Thursday, May 31, 2012

Garlic Shrimp

Yesterday was slightly devastating. I thought about the salmon I cooked on Tuesday night ALL day long. I even wrote a blog post about it. Then I went to the grocery store on the way home am basically ran through the store because I was STARVING and wanted to eat the salmon. I had even decided that I was too hungry to wait until Forrest got home to start eating. After unloading the groceries it was time to eat--hooray. As soon as I opened the fridge I knew something was wrong. I had JUST unloaded the groceries and I didn't remember seeing the salmon in the fridge. I searched everywhere--nothing. CRAP--did we leave it on the grill? I went to look and no luck. Then it hit me. We ate supper outside that night and we were afraid the cats might sneak a taste of the salmon while it was unattended so we safeguarded it in the microwave--and left it there. CAN YOU SAY DEVASTATED??? I wanted that fish so badly but the remembrance of last week's food poisoning fiasco made me throw it out. Luckily I had printed another recipe for baked shrimp and just happened to have everything on hand (Forrest mentioned we had a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer when he pulled out the salmon--thank goodness I thought ahead and found a recipe that day!). Much to my surprise it was scrumptious! Forrest liked it more than the salmon (I am still mourning the salmon and in my book nothing will be as good as it--until maybe tomorrow) and kept making "yummy noises" as he ate it. I served it over the same pasta I used with the salmon (whole wheat linguini with butter and parmesan and a squeeze of lemon). It was the perfect amount for 2 with leftovers for lunch for 1. The best part was that it was ridiculously easy and quick!! Happy cooking!

Garlic Baked Shrimp
 1 pound peeled and deveined medium or large shrimp (I used a bag of pre-cooked frozen shrimp-just pour it right into the baking dish)
  • cloves garlic, sliced (I used minced)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine 
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (I used Italian style bread crumbs because well, they are the best!)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425ยบ F. In a baking dish, combine the shrimp, garlic, white wine, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. (I poured the wine and garlic in the bottom of the dish and mixed that around. Then I added the shrimp on top. Then I salted a peppered)
  2. In a small bowl, combine the butter, bread crumbs, and parsley. (I melted the butter-it made sense to me)
  3. Sprinkle over the shrimp and bake until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 15 to 18 minutes. (I also sprinkled on parmesan cheese)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grilled Salmon with Glaze

So after my little incident with food poisoning (yes, I poisoned myself) I have been wary about eating poultry AND about cooking in general. I know you have to get back up on the horse, so I started small and easy--with frozen Salmon. I have been pinning lots of yummy recipes on Pinterest and I am trying to actually cook some of them. Pinterest has done WONDERS for my organization. I can determine what I want to cook for the week while I am at work--no recipe binder needed! It makes it to easy to make my grocery list and to try to put together recipes for the week that use similar ingredients. It also helps me plan for meals in advance, which is a HUGE help to me. I also enjoy listing when I made the particular dish and whether or not it was well received. Anyway, that was a lot of blah blah blah to give you a recipe! Forrest and I made this grilled salmon last night and it was TO DIE FOR delicious and super easy to make! I am kind of surprised I didn't finish it off at breakfast! I served it over whole wheat pasta with a little butter and parmesan cheese mixed it. Then I squeezed a lemon slice over the whole plate, which really added to the pasta! Hope you enjoy!!

BBQ Salmon


  • fillet (3 1/2 to 4 lb.) (I used 1 bag of frozen filets-there were 4)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt (I omitted salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • For one fillet (3 1/2 to 4 lb.), whisk together 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup dry white wine, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.


  1. Grill the salmon, skin down on heavy foil over indirect heat, brushing with the glaze every 5 minutes, just until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 25 to 30 minutes.



Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

What a fun weekend!! I have been so anxious to go to the lake and after the crazy week we had last week, Memorial Day weekend could not have come at a better time. Between my being sick and Dad's trial (he won!) and Forrest finishing up a paper, we were wild at the Bailey house and at work. On Friday Forrest was in Birmingham finishing up some last minute school details and I was back at work. That evening before he came home I went with my parents to a celebration for Dre Kirkpatrick and Jerrell Harris, Gadsden's 2 Alabama football players that are going on to the NFL! It was such a fun event and my dad even got to make a speech!

Afterwards, Forrest and I loaded up our happy dogs and headed up to the lake for a full weekend of fun in the sun! My sister and brother were there as well so we knew it would be a great weekend!
On Saturday morning we went to Trade Day, as per our usual Memorial Day routine. It was SO HOT but we still had fun checking out the oddities!
Hannah modeling Dad's cart next to the awesome giraffe

Anyone in the market?

After lunch we lathered up and tried to lay out but the heat forced us into the water. Of course, Sonny had no problem with this arrangement, as that wild dog swam ALL DAY LONG!!!
She was out for about 10 total minutes the whole weekend. She didn't want to get sunburned!

I think this was the largest fish poor Roy caught

The Bailey men enjoying a nice kayak ride

That evening we went to the Condras for a yummy cookout supper. My contribution was red velvet brownies! I wish I had taken more pics but they got gobbled up too quickly! They really really were yummy and I hope to make them during football season since they are the right color!!
I topped these with lots of cream cheese frosting. YUMMY!

After dinner my cousin Stevie and his wife Melissa met us at our house. They were going to spend Sunday with us at the lake and wanted to get a jump start! They brought their dog Molly whom Sonny loved! Forrest made these cool watermelon jello shots too!


On Sunday Forrest got up early to go mountain biking with his friend Chris and we all went into Mass. After lunch I had a headache so Ruff and I napped while the others attempted to tough it out in the heat. It was kind of nice to stay out of the heat!! That night Dad cooked a tenderloin and Mrs. Joy and Don Rhea joined us for dinner to celebrate their 34th wedding anniversary!! Mrs. Joy introduced us to a new yummy drink: the Crimson Tide. It was pineapple juice, orange juice, peach vodka, and apple pucker. Delicious!!
I know it is night time, but why can't we swim??

On Monday there was a nice breeze so we spent the day outside in the sun playing with the dogs, riding the wave runner, and reading!!
While Forrest was waiting on me to get my life jacket, Sonny climbed on the wave runner with him!! He was so sad that he wasn't able to ride!!

It was sad to leave such a pretty day but also nice to get back home and attempt to get organized. After being down for nearly an entire week, it is crazy at our house!! Hope your weekend  was just as fun and that you are fired up about summer!!!

Red Velvet Brownies
1 box red velvet cake mix
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup milk

Mix first 3 ingredients together and slowly add in milk. When incorporated, pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350. Let cool completely before frosting!

Friday, May 25, 2012

May Catch Up

Did you think I had abandoned you??? Sorry for my hiatus but I have had FOOD POISONING!! OMG it was zero fun. I apparently got it from ground turkey that I used to make tacos on Monday night. It didn't take very long before the sickness set in and on top of me being sick, Ruffles got sick too because she shared meat from my plate. I felt so terrible that Mamatha came over to check on me and she and Forrest tried to make me go to the hospital, but since Forrest reminded me that an IV was really just a big shot (clearly that backfired on him) I refused and stuck it out in bed with Ruffles all day Tuesday. I have to say my husband is TOP notch as a sick nurse! Of course I was bummed to be so sick but I was really unhappy because I had to miss a civil trial my dad was having AND we were supposed to have dinner at Jay and Claire's new house with several friends on Tuesday night and I had to miss that too! I HATE missing fun times! My sweet friends all entertained me via text so that helped! Anyway, I really don't want to linger on that subject anymore so I will try to give a quick recap of our last week and weekend! Last week was really fun and busy for me. On Tuesday night I had Sardis Court and then went to see my cousin Sara dance in her dance recital. She is the BEST dancer and I love to watch her! I can't believe she will be a senior in the fall!!
McCord girls!
Me, Sara, and MMM

Then on Wednesday Forrest and I met Julie and Lance for one of our "dental dinners" in Anniston at Classics on Noble. Everyone ordered the shrimp and grits, on of the 100 Things to Eat in Alabama Before You Die, and they did NOT disappoint!! Wednesday was also a special day for us because it was Forrest's LAST DAY OF SCHOOL EVER!!! Hooray! I remember that feeling and so I KNOW he was thrilled! He was like a different person on Thursday!! He will graduate in a little over a week and then he will be a working man! Our "daily" will be forever changed and I can't wait so see what lies ahead!!!
Thursday was a particularly fun day for me because I got to have lunch with Shannon and sweet baby Eloise and then dinner with all of my Gadsden Service Guild friends at Villa Fiesta. Then we went to visit Mamatha and Anu's new house! We are going to miss having them on Merit Circle terribly but they definitely needed a bigger house before the arrival of baby Adi!! Their house is brand new and totally amazing!!! I hope to go back next week and see it after they are all settled!
On Friday I was filmed for a promo video for United Way at the Back Forty Brewery. It was a little awkward but fun! I can't wait to see the finished product! I was so wiped out from getting home after 10 nearly every night that week, Forrest and I decided to take it easy by staying in, ordering pizza, and renting a movie (Bridesmaids--not a fun movie to have on your mind when you get food poisoning). It was the perfect  restful Friday!
On Saturday we loaded up the dogs and took them to Pawsapalooza, a fundraiser at the Humane Society. They have food, bands, vendors, and door prizes! Ruffles enjoyed seeing her shelter friends and Sonny of course enjoyed making new dog buddies. Forrest and Sonny left so Ruff and I could work the gate for a couple of hours before Mass.
Having a great time at the palooza!

 After that, we went to a shower for Claire and Jay at the Gadsden Museum of Art. There was a great crowd of all of their (and our!) friends there to celebrate their wedding, which is in less than a month!!
Me, Farrah, and Kelly

Me, Farrah, and Claire, the bride to be!!

On Sunday we went to the Baileys for a delicious lunch to celebrate Forrest's and his cousin Wyatt's graduations. Wyatt will graduate from Gadsden City High School next Friday and will be attending Alabama on a full scholarship! Congrats! Afterwards I got some quick shopping done with my mom and then Forrest and I headed to Birmingham to have dinner at the home of his bay leader (like, his group in dental school). They had a super cool pool and lot on the water and we enjoyed grilling out and hanging out with some of his closest classmates. Before heading back home we went to my grandmother's house to give her a little thank you gift for all of her support of Forrest during school. Forrest always stayed with Mimi if he had a late evening at school and she loved hosting him!
Whew---hopefully that brings you right up to speed! Thanks to all of you who have sent your congratulations to Forrest and your "get well soons" to me. We have the very best friends!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Recovery Weekend!

After our trip Forrest and I hit the ground running and really haven't stopped. Forrest was working at Quality of Life, so at least he didn't have to go to Birmingham every day! I had a very busy week at work but on Friday I took a little time to get my first facial---ooo it was heavenly! Forrest won a gift certificate for me earlier in the year for a mani/pedi/facial. I cased in the mani/pedi before the trip and after all of that sunscreen, sea water, and make up I figured an after the trip facial would be a good idea. The bad part is that now that I know how awesome facials are, I can't go back to not having them! I think Forrest's gift back fired!!
That evening we went to play Mini Golf at Noccalula Falls with our Young Marrieds group from church. Three couples came and we had a blast!! I am apparently NOT good at mini golf but I had a great time watching those that were! Afterwards we went to Kati Thai for supper--delish!
The next day I was bound and and determined to get lots of lazy rest. I laid in bed all morning catching up on my DVR'd shows with Ruffles while Forrest cleaned the basement. Actually, he got to TV to put in the basement so he could watch when he/we works out. He got it earlier in the year and we just haven't gotten around to putting it in the basement yet. I am anti-tv in the bedroom but we enjoyed our "vacation" with it while it lasted. Now that the basement is clean Forrest has moved it downstairs and hopefully 2 things will happen: 1) I will work out more; 2) I will stop staying up til 2am watching Fraiser and start reading again!
Saturday afternoon we went to Birmingham for a cookout with Forrest's class. Can you believe he is graduating? I can't!! Our "normal" is for him to be going to school and now that is all changing! Exciting! He is actually at school this week---his LAST week of school ever! I remember what that feels like and I am thrilled for him! We wanted to celebrate with his friends one last time so despite the icky weather we headed down for the party. Yummy--it was worth it!! On the way back we stopped at Target and I got some super cute new shoes! Then we rented "Midnight in Paris". I really really enjoyed it! I was afraid it would be really weird since it is Woody Allen but it wasn't! After the movie we went to the Blackstone bar to see our friend Daniel LeBlac play! How exciting! We had a great time cheering him on with Jay and Claire and Patrick and Anna!
Go Daniel!

Sunday was Mother's Day!! We were pretty pumped up for it because this year we had flowers delivered to both of our mom's on Friday and they loved them! We went to Mass and then headed to the Bailey's for lunch. Davis made the MOST amazing Fettuccine Carbonara and I made a S'more Cobbler that was a hit!! Mrs. Bailey loved her flowers, as well as the hanging basket we brought and the framed picture of Forrest in his graduation regalia. We should have gone right home and taken a long walk but instead we took a nap! We were SO full off yummy food!! We woke up in time to go eat with my parents. Mom ordered Chinese since she had been in Birmingham with Mimi all afternoon and we feasted on that and some shrimp my dad got at Wholefoods. She was excited about our gift: the Downton Abbey DVD!! We love our moms and are so thankful for all of their support!!
Hope you had a great day with your mom and that you have a fun week ahead!!

S'More Cobbler,

  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 5oz chocolate pudding (cook&serve)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 whole graham crackers (I used more than 6)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 40 large marshmallows
    1. Combine milk and pudding mix and place into greased 13×9 baking dish
    2. Place graham crackers (broken in half) on top of pudding mixture with space in between each one. (I filled up the whole bottom with graham crackers)
    3. Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
    4. Spread DRY cake mix over top and place the butter by tablespoons on top of dry mixture.
    5. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Mix slightly so there isn’t large areas of dry ingredients. 
    6. Add marshmallows and bake for 8-10 minutes and if needed 1-2 minutes under a high broiler to brown.


Cinque Terre

On the first day we were on the cruise we found out that our last port, Santa Margherita, had been changed to La Spezia. I was BUMMED because I had mapped out a fun day for us on our own in Santa Margherita and I knew NOTHING about La Spezia and with internet at 75 cents a minute I really didn't have a way to plan out La Spezia. We bit the bullet and purchased shore excursions so we didn't wander aimlessly around a town we knew nothing about. I was THRILLED when we found out that one of the excursions would take us to Cinque Terre, the 5 tiny villages that line the coast in the Cinque Terre National Park. We had to board the life boats to get us from the ship to the pier. That was a little scary to me but we made it safely to shore and before we knew it we were on the bus driving through La Spezia. The city is a great naval base so we got to see lots of neat ships and destroyers as we winded up a tiny road to the coast. The 5 villages are all very small and isolated in the mountains so there were lots of ups and downs on the way. The coolest thing were the terrace rows--they are all mainly farmers and have been for centuries. The landscape is SO steep so it takes forever to get anything done!!
Our first stop was Manarola, a beautiful little town!! We got to view the terraces up close and then we were able to head down to the water to wander for a while. Magnificent!
Look at the terraces!

The Stations of the Cross on the terraces. Someone thought they were scarecrows. 









Then we walked down the Via dell' Amore (walk of love) to the neighboring town of Riomaggiore. The walk was BEAUTIFUL! I felt very safe even though we were perched on the side of a cliff. One of the coolest parts was that couples bring locks and lock them around the fencing surrounding the walk way of the Via and throw the key into the water, symbolizing their endless love! It was kind of sweet and apparently came from a book.

Tiny little restaurant hanging off of the cliff

Me walking down the via

The covered part of the via

We explored Riomaggiore for a bit before boarding the ferry to Monteroso. OMG--getting to the ferry was a little frightening--we had to walk down some rocks and just hop on! Once on and over it, Forrest and I sat right up front so we could take some pictures. The scenery was breathtaking!!!
Boats in Riomaggiore


Scary way to enter the boat!




I think this is Cornilla up on the hill


We had lots of free time once we arrived in Monteroso, which we filled with eating! The sweet couple that we met the day before had told us that Rick Steves (do you watch his travel shows? we love him!) had a restaurant suggestion there so we followed them to The Belevedere, which was right on the water. It was so pleasant to sit and relax, drink the local wine, and fill up our bellies with seafood and pasta!! We did get to do a little wandering and exploring before hopping the train back to La Spezia.
Local wine


Me with St. Francis and the wolf, who looked remarkably like Sonny

Monastery at the top of Monteroso.



Forrest wants to have a walk way like this one day

Lunch time!

Black and white pasta with muscles

Seafood pasta

It was bittersweet to get back on the boat for our last dinner. We had such an amazing time that even though we were exhausted, we didn't want it to end!!
Despite a melt down in the airport on my part the next day, we returned home safe and sound (and even got an upgrade to 1st class for part of the trip--woohoo!). I know it will be some time before we get to take an amazing vacation like that again so I am SO glad that we got the opportunity to go this year. Our "normal" is about to change with Forrest's graduation and we can't wait to see what all this year has in store for us!
 
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