Shrimp is What’s for Dinner

On my drive home from work the other day I happened to hear an advertisement for shrimp at Whole Food’s for $7.99/lb.  I was super excited because LJ had been requesting shrimp for dinner the past couple weeks….but I was less than happy to pay $14.99/lb.  Not only were these on sale….they were caught in North Carolina ….score!  I also decided to spoil myself with some tulips.  I LOVE the Virginia grown tulips there!

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With our parents living in Wilmington, NC and vacationing at multiple North Carolina beaches. …..crabs and shrimp quickly became a frequent (favorite) dinner when we’re home.  So, I thought I’d share with you how we steam shrimp.  The recipe comes from Old Bay.

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Also pictured: Ketchup and horseradish for cocktail sauce…..and of course corn bread mix. Jiffy cornbread muffins are a MUST when we have shrimp for dinner 🙂

Here’s What You’ll Need:

2 Tablespoons Old Bay

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup water

1-2 pounds of shrimp (double above recipe if you have more)

Mix all of the ingredients together, then bring the mixture to a boil.

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Once it’s boiling add the shrimp.

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Cover the pot and let the shrimp steam for 3-5 minutes.  I think mine were ready about 4 minutes.  Pay attention to your shrimp….the worst thing you could do is over cook them!  Rubbery shrimp are definitely NOT appetizing!

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Once they are a gorgeous pink color, pour them into a strainer in the sink.  Cover with ice to cool the shrimp and prevent them from cooking further.

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shrimp 007While your shrimp are cooling….don’t forget to make the cocktail sauce (horseradish + ketchup, keep adding horseradish to your desired spiciness level)!

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Finally it is time to sit down and enjoy!  Super easy dinner and they are delicious!

Megan and Matt left yesterday for 10 days in Ireland ( I am beyond jealous!)  LJ and I have  friends that are throwing a Kentucky Derby party tomorrow.  I am planning to make a delicious Bourbon Slush.  Stay tuned for the recipe!  What fun things are you doing this weekend?


The “Thank You” or “I’m Sorry” or “Congrats” Dish!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I’ve been busy training for my upcoming half marathon that Ryanne andI are running with my dad… as well as working, having visitors make their way down South, and socializing a lot with friends!  I’ve been meaning to do a post for quite a while now on a chicken dish that I like to make.  Our family friend made it for us back when I was younger although  I can’t quite remember why.  Either way it has turned into our family’s go to dish to say “Thank you” to someone, a dish to take when a family member is sick, or in this case I made it when my friend had her baby.  I also read somewhere recently where you can get “Southern Charm” points by returning a dish someone brought to your house (for a pot luck and maybe forgot it) with something in it!  You can make it ahead and let the recipient bake it on their own or go ahead and bake it for them.  We like to serve it over top of wild rice and it would be especially good with broccoli on the side!  Without further ado, here’s Lucy’s Baked Chicken Dish:


6 boneless chicken breast

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/3 c white wine

1/4 c melted butter

1 c pepperidge farm stuffing

6 slices swiss cheese


Place chicken in baking dish,
Top with cheese slices,
Mix together soup and wine,
Pour over chicken,
Stir the stuffing mix into butter and spread over soup mixture,
Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

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As you can see above, the wild rice is on the side.  You can just pack it all up, buy a make your own salad bag from the grocery store and there you go, you’ll look like a hero! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pasta

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  We spent the weekend in Virginia Beach with family celebrating the marriage of Mike and Lauren Davis (Megan’s brother-in-law and new sister-in-law).  What a lovely wedding and gorgeous weekend!

On our drive home Sunday LJ (my husband) and I were discussing meals for the week (yes, I am a dietitian and I like to plan my meals for the week).  LJ suggested one of our favorite fall recipes—Pumpkin Baked Ziti.   Keeping with our pumpkin theme this month I thought this recipe would be perfect to share with you!

I was first introduced to this recipe from my co-worker Kate.  Although it’s not a family recipe it comes from one of Megan and I’s favorite southern cooks……Paula Deen.  While Paula isn’t the healthiest cook, her recipes are usually pretty easy to slim down into healthier options.  I have transformed Paula’s original recipe into my own making it tastier and healthier!  If you love pumpkin I promise it won’t disappoint.  The savory sausage and onion with the pumpkin and cinnamon is the perfect combination to warm you up on a cold night.

What you’ll need for Pumpkin Baked Ziti:

Print recipe here

1 pound sweet sausage (I use the apple & onion chicken sausage from Wegman’s.  I have also used the tofurky sausage substitute.  Both are good and WAY healthier options than regular sausage.)

1 small sweet yellow onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

1 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup skim milk

1 pound whole wheat ziti (or penne, or whichever you prefer! But make it whole grain for the extra fiber!)

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

First pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your casserole dish with canola cooking spray and set aside.  Mince 1 tablespoon of garlic and dice onion.

Next, cube sausage and place in skillet over medium heat.  While sausage is cooking fill a pot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.  Cook pasta according to directions on box.

Once sausage has finished cooking, remove from skillet and place on plate lined with paper towel.

Add onion, garlic, and oil to skillet, stirring constantly.  Cook until tender.

**I normally do use a sweet yellow onion, however, I sent my lovely new husband to the store and he got confused on which onion to get.  It still tasted great with the red onion.

Stir in pumpkin puree, chicken stock, and dried rosemary.  Add salt to taste and bring mixture to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in milk, cinnamon, sugar and sausage.  Simmer and stir continuously until sauce begins to thicken (about another 2-3 minutes).

Add pasta to pumpkin and sausage.  Completely coat the pasta with sauce.

Transfer to greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve.   Doesn’t it look tasty?

What’s on your menu for dinner this week?