Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Home Cooking

I'm home at my mom's for the week. :) My dad is an awesome cook and tried a new recipe out on us last night. The recipe is for Shrimp Skewers, but he broiled them in a pan instead. It was delicious! Here's the recipe; enjoy!

Shrimp Skewers
2 lbs. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1-2 Tbsp. Italian Herb Mix or Tuscan Sunset Seasoning (both from Penzey's Spices; look them up online or visit their store in Memphis)
1/2 - 1 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt, optional
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
16-24 wooden skewers, depending on shirmp size

Place the shrimp in a bowl. Add the vegetable oil and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, and toss to coat. Add the Italian Herb, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Start with the smaller amounts of seasoning and add more to taste. Add the bread crumbs and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours. So the ends of the skewers don't burn off, soak them in water for the last hour the shrimp are in the fridge. Spray or brush the grill grate with oil before heating the grill so the breading doesn't stick. Thread the shrimp onto the skewers. Use 4 shrimp per skewer. Be careful that the bread crumbs don't fall off while skewering. If there is a lot of breading left over in the bowl, press it into the shrimp wherever it looks like it needs some. Sprinkle the skewers with the remaining olive oil and grill over medium coals until thoroughly cooked, 6 to 8 minutes, turning the skewers at least once to cook evenly.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Today at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), we had a very inspiring speaker named Ashley who spoke to us about ways to "go green." One of the things she taught us was how to make our own environmentally (and WAAAY less toxic) cleaning products. We even made an all-purpose cleaner to take home with us. It is SO cheap and smells fantastic. I am going to try it out here in a bit. Anyway, Ashley compiled some great recipes for different cleaners, so I thought I'd share them here. But first I have to tell you why this is important to me.

Several months ago, I was going to clean the toilet in my bathroom. I got out my favorite toilet bowl cleaner (the blue gel that gets under the rim) and went to work. As I squirted the gel into the toilet, I somehow got some on the toilet seat. I decided to leave it there and when I came back to swirl the bowl, I would clean it off at the same time. So 10 minutes later, I return to finish the job. The gel on the seat had eaten through the enamel coating on the seat!! I freaked out. I mean, what if my kids somehow got hold of that stuff. Talk about TOXIC?!?! I am so grateful to Ashley for sharing these safe recipes. And to show my appreciatation, I'm going to give a plug for her business here - She sells environmentally safe laundry detergent. Thanks Ashley!

All-Purpose Spray Cleaner

32-oz. OPAQUE sprayer bottle (must be opaque or the peroxide will oxidize, turning into water and losing it's antibacterial properties)
2 cups water
1 cup hydrogen peroxide
1 cup white vinegar
20 drops essential oil (from most health food stores; lavendar & tea tree are antibacterial; orange and grapefruit help cut grease)

Be sure to shake the bottle before using to mix the oils which settle.

Sophie Uliano's Veggie Spray Cleaner

1 cup water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
20 drops grapefruit seed extract (antibacterial & antifungal)

Combine in a large container (not a spray bottle!), then transfer to a spray bottle with a pump. Spray mixture on produce and rinse thoroughly after 5 to 10 minutes.

Creamy Soft Scrubber

Pour about 1/2 cup baking soda into a bowl and add enough liquid detergent to make a frosting-like texture. Scoop mixture onto a sponge and wash a surface. It rinses easily and doesn't leave grit. Make just enough to use or add vegetable glycerin and store in a sealed container to use later.

Window Cleaner

Pure Vingear in a spray bottle!

Toilet Cleaner

Simply pour baking soda into your toilet. Then pour a small amount of vinegar. Let soak for a bit and clean.