Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fusilli and Pomegranates

Hello all!

I hope everyone had an amazing week :) I know I did! It was chock full of classes starting back up, resilient and inspirational young ladies in my girls trauma group, coffee, editing training materials for Head Start teachers, cheese sticks, Walking Dead, honey lime enchiladas, coronas, volleyball games, and naps. What was your week full of?

I am about to share a very special recipe with you. As you all know, I am a big fan of the Barefoot Contessa. I believe I get this admiration from my mother, who has refused to make anything non-Ina Garten for the past several years. Just kidding, but sort of it's true a little bit. This recipe also has some special memories that come with it. The first time my mom and I made this, I was on winter break from UConn. Doug and Charlie were going to look at houses in Minneapolis, and my Mom and I went to stay at their beautiful apartment in Manhattan to watch their dog. My cousin Emily joined us, and so did my friend Tiffani. We had a blast walking around the city, going to the wax museum, drinking under-aged margaritas (oops), and buying cheap shirts from Old Navy. We decided to make dinner, and bought a bunch of delightfully fresh ingredients from a little Italian market right by their apartment. We wore our new shirts, made martinis, and soaked up the NYC feel in that gorgeous apartment. This dish really brought the whole weekend together, and I swear it has magical powers.

It is creamy, tangy, and DEFINITELY not healthy. But if you utilize some portion control, it's not the worst, and will last you a few dinners/lunches. It is the BOMB. Here's where you can find the recipe, although ignore the broccoli part unless you are eating it as a side:

Isn't this dish like a piece of art? I could seriously stare at it ALL DAY. and eat it ALL DAY EVERYDAY. Also is there anything better than frozen texas toast made in a toaster oven? Probably, but I don't want to know what it is. ALSO I'm asking a lot of questions today.

My next recipe to share is a Cate Reynolds ORIGINALLLLL WHAAAAAT!?!?! Craaaaaaaazy. It was inspired when Steve and I said to each other at the grocery store, "Why yes my love. Why WOULDN'T we get this pomegranate?". I've always wanted to try to cut open my own pomegranate, and when Steve said that our latest issue of Food Network magazine had good suggestions, I jumped at the opportunity. Steve lied of course...we could not find the article. Alas, that is what the internet is for.

Pomegranate seeds can badly stain clothes, so we cracked it open in a bowl of water. It was suprisingly easy to cut open with a knife, and pulling the seeds out worked well. The seeds sunk to the bottom, and the extra bits floated to the top. Easy peezy. I would recommend this method to anyone.

I'm pretty much obsessed with these seeds. I ate them all week for breakfast, on english muffins with better n' peanut butter, a healthier version of peanut butter (not as good, duh). I also plan on putting them in a protein smoothie later today after my workout. BUT, this particular night, we incorporated them into a dessert. A somewhat healthier dessert maybe, I don't know. I'm no expert and I didn't care to look it up.

The ingredients: pomegranate seeds, chocolate chips, the greek gods honey greek yogurt.
Directions: Mix together. Enjoy tasty chocolately explosion in mouth.

Even Steve agreed, and his desserts usually include three cups of whipped cream and sugary cereals. So if you are looking for a little something after dinner to satisfy that sweet tooth..try this. It's super flavorful and won't totally ruin your caloric intake for the day.

Happy eating! :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lazy blogger.

Remember that time that I did not post ever? Like in two months?

Hello. I am still in my post-final high. I did a little experiment this semester to see if I can live a semi-normal human life, by doing my homework in the morning, in order to make night time and weekend homework completion minimal. The outcome was quite positive, so let's see how far I can push the slacking this next semester.

I hope that everyone had an amazing holiday full of family, friends, and maybe a little treat or two. I had ten. Almond joys that is. As well as a plethora of delicious Christmas cookies. Here was my list this year for my annual exchange with Steve's Mom:

Chinese noodle cookies (made by the lovely Ms. Molly Reynolds)
Andes mint cookies
Peanut blossoms (even tastier with a dark chocolate hershey kiss, with a little extra crisp from Ms. Cathy Reynolds)
Pretzel rolo bites
White chocolate cinnamon pretzels

We wanted to make more cookies, but who has time for that with all the episodes of Wings to watch, cocktails to dream up, and shopping to finish? I still have another season left in case you were wondering.

My time home was previous as usual. I was also lucky enough to celebrate my cousin's wedding with my whole family. It was a beautiful ceremony, and the reception was full of classic Reynolds shenanigans. ANDDD my other cousin, the gorgeous Emily Reynolds, got ENGAGED on New Year's Eve! I am so thrilled for both her and her fiance. I also had a rather silly New Year's Eve, complete with spraying champagne on the ceiling, escargot, and Big Macs.  It has been such an exciting and fun-filled month, so I am just going to pretend that time is not passing. That's healthy right?

I have had many a meal since I last posted, so I am sorting through to try to pick the best ones to share. First, let's go back to a family dinner a few months ago with my Milwaukee bffz Tracie and Caroline.

Caroline and I brought dessert and wine, and Tracie put this delicious trio together herself. She made a cold Asian noodle salad, with crockpot chicken in peanut sauce, and homemade fried rice! I don't have the exact recipe, but peanut sauce you can buy by the bottle and just use (generously in my case) with many different dishes. I did look up a recipe for the salad, because that stuff is like CRACK and I want to eat it all day everyday.  Here is a recipe I might try by Guy Fieri:

Next was a one dish wonder. I've been trying to reconfigure my weeknight meals, seeing as I usually don't get home until 8:30 most nights, and Steve is about to start his crazy rotations. I'll be doing more research on make ahead meals and freeze ready stuff. So..more to come on that later.

This was pretty perfect for that. Chicken Tetrazzini combines a bunch of my fave ingredients (mostly pasta...and peas).  It involved some minor prep work, and then throwing it all in the oven. What could be better? Here's the recipe:


Finally, I am truly spoiling you with this recipe: Chicken and butternut squash stew. It was blow-your-mind, make-again-every-other-week kind of good stuff. Also the recipe made a BOAT LOAD, and it produced several dinners for both Steve and I, as well as some lunches.  The stew was CRAZY with flavor, and is perfect for a chilly night. This also might be a good time to stock up on spices that you always wish you had, but don't use enough to invest in, as many of them are called for here. I didn't have any plain yogurt, so we used sour cream, but yogurt would have tasted just as good if not better. Also I totally ignored the preserved lemon aspect of the recipe, as I tend to do. Also, I got an Iphone over Christmas, and downloaded an app called "food on the table". It's an app to help organize recipes, meal plan, and keep track of groceries. I thought this would help my flaws related to not reading recipes all the way and buying the wrong ingredients. Spoiler alert: it doesn't. is the recipe:

As for working out....hmm...I did try that once sometime ago...

But seriously I found a great website for at-home workouts with no equipment, for times that I go home for the holiday. This blogger is excellent, plus has a cute blog name. Here is the link to her at home workouts: I'm also pretty pumped about a cookbook I just got. I'm very picky about my cookbooks, and have only really found one that I use frequently enough that I can honestly say I've made about half of the recipes in the book (the seam is broken and pages are falling out..). So, I was pleasantly surprised to see the new edition of Great Food Fast, Fresh Flavor Fast, at Barnes and Noble the other day. This series offers a variety of simple dishes with a short list of ingredients so it's easy on the wallet, packed with flavor so it's easy on the palette, and relatively healthy (easy on the caboose). I would highly recommend Great Food Fast, and will keep you updated about Fresh Flavor. I've been thumbing through it the past few days, and I can see that it looks like it has great potential.

In 2013, I resolve to continue slacking on my blog posts when I am busy with school work, and to continue watching Wings and eating kit-kats. Speaking of...some peppermint bark is calling my name. I'm going to go take care of that...

Happy eating!