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Cinco de Mayo Shrimp

El Cinco de Mayo

These shrimp are not only perfect for Cinco de Mayo but equally so for a quick weeknight meal or a big party.

We’re looking forward to going to the James’ annual Cinco de Mayo party tonight! See you soon, Lisa! Eieieiei Ariba!


Guajillo [gwah-HEE-yoh] chiles are dried peppers with a bright tangy taste and kick of heat. Find them in the grocery store alongside the other Hispanic ingredients.

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May 5, 2013   2 Comments

skinny puttanesca

Traditional Puttanesca sauce is made with chopped garlic and anchovies that are sautéed in olive oil. Chopped chili peppers, olives, capers, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano are added along with salt and black pepper to taste. It is simmered for at least 30 to 40 minutes.


My lighter fresher version is anchovy and olive oil free and uses fresh chopped tomatoes that are cooked briefly and tofu Shirataki noodles with zero calories and only 3 carbs per serving. The dish comes together in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your chopping skills and speed.

I began making it at 5:45 and had it on the dinner plates by 6:00… taking the photos took another couple minutes… as always!

One last note, I forgot to add the olives. And, darn it, they were missed! I’ve added them to the recipe, so don’t forget them.

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April 9, 2013   2 Comments

Shirataki noodles


My dear friend Karen recently turned me on to a gluten-free noodle product. The noodles are made from either tofu or white yams. The brand is Shiratki and they can be found locally at Sprouts and Fry’s. At Sprouts the everyday price is $1.69 each, at Fry’s a bag is regularly $2.29. They are found in the refrigerated section, near the tofu.

(Thanks to a kind comment from LCDC, I learned that the brand of the noodles I found is House Foods and that Shirataki is the type of noodle. I happily stand corrected. Thank you, LCDC!)

yam noodle

I was skeptical at first, considering they come packaged in water and look a bit slimy … but they were delicious! Shirataki noodles are quite a bit more expensive than dry noddles, but considering they are precooked, quick to use, and the yam variety has zero calories, the tofu style – only 20 calories… it may be worth the extra dough.

They have a long (about 3 month) expiration date, so if you find them on sale, stock up!

tofu noodle

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March 9, 2013   3 Comments

taco time

Yesterday was National Taco Day, so naturally, we had tacos for dinner. Shrimp tacos to be exact.

Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Salsa

Cabbage Slaw
1/2 head green or red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup pickled red onions
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Avocado Salsa
5 small or 2 large avocados
Juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
1/2 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper (fresh or roasted), finely diced
Kernels cut from 1 cob of corn
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 corn tortillas

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October 5, 2012   1 Comment

creating a dish for the new dish

I recently purchased this cool “entertaining set” and have been itching to use it. My first thought was that I’d make my “world famous” cucumber martinis for one side and a chilled gazpacho for the other – as a Friday night happy hour for Dave and myslef. But Fridays kept filling up with other things.  Opportunity knocked last Sunday when my dad came over for dinner and Connor came home for the weekend.

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September 28, 2012   3 Comments

summer fresh pasta

After driving by literally hundreds of farms and thousands of acres of corn fields in Minnesota and Wisconsin, during our vacation to the North Woods, I’ve had corn on my mind.  I took dozens of photos of as many of the charming farms and barns as I could, as we sped by in our rental car.  We even came upon a flock of wild turkey on the side of the road.  I made Dave turn the car around so I could get a picture.  They took flight just as I clicked the shutter.  That, and more barn pictures are at the end of this post.

The first meal I made when we returned home was this pasta with shrimp and fresh corn off the cob.

Even though the pasta is in a cream sauce, it is still lite and perfect for a summer supper. Instead of clam juice, I used some lobster stock I had in the freezer (the continuation of my perpetual freezer clean-out!) and wow, did it make a delicious sauce! And that is the reason my sauce is a little darker than yours will be if you use clam juice.

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July 23, 2012   2 Comments


My cup runneth over… my three tomato plants are producing between one and two dozen tomatoes each and every day.  It’s hard to keep up!

We are eating tomatoes at just about every meal, every day; under a poached egg on an English muffin for breakfast, on sandwiches for lunch, and mixed into something or another for dinner.  This pasta dish was especially popular with my guys.

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May 25, 2012   No Comments

summer’s super soup

Dave does not like cold soup. Something about it just seems wrong to him. Seriously?!  I mean, it’s gazpacho, what’s not to like?!

  1. First off, it’s soup, for goodness sake. Soup = Love!
  2. It’s full of tomatoes. Tomatoes = Yum!
  3. It’s over 100 degrees outside: Cold Refreshing Soup = Smart!
  4. It’s called gazpacho = Fantastic word to say, especially if you say it in your sexiest Antonio Banderas voice!

Obviously, I love gazpacho!

I made it for the last class of my series and brought home a container of leftovers.  At dinner the next night, I made a bowl for myself and said to Dave, “I’m having gazpacho, would you like a bowl?”

“No, thanks”, he replied.  I went about putting together our plates and as I was doing so, he suddenly noticed that there was shrimp topping my soup. “Oh, I’ve changed my mind, I’ll have a bowl”, he said.

Really? All it takes is a couple  little shrimp for you to change your bad attitude over cold soup?  He ate the entire bowlful. Whatever, men are exasperating!

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May 19, 2012   2 Comments

be mine

On Valentine’s Day evening, Dave walked into the house with two huge bouquets of flowers for me and I made seafood pasta for him. Although dinner was delicious, I think I got the better end of that exchange. The meal is long over and there have been four more dinners since then, but my beautiful flowers are still bringing me the reminder of being loved. <3

Note: To make the rose napkins above; Open a large cloth napkin. Fold in half diagonally. Beginning at the long end, roll into a rope. Then start at one end of the rope and roll into a spiral. Secure with a paper clip if needed and “garnish” with real rose leaves. I swiped the ones I used from my neighbor’s yard! She loves me, so it’s OK.

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February 19, 2012   No Comments

thanks Jenny!

This quick, easy, and delish recipe comes from my Illinois BFF, Jennifer.  My girl knows how to throw together a fabulous dinner like no one else! With three busy sons, who run her ragged, she is the master. Love you, Jenni-Jen! xoxo

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February 10, 2012   3 Comments