Our Healthy Halloween Collection for 2015

A collection of healthy homemade Halloween treats from Apron Strings Archives!

The time is almost nigh for one of my favorite holidays. We all love to have a few bona-fide treats at Halloween, but many of us like to try and stay the course with (mostly) health conscious fare otherwise. With a little over a week left, we thought this would be a fine time to share a few of our favorite healthy Halloween posts. Let’s kick it off with one of our most popular (and adorable) recipes . . .


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Announcing the 3 winners of the new Burritos cookbook!

Burritos by Donna and Sandy

NEW: Burritos! by Donna & Sandy – Click the pic for our Amazon Affiliate link!

The time has come at last! We shared 3 different recipes from Donna and Sandy’s newest collaboration, “BURRITOS!“, last week. Chosen at random (thanks, random.org!) from each of the social media sharing posts on each of the 3 posts, the winners are . . . .

Jessica at Mommy Needs A Martini

Amy at Anktangle

Susan at We Love Great Mexican Food

Please email us at ourapronstrings [at] gmail [dot] com with your full name and preferred shipping address, and we’ll get these off to you shortly!

¡Buen apetito!


Tequila Lime Shrimp Burritos – and BURRITOS! Book Giveaway

Shrimp Burritos


The latest from Donna and her sister Sandy hit the shelves a few weeks ago, and we are so giddy that we are posting some of our burrito best this week – three burrito recipes – with three chances to win a fabulous BURRITOS! book! Instructions at the end of the post.


The new BURRITOS! book from Donna and her sister Sandy!

My sister Sandy and I grew up eating burros, so this is a natch for us. Yes, while the rest of America’s kids were eating PB&Js, Donna and Sandy were eating bean and cheese burros. And, YES, they were called “burros” when we were kids. The “-ito” was added to burro later and always strikes me as odd, because the ending “ito” means small, and most burritos you order today are extra huge.

So, because of our heritage, this burritos book is near and dear to our hearts.

I am also very proud of the recipes in this book. We have 70 burrito recipes – many classics but also many new creations thought up by our very own southwest brains.

My favorite section is the International Section. We have taken classic dishes from around the globe and turned those dishes into burritos. I know. Genius. From India, we have Tikka Masala and Mulligatawny. From Vietnam, a Bahn Mi. From Peru, Lemon Chicken and Sweet Potatoes. From Spain, a Seafood Paella. We even have a Corned Beef burrito from – you guessed it – Ireland. I mean, my last name is Kelly, after all.

This Tequila Lime Shrimp Burrito comes from the New Southwest section – featuring more modern flavors rolled into one delicious portable meal. The Green Rice is topped with marinated grilled shrimp, and then – the finishing touch – chimichurri sauce. In my opinion, chimichurri sauce will make anything taste delicious. You could put this amazing flavor enhancing sauce on a piece of leather and eat it for dinner. It’s that good.

Please enter to win a cookbook and come back all week this week to see what amazing creations we have awaiting you in Burrito Bliss!

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with a link to a social media share of the post (a Tweet, Facebook status, Pin, whatever you like!). We’ll announce the three winners at the end of the week! You can enter as many times as you want (as many shares as you’d like to make, in other words).



5.0 from 2 reviews
Tequila Lime Shrimp Burritos
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Southwestern
Serves: 4-6
  • 1⁄4 cup tequila
  • Zest and juice of 3 limes
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, stemmed and seeded, minced, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
  • 2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 recipe Mexican Green rice, warmed
  • 4 to 6 (12-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 recipe Chimichurri sauce or bottled salsa verde
  1. Mix tequila, lime juice, orange juice, 1 teaspoon each of zests, cumin, 1⁄3 of jalapeño and 1 clove garlic in a large ziplock bag. Add shrimp and mari- nate for 1 hour in refrigerator.
  2. Remove shrimp from refrigerator and drain, reserving 1⁄4 cup of marinade. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place shrimp and remaining jalapeño and garlic in skillet, cook 1–2 minutes. Add reserved marinade and cook until liquid has reduced and shrimp are cooked through and pink, 2–3 minutes.
  3. Assemble burritos by spooning rice onto tortillas. Add shrimp and drizzle with Chimichurri Sauce or salsa verde. Roll burritos as desired.
  4. Makes 4 to 6 burritos


Memorial Day Recipe Roundup

Fire up your grocery lists: A roundup of grill and picnic pleasers for your Memorial Day Weekend!as ever.

Grilled Mexican Corn (Elotes)

Grilled Mexican Corn (Elotes)

The kickoff of summer grilling season is upon us, and I couldn’t be more stoked (pun intended). We’re having a tamale-and-tequila party, which will feature the above-pictured grilled elotes on my brand-new Char Broil grill, as well a shrimp ceviche, the titular tamales in a few varieties, and some other summer favorites.

Naturally I had to share a handful of our own best recipes that fit the Memorial Day bill. Plenty of shopping time left to prepare! Have at it! …

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2015 Easter Recipe Roundup

The time has come for a good old-fashioned Easter Recipe Roundup! We’ll share a few of our savory favorites from over the years. Whether you’re having a brunch, hosting an old-fashioned holiday dinner, or just looking to make some homemade fun for your kids, you might find something inspiring here.

First up, what better way to start your Easter morning than with these Green Eggs (With No Ham) for breakfast?

Green Eggs (No Ham)

Green Eggs (No Ham) for your Easter Breakfast

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Honey Lime Pepper Jelly #CanItForward

#CanItForward Giveaway!


Honey LIme Jalapeno Jelly

Are you excited about canning season yet? We are giddily participating in the Ball #CanItForward festivities by joining in a giveaway of Ball products, a longstanding staple in our own homes. On Saturday August 16, Jarden Home Brands will celebrate home canning with the first annual International Can-It-Forward Day, when they will gather in New York’s Union Square for a full day of canning and how-tos, all streamed live on the web. All the festivities will be hosted by host Top Chef Hugh Acheson. What a good time, eh?

I am so, so happy that there has been a canning revival in the last few years. There is just something so satisfying about spending a day hard at work and then stepping back and seeing jars and jars of home goodness lining your counter. And jams and jellies are the perfect thing to start developing your canning prowess – the failure rate is low and the deliciousness level is high! This pepper jelly is something I have been making for years and not only serves as a sweet and spicy treat on toast but can be used as a sticky glaze for all types of meats – it is especially great on pork or lamb chops. Maybe you can make it in your own brand-new set of Ball products – make sure you check out our giveaway instructions (and the Honey Lime Pepper Jelly recipe) after the jump. …

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Mother’s Day Giveaway: Win a Fabulously Flirty Apron!

 Nothing is more fun and fitting for us than a Mother’s Day giveaway.

Mother’s Day Gift for Anne: A drawing by her daughter (and Donna’s granddaughter) Lily. The likeness is uncanny! I do believe I’m wearing a snazzy apron here!

This is our holiday –  motherhood is, of course, at the core of our blog. Though we have also become good friends over the years, that unique, primary connection was definitely the heart of our connection when we were fortunate enough to reunite almost fifteen (!)  years ago. What a journey it has been and continues to be!

(Donna’s note: Anne, my birth daughter, and I reunited in 1999 and for me it was love at first sight – the very first time I saw Anne at the San Diego airport in October 1999, it was a feeling like falling in love. But, a mother-daughter relationship is more than just biology. It is years of loving and nurturing each other. And so, Anne and I started down the road not knowing where it would lead us. It was a surprise to us both that cooking was what would make us close. Our mutual love of cooking – with nearly 15 years now of laughing , sharing and cooking in the kitchen – that healed us, that brought us together, that made “us” who we are.)

This blog is an ongoing labor-of-love project for us, so we always look forward to doing something special for Mother’s Day. And aprons are the ultimate uniform of a loving mom in the kitchen, no? This year we’re excited to offer a giveaway from Flirty Aprons – how perfect, right?

Simply leave a comment below for the chance to win the super-stylin’ apron of your choice. You can leave one comment each day and each one is an entry. For multiple entries, post on social media about this give away and then leave a comment here for each time you shout out. We’ll announce the chosen-at-random winner next Sunday, May 18. (Please make sure a working email address is connected to your username, so we can get in touch with you in case you don’t see the announcement post. We promise not to use it for any other purposes.)


Vegan African Peanut Stew

Start the New Year off right by cooking up a bowl of our Vegan African Peanut Stew!

Vegan African Peanut Stew

With the New Year comes a New Beginning – and a fresh new way of creating in the kitchen. Let 2014 be the year of nutrient-dense foods and healthier ways of cooking them, we say!

You just can’t get any healthier than this African Peanut Stew – with a vegan twist. African Peanut Stew is a wildly popular dish in Africa – usually made with chicken. But here, we vegan-ize this dish without sacrificing flavors or textures. It is, we think, better than the original chicken version. We added sweet potato chunks in place of the chicken and coconut milk in place of the cream.

And the humble peanut is a nutritional powerhouse, it turns out. Who knew? Peanuts are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and contain resveratrol, the potent antioxidant found in grapes and red wine. These legumes have numerous other nutrients and antioxidants which make them nutritional rivals of berries.

And, one more bit of good news: roasting increases their nutritional value! Usually I use diced tomatoes cooked down in a soup of sauce, but in this case, they are adding a bright finishing touch. Heaven in a spoon! Here’s another bonus to using Del Monte’s diced tomatoes – the nutritional value of tomatoes is actually increased by the canning process – which makes the nutrients more accessible to be used by your body.




Total time 60 minutes

Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cumin

1 tablespoon coriander

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 medium yam, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup uncooked rice

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce

1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk

1 cup natural style dark roasted peanut butter

3 cans undrained Del Monte® Petite Diced Tomatoes with Zesty Mild Green Chilies

8 to 10 green onions, thinly sliced

1 cup diced cilantro leaves

Juice of 2 limes, plus more lime wedges for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cooked rice for garnish

Chopped peanuts for garnish

In a large stockpot over medium high heat, add oil, cumin and coriander and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until softened. Stir in onion, yam and bell pepper and cook another 2 to 3 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add in vegetable broth, uncooked rice, soy sauce, cayenne pepper sauce, coconut milk, peanut butter and stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in diced tomatoes with chilies, most of green onions, cilantro and lime juice. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and then serve in wide flat bowls. Serve garnished with a scoop of cooked rice, chopped peanuts and green onions.