Tag Archives: pasta

‘Merica

Hi Friends!

Remember when I used to post about food? Instead of running and my bike and Sarah Palin?

Me neither.

Honestly, I’ve been lazy, and haven’t been cooking much. Unless making sad faces at one’s husband until he takes you out for dinner counts as cooking. Then I’m Julia Child.

But I have an hour to spare before we go to a BBQ, and I actually made some food today, so I’m going to share!

Tomorrow is our half (yikes!) and I’m a little paranoid about having food I wanna eat at this BBQ, so here’s what I spent an hour doing this afternoon:

I got some hummus made
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plated up with veggies (I blanched the broccoli. Raw broccoli isn’t my fav. Blanch it? Suddenly I wanna eat a pound)
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Then I made pesto
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(If you adore fresh basil Trader Joe’s has fantastic potted basil plants for like $3. I buy them every summer, and then revel in my ability to eat the most pesto ever for months on end)

Mixed up the pesto with bowties and tomatoes
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And because clearly that isn’t nearly enough to bring, I chopped up some watermelon
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Watermelon is delicious. My husband hates it. I’ve tried, I can’t eat an entire watermelon myself. Well, I can, but it’s a poor choice. So I was excited for an excuse to buy one.

And because I love America, themed foods, and sugar, I made these strawberries.
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Have a fantastic 4th! When you wake up late enjoying your Monday off tomorrow, think of my 6:45 am start time!

Schooled

One of my birthday gifts from the husband was a cooking class at Sweetwares, which is a little baking shop in our ‘hood, owned by the fantastic people from Baker and Spice.

This was a great present, because it forced my husband into an apron
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I’ve never made pasta. Partly because I’m one of the messiest cooks you’ll ever meet. Me + the classic volcano of flour with the egg in the middle dough making? It would just end poorly. And probably with at least one cat coated in flour.

But I learned in our class you can actually just make it in a food processor! Win
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We made an egg dough and a spinach dough
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Not going to lie, I dug on how play-dough-y the dough was. So bright!

Oh and see the bottle in the back of the picture? Totally had drinks while we cooked. Best sort of cooking.

We rolled the dough through the machines
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And eventually had noodles!

Hand cut egg noodles
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And spinach that we ran through the cutter
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After we finished with our pasta making, it was time to eat!

See how this class involves dinner and alcohol? My husband did well.

Our instructor Jeff showed a few sauces, and then cooked up some pasta
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Fresh pasta cooks absurdly fast. Like, we’re talking 30 seconds. Jeff called it “Italian top ramen” because it’s so crazy fast to cook.

Uncooked tomato sauce
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and “stray and hay”-spinach and egg noodles, with fresh peas, prosciutto, and cream.  Pork + fat + pasta? Heaven.
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And then, since clearly we hadn’t eaten enough, there were berry teacakes
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With whipped cream. From Baker & Spice.

Best part? The cooked noodles were all Jeff’s. Ours came home with us. We have an awesome stash of homemade pasta in our house right now.

Now I just need a pasta machine so that I can do this all the time. And an apron to make the husband wear at home.

You ever taken a cooking class?

By the Numbers

I have been busy this week.  Which leads to a lack of blogging.

Let’s break my life lately, by the numbers

5-different grades taught this week

2-days of proctoring state writing exams

1-day where two different teachers thought I was their sub. That was fun.

51-Dollars spent on groceries
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17-Dollars saved with coupons.  I’m cool.

510-Approximate number of minutes I’ve spent driving since Monday. I hate driving.

3-Days in a row my lunch centered around hummus

3-The number of days your diet can be hummus-centric before you get sick of it and have to get creative
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1-Days it took before I was back to loving hummus again

11-Pictures on my new phone

9-Pictures on my phone that are of the cats
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2-Pictures that are of cake
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0-Dollars paid for delicious cake (Main Street kick-off in Hillsdale night = free cake at Baker and Spice = Heaven.  I would have babies with that frosting.)

0-Pictures of my husband on my phone. Whoops.

25-minutes spent making dinner
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4-Loko.  We bought some.  (we = my husband, clearly)
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1-magazine not about babies in my ObGyn’s office. Which means I read a month old Entertainment Weekly today!

8-Alleged servings in the Trader Joe’s PB cream cheese
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3-Actual number of servings in said cream cheese

5-number of hours elapsed between finishing the PB cream cheese and making up a recipe so I could have more.

8:20-the time on a Friday night when cool kids write blog posts.

What are your weekend plans? We’ve got Foot Traffic U in the morning and then a ton of house and yard work.

Good think we’ve got some four loko to help us power through!

Anatomy of a Lazy Dinner

When you’ve spent all day watching football

(and seeing your team lose!)

Then doing electrical repair, painting. , and making multiple trips to the hardware store…

You need a lazy dinner.

Which is what we did tonight.

I’m aware that I’m following up a post on homemade yogurt with an ultra lazy meal.  It’s ok.  I’ve said it before, I’m vast, I contain multitudes.

Step 1:

Buy this sauce at Costco.
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It’s the best sauce ever.  It’s twice as much at the grocery store.  Costco stopped having it for a while, and we pouted.  A lot.  Because no matter how delicious it may be, we can’t handle dropping $10 on a single jar of sauce.

Step 2:

Buy these meatballs at Costco
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(notice a theme in my life?)

They’re delicious.  My husband has told me I shouldn’t try and make meatballs, because compared to these, anything I made would probably be disappointing.  They’re amazing for lazy dinners (we do them with sweet and sour over rice too)

Step 3:

Boil some pasta
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Whole wheat of course.  Negates the fatty meatballs, I promise.

Step 4:

Toss some spinach on a plate
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(I added some olives post-picture cause I was feelin’ sassy)

Step 5:

Pasta goes on plate
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Step 6:

Eat.  Then open some wine.

The closest I came to making anything myself with this meal was pouring the oil and vinegar on my salad.

I’m ok with that.  You can’t be Little House in the Big Woods every day.

Besides,  I followed this up by making a themed veggie platter for my husband to take to work.  Themed.  Veggie.  Platter.

Not kidding.

Pretty sure those balance each other out.

What are you loving at Costco right now?

(You really do need the sauce,  I promise.  )

Giveaway!

So, MyBlogSpark offered to send me things.

Free things.

I like free.

(I like free possibly a little too much.  I’m looking at YOU seventeen gift with purchase lipsticks in my makeup bag)

(I may or may not buy things every time there’s a gift with purchase.  It’s a problem)

Anyways…. They sent me these two lovely dinner kits
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plus a gift card to do a “date night at home”

I’m a fan of some home date nights.  Saving money = more $$ for wine and shoes.

And buying makeup to get my gift with purchase.

I tried out the Macaroni Grill kit.  Inside the box were pouches with seasonings, sauce, cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and pasta
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It said it could be made in 20 minutes.
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I’m a skeptic.  I don’t trust Rachel Ray and her 30 minute claims.  I wanted to see if the box was more trustworthy than RaRay. So I set a timer.

You supply your own chicken, milk, and butter.

You start the water and cook the pasta.

While the water boils you melt butter
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and saute the chicken

And add in milk and seasoning
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Simmer it all up
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Add in the sauce packet and the sun dried tomatoes.
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I like how dried things look,  Is that weird?

And then you mix together the pasta into the sauce and chicken

And eat!
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True story:  this is what the timer said at the end
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Fifteen minutes friends.

I’m impressed.

And it was tasty!  It’s a boxed dinner, it’s not going to change your life.  But the sauce was yummier than a lot of ready made sauces, and there’s a lot of chicken in there, so it’s full of protein. For a real full dinner obviously add in some veggies and a salad.

But seriously for a date night, maybe it’s ok to have a giant serving of pasta.  And a side of wine.  It happens.

I’d buy it again. With a coupon, cause I’m cheap. (look friends!  there’s a coupon!)

And here’s the rad part:  you can win one of these sets too!   That means two meal kits AND a $25 gift card.

Free money and free dinner my friends.

To enter:

1.  Leave a comment of what you’d spend the $25 on to finish out the date night (you can have a date with yourself if you’re single.  it’s all good).

2.  Tweet ” $25 giftcard and meal kit giveaway from @eating_machine https://eatingmachine.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/giveaway/ ” and then leave a comment that you did

3.  Because I like awkward stories:  tell me a story about a terrible date you’ve had in the comments

Easy Peasy friends!

I will draw a winner on Sunday.

(disclosure like I said, MyBlogSpark sent me the meals and a gift card and is providing the giveaway prize, all opinions are my own)

Lazy

I’m feeling a little lazy, so let’s have a Flashback Friday!

Guess what happened almost a year ago-

We moved into our house!

Madness.

I met the fiance because he was one of my roommates.  This means we’ve lived together most of the time I’ve lived in Portland.  (I lived with other roommates for 10 months in there).

Being roommates with me meant he got to see me be really cool.  And by really cool I mean he got to see this

Yeah, I’m flashing gang signs.  In an apron.

But I did point out, three years ago, after grocery shopping with another roommate, “If you looked at our groceries you’d wanna marry us”

That’s a cart full of wine, baking supplies, and pretzels.

When you start with that, you end your night flashing gang signs in an apron.  It happens.

He’s clearly been making me laugh (at least when I drink) for years

He also apparently used to drink Fat Tire.  Weird.

Oh and since it was talked about on Twitter today, I should point out that two years ago I went here

Roloff Farms-aka the Little People Big World pumpkin patch!

There was a lot of traffic

But we did get to meet Amy Roloff!

So why am I feeling lazy?   Besides the fact that I kinda am sometimes?  I’ve been busy!  It seems I like, have a job or something?  And I have to go to work?  Weird.

Good news is that forever ago I got a coupon for free Butoni through the Foodbuzz tastemakers program.  I’d been hording it for months to save for a night when I was too lazy to cook.

Lots of work = the coupon’s time had come
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Hello easy dinner

I cooked up some sauce and added spinach at the end, plus green beans on the side
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Super easy, and yummmmy.
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But now I don’t know what I’ll do NEXT time I have no desire to cook!  I need a new backup!

What’s your favorite easy meal?

Falling

I love fall.

I also love spring, summer, and winter.

You know how little kids get super excited to see tiny buds peek up in the spring?

And then are equally excited to run through the sprinklers for the first time in the summer?

And point out loudly to everyone that the leaves are changing in the fall?

And can’t wait for the first day they see frost on the roofs in the winter?

Yeah, I never grew out of that.

This week we had some fall-ish weather.  I love summer, but it was nice to have days where I could use the oven without making my whole house into an oven.

We used it as a reason to finally bust out the coupon for this
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Butoni had sent me a coupon for one of their frozen entrees as part of Foodbuzz’s tastemaker program.

I’d been wanting to make lasagna, but not motivated enough to actually, you know, go beyond the wanting part to the making part.

I added extra cheese on top.  Because you can never have enough, right?
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Served up with salad
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The verdict?

Tasty!  It had sausage instead of ground beef, which made it extra flavorful.  It was high in fat, but that’s not shocking when it’s meat and cheese, you know?  And it was a nice easy meal.

Which I needed because the fall weather had me craving other things too.

Mostly this

I was quite sure that I had some pumpkin puree hanging out in my freezer.

From cooking down my jack-o-lantern last fall.

(Cooking down the jack-o-lantern because it’s foolish to waste pumpkins can be filled as reason #459 I am becoming my mother.)

I went through everything in the freezer.

And found…
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Butternut squash.

Fail.

While I’m pretty sure I could’ve used it and not know the difference, I was set on PUMPKIN.

So I went to the grocery store.

NONE

I cried a little, and went to the co-op.  Where I found organic pumpkin.

I’m sure being the girl buying only a can of pumpkin on the last day of August was not weird at all.

Whatevs.  I got it home and made this
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Greek yogurt + pumpkin + honey + pumpkin pie spice, topped with almonds and more honey.

Love.

Made me want fall RIGHT NOW.

Of course, I am not totally done with summer yet.  I mean there is still this
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No, that’s not a ball the cat has.

It’s a tomato from the garden!  First one of the year.

On a salad with roasted corn?
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So much love.

I guess I can handle a little more summer…

What are you excited for in the fall?

I want SQUASH!