Tag Archives: shrimp

Yum-o!

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Still in the process of checking multiple projects off my list, but I took this weekend to relax with Mister and have a fantabulous time. Instead of my own little projects or my own adventures in the kitchen, I’ll be sharing his this time. I’m rather proud of him, if you couldn’t tell.

He’s been wanting to learn to paint for some time now, so instead of giving him any instructions, I handed him a few blank canvases, said “Create”, and set him free. One of our first “dates” was simply driving around on country backroads belting out Beatles songs in the night air. It’s still something we do frequently, since we both love and appreciate all Beatles music. That love extends to the film Across the Universe, so it’s no wonder he picked the strawberry icon from the film for his painting to me. Adorable, isn’t he?

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Monday I had a -very- long day at work, and left Mister at home all day to prep for a dinner that he refused to give me any details about. One thing is for sure, I love surprises…especially where food is concerned. When I came home, a snack was waiting for me before my shower: a basil and bacon cheeseball – Delish!
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Fresh from the shower, I was ready for more yummy eats. The appetizers were awaiting me – banana peppers stuffed with cream cheese and deep fried and a spinach salad with toasted almonds and cranberries. Can you say YUM?
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Finally – the main course! The big surprise came in the form of Mister’s signature country tomatoes (layers of tomato sandwiched with cream cheese with garlic and basil and breaded in panko bread crumbs and fried), bacon wrapped filet mignon, and then two -count ’em- TWO kinds of jumbo shrimp – coconut and panko breaded. The pictures don’t even begin to do the meal justice.
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Quite literally the best meal of my life. I literally went into a food coma immediately following the consumption of all this goodness. I laid in the floor outside the kitchen and snoozed due to a totally stuffed belly. I’d say I’ve found the perfect personal chef, for sure.

I cook with wine…but it doesn’t always make it into the food ;)

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A very, very busy evening in the kitchen!
I ended up trying out a new recipe and also using an old faithful to make a ton of food (and leftovers) for my parentals and myself. I love getting to bring a ton of food back to school after a weekend at home. First, let me share with you the new recipe for….*drumroll* Oriental Chicken Lettuce Wraps!!

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I have been craving these since I first devoured some at P.F.Chang’s a few weeks ago. I did my best to find a good copycat recipe similar to how the restaurant prepares them. I mostly followed this recipe exactly – with only a couple exceptions – I left out the sesame oil, as it is near impossible to find in this area. I also doubled the amount of stir fry sauce. This recipe was so cheap and easy, since I already had most of the ingredients in the fridge.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup water chestnut
2/3 cup mushroom
3 tablespoons chopped onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 -5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon hot mustard
2 teaspoons water
1 -2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

Stir Fry Sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Directions:
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins

1. Make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl.
2. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
3. Mix well and refrigerate this sauce until you’re ready to serve.
4. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard and set this aside as well.
5. Eventually add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
6. Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
7. Saute chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
8. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
9. Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
10. As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
11. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
12. When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
13. With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
14. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
15. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce”cups”.
16. Top with”Special Sauce”.

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These are quite possibly my new favorite snack. Even Dad enjoyed them, and normally this wouldn’t be his ideal meal.

Moving on, we had a ton of shrimp mom wanted used, and I also had leftover chicken from the mega-pack we bought on sale for the wraps. I decided to combine the two in my old faithful recipe of chicken and shrimp fettucini alfredo. I’d share the recipe, but honestly I do this one just based off of what looks right. 🙂

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It feels great to be back in the kitchen again. I have a long break coming up soon, so hopefully I’ll be able to experiment a bit more.

Marinate that meat!

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I can’t preach enough to family and friends about the difference a good marinade makes to any meat. Not only does it tenderize, it adds flavor! Marinating can be miraculous, especially the more patient you can be. While a few hours is great, marinating anything overnight makes the difference. That’s what I did with the following meal in which both steak and shrimp sat in different marinades in the fridge overnight.

My steak marinade was a combination of oil, apple juice, garlic, apple cider vinegar, a smidge of brown sugar, and other seasonings. I know what you’re thinking – apple juice? Yes! I typically put any steak in fruit juice to marinate. Most often I use orange juice, but I decided to switch it up this time. You don’t get a lot of the juice flavor, but citrus really helps break down the tougher parts of the meat. Of course with steak, you MUST have potatoes…so I also made garlic cheddar mashed potatoes.

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The real winner though? THE SHRIMP! yum yum yummy! I marinated the shrimp in a bowl containing garlic, minced onion, diced roasted sweet red peppers. I then added some smokey flavors like paprika, cumin, and cayenne. My sweetness came from the liquid used — pineapple juice! After letting them soak up all the flavors overnight, I sauteed the shrimp in my skillet. Last minute, I had a stroke of genius and tossed in some thin spaghetti with the leftover marinade. It made the most delicious sauce… I will definitely be making this again. It even LOOKS pretty. Tastes even better than it looks though 😉

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