Winner, winner shrimp dinner

March 29, 2011

Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes, Feta and Breadcrumbs

I’ve come down with a major case of blogger’s block.

I’m inspired to cook, uninspired to talk about it.

Perhaps my brain is muddled with reminders that the end of this wonderful little thing called maternity leave is looming. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome a return to the working world (And people talk! Adult people talk!), but I dread the “first day of school” (aka the first day of daycare). He’ll be fine. Momma’ll be sobbing. Returning to work also means I have to wear real clothes again. Like, with collars and without elastic waists. (Imagine that.) And I’ll have to fix my hair. (The horror.)

Long gone will be the days of coffee to the tunes of Sesame Street, mid-afternoon errand runs when we’re feeling brave (read: Caleb’s rested, changed and very well fed), and lots of carefree mommy-and-me time. They’ve been wonderful and truly cherished, but welcome will be the days of a new routine. We’ll be busy and I’m certain there will be times my head is spinning with to-do’s and to-go’s and help-me-Lord!‘s but that’s life and we’ll manage. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time. I’m looking forward to what the future has in store.

So about this shrimp. In anticipation of hectic weeknights I’ve had an eye out for recipes that require one pan and minimal hands-on time. This one fits the bill. It’s jam-packed with some of my favorite things and good for the body and the soul. Winner, winner shrimp dinner!
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Look, I made dinner!

May 26, 2010

Seared Salmon with Lentil Tabbouleh

So look, I’ve been busy. Though not busy cooking, unfortunately. Is May practically over? What happened? Where? Who? Huh? Yeah, I can’t really tell you where May has gone because I’m done near stumped myself. (Wasn’t I just describing this Spring blooming scene, like last week?) And this little ol’ blog has sort of been pushed to the back burner. My Google Reader is out of control with unread feeds. My to-make list is stained with coffee cup rounds, having been used as a coaster and not for weekly inspiration.

While I can’t explain this out of control time-space continuum we’ve experienced, I can tell you I’m tired of take-out. And peanut butter toast. And Annie’s mac and cheese. Oh, and ice cream for dinner. Yes, that happened. Well, we’re both tired of these things. Kyle, fearing the worst, doesn’t bother to ask what I’m making, but instead asks where he’ll be stopping on the way home from work. May, is this a sign of what’s to pass in the coming months? Please say no. I miss my kitchen.

It wasn’t a difficult decision. That is, what to cook when the opportunity finally presented itself. We were both craving fresh and healthy. Though anything that didn’t come out of a box, take-out bag or (eep!) frozen carton totally qualified. This fit the bill perfectly.
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The best tuna sandwich

March 28, 2010

Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Sandwich

I sometimes daydream about owning a little bakery cafe. In my next life. A friendly place where everyone knows your name. Bob would stroll in at 6:05 am for a black coffee, a slice of banana bread and a newspaper. Kate would stop by at 1:30 for a lemonade, a sandwich and a chat. Susan would call ahead twice a month to order roasted beet salad or rolls for her next dinner party. It would have butter yellow walls and crisp white trim, mismatched chairs, chalkboard menus and vintage style dishes. (Ok, perhaps I daydream about this a bit too much.) We’d be that place in the neighborhood with the best latte. The best cinnamon chip scone. The best sweet potato bisque. The best tuna sandwich.

In a world where the standard menu tuna sandwich too often promises soggy mayo-laden mush scooped between some limp white bread, this Tuscan Tuna and White Bean Sandwich deserves praise. It’s mayo-less! It has flavor! It has texture! It has lemon and basil and kalamata olives and white bean spread! Seriously, what’s not to love about this sandwich? My taste buds did a happy dance. When I own that little cafe (wink), you’ll see some variation of this sandwich on the chalkboard menu.
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Clam Linguine

March 11, 2010

Linguine with White Clam Sauce

People who know us well can attest that we are homebodies. As much as we love a night out on the town, either as a couple or among friends, nothing beats the comforts of our kitchen, our dining table, our couch. A reservation chez nous means casual attire (read: my hair is up, makeup is off, sweats are on), cheap entertainment a la Netflix, a bottle of wine and comfort food. This clam linguine is our default comfort food. I make it mid-week when nothing else sounds good, on Sunday evenings when grocery shopping didn’t fit into the weekend schedule and I’m left to forage through the pantry, or at the end of a long week when I just don’t have the energy to really cook (I could probably make this blind-folded, that’s how often it’s eaten around here). Such was the case a couple Fridays back when I couldn’t refuse a date night at home. While Kyle determined which of the Academy Awards Best Picture hopefuls to watch first, I made linguine with white clam sauce (or clam linguine, as we call it) while donning an over-sized hoodie, sporting a ponytail and armed with a hefty pour of Chardonnay. Comfort at its finest. My kind of Friday night.
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Shrimp, roasted

February 18, 2010

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

If I had to pick a favorite cooking method it would have to be roasting. Ok, maybe grilling. But around here, the charcoal grilling option is limited to about 6 months of the year, so roasting is our fail safe year-round dry heat method for yielding big flavor. A gas grill would likely expand the grilling option to about 9 months (even though nothing beats the flavor of a charcoal flame). But that is on my long list of “wants” which also includes a cook’s kitchen with a stone topped island and double ovens, and a pony (code for it ain’t happening anytime soon). So until then, we’ll roast our way through the winter months. Fine by me, especially when it comes to this roasted shrimp cocktail recipe we discovered about a year ago. It’s really more a method than a recipe. But after you realize how insanely simple and delicious this is, you’ll say buh-bye to pre-cooked rubbery shrimp and the poaching method. Forever.
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