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Cooking: chore or pleasure?

Good morning, Wednesday! I couldn’t be happier to have you here! 😀

Monday and Tuesday were busy, stressful work days…but followed up by delicious dinner delights! As I chatted with my mom on my way home from work on Monday, I distinctly remember her saying, “Take it easy tonight, Sugar…get you guys some Subways and relax.”

Oops. Sorry mom! 😉

Shrimp Scampi adapted from She Cooks and Bakes

2 1 ½ lbs pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell
3 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine (I used white balsamic vinegar)
Kosher salt (approx. ½ tsp)
Fresh ground black pepper
5 Tbsp 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter 50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup minced shallots (I omitted this because I didn’t have any that day)
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 extra-large egg yolk
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
Lemon wedges, for serving


Preheat the oven to 425º F.

Peel shrimp leaving the tails on, and devein the shrimp.

Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish.

Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 427 calories; 24 g. fat; 297 mg. cholesterol; 768 mg. sodium; 12 g. carbohydrate; 0 g. fiber; 37 g. protein

Result: Mr. Prevention LOVED it! He’s a sucker for all things shrimp & buttery, so this was certainly right up his alley. I was puzzled over the nutrition facts as there was lots of butter left in the bottom…and I do mean lots. So the nutrition facts aren’t as bad as they look, but I have no way of knowing exactly…so they’re correct if you get out every last drip of butter 😉 …which you shouldn’t, Smart Balance blend or not! 😀

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese slightly adapted from Waisting Duxie

12 oz whole wheat macaroni
1 head of cauliflower, coarsely chopped
3/4 (whole wheat) breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups 8 ounces shredded low fat sharp cheddar (I used 1.5% Cabot)
1/2 cup non-fat milk
cayenne (optional)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups reduced fat sour cream
1 Tbsp tsp mustard powder


Preheat the oven to 400º F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Steam cauliflower on top or add to the pasta for the last 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

In a skillet heat the olive oil, add the bread crumbs, 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper stir to coat all the crumbs with the oil (this will give a super crisp top) add the parsley, stir to mix well.

Return the pasta pot to medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add the onion, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until soft about 5 minutes. Add the milk, sour cream, cheese, mustard power, and cayenne (if using) to the pot and stir until the cheese melts. Mix in the pasta and cauliflower. Transfer to the prepared baking dish

Sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 15 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned. Let stand and cool for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 8 large servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 320 calories; 10.1 g. fat; 18 mg. cholesterol; 521 mg. sodium; 47 g. carbohydrate; 6.4 g. fiber; 16.6 g. protein (54% carbohydrate; 19% protein; 26% fat — the recipe stats basically represent a well-balanced caloric intake).

Result: I really enjoyed this recipe! And the portion really is HUGE! I knocked the mustard down a bit, I think it fired back a bit taste-wise, but that’s the only thing! Mr. Prevention is a harder nut to crack, but he even appreciated the nutrition stats! Definitely looking forward to leftovers for lunch today!

Served with a salad:

Mmmmmmm! 😀

Health Update: My insulin levels and HbA1c (average blood sugar) checked out (phew!). But there’s still some unanswered questions (like, why do I have diabetic-high blood sugars after running?). The “diagnosis” of PCOS has not been negated just yet (:( ). Just keeping you all posted! Thank you again for all of your support through this roller coaster. Your warmth has been so much appreciated and I could’ve never expected such caring, amazing readers. <3

So, have you jumped on the coconut oil and water train? What’s all the fuss about? Check in tomorrow to find out!

Question: Is cooking a core or a pleasure to you?

Random Question: What was your favorite subject in high school?

I loved math…hated science. But ended up in a science-based career!

P.S. Lily says “THANK YOU, EVERYONE!” for all the birthday wishes and compliments on her cuteness (she has a bigger head now!)!! She enjoyed her bone cake thoroughly! 😉

Happy Hump Day!

Share With Your Friends!


  1. April 28, 2010 / 6:12 am

    Cooking would definitely be more chore than pleasure for me.
    My favourite subject was geography as I never had to study for it and always got at least 80%.
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pic of a bulldog pup till your last post.
    Cute but funny at the same time. HB Lily.

  2. April 28, 2010 / 6:37 am

    Looks lovely! And I’ve been wanting to jump on the coconut oil but I don’t know where to find it (yeah, Whole Foods, but I always forget when I’m there :P). Is it expensive?

    Cooking’s definitely a pleasure for me, but at the same time if it goes on too long it becomes a big chore. o.O

    I excelled in English all my life and everyone thought I was going to be a writer when I grew up but I discovered my love of food and actually am looking into food science (science is the subject I actually told my 7th grade principal that it didn’t matter that I was failing it, because science would never ever ever ever ever ever ever have any use for me… I was smart :P). But, I guess I’m writing now… ๐Ÿ™‚

    I hope the health stuff gets figured out soon! *hugs*

  3. April 28, 2010 / 6:42 am

    Those look like 2 amazing recipes – I wonder if my husband would notice the cauliflower in the mac and cheese?

    I love shrimp scampi and haven’t made it in years – perhaps this is the recipe I will try!

    Thanks again!

  4. April 28, 2010 / 7:13 am

    Both of these recipes look good to me–even lightened up a bit! I definitely love cooking–it relaxes me and is a great way to relieve stress.

  5. April 28, 2010 / 7:33 am

    I am definitely going to have to try those recipes. I love shrimp and mac and cheese! Most of the time I don’t consider cooking a chore. I’m usually excited to get in the kitchen and try something new or make my favorite dish. The only time I would consider it a chore is when I’ve had a real busy day and as soon as I walk in it’s dinner time and I just wanna go to bed.

  6. April 28, 2010 / 8:24 am

    These look great! I am trying your buffalo mac and cheese dish sometime this week. I’ll have some happy campers in my house when that dish is served! I am also saving these as well, they look awesome!

  7. April 28, 2010 / 9:29 am

    Cooking is definitely not a chore for me, but I hate doing the dishes afterwards. I also hate cooking when there are a million ingredients and appliances that I have to use. But the end result is always worth it. This cauliflower mac and cheese is a must try!

  8. April 28, 2010 / 10:07 am

    Pleasure! I love cooking. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have used coconut oil for years (maybe 5?) but I tried coconut water and I hate it. It’s very ‘wet’ – just gross to me.

  9. April 28, 2010 / 10:14 am

    Just came across your blog and I love it!

    Cooking for myself (and my mom, or someone equally as willing to try new things) is a complete pleasure for me. I love coming up with new things, experimenting, succeeding and sometimes failing. Haha. However, it’s definitely a frustration when I’m trying to cook for someone who has a closed mind about food. (ie. my father/brother/insert just about any other man I know)

    I am thrilled to try both of these. I love the strawberries and avocados in the salads…I very rarely get away without throwing fruit and/or avocado slices into my salads. YUM!

  10. April 28, 2010 / 10:30 am

    I love cooking. The only time it feels like a chore is after a long day when all I want to do is spend the evening on the couch.

    Cauliflower Mac n cheese has been on my list to try. Jacob LOVES Mac n cheese and I want to find a healthified tasty version.

  11. April 28, 2010 / 11:07 am

    Pleasure for sure. I loooove cooking and find that its a great way to relax after a hard days work.

    That cauliflower mac and cheese looks awesome! I’m going to have to try that.

  12. April 28, 2010 / 11:26 am

    Oh my, both of these recipes look so delicious! I love shrimp scampi, and definitely want to try that cauliflower mac. Cooking is rarely a chore for me. It’s definitely something I enjoy, and while it can be tiring, I almost find it relaxing at the same time. If I’m ever feeling like cooking is a chore, then I’ll just eat out for the night.

  13. April 28, 2010 / 11:38 am

    Cooking is a chore, just like laundry and vacuuming, but the result is pure pleasure. i’ve never been satisfied by folded clothes but a good, hot meal never has made me feel better.

  14. April 28, 2010 / 11:52 am

    Yay! Can’t wait to find out about coconut products tomorrow. Thank you!!

    It’s funny you ask the chore/pleasure question. I sort of blogged about the same thing today, and I think for me it’s a bit of both, depending on my schedule.

    Oh, and in school I was a total language geek. I loved English, French, and Latin. Guess it’s not a surprise that I ended up a writer. Now math on the other hand…ugh.

  15. April 28, 2010 / 11:57 am

    Ok that shrimp looks amazing!

    I love cooking most of the time. But when I dont feel like it, I just dont do it. I keep easy stuff on hand (like fake crab) that can cook up super quick when Im not in the mood. That way its not a chore.

    My favorite subject was English. I’m always correcting people on the grammar. No one likes that. lol

  16. April 28, 2010 / 12:00 pm

    I do cook with coconut oil on occasion but I haven’t been replacing my olive oil or butter for it yet. I can’t wait to hear your take.

  17. April 28, 2010 / 12:20 pm

    Oh yum, everything looks so yummy.

    For me cooking is pleasure. I just love to be in the kitchen cooking it up.

  18. April 28, 2010 / 12:30 pm

    I have to be honest– I tried coconut water a while back and it made me want to gag!! But you’ll probably share all sorts of information about how good it is for us ๐Ÿ™‚ And then I’ll have to try it again ๐Ÿ™‚

    Yum, yum, yum to that “mac and cheese”!

  19. April 28, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    Thank you for the update on how you’re doing – I hope you get some answers very soon!

    Honestly? I think cooking for me is kind of a chore. ๐Ÿ™ I LOVE to cook (and especially bake) for other people, though…it’s just not as fun to do it for one! (aaaand I’m a poet).

    Favorite subject in high school = psychology! I LOVED learning everything about how our minds work.

  20. April 28, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    The recipes look amazing!

    For me, cooking and baking = pleasure, doing the dishes that come afterward sans dishwasher = mega chore.

    Favorite subject in high school biology, even though it was tough. Favorite class? GYM! I took as many gym classes as I could.

  21. April 28, 2010 / 12:57 pm

    Looks delicious. We love shrimp! I’m working on a healthy mac and cheese recipe and I was too thinking of cauliflower ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree with your mom (which is what my mom ofter tells me too)-relax! I felt like I was getting sick this morning but I still went to the gym and now I’m feeling worse–I guess soup and cuddling on the couch with a blanket for me tonight.

  22. April 28, 2010 / 1:01 pm

    Cooking can be both to me…pleasure and a pain. I love to cook when I have the time. It is so fun to create something and then see the finished product (especially when it turns out really yummy) but when I am short on time I feel pressured and cooking becomes a pain the butt!

  23. April 28, 2010 / 1:10 pm

    I love cooking, it is only a chore when I have to cook for just myself ๐Ÿ˜› I like appreciation. The shrimp scampi looks great, I might have to have scampi this week and the other recipe does as well, if I do say so myself ๐Ÿ˜›

    My favourite subjects in high school were math and history, yea I know I’m weird. Theatre would have been if it had been a subject not an extra curricular.

    Good luck on all the medical stuff, I hope they figure it out soon.

  24. April 28, 2010 / 1:34 pm

    Cooking’s a pleasure for me as long as I can do it my way: with some good tunes on, a glass of wine in hand, and no time pressure. If I’m starving or short on time? CHORE.

  25. April 28, 2010 / 1:56 pm

    The Cauliflower Mac and Cheese looks good. And the shrimp? My allergy and I are pretending like we didn’t even see it.

    I don’t mind cooking but looking for recipes actually wears me out — that and the dishes.

    Looking forward to your post on matters coconut-related.

  26. April 28, 2010 / 2:04 pm

    Both recipes look delicious, but I am a sucker for mac and cheese. My fave class in HS was math and science. I am actually taking some HS math now because I tutor in algebra and I am in the class to help my students with it. It is amazing how much algebra I forgot, but it did quickly come back to me.

    I can’t think of any reason for hyerpglycemia post exercise. That is weird.

  27. April 28, 2010 / 2:28 pm

    Pleasure—I am often get so busy I don’t get to spend the time cooking like I would like. Your shrimp looks very tasty We had the same thing last night.

    My fave subject in hs was agriculture and history. I hated science until I realized how cool it was—now I teach biology and ag!

    I have not experimented in the coconut stuff-I look foward to that post.

  28. April 28, 2010 / 3:17 pm

    Cooking = chore for me. I don’t enjoy cooking. I DO enjoy eating though, of course, haha! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m hoping that one day I’ll finally start enjoying it, maybe by the time we have kids. But Andrew on the other hand loves to cook and I like to clean so we make a pretty good team.

    Both of your recipes look amazing!! I love the idea of putting cauliflower in the mac and cheese. Looks so tasty!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. April 28, 2010 / 4:07 pm

    Both these dishes look delicious! My favorite would have to be the cauliflower mac and cheese though — yum! Cooking is usually a pleasure, unless I’m really busy or tired. ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. April 28, 2010 / 4:53 pm

    Yums I wish I could come over for din din! I am a sucker for shrimp scampi!

    Keep us updated!!!!! I hope everything turns out okay…btw thanks for ayer!

  31. April 28, 2010 / 6:43 pm

    Oh my–love your shrimp scampi adaptation! On a day where I have tons of time, I will make it and it will be an absolute pleasure! When I’m short on time–cooking is a chore. And, I’ll usually opt with sliced and baked veggies with some beans or chicken OR a nice quick-n’-easy stir-fry! Something easy ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope everything turns out okay–I’m thinking about you!

  32. April 28, 2010 / 7:25 pm

    That mac and cheese looks so super good!

    I hope they figure out what’s going on with you soon!

    I’ve tried to love coconut water, but I don’t. I do love it in a smoothie though.

  33. April 28, 2010 / 8:00 pm

    I’ve been having a serious mac & cheese craving and that looked awesome. Yum!

    I drink coconut water when I’m doing a lot of running or after really long run (or when I’m hungover…) and it does wonders re-hydrating and warding of headaches. I’m not a huge fan of the taste, but I like the results!

  34. April 28, 2010 / 10:02 pm

    Who would have thought that cauliflower mac and cheese would look so good. Nice work, but I would have begged for more mustard in the preparation–I love the stuff.

  35. April 28, 2010 / 10:19 pm

    OMG. Your hubby is mighty lucky! A gorgeous, smart, witty woman as his wife…and an awesome cook to boot! Wow!

    Hey, high five! I loved math, but hated science in high school, too. I still hate science, and I’ll be taking my LAST science requirement class next semester. No more science, please! My favorite class was art and writing. Haha, no difference now either!

    Cooking is a PASSION for me! But there are certainly times (like late at night after a study fest) when it becomes a chore…

  36. April 28, 2010 / 10:55 pm

    That cauliflower mac n cheese looks so so good! What a creative use of cauliflower.. then again I am a huge fan on cauliflower mash potatoes!

    Hope you get your blood sugars and the such figured out soon!

  37. April 29, 2010 / 12:32 am

    wonderful & delicious dishes there…perfect anyday for dinner…and cooking is such a pleasure for me…

  38. April 29, 2010 / 7:22 am

    I love to cook. Obviously there are times when it’s a nice way for me to relax, but then there are other times when I have no desire to get in the kitchen and cook, yet I have to. That’s when I consider it a chore. This usually happens after a long day when I really WANT to “get some Subway” like your mom said, but I know I shouldn’t be spending money and I have perfectly good food in the house!

    Favorite subject in high school? haha, I really didn’t like any of them, isn’t that crazy?? I guess if I had to choose I would say astronomy (I was a major high school slacker).

  39. April 29, 2010 / 7:59 am

    I love cooking. I love making things from scratch that make me full and satisfied without tons of fat and calories, knowing where all my food comes from, and just having fun experimenting with flavors! Still thinking of you often with your health problems, best of luck love!

  40. April 29, 2010 / 10:05 am

    Cooking is a pleasure when I feel like I have enough time to be doing it. On crazy days, cooking is NOT a pleasure.

    This mac n cheese looks divine. I love cooked cauliflower.

  41. April 30, 2010 / 9:27 am

    The cauliflower mac n cheese sounds delish! I would like to be able to say that cooking is ALWAYS a pleasure, but I’d be lying. Sadly it does feel like a chore at times… I’m always happy to get back into the “cooking is a pleasure” groove!

  42. May 1, 2010 / 1:12 pm

    Both of those look so good. I like cooking, but hate cleaning up. I try to get out of it by saying, “I made dinner, you clean it up!”

    My favorite subjects were art and english. Kind of made sense that I ended up major in them too in college. Well, minoring in English.

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