10 October 2016

Spicy Shrimp & Snap Peas

This savory dish is based on McCormick's "Asian Style Sugar Snap Peas" recipe, but I chose to go with different flavor base and added shrimp to turn it into a main course. It reminded me a lot of Chinese takeout, but much less salty, and I know I'll definitely be making this again ... maybe, with broccoli. Or asparagus. Or bok choy. Really, I think it would lend itself to most any "stir-fry" type vegetable. The flavors are great -- very aromatic with just a little kick -- and the whole dish goes together easily, with minimal fuss.

While I ate this as it was, you could serve this over rice or another grain for a more filling meal. I was simply too lazy (and hungry!) to take the time to make rice.

Spicy Shrimp & Snap Peas

Yield: 2


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz finely chopped red onion
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
  • ½ tsp five-spice powder
  • ½ tsp dried minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 8 oz trimmed fresh snap peas
  • 8 oz thawed frozen cooked shrimp [domestic, if you can find it, to avoid supporting slave labor]


  1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes until tender.
  2. Stir in soy sauce and seasonings. Add sugar snap peas and stir to coat well. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp and cook, stirring often, 1 or 2 minutes or just until shrimp is heated through (you don't want tough shrimp).
  4. Adjust seasonings as desired.

28 September 2016

Wordless Wednesday: Ferris Wheel By Night

Ferris wheel by night during the 2016 Bristol Mum Festival.

27 September 2016

A Hankering for Cake; Or, a Cake Emergency Is Averted & there is rejoicing

I was experiencing a powerful hankering for cake, but didn't have the energy to commit to baking a full-size scratch cake, and then remembered the Duncan Hines Perfect Size Red Velvet Crush Heart-Shaped Cake mix kit I'd picked up on clearance just after Valentine's Day last year and put away for a "cake emergency." (What? You don't have cake emergencies? Get on with you!)

These Perfect Size cake mix kits are really quite a clever gimmick. In each kit, there's a bag of glaze or frosting mix, a bag of cake mix, and a twee little baking pan. You just add a bit of egg, butter, water, and milk and *ta-da* you're off to the races. Each cake serves 2-4 people, depending on appetite, and we did manage 4 servings from this heart-shaped one.

Threw on some red confetti sprinkles to make it look less homely. Did not succeed.

What did this red velvet cake taste like? Like a light, mildly chocolate sponge. The glaze was also only mildly chocolate-y, but quite sweet. Happily, the unsweetened whipped cream I served with this cake helped to balance out the sweetness of the glaze and we scarfed it down with big cups of tea. A quarter of the cake per person (or one ventricle, as The Husband called it) was the perfect sized serving -- cravings were assuaged without leaving anyone feeling uncomfy around the waistband.

Would I buy this cake mix kit again? Not the red velvet (the heart-shaped kit was a limited edition, but there's an all-season round version available), no, but I wouldn't mind trying the Perfect Size Strawberries and Crème cake mix kit (garnished with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, obviously).