Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting old

I just realized that I should change my age in my little profile blurb on the side there ---->

Yesterday I turned 27. I think I'm having a bit of a age crisis, suddenly realizing that I think of 27 as being OLD. It certainly didn't help last night when I didn't get carded for my drink at the restaurant. Anyways, rather than blather on about how OLD I'm getting, I'll just show you that I'm not that damn old. I took this last night, as I'm going to try to resurrect my 365 day self portrait project. I think I look pretty damn good for 27.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Broccoli Pasta Toss

Quick recipe (with my notes at the end) for our lunch today. Super easy, and really yummy!

Broccoli pasta toss
2 cups broccoli florets
4 ounces fettuccine, broken in half
1 Tbsp oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp. sesame seed, toasted

In a large saucepan, boil water and add broccoli and pasta. Cook for 6-8 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot and toss with oil. Add garlic, cheese, sesame seeds and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

My notes:
1) The cook time on this.....isn't so right. The instructions on my box of fettuccine said to boil for 12 minutes for al dente. So I cooked mine for 12 minutes, adding the broccoli in about halfway, and honestly, I think the broccoli was still overcooked and mushy. I'd probably stick with the 12 minutes, but add the broccoli when there's 4 minutes left of cook time.
2) I'm pretty sure I used more than 1/8 tsp of garlic powder, but I love garlic. Mmmm.

This was pretty good, and with the cook-time modification, I'll probably make it again. It was a nice easy lunch.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Easy Menu Week!

So, I'm fully aware that some of the stuff I make isn't exactly what a lot of people have time/energy for after a long day. But a lot of it is. As anyone who knows me real well is aware, I'm a big lobbyist for "real food". When I say real food, I mean minimal processing. I prefer to eat food that I've cooked myself, without having to worry about what other extra crap I'm eating. So to that end, I'm a lot more willing than a lot of people to put the extra effort into a meal at the end of the day. But it almost drives me nuts to hear people say, "Well, I just don't have the time/energy to cook like you do". Yes, you do! Cooking healthy food doesn't have to be time consuming or laborious, and in a lot of cases, it's actually cheaper than all of the pre-packaged processed crap that so many people eat out of convenience. So this week, I'm focusing on easy-to-prepare, yet still (mostly) healthy food that doesn't take hours to make, and I'll be including recipes.

Tuesday - Stewed Tomato Pasta (Recipe to follow)

Wednesday - Soy sauce chicken wings and fried rice (Ok, maybe a little bit of a sodium overload, but we don't eat like this very often, and for the most part, it's not horrible for you. If anyone wants the fried rice recipe I use, I'll post it.)

Thursday - Mexican Chicken (Literally, just chicken breasts and salsa. Put the chicken in a baking dish, pour salsa over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve over rice. It's deceptively simple and really tasty.)

Friday - Broccoli Pasta Toss (Recipe to follow. I haven't made this one before, but it looks really good.)

Saturday - Hamburger Hotdish

Sunday - Pasta Alfredo (Homemade alfredo sauce is SO easy to make. Fattening, but easy, delicious, and nasty stuff-free. I'll be making the pasta from scratch, which if you have the time, makes this recipe SO much better, but it's still great with store-bought pasta as well. Recipe to follow.)

I spent about $35 on groceries for all of this, but the only reason it was that much is because I was out of a lot of staples. I had to get minute rice, to keep with the "easy" theme of the week, and apparently, Target does not have a store brand of the minute rice anymore. :( I also had to get another 2 pound block of cheddar (we go through a lot of cheddar), so that added $8, and another block of Parmesan cheese was $2.49 (I never, ever buy green can grated Parmesan cheese.) So it did add up, but mostly because I needed to buy damn near everything.

Stewed Tomato Pasta
(This recipe serves 8-10, I usually do a half recipe)
2 14.5 ounce cans stewed tomatoes with juice
1 3/4 cups of chicken broth (this is equivalent to one 14 oz can)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 12 ounce package of spiral pasta

In a Dutch oven, combine everything except the pasta. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 16-18 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally.

My notes on this recipe: I mash the tomatoes with a potato masher before adding the pasta. I also add garlic salt and onion powder with the Italian seasoning, and I top with fresh grated Parmesan for serving. It's delish! :)

I will get additional recipes up in the next couple days!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Keep out of children

Today, I was going through some stuff in the back room at work, and I came across this package. It's for a 2-pack of cheap box cutters. I about died laughing, and it really helped make work suck a little less.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This week's menu and other things....

I feel like I've been insanely busy lately, but at the same time, I feel like I haven't been. I keep making excuses for not blogging, but really, I spend plenty of time at my computer, I'm just lazy. Anyways, I made up this week's menu mostly out of leftovers that we had in our freezer, and trying to use stuff up. Made for a nice short grocery list. :)

Sunday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Monday: (Leftover frozen) Crockpot Pizza Soup
Tuesday: (Leftover frozen) Chicken Tacos
Wednesday: Rib-eye steak with whiskey cream sauce and roasted potatoes with garlic
Thursday: Nachos with (leftover frozen) cheesy nacho sauce
Friday: (Leftover) potato soup (from the previous recipe)

It was supposed to be Turkey Noodle Soup for dinner tonight, to use up some leftover turkey in the freezer, but then I needed more chicken broth anyways, and I make my broth from wings that I buy in bulk from Costco, so I'm using the chicken from that. I also made a huge batch of noodles and froze half, so in a couple weeks, when I'm craving soup again, I'll be able to quick throw it together with very little prep work. It's nice that we're getting a lot of our leftovers used up, especially because a lot of the time, we'll decide to freeze stuff....then immediately forget that we put it in the freezer to begin with. So this morning I just went through and found everything that would require minimal prep for dinner this week. It'll be nice to not have to worry about dinner all week, but I might actually start to miss cooking. ;)

I haven't been up to a whole lot lately. It feels like I've been working CONSTANTLY, but I know that's not the case. I did just get off of a 6-day stretch, which was exhausting. I want to get back into crafting (knitting, macrame, etc), but then I feel like I'm trying to cram more into my life. Maybe I'll try knitting a simple scarf or something to feel like I'm accomplishing something and see how that goes. I just know that I really miss my crafting. I don't know if I'm up for re-opening my Etsy shop, because that was a lot of work, but I know that I liked the joy I got from knowing that people were wearing my creations. And the extra cash was nice, especially when it came time for that tattoo. ;)

Well, I don't want to promise that I'll try blogging more often, but I will attempt to put a more frequent effort into it. In the meantime, I'll try to get my chicken noodle soup recipe up in the next day or so. It's my ultimate comfort food, because it's exactly like my mom used to make it. :)

(Oh, quick P.S.: If you're on Twitter, follow my sweet little guy: The Cuter Peyton. I'll be posting cute pictures from Peyton on there.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roasted Potato Soup

Tonight, I improvised a potato soup recipe off of a couple different recipes, with a few tweaks of my own. I wanted to share it with you, as it's DELICIOUS. Note that all measurements are approximate.

Roasted Potato Soup
6 Russet potatoes, washed and cut into 1" pieces (peeled if you wish, I didn't peel mine)
1 head of garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil (I think I used about 1/4-1/3 of a cup)
Kosher Salt
Fresh-ground Pepper
White wine (I think I used about 1/4 cup)
4 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 large or 1 small/medium onion, diced
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
8 oz. Velveeta
1/2 cup sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese, to add as topping

1)Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Put potato pieces on a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over them, salt and pepper them, then toss to coat. Cut the top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed, then place in the middle of the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes.
2) While the potatoes and garlic are roasting, cook the bacon over medium-low heat. When finished cooking to your desired texture, remove the pieces to a paper towel-covered plate until needed. Take a tablespoon or two of the bacon grease and put it in your soup pot. Add the onions to the soup pot with the grease and saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until onions are soft and starting to brown.
3) Remove potatoes and garlic from the oven and throw the potatoes in the soup pot. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and chop up and add that to the pot. Add the chicken broth and milk to the pot, and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4) Mash up the potatoes with a masher in the soup pot to desired consistency. Throw the bacon in the pot, along with the Velveeta. Cook until the Velveeta is melted into the soup. Add the sour cream, and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
5) Serve the soup with shredded cheddar on top. :)

Makes about 6ish servings, but potato soup always freezes well if you're cooking for only a couple people!