Amazing Shrimp Pasta Recipe

We had some friends over for dinner on Monday, and my dear husband made this amazing pasta dish.   Of all the shrimp pasta dishes I’ve ever had – this is by far my favorite and I wanted to share it with you all.   This is a copy of an Olive Garden Dish, and the source of this recipe is posted below.   — Enjoy!

Shrimp Caprese Recipe



  • 1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces*
  • 20 medium fresh basil leaves, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 pound (26/30 or 21/25) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound capellini (angel hair) pasta
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • * To preserve juices and seeds, use a pairing knife to remove just the top of the core on each tomato.


Combine tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic, Italian Seasoning, and salt in a large bowl; blend thoroughly. Cover, set aside, and marinate for at least 1 hour.
Either sauté or grill the shrimp; cook approximately 2 minutes on one side; turn and cook another 1 minute or until shrimp are opaque in center (cut to test). Remove from grill and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pan to keep warm. Learn How To Cook Pasta Properly.
Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add butter and let melt. Stir in white wine and bring just to a boil. Add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese; bring to a simmer; let sauce continue to simmer and reduce to desired consistency. Remove from heat.
Add cooked pasta and marinated tomatoes to the skillet. Stir to thoroughly coat pasta with sauce. Transfer pasta and sauce to a large oven-proof serving platter; top with mozzarella cheese. Place serving platter under broiler to 2 to 3 minutes or until mozzarella cheese has melted. Remove from oven and top pasta with the cooked shrimp. Serve and enjoy!


I’m a Foodie, and It Shows!

In my opinion, everyone has an addiction of some sort. Whether it’s gambling, drinking, collecting things, working out, working…

Hi, my name is Katerina and I’m addicted to good food.

I’m a Foodie, and it shows. It shows on my waistline, my arms, my thighs…you get the picture. It’s not that I like to gorge on food, it’s just that I truly enjoy food and all the different flavors that this world has to offer. Maybe someone out there knows what I’m talking about. When you get the right combination of flavors – it’s like your taste buds are having a party.

Over the years, my way of trying to manage the results from being a Foodie was to diet. Atkins diet, Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Herbalife – you name it and I’ve probably tried it. This year, I have decided that this needs to stop. Now. I need to learn to enjoy the flavors of this world, without slowly killing myself with the unhealthy results. I’ve already developed high blood pressure, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, and I’m at risk for Diabetes. All of this, and I’m only 28 years old. Also, last year, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and realized that I now have a “copycat” that will follow my every example.

This is why I have decided to apply for the Get Fit Challenge, Season 4 at work. I was selected as a contestant, and have been in the program for eight weeks now. With the help of a Registered Dietitian (Michele Gilles), I know I will learn how to enjoy great food in moderation and to choose food that will benefit my body. Taking the time to log food is hard, but resisting temptation of that delicious but empty food is still the toughest part of this whole journey.

I do want to report that the delicious Russian “Drunken Cherry” cake was calling my name last night, and I looked it straight in the eye and said – “not tonight, I had enough calories for the day.”

It’s now October 29th (two days to our due date), and no sign of Abigail’s desire to come into this world. Well, let me rephrase that…there are signs, but no definite action. I’ve lost 3 lbs of fluid from my swollen legs, my stomach has been very upset lately, and my back has been hurting a lot – all signs of early labor coming. For the past three days we’ve been hoping that she would come, but it looks like none of these early labor signs are triggering contractions.

I must say, I’m getting so tired of being pregnant – but, mostly, I think I’m just impatient because I want to meet my little baby. I’m afraid of just going about my daily tasks as usual, because I may be too tired for labor if I were to start contractions. Am I being unreasonable? Sure, treating each day like a normal day would make the time pass by faster – but then I tend to overwork myself and will be exhausted if I were to go into labor.
What a dilemma…
I have to decide if I’m going to start doing things tomorrow, or continue my lazy days of rest. It is so boring to rest. Really, how much rest can any one person handle?
Letter to my baby:
ABIGAIL, darling, mommy and daddy are ready to meet you. 🙂 I know you’re enjoying your time in my comfy and warm womb, but trust me – we will take good care of you and love you dearly when you come out.

Big Blob

Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve blogged about my journey. I suppose a lot of it had to do with the fact that pregnancy took away a lot of my energy, and I’ve been to tired and lazy to write after I come home from work. Sorry friends!

Well, I’m in my third trimester now. Officially, there are 9 weeks and 3 more days to go before the due date.

I have to say, this third trimester is challenging. I feel like a huge blob. I have not gained that much weight (15 lbs), but my uterus is so high up right now – it is the culprit in me feeling this way. My stomach, intestines, lungs, and every other organ are all squished towards the top of my body – making me feel out of breath, heavy, and like I’m going to pop any moment. The heartburn is back (terrible!), the feet are getting more swollen, the back hurts, and I’m exhausted all the time.

It doesn’t sound fun, but I am willing to endure all of this for the gift that God is giving me at the end of this suffering – my baby girl Abigail.

By the way, on Monday my midwife said that Abigail has turned around and is now laying head down. I’m so excited, because now we can do the 4D ultrasound that we’ve been waiting for. I’ve scheduled it for next week.

Nursery: Done (actually, waiting for curtains)
Name: Picked out (Abigail Katerina Kalyandra)
Shopping for baby items: Waiting until after my baby shower (it’s very hard to wait – I LOVE shopping!)

What am I missing?

Our First Ultrasound

We had our first ultrasound on March 30th! I was very nervous because my appointment was with a male OBGYN, and I have never had a male OBGYN before. Usually, a woman can see any doctor she wants, but during pregnancy she has to see all of the doctors, because any one of them could be delivering the baby. Therefore, I had to just suck it up and face the male doctor.
Vitaliy kept talking during our drive over to the appointment, but all I could think of is I can’t wait for this appointment to be over. At the same time, I wanted to treasure the first ultrasound, but the fear of having a male doctor was driving me nuts.
The doctor came in, he was in his late forties and was very talkative. He proceeded immediately to do a vaginal ultra-sound, but then he stopped and said I have to go pee first, because my bladder is in the way of seeing things clearly. I was embarrassed but tried not to show it in any way. I quickly ran to the bathroom, while Vitaliy stayed in the room to chat with the doctor.
I came back and we started the ultrasound again. I started seeing what looked like a jelly bean on the monitor. Inside the jelly bean (which is really the uterus) was the big head of our baby and a tiny body. The doctor turned on the volume and we started to hear extremely fast whooshing sounds. “That’s your baby’s heartbeat,” the doctor said.
That moment was exciting and heart warming, beyond belief. Vitaliy and I had huge grins on our faces. The doctor started to measure the baby from head to rump (butt) and said that our new due date is October 31, 2010. Halloween.
For those of you who know me, you know how much I despise Halloween. I couldn’t help but hope that our baby will be born either a little early or a little late, any day but Halloween. Some of you may not understand why I would feel that way…so I will explain a little.
Imagine going to the grocery store to buy your baby some birthday cake and balloons, but everything sold is either covered in monsters, skeletons, or spiders. All the candy and decorations sold at the time will be Halloween themed. Instead of your child’s friends coming over for a nice birthday party, the children will all be going “trick-or-treating.”
Overall, Halloween is a horrible spooky holiday and I don’t want my child’s birthday to be associated with it. Does this make sense?
I’ve been calmed down by several people who said that the first child is NEVER born on the due date. I’m sure counting on this to be true!
I haven’t heard Vitaliy give any opinion about our child being born on Halloween. I think all he really wants right now is for us to have a baby boy! He’s even picked out a name if we have a boy. The name is a secret for now…

The first heartbeat

We are now in week seven. According to everything that I’ve read, our baby has developed the first of it’s heart muscles and should have had his first “beat” this week. 🙂 That is so exciting!

I’m surprisingly not craving any kind of food yet. Last night, for the first time in a long time I did not want to eat dinner. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t want anything for dinner. I wonder if it’s normal, for some women who don’t usually skip meals, to not want to eat sometimes during pregnancy?

Also, lately I’ve been feeling as if I’m not doing something that I should be doing. I’m always tired but feel as if I should be making sure to read all the right books, and excersise and find out about a healthy diet to follow during pregnancy. But, I just can’t seem to get the energy to do all this. It really bums me out.

Ladies, have any of you felt this way when pregnant?

Stressed by an Incompetent Nurse

Last Thursday, I received a call from my doctor’s office to give me the results of the blood test I took on Wednesday. We decided to take a blood test just to officially confirm that we are pregnant (because the five home pregnancy tests were obviously not enough!). It was Rose, my doctor’s nurse assistant. She said the results came in and that they showed one to two weeks of hormones.

I questioned her,”What does that mean? Does it mean that I’m pregnant?” It sounded a little weird to me because everything I’ve heard so far was telling me that I’m five weeks pregnant (because they count from the first day of the last period).

Rose responded, “Well, it means that at one to two weeks you should have between 50 to 500 (can’t remember the name) of hormones. You are currently at 429, so that mean’s you’re one to two weeks.”

Me – “So, that means I’m pregnant, right?”

Rose, “Well, yyyyyyyyyyes. It means that you’re one to two weeks.”

After unssuccessfully trying to get Rose to just clearly tell me “Yes, you’re pregnant,” I gave up and asked her to notify my doctor that I need to talk to her urgently.

Now, feel free to chime in here (in the comment section below), but don’t you think that any capable nurse would be able to tell how stressed I was by her answers?

After hanging up the phone, I started weeping uncontrolably. Thoughts were racing through my head. “Is something wrong? Why did she say one to two weeks and not five weeks? Why did she keep hesitating while saying ‘yyyyyyyyyyes’?”

I tried to calm down and stop crying. After about 20 minutes I succeeded. Later we called the hospital and asked them to give us a clear answer. They responded that the doctor was not in and she is the only one who can review the results with me. We told them how Rose freaked me out with her answers and that we need to have someone talk to us urgently. They said they will do what they can but there are no doctors that can call me back soon. Then, they followed up with “Oh, your doctor sent a message that she wants to see you on Tuesday.”

I tried asking why, and they said that they did not know. I was upset and started crying again. Vitaliy took the phone and told them that they are really doing a horrible job of keeping patients informed. He scolded them for making me so upset and for having a terrible patient notification system. We told them that I will be changing doctors and hospitals because this wasn’t our first experience with poor patient notification.

Today, Rose called me and said the doctor wants me to take another lab test to see if my hormone levels have increased. I let her know that I am quite upset with her poor skills of communicating with a patient and that I would be switching hospitals/doctors.

For my friends who have gone through pregnancy before – how do you think you would have acted in this situation?

For the men and others who don’t have kids, I hope you enjoyed my tale and feel free to chime in with comments! 🙂