Wednesday, April 20, 2011

16 New, 36 To Go

We've been eating lighter and healthier at the Sands household this week. No major changes, just coming out of the heavy doldrums of winter comfort food. It's spring and getting warm again. New fresh fruits and vegetables are sprouting up at the grocery store and the farmer's markets are reopening on the weekends. I've been craving bright clean flavors and that leafy green stuff. I think it's more than just the weather though.

Oh, the delicious indulgences we enjoyed in Chicago last weekend that I feel the need to make up for this week. Fattening heavy foods that no amount of walking can atone for, Chicago excels in this greasy arena and we made a serious effort to support the restaurant industry during our two day visit.(Is there a city with better restaurants? Nope, and yes, blog and photos to come.) Then our impending vacation to Phoenix next weekend, who wants to eat heavy food when you're anticipating relaxing by the pool in the 95 degree dry heat or hiking around Frank Loyd Wright's Taliesin estate on the 3 hour tour that Joe is jonesing to take? Then just in time for our vacation, the three brand new swimsuits just delivered to my door via Land's End. These lycra ladies are anxiously waiting to be tried on, vying for my affection with their retro vibes, bright colors or slimming secret powers. They will be pulled on repeatedly, their merits and flaws debated and tested (usually through vigorous jumping and dry land dog paddle and back stroke, performed while standing in front of the full length mirror, done to assure no sensitive bits escape or jiggle inappropriately.) Yet only one will emerge victorious. All women know that eating healthier and exercising, obviously things we should do year round, tend to ramp up when the weather warms up. Visions of my pale legs in shorts are taunting me at night, and the bulky, camouflaging sweaters are getting packed away so it's time to lighten up around here.

This week, the recipe is all Joe's find. He came across this great website, Food 52, last week with some interesting and easy seafood recipes. We tried the Shrimp a la Bittman tonight. One- because it's dead easy, two - because we both could eat shrimp everyday of the week and three - because lime and lemon zest and olive oil are three of the best ingredients ever combined to wake up your mouth.

Shrimp la Bittman

Paired with some roasted asparagus and tomato focaccia bread dipped in a little olive oil, it was pretty much the perfect spring meal. The shrimp, a pound or two cleaned and shelled, gets coated with a combination of olive oil, lemon and lime zest and juice and salt. The shrimp are roasted for about 8-10 minutes at 450 degrees. They cook quickly, they absorb the amazing citrus flavors and with a little extra salt at the end, they were scrumptious. Scattered over some angel hair pasta with a light dressing, tucked inside a taco shell with some avocado or on top of a green salad, these little pink beauties would perk up any weeknight meal. With the prep and cooking time all under 20 minutes, we will be making this again for sure.  I actually wish I'd doubled the recipe so we could have had some leftovers, note to self, do that next time. So this was number 16 on the new recipes count, with a goal of 52 new recipes cooked for the year, which means I'm right about on target!

And I must give credit to Joe here for a minute, just a rare minute. His addiction to kitchen equipment has been well documented and if you set foot in our kitchen you can see the effects on our stuffed-to-overflowing drawers. His purchase of the microplane (see red handled long thing in first photo) was mocked and ridiculed as just another unnecessary tool when he brought it home a few months ago. I believe I held it up disdainfully, rolled my eyes and said, "Where are we going to fit this one?" when he presented it. Now it has become one of my go-to tools in the kitchen. So while we may need at least four extra drawers to house all of his silly kitchen tools, some of them really are worth buying. Thanks, dear.


bethany actually said...

YOU MOCKED A MICROPLANE!? If you hadn't taken it back, I don't know if we could have remained friends. ;-) I loooooove my microplane.

(For the record, I have equal amounts of amusement and jealousy at Joe's kitchen-gadget collection.)

jastereo said...

So glad I can prove an amusement to you ladies!!! You all come see me when you need a potato ricer, a 2Cup dry measuring cup or a flexible spatula (in metal, silicone or fish variety...take your pick). Also Bethany, she may have a point, I did just insist that she get the 3rd (in-between size) oxo cookie scoop...what, it was new!

Nae said...

First of all, you can't have enough cookie scoops. Second of all, YUM that recipe has me drooling!!!!! I will have to put this on my list next week. Oh and the bathing suit descriptions, my dear, only you can write about the task of peeling suits on and off with such humor and somehow make me think about the Timewarp simultaneously.

Nae said...

PS: Microplanes are the bomb, as long as you don't get your fingernail or your knuckles involved....

AmyK said...

I'm with Bethany mocked a micro-plane? I'm pretty sure I agreed to move in with hubby because I fell in love with his. Okay, that's not quite true, but...We also have the wider-shorter one...3" x 6" or so? "Grate" for shredding large amounts of parmesan. I just bought the OXO mandolin. Love it. Hurray for kitchen gadgets?