shrimp pad thai

As most of you know, I have been drowning under a mound of books. I am proud to announce that I am finally done with law school!!! I am graduating next week and I couldn’t be more happy:] Everyone on here has been so sweet, and the nice comments I saw, the few times I signed on, really kept me going<3

As a treat, I am laying by the pool, drinking margaritas, and posting one of my favorite munchies. This is a real authentic tasting recipe. I hope you like it!

Ingredients:

2 jalapenos (cut thinly)
2/3 a package of spicy tofu (chopped into little cubes)
1/3 cup of fish sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar (loose cup)
1 package bean sprouts
2/3 lb shrimp (peeled, but you can leave the tails on)
1 and 1/2 whole packages KA*ME Stir-Fry Thai Rice Noodles
3 large eggs (scrambled)
sesame oil on hand (you can dilute it with coconut oil, if you have any)
a smidgen less than 1/3 cup of Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai Sauce
1 lime (cut into little wedges)
1 pinch of salt (optional)
A few teaspoons of pickled garlic (or 3 garlic cloves minced)

“Extras” that I rarely add, but are delicious:

chopped peanuts
cilantro
green onions

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, on medium heat, add your brown sugar, fish sauce, garlic, and Pad Thai Sauce. Stir the mixture often and keep the mixture on low, after it boils once, until you need it. Next, add a little sesame oil to a pan and heat it on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, fry the tofu for a couple minutes. Then, add your shrimp and salt to your pan, and cook everything until the shrimp all turn pink. When the shrimp are done, put the shrimp and tofu in a large mixing or serving bowl. Next, add more sesame oil to the pan and throw in your jalapenos. After about a minute, add your bean sprouts, and cook them both until your bean sprouts are at a desired consistency. Put the veggies in the same large mixing bowl and put a splash more of your sesame oil in your tired pan. Add one packet of noodles to the pan. Each whole noodle package should contain 2 packets. You are going to add a few spoon fulls of your sauce mixture to the noodles, and you may want to throw a splash of water on the noodles too, to help losen them up. The noodles need to be flipped and prodded a few times to get them to separate. When the noodles are done, add them to the mixing bowl, and repeat the process two more times. Lastly, fry your eggs in sesame oil, add them to the rest of the ingredients, and mix everything together. Serve each plate with a few lime wedges, to squeeze over the dish. If you want to add any “extras,” do so when you serve each plate.

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ice cream scones

I wanted to make something nice for Easter, but I have been so busy. I thought it was hopeless, then I remembered ice cream scones. These scones are as mild in flavor as they are easy to make. They turned out so flaky and pleasant. They are not as moist and sweet as the average scone, but they are very tasty and perfect with a nice cup of coffee.

For Easter, my family and I went to the Yankees game in Tampa. Sadly, our boys lost, but we had a great time anyway. We spent the night at a hotel in Dunedin, FL and when we saw the rubbery hotel breakfast, my family was very happy I had made scones. They traveled perfectly and were so clutch.

Ingredients: 

4 cups of melted vanilla ice cream (it does not have to be 100% soup)
3 cups self-rising flour (keep the flour on hand)
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions: 

Mix the melted ice cream and vanilla extract. Once they are well-mixed, add in the flour. You will have a very sticky batter. Dust a counter top with plenty of flour and roll out your dough by hand, handfull by handfull. Don’t fold in too much flour. Just make sure the outside of the dough is dry enough to roll and cut into little squares. Preheat your oven to 350° and place all your little squares onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the scones for 20 minutes. While the scones are baking, melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler. When your scones are done, let them sit out to cool, then drizzle them with chocolate.

cheesecake stuffed cupcakes

As I have made painfully clear, I am in crazy study and freak out mode. When I am stressed, I have the terrible habit of eating sweets. I have already gained 2lbs and I have been jogging regularly. As my best friend, Michelle, would say, “my sweet tooth is going crazy!”

My friend, Stephanie, really helped me beat a deadline on an assignment, so I was able to concoct this devilish delight and also have a few drinks with her. Ironically, my favorite cheap champagne, Cupcake brand champagne, was on sale last week. Stephanie and I sat around baking and drinking all afternoon. What can I say, when I’m bad, I’m bad.

I have been going back and forth from my fridge, for finger full after finger full of icing and the cream cheese mixture all day today. Hopefully posting has calmed my nerves enough to help me stop stuffing my face. Especially since my mom just called to say she was buying me a new bikini! Now I have more big decisions on my plate…pink or blue…eat less or jog more?

Ingredients: 

Your favorite yellow cake mix
Your favorite chocolate frosting
1 container full fat cream cheese
1 small container marshmallow fluff

Directions: 

Bake the yellow cake into cupcakes according to the directions, with the exception of the temperature. Lower the baking temperature to 325°. By doing this, you are assuring yourself more lovely, puffier looking cupcakes. While the cupcakes are baking, beat your cream cheese and marshmallow fluff together with a hand mixer. Make sure there are no lumps, and that the mixture is smooth. This should only take a couple minutes. Once the cupcakes are done baking, let them sit out until they are cool. Once they are cool, take an apple corer and core all the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are cored, cover them with the chocolate icing, omitting the hole in the middle. Pipe the cream cheese mixture into the cored cupcakes and serve immediately.

honey beer bread

I saw the lovely beer bread Creative Noshing  posted a week ago, and got to thinking, how had I never made this before? I was originally just going to try that great looking recipe, but after talking to my mom, I realized that she had found another great recipe. I made the one my mom had and it turned out beautifully!

This recipe yields a hearty and rich bread with a distinct flavor. This bread is perfect for stews or any saucy meal. I made it with chili, and it was a welcomed change to the cornbread or rice I usually make. I used Yuengling, and I think the flavor would have been too strong if I had used a more robust beer, or had not made it with honey, but to each her own. This is such a quick and easy bread recipe, it is definitely worth a go! What else was I going to do with the one beer that had been sitting in my fridge since my birthday in August? My best friends from Tallahassee: Annick, Melody, Jessica, Kyle, and Kyllllleeeee came to visit for my birthday, and I have not had a weekend that fun since. They came, met all my lovely law school and Deland best friends, partied, sat out by the pool, played around town, brought a bunch of booze, and left a single beer. That beer would sit lonely until today, when I made it into bread. I can’t get tipsy off one beer and I aim to get tipsy when I drink beer, so this recipe was the perfect way to utilize “the lone beer.” ❤ Love you guys, this post is for you, cheers!

5 tablespoons of melted butter
1 heaping tablespoon of raw honey (I used orange blossom)
1.5 cups or one can of beer (I used a bottle, “the lone beer,” and measured it)
3 cups of all purpose flour (sifted)
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon garlic salt (The original recipe called for plain salt, but I had run out. I think this worked out very well.)

Preheat your oven to 350°. Whisk all the dry ingredients together and then pour in the honey and beer. Mix everything up with a large spoon. You may have to use your hands a little, I did. Pour about 1/3 of your melted buter into your baking dish or loaf pan, and smear it up the sides. When the pan is well greased, chuck your batter in and cover it with the rest of your butter. Bake your bread until it is golden brown. For me, that was 55 minutes, but my mom’s recipe said 50. I would say to keep an eye on it.

It’s that easy! This is one of the easiest most convenient bread recipes I have ever made. I am glad “the lone beer” made it home and out of the cold. I definitely got a kick out of using it. At a time when I barely have time to post and definitely don’t have time to see my friends, being able to remember better times is a godsend.

coconut shrimp paleo roll

You read it right, I dreamt up a Paleo sushi recipe, and put it into action! I absolutely love sushi, but the rice and all the soy sauce are bad bad bad! To make one of my favorite treats healthier, I looked to the Paleo diet. I invited my lovely friend Jess (who has become my paleo guru) over, and we had a lovely time making sushi and letting our pups play.

Before I get started on my recipe, I want to thank all the gracious bloggers who have given me awards. I am so sorry I have not posted them. I have 3 weeks left of law school and I’m drowning under research. I am afraid I may not post while I am studying for the FL Bar and I will likely not be up to date with what all you lovely bloggers are doing. I can’t wait until it is all over and I can have fun again. That being said, I found a wonderful blog, written by a beautiful girl, that I would like to say is definitely one of the bloggers I would pass an award on to. Check her out at Cibus Amare

Sushi Ingredients:

1/3 lb uncooked shrimp with no shells
1/3 lb sushi grade salmon (cut lengthwise)
2 mexican avocados (or one of the larger kinds)
1/2 a lime
1 cucumber (peeled and cut lengthwise)
about 1/3 of a can of coconut milk
about 1/3 a cup of coconut flour
coconut oil on hand
nori seaweed paper

Soy Sauce Substitute:

a splash of coconut milk
sriracha (as much as you like, I like a lot)

Directions: 

First, I covered the raw shrimp in coconut milk and put them in my fridge for a couple hours. Then, I coated each piece with coconut flour and fried them in coconut oil. I only used enough coconut oil to coat the pan, and had to watch out for a few splatters. When the shrimp were done cooking, I chopped off their tails, and cut them in half lengthwise. However, while the shrimp were cooking, I put all my avocado meat and hand squeezed my lime half into my magic bullet and combined them. When that was done, I laid out nori on my bamboo sushi roller and stacked all my ingredients (closer to the top half ) on my nori. Then, I smeared a little of the avocado paste on the nori and rolled. I repeated this process 5 times. Then, I cut my rolles into bite sized pieces. I don’t own a very sharp knife, so this was a little difficult for me, since the avocado makes this a more moist roll. My advice would be to use your sharpest knife.

John’s mom gave me this fun sushi plate and I am glad I finally got to use it. Jessica and I had so much fun, and the sushi was absolutely delicious! A definite win for the Paleo world.

paleo pasta aka spaghetti squash

My friend Jessica cooked me a lovely Paleo dinner (again) the other day. I love getting together with her because she always teaches me new things, or in the case of this pasta revamped an old favorite. I really love this recipe because I learned a new way of cooking spaghetti squash and a fresh Paleo sauce.

With summer coming up, a recipe like this is a must! I cannot walk away from pasta for a whole summer, this is a delicious substitute. Even if you are not Paleo, you can use this recipe and save your splurging for something like a fattening side, a night of cocktails, or a big piece of chocolate chip cheesecake (the cheesecake isn’t Paleo).

Jessica trying her best to chop the hard spagetti squash in half. They were tough customers to wrestle. I cut the other one in half and had to use all my might!

Ingredients: 

2 small spagetti squash (or one large one)
1/2 onion (red or yellow)
2lbs ground beef (or ground turkey, or ground chicken)
3 heirloom tomatoes (if they are on the small side, use 4)
sea salt on hand
pinch of pepper
garlic powder on hand
dried basil on hand
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
splash of red wine
3 garlic cloves

Directions:

Sauce: 

The sauce is a very simple sauce and was very easy to make. Begin by browning your meat. When the meat is close to done, add a shake of each dry spice and your bay leaf. While that is simmering, add all the rest of the ingredients, but the spagetti squash and red wine, to a food processor. Combine the processed mixture to the browned meat and simmer. When everything is commingled well, add the splash of wine and keep the sauce on low until you are ready to serve.

Spaghetti Squash:

Chop each squash in half and remove their seeds. Then, put the 4 halves into a pressure cooker, add the requisite amount of water your cooker uses, and cook the squash for 15-20 minutes. This process makes the spaghetti squash amazingly loose and easy to scrape out of the squash shell. If you do not have a pressure cooker, place the halves in the oven at 325°, with a drizzle of olive oil, for about an hour. You will have to check, to make sure the squash halves are tender enough to scrape. However you cook the squash halves, they should be tender enough to scrape their spaghetti like innards out with a fork.

I really like the sweet way the spagetti squash livened up the simple pasta sauce, and filled me up without tiring me out. This is a very versatile recipe, there are lots of pasta sauce recipes that could go on top of spaghetti squash, but this one is Paleo and simple:]

one seriously versatile rosemary cream gnocchi recipe

I absolutely love doing things with leftovers! It will likely come as a surprise, but I never really thought to do this before my boyfriend’s mother used leftover ham to make the most amazing soup. My mom is a little squeamish, I am sure that is why she does not utilize leftovers. It is silly though, using leftovers gives you a new depth of flavor to dishes that would be too time consuming to make otherwise. I used the leftovers from my recent cornish game hen recipe for this gnocchi recipe. I would never take the time to make a game hen, just to pull a bit of it apart for some gnocchi. Using leftovers gives me this option. Genius!

Besides using leftovers, this is one seriously versatile gnocchi recipe. It requires only the base ingredients I list below, but can be added to and altered in so many ways. For good ideas of extra things to add to this recipe, look at the scampi recipe at the bottom of my champagne diet post.

Ingredients: 

1 large sprig rosemary (or a few small ones)
1 small package baby bellas (chopped in 1/2 or large chunks)
leftover game hen ( or about 1/2 a plate of any leftover meat; adding meat at all is optional)
1 package gnocchi
1 pint heavy cream
garlic powder (on hand)
garlic salt (on hand)

Directions: 

Spray some cooking spray into a pan on medium heat and cook the baby bellas in it with no seasoning. When the bellas are still very firm, take them out of the pan and place them on a plate with your leftover meat (that should be shredded or cut into very small pieces). Then, in the same pan, add all of your cream, the sprig of rosemary, and a few shakes of garlic powder. Bring this combination to a boil slowly and then reduce the sauce down to a desired consistency. While the sauce is boiling, add a couple more shakes of garlic powder and start boiling your water to cook your gnocchi (continue with this process until your gnocchi is cooked and strained). When the rosemary cream sauce sauce is almost as thick as you would like it, remove the large sprig of rosemary (there will be pieces left behind, don’t worry about those), add the mushrooms, leftovers, and a few shakes of garlic salt. Make sure everything boils together for a minute, so that all of the flavors can commingle well. Then, take the rosemary cream sauce off the heat, stir in your gnocchi, and enjoy!

I love this recipe so much! I am cooking it again today and using leftover steak as my meat. The simple rosemary cream sauce really is one of my favorite white sauces.

cornish game hens with wine soaked pears

I really wanted to make a big Sunday dinner for John last week. When I got to the store, the bigger birds were pricey and cornish game hens were on sale. Interesting fact, cornish game hens are an American invention and have only been around since the 60’s. I decided to improvise and use the same recipe I would with duck, on the two smaller birds. It worked out beautifully!

I love how sweet John always is about my cooking, even when it takes forever or I am a pain and want to quickly snap some pictures before we eat. He is a great food critic and I love having him around to play house with:]

For the pears: I soaked one peeled Bosc and one peeled Bartlett pear in a medium bowl, in my fridge, in a wine mixture, overnight. The pear type does not significantly alter the taste of the game hens, but the two different types of pears make the wine gravy (which mainly consists of the leftover wine mixture) wonderful. The wine mixture consisted of one bottle of Port, a sprinkle of ginger, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a cap (or tiny little splash) of vanilla.

For the hens: I tied their legs back, gave them each a pear, drizzled olive oil on them, sprinkled each with garlic salt and pepper, then shoved a bunch of thyme under their legs. I put them in the oven at 325° for a little over an hour and a half. The hens were uncovered which made it easy for me to collect drippings for the gravy. I only opened the oven once while the hens were cooking.

For the wine gravy: I poured all the remaning wine (that the pears had soaked in) into a sauce pan around the time the hens went into the oven. I added all the giblets (hearts, livers, and necks), garlic salt, a few leftover bits of thyme, a cut up carrot, and eventually drippings to the gravy. The gravy cooked on medium high heat for 20 minutes, then medium until the gravy was of a thick consistency. I then kept it on low, until the hens were ready.

Sadly, John does not like hearts and livers, because they would have been divine on a bed of greens. The salad would not even need dressing because the wine gravy tasted similar to a high end balsamic reduction. I fished the hearts and livers out and had them as an appetizer all on my own. They were sinfully good!

The final product was as beautiful as it was delicious. Sadly, because I filled up on my appetizer, I only had room for a small plate. John was more than willing to pick up the slack!

broiled grapefruit

As summer draws near, we all see more of our favorite citrus at our local supermarkets. In particular, I have been seeing a lot of grapefruits, which are definitely a personal fave. I have heard that the smell of grapefruit makes a woman appear young, I don’t know if that’s true, but when I eat one for breakfast I feel like I glow all day. They are wonderfully light and tart. This recipe gives them an added sweetness and brings out their flavor beautifully.

I am 2 months away from graduating law school and am really stressed out. My work load is smushing me and the FL Bar Exam is looming. I know I am not the only stressed out gal today, we could all use a little sunshine. Here’s a bite of it.

Ingredients: 

1 grapefruit
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs butter
a few sprinkles of cinnamon

Directions:

Cut the grapefruit in half. Then, cut around the rind and down each segment, loosening each segment a little. Mix all the loose ingredients, with the exception of the cinnamon, in a bowl. Then, pile everything on the grapefruit halves. Preheat your broiler, then place your grapefruit in a pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle each half with cinnamon and broil them both for 3 minutes.

I am definitely bringing my work down to the pool today. I need to make this weekend a little more endurable. The best part is that breakfasts like this don’t stretch out bikinis, but do fill you with sunshine:]

paleo coconut shrimp soup

My friend Jess and I made this delicious soup on the same night that we made the paleo coconut cookies. We really made a night of it. I had a great time with her and I learned soooo much! I think we will be getting together again this weekend, so hopefully I will have some cool new facts to share.

Regrettably, I have not been that good about eating Paleo. I have been eating more veggies and fruits and less grains, so I am trying. I use the cookie recipe sometimes to make breakfast muffins. I just add more banana and subtract the coconut topping. They really are amazing and so is this soup!

One of the best things about this soup is how easy it is to make. You could easily make this on a busy work week and be very pleased with your healthy and exotic dinner.  Another plus is that you will have plenty of leftovers for the next day.

Ingredients: 

2 lemongrass stalks (bruised and cut into 2 inch pieces)
2 bock choy bundles (chopped up)
3 cups broccoli florets (chopped up)
2 cans coconut milk (Arroyo D brand is the best!)
1 pound of shrimp (we used a little less and I bought shrimp with heads because they are so much more flavorful and fresh)
a sprinkle of black pepper
a few drops of vinegar
a few drops of soy sauce

Directions: 

Add everything, but the shrimp and pepper to a large soup pot and bring to a simmer. Let it all simmer for about 5 mintes before adding your shrimp. Once the shrimp turns pink, add the pepper and serve. Yes, this soup is that easy!

With a soup that is this easy to make, there is no excuse not to be healthy! Did I mention that it was delicious? Jessica ate the soup as is, which is Paleo. I was bad and added rice, which is not the worst thing to add, but rice is definitely not Paleo. I also ate my portion with Kimchi. Kimchi is actually Paleo, which is wonderful because (in my opinion) it added a much needed spiciness.

I am going to keep learning and keep trying to find healthy versions of recipes I love. It is never too soon, or too late, to better your life by bettering your health.