A Very Special Valentine’s Day


Wow. I do believe I owe my (very few) readers a sincere apology. I’ve been making amazing food and haven’t been writing about it. How selfish of me! I’ve been super busy the past few days and work was a little chaotic. William punched me yesterday. Not that it was painful, I mean, the kid is six years old. But still, no need to punch me. Care to know why I was abused? We took away his new airplane toy because he wasn’t listening. Kids are so unaware of how upset they get over the DUMBEST things.

Besides dealing with that nonsense, I had an amazing end to my week. I’ll admit that earlier this week I was really upset. I pretty much have to re-evaluate everything I’ve been working for over the past four years and try to create a new path for me to head down. Might not sound that bad, but man, how much more can I do? I feel like I’ve put in so much effort to just keep getting rejected. So now I need to figure out what it is I really want to be doing with my life. So I’m probably going to be off the radar every now and then so I can figure out my next move. Anyway, I was uplifted on Thursday because of that silly little holiday we call Valentine’s Day. I’m usually not a huge fan of this day. It’s mushy and I feel like you should celebrate love every day, not just once a year. However, I’m now realizing the day is to simply express how much you do care for those in your life. Not just a significant other, but your friends and family as well.

In the morning, I took little Sam to the zoo. We had a blast! It was a beautiful morning and so quiet. We were one of a select few that had chosen to enjoy the nice weather. Sam is just now reaching the age where he is understanding that the animals are alive and moving around. And he’s totally fascinated by them. We sat and looked at the gorillas for about 20 minutes. He just kept laughing and giggling at them, pointing every time they did something. It was seriously one of the cutest things in the world to see him light up by these creatures. Will and Chris came home from school with bags full of cards and candy from their classmates. Instead of dumping out all of their goodies, they immediately presented me with hand-made cards and a bunch of flowers shouting, “WE LOVE YOU!” My heart melted I think.

I came home, smiling from ear to ear already, to my super cute boyfriend and a pile full of presents for me. The best one? A GIANT REESE’S HEART! I’m saving it for later. But now that I’m thinking about it…maybe tonight is a good night for that to be tested. And then devoured. I cooked us dinner and we watched Ted. I laughed; it was funny. We had a few hours to ourselves to just relax and enjoy each other’s company, and that was absolutely perfect.

For dinner, I made cilantro shrimp with green beans. What an incredibly easy and quick, yet fresh and fancy dinner. The cilantro gives the shrimp a refreshing taste and the green beans had the perfect crunch to go with it. I used a little of the sauce from the bottom of the shrimp pan and spooned it over the beans. At the last minute, I threw some naan into the toaster over. I had originally bought it to make pizzas this weekend, but it just looked so lonely on the shelf. So lonely and so good. BEST CHOICE I EVER MADE. At one point, I stopped eating the shrimp and beans and just took the naan and wiped up all the juices on my plate with it. I was mildly disgusted with myself, but when I looked over and saw Luke putting shrimp on his bread like a mini taco, I knew I wasn’t alone in thinking I was a genius for adding the carbs. I made chocolate covered strawberries (that actually ended up looking awful, but they’re still being eaten) which I served with some dark chocolate almond milk. I’d make this meal again and again…and again.


Photo by Allyson Grillo

Cilantro Shrimp & Green Beans

from Zahlmann Zoo Crew

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 lb shrimp, shelled and deviened
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 cups green beans
Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan, when hot add shrimp. Season with salt and pepper. When the shrimp is cooked on one side, about 2 minutes, turn over and add garlic. Saute another minute or two until shrimp is cooked, careful not to overcook. Remove from heat. Squeeze lime all over shrimp and toss with cilantro. Serve hot.
In a separate pan, add 6 cups green beans, crushed garlic to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium high for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and cover, cook for an additional 8 minutes. Uncover and cook until water evaporates. Serve hot on the side of shrimp.

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