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Posts Tagged ‘shrimp’

Delicious meals and guests

Hello world on this cold morning! I thought I’d start talking about food (well, duh, that’s what I do!) I have eaten and/or prepared lately. Such as the one dish I made recently – shrimp with Alfredo sauce on wild rice. I realize that this entrée is usually prepared with pasta, but when I was much younger my mother use to prepare a shrimp and cheese dish (involved Campbell’s shrimp soup that we bought frozen “in the day”) and she served it on Minute Rice. So cheesy shrimp on rice always tastes more natural to me. Hmmm……poor choice of words. Shrimp in cheese is not natural unless these little creatures live and swim in cheese. They don’t. They’d probably enjoy it as much as I would, but they don’t. I guess I should say it just taste “mo better” on rice. And, as we know, that two-word phrase would be something the great Justin Wilson would have said.

Anyway, the other night I made my usual white sauce, substituting heavy whipping cream for a portion of the milk. This sauce is super tasty and rich made with all whipping cream, but I have found that it is truly not good for my cholesterol levels, and I have a past lab test to prove it! However, when I make something special, like my homemade Alfredo sauce or tomato bisque, I use some cream, just not all cream. [And since making that one simple change in my life, cholesterol seems to no longer be a problem. Really. I’ve had two lab testings since that not-so-good one, and they have both been well within normal limits. I’m not so stubborn that I cannot adjust my cooking practices when necessary. Truly.]

The sauce begins with a roux composed of real butter and flour, stirred together until a light golden brown. Then goes in the milk and cream. Just when it starts to bubble I add my freshly grated Parmesan. Then the raw shrimp. My goodness! Does that sound heavenly or what?!? When I serve it to guests I use whole-wheat pasta, because pasta is what they expect. But when it is just me? Bring out that whole-grain rice!

I’ve also rediscovered a fairly healthy breakfast that I learned from Johnny. Well, for him it was always an after-school snack, but I find it is a very filling and tasty breakfast, plus it is easy to pack and prepare at my desk if I go to work earlier than usual. Simply this: a few Ritz crackers, a schmear of natural peanut butter on each, topped with slices of banana. Now, I realize that a hearty whole-wheat cracker would be better for me than a Ritz, but I love a Ritz cracker! And the low-fat Ritz cracker is crunchier than the regular, so that’s how I make this breakfast. I’ve eaten that combo several times lately. Side note: Johnny often (or always?), included a second schmear of Miracle Whip salad dressing. I use to do the same, but trying to keep most of my meals healthier, I not longer add the MW. And I find it just as tasty and filling, just maybe not as slippery.

The hubby, Brent, has been out here in Kansas for a few days and we’ve had a few good meals together already. First night after he arrived into the Manhattan airport, I prepared chicken coq au vin. Lots of onions and mushrooms in that one! Yes, and a little bacon grease and butter, too. Really, I just used a little! Since Brent is not fond of too much wine in any of his food, I substituted some of the red wine with water, just to calm down the flavor a little. Believe me, it was still very scrumptious and special. He ate every bite! And you know, we cooks love it when that happens. We also had creamed white potatoes, green beans, and a small serving of my favorite beet salad. He had been anxious to try some of the beer from the local Tallgrass brewery, so he drank that with his meal, and I had a glass of Riesling. Even though we were both totally stuffed, there was also decaf coffee and tiny Toll House cookies I baked in the toaster oven after we had completed our meal. These cookies I buy in the dairy case in the grocery store and just cut off small portions of the dough and cook them in that little oven. By waiting to bake them, we were assured of those gooey little warm chocolate morsels. Oh my oh my! Absolutely delectable!! Even though there is nothing quite as wonderful as something freshly prepared and baked, I just don’t eat sweets enough to warrant making a whole cake or batch of cookies. So, every once-in-a-while I bake two of these tiny cookies in my toaster oven.

Yesterday we went back to campus and ate the special buffet lunch that the Bluemont Room offered for Valentine’s Day. We met my friends Alice and Tara C. and totally ate and ate and ate! The company was wonderful and the food was better than usual. However, I didn’t want much supper that evening. Brent and I together made a large bowl of guacamole (with the chunks in it that I learned from Larry), and crunchy corn chips. After eating some of that I was totally stuffed! However, Brent still wanted a little more dinner, so I heated up for him a serving of the meatless baked pasta I had frozen several weeks ago. Lots of cheese! I heated it on the stove top and added a little more spaghetti sauce so it wouldn’t be too dry. Toasted some bread, and also added one small meatball (again, I had frozen a few a while back). He seemed pleased with that, filled up, and we neither one had coffee of dessert last night.

Today we are planning a drive to Wamego to go back to the Emerald City Market where we plan to buy the Parmesan that will go with our homemade pesto we will make tonight or tomorrow night, and a nice chunk of Stilton blue. The Stilton goes heavenly with my 1/2 apple snack I have almost every morning at work, and……well….I just adore cheese! Especially really fine cheese like they have at the Emerald City Market. The other night we have left together we plan to grill a steak. Brent is definitely a meat-eater, can grill a steak the best ever, and how can he come to Kansas and we not have a good ol’ Kansas beef steak? I mean, it just all goes together, right? But there will also be some veges and a fresh tossed salad. Oh my oh my! I’ve got to wait at least 10 whole hours until the supper hour. Can I do? Will I do it? Life is full of challenges, isn’t it?

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