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Recipe: Shrimp, Collard Greens, Whole Grain Pasta, in Anchovy Sauce

This recipe is packed with flavor and  was pretty easy to make.

You’ll need: small tin of anchovies in olive oil, 6 cloves garlic chopped, bunch collard greens stems removed and sliced, whole grain thin spaghetti 3/4 of a box, 10 large fresh shrimp, 1/4 cup dry white cooking wine, 1/2 a lemon, 4-5T of EVOO, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, red chili flakes

First sear shrimp in 2T EVOO in a hot pan, leaving it undisturbed for 2 mins on one side then cooking for 60 seconds on the other side. Set aside the shrimp. Now in same pan add anchovies, stirring until they disintegrate in the oil. Add garlic and red chili flakes and cook til garlic is browned. Then deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup dry white cooking wine and lemon juice. Then add the collard greens and mix, cooking until the collard greens are really wilted, like 5 minutes. Then add cooked pasta, toss around and add more EVOO so that the pasta is just glistening. Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 more minutes.  I like to let the pasta sit undisturbed for a few minutes towards the end so that some pieces get crispy. Before serving toss in the shrimp.

mason jar coffee mug

Drink: Mason Jar Coffee Mug

Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!  I’ve been looking for a coffee mug that is compact, leak proof, easy to wash, and microwavable for a long time now.  And haven’t been able to find one that fits all these criteria and then it occurred to me– I could just use mason jars that I already have at home!  These are great for making coffee ahead of time, storing in the fridge and taking with you to work either chilled or microwaved hot.  Yay for more convenient caffeine.

Everlane the short sleeve shirt

wardrobe: the short sleeve

This summer calls for the simplest short sleeve shirt and Everlane has made the perfect one.  It’s nice to have a button up that you don’t have to tuck in for those times you don’t want to show the waist line of your pants/skirt.  Keeping it untucked also helps with the ventilation. The straight horizontal edge makes this okay.  And because the shirt has a short torso (but falling short of ‘cropped’), it looks great with a pair of high waisted shorts when you’re out of the office.  Plus, since it is 100% cotton it’ll keep you feeling fresh in the muggy summer heat.  Whereas, polyester and silk tend to get clingy and hate to say it (smelly) in this weather.  I also love the A-line detailing of the shoulders which softens up the edges and gives it a modern European touch.  Not to mention, $48 for a well constructed 100% cotton shirt is a pretty good deal for something you’ll probably have on heavy rotation.

pan seared ravioli

Recipe: Quick Pan-Seared Ravioli

Since I don’t really have the time to be making ravioli from scratch, I was trying to think of ways to cheer up pre-made ravioli.  I drew inspiration from east asian methods of pan frying dumplings, and voila! was able to whip up this tasty dinner in just 15 minutes that you wouldn’t guess was from the freezer aisle.

You’ll need:  pre-made ravioli (I used Buitoni’s shrimp scampi ravioli since it was on sale for $2.50), 4 cloves garlic, 1/2 red onion chopped roughly, 1 riped on the vine tomato roughly chopped, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons EVOO, roughly chopped basil (or other herb), salt and freshly ground pepper, and grated cheese (optional).

Gently boil the ravioli for 6 minutes with a splash of EVOO in the water to prevent sticking.  Then combine butter and EVOO in large non stick pan.  When hot, add onions, garlic, and cooked ravioli (pat dry with paper towel first).  Make sure the ravioli is in a single layer so that it can sear evenly.  In about 1 minute, turn each ravioli over.  It should be slightly browned and crispy.  Add lemon juice, tomatoes, and chopped basil over top.  Generously season with salt and pepper.  After another minute, remove only the ravioli with tongs to plate.  Now toss around the remaining veggies with a flick of the wrist to integrate all the flavors for 30 seconds more, so that the onions and garlic are slightly charred.  Pour the veggies over the ravioli and sprinkle with grated cheese (parmesan ideally, but I used cojita since I had some on hand).

Wardrobe: Summer Staples

summer 2014 wardrobe

Lately, I’ve been paying attention to the foundational pieces in my closet, getting back to basics…this new ‘haul’ is a bit normcore, it includes all my new essentials:  the transport tote from Madewell in dark navy, these made in Germany narrow arizona Birkenstocks in black for walks in the park, classic keds in black leather for any time, lisa marie fernandez byzantine bikini top, and these super affordable effortless tanks from H&M that go with everything.  I feel a bit giddy knowing how much use I’m going to get out of each of these.

If you hadn’t already noticed, Birkenstocks are back.  It started with Celine, Kate Moss, the Olsen twins, then zara, j. crew, and many other retail stores started making knock off versions.  It became so popular, the German company had to recently expand production to keep up with demand.  The black ones are pretty much sold out everywhere except Zappos if you opt for the Vegan leather version which happens to be $40 cheaper and just as comfortable.  Susie Bubble did a great piece on this shoe craze when she was invited to tour the factory last fall.  Anyway, I’ve been getting a lot of use out of them and my fallen arches are glad they’re back.

Recipe: Pan Seared Scallops with Basil Garlic Whole Wheat Pasta

Pan seared scallops basil pasta
This made for a quick summer lunch that felt light, healthy but still very filling.  It’s probably essential to watch the Alton Brown video on how to properly sear scallops which entails careful attention to timing. The pasta was surprisingly good too, which I kinda just winged with some leftover basil leaves.  The bay scallops were just $6 dollars at my local market.

You’ll need:  About 8 medium to large fresh bay scallops, big handful of basil leaves, 5 garlic cloves, 4 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil, a tablespoon of butter, 1/4 of a box of whole wheat thin spaghetti, sea salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Start cooking your spaghetti in salt water with care not to overcook; probably better to undercook because it will continue to cook when you saute it later.  Meanwhile, combine the basil, garlic, 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a food processor til chopped finely (but not pureed).  With a large frying pan, sear your scallops a la Alton Brown, when done, set aside on a plate.  Now wipe down the pan and on medium-high heat, add about two tablespoons of the basil sauce to the pan and let sizzle for about 45 seconds.  Then add the pasta, toss around for 3 minutes, season generously with salt and pepper.  Turn off heat and let the pasta sit in the pan undisturbed for 2 more minutes to get a nice crispy texture on some of the pasta.  And finally, plate it all with the scallops.

Apartment: DIY Lamp with Copper Pipe

copper pipe DIY lamp

I’m pretty satisfied with this weekend DIY project.  Made a cute simple lamp in the corner of my living room out of copper piping and an edison lightbulb.  All the supplies were bought at home depot for a total of $46 from the piping and lighting sections.  On the left is a copper pipe cutter.  I will spare you the instructions since it’s pretty intuitive.  The glow from these vintage-y bulbs are flattering to every skintone, has the hue of candle light but enough brightness to light a small room.

Copper Pipe Lamp DIY

(on the left is a copper pipe cutter $14; alternatively you can custom the pipes with a saw)