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

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

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

Festival of Holidays

‘Tis the season to be jolly! I know we’re still a few days from Thanksgiving and traditionally I don’t start celebrating Christmas until after I’ve watched Macy’s parade and eaten too much turkey, but the ladies at church had a fantastic holiday celebration this past week that thrust me into the holiday spirit!

Decorations at our table. Too cute!

My friends Megan and Tess decorated a beautiful table for the event. We got to relax, hang out with friends, sing some songs and get rejuvenated for the rest of the year.

My in-laws are coming down to celebrate Thanksgiving with my side of the family. That’s one thing I’m incredibly thankful for – family from both sides who get along. How cool is that?

As far as Thanksgiving is concerned, I’m looking forward to helping my mom and mother-in-law cook dinner. I think I may be making some kind of pie – I’ll let you know how it goes! 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

Coffee obsessed?

I really like coffee. And I like cooking. So when I found a recipe that incorporated coffee into a main dish I was sold.

Our coffee-rubbed steak with rice and a squash/zucchini medley sauteed with Cajun seasoning.

The other night TK and I had coffee-rubbed steak. I have heard of this before and found a couple recipes while surfing online, so I thought I’d go ahead and see how it actually tasted. It was pretty good! It wasn’t too coffee-y but it had a nice flavor and was incredibly easy to make (that’s my favorite kind of recipe!).

Here’s basically what I did: Continue reading