Sunday, November 21, 2010

One Year Ago

I married my best friend of seven years.

Eight years later, we are still best friends--if not more so.

Come what may, Jeffrey. Ro hay hu eterei. Or as my favorite family in Paraguay says "Mucho I love you eterei."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Two meals in a row--only one night's work

I'm always looking for ways to simplify cooking, but still make it delicious. Here's one way that I absolutely love.

Pizza and my own version of Johnny Carino's spicy romano chicken bowtie pasta (without the chicken, of course, for my vegetarian).

You can make either one the first day,  but the whole idea is that the second day almost everything is done for you. I usually make the pizza first, but before anything can be made, the alfredo sauce is first.

Alfredo Sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pkg (4 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 oz. grated parmesan
  • ground black pepper

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder and whisk until smooth. Add milk a little bit at a time, whisking in between. Stir in pepper and parmesan. Remove from heat when it reaches the desired consistency.

Vegetarian Alfredo Pizza

  • Whole wheat pizza dough (I made this in advance and froze it)
  • 1/2 Alfredo sauce (recipe above)
  • Baby spinach
  • 1/2 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts 
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced and halved
  • Roma tomato, diced
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Diced olives
  • Mozzarella cheese (I just bought the pre-shredded kind)
  • A handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Whatever ingredients you would like: chicken, bacon, pepperoni
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out the pizza dough onto a lightly oiled pizza pan. Smooth the Alfredo sauce over the dough and top with half the mozzarella cheese, followed by the ingredients. Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and the handful of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Place in the preheated oven and cook for 18-20 minutes.

Spicy Romano Bowtie Pasta

  • Half box of whole wheat bowtie pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 Alfredo sauce from the night before (recipe above)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (the other half from the previous night)
  • 1/8 cup sliced sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts (the other half from the previous night)
  • Sliced olives (the other half from the previous night--see a pattern?)
  • Frozen peas
  • Cayenne pepper
Cook bowtie pasta according to directions. In one saucepan, warm up the Alfredo sauce from the night before. Saute 1/2 red onion in the olive oil until softened. Add sundried tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add frozen peas at the last minute and saute until they have thawed. Add the vegetables to the warm sauce. Sometimes the sauce will be too thick from being refrigerated, so I just add a little bit of milk. Add cayenne pepper to taste (this gives it the taste of the Spicy Romano Pasta).

Drain the bowtie pasta and add it to the Alfredo sauce mixture. Toss and serve.

Both of these meals are delicious and so easy, especially the second night. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bucket Lists

In the Palace of Versailles

Walking the Gardens of Versailles

I am grateful for bucket lists. I'm especially grateful that I was able to cross one of my goals from my list a year and a half ago in Versailles, Paris.

Here's a video from Versailles. Excuse the cheesiness of it all.

I also look forward to crossing this off the list in December: Going to a Judd's concert!


 This blog is writing daily gratitude for the month of November. I think I'll give it a shot. I don't know if I'll do it every day, but I think it's a good practice nonetheless.

So what am I thankful for today?

To be alive.

It may sound crazy, but today that's what I feel.
I won't go into any specifics. I'm just grateful for a beating heart. Grateful that my lungs function, bringing in air and exhaling, softly, slowly, bringing peace to a tempestuous soul.

I've felt tempestuous today, but despite it all, I'm grateful I'm alive.

Grateful I have senses. I can smell the Domino's pizza we had for dinner. I can taste the leftover Halloween candy that I guiltily continue to pop into my mouth. I can feel the tips of my fingers tap away at the hard plastic of my new MacBook (of which I'm also grateful, but that's not the topic today). I can hear my husband breathing in bed next to me  as I fall asleep at night. I can see the words to the books I'm reading (and writing) and the art I admire.

I'm grateful I have a functioning body that hasn't fallen prey to the past pain and difficulties that I've faced.

I realize that's a lot to be grateful for, but it all falls under one category, which I've already stated and still mean.

I'm grateful I am alive.

Estoy agradecida estar viva.