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Identity Crisis (Shrimp and Asparagus Recipe)

Minus the fried ice cream and funnel cakes, our family has been trying to eat a bit healthier lately. Since my kids love fresh vegetables, I have been trying to incorporate as much as I can into our evening meals. That is why, when I saw this recipe for Shrimp and Asparagus on All Recipes the other day, I decided to give it a try. The problem was, I didn’t really look at the recipe closely before getting started on it. What started out as appearing to be a healthy recipe ended up calling for a massive amount of butter and olive oil! Seriously – 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup olive oil? When I ended up making the Shrimp and Asparagus, I cut down on both the butter and olive oil significantly and it was still very delicious.

I decided that this recipe was having some sort of identity crisis. The person who created it wanted it to be a healthy recipe, hence the shrimp and vegetables, but just couldn’t seem to give up some of the goodies to do so.

A group of friends and I have been talking a lot lately about our identity as moms. One thing I have noticed is that when I am in a group with people I do not know very well and one of them asks me what I do for a living, I struggle to come up with what to say. Of course I am a mom, but I try to blurt out what I get “paid” to do first before saying that I am a stay at home mom…as if that has more value. Why is that? I know that being a mom is the most important job in the world. I also know that it is what I was meant to do with my life, when it all comes down to it. My kids are my passion, I love that I am able to stay at home and raise them… so why is it that I struggle to express who I really am as a person? Like this recipe, I want to be what I am, but am having a hard time putting aside some of the wishes of who I believe I could be to do so.

It is a common identity crisis that I believe many of us have, even people who are not stay at home moms. I know that in order to be the best mom I can be, I have to be able to nurture my true self outside of the role of motherhood. However, next time someone asks what I do for a living, I am going to answer loud and proud that I am a stay at home and am raising 3 (almost 4!) beautiful children. I truly have the best of both worlds when it really comes down to it, and for that, I should be eternally grateful.

Shrimp and Asparagus (from Allrecipes.com)

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 (16 ounce) package egg noodles
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a small saucepan, boil or steam asparagus in enough water to cover until tender; chop and set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to full boil, place the pasta in the pot and return to a rolling boil; cook until al dente. Drain well.
  3. In a large saucepan, saute garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until the garlic is golden brown.
  4. Place butter and lemon juice in the saucepan. Heat until the butter has melted. Place the shrimp in the saucepan and cook until the shrimp turns pink. Place the mushrooms and asparagus into the saucepan, cook until mushrooms are tender.
  5. Toss the shrimp and vegetable mixture with the egg noodles and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

I have totally had my eye on these Shrimp recipes from other food blogs around the blogosphere:

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  1. I do one like this…so delicious. You can also use whole wheat linguine to make it more nutritious! And now? I want a bowl of this for lunch!

    Mental P Mamas last blog post..This-n-That Thursday

  2. That is a lot of butter and oil to have in one dish. I’m glad you didn’t. follow that. Even I who love lots of butter whimpered at the thought.

    I have to say that more and more stay-at-home moms I know say they are moms first now and just mention any part time work after (if at all). Some of them on Facebook even say “I’m a professional mom.” :) It used to be that I would just hear, “I just take care of the kids.” as if saying that it’s not important, carry on. Stand proud, you’re a great mom! :)

  3. Apparently we’re thinking along the same lines these days.

    It’s always hard to answer people when they ask what you do for a living or about your family. I generally don’t want to get caught in long conversations about what my life “must be like” and how “hard it has to be.”

    It is what it is… and I love every second of it (almost).


    Cats last blog post..Barefoot! Meringue Chantilly- Sort of

  4. Hear you loud and clear on this one! I struggle with this too … most every day. Would make a great follow up book to Even June Cleaver … how to be a perfectly good mom AND business owner/work at home mom.

    Naomis last blog post..Dan Zanes – a Benefit and a Giveaway

  5. What a gift to be able to spend your days doing what you love — raising your children and cooking great food!

    I’m having my own identity crisis since I’m in the middle of a career change. When people ask me what I “do,” I give different answers every time to see what feels right.

    Julias last blog post..Capers

  6. I have always had that problem too. What do you say when someone asks what you do for a living? I do a lot of things. I’m not sure any of them answer the question. Now that my children are grown and I have not gone back to full time employment it seems even more complicated. Still, my family values what I do and that is what’s important.

    I love your recipe ideas and your post. You are good at what you do. Thanks for sharing!

    Lisas last blog post..Pancake Dinners

  7. A CUP of butter? I think I’ve made shortbread cookies with less butter…and I won’t lie, I love fresh vegetables but you really can’t compare cookies to asparagus :)

    mariss last blog post..Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars

  8. You know what, I am not a mom (well I am technically a stepmom, but I am still getting used to that role), but I do know what you mean. I work from home and I have my own business. So even I have a hard time when I tell people that I don’t work at an office somewhere…I don’t know why that is….I think part of it is feeling guilty in a way that we are not stuck in an office somewhere and we are doing what we are most passionate about. Most people get a little jealous about that…

    But I agree, being a mom is the MOST important job in the world, and the toughest, and I look forward to when I get to have that job!

  9. oooh, that looks so good. Now how to replace the butter. That much dairy-free margarine would taste funny to me, I will have to work on it. Thanks for the recipe idea!

    Alisa – Frugal Foodies last blog post..Hearty, Healthy, Easy, and Cheap German-Style Bread

  10. I wonder why people often ask “what do you do for a living” right when they meet someone, as if that defines them. I’m not a mom, but I am an actress, which is NOT the activity that makes me the most money and it’s true that I often feel the need to cite my paid activities — or only the acting jobs I’m being paid for. But who says earning money doing something is what gives the activity its value? That’s terrible — I rebel! I mean in acting, you get paid for doing commercials that encourage people to buy things, but often very little for doing a play that brings joy and laughter to people… Just a thought.

    Hopies last blog post..Flowertea

  11. What do you/I do for a living?
    What a loaded question for which I really I think there is no answer.
    Why do we always take that question to mean how do you make money and not what is the passion in your life that makes it worth living?
    I’m getting too deep here.

  12. Oooo!! That looks good!

    marguerites last blog post..Crawfish Etouffee

  13. A couple of years I met eyes with a woman at Whole Foods. We were sure we knew one another but couldn’t figure out how. We ran through the whole litany of our kids’ school, preschool, sports teams, summer camps, after-school classes, etc. and couldn’t figure it out. Finally we realized that we had gone to college together! It was almost as if we’d forgotten we had lives before we became mommies.

    I work part-time from home, which allows me to volunteer at the school library, chaperone field trips, etc. Soon enough my kids will be grown and gone, and I am very grateful that I have the flexibility to be with them as much as possible now.

    Karens last blog post..The Cat in the Cat in the Hat Box

  14. Ohh..you cannot be more correct..i believe every mom out there feels guilty either about working and not spending time with kids or for not supporting the family by working..but i believe, that being a mom and being there for your kids is the MOST important of all!! I am not a mom yet, but that is one decision i have made long back, that I am gonna be at home to be with my children! :)

    n that asparagus and shrim defenitely looks healthy (once you slashed the butter and oil quantities, of course):)

  15. I bought asparagus last night. Perfect timing on this one!

    Marias last blog post..Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and a WINNER!

  16. we just did something with Shrimp and Asparagus too – this using quinoa. It doesn’t call for as much olive oil, and no butter at all.


    Nates last blog post..Malaysian Honeycomb Cake Recipe

  17. Really, really love that picture. How lucky for you that your kids love sweets AND veggies!

    The Duo Dishess last blog post..Testing a New Ingredient

  18. Looks great! I’m curious…what did you decrease the butter and oil to? You know…I think we all think that we can only be one role in life but in reality we’re ALL multiple “identities.” We should just not let ourselves change between those identities! :-)

    Claires last blog post..Happy Mardi Gras!!!

  19. Is being a dad also the most important job in the world? Nobody ever says anything about that. It’s as if it’s only important when women are doing it. If my husband and I have kids, he’s going to do any staying home that will be done – he keeps telling me he wants to be a housewife, and I couldn’t be happier about it – and I hope he gets credit for it.

    I also agree with the posters who said the whole line of questioning is weird and reflects some odd priorities in our society – what you do for a living equals who you are? That’s definitely not true for me right now, and who knows, it might never be. And if I identified myself by my job, people might have some preconceived notions about the sort of person that does that job, which would probably be wrong. But I disagree that following that line of thought is getting “too deep” – it’s never wrong to think deeply about this sort of thing!

    camilles last blog post..Cuban Bread Buns

  20. It’s really tough. I’m proud and grateful to be “at home” with my daughter, but I have gotten flack for it from a few people in our life. Being a mom isn’t 100% of my identity, but it sure is my favorite part :-)

    Kathy – Panini Happys last blog post..Bacon, Cheddar & Grilled Tomato Panini


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