Greek Pasta Salad

standard January 9, 2016 Leave a response

It’s 2016, and you know what that means?

You’re getting older.

I’m not bothering with New Year’s resolutions – out of the 45% of Americans who made resolutions for the new year, only 8% are successful in achieving them. Instead, I’m creating new habits, and I’m doing it slowly. Instead of trying to fix a million things at once, I’m tackling one habit at a time. Instead of coming home and throwing my keys and purse on the table, I’m putting my stuff away, and I do light cleaning for 10-15 minutes before I start dinner.

Hey, it’s a start.

Right after the new year, I went to the grocery store to stock up for the next two weeks. Got the usual stuff — turkey meatballs, ground turkey, veggies, apples, whole wheat sammich thingies, Greek yogurt, blah blah blah — and when I was standing in line to check out, I wanted to tell everyone, “This isn’t a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy! This is how I normally eat!”

Yeah, I’m a bit sad.

At the end of 2015, I went to a movie/potluck party I found through Meetup.com. I was more than a little nervous meeting perfect strangers, but that quickly faded. It was one of those groups where you feel like you just fit in from the beginning (it didn’t hurt that the hostess likes giving hugs!).

I brought my Greek Pasta Salad with me to the potluck, it’s always a big hit at parties and gatherings. The picture isn’t the best, still working on learning my DSLR, but the recipe more than makes up for it.

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. mezze penne or pennette rigate
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken, cubed
  • 3 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • 1 tsp. minced or powdered garlic
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup oregano
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup green and black kalamata olives, pitted

Directions

  1. Cook penne according to package directions in a large pot of liberally salted water until al dente.
  2. While pasta cooks, make vinaigrette. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, and salt. Let macerate for 5 minutes. Add pepper, oregano, and whisk in olive oil.
  3. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  4. Add crumbled feta, tomatoes, bell pepper, and olives.
  5. Toss to combine.
  6. Pour over with vinaigrette and toss again to combine. Serve warm or chilled. Yield
http://www.profoundnoms.com/greek-pasta-salad/

Texas-Spiced Pecans

standard October 19, 2015 Leave a response

I’m 30, and the world hasn’t ended yet.

Go figure.

It’s nearly Halloween, spooky lights are up, mummy lights adorn the mantle, costumes ordered, now we just need to wait for the big day! To get in the spirit of the season (see what I did there?), I made an awesome Halloween playlist on Spotify – see the end of the post. It’s not quiiiiiet safe for work. Or parents.

Texas-Spiced Pecans

Texas-Spiced Pecans

Ingredients

  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 cups pecan halves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add cumin, cayenne, sugar & salt. Cook, stirring constantly for one minute.
  3. Remove from heat, stir in pecans. Mix until sauce coats all pecans.
  4. Spread on large cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown, stirring occasionally.
  5. Cool and store in an airtight container.
http://www.profoundnoms.com/texas-spiced-pecans/
Read More

Banana Bread Muffins

standard September 29, 2015 Leave a response

Last Friday, a group of coworkers and I headed down to the Ronald McDonald House in Durham, N.C. I’m a big fan of the Ronald McDonald House charities.

If you didn’t know, Ronald McDonald Houses provide homes away from home for families with seriously-ill children – families that need to travel more than 50 miles to get the care that the child needs to survive. They charge only $15-2o per night for families to stay (but they will work with families who cannot afford it), and everything is provided – there’s a communal kitchen where volunteers bake food (or the family can bring their own and cook it), computers & internet, laundry facilities are on-site, and so on.   Read More

Hawaiian Chicken Salad Sandwiches

standard August 10, 2015 Leave a response

Monday is great if I can spend it in bed. I’m a man of simple pleasures, really. ~ Arthur Darvill

Last week, we started taking a CrossFit foundations class.

I know what you’re going to say, we’re one of those obnoxious exercise people that brags about what new workout regime they are on, how theirs is superior, try this smoothie, blah blah.

Yeah, right.

Read More

Mom’s Meatloaf

standard August 2, 2015 Leave a response

Mom’s Meatloaf

Mom’s Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (lean)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 hearty shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash parsley
  • 1 smidgen sage
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 2 pinches basil

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the meat, egg, milk and ketchup.
  2. Add Worcestershire sauce, spices and bread crumbs. Mix well (I cheated and used my stand mixer).
  3. Form into a loaf shape and place in loaf pan.
  4. Cook for 90 minutes at 350°F, or until meat has reached an internal temperature of 160°F (beef) or 165°F (turkey).
http://www.profoundnoms.com/moms-meatloaf/

A couple nights ago, I had a dream where Colby & I stayed with Gair (my grandmother) for a few days. As we were packing up to go home, I found a bunch of books on the top shelf of the closet with a bunch of my old books. These were leftover from when I stayed with her for 2 months in my teens*. I was so happy to have found these, I tried to pack as many as I could in our suitcases, carryons and Trader Joe’s reusable bags.

As I pulling books down from the shelf, I saw a big cardboard box with my mom’s handwriting on it. Curious, I grabbed it, set it on the bed and opened it. It was full of stuffing mix, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, etc. — all the fixins for Thanksgiving dinner. All of it was expired, of course, but the box was totally Mom.

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December 2014 Roundup

standard December 25, 2014 Leave a response

The quickest way to my heart is through my stomach, so I guess that means I’m in love with myself.

Watching Colby keep the fire going is both entertaining and frightening, all at the same time. What IS it with men and fire? Wait, don’t answer that, it’s probably the same reason I like playing with fire.

Firewood bought from a strange man on the side of the road, deformed cookies on a cooling rack, Tyrannosaurus rex ornament hanging from a cabinet, season 5 of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 streaming on the t.v. Perfect Christmas Eve!

My Christmas gift to you, dear readers, is a list. This isn’t an ordinary list, no no! It’s a list of some of my favorite recipes. Let’s begin! Read More