Thursday Things [Summer 2015]

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This summer has been one of the most frustrating ones to date. Excuse in advance my Debbie-Downer tone, but this summer has been anything but what I envisioned. I started off the summer suffering from vertigo. Which is kinda the worst. You feel totally out of it, disoriented, and completely off balance. FUN. That was followed by a business deal that fell through leaving me financially scrambling. And to top it off I was fighting an eye condition that left me in my glasses 90% of the time [que summer sweaty nose] and feeling like I had sand in my eyes…all the time. CUTE. Turns out my eye condition caused my vertigo. WHAT! Yeah, good doctors are realllly worth the time and investment. And amidst the ailments I had men floating in and out of my life reopening deep wounds and playing Jedi mind games. OYE. [1st- world problems, yes. But frustrating nonetheless]

So suffice to say, that enduring the frustration has led to a lot growing, self-reflection [a personal fave] and learning. Here’s a smattering of a few things I’ve realized during my Wet-Hot-[frustrating]-American-Summer.

Moving your body everyday is more than keeping your ass tight – it’s keeping your mind right. 

Always get a second opinion. 

Friends that make you laugh are worth their weight in gold. 

Men that play games are not men at all. 

Staying true to yourself sometimes means finding out who that person is. 

Money will come and go but memories are forever. Especially the memories you make when you didn’t spend any money at all. [your welcome Hallmark]

Don’t let your business guard down…ever.  

Makeup is optional. 

I’m stronger than I think. Have you seen these guns?

Sometimes you really can let bygones be bygones. And sometimes…nope. 

Opportunity strikes when you least expect it. 

Cat-napping with a cat is totally underrated. 

Self-satisfaction comes in surprising forms. 

3am nachos create life long bonds. 

Also the Cinderella rule, is a great rule. [aka home before midnight]

Parents who get the whole picture – no paint brush needed…praise. 

Grill everything. 

Pay attention to exit signs. 

Sometimes you literally have to take 3 steps back to take one step forward. 

Fast fashion is horrifying. 

Late-twenty something is another-world of different from early-twenty something. 

Add feta cheese to everything. 

Audio books are so much better when read by the author

If something isn’t working, fix it. Whether it’s a relationship, an air conditioner, a hairstyle or a lifestyle. If you can’t fix it and it doesn’t feel right, at least try something different. BE PROACTIVE. 

Sex and The City episodes take on a whole new internal-monologe-inducing meaning when they start to mirror your own reality. 

SPEAK UP. USE YOUR WORDS. No matter the result, you’ll always be glad you did. 

Watching your best-friend’s love stories unfold in front of you is probably one of the coolest/realest/heart-bursting phenomenons I’ve experienced yet. 

With guys it is feast or famine. 60% of the time, it works every time. 

drunk TV shows > not drunk TV shows 
Exhibit a. Drunk History 
Exhibit b. My Drunk Kitchen 

Coconut Oil is like duct tape for your body. That shit fixes everything. 

Most guys can’t handle a woman who tells it like it is. Sorry [seriously] not sorry. 

^^ Upward and Onward. I’m off to Europe for 2 weeks — and while I know my frustrations won’t stay here on American soil…I am beyond thrilled to explore new frustrations and beautiful new adventures. After months of planning and preparing, my own little eat, pray, love journey has been a loooong time coming. It’s a brave new world out there folks, and I plan on exploring as much of it as I possibly can. Frustration fosters clarity, this I’ve learned to hold true. So if you’re in that place, just know it’s temporary. It gets better and so much clearer. Best part is, you are better for it.^^

I’m hoping to blog a bit while traveling [time and wifi permitting],
if nothing else feel free to follow the real-time photo journey via the insta of grams.

—- @pandosando —-

Summer Sautéed Shrimp and Broccolini

IMG_7100Shrimp scampi just got a healthy[er] kick in the BUTT, thanks to this Cooking Light, Five-Ingredient Recipe. The recipe originally called for the shrimp to be roasted with mushrooms and broccolini. Being the seasonal gal I am, I opted for farmers market fresh – zucchini and squash instead. I also opted to cook this a bit differently than the recipe called for. I also have been using the word opted lately [hmm]. As you can tell [by now]…I don’t follow recipes so well. I usually use them as a good jumping off point and then run with it. This recipe provided a great jumping off point but I ran with it in a slightly different [mostly modified] direction.

Instead of roasting everything in a very hot oven, I sautéed them in a very hot pan. I did this for 3 reasons. One, if I turned on my oven to 500 degrees [like the recipe calls for] it would heat my tiny kitchen/apartment for a WEEK. Secondly, because I am sans a dishwasher [gasp] I would much prefer to only ‘dirty’ one pan/thing rather than two…if I roasted the shrimp and veggies I would have to use a baking sheet to roast and a separate pan/pot on the stove to make the sauce. So my way you use one pan, one bowl and one cutting board. High five.

Lastly, I like cooking in a way that builds flavor from the ground floor up. Making the sauce in the same pan I used to sauté the shrimp and veggies adds a tremendous amount of flavor that I would be without if I roasted them on a separate baking sheet. OH. And I added Old Bay. Because MARYLAND <—-hello!

Either way, the beautiful simplicity of this recipe allows its main ingredients to really steal the show. The flavors scream summer and freshy-freshness. Isn’t that what you want your meal to scream at you? I sure do.

IMG_7101 IMG_7102 IMG_7103To check out Cooking Light‘s version of this recipe click here —> Roasted Shrimp with Mushrooms, Broccolini, and Foaming Chive Butter Sauce. To check out MY version…see below :)

Sautéed Shrimp and Broccolini with Foaming Chive Butter

Ingredients

1 lb shrimp,deveined & shelled [tails optional]
1 medium zuchinni, halved and chopped
1 medium yellow squash, halved and chopped
1/2 lb broccolini, washed and trimmed
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp water
1-2 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
2 tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
2 tbsp EVOO
1/2 lemon, juice
1/4 cup chives, chopped

Instructions

  1. First put all chopped veggies including broccolini in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of EVOO and 1 tbsp of Montreal Steak Seasoning. Stir to coat.
  3. Pour this mixture into a medium-high heat sauté pan. Stir for 2-3 minutes, then cover and reduce heat to medium.
  4. Let vegetables steam & saute for another 5-8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, add shrimp to same bowl add remaining seasonings (Old Bay and Montreal Steak Seasonings). Stir to coat.
  6. Remove lid and add shrimp to vegetable mixture. Stir and cook until shrimp are fully pink, curled and tender. Careful not to over cook the shrimp!
  7. Right before you remove the mixture -- add lemon juice. Stir and remove from heat.
  8. Pour shrimp and veggies into a serving dish.
  9. Return pan to the heat, add butter.
  10. After butter has melted, add 2 tbsp of water. Whisk together and add chives. Remove from heat.
  11. Pour butter sauce over the shrimp and zucchini. Serve immediately!
http://thedailydeelight.com/2015/07/summer-sauteed-shrimp-and-broccolini.html

Baked Black Bean Burgers

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Not only is this a #meatlessmonday recipe but it’s also certifiable gluten free! A dear friend was coming for dinner who is a vegetarian & also didn’t eat wheat — challenge accepted. Lately, I’ve been trying to eat as veggie/peskatarian friendly as possible. Reason? A couple. Eating a lot of meat doesn’t make me feel good [insert inappropriate joke here]. Eating as clean (aka unprocessed meats especially) as possible makes me feel better. Easiest way to eat clean? MAS FRUITS & VEGGIES POR FAVOR! Eating clean makes my body feel nourished. And when my body feels well nourished, I just function better. No simpler way to put it.  Another reason I skip the meat section a lot is money. Meat is expensive! [again…dirty minds unite] Besides, I’d much rather get creative with farmer’s market finds of fresh produce.

This meal comes together pretty easily with a few needed tools like…a food processor! This will make all the difference in getting the desired consistency of your black bean burger patty. Access to fresh herbs is also a major plus for these babies. That’s where the majority of their flavor comes from.

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Pretty simple right? Now to dress it up…top with srirracha ranch [srirracha + ranch = booyah], tomato slice, cucumber slices, and crumbled feta cheese! I chose to serve these over a bed of greens, but you could serve these on [hot]buns or even in a wrap?!  Other topping ideas… pickles, pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapeños, avocado slices, salsa..WHATEVS go crazy!

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Baked Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients

one can of black beans, 15 ounces
one cup toasted quinoa
one cup sunflower seeds
half of a white onion
one cup of fire roasted poblano peppers
one cup fresh cilantro
handful of fresh basil
one egg
one tablespoon of cumin
one tablespoon of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
  2. combine all ingredients in a food processor at a medium speed. blend until a thick paste is formed.
  3. form patties with hands (about palm size) and place on a grease piece of foil on a baking sheet.
  4. bake for about 10-15 minutes or until tops begin brown.
http://thedailydeelight.com/2015/07/baked-black-bean-burgers.html

Cucumber Watermelon Salad

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THIS. I think I could eat this everyday this summer. So simple to make but so complex flavors. The sweet from the watermelon combined with the salty feta cheese and refreshing cucumber just sing with the mint kicking it up an octave. Dig in!! And yes, it’s made with mint…shocking.

Cucumber Watermelon Salad

Ingredients

2-3 cups of cubed watermelon
1/2 lg cucumber, sliced & halved
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3-4 fresh mint leaves, chopped
2-3 tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all chopped ingredients to large mixing bowl.
  2. Top with mint and EVOO.
  3. Salt and Pepper to taste.
  4. Toss to combine.
  5. Serve immediately, or keep chilled in refrigerator.
  6. Enjoy!
http://thedailydeelight.com/2015/06/cucumber-watermelon-salad.html

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