Monthly Archives: March 2011

Tortellini and yummy goodness

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Last night for dinner we had a delicious tortellini salad from Cooking Light. This meal is great hot or cold. It also will hold up very well in the icebox if you want to make it the day before you are going to eat it. Oh it would be great for a picnic  with someone special.  Alright enough of that now on to the recipe.

Tortellini and Cherry Tomato Salad

  1. 2 (9 oz) packages fresh cheese tortellini ( you know the kind in the refrigerated section at the grocery)
  2. 1 1/2 cups slices of fresh asparagus or green beans ( use which ever blows your skirt up)
  3. 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or more if you like)
  5. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil ( I used lemon infused olive oil)
  6. Black pepper to taste
  7. 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  8. 3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese (please do not be a cheap ass and use the stuff out of the green shaker can)
  9. 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion or sweet white onion
  10. 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil (same here as the cheese buy the fresh)
  11. 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and diced (you can find these on the canned veggie aisle or sometimes with the pickles at the grocery)
  12. 1 cup sliced colorful bell pepper (I used about 6 mini ones from a bag I got at Costco. Please do not use green bell pepper)
  13. Romaine, spinach or what ever lettuce you like to make a bed for the tortellini

 

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta then return the pasta pot to the stove with fresh water to cook the asparagus or green beans in. Once the asparagus or green beans has reached you likeness of doneness then drain.

While pasta cooks, combine vinegars, oil and pepper, stirring to combine. Once pasta and green veggies are done combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to coat everything and serve over lettuce of your choice.

Peace, Love and Pasta Salad,

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Here it is 🙂

Noodles, Noodles and Sour Cream

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Sorry it has been a while since I posted but I have been super busy.  This recipe was found on The Pioneer Woman’s blog and I changed it up a bit to suit us.

Here is the recipe:

  1. 1 pound ground chuck or lean ground beef
  2. 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  3. salt and pepper
  4. 4 cups of thin egg noodles (they look like the noodles in chicken noodle soup out of a can)
  5. 1/2 cup sour cream ( I used fat-free but you use what ever blows your skirt up)
  6. 1 1/4 cup small curd cottage cheese ( Again I used fat-free)
  7. 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese ( I used 2% cheese because I refuse to use fat-free cheese. I don’t care what Weight Watcher says I will not use that cardboard and call it cheese)

 Brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Drain the fat if not using extra lean ground beef, then add tomato sauce. Add salt and plenty of black pepper to this because it is your only seasoning. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients. Cook the egg noodles, drain and then add in the sour cream, cottage cheese and lots more black pepper.

To assemble, pour your noodle mixture on the bottom of a sprayed 9×13 casserole dish. Then top the noodles with the meat mixture and top that with the cup of cheese.  At this point I let my casserole come to room temp and refrigerated it for dinner one night this week. If you want to eat it right then, pop that baby into a 350 degree oven and let it cook for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling around the edges.

Peace, Love and super simple dinners

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Forgot to take a picture before we had dug in for supper.

Sunday Morning Coffee and Scones

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Actually the title to this post is a little miss leading. We did not in fact have coffee with our scones. Epic fail on my part letting us run out of coffee. So diet Dr. Pepper stepped up to fill the void left by not having any coffee. 

Now on to the scone part of this post.

  1. 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( I actually used all-purpose bread flour for this)
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (this adds a nice tart flavor to the scones)
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking  powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, and butter. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture; stir until just blended. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick round. (Side note here: The dough was very sticky so add as much flour as needed to your hands. I also did not roll the dough out with a rolling pen but my hands.) With a sharp knife that has been dipped in flour, cut the dough into 12 or 9 wedges. Arrange the wedges on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven temp to 400 F.  Bake until the scones are golden brown, 12-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

We enjoyed ours with strawberry jam spread on them. They were the perfect combination of sweet with just a little side note of tartness from the yogurt.

Peace, Love and I will never run out of coffee

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They ain't pretty but they sure do taste good

Laissez les bon temps rouler

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In celebration of Fat Tuesday we had Gumbo for dinner that night.  I know this isn’t a true Gumbo because I did not make a roux for this. I made a quick version Gumbo that was fast and healthy. We really enjoyed this and because it is so quick to make we can have it as often as we want.

Here we go: (as usual I will make notes along the way of the things I did different to work for us)

  1. 4 teaspoons olive oil
  2. 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  3. 1 celery stalk, chopped
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced (or a spoon full of already minced garlic from your jumbo tub from Costco)
  6. 1 can crushed tomatoes ( I used half of a big can because I can’t find medium size cans of crushed tomatoes)
  7. 2 cups chicken stock
  8. 2 cups sliced frozen okra
  9. 1 bay leaf
  10. 1 tablespoon paprika, garlic powder and onion powder
  11. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (trust me on this)
  12. 1/2 pound shrimp ( I used frozen already cooked medium shrimps and cut them up so the shrimp went throughout all the Gumbo)
  13. 1/4 pound boneless and skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  14. 1 piece of turkey kielbasa, cut into bite size pieces (1 half of 1 link in a 2 link package)
  15. Rice to eat the Gumbo over

In a large soup pot heat the oil. Saute the bell pepper, celery, onions, garlic, kielbasa and chicken about 5 minutes until there is nice color on the chicken. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, okra, bay leaf, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. While this is simmering away and getting all yummy; make your rice. Then throw in the shrimp for no more than 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and serve the Gumbo over rice.  We added extra hot sauce on the top of ours.

Peace, Love and I still don’t like Shrimp

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I picked all the shrimp out of my bowl and gave them to Hubby

Book Corner

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I just finished a book called “ROOM” by Emma Donoghue and I have to say it is one of the most thought provoking books I have read in a long time. I doubt many of you will actually read this book but I will try not to spoil it too much. 

The book is written through the eyes of a 5-year-old named Jack who knows nothing other than the world his mother has created for him inside the 12×12 room they are being held captive in.  As you can guess they do get rescued or escape however you want to look at it. But what made  this book so thought provoking was if I was in the mother’s situation I don’t know if I could have handled it so will. She created a world for Jack that was so normal under the circumstances they were placed in. Jack thrived in this situation and came out normal.

It also made me realize how much stuff we take for granted in this world and what an injustice we are doing to the children of the future.  Around the age of 12 I was given an allowance each week for doing extra chores around the house not just normal stuff like making my bed, cleaning up after myself or helping with daily chores of the house. I hear so many kids now asking their parents what will you give me if I do these every day things that was just expected of me growing up. Believe me I am not for beating your kid but where did the belief go that you behave because it is what is expected of you or you will be punished.

Off my soap box I go and on to another adventure. Oh but one more thing before I go. I love the library and so hope that future generations can come to love the smell of cracking open a book that has taken many people on a journey.

Peace, Love and Library Books

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On Top of Spaghetti All Covered With Cheese

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Friday night was one of those nights where I came home after working all week and just wanted something simple and good.  We had been to Costco the previous weekend and bought lots of yummy things. So I perused the fridge and found all the makings for spaghetti with a twist.

Here we go:

  1. Half a pound of lean hamburger meat
  2. 1 large onion diced (because nothing in our house gets made without)
  3. 5 or 6 small colorful bell peppers or 1 large yellow bell pepper diced ( we had bought a sack full at Costco)
  4. 1 can fire roasted tomatoes-drained (14.5 oz)
  5. 1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  6. 2 to 3 tablespoons of minced garlic ( two garlic breaths cancel each other out)
  7. 2 tablespoons Johnny’s Garlic Spread Seasoning ( we find ours at Costco but you could just use Italian seasoning)
  8. Pasta of choice to eat sauce over

First I chopped all my veggies up nothing fancy just get them chopped. Then I sautéed the meat, onion, garlic and peppers in a pan sprayed with PAM till the meat was browned. Then I added the drained can of fire roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce. Then add in your seasoning and let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Really just let it simmer until the pasta gets done and you can’t take it anymore before you must have a huge plate of goodness.  Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese and enjoy!

You may be asking yourself what the twist was but the fire roasted tomatoes added such a nice deep flavor to the sauce. It made it seem as though the sauce had been simmering away all day.

Peace, Love and Meatballs,

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Excuse the chipped plate 🙂

Homemade Caramel Popcorn on a Saturday Night

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About 8:00 Saturday night I got the urge to make some homemade caramel popcorn for Hubby and myself.  I have fond memories of when I was growing up this being a Saturday night treat while watching Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and Walker Texas Ranger (CHUCK NORRIS YOU RULE!).  So off I went in search of a caramel popcorn recipe. I found one in my Betty Crocker cookbook and gathered all the ingredients. Of course I didn’t follow the recipe exactly because I didn’t remember my Mom putting our’s in the oven to dry it out. We ate ours right after she would make it and it would be all chewy and sticky.

I am going to type the recipe just like it is in my cookbook but make notes along the way of what I did.

  1. 15 cups popped popcorn (we used 3 mini bags of microwave popcorn)
  2. 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  3. 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  4. 1/4 light corn syrup
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place popcorn in a very large bowl. Heat brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly around the edges of the pan. Continue cooking for 5 minutes with stirring, remove from heat. Stir in baking soda until foamy. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn; toss until evenly coated. (BE VERY CAREFUL HERE NOT TO GET IT ON YOUR HANDS). Transfer mixture to 2 ungreased rectangular pans. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on aluminum foil or parchment paper. Cool completely about 30 minutes. Store tightly covered.

AS MENTIONED BEFORE  I DID NOT DO THE OVEN THING. MY MOM NEVER DID AND WE ENJOYED THE CHEWY CLUSTERS OF CARAMEL CORN FRESH FROM THE BOWL. I WOULD DO THE OVEN DRYING OUT IF YOU DON’T PLAN ON EATING IT ALL WITH IN COUPLE OF DAYS OR IF YOU HAVE BAD TEETH.

Peace, Love and Carmel Corn

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YUMMY YUMMY POPCORN GOODNESS