Archive for the ‘favorite_things’ Category

>My Kitchen Addictions

>It’s well known I need to invest in company stock or get help for my serious dependence on all things Apple.

What you may not know however is I have several other “infatuations” hiding in the drawers in my kitchen. I don’t think it’s fair to say they’re obsessions or addictions since any good cook knows you have to have the tools of the trade.
Medicine Man likes to refer to it as “my martial art”. He says cooking is my own form of Zen practice because Of how it soothes me.

Some women go ga-ga over a new pair of shoes, or jewelry or the idea of spending hours trolling the jungles of dressing rooms and clothing racks to emerge laden with packages, boxes and bags of new clothes.

EWWWWWW!!!!!

I dread shopping for clothes and would happily employ a fashion guru to measure me, buy my clothes and pick out my outfits each day. DRAG!

My kitchen is my sanctuary. The place I pay homage to names like Betty Crocker, Julia Childs and Le Cordon Bleu.

Today I found these, I needed them, I did….no I did seriously. I needed more. I had to throw the others ones out because they had been chewed, melted, chopped and mangled. It was time to replace them.

They’re by Nordic Ware and I just loved the colors! I picked up this four pack of large spatulas and in addition a three pack of adorable little matching ones.
Ok…I also picked up a set of two others that were specific to cake and frosting and had these super pretty clear handles.

Out with the old..in with the new.

These colorful little beauties will be added to the drawer entirely dedicated to wooden spoons and spatulas.

Please don’t ask me how many I have of those and in how many different shapes and sizes.

It’s really quite embarrassing.

Outside of cooking utensils I have to come clean with my other two……dependencies. Yes that is an appropriate name for them, well at least one of them.

Measuring cups. You have to have them. Cooking DEPENDS on them. You NEED them. And personally I am of the mind you can’t have enough. So here you are, here are SOME of my measuring instruments and I don’t feel the least bit guilty for any of them.

That’s nothing compared to some kithens I’ve seen. But if you’re not happily enslaved to your kitchen like many are, here’s a quick lesson for you (and justification for buying as many measuring cups, bowls and pinch pots as your hearts desire).

The most important thing you should do before cooking anything is to prepare your ingredients. The French refer to this as ” mis en place “. It means “established” or literally “put in place”.
The reason being is everything should be out and ready to add as soon as the recipe calls for it. This prevents overcooking, burning, coagulation or any other myriad of problems that are just waiting to spoil a wonderful dish.
The other reason is to ensure you don’t get half way through your recipe and find you are missing a key ingredient because everything will be “in place.”

I love them all dearly but the shot glasses are my favorite because they make measuring out small amount of liquid easy with no mess.

And yes you don’t have to say it….my camera and I were NOT getting along today. It’s really a love-hate relationship at this point.

This brings us to my WORSE addiction. I can’t help myself and other than using “mis en place” and the fact I love single serving sized dishes as an excuse…I have none for this….

(sigh)

I can’t help myself.

I LOVE ramekins. If butter were a dish…it would be a ramekin in my world. The only reason I don’t have more is I have no more space in my kitchen for them. I would have a whole pantry full of them if I could.

I would have them in every color of the rainbow, every shape and size imaginable and die happy.

The best thing you could do is keep me away from Amazon.com or Home Goods. ESPECIALLY Home Goods where they seem to have the more incredible rotating stock of ramekins.

See those with the scalloped edges up there? Just bought them a couple of weeks back and you don’t want to know how hard it was to walk out of the store with just the white. They came in purple, teal, red, yellow and green as well.

PAINFUL!

So there you have it. Those are my worst addictions in my kitchen…..but not my only ones.

Do you have cooking or kitchen obsessions?

Go on….admit them here.

I’m certainly not going to judge.
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>Apple and Drunk Shrimp Pasta

>The was a little excitement in the house yesterday. We had a special delivery of our long awaited little one. Just a precious dear thing, wrapped up in a little bundle ready for plenty of attention.

WHAT?? A BABY!!??? Are you crazy? I have three boys and am already 40.

No you silly it’s our iPad 2, white with 64g and Verizon 3G connect.

Do NOT freak me out like that again.

As you know (or at least you do now) I work at home for a medical software company. I’m sure if I look in my contract somewhere in tiny tiny small print it says multi-tasking is a must and all financial compensation relies on said function.

We are growing and growing fast and any given time of day I’m working on several things at once. I can’t complain, I work at home (yes I said that) and have six weeks of paid time off each year since I started. Plus it’s a pretty cool company to work for.

Happy herbs

I needed something to help me keep track of everything for work, the clients, meetings, you name it.

Through trial and error and some major crash and burns I’ve found a few programs and functions that have helped me along the way. One of them is a fantastic program called “NoteBook” by a company called Circus Ponies – you have to love that!

I wont get into how amazing this thing is and how its like having a document folder, paper notebook, voice memo recorder, to do list secretary all in one place. What I can tell you is it has revolutionized the way I work and helped me find more time to take on more tasks. Hmmmm did I just say that was a good thing?

Furthermore CircusPonies should be paying me royalties for as many people Ive turned on to this.

Hello Adam Developer are you listening?

Anyway a few months back I saw the Notebook developers were coming out with a full fledged iPad app of the program that would allow me to synch my notes between my MAC and iPad without losing any of the functions I love about the MAC version. That was stipulated of course on the fact I HAD both.

At that time I did not … Yet.

Did I mention it’s only for Apple products? I don’t think I did. Sorry PC’s.

I knew then and there I was going to get an iPad if only for this program but I wanted too wait until the new iPad was released and of course the Notebook app as well.

So I waited and waited and finally all the planets aligned (which translated means the Notebook app was published, the iPad was released and I had the money to pay for it). Put my order in wait two weeks and viola it arrived on my doorstep yesterday courtesy of the Boys in Blue. (FedEx) Or do they really wear a shade of dark purple? May an indigo or violet.

Not only did Notebook synch like a charm and work amazing but I found some super cool other apps that were not available on my iPhone. (yes I am a total Apple convert. More a MACaholic I think and no I don’t want therapy thank you)

For example the app I’m writing this entire blog post from with drop and drag photo integration – Blogsy. Just fun and easy to use although it’s pretty new and I’m finding has some quirks to work out. 

Then there is a web browser that looks, acts and feels just like Firefox – Terra

The most uber awesomest app so far (next to Notebook of course) – Air Display.

This unassuming little program turns my iPad into a separate monitor for my MAC where I can drop and drag programs running on my laptop back and forth between the two screens. Talk about genius! Sure the whole dual monitor thing has been around forever but to have it avail on the iPad where it’s not taking up so much desk space and has it’s own spectacular use to it – genius! Practical and genius!!

The whole house was giddy (as silly as it seems considering it’s only a piece of technology) with it’s ultimate total coolness in a cute sleek little thing.

So it called for a party. (of sorts – or perhaps just an excuse to eat something super creamy & buttery. But then I never need an excuse to do that).

Something about vodka pasta called to me….but I didn’t have vodka, and I wanted shrimp too. Digging through my pantry I found rum and vermouth and it gave me an idea. Consulted the shrimp – they were all in.

Party time!

Boy were they smashed!

I understand their excitement but I think they took it a little too far.

It was no use trying to sober the little party animals up, they were good and cooked!

And let me tell you… Sooo delicious 🙂

Drunk Shrimp Pasta



Ingredients:

6 oz linguine or pasta of choice
3/4 lb. peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp
4 medium tomatoes mini diced and juices reserved
OR
1 14oz can petite diced tomatoes (if you do not have the fresh herbs buy a can of Italian seasoned tomatoes)
1/8 cup fresh basil chopped
2 Tbs fresh sage chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
2 Tbs fresh oregano chopped
3-4 large garlic cloves chopped but not minced
4 Tbs real butter
3 Tbs vermouth
3 Tbs rum
3 Tbs heavy cream
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
3 basil leaves coarsely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preparations:

1. Pour tomato, 1/3 of the garlic, parsley, sage, basil, oregano into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Let sit for a minimum of 20 minutes to infuse flavors.

2. Cook pasta to package directions. Drain and mix with 1-2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil to prevent sticking.

3. In a large skillet or Dutch oven melt 2 Tbs butter. Add shrimp and saute until just beginning to pink up.
4. Add onion and sauté for two minutes on medium heat or just until soft but not brown. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

5. Add tomato mixture and cook 7 minutes until reduced slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Pour in rum and vermouth and cook another 5-7 minutes until aroma of alcohol subsides and incorporates into sauce.

7. Add remaining butter and cream. Cook until thickened about 3-5 minutes.

8. Combine sauce and pasta, mix well. Serve.

CLICK TO PRINT RECIPE
 

>My Favorite Things – Office

>Apple and Drunk Shrimp Pasta

>My Favorite Things – Kitchen

>Food

Tools of the Trade

My Kitchen Addictions

>My Favorite Things – Hobbies

>Photography

Scapbooking

Writing

>My Favorite Things – Closet

>Coming Soon

>My Favorite Things – Bedroom

>Coming Soon