Saturday, March 30, 2013

What's for Dinner Friday???

Normally I would post this on Wednesday, but this week we were hanging out at the Atlanta airport waiting on our baby girl to arrive home for Easter break.  So, dinner on Friday it is!

Seared Scallops and Herb Butter Sauce & Roasted Green Beans-Best of Cooking Light 2013

Seared Scallops and Herb Butter Sauce

3/4 C uncooked orzo
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 TBS chopped fresh chives, divided
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 lbs large sea scallops
3/8 tsp kosher salt, divided
3/8 tsp black pepper, divided
Cooking Spray
1/3 C dry white wine
1 TBS chopped shallots
1 TBS white wine vinegar
3 TBS chilled butter, cubed
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1. Prepare orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Drain. Return to pan; stir in 1 TBS parsley, 1 TBS chives, olive oil, and 1/8 tsp salt.  Keep warm.
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle scallops evenly with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; coat with cooking spray.  Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned.  Remove from pan; keep warm.
3. Combine wine, shallots, and vinegar in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1 TBS.  Reduce heat to low.  Add butter cubes, 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until butter is fully incorporated.  Stir in 1 TBS parsley, 1 TBS chives, 1 tsp thyme, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Serve scallops with sauce and orzo.

Roasted Green Beans

1/2 pound haricot verts, trimmed
1/2 pound wax beans, trimmed (we doubled the haricot verts since our store was out of wax beans)
1/2 C thinly sliced shallots
1 TBS olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 450*.  Combine all ingredients on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Roast at 450* for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender.

The scallops were delicious, melted like butter in your mouth!  And, the haricot verts along with the orzo made for a delightful side dish with a lot of flavor.

Hope you enjoy!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone has a Blessed Easter Weekend!!!  Progress on my new craft room has stalled, but I have been spending time with our youngest who arrived home from the University.  Hope to have an update next week.

Friday, March 22, 2013

My new craft space~sneak peek

Well, while the hubby and the girls were away last week in Michigan I ventured to IKEA.  Since I was left home alone, you all encouraged me to do something fun!  At least that was the excuse I gave to the Mister (I kid, well sort of).  Actually, we had already started making plans to turn our unused TV room upstairs into a craft room for me.  Well, someplace I could work  on sorting our 1000s of photos and wrap gifts and such without the hair of my two sweet 50+ lb dogs getting involved (they took over stole, infringed on my craft room in the basement)

The plans actually started long before last week.  We went back and forth as to what we wanted in the room and where to purchase the furniture items.  As most of you know, I LOVE POTTERY BARN!  (hubby insists it is more than that since the entire staff at our local store know not only us, but our two girls and their entire life story-this I kid not!)

Hubby liked the project table-so did I.  Didn't like the price, didn't like the fact that we could not see it before pulling the trigger and ordering it.  But, we did it anyway.  It arrived (while I was out teaching my littles).  One bookcase was damaged, so they were going to have to order another one (we had already been waiting a few weeks for the order to arrive).  However, when I came home and took one look at it in the room, I said it had to go back!  It was HUGE.  We had measured, but until physically seeing it in the space we had no idea just how huge.  Picture this, it looked like someone had placed an aircraft carrier in my old TV room!!  So, now on to plan B (or C, or D, or, well-you get the picture).

Our next thoughts were to purchase the same desk we have in our youngest daughter's room (which I did when at Ikea).  Then we were going to purchase some Billy bookcases and create "built-ins" similar to Ashli and Lee (Mini Manor).  I love the new rustic top they created when redesigning their office into a library.  I had planned to create a rustic weathered gray top for ours.  Well, while at Ikea I realized I really needed something I could put bins in since the shelves would be holding craft supplies for the most part.  So, I went back to my most loved product Ikea carries-the Expedite.

I managed to wrangle them home (by myself with the help of two sweet bystanders who insisted on helping me load them into my car).  I did manage to get them out of the car by myself and into the house.  From there it was up the stairs in pieces!

I am hoping with this weekend's expected nasty weather here in the south, that I will be forced to stay in and make some progress on this project.

Here's the sneak peek~

New chair from ZGallerie-I have a similar white version in our office and love it.  The pillow is one I had used in our bedroom and created the color scheme for the room. Lamp, on clearance at Target for around $8.

New Jennylund Ektorp chair from Ikea.  The pillow and throw were also previously used in our bedroom.

Soda can bud vase from Target, bowl-West Elm, and magazine files-$1 section at Target.

Close up of the bud vase.  Love the bit of whimsy it adds to the room.

I have purchased new white linen curtains from West Elm for the room as well.  I decided to stick with white for the larger/more expensive pieces so that if I ever want to change out the accessories I can do so without major expense.  Which around here happens quite often.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Stay warm and dry.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What's for Dinner Wednesday~

We have cooked several dishes out of Cooking Light's 40 Meals under 40 Minutes April addition.  All have been very simple and oh so good!

Today I am sharing the recipe for Black Pepper Caramel Shrimp.  A very quick and light meal for a busy weeknight.


1 (3 /1/2 oz) bag boil-in-bag brown rice (or if you have a Whole Foods near you it comes frozen and is easily steamed)
1 TBS water
2 tsps cornstarch
1 1/2 TBS dark sesame oil
1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 C diagonally cut snow peas
2 tsp minced fresh garlic (we use the jar, quicker)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
3 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp fish sauce


1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.  Keep warm.

2. Combine 1 TBS water and cornstarch in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shrimp; saute 2 minutes or until shrimp begin to turn pink. Add peas, garlic, pepper, and salt; cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

3. Combine broth, sugar, and fish sauce in a small saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil; stir in cornstarch mixture.  Cook 30 seconds or until mixture thickens, stirring constantly.  Pour sugar mixture over shrimp.  Return shrimp mixture to medium-high heat; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Serve over rice.

Serves 4 (serving size: 1 C shrimp mixture and 1/2 C rice)
Calories 280; Fat 7.1g (sat 0.9g, mono 2.4g, poly 2.5g);
Protein 19g; Carb 35.2g; Fiber 2.2g; Chol 143mg
Iron 1.5mg; Sodium 554mg; Calc 92 mg


Monday, March 11, 2013

A little bit of spring~

While things are starting to warm up around these parts and the first signs of spring are apparent in the blooming dogwoods and the daffodils peeking through the ground, mornings and evenings are still a bit on the cool side.

This is the time of year I love to bring a little bit of spring indoors to remind me that it is just around the corner.  So while at Trader Joes the other day, I purchased these beautiful yellow lilies.  Their bright yellow color just screams sunshine.

And, on a side note...

Mom has been left home ALONE!!!

Our youngest flew home for spring break Friday, and she, her sister and her dad are all headed to the airport this morning to fly to Michigan.  They are surprising their 94 year old grandmother with a visit.  She has no idea the girls are coming!!!  Praying they don't give her a heart attack.  Better yet, praying they don't give their dad one (those two can be double trouble when together, LOL).

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!