…they get hungry…
and demanding. In a nice way though. For about three weeks my co-worker Karen has been dying to come over for some girl time in the kitchen. I FINALLY came through and invited her over after work.
Karen is one of my closest friends at the office. A real confidant. A real buddy. She is a wife and mommy and when the hubby says “I’ll take the baby tonight” she calls Mo. She has lost a tremendous amount of weight after giving birth to her baby girl and shes done a great job at keeping the weight off. When she asked if I cooked healthy I was honest. Sometimes. And when she asked if I could teach her how to cook I said Definitely.
I might not be the fittest chick in the bunch but I know how to lighten up stuff. So I prepared a dinner for her and showed her how to make it.
Does anyone like the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster?
OMG who doesn’t?
Most people I know go to Red Lobster just for the biscuits because the food isn’t as good as the garlicky cheesey biscuits. Did you know you can make these at home and save yourself a trip to the overrated chain?
yes you can!
I cheat. I use bisquick. But find an easy to follow recipe for drop biscuits and add extra sharp cheddar cheese to your dough. Bake according to directions and when it comes out, brush the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic and parsley.
To lighten this up, I used Reduced Fat Bisquick, Fat free Sharp Cheddar Cheese, spray butter, powdered garlic and parsley. Same taste… but the texture is a bit more dry in the light versions.
Karens one request was shrimp. Its low fat and high in protein. I can oblige with shrimp. And since I was showing her how to cook simple things i figured i would give her a crash course in pesto. Pesto, which was very intimidating a long time ago is probably the most versatile sauce that any beginner in italian cuisine can master. Pesto and Shrimp- HOLY COW!
I purchased ingredients for Spinach Pesto. Let’s be honest, sometimes a bunch of basil and pine nuts can be expensive but spinach and walnuts are always reasonably priced. We took 2 cups of fresh spinach, 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, 3 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/4 cup parm cheese, salt and pepper, and pulsed it in the food processor until…
pasty. A lil
secret that might appall
some people is that I hate the though of 1 whole cup of oil in a sauce- so i thin mine out using… water. GULP. I know! Its terrible. But the flavor is still there… and it still sticks to the pasta- its just lower in fat. (Karen, was impressed- not appalled)
While she seasoned HER pesto, I started the shrimp. I got the pan really hot so the shrimp would cook quickly. I cooked them maybe 1 minute per side. Overcooked shrimp sucks!!
Oh… while Karen was makin her pesto i whipped up some whole wheat angel hair.
Close up shot.
Oh, and a gift for the hostess. Why thank you Karen! This went divinely with dinner!
Karen really enjoyed dinner, as did I. It was very simple to make yet tasted fancy…karens words- not mine! LOL.
When clean up was done I told Karen I had a dessert to show her too. PUMPKIN Bread.
Mickey decided that Karen did enough cooking and needed some cuddle time. I let Mickey keep Karen company while I made dessert.
Yellow cake mix. 14 oz of puree pumpkin. 1/4 cup of maple syrup. 1 egg white. 1 heaping tbsp of pumpkin pie spice. Mix it all with a blender. Pour into a greased cake pan and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Fluffy. Moist. Fragrant and delicious.
If I could have you over for dinner…What would you like?