I ordered a pizza one day last week with a “plan-ahead” order.
I know what you’re thinking: Me? Plan ahead? That’s crazy talk! But on this occasion I did.
But I digress…
The pizza was supposed to be delivered at 5:30. By about five p.m. I was getting hungry, and at 5:30 I was looking out the screen door every five minutes to see if the pizza guy had arrived yet.
At 5:45 I looked out and saw the Papa John’s delivery car parked on the street. “Yes!” I thought. “Finally!”
Then I saw the delivery guy walking BACK to his car from my next-door neighbor’s house. With an EMPTY insulated delivery bag!
“Oh no,” I thought. “Oh no no no no no. The neighbors STOLE my PIZZA! And I’m flipping STARVING!!”
I thought about how I’d have to point out to the delivery guy his mistake, and how he’d have to go all the way BACK down to the Papa John’s store and get me a new pizza. Which would take FOREVER. (Did I mention I was hungry?)
Then I thought about the neighbors eating MY pizza. Grrrr. I envisioned walking next door and confronting them, ripping my six-cheese-thin-crust right out of their greasy little hands.
And then… Oh joy of joys!!… The guy took a new, FULL, insulated delivery bag from the back of his car. He waved cheerily at me, fortunately unable to see my glowering face through the screen door.
I hopped out there as quick as a rabbit with my new, happy, I’m-getting-to-eat-finally face on. Yay for dinner!
The neighbors are lucky they didn’t steal my pizza.
This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe I made last week. Delicious!
Of course, my version was slightly less pretty. And I took out some of the complications.
Here’s the recipe, with my modifications in (Notes):
Baked Shrimp Scampi
2 pounds shrimp in the shell
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. (Note: I took the tails off. I don’t like shrimp shells in my food.)
Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.
In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined. (Note: I don’t have all of this stuff. I used minced garlic from the jar and then replaced the other spices with a seafood seasoning blend. I used plain old bread crumbs instead of panko. The egg yolk I used as directed.)
Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. (Note: This makes it look fancy. Since I cut the tails off I couldn’t do this, but I’ll trade fancy-looking for shell-free food.)
Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute.
I saw a new way to make mac and cheese on pinterest.
The difference is: You cook the noodles in the milk instead of water.
I know, right? CRAZY. But it was really good.
It was super creamy, but did not use any butter or cream. There was only skim milk and cheddar cheese.
Now, I haven’t done the calorie math on this, but it’s got to be healthier than regular mac and cheese. (Especially when paired with frozen broccoli, as above. Bravo to me! Ha ha.)
The only drawback was that it required more standing and stirring than I usually prefer. (I’m lazy like that.) In my experience, it took longer than the 25 minutes on low for the milk to thicken; I think it was more like 35 minutes.
1 cup loosely packed cheddar cheese, shredded by hand
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dijon mustard, can omit and substitute nutmeg instead
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until pasta is soft, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.
Turn heat off, add cheese & salt & and stir to combine. Stir in the mustard or nutmeg & cayenne a little at a time, to taste. Cover and let stand for a couple of minutes, then stir again and serve. If not creamy enough, add milk a little at a time, and gently stir.
If you would like to bake it at this point, place in a baking dish and top with a generous sprinkling of cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes until cheese has melted.