I Spy Pesto Shrimp

I saw a recipe on Pintrest a couple weeks ago about pesto shrimp. Originally I planned to grill the shrimp, however the bay was hit with an unusual rainstorm which in turn made the grill too damp to cook.

You can make the pesto (click here for my recipe), or purchase. My favorite pesto is actually from Costco.

Originally I planned on grilling the shrimp which is why they are on skewers.

Originally I planned on grilling the shrimp which is why they are on skewers.


Pesto Shrimp

  • 1/4 lb of large gulf pealed shrimp per person (it will provide about 10 each)
  • 1 tbs of pesto per 1/4 lb of shrimp
  • a little olive oil to coat pan (if grilling omit)

Directions

  • Coat shrimp in pesto, if grilling spear through sticks
  • Stir-fry shrimp for about 3 minutes depending on size. You will know they are cooked when they are no longer translucent.
  • Serve over desired choice — I choose cheese tortellini (also purchased from Costco) with pesto.
    Shrimp and tortellini

    Shrimp and tortellini


     

Fool Proof Green Smoothies

Green smoothie = 1 handful greens + 1 cup liquid + (1/2 cup [fruit #1] + 1/2 cup [fruit #2] + banana )

Since my last post, I’ve grown rather fond of these little green smoothies due to the following reasons:

  • They are super easy and affordable
  • Drinking one for breakfast keeps me full through lunch
  • They are yummy
  • Easy to transport

Every morning I grab a heaping handful of greens (spinach or kale), run it under water, and throw in my blender with 1 cup of coconut water or tap water. After blending the mixture for 30 seconds, I then pull the frozen baggie of fruit out of the freezer and dump it into the blender.  I let the blender run for about 45 seconds, then poor it in a to-go tumbler and take it to work.


 

Fool Proof Green Smoothies

  • 1 cup frozen fruit (mix and match 1/2 cup of: pineapple, mango, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, mixed berries, oranges, raspberries, or peaches)
  • 1 banana (pealed and chopped)
  • 1 heaping handful of greens (spinach or kale)
  • 1 cup liquid (water, coconut water, almond milk).
Frozen Fruit Baggies

Frozen Fruit Baggies

Directions

  • Assemble fruit bags and freeze: 1/2 cup [fruit #1] + 1/2 cup [fruit #2] + banana
  • In the morning before running out the door, wash a handful of greens and throw in blender for 30 seconds with 1 cup liquid
  • Throw in frozen fruit, blend for 45 seconds

 

I Spy Green Drinks

I have been a long time “hater” of green drinks due to the fact that green drinks seem to bring together three of my biggest hardships against society:

  1. Hippie judging moms who’s children will likely grow into chump little cookie monsters.
  2. Crazy near-anorexic women who justify juicing as meals. JUICE IS NOT A MEAL, LADIES.
  3. Purple ketchup. Its just not right. A green drink reminds me of purple ketchup.

However, my Mom visited a couple weeks ago and brought to my attention the utter lack of vegetables in my “diet”.  It turns out, she was correct. My  ritual of 1/2 deli sandwich for lunch followed by the other 1/2 deli sandwich for dinner, although economically savvy, is not the healthiest of options.   Therefore, I’m giving green drinks an honest try because frankly it is the easiest option.

I found this really cool website called “Simple Green Smoothies” where there is a green drink challenge. These women send out a shopping list every Thursday with recipes for the green drinks.  The “challenge” is to drink a green drink every day in April.  While I haven’t started the challenge yet, I am preparing my mastery what they call the “Beginner’s Luck Smoothie”.  Below is a description of how I have mastered the “Beginner’s Luck Smoothie”

Mixing up the water and spinach

Mixing up the water and spinach

Beginner’s Luck Smoothie

Shopping List:

  • 1 large bag of spinach (think six heaping handfuls)
  • 1 pre-cored pineapple
  • 1 22 oz bag of chopped mango (3 cups)
  • 6 ripe bananas
  • 12 ziplock baggies

Beginner’s Luck Smoothie —Serves 1
1 cups spinach, fresh
1 cups water
1/2 cup mango
1/2 cup pineapple
1 bananas

Instructions to Prepare 6 Beginner’s Luck Smoothies for the Week

Each Smoothie will have two baggies (one fruit one veggie)

Each Smoothie will have two baggies (one fruit one veggie)

I don’t really have a lot of time or energy in the morning to chop fruit, wash produce, ect. Therefore, my solution to making this model sustainable is preparing everything over the weekend and freezing it.

Assembling the Fruit Bags: 1/2 C Pineapple + 1/2 C Mango + 1 banana =  1 Fruit Bag (goes in freezer)
  1. Chop cored pineapple into small pieces. Measure and distribute 1/2 cup per bag
  2. Distribute frozen mango, 1/2 cup per bag
  3. Chop and distribute banana 1 banana per bag

Assembling the Spinach Bag: 1 C Spinach = 1 Bag (goes in fridge)

  1. Wash spinach and measure out 1 cup per bag

    Spinach! Pre-measure

    Spinach! Measure out ahead of time.

Instructions to make Beginner’s Luck Smoothie

  1. Whip out your blender (it need not be fancy).
  2. Add 1 cup water + 1 cup spinach. Blend for 30 seconds on high
  3. Add frozen fruit baggie, blend for 1 minute and stir mid-way through if necessary.
  4. Pour into a glass or to go tumbler to take to work, drink with a straw
OK, I probably shouldn't have selected a bright purple glass as it brings out the green and makes this look like something straight out of Shrek. But, the smoothy was tasty!

OK, I probably shouldn’t have selected a bright purple glass as it brings out the green and makes this look like something straight out of Shrek. But, the smoothy was tasty!

Quick Clean Up, FYI

  1. After you are finished, a really easy and quick way to clean the blender is to put a dab of dishsoap with water and blend. Makes for fast and easy clean up

    After you are finished, a really easy and quick way to clean the blender is to put a dab of dish soap with water and blend. Makes for fast and easy clean up. If you put enough water in, it will clean the whole blender.

 

I Spy the Best (egg) Breakfast Ever

I was looking through my past posts and really most of them are breakfast related. That is probably due to the fact that it is the only meal that I regularly cook on the weekends, also it is my go-to dinner.

A family friend recently tipped me off to a secret regarding scrambled eggs: use cream cheese.

Here is one of my most fundamental, most delicious egg recipes:

Spinach, Onion, Ham and Cheese Egg Scramble

Total Cook time 12-15 minutes

Breakfast!

Ingredients:

  1. two large handfuls of spinach (washed and chopped)
  2. 1/2 yellow onion (diced)
  3. Cheddar cheese  (shredded)
  4. two pieces of lunch meat cubed (ham or turkey works well
  5. 2 Tablespoons of cream cheese
  6. 3-4 eggs

    The cooking process, including a cat who really wants some ham.

    The cooking process, including a cat who really wants some ham.

Instructions:

  1. Dice 1/2 yellow onion, sauté  in a little oil for 5 minute
  2. While onion is cooking cut ham in little squares. Throw in pan to sauté
  3. Also while onion/ham are cooking, roughly chop spinach, throw in pan until it softens. 
  4. While spinach is cooking (about 2 min), heat cream cheese in microwave for 15 seconds in a mug or bowl. Crack eggs and whisk eggs/cream cheese together. It will not fully mix, that is okay.
  5. Pour egg mixture over spinach, ham, onions and using a spatula continually fold the eggs until cooked. You can add cheddar cheese (if desired) during the folding process.

I Spy Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I LOVE LOVE LOVE pancakes for breakfast. I don’t love the intense sugar crash of grumpy thoughts that follows two hours after consuming all the sugar and no protein.

Last weekend, I discovered a plethora of recipes on the internet for cottage cheese pancakes. Many of them seem to require way too much work for a breakfast, however Whole Foods published a simple version that really isn’t more intensive than making regular pancake batter.  Also, they do not taste like cottage cheese at all, they are delicious. I prefer these over regular pancakes any day.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes  

Total Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (optional, puree using blender for more consistent pancake texture)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Canola oil (for cooking)
  1. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, milk, and vanilla. Note: I used my emersion blended to puree the cottage cheese so it didn’t have texture, but this is an optional step.
  3. Stir dry ingredients into wet. Heat oil to pan. Using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, dollop the batter onto hot pan.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes total depending on size.

I Spy DIY Glitter Candles

My blog was a food blog until I got promoted, got engaged and started grad school. Now, my blog is more of a crafty blog because frankly I don’t really cook anymore. However, I do continue to embark in artsy-glittery-stress-reducing expeditions.

IMG_4077

Do It Yourself Valentine’s Glitter Candles

What you will need: 

  • Glitter (fine, colored glitter)
  • Ikea Glimma Candle Holder (6 pack for $1.99)
  • Mod Podge
  • Small tupperware for Mod Podge and to hold glitter

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Instructions: 

  1. Pour Mod Podge and glitter into their own container.
  2. Paint one of the candle holders with Mod Podge
  3. Roll in the glitter to thoroughly cover
  4. Set to dry, repeat

IMG_4069

I Spy a Measurements

Often when I am baking, I pull recipes from a variety of websites and continents.  This habit often requires some form of conversion in order to properly execute a recipe. Martha Stewart has an awesome print out that lists common kitchen conversions, and I added to the information with my own conversion set of cups to grams to ounces.  Using a few wooden unfinished picture frames, some red paint and some scrapbook paper, I now have the conversions hanging above my kitchen sink. Next time I am knee deep in flour, I won’t have to leave a fingerprint trail on my iPad to look up the proper conversion.

frames copy 3

One note, obviously for the weight measurement different ingredients will weight different amounts. The conversion chart posted is for all-purpose flour.

What you will need: 

Conversion Sheet

Cups to grams to oz print out

How to:

  1. Paint the frames, let dry over night
  2. Use the sample picture to cut out scrap book paper to size with the frames
  3. Then print out the documents above, and cut out/glue to scrapbook papers.
  4. Once the frames are dry, assemble and hang.

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