grilled shrimp tacos

Happy Belated Mother’s Day!

I have so many wonderful moms in my life, but I especially love the one who physically gave birth to me. I’m glad I was able to spend the day with her. Or, most of the day. Mother’s Day is the only time of the year where women are allowed to tee off early at the golf course, so she was there for most of the morning. How does prejudice like this still exist?!

Sorry, that’s another blog post. #feminist

I dragged Kevin to Wegmans with me yesterday morning to buy dinner ingredients, promising him I would buy him a doughnut. The kid still wolfed down a bagel before we left. He’s still trying to hit 3 digits on the scale before Kelly’s wedding. I also peer pressured him into trying my iced coffee, which made him gag excessively. You would think I forced down a shot of Fireball. He’ll learn to love both someday, I’m sure.

I wanted to make a healthy dinner for Mother’s Day because I know everyone is trying to be on their best behavior with the summer coming and the WEDDING which is 4 months from tomorrow!! Morgan is a pescetarian, so that narrowed down my menu a little bit. This was actually quite helpful as sometimes I get overwhelmed with 7 jillion ideas at the grocery store and want to buy all the things.

These tacos were really quick and simple to prepare, especially when you have an at-home grill master (my dad).

taco1

Grilled Shrimp Tacos (makes about 6 tacos)

1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and de-veined (I bought the 38 count size)

small/medium flour tortillas

for the marinade

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs lime juice

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp chili powder

for the slaw

1 bag broccoli slaw (or any slaw mix you like)

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbs jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped

1 tbs lime juice

2 tbs mayonnaise

2 tbs plain Greek yogurt

salt and pepper to taste

Toss the shrimp in the marinade in a zip lock bag or Tupperware. I let mine marinate for about 4 hours- I would do it for at least 1-2 hours before hand.

Mix up the slaw. Again, I did this a few hours in advance but it can probably be prepped right before serving.

slaw

Grill the shrimp for 3-4 minutes or until pink.

shrimp

 

I like to heat the tortillas briefly in a skillet, but this is a high maintenance move and not mandatory.

I also made some rice pilaf to go with these that some family members added to their taco. I ate it on the side, but I like the idea of including it.

taco2

 

Make these for summer! Oh and if you’re  a slaw hater (don’t tell me) but make them with this corn salsa instead. Do it.

rochester food truck rodeo

Now that my days are numbered in Flower City, I’m trying to take advantage of some of the best things it has to offer. The fact that we’re finally creeping above 30 degrees is helping as well.

On the last Wednesday of every month from April-October, there is a food truck rodeo at the Rochester Public Market. Rohrbach Brewery brings 3-4 of their best beers, and they have live music and obviously a ton of food trucks. It’s a food blogger’s fantasy world.

10

I hit up the first one of 2015 with my friend Connor and his girlfriend, Hillary. She’s one of my favorite people because she 1) loves exercise and 2) dressed as Hagrid for Halloween one year. I have openly told Connor that he should marry her for these reasons, among others.

1

We each grabbed a beer (Railroad IPA for Connor and I, Blueberry Ale for Hillary) and walked around to scope out our options.

11

Last time we came I got a pulled pork sandwich with apple slaw from Marty’s. It was amazing (rivaled Dinosaur BBQ) but was not ideal to eat one-handed. Seating is limited at these shindigs.

5

I also considered the goat cheese and spinach from Cheesed and Confused, but I figured that’s probably something I could make at home. I was in the mood for something exotic.

8

I settled on the Stingray Sushi Fusion truck.

4

It’s hard to read here, but I ordered their specialty, interestingly called the “Trasher”. It’s a rice bowl with grilled beef, fried shrimp, tomato, scallion, jalapeno, bell peppers, cucumbers, sriracha, ginger mayo, stingray sauce, onion crunchies, black sesame, and fried garlic.

9

The line took foreeeeever but this thing was worth the wait. They were making everything to order (including the sushi rolls) which may not be the best business model for an event like this, but I respect their style. When they called my name this guy ran forward and tried to steal my food and I was ready to throw down. Apparently his name was Larry. “Erin”, “Larry”, I guess I can understand it. You would think I would be more sympathetic to someone who potentially had hearing loss, but I was hungry.

2

Connor opted for buffalo mac and cheese from Mac-a-Rollin, and Hillary got some truffle fries to snack on.

Close up of those fries.

3We also got free ice cream sandwiches from a friend of Hillary’s who has her own stand. Not a truck, because it’s attached to a bike. They make all kinds of organic and vegan desserts. We got the sweet rose ice cream between shortbread cookies.

6

7

I’m just glad we picked these up once feeling was restored to my taste buds. That sriracha on my trasher was no joke. Their shortbread cookies were perfect, and I was a big fan of the ice cream. I think it’s the first time I’ve had anything rose-flavored, and it was not as floral-y as I expected. Just mildly sweet.

If you’re in the Rochester area and haven’t checked this out, it is a must see!

 

broccoli parmesan stuffed chicken

Less than four weeks until graduation. Four weeks baby. FOUR WEEKS! (Name that show.)

It’s hard to believe that this whole blog shenanigan lasted the entire time I was in grad school. I’m hoping that with my move back to Baltimore I’ll be posting more often because:

1) I’ll have friends to cook for. Okay, my sister and her fiance. They count as friends. And the GS.

2) I’ll have much more kitchen space. Yes, I’m living with my sister and her fiance. Basically all the kitchen stuff they registered for is really for me. Happy wedding!

3) I’ll have money. Because I’ll have a real job. What will this feel like?!

4) My job involves working from home part of the time which means I can make really high maintenance recipes. MY FAVORITE.

Speaking of high maintenance, stuffing chicken. What a pain in the neck. It just looks so beautiful! I actually royally messed this one up and pulled it out of the oven too early so the inside was still a liiiiittle bit pink. Cue un-rolling the chicken and putting it back under the broiler to prevent salmonella. So much for presentation. And my grandma was over for dinner! Unforgivable.

Broccoli Parmesan Stuffed Chicken

1 head broccoli, finely chopped

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 chicken breasts

olive oil, salt, & pepper

Start by sauteing the onions in a little oil. Add the broccoli and garlic and cook on medium-low until the broccoli has softened slightly. Remove from heat, and add the cheese. If you don’t want to use Parmesan, you could use any cheese. Right now I’m in the mood for Swiss.

chicken3

Pound out the chicken so that it’s relatively thin. I cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap then smack it with a rolling pin. Season both sides liberally. Throw in the broccoli filling and toothpick it all over.
chicken2
I like to brown them a little bit just for presentation, and then finish them in the oven topped with some more Parmesan cheese. I cooked them for about 15 minutes at 350. I think a little longer at 375 and they would have cooked through. But look how pretty!

chicken1

I also made strawberry shortcake for dessert, which pretty much makes up for everything including serving people raw chicken. Trust me on this one.

strawberry

out of the kitchen

Why have I been neglecting you?

The simplest answer is that I took 8 flights in two weeks. Traveling lady.

The first trip was to Baltimore for a job interview. And hey, I got the job! I’ll be moving back to Baltimore in less than a month!

The next trip was to Kiawah for Easter. Celebratory beers on the Ocean Course with my family were a must.


beerThere was also some Spikeball on the beach. If you haven’t played, I highly recommend it.

spikeball

gatorWe visited the Mellow Mushroom in Charleston for some high quality pizza. This is one spot that the GS and I didn’t get to while we were there, highly recommend!

pizza

Then I was back in Rochester for less than 48 hours before flying down to DC for a conference. The GS just moved there, so I got to see his new digs and explore the neighborhood.

This is Compass Coffee, right across from his apartment building. One of the best iced coffees I’ve ever had.

coffee

His building is also right next to a Thai restaurant (Beau Thai) and he had NEVER HAD THAI FOOD BEFORE. Clearly I have, and we had to go.

som tam

Solid som tam. Too spicy for him, but I loved it. I had the drunken noodles, and he had crab fried rice.

drunken noodles

fried rice

We ordered mango sticky rice to go, and that was the only disappointing course. The sticky rice was literally one solid cake. It was depressing. But I would still recommend the place for their apps and entrees.

We also went to a place called Chaplin’s for dinner one night. If you had to guess what kind of cuisine they would serve, would you guess Japanese? I wouldn’t. But we enjoyed it! I had the chicken yakisoba, and the GS ordered some kind of ramen with pork belly. Very reasonable and good draft list!

yakisoba

ramen

DC is beautiful this time of year. I know everyone is talking about the cherry blossoms, but I’m a big fan of these tulips.

tulips

Maybe because we decided to go see the cherry blossoms once it was already dark outside.

cherry blossomsI’m hoping to make a few good meals in my little kitchen in Rochester before I roll out of this town. Thanks for your patience.

 

what’s on my kindle, part 2

I have been doing so much reading that I keep putting off writing this post until I finish yet another book that I’ll want to talk about. So here it is! In no particular order…

Still Alice by Lisa Genova. I’m sure you’ve heard of this one, as Julianne Moore just won all the awards for playing the lead in the movie. Now I can’t wait to see the movie because the book was incredible. So terrifying but I couldn’t put it down. I think it’s kind of weird that they have Kate Bosworth playing Julianne Moore’s daughter in the movie (aren’t they like 12 years apart?) but I want to see it anyway. So amazing. I’ve also seen that Lisa Genova has written a bunch of other books now about people with some kind of neurological disease and I want to read them all right now.

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey. Probably a less well-known novel about dementia, but also really good. This one is about a much older woman suffering from dementia, but the narrative is really well done. I didn’t love it as much as Still Alice, but it’s worth reading for sure.

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar. I listened to this on a drive to Baltimore, and I HIGHLY recommend doing this one as an audio book if you can. It’s about an Indian immigrant who attempts suicide and starts seeing a female psychologist who has her own weird issues. The narration in the somewhat broken English with the Indian accent is so good. I think it made the story even better.

nothing goes with a good book like a cookie bowl.

nothing goes with a good book like a cookie bowl.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica. This is another one I did as an audio book. I really liked it the whole way through, and then the epilogue COMPLETELY changes the whole story. Incredible. It’s a quick and easy read, loved it.

More stuff by Elin Hilderbrand. The Island, The Castaways, Winter Street. I liked the first two, the third not so much. It almost seemed like a set-up to a real novel, with back stories on a bunch of characters but no true plot line. Maybe it is! I’ll keep an eye on you, Elin.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Okay, I started out at about 152 on the waiting list for this one so maybe my expectations were too high but, meh. Really long, really slow. Nice story, very well written, but I was underwhelmed.

many things go better with a good book than airplane coffee

many things go better with a good book than airplane coffee

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Another World War II story like All the Light, but I found this one to be a much faster and more interesting read. Does it make me a #commonwhitegirl that I prefer a Jodi Picoult over a more highly-acclaimed, literary style? Oh well.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Yet another WWII! I do love my history. This book is very long, but everyone should probably read it because it’s an incredible story. I’m not sure I can see the movie because I think I would have to keep my eyes closed for most of it.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. I don’t know what to say about this book, other than Jodi should stick to the ethical dilemma novels she does best. In this one, you learn a lot about elephants, and I hated the ending. I won’t give it away in case my glowing review here makes you want to read it, but let’s just say it was more exciting when it happened to Haley Joel Osment.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I’ve talked about her books before (Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, Attachments). I thought this one was just okay. Worth reading, but not my favorite.

Sister by Rosamund Lupton.  I think this is one I saw on Pinterest and I was intrigued by the cover. I liked it. Kind of a dark, mysterious vibe but not quite as thrilling as Gone Girl. Still would recommend.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This I LOVED. Could not put it down. I was on a super long waitlist for it and then my magical co-worker just handed it to me one Friday and I finished it by Saturday morning. A good book and a big helping of pho was my dream Friday night.

kindle

Not That Kind of Girl  by Lena Dunham. For someone who is hilariously funny, I had high expectations for this one, too. But it really fell flat for me. Also, if you think her show Girls is awkward, don’t even pick up the book. So uncomfortable. Not even close to as funny as Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? I also read Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and thought it was just okay. Funny ladies who maybe shouldn’t be writing books.

Rooms and Panic by Lauren Oliver. I absolutely loved her Delirium series, so I was really excited to read some of her other stuff. I didn’t like either of these. That’s all.

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. The last time I did one of these posts, Sheila recommended Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. I still haven’t been able to get my hands on that one, but I liked this. Kind of a dystopian vibe- it’s about a time in future USA where people aren’t imprisoned for their crimes, but their skin is dyed to indicate what they’ve done. The main character is sentenced to have red skin for like 10 years or something for having an abortion. It sounds weird, but I really liked it. Very interesting concept.

And last, but certainly not least, this is happening again.

kindle1

I won’t tell you how many times I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series, but it’s a double digit number and the first digit isn’t a 1. They are free in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library!!! Just saying.

easter eats

Remember last year when I posted all about Easter food the day after Easter? That was selfish and unhelpful.

easter 018

So THIS year I’m going to give you some food suggestions for your Sunday feast with plenty of time to go grocery shopping and prepare.

Brunch Foods

My Favorite Waffle Recipe

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Veggie Egg Tower

Blueberry Muffins

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

Bruschetta

jamie wedding 020

Dinner Staples

Cheesy Potatoes

Portuguese Sweet Bread

Easter Ham

Broccoli Salad

Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Sauce

Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing

Pretzel Jello

easter 017

If You’re Not a Ham Fan…

Easy Pot Roast

Roasted Chicken

Honey Glazed Salmon

Salmon w/ Pea & Mint Pesto

Spicy Pork Ragu

salmon and pea pesto 006

Dessert (besides jelly beans)

Death By Chocolate

Peanut Butter Squares

Pecan Pie

Italian Cookies

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

lemon2

Also this Easter post is one that still makes me giggle. Yes, I find myself very entertaining sometimes.

sweet potato sausage egg stack

I just typed out a whole post about how this recipe was accidentally Paleo, even though I’m not on the Paleo diet and have no interest in being on the Paleo diet.

Then I Google’d the Paleo diet, and realized that I was wrong about what exactly qualifies as Paleo. This is what happens when my patients don’t show up for appointments.

It might not be Paleo but it is DELICIOUS and healthy. Really it’s just a nugget of everything I was wanting to eat right at that moment.

sp brown rice

This weekend there was much talk of healthy eating. I went home to hang out with my two younger siblings, the famous Kevin and the less-famous Morgan. Morgan is all into the BeachBody stuff now- she did one of those Insanity challenges and drinks Shakeology like it’s going out of style. She’s 6 feet tall and slender to begin with, but more power to her. If you want to join her team and do challenges, leave a comment and I’ll hook you up.

She was showing Kevin and I her “before and after” photos from her Insanity challenge. As previously mentioned, she was already thin to begin with, but it’s still fun to see that you’ve toned up a bit after all that hard work.

Kevin looked hard at the side by side photos and remarked “It looks like you got taller!”

Not exactly what she was looking for. But given that this kid thinks anyone taller than 7 feet should be put into some kind of hall of fame, she should probably take this as a compliment. Unfortunately, the photo where he thought she looked taller was the ‘before’ picture. Oh well.

Sweet Potato Sausage Egg Stack (serves 4)

1 cup brown rice

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 onion, chopped (I used a red onion for color but any would work)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

4 Hot Italian turkey sausage patties

4 eggs

15-20 asparagus stalks

First, cook the rice. While the rice is cooking, saute the onion and sweet potato in a little olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and whatever other flavors you like. I added some garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Sometimes it helps to add a little bit of water (like 1/4 cup) to help the sweet potato steam and cook through, while still getting a good sear on it. Once both are soft, add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Move into a mixing bowl, and combine with the brown rice and the cheese. It doesn’t hold together all that well, so you have to be gentle when flipping your “cakes.” If it falls apart though, who really cares. I browned mine for 1-2 minutes on each side. This is layer 1!

sp brown rice 2

In the same pan, cook your sausage patty until browned on both sides. Layer 2!

Use the same pan AGAIN! We hate doing dishes. Fry your egg. Layer 3!

While all this is going on, I was roasting some asparagus at 425 with just some olive oil, salt and pepper. Once they turn bright green, they’re all done. Pretty garnish- plus I could eat pounds and pounds of asparagus. My pee would smell weird for weeks.

sp brown rice 1

TMI? Anyway, I loved everything about this- not just the asparagus. You could also serve it for breakfast if you’re fancy.

I’m thinking about cleansing again next week before we go to Kiawah (excitement!!!) I’m considering taking before and after photos for the sole purpose of Kevin’s commentary.