If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

...it would be a much merrier world.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Photo: stlfamilylife.com
For the last 8 years, my husband traveled most weeks for work. Which left me and Mr. Picky to fend for ourselves on weeknights. Needless to say, mealtimes were planned around the latter. So while my baking skills improved as a result of school functions, my cooking was rather unimaginative. Oh, and meal planning? Fuhgetaboutit.

Fast forward to now. Husband has a new position in his company that allows him to be home way more. And dare I say, a certain young man is now Mr. A-Little-Less-Picky. So last month I decided to give meal planning a go. Lo and behold...it's awesome! Sure there's a little prep involved, but not only has dinnertime been simplified, I've been able to try out all those newly organized recipes on my to-do list.

Have all of them gone over like gangbusters? Nah. But some of the dishes have more than made up for the lackluster ones. Now that I'm on this meal planning train, I don't ever want to get off.

What kind of friend would I be if I didn't share my successes? Don't worry, I'll spare you the duds. Here's the first of many yahoo! recipes I've tried so far, courtesy of my long standing but often neglected Everyday Food subscription. I just polished off the last of the leftovers for lunch, and dare I say, it got better with time. Enjoy!

Shrimp Scampi Meatballs in Garlicky Broth

  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, divided, plus wedges for serving
  • 1/4 pound ground white-meat chicken
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse shrimp until finely chopped. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, red-pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in milk and 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Fold in shrimp and chicken until just combined (do not overmix).
  3. In a large pot, melt butter over medium. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add broth and 2 cups water and bring to a rapid simmer.
  4. Drop shrimp mixture by heaping tablespoons into broth. Cook meatballs at a gentle simmer until opaque throughout, about 5 minutes, turning halfway through. Divide pasta among four bowls and top with broth and meatballs. Combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest with parsley and sprinkle over soup. Squeeze lemon wedges over soup and serve.
Note: The addition of the ground chicken gave the meatballs the perfect texture (and bound them)...so don't skip it! Also, for simplicity, I used precooked/deveined frozen shrimp; thawing and draining well before tossing them in the food processor.

Linking up with:
A Diamond in the Stuff


  1. I'm afraid my 3 picky children have left me all out of meal planning steam. I used to be so good at it, but when I also had to make a seperate meal for the kids because none of them eat the same things.... what a pain. I really have to get back at it!

  2. Oh yum!!! This recipe looks and sounds delicious. :)

  3. Yum. That combines my favorite things- soup and spaghetti! Thanks for linking up!


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