new things big & small.

by Janetha on December 7, 2010

in meals

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.


way better.

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.

ta da!


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.

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Jess December 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

That looks so good! I am most excited about presents I have been buying for people! I got my niece some fun accessories for one of her dolls and I just know she will love them.

janae December 7, 2010 at 11:30 pm

I am so jealous of your kitchen…two ovens!! How does your food always make me so hungry when I am stuffed? Never stop rambling, I love the Christmas tree opening. I kind of want to be friends in real life….you and Marshall are hilarious!
My latest big purchase was a 1967 barracuda…it is awesome, Billy and I are restoring it.

hannahmarie December 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm

I know! I know! It’s from Empire Records!

That pasta dish looks amazing! I wish I had some right now :) I am most excited about the new Vitamix I got in the mail last week. Eating my veggies has never been so easy.

momma b December 7, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Wow way to go Marshall! Bookcase looks great! Your very own boingie what a find! And wow can’t wait to see that range in action! :)

I was excited to go to office depot and get some supplies today….I spent way too much time in the pens and pencil aisle…..I bought 2 kinds if pens and was so excited to get home to use them…’s simple pleasures xoxo!

marisa December 7, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Totally forgot about the boingie! I must get one! And I can totally hear you squealing. Maybe we’ll come to your house next year for Thanksgiving so we don’t have to use the neighbor’s oven. :)

Meg December 8, 2010 at 12:02 am

Agh! I am so jealous of your double oven! We have a gas stove though and I love it. I have those exact same snowflake towels– good old walmart.

Our recent purchase (aka Jeremy’s Christmas present) is a new 55″ LED tv. To me, a tv is a tv, but it is 3-d equipped if we ever get a 3-d dvd player. Men and their toys. ;)

Christin@purplebirdblog December 8, 2010 at 12:14 am

EMPIRE RECORDS!@#$%^&* That movie has the specialist of special places in my heart.

I have to head to my local Ross stat and just pray and pray they have the vanilla bean paste. I NEED it!! Your Ross didn’t have anymore, did they? ;)

Your new oven is the super shiz! And gas kicks electrics a$$ all day erry day.

Oh, and I am dying laughing at a recipe called bombsh!t. Makes me wanna get more creative in naming my own dishes! :)

movesnmunchies December 8, 2010 at 12:57 am

this pasta dish looks incredible! my most recent buy- or well gift :) was Veganomicon the cookbook! im excitedd!!

lynn @ the actor's diet December 8, 2010 at 1:01 am

double oven. awwww yeah.

Laura (starloz) December 8, 2010 at 1:05 am

omg, stunning oven. it’s incredible.

edenseats December 8, 2010 at 1:07 am

While my dad was in the hospital last week, I went across the street to the mall and bought a pair of Marc Jacobs sunglass. this is SO rare that I just buy semi pricy sunglass (they were pricy, but not like crazy like those Dior ones). I rarely spend money on myself (aside from food) but its also no often I find sunglass that make me look that awesome. And with all the hoopla going on in my life, the sunglass cover the smudged mascara and raccoon eyes.

Laura (starloz) December 8, 2010 at 1:09 am
Mary (A Merry Life) December 8, 2010 at 3:01 am

I’m completely and entirely jealous of your awesome kitchen. I didn’t even know I wanted something like that until I just read it now. Amazing!

And that meal looks yummy. I’d side with Marshall though and skip the mushrooms. ;)

Liz @ Blog is the New Black December 8, 2010 at 4:36 am

I want a boingie!!!! ;)

April December 8, 2010 at 5:10 am


April December 8, 2010 at 5:10 am

I’m jealous of the double oven! That’s 3rd on my list. Next is a deep freezer WOO!

Karen December 8, 2010 at 5:15 am

We just bought a new fridge that will be here on Sunday…so excited. I’m really jealous of your gas range…I’m trying to convince the hubby that we should get one. I would much prefer to cook on an open flame!

Matt December 8, 2010 at 5:23 am

That looks great! Totally going to give it a shot ;)

Jessica @ How Sweet December 8, 2010 at 5:36 am

I’m mot excited about the MAC Dazzleglass I picked up yesterday. The little things…

Lauren December 8, 2010 at 5:42 am

I love your new stove! I think mine will be very similar to this in the new house. Gotta love the gas girl!

Haha, I love the name of this dish, it sure does sound like da bomb Shiaz! Really, no other name could compare.

I guess this question is an easy one for me. I’m most excited about the purchase of our brand new house! Coming 2011! :)

Katie December 8, 2010 at 5:51 am

Love the oven! Double oven = awesome!

I have been excited about xmas and the new Kind Bar flavors!!!

lindsay December 8, 2010 at 6:03 am

oh I love that book case and the oven. Well done JG! Haven’t had a big purchase lately….budgeting. Gotta do whatcha gotta do. But someday, yes someday I will be the owner of a VITAMIX! Now that is worth the $$. Just savin up!

Di December 8, 2010 at 6:49 am

that looks really delicious…I can see how it could be a really unhealthy meal but I like your changes!

I’m excited about my pirate nutcracker I bought (from Target) to put up in my entryway. He’s pretty cool looking.

Heather December 8, 2010 at 6:54 am

I’m so coming to Thanksgiving next year – thanks for the invite!! :)
I LOVE the new black flats I just bought. They are seriously my most favorite thing right now!

Maya December 8, 2010 at 7:13 am

I love love love vanilla bean paste. It is sooo good. Trader Joe’s used to sell it, I’d like to see it make a comeback there.

Double oven! Supa jealous. Always wanted one of those. Thanksgiving dream right there.

Erica December 8, 2010 at 7:19 am

wahoooo! REAL vanilla bean paste makes all the difference in baked goods. I’m obsessed with the stuff. And I <3 a gas range. I don't think I could go back to electric. Double oven? I=jealous. Dinner looks yummy. A good pasta bake can't be beat

Erica December 8, 2010 at 7:19 am

PS I’m having a doggy type giveaway today!

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) December 8, 2010 at 7:25 am

For a Christmas present to myself, I bought a consult with a holistic nutritionist. SO happy I did- we’re solving my digestive probs like you wouldn’t believe! :D


Heather (Where's the Beach) December 8, 2010 at 7:27 am

Just for the record, I am seriously jealous of your stove/oven. That is all.

Jessie December 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

That stove/oven is amazing!

Paige (Running Around Normal) December 8, 2010 at 7:41 am

I’ve been keeping the spending on low because of Christmas time (at least on myself) but I got Shane a pair of hot pink boxers (as a gag gift…kind of) to stick in his stocking. I’m kind of excited to see his reaction to those! haha
Cool new whisks!!

Jessica December 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

oh man, that bomb sh*t looks like, well, the bomb sh*t! I’m going to make this when I go to visit my boyfriend over the holidays. I rarely cook beef for us so he will definitely love this…and…it’s healthy!! Sweet!

Tw December 8, 2010 at 8:05 am

What kind of countertops do you have? I love them…r they concrete? and yes a double oven is cooking HEAVEN

janetha @ meals & moves December 8, 2010 at 8:54 am

Yep! Concrete.

Annie December 8, 2010 at 8:17 am

That pasta looks amazing. I have to say, I get more delicious recipes from your site than anywhere else! :)

Thing I am excited about: I just bought two new sports bras! I can’t wait for them.

julie December 8, 2010 at 8:21 am

the new oven looks so dreamy :) my dad is currently putting our tree up as i type this so as soon as i finish these god for saken papers i will spend an entire night staring at the tree gloriousness

Evan Thomas December 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

Try making buttercream with vanilla bean paste, even if you don’t have a cake to frost. It’s THAT good.

Traci Nestheide December 8, 2010 at 9:02 am

You’re right about the Gas stove…..LOVE THEM! I hope to get one someday too!!!
Matt and I are doing a vegetable challenge for December….you’re always so good at adding some color on every plate!

Elina (Healthy and Sane) December 8, 2010 at 9:06 am

So cool you got a new range. We can’t have gas in our place so I have to make do with electric. I have a mini-second oven that’s good for cookies or other kind of flat things but I haven’t used it much (I feel like food feels claustrophobic there… ok I’m weird ;) ). I’m sure one day it will come handy. I remember being really excited about it when we first bought it.
Btw, I can’t remember if you had that book too, but check out my review of the Real Food Diet cookbook if you’re interested. I have a copy to give away too!
PPS – I’m saving that recipe. Sounds fantastic. I’m with Marshall – ground beef is better than turkey!

Morgan December 8, 2010 at 9:20 am

wow, nice buys! i adore vanilla bean paste.
we just got a new rug and coffee table for our family room. it feels so much more homey :). oh and a washing machine, the not so sexy side of having to be a grownup.
i’m hoping for a treadmill next!

Heather (Heather's Dish) December 8, 2010 at 9:25 am

i think “boingie” should totally be the name now…SO much cuter :) also, i really want your range. please and thank you.

Michelle... December 8, 2010 at 9:31 am

O.M.G. I just ordered an obnoxiously bright red (my favorite color) Mammut down jacket at 25% off, and it’s possible that I may live in it once it arrives since it is fixing to be a cold winter.

Congrats on the gas stove purchase! I am a hugggeeeee gas stove fan. Even my apartment size super cheapo gas stove blows the electric I had in college out of the water. For apartments, an electric stove (unless it’s a SUPER nice induction range, which is unlikely in an apartment anyway!) is probably my second biggest deal breaker after W/W carpet. And if I ever bought a house without gas hookup, the first renovation would be installing a jumbo propane tank for cooking.

emily December 8, 2010 at 9:44 am

Oh my, that stove does look exciting! I prefer gas burners as well; the apartments we’ve lived in with electic have seen my worst meals!

My most exciting purchase of late was BUBBLE TAPE! Which I found in a random gas station on my turkey day road trip. Magic!

Marg December 8, 2010 at 9:45 am

I need you to be my cook! This looks delicious! We make a spaghetti casserole kinda like this, but I like the addition of all the veggies in this one. I need to start doing like you and putting more cheese on only one side.

Yey, for the double ovens!

erin December 8, 2010 at 9:53 am

I am jealous of all of your recent purchases…and dinner looks amazing…I think I see a trip to the store in my near future for some purchases to make a yummy meal tonight;)

I just recently bought a new car (well new to me anyway) and I got the kids a Wii for Christmas…I can’t wait to get the Just Dance game…for myself of

a taste of health with balance December 8, 2010 at 10:02 am

that oven is sweeeeeet! so jealous. i want a double / gas oven so bad!

thetwentyfifthyear December 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

There is something so completely undeniably great about a gas range. I grew up with one and was spoiled! The electric just doesn’t do it for me and let’s face it – you can’t roast marshmallows without an actual flame.

Also, I get ridiculously excited over gum purchases. I’m loving Stride Berry to Mint. It changes flavors!

Katie December 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

I can’t wait to make this recipe! Looks so good. I recently bought a plane ticket to Austria to study Health & Culture this upcoming summer for my major in school :)

Patricia Braithwaite December 8, 2010 at 10:34 am

Love all of your new additions. It would be fun to have a gas range. (maybe someday) I still would like a tour. The last time I saw your house it wasn’t quite done yet.
My latest purchase (other than Christmas gifts) was a couple of new bar stools. They haven’t arrived yet, but I’m excited. All of your meals are fantastic. Melina and I perused your recipes last weekend to make meals for BFL. I’m making the flank steak tonight. Thanks for all of your great ideas. I can relate to the craziness at work. I’m right there with ya. We’ll hang on together :) Hugs!

Nat December 8, 2010 at 10:35 am

I’m most excited about buying Christmas presents for my boyfriend!!! :)
DVDs, shirts, cologne… love buying him presents!

Those asparagus looks delicious!

Megan December 8, 2010 at 10:37 am

A crib! Well, in all honestly, I haven’t purchased it YET but we are buying it on Friday (so that still counts, right?!?!). LOVE your new stove. We don’t have a gas line run to our stove so I am stuck with electric. My next house WILL have gas!

Love your blog! You’re so funny and make me smile every morning!

janetha @ meals & moves December 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

haha yes i HAD to get a gas line specially run to the stove when i bought my house because it didn’t have one. it was a must! a crib is exciting for sure :)

thedelicateplace December 8, 2010 at 10:52 am

i am obsessed with all things vanilla myself. i want a gas range soooo badly but we have oil heat so no good :( someday i will be able to have even and consistent temperature control for stove top cooking haha. i recently bought a pair of high waisted trouser shorts that i am loving with my opaque tights and heeled oxfords. i feel professional all of a sudden. i’m excited about all the gifts i got for my family even if my credit card is hurting a bit!

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