Summer Shrimp Scampi and Chocolate Chip Cookies

This shrimp scampi recipe is adapted from one of my favorite Cheesecake Factory dishes featuring shrimp, lemon, tomatoes, arugula, and basil. It was, and still is, one of the tastiest shrimp dishes I’ve probably ever had. It’s a great summer dish because most everything in it is in season at the same time, which also makes it an affordable dish.

I’ve made this recipe several times, and I make it differently almost every time. This time, however, was the first time I made it without the arugula and honestly, I didn’t miss it. Every other time I’ve made this dish with literally a handful of arugula, the other 2-3 cups of arugula I’m forced to buy just to get the handful I wanted always go bad before I can find another use for them. This time, I didn’t feel like spending the money on the overpriced green that would mold in my fridge anyway, so I didn’t. I also didn’t have any white wine on hand and didn’t want to spend money to buy some when I can’t drink it anyway, so that traditional ingredient was left out too. As a consequence of not wanting to buy some of my traditional ingredients for this dish, it actually ended up being really affordable!

Summer Shrimp Scampi

Summer Shrimp Scampi

  • 3/4 – 1lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 – 3/4 lb. linguine
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/4 c. basil, chopped
  • 2 Tsp. parsley, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 c. starchy water from cooking linguine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot of water to boil for linguine. Heat another large saute pan over medium-low heat with butter and olive oil. Once butter is melted add red pepper flakes and grated garlic, saute for 1 minute. Add lemon juice, saute for 1 minute. Add shrimp in single layer, saute until completely opaque (about 2 minutes on each side depending on size of shrimp). Once shrimp is cooked, add 1/4 c. of starchy cooking water from your linguine pot (this took place of my white wine. If you have white wine, put in about 1/4 c. here instead of starchy water.). Once the water cooks down for about 2-3 minutes and a light sauce forms, add chopped tomatoes and saute for 1 minute. (The tomatoes are a matter of preference – I used 1 large heirloom tomato and seeded it so that my sauce didn’t get too wet from all the tomato liquid and seeds. You can use any variety here! If you decide to use grape or cherry tomatoes, feel free to leave the seeds in and halve or quarter them.) At this point, turn your the heat on your large saute pan completely off and add your cooked pasta to the pan with your shrimp sauce. Stir in the parsley and basil, transfer to large serving bowl and top with Parmesan cheese.

After dinner, I had a real hankering for some chocolate and I hadn’t made cookies in forever. These aren’t just any chocolate chip cookie. They’re healthy, nutty, and could probably be used as a breakfast cookie. The dough is definitely strange, though. Most cookie doughs are fairly stiff and thick, and this dough is thick but it’s not stiff at all. I’ve made this recipe a few different ways, and it’s always delicious. Best part about it? You don’t have to feel guilty about eating this whole grain cookie (and it’s not one of those that tastes like a “diet cookie”). I call them “wholly delicious” because they use whole grains, are whole wheat, and are HOLY DELICIOUS. And that was just a mouthful to put in a cookie title.

Wholly Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Cereal (Pictured at right. I wish I had a replacement for this because it can be a little pricey. It’s usually found on the natural baking aisle. And it’s not just oats – it’s oats, flaxseed, barley, Rye, and whole grain wheat. SUPER good for you!)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter (or 1 stick plus 1 Tsp)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed (brown sugar can be light or dark)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever chips you have! also good with white, dark, or milk chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts (optional! These are great with walnuts or pecans, but feel free to leave them out altogether if you like)

Mix dry ingredients  (cereal, flour, baking soda, and salt) together in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together until smooth. The mixture will be light and slightly fluffy.

 

Add eggs and vanilla, beat until combined.

 

Add water, beat until combined. Be careful not to over-mix right here, the water will cause the butter to separate slightly, and the mixture will be soupy. Just keep going, it’s supposed to look like that.

 

At this point you can stir in your dry ingredients with a spatula. Then add your chocolate chips, coconut, and nuts if you’re using them. The mixture will still be very wet, but don’t worry – it’s supposed to be like that.

 

Spoon it onto a baking sheet lined with foil (you don’t need to spray it, the butter in these cookies allows them not to stick). About 1 heaping Tablespoon of mixture for each cookie, and place them about an inch apart.

This is the important part*** Once it’s spooned onto your baking sheet, do NOT pop them straight in the oven. The mixture is so wet your cookies may turn out to be a soupy mess. This is a trick my mother taught me about cookies made with butter – FREEZE them BEFORE you bake them. It makes the butter super cold and keeps the cookies from spreading out too much. This way, you get a fluffy, soft cookie every time. Once your cookie dough balls are frozen, pop them in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. I know, it’s longer than a traditional cookie (about 10-12 minutes), but the dough’s really wet so trust me 20 will do it. When they’re ready, they should be  firm and crunchy to the touch.

 

What’s even better about these cookies? Men love them too! I know if your man is like mine, he’s very skeptical of stuff that looks like “diet food,” but my husband loves these cookies!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s