Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.

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Spicy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini


Is pasta one of your comfort foods? It is for me; the zing of red pepper mixed with garlic and lemon on the pasta helps bring me comfort during a hard time. This week I just was tired, but making this dish that has amazing flavor cheered me up for days! I created this recipe this week using the pasta and white wine we had leftover from having family dinner at our place.

1 lb. angel hair pasta, cooked

4 Tblsp. butter

2 Tblsp. olive oil

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

12 oz. medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 small zucchini, sliced

1 cup. white wine (chardonnay works well)

1 tsp. salt (and more to taste—as needed)

½ tsp. ground pepper

2 Tblsp. dried parsley flakes

¼ cup fresh lemon juice (2 small lemons)

Prepare the pasta if you do not have leftover pasta.

Melt 2 Tblsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes, and cook together for 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 3-5 minutes until they are pink and cooked through. Place this mixture in a medium bowl and keep warm while you make the sauce.

In that same pan, place the other 2 Tblsp. of the butter and the oil and melt. Add the zucchini and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the wine, lemon juice, parsley flakes, salt and pepper, and cook for 3-5 more minutes.

Then add the shrimp mixture and the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes until hot and thoroughly mixed.

Serve immediately and enjoy with your favorite wine or sparkling juice! Makes 4 large servings.

Copyright 2019

P.S. Thank you for stopping by! I insert affiliate links, such as from  Amazon, into my posts to share interesting books and products. If you buy something or start a registry, I receive income (at no extra cost to you!), for which I am thankful. So…..

— Use this link to shop on  Amazon

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Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!

~Mary Hope

Cinnamon Apple Cobbler

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When you have an apple tree, but no pie pans, you make cobbler! For Labor Day, we were in northern Wisconsin, and I forgot to bring supplies to make pies with the apples from the tree up there, so we did this instead: Continue reading


Basil Walnut Pesto

We bought a basil plant last week, and I harvested almost two cups of leaves this week to add to my homemade pesto! Nurturing this plant is making me so happy–I can’t wait until the leaves grow full again and I can make more pesto.

This pesto recipe is for people on a budget, so if you don’t have pine nuts, walnuts will work as well. (You also could substitute pecans, if desired). Feel free to adjust nuts and oils to what you have at home, but this much pesto coated enough pasta for about 6-8 people.

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Thai Basil Chicken and Noodles

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You know those weeks when the grocery budget is tight? That’s when I decide to use what is in the pantry and freezer, and this recipe is what resulted from what was in my kitchen last night. My friend came over for dinner, and she helped me fry up these Pad Thai inspired noodles; what is different from regular Pad Thai is that it has more large vegetables, no onion or ginger (it wasn’t in the fridge!), and has more of citrus notes in the flavor.

Here’s the recipe! Watch out because my friend and I ate over half of the pan ourselves…

Makes 4 large servings


1/4 c. soy sauce

3/4 lb chicken breast, chopped (raw)

2 Tblsp. coconut oil

1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms

1 (6.35 oz.) jar bamboo shoots, sliced

1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts, sliced

2 Tblsp. minced garlic

1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves

4.5 oz. (half a package) pad thai rice noodles

1/2 c. coconut milk

3 Tblsp. cornstarch

1/2 c. salted peanuts


Sauce ingredients:

1 1/2 Tblsp. soy sauce

2 Tblsp. lime juice

3 Tblsp. rice vinegar

2 Tblsp. fish sauce

2 Tblsp. brown sugar

1/4 tsp. ground pepper

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Velvety Homemade Chocolate Pudding


Stirring this pudding with a wooden spoon last night brought back memories of cooking dinner at our electric stove. I grew up on the farm where my Mom had my three siblings and I cook dinner once a week. This pudding brightened up the end of many of my meals, and I hope it adds to your meal as well!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 eggs
4 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla Continue reading


Broccoli Cheddar Soup


In the Western hemisphere, autumn is here! I enjoyed this soup today for lunch on this fine October day. The leaves are just starting to change here in Chicagoland. Enjoy!

3 ½ cups chicken broth

6 cups chopped broccoli

½ cup chopped green onion

3 ½ cup milk

½ cup flour

6 oz. cubed sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

20151009-114227-42147101.jpg Continue reading


Mom’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


I grew up on these healthy cookies–the brown sugar can be substituted with all honey. If you like raisins, they can be added instead of chocolate chips. My Mom would sometimes add raisins and chocolate chips, and I would always hope for my bite to have chocolate in it…so now that I make these cookies, I only add chocolate!

1 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups oatmeal
1 cup chocolate chips Continue reading