Tag Archives: shrimp

made for vacation: honey chipotle grilled shrimp skewers with avocado-greek yogurt sauce

A few weeks back, I had briefly mentioned that I was beginning to feel a bit of an itch; a nagging bit of wanderlust nipping at my winter-pale toes, if you will.  Having had what can only be described as a whirlwind year in 2011 – what with getting married, moving, and attempting to coerce a pug puppy into understanding that Mitchell Gold leather ottoman edges are not acceptable teething devices – I suddenly was very aware of the fact that though we have had plenty of excitement and more than plenty to be thankful for, we hadn’t found a time to get away with each other, and take a few, real, deep breaths.

Removing yourself from real life – albeit only temporarily – has effects that ripple down your spine and out to your extremities, allowing each one the chance to lax up, and totally and completely drain the tension of all your “real life” worries and stresses.  Though you know your email will snarl up, your voicemail will become clogged, that you must still finally face an appointment to get that cavity filled, and that the bigger picture question of just what the heck should I do with this life? will not dissolve or resolve themselves upon your brief departure from reality, you can count on returning with a clear head, an open mind, and a less frazzled outlook on the things that are troubling you most.

As we had so many life changes wallop themselves into one tidy little package, we knew the timing to squeeze a traditional honeymoon just wasn’t there – a decision that, looking back, I know was right.  And now, we have found ourselves with an unexpected few weeks off; a few weeks between another (very good) little shakeup – a few weeks which we know we must embrace to the fullest.  I am very (veryveryvery!) excited and feel very (veryveryvery!) lucky to now scratch that pestering little itch I’d been feeling, and scratch it in the best way I can think of.  We are skipping town tomorrow night to head East, boarding a plane to Baltimore for a much needed weekend with family, and then jumping across the pond next Tuesday, to kick off a glorious two-week European adventure.

Though I had first been thinking more traditionally of my toes in the sand (and, ahem, fruity-umbrella-spiked cocktail in hand) when I lamented said itch a few weeks prior, we carefully considered our options, and overwhelmingly decided cacio e pepe, macaroons, insanely great red wine, cheese, cheese, and more cheese and a healthy dose of culture sounded more like what we needed.

(Plus, I need to show off my rudimentary French skills, acquired from a few very serious sessions with my Rosetta Stone Christmas gift!)

We have a packed itinerary, but one that still allows for plenty of relaxation amongst the excitement.  After a few nights in London proper, we’ll spend a night in the gorgeous English countryside, and then skip over to Paris for a few days enjoying the tres chic city life that I so adore.  From Paris, we fly to Rome, and after stuffing ourselves with as much pasta as possible, we’re off to Naples, and finally, to the Amalfi Coast.

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salad for supper: smoky shrimp cobb salad with avocado dressing

The idea of a big fresh dinner salad is always very appealing to me, especially as the months get warmer and the days longer and brighter.  I want something crisp, green, and crunchy with a low-to-no carbohydrate count to fill me up and keep me satisfied without nudging me into the dreaded I’m-so-stuffed-it-hurts or no-thank-you-I’m-NOT-putting-on-that-bathing-suit-now territory.  Light on time spent slaving over a stove (major bonus when our air conditioners are making a very lazy debut – ahem!) and easy to toss together over a glass of cold wine, they are essentially the perfect summer supper.

They key is making them just hearty enough that they appease even the most skeptical members of your family (be prepared for the incredulous “salad for dinner?!” groans) – pugs included, of course.

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Finally Sated: Rock Shrimp and Spring Vegetable Saute over Cilantro Basmati Rice

It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so understandably you are probably expecting me to post something about corned beef/Irish stew/chocolate stout cake etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Well, I’m not. I’m sorry. I did make a delicious loaf of Irish soda bread yesterday that I will tell you about very, very soon (spoiler: tomorrow!), but first I must, *must* get this rock shrimp off my chest.

You see, I’ve had rock shrimp on the brain for no less than 6 weeks now. It all started in early February at the fish market, when I saw the tiny crustaceans being delicately scooped into a silver bowl that was nestled snugly in the finely crushed ice of the shellfish case. I was immediately struck with the most intense craving to cook them, and a myriad of various preparations started whirring through my cabeza.

If you have never had rock shrimp before, they are incredible; they are less like shrimp in taste and texture, but rather more akin to tiny, sweet, luxurious little nuggets of lobster meat. Generally they come already peeled and with their sand vein removed, as their shells are spiny, hard, and nearly impossible to remove at home – lest you wish to risk hacking off a much needed digit whilst trying to break open their solid exterior.  And I’m going to go ahead and guess — you probably don’t.

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a few of my favorite things: roasted shrimp over creamy shiitake-tomato pearled couscous

I think I can be pretty predictable at times.

I will fall asleep if you put me in a cozy chair in a dark room and turn on a movie.

I will tell you the same story at least 17 times, thinking it’s the first time, unintentionally.

I will violently leap off the couch in search of the remote to flick the channel when the Sarah McLachlan ASPA commercial comes on.

That commercial is seriously brutal.

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hot curry on a cold night: simple green curry with shrimp, potatoes, green beans, and red pepper

I love the sudden stillness that blankets the city before an evening snow.  In the hours before the flakes even begin to make their blustery descent their forthcoming presence is well known.  The streets grow quiet as the sun ducks behind the reaches of the Hudson, warm light spills out of windows onto the sidewalk, and occasionally you catch the smell of a wood fire rising out of an old chimney.  It’s this time – more so than any other – that makes me want to hunker down in my warm little abode with a glass of cab, a warm and steamy bowl of something delicious for dinner, and the person (and pooch) I love.

We’ve had quite a few of these days here in the Northeast – as has just about the rest of the country it seems.  2011 is off to a blustery *frigid* start and the perfect thing to take the sub-zero chill off is a big bowl of this spicy shrimp curry.  The gentle heat of curry paste and the creaminess of the coconut milk come together to create the most delicious and fragrant broth that warms from the inside and fills you up wonderfully.  I absolutely love it.

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