Shrimp and Snow Pea Pasta with Cilantro Lime Sauce

This recipe needs no introduction. It is a family favorite that’s made for any and all get-togethers. It’s also one that can guarantee a visit from my sister if she catches wind of dinner plans featuring this delectable entrée.

Ingredients (makes 12-16 servings):

  • 2 lbs Rotini
  • 2 lbs. cooked shrimp
  • 2 8  oz cans of water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 lb. (or more) sugar snap peas (fresh or thawed from frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 1/3 cups lime juice – about 10 medium sized limes
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Mexican seasoning (store bought or homemade)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • Crushed Red Pepper, per taste
  1. Whisk together 2 cups of the lime juice, 3/4 cup olive oil, soy sauce, cilantro, green onions and Mexican seasoning till well blended, then set aside.
  2. Sauté the minced garlic with 1/4 tsp red pepper in about 1/4 cup olive oil. Pour most but not all the oil over the shrimp, add 1/3 cup lime juice, toss and set aside.
  3. Trim the  peas into about 3/4 inch pieces. In the same sauté pan, add about 4 Tbs. water and cook the snow peas 1 minute covered, then 2 minutes, stirring. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Grill the shrimp till slightly browned.
  5. Cook the pasta then drain.
  6. Combine the pasta, shrimp, snow peas, and water chestnuts. Add sauce to taste.
  7. For the record, this pasta tastes better and better the longer it sits in the sauce. As much as we dig in the moment after everything is done, it’s really the left overs we all crave. 

Share
Posted in Pasta, Seafood | 1 Comment

Grilled Peaches

It’s easy to fall into the “woe is me” mindset when you spend the vast majority of your waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours in the hospital, and as the daylight hours become shorter, I have no doubt I’ll find myself sinking into this trap more and more. We work long hours. We sacrifice time spent with loved ones to focus our energy one someone else’s loved ones. We miss out on food, sleep, and normal human interaction. We force our brains to choke down textbook chapter after textbook chapter, then chastise ourselves when we make the smallest mistake during a pimping session…With all these complaints, you’d thinking someone was forcing me to be here. But that’s just it, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t realize, deep down, that there is nothing I’d rather spend my time doing. So allow me a few moments to take stock of my situation (the situation of all interns) and remind me (us) of a few things I (we) have to be grateful for.
1. We are healthy. We are not the ones lying in the bed being poked and prodded for the 10th time today by the intern who “just wants to make sure everything is okay” meanwhile watching the same infomercial they saw every hour on the hour for the past 5 days.
2. We are employed. There are a lot of people out there who don’t have the luxury of saying that.
3. We chose to do this. Choice is a wonderful gift. Remember, if you wake up tomorrow and decide this isn’t the life you want, that’s okay! No one is forcing you to be here.
4. Somehow we are lucky enough to have loved ones who are willing to stick this out with us. They don’t gripe when we forget to call because they realize we probably fell asleep the moment we walked in the front door. Remember to thank them (thanks guys – you know who you are).
5. We have the coolest jobs in the world. Our patients have deemed us worthy of taking their lives into our hands (both literally and figuratively). If someone were to hear me describe my day to day, and have no idea I was training to be a surgeon, there’s a pretty good chance they’d arrest me on the spot (I’ve been told society looks down on cutting people open). And though we all encounter those “difficult patients” from time to time, the vast majority are grateful for their interactions with us (and for those who aren’t, try to put yourself in their shoes…the hospital is a scary place).
I don’t pretend that I wake up every morning with a giant grin on my face, ready to take on the day. No. I’m just like every other human being who groans when they hear their alarm, and like every other intern who walks into the hospital praying to Netter that I won’t get called on during morning conference, but hey…deep down I realize how lucky I am. Life is good.

Ingredients:

  • Peaches
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Brown sugar
  • Basil or Mint
  1. Cute the peaches in half and remove the pit.
  2. Drizzle the cut faces of the peaches with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with brown sugar. Let sit for as long as you’re willing to wait (I lasted about 5 minutes).
  3. Grill face down for 5-10 minutes then flip over and grill the uncut side of the peach for another 5 minutes. The peaches are done with soft all the way through. 
  4. Top with basil or mint  and eat as-is or with scoop of ice cream. 
Share
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Chex Mix and Puppy Chow

Hi Friends. It’s been a while.
We’re now just under 2 months into the ever-terrifying intern year. And while this may be stating the obvious (as evidenced by our lack of posts), life has been busy. Here are some of the big updates since my last post:
1. I am officially a surgeon-in-training (I’ll write a post soon explaining exactly what that means).
2. Michael (the fiancé) and I bought a house. It feels incredibly adult to say that. So adult, in fact, that I feel like I’m kidding myself into thinking I’m mature enough for the responsibility of homeowner-ship. This was especially obvious as I tried to get over the sticker shock after seeing the bill for a 10 minute furnace repair job.
3. In spite of having owned our house for over a month, our garage is still nonfunctioning as it is currently full of unpacked boxes.
4. I’m afraid of my kitchen. Weird statement, right? Well when I first began cooking for myself it was out of necessity…no one else was going to put food in my mouth. Initially I was overwhelmed by all that went into preparing a meal. Over time, I learned to love the process, but I appear to have regressed. Now, you might be asking yourself, well if you’re not coking, how are you eating? (In truth, none of you were probably thinking that, but I needed some kind of lead in) Well I have recently discovered the beauty of “call money.” Michigan spoils us with a monthly allowance that can only be spent at the cafeteria. I’ve NEVER been the person to spend my money on hospital food. I was a religious brown-bag-luncher…until now. I mean, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. Now I walk into the cafeteria like a rich kid in a food court. No more brown bags for this girl! And what that translates to is less cooking (Actually this is all an excuse…I’ve been avoiding cooking because if I’m cooking then I don’t have an excuse for not posting on BA. It’s all just a copout.).
5. Okay I know that  most of you have already stopped reading and jumped down to the recipe, but for those of you who stuck it out, this is the last point. I promise. It will even tie into the recipe! In an attempt to expedite the move in process, I scheduled my first vacation week in early August, and my best friend (Angela) was generous enough to spend that time with me painting, building furniture, cleaning, watching mindless reality TV and teaching me to make snacks that smell strikingly like high school. Phew. Done. Now go and enjoy.

Puppy Chow

  • 1/2 stick butter (4 tbs)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • about 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 bag of rice chex (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 bag of corn chex (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • a lot of powdered sugar (about 1 cup?)
  1. In a microwaveable bowl, combine the butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter.
  2. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each interval, until the chocolate chips are melted.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the chex, then pour in the chocolate peanut butter mix. Stir until the chex are evenly coated.
  4. Pour 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a gallon ziplock bag, add the chex mixture, then top with another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Close the bag and shake until the sugar is evenly distributed (you may need a little extra).
Chex Mix
  • 4 tbs butter
  • 3 tbs worcestershire
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 9 cups assorted chex (rice, corn and wheat)
  1. Melt butter and mix in the worcestershire and spices.
  2. In a separate (microwave safe) bowl, combine the chex and pour in the butter and spice mix. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Microwave the mixture for 2 min, stir, then microwave for another 3 min. 
  4. LET COOL (says Angela)!! You WILL burn your tongue if you do not heed Angela’s warming.
Share
Posted in Dessert, Snacks, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Orange Almond Biscotti

Happy Father’s Day!  In commemoration, I’ll tell you about an item on my pre-residency bucket list.  I’d had my eye on a file cabinet on Pinterest that had been converted into a mini kitchen island.  However, I was also  fully aware that the only tools to my name are a convertible screwdriver and an abandoned hammer that I once filched from my apartment basement.  I found a filing cabinet at a thrift store for $5, but wasn’t sure how to break into an entirely new realm of “recipe”.   So I called upon my dad, who went with me to Home Depot and helped me find the necessary hardware.  I then went to my brother-in-law’s father’s house, where we used an electric drill to install the wooden top and casters (and he was impressed by my recognition of the metal awl).
At the end of a few weeks of planning and two afternoons of work, I’m thankful that these two dads were willing to help me construct my crazy dreams, didn’t laugh at me while doing it, and taught me something new.  And now I get to cook with the result any time I want.

Recipe (can be found at Smitten Kitchen by clicking here…I know, I know, next week will have a different source!)

I made these as a thank-you gift for all of the help I received for this project.  It is now my go-to for last minute gratitude.  It is about as easy as banana bread, but more portable — it doesn’t go stale for 1-2 weeks and holds up to shipping (done once already).  Here’s my advice:

  1. A 1/2 recipe will suffice for one gift; it makes about 15 biscotti
  2. During the second bake, don’t worry about the biscotti still feeling moist in the oven before you take it out.  If you wait until they’re completely hard, they won’t be very tender.
  3. Play with the ingredients…the next time I think a lime & cardamom might be nice.  Anise lends a traditional yet more adventurous taste.
  4. If you’re shipping, ship in an air-tight container, preferably with layers of parchment or wax paper between layers of biscotti.
  5. This a gift that is especially good for coffee and tea drinkers.
Share
Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Snacks | Leave a comment