30 years. 3 decades. 1,565.32 weeks. Even more days, hours, minutes, and seconds. 30 years of heart beats and breaths. 30 years where smiles have outnumbered frowns. Laughter has been abundant. Tears have been rare. Cities have been explored and oceans have been swam. Miles have been walked, ran, and flown. Friendships forged and loves lost. There have been high hopes and big dreams alongside stinging disappointments and slight blunders.
While the past 30 years (especially the previous 5+) have seemingly flown by with little resistance (and I am sure the next 30 will do the same)…I am honestly and wholeheartedly looking forward to this upcoming decade. I would be lying if there haven’t been moments in the past year where I have slightly freaked out about turning 30…they weren’t moments of comparison between my position in life and that of others. We all lead different lives at varying paces. However, do you ever feel like you are just tumbling along like a rogue sock in this big dryer called life? Yeah…moments of feeling lost in the shuffle have made me apprehensive about turning 30. I guess I always assumed 30 year olds didn’t tumble. 30 year olds knew what they wanted. They walked confidently. How naive my younger self was. While I don’t feel like I am tumbling about, but have gracefully graduated to gentle stumbling…I think learning how to confidently walk is what awaits me/us in our 30’s. And you are silly if you can’t find the joy in that.
Birthdays have a tendency to be celebrated with layered cakes and multiple scoops of chocolate ice cream and rivers of hot fudge and mountains of whipped cream and showers of sprinkles. However, after I recently had a rather heated (ha!) text message conversation with a friend over the best cake flavor (chocolate versus spice), we both realized that cake was our 4th favorite dessert. Who argues over their 4th favorite dessert? Pies, cookies, and brownies are favored over cake…all day, every day. So, on this 30th birthday of mine…there will be no cake, but a dessert I have made no less than 5 times in the past 3 weeks. A favorite of mine? Perhaps.
The simplicity that is a crisp is why I favor this dessert in the spring/summer. A few cups of fruit that is hanging about the house, tossed with some sugar, a thickener, and perhaps a squeeze of a lemon or lime…topped with a quick crumble and in no time you have a dessert that will please everyone and anyone. Young and old. Friends, coworkers, and family.
Plus, when you have a friend who supplies you with bundles of rhubarb because it grows in abundance behind her house ( I give thanks to whoever owned the house prior to her … we would have been fast friends as well) and when the strawberries are sweet and delicious … my mind can think of nothing else besides strawberry and rhubarb. Rhubarb and strawberry. It is the only thing I have been pumping out of my kitchen.
So, while I enjoy a bowl of warm strawberry rhubarb crisp and say adieu to my roaring twenties…I am giddy and anxiously awaiting what my 30’s will have in store for little old(er) me. Cheers!
- Crumb Topping
- 1 Stick Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar, tightly packed
- pinch of salt
- 2 lbs Strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
- 2 Cups Rhubarb, ½ inch dice.
- ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar (less if you like it tart)
- 3-4 Tablespoons Corn Starch
- Juice of 1 lemon or lime (if you don’t have citrus, just omit – it’ll still be awesome, trust me)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Prepare topping first: In a medium bowl, combine all crumb topping ingredients and mix until well combined. Place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Prepare filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss together strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, corn starch, and lemon/lime juice. Carefully toss to combine.
- Pour filling into 9 inch deep dish pie plate (or an oven safe dish that will hold this amount of filling – casserole dishes work well).
- Carefully spread chilled crumb topping over fillling.
- Placed in preheated oven (place a baking sheet/tinfoil below baking dish to catch any drippings) and bake for about 45-50 minutes until the top becomes golden brown and the juice around the edges are bubbly.
- Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
- Store at room temperature loosely covered.
Food is quite the memory jogger. A trigger of sorts. Much like music. Or certain smells.
I don’t know if everyone is like this, but I want to think that a warm chocolate chip cookie takes everyone back to their childhood – I think my first memory of a chocolate chip cookie and looking back, probably the first time I took comfort from food or felt love through its simple preparation, was when our first childhood dog – ‘Puppy’ – original, I know…died.
I was curled up on dad’s lap in our old gray (it wasn’t old yet) recliner and I was sobbing and mom, from the kitchen, offered to make cookies – ‘maybe that will make us feel better’. I don’t remember the taste of the cookies or if we even ate them that night – I am sure we did, with large glasses of milk and spoons to fish out soggy lost bits and pieces. What I remember, as dad sat reassuring us that Puppy was in heaven causing ruckus up there, was that mom, while also mourning the loss of her beloved dog (even though she would holler and throw spoons in his direction from the back door when he would bark and howl), took time to bake us cookies – hoping they would ease our tears and cheer us up a bit. Which, I am sure they did.
Cookies have that sort of power. Especially if mom is making them.
Oatmeal Scotchies … guess what..you got it, comes with a memory. Like any cookie, they remind me of my grandma. As most things I bake do, but these are most definitely a Shirley memory. On Wednesday evenings, grandma had church choir practice or perhaps it was the Women’s Society meeting…all I know, is that she was at church on Wednesday nights and the church was just 2 blocks from our house. Therefore, Wednesday nights always guaranteed a visit from grandma and she normally brought a bake good ( and I wonder where I get this habit from). Cookies or pie. And if it was cookies…4 out of 5 times, they would be chewy oatmeal scotchies.
As grandma and mom sat and chit chatted and gossiped … we 3 kids scarfed down cookies, leaving just crumbs behind. Sore jaws and crumbs.
I hadn’t had an oatmeal scotchie in years. Years! Quite devastating, seeing how the recipe for these magic little guys are on the back of the bag of Nestle butterscotch chips. And when something is this good, there is really no need to tinker with the recipe. Well, I kinda did…I added roasted pecans, because pecans kind of rock in cookies. No?
Of all the cakes, cookies, and pies I have taken into work…I believe these cookies received the most hubbub. The container was returned with a pleading of it being refilled with more. People were hiding and stowing away cookies in lockers. They were being eaten 2 and 3 at a time. I wanna believe it was because these cookies were not only chewy and delicious, but because their flavor and texture and slight hint of cinnamon took them back.
Back to grandmas, school lunches, after school snacks, Wednesday nights.
- 1 Cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
- ¾ Cup white sugar
- ¾ Cup, light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1¼ Cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ Cup Roasted Pecans, roughly chopped
- 3 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- One 11-oz bag butterscotch chip
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in vanilla.
- With mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated – the dough will be tacky.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the oats, pecans, and butterscotch chips.
- Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto parchment lined (optional) baking sheets and bake for 7-8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9-10 minutes for crisp cookies.
- Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.
Adapted from Nestle TollHouseRead More
Well, Hello there!
Katie from Katie at the Kitchen Door and I are joining forces today. If you have never been to her blog – you must, you just have to head over there. Katie is oh so talented…her talents in the kitchen and behind the camera are out of this world. When she asked me to write a guest post for her blog, while she is on vacation, I couldn’t but jump at the chance.
And if you are visiting my little space on the Internet because you are wandering over here from Katie’s blog….then you totally know what I am talking about. She is awesome, right?!? And welcome! I am so very glad to have you here today.
Let’s get going!
The sun is shining. The trees are budding. Daffodils are waving ever so slightly in the breeze. Tulips are testing the waters…soon to be in full bloom. The grass is growing fast and furious, aided by the April showers. Spring is starting to slowly and finally roll into Ohio. It has been a long winter and we want nothing more than warm afternoons and long lazy evenings. Spring in Ohio requires us to practice patience.
In the spring, we have this internal urge to clean out the old and bring in new. Start fresh – Spring, to me, has always represented a new year more so than January 1st ever has. Something takes hold and before we know it windows are being cleaned, floor boards scrubbed, closets sorted and organized, and if you are me – fridges and freezers are overhauled. It has been a long winter – heaven only knows what I have stocked and stored away over the cold months. I am like a squirrel hoarding nuts. So it was no surprise to me when I found 2 extra bags of fresh frozen cranberries in my freezer last week. Left over from Thanksgiving/Christmas. Stored away just in case. Just in case I needed to whip up a cranberry sauce. Or jam. Or needed a another loaf of orange cranberry bread.
Honestly, I had forgotten about them. Big Surprise. So, when Katie asked me to guest blog and I was scratching my head and standing in front of my refrigerator wondering what recipe I would offer her readers…I spotted the cranberries. And instantly thought…I bet there are more people out there like me. Spring cleaning and finding extra bags of cranberries (among many other things… why do I buy so many packages of frozen spinach?!?).
I know, I know…cranberries are generally eaten around winter holidays, but I think they are perfect this time of year ( and I am not just saying this because I have an abundance). They have a bright tart flavor, matching the feeling of an early spring afternoon. A coffee cake with a thin layer of sweetened cranberries and a coconut streusel top is just what a Sunday afternoon calls for. A lazy Sunday afternoon spent on your porch, soaking up the sunshine, getting lost in a good book, with baseball on the radio in the back ground. All while you nibble away on an extra large piece of coffee cake that is studded with little flecks of vanilla bean. And coffee. Lots of coffee. Always coffee.
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1¾ cups sugar, divided
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- ⅓ Cup Flaked Coconut, unsweetened
- 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with butter and line bottom with parchment paper. Grease parchment.
- Make vanilla sugar: With the tip of a paring knife, scrape out the seeds from the vanilla bean and place in a food processor with 1+3/4 Cup of sugar. Pulse to combine. Transfer to another bowl – you will need the food processor again.
- Place cranberries and ½ Cup of vanilla sugar in food processor and pulse until chopped but NOT pureed.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt – set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 stick of butter and 1 cup of vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down side and bottom of bowl.
- With mixer on low, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined.
- Pour ½ of batter into bottom of prepare pan – the batter will be very thick, so spread it out with a butter knife.
- Spoon cranberries over the batter, leaving a ½ inch border around edge. Spread the remaining batter over cranberries. (With the batter being so thick, the best way to do this is by dolloping spoonfuls of batter all over cranberry filling and very carefully with a buttered knife, gradually spreading the batter over the filling)
- Prepare crumble topping : In a small bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup of vanilla sugar, flaked coconut, tablespoon of butter, and tablespoon of flour. Crumble with fingers or fork until pebble like.
- Spread evenly over top of cake.
- Place in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean (don’t test into cranberry filling).
- Let cool in pan for about 30 minutes before removing from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
- Serve with coffee and good conversation.
Adapted from Gourmet December 2008Read More
We did it. Again.
You may remember last year.
We are all a year older….and none the wiser.
Apparently we didn’t get enough of mud, dirt, and grime.
Didn’t get enough of the camaraderie and team work.
Didn’t get enough of the 20 foot walls and electrical shock.
First, as the picture above shows….we have added a member to our small crazy team.
Matt, Shawn, Me, and Jeff.
Second, if you aren’t familiar with the Tough Mudder. Check them out.
It always begins (and will end) with a bus ride.
Yellow school bus, bus ride.
Followed by packet pick up and baggage drop-off.
Then, bib numbers on forehead.
And always, me finding my inner-Elvis.
And this year, Jeff and I were chosen to record a bit for a Tough Mudder commercial.
Fingers crossed we make the cut!
To make it to the starting line…there is a wall to climb, or in my case, a wall to be boosted over.
Remember at the end…my socks were once PINK.
Overall, there are about 20 obstacles within the 10 mile course.
Monkey bars and rings ( I consider them swimming events) to muddy trenches and log carrying.
Andrea, my awesome sister-in-law, traipsed through the muck and the mud – along with Matt’s mom, girlfriend, and sister – and took all the pictures you are about to see.
Huge kudos goes out to them!!
We might be crazy. This dude was bonkers.
Keep Calm and Chive On!
Kiss of Mud or army crawl under barbed wire. No bigs.
Nice and muddy brings a smile to my face.
aka…fill a construction sight waste bin with ice and a touch of water.
Cold is an understatement.
Or…claw, dig, climb over loosely packed muddy mounds and slide/jump/fall into water filled trenches (of unknown depth)…and repeat x 8.
Post muddy mile.
Stairway to Heaven. Or was it Hell? Glad I climbed fences when I was a kid.
Conversation between Jeff and I at the top…
“mom can never come to one of these” – me
“yeah, no joke” – Jeff.
Claustrophobics need not apply.
Matt just dove in.
You go in and down…
Across, in, and back up.
Being short has its advantages here…
Everest. Oiled/mud slicked quarter pipe. Same thing.
It takes a bit of contemplation.
Some game planning.
A bit of praying.
First up, Jeff.
Boom. Boom. Pow.
With one of my guys up there…it was my turn.
With Jeff pulling UP and some random guy grabbing my ass…I made it up and over.
Hands out…ready for Shawn.
This is my favorite shot.
It sums up the entire event.
Shawn. Up. and Over.
We are 4 for 4.
The guys hung out up top for a bit…until their spots were taken by other tough mudders…
Without the help of others, 99% of us would never be able to complete this obstacle.
Next up, Electroshock therapy…
Matt bites it first.
And then Shawn goes down.
I get it on the hay bales…
Goes down Jeoff.
We. Are. Tough. Mudders.
The electrical shock may have caused damage.
Michigan, you are next.
Can we talk about my Sunday? Last Sunday. It is a few days past, but the day was good and deserves a bit of discussing. And honestly, nothing earth shattering happened. No big news or life changing occurrence took place…something, anything that would turn my life upside down and leave me spinning for days afterward. I wasn’t swept off my feet – figuratively or literally…my feet remained firmly on the ground the entire day. I think.
It was just good.
First, The. Sun. Was. SHINING. All. Day. Long. It was sunny. Sunny to the point that I actually applied a nice layer of sunblock on my delicate face and the pale skin that can only belong to an Ohioan after a long winter. But I am skipping ahead. Let me start at the beginning…I awoke to NO alarm clock. Any day that this happens is considered a good day. Fact. 6am was what the clock read, I think. My eyes were a touch foggy since I have a terrible habit of sleeping with my contacts in, a habit that I just can’t seem to break. But it was 6am-ish. And guess what? I rolled right back over and fell right back to sleep until 8am. Because 8am is more suitable on a weekend than 6. I keep the 6am hour for work and vacation – yeah, I am that girl on vacation.
So, 8am … Stan (resident cat, lets not mistake a cat for a dude) and I stumble our way down the stairs and I mean stumble…he has a way of tripping me up on the stairs. He will be the reason I fall down or up my stairs. Him and/or bourbon. God forbid they conspire against me. I turn on the tea kettle and grind some coffee. Weekend mornings call for french press coffee. Dark and rich and bold and strong…talking coffee here, not men While the coffee is steeping, eggs are in the making. 2 eggs scrambled with a pat of salted butter. Sprinkle of kosher salt and a touch of black pepper. Layered over a piece of extra toasted toast and smashed up avocado. Grated extra sharp cheddar cheese rounds off the open faced breakfast sandwich.
I curl up on the couch…breakfast in one hand. Steaming hot creamy coffee in the other. The TV comes to life and I start watching CBS Sunday Morning Show. This show is heavily influenced by the previous week’s happenings – Boston being center stage. My thoughts have been with the people of Boston all week and Sunday is no different. While I nibble on my breakfast and make a total mess – I may have piled it too high with avocado and egg, but it is something I can deal with – my coffee has cooled to the temperature of drinkable. The morning show wanders to talking to Alan Alda and I am transported to high school physics class where we watched Scientific American Frontiers and celebrated his birthday with cheesecake. I really like Alan Alda’s laugh. His whole face lights up and his eyes dance. It is true and honest. I also learn that Shirley Temple is still alive and on Tuesday will turn 85. On my 29 and 11/12th birthday – Shirley Temple turns 85. Honestly, I assumed she had passed. Pleasant surprise to find her still kicking.
The show ends and I amble back into the kitchen with my dirty dishes and a coffee refill – my second of numerous. I know I need to run today – Sundays are generally reserved for long-ish runs, but I also want to bee-bop around the kitchen. I compromise with myself. Run. Cook. Deal. Plus, running now means I can catch the Indians afternoon game. We are in baseball season, full swing.
I lace up my over-worn, oddly laced Mizuno running shoes, toss on my favorite green running jacket, grab my phone and earbuds (just in case I need a distraction), and shoot out the door. I have made myself a promise…today will be slow and enjoyable. This is difficult for me. Not that I am fast – ha! – I do however have a habit of going hard on all runs. I focus on time and distance and little else. Today I told myself I would run through the park – Cleveland has one hell of a metropark system – and actually take in my surroundings. Walk if necessary. Stop and snap a few pics of my favorite spots. Capture the valley in early spring. The dark brown of the still bare trees is such a contrast to the bright green of the forest ground that is starting to peek through the leaves and overgrowth from the previous season. The river is rushing and washing away the grime of winter. There are fisherman wading out into the shallow depths of the river to catch whatever fish is running this time of year – I think most just like to stand in the middle of a river and watch it rush past them. It’s a good place to think. I nod in acknowledgement as I jog past. Turning to snap a quick picture of them with my iPhone – Instagram is always in my head. I run on the bridle trail in hopes of passing a horse or two, but today I only see couples with their dogs. I run over 4 bridges and hear my feet make contact with wooden planks…so loud compared to the soft dirt I have been running on. I catch a man and his son walking along the river. I stop and snap. The weeping willows catch my eye as they droop over the river and their rope like branches turning almost lime green with new buds. They are the first to turn. 3 miles fly by and I keep going.
Up ahead, I can turn left and make my way back home or jog a bit further and hit my favorite spot along the 13 miles of path that leads straight into Lake Erie. I jog further. It is a no brainer. My legs feel good, my feet aren’t bothering me, my breath is easy. There is a swing set on my right. They are empty, which saddens me…swings should be filled with giggling children and adults who will always be young at heart. I have an urge to stop and swing, but I need to run. I make it by a flock of geese, who for once, leave me alone – why are they so mean? and finally I arrive at my favorite spot.
It isn’t anything special. It is across the street from the Rocky River Nature Center….there is a wide rocky dirt path that descends straight to the river. The shore is shale rock and crunches beneath your feet. The river is shallow and in warmer months will be filled with children wading along the edges. The opposing side of the river is a rocky cliff, where erosion lines can be seen – an earth science lesson in the making. There are a few houses perched on its ledge, but they are so high above, one barely notices they are there. I think one is red. I run out onto the shore … coming to a walk and taking in what I know will be there. There is a man with his young son on my right…they are hopping across the huge stone boulders that run the width of the river there…a dam of sorts. A family of 5 to my left. I pass the family, who is trying to teach their youngest child how to skip rocks. A task he is too young for, but is trying his darndest at. You see, the shale that is beneath our feet is perfect (perhaps not the best because it is light in weight) but pretty darn good for skipping across water. This is why I love this spot. The simple pleasure of being able to skip a stone across a body of water is pure satisfaction. Three skips? Good. Try for four. Four? Fantastic. Try for five. If you have brothers, there is gentle competition. Teaching a child how to skip stones and seeing their excitement when it takes to skips across the water for the very first time. It is a good thing. I wander the shore searching for a few good stones to skip and give them a side armed toss. I get 4 skips. I am content. I walk the short shore as far as I can before it runs out and I climb up the steep edge of the river bed and find myself on the trail again. I turn to go back.
I do not follow the bridle path back…as that would be a 10 mile long run – more than I had intended and therefore I take the roads that lead me back home – they are as good as the path that runs through the park. They are lined with horse farms. Pastures and wooden fences. And horses. A reminder that the land I now live on, scattered with developments and city-like life was once, not long ago, farm land. I think I would have liked it better then. I’d take a pasture over a Target any day. This I assure you. The road is narrow and I must be watchful of traffic…stepping into the ditch if two cars are passing at once. And there is one hell of a hill. A hill that makes a car chug let alone me. I push up it. One step at a time. At times I feel like I am barely gaining any ground. My arms are pumping and my legs are screaming. I keep telling myself that hills were meant for short people. I don’t know. It gets me up the hill. I think about the equation for work, it equals force x distance. My brain is a funny thing. A breather is necessary at the top – I walk 100 yards before running again.
The horses are out today. My first one is on my right. He/she is brown and white. The white has brown freckles scattered about. She (as I think this is the truth) has a bit of a sway back and is grazing happily on the new grass. I stop to snap a pic and she looks up. I wave and move on. I have more horses to visit. Two more on my right are eating and the pasture to my left is empty as they are repairing fences. Finally, I make it to my favorite small red barn. Dark red with one door open, its light interior brown a stark contrast to the red, and the top half of the other door is open. For a horse, if ever the urge struck, to stick just his head out to test the weather. Normally, there is just one horse in and around the barn. But today there are two. It looks like it was an exciting spring on this farm. I stop and snap a picture. They just stare at me. Those big eyes. I stare for another second and turn and take off. My run is soon to be over, my house is just around the corner. I slow it up a bit and enjoy the last half mile. 8 miles. Not bad.
The day is not half way over yet and I feel refreshed and complete. Nature, sunshine, and horses can do that. A good sweat and physical exertion is the ultimate mood booster. The remaining bit of Sunday afternoon was spent listening to Tom Hamilton call an Indian’s win and saw me cooking a chicken tikka masala that will leave me with leftovers until Friday. I cut into a cranberry coffee cake that is meant for a guest post later next week on a friends’ blog and will be devoured at work on Monday. The light is perfect and I stand on a chair and take pictures of a coffee cake in my kitchen. I finally sit down on the chair and grab a fork and bite by bite, indulge in a slice of cake before dinner, with yet, another cup of coffee.
Sunday was easy and good.
Morning shows are not generally my thing…unless we are talking Sportscenter – then I am totally game. As a female, I feel the need to explain this habit. You see, I grew up with brothers…therefore, mornings were comprised of Frosted Flakes and SportsCenter and after 18+ years of this ‘torture’, don’t ya know I found myself actually enjoying the darn show. To the point that I continued to watch it throughout college (where I then insisted that my roommates watch – a childhood without control of the remote makes you quite the dictator later in life). During my pre-cable-lessness days (aka Amish living) – I have begun dating my life pre and post cable... ESPN/SportsCenter is what you would find on my TV, all morning long – because as you know (or maybe you don’t), SportsCenter will replay, hour after hour, until about noon. It restarts without much warning and before you know it – you have watched the Top Ten Plays 3 times and the morning is gone. It happens to the best of us. But post cable world…I am SportsCenter-less. Whomp, whomp! And honestly, it was the hardest part to the whole no cable thing…ESPN. But I have survived and while my mornings aren’t the same (besides being a tad bit more productive) I have found a replacement of sorts, NBC. It isn’t a fair trade or even remotely a good substitution…but it is what it is and I am too damn stubborn to return to cable because of the remarks from the peanut galleries of the world. And in all reality, I don’t miss paying the cable bill. So NBC it is.
What does ESPN have to do with a stir-fry? Well hold your panties…I will tell you… had I been watching SportsCenter I would not have seen this dish being prepared on Hoda and Kathy Lee – ya know, the 20th hour of the Today Show. In the 20th hour, there is a lot of wine and mishaps and bad jokes – my kind of morning entertainment. Cooking on morning shows generally drives me up-the-wall- bonkers…you can not properly show how to roast a chicken (with 3 sides) in a 10 minute time slot. You are not serving any purpose and confusing/intimidating instead of encouraging folks to don an apron and get cookin. But a stir fry…these are meant for 10 minute time slots…and perhaps that is why this recipe caught my eye.
Asparagus season is upon us and I am jumping whole heartedly into this shindig. I have eaten it nightly for the past week or so -which also means that my pee has smelled gawd-awful for the past week or so – but you probably didn’t need to know that, but whenever someone brings up asparagus, talk of pee is sure to follow. But let’s get back to the tender skinny stalks of green with the spiky spear heads that just asked to be sauted or roasted. Or made into soups or dipped into a creamy hollandaise sauce.
Asparagus is what dreams are made of. At least until I eat so much that I can’t stand to look at another spear…but that takes a bit of time. And when it is mixed with the fresh bite of ginger and toasted sesame seeds and tossed with briny sweet shrimp and nutty farro…I may never tire.
I recommend this served hot for a quick and healthy week night meal and then eaten cold the next day as a cold farro salad in the lunchroom – surrounded by drooling co workers who wish you had made extra.
And I was just thinking…red bell peppers would be a great addition to this. Toss it in if ya got one hanging about.
- 1 cup Farro, cooked according to package instructions
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon Toasted sesame seeds (you can toast them or buy already toasted)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and pre-cooked (found in the frozen section of grocery)
- 1 teaspoon Asian (toasted) sesame oil
- In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar and grated ginger. Set aside.
- In a medium sized skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add asparagus and cook until tender, but still crisp (taste one to test) – about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Add cherry tomatoes (keep whole, I cut mine in half and it produced too much liquid.). Cook mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the soy sauce mixture and add shrimp to skillet. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes to heat through.
- Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil.
- Toss with cooked farro and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve immediately (also, very good cold!)