Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Recipe: Lemony Shrimp with Couscous

Ben launched an awesome site yesterday and worked really hard on it all day Sunday, so I thought he deserved a special dinner (AKA something slightly more home-cooked than frozen ravioli). Pulled out the trusty Real Simple, of which I am so thankful to be on the comp, and found their section of "weeknight dinners". Their's is recommended as a shrimp salad but I served mine warm and it was delish. Also healthy, so YAY for that!

Lemony Shrimp with Couscous
Serves 4; Total Time: 15m

  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • Salt & Black Pepper
  • 1.5 lbs cooked, peeled and deveined medium shrimp*
  • 0.5 lbs sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
    *My shrimp was not cooked, peeled or deveined, so I peeled / deveined and cooked it in a pan on medium with fresh squeezed lemon juice and garlic powder until pink
  1. Place couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup very hot water (I microwaved mine) and 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl (or, in the pan you used to cook the shrimp if your shrimp was not precooked), combine shrimp, snap peas, tomatoes, basil, scallions, oil, lemon zest & juice, 1/4 tsp each salt & pepper. Toss to combine. Serve over couscous.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

26 has been a big year

if you're older than 26, you're probably laughing at me. and if you're younger than 26 - don't get your hopes up, i'm not sure it's a big year for everyone. but it has been for me ... me, who hates being an even-numbered age, who has been desperate to turn 27 since my 26th birthday, who expected it to be a slow year. me, who - half the time - can't even remember that i AM 26 ... for me it has been a big year. maybe not from the outside, but ive noticed a lot going on. and there's still more than four months to go - i don't even want to begin to imagine what else might happen in my 26th year.

since november 20, 2010, we've paid off both of our cars (what a relief!), i've been moved to a new account at work (not such a relief, but a great opportunity), i've developed a serious problem with heartburn (apparently my mom did at the exact same age) and i've found my first (and second, and third, and probably a lot more that i'm not willing to acknowledge) gray hairs. those might seem like minor life changes, probably unnoticeable to most, and in the grand scheme of things they really are.

now, i am not an overtly religious person, despite what our ongoing church search might lead you to believe. i was raised going to church, normally a few times a week, all the way to the time i graduated from high school. i have had a personal relationship with God in the years since, but i also haven't really been able to find the right place that i want religion to have in my adult life. i'm still struggling with it, but i really have felt God speaking to me this year, specifically in the past few months. He's saying a lot - or trying to, when i'm willing to listen.

He's teaching me that you never know what a person is going through, and He's trying to teach me to be more sensitive. after all, you could have to go through it as well some day, and wouldn't you like to know there's someone else on your side? God is teaching me that there are often very few people in life you can genuinely open up to and rely on, but He's trying to teach me that we're lucky to have even those few. quality, not quantity, in relationships is a hard thing to swallow, but i'm so blessed to have the best friends that i do - especially my darling husband who tries so hard to understand me. God's teaching me that things can always get worse, but He's trying to teach me that they'll eventually get better. i'm not saying i've hit rock bottom or anything that dramatic, but it's often hard to see the silver lining of a tough situation - i'm trying to find those blessings even in trials.

here's the thing - you don't have to be overtly religious (or religious at all!) to learn these lessons. and you don't have to be 26. but you should learn them, or at least try to. all i'm saying is, we could value people more, but understand our material and circumstantial blessings. we don't need to be envious of anyone, not only because our lives are already blessed beyond belief, but because we have no idea what that person has had to deal with - or is dealing with now. i think we could all practice a little more sensitivity, a little more optimism, and live our lives with a little more hope. but maybe that's just me.

as lon solomon would say "not a sermon, just a thought".