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Friday, August 1

spicy shrimp & quinoa

i have recently found that i love quinoa! i am trying new recipes and this one was a hit at home!

spicy shrimp & quinoa

what you need...
olive oil
5 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 teaspoon chili powder, divided
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
6 tablespoons salted butter, divided
1 pound raw tail-on shrimp
salt & pepper

what you do...
Sauté olive oil and 2 teaspoons of the garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the uncooked quinoa and ½ teaspoon chili powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute for another 1 minute to add flavor to the quinoa. Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. When the quinoa is done, it will be soft throughout. Fluff with a fork.

Heat1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot and the butter is melted, add the shrimp and sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon chili powder directly in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and saute until no longer translucent and golden brown on the outside. Just at the end of the saute, add 1 teaspoon garlic and swirl around in the pan until the garlic is very fragrant.

Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter (you may not need this much...I cut mine in 1/2) with the 2 teaspoons garlic to make a sauce for drizzling (for this, crushed garlic or garlic paste would work really well but minced is also fine).

Serve the quinoa and shrimp together in one dish. When the butter is melted and cooled slightly, drizzle over the shrimp and quinoa. Serve immediately, while still hot.

Thursday, June 19

spearmint ice cream in the making!

when i think of the best ice cream i've ever had, my brain flashes to this moment in time...spring 2006 brought me and 5 of my best friends to the land down under and Australians surely know how to do ice cream right. The place is Kiwi Cones and the flavor hasn't been found since. 

Spearmint chocolate chip ice cream. 
Its as simple as that [or so i thought] yet i have yet to find anywhere that has or can get spearmint extract. this year, there are no more excuses, i'm determined to make this summertime fave...starting with the spearmint extract itself. so i took it upon myself to cultivate my own spearmint leaves and have started the extract process! 

DIY Spearmint Extract

what you need: 

  • vodka
  • cleaned and dry spearmint mint leaves
  • jam jars




what you do:
take the mint and muddle it/open the leaves flavors up while in the jam jars. add vodka to the jam jars so that the leaves are fully covered. close up the jam jars and ensure that the leaves are still covered and place in a cool, dry place (under kitchen sink, in pantry, etc) for about a month. at the month mark, open them up and test the extract. if its not minty enough, close those suckers back up and keep them going.

my mint is still marinating and i will let you know how my spearmint extract goes as soon as its a bit further along! mine has been going for nearly a month now!

since we're on the topic of Australia...here are a few of our other faves :) 

Tuesday, June 17

happy 1/2 birthday myers!

is this sweet girl really 6 months old already?! where does the time go! happy 1/2 birthday myers! 

















Sunday, June 15

happy fathers day Sid!

happy fathers day Sid...you're the greatest! 






Thursday, June 12

new fave summer salad

after a fun weekend in highlands with friends who eat much healthier than joe & myself i've been turned on to all sorts of new healthy options for sides and meals! one thing that i recreated the moment i got back for a cookout was a great crowd pleasing salad! don't turn up your nose until you've tried it yourself! it is so yummy!

these quantities made enough for a party size salad to feed 10-12 adults

what you need:
-1.5 lbs of fresh brussel sprouts
-1 bag of spinach
-6 slices reduced fat bacon
-1 cup shredded reduced fat mozzarella or italian blend cheese
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-1 fresh lemon
-olive oil
-salt
-pepper
-dijon mustard

what you do:
get out that food processor or just start chopping those brussel sprouts after you wash and dry them. be sure to peel away any shady looking leaves.

chop the spinach into strips and combine in a large salad bowl with nuts, cheese and brussels.

place bacon on a baking sheet and bake in the oven at 350 degrees until crispy [by the way this is my new favorite way to make bacon...looks gorgeous and is minimally messy]. once cooked, blot with paper towels and crunch up for toppings.

add bacon to the salad.

juice the lemon while watching for seeds. add olive oil and mustard by the tablespoon until well mixed. my large very ripe lemon yielded enough dressing with 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons mustard. salt & pepper were added for taste. toss the salad with 1/2 the dressing before putting on the remainder. it does seem to spread throughout the salad as it sits and tastes best when dressed and chilled for an hour or two.
next time i make it which will surely be soon i will need to take a photo before chowing down!