Friday, February 10, 2012

Double Eff!

Know why it's not Triple Eff? Because I keep forgetting about the fashion part of things so I haven't been taking pictures. Know what else? I discovered I'm not addicted to skirts+leggings+tall boots. Although, I do love them it's not the only thing I wear. SWEAR. It's just that I don't think jeans are that cute so when I wear them, quite often in the brisk winter of Colorado, it doesn't cross my mind to photograph such a moment. {sarcasm}

Another knowledge ball to drop on you: Remember that episode of Army Wives a LONG time ago when Pamela moved into the new, big house (before her and Chase split up?) Well, Roxy goes over and is all, "Oh my GAHH, matching dinnerware!!"

Is an eclectic collection of dishes a sign of poverty, or something? Because I prefer it that way. If I'm picking up things at Walmart, or Tarjay, I'll pick up a cute dinner plate, or cereal bowl. I like that none of my stuff matches. I thought you'd like to know...

Anyway, you foodies, sooo much food in this post. SO. MUCH.

I picked up a gorgeous pound of green beans and found the most fabulous recipe from The Pioneer Woman. If anything, you should add these as a side dish to your dinner because the aroma produced is so good I'd buy it in a candle. Fact.

I paired the green beans with pasta with alfredo sauce (it's in the recipes list! Pee to the Ess, make this and you'll NEVER go back to jarred sauce). This is probably one of the most delicious meals. EVER.

I've talked a lot about apple butter, but I don't think I've ever actually shown you guys how I make it. It's a bit of a process, and nerve wracking if you're canning (sealing for longevity) it for the first time, but once you've done it you're golden :-) Under the recipes tab, dolls!

I'm not one to buy things if I'm able to accomplish them on my own. But, Gary really suggested I get an apple corer/peeler since apple butter is now a regular staple in our house. I recommend the crap out of this! It was only $15, so I was able to justify it ;-)

I also thoroughly enjoy my stainless steel stockpots! I got them, as a pair, for $30 at our PX a lightyear ago. Not only do they withstand use extremely well, you don't have to spend any appendages to get them!

I did forget to add the picture of this, but after the apples have done the boiling step, I rested a food mill on top of my other stockpot and ran the apple mixture, one ladle at a time, through that.

This time I opted to make caramel apple butter (under the Recipes tab I made a note of how to switch it from regular apple butter to caramel :-) ). Gary said it sounded too good to pass up!

You can get packs of mason jars, which have sooo many uses, at most grocery stores. I got a back of 12 for $11ish.

You can also pick up a canning kit, which includes this carrier thing. I know, I'm super precise. I don't know that there's a way around getting a canning kit, but I also haven't heavily considered it. I'm a very if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it type person :-)

You spend a couple hours doing the apple butter and canning and, for us, it lasts 2-3 months! The caramel apple butter is an enormo hit with my boys, but I have the tiniest preference toward regular apple butter; I feel like it has a lighter, more subtle, taste. But, I'd recommend either to a friend! And, now you can have a spread for sandwiches (or use it on waffles, biscuits, english muffins, a spoon...) that you know is healthy because you know every ingredient in it!

Baked Risotto with Asparagus, Spinach, and Parmesan

I grew up with 4 males in the house, so I grew up a meat and potatoes type girl. So, that's what I tend to cook. But, I bought this great cookbook that has a meatless section, so I try to cook from that a couple times a month to mix things up and to keep things, literally and figuratively, fresh.

Remember last week how I mentioned I found a great bulk store? Well, this recipe requires a cup of Arborio (risotto) rice, so I was able to get exactly what I needed AND it was organic. So, I was pretty happy about that :-)

I didn't have the correct ingredients to make my own bread, so I asked Gary to pick up some French bread to make garlic bread. But, I did make my own garlic spread. You guys, butter + garlic powder. That's it. Mix it up to your liking. BOOM.

Chicken Cacciatorre
I'll be adding this to the Recipes tab later today....swearsies. But, I'm trying to wrap this up to head out for a Tarjay date with an amiga, so I don't have time now!

My new crock pot! You don't, in my very humble opinion, need some fancy kitchen gadgets to make good meals. I got this at Walmart for $25 and it's bigger than my last one, hence the upgrade.

I served it atop pasta and it was TO. DIE. The kitchen smelled like I was from Italy all day. The boys couldn't get enough.

I needed tortillas for the chalupa recipe you'll see in a sec, but I had none. It felt like just another thing to add to my list, so I decided to see if I was able to make it myself. I was! They don't look perfect, but who cares? It's not like your belly has eyeballs.

Not the ones you're envisioning.
Again, soon to come to the Recipes tab. Like, this afternoon, for those who need to make this sometime this weekend!

I always, ALWAYS add more cheese to dishes like this. Nothing has to be specific. Have fun with it. Anyway, I add more cheese because I come from a long line of cheese lovers. It's a genetic compulsion.

Vermicelli Pasta with Sausage
I've put this in the blog before, but I made it again in my new, totally Pioneerish Dutch Oven! I. was. pumped.

See how simple I am? Also? Either $30 or $40 at

Slow Cooker Casserole
This is THEE. PERFECT. cold weather meal. Nice and filling :-)
Again, I suck. It'll be up this afternoon!

It requires frozen vegetables. I'm not the hugest fan of canned or frozen veggies (not that I have anything against them). I just prefer everything be fresh.

OK, guys. Running off to get dressed and dash out the door! A lot of people have been asking how I fed J when he was a mini and how I made his baby food. Next week, loves! Plus all the Valentines treats I'm planning!


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