Not only is today the biggest day for pranksters and jokesters, it’s also my birthday. This year, it’s my 27th. 2-7. Twenty seven.
Besides it being the day of my birth, I also have some HUGE news for you! My birthday has always been… interesting. While I’m trying to celebrate, someone’s out there to pull a prank on me. From the moment I wake up on my birthday, I’m on the lookout. Luckily most of the pranks are cute and sweet.
Last year, Lu and I walked into Marc Forgione Restaurant in TriBeCa to meet my family for my birthday dinner. On the way over, my mother called me and said she and my father got pulled over for speeding and got a ticket. I remember my mom saying, “I don’t know if we’re going to make it, Al. I’m sorry – we’ll update you in a bit.” I was really bummed! I love spending my birthday evening with my family (tonight, we’ll be celebrating at Bin14, a casual little wine bar in Hoboken.)
Lu put his arm around me and said, “Let’s just get to the restaurant and grab a drink.” We walk into the restaurant and the hostess and sommelier come over and tell us that my parents called and said that they couldn’t make it, that they’d be picking up the tab and to just enjoy ourselves.
Lu grabs my hand and leads the way to our table, around the front. Lo and behold, my entire family is sitting at a table, waiting for me!
Typical birthday “festivities” for the girl born on April Fool’s Day.
Can you believe it?!!!!
Clarkson Potter, an imprint at Random House, will be publishing the Inspiralized cookbook!
The book will have so many new recipes and be a beautiful guide to spiralizing, full of everything you could possibly want to know about spiralizing. It will have even more than this blog has to offer.
I am completely humbled that Random House (the largest English language publishing house in the WORLD) has chosen me as one of their authors. I can’t even express how happy, nervous, thrilled, excited and pumped I am.
It’s truly surreal how my dreams are coming true, day by day.
I quit my job on June 25th, 2013.
I started this blog on June 26, 2013.
On Thursday, March 20, 2014 my cookbook deal was made official.
In celebration of this achievement, I’ve recreated the first dish that I EVER made which sparked Lu to encourage me to quit my job and pursue my dream of Inspiralizing the world: zucchini noodles in a light tomato sauce with cannellini beans, roasted artichokes and shrimp!
As proof, here’s the original post about it (on my old personal blog that I no longer have):
And now, recreated a year later (same recipe, better photos):
I couldn’t ask for a better birthday gift! I’m living proof that if you go for what you want most in life and work hard, you can achieve it. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t and when they do, just use that as fuel to work stronger and better.
You really do control your future and every day is an opportunity to set the stage for your best life.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without you. Every single reader who tells a friend or family member about Inspiralized has helped me gain the traction needed to do what I have done, in less than a year. I’m eternally grateful for your kindness, support and willingness to spread the Inspiralized message.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Now, what does that mean for the blog? Not much will change except that I am going to post Sunday – Thursday and take most Fridays off. I’ll need Fridays for cookbook writing and recipe development. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, where I’ll be posting up my recipe testing and journey towards writing this cookbook.
Also, if you’re not already subscribed to my mailing list, make sure you do by clicking here. I’ll be keeping y’all updated on the cookbook progress that way!
OK, I’m off to celebrate! Lu and I are working from home today and playing semi-hooky.
Future published cookbook author and current birthday girl
Tomato Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp, Roasted Artichokes and Cannellini Beans
- 1 can artichoke hearts drained
- 1 tbsp olive oil + more to drizzle
- salt and pepper + 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup diced red onion
- 1 14- oz can of diced tomatoes no salt added
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp fresh basil chopped
- 2 large zucchinis Blade C
- 1 cup cannellini beans rinsed and patted dry
- For the shrimp:
- 6-8 medium shrimp
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Add the artichokes hearts into a baking tray and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Then, add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the red pepper flakes, onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Then, add in the tomatoes, oregano, basil and season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce reduce for 10 minutes or until all the liquid has absorbed.
- Five minutes into reducing the sauce, place a medium skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Season the shrimp with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then, add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through. Set aside.
- When the sauce is done, add in the zucchini noodles, cannellini beans and artichokes. Cook for 3 minutes or until zucchini noodles soften. Plate into two bowls, top with shrimp and enjoy!