Tagged: lemon

Real Food Recipe Roundup #2 – Shrimp Scampi

It’s Thursday, ya’ll!! That means it’s thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssss close to the weekend!! I’m particularly excited for a pretty chill weekend. I’ve got yoga on Saturday morning and I’m meeting some of my favorite gals for coffee on Sunday. Otherwise, I plan to read, clean, cook, and eat….and that’s about it! Does that make me lame? I don’t really care! It brings me joy…just like shrimp do!! (I am a fantastic transitioner – obvi!)

I was cravvvvvvvvvvvving shrimp for weeks. I still wish I could eat my weight in them. But alas, they cost monies. These particular shrimp were free, though, thanks to Kyle and Melinda!! (Woot! You guys rock!!) So when ya got shrimp, ya make shrimp scampi!

This recipe is sooooooooooooooo simple. The ingredient list is pretty short, too, which makes it even better in my book! And they’re all just real, tasty, albeit not the most healthy, but if you’d like you can go ahead and substitute whole grain pasta if you’d like. My hubby doesn’t love it, so this time around I stuck to plain old pasta. I also use a combination of real butter and olive oil here…the butter is important so I wouldn’t recommend omitting it completely, but if you’re more comfortable using more oil than butter I’d say go for it! Here’s the recipe!!

Twenty-Something & Starving

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shrimp scampi Shrimp Scampi

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish

Bring a large, salted pot of water to boil. Prepare the spaghetti to package directions.

Meanwhile, melt the two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes until fragrant.

Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until pink. Add the wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice and cook for another 5 minutes until the sauce reduces just a bit. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and toss in the parsley.

Serve immediately over spaghetti!

shrimp scampi close up

Do you have a Real Food Recipe you’d like to share?! Share your Real Food Recipes with other folks like you and me who love to cook and eat!! No judgement. Nothing fake. Just the real deal!!

What I Ate Wednesday #10

Hello, world!! A very happy Wednesday to you.

I’ve grown particularly fond of Wednesday’s lately, thanks (pretty much in ALL parts) to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting the wonderful linkup that is What I Ate Wednesday. I really do love sitting around Wednesday nights and going through as many other blogs as I can to check out what everyone else is munching. I think it’s silly and fun to see how we’re really all the same, you know. We all get stuck in ruts. We all have a few favorite things that we eat all the time (like my string cheese!). We all seek inspiration from others at times to shake up our food routines. And we all love to eat! Taking a peek into someone else’s life for a day can be kind of exciting, don’t you think?! Here are my Wednesday eats!!

Breakfast: I had a big bowl of Special K Chocolaty Delight with Red Berries with some 1% milk, a clementine, and some decaf Lady Grey tea. I actually keep cereals like this on hand for dessert most of the time! Late at night (ya know, 9 o’clock) and when I want something sweet I’d rather have a little 100 calorie bowl of cereal and low fat milk than cookies or candy, ya know what I mean?
specialk

Snack: I had a hard-boiled egg, followed shortly by a string cheese. 

hbegg stringcheeseLunch: Very soon after my snacks I felt suuuuuper hungry. Like…I had the hungry shakes. Does anyone else ever experience those?? I stood up and was like “Whoa, man, I need to eat something right now before I fall over.” Not qutie sure what the deal was with this today, as I felt like I had eaten enough up to that point in time. I decided not to mess around, though, and I got up and made my lunch right away. I had a Morning Star Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger on a whole wheat engish muffin with 1/4 of a perfectly ripe avocado, cilantro, and butter lettuce leaves! I had some baby carrots on the side, too. I usually bring along some cheese and salsa to go with my veggie burgers, too, but I forgot them today. Oh well, it was still delicious (and I made much less of a mess eating it!)!

veggieburger

Snack: I ate lunch at my desk today so Johnny and I had our full lunch hour to head over to the outlets on our break. We made a pitstop at Starbucks and I snagged a decaf-short-soy-latte with cinnamon dolce sprinkles on top!! It was perfect to sip while we walked around outside, as it’s a tad bit chilly out. I can’t complain too much, though, as 45 degrees is waaaaaaaaaaay better than 2 degrees! I also had a few dried apple slices when we got back to work. (Thanks again, Nicole!)

babylatte driedapples

PreGym Snack: Today I had a Carrot Cake Luna Bar. Chocolate Peppermint Stick is still my favorite of the Luna Bars (followed VERY closely by S’mores). I like the carrot cake one, but not as much as I hoped considering how much I adore carrot cake! What’s your favorite Luna Bar flavor??

lunabar

Dinner: Oh man. I loved dinner tonight. So quick and tasty, which in my opinion are two adjectives that should describe every dinner ever! NO RECIPE RECIPE: I grilled some chicken on the George Forman grill that I rubbed with some store bought pesto. When I pulled them off the grill I topped each with a slice of 2% milk provolone cheese. I sauteed some cherry tomatoes in garlic with a touch more pesto to top mine and had some green beans with garlic, lemon, and olive oil on the side. Absolutely perfect dinner!!

pesto chicken and green beansThat’s all she wrote, today!! Though, I won’t lie, I’m pretty sure imma snag a piece of toast with some pb&j on it and a glass of milk when I watch Top Chef later!! Perhaps I’ll update the post later with a photo. We’ll see! Anyone else out there a Top Chef fan?? I’m routing for Shirley this season…or for Louis to come back and win it all from last chance kitchen!! His smile …. he’s so adorable … and I’d eat the heck out of his food!!!

Until next time! Hopefully I’ll be posting a recipe later this weekend! And you’ll be getting a Baby Yoder update soon, too! Only TWO WEEKS until we know if it’s a boy or a girl!!!!

 

 


It’s Over!

“But Jen, to what could you possibly be referring??”
I’m so glad you asked!
Winter.

Winter is over and Spring has finally arrived!!

Now that it’s official, I have decided to share with you the things that I like the least about Winter.

  1. The cold. I’m always freezing and when it’s freezing outside, too, there is no hope for a warm Jen.
  2. The snow. Pennsylvania drivers in the snow. Because they stink. Period.
  3. Shivering under three comforters at night. Basements get super cold, ya know.
  4. Wearing socks every day.

I. Hate. Wearing. Socks.

^^^ Sockless Comic Book Jen ^^^

I guess it’s only fair to also share what I’m going to miss most about Winter, right? Sooooo…..

  1. Using “being cold” as an excuse to drink excessive amounts of hot chocolate.
  2. Watching Quincy in the snow for the first time. First he was scared of it…and then he ate it.
  3. Making soup for dinner. (because I am the only person on the planet who would be perfectly content eating soup every night forever)
  4. Making fun of people in marshmallow jackets – because they look silly.

[I would LOVE to hear what you will and won’t be missing about the winter, too! leave comments!]

Now that I’ve said my formal farewell to Winter, I am so super excited that Spring is finally here!! Today, I decided to celebrate it’s arrival with a light, simple springy dinner. Now that I’ve shared with you my bare feet, I’m certain you’re starving!

Simple Chicken Cutlets

& Deconstructed Pesto Pasta

For the Chicken Cutlets:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Olive Oil, for frying
  • 1 lemon (use the zest for the pasta)

For the Deconstructed Pesto Pasta:

  • 1 box whole wheat linguine  (or whatever you enjoy)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula, chopped
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Start with the chicken. It’s best for chicken cutlets to have a nice, thin piece of chicken. If your chicken is on the thick side, you’ll want to place your chicken on a cutting board and top with a piece of parchment paper. Whack it mercilessly with a heavy object – like a small frying pan – until each breast is about 1/4 inch thick, like so. (NOTE: Good to make after a bad day 🙂 )

*WHACK*  *POW* *THWAP* *ZONK*

(sorry, comic book Jen got a liiiiitttle carried away. back to your regularly scheduled recipe.)

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.

Combine the flour, parmesan, pepper, and garlic in a shallow dish. Combine the egg and the water in a separate dish. Dredge the chicken breasts first in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, then back in the flour mixture. Gently fry the chicken in small batches (two at a time is good) on each side until golden brown. Place chicken onto an ungreased sheetpan and place into your preheated oven while you finish cooking the rest of them.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta to package directions. Before draining, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside.

Once pasta is drained, leave it in your colander (drainer, strainer, whatever ya call it),  and heat olive oil, garlic and lemon zest  right in the pasta pot. Return drained pasta to the pot. Toss in the basil, arugula and walnuts. If it seems stiff, add the reserved pasta water. Add the parmesan immediately before serving.

Remove chicken from the oven and squeeze half of the lemon over top.
Serve immediately… with lemon slices if you’re feeling fancy!

Me, I’m always feeling fancy. 🙂

Ready, Set, Blog . . .

Alright folks, this is it. Project Food Blog has opened for entries and I am one of nearly 2,000 contestants hoping to win the grand prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to become “the next food blog star!” Pretty freakin’ sweet, right?!

I know!

Essentially, contestants will be competing in a series of 10 challenges from now through December and  posts will be judged by a panel of judges AND blog readers. Voting opens Monday, September 20th! (Don’t worry, I’ll remind you then to go and vote for me! )

So here I go …

Ready, Set, Make Cookies!

Lemon Raspberry Cookies, to be exact. Let’s take a look at them, shall we.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Cooooookiesssssssssssss.

Of all the cookies I’ve made in all of my years of cookie baking (about 12 I’d say, if you were curious) these lemon raspberry cookies have been the most requested, raved about, likely to be devoured cookies I have ever made. This could be the case for several reasons.

Reason # 1: These cookies are tasty.
I hate to toot my own horn, but these cookies are amazing. Combining the tart flavor of lemon with the sweetness of raspberries creates a sensation that I can only describe as bliss in my mouth.  I’m certainly not the first person to combine the flavors of lemon and raspberry, Martha Stewart’s done it, but there is something special about these particular cookies that make them incredible. Perhaps it’s…

Reason # 2: These cookies are super moist.
Maybe it’s the stick and a half of butter. Maybe it’s the raspberry jam filling. Heck, maybe it’s the shower of confectioners sugar  they get (I don’t skimp, I cover both sides of these babies).
Whatever it is, you can keep these cookies for well over a week
(if you hold out on eating them that long) and they are still perfectly soft and chewy like you just made them. Maybe it has something to do with …

Reason # 3: I absolutely love making these cookies.
Though the list of ingredients is minimal, these cookies are pretty labor intensive. I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to say you could skip your workout for the day, but you need to be in the kitchen for quite a while to get a proper cookie, and I love every second of making these cookies. Here is how you do it…

Lemon Raspberry Cookies

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 jar all natural raspberry jam
  • Confectioners sugar, for dusting

Begin by combining the flours, baking powder and salt until just combined.
Set aside.

In an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and beat on low speed until everything is incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

Gently form the dough together with your hands. (At this point, you can continue to make the cookies as directed, or wrap the dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator for about a  week.) By the teaspoon full, roll the dough into little balls and gently flatten them onto a greased cookie sheet.  (This should make at least 50 little cookies, depending on how big or small you choose to make them.)

Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. The cookies should not be brown, but should be set and once cooled easily removed from the cookie sheet.

When all of the cookies are baked and cooled, take half of the cookies and spread with jam, topping each with another cookie. Once all of the cookies are paired, sprinkle generously with confectioners sugar.

And there you have it! My lemon raspberry cookies!

Now, onto why I think I should be the next food blog star.

Twenty-Something and Starving is not a healthy living blog – though I do my best to be healthy when I can. This blog is not devoted entirely to indulgent sweets – though I do like to indulge from time to time. Twenty-Something and Starving is me sharing the food that I love with others who love food and share this same philosophy. From a lighter take on Chicken and Corn Chowder to my butter laced Cashew Berry Blondies – Twenty-Something and Starving is for any and everyone who are exactly that…starving! The twenty-something part, well, that’s just me!

Slack Much?

I feel like I’ve been slacking lately. I’m not sure why, though. I worked just about 40 hours this week, which kept me pretty busy. I also got to go home to my parents house and spend time there, too, which was outstanding! 🙂

I guess I’ve just been busyish, not slackerish. I feel like now that I’m done with school I can’t be busy.  I guess I’m still adjusting to life as a graduate. I need to get my tush moving and applying for some real life jobs, but that’s another story.  At least I have the next two days in a row off work. That means stay up late and blog…obviously.

Anywho, I’ve been slacking with the posting – not the cooking. For the 4th of July I decided to make dessert! Shocking, I know. We spent the 4th with Johnny’s family and there were little puppies and cousins running wild! It was fun. 🙂

Rather than the traditional 4th of July flag cake , because let’s be honest, it’s soooooooo overdone, I decided to put my own spin on the whole red, white and blue colored dessert thing. The result was tasty enough to please even some of the pickier eaters in Johnny’s family. Cashew Blondies with red raspberries, blackberries (which, come on, are pretty blue looking) and white whipped cream.  How clever am I? *Pats Self On Back* Heh. I also made a refreshingly tart lemon berry coulis to drizzle on top and make it extra fancy…and red. I rock. Here is the recipe!

Cashew Berry Blondies

  • 1 cup whole what flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lightly salted cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the lemon zest and vanilla.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
Add the cashews and berries and mix to combine. (Don’t be afraid to mush some of the berries when you stir, I liked the resulting colors when the berries blended into the dough!)
Bake in a 9X9 pan until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

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