Sunday, August 10, 2014

Trattoria Spaghetti

Scott just got home from his fraternity's alumni golf weekend. I had a pretty laid back weekend-a good friend, Julie had her bridal shower which was so cute! Great brunch (and sangria!) from Thunder Bay-I'd definitely recommend it for your next gathering!

The Sangria!

Super cute. I LOVE the tags :)

Flowers in Julie's wedding colors :)

A very sunny picture of Megan & I
 After the shower, I had a busy weekend of cleaning and organizing the apartment. I had been wanting to clean out our storage closet and spare bedroom forever. It seems as though we never truly unpacked in the spare room. Now it looks like a bedroom a bit more!

After all that this weekend, I just wanted to have a relaxing night once Scott got home. This meal takes about 20 minutes. It has a lot of veggies in it, and still a lot of flavor without a ton of fat for you. It's also meatless, which I'd like to try to do a few more times a week when possible! I changed up the recipe (which I put below) with what vegetables I have on hand. You can certainly add whatever you'd like to it!

Trattoria Spaghetti-adapted from 365 Last-Minute Meals by Better Homes and Gardens
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 9 ounces dry spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese with garlic and herbs

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain then return to pan or a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, mushroom and pepper and stir for about a minute. Add in tomatoes and carrot. Cook, covered for about 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Add tomato mixture to pasta and mix thoroughly. Stir in feta cheese.

Heat's Homemade: Laundry Detergent

I got this recipe from a good friend of mine. I am never, ever going back to store-bought laundry detergent. I paid about $30 to get this all put together. I started using it at the beginning of the year, and we aren't even half way through it! It works just as good as regular detergent, and smells great. It's a bit of a pain to make, but totally worth it. You just need to make sure you have a really big storage container for it!

Laundry Detergent

  • 4 pound, 12 ounce box of borax
  • 3 pound, 7 ounce box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 3 pound container of Oxy Clean
  • 28.2 ounces Ivory Bar Soap, grated
  • 4 pound box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
  • 55 ounce bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener
Mix all ingredients together in a large container. User 1-2 tablespoons per load.

Peach and Blueberry Tart

I don't have a true tart pan, so I used a standard pie plate for this recipe. It was a fine recipe, but not something I would have to make again.

Peach and Blueberry Tart-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Serves 12

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 2 cups frozen sliced peaches, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Crumb topping
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon; stir in butter just until blended. Press onto the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, peaches and honey. Toss to cotat. In a small bolw, combine all the cumb topping ingredients.

Spoon fruit mixture into crust. Top with crumb topping. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Try Again: Cream Cheese Banana Bread

I have had the worst luck baking lately. I don't know why, but things just haven't been working out. I didn't even take a picture of this failure. The bread overflowed the pan AND then (not surprisingly) it didn't cook all the way through. The top that was cooked did taste really good, so I'll definitely try again-probably in two bread pans.

Cream Cheese Banana Bread-adapted from A Cook's Quest
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes 1 loaf

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the butter, cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Add the eggs and mix until blended. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Mix in bananas and vanilla.

Pour mixture into a greased bread pan. Bake for about an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Nacho Chicken Rolls

I don't think I've ever made stuffed chicken. The chicken breasts I had for this recipe were gigantic. I really had to pound them down! If you can buy chicken cutlets, that would make it much easier. The recipe was a bit messy, but totally worth it in the end! Putting the crunch, cheese and refried beans together with chicken made my night!

Nacho Chicken Rolls - adapted from 300 Under 300
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 can fat free refried beans
  • 1/4 cup fat free cheddar cheese
  • 6 wedges Laughing Cow swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup bran cereal
  • 8 tortialla chips, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper
  • Six chicken breasts or cutlets, pounded to 1/3 inch thickness
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x11 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

To make the filling, combine the refried beans and both cheeses in a medium bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a food processor, grind the cereal to a breadcrumb-like texture. Add chips, taco seasoning and cayenee pepper and pulse slightly. Transfer to a plate.

Lay chicken on a clean, flat surface. Spoon the filling into the center of the chicken. Carefully roll each over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Cover each cutlet with 1 tablespoon taco sauce then roll in the crumb mixture. Gently transfer to the baking pan.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove fil and bake for another 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.


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