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Tag Archives: Pasta

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter

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This meal was supposed to be one that Brent and I cooked together as one of our Friday night feasts, but unfortunately that did not happen. Brent has been working so much lately (like 18 days in a row!) that he really hasn’t had time. It was finally Sunday before we got around to making it, and even then he worked all day so I ended up cooking it by myself. It wasn’t too difficult, and it would have been infinitely easier if I had a food processor that held over 2 cups.

The filling is easy enough to make. Roast squash. Mix it with ricotta, some amaretti cookies, garlic and shallots. Filling the wontons wasn’t so bad either. I’ve never worked with them before but it was a piece of cake. I actually think my only complain about the recipe was that it got so hot in my tiny kitchen with the oven going that I was ready for something cold for dinner by the time I was done!

I really have no room to complain at all though. We both had no trouble finishing this meal. It was like every glorious fall flavor on one plate. It reminded me a lot of Thanksgiving, probably because of the sage and cranberries. I actually halved the recipe and still got nearly 4 dozen tortellini out of it, so we have another meal ready to go in the freezer too! I can’t recommend this meal enough. I picked it out, assuming I would love it and Brent would think it was “fine” or maybe “good,” but he actually really loved it too! Double bonus! 🙂

In other news, I only have 8 more weeks of school left and I’m freaking out/so excited/absolutely terrified and every other possible feeling. Ahhh!

Fall Foods

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Wow. I am ridiculously behind on sharing things with you guys. It’s been a busy week. First, the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day Bake-a-Long has returned. Our first recipe to try out was the Pumpkin Oatmeal Bread. Uh, hello? Pumpkin and oatmeal? Why hadn’t I made this already? I made it over a week ago, and I ate the whole loaf by myself. I mean, it took a few days, but still. By myself.

The bread is soft and chewy. I could eat it plain and be happy. BUT it makes some freaking fantastic cinnamon toast. I probably ate half the loaf as cinnamon toast. So heavenly. Another winner from the ABin5 folks.

Sometime last week, I also made a giant pan of butternut squash lasagna which we ate almost all week. I made this sometime before, maybe last winter and we really enjoyed it then and did so this time as well. It packs a ton of veggies into a slcie of lasagna and I love the smoky marinara.

It fed us well, and I highly recommend the recipe. I think it’s one of my fall/winter favorites.

Friday Night Feasts

Brent and I have recently decided that, in order to spend more quality time together and save money, we will try cooking a new recipe once a week. It’ll be fun for us to try to make restaurant-ish food at home and to try cooking together in our tiny, tiny kitchen. We figured we would take turns finding recipes. Last week was our first project, which Brent found. We made Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Whole Grain Mustard. WE took the easy way out and had the butcher take the backbone out for us. Our main concern was finding a big enough pan for the whole thing. We managed to stuff it in one and we were on our way.

Trying to flip that thing with a pair of tongs was scary. Brent and I were pretty sure it was going to end up with the dogs on the floor, but we managed to do it. While it was in the oven, I toss some potatoes and sweet potatoes with olive and threw them in the oven to roast alongside. Brent suggested laying the chicken on a bed of arugula. (My husband is very fancy.) All together now:

Oh, I should mention Brent made the sauce. Apparently he doesn’t trust me with things like sauce and gravy. Whatevs. Everything was very delicious though, and a sauce with mustard is always good. It worked well on potatoes too!

I’ve already picked this week’s recipe! I’m so excited about it. 🙂

On the Mend

I’m starting to get “the new semester has really started” school stress, so I asked Brent to help me out by making one or two dinners a week. Tonight was one of his meal nights, and he decided he wanted to make beef stroganoff. He used this recipe, scaled down, but substituted 8oz ounces of baby bella mushrooms for the canned.

I’ve never had stroganoff before, so I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not, but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not a dish I would probably pick, but I really liked it. Total comfort food, which went well with the new fall crispness in the air.


Lucy’s surgery went well yesterday. By well, I just mean they accomplished what they said they would. Brent and I apparently did not get the full picture of what to expect after the surgery though. I didn’t realize how awful it would look. Poor Lucy looked so miserable!

She hates that cone, but it is vital that we keep it on her for at least a week. She’s been running into walls and getting confused about where she is. It’s heart breaking to see her so mopey, but I think it’s just the anesthetic. At least I hope it’s that, and not that she secretly hates us for doing this to her.

Lucy actually went for a full walk around the block this afternoon and gets to resume her normal eating schedule tomorrow, so I hope that means she’s on the mend!

Antipasto-Style Penne

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Thanks for the sympathy and well-wishes guys! Today was a whole lot more productive and my mood has greatly improved. Brent got up early to run with me this morning, which always makes me happy. Unfortunately the 6 hours after that were spent taking the car to the dealership (for routine 60K mile maintenance), finding out we needed completely new rear brakes (thus doubling the cost of the visit), and waiting for the car to be done. Kind of a waste of a day, and of course giving someone that much money is never fun, but I’d rather do it now than pay thousands later. I spent my time waiting productively though – the kitchen is spotless and our big sectional couch has been vacuumed to get rid of Lucy’s hair – it’s a never-ending battle!

This is Lucy being embarrassed by her hairy mess:

She’s totally adorable, right?

My friend Ashley invited me to a Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana Hotspot Networking event at Club Soda downtown tonight. Networking seems like a good idea and I’m always up for getting out of the house (especially if it’s free!), so I happily attended (and dragged a less-enthused Brent with me). I had a really good time and met some interesting people, and I think I’d be more interested in doing more with the group in the future.

When Brent and I got home, it was 7:30 and I was ready for a real dinner. Tonight’s meal was another Cooking Light meal – sorry! I wasn’t feeling creative and I was menu planning in the car! This was one of my favorite make-at-home meals I’ve eaten in recent memory. I was having a total “When Harry Met Sally – I’ll have what she’s having” moment with this dish.

Antipasto-Style Penne: artichokes, pesto, cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes? Hell, yes please! It was just so good. I made the vegetarian option, using some cubed provolone instead of prosciutto. By the way, I did not see cubed provolone at the store and I could only find slices, so I just went to the deli counter and asked them to cut me a half-inch thick slice of provolone and cubed it myself. I got exactly what I needed and only spent $0.72. Perfect.

So now that you know how wonderful this dish is, are you going to make it as soon as possible? You really should. I plan on fighting Brent for the leftovers tomorrow.

Plans for tomorrow: spending the day at the pool with Brent and some chick lit. Sounds like a pretty good way to spend one of my last few days of break.

Question: What outside of work activities are you involved with, if any? I would definitely love to get more involved in the community and meet more people once school ends.

Whole Wheat Pasta with Edamame, Arugula & Herbs

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I spent the day going to school (for the bookstore & the gym), cleaning, baking, and putzing around with the blog. I love making bread – I love everything about it from the sticky dough to the smell of it in the oven. I like kneading by hand, but I lack the counter space to do it effectively, and sometimes it’s nice to have a machine do the work. Even watching dough kneading in the mixer is calming. So rhythmic, right? Mabes I’m just crazy (I’ve been called worse).

As you may be able to tell, my mixer gets more than its fair share of use and abuse. After 10 minutes of kneading, my bread dough was gorgeous, but the bowl was stuck in the mixer! This actually happens to me fairly frequently. All that crazy whirring really locks it in there. Brent was able to rescue it for me when he got home though. 2 hours later I had 2 beautiful loaves of bread. I so wish I had more time in my life for bread… Sigh.

Once the bread cooled off (but was still warm!) I cut a thick slice and spread with Earth Balance and cinnamon sugar. I was going to make cinnamon toast, but the toaster was in a cabinet, so I lazed out and ate it soft. Amazeballs.

Dinner… was less stellar. It was fine, even tasty in some bites, but it was just not our thing I guess. I made this pasta dish, again from the new Cooking Light and it was definitely quick & easy, but I doubt I’d make it again.

I ate a few bites before realizing I forgot the cheese. The dish definitely improved with the addition of Parmesan. Most things do, duh. But it was just ehh. Brent was defs not a fan.

I’m bored with the blog. Not with writing it, but just with the general look and function of it. My husband writes computer code for a living and has a masters degree in computer science. I feel this means he should be able to make my blog more kick-ass. He disagrees. I’m a computer user in the “I can check my email and use iTunes” sort of way, so I’m not really sure what I can do to solve this problem. Alas. I’m off to do some yoga and get in bed super early. Wish me luck with football practice tomorrow!

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

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I like sun-dried tomatoes, but I don’t think Brent does. I do not, however, *love* raw, ripe tomatoes. I just don’t get that obsession. I bought a quart of sun-dried tomatoes at The Fresh Market on a whim last week and wanted to use some of them in a pasta dish, so tonight I threw them in a food processor with extra-virgin olive oil, a clove of garlic, a handful of basil and a handful of Parmesan cheese. I sprinkled it with salt and pepper and blended(and added a bit more oil) until I got what look sauce-ish to me. It smelled pretty amazing too. Basil will do that.

I cooked some whole wheat rotini and sautéed some crimini mushrooms. I deglazed the mushroom pan with a splash of white wine, reduced it, and added a glob (definitely the best word for the amount I used) of the sun-dried tomato pesto. I mixed everything around until it was a well-mingled party and then tossed with the pasta. Then I grated more cheese on top. Because I love cheese.

I really love this. That was to be expected. My love of wine, pasta, and cheese is well-documented. My love of mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes may be less prolific, but it’s a love nonetheless so I was happy to have all my favorites in one bowl. I also drank some of the above mentioned white wine. It was a lovely meal to have on my last night as a 24-year-old.

Speaking of that, since my birthday is tomorrow, I wanted to highlight some of the things I crossed off my list as a 24-year-old:

And probably a lot more, but those are sticking out in my head right now. To get my 25th year started out on the right foot, I’ll post some things I plan on doing in the next year tomorrow morning.

Clam Linguine & Garmin Gifts

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Today has been such a fun day! After we got grocery shopping out of the way, we went shopping for some birthday presents at Best Buy. Brent got a Garmin Nuvi 255wt for the car. He claims it’s mostly for me because I’m the one who needs it. That might be true. We actually had a Garmin Nuvi before, but it got stolen out of our car shortly after we moved to the new place. 😦 So I’m glad we finally got a replacement! And, while we were there, I convinced Brent to get me a Garmin Forerunner 305! (I’m totally unaffiliated with Garmin, but man, we gave them quite a bit of business today.) Brent’s kind of powerless against my pleading. I was psyched to see the 305 had gone down in price since the 405 has come out, so I felt justified in asking for it as a birthday gift. 🙂

When we got home, I charged up the Garmin and read through the instruction book. I wanted to try it out, but I was not feeling up for running in the heat, so Brent and I took a 6 mile walking trek around Fort Wayne instead. We were gone about 2 hours, including a stop at a coffee shop for some iced lattes about 1 mile and half in. I’m so excited to start using it on my runs!

We got home and chugged some water and I made a quick dinner of my Linguine with White Clam Sauce. It’s been a while since I’ve made it and I had forgotten how much I loved this dish! I was trying to keep mine a little lighter, so I used less pasta for my portion and put mine on a sliced, steamed zucchini. Brent does not like veggies in this dish, but I think the zucchini goes perfectly with it.

Yum! After dinner we took the dogs for a walk and now I’m camped out on the couch with some dark chocolate. I think I’m heading to bed early tonight. My only real plans for tomorrow include a run and making some cupcakes for Brent’s birthday. Today’s his last day being 28!

Mushroom Marinara with Gardein “Tuscan Breasts”

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My opinion on tonight’s dinner was split. I love mushroom marinara, made with thick slices of baby bella mushrooms, but I’m not so sure about this Gardein Tuscan Breasts product I picked up.

I actually went to this store this afternoon in search of organic chicken breasts, which I have seen at this store before, but I guess they no longer carry organic meat. 😦 I saw the new Gardein products, and having seen them on a few other blogs, I decided to try them. The Tuscan breasts are made with soy protein and vital wheat gluten. I like the texture of seitan, which is also made from gluten, so I was hoping I would enjoy these as well. Each “breast” has 21 grams of protein.

I sauteed up the mushrooms, then pan fried the breasts (per the package directions) for two minutes on each side and then simmered in some tomato-basil pasta sauce. I threw that mess on some whole wheat spaghetti and was excited to dig in.

At first I told Brent that I really liked the texture of the breasts, but that they tasted “really earthy.” As I continued eating… the flavor continued to not grow on me. I’m not usually one to be negative, but by the end of my bowl I was feeling very unfavorably about the Tuscan Breasts. 😦

Brent agreed. He compared the smell of the breasts to “wet dog.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement. I don’t think I’ll be buying these again. I was hoping I would love them because they have a ton of products. I’m not sure if it’s worth trying some of the other meatless options from Gardein. Perhaps if they went on sale or I had a coupon I might try the “ribs” or something else.

Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes and Kalamata Tapenade

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Brent picked tonight’s dinner from Vegan with a Vengeance. Dude loves anything with a brine so he was all about a sauce made entirely from olives and capers. I, being the ever-loving wife that I am, was happy to oblige. The recipe is easy. Makes some tapenade, saute some tomatoes and onions, cook pasta and mix it all together.

I like this pasta, and the orecchiette was a new shape of pasta for me to use at home (always fun), but I kind of hated the tomatoes in it. Everything was tasting all briny and delicious and then suddenly there’s a large hot, bursting tomato in my mouth spoiling the party. That could just be me. I’m not so much into just a cooked tomato. Tomato sauce is all well and good but the tomatoes in this situation really did nothing for me. I would make this again, but maybe (probably) do something different with the tomatoes.

In other exciting news, I’m going to the Healthy Living Summit in Chicago! I”m very excited and totally nervous about it at the same time! If you’re going and have a blog leave a comment in the comment section so I can read up on everyone I’m going to meet!

Spinach Makes My Teeth Dry

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Spring break is in full force. It was 65 out today and it’s been nice all week, so we’ve been taking hour long walks with the dogs every day. I’m also keeping my mind sharp for next week’s return to school by watching marathons of 16 and Pregnant on Super classy. I also made some of this bread, which I first made a few years ago and highly recommend. It makes excellent sandwich bread. No photo though.

Tonight’s dinner was some baked macaroni & cheese that I made over winter break and froze. This recipe freezes well, and we’ve had it a few times these past few months. I steamed some fresh spinach (more greens!) and put a scoop of mac & cheese on it. A complete dinner.

While we eating this, I kept running my tongue over my teeth because they felt so weird, and Brent commented, “Doesn’t spinach make your teeth feel weird?” and I said, “Yeah, like dry, right?” Anyone else get this feeling? It’s totally strange.

Tomorrow morning is my doctor’s appointment, so I’ll be fasting tonight for 12 hours. 😦