I got a new car!! It’s a 2012 Mini Cooper, Ice Blue with chrome mirrors, white turn signals, dual-panoramic sunroof, and navigation. My car has Facebook and Twitter. How unnecessary, but awesome!
While it felt like a splurge, it’s something I’ve been considering for over a year. My Jetta is 12 years old and on her last legs… It was time for an upgrade!
I’m off to Austin for a few days for a wedding. Super-excited for that and to come back to this new toy!
I haven’t yet described my love affair with pesto. The problem is, it’s not the lightest dish in the world (but it’s sooo worth it sometimes. A lot of times). But when it’s the middle of February and you’re still trying to ease the damage you did over the holidays, this recipe will do just fine as a replacement.
The original calls for parsley, but not being a huge fan of parsley, I nixed that real quick, replacing with basil. This recipe is heavy on the lemon flavor, which balances well with the buttery tasting beans. The broccoli is a surprising but healthful, fiber-packed way to stretch the sauce out without adding fat and calories.
pasta with white beans and light broccoli pesto
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 10 ounces fusilli pasta
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons water
- 1/2 ounce grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Cook broccoli in a large pot of boiling salted water, until bright green, about 4 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and put into a food processor.
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Save 2 cups of the pasta water and drain the rest. Return the pasta to the pot.
In the food processor, add oil, water, Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, basil, and garlic. Puree until smooth.
Add the pesto to the pasta. Stir to coat the pasta with the sauce, adding water as necessary to thin it out. Add the beans and heat until warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with additional Parmesan.
Once the drama and competition of high school ended, Valentine’s Day hasn’t been much of a big deal to me. It’s nice when I’m dating someone, but I’m okay with spending the night with other single friends when I’m single as well. One year a friend and I saw Modest Mouse, another year I went to dinner with two of my best guy friends at our favorite low-key sushi place, I’ve made a nice dinner at home.
I never really know what to get for guys on Valentine’s Day. I guess that’s kind of okay because it’s become the holiday where the guys are mostly supposed to shower the girls… but I thought a homemade gift would go over well. Serena from The Spicy Stiletto wrote a post on chocolate truffles with edible heart glitter and a lightbulb went off. I decided to make three types of truffles incorporating some favorite flavors — traditional chocolate, cookies and cream, and Biscoff.
If you haven’t had them before, Biscoff is a brand of speculoos cookies. They’re crisp, caramel-y sugary biscuits that are absolutely divine. I first fell in love with them flying on Delta. They’re sold in some grocery stores, but you can also buy them online, along with the spread, which is a tasty alternative to Nutella.
Back to the truffles. I used this classic recipe for the sea salt truffles (but used only 85% bittersweet chocolate and split it in half after adding the vanilla to use to make the Biscoff ones). I did variations topping with pink Himalayan sea salt, coarse Kosher salt, and just plain melting chocolate. I also skipped the chocolate covering on some of them and rolled them in unsweetened cocoa powder, but those were the least favorite of the bunch.
To make the Biscoff truffles, I added 3/4 cup Biscoff spread, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon ginger to the second half of the sea salt truffle recipe. I covered them with the melting chocolates and sprinkled with coarse Biscoff cookie crumbs and also rolled in fine cookie crumbs.
Finally, I made this super-simple recipe for Oreo truffles. I finished them off in the same manner as the Biscoff ones — coarse crumbs and fine crumbs!
Happy Valentine’s Day! Later this week I’ll be sharing what I made for my Valentine. For now, here’s a little preview.
I had so much fun delving into a little handmade project, and I hope he loves it!
I used to work at a very small company. For over two years, I worked from home, however, when I finished college, I started going into our office (which was then an apartment). One of my coworkers, a new hire, was my age. Quickly, we realized we have a lot of the same values and views, and we now joke that we’re “soul mates.”
Well, naturally, as soul mates, we started going to lunch often. Carla is an interesting person. Rather than someone craving a burrito one day, a smoothie the next, and french fries the day after, her cravings are focused on one food item, are intense, and last a few days. One week it’s carrots, the next it’s blueberries, then Luna Bars. But one thing lasted for several weeks: Tortilla Soup.
I could never indulge in this. I rarely eat chicken and I even stay away from chicken broth and stock. But it had to be tasty if she’s craving it several times a week, for several weeks…Right?
However, I continued to look on with desire. Those crispy strips of tortilla. That beautiful red color. I wasn’t sure I’d taste tortilla soup unless I found a way to make it myself.
A few months later, Carla’s obsession had subsided, and my lust for tortilla soup fell onto the backburner (ha!).
Then, I found it. In the pages of my January 2009 issue of Everyday Food. It just fell right onto my lap! This recipe originally called for chicken stock, but no shredded chicken. It’s hearty enough that it doesn’t need chicken to give the extra fullness. There’s no doubt in my mind that since I’ve found this soup I’m not missing anything at a casual restaurant.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) Swanson vegetable stock (Get Swanson!! Way better than other brands. No, this post is not sponsored.)
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
- kosher salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
tortilla soup with black beans
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and juice, beans, broth, corn, and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Sprinkle in the tortilla chips and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges and, if you like, additional chips. And that yummy looking sandwich is my Spicy Tex Mex Grilled Cheese!
to anyone. You don't have to know a lot about cooking or be a foodie to prepare and enjoy nutritious homecooked meals! Read more...