Monday, February 25, 2008

Fiesta Shrimp Creole

I made this tonight and it was delish!

Servings: 6
7 Points

2 Tbl oil (I used Canola)
2 Tbl flour
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 3 or 4...)
1 jar (16 oz.) Taco Bell Home Originals Thick N' Chunky Salsa
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 1/2 lb cleaned shrimp
4 cups hot cooked rice

Mix oil and flour in large saucepan. Cook on medium heat 6-8 minutes or until browned, stirring constantly.

Add green pepper, celery and garlic; cook and stir 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in salsa and tomato cause; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in shrimp; cook an additional 6-8 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through. Serve over rice.

Updated Shepherd's Pie

I made this last night and the family loved it!

Servings: 6 (about 1.5 cups each)
Points: 6

1 1/4 lb red potatoes, cut into chunks (skin on)
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup 2% milk shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used the 94% lean)
2 Tbl flour
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (I used corn, carrots and peas)
3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
2 Tbl ketchup

I also added 1 Tbl of worcestershire sauce

Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan; add enough water to cover. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain; return to saucepan. Add sour cream; mash potatoes until smooth. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. (I omitted this last step and put all of the cheese on top at the end).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown meat in large nonstick skillet. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Add vegetables, broth and ketchup; cook 5 minutes. Spoon into 8-inch square baking dish; cover with potatoes.

Bake 18 minutes; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake an additional 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Perfect Scripture for Me Today

Today was a particularly challenging day at work for me. There is one individual in the office who expects nothing less than perfection. I am trying to keep things in perspective, but still find myself discouraged at the end of the day. There is such a tremendous amount of information being transferred to me on a daily basis and I find myself feeling overwhelmed and frustrated that I can't remember every detail. The phone is extremely busy, I have several projects to juggle, I'm being trained on new procedures on a daily basis, and meanwhile I still have all of the daily tasks to keep up with (preparing the conference room for meetings, ordering lunches, keeping the coffee pots filled, preparing Fedex and mail packages, scheduling appointments, scanning and uploading documents, printing out calendars, etc. I am good at multi-tasking, but the challenge comes when all of the information is new and I'm interrupted by the phone every time I start to delve into something. Tonight I felt totally beaten down and inadequate. Jay and Kendall offer so much encouragement and it really helps to come home to loving arms and the words that I need to hear like, "You are very capable, don't be so hard on yourself. We believe in you!" But, once you start that downward spiral it's hard to get out of it. I keep reminding myself that it will get easier. Things will come together and I only have to be at the front desk for a couple of months and once tax season is over, things will calm down and I can focus on the task at hand without having everyone coming at me at once.

I was checking my email tonight and was reading my weekly Scrappers Guide newsletter (messages from God can come from the most unexpected of places!) and Linda, the editor of the newsletter included a link to her story of the heart attack she experienced at the ripe young age of 51 and she listed a scripture that she was mediating on shortly before her heart attack and it was exactly what I needed to meditate on right now, so I thought I would post it here to share with others that may be experiencing a time of trial.

The scripture is from James 1

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

That's exactly what I need to do right now - let patience have its perfect work. I don't need to focus on having patience with the one individual who is expecting perfection from me, I need to have patience with myself and allow the positive comments that come my way to permiate my heart rather than spending all of my energy focusing on my inadequacies. We all have them! I know that things will get easier. I know that I can do this job! I know that God put me here and He will see me through. I just need to give myself a break. It's so much harder to do than it is to say, but I will meditate on the message that God brought me to night and I hope that through my openness, I can help others with the same struggles.

My friends, please pray for me during this time.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Asparagus, Chicken and Penne Pasta

Servings: 8
Points: 6

1 (16 ounce) package dry penne pasta
2 TBL olive oil, divided
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into bite-size pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
Red pepper flakes (in directions, but not in ingredients, I would estimate 1 tsp)

Items added by Shannon (not in original recipe)
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Halved cherry tomatoes (add at the very end)
Chicken broth
Fresh chopped basil

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken until firm and lightly browned; remove from pan. Add the reamining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Cook and stir garlic, asparagus, and red pepper flakes in oil until asparagus is tender. Stir in chicken, and cook for 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Toss pasta with chicken and asparagus mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Two weeks down....

Well, I finished week #2 of the new job. I am feeling more confident now and although I know I still have an overwhelming amount to learn, at least things are starting to come together and make more sense now. There are so many procedures and it's something I'm not used to. At Surfware we had procedures, but they changed constantly. Since we're accountable to the IRS at C & D, We have to stick with procedures and every piece of paper has a process that it goes through from checks and balances to signatures to scanning to mailing out via certified mail to filing and even the status (do we need to keep the paperwork permanently, or for 7 years or 10 years???? So far, I'm just learning the procedures for the front desk and have had some exposure to a little of the work that our Word Processor does. I have the phones down now and have even been told by clients that I am sounding more confident now than I did on my first day. We have clients that call so often that even after 2 weeks, they are warm and friendly and treat me like I have been on the job for months. It's a good feeling and I like feeling that comfort level with people. I had grown accustomed to that with the dealers and really miss that level of intimacy. Tax season will be in full swing soon, so things are only going to get busier. This week I'll be working 8-5 and then Saturday I will start my Saturday shifts (every other Saturday from 9-3) and then Monday the 28th I start working 8-5:30 through the end of tax season. Then, on April 16th the office is closed and we all take a breather! The Partners have all been very supportive and have encouraged me and reassure me that I am doing a great job and that this is a really tough time to be learning on the job. I'm grateful that they have invested in having the existing Office Manager stay on to make sure that I am completely trained before she leaves. She's very patient and I really enjoy working with her. I enjoy working with her so much, in fact, that I will be very sad when she leaves! Although, if she wasn't leaving I wouldn't have a job, so I definitely have mixed feelings on the matter.

Overall, I think things are going really well and I'm really happy to be working with a team of such professional, talented people. I am sure I'll be an old pro there before too long at least I hope so!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin