Finally

I finally bought a copy of this cookbook for myself after checking it out from the library twice (and waiting weeks for it each time) and wanting to get it a third time. I know what you’re thinking, do I really need another cookbook? Maybe not, but this one is definitely different so I figured it was time for me to own a copy. I’ve posted a couple of recipes from this cookbook in the past (most notably Moroccan Beef Chili with Chickpeas and Raisins), but I’ll be trying lots more from now on. Stay tuned!

Weekend accomplishments

Here’s what Dan and I did this weekend:

1) Picked up lunch at Taco Bell at Saturday. Surprising, I know, since I haven’t eaten there in years, but hear me out. I’ve been dying to try their new Doritos Locos Tacos (who can resist a taco with a shell made out of Nacho Cheese Doritos?) and I wasn’t disappointed. I was surprised how much I loved the tacos and Dan was too. Now I’m just wondering when I can get more!
2) Watched “Captain America” and “Thor.” But I wrote about that on Saturday. And for the record, I do think “Iron Man 2” was a better movie than “Captain America,” mostly because I love the rapport between Tony and Pepper. (And I may or may not have a little crush on Robert Downey, Jr.)
3) Recycled a bunch of old electronics. Over a month ago I loaded up my car with Dan’s old desktop computer, my laptop from 2000, two VCRs, our ancient TiVo, four Palm Pilots, my old cell phone, my my Zip drive from college. I’ve been driving around with all of that stuff in my car ever since. Until Saturday when Dan went to Best Buy with me and we dropped it all off. Goodbye old junk!
4) Bought two plants to fix up our hedge. Our front yard is bordered by a row of about five foot high plants, but two of the ones in the middle are dead and the whole thing looks a little sad. So yesterday Dan and I went to a nearby nursery and picked out two live replacements. It’ll be nice to have the hedge all fixed up. I’ll post some before and after photos when all is said and done.
5) Picked up lunch at Havana Mania. Lechon Cubano with extra fried plantains for both Dan and me. Delicious!
6) Made green velvet brownie bites for St. Patrick’s Day. I used my favorite red velvet brownie recipe but replaced the red food coloring with green. Then I made a batch of cream cheese frosting this morning to top them off when I get to work. They’re very festive and I’m sure my co-workers will love them.
7) Watched the Gators win. Florida beat Norfolk State handily yesterday to earn a place in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. Last year they couldn’t quite make it to the Final Four so we’ll see what happens this year. Their chances aren’t great, but I’ll still try to watch their next game on Thursday. Go Gators!
8) Watched the Lakers lose. It was only their third loss at home this season so it was pretty depressing – especially since they had a comfortable lead at one point. Never underestimate the Lakers’ ability to blow a lead after they’ve established it. Maybe they’ll do better tomorrow, but since it’s an away game I don’t have high hopes. Their record on the road is the worst in the NBA. Oh well – Go Lakers!

Why I love Redbox

Today Dan and I continued our preparations for the release of “The Avengers” in May. It was the perfect way to spend a cold, rainy Saturday. I got both of these movies from the Redbox at our local grocery store for less than $3. It costs more than $25 for Dan and me to go to the theater to see one movie these days so I’d say that’s a great deal! I’m a big fan of Redbox. Unfortunately neither “Captain America” nor “Thor” were as entertaining as either of the Iron Man movies, but I still have high hopes for “The Avengers.” I always love a good summer blockbuster, especially one with superheroes. But I guess that’s obvious from some of my posts over the past week. Do you know there’s going to be new Batman and Spider-Man movies in July? I can’t wait!

Foodie Friday – Pasta with garlicky breadcrumbs

It’s been a while since I posted a full recipe, huh? Well, this is the first one I’ve tried in a while that’s been worthy of sharing. I’m always looking for new ways to serve pasta – especially the Target whole wheat pasta that I love. Dan is always excited when I make spaghetti for dinner, but I can only make it once every two weeks or so before we get sick of it. So when I saw this simple recipe for pasta with garlicky breadcrumbs I just had to try it. I made some changes from the original recipe, but I think I still preserved the spirit of the meal. Not only are the ingredients all pantry staples in the Feller household, but this dish couldn’t be easier to put together. The result is kind of like a mix of pasta and stuffing because the noodles are coated in a deliciously seasoned breadcrumb mixture. It’s definitely not your standard pasta dish, but I really liked it. And it might actually have been better when I nuked it in the microwave a couple of days later. Either way, this recipe is a keeper. I will definitely be making it again.

INGREDIENTS:
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
6 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 c seasoned breadcumbs
2 tsp Italian seasoning
8 ounces uncooked pasta (I used whole wheat spaghetti)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. You don’t want the garlic to burn! Remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Return the pan to the heat. Add the breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning to the garlic and cook for about 6 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and return to the pot. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic/breadcrumb mixture, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper and stir to combine. Enjoy!

Based on Cooking Light’s Linguine with Garlicky Breadcrumbs.

Happy Belated Pi Day!

When Dan and I were at Arthur Murray for our dance lesson last week we heard about the “Pies & Ties” party the staff was planning throwing the following Wednesday. That day happened to be March 14th. 3/14 – Pi Day, get it? Our dance instructor told us that not only were the men going to wear wacky ties, but guests were encouraged to bring in homemade pies. This was something I didn’t want to pass up. Unfortunately finding time to do much baking during the week is difficult. Dan and I were planning to go to the party, but a couple of days ago I found myself stressing out about having to make a pie after work. I had already found a recipe for a candy bar pie that didn’t require any baking, but I didn’t have any of the necessary ingredients purchased yet. So instead of worrying about going to the grocery store and then making the pie in a rush last night I told Dan that I just wasn’t going to do it. If we went to the party at Arthur Murray we’d arrive empty handed. Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. However, when I got home yesterday I realized that there was an option I hadn’t considered – chocolate chip cookie pie! My search for the best homemade chocolate chip cookie was going to pay off big time. Not only would it be incredibly simple to make (and incredibly delicious), but I already had all of the ingredients at home. Brilliant! In less than an hour I was pulling a golden brown toffee chocolate chip pie out of the oven. It was perfect. Maybe it’s not technically a pie because it didn’t have the traditional crust and filling components, but it tastes really good and that’s pretty much all that matters. (And avoiding the grocery store was a bonus.) By the time Dan and I left the party at Arthur Murray last night my chocolate chip cookie pie was half gone. It certainly wasn’t the most popular pie there, but I was proud of it anyway. Plus, Dan and I got to dance together for more than an hour. Not bad for a Wednesday night! Too bad the “wacky” tie Dan ordered for the occasion didn’t arrive in time for him to wear it (apparently overnight shipping takes three days). Maybe next year!

What I did today

Since I had to work on Saturday I took today off. It was so glorious staying up late last night hanging out with Dan knowing that I could sleep in this morning. I think I overindulged, though, because I didn’t wake up until 9 AM…and then I stayed in bed for another hour and a half reading a book and watching TV. I am so lazy! At about 10:30 AM I realized that I had better get started with my day or it would be over and I’d be kicking myself for not accomplishing anything. The first thing I did was drive to Whole Foods to do a little leisurely weekday grocery shopping while the rest of the world was stuck at work. Unfortunately the lunch crowd was there when I arrived, but they were perusing the prepared foods section rather than the meat counter so I avoided them. I picked up some sausage and ground lamb for spaghetti – Dan’s favorite home cooked meal. After last month’s pricey visit to “Whole Paycheck” I was careful about what items I put in my basket so I only spent about half the amount this time. Yay! To supplement my food purchases and to get some less overpriced, more mainstream groceries I stopped by Ralphs’s on my way home. Not only did I get some chips and hummus (my current favorite snack), but also a pork roast and a bottle of Dr. Pepper to make pulled pork for dinner. I’ve read several delicious-looking recipes for pulled pork with Dr. Pepper on food blogs that I decided today would be the best time to try making one of them. I threw the pork into the Crockpot as soon as I got home from the grocery store so it would be ready for dinner. It’s been cooking for about five hours now and it smells delicious! After putting on my season 4 DVD of “Big Bang Theory” I got started on my next cooking project – spaghetti sauce for later in the week. There are lots of reasons I love taking time off work – making dinner in the Crockpot is one of them, and having enough time left over to get a jump on future meals is another! I also put the leftover chicken from last Thursday into some Tupperwares with brown rice for a couple of lunches this week. On a side note, the Crockpot teriyaki chicken I made last Thursday is really delicious. I’ll post the recipe soon. So now I’m sitting on the couch writing this post and waiting for Dan to get home from work. I’m not quite done with my to do list of chores yet, but I’m close. All of the dishes are washed, the garbage has been taken out, and I only have one load of laundry left to wash. I’m in good shape! I’m not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow, but at least I got a lot done on my day off. Time well spent!