Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pasta Carbonara

Inspired by Jenna and the sixth consecutive snowstorm this month, I decided we needed some comfort food.  The first time I attempted pasta carbonara, probably a year ago, the directions called for me to heat crushed red pepper flakes in olive oil. I set the heat on the stove too high, instantly burning the red pepper and filling my kitchen with eye-burning smoke.  This time went a little better.  The recipe took about 15 minutes, including prep and pasta cooking, and we ate it with a simple caesar salad topped with fresh croutons.

Pasta Carbonara

1/2 box of pasta (I used Barilla Plus linguine)
4 strips of bacon
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 eggs, beaten

Prepare pasta according to package directions.
In large saute pan, cook bacon.
Once bacon is cooked, remove and set aside.  Drain bacon grease but do not clean pan.
Heat olive oil in same pan, and saute onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute more.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and parmesan.
Dump in drained, cooked pasta and stir to coat.
Remove from heat, and pour in egg mixture, quickly stirring with tongs to coat pasta.
Serve with bacon crumbled on top and additional parmesan.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Super Food: Lentils

Lentils are a superfood because they have a big bang for your nutritional buck.  High in fiber and protein, low in calories and fat, and very economical.  Last week was lentil week in our house, which is why this weekend we're having strawberry shortcake ice cream sundaes (more to come on that).  

Earlier in the week I made curried lentil soup, which I will not share a photo of, because it is completely unaesthetic.  I will however, share Oh She Glow's Power Protein Bowl with Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing, because it's amazing and makes you feel like you can go run around your house 20 times.  Or at least, that you could if you don't have four feet of snow outside.  

First things first, precook your rice and lentils.  When you cook lentils, make sure to give them a rinse first because they contain small pebbles or dirt.  That is more fiber than you need.

Once rinsed, get them simmering on the stove.  I use about twice as much liquid as lentils, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender.

Next, get chopping and dropping into a large skillet with olive oil.

You start with the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and sundried tomatoes.  After these have softened for about 5 minutes, add in the cooked lentils, chopped tomatoes, chopped olives, baby spinach and the Lemon Garlic Tahini Dressing.  

Tahini Lemon Garlic Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

This dressing is going to make you happy, and you might feel compelled to put it on everything, as well as lick it out of the food processor bowl.  Be careful.

Serve hot, cold, or room temperature over rice with a squeeze of lemon juice.  Not the whole lemon, as I've shown in the photo, that was just for artistic accent.  For my next serving (tonight...), I'll sprinkle a little feta on top.  Once again, Angela is a bowl genius!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bagel Bonanza

I love bagels.  I love them because they are round.  I love them slathered in cream cheese.  I know they have very little nutritional value, but that doesn't stop me.

Last week my husband complained that I hadn't made a bread in a while.  The reason I haven't made bread is because fresh-from-the-oven baguettes disappear quickly around here.  Nonetheless, I had a plan to try bagels to make up for insisting that we eat lentils all week.

I used Matt Monson's recipe:

As you can see in the photos, I need a little more practice making them perfectly round (or not like pac man), but they are great.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Foray into Sewing

Today was my first attempt at sewing with my new machine.  And my first attempt at sewing anything on my own since home ec. in 8th grade.  I read the manual several times and heeded all the warnings for how it was likely I would injure myself with the needle.
I found some nice upholstery fabric on the extras table at the fabric mill store, so armed with that and my new machine, I let loose.
I did a little only research into patterns and ultimately decided on a simple envelope closure pillow case for an 18 inch pillow.  I'm pretty proud of myself.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Welcome to my very first post!  I hope you find at home with ann entertaining, amusing, and occasionally informative.

It was under 10 degrees all day today.  It made me long for tropical vacations, or just a time when it isn't necessary to wear three shirts and a sweater inside.

I have come to realize that I act more and more like an old lady every day.  Today I had to will myself not to eat dinner at 5 on the dot.  Only because I had moved a comforter onto the couch and was reading a new book did I make it until 6.  Needless to say, this has left several evening hours for me to ponder my next snack.  In an attempt to eat something healthier than a bowl of chocolate chips, I decided on granola.  It smells delicious, and I'm about to dig into a bowl topped with milk.

Coconut Almond Cranberry Granola
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, heat honey until thin.  Add oil, sugar and vanilla, stir to combine.
Stir in oats, coconut, almonds and cranberries.
Spread on a lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Stir, bake an additional 5 minutes.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
photo 1-1 photo 1-2