Saturday, January 26, 2008

I love GC's

So, my boss gave us $100.00 gift certificates in a pretty little wallet for Christmas. The catch? The GC was to Talbots. I'm sorry. I know people keep telling me it's not a granny store anymore. But, it is just not me. I'm more of an Old Navy, INC, Ann Taylor even Target kinda girl. So, I kept putting off using it. That is until someone told me to just look online...I'm sure you'll find something. (Thanks, Suzie Bee) Well, lo and behold I found these CAHUTE little platform slides. I bought them in ink blue patent leather and they arrived today. I will be sporting them along with a french pedi ;)come April when we go to Florida. I *love* shoes! :D

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fast & Easy Dinner

I took out steak for dinner tonight but I am putting them back in and making this instead.....

Fast Chicken and Rice
Start to Finish: 10 min.

1 8.8-ounce package cooked brown or white rice
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 pound chicken breast tenders, halved crosswise
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 cup bottled stir-fry sauce
Packaged oven-roasted sliced almonds

1. Stir peas into rice pouch. Heat in microwave according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook and stir chicken in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir rice mixture into skillet. Stir in stir-fry sauce; heat through. Sprinkle each serving with almonds. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition facts per serving:
Calories 311
Total Fat (g) 9
Saturated Fat (g) 1
Monounsaturated Fat (g) 2
Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 3
Cholesterol (mg) 66
Sodium (mg) 453
Carbohydrate (g) 25
Total Sugar (g) 1
Fiber (g) 2
Protein (g) 31
Vitamin C (DV%) 5
Calcium (DV%) 3
Iron (DV%) 8

No Sew Slipper Socks!!!

I know that Christmas was just last month but I am already thinking about gifts for next year. I think these would make fun and cozy gifts for Christmas. I plan on getting a head start on Christmas 2008 with these babies. Courtesy of Martha. ;)

Padding around the house in warm wool socks is a cozy comfort that can sometimes be slippery -- and socks' feet can get damp and dirty. For more solid footing, add soles.

Tools and Materials
Thick socks
Scrap of cardboard
Sewing pencil
Sueded fabric
Fusible webbing

No-Sew Slipper Socks How-To
1. Pull the socks onto your feet. Stand on a piece of cardboard, and trace both feet with a pencil; cut cardboard along lines. Remove socks. Use a sewing pencil to trace the templates on sueded fabric and fusible webbing, a material that bonds fabrics together; cut them out.

2. Slide a cardboard template into each sock, positioning it where you want to iron on new soles. Place fusible webbing between sueded fabric and sock's sole; iron according to webbing directions, and remove cardboard.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pasta Amore

These will be featured on the Martha Stewart Show all next week...

Pasta with Garlic Sauce

Serves 4
1 head plus 8 cloves garlic
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound farro spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Parmesan, for grating

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap garlic head in parchment paper-lined foil; roast until soft and golden, about 1 hour. Let cool, trim tip of head; squeeze out cloves, using back of knife. Transfer to small bowl; set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta; cook according to package directions until al dente; drain.
Thinly slice 5 cloves of unroasted garlic; finely chop remaining 3 cloves. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add sliced garlic; toast until golden and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove garlic; set aside. Add chopped garlic; saute until translucent, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add roasted garlic and white wine; let simmer about 3 minutes. Add pasta, parsley, and red pepper; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Garnish with toasted garlic slivers; serve. Grate cheese over each serving, as desired.

Rigatoni Sorrentino

Serves 4 to 6
1 pound rigatoni
Coarse salt
4 cups prepared marinara sauce
1/2 pound fresh ricotta cheese
2 cups (about 1 pound) shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano chese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and return to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
Preheat broiler. In a large saucepan, bring marinara sauce to a boil over medium-high heat. Pour half the heated sauce into a large bowl; set aside. Add cooked rigatoni and ricotta to saucepan with remaining sauce; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
Pour pasta mixture into a baking dish and top with reserved sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Transfer baking dish to broiler and broil until cheese has melted, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Spaghetti with Green Olive Sauce

Serves 4
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic
3 salt-packed anchovies, filleted, rinsed, and chopped, or 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed, drained, and chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup green olives, preferably Ascolana, pitted and chopped
1 pound spaghetti

Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot; add 2 tablespoons salt.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until very hot. Add breadcrumbs and toss until golden brown; transfer to a plate and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat until very hot. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add anchovies and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until anchovies have dissolved, 3 minutes. Stir in olives; cook for 3 minutes. Add toasted breadcrumbs, stir to combine; season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until al dente according to package directions.
Drain pasta and add to skillet. Place skillet over medium heat and toss until well combined, about 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Mish-Mash of Things

First off, I had been soooooooo sick for like 2 weeks. It was awful...couldn't eat, couldn't breathe, had no energy. So, to say I am behind on things is an understatement. But, I am finally caught up on the laundry. Yay! Thank God for small favors. LOL!

I did manage to stay on top of scrapbooking assignments, so that's nice. I'll be able to share in a few....

Work has been stressful. My co-teacher is out alot and me and 9 kiddos is too much especially when we have one with issues. :( But, I better get rewarded come review time is all I'm sayin' ;)

I think this will be dinner tomorrow. Since I only eat white meat, I'll be putting in a whole chicken cut up not just legs and thighs.

2 medium unpeeled potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large green sweet pepper, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
2 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks, skinned and fat removed
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a 3-1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker place the potatoes, sweet pepper, and onion. Sprinkle tapioca over potato mixture. Place chicken on top of the vegetables. For sauce, in a small bowl stir together tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, and salt. Pour sauce over chicken.

2. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

3. Transfer chicken and vegetables to a large serving bowl. Skim fat from sauce. Spoon sauce over chicken and vegetables. Makes 4 to 5 servings.

My Christmas morning photos really leave something to be desired. If I am able to scrap more than one layout, I'll be lucky. This is the best one!? :O

I am so unhappy that next week will be the season finale of The Real Housewives of Orange County. I *heart* those girls and all the sun and excess. Makes me want run out and dye my hair blond and get implants. LOL! But, seriously, all my favorite reality shows have come to or are coming to an end....The Hills, The Real World, Sydney and now this. What am I going to do? I guess I'll just have to occupy myself with Dorothy and Blanche and the rest of the girls. I got the entire season of the Golden Girls on DVD for Christmas and all I can say is that life is good. Now, if I lived in a warmer climate, life would be great. ;)