Comfort food all the way. When you've had a week full of hard decisions, disappointments and major major changes, it is natural to turn to comfort foods to nurture your soul back to health.
It has been about a week since I posted a recipe and I have to say I've felt incredibly guilty about that. However, there have been a lot of changes in our lives recently that called for some seriously focused attention. Today, I'm sitting in our rented apartment in the Pearl writing this post and trying to find our family a house in Hood River, Oregon at the same time.
We moved to Hood River in 2011 for my husbands job. It is a beautiful town with great people, but I really wanted to be in Portland. At the time, we were not planning on having children and commuting was not a big deal. Timing is a bitch; I did get a job in Portland, but I was 3 months pregnant. We moved, agreed to almost split the commute and I took on the primary responsibility of taking care of our daughter, since my husband was driving to Hood River every day. Focusing on my career was something I felt I needed. I was so scared to lose my identity by staying home with my daughter; I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in that one. Stella is now two and a half.
Last week, my boss decided that my services were no longer needed. It was a surprise, but not in a bad way. We parted on a good note; even hugged. I was already at the point where I was thinking about an out strategy; I wanted to be able to pick up my daughter form school at a reasonable time. A traditional job, even with a flexible company, does not allow parents to do that easily.
I would not have said a year ago that the decision to move back to Hood River would be an easy one to make, but it really was. We have learned how absolutely vital our family time is; moving back to Hood River will give us even more of that time. It will be sad to watch Stella say goodbye to the school she loves so much, but she will thrive in our new home with new opportunities to make friends, learn and grow.
For me, I have some exciting things on the horizon that would have happened if we stayed in Portland, but now may just happen more quickly. More on that later.
Cheers to change, growth and new adventures!... oh, and comfort food.
Pesto Shrimp on Creamy Garlic Cauliflower
- 1 - 1.5 LBS Uncooked Shrimp
- 2 Heads Cauliflower
- 1 Head Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Butter or Ghee
- 1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
- 3/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Basil (1 small bag)
- 1/2 Cup Pecorino
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- Salt and Pepper to season
Pre-heat oven to 400.
Slice the top of the garlic bulb off so that the cloves are exposed. Place on baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 15 minutes until the cloves begin to brown and caramelize.
Cut cauliflower into 2-3" chunks. Steam in a double boiler until fork tender. Remove and set aside.
In a food processor, add pine nuts, basil, pecorino, 3 roasted garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth, then add the olive oil while it is still turning. Add lemon juice and mix until smooth. Transfer to a container with a lid.
Rinse food processor and return to base. Pour in the drained cooled cauliflower. Add 4 garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Process until smooth.
Peel and devein shrimp if they aren't already. In a sauce pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Season shrimp with salt and pepper, place in sauce pan and sauce for 3 minutes. Turn and sauce for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Plate and serve! You can toss the shrimp with the pesto, or leave it on the side. This dish is a great one to make during the week, 30 minutes or less in the kitchen and a real crowd pleaser.
NOTE: I did find these amazing garlic tops in the grocery store and just broiled them on high for 5 minutes with oil, salt and pepper. They added a funky delicious pop to the dish.