Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I've been doing things . . .

Contrary to what it seems like on here, I have been doing things lately.  Not big, or even great things, but things.  Like baking and mixing.  You'll see.  Also, I've been on a cookie kick, so get ready for that.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In Sequence: Whole grain spaghetti with spicy Italian sausage

I've been busy in the kitchen as of late.  Well, I have some time to myself now that John is in Germany.  Work still dominates my life, don't get me wrong, but now my home time is boring.  Plus, John did most of the cooking anyway.  Time to get back to my cooking roots!  I had the idea of making a large meal and dividing it for lunches throughout the week, to cut back on my lean cuisine budget.  So here's a (mostly) step by step guide to replicating this delicious meal.

Take sausage out of the casings and break up with a wooden spoon as it begins to brown.  You want the sausage mostly cooked through, with browned spots for flavor and appearance.

Take the sausage out of the pan and use the drippings to cook your diced onion.  I used half an onion here, mixed with a bit of tomato paste, herbs d'Provence, and red pepper flakes.  If your sausage if dry, you can add a bit of olive oil for a lipid.  Cook until onions are translucent.

Add crushed tomatoes (I used Tuttorosso, because it is delicious).  Also add any dried spices like Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, or supplemented dried onion or garlic powder.  Add your sausage back to the sauce so it can lend its spiciness.  If adding fresh herbs, wait until the end so you don't completely pulverize them.  If using fresh garlic, also wait.  I added a spoonful of sugar to take some of the tomato tart away and bring the flavors together.  Let it simmer long enough to let the flavors meld.  Simultaneously boil your pasta in salted water, but wait until the last 10 minutes or so of simmering.

Gather fresh herbs from the garden and give them a light chop.  Acceptable herbs are basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley.  Anything else might be weird, but whatever suits you.  My basil unfortunately died over winter, but the oregano is still going strong!

Use a garlic press to press several cloves ( I used 5-6) directly into the sauce.  Toss your pasta and sauce together until completely tangled.  Top with your fresh herbs and serve immediately!  To kick it up a notch, grate some peccorino over your plated pasta.  I forgot that step the first night, but I have leftovers that will receive the cheesy wrath!

Questions?  Ideas?  Leave them in the comments below.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Photo Bombed!

I have this lovely blooming in the office currently.  Upon hearing camera noises, and seeing that I was closer to the ground, Fosca began to photobomb my subject.  Sneaky kitty, but too cute to resist.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Winter Birding

It's March.  It's cold  It's snowed/iced twice.  What is this?  I live in the South for a reason, and this isn't it.  So much of this weather has reminded us of our time in Germany about a year ago.  Minus the whole 'adventure' attitude.  This is home, and it is certainly not supposed to snow twice (almost three times).

If there is but one benefit to a prolonged winter, however, it is the bare branches that expose all of the wonderful birds that travel through, or live in, South Carolina.  On my minimal time off to spend at home, I was able to snap some of these winged beauties.  Enjoy, as I do.

Fosca looks on in anticipation for an opportunity to get closer. 

Check out some of my other bird posts and pictures.

And don't forget to follow me on Pinterest!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New uses for embroidery hoops

Now that I've finished up my embroidered tea towels for a certain someone, I have a couple to spare.  Looking around the web, I've compiled a few great ideas to re-purpose them around the house.

Frame some artwork:


lots of cute designs from [thepennyrunner]

this one is so cute [flickr]

a cute display from [BHG]

Go Gallery Style on the wall:

I just love this from [purlbee]

Hang them in the air:

Table display from [Martha Stewart Weddings]

Looove this from [Greygreydesigns]

This last one, I really like.