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Archive for January, 2009

Wise Wife’s Marinara Sauce

 I came up with this recipe as a way to incorporate more veggies into our dinner rotation. My husband LOVES red sauce. I think he would drink it if I would let him. He requests pasta with red sauce once a week and I just got tired of plain ‘ol spaghetti sauce. So I decided to clean out the fridge and came up with this sauce. I think the true test of it’s awesomeness was when my dear hubby said, “this is so good you could serve it in a restaurant!” I think I will keep him. The best part about this sauce is you can really add any vegetable you like to it. Sometimes, I add in diced zucchini, carrots, spinach, basically anything about to go bad in the fridge. Sometimes I leave it chunky, sometimes I puree it. Sometimes I buy fire roasted tomatoes and fresh herbs. The trick is to use what you have!

Wise Wife’s Marinara Sauce

  • 1 cup Morningstar burger crumbles (Or you could use ground beef)
  • 1 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 2 TB Olive oil
  • 1 large can of tomato sauce (15 oz.)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
  • 1 TB Garlic powder
  • 1/2 TB Oregano
  • 1/2 TB Basil
  • 1 TB Parsley
  • 1 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes

 

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Saute burger crumbles, mushrooms, peppers and onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and saute for one minute. Careful not to burn the garlic.

You will notice that I used red, yellow and orange pepper since I had a little bit of each leftover from another recipe.

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Add can of sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir.

I accidentally bought “spaghetti sauce” instead of regular tomato sauce but either one will do. You can even buy the one with basil and oregano already added if you would like.

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Add seasonings and let simmer for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Substitution- You can use any combination of spices you like. This is just the combo that I prefer. If you don’t like Oregano, leave it out! Love basil? Use fresh! The possibilities are endless.

Note- This is best served with a chunky pasta as opposed to spaghetti noodles. If a smoother sauce is desired, blend until smooth.

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PDubs Asian Pasta Salad

I read a lot of  blogs. Most of them cooking/home related. One of my favorites is Pioneer Woman. She had a salad posted in her cooking section that I had been DYING to try. So last night I whipped it up for dinner and ohmyjesus it is delicious. It’s no secret that I LOVE Asian food and this salad really hit all my favorites notes. The ginger and the garlic paired with soy sauce and tons of cilantro is just heavenly. Go make it right now. It’s life changing. I am linking to her step by step guide and noting my changes.

Pioneer Woman’s Asian Pasta Salad

 

Salad      

  • 1 pkg. Linguine-Cooked, rinsed and cooled (I used a couple handfuls of leftover spaghetti)
  • 1/2 to 1 head sliced Napa Cabbage (I cheated and used a coleslaw mix for the cabbages because I am lazy)
  • 1/2 to 1 head sliced purple Cabbage
  • 1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach (I used 1/2 bag)
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 yellow bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1 orange bell pepper sliced thin
  • 3 sliced scallions
  • 3 peeled, sliced cucumbers (I omitted because I am a dummy and forgot to buy cucumber)
  • 1/2 a bunch chopped cilantro
  • 1 can whole cashews- slightly toasted on the stovetop (Omitted since I forgot these too.)

Dressing

  • Juice of one lime
  • 8 TB olive oil
  • 2-3 TB sesame oil
  • 8 TB soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 TB fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • 2 hot peppers or jalepenos, chopped (I used one jalepeno)
  • More chopped cilantro, LOTS (I used the rest of the bunch)

Mix together salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix and chill in fridge for one hour to let the flavors meld together. Enjoy!

*My Note* I think the dressing would also make a fantastic marinade for seafood, chicken, beef, pork, tofu etc.

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One of these things is not like the other…

Wednesday at around lunch time I was fidgeting around in my chair and I had an itch on my foot. I bend down to scratch it and to my surprise I see my brown shoe! “Oh crap, I wore brown shoes with black pants.” No biggie. But then I look down and see my black shoe. Well, that’s a little embarrassing. So I laugh it off and continue doing work. Of course, my mind starts to wander and I am trying to figure out how this happened.

Then all of a sudden it hits me… I have been wearing two different colored shoes for THREE DAYS!

Let me break it down for you:

12-31-2008- Getting ready for our New Year’s Eve party. Cleaning and tidying up. Pick up my “graveyard of shoes” (as my husband calls it) by the front door and throw them in the closet on top of my other shoes.

1-5-2009– Monday morning comes along and I put on my khaki plaid pants and go into the closet for my brown shoes. I find one and I grab another assuming its another brown one since I leave the black ones by the door because I wear them quite frequently to work.

1-6-2009- Tuesday morning I put on my black slacks and a top and get ready to head out. I see my black shoe by the door and slip them on.

1-7-2009- Working as usual. Look down. See shoes. Sinks in.

Of course my friends and co-workers have decided that this sort of thing WOULD happen to me. Seriously. Three days people, THREE DAYS. Welcome to my mis-matched life. 🙂

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Buffalo Chicken Dip

Every good cook has their arsenal of “signature recipes”. I would consider this one of mine. I like to call it “Crack Dip” since it is wickedly addicting and just so damn good. I ALWAYS get requests for the recipe. It’s taken me awhile to tweak it and perfect it to my liking but I think I got it down. This recipe is in no way healthy so if you are a dieter or anal about calories you should probably back away now. Luckily for me, I only make it a few times a year and it usually goes so quickly that I barely get a chance to eat any myself.

Buffalo Chicken Dip- Also known as “Crack Dip”

  • 2 -8 oz. packages of cream cheese
  • 1 cup Ranch Dressing (I prefer Hidden Valley Ranch)
  • 1 cup of Frank’s hot sauce (I have never used anything else)
  • 1 cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken

Preheat oven to 350. Using a mixer, mix the cream cheese until creamy. Add the hot sauce and ranch and mix. Add shredded chicken and cheese and mix. Taste and add more ranch or hot sauce to taste. I like it spicy so I always add more hot sauce. Cook in a casserole dish for 30 minutes or until it is nice and bubbly. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy! I usually serve this with chips, celery and carrots.

Note- You can also throw this in a crock pot on low for a couple of hours and then switch it to warm and serve it this way.

Substitution- You could also use blue cheese dressing instead of ranch and use 1/2 cup of crumbled blue cheese instead of the cheddar.

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What a sore subject this has been for people lately. Everyone I talk to says their resolutions are to:

1.) Lose weight
2.) Save money

With the way things in the economy are going, I can’t blame everyone for being in a tizzy about money. One of the things I talked about doing after the wedding was creating a budget spreadsheet and sticking to it. We are pretty good with our money. We are smart and sensible but I still think we can do better. We read a lot of money blogs and articles. We watch Suze Orman faithfully every Saturday night (I know, we are total losers). So in our search for the perfect starting point for our budget, I found this awesome spreadsheet on the Money Under 30 website (which is an great website by the way). It’s basically everything we have been looking for. We are going to tweak it to fit our needs but I think it is a good starting point. Check it out!

Monthly Budget Spreadsheet

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New year. New blog.

Welcome to my life.  And all the crazy shenanigans that come with it. My new year’s resolutions are:

1.) Keep up with this blog
2.) NOT get pregnant
3.) Master Guitar Hero.

So cheers to 2009! Let’s make it a good one…

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