Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Pappardelle with Tomatoes, Arugula and Parmesan (Tempt My Tummy Tuesday)



So I wish I could say that, in my absence from blogging these last few months weeks, I have been doing a lot of cooking. But the sad truth is I have not. We've been so crazy busy that we've been eating whatever and whenever we can find food in the freezer/pantry. So I have really been desperate to get back into the kitchen and make an actual meal!

This is a recipe I saw on the cover of Cooking Light five (yes, FIVE) years ago, and have wanted to try ever since. I have no excuse for why it's taken me this long, because I literally see that particular magazine issue all the time (it has several favorite recipes of ours). And every time I do, I look longingly at the cover and sigh. But finally, on to the recipe!

Its beautiful colors and summery flavors drew me in immediately, and I just love any pasta shape that can properly be called a ribbon! Pappardelle is so much fun! I cheated a little and boiled flat lasagna noodles (then cut with a pizza cutter) to make my pasta, but you can usually find good pappardelle in any supermarket (not mine, obviously, but that's a different story for another day!)

My picture does not quite do it justice, but you'll get the idea if you click over to the recipe. My only notes on this one are that I did not use bacon (just didn't have it), and I used my own homegrown tomatoes. You almost can't overdo the lemon juice, because you want it to have a lot of zing, and the salty parmesan will balance the acidity nicely.

Even if you think you don't like arugula, give it a try. It really has a nice but subtle flavor, and is integral to this dish (though you could substitute spinach if you just want to!)

Hope you enjoy and for more yummy recipes, check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesday hosted by Lisa and Lana!

Love, Dahrlin'

Finally - a Menu Plan Monday!

At long last, I am finally getting back in the groove of menu planning. Wahoo! Our week just flows so much more smoothly when there's food in the house (and freezer, LOL!)

This weekend I put together a few meal kits, and we'll use some of those this week as well as items we already had in the freezer/pantry. Next weekend, Labor Day, will be a big cooking weekend for me with family and possibly friends visiting. So during the workweek it will be all about eating what we've got, filling in with fresh produce.

Here's the plan. I am including lunches for myself (hubby is lucky enough to have a cafeteria where he works) so I can have a plan those too. That helps me avoid fast food and expensive lunches out all week.

PS If this menu looks heavy on salad, you're right! I went to Costco this weekend and came back with what looks like gallons of spinach. That should keep me busy! Plus it is a good excuse to eat greens, and it's still very warm here so feels more summery - even though school's been back in for about three weeks around here! I *want* it to be fall, but it's not quite here yet. So the next few weeks will be transition menus - moving into cooler weather foods but retaining lots of summer fresh produce. Yum!

Sunday - Arugula salad with parmesan, garlic and lemon; Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas

Monday - Lunch: Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes and Mushrooms; Peach with Yogurt for dessert
Dinner: Enchiladas with garden salad

Tuesday - Lunch - Enchiladas, Salad
Dinner: Salmon with Tomato and Artichoke Broth, Spinach, Cheesy Olive Bread

Wednesday - Lunch - out with a friend
Dinner: Cajun Meatloaf (you have to try this, it's to die for. EVEN if you hate meatloaf!); Parmesan Smashed Potatoes; Spinach Salad

Thursday - Lunch - Leftovers, Salad; Yogurt with Peaches or Blueberries for dessert
Dinner - Meatloaf, Creamy Bow Tie Pasta (new to try), Broccoli

Friday - Lunch - Maybe PB&J for a change!
Dinner - Family arrives! Possibly out to eat; if not, Burgers, Baked Beans and Lemon Orzo Pasta

Saturday - Holiday weekend menu coming later in the week!

For more menus and recipe ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday over at OrgJunkie!

Love, Dahrlin'

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pixie Pranks

[I know, I KNOW, I keep promising blogs that never appear. That changes this week. And I mean it this time, LOL!)

You can't quite see the depth of the angles in this picture series, but these two chairs* are the kind that rock...to a point, anyway, and that point is basically where they exceed their intended reach and fall over, LOL. Munchkin almost learned this the hard way. Her weight is not *quite* enough to overturn the chair, as long as she moves slowly and carefully (which she was). But I just thought this was too funny at the time (probably loses a lot in translation!) - she was balanced so precariously, and quite obviously pleased with herself for managing it. She even stuck her little tongue out while she was trying to get situated.

"Mom thinks I can't do this, but I can. Surely the chair won't actually fall over with me..."



"If I just balance extra carefully and move very slowly..."



"And now if I can get my other two legs up to the top of the pillow, without overbalancing..."



"Ha! I got mad skillz...."



Love, Pixie Puppy


*PS from Pixie: If you look closely, which Mom desperately hopes you won't, you can see the remaining red wine stains on the second chair, from the not once but twice that I have succeeded in sending Daddy's glass of red wine flying through the air with the greatest of ease...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quick CVS Update

(This photo is totally unrelated to this post... But I did not get a photo of my actual CVS items this week, so I wanted to give you something to look at besides numbers, LOL! Enjoy this pic from last week's trip to Savannah, until I can get the actual trip update posted...)



So obviously I'm a little lacking in the blogging department lately. I owe a huge shoutout to my new friend Kristen for a great swap and my BFF for hosting a great Christmas in July! That post is coming this week, I PROMISE!

I also have some new recipes coming for you and some more travel updates. But first, because my money-saving heroine, Jenny, has had a busy week and asked us to post something through which she could live vicariously, I am going to post a very quick update on my CVS savings for the week.

This week, I had a TON of ECB's piled up from weeks prior. I needed to spend those but, as always, wanted to maximize the savings too. So for this week, I picked up the following:

3 boxes of Kashi GoLean Crunch:
Price before coups: $10.00
Price after coups and ECB's: 16 cents each!!

2 Herbal Essences Shampoos
Price before coups: $2.99 each
Price after coups and ECB's: $1.49 each

2 Herbal Essences Hairsprays

Price before coups: $4.29 each
Price after coups: Both FREE!

Schick Razor Cartridges (Intuition - my favorite razor!)
Price before coups: $8.99
Price after coups and ECB's: $2.99

Total before coups and ECB's: $33.55
Total savings: $27.08
Total paid: $6.47 (used prior ECB's)


These prices are without tax calculated, because I used ECB's to pay and at in my state, the ECB's come off the taxable total. So tax is negligible once ECB's are used.

Total transactions: free to me! I HEART CVS!!

If you'd like to start saving too, check out Jenny's site for CVS and other stores at Southern Savers. Jenny is AWESOME!

Love, Dahrlin'

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Pupdate

Dear Frenz,

Mom asked me to let you know that she will be back to blogging this week. She misses blogging a lot lately and wanted me to let you all know it has just been a little crazy and super busy around our place this summer. Some days she wakes up and feels like this:



And most days she comes home from work feeling like this:



It's my fault she has not been around recently leave our frenz much bloggy love - I keep telling her that this is what tired dogmommies should do:



So mom just wanted me to let you know - she will be back this week and she loves you all!

Kisses,

Pixie Puppy
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