Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Shrimp Fried Rice

We used to make Fried Rice a lot when we couldn't figure out what else to make and needed a quick dinner. It always tasted just OK which is probably why we stopped making it. This past weekend, we decided to try it again. We made a huge batch of Shrimp Fried Rice.

This dish can be easily customized. Your choice of meat/seafood, or none. Egg or no egg. A little egg/a lot of egg. Vegetables. Seasonings. White or brown rice.

We chose shrimp with broccoli, mushrooms, peas, carrots, onion, egg, soy sauce, fresh ginger, rice wine vinegar and white rice.
This was the best fried rice we've ever made. It was really tasty. It could have used a bit more soy sauce, but we can add some more when we reheat it. We got 4 dinners out of this.

Shrimp Fried Rice 

Shrimp (cooked or uncooked, frozen or fresh, peeled, deveined, as many as you want)
2-2.5 cups uncooked rice
2 heads broccoli, florets only
2-3 carrots, diced
24 oz mushrooms (the Costco package), diced
half an onion
half a bag frozen baby peas
2-3 eggs
Soy sauce
1 inch cube of fresh ginger, grated
Rice wine vinegar
Vegetable oil

1. Cook rice the night before (we used our rice cooker). Cool & refrigerate.
2. Blanch the broccoli florets then cut down into tiny pieces of florets and stems.
3. Saute mushrooms until browned and water is evaporated. Set aside on paper towel to drain.
4. Scramble the eggs. We added a splash of soy sauce to the scrambled eggs. Set aside.
5. Saute onions and carrots in a bit of oil. Add a splash of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar.
6. Cook shrimp (unless already cooked). We usually figure 5-6 per person per meal. Set aside when cooked (about 2-3 minutes per side).
7. While cooking shrimp, add rice to onions and carrots. Mix well.
8. When the rice is warm (no longer cold from refrigerator but it doesn't have to be super hot yet) add broccoli, mushrooms, scrambled egg, peas, fresh ginger, soy sauce.
9. When everything is mixed together, hot, and seasoned to your liking (soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, salt, pepper), spoon onto plates and top with desired number of cooked shrimp.
10. We portioned out the leftover fried rice & veggie into glass containers for reheating in the oven. Additional uncooked shrimp will be sauteed each night we eat leftover fried rice so that the shrimp doesn't end up overcooked. They only take 2-3 minutes per side.

*You could also add garlic, sesame oil, oyster sauce, chili sauce.
*You could use chicken, pork, ham, whatever you like.
*Other vegetables could be pepper, snow peas, green beans, cabbage.
*We use low sodium soy sauce. If you use regular, watch how much you use so it doesn't get too salty.
*The quantities/ingredients/seasonings are really up to personal preference. Be sure to use cold rice, make sure the vegetables are cooked but not overcooked (so sometimes they need to be cooked separately then mixed in), and don't over cook your protein.
*We prefer a large number of vegetables and less rice which is why we used a lot of vegetables.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

This weekend we are going to see The Avengers Endgame movie and then Sunday night, the big Game of Thrones battle at Winterfell. Gah! I don't want anyone to die! Except Thanos. And Cersei. I stocked up on tissues in my purse for the movie and put a fresh box near the couch for Sunday night.
We had a quiet Easter, here at our house with my parents. The meal was easy, too. We "cheated" with Bethel Bakery paska (with raisins) and cupcakes/cookies for dessert. SP grilled a leg of lamb and we had tomatoes with mozzarella & balsamic plus Spring Vegetables with Warm Vinaigrette. Not a lot of work.
Easter morning SP made popovers. Either we buy milk and then don't use it or we don't buy it and then we want/need it. This time we had some but hadn't opened it and it was over a week old. So to use up some of it, he made some popovers. There were yummy and popped nicely this time.

What We're Eating:

  • Leftover Easter food 
  • Meat sauce (from the freezer) and pasta
  • Dessert: Easter cupcakes and cookies

What We're Watching:

  • Game of Thrones. Episode 2 didn't have any action, but there was lots of interaction between the characters, everyone finally together at Winterfell. And Jon told Dany the truth about his parents. She didn't look happy. I'm starting to not like Dany. I'm starting to hope her dragon eats her.
  • We started Season 5 of Bosch on Amazon. Still good.
  • Killing Eve. That lipstick Villanelle put in Eve's bag. Yikes!

What I'm Reading:

  • The magazine pile finally just toppled over. The top of the pile started to slide sideways and then everything slid onto the floor. A slow motion disaster. I'm trying to read them, but every day something interferes. Well, OK, sometimes I let myself get distracted by reading Game of Thrones theories. And sometimes I have an accidental nap in the afternoon. And sometimes I can't stop playing Wordscapes. 
  • I read Broken Bone China by Laura Childs. It was enjoyable, light & easy reading. Somehow I requested the large print version! I wore my glasses anyway but gosh the print was huge!
  • I also am flipping through a couple cookbooks I borrowed from the library. I need dinner inspiration! 

Friday, April 19, 2019


Last weekend we went with S&R to Mezzo for dinner. We've been there several times and always enjoy tasty food and cocktails. Here's what we enjoyed this time:
I had chardonnay, S had a red wine, and SP & R, the gin drinkers, enjoyed a gin cocktail called Phantom's Revenge but we do not recall the ingredients. It was pretty. The drink & the glass (there was pretty etched design on the glass).
SP started with Fried Eggplant (golden raisin and pine nut relish, roasted eggplant puree, arugula, balsamic reduction).
R started with Beef Tartare (onion and garlic agrodolce, crispy garlic, dijon emulsion, espellette pepper, salt & vinegar chips). S had the Arancini (smoked carrot, jalapeno, parsley) but I didn't take a photo.
I chose Burrata (treviso, frisee, shaved root vegetables, champagne vinaigrette, garlic croutons, basil pesto). Yes, the croutons and pesto are on the side for me. Garlic. Yuck.
For my entree, I chose Lamb Bolognese (tortiglioni, tomato, Parmesan). So good.
Surprising me, SP chose a pasta dish: Linguine (olive, anchovy, caper, artichoke, olive oil, garlic, lemon, parsley, pistachio).
For dessert SP and R chose Lemon Semifreddo (pistachio financier, raspberry-blood orange syrup). The lemon semifreddo was yummy (I stole a bite).
S & I chose Chocolate Crema (stracciatella ice cream, salted caramel, chocolate shortbread crumble). This was delicious but so dense and rich. I could manage only half of it and I brought the rest home.

We all like Mezzo. The food is good, the service is good, meals are nicely paced, and this time was no exception. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

I spent a lot of time on Monday watching the news in disbelief and sadness. Notre Dame is just spectacular. Awe inspiring. Takes your breath away. Even if you're not Catholic, even if you're not religious, it's simply stunning, the architecture, the art, the relics. I am so grateful that I was able to visit last May.
Meanwhile, I think we've finally readjusted after this year's vacation. I'm still working on going through the photos. Today the wheelchair got a post-vacation inspection. While we were there, the leg and footrest came unscrewed so we had to find a hardware store. Fortunately, there was one close to where we discovered the problem and they sold non-metric nuts/bolts/screws. A couple euro later we were good to go.

Then one day we were getting off a busy tram and a screw plopped onto the floor. Someone picked it up and handed it to me. Uh-oh. We checked it on the spot and again at the hotel but couldn't figure out where it belonged. I brought it all the way home. Today the tech also was mystified, saying it doesn't look like anything he's used on a wheelchair and he couldn't find anywhere it belonged. So it's a mystery - where did it come from? I guess not me and people just assumed me because of the wheelchair.

I do need a part replaced, with one of the front casters, because it's rolling like a broken shopping cart. Ugh. I probably have 1-2 months of this difficult rolling and I am not happy.

Yesterday was our anniversary. We made the Pasta with Prosciutto & Peas that we make for special dinners. We have no dining out plans. We didn't exchange gifts though SP did come home with a bag of foil wrapped Hershey's chocolate eggs for the Easter basket and tried to pass them off as an anniversary gift.

We did not treat ourselves to Sarris - the foil wrapped chocolate eggs were $20/pound and the meltaway eggs were $19 each. When did Sarris get so pricey? I didn't think it had been that long since we bought some and it seems to have really jumped in price.

I missed my blog anniversary on April 14. Ten years!

Last weekend we saw Come From away. I knew nothing about the show and I loved it. It made me teary. So good. This week I've been listening to the original cast recording a lot.

What We're Eating:

What We're Watching:

  • We are finally caught up on shows recorded on the DVR during vacation.
  • Game of Thrones is back! Jon Snow knows something! Bran is still weird! Sansa and Dany try to out shade each other! "My eyes have always been blue!" "I'm waiting for an old friend."
  • Killing Eve is great. I loved Villanelle in those crazy pajamas, the laundromat clothes, and then that nightgown!
  • I'm still not liking Meredith with Deluca. Ugh.
  • The Amazing Race is back! Sadly, so is that whiny witch from Big Brother. Ugh. We cannot stand her. Nor we can stand those Survivor girls in pink. 

What I'm Reading:

  • So many magazines. MIL brought over more, but I managed to get through those and the last batch plus several of the ones we get. Progress!
  • I have 3 library books! Let's see how long it takes me to read them/how many times I renew them. On Sunday I made the mistake of looking for a Game of Thrones recap and instead rewatched the first 3 episodes of season 1. Now I want to rewatch the whole series. Like I need 60+ hours of TV to watch.
  • I am 4 issues behind with Smithsonian Magazine.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

Last weekend we returned from a 10 day trip to Amsterdam. It was a great, if chilly and windy, vacation and I am grateful that despite my carotid dissection, I was able to go. I'll probably write more about the trip later, and definitely some food posts, but I haven't yet sorted through all the photos.

While we were there, we got to "spring ahead" again since their "spring ahead" day is at the end of March. So jet-lag, then spring ahead, then jet-lag again. We've been tired all week. We managed to get all the laundry done but otherwise, we've been a bit lethargic!

What We're Eating:

  • Grilled chicken breasts with Apricot-Mustard Glaze served with salad. Lots of salad. All week long. 
  • Dessert: Palmiers from Costco.

What We're Watching:

  • We're trying to watch all the recorded shows on the DVR. Slowly we're catching up.
  • Killing Eve is back!
  • Game of Thrones returns this weekend! The final season! So much excitement!
  • This Is Us ended season 3. I love the show but why does it need to make me cry every single week?!

What I'm Reading:
I'm trying to get through the magazine pile but it's so large now that I just feel overwhelmed and not able to pick up a single issue.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Osteria 2350 for Dessert

After dinner at Smallman Galley, we walked around a bit. As we were walking back to our car, we walked past the building where Cioppino and Osteria 2350 are located. On the spur of the moment, we decided to see if we could stop in Osteria 2350 for some dessert. Happily, they were able to seat us.
We shared a piece of Tiramisu (espresso soaked ladyfingers, marsala mascarpone filling, dark cocoa dusting). It was yummy. Lots of espresso in the ladyfingers.
We also ordered two Cannoli. We shared one and took the other home. SP got the pistachio end and I got the chocolate end! The filling was excellent, creamy and a hint of orange. Wonderful crisp shells.
We ordered Cappuccino to warm up. They tasted so good after walking around on a windy and chilly Saturday.

We hadn't been to Osteria 2350 in a while but we've always enjoyed the food and the servers are always terrific. Even though we just had dessert, it was nice to feel so welcomed. The desserts and coffees were delicious. Hopefully we will soon be back for dinner.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Thursday Thoughts

My mind is on overseas things. More details to come.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Smallman Galley

A couple weekends ago, we made our second trip to Smallman Galley. There are 4 restaurants, 2 are the same as the last time we went, and 2 are new.
I ordered from Home. I chose Meat & Potatoes (short rib ragu/ parmesan gnocchi/whipped basil). It was delicious! I had some leftover because there was a lot of short rib, but I ate all the tiny gnocchi. Yum!

We also tried Crab Hush Puppies from Home (blue crab and cornmeal fritters/cajun remoulade):
They were huge! And yummy. I managed just half a hush puppy while SP ate one and half. We took the other two home.

SP ordered his main meal from Banhmilicious. He got Noodle Soup (PHÕ) - grassfed bone broth, choice protein, sprouts, onions, cilantro, sriracha, hoisin, lime, jalapeño.
I liked the broth, it was very warming with what I think was cinnamon and maybe anise? He loved his noodle bowl.

Our food was delicious and the people who work there are terrific. We also each had a glass of wine from the bar. SP chose a rose, I had a Beaujolais Blanc. I was surprised that around 5 pm there was hardly a free space to sit down and eat. We ended up at a communal table next to a large group of 20-something girls which didn't really make for a great date night atmosphere, but that's OK. I like that there are different food options so SP can have something he really enjoys but that I do not enjoy and I can still have something I really like.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Whipped Feta

A few weeks ago I wanted something besides roast turkey and Swiss on an English muffin for lunch. Inspired by the Whipped Feta recipes in the current Cook's Illustrated, we made a whipped feta spread.
I spread it atop a toasted multigrain bread from Market District's bakery.
Then I topped it with roasted grape tomatoes, roasted red pepper, cucumber, and kalamata olives.
It was a little difficult (messy) to eat as an open-face sandwich, so after Day 1, I started cubing the bread, toasting the cubes, dolloping whipped feta on top the toasted cubes, and mixing it all with the chopped vegetables. I guess like a panzanella, only with whipped feta dressing.

This was a delicious lunch, and quite filling.

We used this Whipped Feta recipe from Ina Garten.