Tag: dinner

28Apr

A little bit of birthday and baked chicken…

Yesterday I turned 35. I woke up expecting the fear of old age to set in, but it didn’t. I thought maybe I’d be sad that the days of my youth are officially over, but I wasn’t. I woke up and thought let’s do this. The outpouring of good wishes, love and even flowers was amazing. Gosh do I love my birthday.

IMG_8556I celebrated just like any other 35-year-old would. I drank copious amounts of wine with Dave, ate sushi and stayed up till 4 a.m. Facetiming with Tomdee (my best friend who just moved to Denver). Needless to say I was hurting today. I spent most of the day on the couch cuddling with Ivy, watching The O.C. on Hulu (Judge away. That show is freaking fantastic.) and napping.

IMG_8574Once 4:30 rolled around, I was like crap Dave will be home soon and LOOK AT YOURSELF. So, I showered and did what any amazing wife would do. I cooked.

It turns out all those things you just have laying around your kitchen, if you combine them, they make a meal. When I say this, I mean I typically run to the store that day to get what I need. I think most of us do. I dug around a bit, searched the Bible of recipes (Pinterest) and voila! a meal. By the way, did anyone else’s Pinterest get messed up today? I got kicked out of my account like someone was trying to hack it. I tell ya, the popularity from this blog is getting out of control.

Anyway, I went with the baked garlic parmesan chicken. Basically you mix together mayonnaise, garlic and parmesan cheese. Plop it on the chicken and bake it. Super easy. Then you top with Italian seasoned bread crumbs, which I didn’t have. I had plain. Like who even uses that? But I did have all the spices to make my own because I am a pro in the kitchen these days. 

IMG_8579Then I decided that wasn’t enough. I wanted to add a veggie or something. I found frozen tortellini and thought why not? Keep in mind I am basically a zombie moving around the kitchen at this point. I went back to the Bible (I promise to stop calling it this.) and found a delicious sauce, whipped that shit up , threw some bread on the side and called it a day.

Well, not exactly. I was rushing around in my zombie state and almost overcooked the pasta. I am a maniac in the kitchen. Like stay out of my way, I have a million things going on. (It would literally be the worst cooking show.) I was rushing to strain the pasta and still had my oven mitts on. One got wet. I then went to get the chicken out of the oven with said mitt and burnt the crap out of my fingers. So, lesson learned, don’t use a wet mitt. After that ordeal, I decided I was better off on the couch with my animals. So, if you need me, that’s where I’ll be.

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4Apr

A little bit of spice…

If I had to name one food I could not live without, it would probably be hot sauce. I know its not technically a food, but good lord I love it. Yesterday was Opening Day in Major League Baseball. The Pittsburgh Pirates got a Sunday opener this year. I don’t like baseball at all, but I do love a good tailgate. The day was spent with friends drinking in the cold, although very sunny, weather. I know the whole city (baseball fan or not) was feeling the hangover today. If its one thing Pittsburghers know how to do, its celebrate a game, especially when we win.

IMG_8127Nothing feeds my hangover quite like spicy food. I’ve spent many of Sundays on the couch wishing Qdoba delivered or cursing myself for not having jalapeños in the house. Today’s medicine of choice? Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”.  I know some people hate recipes that use veggies to replace meat or carbs, but come on, it’s delicious!

IMG_8126My carnivore of a husband does not feel the same, so I threw in a main dish for him. A super simple dish containing chicken, spinach (I used kale), garlic and parmesan cheese. I’m actually not sure if I like spinach or kale more. To me they are green, so they are the same. I doubled the recipe for leftovers, so if it looks like a lot that’s why.

The cauliflower, which was doused in RedHot and Sriracha, hit the spot. The texture of the cauliflower is, in my opinion, better than chicken wings. You can dip the “wings” in ranch or blue cheese dressing, if you like. I took them straight to the face and my craving for salt and spice was fulfilled.

28Mar

A little bit of artichoke pesto chicken…

It’s been awhile since I posted. Technically it’s been awhile since I’ve had time to do anything creative. Life just gets in the way, I suppose. I’ve already taken two trips this year, one to Philly and one to Denver. Both were with my nonbiological sister, Tomdee. After a long drive across country, which included a stop in Chicago and Kansas City and a week in Colorado, I said goodbye and left her to start a new chapter. I love everything Denver has to offer (especially now that it includes my best friend), but I was exhausted and glad to be back in Pittsburgh. I’m happy to have time to work on my crafts. I have a few new ideas in mind and I am donating to two upcoming fundraisers, Art for Change and Steins-Strong Golf Outing. I have also been cooking nonstop. I hosted Easter yesterday, which turned out marvelous minus a small mashed potatoes mishap (this is the recipe I should’ve posted! I am still so confused.) And I am slowly getting back into writing and researching all things social media. The warmer weather definitely helps. I am looking forward to summer days and working outside.

I’ve always been pretty healthy, but after visiting Colorado this month, I want to do more. Fortunately, Dave caught the bug too. Shortly after we came home, a wheatgrass juicer and fresh wheatgrass were delivered. For all you skeptics, it does make a difference. Another part of my plan is less beef. I hardly eat it as it is, but if you know Dave, well…

With vegetables on the brain and a little help from Pinterest, I came across a recipe for artichoke lemon pesto chicken pasta. I poured myself some wine and went to work. You’ll notice this recipe calls for spaghetti squash. I cannot stand the look or smell of squash, so I went with farfalle instead.

IMG_7905If you love artichoke hearts, you will love this recipe. The smell of them cooking mixed with fresh garlic was amazing. You’re basically making a pesto, so I got to bust out my new food processor. I am unfamiliar with these fancy gadgets and it took nearly 30 minutes for me to figure out why mine wasn’t working. The safety features they put on things these days, geez.

IMG_7904After combing all the ingredients and finally getting my pesto pureed, I added it to the chicken and pasta and piled on the spinach. If there is a way to add greens to anything (which there usually is), I’m in. The final product looks a lot different than the original, which I can only assume is because the pasta soaked up the vegetable broth. Or, more likely, I messed something up. Regardless, the outcome was delicious.

Two side notes. Yes, those pans are new and, yes, they are purple. They’re available on my girl Rachel’s site. Also, the wine glass featured in the first image is a custom design and can be ordered here (don’t worry, it wont be that exact glass!).

18Jan

A little bit of pasta…

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Most of the recipes I make come from Pinterest or blogs I find online. I like to read what others say about the recipe, how they made it better and what they would change next time. I haven’t been cooking for long, so I need all the help I can get.

I didn’t start cooking until last year. Sure, I had made the occasional pasta dish here and there or a dip for a Steelers party, but I hated being in the kitchen. I still remember the first time I cooked for Dave. I made spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs tasted like balls of clay. He ate them, which was so incredibly sweet. To say I was a bit traumatized by the whole thing is an understatement. I have yet to attempt making meatballs again.

I am known among my friends for hosting Fauxgiving, an annual Thanksgiving dinner that has become my favorite holiday with friends. Sounds like a lot of work, right? Not if you get your husband to make the turkey and stick everyone else with the sides. Not many people can get away with hosting a dinner party and not actually cooking.

IMG_6580Tonight’s dinner was something new. I was at the grocery store the other day and forgot to pull a list together, so I decided to pick a recipe on the side of a pasta box. I went with Mezze Penne, which basically looked like smaller penne noodles. I love Brussels sprouts and lighter pasta dishes with oil-based sauce. The recipe was simple. As you can see, you cook the sprouts and pasta. Once the sprouts are thoroughly cooked, you brown them in a skillet with sage. I didn’t have sage, but after a quick search online, I found you could substitute poultry seasoning. Oh, the joys of the Internet! After the sprouts are brown, you add in the tomatoes until tender and then mix everything together.

This dish calls for parmesan cheese on top, but when the meal was close to being done, I decided that was not enough cheese. You will learn that I eat A LOT of cheese. I found ricotta in the fridge and stirred in about a cup. The result was perfect. I also added meatballs (frozen, of course) because a meal without meat is basically a sin to Dave. I served it with garlic bread and VOILA! a simple 30-minute meal.

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