Drunk Shrimp

I don’t know about y’all, but I say bring on the holidays!

This has to be my favorite time of year – gearing up for a few days to spend with family and reflect on what we’re all thankful for, and then we turn around and get to experience all the joy of the Christmas season. It does seem super busy – but I just feel like everybody is in a better mood right now looking ahead to the holidays!

I have to catch up later on my “what I’m thankful for” list – but some of them were a little more in-depth and I wanted to put some more time into the explanations. “Friends” just doesn’t cut it, you know?

However, one of the overarching things I’m thankful is just nostalgia in general. I love reminiscing about the past and I love when certain things do that for me. Scent is a big trigger for me, as well as food. I’ve probably told you several times that something about seafood, shrimp in particular, reminds of time spent with my grandparents in Gulfport, Mississippi. So many wonderful meals together and some fun times spent on a shrimping boat!

I made this dish throughout college, perhaps because it reminded me of home a little, but also due to the delicious flavor and the ease! It makes a ton of sauce, but trust me, with some potatoes, rice or bread, you won’t mind at all.

Drunk Shrimp (Serves 2 / 7 WW points per serving)

Ingred

8 oz. cooked shrimp, tails removed

2 Tbsp. reduced-calorie margarine

1 Tbsp. butter

3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

6 oz. light beer

In a medium skillet, melt margarine and butter and whisk in Worcestershire. Add salt, cayenne and oregano and whisk to blend.

Add shrimp and stir to coat. Cook over medium for 3 minutes. Pour in beer, stir and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 3-4 minutes.

Step by Step

I added the shrimp on top of some mashed potatoes, and then poured that delicious sauce all over them. And I may have brought in a roll for clean up duty when the potatoes were gone…

Drunk Shrimp

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

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French Onion Pork Chops

So we are officially halfway through November. Does that seem ridiculous to anybody else?

I know my last post was more of a “reflective” post – being that it is November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Well, today, I have 2 more things to add to my thankful list – PLUS a recipe, which I am sure you’re thankful for, right?

Day 14 – I’m thankful for friendships that stand the test of time. The husband and I got together with one of my good friends and her husband the other night – just to catch up. To be honest, sometimes I just suck at making the effort. But you know what? True friendships shouldn’t require a ton of effort (in my humble opinion). We hadn’t seen these friends in months – but after 10 minutes, it was like no time had passed. This has been a friend of mine since 7th grade, and I love that our husbands get along and enjoy when we all spend time together. It’s not just maintenance in my mind, but the growth of a friendship that allows it to stand the test of time.

(Sorry, didn’t know you’d need a shovel for that one – DEEP!)

Day 15 – Honestly? I’m thankful for a weekend with no plans. Tomorrow is the first Saturday in over 2 months we have not had something going on. And I am so pumped about it. I just need a day to relax and restore, catch up on my educational crappy TV shows, flip through my cooking magazines, and maybe get some good ole quality time on Pinterest. How else am I going to know how to make reindeer pancakes for Christmas?!

Now, on to the recipe. This is the time of year when I know we all crave the rich, delicious foods we see on the magazine covers – but perhaps dread the impact on our waistlines. Have no fear – I have a delicious recipe that is easy, full of flavor, and low in WW points.

French Onion Pork Chops (Serves 2 / 7 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

2 5 oz. lean pork chops, trimmed

1 egg

1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

1 packet onion soup mix (I use Lipton’s)

Butter spray

Onion powder

Black pepper

Heat your oven to 400.

Start by trimming the fat from your pork chops. Then place each chop between two sheets of wax paper and pound to about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thickness with a meat mallet. I find they cook a little quicker and are less likely to dry out with this method.

Sprinkle both sides with onion powder and pepper.

Whisk egg and pour in a shallow dish. Mix together bread crumbs and onion soup mix and add to a separate shallow dish.

Dip chops in egg. Spray with a little butter, and then press into the crumb mixture.

Step by Step

Add coated chops to a baking dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Close up Chop

I served this with some roasted brussel sprouts and a green salad, but I’m sure any vegetable would go well with this dish!

Told you…easy and delicious. If you give this one a try, let me know what you think AND if you make any modifications – I love hearing how people amp up recipes!

French Onion Pork Chops

 

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

A Month of Thanks

I have seen so many “days of thankfulness” posts and they always just make me smile. Obviously, there are things we are thankful for every day – but I really enjoy reading about the little things that you might not normally think about.

Like comfort food. Who doesn’t love a body and soul warming bowl of soup or a casserole? But do we really think about how thankful we are for those things?

So, I just wanted to share with everybody a few of the little (and big) things I’ve found myself thankful for this month. I hope to continue with the list so when I find myself in a not-to-thankful mood, I can look at this and remember how blessed I truly am and knock “grumpy Mary” out of her foul mood.

Day 1 – My husband’s friends. I often get a little down because a lot of my best friends live so far away, but it’s been fun really getting to know this great group of people over the past 5 years and I’m so thankful that they have become my friends too.

Photobooth Fun

Day 2 – College football. Seriously, I love waking up Saturday mornings for College Game Day and catching football action all day long!

CGD

Day 3 – Sleep. Especially when it’s an extra hour for Daylight Savings…

Day 4 – My co-workers. They help keep me sane on the really stressful days!

Day 5 – Our church community. I sometimes struggle with integrating myself into a group and really feeling like a part of that group, but we have been blessed with the people we’ve met through 2PC.

Day 6 – My love for cooking. I am so thankful that my mother taught me how to prepare meals and how to love cooking and hosting. I can’t imagine what my days would be like if I didn’t look forward to coming home and preparing a delicious dinner.

Party

Day 7 – My wonderful husband. We spent Thursday night celebrating a major milestone in his personal life and in his career and I could not be more proud. He is the man of my dreams and I cannot believe I have been lucky enough to have met him almost 5 years ago. He is my best friend and I cherish every moment I’ve spent with him – whether traveling to Mexico, reading on the couch, touring Disney or just having a picnic on our floor, my heart is always full when I’m with him.

HusbandDate night

Day 8 – My husband’s family – they helped shape the man he is today and I love when we’re able to spend time with them.

Day 9 – My nephews. The hubby and I were in charge of ALL 4 boys for 24 hours this past weekend. Not gonna lie, we both opened a well-deserved beer at 8:00 p.m. and were wiped out – but they are so precious. It’s wonderful seeing them interact with each other and it makes me feel pretty darn special when they’re sad to see us go. I love my Pookers!

Day 10 – Ice cream. Like I said, we watched 4 boys over the weekend. Ice cream makes everybody happy, right?

Ice Cream

Day 11 – The amazing U.S. of A. No matter what opinions you have on politics, religion, etc.  – I am thankful that we’re able to hold and voice those opinions without fear.

Day 12 – Our home – because it’s home, not just a house.

Day 13 – Seasons. I love experiencing changes in the weather – each season gives me something to be excited about – football, fireplaces, family time, vacation. Except for raking leaves, I’d gladly give that one up…

Seasons

What are you finding yourself thankful for today?

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

I know I’ve said before that I have kind of a weird memory. But like, y’all don’t even know the extent.

An example:

I remember the first time I ever ate a caper. It was the summer after 7th grade and my mom and I were in Florida with my best friend, her mom, and her sister and two of her friends. We all went out to eat before the mothers headed back to the condo and the rest of us went to a club for some sort of teen night – which turned out to be hilariously sketchy.

For dinner, I ordered Chicken Picatta. I was hesitant about the little green pod looking things, but figured, meh, what the heck. I ate one and loved it. It reminded me a little of a green olive (I also love all things olives). In that moment, I fell in love with capers. I’m not even sure how to describe them other than “like a green olive, but not as potent.” Yes, they are salty. Maybe with a hint of citrus?

Anyways, I feel that they are underutilized. I mean, other than my eating them straight of the jar (hey – this is a judgment-free zone) – what else do I really use them with other than my “picattas”?

Smoked salmon. But I never actually make that at home. I do love it when I’m out for Sunday brunch somewhere and there’s a table with smoked salmon and all of the fixings. Chopped egg, red onion and, obviously, capers. Any excuse to load up on capers/olive/pickles in public and you can count me in! (Again – no judging!)

So the other night, after attending my workplace’s annual chili cook-off at lunch, I needed something a bit lighter for dinner. I decided on smoked salmon flatbread and I think I have found a new favorite! This version is super easy because I went with a pre-made version but I am sure you can trim off some WW points making your own dough!

Smoked Salmon Flatbread (1 Flatbread = 13 WW Points)

1 piece whole wheat Naan

Olive oil spray

Garlic salt

2 Tbsp. reduced-fat cream cheese

1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped red onion

2 Tbsp. capers

1 1/2 oz. smoked salmon

Dried dill

Salt and pepper

This is so embarrassingly easy that I didn’t even take step-by-step shots! Spray the flatbread with olive oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 5 minutes.

Spread cream cheese on top, sprinkle onion and capers evenly on top of the cheese. Bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and layer the salmon on top. Sprinkle with dill, salt and pepper.

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Slice, serve and devour. I enjoyed this deliciously light meal with a glass of crisp chardonnay and liked it so much I did it again 3 nights later.

Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Have a great weekend y’all!