Thursday, April 30, 2009

Simple Supper: Creamy Shrimp With Corn and Bacon

This is one of those great weeknight meals that comes together quick and requires no side dishes. And it's a great flavor combination, if you enjoy two of my favorite food groups: bacon and shrimp.

Creamy Shrimp With Corn and Bacon
Recipe courtesy of Real Simple

1 cup long-grain white rice
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 10-ounce package frozen corn

In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine rice, 1 1/4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 18 minutes. (Do not lift the lid or stir.) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork before serving. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel, let cool, then break into pieces. Wipe out the skillet. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Stir in the shrimp, corn, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer until cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the bacon; serve over the rice. Serves four.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Goods for the Earth

In honor of Earth Day, I offer you some eco-friendly items from Target that are affordable, cute and planet-friendly. A collaboration between Philadelphia-based company MIO and Target gives us some handy items for the yard, including an herb garden kit with biodegradable pots, a set of bamboo gardening tools, an adorable and portable cotton hammock and solar lights for your walkway. Finally, there's a way to keep your yard green.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cheater Churros

Now you don't have to go to Costco to get your churros. The sweet, crispy Spanish donuts are easier to make than you think. Although they are normally deep-fried, there's a simple, no mess way to make them and get the same great taste. All you need is puff pastry, cinnamon and sugar. Churros can be eaten any time of day, but for dessert, they're great dipped in chocolate or paired with ice cream.

Recipe courtesy of Ingrid Hoffmann and the Food Network

1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 sheet defrosted puff pastry dough

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on your work surface and place the puff pastry in an even, single layer on top. Brush the pastry lightly with water and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Flip the pastry over and repeat on the second side. With a pizza cutter, cut the pastry into 1-inch wide strips. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, twisting the ends of each strip so it looks like a corkscrew. Bake until they're puffed and golden brown, 20 minutes and set aside to cool completely. Yields 8 to 10.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tray Chic

I came across this candle tray in a CB2 catalog a while back, and I can't seem to forget the statement-making centerpiece. The metal tray, which is currently on sale for $59.95, holds 36 tealight holders -- candles are sold separately. I think the piece is simple, modern and would be an instant mood setter for any cocktail party. Just make sure you set aside prep time to light all those candles.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Floral Footing

There's a pair of shoes at that I've been drooling over, and they're not even for sale yet. The natural canvas espadrilles feature a rope wedge and a huge, bright pink camellia. They are undeniably cheery and perfect for a backyard summer party or even a casual wedding. Problem is, they are a steep $368, and I'd rather spend that money on a summer vacation. So I'm on the hunt for a more affordable pair of espadrilles that I can attach my own fabric flower to. Any suggestions?


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