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Alfredo

Avocado Alfredo Pasta with Spicy Shrimp

Avocado Alfredo Pasta with Spicy Shrimp P

Apparently, I like to torture myself.

Sometimes it’s in small ways, like keeping my size zero jeans from my modeling days that I will never fit into again. Ever. Ever.

Sometimes it’s by spending hours looking at photos, like these, that are so good I know I will never be able to grace the world with images that perfect.

Lately, because I’m about knee-deep  in the cookbook I’m writing, the stress of my rapidly approaching deadline has somehow convinced me that I need to read Amazon cookbook reviews. The bad ones. Always the bad one.

And it terrifies me. Although, it should makes me feel better. If people can find ridiculous faults with gorgeous cookbooks, I have no chance of pleasing everyone, and that will put me in good company. The company of every other person who has ever written a book of any kind.

Although I did learn something: People Suck.

-One lady left a nasty 1-star  review on a cookbook she didn’t own and  had never even seen in real life because she hated the POSITIVE reviews. What the hell?

-Several people left angry 1-star reviews because the cookbook in question had too many "hard" recipes.

-One lady left an irate review about a cookbook called "Savory Pies" because it wasn’t a dessert cookbook. SAVORY!!

-One guy left a 1-star review of a cookbook because he didn’t think the color of the cover went well with his kitchen.

-One lady left a bad review because the author said, "too many common sense things" Apparently the absurd and irrational cookbook wasn’t available for Kindle.

 

So, I have no chance. I can’t please everyone, that just needs to be a fact that is accepted. Like how it rains in Los Angeles from time to time, or that you will have to replace the tires on your car at some point.

I wish I was OK with this idea that someone will inevitably pay money for my book and hate it, but it happens to keep me up at night.

I worry that someone will try to make the Stout Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Porter Ganache and confuse weight ounces with fluid ounces and blame me when her husbands birthday cake doesn’t work. (BTW, whomever decided that two completely separate units of measurement, that have nothing to do with each other, should have the same name, is an A-Hole.)

I even worry that someone who can’t drink alcohol will leave me a nasty review about my Cooking with Beer book about how he can’t make any of the recipe, due to the fact that they ALL contain beer.

Instead of looking away from the train wreck of the ignorant spewing hatred at other people’s hard work, I stress ate pasta.

It was great, and even my Avocado averse husband loved it.

Avocado Alfredo Pasta with Spicy Shrimp2

 

Stout Soaked Cherry Cheesecake with Pretzel Crust

Ingredients

  • 8oz sweetened dried cherries (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 cups stout
  • 3 cups mini pretzels twists, lightly crushed (about 1 ½ cups once processed)
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 24 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Place dried cherries in a bowl or tall glass. Pour stout over cherries until fully submerged. Allow to sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the soaking liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. In a food processor, add the pretzels and brown sugar, process until only crumbs remain, about 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly add the melted butter while the processor is running. Pour into the bottom of a 9 X 13 inch baking pan. Use the flat bottom of a heavy glass, measuring cup or mug to press the crust really well into a flat even layer.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the cream cheese, beat on high until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sour cream and beat until well combined. Add the salt, flour and sugar, mix until well incorporated. Add the eggs and vanilla, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add ¼ of the stout used to soak the cherries, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the cherries.
  5. Pour cream cheese mixture over the crust, smooth out into an even layer.
  6. Place in the oven and reduce oven temp to 350. Bake at 350 for 28-32 minutes or until the cheesecake has puffed slightly and center no longer jiggles when you shake the rack it sits on. Don’t over bake, it will firm up once it chills. Remove from oven (allow to stand at room temp until slightly cooled, about 10 minutes) refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 4 hours and up to 24. Cut into squares for serving
https://domesticfits.com/avocado-alfredo-pasta-with-spicy-shrimp/

Avocado Alfredo Pasta with Spicy Shrimp5

Weeknight Crab Alfredo

I’m changing the focus of Valentines day.

Forcing someone to say "I Love You" is about as meaningful as buying your own Grammy on eBay and pretending you actually won. The entitlement and expectation take all of the romance out of it. In just the same way that the show The Biggest Loser has had more successful marriages than The Bachelor series has, some things just cant be forced.

My husband and I did away with giving into the societal expectation years ago, much preferring to go out to dinner on nights that don’t include 2 hour waits and $65 pre fixe menus. He’s romantic in the little ways, negating my need for Valentines day pageantry. He will "borrow"my car in order to take it to get washed and the oil changed. He’ll get up with Tater on a Saturday and let me sleep in. When I’ve had a hard day he’ll do the dishes, giving me time to play blocks with Tater instead of spend what little time I have after work in the kitchen.

Now that I have a daughter, the focus of Valentines day is more fun and childish, more of the cartoon that it has become, and I like it that way. I buy Tater a bag of Valentines Day toys, and write her a card about how much I love her. I look forward to helping with her elementary school Valentines Days, the decorated shoe box receptacles, the paper cards, the drama of who wrote "XOXO" and who just signed their names.  The sorting out of conversation hearts according to what is ok to give the boys and what is not. Because, everyone who has been a 3rd grader knows that slipping candy with messages on them into paper envelops is a big deal.  And when you are required to give one to everyone in the class, even the boys you can’t stand and the boys you just pretend like you can’t stand, everyone know that you NEVER give a "Kiss Me" heart to a boy! Seriously, tragedy would in sue. Because you will also be reading every single heart that is the envelopes you got from the boys with the secret hopes that the boy who sits behind you didn’t just give you the "Nice Day" heart but intentionally slipped the "Be Mine" candy into the envelope with your name on it. In 3rd grade, risking possible social, school yard torture via teasing to let the little girl who sits in front of you know you like her is so romantic. 

When you grow up, and have kids and a house and a job, romance is different. It’s the consideration that tends to wain as we grow comfortable with each other. Romance is that person who has woken up next to you for years actually seeing you. As special and important and desireable. It’s someone feeling lucky to be the one who wakes up in your bed, and eat the food you make and parent along side you.

Romance isn’t feeling required to bring home red flowers on the second week February, it’s running to the store late at night for flour because we’re out your wife is behind on blog posts.

Even though Valentines day is in the middle of the week this year, and like me, you may have about 20 minutes between the time you get home from work and the time your family is expecting to be fed, this dish takes about that much time. But it feels special. Crab Alfredo in 15 minutes.


Crab Alfredo

3 tbs butter

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbs, plus 2 tsp  flour

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Pinch Cayenne pepper

6 oz crab meat, drained well

salt and pepper to taste

Pasta for serving

(makes two large or four small servings)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet over medium/high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and stir, allowing to cook for about 30 seconds. Add the flour and whisk until well combined with the butter, don’t allow to brown. Add the milk and cream and stir to combine.  Add the lemon juice, cayenne and cheese, cooking until the cheese has melted. Add the crab meat, stir until the crab is warmed up and remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, add milk about 1 tbs at a time to thin.

Serve over pasta.