Wednesday, April 4, 2012

in the kitchen with hilary

The title of this post is actually the title of a horror comedy (kind of like a romantic comedy, but... without the romance, plus a little terror -- but the realistic kind, not that sci-fi crap). This is because I am a hot mess in the kitchen. I am not exaggerating. Because I don't have a lot of experience cooking, when I leave the kitchen after one of my "adventures," the mess left behind is unreal. It's like a five year old was in there (and that's kind of insulting the whole five year old population).

Anyway, one of my goals this semester was to cook more. This was for various reasons:

1. I spent all of my income from last year's research assistant job eating out. Now, I was in New Orleans, which has the best food in the country (ask anyone), so it's kind of hard to NOT do so. Nonetheless, I could've used that money now for, well, food. Or rent. Or to pay back my newly acquired loans. I'm gonna have a lil panic attack if I keep discussing finances, so moving on. People claim it's significantly cheaper to cook for yourself. I have yet to see the major savings, but that may be because I don't use ingredients wisely and wind up throwing away food. (If you have advice, please share.)

2. It's healthier for me to cook than eat fries and toast at Raising Cane's (Don't live in the south? Let me educate you. Don't bother looking at the nutrition facts, just let me tell you that most anything is probably healthier than the carb-only meal I delight in far too often at their fine establishment.).

3. This is a skill that I will likely need in the future. Even though the boy and I are thoroughly convinced we will be rich enough to either eat out for every meal or have a personal chef, someday I may actually like cooking and want to feel self-sufficient. Maybe.

Based on the above evidence, I have started browsing websites online (I really like and have a subscription (which I got for free because I'm a baller, duh) to Rachel Ray. Half the time I don't know what she's talking about in her recipes (What is this season you speak of, Rachel? Could you be a little more clear?), but I have used a few with good results.

Here's the recipe I used for dinner on Monday (then leftovers for lunch Tuesday, yum yum). I highly recommend it! It's super easy (I could do it, which means you can definitely do it). I couldn't find it online to link to, so I typed it for you because I am just. that. nice.

Garlic Shrimp from Everyday with Rachel Ray, May 2012

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb large shrimp (peeled, tails on, deveined) -- I couldn't find any at my store with these specifications, so I got deveined and peeled them myself (a little icky but definitely cheaper that way, I'm sure, and still fresh); I also only used 1/2 lb but kept all measurements approximately the same
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped -- I made this easier by using the pre-chopped garlic bits that are sold in a jar... so much easier! It tells you on the jar how many tbsp are equal to a clove.
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro 
  • lime wedges -- I used lime juice found in a jar. As you can see, I like to make it especially easy for myself!
Heat skillet over medium-high. Add 2 tbsp butter and shrimp; cook undisturbed, 1 minute. Stir in garlic for 30 seconds, season (See what I mean? ;) ). Off heat, toss with remaining 1 tbsp. butter and cilantro. Squeeze in lime. Serves 4. (So that would be 1/4 lb of shrimp for each person.. I ate this as an entree twice, so the same serving size, but as an entree. Use your appetite as your guide.)

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