Louisville is a wild and wonderful place. New local restaurants open every week, bars stock hundreds of different varieties of bourbon, and the people are both quirky and charming. While David and I moved here almost four years ago now, we’ve always considered ourselves lucky transplants to this great city. This past Saturday all of that changed, however, when we traded in our newbie cards for some serious native cred.
Our day started before the sun came up. When our alarms went off at 6am, we popped out of bed, hurriedly threw on the clothes we laid out the night before, filled a large mug of coffee, and headed out to a liquor store just around the corner from our place. We wondered to ourselves whether we’d be the only ones lining up for rare and expensive bourbon before the sun rose or if the parking lot would already be jam packed with other people crazy enough to wait in line for the opportunity to buy a bottle of bourbon worth more than our monthly rent check.
The set up went something like this: the first 500 people to line up in the parking lot would be awarded a raffle ticket. Next, 132 raffle numbers would be drawn, one at a time; each one corresponding to a highly coveted bottle of Kentucky’s famous. If your number was called you would have the opportunity to enter the store and pick out one bottle of bourbon for purchase. The second person would be allowed to purchase her bottle of bourbon only after the first person selected his.
We waited and waited for our chance to snatch up a bottle of 23 year Pappy Van Winkle or maybe the 20 year Michter’s. To take our mind off the cold and our increasing panic over not having our number called, we chatted with the others in line about how we’d savor each sip of our rare bourbon or sell it on Craigslist and pay for our future child’s first year of college.
Although we were lucky enough to be numbers 495 and 496 in line, our numbers weren’t called; we weren’t winners in the traditional sense. We’ll never know whether we would have drunk or sold that bottle of Pappy, but we did walk away feeling more like true Louisvillians than ever before. To drown our sorrow, or rather celebrate this achievement, David and I treated ourselves to what was meant to be a tiny cheat. We started out with popsicles after an unseasonably warm walk around Cherokee Park.
As we enjoyed our sweet treats we reminisced about one of our first dates and the delicious pretzel bread and beer cheese we enjoyed that night at one of our favorite pubs. It happened to be across the street, so we skipped over, ordered a couple of beers, and toasted our good fortune at enjoying refined cards on a sunny Saturday afternoon. One pretzel down, we started debating about whether this one was better than another sold at an establishment further on up the street. We decided it would be wrong to judge one without comparing it to the other.
For the sake of brevity and to save myself from your judgement of our gluttonous ways, I’ll spare you the rest of the details about our afternoon restaurant hopping around Louisville. Let’s just stay that what was intended to be a small cheat amounted to an enormous, regrettable one that’s left us feeling guilty and bloated.
If you spent the weekend indulging like us, you probably need this week’s recipe too. My Lemon Garlic Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp is the perfect way to hop back on the wellness wagon without spending your paycheck on a juice cleanse. This recipe swaps out traditional wheat pasta with spiralized zucchini and is dressed with a light but flavorful lemon, garlic sauce. The seared shrimp on top makes this a meal that’ll keep you full, without feeling heavy. The whole dish can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes making this healthy dish a perfect weeknight meal for you and your family.
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This recipe swaps out traditional wheat pasta with spiralized zucchini and is dressed with a light but flavorful lemon, garlic sauce. The seared shrimp on top makes this a meal that’ll keep you full, without feeling heavy.
- 2 pounds zucchini about 4-6 medium zucchinis, spiralized
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes sliced in half length-wise
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb raw shimp peeled, deveined, and tails removed
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice one lemon
- 3 tsp salt divided
- 1 tsp pepper divided
Wash and dry the zucchini and cut off each end. Spiralize the zucchini and set aside.
Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron works well) over medium high heat. While the pan is heating up season the shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt and a ½ teaspoon pepper. Add two teaspoons of olive oil and when the oil just starts to smoke, add the shrimp in a single layer. Cook for one minute on the first side, flip, and cook for another minute on the other side. Remove the seared shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
Heat three tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in the same pan you used to sear the shrimp. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the cherry tomatoes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and become saucy. Add the garlic, stirring continuously for one minute until it becomes fragrant.
Add the spiralized zucchini and toss until it’s well coated with the olive oil and tomato sauce. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini has released its moisture. Turn the heat up to high, add the lemon juice and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning. Add another teaspoon of salt, if necessary. Plate the zucchini noodles and top with the seared shrimp and chives for garnish.