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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Veggie Fettuccini Alfredo with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Here's a very easy, delicious fettuccini recipe that you can tweek as your family likes. I put in only vegetables that Eric and I like, but you can add or subtract as you like. We added chicken, but if you're in the vegetarian mood it's equally delicious without it.


First, I made skillet chicken 

Then, boil your noodles. 
I went with angel hair because that's what the hubby prefers. 
During the last two minutes of boiling, add in your sun dried tomatoes

Simmer the veggies with the lid on
Then, melt the butter and add the flour. 
It will look very scary, and maybe like you're doing something wrong. But you're not!
Just keep stirring and don't let it burn. When it gets brown, add in the milk.

 Then add in the veggies and you have the alfredo mixture!

I understand that this looks gross.
I promise it's not.
It's actually the opposite of gross.
 

See how easy that was??

Try it! And tell me how it goes....




Ingredients
  • 8  oz.  dried fettuccine (I used angel hair)
  • 1/2  cup  dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), chopped
  • 4  Tbsp.  butter
  • 1  Tbsp.  olive oil
  • 1/2 cup artichokes
  • 1-1/2  cups  fresh broccoli florets
  • 8    fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2  Tbsp.  all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4  cups  milk
  • 1/2  cup  finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/4  cups  milk
  • 1/2  cup  finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2  tsp.  finely shredded lemon peel

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding dried tomatoes the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to saucepan; keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add artichokes, broccoli, and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.
3. In same skillet melt remaining butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Gently stir in pasta and vegetables. Stir in additional milk to reach desired consistency. Sprinkle with lemon peel and additional shredded Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 (1-1/2 cup) servings.

From: http://www.bhg.com/recipe/pasta/fettuccine-alfredo-with-dried-tomatoes-and-veggies/ 


Friday, February 25, 2011

Basement Valences

So, this is one of the easiest projects I've done that makes the biggest difference!

The small basement windows didn't have coverings and it really bothered me that people could see in. My friend Jenn was selling some amazing drapes at our joint garage sale over the summer and I knew I had to have them. They are the exact feel of our basement entertainment room. Last weekend I dove in and made some quick valences that help the room come together a little more.

We have a lot more work to do in that room, but it's not a rush and we're having a lot of fun brainstorming ideas.

Here it is so far!


 This is our makeshift bar. It's sad looking, but it does the job.


And here's how I did the valences!


 Stitch Witchery is amazing! I'll never hem again....not like I did a lot of hemming in the first place. But still! My mom introduced this lovely product to me in my baton-twirling days :)
Thanks Mom.
 Cut the fabric to your liking, and get to ironing...


 And there ya have it

I put my suitcases to work. They will now house my fabric scraps!





It's a blizzard here. We had plans to go visit one of my best friends in Vail, but those plans have been postponed until the snow lets up! Eric and I are super bummed. Hopefully I can stay busy doing DIY projects this weekend instead of wallowing in disappointment.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Crab Cakes

I love crab cakes, so I thought I'd share this yummy recipe with those of you who love them as well!

Suprisingly, this is a very inexpensive, quick fix meal. It looks quite involved, but it took me a total of 20 minutes to prepare. I can almost guarantee you that you can find all of these ingredients (except the crab) in your cupboard already! Do you believe me??


Start with your lump crab in a large bowl....
                                  Combine ingredients in bowl. It's as easy as that!
          
Last time I made these, I made my own bread crumbs. I didn't have as much time this go round, so I used Italian flavored bread crumbs that I had. I think I prefer the homemade bread crumbs, but if you're strapped for time, these will do.

                
                       Mold the Crab mixture into balls and roll 'em in the bread crumbs.
                                                            You're almost there!


Now, fry those babies up! I use about 2 Tbs of olive oil. Make sure to warm up the oil first. Then pop 'em in, listen to the sizzle, and get to taste these delicious cakes.

                                                          
                                       Eric is an excellent flipper :) And a happy one too!


                                                                             Tada!

 
                                          I was in the mood for a crab cake sandwich.
                                                Eric ate his with ranch dressing.
Sometimes I make coleslaw to go on top, but the crab cake dinner was a quick dinner decision, so I only used ingredients from my cupboard.




Crab Cakes
  • 1 package (6 Oz.) Lump Blue Crab Meat

  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh, Flat-leaf Parsley, Chopped

  • ½ teaspoons Mustard

  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cayenne Pepper

  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder

  • 1 teaspoon Mrs.Dash

  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Mayonnaise

  • 2 whole Eggs, Slightly Beaten

  • 6 ounces, weight Buttery Round Crackers, Crushed

  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs, For Breading

  • ½ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil, For Pan Frying


  • Combine crab meat, parsley,  mustard, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt, salt and pepper, mayonnaise, eggs, and crushed crackers. Form into small patties. Coat the patties with bread crumbs. Heat 1/2 cup oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook cakes until golden brown on each side, about 4-6 minutes per side. Drain briefly on paper towels and serve hot.

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    One reason why Sidney is so cool...

    ...you can ride your horse around town!

    Maybe this is totally normal, but I was astounded when I was driving home from work the other day and saw 3 people on their horses trotting down my street.

    Was it a parade?
    Nope.

    Was there an event, festival or horse show in town?
    Nada.

    Don't get me wrong, I love horses. I just don't enjoy dodging horse poo when I'm walking my dog. I'm upset that I didn't get capture this moment on my camera, but I was in a state of such shock that I couldn't run inside to grab it. You'll just have to believe me.

    I guess I thought that it was against the law to have a horse roaming city streets. Not in Sidney! And that's one of the many reasons this place continues to amaze me :) Who knows, maybe I'll take up horseback riding.

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Fun at the Antique Store

    I love the look of open cabinets...whether they are shelves, glass doors or no doors at all!
    So, I have decided to keep two cabinet doors off to display some colorful, fun antique treasures.

    Here's what I found at our local antique store!


    This is one of my favorite pieces. They all have a story to tell, but this tea kettle is just so unique. I love to think about the life it had before adorning the shelf of a small town antique store.

    I'm also in love with this turquoise vase. The owner of the store told me that it's from the 50s. 
    How cool!




    So, here's what I did with everything!



    It's airy and brings out pops of color. This is a good addition to the kitchen. 
    I plan to add/substitute more pieces as I find them, so this is not the finished product!


    Hope everyone is having a good weekend!!

    Cabinet Makeover, Again.

    We decided to re-re-paint the kitchen cabinets.  I did a two-toned look over the summer, but with the new green walls, they just didn't look right.


    That's Eric hard at work painting. How lucky am I to have a husband who joins in on my wild, spontaneous, not always thought through home improvement projects? VERY lucky, indeed.

    Before:

    After:


    Break-time!

    We finally invested in white blinds for the kitchen! You don't know how exciting that was. Why would anyone buy, let alone install and keep PINK blinds? Grosssss. And why did it take us this long to replace them? That's the real mystery. But all that matters is that now we have white ones...even if they are $5 Wal-Mart brand blinds. We don't have many options here people!

    My lovely assistant installed them :)
    Tada! The final product!





    Eric and I are very pleased with the new paint job. It's definitely a keeper.

    This has been an extremely inexpensive kitchen remodel, but I think we've used our money wisely and it's made a HUGE difference in our home.


    On deck: window valences for the kitchen!!

    Chocolate Pecan Pie

    So, I'm in love with chocolate pecan pie. It's my favorite kind of pie and always reminds me of family Thanksgivings. I'm pretty sure it was one of the many my Aunt Ann would bring over from Tippins in Kansas City. Ahhh, gotta love Tippins.

    I have always been very intimidated by pie making... or really baking in general. So when I saw this on one of my favorite blogs, I just had to give it a try.  

    And it was a success! You should REALLY make this. 
    You can thank me later.

    I should also mention that Eric doesn't like pecans, so I have eaten this pie by myself. I admitted it. It's out there.
    Maybe this is why my "fitness" section has one entry :)

    This is all you need...


    It needs to bake for a full hour. But let me tell ya, it's worth it.

    Yummmmo!




    Chocolate Pecan Pie

    One 9-inch (deep dish) unbaked pie shell
    6-oz. (1 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 cup plain flour
    1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter/margarine
    2 eggs
    Beat eggs until foamy. Add sugar, brown sugar & flour. Blend in melted butter until smooth. Blend in chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350* for 1 hour. This pie freezes well.



    Thanks Rhoda!

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    Fabulous Flea Market Finds

    Eric and I took a day trip to Ft.Collins on Saturday. We had the best time!

    If you've never been to Ft.Collins, you MUST go. It's becoming one of my absolute favorite towns. Not only does it have amazing food and shopping, but you can see mountains! Hello!
    We ate at Bann Thai for lunch- it was delicious! Oh, how I've missed thai food. And we ate at India Star for dinner. We shared chicken tikka masala, 2 rounds of naan bread and another chicken dish that I can't prounounce or type correctly.
    It. Was. Amazing.
    During the day, we went antiquing, fabric shopping, and of course, hit up Target. It was quite a successful day.
    We did hit some ice on the way home and saw several pretty significant wrecks. We were very happy to have arrived home safely. Phew. 

    Let me share what I found!


    I've been searching for old suitcases for some time now. I struck gold on Saturday! Here's what I did with them...






    I also found the perfect plates to hang in the kitchen...

     These are the coolest contraptions to hang plates! They just adhere to the back of the plate with a glue mixture. There are no wires showing like traditional plate hangers, and they're guaranteed to hold.




     It's just the look I was going for...subtle, but shabby chic.


    And this is the fabric I got for the window treatments in the kitchen.

     I can't wait to make the valences!

    I also got an old chair at a flea market that I am going to refinish, paint and recover.
    This is the fabric I'll use to recover with (I forgot to take a picture of the chair. That'll come later).



    I've been eyeing this vase for a while now. It was 50% off on this trip, so I gave in and bought it. It's the perfect addition to our living room!






    SO, that's all for now! Stay warm!



    
    We got another helping of snow for Super Bowl
    Sunday, as I'm sure many of you did
    

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