Since I've had such great support from fellow bloggers, helping me get the word out in the beginning stages of my blog, I wanted to take this chance to earn some blogging karma points and plug some other bloggers' current projects. Before I start, I want to say thanks so much to The Missive Maven for giving me a huge shout-out on her blog and getting me so many responses for my 50 State Challenge! I can't wait to see what I get in the mail in the coming weeks. AND, thank you to everyone who is participating as well! Bianca over at Goodnight Little Spoon also gave me a plug on one of her recent posts; thanks a bunch! Both ladies have awesome post-based blogs, and I highly recommend checking them out if you aren't already a huge fan, like me. :)
A fellow blogger named Megan is currently hosting her own stationery swap which I joined a few days back. I am so happy to be a part of this; I joined Swap-bot a while back, but as a 'newbie,' I'm not able to join a lot of swaps consisting of anything more than a postcard. There are definitely a couple 'package' type swaps that I've been able to join (check back closer to St. Patrick's day for a 'Package of Green' swap I'm doing). Anyway, Megan's swap signups end this Friday the 26th @ 12:00 AM Australian time, so join in while you still can!
Lastly, I just discovered a notebook project called The Notebook Journey. This one notebook is traveling all around the world to participants who will decorate one page of the notebook and send it along to its next destination. Such a great idea and I can't wait till it gets around to me! I am #72 out of the 77 signed up [so far] with a max. of 10 days per person, so technically I should get the notebook in approximately 700 days...close to 2 years! How crazy is that? Lauren, the creator, is urging participants to get the word out about the project since she hasn't set a limit to the number of signups. Check it out and join in!
Before I move on to food, I wanted to post some incoming and outgoing mail. Starting with incoming, I received a great card and letter (much anticipated) from The Missive Maven:
Last piece of mail for the day is some outgoing, a response to Belen:
That'll do it for mail...let's move on to some food. Tonight for dinner I made a take on shrimp scampi and it turned out really well. Here is a pretty accurate representation of what I made tonight...it's not perfect but if you decide to make this it'll get you where you need to be:
[My Take On] Shrimp Scampi
Serves 2 comfortably
1 pound spaghetti, linguine, or fettucine
8-10 (16-20 count) shrimp
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning, optional
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
1/2 cup chicken stock
3 lemons, zested and juiced, to yield 1/2 cup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, peel and devein the shrimp if necessary. Make sure they are nice and dry, then place them in a zip-top bag with the flour, Old Bay, salt, and pepper. Shake it up to coat the shrimp well, then remove them from the bag and shake free of any excess flour. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan until just shimmering. Add the shrimp and saute on both sides until crispy and just cooked through; they will continue to cook while they rest. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
3. Lower the heat and add the garlic and onion. (Add a touch more oil if the pan is too dry). Saute for 30 seconds to a minute, until just softened. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half, then add the lemon zest and lemon juice and reduce it by half. Lastly, swirl in the butter until it has just melted and slightly thickened the sauce. Add the parsley (reserving some for garnish if desired) and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Toss pasta with sauce, to taste, and place in your serving dish. Top with the shrimp and more sauce, to taste, then garnish with parsley. Serve and enjoy! :)