January 29, 2010
January 24, 2010
Sometimes you just need a little comfort food….when I stumbled across this baked mac & cheese recipe at Work It Mom, I hit the comfort food jackpot. Make this. Make this RIGHT NOW.
1 box elbow macaroni
6T unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cream
(*Chris says you can use 3 cups half-n-half instead…which made me feel REALLY STUPID that I’ve always bought both milk and cream for recipes that call for both when I could have just been buying half-n-half)
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups shredded cheddar
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cook and drain the macaroni according to the package directions
Melt the butter in a large pot, large enough to fit all of the macaroni
Add the flour, salt and pepper and whisk until it is well blended.
Gradually pour in the milk and cream. Stirring constantly. CONSTANTLY. As in do not stop stirring. Bring to boil and allow it to boil for 2 minutes.
Reduce heat and stir for another 5 minutes or so. Then slowly add the cheese. SLOWLY. And keep on stirring. You could consider this your upper arm workout for the day.
Once all the cheese has melted in the pot, allow it to simmer for 5 minutes.
Turn off the stove and pour the macaroni into the pot.
Toss well so all the macaroni is coated.
Pour into a well buttered baking dish. (At this point you can set the baking dish aside until it is 30 minutes before dinner time. I love meals like this because I can pop it into the oven when we get home from practice and kids are showering.)
Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on the surface.
Bake for 20 minutes.
If you need me, I’ll be working out on my Wii for the next 10 years working off the butter and cheese.
Not that I’m complaining. It was SO WORTH IT.
January 22, 2010
At year end American Express sends me a chart graphing my spending for the year. Here is how it broke down.
42% of my expenses were travel related
30% was spent at bookstores
17% were spent on my business
6% was spent on entertainment
3% was on restaurants/grocery
and 2% on other/misc.
Yep…that sounds about right.
January 19, 2010
January 15, 2010
January 12, 2010
My legs ache, I have a twinge in each of my arms and I’ll spare you the details of where and how much discomfort my gluteus maximus is causing me.
No, I haven’t run a marathon, been to the gym or started lifting weights. I have simply been playing the Wii.
I bought myself a Wii and Wii Active as a New Year’s gift. I had enjoyed playing the sports games at my parents house and had heard good things about the Wii Active, so I decided to try it out. Let me tell you, this Wii business is no joke! It is a humbling experience to sweat while playing a video game, but I’ve kept up with it for 10 days now and am having fun with it. The sports games and Wii Active workouts are great, but I have to admit I have the most fun popping in the Just Dance game and working up a sweat grooving to the tunes! J-Lo I’m not, and you certainly won’t catch me in a semi-nude catsuit in Times Square any time soon, but in the privacy of my own home, with the shades drawn, you will find me channeling my inner Tina Turner and bustin’ a move.
Let’s just hope I don’t break a hip in the process.
January 10, 2010
Resolutions get a bad rep, especially around the time of the new year. I, for one, like resolutions. There is something empowering about the decision to change, whether it lasts for a day, a week or a lifetime. I like looking at a new year as a clean slate, knowing that no matter what it will be a little bit better and a little bit worse than the previous year, no matter what resolve I had after too much gin in the hours before Midnight on the 1st. Motivation to keep up the resolve, the ease of falling into old patterns and routine, that is where the toxic thinking hides, not in the resolution itself.
What do I wish for the new year? More fun, a better handle on my finances, more adventures and definitely more gin. Though I’m guessing those last two will go hand in hand.
May you all have adventures of your own in 2010. If you don’t, feel free to join me in mine. You bring the limes.
January 6, 2010
I indulged a bit over the holidays and the scale reflects it! Now it’s back to regular life, but that doesn’t mean you have to have food that doesn’t taste good. Tonight’s dinner was turkey meatballs over greens with apples and cranberries and it was AMAZING! I just had to share the recipe!
I got the Turkey Meatball recipe from The Perfect Pantry! Definitely try this one out. It’s a keeper!
TURKEY, CRANBERRY AND BASIL MEATBALLS
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1-1/4 lb ground turkey (93% fat free)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place cranberries in a one-cup glass measuring cup, and fill with water to the 1-cup mark. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine turkey, yogurt, breadcrumbs, basil, egg, salt and pepper. Drain the cranberries, and add them to the turkey. With your hands, mix just until the ingredients are combined; do not overmix.
Form the meatballs and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper. You should get 17-18 large meatballs.
Bake for 18 minutes. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold. A salad of greens dressed with balsamic vinegar makes a perfect base for the meatballs.
*Note, really do use a mat or parchment or spray the heck out of your pan. I had a bit of stickage when I made these!
January 3, 2010
My house is immaculate, everything is always in its place. My computer hard drive is so organized it would make you cry. I have an unhealthy obsession with my label maker. But I also have a dirty little secret.
My freezer is an absolute jam packed sea of mystery. I am a freezer junky.
As someone who lives alone and only cooks for myself, I often end up freezing 1/2 of my meals to “save for later”. Unfortunately, later rarely comes and then I end up starting the new year looking at remnants of cashews, a casserole yet to be determined, cranberries, unidentifiable cheeses and mountains of bags with foil wrapped surprises that could be anything from meatloaf to muffins. And let us not forget pasta sauce. Oh the prime freezer real estate that is being taken up by the MOUNDS of pasta sauce I made after deciding to make my own and not heeding the instructions to halve the recipe if not feeding the entire state of New York.
Anyone have any idea what you can make with 15 bags of homemade sauce, 5lbs of chicken breasts, miscellaneous frozen vegetables pieces, mystery cheese, a brick of tofu and 3 bags of frozen strawberries?
January 1, 2010
I vowed in 2009 to have more fun and I made a good start, but I am going to renew my vow for 2010 and try even harder to enjoy the moments of life.
In 2009 I snowboarded in Wisconsin, ate great food in San Francisco, lost a dear friend and mentor and attended a lovely celebration of life service for her. I wrote letters to soldiers in Iraq. I turned 30 and sat on the beaches of St. Martaan. I re-did my home office. I battled and won a mouse invasion. I wandered the streets of Barcelona. I skated at Rockefeller Center.
Day of of 2010 will be spent on a plane traveling back to NY, but the other 364 days are sure to bring more adventures. Stay tuned!
May 2010 bring you all days of happiness, your own adventures and some good blog/twitter fodder.