Dinner For Two: Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

While most humans are committing to healthier habits to start the new year, our household has decided to add butter, heavy cream and cheese to all meals.

Not 100% true, but Saturday night, we were all about it.

Date nights are different now. Mainly because we don’t leave the house, we wear pajamas and there is a baby that is (hopefully) sleeping and (hopefully) not crying upstairs. And I can barely stay awake for the dinner part…which I guess isn’t much different than before. Also, I say “Eric, look at the baby monitor” between bites. So yes, it is VERY romantic.

Here’s what was on the menu:

The Pioneer Woman’s Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce, grilled bread topped with whipped ricotta cheese- inspired by an appetizer at one of my favorite New York City restaurants, ABC Kitchen, and arugula salads with shaved parmesan and lemon-infused olive oil.

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Dishes: Crate & Barrel

Eric cleaned everything up so I could watch “How To Get Away With Murder” on Netflix because I did NOT watch 5 episodes earlier in the day.

Yes I did, but it was nice of him to let me watch one more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Weekend Fun

We had a nice little Easter weekend. Our first Easter not spent with extended family…but we still managed to consume just as much delicious food!

Saturday night, my lovely husband cooked me breakfast for dinner. It was so much fun. I was all smiles as he whipped up some perfect little pancakes, scrambled eggs and turkey bacon.

Is there anything better than the sight of the one you love mixing up some breakfast?

I can’t remember the last time I had pancakes. Look how beautiful.

As we started to munch our breakfast, we craved orange juice. And then we craved mimosas, so we popped open a bottle of champagne given to us as a wedding gift.

Just when I thought breakfast for dinner was a little “tame” for a couple in their twenties, we went and finished off a bottle of champagne.

This morning, the Easter sunshine came bursting through the windows. We got up early to break into our Easter baskets. Eric handed me mine.

 I made him search for his.

 After our basket exchange/hunt we went for a nice morning walk and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading to church.

After church, it was time to get ready for our Easter meal.

It was a team effort to prepare our first holiday turkey without a parent giving detailed instruction.

 I read off the instructions from my computer while Eric was more hands on.

Pretty soon, our guests arrived. First, Andrea and Dave with adorable and delicous cupcakes and then Kimmy, with a massive tupperware bin filled with food and an easter decoration.

We devoured cheese, crackers and wine while waiting for the turkey to be done.

Dinner included roasted turkey, spaghetti squash au gratin, cranberry sauce, brocolli, bread, salad and more.

We miss our families every day, especially holidays, but we were so blessed to have wonderful friends to spend our holiday with.

After dinner we had peanut butter bars with chocolate buttercream frosting, raspberry swirl cupcakes and apple cupcakes.

That might explain why all five of us were glued to the tv for hours watching the Masters. It takes one good food coma to get me into golf on tv.

Happy Easter!

Better than Tacos

Yesterday was one of those perfect Saturdays. You know the ones. They have a lovely mix of rest, relaxation and productivity. And it’s not Saturday without eating something delicious.

The day began as most Saturdays do: Bodypump and Starbucks with Kimmy. Andrea was out of town and Sarah needed her sleep, so Kimmy and I spent our time at Starbucks talking about how Andrea shouldn’t travel so much and Sarah should go to bed earlier so she can wake up earlier.

Country Boy called to check-in a couple of times while I was sipping my iced coffee. I think it had something to do with the lofty promise I made a few days back about how we were going to spend “ALL DAY SATURDAY DOING MAJOR SPRING CLEANING!!!.” Lucky for me, by the time I returned home, he had taken care of most of the cleaning, with the exception of…my closet.

Just to defend myself…I destroyed my closet in order to re-organize it. My closet wasn’t this embarrassing. I put away all of my winter-ish shoes and clothes, filled a bag to donate and a bag to throw away.

We worked up an appetite with all of that cleaning.  What better thing to do in a freshly cleaned kitchen than cook a big sloppy meal!?

It’s especially fun when my husband follows me around with a spray bottle of 409. I don’t know how many times I have to yell, ”DON”T SPRAY CHEMICALS ON MY FOOD!”

Now, forget about the chemicals for a moment  while I discuss how delicious last night’s dinner was. It was  better than tacos…it was taco stuffed peppers! (Based on this recipe.)

Roasted red and yellow peppers.

Ground turkey, quinoa, corn, black beans, taco seasoning, salsa.

Stuff the peppers

Top with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes.

While that baked, we made a creamy avocado dip.

Two avocados, cilantro, garlic, ½ cup of Greek yogurt, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Just like guacamole, but with extra protein and less calories.  Very smooth and tasty.

Dinner is served.

I used my favorite oven mit from Anthropologie, a Christmas gift from Grandma. HI GRANDMA!

And then we drank margaritas all night, extra salt.

Oh, no we didn’t. We watched The Lion King.

That’s what I meant.

A Week Inspired by Pinterest

First, if you’re not on Pinterest, you need to be.

I like to think I have good ideas on my own, and I’m not saying that’s not true, but Pinterest has opened my eyes to a whole new world of food, fashion, home decorating, fitness and random things I never knew I wanted to know about.

As I reflect on the last week and the fun little things I did, I realized quite a bit was inspired by Pinterest.

Well, not this pre-Valentine’s Day pizza. I had no problem creating this masterpiece.

But the homemade Valentine’s Day gift? Pinterest.

It’s four framed maps, with hearts circling the places we met, got engaged, got married and live. We met- Chicago, IL. We got engaged- Orlando, FL. Got married- Flint, MI. We live- Fargo, ND. This project took 20 minutes and cost $12.00. Quite a bargain compared to last Valentine’s Day in Belize.

Another Pinterest inspired endeavor this week?

 A little wine and cheese gathering with friends. Veggies served in individual cups of dip…Pinterest. The veggie dip made out of Chobani plain greek yogurt with ranch seasoning…Pinterest.

Pinterest also reminded me that I love scallops wrapped in bacon, so those were added to the menu.

While the food was delicious, the dance party with Just Dance 3 on the Wii was the highlight.

 Rest assured, you don’t find fabulous friends to drink wine, dance, and laugh with on Pinterest.

 

Road Trip for Grandma Weaver’s 90th + A Little Whitney Memory

Last weekend we celebrated Eric’s grandma’s 90th birthday.

But first: Last night, Country Boy couldn’t understand why I was so glued to the tv when the news that Whitney Houston had died broke. He was confused. “Since when have you been a Whitney Houston fan?”

It was then that  I remembered.

He didn’t know me when I was 3. Some of my very first and very favorite memories of my mom were dancing in our living room to Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody.” I remember my mom’s big hair (it was 1987, she was around the same age I am now), I remember her purple sweat pants (it was 1987 and that was what she wore to clean those house), and I remember her singing as loud as she could to this song, encouraging me to dance and sing too whenever the music video played on VH1.

There is a home video of me jumping on the bed while on vacation in Florida, three years old, singing this song. Another first “musical” memory of my mom? Cruising around in her car, me, just a toddler, her in her late twenties singing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” at the top of our lungs. The verdict is still out on how appropriate a toddler singing Madonna songs was.

Here we are in the peak of our song and dance days.

Now, onto Grandma Weaver’s 90th birthday.

Our roadtrip included a stop in Wisconsin for cheese.

Saturday, we celebrated with the birthday girl. She doesn’t look 90. Or even 80.

I made a new friend.

It was fun to spend some time on the farm. Eric always likes to take pictures of me on farms. He thinks I don’t quite fit there. But, I think I do. I don’t mind getting my boots muddy. (That’s I lie.)

Sunday we spent the day on the road, after a quick, but wonderful weekend with the Weaver family. Happy birthday Grandma Weaver!

Our First Anniversay in…

Fargo.

A majority of last weekend was spent in the airport to be specific. But, everyone probably already knows that because I was a complete drama queen all over Facebook about never making it to Chicago as we planned.

Our Friday afternoon flight was cancelled. We thought about going to a nice dinner, but instead we sat on the couch and ate proscuitto, salami, cheese and wine oranges.

After Saturday morning Bodypump and Starbucks with Sarah, it was time to head to the airport.

By the time we arrived at the airport, our flight was pushed back to 5:30.

We got a drink and called Benny’s Chophouse in Chicago to make our dinner reservation as late as possible.

The flight got pushed back to 6:30

We did some heavy reading.

And made friends with people who were trapped in Fargo.

Then, our flight disappeared from the screen. I stomped my feet. It was really effective.

Then, it appeared on the screen, changed to 7:30.

We didn’t even want to go anymore. We got a refund for my ticket, Country Boy changed his flight to the next day, so he could still make it for the business part of the Chicago trip. I cancelled my massage, he cancelled our hotel and our dinner reservations.

We went home to change and headed to Sarello’s for dinner.

I posed for a picture in the kitchen and pretended I was standing on Michigan Avenue overlooking the Chicago River.

When we got to dinner, and found out my dad had called to pay for dinner and tell them it was our anniversary, we forgot all about Chicago and our day at the airport.

The bottle of wine helped too.

And maybe the five course meal with the love of my life.

I got lost in the love and the bourbon glazed bread pudding.

We’ll never forget our one year anniversary.

Especially because on our actual anniversary, Country Boy left early in the morning to go to Chicago, and I ventured out in a mild snowstorm and managed to get stuck in my car. Not like my car got stuck in the snow, I mean… I. Got. Stuck. Inside of. My car. The door wouldn’t open. I called my husband whom had just arrived in Chicago, in a panick because I couldn’t get out of my car to go into ULTA to buy some nail polish. I had to crawl out the passenger door. I sent him this picture with a “Happy Anniversary!”.

The door works now and I still have no idea why that happened.

Anyways…

One Year Ago- A Comparison

A year ago right now I was…

Finishing up last minute details for the wedding

Ending one job and anxiously awaiting the start of the new one

Buying a new SUV

Packing up to move to Fargo

Preparing for a different life

And anticipating this day…less than a week away.

Today, I’m calm, rested, content. With soup simmering on the stove for tonight’s dinner, writing in my little blog with coffee made by Country Boy.

The decisions were good, the changes worked out and last January’s life upheaval turned out to be just fine.

I miss my family every day, but as shocking as it is…they are all able to function without me.

As fun and exciting as planning a wedding and everything that went along with it was, I’m happy that for today, I can just focus on planning the details for next weekend’s trip to Chicago to celebrate one year of marriage in the city we called home when we met and fell in love.