Wednesday, May 30, 2012

summer shrimp salad

is it pasta or is it salad?
salad.

...

summer shrimp salad:

ingredients:
1/2 lb small shrimp
1 cup bow tie pasta
1 square container cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh spinach
feta cheese (crumbled)
olive oil
minced garlic
salt & pepper
lemon pepper
tony chachere's creole seasoning
oregano
2 small lemons

directions:
cook pasta (i used whole wheat bow ties) and rinse with cold water when finished.  place in fridge while preparing the rest.  (side note: i added salt and a splash of olive oil to the water before boiling)

dice tomatoes into 4ths.  add salt, pepper, oregano and feta.  mix together, stir in pasta and place back in fridge. 

squeeze one lemon on thawed shrimp.  i used lemon pepper, a zesty season-all and tony's.  stir.  heat olive oil and garlic (to taste) in medium sized pan.  add shrimp and cook about 10 minutes on medium/high heat, or until shrimp curls up.

i let the shrimp cool down for a while because i decided this dish is not meant to be hot.  once cooled, i added the shrimp to the pasta and set aside. 

right before serving, i put the amount of spinach i wanted to use (about 1 cup, split between 2 people) into a bowl and added a dash of olive oil and oregano. 

once stirred, i added the shrimp and pasta to the spinach, squeezed the second lemon and added a dash more seasoning.  mix together one last time and serve.

while enjoying this dish, my husband and i had a conversation about what to call this.  is it salad or is it pasta?  well, we came to the conclusion that since it is not served hot, we went with salad.  summer shrimp salad.

...

i find most of my recipes on the internet; whether pinterest, google, whatever.  i usually alter them a bit to make them a little bit healthier, or i modify them simply based on what i have in the kitchen...which usually isn't much.  :/
i am very proud to say that this particular dish i whipped up all by myself!  no recipe, all me...and it was a hit!

this dish would be great for a get together, shower, party, etc.  keep in mind...add the shrimp and pasta to the spinach right before serving so that the spinach doesn't get wilted.  or, if you aren't fond of shrimp, like my sister, you could do this with chicken, salmon or even vegetarian!  so yummy!      
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

stuffed peppers: "slow cooker sundays"

slow cooker sundays:
stuffed peppers
5 hours cook time

ingredients:
5 green peppers
1 lb ground turkey
1 onion
1 package of mushrooms
5 medium roma tomatoes
1 bag of 10 min brown rice
1 jar marinara sauce
10-15 basil leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
minced garlic
oregano
salt & pepper
tony chachere's seasoning

directions:
cut lids off of peppers and set aside (will use later).  remove seeds and ribs of peppers and rinse clean.  dice tomatoes; add salt and pepper, set aside.  cook brown rice and set aside.

heat olive oil in medium pan.  add garlic (to taste).  add diced onion and mushroom.  cook for 10 minutes.  add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink.  once cooked, transfer to large mixing bowl.  add diced tomato, rice, and seasoning (salt, pepper, oregano, you know i always use tony's but you can sub or add what ever else you would like).  once mixed together, spoon into peppers. 

slow cooker:
pour a little marinara into bottom of slow cooker.  (i used a tomato basil marinara)  place stuffed peppers into slow cooker and pour the remaining marinara on top of peppers and all around.  place one basil leaf on each stuffed pepper, sprinkle some oregano and place lid of pepper on top.  sprinkle remaining basil leaves around slow cooker.

cook on low for 5 hours.
  
remove and serve when ready!

...

i added diced potatoes after about 2 hours so that they cooked for the remaining 3 hours (only because i was in the mood for potatoes)

leftovers:
hogie sandwiches
all i can say is that these bad boys were to die!!!

i used a multigrain bread (toasted), heated the leftovers, poured some marinara on top and scarffed it down!

other options:
add cheese (mozz, pep jack, etc.)
hamburger buns for sloppy joes

yummy!




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Monday, May 21, 2012

brisket: "slow cooker sundays"

i love to cook and i have been dying to cook for my husband since he's been gone.  i've cooked 2 meals so far since the move and both were a hit!  we love using our crock pot simply because it is just so easy.  i have decided to start a weekly ritual..."slow cooker sunday's"
hope you enjoy...

...

slow cooker sunday's:
brisket
6 hours cook time
ingredients:
brisket (our's was about 2 - 2 1/2 lbs)
salt and pepper
tony chachere's creole seasoning
minced garlic
1 medium onion
green onion
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cup red wine
1 can beef broth
1 packet beef stew seasoning
1/2 bag of baby carrots
4 small to medium red potatoes

directions:
heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  season brisket on both sides with a generous portion of salt and pepper.  i also used a little garlic powder and of course tony's, because we put that on everything. :)  sear the brisket in the pan for about 4 minutes on each side.

slow cooker:
slice the onion and cover the bottom of the slow cooker (i didn't break up my slices, just left them the way they were cut.)  place seared brisket on bed of onions.  in a large bowl combine the wine, beef broth, beef stew seasoning and whisk in the tomoato paste.  pour over the brisket.  add diced green onion and cilantro (most people probably don't use cilantro, but i love it.  feel free to leave out.)  cook on low for 4-6 hours.  add carrots and potato (i diced my potatoes into 4-6 pieces.)  cook for another 2 hours or until veggies are tender.

remove and serve when ready.

(i added my veggies at about 4 hours.  after another 2 hours the veggies ended up being done before the brisket so i removed the veggies and let the brisket cook another hour and a half or so.  next time i will cook the brisket for 5-6 hours before adding the veggies.  i also cooked peas on the stove and added them to the veggies once removed from the crock pot.)

...

oohhhhh the brisket came out so yummy and tender!!!  and it was perfect for leftovers...which we made into brisket tacos.

leftovers:
brisket tacos
(with homemade guacamole)
for lunch the next day i made brisket tacos.  i added diced onion, fresh cilantro and homemade guac.  delish!!!

guacamole:
so easy!
ingredients:
2 avacado
3 small tomato
1/2 an onion
2 limes
fresh cilantro
salt and pepper

directions:
dice tomato and onion.  (some people add diced jalapeno's to this, a little too spicy for me though)  add as much cilantro as you like.  add salt and pepper to taste.  i add tony's because, like i said before, we put that on everything (it did add a nice kick to it)  add juice from one lime.  stir and set aside.
mash avacado in separate bowl, leave some chunks so it's not to mushy.  add juice from the other lime.  stir.  add tomato and onion and stir together.  you may need more salt, more seasoning, etc.  i like my gauc chunky so i usually add more tomato accordingly.





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miami girls trip

miami, fl:
may 12-15, 2012
before i left for dallas, 3 of my girlfriends and i decided to do a girls trip to miami.  i was leaving soon and one of them had a birthday so it was perfect timing (except the part where i left my husband to go on vacation only 5 days after moving...whoops) 
anyway, it was definitely a trip to remember.   we had the best time, laughed more than our stomachs could handle and made so many amazing memories we will never forget.
birthday girl:
breakfast in the rain:
finally, sun!!:
birthday celebration:
i can not describe how important my girls are to me.  i would be so lost without them.  i feel very blessed to have so many people in my life that i call my best friends.
i had a layover in atlanta so that i could jump on the girls flight to miami.  i snapped this shot of downtown atlanta in the distance while flying into atlanta on our way home.  i have to admit, i got a little sad seeing the city and realizing that, for the first  time in my life, atlanta was no longer "home."  my home is with my husband and my pups, wherever that may be, but atlanta will always be home.  bittersweet.


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welcome to texas

dallas here we come:
may 7, 2012
the morning after graduation, my sister and i packed up the pups and hit the road bright and early.  5am to be exact and "bright" would be incorrect because the sun didn't rise for a couple hours after we had been driving ("i" had been driving, rather. thanks to my sister, who decided to sleep most of the trip) :/
it took us about 12 hours to get to the texas boarder, which was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!  welcome to texas!
my sister stayed with us until friday, which was wonderful!  we had such a great week spending time together.  loyal and i took her to our favorite places in dallas that we would go to every time i would visit. 

grimaldi's pizzeria:
allen, tx
this was the first place that loyal took me for dinner the first time i visited him. we were hooked immediately. it became a tradition for us to go the first night every single time i would visit. :)

mi cocina:
west village. dallas, tx
great area.  killer margaritas.  
and the food is to die!
oh we could eat mexican every night

sambuca 360:
legacy. plano, tx
another one of our favorite areas

russell creek park:
plano, tx


one of my favorite parts of my sisters time here was taking the dogs to the park. we have the best time doing nothing and just making each other laugh. we found a park near our new place and the pups loved it! so much fun walking around the lake!


me and kelli: 


ahhh i am going to miss my sister so much but i am very happy to be in the lone star state, and alone no more :)





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