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Originally posted on Thought Catalog:
1. Change Your Location
Most of the time I can write at home, but there are days when I sit down at my computer, look around the room, and realize I haven’t cleaned my ceiling fan in a month. Now all I can think about is the fan and how much dust it’s circulating into the air. Should I go buy some Claritin just to be safe? If this happens, change your location. If you can’t leave your house, go to a different room. Go to a coffee shop or try a different booth. It seriously helps more than you’d imagine.
2. If Possible, Turn Off Your Phone
I understand that there are times when you have to have your phone on, but if you’re working on a deadline and you really need to focus, turn it off. Even if you haven’t gotten a call or text…
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- Boneless Chicken, 3 breasts
- Limes, 3 or 4
- Garlic, 4 to 6 cloves
- Olive Oil
- Cayenne or Chili Powder
- Cilantro, 1/4 cup, snipped
- Avocado, optional
What it took for 2:
* 1/2 pound extra large shrimp, thawed, peeled and deveined
* 2 tsp lemon zest, divided
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper
* 1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
* 1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
* 2 basil leaves, torn
* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
* 4 cups baby spinach
* 2 Tbs. lemon juice (or more!)
* 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
On a plate, toss the shrimp with the crushed red pepper, half the lemon zest, chopped herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Let it sit while you start the rest.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and bloom 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes along the remaining lemon zest. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the shrimp in a single layer and sear on one side for 2 minutes. Flip and sear another minute, or until shrimp is cooked through. Keep tossing the tomatoes just a little bit.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the angel hair until al dente, maybe 5 minutes. Drain all but about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and toss with the shrimp and tomato mixture, along with the spinach. Squeeze a lot of lemon juice right in. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Add as much pasta water as you want to create a thin, glorious sauce.
Serve it with more lemon juice, crusty bread and for heaven’s sake, fresh parmesan cheese.
For dulce de leche blondies
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dulce de leche (the darker, the better)
1 egg, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup toasted coconut shavings
1/4 cup melted dark chocolate
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped nuts
For dulce de leche blondies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch by 11-inch baking dish with butter and line with parchment paper, leaving about two inches of overhang on each side.
Beat butter until creamy with an electric stand or hand mixer. Add the sugar and dulce de leche. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and beat for another minute. Whisk the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture and mix well. (It will look crumbly at first and then come together into a nice dough.)
Press the dough into the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes. They will be puffed up a little and start to turn golden on top. Remove and let cool completely in the pan.
To cut and serve:
Transfer the blondies to a cutting board using the parchment handles. Cut into 18 bars. If desired, drizzle the bars with melted chocolate and sprinkle with the toasted coconut and chopped nuts.