Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Anniversary Quickies!

Today is my third anniversary!  So first and foremost, I am thrilled to pieces to celebrate this milestone, and so grateful for the amazing last three years!!!  And the many many more to come!  Poor Baby S has had a virus since last Thursday, so weren't able to celebrate over the weeknd as planned, but that's ok- we'll have fun on our trip to Door County for July 4th!  Yeah!!!

Couple other quick thoughts- last night I went to the Corinth Library to get some books for our trip.  I found four fabulous books, and the helpful staff even found one of the books that had mysteriously gone missing from the stacks for me.  I think we take for granted how wonderful our public libraries are, and I am so thankful to have well-stocked libraries all within a short drive of my home.  Free books!  What could be better?! 

Also- can't believe I failed to mention this sooner- I tried a new salon as the ridiculous Bijin in PV Shops finally pissed me off enough that I could no longer keep going- and guess what it was?  The Paul Mitchell Academy in OP!  HAHA.  Yup- a school!  My haircut was $10!  And it was fabulous!  So hooray for Paul Mitchell, I'll definitely be visiting again soon!  Loved my haircut!

Must give my treadmill a HUGE shout out, I just love that thing to bits.  It is such a lifesaver.  And I really enjoy my 45 minutes on there in the mornings, watching Cooking Channel crap like Ask Aida, or Ellie Krieger, or whatever other garbage is on there.  Just LOVE it!  Today was a nice change though, Baby S could not be left alone without sobbing hysterically so we went for a walk, and it was the perfect temp and sunny- so that was nice.  But boy oh boy am I grateful for the treadmill.

Finally- tried to create my own protein bars yesterday, and although the recipe still needs major tweaking, they are actually quite good!  Here is the recipe:

2 cups kashi go lean
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 ounce dehydrated strawberries
2 tablespoons nut butter
2 egg whites

Combine all ingredients in bowl, spread out evenly in 8x8 baking dish and bake at 325 for 15 min.  The mixture ended up quite dry, but still very tasty- next time I'll experiment with more nut butter and/or more egg white.  It is not sweet at all, so if you are expecting it to taste like your average power/granola bar, you'll be quite surprised by its lack of sweetness, but I'll keep tinkering with it and I'll be posting again shortly!  Stay tuned for tonight's Anniversary Menu for MKG- whole-wheat Pasta Carbonara with Turkey Bacon, and wilted spinach and cannellini  beans (which is what I'll be eating!).


****Updated 8:49PM.  Sooooooooo Pasta Un-carb-onara went ok.  Not great.  I was all set for a one-pot-meal kind of situation, I don't know why that's what I envisioned, but let me tell you- it turned out to be a three-burner meal, which happens never.  Um yeah.  One pot to boil the pasta (you're supposed to use spaghetti of course, which I didn't have, so I used penne- that part was no biggie) one pan to cook the turkey bacon/green onions (which I put in everything when I have them, I think they are positively divine!) and then another pan to cook the spinach/cannellini beans.  Oh wait!  I also used another pot to defrost the spinach (yes it was frozen spinach, whole leaf, and honestly it was delicious regardless) but of course if you got steam-in-a-bag spinach you could have saved yourself that one.  

Everything was actually quite good, the spinach especially.  I combined 10oz of spinach (thawed and drained) with one can (rinsed thoroughly) of cannellini beans in a large saute pan with two teaspoons of olive oil, the juice AND zest of one lemon, and salt and pepper to taste, and you just warm it through.  It was delicious.  And as I explained to husband, you can eat 10oz of spinach for only 150 calories, is that incredible or what!  Plus all those minerals, vitamins, protein, and tons of fiber.  Plus the cannellinis and you are golden!  Honestly that was my meal in itself and it was really very satisfying and covered all your bases. 

Pasta UNcarbonara-
8oz whole grain pasta or half box
2 eggs
4 slices turkey bacon, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan/reggiano

Saute green onion and turkey bacon in a pan.  I used a dry pan, but of course for more flavor and depth use two teaspoons olive oil.  When crispy, remove from heat.  Boil pasta until just al dente, and transfer to pan with turkey bacon and onions, adding 1/4 cup pasta water and stirring.  Crack two eggs into a bowl and whisk.  Away from heat, after pasta has cooled slightly, stir in egg and stir continuously to avoid the inevitable (if you're me) scrambled-egg-pasta fiasco.  Yes, that is precisely what happened, no the dish was not ruined, and husband never having had Pasta Carbonara, it really made no difference!  Anyways, pour in parm or whatever you're using and stir, then serve! 

So the dish did not come out as planned, which is par for the course when I'm cooking, but it was certainly edible and even quite good, considering!  There was none left even though I made enough for two big servings.  The turkey bacon did its job, though of course I am sure pancetta would have been a revelation, along with the proper pasta noodle, the right cheese, and minus the scrambled eggs haha.  But it was a happy accident and in the end, the spinach and cannellini was really stellar.  So try it!

So tonight I say, once again, how grateful I am for my anniversary, now almost over, as well as something Bethenny Frankel says- "use what you have" which I am now able to do with much better results due to my careful and meticulous pantry stocking over the last few months!  It really is true- use what you got!  I love the many different applications of that phrase- applicable to clothing, makeup, food, whatever!  So thank you Bethenny (I love you!) and thank you pantry! 

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