Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Couscous

December 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know what you’re thinking – lemony, garlic shrimp in December? Preposterous. But seeing as how the temps this week reached 70°, I thought what the hey. So I made it and it was delicious. Very basic flavors, very simple to do. Sometimes it’s nice not to over-think things.

Now because I was working with precooked and deveined shrimp, this was a super fast start-to-finish cook time. Step 1 was to get the couscous going. Someone in my home is a very big fan of Israeli or pearl couscous. I normally just buy the Near East boxed kind but thought I should know how to make my own by now. So I went for the tri-colored.


Cook your couscous per instructions.  I added 1 cup couscous to 1 and 1/4 cup boiling water with 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp butter. Simmer for 10 minutes

shrimpMy shrimp still had some ice so I ran them under water for a few seconds. Then, toss them in a large skillet with 1 tbsp. heated olive oil. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic with 1 tbsp. lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Adding the lemon juice

After sauteeing for about 5 minutes, you should be good to go! Top off the couscous and shrimp with grated parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh lemon.

This whole thing took maybe 15 minutesThe perfect accompaniment is mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, walnuts and my new favorite dressing: Trader Joe’s Pear Champagne Vinaigrette. The sweetness of the pear balances the tangy, salty, lemony shrimp.



Chipotle Orange Chicken with Black Bean Quinoa Salad

October 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

I did some good pinning this week and was excited to try the recipes from Eatingwell.com after a few weeks of overindulgence. First up was their Grilled Chicken with Chipotle-Orange Glaze which seemed really flavorful but super lean. I wanted to pair it with quinoa and found a recipe with black beans and corn that completed the southwestern meal.

Chipotle-Orange Chicken (adapted from EatingWell.com)
2 tablespoon orange marmalade
3 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
1/4 teaspoon salt
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad (from AllRecipes.com)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Step 1. Toss the chopped onions and garlic into a pan with heated vegetable oil. Stir until lightly browned.

Step 2. Add quinoa to pan and top with vegetable broth, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

The directions call for a medium saucepan but I only had a large skillet but the timing still worked out.

Step 3. While the quinoa is simmering, start on the chicken. Preheat the grill or broiler. Whisk together orange marmalade, chiles, vinegar, brown sugar and mustard.

Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapenos packed in a flavorful sauce. You can find the chiles with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Mine were not chopped so I did that on my own.

Step 4. Season chicken with salt and grill or broil for 2 minutes. Turn the chicken and brush with glaze. Cook for 4 minutes occasionally brushing with more glaze. Turn the chicken again, brush with glaze and cook until no longer pink in the middle.

Step 5. Stir frozen corn into the quinoa mixture and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in rinsed black beans and chopped cilantro.

FINI! Enjoy. I found this salad to be delicious at any temperature and even though I thoroughly enjoyed it now, I bet it would be a gread side to bring to a summer potluck. 

Easy Salmon with Peppers

October 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

Last night I threw together some one pot cooking that was so ridiculously easy but still tasty that I just felt compelled to share it. I would use whatever veggies you have on hand–broccoli, snap peas, would all be delicious this way. I had  an abundance of bell peppers and that worked out very nicely.


Veggies of choice (I used bell peppers)
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 soy sauce
1/2 sweet yellow onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp. salt + more to season
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
pepper to season
thyme, parsley or other seasonings to taste

First, I marinated the salmon in a 1/4 c. light brown sugar and 1/4 soy sauce marinade for about an hour and flipped it once.

Preheat the oven to 400° and chop your veggies into approx. 1 inch/bite size pieces. Drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil in the roasting pan and drop in the veggies with sliced onion and minced garlic. Sprinkle with 1/2 tbsp salt and some pepper. Roast for 5 minutes.

Nestle the salmon in the roasting pan and season the fish with salt, pepper and whatever else you like (I used thyme and parsley). Put back in the oven for approx. 15 minutes or until the center is opaque.

Fini! Really, that’s it. Just serve over rice and drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil mixed with 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar and enjoy. There are plenty of ways you can go with this, add on some capers or scallions, lemon juice…anything!

Sunday Night Supper: A Family Feast In Pictures

September 24, 2012 § 1 Comment

Last night, my fiance and I were treated to a lavish Sunday night supper at his parent’s home. Called out of the the blue and for no other reason than to catch up and watch some football, it’s easy to see how it’s the little moments and spontaneous get-togethers that knit a family. So after a glorious hike at Radnor Lake (if you haven’t been, you must. Like now. Stop reading. Get in your car) we headed over to be spoiled and stuffed.

Appetizer Spread


I wish I could capture the smell of these croissants baking

I’d die for anything with this much cheese

Lime juice over seared Sea Bass

Patiently waiting

Cilantro Mango Salsa

Oh they’re done. So buttery, so flaky!

They look so harmless now

If you can pull your tongue in and imagine this, they tasted even better than they look

Tell me this fish does not look Bon Appètit magazine-picture-perfect


Quite an upgrade from the square bamboo-esque plates seen in every other picture on this blog.

Le chef de cuisine

Why did there have to be mini pecan pies??


General is rewarded.







Shrimp BLT Tacos

August 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

You’ll notice the “L” in BLT is missing.I guess if you are going to forget one ingredient, it may as well be the L…


File it under “easy, healthy, weeknight dinners”. These are so tasty and so quick to prepare and clean up that you can make them no matter what you have on schedule that evening.

I used about 1 piece of bacon per taco.

I have found that oven baking bacon is easiest for control. 10-15 minutes at 375° (depending on how crispy you like prefer bacon).

Just run them under water for 20 seconds and let stand for 5 minutes to thaw.


While the bacon is going, you can get started on the other ingredients. I used Trader Joe’s frozen shrimp which are pre-cooked, peeled and deveined. I heated them up in a skillet with some salt and pepper so they would be warm with the tacos.

I’ll admit it, I fried my tacos. Just a 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil and high heat for 10-15 seconds per side will puff these guys up. Make sure they are FLOUR tortillas.


Now for the avocado crème from Gourmet Made Simple.

1 avocado, diced
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 sour cream
1/4 tsp ground cumin
The ingredients call for 1-3 tbsp water depending on desired consistency which I did not include since I preferred the chunky texture. I did add 1 small clove garlic which I definitely recommend.

Blend avocado, lime juice, sour cream, cumin and garlic in blender or food processor.

I preferred the chunkier texture.

Serve with diced tomatoes and top with fresh chopped cilantro.

Best enjoyed outside on a mild August night with a glass of wine and someone to share with :)

My First Rodeo

July 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

What could be more wild west than a summertime hometown rodeo? Last week, we went to the Carbondale Rodeo to get a glimpse of the real cowboy way. I felt like I had been inserted into the next small town high school rom-com movie set, Friday night rodeo scene. My favorite part was crowd watching as it seemed like the whole town attends–grandparents in flannel, families with mini cowboy tots grilling out the back of their trucks , tweens with braces in cut-offs and hoops. It was a wild experience (haha).

Cowboy Team Roping a Steer

More Cowboy Teams Roping a Steer

My favorite event was the Kid’s Calf Scramble where all kids ages 5-10 hop in the ring and try to pull a ribbon of the tail of a calf. It is hysterical.

Preparing for their close-up

We got a special treat for the holiday. What could be more American than girls in sparkly leotards riding horses and waving flags?

Look who was in the crowd! Heyy Brother.

Now this entire post was really just a ploy to boast that I saw Buster, but I’d still like to keep some semblance of a food-focus here. I’m throwing in a recipe I haven’t tried out–does it count that I intend to when it’s not 107 degrees everywhere in the country since it is chili after all? If I learned anything from Top Chef Austin it’s that Texans do not include beans in their chili. But I’m not a Texan and I like the idea of an extra kick of fiber and protein in there. I thought this recipe looked well-reviewed and easy enough (3 steps in definitely my style) and resembles the first chili I ever had at Bohemia Bagel. General consensus seems to be to substitute ground cloves for whole.

Grilled Fish Tacos

June 26, 2012 § 3 Comments

As I mentioned below, I have been slightly obsessed with grilling this past week. While our hot dogs and shish kabobs have been ideal cook-outs we wanted to do something a little outside the box (and healthy!). Enter grilled tilapia fish tacos. These were so finger-licking delicious and quick to prepare. While the fish was the meat & potatoes, the cilantro-lime slaw totally made the dish.

Slaw mix: 1 package angel hair slaw + 1/4 c. sour cream + 1/4 c. mayo + 2 tbs lime juice + salt, pepper, cilantro to your liking (I like it HEAVY on the cilantro… 4 heaping tbs probably)

We placed the tilapia in our new grill toy, the grill basket (similar here) and brushed. Basting liquid: 1/4 c. e.v.o.o +2 tbsp. lime juice + cumin, chili powder, garlic salt,  pepper, cilantro to your liking.

We threw some asparagus in a grill pan too (e.v.o.o + salt & pepper)

Cooked until opaque and flaky to the fork and serve on a warm corn tortilla with slaw, avocado and of course, more cilantro.

Does it get any more perfect?

Oh yea, the view ain’t so bad either!

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