Back from the brink: Spring recipe inspiration

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Want to know the worst curse you could wish on a very pregnant lady? The stomach flu. Just when I thought I was better, I had a relapse over the weekend. Nausea and a kicking, rolling, stretching baby just do not mix! I finally seem to have kicked this nasty bug late Easter Sunday just in time to experience a ginormous burst of nesting energy. Seems laying around for a few days did have at least one advantage: I have a renewed vigor I have not felt in a few weeks. 

I looked at the calendar and between the Peanut fighting her bug and my out of commission phase it looks like I have not actually cooked for my family in something close to three weeks. We've been barely surviving on toast, applesauce, and yogurt. I have never wanted to dig into a big salad as badly as I do this morning and can't wait to get myself to the grocery store. 

With all that time laying around in the last couple days, I've managed to stockpile a wish list of recipes I can't wait to try out. Handyman Tim's aversion to vegetables is going to have to be put on hold temporarily. I'm pulling out all the stops and digging into these tempting ideas:

First up, Annie's Spring Risotto:


Photo courtesy of Annie from Annie's Eats

Asparagus, peas, marscapone cheese, and lemon zest?! Oh my tastebuds are going crazy right now!

Then I'm on to the Barefoot Contessa's Lemon Pasta with Arugula and Tomatoes:


Photo courtesy of the Food Network

This is actually a dish I've made before and it is heavenly. I never make it because Tim is not so much a fan. But the arugula and tomatoes are calling to me! Again with the lemon, are you sensing a trend over here?

(Actually now that I think of it, if you love the zesty lemon addition in pasta dishes as much as I do, another side dish that is definitely not Handyman Tim approved but is absolutely delicious is this Orzo recipe from Epicurious. I could seriously eat the whole batch by myself just on it's own but it is the perfect accompaniment to a light chicken or fish dish.)

And finally, I think I'm going to have to torment my poor family with a little shrimp action. The one craving I remember most vividly from being pregnant with the Peanut was an insatiable need for shellfish. This is only unusual because normally I have very little interest in eating that kind of seafood. But for a few months there I could not get enough shrimp, crab, or lobster. I haven't experienced that same craving with this pregnancy–until now. For some reason I can't stop thinking about shrimp. 

Maybe it's because it is springtime, maybe it has something to do with this latest posting from Annie:


Photo courtesy of Annie from Annie's Eats

Shrimp Feta, and Fresh Herb Mac and Cheese. I think I'll be eating dinner alone. I know for fact Tim won't touch this with a 10 foot pole. 

Maybe it would be a little kinder of me to make a "normal" dinner for the family but sneak the Barefoot Contessa's Roasted Shrimp Cocktail in as an appetizer for me. I've tried this recipe before (with pre-cleaned and deveined shrimp from the grocery store, thank you very much) and it was wonderful! The fresh roasted shrimp blows the frozen/thawed variety right out of the water. 

So I'm off to make my grocery list. It absolutely amazes me how much more interest I have in food after not being able to eat for such a long time! What's on your springtime menus this month? Any suggestions you'd like to share? Feel free to post links in the comment section to anything that you're loving or wanting to try this month, I'm on a roll in the kitchen again and would love the input!

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