Thursday, November 11, 2010

Coming soon...

Did I mention I'm starting a dancewear line?


Here's a sneak peak!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Knitting Project: Dottie's Blanket

Last week I hit a wall...a knitting wall. I lost motivation to knit to and from work. I lost motivation to knit Johnny's sweater. I needed a jump start.

Jump start #1: Seeing someone else knit on the train and realizing how easy it is to knit while taking the Metro.
Jump start #2: Dottie's blanket project.

I had this forest green yarn sitting around for about a year and a half. I originally bought it to make a sweater for my friend, but it was a bad plan. The yarn was way to soft and stretchy for a sweater. So I took it apart and the yarn sat in my stash since last May.

Then about two weeks ago I because obsessed with this yarn again. I wanted to make a cozy sweater for myself, but hello! I tried that last year and it didn't work.

Then I had a stroke of genius...puppy blanket.

Its getting a little cooler here in Southern California and I thought Dottie needed a little something to snuggle in. I was so right...

Pattern: Radiating Star Blanket (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Bulky in Arbor
On the needles October 28th to November 7th

The color is a little off in this picture, but as you can see its a cute little radiating star just as its name promised. I'd say it came out a great size for a baby or a 30 lb. puppy like ours. The yarn is soooo soft. A nice mix of cotton and acrylic that makes the blanket machine washable. Like I'd make something for a dog that wasn't machine washable :)

Now I feel much better. I've finished the knitting for my sister's Christmas gift and hit a major milestone in the knitting of my husband's sweater. I also worked up my nerve to start working on my dance wear line. Hopefully I'll have that to show off by the end of November!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Riding the Train

Last time I posted about the train I think I was complaining, but let me follow up by saying taking the train is also possibly the best thing I've ever decided to do. I've already taken the train 6 of the 13 days I need to ride this month to make the monthly pass worth it.

Good Points about the LA Metro System

1. It is generally on time barring freak accidents involving semis crossing the tracks or brief periods of flooding.
2. As long as I catch my train at 8:13am I will be on time to work.
3. My husband drives me to the stop in the morning when he's not working, thus I get to spend a few minutes with him before I go. Dottie Jo likes it too because she gets a brief car ride.
4. I can knit or read as long as I can find a seat.
5. My balance on a moving vehicle is getting better as long as I'm not wearing heels.
6. My husband and Dottie come walk me home when they can.
7. Most importantly I can witness excellent art work like this...
 I'm not sure what the artist was thinking, but it looks like the person is being tortured because this is a picture of a man hanging from the ceiling. There are several of these in the Civic Center stop and they are all in this same pose. I think it's supposed to imitate flying, but it just looks like the train hit them and flung them up into the rafters.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Ever need a weekend to recuperate from your weekend? I do! I do!

Saturday was fine. Museum tours and lots of knitting. John was working so I splurged and had Kraft mac and cheese for dinner.

But, you see the problem with John working is the late hours involved. He works a 20 hours day and arrived home at 4:30am. I tried to sleep, but knowing he was navigating the freeways after such a long day makes me worried. Sometimes I think its easier for him to be out of town. Then Dottie and I can get in a rhythm.

Sunday morning Dottie awoke at 7am, or was it 6:30? I'm not sure, but I do know I only got about 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Sunday afternoon was Dottie's very first dog pawty! My co-worker's dog turned 3 so she had a few people and puppies over to celebrate. I was really proud of Dottie! She was friendly to all the dogs. Only one dog didn't like Dottie and our little one just didn't know to leave that dog alone. Big steps for Dottie who was a little shy of other dogs when we first got her. Yay!

So even though this weekend wasn't overly busy, the lack of decent sleep Saturday night has left me a little frazzled today. Here's hoping ballet class with my beloved teacher Ina will get me back on track.

P.S. Couch to 5k totally failed this weekend. Could barely keep my eyes open so I postponed until maybe tomorrow to start. Maybe next weekend. I'm not sure yet, but I do know that I need to get my butt in gear and fast.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Not lazy.

After posting yesterday I got a bug in my bonnet. Must finish knitting projects, preferably now.

Did I mention I'm trying to take the train to work everyday? I paid my $75 for a monthly pass, now I just need to ride 13 days this month to get my moneys worth. 4 days down...9 more to go.

Anyways, I really planned to knit all the way home last night, but my plan didn't totally work. I walked to station #1 and rode one stop to my transfer. Didn't knit because that train ride is short and always extremely crowded. Not worth it. Then I walked to station #2 and waited for my next train. There was a gal in front of me with a Ravelry tote knitting and I was totally jonesing to knit, but just then the train pulled up.  As I got on the train I knew things would just not work out well.

It was crowded too! Way more crowded than usual and I couldn't find a seat. Did I mention I was wearing brand new shoes? Ouch! The train driver was terrible too. Stop...go...stop...go...nausea. I kept getting thrown onto the guy standing next to me even though I was gripping the handrail trying to brace myself. I felt really bad for a little old lady who was made to stand. Seriously where did people's manners go? Basic rule of public transportation...give up your seat to the elderly. It's good karma. At least I got to over hear a man's conversation about his son's adjustment to his parent's divorce. Sweet!

So knitting was not so good. The train ride was more than halfway over by the time I got a seat, but I pulled out the knitting anyways figuring I still had a good 15 minutes. See? I overcame the lazy. I was rewarded too. Between the ride to the station, walking home, and the ride this morning I almost finished part 2 of Kathryn's gift!

When I got home last night I finished another 10 rows on Dottie's blanket so hopefully that will be done this weekend!

Yay for me! Progress!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


First off...I've been contemplating taking up running, well at least jogging. I heard about this program called couch to 5k and it's a 9 week program to take a sloth like me all the way to running a 5k. I thought about starting it, then I ate a brownie, had a glass of wine and decided to do it. John's on board to run with me, so I'll have support. I figure if my aunt Jennifer and my sister Kathryn can run, so can I.

So, when should I start...I think Sunday would be a good day. Maybe Saturday. Nope, Sunday.

Now onto lazy #2...knitting.

Now don't get me wrong, I've been knitting a lot, but now's the time to kick it into high gear. John's sweater 50% done. Kathryn's Christmas gift also 50% done. Dottie's blanket...more than 50% done. But I still need to make Christina's commissioned work. Ballet clothes for her daughter. I've long dreamed of starting my own dance wear line and now seems like a good time to go for it. I just need to finish a couple projects first. Ah, excuses.

Part of my plan was to find a job with fewer hours. Check. Take public transportation to work. Check. Knit on the on Jessica! You can do it. Think of all the legwarmers you can make on the train. No more traffic!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This weekend

It was good, then bad, then good, then bad again. Sigh...I think I need a nap. cousin Bethany and her husband Brian came up for Saturday night. They treated us to en evening at the Magic Castle. Very fun! Its such an interesting place. Our dinner was just okay, but the shows were amazing.

Bad...came home to find Dottie was sick. She must have eaten something that disagreed with her. So after an evening of fun and booze John and I were up most of the night tending to a sick dog. I really think Dottie a good precursor to kids. the house. It needed it and we managed to clean almost everything before our guests arrived.

Bad...the migraine caused by lack of sleep.

Good...after sleeping for a few (dozen) hours Dottie is back to normal. Yay!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going Back in Time

This weekend I went back in time for Heritage Square Museum's Mourning Tours. It was a lot of fun and exhausting at the same time.  The problem. Standing on my feet for 6 hours each day in borrowed boots...torture.

After spending 2 weeks gathering everything I needed it was so cool to finally put everything on and step into character. I looked like Anne of Avonlea!

I even got to dabble in a little spirit photography.

It was a lovely weekend. Now onto our Christmas program. Now where to buy my poodle skirt...

Monday, October 18, 2010


Another week and another trip to the grocery store.

John and I have been making an effort to eat out less and cook more. Its healthier and cheaper.

This week we only went to Henry's since I was busy when the farmer's market was going on and John doesn't like to go without me.

We bought ingredients for...
White Bean Chili with Cornbread Muffins
Pork Chops with Acorn Squash and Salad
Chicken Pot Pie with Mixed Vegetables
Pesto Pasta and Salad
Sandwiches Makings (deli meat and cheese)
Breakfast foods

We spent about $80 which I think is pretty good since we'll have plenty of food for 6 days. I figured 6 days x 3 meals= 18 meals X 2 people= 32 meals. $80/32= $2.50/per meal.

We certainly couldn't eat this good for $2.50 if we went out  to eat. We didn't even skimp too much on meat this week.

One of the big changes I've had to adjust to since getting married is our eating style. I can and do eat the same thing for days upon days. 4 days of Chili for lunch in a row, sure! My husband, not so much. Plus he eats more than I do, so I'm still adjusting to our shortage of leftovers from some meals. For instance, the chili makes about 8 2-cup servings. Of course John had two servings for dinner last night. So that only left 5 servings for the rest of the week. This meal would last just me more than one week. In my single days I would freeze half of it for later. Now if I have some for lunch today and so does my husband, we'll be down to 2 servings left by Tuesday. How do the mothers of teenage sons deal with this? I know they eat way more than my husband.

As a side note I'm climbing back on the Calorie King train. 4 months post wedding and I've gained back the weight I lost. Sad :( Must exercise more and drink less beer.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ahhh, changing life...

In the last 6 months I've moved, been married, adopted a dog, started volunteering and a museum and now I've added a new job!

So far so good. Ultimately my new job leaves me happier and less stressed. Hopefully it will stay that way.

Now onto the recipe. This is delicious! Just try to forgive the photos. My camera had an unfortunate incident with a pear in my purse a couple years ago and now it's not really working. So there photos are from my phone. 

Here is the recipe in its original form. And below is the second go around. 

This is yet another recipe from my favorite recipe book.

Butter and shallots in a pan and softened. Add peas. Add juice from one lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked ravioli. Call it done. 

I loved it. My husband loved it. Only down fall...not good for reheating. 

A couple weeks ago while we were planning meals for the week I realized I had a few things already on hand. Asparagus and pasta. All I needed was a couple shallots and a lemon. How easy is that! I thought it turned out really good, but John thought it was lacking protein. He was right, but since we'd eaten a lot of meat that week I think this was a nice refreshing meal.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Breathe, just breathe Jessica! You've actually had someone comment on your blog. Thanks you Chrys*! Hip hop and me just do not mix. Disco is way better.

Though I have to confess I did not disco up my evening last night. Instead I walked Dottie through a rare thunder and lightening storm then made a grilled cheese sandwich. It was delicious. It had Havarti with dill.

Okay, onto today's post.

Oh caffeine! How I love and hate you at the same time. 

Continuing my thread of diet related posts, I'd like to discuss my caffeine addiction.

I drink 2-3 caffeinated beverages every day. While I'm not the biggest caffeine junky, I'd like to at least cut back a little. 

Last spring I drank a cup of coffee in the morning, then a cup of coffee in the afternoon, followed by a can of diet coke. 

Now I'm down to two caffeinated beverages and I have my husband to thank. 

He started calling diet coke poison when I drank it. 

Stupid man ruined my perfectly good possibly cancer causing habit. Thanks babe! 

So now I only drink diet coke some times. If I feel like one in the afternoon I drink diet soda instead of coffee thus keeping the count at 2. Go me!

But what am I going to do starting October 11th? I might have to go cold turkey on the afternoon pick me up!!!!

I'm starting a new job and I have no idea if there is a coffee shop in the building or a kitchen where I can make a cup myself. 

Can I make it through an afternoon with out caffeine?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Disco!

This morning I hurt my toe. Tear.

With my husband out of town it was up to me to take the trash out. But I was in kind of a hurry. And, well, I dropped the trash can on my toe. It hurt. I scared Dottie. Then I gave Dottie a pet on the head and she felt better. I did not. My toe has a dent in it now. But I think it will be fine. No amputation needed, just a night off from ballet.

But…I still need to exercise right? Of course I do. I can’t put on a pair of pointe shoes, but I can put on some socks in my living room. Enter….

(Photo from 

Seriously my favorite exercise video I own. Maybe not as good as the aerobic tapes my mom had in the 80s, but disco abs does have disco and a lack of thong leotards.

It also has Cheryl Burke from Dancing with the Stars. I find her approachable as a fitness instructor and not condescending like Jillian Michaels.

The production budget on this video must have been like $5 because the back-up people totally make mistakes and are kind of weird. But the exercises are fun and really get me jumping around. Hopefully Dottie won’t get in my way so I can really move.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grocery Shopping

The blog Cheap Healthy Good recently did a posting on groceries. How much do people spend? What is considered a reasonable amount? It got me thinking about how much John and I spend on groceries each week. I think we do pretty good, but obviously we could do better. So here goes...a typical week of shopping.

Before shopping we took a look in the fridge. We had a few mushrooms, some beef broth, and 1.5 potatoes. Beef stew was in our future. 

The Farmer's Market- about $20
3 pears
1 pint strawberries
1 bag of baby arugula
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch baby carrots (like really baby carrots, not those whittled down ones from the super market)
1 head of garlic
1 sweet potato
1 jar of apricot brandy jam (a splurge for sure, but come on it's got brandy!)
1 baggie of baby portobello mushrooms

Not as cheap as purchasing these things at the market, but we're willing to pay slightly more to buy directly from the farmers.

Henry's Market- about $50
1 box of high fiber cereal
1% milk half gallon
1.5 lbs. stew beef
2 onions
2 zucchini
1 cucumber
5 containers of yougurt
1 container beef broth
1 package of penne
.25 lbs. of havarti with dill
1 can crushed tomotoes
1 4-pack of vanilla creamed soda for a pool party
1 loaf of whole wheat bread (I usually bake it myelf, but it was over 100˚ and we have no A/C)
1 bottle of pineapple juice
5lb. sack of sugar
1 bunch asparagus

I feel like I'm forgetting a few things, but you get the gist. 

Over all I feel like we eat pretty well. We mostly make our own food and I try to plan healthy and vegetable packed meals as often as I can. I also try to plan at least one vegetarian meal every week. This week it was pasta. I'd also like to mention my husband is out of town most of this week, so we only planned 2 big meals instead of our usual 3, but half of the stew is going into the freezer for a later week. Usually we'd have purchased more fruit, but it would be rotten in this heat if we didn't eat it right away. We did have a couple splurges, like expensive jam, cream soda, and pineapple juice. 

We also usually eat out a couple times a week in addition to the groceries. I know, I know. Eating out is very expensive. You are totally right.  

Here's a typical week.
Breakfast: cereal, eggs & bacon, or bagels depending on what's left in the fridge
Lunch: out
Dinner: Main meal of the week, usually something I can take for lunch most of the week

Breakfast: cereal/fruit
Lunch: leftovers for me, mystery food for John (I'm pretty sure he eat out often during the week.)
Dinner: pre-ballet class sandwich for me/John scavenges again

Breakfast: cereal/fruit
Lunch: leftovers for me, mystery food for John
Dinner: our 2nd/3rd pre-planned meals of the week.

Breakfast: cereal/fruit
Lunch: leftovers for me, mystery food for John
Dinner: out/3rd pre-planned meal (if not already cooked)

Breakfast: cereal, eggs & bacon, or bagels depending on what's left in the fridge
Lunch: out
Dinner: out

Hmmm, we seem to eat out more than I thought. Part of this is due to my husband. I can eat the same thing for a week straight, but he refuses to eat the same thing two days in a row. That jerk! How dare he demand variety? To be fair, we don't always eat out all these meals. Most weekends we'll only eat twice in a day. Or maybe I'm volunteering and John's left to fend for himself. Actually John's left to fend for himself a lot. Sorry dear!

Most weekdays I have no idea what John eats unless I find evidence like missing left overs or take out cups. The other big adjustment is that my husband eats twice the portion size I do, so leftovers really don't stretch as far as I'd like most weeks.

So, what advice do you have? How can I get John to eat more leftovers? What recipes do you make that don't break the bank?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Johnny's Sweater

This is Johnny's Christmas Sweater. He's very excited about it, but of course he should be. He picked the color and the pattern. I'm 7.5 inches in and it's going so well so far!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We are way too in love with our dog.

Work has been rough for the last year, but my husband has found a way to make it all better. He's started sending me emails titled 'What's Dots doing now?'

Let's see. What did Dottie do today?
First she took a nap. 

 Then she played with her fox.

 Are you talking about me?

 Lastly she watched a little TV.

Boy oh boy, she's going to be tired today! What a busy little girl. 

Oh, and we're officially that couple. We know.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New cookbook!

We're taking a break from my favorite cookbook ever to try a recipe out of this bad boy! Curried Lentil Soup tonight! I hope it's good!

I bought this book back in April when we moved in and we haven't made a thing from it. So sad. Tonight we fix this situation!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Once upon a time I knit a beautiful sweater. It was shade of purple with a nice open pattern. I made it in worsted weight wool which was a big mistake, but still I loved its beauty even if I almost never wore it because it made me sweat profusely. You see I made it to wear in spring and fall when the temperatures of LA drop all the way into the 70s. I should have made it for winter, but I was naive.

And then I washed it...

I put it in the washer with my other wool sweater (the one I made from washable wool) as an experiment to see if I could in fact wash the sweater in the machine. I put in on the hand wash/drip dry setting. What came out was a very beautiful toddler sized creation.

Consider this lesson learned. You CAN felt a wool sweater in a front loading washer even on the hand wash setting.


Monday, August 30, 2010

New Pointe Shoes!

Oh how pretty! Now that summer is in full effect her in Los Angeles I had to bite the bullet and by new pointe shoes. I started wearing the wonderful Bloch European Balance Shoes about 4 months ago and I like them very much. I started back on pointe about one year ago after several years of break time. I figured I should try it now before I got to old and busy to really give it my full attention. These shoes help my feet stretch in a way I have trouble achieving on my own. I always liked Bloch shoes and I'm in love with the way it feels dancing on pointe again!

Poor Dottie!

Poor Dottie! She go so sick last week!

Her first day of puppy day care she was so good. She left no messes in the kitchen before her pet sitter could collect her. Then the second day, disaster!

Little Dottie ate turkey jerky (the kind designed for dogs). She ate a lot of it. Like 3 breasts worth in a 24 hour period of time. Then her body rejected it at 2am. Oh it was gross and Dottie got rushed to the emergency pet doctor and rang up an unbelievable bill in 4 hours.

Then we took her to her regular vet for follow up where they were sweet as can be. Continued treating Dottie for the next 2 days and now she's back to her normal self.

The above picture is Dottie when I brought her home finally. She ran around the house like a crazed dog jumping on and off all the furniture before relaxing by my feet in the kitchen. I think she missed us, and we missed her too!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The importance of Parasols

Because it's over 100 degrees outside today I'd like to take a moment to thank the person who created the first parasol. I don't know who you are, but I love you. It's my summer time saver of my skin. Someday I hope to receive one with that cool UV fabric so I'll be extra protected. Hint, hint.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Kale, how I love thee!

6 months ago I'd never heard of Kale. If I had heard it I blocked it from my thoughts as one of those weird foods hippies eat. Not for me, nope no way. 

I was so very wrong.

I've now eaten kale three days in a row. Let me introduce you to the recipe that is rocking my world. 

Have I mentioned how much I love this book? Seriously like the best cookbook I've ever purchased because the recipes are quick and delicious, plus many are very adaptable and only use a few ingredients. Hooray!

This is not exactly the recipe, but has been adapted from Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals

Bean and Chicken Sausage Stew

3/4 lb. chicken sausage
2 cloves garlic (sliced)
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomotoes
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1 bunch kale (torn into 2 inch pieces)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook or reheat the sausage in a bit of oil in a dutch oven. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add beans tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Add kale and cook until wilted. Season to taste. 

Seriously this took about 15 minutes to make. It was so fast I wasn't prepared to add the kale. My husband took Dottie for her walk and didn't come back for about 30 minutes. So I just let the soup simmer sans kale until he got home. Worked just fine and just made the flavor better. 

I could see so many good ways to change this up. Add different beans, more veggies and this would be an even bigger meal. We had some left over homemade bread from the previous week and I used it to sop up the liquid. Delicious!

As for the sausage, I really think you could use any kind. The soup basically takes on the taste of the sausage itself. We used Basil chicken we picked up at Henry's. Turkey, pork or another chicken sausage would be good too.

The kale, well that was awesome! Adds a great texture. Really add a whole bunch because it cooks down to practically nothing. I could have added more because it was that good. 

The book also listed nutrition at around 300 calories per serving, but I'd imagine that depends on how much you eat and what type of sausage you add.

Freezable, adapable, and awesome. What more can someone ask for? 

It was so good we ate all of it before I could take a picture :)

Dottie's First Day of Puppy Care

Well, it's not her first day at puppy day care, but it is a big day nonetheless. Today marks the first day both me and my husband are working all day. My husband left at 7am and I at 8:15. This is what Dottie looked like when I left..

"Why are you leaving me?"

Sorry Dottie! I have to go to work. I know it sucks. I'd rather play with you all day, but that dog food you eat... it doesn't grow on trees.

So in honor of this day let me thoroughly introduce you to Dottie Josephine Prickle Fur Wrinkle Head Flap Jowls Floopy Ears commonly known as Dottie Jo.

Is all started more than a month ago. On July 2nd I got off work early. After weeks of looking for just the right dog and waiting for rescue agencies to return my calls (none of them did, bastards) I was desperate to find the perfect mutt. So I convinced my husband to make yet another trip to the local pound.

I'd seen this image on the website, but she was labeled as a lab. I thought...6month old way. We live in a duplex and our landlord admitted she was scared of dogs after we moved in. There was no way we could get a giant lab puppy. Plus, doesn't she look scared? Poor thing. 

As we wandered the aisles I instantly latched onto this little pup not even realizing they were one in the same. She was so tiny and cute. Even in the mass chaos of dogs barking and people she was quiet and curious. Love, instant love. But could she be ours? Would John agree?

We had to go back to the desk and meet with a counselor first. Then we had to see if there was already a waiting list for the puppy. Thankfully the counselor was very nice and recognized we are good people looking to give a dog a loving home. As long as out landlord agreed we could have any dog we wanted. (Our landlord agreed, yay!)

Next up the waiting list. By some miracle we were fist on the waiting list. I think it was fate because most lab puppies have huge waiting lists in hours. How we were first I will never know, but I later found out her list did indeed fill quickly. 

Step 3, wait until she became available for adoption to finally meet her face to face. On Wednesday July 7th she became available and John and I went to the Pasadena Humane Society at 9am sharp. If we weren't there by 9:30am we lost our chance. Dottie was a little nervous, but eventually started to interact with us. We agreed she was the dog for us. 

Step 4, wait while she was spade. This was the hardest waiting of all! She was ours, but when? Like expectant parents we had to ready our house the the new arrival. Plus the cranky ginger woman at the front desk was giving up zero information on her. Drats!

Finally on July 9th Dottie came home with us. She was good, curious, and fun. We love her very much and are so happy she is our puppy. In her honor here are two videos showing Dottie's first experience with a raw hide bone. Enjoy!
Dottie vs. the bone
Dottie vs. the bone II

Hope you make it to 2:30 Dottie! Then you get to play with King!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Book Report: The Market Square

My mother gave me this book to read months ago. I'm pretty sure I was in the middle of planning my wedding, trying frantically to make fabric pom-poms, knit my veil, and trying to finish the 6 books I checked out from the library before they were over due (total fail on that last part). Anyways, I'm sad I waited so long because this little book was darling.

Such a quick read! My mom said it should only take a day or two to read all of its 200 pages, but I'm busy and a slow reader, so it took me more than a week. (Oh the shame!) Most nights I've been so tired after being awoken as the ungodly hour of 7am by our puppy, then working all day and exercising at night. Oh and there's those little things called cooking and laundry and stuff to throw in there. Makes me so tired! I'm in trouble when we have kids. How do people work and have kids? I don't know, but I guess I'll find out someday.

Wait, what was I writing about? Oh yeah, the book. It started a little slow for me because I couldn't figure out where it was going. Once I realized that was the point I settled into enjoy the characters. This book is all about the characters. If you enjoy books about small towns, you should certainly check out The Market Square. I hear she wrote a whole series of books like this. Perfect for relaxing and letting yourself go into the world she creates. I don't think many are still in print, but your local library or used book stores might have them.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Best Easy Pasta Sauce Ever!

So I've tried out a lot of pasta sauces in my cooking days. I don't like using the jarred stuff if I can help it, but I hadn't hit on just the right simple quick to make sauce for everyday cooking...until now. My husband sucks this stuff down like none other all the while telling me how much he loves it. That makes me love it too.

(Photo from Real Simple)

Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce is so adaptable and simple. I don't remember their exact specifications, but it doesn't matter. What does matter is including these few basic ingredients.

1 onion diced
1 can (28oz.) crushed tomatoes (non-salted or low salt if you can find it)
3 cloves of garlic (minced or crushed)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1lb. pasta (any kind)

So simple right? Trust me, it's good.

Normally we add meat to the sauce too. Maybe some chicken or turkey Italian sausage. This week we went vegetarian. The recipe tells you to include two carrots which I always do even if I make a meat sauce. Carrots are good for you, pretty, and taste good, 'nough said. I had 3 carrots sitting in the fridge, so I used all 3. I also added a couple zucchini, a package of pre-cut mushrooms, and a small package of baby spinach. The end result was awesome!

Okay, now the steps to making it.
1) Set the water to boil for the pasta. Make the pasta according to the package directions. (I used spinach penne this week. I recommend it)
2) Pour a bit of oil in a separate pan and let is heat up a bit.
3) Add the meat and cook it until browned.
4) Add the onion, carrots, and any other veggies that take a tick longer to cook. Let um go for 5 minutes over medium heat.
5) Add the garlic and any other veggies and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
6) Add the tomatoes, salt ,and pepper.
7) Bring to a boil and then simmer about 10-15 minutes or until all the veggies and meat are cooked.
8) Pour sauce over cooked and drained pasta. Top off with a little Parmesan.

Okay, now I'm hungry. Anyone want to send over a 2nd lunch for me?

The official recipe can be found in Real Simple Best Recipes: Easy, Delicious Meals. I bought this book when John and I first moved in together this past April. We've made several things so far and loved everyone of them. Note: Easy, Delicious meals does not equal cheap or healthy meals. So you have to pick and choose what works for you. That said, the recipes are truly easy and delicious. One of the best features of the book is that it includes nutrition information for all the recipes. That part is really awesome and makes finding the healthier options easier.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We're totally famous!

Okay, so not really famous. But our wedding was featured on the Blog The Bride's Cafe. How awesome is that!

She share the wonderful little ditty I wrote about our wedding day as well as some of my favorite photos. Here's the direct link.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Another Day...A Different Blog

Welcome to me new blog! I'm here to write about what I love. Ballet, Knitting, Sewing, Cooking, and more. My husband John and I were just married on June 13th...aren't we awesomely perfect in our photos?
We were lucky enough to hire Suthi Picotte for our photography and wow, was she awesome.

Anyways, the rest of our wedding was awesome too. Trust me. I'll provide more photographic proof soon.

So here was are. Two months into our honeymoon period and adjusting to life as a couple. We also added a puppy to the mix. It was the right thing to do.