The Homestretch

So my wedding website tells me that I’ve got 53 days to go. It went from 2 years to just under 2 months in a blink of an eye. And Christmas! It’s only 2 days away! But because of the wedding (and the crazy wedding budget), our Christmas is pretty straightforward and no frills this year. We’ve resurrected my old college Christmas tree – a spartan little thing, missing several artificial branches – and topped it with just a dozen bronze ornaments or so. The empty spaces are filled in with Christmas cards from our friends and families. There are definitely no gifts under this tree. The only other Christmas decor is the potted poinsettia that adorns our dining table. And yet amidst it all – it feels perfect. Our first Christmas in our first home. While low in Christmas decor, it is high in Christmas spirit. And that’s really what the season is all about.

Tree

So tonight as we snuggle on the couch and watch the twinkling of the Christmas lights, we’ll slurp on these slippery, garlicky, tangy noodles – an easy ending to a busy day. Hope you enjoy.

Pan

Pasta & Shrimp Scampi
Source: Adapted from the always perfect Ina Garten

Ingredients
2 tbs kosher salt
3/4 pound linguine or spaghetti pasta
3 tbs unsalted butter
2 1/2 tbs good olive oil
3-4 tbs butter
4-5 cloves minced garlic (more if you like garlic)
2 shallots, small diced
1/2 small onion, small diced
1/2 c dry white wine (I used a pinot – great for drinking with the pasta)
15-20 large shrimp (about 1 lb), peeled & deveined
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 c chopped parsley leaves
1 sprig of rosemary (optional but it imparts such great flavor!)
1/2 lemon, zest grated
Juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemons
Big pinch of hot red pepper flakes (or to your liking)

Directions
Cook the pasta noodles according to the packaging.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or skillet, melt the butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic, shallots and small onion, and saute for a couple of minutes until it all softens and sweats. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the white wine, allowing it to cook off the alcohol and reduce a bit. Add the rosemary and let the herbs infuse into the liquid. Toss in the large shrimp, a bit of kosher salt, and pepper. Saute until the shrimp just turn pink, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning and to heat the shrimp evenly. Turn off the heat and leave the pan on the stove, add the parsley, lemon zest and juice, and red pepper flakes. Toss in the cooked pasta noodles. Twirl and serve.

Plated

This dish is super quick – it comes together in under 30 minutes. And since it’s winter, shrimp has been abundant and delicious. Big and succulent with a nice crunch. If you don’t mind the garlic, this is a great date night dish – with a bit of wine left over to wash down the meal. I like to amp up the red pepper flakes and garlic for bolder flavors – don’t be afraid to adjust the seasonings to your liking.

With such a short amount of time left, we are in a frenzy wrapping up the last details and tying all the loose ends as the year winds down and as we get closer to the wedding. I’m not entirely sure what my presence on the blog will be in the coming weeks, but wish me luck either way!

Hand-sprayed these to create a faux mercury glass look.
Candle Holders

Thanks so much for reading!
AnhD

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