top o the tuesday evening to you, friends.
i wasn’t going to blog tonight because i was too busy staring at my christmas tree. i just said to marshall: “i love that tree. i could just stare at it all night. stare, stare, stare.”
and i could.
but instead, i will ramble a little and then go back to staring.
sorry for that useless information as an intro. i don’t know where thoughts come from, they just appear. name that movie.
LOVED hearing the healthy habits you all keep! oh man, we are quite the healthy bunch! from your comments, i decided i need to try to get more sleep, eat more veggies and stretch more often. thanks for chiming in about your own habits—it definitely motivated me to adopt those habits myself!
i have been quite the shopaholic lately. most of my purchases have been christmas decorations or christmas gifts, but i have purchased a few things for my kitchen & entry way. some big, some small, all fun & new!
starting with this guy: a boingie!
okay, apparently the technical term for this is “vertical whisk”~ but to me (and all my family members) this is called a boingie. and i didn’t even know they still made them! i saw this at the store and made an audible squeal, not even kidding. there is just something fantastic about this kitchen gadget. it is way better than your regular old balloon whisk.
next up: vanilla bean paste.
if you know anything at all about me, you know my favorite ingredient ever is vanilla bean. i. love. it.
look at those SPECKS! heavenly.
i haven’t used it yet, but i can’t wait to. oh, by the way, i found it at ross—of all places!
next up: crate + barrel bookcase
you may recall awhile back when i ordered this online. finally, nearly a month later, it arrived! and my handy husband assembled it. what a guy.
can’t wait to fill the shelves with cook books and knick knacks!
and last, but definitely not least: a gas range!
i have been wanting one of these babies my whole life! well, okay, not my whole life.. but for at least since i was a teenager and started cooking a lot. my mom has a gas range and i prefer cooking over a flame rather than on an electric burner.
and the really unique thing is it has five burners.. the one in the middle is a simmer burner. i had never even heard of that before.
quite possibly the best part? double oven.
yes, you are all welcome to come to my house for thanksgiving next year. we will have plenty of oven space.
i decided that the first meal made on my new range had to utilize both the stove and the oven components. i pondered for a bit before deciding to make a healthier, more veggie-filled version of something my girlfriends and i used to make~ which we fondly referred to as “bomb sh*t”—because it had no name, it just tasted amazing.
- 1 lb lean ground beef/chicken/turkey (can omit if vegetarian)
- 1 jar of your favorite marinara (my favorite is from trader joe’s, which i don’t have in utah, so i settled on classico)
- 1 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
- 8 oz uncooked whole grain shell pasta
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 red onion
- 8 oz mushrooms
- 3 oz shredded monterey jack cheese
- 3 oz shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 TB mrs dash tomato basil garlic seasoning
- salt & pepper
heat a bit of olive oil over medium-high heat. add your garlic and diced red onion.
let the onions cook down a bit while you dice your peppers. christmas colors!
add the peppers to the pan and let the veggies cook down until they soften quite a bit. next, add your meat (if you are using any).
while the meat cooks, admire your cute christmas dish towels. go on, take a photo.
once the meat is cooked through, you will want to add your mushrooms.
if you are like me and have a mushroom-hating husband who you love so much, you will put everything in a bowl and cook the mushrooms separately. true love.
once the mushrooms are cooked through, set them aside. put the meat mixture back into the pan and add your marinara sauce and greek yogurt. mix well.
oh yeah, you should have been boiling water and cooking your noodles all the while. they should be done by now. add them to the sauce!
mix well and then add almost all of the cheese—set some aside for sprinkling on top.
stir to combine and then pour into a 13 x 9 baking dish. this was where i poured half into the dish, added mushrooms to the remaining mixture and then added that to the dish. then i sprinkled it all with cheese.. marshall’s non-mushroom side a tad cheesier than mine.
bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes.. whatever floats your boat, because everything is already warm—this just finalizes the casserole.
i used my upper oven to broil marshall some garlic bread. yes, i had to utilize every aspect possible.
and yes, he ate 4 pieces of garlic bread.
i also made a green salad and some steamed asparagus for side dishes.
happy little trees.
salad #6 of 20 for my 20 salads in december challenge!
love this dressing that i snagged from trader joe’s while on vacation.
the star of the show:
this dish was just as delicious as i remember! and i loved the addition of more veggies. we used to make it with sour cream but i used greek yogurt instead—works every time. here are the nutrition stats on the recipe if you use 95% lean ground beef (based on 8 big servings)~
note: the ratios are a bit off of body for life standards (40/40/20) but it is still acceptable (for me)—however, this would be lower in fat had i used ground turkey, but marshall wanted ground beef, who am i to ruin his dinner dreams?
WELL.. that’s that! time for bed. i took a break from typing this and took the pups on a walk with marshall. it is 35 degrees outside, so now i am freezing my face off. and my calves, because i am still wearing my capri workout pants from the gym. time to get under some covers and call it a night.
in other news, i probably won’t be blogging breakfast, lunch and snacks much this week. work is really ridiculous right now and i just don’t have time for photoshoots. sad, but true. hope you can handle not seeing my protein oats every day. yes, the sarcasm is thick here, folks. this busy-ness has also spilled over into my after-work hours which means i haven’t read blogs in a long while. miss you all, but i will be back to reading when life is less crazy.
1. what recent purchase—big or small—are you excited about? i want to hear it all. from a pack of gum to a new car.
xo. janetha g.