Thursday, February 28, 2013

Basil Spaghetti With Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes


We eat a ton of pasta with the tomato, basil, cheese combo.  Especially in the summer.  And I love baked or grilled tomatoes.  So it was basically just a natural progression that the two would end up on the same plate as the main dish in my house.

I saw the picture on Pinterest and knew it had to be mine.  It's originally from the Real Simple website.  You can go here for the recipe:  Basil Spaghetti With Cheesy Broiled Tomatoes

The only change I made was, I used a whole pound of whole wheat pasta, instead of 12 ounces of regular.  It calls for 2 cloves of garlic - next time I'd use more.  It would also be really good with pesto.

We had a mixed green salad and bread to go with ours.

Here's dinner on my plate:

Thumbs up all the way around the table.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blood Orange and Avocado Salad + Our Latest Meal Plan

I did my grocery shopping Saturday morning and came across blood oranges.  I had never had them before, so I brought a bag home.  The kids put away all but three of them the first day.  They are so cool!

I knew I wanted to use them in a salad, so I did a Pinterest search to see what people were pairing them with.  The most popular pairings were beets and avocados.  I had the latter, so I made up a salad for dinner, based on the numerous pictures the search turned up.

I used mixed greens, blood orange segments, chopped avocado, and feta.  For a dressing, I just used the juice of the orange and some olive oil and then seasoned it up with salt and pepper.  YUM!

Look how pretty they are when you cut into them:

The main course was a new recipe lentil soup that was good, but not great, so I won't share the recipe. 
But I will mention that I used red lentils for the first time, and they did not hold their shape or color at all.
Just FYI if you're planning a meal that needs good presentation.  
They clearly need a different cooking process that doesn't involve an hour in simmering water.

Here's what they started out as:

Pretty, right?
Then they got boiled with cauliflower, zucchini and carrots, and everything just turned to mush.

Ah well, now I know.

So back to the salad, it was super fantastic.
Here's mine on my plate:

So good.
During my Pinterest search, I also came across a ton of desserts that used the blood oranges.
I'm thinkin' I may need to go pick up another bag.

Onto the latest meal plan.  
A couple of these are rollovers from the last menu, that didn't get made.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Random Thoughts and Tidbits: Part 10

We really don't watch that much TV, but for some reason, this post seems to have a lot of television references.

  • New Girl is the funniest sitcom on TV right now.  Period.  We laugh SO hard at every episode.
  • We don't have Tivo or DVR or whatever those things are called that record live TV.  Therefore, we watch commercials.  I laugh out loud at the commercial where the little kid says, "Tape a cheetah to her back" every, single, time.
  • I can whoop all ya'll at Wheel Of Fortune.
  • A couple days ago, The Girl woke up in a crappy ass mood.  I said, "Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, Emma?"  The Kid answered with, "No, she woke up in the living room.  On the couch."
  • The robins are in the yard.  Spring is near.
  • What's a respectable amount of time to finish off a box of wine?  Please answer in the comments.
  • We were out of cheddar for a day and a half.  Which is unheard of, by the way.  I am now officially aware of the fact that my family can't live without it.
  • Guilty pleasure:  TMZ, Extra, and Access Hollywood.  LOVE them.
  • McDonald's new Fish McBites...Wrong on all levels.  Who sees that commercial and thinks, ooooh, I'm gettin' those for lunch?  Nasty.
  • When I get to the bottom of a bag of something with crumbs, I wish it came with a lick m stick.
  • How hard is it to put the remote BACK IN THE COFFEE TABLE DRAWER when you're done with it?  The remote is ALWAYS missing.  Usually when I'm on the couch with a baby stuck to my boob.
  • I feel like our dinners lately are screaming matches.  AKA, me yelling at everyone throughout the entire meal.  How hard is it to sit still and eat?!  Baby is the worst offender.  The Dog is a close second.
  • We started watching the new show, The Following.  It creeps me the eff out and during every episode I wonder why in the hell I watch it.  It's so scary.  And creepy.  And morally wrong.  I hate it.  And love it.
  • During dinner the other night, I was talking to The Dad and I mentioned something about 5:00.  The Kid chimes in and says, "Don't you mean, Wine O' Clock?"  
  • My nephew had a fundraiser at his school.  We bought raffle tickets a couple weeks ago - grand prize was a trip for four to Disneyland.  We didn't win.  I had to break the news to The Girl the other night at dinner.  Her response:  "We didn't win?" (sad face)  "No, I'm sorry, honey."  "That's okay, we'll just use Uncle Sherwin's money to go."  Thata girl.

Chorizo 3 Ways

Alright kids, this is my THIRD time talkin' about this recipe.  It is SO good.  I first posted the Chorizo Hand Pies as an appetizer.  Then I snuck them into last year's Father's Day brunch post.  And now, I shall show you how we ate them for dinner.

So flippin' good.
I made black beans and a salad of mixed greens and avocado with a fresh lime dressing.

Delicious dinner.

But here's the best part, I doubled the filling recipe.
Okay, that's not the best part, the best part is that I got two more meals out of it.

I made nachos with it the second night.
Oh lordy.

We had Stuffed Jalapenos to go with the nachos.

Then, the third night, it was breakfast for dinner, so I made chorizo scrambled eggs.
They got thumbs up from the fam.

I made cheesy skillet potatoes and these super fluffy pancakes to go with.

Good stuff.

Now, for the love of all things pork, go make the Chorizo Hand Pie filling!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Spinach, Mushroom, and Tomato Frittata

The Dad's sister and niece were in town this weekend, so we had them over for breakfast on Sunday.  I didn't want to have to wake up at the crack of dawn to start cooking, so I busted out a couple recipes that I could prep the night before.

I've done this frittata several times now.  It's great when I'm wanting to feed a crowd, and not wanting to stand over the stove and stir some sort of scramble.  You can use whatever stir-ins suit your fancy.  All veggies, veggies and meat, any kind of cheese, no cheese, fresh get the idea.  If you are using meat, it will need to be cooked first.  As well as any hardier veggies. 

The best part is, you can prep everything the night before.  Just chop up all your fillings, put them in the dish, cover it and stick it in the fridge.  I put all my eggs in a big jar with the milk and garlic, and shook everyone up.  Then stuck that in the fridge as well.  In the morning, all I had to do was dump the eggs over the veggies, sprinkle on the cheese I already had grated, and stick it in the oven while I drank my coffee.  Easy peasy.

If you're not feedin' an army, just cut your ingredients in half and use a smaller baking dish.

Here's the recipe with my notes:

Spinach, Mushroom, and Tomato Frittata
Printable Recipe
Yield:  8 - 10 servings


12 eggs
2 C milk
2 C fresh spinach
3 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half (a regular tomato, chopped, is fine)
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar (or whatever you've got)
1 tsp salt


If baking right away, preheat oven to 400.  
Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Whisk together eggs, milk, garlic and salt.

Layer your spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.

Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.  

Sprinkle cheese on top.

Bake for an hour, depending on your oven.  My oven at home only needed 50 minutes.  The oven at the Rock Farm takes closer to 90 minutes, but I also use a metal pan when I'm up there.  

Let cool a bit, then cut with a sharp knife to serve.

Aaaand, because I don't do eggs, I had to fill in with food I like.
I made Harvest Potatoes, (also completely assembled the night before), sausage links, cut up oranges, bananas, apples, and mini croissants with butter and homemade raspberry jam.  

The Dad's sister brought these:

I think I'll go eat another one right now.
Don't be jealous.

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