Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why I Love Being a Mom of a Boy - Almost Wordless Wednesday

I get to discover things like this and it makes me smile.

Isn't my kid creative?

Better Late...

I just discovered the Stats tab on my dashboard! I know, I know... a little late to the game, but at least I found it! While clicking through the stats I discovered that my recipe for an alternative apple pie was one of the featured pies in this post over at www.godairyfree.org. How cool!

Curried Pasta Salad

I've always enjoyed cooking, but since I've been married I've really taken off with trying and even creating new recipes. I'm going to try to post recipes that I've tried and enjoyed on this blog (hopefully with pictures!). Some will be original recipes and some will be things I've seen or read that other people have created, but hopefully all will be delicious! (Otherwise, why would I bother writing about them?)

On Saturday evening I cooked an herb crusted roast (I'll post that recipe some other time.) for our dinner. It's a favorite for our little family and is always met with approval when I tell Josh what we'll be eating. (Makes me feel good that my husband loves my cooking so much!) Normally I bake potatoes in the oven at the same time the roast is cooking, but this time I forgot. Whoops! I looked through my pantry and refrigerator for a good starch option that wouldn't take an hour to cook and settled on pasta. I knew I wanted some kind of sauce to flavor the pasta, but wasn't really feeling a marinara sauce and we didn't have any white sauce in the house. We were completely out of butter (we don't eat it often) so making my own alfredo sauce wasn't an option. I remembered that I had half a tomato, a small chunk of cucumber and a half cup or so of leftover steamed peas in the refrigerator and decided to make a pasta salad. At first I planned to add olive oil and Italian spices to give  the salad a traditional pasta salad taste, but decided instead to spice things up and make it a curried pasta salad. It was a raging success! Josh loves it and has declared it one of my best recipes EVER! Win!

Here are the details if you'd like to try to make it yourself. It's super delicious and over all pretty healthy for you. If you are okay with eating pasta, that is.

Curried Pasta Salad

Wagon wheel pasta - I used half a box

1 medium onion, chopped small
Random veggie leftovers from your refrigerator - I used steamed peas, cucumber, mushrooms and tomato. Olives, zucchini, green beans or peppers would also be delicious additions!
Can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbls. (roughly) Olive oil - next time I might try coconut oil
 1-2 Tbls. lemon juice - I probably used 1.5 Tbls.
Garlic powder - to taste
Onion powder - to taste
Curry powder - to taste
Salt and Pepper - to taste (Catching a pattern here?)

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer drained pasta to a large bowl and add the vegetables (Stop and celebrate that you've just saved a bunch of produce from going bad in your fridge and being dumped down the disposal.) and beans. Put the olive oil, lemon juice, and spices in a jar and shake until mixed. Then pour over the salad and stir until everything is coated in the dressing. At this point you can refrigerate the salad until you are ready to serve it or dish it up at room temperature. I've had it both ways and can honestly say that I enjoy it lukewarm or cold! It really is delicious any way you choose to eat it! Here's a picture to see if I can tempt your taste buds..

I know I'm not a food photographer. Please forgive the amateur picture. :)

Also, I rarely measure the ingredients in my recipes. I prefer to opt for the "Throw all the ingredients together until it looks and smells good" approach. Obviously I don't do this for baked goods, but for stove top recipes I'm all about winging it!

If you try this dish please comment back and let me know if you liked it and if you made any changes. I'd love to have some new ideas for ingredients to add and spice it up a bit more!

Resolutions - Yeah, sure....

I don't make New Year Resolutions. There, I said it. I prefer to recognize that a change needs to be made in my life and make the change right then. Why wait until January 1st? At the end of 2010 I started mulling over some changes that I felt I needed in my life and made the decision to dive in and make those changes. Coincidentally, the New Year, resolution time, was just about to happen so this year I guess I'm making resolutions. Sort of.

Here's a list of the changes I am striving to make in my life:

1. Spend less time online. (I've fallen into a habit of playing way too many games on Facebook and way to little time tending to my housework and other hobbies.)

2. Get to bed at a decent hour. (I'm a night owl, but I know it's not good for me.)

3. Eat better. Make healthier choices with the foods I put into my body. (I feel like I got off the healthy eating bandwagon about a year ago and I can definitely see the change in my health and weight. It's time to get serious again!)

4. Blog more often. (Part of me really wants to be a blogger. Another part of me doesn't want to bother. I want to give it a shot and see if I like it.)

5. Get in some kind of physical activity at least once a week. (Could be the gym, laps at the mall or a walk around my neighborhood if the sidewalks are cleared of ice.)

6. Try to get my handmade jewelry business off the ground and make a little money from the hobby I love.

7. Reconnect with my inner child and re-learn how to play with toys, pretend and imagine. (Evan is getting to the age where he really enjoys having someone play with his toys along with him. He tries to get me to play, but I get bored really quickly because I just can't get my imagination engaged like I did when I was a kid. This year I want to relearn how to have fun!)

There. Hopefully getting all of this typed out will keep me motivated to keep at these necessary changes until they become my new habits.