Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recipe: Kale and Pine Nut Pasta Salad

The secret to foodie happiness? In my opinion, it should always include kale, pine nuts and parmesan. 

This dish? Not only does it include all three, but it's quick and super easy to make. For a Sunday potluck, this dish was a no-brainer.

Kale and Pine Nut Pasta Salad
Recipe modified from The Pioneer Woman

Bowtie pasta: One box
Parmesan cheese: 1 cup
Pine nuts: 1/2 cup
Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
Chopped garlic: 2 teaspoons
Kale: 2-3 cups chopped

1. Boil water and cook bowtie pasta. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

2. While pasta is cooking, toast pine nuts. This should take 4-5 minutes per side on medium heat.

3. At the same time, heat olive oil and garlic in a sauté pan. 

4. When pine nuts are toasted and olive oil and garlic are heated, mix all ingredients into cool, cooked pasta.

5. Sauté kale in unwashed olive oil pan until wilted. Mix kale into pasta mixture.

6. Allow to cool anad top with additional parmesan. Serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life: Presently

February has been a good, good month. While I'm turning out to be busier than I expected, I'm completely enjoying my self-proclaimed month of "nesting." We're getting more and more settled into our apartment each day, and Camp is loving every second of it.

Making: to-do lists before I head to Costa Rica this Saturday. It's coming so soon!
Watching: Parks and Rec. I can't stop.
Doing: my taxes! Check that off the to-do list.
Thinking: about warm weather, tank tops and wavy hair.
Visiting: lots of local breweries lately (especially any/all breweries that allow dogs).
Rocking: a very messy (and not so chic) top knot a la my nasty cold.
Spending: money on last-minute vacation must-haves (travel sized liquids galore).
Shopping: for Camp at local pet stores. I think I'm obsessed.
Eating: zucchini noodles! I bought a "zoodler" earlier this month and am loving it.
Drinking: lots of orange juice this week to kick my winter cold before I go on vacation.
Missing: my family! They just came to visit over Valentine's Day weekend and already I want them back here.
Planning: our trip to Costa Rica. We leave Saturday!
Working: on getting our new apartment in order.
Reading: "Serena" by Ron Rash for our March book club read. So far so good!
Wanting: a tan.
Enjoying: blogging in bed with Camp snoozing beside me.
Writing: last-minute to do lists and packing lists.
Pinning: the last bit of winter things before spring comes.
Cooking: not a damn thing this week. This cold has me like woah. But I did bake these bad boys for Chinese New Year on Saturday.
Pondering: signing up for power yoga teacher training this fall. This might be the year!
Listening: to Camp snoring, plus lots of Edward Sharpe and Old Crow Medicine Show for Hinterland this summer.
Liking: the 30 degree temperature and sunshine we experienced today. Compared to the frigid temperatures we've had, 30 degrees felt so nice, I almost took off my jacket.
Feeling: snug as a bug at night wrapped in the down comforters and wool blankets on our bed.
Noticing: that Camp is getting settled in and is comfortable around us.
Going: to work early and to bed early.
Debating: a nice glass of red wine before bed to help me sleep (that's a thing, right?)
Loving: snuggle sessions with Camp and Jack.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Recipe: Chocolate Rice Krispie Hearts

Between moving, decorating, Yoga Sculpt teacher training and adjusting to life with Camp, Valentine's Day has barely crossed my mind. Luckily, my Valentine is in the same boat (we're just exchanging cards this year; the simpler, the better for us!) No decorations, no candy, no flowers, no anything

However, I did find time this week for a Valentine's Day-themed treat (rice krispie treat and chocolate? I couldn't not). My month of nesting includes lots of time in the kitchen, remember?

The result? I'm not sure yet! I made enough for Jack and I to take them to work, so our coworkers will be our official taste testers. But chocolate and rice krispie treats? I can't imagine they taste that bad...

Chocolate Rice Krispie Hearts
Makes roughly 12-14 per batch

Rice Krispies: 6 cups
Butter: 3 tablespoons
Mini marshmallows: 1 bag
White chocolate: 1 bag
Red food coloring
Heart-shaped cutout

1. Melt butter in a sauté pan. Once butter has melted, add bag of marshmallows and stir until mixture has liquified.

2. Mix melted marshmallow mixture with Rice Krispies in a large bowl. Once mixed, press the Rice Krispie treats into a cookie sheet. Allow to cool (roughly one hour).

3. Once Rice Krispie treats are cool, use cutout to make heart-shaped treats. Set treats aside.

4. Melt chocolate in microwave in small batches (roughly 30-45 seconds for each batch). Once melted, add red food coloring and mix. Lightly dip edges of heart-shaped treats into chocolate.

5. Add sprinkles while chocolate is still warm. Allow to cool and enjoy!

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. || 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Recipe: Carrot Banana Dog Treats

Yes, you read that correctly - I made homemade dog treats. I guess that means I'm officially a crazy dog mom, right?

Camp endured our move like a true champ, so I knew I needed to reward him with some dog treats. I'm no expert, but I figure homemade dog treats are similar to homemade cookies (always better than the packaged version). Camp doesn't talk much, so we can't be certain.

In true "crazy dog mom" fashion, I googled recipes and articles about what foods dogs can safely consume, and it turns out, there are a lot of ingredients I had on hand that Camp could nosh on. Less than an hour later, Camp was sitting pretty with some yummy (or so I presume) homemade dog treats.

Easy peasy, and I had one pleased pooch on my hands. Not to mention, if you're celebrating Valentine's Day with your pup, this is an easy to make treat that's even cuter if you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Camp loves them (as you can see in the pictures below). Not to mention, he only chewed two corkboard coasters in the time it took me to bake these dog treats. All in all, I'm going to chalk that up to a success.

Carrot Banana Dog Treats
Recipe modified from Homemade Dog Treats Now

Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
Oats: 1 cup
Banana: 1 whole
Carrots: 2 shredded
Applesauce: 1/4 cup
Egg: 1 whole
Parsley: 1 tablespoon (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix until smooth.
2. Press dough flat and cut to desired shape (I used heart and dog bone cookie cutters).
3. Place on a greased or nonstick cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cookies will be semi-hard at this point. Bake longer or shorter for desired consistency.
5. Allow to cool and serve to your pup!

|| Photos are property of Twentyapolis. Must give credit. ||

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Mood: February Feel

January was an absurd month.

After adopting Camp, we stayed at a friend's house for an entire month while waiting to move in to our new place (our previous apartment didn't allow dogs). Did you hear that correctly? And entire month! For a control freak like me who despises the thought of living out of a suitcase, this month was a true learning experience for me. Not only were Jack and I figuring out how to be dog parents, we had roommates (luckily, they are some of our best friends) and adjusted to a month living in a house in the suburbs. 

To add to that, I've been taking Corepower Yoga Sculpt teacher training (yay!) It's been an incredible experience, but during an already hectic month? It's been interesting.

And to complicate the situation a bit more, our apartment building was unsure whether the building would be "approved" for tenants to move in on February 1 due to setbacks in the building process. So up until Friday, we didn't know whether we'd be in our new place or not.

...I'm stressed just writing this post!

Thankfully, things all fell into place (as they usually do). We started moving into our new place on Sunday, and are hoping to be fully moved in by the end of the week. We're only moving across the street, so we're not even boxing up our belongings; we're honestly just grabbing clothes and drawers and walking it over to our new home!

So while January was crazy, I'm hoping that February is a month of nesting. I'm looking forward to getting settled in our new apartment, and finally having a place Camp can call home. I'm excited to host my parents in our new place over Valentine's Day weekend, and celebrate the Chinese New Year with the McCarthys. And of course, graduate from Corepower Yoga Sculpt Teacher Training (yay!) and pack for Costa Rica (I leave at the end of the month!)

And in-between? Cooking, crafting and snuggling with our handsome pup, of course.

February, you have no idea how long we've been waiting for you!

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