Thursday, January 26, 2012

These are a few of my favorite wintery things

It's been a rainy January in Atlanta, but since it's not too cold I can't complain. Instead, here are a few of my favorite things on rainy days:

I love my tea infuser, especially with Barnie's Coffee & Tea Company's White Ginger Peach Divine Tea. It is divine and soul-warming for a rainy day. And combined with a newspaper or good book, what could be better? I'm currently reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a book recommended by my good friend Leah. 

Hot out of the oven (yummy and healthy!) blueberry oatmeal muffins are the perfect afternoon treat.
See the recipe below.

What's more warming than risotto? See my shrimp and veggie risotto recipe below.

I love fresh fruit, especially berries. In the winter, berries are great to eat because they are high in antioxidants, warding off those flu and cold germs!

And after the rain has finally stopped, I'm very grateful to be able to run around the park (and occasionally through the mud!).

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins: Recipe from Cooking Light

Makes about 20 muffins

1 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
2 33/100 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk - I used almond milk instead
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
2 large eggs
2 cups frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Place oats in a food processor; pulse 5 to 6 times or until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flours and next 5 ingredients (through salt) to oats; stir well. Make a well in center of mixture.
4. Combine buttermilk (or almond milk) and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist.
5. Toss berries with 2 tablespoons flour, and gently fold into batter. Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle 2 tablespoons granulated sugar evenly over batter. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Shrimp and Veggie Risotto 
Loosely based on this Cooking Light risotto recipe but amended by me
Serves 4

1 box of Trader Joe's Mushroom and Herb Risotto (If you don't have a Trader Joe's by you, here's a link to the risotto on Amazon)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carton shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cups (1-inch) cut green beans
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped shallots (or onions)
1/2 cup white wine
24 peeled, deveined jumbo shrimp
Herbs de provence
Cayenne pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Make risotto according to Trader Joe's recipe on box. (If using brown rice, follow instructions from the Cooking Light link.)
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fresh mushrooms and shallots; sauté for 8 minutes or until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in green beans and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until the green beans are crisp-­tender. 
3. Sprinkle herbs de provence liberally over shrimp. If you like a bit of heat, sprinkle a little cayenne pepper as well. Add shrimp to pan and cook until done.
4. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until the wine evaporates, stirring constantly.
5. Spoon out risotto onto plate and dish shrimp and vegetable mixture over top.
6. Top with Parmigiano-­Reggiano and parsley. Serve immediately.

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