Friday, September 30, 2011


Decided to make Joy the Baker's Avocado & Edamame Salad for lunch today.  Can I just say YUM again?  Joy may be an incredible baker, but when she ventures out into "real" food, she comes up with awesome recipes there as well.

Super easy salad to make.  Some slicing and chopping and grating, but nothing a novice can't handle.

Very healthy ingredients.

One note - I did increase the avocado from one to two.  I love avocado and it seemed with the number of edamame in this salad, more avocado was needed.  But you can do it your own way.  One less avocado probably would have been healthier!

It's such a pretty salad too.

I could eat the entire darn thing, but that wouldn't be such a good idea.  One quarter of the whole thing was plenty to fill me up.  Still, the rest is hiding out in the fridge waiting.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I am sitting on my couch watching my dogs sleep and listening to my husband snore. 

It's making me tired.  At this rate I'll be sleeping before 10. 

And that's not really such a bad thing, is it?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Faux Fall

Welcome to AZ, home of the "faux fall." While the rest of the country is donning sweatshirts and making hot, comfort food dishes, we're still sweltering in 100+ degrees of heat. It's totally unfair to someone like me who lives for sweaters and soups and stews.

Today I decided I would crank down the a/c and make a pot roast and apple pie. HA! Take that Sonoran Desert hell!!!

The pot roast is in the crock pot and the apple pie is cooling on the counter. Yeah, I had all these great intentions of taking pics of the whole process and sharing them with you, but I got engrossed in a text "conversation" while making the apple pie and completely forgot to take pictures. I got one picture as I was peeling the apples,

(please excuse the chaos on the countertop, I am a horribly messy cook)

and another when I took the pie out of the oven.

There ya have it.

Hope the rest of you out there are getting the real fall deal. Trees starting to turn, temps requiring sweats and jackets, down comforters, and hearty warm meals. Down here in desert-land, we're still sunning, swimming and wearing shorts. Happy Fall!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ron's Favorite Shrimp

Ron spends a lot of time eating.  And watching TV.  He spends very little time actually going to work.  His job consists mostly of laying around eating, watching TV and waiting for the phone to ring.  It's a great job if you can get it.

Because of this he tires of the average snack food.

He loves this shrimp recipe.  So much so that he will often ask for it several times a month.  Sometimes even several times a week.

It's super easy.  Especially if you have an immersion blender.  I couldn't live without mine.  Really.  Worth the $ to invest in one if you make dressings, sauces, etc.  Much easier clean up than a blender.

Anyway, here we go.

Go to the store and get 2 pounds of shrimp.  I like at least a medium size that you can eat in one bite, but not so small that they get lost in the sauce.  Tail off is preferable, because then you don't have to worry about the tails.  (Costco sells a bag of 2 pounds, tail off, precooked and cleaned shrimp.  It's a staple in my freezer.)  If you are starting with raw shrimp, you're gonna have to clean and cook them, and that's a lesson for another blog post.

I leave the shrimp to thaw in a colander while I do the rest.

Zest your limes.  Microplane graters are awesome for this task.  You only want the green, not the white underneath.  Sorry, no pictures.  I forgot.  Once you've zested your limes, juice them.  You need a total of 4 ounces of lime juice, which means you'll probably need to add more - either fresh or bottled is fine.  I'm a huge fan of key lime juice if you can find it.  Set your lime juice aside.

Chop the cilantro, tossing most of the stem.  I don't do a fine chop on this, as the immersion blender will puree it anyway.  Just small enough to get it in the blending cup.

I am a huge fan of those flexible cutting mats (mine are from IKEA.)  You can chop stuff up and use the mat to dump it in whatever you're mixing or cooking with.

Stuff that cilantro into the immersion blender cup or your blender jar.

Throw in the garlic cloves (if using fresh) or measure out the minced/crushed jarred stuff.

Measure out the oil and add it to the mix.  As well as the lime juice.

Stick that immersion blender in there and puree until the cilantro looks like little green specks.

Now you're gonna add in your spices so you can taste and make sure you like it.  Hot sauce, salt & pepper are all added to your liking.  Ron likes it really hot, so I use about 2 tablespoons of Sriracha.  You can certainly add less.  Be careful with the salt too.

By now your shrimp should be somewhat thawed.  I throw the shrimp in a large plastic storage container to make it easy.  Pour the sauce over the top, place the lid on tightly and shake shake shake.

This is the easiest way to mix it up.  If the shrimp were still a bit frozen, I leave the container on the counter for about 30 minutes to finish thawing.  Stick em in the fridge and occasionally toss them around again for good measure.  You want to make sure that all the little buggers have been totally coated with the marinade.

I like to let them sit overnight and really soak up the marinade, but Ron usually snags them right after they're mixed.  It's up to you.

We prefer these cold.  I suppose you could probably grill them or heat them or put them over pasta.  Mine are never around long enough to know.

Yeah, they'd never get served this way either.  But it's sure pretty.

Printable version:Cilantro Lime Shrimp

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Ever have one of those days that you just can't seem to get moving?  Um, yeah, I have lots of them.

Still, I try to get up every morning and get dressed and get moving so the bed doesn't look so inviting.

 (okay, not my bedroom, but it's really cute!)

This morning we walked the dogs at the park for the first time in months.  It's been far too hot.  Still have to get up early to do it, by 9 it's far too warm to be walking in a fur coat.  The dogs loved it.  They came home and went straight into the pool to cool off.  They love swimming.  They ran around and swam for another hour, ate breakfast and crashed.  They've been laying around all day since.

I got to work on school work that's due this week.  Photoshop is fun.   Writing papers for web development, not so much.

Now I'm nestled on the couch under a blankie (yeah, even in September, with the a/c on I get chilled!) blog-surfing while my husband channel surfs.

It's a good day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

On the eve of 9/11

Tempe 9/11 Memorial Healing Field, Tempe Town Lake

We will never forget.