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Coconut Curry Shrimp

by Emma on June 8, 2012

in Uncategorized

I’ve been trying to dream up new (to me) summer entertaining ideas. Ever since we built a fire pit in my backyard I have the itch to have folks over for cook outs. So easy appetizers, cocktails and dessert options are on my mind….

Also, I recently made a little trip to Sam’s Club and ended up with a HUGE bag of frozen shrimp cocktail from the last cook out. Sam’s Club (or Costco, whatever) are funny places. I don’t have a big family, or even a pantry, so buying in bulk doesn’t always make a lot of sense for my lifestyle right now. BUT. I like how everything comes in bulk. I like the bulk option. Maybe it’s my lack of maturity but having a “2 oranges” on your grocery list and then realizing your only option is a bag of 20 is just a funny moment.

And the carts are giant. Which gives it a surreal feeling.

But, I’m easily entertained. Obviously.

For these I simply defrosted, detailed and deveined the shrimp. Breaded with eggs then a breadcrumb/curry/coconut mix and fried. Next time I think I may double bread them with a flour mix first. I like my breading, what can I say.

I cut these skewers to fit in my dutch oven and fried the shrimp right on the sticks. This made it much easier to do quickly and then serving them is easy peasy too. I like sticks. (Again, easily entertained over here!).

Do you have any easy outdoor type entertaining ideas for me? I’d love to try some of them out. xo. Emma


Remember how I got that large box of all different kinds of flours (you can see a photo of them in this post)? There was one flour in the bunch that I have been particularly excited to try: teff. I didn’t know anything about it but it is super dark brown and probably the prettiest flour in the bunch. Which I realize is a shallow way to judge flours… but… it’s just flour guys. Calm down.

Surfing around the internet I learned that teff flour is originally (and mostly grown) in Ethiopia. Although they are growing it in the US now too, mostly Idaho it seems. It’s gluten-free and super nutritious. I’m excited to try a traditional type recipe with it sometime but I also read that it can easily be used in most non-yeasted baking recipes by replacing up to 1/4 of the regular flour with teff flour. And so I made chocolate cookies. Because teff is dark brown and I thought it might make the cookies super dark brown. And I was right. Science.

I cooked a number of things yesterday as I was home all day for the first time in forever. And I must say that this was one of my favorite concoctions. But its double chocolate, so what’s not to love? These are best fresh out of the oven. If you save them for the next day I highly recommend popping one in the microwave for a few seconds so the chocolate chips get all gooey again.

Unless you’re afraid of microwaves. I am too. Sometimes. So, it’s cool.

Double Chocolate Cookies, makes 14-15 cookies

Needed: 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup teff flour, 4 tablespoons dutch processed cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 6 tablespoons softened butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips and a few walnuts for garnish.

In a bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the peanut butter and milk. Combine with the flour mixture until a thick dough forms. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Spoon onto a prepared baking sheet and garnish each with a walnut half. I think they sort of look like tiny brains. Which is weird now that I’m typing it. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes.

Enjoy! xo. Emma


Easy Dinners: Bow Tie Pasta

by Emma on June 4, 2012

in Dinner

Before we talk about pasta, tomato sauce, quick weeknight dinners or whatever else I will probably ramble on about I gotta say something:


It’s not done done. We will probably have some rewriting to do, maybe a few more photos to take. But over the weekend my sister and I turned in our very first book together, and I really can’t think about anything else. I feel so so excited, and happy and sort of relieved (that was a big project dude). I love hanging out here on the blog and cracking (awkward) jokes while sharing recipes, but my main jam is A Beautiful Mess. So thanks for your patience while I’ve been MIA lately, or at least it’s felt that way.

After finishing things up late last night I went to bed (duh). This morning when I woke up I felt excited to do every me-project I could dream up. Here’s a list of things I got excited about:

Cleaning my house, giving my dog a bath, painting my toe nails, building a fire in my pit and making s’mores, working on a few home projects, mopping my floors, researching alternative flours (thought I forgot, didn’t you?), riding my bike, catching up with a few friends, trying hot yoga, finishing my current fantasy novel, getting my car fix (it’s been acting weird)…

And as I review this list I can’t help but notice that I just might be the lamest person that ever lived. Not sorry.

And on that note, let’s talk easy homemade tomato sauce. (I’m amazing at segways. Obvs.)

Easiest Ever Homemade Tomato Sauce, makes about 3 cups.

Needed: 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, 1 28 ounce can whole stewed tomatoes, 1/2 yellow onion, salt, pepper, cayenne or other spices.

In a pot lightly saute the minced garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Strain the tomatoes and dump these in the pot. Half your whole onion and remove the skin, add the entire half to the pot (we’re going to remove it later so you want it to be in a whole piece). Let this cook and mingle on low heat for 20 minutes or so.

In the mean time cook your pasta. I like bow ties. They seem fancy. I like sautéed onion and soy sausage. I like chopped cilantro. I can do all this while my tomato sauce simmer. Pretty cool, huh?

Remove the onion. I use an immersion blender to blend my sauce at this point. You could do this in a blender. You could do this with a wooden spoon for a more rustic sauce. Whatever. You pick. Choose your own adventure. Now taste and add your spices accordingly.

And that’s how you do a pasta dinner with homemade tomato sauce in under 30 minutes. You’re welcome. xo. Emma


Late May 2012…

by Emma on May 31, 2012

in Personal

Dear Diary,

Just kidding. I don’t have a diary.

Dude, life has been crazy lately. It’s been busy, full, stressful, wonderful, magical, annoying and probably most of all… memorable. At work we are putting the final touches on our first book (weird, right?!) It’s summer and I want to get into cooking more fresh meals with my CSA goodies. It’s my first time getting a share (well, a half-share) from a  local farm and it’s sort of mysterious process to me still. Veggies just show up at your house… awesome. Also, I went camping. Between that and Hawaii I almost have a tan now. Oh yeah.

What I’m thinking lately is that this season is sort of full of beginnings. It feels like the ball is rolling on a few things in my life and it’s both scary and exciting. Life isn’t perfect, and probably never will be, but boy am I feeling lucky lately. xo. Emma