When I first started learning how to cook in my early twenties, I followed every recipe to the letter. When I got married, my husband thought it was so cute (and so accountant-like) that I would be so precise with my measurements. I soon started to be loose with my measurements and improvised with ingredients and all of a sudden this accountant had learned how to cook.
Back in the stone ages when I started blogging, I started a separate recipe site to store the favorite recipes of mine and of my friend Karen’s (She’s a great cook). We thought that having them online would help us for when we were out of town and needed to access them. Karen stopped blogging, but I kept updating it when I could and then the call came from Mom Central because General Mills Canada were looking for food bloggers for their lifemadedelicious.ca site. I’m about to start in my third year with them and I couldn’t be happier about it. Well, except for my head shot, but that’s to be remedied soon.
Here’s what you need to know about me and cooking:
I plan meals every Sunday, I do a “big shop” every Tuesday or Wednesday, and stop in the grocery store mid-week for some fresh veggies, sandwich meats, and the thing on my list that I somehow missed despite crossing everything else off.
I love to try new recipes, but even more so, I love to try to replicate recipes for food that we love when we eat out. My Thai lettuce wraps recipe is one example.
You also need to know that I fall into a menu planning rut. Our lives are busy and I have some great recipes in my arsenal, but there are only so many times that you can serve them before they are moved onto the Hate List, you know? I have found that having a commitment to write (for pay!) elsewhere has been a great incentive to break out of the every day. It also spurs me on to make new things for our family because they need to try new things too.
Last week, Matthew asked me to write a post asking my readers to share their favorite dinnertime recipes so that we could infuse some life into our stale routine. I took that as a cue to (ask you for your recipes, and) create a new recipe. He loves to eat a “Beach House Pasta” recipe at one of our favorite restaurants, and I thought I’d try to replicate it. As it was simmering on the stove, he was working in the yard. When I stepped outside to check on him, he said “Every time the deck door opens, it smells like Heaven.”
Here’s a recipe that you need to make RIGHT NOW.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallot onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tsp pepper flakes or Cajun seasoning
6 large fresh tomatoes, chopped (or one 28ml can of chopped tomatoes)
8 large frozen prawns, thawed
1 package of frozen scallops, thawed
1 package of frozen mussels, steamed and put aside
1 package of fresh linguini (I bought fresh pasta, but you can use the usual)
2 tsp basil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cream cheese
2 Tbsp sour cream
Sea Salt and Fresh pepper to taste
(If you’re not one to eat pasta (Me too!), spaghetti squash is a great replacement. Grease a baking dish. Cut one squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side down in the baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, then scrape out the “noodles.”)
Place a pot of water on the stove for the pasta and bring it to a boil. Follow the package directions.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Cook the shallots and garlic over a medium heat until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes, pepper flakes and lemon juice, then bring to a boil. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and basil. Stir it into the sauce.
Turn down the heat to a simmer. Stir in the seafood, cook for 3 minutes more until it’s heated through. Season to taste.
Drain noodles and dish them onto plates (Or scrape out “noodles” and do the same) and scoop sauce on top.
I want to eat that at least once a week. You know, until we tire of it and it moves to the Hate List.
Do you guys have any recipes to add to our arsenal, and that we could share with each other? Matthew (and the rest of us) would be eternally grateful.