@sprightlyamyanne Instagram photos

@sprightlyamyanne Instagram photos

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Get in my Belly! Emeril's Asian Ginger Shrimp!

Okay. So that's not Emeril's 'official' title for this recipe - but I think it sounds yummier. :) I'm making this right now for a friend's birthday party tonight. Always a show stopper.

These are so delicious - seriously. I can eat a whole 2 lbs. by myself. Not that I would. But, I could.

I pile all the shrimp on a platter and leave the ginger slices, lemon peels, green onions, & bay leaves all mixed in like a boil. It looks beautiful and festive.

Asian Boiled Shrimp


* One 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
* 3 lemons, halved and juiced, shells reserved
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 3/4 cup sugar
* 4 bay leaves
* 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (green and white parts)
* 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
* 2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and devein
* 2 teaspoons Emeril's Original Essence
* 1 Asian Mayonnaise

Combine 6 cups water with the ginger, lemon shells, lemon juice, soy sauce, sugar, bay leaves, green onions, garlic, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.

Season the shrimp with the Essence and add to the boiling mixture. Cook for 2 minutes, remove from the heat, and steep for 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp with tongs or a slotted spoon and transfer to a large platter to cool. When cool enough to handle, serve, either warm, at room temperature, or chilled, with the Asian Mayonnaise.

Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings

Asian Mayonnaise ( I usually start with a pre-made mayo to save time. Then add the everything but the egg and oil.)


* 1 large egg yolk
* 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/2 teaspoon minced green onions
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Asian Mayonnaise


Combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, and green onions in a food processor and process for 15 seconds. With the motor running, slowly add the vegetable oil through the feed tube. The mixture will thicken. Add the soy sauce, cilantro, pepper, sesame oil, and salt. Pulse once or twice to blend. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for no more than 24 hours before using.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spiritual Oompa-Loompas

This was in my reading this morning...

The thing we must remember is that God did not choose us to "use" us. We are not spiritual Oompa-Loompas in some cosmic chocolate factory, working night and day to churn out a smoother, better-tasting Christianity.

We were not created to fill some egotistical need God has for praise -- the angels forever encircle his throne with worship.

We are not some celestial science project; laboratory mice let loose in a maze to see how they interact.

No, the Bible makes it clear that God created us because he longs to have fellowship with us. Our Father longs to pour his very life into us, to give us an inheritance and a share in his divine nature.

What does God desire? It is actually very simple.

He wants you. All of you.

J. Weaver, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

Friday, February 19, 2010

Get in my Belly! Ahi Fish Tacos

I could eat these everyday. Oh my - so yummy. This recipe is from Marc Klass of KlassKids Foundation. Marc is amazing and his work vital. After his daughter was kidnapped from their home and murdered, he started KlaasKids. He works tirelessly to prevent other children and families from becoming victims. Catch his interview on Friday at 11:00 CST on Kitchen Chat with Margaret McSweeney!

This contemporary take on a Mexican coastal favorite is easy to make, healthy to eat, and fun to share with friends and family

Awesome Fish Taco’s
12 Flour or Corn tortillas - warmed
1 Lb Ahi steak – grilled to desired doneness
Red cabbage – shredded
Avocado – peeled, pitted and sliced
Lime – cut into eighths
Yogurt/Chipotle sauce (recipe below)
Papaya salsa (recipe below)

Yogurt/Chipotle sauce
Mix 8 oz of Plain Greek Yogurt with 1 Chipotle chili pepper in a small food processor until fully blended. You can use more than one Chipotle depending on the amount of heat desired, but always begin with just one. Be sure to use Greek Yogurt as it is thicker and more substantial than domestic yogurt. This is a healthy and delicious alternative to sour cream.

Papaya salsa
2 cups Papaya – chopped fine
2 Tbs Red Onion – chopped fine
2 Tbs Jalapeno – minced
¼ cup Cilantro – chopped coarsely
¼ cup Lime juice
Salt and Pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before use. Mango is a delicious substitution if you cannot find ripe papaya.

Place the grilled Ahi, Yogurt/Chipotle sauce, Papaya salsa, shredded red cabbage, sliced avocado in separate mini-serving dishes and place on table with appropriate serving utensils.
Sprinkle tortillas with water on each side and warm on both sides over medium heat on non-stick frying pan.

Place warmed tortilla on plate and spread a teaspoon of Yogurt/Chipotle sauce down middle of tortilla. Then load the other ingredients on as desired. Get ready for a flavor explosion that will blow your mind. Repeat until your eyes bulge and your stomach begs you to stop.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Do you need a coach?

As you may remember, I recently partnered up with Making Work at Home Work as a blogger.

Working with a Coach

By Mary M. Byers

I took the plunge and hired a coach late last year. She’s been a fabulous addition to my team and is worth every penny. Here’s how I’m benefiting:

Accountability: At the end of each session, we identify 3-5 activities for me to complete by our next session. I don’t want to disappointment my coach or embarrass myself so I find I’m highly motivated to get my “homework” done each month.

Advice: I’m able to outline my thoughts and then ask for her advice. Though she doesn’t always say, “This is what I think you should do...” she is always able to ask pertinent questions to help me come to a decision I’m comfortable with.

Expertise: My coach has small business acumen and more importantly to me, is an expert in online marketing, something that intimidates me. I have a lot of questions about how to implement my online marketing ideas and she’s a great resource for getting the answers I need. When I’m stuck, she reminds me that I don’t have to know how to do everything and that between us, we can find the resources to implement even the craziest ideas.

Companionship: Let’s face it, being a solo-preneur can be a lonely endeavor. My coach gives me someone to bounce ideas off of as well as the comfort of having someone along on the journey with me. Knowing someone else is rooting for me encourages me to continue to strive for excellence.

If you’re looking to help your business reach new heights in 2010, consider hiring a coach. Doing so is a great way to stretch yourself and grow your business.

Mary Byers is the author of Making Work at Home Work: Successfully Growing a Business and a Family Under One Roof. You can learn more about making work at home work by subscribing to Mary’s free blog at www.makingworkathomework.com.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Get in my Belly! White Chicken Chili

This recipe was given to me by my Aussie friend, Michelle (miss you dearly, love!) It's always a huge hit and so easy I can do it in my sleep!

White Chicken Chili

Serves 4

2-3 cups grilled chicken (or rotisserie chicken)
2 cans white navy beans or cannolini beans
2 4oz can of white shoepeg corn (or fresh/frozen white corn)
2 4 oz cans of chopped mild green chilies
½ c chopped onion
1 tsp fresh garlic
1 tsp lemon pepper
1 ¾ tsp cumin
2-3 tbsp of lime juice
2 ½ cup chix stock

Simmer chicken in chicken stock with spices until cooked through. If using already cooked chicken skip this step. Add all ingredients together and stir occasionally until hot and bubbly. 20 – 30 minutes. Medium heat.

Top chili with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa and grated cheddar or jack cheese. Avocados and cilantro are also fab!

Eat. Then have some more!

(photo credit: Food Network)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I am excited to share a fun opportunity with you!

To celebrate the release of Hearts at Home’s newest book: Living With Less So Your Family Has More, by Jill and Mark Savage, the Hearts at Home blog is launching the Living with Less Contest.

Email Hearts at Home a story or money-saving tip that gives a peek into your daily experiences representing the humor, richness, or spiritual aspects of what it’s like to live with less.

Better yet, blog readers will benefit as many of the money-saving entries will be posted on the Heart’s blog throughout the month of February!

For contest details go here!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Get in my Belly! Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad

We host a small group in our home on Thursdays and someone brought this dish last fall - it's da bomb! So yummy - great texture, interesting pairings - fab flavor!

Tassajara Warm Red Cabbage Salad

This recipe is from 101 Cookbooks.com and has been adapted from The Complete Tassajara Cookbook. This version of the Warm Red Cabbage Salad is less cheesy, fruity, and rich - but you can mix it up to your liking.

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
fine grain sea salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 pound head of red cabbage or radicchio, quartered and cut into thin ribbons

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
2 ounces golden raisins (or other plump, chopped dried fruit)
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish

Roast the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Sprinkle on the sugar, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir until the sugar melts and coats the seeds (you pan will need to be hot enough). Transfer the seeds immediately to a plate so they don't stick to the pan. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion for a minutes or two with a couple pinches of salt. Stir in the garlic, and the cabbage, and a few more pinches of salt. Stir and cook for just a minute or so, or until the cabbage softens up just a touch. Then stir in the rosemary, most of the raisins, and the vinegar. The cabbage will continue to get more and more tender even after you remove it from the heat, so keep that in mind, and do your best to avoid overcooking it - where it collapses entirely. Fold in half of the feta cheese, most of the sunflower seeds, then taste. Season with more salt if needed. Serve garnished with the remaining raisins, feta, sunflower seeds and Parmesan cheese.

Serves 4 to 6.

(recipe and photo credit: 101 Cookbooks.com)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Get in my Belly! Chicken Cilantro Wraps

My bestest best friend, Loring and I became addicted to these in the summer of '04! (Long before I moved back to Seattle and she moved to Uganda!) We had just opened a children's clothing store called Jack & Jill's and we were obsessed with this easy, yummy dinner.

Fresh, light and spicy! I make a corn salsa to go with these and serve with a side of black beans - perfect!

Chicken Cilantro Wraps

serves 4


1 lb. grilled chicken - shredded or chopped
small flour tortillas (we like them warm)


3 tbsp. mayo (light mayo works too)
3 tbsp. sour cream (light works too)
1 tsp. lime zest
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 seeded, minced jalepeno
1 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. minced red onion
1/4 chopped cilantro

Mix sauce and add chicken. Put chicken mixture into warmed tortillas and add a scoop or two of corn salsa. Delish!

Bonus recipe: Roasted Corn Salsa

* 4 Ears fresh corn, cut from Cob (or you can use frozen)
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 5 Ripe tomatoes, (seeded is best)
* 1/2 c Red onion, finely chopped
* 1 Jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds for a mild salsa)
* 1 Clove garlic, minced
* 1/2 c Cilantro leaves, chopped
* 3 tbsp. Fresh lime juice, plus
* Salt & freshly ground pepper


1. Place corn & olive oil in a medium-hot skillet stirring often, until about half the kernels are brown, 10-15 minutes. Remove corn from heat and let cool.
2. Combine corn, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season to taste with time juice, salt, and pepper. (recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

(photo: www.nandyala.org & health.com)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Marriage, Sanctification & Lars and the Real Girl

Bear with me - I'm not sure if all these thoughts cohere enough to make sense. But I suppose that's really never stopped me before.

I'm leading a small group study of The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace (highly recommend this study as a Biblical and thorough primer on how to be a wife, the purpose of marriage, and for anyone married and asking, "now what?") . This morning I read that "both the husband and wife are to minister to each other through pursuing God's purpose for marriage. The goal of the Christian husband and wife in their marriage is to have a oneness that is characterized by a loving spiritual and physical bond that glorifies God and thereby enhances personal spiritual growth (Gen 2:24; Ephesians 5:22-33; Galatians 6:1; Hebrews 14:4)". In short, we are to be intentional about helping each other become as much like Jesus as possible. We are to guide each other into holiness through encouragement and reproof (pointing out sin, in love, with the goal of restoring a right relationship with God).

This process is called mutual sanctification. There are three stages of sanctification - past (positional), progressive and future.

Past sanctification took place when I became a believer, God did all the work, he wooed me and gave me a desire to know Him. He convicted me of my sin and opened my eyes to my need for Jesus. I realized that I am nothing without Him and I've been given the enormous privilege of being called to play a part in His story.

Future sanctification will occur when Jesus returns for the believers, His church and gives each of us new and perfect sanctified body. Again God does all the work here.

Progressive sanctification is what we're all going through now. The cutting away and chiseling of our current image into that of Christ. It begins at salvation and ends when we're with the Lord. This is the process by which we grow and mature. God expects us to join Him in his work. He shows us where to go, what to do and gives us the Holy Spirit's enabling power to do it. "He convicts, disciplines, and enables you, but it is also a work of man as you are responsible to "...grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ' (2 Peter 3:18 - note: 'grow' is an imperative verb. This means it is a command.) You are also responsible to "pursue love" (1 Cor 14:1), to "...set your mind on...the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5, the "things of the Spirit" are what God desires), to "flee immorality" (1 Cor 6:18), and "to discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness" (1 Tim 4:7). You have work to do to become more like Christ. God will enable you to grow spiritually by the power of the Holy Spirit. He will mold you into His image through specific tests and pressures."

It occurred to me while I was reading through all of this, that for married couples, marriage is not so much about love and building a life together, than it is about sanctification. About growing up. I entered into marriage focused on myself, my love for my husband, his love for me and the life we'd make together. Right from the start our marriage has been a series of one drama after another. About mid-way in our 18 year journey Jesus scooped both of us out of the mire and muck, restored us, and has been with us ever since. It was at that point I finally began to grow, change, mature. (but that's a whole other post).

About 10 years ago a friend told me that marriage is to make you holy, not happy. I laughed and thought that was a bit extreme. But, I've realized that it's pretty much true. (And thank you Lord for happy times!) God gives my husband and I a love for each other and a desire to endure. Without that initial fierce love for one another I don't think we would ever persist through the process of sanctification. God uses my husband to make me better. Each of us makes the other more holy (more like Christ), become more beautiful, more useful, more glorifying. It's not easy. It's often painful. But, it's only through the sanctification process that man and wife become one. It's then that we can move beyond our selfish love for the other (when the love you have for another is really all about you and how the other person makes you feel.) and become what we were intended to be.

And here's where Lars and the Real Girl comes in ... I had purposely put off seeing this movie because I thought it was about something completely different - see it.

There's a scene in the movie when Lars asks his brother, "How do you know when you're an adult?" and I thought the brother's answer kind of sums up the whole process of sanctification. He says:

"...when you learn to do what's best, not for you, but for everyone. It's not like you are all one thing or another. There's still a kid inside, but you grow up when you decide to do right, and not what's right for you, but for everybody. Even when it hurts."

"Like what?"

"Like you don't jerk people around, you don't cheat on your woman and you take care of your family. Admit when you're wrong or you try to anyways. That's all I can think of. It sounds like it's easy, but for some reason it's not."

Yes. That's. it.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Get in my Belly! Emeril's Split Pea Soup!

This is one of my daughter's favorite dinners. We had it this past Sunday with homemade bread. (I'll post that recipe soon!) Sometimes I add chopped ham (good quality) or bacon (fried crispy & crumbled) to the soup just before serving.

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cups chopped yellow onions
* Salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* Crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 pound dried green split peas, picked over and rinsed
* 8 cups chicken broth
* 1 cup milk
* Hot Sauce


In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions. Season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and split peas and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, until the peas are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add the milk and, using a hand-held immersion blender, process until smooth. Add the hot sauce and serve hot.

(photo: Food Network)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Fascinating interview at 5 Minutes for Mom about the road to being published!

How to get a book published… Go to the PARK???
(from 5 Minutes for Mom)

Published author and mother Katherine Center has some unique publishing advice.

She told Janice her remarkable story of how she found her first publishing deal on a trip to the park with her kids.

In this video interview, filmed during the Mom 2.0 Summit 2009, Katherine talks about her second novel Everyone Is Beautiful and reveals her path to publishing success.

Watch the video here!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Get in My Belly! Yakisoba

This is a family fav. Super easy and quick. Oh and yummy! I use a combination of beef & shrimp or chicken & shrimp.

Serves 6

2 eggs
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp minced ginger (not traditional - but I LOVE GINGER!)
2 tbsp. canola or peanut oil
2 tbsp. garlic chili paste (or to taste)
2 cloves garlic
2 lbs. chicken, beef or shrimp
1/2 c. soy sauce (I use low sodium)
2 Onions, halved & sliced
1/2 med. cabbage or bok choy
1/2 lb. domestic or fresh Shitaki Mushrooms
2 carrots julienned (or broccoli)
1 lb. Soba Noodles

Heat wok on medium-high heat. Add oils, ginger, and eggs. Cook stir-frying until eggs are cooked. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds). Add meat, garlic chili paste and 1/4 c. soy. Stir-fry until meat is no longer pink. Remove from pan. Add veggies and stir-fry until cabbage is wilted. (**If using Shrimp, add shrimp here and stir-fry until just cooked). Add meat, noodles and remaining 1/4 c. soy. Stir-fry until noodles are coated and heated through.

Garnish with green onions and additional garlic chili paste if desired.