Do More Of What Makes You Happy

Prior to last month’s shelter-in-place orders going into effect (aka: lockdowns, quarantines, or stay-at-home mandates re: Covid-19) I visited a lovely local shop and picked up several notepads for future gift giving. Not only did they offer upbeat sayings, they included a color-coordinated spatula. (Some folks call them “scrapers” — in this case a mini-scraper — but I still call them “spatulas” no matter what size.) Figured they’d come in handy for ekeing out the last of whatever folks were trying to use and was cheered by the postive message. Apologies to whoever coined the logo above; I’ve seen it a number of times so I figured it was “public domain.” May you reap your reward in heaven for such an uplifting thought! Thank you.

Little did I know how important that phrase would become in the coming months. These days we’re all trying to reduce/re-use/recycle bits and bobs at the bottom of the bottles lurking on our fridge shelves. Truthfully, they’ve escalated to even more importance than we ever could’ve imagined. One more ounce of flavor = another meal. For those suffering from food shortages, my prayers are with you. I feel entirely blessed to have enough (so far) and the means to splurge now and then. I also continue to donate to our local food shelf and I hope other folks do, too.

Mother’s Day came and went. My annual tradition usually includes making something with lobster (don’t I wish?) but it wasn’t meant to be this year. Frozen shrimp was the only seafood alternative. (Does anyone else dread going to the grocery store until absolutely neccesary like I do?) Still, I was overjoyed that they carried some sort of crustacean. I also had a recipe in mind…

Spicy Grilled Shrimp

(adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything)

1 large clove garlic (I used 1 tsp. refrigerated minced garlic)

1 T. Kosher salt (his recipe specified “coarse salt”)

1/2 tsp. sweet paprika

1/2 tsp. hot paprika

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. freshly-squeezed lemon juice

15 to 20 medium-sized shrimp, peeled & deveined with tails intact (I used the frozen/thawed equivalent)

  1. Mince garlic with salt until fine. Add both paprikas and blend well.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and EVOO to make a paste. (I transferred the above to a bowl before making the paste.)
  3. Add shrimp; mix gently to coat thoroughly.
  4. Allow to marinate for a few minutes or up to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat grill (or broiler) to high. Place shrimp skewers as close as possible to heat source.
  6. Grill (or broil) 2-3 minutes per side or until shrimp are pink.
  7. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

I added two skewers of veggies, too — mushrooms, onions, and grape tomatoes — before I tossed the shrimp on the grill (shown slightly “charbroiled” above by the time I got to ’em) but they were a delightful addition to my holiday meal. Bonus points for “Chili Lime Fish En Papillote.” (No recipe… just sprinkle fish filets with extra virgin olive oil, S & P, chili powder, and freshly-squeezed lime juice wrapped in foil.) YUM! The rest of the shrimp and veggies are headed for a batch of Jambalaya tonight along with some rice, smoked sausage, and chicken from my freezer. Reduce/reuse/recycle. And, do more of what makes you happy!

For me that involves cooking (or grilling) by the seat of my pants, letting nothing go to waste, watching Jeopardy (even the re-runs lol), reading books, practicing the piano, going outside to snap a photo now and then, writing letters, keeping “the castle” clean for TMOFW, and hopefully posting an upbeat message whenever I’m so inclined.

Be safe and well, my friends, xo.

Enjoying present-day life despite the ongoing restrictions,

~ Kim

Did I mention dancing?! What makes YOU happy these days?

8 thoughts on “Do More Of What Makes You Happy

  1. “Do more…” is a very good motto, if (as you say) one is lucky enough to have the means and the opportunity to follow that path. Shrimp in place of lobster doesn’t look bad!

    be well… mae at

    • Mae, many thanks your thoughts. I’m aware of the limited means folks have around here and in increasing areas of the country… our church food panty (of which I’m chairman) continues to furnish 3 or more “new” families with groceries besides our “regular” clients. I’m so grateful for every gift God has bestowed upon me — including having “enough” and the wherewithal to know what to do with it — and thank you again for your comment. Perspective is everything — sharing blessings is even more important these days, xo. Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day!

    • Mimi, I was tickled with the results and forgot to mention Mark Bittman’s recipe called for a combo of sweet paprika and cayenne. I figured sweet & spicy paprika would yield similar results. Gotta love last minute inspirations! :)

  2. I love your style. Whether it be writing, cooking, or shopping. It’s all just so uplifting and positive. Honestly, I’ve been asleep for a couple of hours, and only got up for a minute. I saw the notification on your post…and the title caught me. Why? Because on my personally designed planner…there are two questions. “What did you do yesterday that didn’t work or make you happy?”, followed by an area to write a response. The next question is “What did you do yesterday that did work, or made you happy?”, with an area for a response. Those questions are followed by this statement “Now do less of the first one and more of the second.”
    You rock… you really do

    • Awwww, Stan… thank you. I never thought of happiness as a style, but now that you mention it, I seem to have been blessed with the “H” gene. :) A friend once asked my hubby “Is she always this cheerful?” TMOFW replied (after rolling his eyes): “Yes.” (Not that he’s dour; he just tends to have a no-nonsense outlook on life.) We balance each other well! One of the highest compliments he ever paid me happened during the early years of our trucking days when I ooohed and ahhhed over the ever-changing landscape. After a solo trip one week he came home and declared: “I’ll never look at trees the same. They DO have personalities.” :)

      LOVE your personally designed planner. Definitely food for thought — the non-caloric kind! These days I’m battling the “quarantine 15” (one of the few things that gets me “down”) but… this, too, shall pass. BTW, my Jambalaya turned out “pretty dang good.” :)

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