Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Back to the Kitchen

One of my biggest regrets from my freelancing days is not taking more advantage of the time I had to cook. I really love to cook...but with both of us working full-time, it seems to be one of the first things to go! Most of our go-to meals make us look like a couple of college fingers...macaroni and cheese...cereal...('s a little embarrassing to post something like this!)

I knew something had to change, but I didn't know what. I would try buying healthy things at the grocery store, but we always ended throwing stuff out before we used it. My boss and I frequently have conversations co-miserating about our similar dinner-time frustrations. Then she found an absolute gem...Saving Dinner...claiming it not only saved their dinners, but also their budget as well as their sanity!

So I bought it, and it's absolutely wonderful! Meals are laid out a week at a time, including menu, recipes, and (the best of all) - a pre-sorted grocery list! This is our second week and it has been wonderful! I can't recommend it enough.

Tonight's recipe was especially delicious, and I thought I'd pass it on for those of you who may be needing to try something new. Enjoy!

12 ounces fusilli
2 T. butter, divided
1 onion, chopped (I thought this seemed like a lot, so I only used a half, but use your discretion)
1 clove garlic, pressed (I used minced...worked fine)
1 12-ounce can tuna in water, drained
1 t. basil
1 jar roasted peppers, diced
1 package frozen green beans (thawed)
2 t. flour
1 c. milk
1/2 c. low-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add onions and garlic and saute till translucent. Add drained tuna and basil, mixing well. Add diced peppers and green beans; mix well and remove from skillet.

In the same skillet over medium heat, add remaining butter and add flour gradually, whisking well to form a roux. Add milk and keep whisking until mixture is fully incorporated. Keep whisking and add cheese. Allow sauce to thicken, careful not to let it boil.

Add tuna mixture and pasta back into the cheese sauce, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serving suggestions: steamed broccoli/baby carrots/salad (Although we just had it as-is, and it was fine!)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Little Things

I suppose that every other person in Chicago with a blog is posting
about the same thing today, but I don't care. It's just too good to be
true. 65 DEGREES IN FEBRUARY!! I could definitely get used to this
(remind me why I don't live in California again??) It is amazing what
just a little sun and warmth can do for my attitude. Spring, hurry up
already! Too bad that tomorrow it is going to drop 20 degrees,
preceeding a temperature slide that will take us back to 30's and snow
on Saturday. I think I just felt my depression return.

The best thing about warm weather? (well, one of them) The return of
cute shoes. It's well past time for my clogs and UGGs to go back on
the shelf. I think my flats were beginning to think I forgot about
them. So I celebrated by reintroducing my favorite pair to the outside
world. What a fabulous day!