Monday, May 7, 2012

Crabby & Feta Shrimp

I was a total crab-ass today.  The last 2 days the bulldozer as been clearing topsoil next door.  We knew it was coming but today I was awoken by the beep beep beeping of heavy machinery.  The dogs heard it first and started barking.... which woke me up... and then woke D2 up.  I was a bit upset to say the least.  This occurred at 0730.  Yes, 730am.  Grrrrrrrr.  We were the new guys not that long ago but our land sits so far back that I DON'T THINK we interrupted anyones lives.  This is across the field.  I know, poor me, but we have really gotten used to the dark quiet back here and its making us crazy.  Hubby is constantly out there eyeing up the property line... planning how he can block everything out with trees and we both harp on the fact that life will change.  They recently marked out their septic system about 8 feet (our measurement) from the line... the law states that it has to be 10 away so we have been nuts trying to decide if we fork out the cash to have the line resurveyed or do we figure that we are 2 feet off.  IT'S INSANE.


Once the whole family woke up I decided to go for a run because I HAD to get out of the house. I also have not run sine the 10 miler a week ago.  My plan was 5 miles but I could feel the back of my right foot rubbing at about 2.5 miles. By 3 miles I had to stop.  No sense in hurting myself when I only have 2 weeks to the half.  I tucked my shoe back down and started walking back.  I did try and run another half mile with my shoe back down but it really was just uncomfortable.  I had bought a backup pair if the same shoes (reebok real flex) in a different color a few weeks ago so I may trade them out.  The current pair has given me some blister problems on that right foot a few times now.  I may try the new ones a few miles on the treadmill in the morning to break them in.  The training program winds down the mileage now anyway so I think I will still be okay.... I have said before that I would be fine going at a crawl for the half, just so I do it and just so I finish.  I do not care about times.

During nap in between throwing dirty glares at the construction men I got some yard work done.  I got my raised beds cleaned out and ready for some veggies.  I would like to get some sweet peat picked up Wednesday so that I can be in business.  I haven't decided what I am going to plant yet.  I have to talk to my BIL to see what he has grown for us.  He is an organic farmer and always grows a TON of extra plants to give to us and to sell.  We get the majority of our produce from him but I do like to have a few of the basics here for us to grow and enjoy.  Besides, I think D1 gets a kick out of watching everything grow.  This year I will do 2 double raised beds and next year we will go to four if all goes well.

I am also starting the composter up again.  2 Years ago I did a compost pile and it was strategically challenging.  We put the garden on the outside of the fence so watering was a chore... The compost pile was next to it (which also needs water).  Carrying our rotten food to this back area just wasn't ideal.  On the flip side, I didn't want a compost pile next to the house in the yard.  My MIL picked up a compost tumbler a few years ago at a yard sale.  About that time she asked me if I wanted it but I declined because I had started the pile.  Last year I was preggo and/or just gave birth so I had no time.  This year I took the MIL up on the offer and the BIL dropped it off.  Its rusty.  It needs some love.  The axle was broken so I called the company and after further inspection I ordered a whole new base and new hinges.  I will have that thing good as new by weeks end.  We are placing it next to the raised beds which is right off of the patio.  This means that it will be convenient to water, fill and empty onto the garden.  Can't wait to get started!  Pics to come!

I also got to make  a few phone calls for mom's club.  I'm really starting to get excited but VERY nervous.  I still have about 8 board positions I need to fill and I'm just not getting the responses I'd like to have.  I like to think the I am still ahead of the game time wise.  I am actively searching out a possible new meeting space and some churches were recommended.  I called one of them and got an awesome response.  They will give us the meeting space for FREE.  How awesome is that???  We spend a ton of our budget on a meeting location.  We are a MOMS CLUB.  We are a nonprofit entity that would much rather donate to a worthy cause than to pay for meeting space.  We will go on a site tour hopefully next week!  FINGERS ARE CROSSED.

Lastly, I made one of my favorite dishes.  Its from Ina Garten.  Its her Feta Shrimp.  Ohhhhh how yummy.  Not sure if I posted the recipe before but its incredibly easy and doubly fabulous..... I PROMISE.

4 tablespoons good olive oil, divided            
1½ cups medium-diced fennel
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
¼ cup dry white wine
1 (14½-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Pernod
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1¼-1.5 pounds (16 to 20 per pound) peeled shrimp with tails on
5 ounces good feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (see note)
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10- or 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add the fennel and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes, until the fennel is tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes with the liquid, tomato paste, oregano, Pernod, salt, and pepper to the skillet. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Arrange the shrimp, tails up, in one layer over the tomato -mixture in the skillet. Scatter the feta evenly over the shrimp. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over the shrimp. 
Bake for 15 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked and the bread crumbs are golden brown. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the shrimp. Serve hot with the remaining lemon cut into wedges. 

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