20 April 2011

Pooper scooper.

I'm finding that working makes me boring. I remember when I lost my job, I felt that the future of this blog was uncertain. Now that I have a "real" job again, I keep thinking to myself, wow, I'm really boring now. Hmm... But I have found that I'm enjoying having a routine, even if it does require me to wake up early. I haven't overslept yet, and I've even had time to make coffee and lunch in the morning, which is previously unheard of for me. Clearly, I am a much more mature businesswoman these days! ;) Anyway, I haven't found a rhythm yet for work + dinners... The first week I was super motivated in the kitchen, the second week not so much but then I hit my stride over the weekend. This week has been mixed. We had grocery store sushi for dinner tonight, for example. But last night, I went as far as de-veining shrimp.

For Christmas, my mom got me a subscription to Cooking Light. This month's issue was instantly inspiring. I mean, how good does this look?

So after work I popped into the store to get some shrimp. Honestly, I've only made shrimp at home a handful of times, and always pre-cooked, w/o shell. Well, my grocery store fish counter sucks. And the only shrimp not from Bangladesh or Vietnam were jumbo Gulf shrimp... fully intact (no heads). So I sucked it up. Anything for the good ole USA.

I wasn't really sure where to begin, but I didn't figure it could be that hard. I did a quick Google search, grabbed my knife, and started, well, ripping out the poo! Let me tell you... that was way grosser than expected. I'm mostly able to not think about fish as meat, but it was really hard manhandling the little buggers, ripping off their legs, their big squishy bodies... Plus, the poo. Yuck. And it's confusing! Some have giant intestines, some don't appear to have any at all. What gives? Either way, eventually I was done and into the pot they went. I sprinkled them with some paprika and pepper and cooked them two minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, I'd been hard boiling two eggs. I'm no expert at peeling eggs, so they don't look too pretty, but they were perfect to me.

Hello, pretty ladies.

I'd also whipped up the dressing, based on the CL recipe. I just squirted some mustard in a bowl, squeezed in a lemon, cranked in some pepper, and whisky whisk. To prepare the salad for our shrimp, I made a little bed of romaine, chopped up some cucumber and tomato, added an egg (no egg for Brad; wuss), and tossed it all around with the dressing. Two plops of guacamole. Then it was time for the shrimp.

Nothing too earth shattering, but it was a super yummy meal, and pretty healthy, I think (I didn't even use any oil in the dressing). Brad rightly pointed out that the whole thing would be pretty tasty in a wrap, as a sandwich. That's my guy!

Speaking of magazine recipes, I pulled out my binders this weekend (that I put together in 2008 and haven't updated since) and was reminded of lots of good recipes I've tried and not yet tried. Need to get cooking! I also pulled all the meat recipes and dropped in some that have been floating around for a while. My next big project will be to go through the past year's worth of food mags and get those earmarked recipes into the binders.

This weekend I was also reminded of how much I love to host dinner. Sunday afternoon, Ceile invited us to join her and her bf for dinner, and I in turn invited them to join us. Nothing crazy, just our favorite pumpkin mushroom Gorgonzola pasta. Which, I realized, was one of the first dishes I ever made (I was a late bloomer). Brad and I were hosting Jason and Krissy for dinner, and the recipe had just been in the most recent issue of Cooking Light. Anyway, Chris and Ceile joined us for dinner, and it was lovely.

George, ever the security guard.

I love having awesome neighbors.

On a totally unrelated note, I'm re-finding the ability to and the joy of working to music. For as much as I was home alone before, I spent most of my days in silence (other than the songs I sang about and to the dogs). In the past few weeks, however, I've been listening to music at work, and I like it. Minus the earbuds. Ow. So to celebrate (may the celebrating never end, right?), I just downloaded myself some new tunes. The Frames. The new Ray LaMontagne. And the new Adele song because I am obsessed with it. Something to look forward to tomorrow morning... Oh, and free lunch from the bossman. Score.

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