Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Shrimp Pasta with Spinach and Pine Nuts

Some might find cooking for one depressing, sad, and, overall, difficult, but I find the experience the exact opposite. I think it's liberating, inspiring and very easy-- much easier than cooking for two or more people.

I recently made dinner for just me and, while discussing the experience with a friend, extolled the virtues of cooking for one. First, you can choose whatever your heart (and tummy) desires. No need to worry about what someone else might like or not like-- it's what ever YOU want. Second, you can control the portion. A recipe can be easily adjusted to accommodate just one serving, but I highly suggest just winging it. There's something special about tossing together a meal for yourself that's made up of a handful of this and a dash of that. And lastly, cooking for one  means the only judgement comes from yourself-- no anxious thoughts about what the other person/people might think. 

When you're the only judging the ratings should always be high.

For example, not everyone loves shrimp, so when I made shrimp for myself I didn't have to worry about anyone else-- it was all about me.

I sautéed those shrimp in some butter with no worries about others judging my liberal use of butter. 

After removing the shrimp, I melted some more butter and wilted down a couple generous handfuls of fresh spinach while a pot of spaghetti bubbled on the other burner...

As an after thought, I tossed a handful of pine nuts in with the spinach and butter and allowed it to cook until the spinach was nice and wilty. Then the shrimp went back into the pan along with the spaghetti. Everything got tossed with a healthy handful of Parmesan cheese and some fresh ground pepper until it all came together.

Who says cooking for one isn't fabulous?

I feel sorry for them.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Basic Coleslaw

The CSA I belong to must have really wanted it's members to make coleslaw, otherwise why did they load up the most recent box with all the necessary veggies?

Firs,t a giant head of regular cabbage...

Next, a smaller head of purple cabbage...

Some carrots, too...

Makes for a pretty picture, doesn't it?

One large head of cabbage, plus a smaller head of cabbage and three carrots makes for a lot 'o slaw.

The dressing is very easy and if you like sweet/tart slaw this one is perfect for you...

First, mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with a 1/2 cup of sugar.

Then whisk in 1/4 cup of veggie oil...

Add in about 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley and 3-4 tablespoons of mayo. I hadn't planned to add in mayo, but I'm glad I did-- added a nice touch of creaminess.

Finish the dressing with a few pinches of salt and juice from half a lemon.

Toss with the cabbage and carrots and serve.

Psst... did you hear summer is coming? 
I think this slaw will go great with all those BBQ favorites.

Monday, March 22, 2010

One Week-- A Recap

Not much of the time I spent away from the blog is worth writing about except for the week I spent in Mexico.

Did I mention I took a week-long Mexican Cruise recently?

So before I jump back into the regularly scheduled food programming I wanted to show that some of the time I spent away from blogging was somewhat exciting...

That's right, for 7 whole days I sailed the ocean blue aboard a giant floating hotel with about 3,000 other people. Destination: The Mexican Riveria

This was a new experience for me and, being new to cruising, was sure to keep detailed notes about my experiences so I could share, exactly, what I liked and did not like.

What I did not Like about Cruising

Sailing the high seas with 3,000 other people on a giant floating hotel

Cruise food-- keep in mind this did not keep me from eating it. 
It was hard not to since there was food everywhere you looked. What I did not like is how much salt was in all the food-- think of the buffet as a giant salt lick--and the ten pounds I gained over the course of one week.

The super happy "Cruise Director" who made multiple announcements each day over the loud speaker reminding me that what ever I did that day I should "do it with a smile." First couple of days, it did make me smile, but by the end of the week I wanted to tell him to think of something else to say.

What I Liked about Cruising
Photo Recap

 Margaritas in every port...

Quiet beaches...

Interesting places to explore...

Delicious food (off the ship!)...

Ice cold Mexican beer...

Beautiful sunsets...

And fun excursions...

Overall, a great week and, while there were some things about cruising I didn't love, it was the perfect getaway vacation.

Thank you for indulging my vacation recap-- stay tuned for regular programming.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

And I'm Back...

I committed a cardinal sin of blogging...

I up and took a significant break without telling a soul.

No 'heads-up' post that I would be stepping back for a bit.

No tweet, or Facebook update to let everyone know that sometimes a girl just needs a break.

At first I thought it would just be a few days, but a few days turned to a week, which turned to a month and before I knew it I was wondering if I should come back at all?

I'm thinking I should.

For those still following thanks for sticking by me.


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