Tag Archives: cleaning

Sunday Ramblings

1. I’m practicing my cookie baking for The First Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I just signed up for this fun holiday cookie swap (send 3 dozen cookies to 3 different bloggers and receive 3 dozen from different bloggers back). Yup, I can’t wait. I’m in the process of deciding which cookies I am going to be making…

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011

(I mean I just HAD to make another batch of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever to test them…)

2. I can’t believe at 4:45PM today the sky looked like this:

It takes me weeks to get used to Daylight Savings! (I’ve been ready for bed since 7:30…and have been in my PJs since 5).

3. In preparation for Q’s arrival in 3 weeks I’ve vowed to eat better, work out more and clean the heck out of my room. It took the majority of the day, but I successfully packed 3 bags of goodies for donations and now my closet looks like this:

(This is the after photo, the before one would have made you wince)

4. Going with that “work out more” philosophy, I am attempting to do the 1oo Push-Up Training Program. It’s a 6 week mini-challenge which has you practicing push-ups for 30 minutes a week based on your fitness level. I’ve never been great at push-ups and thought I would try it out…I’ll keep you posted how it goes.


5. Is it weird that I’m still wearing ghost socks a week after Halloween? (I obviously vote no).

6. And finally, the random winner of the Lollihop Giveaway is… Ellen Gibbons! Send me your address and I’ll get your delivery all set up!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. We just made risotto for dinner and I’m really excited to post that recipe up this week!


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Filed under Baking, Exercise, Giveaway

How To Clean Shrimp: A Visual Guide

As you know, we love eating fish and shrimp in our house. Honestly I could eat shrimp every night. When I first began to watch and learn from my mother in the kitchen, I noticed that she always bought her shrimp with the shell and legs on. I asked her why and she said that it keeps the shrimp fresher for longer and most importantly it brings out the true flavor in the shrimp (shrimp bought without shells don’t have any taste). She also told me she liked to clean her own shrimp. Clean shrimp? Yup, for novice chefs out there it’s a good idea to clean aka de-vein your shrimp before you eat them since the “vein” of the shrimp is actually their digestive tract. If you leave it in it isn’t the end of the world, but there will be a sandy texture (since shrimp are bottom feeders and eat dirt/sand). Yup, gross.

For a family of 3 we buy a pound and a quarter/ pound and a half of shrimp for dinner. This equals about 5-6 large shrimp per person. We usually buy ours from the Farmers’ Market since it is the freshest there is (caught that morning). When we get home we decide what day of the week we are going to eat it and either freeze it or keep it in the fridge. Always keep the shell on until right before you are planning to make it. On the night we are going to eat the shrimp we take it out of the fridge, wash them with water and begin the cleaning process.

For cleaning shrimp, I would highly recommend buying Joyce Chen scissors, we use them for everything (in the garden, cutting herbs, and all sorts of other things in the kitchen).


The first step to cleaning your shrimp is to cut into the bottom of the shell with your scissors. I continue to snip until I can easily pull the shell off (about halfway down). Try to only cut the shell and not into your shrimp.

Peel off the shell except for the tail (it’s hard to take the shell of the tail off without taking off some of the shrimp and leaving the tail on is nice for decorative purposes).

Once you have your shell off, cut a small 1/4 inch slit along the back of the shrimp.

Reach in their and take out the black vein and throw it away. Make sure you get the whole thing (from top to bottom, sometimes it breaks off into two pieces). Be aware it’s a little slimy! Sometimes if you don’t see the vein in the top of the shrimp, you will need to cut along the bottom of the shrimp and see if it is there.

Repeat with the rest of your shrimp.

There will be instances where you want to cook your shrimp with the shell on, particularly when you grill it. Keeping the shell on shrimp intensifies the flavor and protects the delicate shrimp inside. There are also times when you don’t need the shell on, in this instance we were pan-searing (my recipe is here). It wasn’t necessary to keep the shell on since the flavor of the dish comes from the herb butter we used.

If you want to keep the shell on for cooking, use your Joyce Chens to cut a 1/4 inch slit along the outer edge of the back of the shrimp, cutting through the shell and into the shrimp to get to the vein. Reach in and pull out the vein. It’s the same method as above except you are keeping your shell in tact (I totally forgot to take a photo of this method, but hope you get my explanation).

PS -special shout out to my mom who demonstrated with the shrimp while I photographed away.

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Filed under Cooking, How To