Thursday, October 28, 2010

Food for Thought- Killer Shrimp

Let me start this recipe by saying you NEED to make these shrimp. They are so simple and delicious. Our whole family loves them, including Natey. I usually serve them with some grilled (or broiled in the fall and winter) asparagus and rice of some kind. You can cook them on the grill or in the oven. They are equally delicious either way!

Killer Shrimp
Shell on Shrimp (fresh or frozen) size U21-25 are good
1 lemon
2-3 sprigs of Rosemary
3 cloves of garlic
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 tsp. (or more depending on how spicy you want it) red pepper flakes
3 tbs olive oil

Rip off a huge piece of tin foil. If you have the heavy duty kind it is better. Decide how many shrimp you want per person. These are so good I always make 8-9 per person or 5 for Nate.

Put thawed or fresh shrimp in the middle of the tin foil.
Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of both sides onto the shrimp.
Cut a few pieces of the spent lemon (rind on) and toss them on top.
Break the rosemary sprigs in half and toss them in.
Take 3 whole cloves of garlic and give them a whack with the side of your chef knife to remove the peel and toss them in whole.

There seems to be a lot of tossing going on, but bear with me.

I use kosher salt. I keep it in a bowl next to the stove so I don't have an exact measurement for this, but take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it over the shrimp.
I also use a pepper grinder, so I just grind the pepper on until I see that it is even covering the shrimp.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes onto the shrimp. You could also put a whole hot pepper in if you want it spicy. I would LOVE to do this, but Nate needs to eat too!
Drizzle 2-3 tbs (depending on how much shrimp you used) of olive oil over contents.
Use your hands to combine all ingredients so that everything is equally coated.

To wrap the package up, bring the long sides together and roll or fold the two pieces so they stay together. Fold the ends like a present (I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of this part!) until you have a nice tight package. Take another piece of tin foil and put the packet, seam side down, onto the new piece of foil and repeat.

Put the packet in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, flipping the packet over half way through.
When you open it up it should look like this!

 If you want to be a total copy cat, or just like asparagus, you can make this with it as well. Wash your asparagus and break the woody part of the stem off of the bottom. A good trick is to hold the end of the asparagus in one hand and midpoint in the other and bend. Where it snaps off is usually good. Put them in a pyrex baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, salt pepper and pepper flakes if you'd like and put them under a broiler on high for 6-8 minutes. Watch them every few minutes and you can shake them around in the dish so they cook evenly.

 Make a box of Rice-a-Roni, because not everything needs to be homemade, and you have a meal!

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

32 and counting

Today I turn 32. I'm not afraid to say it. What is with people and not wanting others to know how old you are? In honor of being alive for 32 years, I will share 32 random things about myself. Hold your applause until the end.
  1. If I had to choose my last meal on Earth, I'd eat lobster and drink sangria until I passed out.
  2. I never drank coffee until I moved to Rhode Island 5 years ago. Now I can't live without it.
  3. I can never turn my brain off during a massage. I try to think of nothing but it doesn't work.
  4. I like mint and love chocolate. I can't stand the combined taste.
  5. If I were filthy rich, I would have my hair blown dry twice a week.
  6. My favorite color is green and has been since I was 2 years old. Coincidentally it'sNate's favorite color as well.
  7. When I was pregnant with Nate I wanted a girl so bad, but knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant that he was a boy.
  8. I got kicked off of the volleyball team on my 16th birthday and 2 of the girls that got me kicked off had the nerve to show up at my party.
  9. I want so bad to be fashionable, but can't figure it out. I would welcome a "What NOT to Wear" intervention.
  10. I regret only 2 things I have done in my life.
  11. I love high heels, but I only own 3 pair since I can't stand to be uncomfortable.
  12. My first car was a 67 rag top VW bug. Powder blue and pretty. It broke down the day I got it.
  13. I've been in 2 car accidents that could have killed me but I didn't get so much as a scratch.
  14. I've only had 4 different jobs in my life. I've waited tables, worked at a ski resort, was a graduate teaching assistant and my current job at a biopharmaceutical company.
  15. My favorite movie is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The original.
  16. I am superstitious only when it comes to things involving the number 6.
  17. I have hit 6 Royal Flushes in my life.
  18. I lived in Las Vegas for 4 years while getting my Master's degree.
  19. I lost my mother at 23 years old. I lost half of my heart that day.
  20. My oldest friend and I have been friends for 19 years. 
  21. I hate socks. I would never wear them if my feet didn't get cold.
  22. I love getting any mail that is not bills. A simple card makes my whole week.
  23. I have 4 friends that I know, for sure, would bail me out of jail if I needed it. Make that 3, since at least one of them would probably be with me.
  24.  At my heaviest I weighed 1 pound less than my final pregnancy weight with Nate. I lost 50 pounds by running.
  25. I used to jump rope in the hallway at school when I'd get writers block as I wrote my thesis. I'm so uncoordinated that I had to put all of my focus into keeping going and would forget I was about to pull my hair out.
  26. My name has been written in the snow at the peak of a mountain.
  27. I always see the clock when it is 10:27 (Duh, my birthday).
  28. I always make a wish on 11:11 and honestly believe in it.
  29. I have been to Dennis Rodman's house in New Port Beach. (No idea if he still lives there)
  30. I get the desire to cut my hair off every time my life gets stressful.
  31.  I have always wanted to dye my hair blond, but probably never will.
  32. My favorite place to go by myself is the beach, but I can't stand going with the kids. (Hopefully that change as they get older!)
There you have it! 32 bits of Kameron trivia. And now ya know.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Arielle at 11 months

Some baby... 11 months old.

...has changed by leaps and bounds this month.

...seems to grow daily. weighed (fully clothed) when she got her flu shot and was 26 pounds. going to make mommy cry by not fitting into her full summer wardrobe that I have already purchased in 18-24 mo size. still the smiley-est baby on the planet.

...waves Hi and Bye consistently.

...has started to protest when we take something away that she wants. starting to exhibit a bit of stranger anxiety and prefers mommy over anyone else.

...claps whenever she gets excited. pointing at anything and everything.

...has figured out the "I throw it, you pick it up" game. Luckily her brother doesn't mind playing. doing well with sleeping through the night, but poops herself awake almost every morning.

...can say "mama", "dada", ball, this, car, "nata" (Nathan, I swear!) and uh oh.

...finally got those 2 bottom lateral incisors she was cutting for a month. has a grand total of 8 teeth!

Oh yeah, and there's this new trick........

I have another 10 month old walker. Good lawd, help me!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

It worked well for me last week to do my meal planning so here I am again to try it again! For more ideas visit the home of menu planning Monday!

Monday: Shrimp with rice and asparagus (I will post this recipe after we make it. It is easy and delicious!)
Tuesday: Spaghetti and meatballs
Wednesday: Fried chicken with corn on the cob and salad
Thursday: Pesto & cracker crusted Cod and stuffies with green beans
Friday: Chicken curry with rice (This is the first time I am trying this recipe. I will probably make changes to it and let you know how it comes out.)
Saturday: The kids will be eating leftovers and I will be having a grown up meal out with friends to celebrate my upcoming birthday! Woot!

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Food For Thought - Turkey Burgers and Roasted Cauliflower

A few people expressed interest in my meal planning this week so I thought I'd post one of the recipes. You know, in case you're hungry and in need of some inspiration.Turkey burgers and roasted cauliflower sounds nice and healthy, right? Well, leave it to me to Paula Dean the crud outta them. Regardless, (Oh and by the way it is regardless. Irregardless is NOT a word. It's a double negative. There is your vocabulary lesson for the day.You're welcome.) they are really good. Well, we think so anyway!

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower (duh)
3 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, melt the butter (in the microwave) then add the oil and garlic powder. Stir until combined. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and, using a silicone brush (or anything you have handy), lightly coat the foil with the butter/oil. Cut the cauliflower into pieces and put the flat side down onto the foil.
Enlist your 3 year old to "paint the cheese". Side note. The first time I made this Natey saw me and asked if he could help "paint the cheese". I've told him 10 times it is cauliflower. He still calls it that. Dip the brush into the butter/oil and dab on each piece of cauliflower,

Put the baking sheet in the oven, on the middle rack, and bake for 30-40 minutes. You want the tops to be a golden brown color.

When you turn the pieces over they should be a dark, yummy and caramelized looking.
Sprinkle them with just a pinch of salt and let them rest for a few minutes before serving!

Turkey Burgers

One package of lean ground turkey (don't use turkey breast or they will be duh-ry!)
1 egg
1/4 c panko bread crumbs
1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 c flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl. Use your hands, you have to get them dirty to form the patties anyway. It's the best way to get all of the ingredients combined. I use kosher salt so I just take a pinch from the bowl. I also use a pepper grinder, so i just grind until I think it seems like enough pepper. I counted 12 grinds this time. I am that OCD.  Form the meat into patties. I made 3 big ones and then 2 "little Natey burgers" (hey, we call things what we need to so we can get kids to eat them, right?). This would probably make 4 good sized patties otherwise. I usually grill burgers, but turkey burgers are better pan fried. I put a tiny bit of oil, just to keep the patties from sticking. I usually cook them from 4-5 min per side on medium high heat.
Then to up the yum factor, I put a little bit of butter on the buns and grill them.
As if the butter on the buns and cauliflower isn't bad enough, we made impromptu onion stings per the hubby's request. I just cut up and onion lightly dusted them with flour and salt & pepper and fried them. I usually don't make those. Stupid no weight gaining husband. Grrrr.

And here ya have it, the final product!
Bon appetit!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


It's official. I finally found an exercise that I actually like doing! We have a gym at my work (spoiled, I know) and they offer group fitness classes like yoga, spin, boot camp and now Zumba! I have tried a few of the other classes but hadn't found anything that I really enjoyed. I know you're not supposed to "enjoy" exercise (unless you're Sara), but I have the attention span of a gnat so if I don't like something it is hard for me to stick with it. I saw that they were going to offer Zumba and I have heard so much about it that I was excited to try it out. I admit, I was a little hesitant to try a class that is basically dancing. I am W-H to the I-T-E. My rhythm is suspect and I feel like an idiot when I'm dancing...unless there are copious amounts of alcohol involved. Because it is counterproductive to drink before you workout (and I'm also pretty sure I would get fired) I braved this dancing thing stone sober. It was awesome. I quickly realized that no one was watching me as we were all staring at the instructor just to keep up with the moves. The music is so upbeat and fun and it makes you want to shake that booty...even if my booty kept shaking when I wanted it to stop. I think it is a good start to get me motivated again. I have been in a bit of a funk lately and this is just what I needed to get over myself and get my butt in gear!! If you ever have the opportunity to take a Zumba class, I highly recommend it! What other classes or specific exercises do you enjoy?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

I actually do my menu planning on Sunday, but I didn't have time to post. I really need to be more strict with the follow through of the planning. If the trip to the market doesn't happen on Sunday, we are playing catch up all week and that usually means take-out more than once. I may have to start doing Pea Pod grocery delivery. I am tired of going to the market! Anyway, without further blah blah blah, here is our menu for the week!

Sunday: Chicken Stir fry with rice
Monday: Roasted Chicken with glazed carrots
Tuesday: Beef Stew
Wednesday: Salmon, broccoli & couscous
Thursday: Turkey Burgers with roasted cauliflower
Friday: Uber-American Tacos (Seriously. Ground beef & taco seasoning pack: hubbs pick)

I may have to post a couple more of these recipes. Well, not the tacos. Bleh. At least the boys seem to like them. The roasted cauliflower is awesome and Nate even loves it. It must have something to do with the butter and garlic. Mmmmmm. butter. What are some of your week night staples?? I am in need of inspiration!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fragments and a Flashback

I've got nothin. Not a full post in me to save my life, so instead I'll throw all of the fragments from this week into one.

Today my sister turns the big 4-0. I'm pretty sure she is going to kill me for posting that on my blog. She is awesome and I miss her dearly as she lives in Oregon with the rest of my family. Hopefully she has checked her e-mail by now or it will be spoiling the surprise to say that I got her a massage for her birthday. She deserves it! Happy birthday sis. I miss you a lot. Bahamas in the spring? Eh? Eh? Sorry, just wanted to plant the seed...again.

Ahhh.. Good times. This picture was taken 5 1/2 years ago. I wish I still looked this good..and this tan! And whatever happened to that tank top?? I loved it.

I think the reason I haven't posted this week is that I've been a little down. My mom's 62nd birthday would have been on Sunday. I did manage to distract myself by going up to Boston to have brunch with Jana, one of the awesome ladies I met at BlogHer. It helped immensely to be in fun company with great conversation and decadent food (mmm....doughnuts), but there is no amount of happy that can fill the hole that was left when I lost my mom. It has been almost 9 years and feels like an eternity. Ok, enough Debbie Downer talk! Sorry

I am looking forward to this weekend. I get a massage on Sunday and may even be able to talk my way out of having to go to the Columbus Day parade. Parades are annoying. I prefer to sit in a comfy seat on my couch to watch them. I did the Rose Parade on year. We even camped on the street the night before. It is better when you are in your pjs at home. Take my word for it.

For good measure, another flash back to this day in history....well, last year at least.

He was funny even then. Love this kid!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Letters of Intent - Week from H-E-double-hockey-sticks


Dear FedEx Driver,

While sitting in stop and go traffic on my way home from work I glanced into the open door of your truck. I was taken aback at the fact that you were READING A NEWS PAPER while you were at the wheel. You had a co-worker lounging comfortably in the passenger seat. Maybe next time he can drive while you get your leisure reading in. I don't normally say anything when I see people making a$$hole moves like that, but for some reason I felt compelled. When I rolled down my window and told your buddy that it might be a good idea for you to save your reading for another time, I expected a little embarrassment on your part. A small acknowledgement that you were being an idiot. If someone called me out on that I know I'd be embarrassed, but then again I dont' read while I am piloting my vehicle. I do have to say that my favorite part would have to be when you pulled past me, into the turn lane, and your friend gave me a thumbs up as you flipped me off. That, my friend, was the last straw. I suppose if you are stupid enough to read while you drive, that you are also stupid enough to not realize that the name and phone number of your company is embossed on the side of your truck. I took down your plate number and truck number and promptly called 1-800-go-FedEx to tattle on you. Stick that in your paper and read it.


The lady you don't want to f*&^ with


Dear Week,

If you had a face, I would punch you in it. You better tell your friend Weekend to make it up to me.


The woman you kicked around for the last 5 days