The shrimp tacos look great. I have ordered them before, but never have made them myself. I think I will try!