Wednesday, April 25, 2012

project 365 vol. 16 (instagram edition!)

Are y'all on instagram?  I love love love it!!  For those of you who don't know, instagram is an app for your phone that lets you edit pictures for free ninety-free.  I like using it to jazz up my normal, everyday's some examples from this past week:

Sunday April 15, 2012 
I had some oldy, moldy bananers laying around my kitchen, so I decided to turn them into banana bread last Sunday.  I searched the internets high and low for the perfect recipe, and I finally decided on one from Martha.  Can you really go wrong with her (excluding stock market tips, of course)?

Monday April 16, 2012
This was the week of putting things into boxes in preparation for the big move.  I bought this fancy paper from Public Storage, and it kept all of our glass stuff intact during the big haul.

Tuesday April 17, 2012
I think this could be one of the most frustrating things that could ever happen to a teacher: cleaning up the room after a long, hard day, seeing that someone has left a pencil sharpener on his/her desk, picking up said pencil sharpener, and, finally, dropping teeny tiny pencil shavings ALL over the floor!! Waaaahhhh!

Wednesday April 18, 2012
I used to bring a nalgene filled with water with me to school everyday, but recently I've started doing something else that I prefer.  I still bring the nalg, but I also bring this cute little cup.  Then, I pour some water into the cup and sip away all day.  I don't know why, but I really like doing that!  I guess it makes me feel more at home?  AND I don't have to unhinge my jaw to drink straight from the nalgene...always a bonus.
Thursday April 19, 2012
Look at this pretty drawing that someone made for me!  7th graders are just so clever, no?

Friday April 20, 2012
On this day, I was out of baggies.  I like to call this picture "plan B"...
Saturday April 21, 2012
It's moving day, it's moving day, hey baby hey!  Look at Austin in that U-Haul...what a big, manly, movin' stud!

**By the way, that moving song was inspired by Michelle Tanner.  If you've seen the episode of Full House where Uncle Jesse and Becky come back from their honeymoon and move out of the house, you'll know what I'm talking about.  If not, please disregard the moving song and just look at Austin in a U-Haul.

Friday, April 20, 2012

cilantro lime shrimp pasta

If you haven't noticed from reading my recent posts, I am slightly excited about summer.  One of my favorite things about summer is the clothes.  I love just being able to walk outside and not have to worry about what I'm wearing.  In the winter I have to put on AT LEAST two layers of pants and three layers of tops/shirts before stepping outside my door.  In the summer I can just throw on some nike shorts and a t-shirt and I am good to geaux.

Apparently summer time brings me back to my cajun roots.

I don't think I have any actual cajun roots, but oh well.  A girl can dream.

Speaking of my non-existant cajun roots, let's talk about some seafood!  Specifically, this cilantro lime shrimp pasta that I created a week or so ago.  It is 1) easy 2) delicious 3) the perfect thing to make for summer!

Three cheers for summer!!! 

Shimp! Shrimp! Hooray!!  Shimp! Shrimp! Hooray!!  Shimp! Shrimp! Hooray!!

Alright, enough of all that business.  Here's the shrimp, yo:

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Pasta
(Serves 2 hungry boys, 1 normal ballerina, and 1 cute boyfriend for lunch the next day)
1 ½ lbs raw, deveined shrimp
juice and zest of 2 limes
about 3/4ths of a bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt &pepper
½ tsp sugar
olive oil
pasta of your choosing

First, you'll want to wash off your cilantro and peel all of your shrimp.  Stick the shrimp back in the fridge while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
Clean cilantro.  Naked shrimp.
Next, you'll want to prep all of your stuff for the marinade.  Chop up the cilantro, mince the garlic, and zest and juice the limes.  Once all of that is done, stick everything in a bowl.  (Everything=the cilantro, garlic, lime zest and juice, sugar, and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper). 

Cilantro in the bowl waiting for some limes

Now it's time to pour in the olive oil.  There isn't an exact amount that I can give you guys, sorry!  It's like making a have to just drizzle it in little by little until it looks right.  I probably added in about 1/3 of a cup. 

Once your marinade looks right, throw in the shrimp and toss to coat. 

Stick that in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes.  You don't want to leave it in there for too long, or you'll end up with ceviche.

At this point in the recipe you can choose what you would like your next step to be:

1) Stick the marinated shrimp on skewers and grill away

2) Throw the marinated shrimp on a foil-lined sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until your shrimp is just pink throughout. 

I chose to go for option number two because I do not have a grill.  Bummer.

However, the shrimp look and taste great when roasted in the oven!  Take a peek:

While the shrimp is 1) grilling or 2) roasting away, boil up some of your favorite pasta (I chose good ol' angel hair)...

Drain the pasta, return it to the pan, and add in your grilled or roasted shrimp.  Toss that around, and add in some extra olive oil/butter if the pasta looks a little dry.  The good thing about roasting the shrimp is that all of the glorious juices remain on the sheet pan, and you can just pour that over the pasta.  Yum Yum.

I served my pasta with some fresh cilantro on top, a big lime wedge, some corny corn corn, and a slice of garlic bread.  It was a delicious dinner, and it was ready pretty quick!

This summer I will definitely be making this again.  Maybe I'll try grilling the shrimp next time and serving it along with a pineapple pico de gallo and a big, fruity summer drank. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

project 365 vol. 15

Time to see what's been goin' on this past week!

Sunday April 8, 2012
Easter Sunday!  Those were my socks.  They keep the barefoot ballerina's toesies warm.

Monday April 9, 2012
I got a package in the mail!  For my birthday my Aunt Lana gave me a giftcard to a certain underpants store, and this package contained my loot!  Thanks Lan-dan!!
Tuesday April 10, 2012
On Tuesday I was early to school.  Like, really early to school.  I don't know how or why that happened, but I do know that being early means I had enough time to stop for doughnuts.  My friend, Carrie, told me about this amazing little shop in Allen (she works in this neck of the woods too), so I decided to try it out.  YUM!  It's a good thing I like my sleep.  Otherwise, I'd be early a lot more often, and I'd be a chunk!

Wednesday April 11, 2012
Hey guess what?  We are moving!  We started packin' up on this Wednesday...sorry for the unusual amount of boxes in this post.  I guess it was a boxy week.

Thursday April 12, 2012
 Last Thursday I "forgot" my lunch.  Oops.  Guess that means I have to run to Sonic.  ...and feel like bloato the fatbot for the rest of the afternoon.

Friday April 13, 2012
My students were working on poetry last week.  I made this little display to show off some of their concrete poems...they are so cute!
Saturday April 14, 2012
On Saturday we went to the pool.  It was not the perfect pool day, but we went anyways.  I put on my new swim suit.  I ate a hot dog.  I wore my towel as a blanket.  I crossed my fingers and wished for summer... 

Monday, April 16, 2012

recipes-old & new

For the past few weeks I've been trying to mix it up in terms of what's for dinner.  I like trying new things, but sometimes it's nice to cook something that you know is going to turn out delicious. 

Here's some fresh recipes and a couple of old standbys.

Shrimp Etouffee:
Here's a link to the recipe from eat, live, run.

Before I started cooking this, I got my ingredients all lined up and ready for the pool.  Being prepared made this recipe a lot easier to make.

This recipe was pretty simple and easy to follow.  It's definitely not the healthiest thing in the world, but it is delicious!  I think it would be really great with some crawfish and sausage in there too. 

Herb-Parmesan Chicken Nuggets:
Here's a link to my recipe for these chicken nuggies.
I did a step-by-step post on how to make these a little while ago, so if you're looking for a fancy twist on regular chicken nuggets, here ya go!  These were great with this 5 minute mac n cheese from Picky Palate(here's a link) and some good ol' rolls from a can.

Here's the lasagna recipe.
Lasagna is definitely one of my favorite go-to dishes when I don't really know what else to cook.  I just use the recipe on the back of the noddle box, and if I'm feeling frisky I'll add in some fresh basil or a fancy type of cheese. 

For one of our first dates Austin and I made a lasagna together, so I always like making it again for him.  *cue the cheeseball music*  It's funny to remember that little date.  We cooked at his house, so I had to bring over pretty much all of the ingredients (I think he had some salt and pepper and that was it), and I even had to lug over my big pyrex dish.  When I walked in the door, all of my materials clanking around in the pyrex pan, his best friend/roommate was sitting in the living room with him and immediately started to give us a hard time about our little lasagna date.

Chicken Enchiladas with Rice and Beans:    
Ok, this dish does not really have a "recipe" at all...I kind of just threw a bunch of stuff into a bowl, threw that into some tortillas, and then poured enchilada sauce and cheese on top and stuck it in the oven. 

I prepared some chicken like I do when I'm making arroz con pollo, shredded it up, and put it in a bowl.  To the bowl, I added about a cup of monterray cheese, about 3/4th of a cup of enchilada sauce, some onions that I had diced and sauted, and two diced roma tomatoes.  The chicken mixture filled 8 tortillas, and once those were rolled up and in a pyrex dish, I just poured some more enchilada sauce on top and sprinkled on some more monterray cheese.  I baked this at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (until the cheese was doing that whole "melty" and "bubbly" thing). 

For the rice, I just added a packet of Goya seasoning to my rice cooker. 

For the beans, I used my crockpot.  You can read the recipe here.  I'm sure these beans are a LOT healthier than the kind you find at a restaurant, and they are so easy to make!  I thought they were scrumptous.

Lemon Basil Chicken:
Here's my recipe for this lemon basil chicken.
This recipe is an oldie, but definitely a goodie.  I just can't get over how easy it is to make, and how delicious the end result is!  If you haven't tried it yet, you really should!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp Pasta:
I came up with this recipe idea after doing some "research" on Pinterest about a week ago.  I will do a step-by-step post in the next few days so that y'all can make it too.  It was delicious and boyfriend & boyfriend's best friend approved!

Buffalo Chicken Tacos:
Here's the recipe for these tacos.
I made these a while back, and the other night when I made them again they were just as good as I remembered.  They are very easy to make, and there was enough left over for Austin to have for lunch the next day.  Leftover buffalo chicken=happy boyfriend.

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce:

Here's the link to this chicken from the Pioneer Woman.
This recipe comes to you courtesy of the Pioneer Woman.  I love that lady and her recipes oh so much.  This chicken was really great.  The sauce is creamy and rich, but tangy too because of the mustard.  I bet it would be awesome on some fish!

I served this chicken up with some roasted veggies and a big chopped salad:

Oreo Mint Chocolate Cookies:
Here's the recipe for these yummy cookies.
Now it's time for the dessert round!  I made these cookies around St. Patty's day for the kickball crew.  The original recipe calls for mint chips, but I could not find any of those suckers at Kroger.  I DID find some Andes mints though, and I think those tasted juuuust fine :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

project 365 vol. 14

Sunday April 1, 2012
On Sunday of last week we were heading back to Dallas from College Station.  We stopped at Buc-ees and I drooled at their popcorn aisle.  I wish I could tell y'all that the previous statement is an April fool... 

Monday April 2, 2012
I wore a white dress to school on Monday.  At lunch I dropped some blackened chicken on it.  It was awesome.

Tuesday April 3, 2012
This Tuesday was c-r-a-z-y!  There were like 15 tornadoes swirling around Dallas, and people were going nuts!  Luckily, none came to visit me in Allen or to our apartment.  However, we all had to stay after school (teachers and students) for 15 extra minutes.  It was pretty much a zoo.

Wednesday April 4, 2012
This was the Wednesday after Austin found out about his new job at The Richard's Group.  I took him to dinner to celebrate!  We went to Outback, and I drank a wallaby-darned.  Yum. 

Thursday April 5, 2012
Have y'all seen these new mini Ben and Jerry's ice cream containers?!  They are so cute!  And they come with the tiniest spoon!  I could just eat them up...and so I did :) 

Friday April 6, 2012
On this Friday Austin was nominated for an award.  Soooo, we got to go to this fancy ceremony and dress in fancy ceremony clothes and eat fancy ceremony food and socialize with fancy ceremony people.  It was fancy.

Saturday April 7, 2012
Saturday!  The second day of gambling in Shreveport for my Nanaw's birthday!  I decided to take a picture of my winnings from the previous evening.  I'm rich!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nanaw's 80th Birthday!

Welp, it's that time again.  Another one of my grandparents turned the big 8-0, and my family went nuts celebrating. 

This past weekend, my mom's side of the family packed it up and headed to Shreveport, LA for my Nanaw's 80th birthday!  It was quite the adventure. 

On Friday afternoon, we checked in at the Sam's Town hotel and casino...

And a little later that night we surprised Nanaw at a yummy Italian restaurant called Monjuni's.  She was a bit startled to say the least :)

She seriously had no clue that all of us would be joining her on her "inpromptu trip to the casino", so you probably could have knocked her over with a feather when she walked in and saw all of her friends, kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

For dinner, I ordered this eggplant parmesan (delicious!):

And for dessert I ate the icing off of the Italian cream cheese cake that they brought my grandparents... 

Once we were back at the hotel, Nanaw opened her presents.  She got a purse and lots of money to put in the purse (and then take back out of the purse and gamble with).

Since that money was just burning a hole in her pocket, we decided to hit the casino, VIP player cards in hand!

The first night was so much fun.  We mostly stuck to the slots...

Aunt Cheri, Nanaw, Aunt Linda, and Sherbo

Saturday morning/afternoon was reserved for shopping on the Louisiana Boardwalk.

We went into tons of stores and I bought some things I just couldn't live without, but I was mostly interested in taking silly pictures of my fam bam.

Here's two red heads with their namesake truck:
Gregg and Jimbo
And here we all are being eaten by the alligators outside of Bass Pro Shop:




For dinner that night we went to Copeland's of New Orleans for some good ol' Louisiana seafood.  I ordered the shrimp and crab cake alfredo which was just scrumptous, and for dessert my dad and I split a reeses cheesecake:

We all had such a great time.  I've said it once and I'll say it again: my family is the best, and I love them so.  Happy 80th bird day Nanaw!  Here's to 80 more!!