Roasted Shrimp Orzo

I’ve been in a cooking rut. But because I’m nursing I need to eat. A lot. I’m literally withering away because I’m producing milk and it’s taking all my calories and turning it into fatty milk for my baby. We are still using Blue Apron for dinner.  But I miss picking out my own meals, and eating what I WANT to eat versus what I have to eat. However, in order to not waste food, I need to create my own meal plans before I cancel or skip orders.

My friend Rosie came by with lunch one weekend and it was delicious. So tasty, healthy and yet so simple. I decided to go ahead and make it myself for our dinner and lunches one week. It’s filled with fresh herbs, which gives it great flavor and without the extra sodium.

This roasted shrimp orzo pasta is delicious. Lemony, bright and eaten cold makes it a perfect lunch.  Shrimp is roasted in the oven with just a little salt and pepper.

Dressing is salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

Red onions and cucumbers add a crunchy texture.

Salt and pepper, easy peasy.

Stir in some feta and voila! She used Ina Garten’s recipe and its perfect the way it is!

Curry Crabs

I’m back! Thank you for waiting patiently. After being hacked again I did not want to go through the trouble of putting my site back up for it to get hacked a third time. Hopefully this is it!

Even though work is demanding, and baby is demanding, and my house is a mess…I still get chances to cook. To close out the summer (What? I know, its fall) I was stuck with almost half a bushel of cooked blue crabs. I used it as a chance to work on my cookbook (based off my maman’s recipes).

What. Haven’t heard about that thing in awhile right? Well now that I actually have a child, it’s even more important to keep that kitchen legacy alive. Before I was writing it for my future children.. and here I am 4 years later with one. Oh wow. It’s been 4 years since I started and I still have made 0 progress. Okay that’s a lie, I’ve got a few recipes written. Lao food is complicated and takes me awhile to write and test over and over!

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Would any of you be interested in being my help kitchen? I would email you the recipes I’m working on, and you tell me if you can understand how its written, and if the directions make sense? Leave a comment or email me! miemo {at} miemonster {dot} net!

Crabby Cravings

xhdKHnaLJFw3YZQ5.jpgI am addicted. Maybe because I haven’t had crawfish ALL year. It’s just a lot of effort to do at home when you live in a condo. But every week, literally, every week, I’ve gone to Captain Pell’s and engorged myself on blue crabs. I always eat at least six. I know that sounds a little bit much. Especially because I’m pregnant. Mercury and all that jazz. But I looked it up. Crabs only live a couple of years anyway, that doesn’t give them enough time to build up mercury. So they are low on that scale.

So of the 4 times I’ve gone this last month, the price did go up. I guess because market price went up. But here’s the skinny. You can get a dozen medium steamed (male) crabs for $45 or ALL YOU CAN EAT for $45. I can’t really eat more than a dozen (if that, I usually share with whoever I end up going with) so the dozen is good for me. The husband is allergic to blue crab (poor guy) so he gets snow crab leg platter which he really enjoys. Their other dishes have been good too. Though I don’t usually have much room for them. The hush puppies are yummy and I love their fries.

We usually get the same server and HE’S GREAT. Even when they are busy, he tries his best to take care of you. But if you are going in for crabs, you plan to stay awhile so no worries if its busy. Crabs come out really fast!

Captain Pell’s
10195 Fairfax Blvd
Fairfax, VA 22030

Shrimp Etouffee


Maybe you knew, maybe you didn’t know. But my family has Louisiana roots. My love for cajun food, and mardi gras is probably apparent. One of my favorite dishes is etouffee. I can’t eat it often because its so buttery and delicious that it can’t possible be good for you right? I don’t make mine with roux. I only use that for gumbo. It’s pretty time consuming for me.


The base of many if not all cajun dishes. The holy trinity, celery, onion and green bell peppers.


Butter. Always butter.


Smother the veggies until tender.


Add your shellfish and garlic. Season.


Add water and flour. Check the seasoning again, season to taste!


Stir in parsley and green onions, turn off heat.

 Mama Miemo’s Etouffee


1 ½ stick of butter

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

3 stalks of celery, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 lbs of peeled, deveined shrimp, or crawfish tails with fat

1 tbsp all purpose flour

2 stalks of green onions, sliced thinly

¼ cup parsley, minced

Cajun Seasoning, black pepper, cayenne pepper, to taste



In a heavy bottom pot with a lid, melt down butter. Add onions and sautee until clear. Add green bell pepper and celery. Cover, stirring occasionally until golden. Add shrimp and garlic. Stir until shrimp is pink. Whisk 1 cup of water with one tablespoon of all purpose flour until well blended. Add to pot, stir and add seasoning. Bring to simmer. Continue to season to taste. When sauce thickens up to a gravy consistency, add parsley and green onion. Stir, cover and turn off heat. Serve over rice.

Doc Crow’s, Louisville, KY


We went out to Doc Crow’s in Louisville, Kentucky for dinner. Its a nice place, pretty popping for a Saturday night, about an hour or so wait.gDO8HIzkkVEhU7ya.jpg

I liked the decor, its set up kind of like a train car. Really long aisle and tables on the side. We got the best seat in the house, right next to the window in front of the street so we could people watch. We were downtown so there were a lot of bachelorette parties going on. Lets just say, people were already taking off their shoes at 8pm. Come on ladies. Gross.z9fkkxeVHWTJTYYK.jpg

We started the night with beer, wine and peel and eat shrimp. They were boiled in Old Bay and served with cocktail sauce. The flavors were great, but the shrimp had that “I was frozen” texture to it. To be expected, Kentucky is landlocked.SFjwcc12vhlu2QHp.jpg

Oyster sampler, came from 3 different places in Virginia. I don’t eat oysters, raw or otherwise. The other ladies liked them though!NNSLTAxYtjFFakFG.jpg

Mother of all nachos. Housemade bbq chips topped with cheese, pulled pork, salsa, sour cream, jalapenos, bbq sauce. What is this madness? Delicious.giBWF7Zr9WSn9Mi8.jpg


This is what I should have gotten. Loaded baked potato. Loaded with goodness that is bbq pork, cheese, and sour cream. OMG. Now I want more.d31mECX4IuqFeYp5.jpg

Tacos. I didn’t eat them because they were soft shell, but it looks tasty. He ate it so fast I almost didn’t get a picture.mXj9wJFzXlyFqj5D.jpg

Mussels were great. I’d go back for mussels.nNIUru9f1BUYrXgd.jpg

Baby back ribs. Glad I only got half a rack. It was packed with seasoning, and served dry on purpose. But it was so caked on that it tasted like…chalky. I had to rub off some of the rub, and pour bbq sauce on it to get through a couple bones, but in the end it wasn’t worth it. Maybe because I like a fattier rack of rib, so if you like dry meaty, fatless ribs, go for it!EEeIlJYUYtgEppgJ.jpg

Either way the service, the atmosphere and the company was well worth it. The ribs didn’t put a damper on our night!faLsuLtbVqvO3FEL.jpgThanks again to this awesome couple for taking us out and about!

Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar
127 West Main Street
Louisville, KY 40207


Out & About

It’s been awhile since I’ve been out and about. So last Saturday I spent the day with my friend Tiffany and we had a whole day of food, people watching and catching up.

Our first stop was Hot & Juicy. She never been to a down and dirty seafood joint. Now that my older brother moved back to Louisiana 🙁 this will be my choice for crawfish when the season rolls around again. Since they were frozen, we opted for shrimp, po boys and crablegs.
After walking around in the cold, we decided to stop in for some tea and coffee at Sidamo on H Street. Super cute, tiny place known for it’s Ethiopian pour over coffee. Here we caught up. People watched, and made up stories about the characters we saw. Nothing interesting. But a very cozy time.
No trip to H street is complete without a stop into Dangerously Delicious Pies. I can’t believe I haven’t written about this place yet. If you find yourself near a location, stop in! They have both sweet and savory pies. This trip, I came home with Blueberry, Lemon Chess and Baltimore Bomb.
The night ended at Lyon Hall. One of my favorite spots for happy hour. I love their charcuterie and mussels. And we got exactly that, along with some rose. Perfect ending to our girly day of food!


I Don’t Like Lobsters

Whaaaat? How can you not like lobsters?! That’s what you are thinking right? Let’s break it down. I usually give myself at least 3 tries before I state that I don’t like something, especially if it’s something that is known to be universally good.

The first time I had lobsters, it was at a Vietnamese wedding. The meat was cooked in a ginger asian sauce. I didn’t like the texture.

The second time, I had it just steamed, dipped in butter. The traditional way right? I had that at a blogger preview of Tacklebox in DC (which has since closed down). Didn’t like the texture, or the flavor.

The third time, I had surf and turf at the Palm. It was a nice restaurant, I figured it would be done right, and I can see what it was really supposed to taste like. Nope. Still didn’t like it. Definitely a texture thing.

So here we go again. A friend of ours went to Maine and brought back 6 lobster tails. She didn’t know how to cook them, I didn’t know how to cook them, and no one that was invited to eat knew either. As the designated chef of the family, I was tasked to figure it out.

After googling things here and there. I decided to wing it and hope for the best. We started with cutting the tails down the middle, then splitting the flesh open.

Rubbed it down with olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Grilled it flesh side down for about 3 minutes, until it go its nice charred flesh. Then rubbed it down with a garlic, lemon, butter concoction I mixed together. We then put it back on the grill butter side up and let it cook and smoke for another 5 minutes.

I really liked the flavor of the meat, and the smokiness. It was very similar to scallops. But I didn’t like the texture of the meat! So I guess no lobsters for me. However, I did like the butter and the technique, so I guess I will have to save this recipe and use it on something else, like shrimp, scallops or fish!

Seafood Lemon Garlic Butter

1 stick of butter, softened
2 tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients, mix well. Refrigerate until use.

Crawfish Season

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Yaaay crawfish season is in full effect. This makes my heart and tummy happy. I love when my family gets together over a big pot and 40lbs of fresh Louisiana Crawfish!

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And I don’t think that I am biased when I say that my big brother makes the BEST crawfish boils EVER. EVER. I’ve eaten at the places around here, and I am SO glad that he and his family moved closer to me and my little brother.

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He puts a lot of love and good ol’ Louisianan know-how in his boil. I literally cannot be satisfied with any crawfish on this coast if it isn’t made by him.

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What are you looking forward to as the water warms up?!

France: Food edition

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If you know me, then you know that I went to France with the top priority to EAT. I chose to go eat, over going into the Eiffel Tower. Yea, I know, terrible.

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Lets talk about charcuterie. I love it. The first “french” food I had when I got there, was french bread and charcuterie. This is pretty much a plate of meats. Hams, sausages, bacon, and pate. Sometimes you can get it with cheese, and little pickles. It is served with butter and french breach. This was my staple. I wanted it all the time. Too bad that I came back to America and am prepping for a cleanse, because I would eat it all the time here too.

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The cheeses, the butter, the mayo, the baked goods…everything smells so heavenly and tastes even better. If I had to pinpoint what France smells like, I would say butter and cigarettes. Here, ketchup isn’t left on the the table with the salt and pepper. You can get freshly whipped mayo to dip your fries and anything else into.

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In my opinion, everything is expensive. And not just because the dollar to the euro is pricey, but because food in general is expensive…except foods in charcuterie! A lot of the restaurants have only prix fixe menus. It is much cheaper to hit the market and cook at home. But if you are a Parisian in the middle of the city, your kitchen is pretty much non existent. My cousin eats a lot of simple foods that can be prepped without a stovetop, microwave or oven! Crazy. I know. Lets just say we had a lot of charcuterie…and I loved every minute of it. Brie, camembert, pate, these were much cheaper than they are in America…probably because we have to import it. For example, a wedge of brie is $8-14 but in France 1 euro! I definitely ate a LOT of cheese while I was there, what lactose intolerance?

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For breakfast, we went to Chez Prune, where for breakfast you got a basket of breads, a plate, and a dessert.

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For Dinner we had more charcuterie. And a really hard to open bottle of wine.

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We went to their Japanese town for ramen and bubble tea. The ramen still can’t touch Toki Underground, and the bubble tea is a lot different than I expected…it was actual tea, with a mango syrup for flavoring. The balls were delicious though.

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I waited my whole trip, for moules-frites. Mussels and french fries. And what better place to have it than at the south of France? For 14,50 euros we got this…

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I’ve never had such tasty mussels in my life. The french fries were scoop shaped, so I got a good amount of mayo on every fry. Crisp outside and hot mealy goodness inside. The mussels themselves were perfection. Provencale herbs, right amount of seasoning, creamy, buttery and the touch of lemon and wine to freshen things up. It was unfortunate for my belly that it wasn’t any bigger. The pot alone had at LEAST a hundred mussels and I could only fit half of it. If we knew the portion was going to be so large, we would have shared. I was so sad to waste it. They don’t let you take food in doggie bags by the way. In case you were wondering. Anywhere in France actually. Maybe even Europe.

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Here’s more pictures of food to make you hungry. I want to go back and eat.

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Chasin’ Tails, Arlington


For one of Deanna’s birthday festivities, we decided to try Chasin’ Tails Seafood and Bar. I’ve been to Hot N’ Juicy a couple of times, and I guess there’s enough interest around here for them to open up another crawfish joint.

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It’s really nice inside for a down and dirty seafood joint. But I guess there are some standards for the area! New Orleans street signs and fun pictures of crawfish and sayings decorated the walls. They even have a watering hole in the back with hand washing stations. They have a good selection of beers (I say this because they carry Abita beers, my favorite being purple haze). I ordered a pound of clams in garlic butter, and a pound of crawfish in original cajun medium spicy. Oh yeah, and their whole shebang wings. No plates, no silverware, just a bag of your food.

The Breakdown:
Please remember that my family is from Louisiana, and crawfish boils are our thing, so it is very hard for me to EVER find quality crawfish boiled at restaurants. The only other place I’ve had it (other than in Louisiana) in a restaurant here is Hot N Juicy so it will be hard not to compare. Anyways the clams were good. They serve short neck clams there. The wings were also good, if you like garlic. I don’t like it THAT much so I only had like two wings and tapped out.
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And now to the crawfish.

The seasoning was decent…in the bag. But in actuality, it failed. The crawfish itself, tasted like pondwater and there was nothing to save it. I understand that its not crawfish season, and when I commented on this with the waiter…he tried to play me for a fool. “We get it from a special place where they send em live all year”. No, that isn’t possible right? The mud has to be a certain temperature…crawfish season is March-June. Unless they have some indoor lab making this all happen. But the service was amazing and I like the atmosphere. I might go again for the clams and crablegs, but I wouldn’t say this is going to be my new favorite spot.

Beignets get the job done. A little too bready for my taste, but hey if we want Cafe du Monde beignets we should go there right?

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Either way it was a good time with good people. Happy Birthday D!