Year 7 aka That Time I Smoked a Cigar

So I think you can probably all guess from the title where this post is ending, but I’ll start from the beginning anyways and say thanks for the kind comments on Joey’s last post.  He made me break my “no crying at work” rule but for good reason 🙂

Ahem, in addition to “hacking” my site, there were also flowers, a card that I’m pretty sure was designed just for us and dinner reservations at a surprise location.  Which turned out to be Vesta Dipping Grill.  We’d only been one other time and I was so so excited to be back.  Love that place!






I proceeded to order one of the only items our waiter didn’t point out as a personal or customer favorite, but it turns out this shrimp, roasted cauliflower, tabouleh and harissa hummus dish was amazing!  Viva la jumbo shrimp!  Is it weird that despite all the deliciousness on the plate, my favorite part was the roasted cauliflower?  Flavor explosion!



No joke, we had the hardest time deciding whether to order dessert or just go home and eat the ice cream we had in our freezer (you know, because you should always have a back up, should the restaurant dessert menu be disappointing) but I still had half a glass of wine to finish so I figured we might as well stay.  Vesta knows how to do a caramel apple up right!






As we were walking back to the car, Joey spotted a cigar bar and convinced me to go in.  Look I know, I’m all into that “healthy living” stuff, but sometimes you remember you’re young and staying out late to smoke a cigar in a big leather chair is more fun than going home and getting into bed on time.  And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate 7 years than doing something spontaneously fun with my better half.  Plus Joey needed to practice for Hannah and Josh’s wedding 🙂

Happy Friday!  I’m off for a little girls trip with my mom and sister and could not be more excited!


Smoky Corn and Shrimp Chowder

This is how lazy Joey and I are.  When we went to the grocery store on Saturday, instead of buying fresh corn to make chowder with, we almost bought frozen.  There we are, produce bag open, first ear of corn in hand, when we decide having to shuck and de-kernel it ourselves is not worth it.

Luckily, we came to our senses.  I mean, it is corn season after all.  It would be a crime not to take advantage of how cheap and delicious fresh corn is right now.

I made this chowder a few weeks ago and while I wasn’t overly wowed by it, Joey declared it “AWESOME!!”  So I was determined to make some changes that wowed me, while still maintaining the chowder’s “AWESOME”-ness.  I’m pretty delighted by what I came up with.

Smoky Corn and Shrimp Chowder

  • 1 tsp olive oil (plus a drizzle for the shrimp)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 6 ears corn
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 T paprika
  • a pinch crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 lb shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  1. Shuck corn and cut kernels off.
  2. Chop onion and garlic.  Heat olive oil and liquid smoke, then add onion, garlic, salt pepper, paprika and crushed red pepper.  Cook until onions and garlic are soft.
  3. Add corn and cook 5 minutes.
  4. Add broth to the pot, simmer for 10 minutes then remove from heat and cool so you can add the yogurt without it curdling.
  5. While the soup cools, peel your shrimp, then toss in salt, pepper and cumin.
  6. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and arrange the shrimp in one layer.  Once browned and crispy, flip and repeat on the other side.
  7. Once shrimp are done, stir yogurt into soup, then use an immersion blender (or a regular blender) to puree some of the soup.
  8. Stir in shrimp and enjoy!

Joey was out golfing when I made this, so it was me, the Chopped Grill Masters finale and chowder.  Turns out de-kerneling corn and peeling shrimp is pretty cathartic.  And totally worth it.

Laziness doesn’t create chowder this good.