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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Foodie Friday: Swamp Shrimp

This summer I decided every week I would try a new shrimp recipe. Surprisingly I have not run out of delicious shrimp recipes and we aren’t sick of shrimp yet!

One of my hobbies is finding and reading specialty, regional cookbooks. I pick them up from relatives or estate sales. Not so long ago I happened across a nice cookbook from the Junior League of Vicksburg, Ambrosia, and flagged this recipe right away. I’m glad I did because it has been the favorite of the summer.

Swamp Shrimp
1 lb medium, headless shrimp, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup bottled Italian dressing
2 lemons
seasoned salt
4 tablespoons butter

Coat bottom of a 9×13 pan with olive oil. Place shrimp in the pan side by side, try not to overlap. Pour Worchestershire sauce, Italian dressing, and the juice of both lemons over shrimp. Sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Slice butter thinly and distribute over shrimp. Broil 18 – 20 minutes.

Serve with French bread and be prepared to fight over the sauce.

The night I served this my husband cleaned up the dishes, he’s sweet like that. He came in afterwards and confessed that he might have cheated on me with the sauce. I can’t say that I blame him. Its just that good.

Wasted Wednesday: Peach Slush

I finally tried a new recipe! Hooray! Unfortunately it wasn’t any of the ones I listed last week.  Hey, you take what you can get, especially when what you get is something awesome.

We’ve joined a CSA with my sister and her family, and love getting our share of local fruits and vegetables every week. It’s an awesome way to support small family farms, and a much better option if you’re trying to eat at least somewhat healthy.

While we do love it, and will participate again next year (whose brilliant idea was it to sign up for the summer that we moved, I started a new job, and we’re getting married? Oh right, mine), there are times when the lack of pesticides and whatnot result in less than perfect looking produce. We know that this is a good thing, that we’ve been trained to be attracted to creepy unnaturally perfect food, but it can sometimes be a challenge.

Case in point? Our peaches this week. We got two of the little suckers, and I should have taken a picture. The thing that kept coming to mind was the movie Big Daddy, when the kid asks “Is that the guy with the old balls?” Really mature and classy, I know. The peaches were just a little faded, a little too wrinkled, and little dried out.

Then I came across this recipe, and it called for two peaches! Brilliant!

I threw it into the blender that night, and a new favorite was born.

Peach Slush
makes 3-4 cocktails

  • 2 peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 3 ounces simple syrup
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (I used Gentleman Jack whiskey. Mmmm)
  • 1/4 cup water

Throw it all in a blender and pulverize until smooth.

In all honesty, I think next time I’ll switch out the water for more whiskey (hiccup), but otherwise it was the perfect summer drink, and an awesome way to use up some unattractive balls peaches.

Word of the Day: hangry

Today’s word of the day is: hangry.
Example: Can we please go to dinner right now? I’m getting hangry.

I don’t remember where exactly I first heard this. I know it was a blog – and if it was yours please let me know so I can give you proper credit for your genius-ness.

Hangry is what happens when you are so hungry you begin to get angry. Its something I’ve been afflicted with my whole life, off and on of course. If I don’t have something in my stomach at all times I start getting hangry, if not remedied I begin to downward spiral into not hungry any more and then into sick to my empty stomach which leads to several hours retching on the bathroom floor and cursing anyone who prevented me from eating hours ago (usually myself).

I’ll admit, hangry is a little cute-sy. But its a good way to remind those you are with what will eventually happen if they don’t stop and get you some food right away. My husband has learned the warning signs and will do just about anything to prevent hangry-ness setting in. He’s sweet like that.

To prevent hangryness I’m eating leftover cobbler right now. Yes, sometimes we must suffer eating delicious foods to prevent the hanger, but I’m willing to sacrifice myself to make the world slightly less hangry.

Things That Drive Us Crazy: Monday People

Whenever I think of Mondays, I think of the seminal classic, Office Space:

“Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays”

This morning, I was told by one of my bosses “Good morning! TGIM!”

Thank goodness it’s Monday?

Thank goodness I didn’t just throw my coffee in your face.

The caffeine is too precious to waste.

Foodie Friday: Quinoa Caprese Salad

I love caprese salad! And yet, I never order it as an appetizer since my husband hates tomatoes. Last week he was out of town for a few days and I made this salad. Does anyone else cook totally different when their spouse is out of town? The last time he was gone I ate tomatoes in some form or fashion everyday. It was glorious.

Okay, tangent over. Quinoa Caprese Salad. I’ve never cooked quinoa before and I couldn’t remember if I’ve ever had it, so I was a tad nervous trying this receipe out. But I figured if it had fresh tomatoes, mozzerella, basil, and balsamic vinegar it couldn’t be too bad. I was right! And I love it when I’m right!

Quinoa Caprese Salad
(Originally found here)

1 cup quinoa
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced
1 english cucumber, sliced
6 oz fresh mozzerella cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Black pepper

Cook quinoa according to directions. Let cool.
Slice your veggies and mix with quinoa. Toss with olive oil, balasmic vinegar, and pepper.

This seriously only takes about 15 minutes to make and it’s super healthy. Its going to be a husband-is-gone staple in my house!

Wasted Wednesdays: Things To Try

Sometimes things get crazy around here, and trying new recipes just isn’t a priority. We fall back to our default drinks of choice, since they don’t require much thought, effort, or new supplies.

I’ve had my eye on some recipes I want to try though, so hopefully the following drinks will make an appearance in my glass and on this blog soon:

Strawberry Vodka– I love strawberries. I love vodka. What’s not to love about this?! Plus, it makes me think of all the other ways I can make vodka even better. There’s some watermelon soaking in vodka in my fridge right now. It’ll knock you off your feet!

Boozy Mint Lemonade Slush– The name says it all. Now drooling.

Blueberry + Gin Smash– Gin is one of my default liquors, and Josh is obsessed with blueberries (Seriously, easiest way to keep him happy is to buy a carton of blueberries every time I go to the store). This seems really easy and delicious.

Ginger Cilantro Margarita– I loooooove a good margarita, and this one looks especially promising. I love the idea of the kick from the ginger, and the freshness of cilantro, though all of our cilantro died. Sad.

I’m sure I’m missing some I’ve bookmarked elsewhere, but these are definitely high on my list.

Any other recipes we should try? You know what willing subjects we are!

Things we love: The men who fix things for us

One day last week my husband called me at work to tell me he was doing a load of laundry and also that he thought he broke the washing machine. Awesome and awesome! Thanks, honey!

My husband has a family friend that knows how to fix these things professionally. He walked him through how to diagnosis our dryer a few years ago. (That one was a goner, unfortunately.) Together they were able to determine what the issue was and order a replacement part.

Yesterday I came home to this:

And then there was this:

After some cursing and tense moments he was able to get it all back together and working again!

Here’s to the men who fix things for us, even if they broke it in the first place!

Things We Love: Wedding Registeries

…and by wedding registries, I mean my own.

One of my current favorite things to do while I’m lolling is work on my wedding registries (wedding in 19 days! Holla!). There is truly nothing like making a list of ridiculous stuff for other people to give you.

When Josh and I got engaged in February (fun fact: our one year dating anniversary will be 23 days after our wedding day. Hey, when you know, you know.), one of the first things we did was go to Williams Sonoma to register. As two people who are passionate about food and cooking, we were seriously like two kids in a very expensive candy store. Considering we’re both in our mid/late twenties, and had both had our own homes for years, we had most of the basics already. Now it was time for the upgrades! We added everything, from citrus peelers to $300 food processors, and enjoyed every minute of it.

A month or so later, we decided to finally do a more comprehensive registry to go along with that at Bed Bath & Beyond, so we could get important things like dishes that weren’t hand-me-downs and silverware that we liked, and that matched. Ah, the little things in life. We wandered around that store for hours, grabbing condiment dispensers and Kate Spade towels and anything else that struck our fancy.

That was just the beginning.

Ever since then, any time we think of anything, see anything, that we might possibly one day want, my default answer is “I’ll put it on the registry!” The lists keep growing longer and longer, and I’ve come to realize that when the wedding is over, I’m going to go through registry withdrawals. What will I do when I can no longer count on perfect strangers to buy me the things that I want (Hi strangers! I’ll gladly send you my registry info if you’d like to buy a present for me!)? You mean that I’ll actually have to budget for and buy the things that I want?! This is not okay.

Luckily, both of the stores have registry completion programs, where we get a discount on anything that we buy off our registry for 6 months- 1 year after our wedding.

Which means that I should probably go add more items now, just in case.

Come to mama, lover.


Foodie Friday: Roasted Sausages and Tomatoes with Balsamic

I crave this dish, possibly because I have a deep love for balsamic vinegar. It’s beautiful, delicious, and most importantly, so incredibly easy. I like easy.

I typically think of this as an autumn meal, but I’m not really sure why. Summer is the perfect time, considering our basil plants are huge and our tomato plants are producing a crop that I’m having trouble being patient enough to let ripen.
Here’s the original recipe: Kayotic Kitchen

Roasted Sausages and Tomatoes with Balsamic

6 beef sausages (or 2 big links)
2 small onions (I use one red and one sweet yellow)
1 pound cherry tomatoes
5 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp oil
fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Cut each onion into about 8 wedges. Place the sausages in a large roasting pan with olive oil, onions, and garlic. Season well with salt and pepper, then toss it all around. Bake for about 15 minutes, then add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. Place back in the oven and bake til the tomatoes burst and starting falling apart. This typically takes at least 30 minutes for me, but I don’t have a great oven. Once it looks done, take it out and rip the basil all over it. Serve with bread and be prepared to go back for seconds. Or thirds.


Blog Love

We’ve been reading food and design blogs for several years now. We are always sharing with each other new blogs we stumble upon. So today we are sharing a few of our favorites. Feel free to comment with your favorites too!

The Pioneer Woman – Allyn first told me about her blog the day before I got married (I remember the weirdest things!). She basically taught me how to cook. My husband and I owe a lot to her!

Young House Love – We want to be best friends with Sherry.

Bower Power – We also want to be best friends with Katie.

Brooklyn Limestone – When we found this blog we both started from the beginning to watch the progress. Incredible renovation and creative ideas!

Food 52 – Some amazing recipes are shared daily here.

The Food in my Beard – one of the most creative food blogs out there. Not that long ago he had Beastie Boy’s week. Need I say more?

Little Green Notebook – Jenny is an amazing interior designer and takes time to do things like a series on how to upholster a chair.

Making it Lovely – another bungalow owner!

Effortless Style – Another great interior designer/blogger. She did a no-sew window valence tutorial a few months ago which I followed for my bathroom. Post coming soon (as soon as I can find those photos.)

Allyn’s Additions:

A Bloomsbury Life – Incredible design, travel, and general lifestyle blog. I want to curl up into all of her posts.

My Marrakesh – A woman’s blog about opening a guest house in Marrakesh. Beautiful design, and a fascinating window into a very different world.

Kayotic Kitchen – Fun Dutch cooking blog, originally found through our beloved PW’s site.

The Bloggess – Words can’t do her justice, so I won’t even try. Weird. Inappropriate. Hilarious. Her design ideas aren’t exactly inspiring so much as… cracked out.

The Kitchn – Mega recipe and kitchen design blog, run by people are are passionate about food. Love looking through here for ideas.