Quinoa Caprese Salad

Tomorrow I’m running my first 5K. Eeek!! I’m really nervous even though it is not a timed race. I am not as prepared as I’d like to be, but we’ll see what will happen.

After running a couple miles yesterday in preparation for Saturday, I wanted something healthy, delicious and fresh to munch on. I’ve had a bag of quinoa in the pantry for a while and finally had a chance to use it.

20130613_Quinoa caprese salad_0129 Continue reading

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Shrimp + Couscous

shrimp couscous 2TK likes couscous. Kind of random, but we’re going with it!

A few weeks ago at the store I was going to get quinoa and TK asked me to get couscous. It’s good, has a nice texture and is super easy to make!

So I had to find some recipes to make with it. I found this recipe for shrimp and couscous and everyone in the family liked it. I made a few adjustments and will probably change one or two things if when I make it again*

Shrimp and Couscous

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined*
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 leek, sliced into 1/2-inch half-moons
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or just water – I wanted the little boost of flavor)
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet.
  2. Toss shrimp with salt and pepper, then saute until cooked thoroughly. Remove from skillet.
  3. Add remaining olive oil to pan. Stir in mustard seeds and cook until the seeds pop.
  4. Add leeks, carrots and garlic. Cook until leeks are tender, stirring often.
  5. Stir in couscous, peas and stock/water. Remove from heat. Cover, let stand 5 minutes.
  6. Add shrimp; stir gently.

*I wish I had taken the tails off the shrimp before I made the dish. It would have made eating it much easier and a little less messy 🙂

shrimp couscous 1

Oreos + cupcakes = delicious

Hello, friends! I have been crazy busy (a post coming on that later) but I wanted to tell you about the delicious cupcakes I made for our Super Bowl party.

Oreo Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing

Oreo Cupcake with Cream Cheese Icing

I found the recipe on Pinterest and kind of had to change it up a bit because the Oreos did not go as far as they should have. Hmmm…

Also, I got to use my mother-in-law’s cool Pampered Chef icing thing to decorate. That was cool and made the process so much fun!

Here’s the recipe with the simple changes I made: Continue reading

Cornish hens with rice stuffing – Christmas Eve with the Spencers

20121224_Christmas Eve_0027

Like I said earlier this week, TK and I had a great first Christmas together. We had dinner on Christmas day with my parents, so I cooked a fancy meal for the two of us on Christmas Eve. I got the recipe for my hens with rice stuffing from this website, but I changed it quite a bit for my taste. We also had roasted okra which was a big hit. Yay veggies! Continue reading

Red velvet goodness

Last week TK and I went to a Christmas party hosted by our Sunday School class. We had a ton of fun! We usually get together once a week and each bring a side item to go with the meal our host makes, but for the party we each brought steaks and a side dish. The guys grilled the steaks and we had a fantastic meal.

Someone requested I handle dessert, so I felt just a little pressure to make it exceptional. Luckily, I found this recipe for red velvet cookies and they were a hit!

Red velvet cookies

Red velvet cookies

I’ve never made red velvet anything from scratch – it always intimidated me for some reason- but these turned out pretty good if I say so myself. The original recipe called for white chocolate chunks but I used white chocolate chips because of cost and ease. And I like chips better 🙂

I also made peppermint cupcakes so I’ll do another post on those in a few days. They were pretty delicious too! Continue reading

Foliage and feasting

The leaves they were crisped and sere –
The leaves they were withering and sere;

-“Ulalume,” Edgar Allan Poe

We’re officially past October and I have decided to embrace the fact that I will be waking up to cool mornings and chilly weather for a few months. It is officially time for boots, sweaters, soups and festivities.

Our apartment complex has become a beautiful spattering of fall colors as the leaves turn from green to yellow to bright oranges and reds. I’ve enjoyed walking to my car while crunching the leaves, reminding myself of my 10th grade literature class where the Venerable Mr. Friedman littered the floor with leaves as we trounced around reciting Poe’s “Ulalume.” Continue reading

A little sweet, a little tangy

Sometimes you need to cook something fun for absolutely no reason at all. TK and I have had a crazy week and so last night I decided we needed a little treat.

Growing up in my house included inviting a lot of people over for dinner. Mom and Dad love having company and they never slacked on catering to our guests! One of my favorite meals Dad would make was a roundup of Italian deliciousness: chicken/veal Marsala, stuffed portobello mushrooms, Caprese salad and fresh homemade bread. Mmm!

Last night I decided to revisit one of these dishes and change it up a bit. I found a recipe for Chicken Marsala Pasta on 100 Days of Real Food and decided to try it out. Um, it was really good. Definitely something special.

Chicken Marsala Pasta with roasted asparagus

Continue reading