Lemony Shrimp and Bean Stew

Another year, another excuse to go back to “Week One” – which is a satisfying way to start again and renew for the year. One things I try to do at the end of every week is a pause for gratitude – taking a moment to do a little review of the week, how I felt, and what I experienced. Every time I do this activity (*every* *single* *time*) I’m reminded just how many really lovely moments I’ve had.

This week, I wrote!

  • I published My 2023 Kitchen Resolutions! and my 2023 Reading list (and beyond!)
  • I spent a little bit of time on “systems upgrades” – reviewing my “Let’s Eat” spreadsheet, adding new recipes to my list to try, reviewing my “list of lists“, my January Intentions
  • I’ve kept a movie watching spreadsheet since 2019 (and an unorganized Letterboxd of most everything I’ve watched) – but this week as a gift to myself, I made a to-watch movie list with options for my favorite genres – primarily classics that I’ve missed.

Also, if you haven’t yet downloaded it, my 20 page Winter Good Things Guide is here!

{Good Things, in No Particular Order:}

  • I ran my first 5k of the year – I’ve run the Needham New Year’s 5k maybe for the past decade? (This year I had to tie both shoelaces..)
  • My stairwell and living room bathroom are being freshly painted
  • I’ve gone to bed by 11:30, and woken each morning to do some yoga or lift (I’m not usually a morning movement person, but I realized that I could get in 20 minutes without disrupting my morning coffee and reading.
  • My ProHort gardening and horticulture class kicked off! Looking forward to getting my gardening to the next level. (I also “accidentally” acquired some dahlia tubers from Five Forks)
  • Acquisitions of note: I sprung for a month of Youtube premium to see if it makes a massive experience difference.
  • Good Reads: we kicked off the year with The Bodyguard – Katherine Center (very fun romcom), 4000 Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman (2021, 129 pages) – strongly recommend!
  • Watched: The Menu (HBO) if you like watching Chef’s Table and dark comedic violence, you’ll likely be mostly satisfied. Wasn’t perfect, but enjoyed.
  • Chopped off about 5 inches of hair! And now it’s swishy!

{Good Eats}

It was a great week in food! I’ve been reading the 60-minute Gourmet Cookbook (Pierre Franey), Smitten Kitchen Keepers, and The Woks of Life – and been inspired to cook each evening (a working dishwasher, turns out, is the secret to my happiness cooking. Some highlights:

Ottolenghi Chicken Thighs with Fennel and Arak I’ve made this recipe maybe a dozen times over the past few years, and it’s always good. It’s also forgiving – you can swap different citrus out easily, and it’s a very simple recipe to make – you can marinate all the ingredients in a ziplock or even in the baking dish and just pop in the oven.

Cauliflower Gnocchi Deconstructed “Manti” (Turkish seasoned ground beef, yogurt sauce) I’m a fan of Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi, and this makes me feel virtuous. You really simply season the ground beef (usually cumin, oregano, chile, or köfte seasoning). I air fried the gnocchi, and then tossed it in when the beef was done. You make a little yogurt sauce with some garlic to top it, and some more pepper on top.

Pierre Franey Mustard Mayo Flounder; leeks with red wine vinaigrette + tomato. Super simple mix of mustard, mayo, and parsley. You coat the fish and broil or bake. I had flounder from Red’s Best in my farm share. (The leeks were leftover from boiling a chicken over the weekend, and I made a red wine mustard vinaigrette to douse over everything.)

Pork Chops + Salad with Burrata, Tomato, Avocado, Dill Dressing. The air fryer makes perfect pork chops every time. (8 minutes or so at 390 and I let rest.) Big salad of everything in the fridge. Trader Joe’s vegan dill dressing.

Vietnamese Style Garlic Noodles + Whole Foods Lobster, Bok Choy: made a version of these. Sprung for lobster.

Lemony Shrimp + Bean stew with Christmas limas and Argentinian red shrimp from TJs, lemon parsley + sour cream. This is a great stew base recipe! You really want to add extra lemon and parsley at the end.

Also this week? I remembered how easy it is to make good popcorn in the microwave?

Here’s to a great week! –– xo Sam