Friday, December 28, 2007

Gingerbread houses and Christmas Eve Shrimp

My little guys look forward to making a gingerbread creation this year. Sometimes it's a train, sometimes a house. I got Pampered Chef gingerbread molds from our attorney's paralegal's sister, whose children had outgrown the gingerbread phase. We use a gingerbread recipe which we first found in Calvert School's Kindergarten course. At this point, the roof, chimney and various creatures around the house are missing, but that is half the fun of gingerbread, isn't it? Anyway, these are the three gingerbread artists with their creation:Of course, many others had to get in on the fun of taking the picture
And then there was Christmas eve dinner. This is possibly one of my favorites of the entire year. I love shrimp, but won't pay the price for it most of the time. Until 3 years ago, I made Shrimp Scampi every single year since I was married, but that year my husband developed a walloping case of the hives within an hour; Benadryl reversed the swelling, but it was sorta ugly for a while there. The following year, I found the basis for this recipe. Originally, it called for arugula, but I can't say as I've ever seen it, so, as usual, Marjie changes the recipe. Anyway, here is......

SHRIMP WITH SPINACH AND PENNE

5 lbs. shrimp
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound spinach, blanched
4 tomatoes
1 bunch scallions
1 tbsp oregano

1 tsp red pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 lbs. mini penne pasta
olive oil to coat

Cook shrimp under broiler for 4 minutes; turn and cook another 4 minutes. Turn again, add tomatoes, scallions, oregano and red pepper, and broil another 4 minutes. Stir around to make sure all shrimp are cooked, add the spinach, and return to the broiler for 2 to 3
minutes. Toss with the lemon juice, and (at least in theory) mix with the penne and serve. The reality is that I cannot toss the shrimp and penne together, because I'd need a serving dish with a 5 gallon capacity, which I don't have.

Originally, this recipe called for sun dried tomatoes, which I tried the first time I made this. However, I found that it was far too salty; the fresh tomatoes give a nice result. And, as I said, the recipe called for arugula, which I've not seen in my local supermarket.

And, to Paula, you were the lucky duck with snow in Oregon! Our foot plus of snow got rained on the day before Christmas Eve, and every bit of it melted in the 45 degree weather. After being overcast all day Christmas Eve, the sun peeked out at sunset, giving me this vista out my kitchen window as I baked until the balls of my feet hurt from standing:
A glorious minute in a hectic day, indeed.

2 comments:

Pam said...

Marjie, I love the pics of your family! They look so fun and cute!

Paula said...

LOVE the photo of your family equivalent of squeezing into a phone booth! I bet games of twister are a blast in your house! My youngest made certain to find your youngest ... and then giggled at his location in the picture. What great memories you've created for your family.