Avocado Shrimp *Salad

I made this delicious, light, colorful dinner tonight and I think it was worth sharing. I found the recipe on a Facebook video ( I usually always save them and never make them 🙄) and it is quick and easy. I highly recommend it! The original #Recipe calls this a salsa but we ate it as a salad.

Ingredients

1 lb raw shrimp peeled and deveined*

1/4 tsp Salt and black pepper, or to taste

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 medium limes, juiced

2 medium/large avocados

1/2 english cucumber

3 medium tomatoes

1 small red onion finely diced

1/2 cup Cilantro (1/2 bunch) chopped

Instructions

1 Season shrimp lightly with salt and pepper. Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add shrimp in a single layer and cook 3 minutes total, turning once halfway. Saute just until cooked through then remove from the pan. Transfer to cutting board, coarsely chop and place into a large mixing bowl.

2 Squeeze the juice of 3 medium limes over the shrimp, stir and set aside to marinate while you prepare remaining salsa ingredients.

3 Dice cucumber, tomato and avocado and add them to the mixing bowl with shrimp.

4 Finely dice onion and chop 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro. Add to the mixing bowl then stir together all of the ingredients until well combined and serve.

The original recipe served this as a salsa with tortilla chips. Since we’re trying to be healthy we ate this as a salad.

Original bloggers video: here

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Italy at Home

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest a really long time ago and have been repeating year after year. It was titled Prosciutto Tomato and Olive Spaghetti, I title it Yum.

Every time I search my Pinterest the link is blocked or broken so I cannot give credit to anyone, unfortunately.

It’s light but full of big flavors and when cooked while listening to Italian music you may have feelings of actually being in Italy!

Ingredients

▪ (1 pound) dried spaghetti

▪ (8 cups) cold water

▪ 2 teaspoons sea salt

▪ 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

▪ 5 garlic cloves, finely minced

▪ 2 shallots, finely minced

▪ (~ 1 cup) pitted kalamata olives)

▪ 3 to 4 tomatoes, diced

▪ 1/2 cup dry white wine

▪ 2 tablespoons tomato paste or concentrate

▪ (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut up

▪ reserved pasta water (optional)

▪ FRESH Parmesan cheese, grated

▪ a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

▪ (less than 1/2 pound) prosciutto, preferably Parma , at room temerature

Instructions:

In a large pot, bring 8 cups) of cold water to a boil. When it boils, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package instructions, stirring often to loosen up the sticky strands.

Drain the cooked spaghetti, but save about 1 cup of the pasta water. Set aside.

Wipe clean the same pot and set over medium heat with olive oil. When oil is hot, lower heat to medium-low and sauté garlic and shallots until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Increase heat to medium again, add olives, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the diced tomatoes and cook until soft, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the wine and stir until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste and butter until dissolved.

Put the pasta back in the pot and gently mix until each strand is coated in the sauce. Add reserved pasta water if the sauce seems too dry.

Toss with Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve on warmed plates and garnish with prosciutto slices.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

CARBONARA WITH PAN SEARED SCALLOPS

Recipe from: Art and the Kitchen

Last night I made this delicious meal from Art and the Kitchen. It’s an extremely simple meal to make and is full of flavor so it brightened up our gloomy, rainy WA winter night. Enjoy!

COURSE: DINNER PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES SERVINGS: 4 AUTHOR: LAUREEN KING

Perfectly seared scallops served with a quick and simple carbonara pasta.

INGREDIENTS

• Ingredients for Scallops

• 1 Lb scallops

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 2 tbsp butter

• Salt and Pepper

• Ingredients for Carbonara

• 8 slices of thick cut bacon diced I try to find bacon with less fat, or cut away excess fat

• 1 shallot finely sliced

• 1 clove garlic leave whole

• 4 green onions

• 2 egg yolks

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• 2 cup parmigiano reggiano grated

• fresh ground pepper

• 14 oz pasta of your choice -I used Spaghetti

INSTRUCTIONS

1 Pasta Carbonara

2 Start cooking pasta in large stainless steel pot.

3 In small bowl mix together cream, egg yolks and 3/4 of cheese.

4 In large skillet cook bacon until crisp, add shallots and 1/2 green onions.

5 Smash down garlic clove a bit, add to bacon. (remove prior to adding pasta)

6 When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet of bacon.

7 Toss well, then transfer to large bowl.

8 Add cream mixture to pasta and combined well. Make sure pasta is still hot in order to cook the eggs and melt the cheese.

9 Arrange pasta on plate, top with seared scallops, add some fresh ground pepper, grated parmesan, and green onions.

10 Perfect Pan Seared Scallops

11 Blot scallops with paper towel to remove any water. Salt and pepper.

12 Heat large non-stick frying pan, add 2 tablespoons olive oil.

13 Make sure frying pan is hot before adding scallops but not smoking.

14 Add scallops leaving plenty of space between. Overcrowding the pan will drop the pan temperature and cause scallops to steam rather than sear. (may have to do in batches)

15 Sear for about 2-4 minutes or when bottom is a nice golden brown. Don’t move them around in the pan or you will prevent them from forming that nice brown crust. After a couple of minutes have peek under to see if golden brown.

16 Turn to sear other side. (about 1-3 more minutes)

17 Add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan now.

18 Spoon the melted butter over the scallops as the other side finishes cooking.

19 Transfer to paper towel covered plate.

20 Keep warm in oven, if making in batches

10 Reasons I Keep My House Clean

10 Reasons I Keep My House Clean

I stumbled upon this great post and wanted to share the 10 points with all of you. Growing up my mother was very adamant about each of these points. Generally speaking, in my own house I follow them! Do you?

1.  It just looks better.  This should be fairly obvious right?  Straightened sheets and comforters with pillows in their proper place are far more esthetically pleasing than disheveled blankets and a pile of pillows on the floor.  A sink full of dirty dishes just looks ugly, whereas I could stare at my clean and sparkly kitchen all day long.

Let’s break this down… in my life, if things aren’t in a certain order I go nuts! A sink full of dirty dishes? I want to barf. Not only does it look entirely lazy but when you have dogs going in and out of the house all day… so too do the flies and fruit flies. A sink full of dirty dishes will attract ANY and ALL bugs. GROSS

2.  I get more done when my house is clean.  Taking the time to focus on putting things in order–especially when I set the timer and race against the clock–seems to jumpstart my productivity.  When I ignore the mess and try to work around it, I am more easily distracted by whatever comes my way, and at the end of the day I’ll find I accomplished almost nothing.  It doesn’t mean I always keep my house clean, but I do get more done on the days that I do.

To me, this screams routine. When you have a cleaning routine *brush your teeth, wash your face, make the bed, get dressed * life becomes easier, I promise! Whenever my office is unorganized with task 1 here task 2 here, press release 3 there… I go nuts! IF everything is in it’s proper place it becomes one thing after another and you can bang out as many things as you want to!  

3.  I’m not embarrassed to have people over.  I love entertaining and throwing parties and get-togethers, & greatly value hospitality.  When my house is clean I am more likely to invite someone over on the spur of the moment.

I have a few people in the neighborhood that at any moment could and do text me, “I’m coming over for a glass of wine” “I’m on your street with the dogs, coming over” “Can I borrow some spices?” and they literally will be there within 3 minutes… I once was caught off guard/having a total lazy day and the house was a mess… = I ended up embarrassed. It never happened again.

4. I can find things.  When everything has a rightful place, it is so much easier to put it away and–surprise surprise–to find things again when we need them.

I struggle with this… my mother has said it for years, my husband says my mother-in-law does the same thing, I put something somewhere specific so that I remember exactly where I put it … then I forget that special secret hiding place. **MUST WORK ON THIS**

5.  My kids play better.  My children have the incredible ability to make a mess instantaneously.  Do your kids possess this talent?  Sometimes it seems like they spend their entire day just dragging stuff out so they can leave it on the floor.  During our great purge I got rid of 4 huge bins of toys, and there is still more purging yet to be done.  I have noticed, however, that when we keep their room clean (and I do make them help with this), they actually play much better.  Just like me, they can find the things they are looking for and focus on just one thing at a time instead of being overwhelmed by 5,000 toys staring at them from the floor.

We have no children but this sounds brilliant to me. 

6. It makes my husband happy.  Who wants to come home after a hard day’s work to a house full of chaos? There are far too many days when Husband comes home at 5:30 and the kids are hungry and crabby and screaming, dishes are piled in the sink, dinner isn’t made, and the rest of the house is a disaster.  (For the record, he never says anything negative and will dig right in and help with dinner, then do the dishes.)  But on the days the house is clean and dinner is made and the girls happily run to greet him at the door, there is an unspoken joy that lights up his face.

Replace kids with dogs and this is spot on in our house! 

7.  It saves money.  Taking care of my home and my things means I am less likely to need to replace something that gets lost or broken.  When things are messy I want only to escape the clutter, which can often mean going to Target and mindlessly filling a cart with even more stuff we don’t need.  When things are clean, I have no desire to be any place but here.

Nothing is better than a clean home. If your life is chaos and unorganized with clutter everywhere, do yourself a favor and take a weekend to clean out – it is AMAZING the things you’ll find that you bought at one time and hid somewhere and forgot about! I did this when we moved, basically I will never need any body soap/hair products every again! 

8.  I am more creative.  Instead of seeing nothing but the mess, my mind is clear to see the creative potential around me, and my desk and table are clear to spread out and complete a project.   Likewise, when my kitchen is clean, it makes me want to cook things!  I know this doesn’t bother some people, but I have a really hard time creating anything–or enjoying the process–when I am surrounded by clutter.

Amen

9.  It helps me get a good night sleep.  There is nothing I love more than crawling into a carefully-made bed.   It is so comforting!  Rather than needing to wrestle with tangled sheets or scoop up blankets from off the floor, I am instantly relaxed and ready for a night of rejuvenation.  Even if I can’t manage to get to the rest of the house, I almost always make my bed because I hate sleeping in a messy bed.  A made bed just feels better, the blankets stay on all night long, and I sleep much better.

I have this thing … I HAVE to shower before bed, I truly cannot stand going to bed without showering and getting that all over clean feeling. Now, we have dogs. If the bed isn’t made… and one of them happens to jump up on the bed… then the chances it’s dirty are high! I’ll stick to making the bed in the morning! 

10.  It’s my job.  When I signed up to be a stay-at-home wife, I agreed to all the duties that came with it, including keeping house.  It’s not Husband’s responsibility to go to work all day then come home and do my job too.  Yes, I work too, but my “work” is out of my house.

This is not a sexist thing. If my husband is even home his hours are absurd. If the situation was flip flopped cleaning, laundry, cooking etc. would be the LAST thing I wanted to do. I work from home therefore I have the ability to do the laundry, stick something in the crock pot, make the bed in the a.m. as part of my routine etc. Now, on the weekends – it’s all about team work but during the week – I got you babe!