Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Black Bean Dip
- 2 (15 oz.) cans refried black beans w/jalapenos (if you don't have these just buy two cans of black beans...rinse and drain, add a couple of chopped jalapenos and a little of the juice then pulse in a food processor until paste-like)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (I LOVE garlic so I used 4)
- 4 sprigs of green onions chopped
- a couple of dashes of salt
- a couple of dashes of cayenne pepper
- a couple of dashes of cumin
It's that time of year again...graduation and wedding time! This time last year I was basking in the amount of gifts that I was receiving and now the tables have turned...which I also love! Most of you know that I LOVE to buy gifts for people! For those of you who have read "The 5 Love Languages" my love language is gifts--that's the way I feel love the most (no, this is not a materialistic thing--a gift can simply be a flower or a sweet note) and the way that I show love. I just got home from buying two gifts for graduates and a wedding gift! Now we have 3 more wedding gifts to go before the end of the season and I'm pretty sure I already know what I'm getting them too. I want to say thank you again to all of you who gave such sweet, thoughtful gifts last year during my graduation and our wedding, I felt so loved! I hope you all enjoy this time of year as much as I do :)
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
- 1 pound uncooked fettuccine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half-and-half, cheese, salt, and pepper; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; add pasta, tossing gently to coat.
I used fat free half and half (as always) which I'm sure knocked a few grams of fat off the sauce. This sauce is quick and easy to make and its sooo good! And trust me, I'm very picky about my alfredo sauce, I hate it thick and creamy/fatty...this is a thinner sauce and very tasty. Its a very versatile dish for example you can top it with sauteed shrimp or with asparagus (can you pick up on who ate what?). Also here's a tip I learned, its better the next day after the sauce has had time to soak up in the noodles.
Here's the nutrition facts (these are the facts with real half and half):
- Calories:427 (31% from fat)
- Fat:14.6g (sat 7.8g,mono 4.2g,poly 1.3g)
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin
I first came across this book because my cuzzie Emily sent it to me, however what made me pick it amongst its 20 brothers and sisters that she also sent me was because my book club was reading it. Well they already read it. Yeah, the meeting I went to, I decided too late that I was going and they already read it and talked about it. For the next session they were reading the sequel, Something Blue. So I decided that I could read both before the beginning of May. Haha yeah right. In that time period I had my family visit and I got a puppy. Anyway, I LOVED this book! I don't want to give too much away but its about a hard working lawyer, Rachel White who's the typical good girl and her best friend Darcy Rhone who is the gorgeous party girl. Anyway, Rachel has an affair with Darcy's fiance...and I'll let you find out the rest. Its great! And, yes, I know it sounds bad to say that a book about an affair is great--no I'm not promoting affairs, but it is a good book! If you like a little bit of drama (why yes I do!) and "chick lit" (I hate that term) books, then this will bode well with you.
Something Blue by Emily Griffin
Of course after I finished Something Borrowed I ran to Target to buy Something Blue and I would say it's just as good as the first, if not better. So if you read Something Borrowed you MUST read Something Blue to follow up with...I mean who likes to be hanging at the end of a story? I always love to find out how it ends! I can't loan out Something Borrowed (not mine) but I can loan out Something Blue if you would like to bypass buying it. Again, if you like a little drama and love books with women as main characters, you will love this! (Side note: Neither of these are life changing books--they're just for fun) I give them both 5 out of 5 stars! Enjoy :)
Saturday, May 9, 2009
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups prechopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped green onions, divided (about 1 bunch)
- 2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon seafood seasoning (such as Old Bay)
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1 pound baking potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add bell pepper and 3/4 cup green onions, and sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
Increase heat to high; add corn, water, seafood seasoning, thyme, red pepper, and potatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in half-and-half, chopped parsley, and salt. Place about 1 1/2 cups soup in each of 4 bowls; sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 tablespoon green onions.
The only alteration I would make is this: when you add the ingredients to the bell pepper and onion mix, you might as well add the half and half and the parsley. I would cook it a little longer just to make sure the potatoes cook well. (I had trouble with them not cooking that quickly, so I timed it a little longer) This is also a "good for you" dish--only 340 calories per serving. I chose to use fat free half and half, which I'm sure lowered the calories even more. I had broccoli on the side, mmm mmm so good!
Much thanks to cookinglight.com :)
- 8 large baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 teaspoons butter, divided
- 1/2 cup milk, or as needed
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds beef sausage
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 (.75 ounce) packet dry brown gravy mix
- 1 cup water, or as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, and mash with 1 teaspoon of butter, and enough milk to reach your desired creaminess. Continue mashing, or beat with an electric mixer, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage until heated through. Remove from pan, and set aside. Add remaining teaspoon of butter to the skillet, and fry the onions over medium heat until tender. Mix gravy mix and water as directed on the package, and add to the skillet with the onions. Simmer, stirring constantly, to form a thick gravy.
- Pour half of the gravy into a square casserole dish so that is coats the bottom. Place sausages in a layer over the gravy (you can butterfly the sausages if you wish). Pour remaining gravy over them, then top with mashed potatoes.
- Bake uncovered for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until potatoes are evenly brown.
PS-Much thanks to allrecipes.com (where I found the wonderful recipe!).
Thursday, May 7, 2009
- olive oil (2 tbsp.)
- button mushrooms (6 oz., thinly sliced)
- cremini mushrooms (6 oz., thinly sliced)
- garlic (1-2 cloves, minced)
- dried thyme (1/2 tsp.)
- dry vermouth or dry white wine (1/4 cup)
- salt and pepper
- linguine (1 lb.)
- sour cream (1/2 cup)
- cayenne pepper (pinch)
- fresh, flat-leaf parsley ((2 tbsp., chopped)
2. Meanwhile, add 2 tbsp. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the sour cream and cayenne. Stir to combine. Warm briefly over low heat to blend the flavors. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Stir in the parsley, and serve.
Voila! Delicious dish :)
Sunday, May 3, 2009
yellow bells--I'm not sure of the technical name, but that's why I call them
closer up yellow bells
beautiful, fragrant flowers on a tree/bush in the backyard
bleeding heart blooms