Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

I had the day off yesterday. This is a rarity. It's to make up for the fact that I worked on Saturday, but it was still a day off. My gentleman was planning to come over after he got off of work, so I felt inspired to cook. For real. Finally.

Classic Lauren.

I went all out. I set the table and used the Nice Dishes that I got years ago but have literally never used, and pretty placemats. I made brownies (from a box - I can only be expected to make so much from scratch). I made Roasted Broccoli and I heated up some frozen garlic bread.

And then I made the shrimp scampi. I love Ina Garten's recipes because they're always good, though she uses SO MUCH BUTTER. I don't care. I figured her recipe would be great, and it was. The only thing I changed was to add about 1/4 cup of white wine. I don't know why her scampi recipe lacked wine, but that's one of the hallmarks of a scampi recipe. So I added that while the shrimp were cooking and let it cook down a little. I also used angel hair pasta instead of linguine. These were all excellent decisions. This really only took about 15 minutes to make, and it was delicious. The meal was received well and all was eaten.

Truthfully, when I finished cooking, I could have just burst into tears. I was so proud of myself. I felt so normal. This is what I do! This is how I am! I cook food! I love to feed people! Cookie Monday has been a great way to feed people but it's different to make a meal. Let's be honest - I'll probably eat the rest of the brownies for dinner tonight. But perhaps soon I'll cook another fancy meal! And then again! And again! And then I'll be back to the way I used to always be. How exciting!


Linguine with Shrimp Scampi
Barefoot Contessa

Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic -- (4 cloves)
1 pound large shrimp -- (about 16 shrimp) peeled and deveined
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 lemon -- zest grated
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice -- (2 lemons)
1/4 lemon -- thinly sliced in half-rounds
1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes

Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

Meanwhile, in another large (12-inch), heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Be careful, the garlic burns easily! Add the shrimp, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper and saute until the shrimp have just turned pink, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat, add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon slices, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the shrimp and sauce, toss well, and serve.

Servings: 3

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week in Review

The more time my gentleman spends at my house, the more food I am making sure to keep here. It is apparently easier for me to remember to take care of myself when doing so also involves caring for others. He likes to cook, too, so he'll come over after work and make an omelette or pasta or whatever. Nothing fancy, but good. Better than my sour patch kids, that's for sure.

What did *I* make this week besides cookies? I did make some Couscous with Chickpeas, Tomatoes, and Edamame, one of my favorites. I had some really great feta that I used. It was an impromptu decision so I didn't have everything on-hand. I didn't have chickpeas so I used some canned navy beans, and I didn't have green onions so I just left those out. Yes, I had frozen edamame. I'm so weird. So that worked well because I could eat it over a few different days.

I have grapes and yogurt in my refrigerator, in terms of healthy things. I have celery too but I'm pretty sure its time has come. I will go to the store tomorrow and buy more produce.

And I did remember to eat dinner every day. Even at bowling on Wednesday! AND on Friday we had Cali Burrito, which is just my favorite in the whole Valley.

I won't have Cookie Monday this week because I'm off on Monday, but I may attempt to make something different depending on my mood... I also am planning on making at least two dinners this week. Like really making dinner, not just reheating something or letting the gentleman do it. I will make dinner. That is my goal this week.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cookie Monday: White Chocolate-Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies

My computer is working again, so I finally can access my recipes again! Hooray! This week for Cookie Monday I picked another recipe off of Pinterest that looked tasty. It is a pretty basic sugar cookie that has crushed-up pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in it, along with some white chocolate chips. You can easily omit the white chocolate chips if you don't like white chocolate. It's still good.

As for the Cinnamon Toast Crunch aspect of the cookie: everyone loves Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Robert Pattinson talks about it in interviews when he's dodging actual questions:


In reading the reviews on the original post, I'd seen that people had the problem of having chewy cereal pieces after baking. I thought I'd crushed up the cereal enough, but I was wrong. I personally felt that the texture was off, because the pieces of cereal were chewier than I'd hoped they would be. No one else seemed to care, though. I asked a few people what their opinion was of the texture and no one had any complaints. I think I am perhaps my biggest critic. I did double the recipe and got about 80 cookies. And I discovered two new departments to deliver cookies to on my way out of the building at the end of the day. Hooray!


White Chocolate-Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookies
From Picky Palate

2 sticks softened butter
1 Cup packed brown sugar
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon real vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 Cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, slightly crushed up
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.

In a large bowl combine the flour, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal, baking powder and salt. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the white chips until just combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough and place onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 9-12 minutes or until edges just start to turn golden brown.

Let cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Yield: 3 dozen

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I completely forgot to eat dinner last night. I realized it at 11:10pm while I was reading a book and by then I felt it was too late.


I will do better today.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Cookie Monday: Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies

A couple of weeks ago I told you about the great oatmeal-raisin fight of 2013 that occurred on my Facebook. I avoided this entirely by making brownie cookies that week. But then this past weekend, it was snowy outside and I was tired and didn't feel like going out to buy cookie ingredients, so I baked with what I already had. Which consisted of oats. And chocolate chips. I decided to venture into the oatmeal cookie arena but with a generally-accepted chocolate chip, versus plain or raisin.

This recipe is pretty solid and made delicious cookies with a nice texture. I did leave out the nuts, and I used three different kinds of chocolate (chunks, chips, and mini-chips). I doubled the recipe and got 100 cookies. It was excellent. No one complained. It was a happy time indeed!


Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookies
Betty Crocker

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Yield: 42 cookies

Week In Review

I swear I've been eating meals every day. My computers have been broken and I haven't been able to post! Some of the things I made this week are Potato, Turnip, and Spinach Baeckeoffe, Classic Waffles, and Halushki. I also have ordered pizza, gone out to eat, eaten leftovers, and made eggs.

Fresh vegetables currently in my refrigerator are celery and carrots. I have no fresh fruit. My milk, bread, and eggs are not expired. And I did go grocery shopping last weekend, and will do it again this weekend. So. Progress!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Feta Salad

Last night I made Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Feta Salad, one of my favorite repeater recipes.

It was REAL FOOD. With REAL INGREDIENTS. So I microwaved the potato, big deal! I still cut things up and assembled it and ate it. No frozen components, no sugary components. Hooray!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Cookie Monday: Chocolate Brownie Cookies

There was a huge argument on my Facebook the other day about oatmeal raisin cookies. Or specifically, about raisins. Do they belong in cookies? Where is the role of the chocolate chip? Should oatmeal cookies have any additions at all? There were accounts of people who ate an oatmeal raisin cookie thinking it was chocolate chip and their trust in cookies was ruined.

It was one of the most controversial posts I've ever had on my Facebook. My plan for making oatmeal raisin cookies was scrapped. Instead, I decided to go in a totally different direction: chocolate.

I found this recipe on Pinterest, and it originally linked to another blog but I clicked through until I found the original source. I spoke with Ms Jane from The Heritage Cook, where the original photo had come from, to let her know people are jacking her photo on Pinterest. I've never hidden the fact that I'm incapable of making my own recipes and only work off of others, and I almost always just copy/paste directly, but I always always give credit where it's due. I don't think it's fair to pretend I've created something great and steal someone else's picture. This is why you all have to deal with my terrible Droid photos.

So. The cookies. I made a variety of sizes and got 7 dozen - the perfect amount for Cookie Monday. As per usual, I came home with an empty cookie box. I was afraid they would be TOO chocolatey, because these are very rich, but they're delicious and people really liked them. Most people said they were like little brownies in cookie form. I like that! I will definitely keep this recipe around.

My notes about this recipe: I doubled it. I made some big cookies and some small cookies, since everyone seems to want different portion sizes. For some reason I don't have any espresso powder (I usually have some!!) so I brewed some really strong coffee to use instead. I recommend going with the espresso powder. The cookies were done on the quick side - 7 or 8 minutes typically. Also, make sure they're in a nice shape on the cookie sheet because they are pretty much going to stay in the shape you drop them in. Weird shaped drops will yield ugly cookies. I'm just warning you.


Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Originally posted on The Heritage Cook
Adapted from Claudia Flemming’s “The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern

Jane's Note: Most of us use tablespoons to measure out cookie dough. Claudia calls for teaspoons, 1/3 the size of normal! If you want larger cookies or more of them, double the recipe.

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (yes, this is the correct amount!)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tbsp brewed espresso (or you can use reconstituted espresso powder)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsalted butter
5 oz extra-bittersweet chocolate (70% or higher), chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, briefly whip the eggs to break them up. Add the sugar, espresso, and vanilla and beat on high speed for 15 minutes, until thick. (This will help add body to the batter because there is so little flour in the recipe.)

While the eggs are whipping, place the butter in the top of a double boiler, or in a small metal bowl suspended over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water, and scatter the extra-bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate on top. Heat until the butter and chocolate melt. Remove the boiler top from over the water and stir the chocolate and butter until smooth.

Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until partially combined (there should still be some streaks). Add the flour mixture to the batter and carefully fold it in. Fold in the chocolate chips. If the batter is very runny, let it rest until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.

Drop the batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets and bake until puffed and cracked, 8 to 9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before removing from the baking sheets.

Yield: 2 1/2 to 5 dozen depending on size

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Bean Dip

Today I went grocery shopping again! I got a lot of vegetables! I actually got a lot of things that can be used to make some of my most-repeated recipes throughout the week, without formally planning for it. That way, if I'm in the mood I can make a real meal. Hooray!

So speaking of real meals, tonight's dinner was not one. I did make food, but it's Bean Dip and Tostitos Scoops. It counts though! IT DOES! I'm going to use the Super Bowl as an excuse even though I'm watching a Golden Girls marathon instead of football.

Wow, I originally posted that recipe in April 2006. I was a senior in college! That's crazy.

I also made cookies for Cookie Monday but you'll have to wait for tomorrow for that to be posted!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

First Week

My only three rules to adhere to per my intervention are:
1) Eat dinner every night. Including cereal. As long as it doesn't involve chocolate or coffee or sour patch kids.

2) Have fresh vegetables, milk, and bread in my house at all times. NOT EXPIRED, EITHER.

3) Grocery shop every weekend. Not just for the cookie-Monday ingredients.

I have succeeded in eating dinner every night. One night it was Cali Burrito. A couple of nights it was a bagel and some eggs or some other breakfast food. I had three nights of big salads. I did a good job.

I still have vegetables, milk, and bread. None of them are expired.

But I don't really want to go grocery shopping :( I don't really need to this week. I'm not sure what I would buy. I probably should have had a Super Bowl party, which would have forced me to make food.