Monday, February 23

Quick Shrimp…

I received the newest copy of Cooking Light last week and this quick and easy Shrimp Scampi dish caught my eye. We’ve had a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer that’s been begging to be used up. This recipe is definitely going into the rotation. This was the first time I made Orzo it was super quick and easy. This had just the right amount of butter too since sometimes scampi means the shrimp is swimming in the fat.

The only modifications I made to the recipe were I added lemon zest in addition to the lemon zest. If you have any spinach on hand, this would be a great stir in for the green color. We served it with side salad, but grilled asparagus or steamed broccoli would also make a great side. Enjoy!

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi (Cooking Light)

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.

While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

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Sunday, February 22

A Mexican Fiesta

In honor of the Oscar’s tonight and my Mexican craving…we made a Mexican themed dinner complete with Margaritas! I found a simple recipe for Chicken Enchiladas with a 5 star rating and tons of reviews. I have a recipe we’ve used many times in the past that is more salsa-based and I think we enjoyed the new recipe better.

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On our weekly grocery shopping trip today we picked up a rotisserie chicken to use, which saves a lot of time and the chicken has tons of flavor. This version was a little drier than I’m used to for enchiladas. Next time I think I’ll top them with extra cheese before baking…anything can be more cheesier!

Chicken Enchiladas (Southern Living)

  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle green taco sauce
  • Toppings: diced tomato, chopped avocado, chopped green onions, sliced ripe olives, chopped cilantro

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Spoon chicken mixture evenly over each tortilla, and roll up. Arrange in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Coat tortillas with vegetable cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Stir together sour cream and taco sauce. Spoon over hot enchiladas, and sprinkle with toppings.

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Finding January & February…

I’ve been slacking in my blogging world, but January and February have flown by. We’ve been incredibly busy getting back into the swing of things after the holidays. Ben’s school load has seemed to pick up and my work seems never ending. I guess with year-end close was expected to be crazy given the crazy market the past few months.

We did get to do a few fun things…lots of beer tastings with our friends Tara and Rick. We also tried a few new restaurants and beer pubs in Raleigh. I highly recommend The Raleigh Times!!

So scroll down to see what we’ve really been up to the past few weeks. Hopefully I’ll have a few new recipes to add soon as well.

First 5k of 2009

Yesterday we completed our first race of 2009! I love getting back out on the road and having a race on our calendar always provides enough motivation to keep our runs throughout the week.

My sister, Sara’s sorority at ECU held their 1st Annual Kappa Delta 5k For Kids in Greenville. Ben and I drove down after work on Friday for the Pasta Dinner, then went to Eddie and Lisa’s house to spend the night in New Bern. The morning came very early as we struggled to get out of bed and the temperature outside was in the 20’s! After a quick bowl of hot oatmeal we were on our way back to Greenville.

February 2009 112 The race kicked off at 10am with a little over 100 people running. Most of the family participated and it ended up being a successful race. Ben completed the 5k in 26:01 and I came in at 32:24. Not too bad for our lack of training over the holidays and winter. February 2009 102February 2009 107 February 2009 115

Next up: Cooper River Bridge Run 10! Just 7 more weeks!!! This is by far, my favorite race…40,000 people running in Charleston and many many more lining the streets cheering you on!

Our New Toy…

A Canon DSLR!! I’ve been wanting one forever and after a larger-than-expected bonus this year, we decided to splurge. We’ve got a couple of weddings, vacations and other exciting things coming up this year and thought a new camera would be perfect to capture those special memories.

image The best part is all our older telephoto lenses from my old 35mm SLR are compatible. Now I just need to sit down with the manual and go through all the fun settings and actually learn what this camera can do! From straight out of the box, it takes amazing pictures and we couldn’t be more pleased with the quality.

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I’m sure we’ll have plenty more “test” photos. In less than a day we took 100 pictures!

Foothills Brewing Company

Earlier this month we took a day trip to Foothills Brewing Company in Winston Salem with Tara and Rick. We were very fortunate enough to get 8 of 600 limited release bottles of their Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout…which equates to 1.3% of the World’s supply (yeah I’m a math dork).

You know we’re beer snobs when we wake up at 5am to make the drive to Winston Salem and stand in line for 3 hours just for one particular beer. It was definitely worth the trip and the fun times we had in line meeting other beer snobs. And beer snobs are always nice and hospitable – offering tastings of rare beers they brought, such as The Dark Lord Imperial Stout, Abyss, Cottonwood Hazelnut Stout, Highland Kashmir and Mikkellar Black Hole.February 2009 053 February 2009 054February 2009 045 After we purchased our 8 bottles of Sexual Chocolate, we enjoyed a glass on tap, lunch and a flight tasting of their other brews. Ben had an amazing Cuban sandwich with pulled pork, while I enjoyed a Buffalo Chicken Wrap. As far as their other beers we were all in agreement that Torch Pilsner was not good at all…most of the other beers are just ok, however the Total Eclipse Stout was pretty good too. Of course there is no disputing how great the Sexual Chocolate Imperial Stout is. February 2009 059 February 2009 064February 2009 066After lunch we took a short drive a few blocks down the street to City Beverage and bought even more beer. This was a great store with an amazing selection of beer. They had an in-house bar with 3 different beers on tap that you could try. Also, they have great deals on cases at rock bottom prices.

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