Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching!
In many countries Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love and affection with the people that you love; chocolate, flowers and dining out play a significant role in the tradition.
Remember in grade school when selecting the perfect Valentine for each of your classmates was the most important part of the day or was it all about the candy?
It’s nice to have a special someone to celebrate with, however if are feeling the pressure to pick the perfect gift or plan the most romantic Valentine’s Day ever, make a decision to keep it simple.
If you are in the mood to embrace the day, embrace the people that you care about. If you are single get together with some friends and have everyone bring their favorite dish. So don’t be alone, call a friend or plan to celebrate with your children.
Host a theme dinner and select a favorite cuisine, Italian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Asian, German, the list is endless or just try a new recipe.

As for me, it just depends on the mood, sometimes we go out to our favorite sushi bar or German restaurant. But most often we stay home, cook up a favorite recipe and maybe watch movie. As for the flowers, I love to have a little bit of spring in the house all year long so most days you will find a vase with fresh flowers in my kitchen. They always make me smile. So buy yourself some flowers, light some candles, set the table and not just for Valentines Day but every day!
Today’s recipe is a favorite of my niece Molly Ann and sissy Debi, a really simple pasta dish but incredibly delicious. Molly Ann is a big fan of shrimp and lobster, a refined palette for a wee lass, but you can substitute chicken or vegetables for the shrimp.
The simplicity of the dish is what makes this so wonderful and tasty!
Quick and Easy Shrimp with Pasta and Basil


• 1 lb of shrimp, deveined, cleaned and cooked
• 12 ounce package Angle hair wheat pasta
– Barilla Plus pasta is one of my favorites, great taste
• 1 tablespoon dried basil or ¼ cup of fresh
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
– A fresh block of parmesan always has the best flavor, however fresh grated or shaved parmesan works as well’
• Salt and Pepper
• Variations: Substitute chicken for the shrimp or go with all vegetables
– Toss in fresh diced or canned tomatoes, fresh chopped spinach, cooked asparagus or broccoli

Cooking Instructions:

• Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package
• Drain the pasta
• In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, dried basil and garlic powder
– If you have fresh basil toss this in with the pasta
• In a large serving dish add the pasta and shrimp, salt and pepper
• Toss with the olive oil mixture and cheese
– You can always add more garlic, basil and olive oil
– Add in any vegetables and serve

Serve with a side salad and wheat baguette or sour dough crunchy bread.

Deliciously simple!

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