Warm inside: Christmas Cards and Italian Shrimp Orzo
I forgot to turn on my electric blanket last night and when I woke up this morning, I was cold. I glanced over at the space heater near the foot of my bed (which was also off at the time). The temperature read 52 degrees. I tried snuggling deeper into my bed, but I was still chilly. I managed to work up the courage to get out of bed and turn the blanket on, and to contemplate the day ahead. I finished addressing the last of my Christmas cards to send out in the mail today, and dragged my body out of bed to fix some oatmeal. I scrapped a thick layer of frost off my car and headed to work.
I checked the mailbox when I arrived home and I was a little disappointed not to see anything incoming to replace the outgoing letters I put in this morning. I opened our front door and breathed in a wonderful whiff of my dinner, set in the crock pot this morning. In addition to this welcoming aroma, my happiness increased when I spied two red envelopes on our coffee table with my name on their faces. I had received two Christmas cards from friends; one from California, and one from Germany. Ah, that warmed my heart and brought my grand total of Christmas cards received up to three for the year.
I read the notes my wonderful friends tucked inside their cards and proceeded to finish preparing, and eating, my dinner.
This recipe is adapted from an old Quick Cooking publication from 2004 for “Italian Shrimp ‘n’ Pasta”. I’m trying not to eat a lot of meat, so I took out the recipe’s requirement for chicken thighs and added some mushrooms. I also improvised some spices and herbs.
For this dish, I put the following in my crock pot before leaving for work this morning:
1 28 oz can of tomatoes
2 chopped celery ribs
Some chopped bell peppers
1 medium chopped onion
A handful of sliced mushrooms
A sprinkle of garlic salt
1 Tablespoon of sugar
A dash of salt
A sprinkle of Oregano, Basil, and Cayenne Pepper
After I came home, I cooked up some orzo and shrimp and tossed it in.
The cards had warmed my heart and this meal warmed the rest of me. A fun conversation with one of the card’s senders topped off my evening, and I’m going to call this a pretty awesome day, even if it is still below freezing outside.