Sunday, June 29, 2014

What's cooking? {Trader Joe's Penne Arriabiata}

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Sorry for the lack of posts the past week. I've been dealing with a rather irksome dental issue for the past 2 weeks and it came to a head last week. People, don't not go to the dentist regularly. No matter how much you hate it or are scared of it....GO. I'll admit here that I hadn't been in over 10 years and I have payed the price for that. I had to have 2 teeth extracted this past Thursday and Friday and it's not been fun. The first tooth came out Thursday but the second was so "hot" with nerve endings that I ended up having to go to an oral surgeon on Friday and be IV sedated. I was petrified, having never been put under before. But I'll say this...it's the way to go! The "laughing gas" didn't affect me but as soon as they inserted the IV the room started to get wavy and I remember saying out loud "whoa, that I feel!" Next thing I knew my sister was in the room and it was done. I seriously do not remember a single freaking thing about the extraction! It's amazing!!!!!!

So today I thought I'd be recovered enough to enjoy some pasta! I'm still kinda wiped out so this is Trader Joe's frozen Penne Arriabiata to which I added some heirloom tomatoes and parmesan cheese. It was delicious, but alas....a little too spicy for this soon after surgery:/ So I froze the remaining pasta and will re-heat it next week maybe. I moved onto chocolate ice cream for dessert and all was well:)

I hope you have a fabulous week ahead! It's only a 4 day workweek for me because of July 4th so that's a plus! I'll be spending the 4th with friends at a cook-out so look for a new "What's Cooking?" post next week on that! Meanwhile....stay cool and stay blessed;)


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Monday, June 16, 2014

On aging gracefully....

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Peonies in full bloom are a sight to behold. But you know what? I think they are just as beautiful in their last moments, maybe more so. The same could be said for us humans too:) We need to be a little less hard on ourselves as we grow older. Dontcha think?!

Something to ponder the next time we hand over our hard-earned cash for the new serum guaranteed to keep us looking fresh and young. There's a beauty in aging gracefully, wrinkles and all;)

Have a beautiful week lovelies <3


Sunday, June 15, 2014

What's cookin?!? {shrimp & hummus wraps}

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Hello lovies! Have you had a good weekend? I hope so....now we have to start a new week all over again! Today's post is going to be pretty quick. It's all about leftovers and what we can do with them. I know that for me...being single...there's a lot of food left over sometimes. And chances are good that it will get pushed to the back of the fridge and weeks later I'll discover a science project growing in there:/ Not pretty. So I'm trying to either cook smaller portions or thinking ahead as to how I can incorporate two meals out of one before I even start cooking.

Two weeks ago I posted a recipe I found on Pinterest for spicy shrimp & avocado salad. It was the bomb.com!!! But there was a lot of shrimp left in the end....so the next day I made shrimp wraps with red pepper hummus. Ohhhh my! Yumm-O!!! My love for Sabra red pepper hummus is huge. I could eat it on pretty much anything. I'll definitely keep the company in business. So that was the second ingredient in these wraps. And in an effort to try to eat healthier...I've recently discovered edamame beans and am pretty addicted. So, enjoy! Just pack in the hummus, edamame, shrimp, cucumber and lettuce and eat away:)

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

what's cooking!?! {frozen coffee latte}

2014-06-01_0014Happy Sunday!!! I thought I'd share something sweet today. If you know me, you know my love and addiction to anything coffee/toffee/caramel flavored. Good grief, I wish everything was one of those flavors! I'm making more cold drinks lately since it's getting closer to summer and the heat in Hampton Roads is starting to crank up a bit. Before we know it, we'll walk outside and it will feel like we've stepped into the 7th ring of hell --- with 1000% humidity:/ It's this time of the year that I wish I lived in Maine or the Pacific Northwest. Ahhhh....can't you just feel that lovely, cool sea breeze? Mmmm....anyway, back to today's recipe!

Last year, my friend and I were at the local mall and we went into Williams- Sonoma so we could drool all over the calphalon and Le Creuset when we happened upon the ZOKU. Courtney had heard about the line and after taking a look at all there was to purchase, we both decided on the ZOKU Slush & Shake Maker.  What a great little buy for under $20! I used it several times last summer and decided yesterday to bring it out and make a coffee shake. The nice thing about this little guy is it's not going to make an exorbitant amount of product. It's really just a single serve device and that's nice....so you're not tempted to drink too much!

You can use pretty much any liquid that you'd like and of course real coffee is preferred. But I was anxious and impatient and didn't want to brew another pot of coffee {next time I'll brew extra and save out some for the ZOKU} so I used my go-to instant toffee latte instant mix from the grocery store. It's pretty yummy and satisfies that coffee craving when you don't have much time on your hands or you've run out of coffee filters. {Ahem....}

See the recipe at the bottom!

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  • Any type of coffee

  • 1/2 cup half-n-half {for a low-cal version, use skim milk}

  • 1/4 cup sugar {Feel free to omit sugar if you like your coffee plain. I need it sweet!!}

  • Chocolate to go with your drink {optional;}


First things first --- you want to freeze the ZOKU cup for at least 24 hours prior to use. You want it to be perfectly chilled and super cold. Be careful when you take it out of the freezer...make sure your hands are super dry or they will stick to the cup!

Brew your coffee, add the half-n-half and sugar, mix well and then chill in the fridge for 1 hour. I haven't tried putting a hot/warm liquid in the cup, but it just seems like that would make the chilling process that much longer and possibly damage the frozen ZOKU. If you do use warm/hot liquids, let me know how it turned out, okay?!

Because this is a cream mixture, I noticed that it took longer to start to solidify and I put it back in the freezer for 15 minutes. After popping it outta the freezer you can see the mixture is starting to freeze and you want to use the plastic spoon that comes with the ZOKU. Start stirring and scraping the walls of the cup and in no time you'll have a nice, frozen shake!

Enjoy everyone and see you next Sunday with a "what do I do with these leftover shrimp?" recipe for you;)

Stay Blessed,




Sunday, June 1, 2014

What's cookin?!? {spicy shrimp & avocado salad}

2014-06-01_0011Helllloooo!!! Did you think I'd given up on my Sunday series, What's Cookin? I kinda did too. The thing is...I've been rather busy the past few Sunday's and the cooking I've done has been rather meh:/ A lot of PB&J and egg sandwiches and spaghetti. Recipes that everyone knows that aren't anything special.

I may have mentioned in my last cooking post that I've been collecting a lot of recipes on Pinterest lately. You can see those two boards here and here. I'd love to somehow cook all these recipes, both healthy and not! We'll see. But today's recipe is one I've been craving for awhile now. Spicy shrimp & avocado salad.  I didn't follow the recipe verbatim but it's pretty close! I do love spicy food, but haven't cooked a lot with the spices cayenne & chili powder....so I was somewhat light-handed with them. I would have enjoyed this salad had I been a little less light-handed:) So, enjoy and I'll post the recipe at the end!

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Shrimp & Avocado Salad via Pinch of Yum!!!!


For the salad:

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • ½ pound raw shrimp, tails removed

  • ½ tablespoon butter

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne

  • 1½ cups sliced avocados (2 small)

  • 1 cucumber

  • 4 cups chopped spinach or baby kale

  • fresh chopped cilantro for topping

  • peanuts for topping

For the dressing:

  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh peeled ginger

  • 3 tablespoons oil

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (more to taste)

  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar

  • 1½ tablespoons white miso (it's like a paste - you can buy it at many regular grocery stores)

  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic

  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shrimp; sprinkle with the chili powder and cayenne directly in the pan. Saute for a few minutes on each side until the shrimp are no longer clear and have a nice golden color on the outside.

  2. Cut the avocados in half; cut lines through the avocado vertically and horizontally and scoop the flesh out with a spoon (like this). Peel and dice the cucumber. Chop the spinach or baby kale into small bite sized pieces. Arrange in a bowl with the shrimp.

  3. Puree all the dressing ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately (or store the individual parts separately in the refrigerator until ready to serve). Top with fresh cilantro and peanuts for crunch.


Use more shrimp to make it more shrimpy! Use less avocado to cut the fat down.