Sunday, May 24, 2015

Spicy Shrimp

Ree Drummond has never let me down. She's cool like that. She can be trusted. And this recipe, my friends, is MAGNIFICENT and requires zero chopping or effort whatsoever.
                                        beautiful Shauna Niequist print from Lindsay Letters

Last Monday was a long day. I was flipping off night shifts, we had a very sad family funeral, and yet I wanted to actually fix us dinner and sit outside since it was a pretty night. I needed to take comfort in good food and my people. I get why happy people love to eat, and why grieving people love to eat. My amazing friend Cindy came over, Charlie went to sleep early after his nighttime bottle, and we sat outside, drank wine, and devoured these shrimp. We put the baking sheet right on the table, tore off chunks of baguette and soaked up the rich sauce. Josh kept our wine glasses full as we sipped on a cold Viognier. It was so simple and so good. Just what we needed after a long day. This meal was really a great big hug, and sitting under the stars with my people reminded me that everything was going to be OK.

Since it was dark, I didn't even take a picture, but I'm telling you, these shrimp are GOOD.

Spicy Shrimp
from the Pioneer Woman

3 pounds unpeeled shrimp (more or less)
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
3 whole lemons (juice of)
1/4 cup (to 1/2 cup worcestershire) sauce
1 stick butter

Rinse raw shrimp with shells still on (21-26 count) and place on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle shrimp with olive oil. Generously sprinkle black pepper over the top of the shrimp and follow with kosher salt. Lots of pepper!

Squeeze the juice of 3 lemons over top of all the shrimp. Generously drizzle Worcestershire over the shrimp and then Tabasco. Cut stick of butter into pats, and place the pats on top of the shrimp as evenly spaced as possible. 

Place the pan under the broiler for 10 minutes until the shrimp are no longer translucent. Serve with a crusty French baguette to dip in the glorious butter lemon sauce!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad is my new obsession because it's easy, healthy, and delicious. My friend Lexi made it for me on one of our fun baby play dates, and I've made it twice the last few weeks. We both decided that the recipe needed to be on the blog because it's AMAZING and ready in 30 minutes. 

The sweet potatoes, black beans and quinoa are a great combination with the cilantro and lime juice. It tastes like summer, and I like to eat it hot or cold. I brought it for lunch at work today and snapped this picture before the contained disappeared. 

One of my favorite Gretchen quotes that is ringing true in my life every single day is "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good". This photo was snapped my iPhone in a Tupperware container that I packed the salad in. Maybe, hopefully, one day I will get back to snapping Saveur worthy pictures of my recipes, but for now I am just cooking, figuring out how to make the perfect pizza dough in my mixer, and muddling mint for mojitos. Let me just tell you - add a little cucumber to a mojito and muddle it with the limes and mint - so fresh and delicious! Right now, I am embracing the good, the wabi sabi. If you haven't heard of WABI SABI, look it up, right now! 

Roasted Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth (I love Better than Bouillon paste)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can rotel tomatoes
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes (use 1 lime for more subtle flavor)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Avocado - for topping

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Toss sweet potatoes in olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until done. 
- Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups chicken broth.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine rotel tomatoes, black beans, lime juice, coriander, cumin, and cilantro. Add quinoa and stir well.

To serve, top quinoa salad with roasted sweet potatoes and avocado.

Friday, May 1, 2015

+ a gratitude journal +

I believe in the power of little choices. I believe that the little choices we make matter the most.  The choice to spend time outside every day, to look for the silver lining when a wrench is thrown in your plan, to light a candle and sit at the table for dinner. I recently made the choice to keep a journal, and it's the best decision I've made in a very long time. 

On January the 20th I made my first entry in a 5-year journal that I call my Gratitude Journal. Earlier that day I was meandering around Barnes and Noble, found myself in the cookbook section, and turned around to see the journal section. I picked up a blue striped 5-year journal and purchased it then and there, even though it was a few bucks cheaper on Amazon. I believe in serendipity, that people and things come into our lives when we need them most. 

It started out as a gratitude journal, documenting a little thing I am thankful for at the end of a day. Recently, I've started to include Charlie's milestones and major events in the journal, as I was grateful for my girlfriends and wine more often than I will confess! Oh, and my husbands perfect vodka martinis. 

If you're looking for a daily boost, a reminder to keep an open and grateful heart, I highly recommend buying yourself one of these. They are on my personal list of all time favorite things! Here is the link to the one I love on Amazon. (gratitude journal)