Lemon Garlic Pasta

If you are a lemon fan like me then this quick and easy recipe is a must. Everything that I needed I already had at the house, which is always a plus. I did omit one of the ingredients from the original recipe from I Nom Things and that was the pine nuts, I didn’t have those, but will need to add those next time.

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Ingredients:
4 oz dry pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon
5-6 basil leaves

Directions:
1. In a pan boil salted water and cook pasta al dente.
2. While pasta is cooking start the garlic oil. Pour the oil into a small pan and add the chopped garlic. Let it cook on low until garlic starts to brown, then immediately remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl mix the garlic oil, and squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl. Add the basil, when pasta is cooked drain and add pasta to the sauce, tossing to mix. Place grated Parmesan cheese on top and serve.

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Lemon Garlic Pasta

If you are a lemon fan like me then this quick and easy recipe is a must. Everything that I needed I already had at the house, which is always a plus. I did omit one of the ingredients from the original recipe from I Nom Things and that was the pine nuts, I didn’t have those, but will need to add those next time.

20120827-183325.jpg
Ingredients:
4 oz dry pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon
5-6 basil leaves

Directions:
1. In a pan boil salted water and cook pasta al dente.
2. While pasta is cooking start the garlic oil. Pour the oil into a small pan and add the chopped garlic. Let it cook on low until garlic starts to brown, then immediately remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl mix the garlic oil, and squeeze the juice of the lemon into the bowl. Add the basil, when pasta is cooked drain and add pasta to the sauce, tossing to mix. Place grated Parmesan cheese on top and serve.

Museum of Science and Industry Part 1

My mom had recently gone in to have some surgery, she is doing well! So I went up to the suburbs of Chicago to go and visit my parents, I brought along two friends for the ride and for company. At the time of the visit I wasn’t sure how my mom was going to be so I wanted some moral support there with me, and they offered. Mom was doing great she had even gotten to go home from the hospital early, and was resting at home. We had gotten up early and had breakfast, but my mom insisted on me taking my friends downtown Chicago for the day because she wasn’t sure if they would have the chance to visit again. So while she rested I asked my friends if they had one thing that they wanted to see what would it be, my friend Kyle said Museum of Science and Industry. In my opinion it is one of the most hands on, loud, adventurous and just an all around fun museum. Once we had gotten to the museum and started exploring I saw my other friend Natalie making check marks on the map she had been given. When I asked her what she was doing it was she said that this was how she remembered where we had already visited, brilliant! I never thought of that but it helped out later after we had been in the museum for a while. We were able to hit every free exhibit in the place, as well as Mythbusters: The explosive exhibit (we paid extra for and it was totally worth it!). I’ll break down some of my favorite exhibits we got to go see

Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibit-
This was super cool, at first I wasn’t sure what to expect. The first room we went into was mainly props from the show, which is neat but I was hoping for a more, and boy did they deliver! There was throwing cards and trying to get them to stick in a target, Kyle was the only one in our trio that was successful.

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Pictured above is my friend trying the cliffhanger, I was too intimidated to even try this one. There was an exhibit where two volunteers got to go up in front of a crowd of people and try and dodge a paintball, yep, my friend Kyle went up and was able to do it! It was so cool to see it. We got to try out to see if you stayed drying while walking or running in the rain. All three of us tried to remove the table cloth from a table full of dishes, that was hard, we came so close to succeeding!

Science Storm-
This section was fun! We got to see a tornado form. There was also a giant disc that had sand on it, this was a simulation of an avalanche. What I like about this one was that people were able to control and adjust the speed of the avalanche.

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That avalanche might not look very big in this picture but it was at least 10 feet in diameter! Spinning the wheel to either speed it up or slow it down wasn’t the easiest thing.

Relax! And be still!

Ever have those days, weeks, months were you seem to be going non stop, that even when you have a day off you fill it with plans so not to be caught sitting still? I have a major problem with slowing down, unplugging, and just being still, so as a challenge I’ve been trying to have a couple of hours a week where I’m just still and don’t do anything. Have you ever tried to sit and just be still? It is really hard! I live within walking distance of a park and even bought a nice picnic type blanket to go to the park with.

A friend is staying with me for a while and today we both had the day off, so we went to the park for the morning. We brought blankets, books, my bible, snacks and what seemed like everything we needed, except the bug spray. Amanda was pretty sure we were sitting by an ant hill, and she was probably right because there was a lot of ants. We were chit chatting as I was finishing up the last of my coffee and the conversation turned to yoga. Since I taught yoga in high school and college we decided to have our own mini class right there in the park. In the years that I taught it was always within the confines of a health club, it was refreshing to get outside in God’s creation and just focus on relaxing and resting! I was so glad she brought it up.

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We ended up staying at the park for about 3 hours or so, I’ve come to realize that for myself, at least, that I need a while to unwind before I can start to really rest and be still. It really was a great way to spend the morning and I feel refreshed for the week ahead. Also I find that when I let myself become still I am able to focus better and I’m a lot happier as well. Now I’m hanging out on the couch eating frozen grapes, which of you’ve never eaten before I would highly recommend. Just wash the amount of grapes you would normally eat in a sitting and stick them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, a yummy healthy snack for summer. Hope your weekend is a good one!

Zucchini in parchment

Between Amazon and Pinterest I could eat something different for every one of my meals for the next few years without repeating anything. This recipe was originally from a book called “How to Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman. This is the book that has really kick started all of my adventures in cooking this summer. This book is a basic, with over 2,000 recipes, cookbook that breaks everything down. It give alternative food ideas in case you like the way something is prepared but not the food its being made with. It also explains the benefits of the way it cooked. This has become one of the stable side dishes that I eat. I have made this with both yellow onions and with green onions it depends on what is in my fridge. The original recipe calls for both zucchini and summer squash, but personally I don’t care much for summer squash.

Ingredients:
3-4 medium zucchini
1 tsp basil
½ a small yellow onion
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. take a piece of parchment paper fold in half and this will be the pocket where you put the veggies
3. Cut the zucchini in coins and thinly slice the onion. Place both the zucchini and onion in one half of the parchment paper. Sprinkle the basil, salt, pepper and then drizzle with olive oil.

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4. Seal the pockets by rolling the edges together, place on a baking sheet and stick in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
5. Be careful of the steam when opening the pockets. Squeeze the lemon juice (I use ½ a lemon, but I love the taste of lemons) onto the zucchini and onion. Serve immediately

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All those tomatoes came from one plant!

Harvest time at the office is great, it seems like there are fresh tomatoes every other day! It always surprises me when people plant multiple tomato plants. I feel like one plant can produce a hundred tomatoes a season, if not more! Even with the extremely hot summer we’ve been having the plants are producing plenty. It has only been within the last two or three years I started eating tomatoes outside of them being in salsa or pasta sauce. I’m still not at the level where I could sit down and bit into a tomato like it was an apple, but there is always next year! This recipe from Eating Well is simple, fast, and yummy. I did mix it up a smidgen, the original recipe uses Parmesan cheese and I used mozzarella.

Ingredients:
4 Tomatoes, halved
Mozzarella cheese thinly sliced, or shredded
1 tsp chopped oregano
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Place tomatoes, cut side up on a baking sheet. Top with oregano, salt, pepper then cheese. Drizzle assembled tomatoes with olive oil and bake until tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

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In this picture I had both regular tomatoes and some smaller cherry tomatoes. They were all delicious, I like how the small cherry tomatoes could just be popped in my mouth.

Holy Guacamole, don’t touch your eye

I love making food, and unless I want to eat the same thing day in and day out I normally share what I make with friends. When one of my friends asked if I could bring something salty (I normally bring something sweet) to her brothers fundraiser I was excited to try out a guacamole recipe I saw on Budget Savvy Diva’s blog. It was super simple and came out tasting great. Within a week of first making it someone had asked for the recipe. There is one thing I would do differently next time. When I went to the grocery store, they were out of fresh jalapeños, and weren’t getting more in until the next day. I should have just went to another location, but I was being lazy, it was super hot outside, and I was already feeling kind of gross, I went with canned jalapeños. I need to get fresh jalapeños next time, when everything else is fresh it just didn’t feel right to me that I used canned, also I really need to learn how chop food. While cutting up the peppers the only thing that I could think of was, “don’t touch your eyes!” so my eyes started to immediately itch. This guacamole will be made again for sure, with all fresh ingredients next time! Something that helped me when I was picking out the avocados was to squeeze it and if the avocado was soft and not squishy then it was ripe. Another tip I saw on a blog I visited was if you take the corner of your nail and just slightly peel a bit of the skin up, if it’s green then it will be fresh and not brown on the inside.

Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped jalapeños
1/8 cup lemon/lime juice, mostly lemon
Punch of salt

20120803-092438.jpg I was too embarrassed to put the can of jalapeños in this picture!

Directions:
First slice the avocados in half length wise. A non messy way to remove the pit is to hit the pit with a knife (please be careful not to accidentally cut yourself!) once the knife is in the pit, slowly twist the knife and it should come right out. Next time I cut one up I’ll make sure to take pictures of it :). Scoop the avocados out of their skins and mash them in a bowl, leaving them slightly chunky. Add the other ingredients, mix, and enjoy.