Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April or August?

Sunday night I set my alarm forward from 5:22 am to 5:32 am. That's what hot weather means to this runner. 10 more glorious minutes of sleep since I can trade in the long spandex, 2 layers of shirts, neck warmer, ear warmer, gloves and headlamp for simply a t-shirt and shorts. When I head out there in the early morning, the streets are already packed with other runners and walkers squeezing in some fitness before work. The nice weather brings them out in droves and I love it.

The funny thing about the weather in Virginia is that although we get 4 seasons, Spring and Fall are BRIEF. Before you know it "Spring" has turned into humid 90 degree days, and "Fall" has turned into 2 feet of snow. And April is the most manic month of all with Mother Nature vascillating between cold and wet to hot and humid.

It was hard to believe that yesterday was just another day in April and not August.

I even pretended it was August at dinner time. In a few months, most of these ingredients will be in peak season and might even be growing in your own backyard. This is an easy recipe I've made many times. It's simple enough that I could throw it together while the boys played out on the slip n side, then I just stuck it into the oven while we went out for a (hot and sticky) walk.

Basil Shrimp and Feta with Orzo

(from Cooking Light magazine like three years ago)

3 cups of uncooked orzo
1 pound of raw peeled and deveined shrimp
1 bunch of basil
3 medium sized tomatoes
1 lemon
1 cup of crumbled fat free feta
salt, pepper, and garlic powder
olive oil

First things first, bring water to a boil and cook the orzo for about 5 minutes. This step probably takes the longest of the whole process.

While you are waiting, line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil

Spray it with cooking spray

Rough chop basil or "chiffonade" which basically just means roll it up and then cut it into strips

Mix it with the bowl of raw shrimp

Dice the tomatoes

Orzo is done! I used a strainer to move it over to a bowl (separate bowl than the shrimp/basil)

Give the orzo a turn of olive oil. I dont know maybe 3 tablespoons or so? You just don't want it to stick together.

Zest one lemon... If you don't have a little zester no worries just skip this step. It will still be yummy :)

Then add the juice from half of them lemon. And by the way taking this picture with my right hand while juicing with my left hand was very akward.

Then add the cup of feta. Yummmm feta, I love you

And then the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, generously!!

Mix it all together

Then dump it out on the cookie sheet lined with aluminum

Add the bowl of basil and shrimp to the top. Then I sprinkled some more salt pepper and garlic powder on the top.

Put another sheet of aluminum foil and top and fold around the edges so that it's all sealed up

When you're ready, pop it into a 425 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. My tummy is seriously rumbling while I relive this and its only 10 am.

Now very important, grab that other half of the lemon you havent yet used and squeeze fresh lemon juice alllllll over it. This will really brighten it up! However, make sure you don't drop a seed in, because them lemon seeds look a lot like orzo and I definitely had the unfortunate experience of biting into a lemon seed last night.

Seriously if youre mouth isnt watering right now something is wrong with you

My only gripe about this is that orzo is quite possibly the worst food to clean up off the floor when your baby throws it all off her high chair. It's like the perfectly rotton combination of rice and pasta that makes it both small and sticky. Times like those I wish I had a dog!

Also, I did give Sage the shrimp because we have no allergies on either side of the family and she is very close to 1, but check with your doctor before you feed it to your babe.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday...

Definitely wish it was still Sunday.

Here's what's happening over here this week:
* = to be blogged


Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo*


(using up leftover ham from Easter)




Easy Shrimp Boil*

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I'm not doing so great at keeping up with this blog lately. Dinner time has gotten increasingly more circus-like around here. Now that this little lady baby is on the move, keeping up with three hungry, tired, and impatient little people while simultaneously making dinner and stopping to take pictures of it has become like a form of self-inflicted torture.

Last night while standing knee deep in an absolute disaster of a kitchen and listening to kids falling apart all around me, I asked myself why the masochist in me is trying to keep up with this blog. But every.single.time. that one of you tries a recipe and writes to tell me that you loved it, I am remotivated ALL over again. The reason I started this blog in the first place was not to build it into some sort of empire, I just wanted to catalog recipes for myself and easily share them with others, and get the point across that making running a priority in my life allows me to keep up with my first passion...


Wait did you think I was going to say my kids?

So the posts may be sporadic, but for those of you who keep coming back anyway THANK YOU. It makes it all worth it to know someone out there got something out of it.

Sage thanks you too. Because without mom's continual commitment to the blog, she may not have been allowed to chow down on lollipops since age 6 months.

So what is Yakisoba you ask? It's been everywhere for me lately. I keep seeing it on menus and even noticed that Costco sells frozen packs of it. It's a Japanese dish that basically consists of stir fried noodles with slices of pork and a variety of vegetables. The restaurant kind is sooooo yummy so if you're out for sushi but feel like indulging instead... eat this.

I wanted to lighten it up a bit at home. Traditionally it is made with Chinese egg noodles, kind of like Ramen. I decided to go with Soba noodles instead. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat so they are gluten free and a "slow-releasing carbohydrate." Whatever that means. Sounds good to me. The real selling point was that they take 3 minutes to cook. We will see if Superman notices I've replaced his spaghetti with Buckwheat noodles. Batman asked what was for dinner. I told him "Yakisoba!" Because it's really fun to say. Seriously, say it with me. Yakisoba!!! Anyway, he bursts into tears... "YUCKY-SOBA?? EWWW!!" So I immediately remedied that by giving this dish a new name.

Chicken Yummy-Soba

Soba Noodles

Frozen edamame

Green onions

Red Pepper

Cabbage (leftover from Cabbage Wraps)

1 inch piece of Ginger (rest will be used tonight in Teriyaki Burgers)

Cooked Chicken (leftover from Crockpot Chicken)

For the sauce: I adapted this from a NY Times article. Might not be the most authentic thing in the world but I was thinking of the home cook. Particularly the ones with hungry kids gnawing at her ankles.

3 tbl toasted sesame oil

2 tbl ketchup

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup worcshetershiretonville I can never spell that but you know what I'm talking about

2 tbl Mirin (sweet Sake... you can get it at Harris Teeter. Or you can sub some sugar)

Touch of Sriracha :)

Before you do anything, add water to a big pot and let it come to a boil. While you're waiting for that, in a small bowl add the ketchup... Soy sauce and worchestershire 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and Mirin. Stir it up and set aside.
Add the rest of the sesame oil to a skillet or work and add ginger

While that's going slice the red pepper and the cabbage

Add to the skillet with the ginger and stir fry over medium high heat

Add desired amount of edamame. By the way... edamame is the bomb finger food for babies. Keep the heat on high and let it get back up to a boil.

Hi, I'm Soba.

Once the water comes back up to a boil, add the soba and boil them both for 5 minutes.

While this is happening chop up the green onions and shred/chop the chicken.

Transfer the noodles to the skillet In they go!

Then scoop out the edamame and add those too
Pour the sauce in
Add the chicken and green onions
Stir it up and serve!

A little sriracha on top goes a long way! I mixed the noodles with a little tomato sauce for Superman and he had NO idea. Score.

Monday, April 4, 2011

What's For Dinner??


Grilled Tuna and Mango Salsa (Never got to this last week)



(making this every week now with a baby in the house who needs finger food at all times)


Chicken Yakisoba

(meal plan tip: using cabbage, watercress and spices from Lettuce Wraps and Chicken from Crockpot Chicken)


Leftovers/Hodge Podge/Probably ordering pizza :)

What are you making this week??