Whiplash Wednesday

Is it just me that finds the weeks whizzing past before I can even recognize the month and week on the calendar? For some reason Wednesdays are the worst for me. Probably because it’s a little shorter school day for us but it also means that the supposedly ‘most productive days’ of our week are spent and we are already behind the game, and it’s Awana night (again?! already?) and I need to help the kids learn their verses because, despite the solemn oaths of last week that we would be better prepared and work on verses before Wednesday afternoon, we haven’t even opened the books since last Wednesday. I find myself getting whiplash each week around this time, amazed that my time is slipping away so rapidly and I have so little to show for it.

As a result, I try to make the most of my Wednesday afternoon and prepare a meal in 20-30 minutes (sometimes it cooks longer, but not a meal that needs my attention for longer than that) while I’m sending the kids off to gather their backpacks, Awana bucks, books, vests/shirts, etc. “Make sure you have socks and shoes on — it’s your ticket to the dinner table; no socks, no shoes, no dinner!” I yell from in front of the stove. I juggle dirty dishes into the dishwasher or empty it of clean ones, call kids to stow their school materials for tomorrow, fling the hash onto the plates, and call everyone to come eat — we have 10-15 minutes to eat before we need to leave, kids! Sometimes The Husband enters the chaos at this point, other nights he’s running late himself and gets home just in time to wave us off from the front steps — your dinner is on the table. Love you, bye! Keep moving kids, we’re running late — again! I say, with cattle prod in hand.

Wednesday night meals are often reheat repeats, burritos, or some other simple food. Last week I was inspired to make something from the contents of the freezer. I had some frozen cooked shrimp from a ‘buy one, get two free’ deal at Meijer and a couple of leftover chicken jalapeno sausage links (natural pork casings removed) and decided to make a shrimp over rice dish. The sausage was spicy, too spicy for the younger kids (Thing 1 loved it, though), but I thought it was a good dish overall. You could substitute a milder sausage and use a little Tabasco to add whatever heat you want.

Spicy Sausage & Shrimp

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 long red sweet pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes
2 links fully cooked chicken sausage, casing removed & sliced
1 lb. frozen cooked shrimp, defrosted, rinsed & tails removed
frozen peas

Heat oil in pan, add onion and pepper and saute until tender. Add garlic and stir for a minute or two. Add tomatoes and sausage simmer for 5 minutes. Add shrimp and frozen peas and cook until heated through. Serve over rice.

Heart of the Matter from the Sea

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Lucillian Delights is hosting the fifth round of Heart of the Matter, searching out heart healthy recipes that use the fruit of the sea. I have a couple of great salmon recipes I could have turned to for this but I had been itching to try yet another Cooking Light recipe: Orange-Ginger Shrimp Skewers. I intended to serve it with stir fried vegetables and brown rice. Unfortunately, the sky looked rather ominous and I didn’t fancy standing in a downpour to grill the shrimp so I used the basic marinade from the Cooking Light recipe as the basis for a stir fry sauce and just cooked it all in one pot. I love the bright colors of stir fried (or stir poached) vegetables.

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This was a very tasty meal.  Despite the cholesterol in shrimp, it is a relatively low calorie meat and served up with so many vegetables and brown rice it’s good for you!  Here’s to your health.

Recipe of the Day — Coconut Shrimp

Tonight we were all thankful the coconut shrimp was cut from the New Year’s Eve menu . . . b/c it was our dinner! 😀 This is a relatively simple recipe, but it *is* time consuming. When I was planning this for the party I thought I would simplify the process for myself by buying the peeled and cooked shrimp and then just coat it and quickly cook it . . . boy, am I glad I did that since deveining and peeling shrimp takes me *forever* as it is.

I had 2 lbs of 36-40 count shrimp defrosted in the fridge and I wanted to cook it all tonight and between coating and cooking, it took me at least 1.5 hrs. I was also working on more bread sticks for the rehearsal dinner on Friday so it actually took me more than 2 hrs to get it all done and, by that time, the family was starving. I served it with rice, mango salsa, fresh fruit and green salad.

Oh, and there were only three shrimp out of the 2 lbs left at the end! (“oink, oink” says the family — they loved it!)

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Coconut Shrimp

whisk together:

2 egg whites

3 Tablespoons corn starch

ground black pepper

Dip the shrimp in the egg mixture, dip in coconut. Fry. Eat.

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