Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day at the Beach

We had a special visit last Saturday from two of my favorite people - Abby and Andy. The A's are getting married later this year, so we wanted to plan a time to get together before things got too crazy. They made the drive ALL the way down from LA to see us, and I'm so glad they did.

We hadn't seen either of them since their engagement party, and really didn't get a good chance to talk to them because, well, it was their party. So much is going on in their lives, it was nice to catch up. The A's just bought a condo and we're trying to talk them into a dog - after the wedding of course.

The great thing about hanging out with the A's is that its so comfortable. They're a couple we both know so well and we're friends with each individually so conversations drift between the four of us moving from one to the other. It's a unique situation that I love.

We spent the day giving Abby a tour of South Orange County. We had a lovely lunch at Chaparosa Grill. Chaparosa is a "Caribbean" restaurant, which is not always reflected by the menu. I prefer to think of it as more of an eclectic little gem. The first time we dined there, my cousin had Asian Nachoes made with won tons, thai chicken, cheese, and peanuts (explain to me how that's caribbean?). This time we enjoyed salads and sandwiches, which they do an excellent job of. Abby and I split a spinach salad with cranberries and walnuts and a each had sandwich. She had a cranberry turkey, and I had a turkey avocado. Andy also had the turkey avocado. Jon actually went Caribbean with the spicy jambalaya. All the dishes were excellent and there was a lot of passed forks, the sign of true friendship.

We then brought the A's down to Dana Point to see the harbor as Abby grilled me about the ever important topics of "The Hills" and "When we're going to have a kid." I love when friends ask that question because I can turn it around completely. "I could ask you the same thing." We then moved north to Salt Creek Beach, one of our favorites. As soon as we got to the beach, the fog moved in which was creepy and cool at the same time, and made for great photos.

A day at the beach should always end with seafood. And something simple like shrimp and orzo is thrown together in a matter of minutes.

Simple Shrimp

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 1/2 pounds shrimp
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1) Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add shrimp. Seal bag, and shake to coat.
2) Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan; keep warm.
3) Add wine and vinegar to pan; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring with a whisk. Stir in shrimp; remove from heat.
Serves 4.
Each serving has:
Calories 267.9
Total Fat 5.3 g
Cholesterol 258.4 mg
Sodium 544.5 mg
Potassium 342.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.1 g
Protein 36.2 g


  1. That sounds like such a nice day. And, as usual, your food looks yummy.

  2. You know what I'd love... a good orzo receipe.

  3. mmmm, that screams "weekend dinner with wine" to me :) looks like i'll be giving this one a try soon!