The Shrimportance of Being Earnest

This week I said (a hopefully temporary) goodbye to London and moved back to my hometown of Bryn Mawr. Like Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest, I have come to regard London as a place where I can be someone else – someone more adventurous, more active, more exotic, even. (Suddenly having an American accent makes me of much more interest!) However, as this summer recipe proves by crossing the boundaries of hamburgers and fish cakes, it is indeed possible to incorporate two seemingly different ideas into something uniquely beautiful. I will keep this in mind as I try to retain aspects of my London life (with hopefully less farcical results than Oscar Wilde’s characters).

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Citrus Shrimp Burgers:

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup mayonnaise

5-6 scallions, sliced thinly

1 lemon (both zest and juice)

1 lime (both zest and juice)

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

4 ciabatta rolls

4 leaves romaine lettuce


1. In food processor, pulse shrimp about 10 times (until a chunky paste consistency).

2. In medium-sized bowl, combine breadcrumbs, mayonnaise, scallions, lemon zest, lime zest, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Fold in pulsed shrimp until just combined. (Do not overwork the shrimp; otherwise it will become tough.)

3. Form four patties and refrigerate for at least twenty minutes.

4. While patties are chilling, slice ciabatta rolls in half using serrated knife. Drizzle with olive oil, then toast at 350 degrees for ten minutes.

5. Heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown patties for about two minutes on each side. Transfer to oven and cook for another ten minutes.

6. Combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, lime juice, and a dash of salt and pepper. Spread mayo mixture on both sides of ciabatta. Add a leaf of lettuce and shrimp burger. Serve with a fresh summer salad.

Enjoy shrimp burgers with Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!



In an old house in Bryn Mawr on the long Main Line, Lives a crazy and wonderful mother of mine. She’s tipsy after one glass of wine, And goes to bed at half past nine.   Like the pink-green-brown of these tasty treats, She’s a colorful surprise to those she meets. So when you bake madeleines for some sugary eats, Just remember my mom, who inspired these sweets. IMG_0291

Citrus madeleines:

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 vanilla bean

Zest of one lemon

Zest of one orange

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup icing sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

*A few drops of food dye

*2 tbsp cocoa powder plus one tsp water


1. In saucepan, melt butter. Turn off heat and add vanilla bean and lemon and orange zests to infuse.

2. Whisk eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon juice in bowl for about 3 minutes, until frothy. Add icing sugar in two batches, whisking until liquid absorbs sugar.

3. Sift in flour and baking powder, whisking until mixture is completely smooth. Strain butter and add to batter, again whisking until completely smooth.

*Optional: before adding butter, sift in cocoa powder. Then add extra water and proceed to butter step.

*Optional: as a final step, add several drops of food dye.

4. Pour batter into madeleine molds, filling each pocket about halfway. In 375 degree oven, bake madeleines for 8-10 minutes, until batter has risen and is spongy to the touch.

Enjoy Mothers’ Day madeleines with Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline books, and check in at for future recipes and book reviews!