The Flame

Kids change everything… they really do. We have three young kids and I would not change having them for anything. They are the brightest spots in our lives and I appreciate having the opportunity to be a mom each and every day.

I am not going to lie though… kids do change everything. Going to the bathroom in private? Doesn’t happen anymore. If someone isn’t in the bathroom with me, they are hanging outside the door with little fingers reaching under the door or questions being shouted through the door. Add to that my 2 year old clapping when I go and then shouting “bye-bye potty!” when the toilet is flushed. Oh – and how about getting to eat all of your dessert? Nope… it took me 30 some years, but I finally understand the concept of sharing to the fullest capacity. Gracefully sharing is giving up the last spoonful of your Death by Chocolate dessert because your sweet four year old is staring at you with those eyes. You know – those eyes that Daddy is going to have to learn to resist any time she asks him for something. And how about this one… how about something as simple as a conversation? My husband and I will attempt having a conversation and by the fourth interruption, we finally give up, vowing to talk about it later, and then collapsing into bed at the end of the day with no energy to converse.

My husband and I still do find time to rekindle that flame. Next month, we are planning a little trip to Wine Country (if any of you have any suggestions on places to stay, things to do, etc please let me know). Nothing gets that romance going again like a nice vacation away.. .without kids.

Tonight we rekindled the flame. Yep… in the kitchen, of all places! Oh c’mon… get your minds out of the gutter. We made Tequila Shrimp from the September, 2007 issue of Gourmet magazine and it required “burning off” the alcohol. Taking cover, I was prepared for a raging inferno, but all we got was a short little burst of flame. It still was enough to add some excitement to our evening!

If kids have changed your life some, and that flame is burning low, make it a priority to date your spouse. And, if dating is something you can’t do right now, then try getting hot in the kitchen. The Tequila Shrimp is just the little quickie to add some spark to your night!

Tequila Shrimp, Gourmet Magazine September 2007 (and another one gets marked off the list!)

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white or reposado tequila
3/4 cup crema or sour cream
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Accompaniment: rice

Toss shrimp with kosher salt and 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper.

Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides, then sauté shrimp, turning, until pink and just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add tequila, then increase heat to medium-high. Tilt skillet over gas burner to ignite tequila (or ignite with a long match; use caution, as flames may shoot up high). Cook, shaking skillet gently once or twice, until flames subside. Remove from heat and stir in crema. Serve sprinkled with scallion.

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  1. says

    I still haven’t braved any type of flaming cooking. With my luck, it would be a raging inferno! Glad you & your husband will have some alone time :)

    PS I love those serving dishes. So cute!

  2. says

    Love your blog! I just found it via the Evil Chef Mom. Lots of great recipes and your photography is beautiful! I’m jealous! I have a piddly little digital camera but dream of my Nikon…..someday, lol. I added a link to you on my site.

  3. says

    AH, the interuptions! Yes, it’s hard.

    The Tequila Shrimp sounds fabulous.

    Again I have tons of suggestions for wineries…just tell me when you want to hear about them, probably after you secure your travel plans.

  4. says

    You write SO incredibly well! Love all the blurbs about things your kids do. Too funny!

    That shrimp looks good! I’ll have to come visit you to eat that sometime though. I’m very afraid of kitchen flames. :)

  5. says

    Which wine country? California? Oregon? Washington State? Upstate New York? Argentina? Chile? Spain?

    😉 For once, just saying ‘Wine Country’ doesn’t necessarily mean Napa, and this is a really good thing.

    In all honesty, I would avoid CA like the plague; instead spending the time and money in Oregon (Willamette Valley) or Washington State. Both are not as insanely popular as CA, and offer tiny boutique offerings that really offer up the true meaning of the ‘terroir’ of the area. It isn’t that Napa is a bad destination, but if you’re going in July, or worse yet, on a weekend, plan for epic traffic jams, ultra busy wineries, jammed restaurants and a ton of people. Everybody wants to be in Napa; that’s more than enough reason to go elsewhere. Enjoy it once, but plan accordingly.

  6. says

    Now that my boys are older, I sometimes lock the bathroom door so that I can get my much needed privacy! I agree, it’s important to fan the flame with the spouse when it starts to flicker a bit… and that shrimp would certainly jump start things from what I can tell!

    Enjoy our vacation to wine country… I’m so jealous!

  7. says

    Hi. I found you through the tastespotting site. The photo of the tequila shrimp looked amazing, had to come by and find the recipe.

    Your kids sound adorable. :)

  8. says

    I’ve never flamed anything (always seems a bit scary), but this sounds pretty easy, not to mention yummy. I even have some crema that I bought for fish tacos (still dreaming of those Rubio tacos from last month!) later this week. I’ll definitely give this recipe a whirl.

    Have a great get-away. My daughter’s 24 and on her own in Dallas. We definitely enjoy the empty-nest. 😉 Your day will come.

    I also want to chime in and say how much I enjoy your writing style, Kristen. Your lead-in is always spot-on and entertaining.

  9. says

    this was so good! i didn’t have any cream around so i swapped in some creme fraiche, and served the shrimp over yellow rice with diced peppers and onions mixed in. it was really quick and easy. we’ll definitely be making it again.

    and i don’t know if we added a little more tequila that the recipe indicated, but the flame was no joke!

  10. says

    I also have 3… boys! So you get the picture. And today is Valentine’s Day here! They are going to be home with a sitter. Glad we can still connect and have time together.

  11. says

    I’m laughing because everything you said is true! Conversations, dessert, what are those again? I guess we’ll remember when they turn into teenagers and we’ll be lucky enough to get them to the table at once!

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