Wednesday, July 30, 2014

RVA and Why You Need to Know About It

Richmond, Virginia, or RVA, as it is affectionally nicknamed by those who call it home, is an amazing city with which you really should be familiar. It has created an eclectic, unique identity for itself over the last 10 years and now offers something for every scene: art, food (my favorite!), culture, outdoors, healthy living, business, etc. In my opinion, what ever you want Richmond has to offer, and its given with a dose of Southern charm. I don't sound like someone who didn't grow up here, do I?

A month or so ago I was contacted by Zillow about participating in an article about RVA for their blog. I was excited for this opportunity, and honored that this little 'ol blog got to share something on their big old blog. I jokingly wondered if they had some kind of computer program that revealed I spend way too much time on Zillow. They probably thought, hey this is our kind of girl! Seriously though, I love love my house, but those who know me know I dream of finding our second home. It will be out of the suburbs of Richmond and a little bit into the country. Now, not too far. I still want to go to Target and Kroger! I do want a few acres with a view. A back deck that I can sit on and not be able to see another house. Ah, someday. But anyway, whenever I start daydreaming about this future house I always get on Zillow to see what I can find. It was a pretty awesome coincidence when an email from Zillow popped up in my inbox. 

The RVA article went live on the Zillow blog today, including a few contributions from yours truly. Check it out HERE to learn all about our awesome city and get to know the other contributors.

View from the pipeline trail along the James River, RVA

I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own

Monday, July 7, 2014

Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp Salad

One of my favorite things about spring and summer is cooking on the grill. Not only do things cooked on the grill taste amazing, but it makes for easy cleanup. Anything that has me doing less dishes is a win in my book.

If you've been here before you know my recipes (unless I'm baking) don't really include measurements. I like to consider it part of my cooking philosophy: relax, have fun, and throw in a little of this and a little of that…or maybe I'm just a little lazy. Seriously, I should probably re-name this blog, "Sorry Ya'll I don't Measure When I Cook". Regardless, I hope that you can make my recipes work for you. Cooking shouldn't be about following a bunch of rules, so take my idea, make it your own, and enjoy!

Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp Salad

Olive oil
Juice of 1 fresh lime
Garlic Powder
Fresh cilantro

Chopped romaine
1-2 ears of corn, husks removed, grilled, and cut off the cob
Avocado, sliced
Grape tomatoes, halved
Sliced red onion
Grilled marinated shrimp

Make the same as the marinade only omit the garlic powder.

How to make it
Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl. You want slightly more olive oil than lime juice, about a 2:1 ratio. Use a smaller portion of the honey. It will emulsify your marinade (basically make your oil and acid combine.) Take your raw, cleaned, and deveined shrimp and toss them in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Brush your ears of corn with some olive oil and grill until corn is tender and slightly charred, once cool cut the corn off of the cob. (TIP: Stand the ear of corn in a bowl to cut the kernels off. The kernels will fall into the bowl rather than flying all over your kitchen). Grill the shrimp until cooked through.

Toss all salad ingredients together and top with dressing. Enjoy!

This salad is light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer night. I especially love making homemade dressings to go along with my salads. Store bought dressings are full of extra salt and ingredients I can't even pronounce. My basic formula for homemade dressing is an oil (usually olive), an acid (vinegar or fresh citrus juice work well), an emulsifier (mustard or honey are my go-tos), and some seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, fresh herbs, etc.)