Shrimp Italian-ish

italian shrimp

Ingredients –

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 tablespoon ground mustard

3 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning blend

3 tablespoons dried parsley

Pinch of salt

A pound of shrimp, no shell or tail.

1 large “ugly ripe” tomato or similar meaty tomato.

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro.

Half a cup of wine (I used white Zinfandel)

Instructions –

Slice up the tomato so it will fit in the food processor. Remove the leaves from the cilantro, discarding the stems. Process the tomato and cilantro leaves in the processor until puréed. Set aside.

Put the butter in a large covered sauté pan over medium-low heat. When that has melted, add the garlic. Then add the shrimp and the dry seasonings. Stir to evenly distribute the seasonings.

Let this cook for a few minutes, then add the wine. Cook a little longer, then turn over the shrimp to cook the other side. Add the tomato-cilantro purée, stir, and cover.

Lower the heat if the mixture starts to bubble.

Allow to simmer for about five minutes or until the shrimp is done (when it turns opaque). Do not overcook the shrimp or it will be tough.

Serve over shell pasta with a glug of olive oil. Makes four servings.

OMG Blondies


First ingredients –

1/2 cup of butter, melted (one stick)

1 cup of turbinado sugar (I use “Sugar in the Raw” brand)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon of vanilla

Dry ingredients –

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend

Mix-ins –

1/3 cup of butterscotch chips

1/3 cup of pine nuts (option – toast them first)

Instructions –
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour an 8X8 pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl.

2 Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk.

3 In a separate bowl, blend together dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.

4 Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring together with a fork. When blended, stir in the butterscotch chips and pine nuts.

5 Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool. Cut into squares and serve.

Notes –
Modified from the Simply Recipes website. I added the pine nuts and the pumpkin pie spice, and substituted turbinado sugar for “tightly packed brown sugar”. I also changed it so that the dry ingredients are mixed separately.

A little poem I wrote in honor of the first batch of blondies I made –


You smell of warmth, and love.
You smell of home, and old school buildings.
You smell of mornings and mysteries solved.


Voice (of reason?)

I’ve come across several people recently who say they have something important to say. They want people to read their books or have them speak at events. The only issue is their books look like manifestos and their speeches sound like rants.

One guy writes conspiracy theory tracts. He self published a book, then cut it down to a booklet because people said it was too long to read, then kept cutting it down until now it is all on one sheet of paper, front and back, small print. I think they said it was too long to be kind. They didn’t want to read it at all. He uses a lot of capitals and bold face and italics. Visually his handouts are a mess. Even this short, it is too much.

Another guy is equally paranoid. He wants to grow everything himself because he thinks the government and then the economy is going to collapse. While it is good to be self sufficient, his level of paranoia is palpable. He talks fast and doesn’t listen to the other person’s opinions. He thinks they are deluded. He thinks he is the only person who knows what is really going on.

Another guy is trying to get himself invited as a “controversial speaker” to a local religious group meeting. He has stated that you can’t declare yourself a prophet, but then he say he is one and he is the only one talking. His “introduction” took up the whole page of the group’s homepage.

They sound crazy. They may have something important to say. Truth very well might be revealed to them. But how they are presenting it makes their message questionable.

I’ve considered telling them what I see. I’ve considered pulling them aside and handing them a clue. Nobody is going to take them seriously if they seem wackadoodle.

But then I think maybe it is for the best to not tell them.

If you put a new coat of paint on an old car, it will still run the same. If you try to sell this new looking car to someone they are going to be fooled. They will get in and drive down the road a bit and end up stranded.

I don’t want to do that to the passenger. It is important to not mislead people. Even if I’m not delivering the message, I will have aided and abetted. If I help someone repackage their message so that other people finally listen to it, I’m responsible for the fallout.

Maybe their message is crazy. Maybe that is why they seem messed up.