Saturday, August 23, 2008

Domestic Challenges

I don’t know about you, but thinking of something to make for dinner every night is one of my biggest domestic challenges as a newlywed. My precious friend Elizabeth has inspired me to be more adventurous and brave in the kitchen. She is a wonderful cook and such a good teacher. From the moment that she taught me what to do with fresh garlic (I had NO idea!), I have felt like just maybe I could learn to be a better cook. It is not that I don’t like to cook, I have just really always seen it as a chore and never put much effort into it when I was single. It was easy to have super simple meals most of the time. When I got married and was suddenly responsible for coming up with an idea for dinner – EVERY DAY – and making sure my dear husband doesn't go hungry, it suddenly became overwhelming. But over the past 10 months (can you believe it??) together Mike and I have definitely found our groove in the kitchen. We’ve gone from driving each other crazy in the kitchen to cooking together in harmony (well, most of the time anyways). I love that making dinner has become a fun way for us to spend time together. I am always on the lookout for new recipes and thought I would share this delicious recipe we tried this week from Real Simple. It is fairly quick and easy – perfect for a work night!

Rigatoni with Grilled Peppers and Onions

Serves 4

2 medium red onions, sliced into ½-inch thick rings
2 large red bell peppers, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
12 ounces rigatoni
1 bunch spinach, stems trimmed or one 5-ounce package
1 cup grated Parmesan
½ cup basil leaves, thinly sliced

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.

In a large bowl, toss the onions, bell peppers, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return the pasta to the pot.

Add the grilled vegetables, spinach, the reserved pasta water, and ¾ cup of the Parmesan to the pasta and toss to combine. Top with the basil and the remaining Parmesan before serving.

We cut the recipe in half – sort of, and used only one red onion and about ¾ the pasta. Skipped the basil all together and we didn’t add the reserved pasta water. I would suggest chopping the onion and bell pepper into large bite size pieces before cooking.

I love finding good recipes, so if you have a quick and easy one you'd like to share, please post it on your blog and leave a link in the comments. I’ll try to post a recipe on a semi-regular basis and hopefully we can all expand our cookbooks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Bye, bye smile...Hello braces (again)!

Where Did the Time Go?

Well, clearly I lied about my next post coming soon back in June. Somewhere in the midst of the ups and downs of this summer, I lost my inspiration for blogging or maybe I just ran out of time. I think about blogging nearly everyday, but obviously that hasn't translated into any action. Or maybe my obsession with Facebook has just taken over all my free time.

I hope that we still have a few readers left - I know there are at least a couple of you who have continued to prod me to blog again. I hope the rest of you haven't given up and will keep reading!

P.S. Be sure to check out my sister's fabulous new blog layout!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coming Soon...

I promise that my post about Seattle is coming and life have just gotten in the way, but hopefully this will help tide you over until I can finish it.

Erin and I with all the beautiful flowers at Pikes Place Market

A few things I learned about Seattle:

* There are 98 Starbuck's within a 5 mile radius of downtown. And these people don't even really like Starbuck's - they prefer Tully's (another chain) or independent coffee shops.

* Seattle has 230 overcast days each year and 190 completely cloudy with ZERO sunshine days. Four of the overcast days were while I was there. But, the sun did break through several times and Sunday afternoon was beautiful!

* The Space Needle wasn't the original name of the Seattle landmark, but a nickname that stuck after a reporter who was making fun said that the tower looked like a flying saucer.

* The original name of Seattle was Duwomp. Seriously! I'm going to start referring to Erin and Brian as Duwompers. Too bad they don't live in the Seattle suburb of Fremont, then I could call them Fremonsters!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Countdown to Seattle...

I can't believe that my trip to Seattle to see my sister and her husband is almost here! It has been nearly three and a half months since I have seen them and it feels like forever.

I'm looking forward to...

Seeing the house boat from "Sleepless in Seattle"

Going to the space needle

Shopping at Pikes Place Market -
maybe I'll even get a free hug too

But most of all, I can't wait to hug this girl and see her pretty face!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Overheard On Our Evening Walk

Mike to passing man while we are walking: Hi there, is that a maltipoo?

Man: It is - how did you know that?

Mike: I don't know, just a guess...

Man: I hate this dog. I feel so gay walking him.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Perfect End to Memorial Day

Ah...margaritas, queso, creamy jalopeno sauce, and chips! Delicious!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Happy Hot Dog Day!

For months now we've been talking about having a "hot dogs and Pina Colada" party in honor of our new hot dog griller (one of Mike's favorite wedding gifts) and all the Pina Coladas that we drank on the honeymoon. Memorial Day weekend proved to be the perfect time for a last minute get together with friends for a pool party, hot dogs (and burgers) and lots of Pina Coladas.

The awesome cake that Fish and Laura brought to celebrate "Hot Dog Day"

Kitty riding the raft in the pool

Claire and Ron enjoying the sun

Moria and Jeff enjoying the shade

The Girls: Moria, Claire, Alison and Laura

Kitty - "air swimming"

Some of the guys: Ron, Kirk and Mike

Mike in the spa...trying to woo the ladies in

Mike and Kirk...drunken chicken

Laura, Natasha and Claire

Cutter and Kitty...making friends

Cutter and Momma Natty