About Me

My photo
Just a simple gal living on the outskirts of Portland making ends meet. I have lived in Portland for over 20 years and I am happy to call it home. On this blog you will find everything from cooking to my crazy life. I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Super Simple Creole Shrimp

I love this dish it is simple, flavorful and looks like you spent tons of time making it when you didn't.
First things first. Cook off a batch of white rice before you go to work, and put 3 cups of rice aside in the fridge to cool...go to work.
Over medium heat melt one tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of olive oil.
Add one pound of peeled, deveined shrimp and two teaspoons creole/cajun seasoning. I remove the tails but you can leave them on if you think it looks better.
Just as the shrimp starts to turn pink add in four chopped plum tomatoes and 2 bunches of chopped scallions. Blend until well incorporated.
Then add in the three cups of cooked white rice that you made before going to work. The rice has to be cooked well ahead in order to work for this recipe.
Incorporate well and heat through.
This is what I like to call fast food. Enjoy.
Looks like we are heading into some scary stuff with our baby. Impending surgery to fix a birth defect that causes him to leak urine from time to time. All very frightening. Please keep our puppy in your prayers.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies with Espresso Powder

I love the combination of chocolate and salt and have for years, but the addition of Instant Espresso powder to this recipe really takes them over the top. The fact that they mix up quick and easy and you honestly can have them baked and ready to eat in under an hour makes them even better. The recipe makes the perfect amount for exactly two dozen normal sized cookies which is the perfect amount to have around if your counting calories (like me) or want to bake and take a small treat to the office like I have been known to do on occasion.
Into a mixing bowl add 1/2 cup very soft butter, 2/3 cup dark brown sugar and 1/3 cup white sugar.
Cream together until fluffy.
To the butter and sugar add 1 egg, 1 Tlb. vanilla extract.
Blend together until smooth and creamy.
In a separate bowl combine 1 cup flour, 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder.
Add the flour mixture in batches incorporating it into the butter and sugar mixture between each addition.
Then add 4 oz. of bittersweet chocolate chips (60% Cacao)and mix in by hand.
Line up the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little sea salt then slip into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 11 min. or until lightly brown on the edges.
Sprinkle the still warm cookies with a little sea salt...scrumptious.
I think I may need a bigger glass of milk. It was a crazy week at the office with absolutely nothing falling into place. These cookies were just what I needed. Warm, salty and buttery with the right amount of gooey chocolate.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday and it was like most typical weekend days for me. I cooked, cleaned and spent time with my bf. I enjoy the simplicity. For my birthday we did take Katsu to the dog park...his second visit ever. Now that he is neutered, chipped and feeling tons better, I feel only slightly better about his off leash play...you see Katsu doesn't have the greatest recall skill. We are working on it. I look at it this way at least at the dog park he can run and play in relative safety.
So last nights dinner was a new recipe that I spied online a few weeks back and I have wanted to try. I love meals that cook up in the crock pot. I consider it a form of torture to have the aroma of fantastic food wafting through the house all day long. Not to mention the simplicity of not having a ton of pots and pans to clean up before, during and after the dinner.
You start with a crock pot...then after you take the photo you wash the crock pot again because someone didn't get it clean the last time they used it...me.
Into the crockpot you add one 14oz can of diced tomatoes with the juice.
Then you add some fresh Thyme (about 1 or 2 teaspoons), one medium diced onion, two cloves minced garlic and roughly one small can of tomato paste (if you use the whole can of tomato paste I would add a little red wine). Give it a good stir to combine with the tomatoes.
You can used a chuck roast, but I happened to have an arm roast on hand. I cut the bone out (fed the marrow to the chupacabra who was watching me intently) placed the roast on the top of the tomato mixture in the crock pot. Liberally salt and pepper the meat
Put on the lid and set it to cook for 8 hours on low. That's it. Done. When the dish is done cooking go in with a couple of forks and pull apart any large chunks of meat that remain.
Doesn't that look amazing? To finish this dish you take a 1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil, zest from one small lemon and a drizzle one or two tablespoons of olive oil and toss together in a small bowl.
Place the meat and sauce on top of hot pasta and the basil topping on top of the meat followed with some fresh grated cheese. See doesn't that look amazing? Don't forget the crusty bread...Yum. Perfect dinner. I used trottolle pasta. It is fun and interesting.
What's a birthday without a birthday cake? So I did not make my own birthday cake...everyone was surprised about that, but I did get a really nice tiramisu cake from a local bakery...It was really quite good...seriously who bakes there own birthday cake?
My kids were here for dinner last night which was nice...thanks D.H. and D.C. for washing the dishes and tidying up the kitchen for me. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. We are off to a family gathering today, and I was smart enough to take a day off tomorrow to spend some time with me.