Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shrimp Scampi with Pasta

Shrimp is one of my favorite things to eat.  I just love the taste.  Growing up shrimp cocktail was a must have at any special meal/event.  Now whenever I have shrimp I think something special is going on.

I have expanded my horizons from shrimp cocktail in the recent years.  Now it is one of my go to items to cook with. This is a meal we threw together in less than 10 minutes last Friday. Fridays are always hard for us to pull a meal together after a long work week and groceries are at the minimum in the fridge. I used a thawed bag of frozen shrimp which I stock up on when they go on sale at the store.

Shrimp Scampi with Whole Wheat Pasta

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes, plus addtional time

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp, garlic, green onion, garlic powder, parsley and pepper; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.

Stir in wine or lemon juice and cook shrimp an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve over cooked pasta.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIAWand Craziness

This week has been all sorts of crazy. The weather was cold, then hot, rainy, foggy, and now it is getting cold again.  

Mr. J left super early Monday for a week long work trip. I left later in the day and made my way to the Midwest. 

Breakfast was at the hotel.  Coffee. Fresh fruit.  Omelette with spinach, onion, green peppers, sausage and cheese.  The potatoes were my downfall.

Lunch was at Panera.  It's almost like my second kitchen.  I went with my go to broccoli cheddar soup, chopped chicken cobb salad with avocado, and a whole wheat baguette. 

I forgot to snap dinner but that was some flat bread tomato and mozzarella pizza and a small Caesar salad with dressing on the side.  By then, I just wanted to be at the airport and on my way home.  It made the meal ho-hum. 

Instead I leave you with our Saturday outing to a local Indian restaurant that has a lunch buffet.  Amazingly delicious!

Dinner was followed by a 8pm latte.  This was both the best and worst decision.  I got home very late and this helped keep my up for my drive at midnight.  Problem being that once home, I was pretty awake. I then decided it would be best to unpack, paint my nails and go through the mail before finally hitting bed.

I am currently reading the biography, Dearie, of Julia Child.  I have all sorts of books that I need to post about. 

What are you reading?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dorie Greenspan's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Although not a resolution for the New Year, I am trying to eat less. The holidays got a bit out of hand.  Pants were a little snug. I just didn't feel great.  Something that was fairly obvious to me was our portions.  

They were big.  

Big as in could easily feed two people big.

Now I don't like to deprive myself.  Cutting out sweets is just not an option.  However, along with downsizing pretty much every helping I take.  You know, putting less on the plate to begin with, leaving the serving dishes in the kitchen, and not taking a second helping, I have also only been making 5 cookies at a time.

Five cookies makes us through two days.  One cookie a day for me. An extra for Mr. J. Of course he supplements with other goodies and snacks.

So yes, I still eat cookies.  I just make sure there are few cookies there to eat.  The rest of the dough balls are bagged up and put into the freezer for another week.

Dorie Greenspan's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert chocolate cookie

Ingredients (24 cookies)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips or 2 cups store-bought chocolate chips or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter at medium speed for about 1 minute, until smooth. Add the sugars and beat for another 2 minutes or so, until well-blended. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes inches Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients until incorporated. On low speed mix in the chocolate.

Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until they are brown at the edges and golden in the center; they may still be a little soft in the middle.

Pull the sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully, using a wide metal spatula, transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Repeat with the remainder of the dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Sour Cream Biscuits {SRC}

Secret Recipe Club

It seems like a very long time since I have posted a recipe for The Secret Recipe Club.  We took off the month of December for the holidays but we are back again this month.

I was assigned Kirstin over at Loving Life.  Although she had several tempting soup and cookie recipes I saw these biscuits and suddenly I was craving eggs, bacon, and strawberry jam.

Mr. J was going to be gone for a while with work so I thought the perfect send off would be a big Sunday breakfast complete with homemade biscuits.

The recipe calls for dropped biscuits but like when Kirstin posted I cut them out.  I don't have biscuit cutters so I just used a glass. I baked up 5 right away and frozen the rest in a Ziplock freezer bag for a later date. 

Sour Cream Drop Biscuits

by Loving Life
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast

Ingredients (makes 12 biscuits)
  • 2c all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4c shortening
  • 2/3c milk
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 2/3c sour cream
  • 3Tbsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.

Cut in shortening until crumbly. Combine milk and sour cream and stir into flour mixture.

Add about 1/2 c more flour and then dumped it onto your working surface. Knead in extra flour, folding over several times.

Roll it out and cut with a 3 3/4" cookie cutter or about the same size glass.

Place on a greased or lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend Edition: New TV, maybe?

This weekend I did a whole lot of nothing and it was fabulous.  Last week I was jumping from place to place and didn't have much time to relax let alone get anything productive accomplished.  

After a bit of cleaning and grocery shopping, I gave up and just let go.  A pretty hard task for me I must say.  We watched two movies.

Safe House is with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds.  It was a pretty intensive movie about the CIA.

The Words starred Bradly Copper.  There was a lot going on in this film and I kind of want to see it again just to make sure I didn't miss anything.  That always happens to me with movies that go back and forth in time.

Watching these movies on our 10 plus year old TV makes us think it could be time for an upgrade.  Maybe before the day is done?!?!

Have you seen any good movies lately?

Here is what I was up to last week:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Yogurt Muffins

A year and a half ago I bought a Canon Rebel T3.  I used it for a few months and then reverted back to my little Canon Powershot.  It seemed so much easier and quicker to use.

For months now I have wanted to really start using my DSLR but work, life, holidays got in the way.  One of the things I did around New Year's when I was stuck in the house with little energy was play with my camera.

I read about half the manual.  It was pretty boring but it did help define some of the features that I was vaguely aware of.  Having it close by as I messed with all of the settings reassured me that I wasn't going to screw the whole thing up.

I always told myself that the Powershot was a good quality camera too but looking at these photos I think I was a fool.  The DSLR is way better quality.

So here are the muffins.  Healthy with yogurt.  Sweetened with raspberries and chocolate.  Oh so good!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Yogurt Muffins

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake breakfast chocolate raspberry
Ingredients (12 muffins)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease muffin tins or use paper liners.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed.

Sift the remaining dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Add the egg to the butter mixture and blend until combined.

Add 1/4 cup yogurt to the butter mixture, then half of the dry ingredients, mixing and repeating with the remaining yogurt and remaining dry ingredients until the batter is combined; be sure to end with the dry ingredients.

Fold in the whole raspberries and jam until evenly mixed. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them to the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and a toothpick comes out clean.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Salsa, Carnitas and WIAW

Somehow I cannot believe it is Wednesday.  And this is coming from a girl who on Monday thought it felt like Friday.  I tell you, some weeks you just long for the weekend right from the beginning.

Eating this week has been minimal after all of our meals out in California last week.  Breakfast was a simple cereal with Cracklin' Oats.  It tastes like oatmeal cookies and is always a treat.


We had boxed mac and cheese, steamed broccoli and some left over chicken from a store bought roasted bird. Simple, simple, simple but very good.

Dinner was slow cooker carnitas.  You just have to love throwing something in a pot in the morning and having a delicious meal waiting for you come dinner time.  This recipe was so simple and super yummy.

We topped it off with some of this salsa that is from a copy cat recipe from Chili's.  I don't eat there often but I love the chips and salsa.  Best. Snack. Food. Ever.

Chili's Copycat Salsa

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: raw appetizer tomato garlic

Ingredients (serves 8)
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) whole tomatoes, drained
  • 3-4 canned, whole jalapenos (not pickled)
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
Place all of the ingredients together into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. 

Serve with tortilla chips.

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What is your favorite snack food?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hearty Vegetable Ragu

There seems to be a day dedicated for every food these days.  And I always feel like I am a day behind. National Spaghetti Day was at the beginning of January.

Although I didn't know about this ahead of time I happened to have planned a spaghetti dinner for that night.  When I travel for work, I buy vegetables that I think Mr. J will eat when I am gone.  He doesn't.  

This dish was a way to use up some of those carrot and celery sticks that weren't eaten.  I wanted some greens and added sauteed kale to my plate.

Hearty Vegetable Ragu

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: saute entree vegetarian
Ingredients (serves 6)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 4 medium Celery, chopped
  • 4 medium Carrot, chopped
  • 2 medium sized Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of Dried Basil,
  • 1 teaspoon of Dried Oregano,
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning,
  • 1 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • Salt and Fresh Black Pepper, to taste
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, deep skillet on medium heat.

Once hot a, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery pieces until soft and slightly golden. Add in the garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes.

Season the sauce with the dried herbs, salt, and black pepper. Stir, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes.

Right before serving add the half cup of Parmesan.

Serve over pasta and kale (optional). Top with remaining Parmesan.
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Thai Green Curry Chicken Soup

My brother and his wife lived in Southeast Asian a couple of years ago.  One year for Christmas I asked for foodie things.  Spice, dishes, etc. from the area. They succeeded in getting my a lovely dish set and a handful of Thai spices and curries. 

Somehow the spices got pushed aside and to the back of the pantry.  Not hard to do when you have a narrow but very deep food cabinet.  After some January resolution cleaning they were found. 

The green curry paste had an easy chicken recipe on the back and we decided to make it up right then and there.  Although these were "real" Thai ingredients, you can find all of the ones for the recipe pretty easily in the US.  We swiped out eggplant with green peppers and tomatoes and it turned out great. We liked it so much we made more of a soup to enjoy more of the sauce. 

It is a bit spicy.  If you want something a bit more mild just adjust the amount of the green curry paste.

Thai Green Curry Chicken Soup

by Emily Morris
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: soup/stew chicken Thai

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 70g green curry paste
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • 250g chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced in long strips
  • 1c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves,
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 large chili
  • 5g fresh basil
Heat 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in sauce pan. Add green curry paste and cook stirring constantly until an aroma develops then lower heat.

Add coconut cream and 180ml of water into pan. Continue stirring and bring to boil.

Add sliced chicken, green peppers, tomatoes, and kaffir lime leaves. Then add fish sauce and sugar.

Simmer until cooked through. Garish with fresh basil. Serve over rice.

Note: The measurements on the packaging were in grams and milliliters. I used one can of coconut milk, not cream. I measured the liquid in 1/2 of coconut milk can. I used 2 large chicken breasts. The kaffir lime leaves can be found at many natural food stores and Asian markets.
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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weekend Edition: Winter is here to stay...

Although it was a bit cold in California when we first arrived within a few days it had warmed up nicely.  The day before we left we walked around in shorts and a t-shirt.  It was a bit surreal to be in 80 degree weather in January.

Back in the good old Northeast it is winter for sure.  Snow is on the ground.  Somehow we missed that. Temperatures are in the 30s.  Blah. 

It makes it OK that I am stuck inside doing laundry and cleaning all day.  How does an apartment get dirty when no one is home?  I also plan to make some fun recipes. I am so sick of eating out.  They will be up next week.

In case you missed last weeks posts, here is a quick recap:

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