Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beautiful Things

A couple recent views from the front of our house

Catching up with friends, while our boys play

Solon and I preparing dinner together for Valentine's Day, and enjoying it OUTSIDE on our back patio (OUTSIDE in FEBRUARY!)

Seeing the joy in Quincy's face as we walk to get the mail

My first homemade Apple Pie (which I baked for Solon's birthday)


The jaw-dropping pasta that Solon prepared for our dinner was a recipe given to me by my friend Christy. She is Italian, and fabulous, and is AMAZING in the kitchen - obviously. I feel like I am doing a really good deed by sharing this recipe with all my readers (all 5 of you - ha ha). But seriously, if you want to really impress someone and hardly put any work into it, this is an amazing, and EASY dish that will knock your socks off. Literally.

Here's the recipe:

Jaw-dropping Pasta!


-Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for cooking pasta)
-Kosher salt
-3/4lb good linguine
-3 tablespoons UNsalted butter
-2 ½ tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for cooking seafood)
-6 cloves garlic (minced or finely chopped – DO NOT smash with back of knife)
-1 pound large shrimp (I used ½ a bag of Jumbo Frozen Shrimp)**
- (Optional) - 4 large scallops (I used frozen scallops here as well)**
-1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
-1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves (chopped up)
-1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons, seeds removed)
-1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (use as much or as little for added heat)


In a large boiling pot, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a drizzle of EVOO. Once water is at a rolling boil, add the linguine and cook according to package.

Meanwhile, in a large (12-inch) pan, melt the butter and olive oil over medium low heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Be careful as garlic burns easily and will ruin your entire dish! Next, add the shrimp (& scallops) to butter/olive oil blend (I season mine with a little salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon first), add 1 teaspoon of salt, fresh black pepper and sauté shrimp until they turn pink (scallops will also be ready once the shrimp are pink). Flip them over once. After about 5 minutes remove from heat and add the parsley, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. (You will think this is a lot of parsley, but it's so subtle, you will hardly notice it.)

After draining the pasta, put back in pot and immediately add your shrimp and sauce. Toss well with tongs and plate it up! I like to add some fresh parmesan on top!!!

**When using frozen seafood, be sure to thaw according to package instructions ahead of time for quick preparation.

If you prep the ingredients ahead of time, the whole process will only take you about 20 minutes to prepare. It is so good – I hope you try it!!!


Besides the meal tasting ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS, it also made me feel good to know that the whole Valentine's dinner cost less than $30 to make. WINE INCLUDED!

Here's how the costs broke down:
The frozen seafood (Fry's brand) = $10
Dry Linguine = $1
Parsley = $1
Garlic = $.50
Lemons from my mom's yard = Free
Two bottles of wine (1 red, 1 white) = $13
Rolls = $1.50
Salad = $1.50

The other ingredients are kitchen basics that I always have on hand, so the total for our Valentine's feast was approximately $28.50. This dish is so good, and if we were to get it at an Italian restaurant, it would have cost that much for ONE plate of pasta - not including the wine!! So all in all, Valentine's Day was an all-around sweet day.

Let me know if you try making this dish - I would love to hear how it turns out!


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