Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bloody Mary Shrimps

Finding exciting ways to prepare shrimps as we wind down
our Lenten journey has been a challenge. Pinterest has an amazing variety of tastes and levels of skill for cooking. Yesterday I stumbled across this recipe for a spicy version of shrimp that made some sense.

They look tasty don't they? 

Bloody Mary Shrimps:

Marinate a pound of large raw shrimps in
1tbl chili powder
1t garlic powder
1t salt
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t chipotle powder
Pinch of pepper
3 tbl honey
2 tbl vodka
1 tbl ketchup
1 tbl Worcestershire
1/2 tbl Tabasco
2 tbl olive oil
Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Marinate for a few hours. Grill on a hot grill pan till just pink then turn and finish (about 3-4 mins). Remove from pan as not to overcook. Spicy, tangy and delicious. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Still plugging along....Lenten wise

Not too much to post about with the simple meals we have been eating for Lent lately. Our usual Wednesday Potlucks have been hijacked by the Pan Orthodox celebrations which makes it tough to even post about the Potluck foods. we have not been able to attend most of the Pan Orthodox stuff due to work schedules and I hate to go alone. I rarely know many folks there anymore.

So our diet lately consists of, besides buckets of boiled shrimp, mostly odds and ends. We are odds and ends eaters due to random leftovers and scarcity of foods. Last night I wasn't all that hungry and very tired for some reason, I napped hard. Bread, left over pasta, edamame and a glass of milk was all about I could muster (the milk is not even Lenten). Brenda ate the pasta, I ate the rest. we are at the halfway point though and that makes it easier to see the finish line so sorry about the lack of blog interest but as our diet improves so will the posts....

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Boons and Busts

We have been eating a lot of seafood and we are looking for ways to change it up a bit. Last night our usual Salmon was kicked up a notch with the addition of some Dill Sauce. Brenda likes Dill but I am not a huge fan. This recipe brought us together though.

1/2 c mayo (we used light version)
1/2 sour cream (we used light version)
1 Tbl dill weed chopped fine
1 Tbl onion chopped fine
1/4 t garlic salt
1 tsp Horse radish
1 Tbl Lemon juice 

Mix all and allow to sit in the fridge for a bit. Mighty tasty on fresh grill salmon.

For the shrimp I wanted a better cocktail sauce. I watched Heartland Table and found this.

1/2 large sweet onion minced
2 tablespoons of coriander seeds toasted and ground
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 t dry

2 cups whole canned Plum tomatoes pulsed in a processor
1 bay leaf
zest of 1/2 lemon and juice
3-4 tablespoons of horseradish
4 shakes of cayenne
4 teaspoons of sugar

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and saute the onions until coppery brown. Add the ground coriander and thyme and stir. Add the tomatoes and cook uncovered till the tomatoes thicken and darken. Add the lemon juice, zest and horseradish, sugar and cayenne.  Cool to room temperature.

I found this a little blah so we added about 1/4 c Sriacha and some salt. That really brought it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Prayer Ropes...Spiritual Survivor Bracelets

I have been asked to teach my altar servers how to tie prayer ropes at their retreat this weekend so I have been busy prepping the material and brushing up my knotting skills. We are going to use parachute cord I picked up at the Army Surplus store as it is popular these days to make survivor bracelets out of this material. What better use to employ this material for our spiritual survival?
The boys are ages 10 to 16, eager yet inattentive struggling to stay focused for the services and generally missing nearly every cue for their next task. The are well meaning and this retreat will give me and Fr. Alex a chance to define certain aspects of the service and how he needs them to behave, where to stand and other generalities of altar service. There is no sitting down up there and it can be a bit tedious for them. There is lots of stuff to get them in trouble and things to fuss with including charcoal and smokey incense as well as open flame. The temptation and potential for distraction is great so someone has to keep them in line. Traditionally, fathers would serve and guide the boys but a lot of the converts lack the experience so the role falls to me. A poorly prepared and behaved crew up there makes for a distracting service for all.
So the first order of business will be to teach the prayer used with the ropes. Not nearly as complicated as the rosary in the Western church, the simple Jesus prayer is repeated throughout the process if tying the knots and then using the rope. It goes thus: "O Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
The ropes are a complicated process of finger knitting that produces a round knot of crosses pretty much impossible to untie. Legend has it that an angel taught a monk the knot to confound the Devil who would untie the monk's knots which he used to track his prayer rule. This knot made it impossible for the Devil to undo.
I am hoping the boys won't find this too lame as teenagers are wont to do.


OK,  I wrote this before the retreat. We met on Saturday for what must have been a long time for the boys, about 5 hours. We discovered somethings about them and about us. Father has the patience of Job, I do not. The prayer rope exercise was a disaster and they could not make it through the first few steps and pretty much could have cared less.

We discovered the areas the need to be brought up to speed including the basic terminology of altar objects, that they have no clue as to what the priest is doing pretty much at any given time. It's going to be a while before they come up to speed. I have two new guys, one of them post college who helped me chant the vesper service so he will be a big help. The boys were pretty excited about reading/ chanting the Epistle but none of them tried it on Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed.

Great Lent and eating.....or not eating

Our focus this year has really not been much about food as food is not the focus of Lent but it tends to shadow us a bit as we struggle to maintain our energy for the workday and be spiritual at the same time. Brenda calls it eating "junk" but by that she means healthy tidbits of what's in the fridge that includes a lot of shrimp, asparagus and veggies, humus and baba ganoush.  I have been making a real effort to eat healthy this Lent as well as maintain a low carb, Mediterranean diet as best I can.

Being meatless is hardly noticeable but it is hard not to fill up on carby foods as a substitute and you find yourself with a box of crackers or some other nonsense before you realize.

I bought about 20 pounds of shrimp at Wal-Mart because they had very large shrimp on sale for a very good price. I have boiled them, roasted them and will eventually saute them as I grow weary of the fare. I keep 2 pounds of boiled shrimps in the fridge for easy snacking. They practically have no calories and are low in fat. We also bought Cod which I have added to a large pot of gumbo (a little spicy for the older set, oops.) that went over well at Pre Sanctified liturgy. I also baked a loaf of Prosphora for the service. Its hard to keep that from going in my mouth too.

All in all we had almost finished the second week, I am losing a bit of weight or at least a inch or two around the middle, always a sign of a successful fast.  Time to get some serious recipes out and spice things up a bit so I see some dirty shrimp in our future as well as some pasta. We have been good so far in laying off the stuff but meals are getting tedious so...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lenten Treat

Looking for things to keep me somewhat sated during this first week of Lent, I found small packs of Edamame that can be nuked at work and eaten. I love these little bean pods but they can be a bit bland so....a sauce is in order.
How about a little treat from Hiro's here in Omaha. They make a great spicy Edamame.

1/4 c soy sauce
1 Tbl brown sugar
1/4 c rice vinegar
healthy squirt of Siracha
1 tbl Garlic chili paste
1 tbl toasted Sesame oil

A short burst in the microwave to melt the sugar and stir it in then I poured a few teaspoons over my hot Edamame.  Hot, sweet, spicy and delicious.  Its pretty close to the original.


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