Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fresh Basil Pasta Salad

I went to a mini get together a couple weeks ago, and this was one of the dishes there. The hostess told me she found it on the internet and told me the name of it. So for Memorial day, I decided to give it a shot. Its from the Half-Hour Hostess Mothers day Book. I got the recipe off the a random website since I do not own the cook book. Here is the link: Pasta Salad
But I also have put the recipe below

Makes 8 servings 

1 (16-ounce) package small shell pasta
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, pressed
3/4 cup olive oil ( Only used 1/2 of oil and it was perfect) 
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (3-ounce) package shredded Parmesan cheese









1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. 

2. Meanwhile, heat pine nuts in a skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. 







3. Whisk together vinegar and next five ingredients. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth. Add vinaigrette to pasta. Add basil, cheese and pine nuts; toss to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve. 










It was actually a great salad! My boyfriends dad has two helpings and he is not a pasta salad fan! 

Simple Things

It truly is the simple things in life that mean the most. I have really learned that in the last year.  The reason I bring this up is because last night was just a simple evening with the boyfriend and it was probably the most fun we have had a in quite a while. We made dinner together, ran errands and then went to the YMCA and he taught me to play racquetball. (He is pretty dang good) I was hoping that my tennis skills would in same way help me out, but that didn't pan out like I thought it would. He kicked my butt 15-5, 15-2, and 15-4. He has a wicked serve. So last night on the way home, I got to thinking about how simple of an evening it was for us both. And how much fun it was. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Chicken Spaghetti/Dear Friday

Here is yet again, another recipe that I cooked this past week. ( I am really enjoying trying new recipes). This one turned out quite better than I expected. It got rave reviews from the boyfriend, as well as his roommate. So here it goes 


Moms Chicken Spaghetti 


Ingredients 
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can of Cream of Chicken
1 Can of Evaporated Milk
Salt/Pepper
Cooked Chicken (I used about 6-7 chicken tenderloins)  
1 Cup Velveeta Shredded***
Either Fettuccine or Spaghetti Noodles.  Whole Package
1 can of mushrooms ***




*** I used several of the non-fat/low fat/fat-free options of soups and that did not effect the taste of the recipie. My mom uses the entire package of the velveeta cheese, but I only used 1 cup. I also added mushrooms, that my mother does not. ***


Directions
 1. Cook the chicken (Saute with Salt and Pepper) 




2. Cook Pasta as package suggests 
3. Add Pasta, Chicken, Soups, Cheese in 3 qt casserole dish 
4. Mix together 


5. Cook at 350 for 40 minutes. If you like it creamy, then I would good it for 30. 





6. Add Garlic Bread and  a Salad to meal



I decided to do a Dear Friday because I completely forgot to do my Dear Monday this week.  So here goes my Dear Friday edition of my Dear Monday 



Dear Friday: Thank God you are here. I am so ready for this 3 day weekend. Lots of sleeping and time to cook new dishes!! 

Dear Blue (The Cat): As you get older, you have become more and more of a lap cat and that just amazes me. I am so thankful for you!

Dear Idiot on Facebook: When you post an opinion of something and ask for peoples opinion, do not get mad when mine doesn't agree with yours. Even more when you are a college engineering major talking crapola about teachers. You have no idea what you are talking about so please shut up. 

Dear old school music: I never thought that would be something I say referring to Backstreet boys, NSync, Spice Girls..... but thank you for allowing me to belt out your songs in my car and make me reminisce on the old times. 

and last but not least 

Dear Boyfriend: The text message you sent me late last night, was wonderful. I am lucky to you in my life. I love you. (Even though I know he does not read this) 



Hope everyone has an enjoyable Friday and Memorial Day Weekend :) 


Me!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pinterest Casserole

I decided to try a new casserole dish on Sunday afternoon. Its called Texan Ranch Chicken Casserole, and of course I got the recipe off Pinterest.  I took pictures while cooking it at several points, so here it is! 





Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped ( I didn't not use this, bc I do NOT like celery!!) 
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) reduced-fat reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained (Just bought Mild Rotel, Worked GREAT!)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 inches), cut into 1-inch strips (I Used  Whole Wheat Tortilla instead of corn)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided (Just Regular Cheddar cheese as you can see in the picture)



Before you begin pre-heat oven to 350


Step 1:  Cook the chicken. (I think I made the chicken cubes a tad to big thought.)   Season  with Salt and Pepper. Then drain it and keep it to the side in a bowl. 



Step 2: Cut up the Onions, and Peppers (Celery as well)  Sautee them in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray in oil until crisp-tender. 







Step 3: Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. 








Step 4: Stir in the chicken, soups, tomatoes and chili powder. 






Step 5: After mixing it all together, Line the bottom of a 3-qt. baking dish with half of the tortilla strips; top with half of the chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese. Repeat layers. 



Step 6: Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly. Then Eat!! 







*** I actually put it in a 1 1/2 qt casserole dish, and froze the other half. It was enough for my roommate and I to have a couple helpings (Me more than her!) plus to bring some for lunch the next day. ***



Let me know what you think!! 






Friday, May 18, 2012

Oh Friday

 So its finally Friday and after yesterdays mood, I am HAPPY its Friday, and I am also happy that I am in a much much MUCH better mood than yesterday.  
                      My weekend has quite a few things planned that I am excited about!
1. Helping out with Ironman
2. Astros Baseball game 
3. Teaching CPR (I am a nerd, but I am excited about this)
4. Being able to sleep in both Saturday and Sunday past 515 am!! 
5. Only ONE more full week of the school year


I have really been trying to not eat out as much. For several reasons of course, The first and foremost, I am trying to save some money and pay off some debt that I have left from College. Also, It is so much healthier to eat at home, and its quite fun cooking.  
Now, I did not make these, NOR are they healthy at all, but they are pretty darn good!!! 
I have been trying to be adventurous with wines. 
Homemade Spaghetti with meatballs and sausage... mmmhhhmmmm
 So, I found myself playing on pinterest quite often. I have added a few pictures today that just make me laugh when I see them, and considering its friday, lets make it a good and funny Friday!! 



I wish I could do this! 


It is sad, but I think of one and only ONE person for this one! 


Julie.... Anthony... Mike... She is not fat!


 And last but not least, ITS FRIDAY!!!!! Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Add caption

Thursday, May 17, 2012

11 Questions


11 Questions

I found this on a random blog I was reading today ( Work is pretty slow, that or I really do not want to do work today) She had been tagged to do it from someone else, So I decided to just tag someone in this one for them to do it. I am going to tag my lovely Roommate!! Both of us had mentioned that we didn't really have anything to blog about today, So here is your no excuse... love you :)  TAG Julie @ Journey to 26.2 
.....................................

1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Either Colorado or South Carolina. I know they are pretty complete opposite. We use to go to South Carolina for the summers and I just LOVE the whole feel of the place. Colorado simply because of the weather. The gorgious summers and the cold winters. I love.. Love...LOVE the snow. 

2. What's the nicest thing someone has ever said to you (or complimented you on)?
This is going to sound extremely corny.  My parents have called me beautiful before, but it is in their DNA to believe that. The other day Anthony crawled in bed, snuggled up to me and goes " I love you Beautiful" It meant the world to me. I am not sure why.  But it did. 

3. What's your biggest pet peeve?
People telling me to CALM DOWN (Julie I swear if you comment "Calm down" I'll change the locks!!!), Kids not respecting elders, People who don't know how to drive, and last but not least, When someone tells me how to do my job (Its different if you are trying to help. But if you have NO idea what I do, then please keep your mouth shut)

4. What's your best and worst quality (if you'll admit it - ha!)?
Best quality- I truly care about people. I am a big fan of sending people little emails, or text messages just saying " I hope you have a great day" or things. People take it as me being fake but I really do care.
Worst Quality- I am stubborn as crap, and I can have an attitude sometimes.  

5. Coffee or tea? And what do you put in it?
UN-Sweet Tea. Yes, I am from Texas and I don't like Sweet Tea... so shoot me. 

6. Would you rather go out dancing or see a movie?
Both? There are always nights when I just chill and watch a movie, but then there are some nights where I want to put on the cowboy boots and go to the Honky Tonk! (Oh geez, I am turning country)

7. What's your greatest accomplishment so far?
Graduating TCU

8. What is your biggest goal/dream?
To get my Masters. 

9. What's your favorite song? And can you actually sing? ;)
Friends In Low Places by Garth Brooks. Yes, I know every word. 

10. What is the messiest room in your house?
My Bathroom

11. Why did you start a blog?

Monday, May 14, 2012

2nd Edition




Here is the 2nd Edition of Dear Monday's!!! 


Dear Monday: ONLY ONE more Monday that I have to wake up for this school year!! I am really excited this school is almost over. This was my first year at the High School I work at, and the first year is always the hardest. I know how things run now, and next year will only be 100 times better!! 


Dear Boyfriend:  Yeah for Monday night date night. It seems that the last couple of Mondays have been date night. This Monday we are going to dinner and to a concert to see the Dave Matthews Band. I am not a huge fan of them, but he has a friend that is on tour with them so we got some great tickets. It should be pretty exciting!! 


Dear Grandparents:  I know things have been tough lately, but your family is here to help pick up the pieces and get the needed household chores done for you! See you on Tuesday Pawpaw!! 










-Me!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Date Night

At work we have this group called "Contribute". People basically put up announcements of things they are selling, need to buy, are trying to get rid of, or need help with things. The other day I found a lady who was looking to sell tickets to an Astro's game. Anthony loves the Astros so I decided to chalk up the money and buy them. They were awesome seats to begin with!!  Since he had to work downtown, we just met at the shop and left my car there. We went to a great Vietnamese Restaurant, and then it was off to the game! Sadly the Astros did not put out a win ( Which is not really a surprise) but we had a great time either way!!

The Great seats that we had!! 
Anthony LOVES Pho, I am not a fan. So I usually find something else to eat. This is where my past of living in Asia helps me find things on the menu I like to eat!

Great seats!!

He smiled!! 

Got a quick picture before we left in the outfield seats. 

  

Monday, May 7, 2012

1st Edition

I have seen several people do a Dear Monday blog post. I have been looking for a specific day blog for one day during the week. My Roommate's blog Journey to 26.2 does a Thankful Thursday also another another college friend does What I'm Loving Wednesday on her blog Growing up is Actually kinda fun. So here is my first edition of Dear Monday.

Dear Monday: Please let the rest of this week go as well as today has so far.

Dear My Roommate: I thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday of relaxing on the couch!! I am super happy to have you in my life.

Dear Desperate Housewives: I can NOT believe that this upcoming Sunday, is  the 2-hour series FINALE. Makes me super sad.

Dear Headache: Please go away. I do not know why you have been around for so many days, but I am sick of you!!

Dear My Bestie: Even though our phone date kept getting interrupted and was WAY shorter than it needed to be, I am glad we got to catch up. I miss you terribly and cant wait for this summer so I can come see you!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Neat Stuff

So the last couple of days I have been surfing the world of blogs, and let me tell you. I am finding some awesome websites, and ideas that people have had for things. It like pinterest but in blogs!! There are so many creative people out there that have come up with such cool ideas and themes for parties, invitations and everything and anything in between.

Looking through these blogs, makes me want to do so many things. If only I had the time and the money to accomplish most of them! But I am getting great ideas for the apartment as well as for date nights.

One thing that I would really like to start doing is Wine Testings. There is a Groupon for one in the town I work in, and I am debating buying it.


One of the websites that I am starting to really like and finding some great things for gifts on is Etsy


Also Minted is a super cute website that does invitations, announcements, and all sorts of stationary items.


There is always the all to famous Pinterest. I could possibly spend hours on this website. Great food, Clothes, Ideas, Motivational quotes. It has it all. 



Thats it for today! Have a great Thursday!