Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Cozy Recipe: Tomato, Olive, and Feta Pasta

I was searching for a recipe that would simple enough to make on night's that I'm eating alone.  Even if no one else is home, I still like to eat something yummy.  As part of my resolutions, I'm really trying to avoid fast food.  Well, I found the perfect recipe.  This dish is yummy, fast and cheap!  I found it in a can opener gourmet cookbook.  To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to be all that great.  There are no fresh ingredients, just things from a can or a box.  I was pleasantly surprised.  This is something I will definitely be making again!  Next time I might throw in some sausage or chicken... yummy!

Tomato, Olive and Feta Pasta

8oz. pasta (I used penne)
2.25oz. sliced black olives, drained
14oz. diced tomatoes, not drained
1/4c. vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
feta cheese (to taste)

Boil the pasta.  If you only use 8 ounces, it is the perfect size meal for two people.  In a separate saucepan, add the vegetable oil, olives, and tomatoes.  Simmer for a few minutes, then add the basil and garlic powder.  When the pasta is done, drain it and return to the pan.  Add the sauce and mix well.  Add the desired amount of feta cheese as a topping.  Seriously, this meal was super yummy!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Vacation and Fried Pickles

I know this is Wordless Wednesday, but I would like to state that these pickles were not made by me.  We ate at the delicious Famous Uncle Al's Hot Dogs in Virginia Beach.  They were absolutely delicious (and a surprise because I was expecting pickle slices, not spears)!  I would love to find a recipe to make these yummy bites at home!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Mondays - January 10 (and a few resolutions for the new year)

It's a new year and it's time to really get back into the swing of things.  I love the holiday season, but it takes routines and schedules and throws them out the window.  It's a snowy day here (rare in Texas) and schools are closed.  This means a free day for me!  I've got a full list of things I'd like to do, my favorite of which includes a trip to the library.  Oh, how I've missed it!  Before that though, I need to do my Weekly Home Blessing and make a quick run to the grocery store.

Here's what's on the menu for this week...

Monday ~ Tyler's cooking for me tonight.  He said it's some sort of pasta dish.

Tuesday ~ Queso Soup

Wednesday ~ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Thursday ~ Garlic Herb Chicken with green beans

Friday ~ Pizza Friday!

Saturday ~ Meat Crust Pizza and tossed salad

Sunday ~ Slowcooker Sunday - Broccoli Alfredo Baked Potatoes
(I had no idea that you could make baked potatoes in a slowcooker.  I just found a post at Crockpot 365 that proves otherwise.  I'm super excited to try this!

I also wanted to post a few resolutions for the new year.  Every year I've said something along the lines of eating healthier, exercising more, losing weight, etc.  I'm pretty sure we've all had similar variations.  This year, I wanted to set specific goals.  Something that I can easily check off as done.  So here it is...

1. I want to run in a 5K before the year is over.  This will take training.  I enjoy running, but I have never been determined enough to run any amount of distance.

2. In order to meet my goal of running a 5K, I will run at least three times each week.  If for some reason I am unable to run (weather, children, etc), I will walk an indoor 5K.  I'm counting on Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds to help me with this!

3. I will stick to the FlyLady program.  I have been a huge fan of this program for a long time.  However, I always seem to let go after a few weeks.  This time, I'm going to do it right.  I'll take baby steps.  My specific goal for January is to keep up with the Weekly Home Blessing, shining my sink and 15 minutes of decluttering each day.  Her Seven in 2011 motto is just fabulous!  Go to if you haven't looked into this program before.  Love it!

4. I know I need to eat healthier, but I also know that just saying I'll do it won't work.  I have a *small* problem with grabbing fast food on my way home.  My goal for this year is to limit myself to one time each week.

5. I want this blog to grow.  I loved writing the few posts I have done.  I want to keep going.  My plan is this ... Menu Mondays, Wordless Wednesdays, one new recipe each week, and a weekly update on my resolutions.

I'm really looking forward to a fresh start this year.  So many things have changed in my life lately.  I'm ready for a fabulous future!

Stay cozy on this snowy day!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Cozy Recipe: Almond Biscotti

The holidays have officially come and gone.  I'm happy and sad.  2010 was a strange year for me.  I certainly didn't end it in the same position I started it.  I'm planning on 2011 being a fabulous year!  I look forward to new experiences this year.  One of my resolutions for the new year is to cook more ... to try lots of new recipes!  Here is a new one I've found and really enjoy.  I think this (and variations) will definitely be staples in my home from now on.

During Christmas, I was searching for a diabetic recipe.  Several of our family members are diabetic, so I didn't want to only take super sweet foods.  I came across this delicious biscotti recipe on  I've tried biscotti in the past, and I can't say I was a huge fan.  However, after trying it with my coffee, I decided it is something I should make more often.  Using the Splenda and whole grain flour adds a certain element of healthiness too, don't you think?  I want to start keeping some in a canister so I can grab a couple on my way out the door.  Coffee and biscotti ... such an easy breakfast.  Why didn't I do this before?  I'm planning on adding dried cranberries to my next batch.  Yummy!

Almond Biscotti
1/4 cup slivered almonds, finely chopped
1/2 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
2 T. margarine (trans-fat free)
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 t. almond extract
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a small baking pan, bake the almonds for 7-8 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown.  Watch carefully to avoid burning.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix sugar and margarine with mixer at medium speed until smooth.  Add egg whites and almond extract.  Mix well.

In another large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt until well blended.

Add egg white mixture and chopped almonds to the flour mixture and mix well.

Spray two 9x5 loaf pans.  Split the dough in half and spread it evenly into the hands.  Wet your fingertips to make this easier.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove pans and turn dough over onto a cutting board.  When it is cool enough to handle, cut across loaves in 1/2 inch strips.

On a cookie sheet, lay each slice on its side.  Bake for an additional 5 minutes on each side.  Store in an airtight container.

This recipe is linked up at...
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