Thursday, March 22, 2012

Simple lunch



I've realized recently that when it comes to food, and most things in life really, simplicity is best. Why throw every vegetable into a dish when you could just have one or two as the stars? I know this isn't new news to anyone, but it's a fairly new concept to me. So here's a simple meal I've been eating lately. 




Whole Wheat Pasta with Spinach and Parmesan:
This is so simple that it's really silly for me to provide a recipe...but here's a lame attempt at it anyway. Put a few handfuls of cooked whole wheat pasta* (or plain, whatever works) into a bowl. Zap it in the microwave for 1min 11seconds (I zap everything for this amount of time because I'm a little strange). Remove from microwave and add a small handful of grated Parmesan cheese, a good shake of red pepper flakes, and a handful of spinach. Toss it all together, adding more cheese or spinach if you like. Done!

*I make pasta at least once a week and I always have a ton leftover because I can't seem to figure out how to cook just enough pasta for one meal. To keep it from getting sticky, I drizzle the warm pasta with a really good olive oil (because I don't really like olive oil flavor, so if I'm going to taste it, it's gotta be good) and toss. Then put in a container and store in fridge. 


And here's what I've been eating on the side...



Salad:
Toss whatever salad greens you have on hand into a large bowl. I used a baby spring mix and lots of spinach.
To make the dressing: In a small jar, add 1tsp. grainy mustard, 1/2 tsp. minced garlic or 1 clove crushed, a heavy drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a squeeze of honey (probably 1 -1 1/2 tsp.), salt and pepper, and some olive oil. Put lid on the jar and shake it like you mean it. Taste and add more vinegar or oil as needed.
Toss the salad with a bit of dressing, starting small because the flavor is quite strong. Then add 2Tb. of pomegranate seeds and toss again. Done!


Super easy and really filling and delicious. And spinach is the star of this meal, which is always a good choice in my book.

--

....grace....
-The tulips in my front yard that we planted with my grandma. They're blooming!
-An extra day off this week.
-Free classic books on iTunes. Or is it ibooks? Either way, it's awesome.
-Early morning stretching/breathing exercises by myself in my living room. It's a perfect way to wake up.
-Howiette, the duck that nests in my bushes, and occasionally sleeps on my front porch, every spring. She's back!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Loving right now






  • This Pendleton blanket (seen above. Also THAT SKULL) which was a Christmas gift from my dad. It currently lives on the end of my bed and I love it. 
  • Speaking of Pendleton, I'll also take thisthis and this
  • You all know I love Oklahoma, so I'm obviously really loving this Oklahoma print. (via Design*Sponge)
  • I want this cute print for my kitchen. I don't care that it's for kids. (via Oh Joy!)
  • A ton of spinach and flax seeds in my morning smoothie. 
  • Girls night's with bison burgers, a fire and lots of wine.
  • My favorite new jeans
  • Joy the Baker cookbook! Recipes I've already made: Oatmeal Raspberry Ginger Scones (except I used blueberries), Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (I topped mine with sea salt), and Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies (perfect for girls night). Easily three of the best things I've ever baked. 
  • Frozen Planet.  I haven't actually watched it yet, but I can't wait.
  • Quite possibly the most beautiful magazine I've ever seen. Thanks, Meesh!!
  • This blog written by a friend from high school. She's listing her "graces" daily!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Popcorn

Popcorn has always been popular in my family. Growing up, it was a regular nightly snack and was always popped on the stove. When I was in high school, my brothers and I knew exactly how long to microwave a bag so that every kernel popped yet none were burned. We also discovered that melting an obscene amount of butter and pouring it over hot popcorn made for the most ideal bowl. Looking back, that kinda makes me gag.

While my butter-laden microwave popcorn days are long gone, my popcorn addiction is still strong and I still snack on it regularly. Here's my current favorite way to make it.


Stovetop Popcorn
1-2 T. oil, I use canola or olive oil
1/3-1/2 c. popcorn kernels
finely grated Parmesan cheese
Krazy Jane's (which is technically called Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt)

To make: Over medium heat, add enough oil to a large pot, like a spaghetti pot, just to cover the bottom of pan, about 1-2T. Add a few popcorn kernels to pan and cover with lid slightly askew to let steam out. Allow those kernels to pop (it'll take a few minutes) then add in the rest, anywhere from 1/3c.-1/2c., or enough to cover bottom of pan. Remember to keep lid on, but not tightly fitted. As kernels start to pop, shake pan vigorously every so often, until popping slows. You'll know popcorn is done when there are about 5 seconds between pops. This whole process takes about 10 mins. When popcorn is ready, pour half of it into a big bowl. Immediately sprinkle on parmesan cheese and Krazy Jane's, 1-2tsp of each. Pour remaining popcorn in bowl and again top with cheese and seasoning. You can use however much of the cheese and seasoning you want, depending on your personal taste. Popcorn will be good for up to three days, but I personally think day-old popcorn is the best.


::grace::
- Re-reading Jane Eyre as an adult. I'm pretty certain I didn't pay attention to it in high school.
- Impromptu Thunder watch parties with beer, burgers and brussels sprouts.
- Unexpected birthday gifts.
- Cute stationary for thank you notes.
- Sharpie pens, ultra-fine and multi-colored.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

And it was all yellow



It started with a yellow hoodie.

The morning of my birthday was dark and stormy, so I put on my yellow hoodie to bring some brightness to the day. Then came a scarf full of bright colors, lots of yellow. At lunch that day, my friend gave me a bouquet of yellow flowers. When I got home, there was a package on my porch...the yellow shoes I had ordered a week before. Within the next few days, my house became flooded with yellow by way of daffodils.

And so that's how yellow became my power color for 29.



Some of my favorite facts about yellow:
-yellow is full of creative and intellectual energy
-yellow means joy and happiness
-yellow produces a warming effect
-yellow is associated with food
-yellow brings clarity and awareness
-always use yellow post-its

So bring it on 29, I'm armed and ready.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday. I woke up to a thunderstorm, cold winds, and a snuggly pup, who I immediately exclaimed to "Happy birthday!" even though it clearly wasn't her birthday. Then I proceeded to say "happy birthday!" to at least three other people throughout the day in response to them wishing me a happy day. It's like when you're at the movie concession stand and they say "Enjoy your movie" and you respond with "Thanks, you too!" Am I the only one that does it?

I have plenty to say about turning a new age, but I'm going to extend my birthday through the weekend, and start fully embracing 29 on Monday. Til then, I've got a lot of celebrating to do.