Broken Noodles with a Creamy Poppy Seed & Shrimp Sauce

The first time I made this was Christmas eve and I thought to myself, this would be great for Valentine’s day. At the time, it felt so far away but here it is already! This is a nice dish to make for your love, as it’s extra special, doesn’t take long and is just so tasty! This is nice served on one plate, to share. It’s going to be a cold one on the east coast, so if you want to stay in, this is a nice dish to make. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  • 6 lasagna noodles, broken
  • 10 large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 1 cup good marinara sauce
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Bring the water to a boil and add in the noodles. On high heat, bring the marinara sauce to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and add in the shrimp, until they are cooked through and opaque, about 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and poppy seeds until heated through. Pour the sauce over the noodles, sprinkle with poppy seeds and enjoy! Serves 2 lovebirds.

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Addressing Envelopes

I sent out a few packages the other day, of fun Valentines day stuff; heart shaped bracelets, conversation hearts, red pom-poms, some chocolates…for my friends daughters…One of the best parts of being a kid was getting something in the mail. (I actually still love getting stuff in the mail, brings me back.) So when I was at the post office sending out the goodies, the woman at the counter looked at the writing and I said, “Oh no! Is it legible?” She said, “Yes! It’s fine, I was just admiring it!” It made my morning. So I thought why not blog about it? For sending out to kids, it’s fun to add “Little Miss or Mister” and use a thick permanent marker. For regular envelopes, all you need is a fine point pen. Both need a little extra time and practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked addressing everything this way, even the bills! ;)

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What’s beautiful is everyone has their own handwriting. So make the best of it! And using a good fine point pen does wonders. Vary between capital letters, cursive and print. What I’ve learned, the hard way is to ensure the street address is most legible. When I was sending out invitations, I made the mistake of shading the street number and adding curly q’s. (Not a good mix.)

DSC05467Next, embellish your handwriting, adding dots, hearts, curly q’s and shading. A little mix is always fun! Enjoy!

Pan-Fried Dover Sole with Lemon, Capers, Relish & Peppadews

I was gonna make a sole dish with lemon and capers but I thought why stop there? And kept going adding sweet relish and bright peppadews (My current obsession. I’m adding them to about everything, especially Greek salads.) The best part of this dish, besides its unexpected flavors is how quick it’s on the table. Get a small pot of boiling water started for some string beans and you’re all set. And although this recipe is for two, it can easily be doubled or tripled. If you have any leftovers, they can easily be enjoyed on a hard roll with a little mayo and potato chips on the side. Enjoy and happy weekend!

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  • 2 dover sole fillets
  • 1 teaspoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon sweet relish
  • 1 peppadew, sliced
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a little parsley, chopped
  • flour for dusting
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Combine the capers, relish, peppadew, lemon zest and parsley and set aside. Pat dry the fillets and dust with flour and season with Old Bay. On medium-low heat, melt the butter and pan-fry the fillets, flipping after about three-four minutes. Once done, remove from the pan, increase the heat and stir in the caper mixture along with the butter and lemon juice. Stir until warmed through. Serve alongside the fish. Serves 2.

DSC05438Oh sweet peppadew…

Sweet Cherry & Black Pepper Butter

My husband loves butter and he’s made some creative sandwiches using butter. Sometimes, I watch him in the corner of my eye as he smears a piece of bread with butter and then tops it with what I will call an assortment of “toppings.” But I have to admit, most of the time, they are good. The best being, butter followed by a slice of ripe tomato and a basil leaf? Why didn’t I ever think of that? But it also brings me back to my childhood. Whenever my mom had company over, she would make these stacks of “sandwiches.” I put sandwiches in quotations because they never had a top to them, just like my husbands’ sandwiches. She would take a rye-type, slice of bread and cut it in half, spread a thin layer of butter, sometimes margarine (this is the 80′s), then top with a thin slice of ham, followed by dotting each one with a slice of dill pickle or two. She would arrange them in a tower and it always made me happy because it meant company was coming over, which was always a nice change of pace for a Sunday afternoon. I’ll never forget those sandwiches, the butter always strangely stood out, yet now it’s something that brings me home. This butter will also bring you home. It’s the nicest blend of sweet and spicy. Enjoy!

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  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup frozen cherries, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

As your cherries thaw out, there will be some liquid accumulated in the bottom of the bowl, reserve it for another use, like maybe adding a splash to a glass of seltzer. (Or just drinking it straight, lol. I love cherry juice.) Dry them out a bit, giving them a little squeeze. Chop them and add them to the butter, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Using a fork, whip everything together, adjusting the flavor as needed. Serve with some crusty bread or on top of pancakes.

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Shrimp & Celery Salad

Ohhh I know it’s the middle of winter and about a foot of snow fell yesterday and that little cute chubby groundhog predicted another six weeks of winter. Maybe that’s what pushed me over the edge, towards a healthy shrimp salad? I’m not sure what did it but it’s such a good salad because it’s the best of both worlds, hearty from the shrimp, light from the lemon vinaigrette and full of flavor with olives and sweet peppadews. This salad transports you to sunnier days with roses blooming outside and a nice tall glass of icy lemonade, enjoyed outside. To wishful thinking that cutie Phil is wrong. ;)

  • 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 4 celery sticks, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 6 sweet red peppadews, sliced
  • about 6 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon

In a small bowl, pour the vinegar over the red onions and allow to sit, while you get the other preparations underway. Bring a pot of small water to a boil, add in the shrimp. Cook for about 4 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside. In a non-reactive bowl, combine the shrimp, celery, olives, peppadews, sliced onions and vinegar, olive oil and the juice of the lemon. I like to enjoy this right away. Serves about 3.

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Hot & Spicy Three Pepper Chicken Wings

Ohhh spicy! These are crispy and full of peppery goodness. These aren’t the type of wing which you instantly get hit with heat (although I like those too), these are more of a subtle….you’re enjoying the crispy breaded chicken wing and then it hits you, out of no where. The hotness hits your tongue and you get a little bit of the sweats, then a quick cool-down…and you’re ready for more…Happy Superbowl weekend! Enjoy!

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  • 2 pounds chicken wings, about 6
  • heaping 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 2-3 chili peppers, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • olive oil
  • olive oil cooking spray

Combine the bread crumbs, crushed chili peppers, paprika, ground black pepper and salt and set aside. In a separete shallow bowl, combine the egg, milk and Sriracha sauce. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in a 13×9 baking pan and you are all set to begin breading. Dip each wing in the egg mixture followed by the bread crumb mixture. Place in the baking dish, giving each wing room to crisp up properly. Once all are in the pan, place in a 350 degree preheated oven for about an hour, about 5 minutes before baking is done, spray the wings with a little olive oil spray and return to the oven for the remaining 5 minutes. Serve with blue cheese dressing and don’t forget the token vegetable, those celery sticks! Makes 6 chicken wings.

What Numerology Year Are You In?

“Be patient. Trust yourself. Spend time alone with no distractions. Minimize your activities. You need time for yourself. Listen to the questions you ask yourself, and hear the responses you give. Listen to how you argue with yourself when alternatives appear. Notice your resistance to change. Feel yourself fighting off your own changing reality and consequently, your potential for greater satisfaction. Be aware of this inner battle and you will also realize that everything starts from within.” – taken from January’s 6 monthly forecast.

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How positive, deep and thought provoking. But this is what www.creativenumerology.com is all about. There is not a month or week that goes by that doesn’t push you to think about your life and how to better it.

To figure out the year that you are in, add up your birth month, date, along with the current year that we are in…

For example to figure out today’s birthday, January 29, add up all the numbers until you get one digit…

1+2+9+2+0+1+5= 20, 2+0=2

With a little more snow forecast tonight…i.e. cabin fever could be in the air…will be in the air, lol, this is a great site to get lost on, while munching on some popcorn and sipping some hot cocoa.

Good Night!

1,721,446,654 Seconds Left

Considering I think of this blog as a fairly happy place, it’s really hard for me to talk about this. So if you must, just pass this on.

DSC05364 Since the beginning of the year, two people that I have know have passed on. And I’m having a hard time dealing with the last person passing on, being only forty years old. A wife, mom, grandmother, daughter, sister, a special person to many people. I have so many questions. Why? Being the most asked, sometimes out loud, into the quiet of the day. And at times into the darkness of the night. I know I won’t get an answer but there is a part of me that wants one. It’s gotten me pondering on death – dreaming of caskets and cemeteries. Almost obsessively. It’s been only a few days since I’ve heard the news but I’m shocked to my core as I just don’t understand and I want to. Why leave if you have so much? Do we have a choice leaving? I joke with my mom all the time that she has to live until she is ninety-five, minimum. One time she looked at me and laughed, before it took a more serious note, “Mary…I don’t have control over that, no one does.” I will never be ready but more time with loved ones is all you can ask for. I’ve started pondering on my own mortality, plugging my stats into a website that gives me my personal day of death, August 10, 2069. I hit enter again and it gave me another date and yet another. I laughed at myself, as if I was going to get a true answer. A realization, I need to make peace with death, once again. I’ve always seen it as leaving this earth as we know it but there is more, so much more, beyond. But what do loved ones do, that are left behind? Grieve, make peace, mourn, celebrate the life lived, remember the good times, forgive and forget the bad, smile at the thought of them and keep your own flame burning as bright as you can.

Juniper Berry Rub Chicken Roast with Potatoes

A little while ago, my cousin sent me this juniper berry rub. (I’m so lucky to have a cousin that lives in California, although I will feel luckier when she moves back to the east coast.) But it’s nice to get a little bit of California flavor out here on the east coast. This is such a nice spice combination, a little salty, a touch sweet from the juniper and allspice and a hint of citrus. I started using this back in autumn and it made everything extra special but now that the holidays are over and I’m not quite ready, (I’m never ready for the holidays to be over) this juniper berry rub is just the perfect fix for getting a little missed holiday flavor in on a Tuesday night.Enjoy!

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  • 2 chicken breasts, skin on, bone-in
  • 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut-up
  • 1 head of garlic, broken up into cloves
  • 1 cup of water
  • a little olive oil
  • the amazing juniper spice rub

Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of a baking pan. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with the spice rub and place in the pan. Spread the potatoes and garlic cloves around the chicken breasts and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Drizzle the pan with a little olive oil and pour the cup of water over the potatoes and garlic cloves. Bake uncovered for about an hour and fifteen minutes at 350 degrees, until the chicken breast are tender and the juices run clear. Check the pan after about an hour for doneness and adjust the baking time as needed. Serves 2-3 with possibly some leftovers to toss into salad the next day.

DSC05173 The amazing spice rub…Be sure to check out their other spice rubs…They look like they will add alot of excitement to any mid-January meal.

Fortune Cookie Wisdom…

Happy happy new year everyone! The new year always gets me excited, a clean slate, a new diet, an empty book to fill and a fresh feeling to life. On new years day, there is never too much going on. It’s one of my most favorite days of the year. If I could just pocket the feeling of new years day, I would and take it out midyear, when the freshness has staled, the diet has failed and the book, not as poetic as I had hoped. I love the leisurely feel to the day. Everyone is seen walking their dogs later than usual-at a slower pace, maybe reflecting on the night before or deciding what new years’ resolution to take on. I love spending it with family, enjoying some Chinese takeout, while a good movie is playing. This year, it was American Hustle. (It’s been a little bit of an obsession, I won’t be surprised if baby P loves polyester or has a comb-over one day, that’s how much I watched it when anxiety over what labor would be like or motherhood, would takeover. It sedated me and put me at ease, like no other movie. It inspired me to search for my platforms-that I found and put in a good place. Such a good place, that I asked my husband suspiciously, with squinty eyes, if he saw them. (Meaning did he see them and throw them away? Light bulb moment! I found my new year’s resolution: to not be so annoying.) It’s gonna be a hard one to follow through on. Telling the truth to oneself, helps you grow. It was a cold new years day, like ever other, on the east coast. My mom and I bundled up to get some air and to pick up our takeout. We placed our order and sat as I people watched and my mom admired their Christmas tree, brightly decorated in gold and red. I overheard the gal at the counter saying she just got up an hour ago, even though it was way past dusk. I listened in to a twosome at the table closest to us. Was it a son and father? Friends? I couldn’t tell but the conversation was oddly sweet. “You look good!” “I feel good. There was a while I didn’t think I would be around this long” the older gentleman said, as he sipped on a Coke and looked appreciative of the company and the compliment. The younger gentleman joked, “You know, you gotta stick around, who’s gonna look through all your junk mail if you decide to go?” They both chuckled. I looked over at my own mom, and felt the deep gratitude to have her around, to meet baby P, to pet Daisy dog and tell her she’s a good girl and to plant mini pine trees in places that I don’t really don’t want mini pine trees. I know one day, as they grow, I will fully appreciate them. Our drive back was a nice one with the warmth of fried rice in the air. I got fortune cookies for everyone, even though Daisy and I are the only ones that really enjoy them. It’s my chance to open up each fortune cookie and to pick the one, I like best. (Don’t tell me I am the only one that does that.;)) But this time, I got a good one for everyone to share…

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