Apologies

Sorry guys!

This little blog of mine has experienced some neglect lately! My husband has been in town, we’re getting ready for a vacation, I started my school for the semester, etc. Needless to say, life has been busy.

But I am very excited to share our trip to Orlando with you next week! We’re going to try some awesome places, and maybe I’ll come home with some inspiration!

P.S. I may have some recipes this weekend, before our trip, as I have a few I’m trying!

Meatless Monday

Just a heads up, there are no photos in this post! I thought of posting this too far into the process to get pictures, so just bare with me.

A few weeks ago, I made some “life change” goals. I wouldn’t call it a diet, or a weight loss program, just trying to get a little healthier and trimmer. Some of my goals are to work out 3 times a week, drink less beer, eat more veggies, and to have a least one vegetarian meal per week.

I was a vegetarian a few years ago, and loved it. But, I was also vastly unprepared for it (and who am I kidding, I love red meat and bacon). But I did discover that it’s okay to not have meat at every meal! I feel best when I don’t eat it, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to totally give up my bacon, steak, hamburgers, etc. Am I a bad person for not doing it for the animals? oh well!

So anyway, back to our meatless Monday. I’ve had this can of black beans in my pantry that was begging to be used. I felt like they were just staring at me. I had bought it to try out a black bean taco recipe, but haven’t gotten around to it. Yesterday, I was craving some Mexican food so I came up with black bean & rice burritos. And let me tell you, they are wonderful! And only about 226 calories a piece, which is pretty awesome!

Okay here we go! Start out by making your rice. I used brown rice, which has become the new favorite in our household. The first time I made it though, I totally screwed it up. I didn’t realize it was that different than white rice. So here’s the easiest way to cook it:

1 cup brown rice

4 cups water

Put rice & water in a saucepan & give it a stir. Place on stovetop over medium heat, and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered. Once your 30 minutes is up, drain rice for 10 seconds, remove from heat and place lid on saucepan. Allow to sit for ten minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Ingredients:

1 cup brown rice, cooked (see above for instructions)

1 can black beans, drained

1 serrano pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

1/2 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup shredded cheese

8 flour tortillas*

*I had the small fajita tortillas on hand, so I had leftover beans and rice, but use whatever size you see fit!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. While rice is cooking, heat a saute pan over medium heat. Once it is warm, add a tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat. Once pan is coated, add in your chopped onions. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and allow onions to soften.

2. While onions are cooking, cut your peppers. Cut stem end off of pepper, then slice in half. Cut both peppers this way. (it seems big, but they shrink while cooking) Mince your garlic.

3. Once onions have softened (about 5 minutes), add peppers to the pan and allow to cook for 2 more minutes. Add garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in your can of drained black beans and stir to mix everything together. I let it cook for a few minutes while I got out my tortillas, sour cream and cheese. Remove from heat.

4. Assemble burritos: Scoop rice onto tortilla and flatten it down slightly with back of spoon. Layer bean mixture on top of rice, top with a tablespoon of cheese & a tablespoon of sour cream. Roll up and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

5. Spray or brush oil on burritos and bake in preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes.

Enjoy! Sorry again for the lack of pictures, but I promise they are delicious!

 

Yields: 8 servings|Prep Time; 5 minutes| Total Cook Time: about 50 minutes|Per Serving: 226 calories

Roasted Garlic, Chicken & Herb White Pizza

I’m excited y’all. You want to know why?
1. My best friend comes home exactly one week from today from her 4 week stay in Nicaragua. I am so proud of her for going, but that’s a long time to to be away from your best friend!

2. This weekend, some girlfriends and I are going to see Matchbox 20 and the Goo Goo Dolls! I’ve been looking forward to this for months and it’s finally almost time!

3. We’re leaving for a 6 day vacation to Orlando in exactly 34 days. I love Orlando. And Universal just opened their new Transformers ride.

Now something you should be excited about. This pizza! (I’m taking no credit for this recipe. I found it on Pinterest, here is the link! http://dinnersdishesanddesserts.com/roasted-garlic-chicken-herb-white-pizza-sundaysupper/)

Roasted-Garlic-Chicken-and-Herb-White-Pizza-2-labeled

This recipe caught my eye about a month ago, and I’ve been looking forward to making it. Sunday I overslept(and also set my alarm for PM instead of AM) and I decided I was going to make this for lunch. I’d bought all the ingredients for it, but just hadn’t had the time to make it yet. I decided to make myself a cup of coffee, and watch a movie on our new TV before preheating the oven to roast the garlic.

Well, when I got up to pour myself another cup of coffee & turn the oven on, I was greeted by this.

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I’ve only heard of this happening to people, never experienced it myself. And I freaked out. You see, Friday hubs was off of work and decided to do some cleaning. We have this thing that sits on top of our sink and hold our dish scrubbing brush. In the almost 2 years we’ve lived in our apartment, it hasn’t been run through the dishwasher, just washed in the sink. So he decided to put it in the dishwasher, not realizing that the bottom of it was full of dish soap.

When I started my pot of coffee that morning, I’d also decided to run the dishwasher. HA! I find it funny now, but when i was on my knees, using all of our towels to mop up hot water and tons of suds, I was not a happy camper.

This pizza though, totally made up for all of that. Creamy roasted garlic in a white sauce, with chicken and cheese. What more do you need? You can follow the link above to get the recipe.

I would make a few changes – I’d use less flour in the sauce, I felt like it was very flour-y. It was still delicious! Me, being a garlic lover, would add more garlic next time. I also added some pesto, after I spread the sauce on the pizza, and that was delicious!

Try it and see what you think!

P.s. to roast the garlic: Take one head of garlic & peel away the outer skin. Cut about 1/2 inch of the top off, exposing the tops of the cloves. Place in a muffin tin, and drizzle olive oil over the top (about a tablespoon). Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.

3 Cheese Baked Bowties

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Whenever I go to a restaurant, I have “my meal”. You know, the one you get every time you go to there. It doesn’t even really matter what restaurant, if I’ve been there, I know what I’m getting. Not that I doubt that their other food is great, I just know I won’t be disappointed.

A few years ago, Outback had this amazing pasta on their menu. It had penne, chicken, tasso ham (I still to this day don’t really know what this is, but it was amazing) mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, alfredo sauce, and LOTS of cheese. Amazing.

Well, one day we went to Outback, and it was nowhere to be found on their menu! I was really bummed out, and knew I had to figure out how to make it myself. I decided to use bowtie pasta, because I feel like it holds the sauce better and cut out the mushrooms. The recipe below doesn’t have any meat, just because we didn’t have any on hand, but would be really good with chicken or shrimp! I’ve made this for myself more times than I can count, but I made it for my husband for the first time last week and he LOVED it. It’s a great, easy recipe for when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

3 cups bowtie pasta

1/4 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 – 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (depending on your preference)*

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese( I really like the Kraft Triple Cheddar)

3/4 cup Alfredo sauce

3 tbsp Philadelphia garden vegetable cream cheese

salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Bring 2 quarts (8 cups) of water to a boil.

Once water is boiling, add 3 cups of bowtie pasta.

While pasta is cooking, heat small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and swirl to coat. Add 1/4 cup of diced onion. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt.

Cook onions until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for another 30-45 seconds. Remove pan from heat.

Cook pasta until al dente, then drain. Remove from heat and add in 3/4 cup of alfredo sauce & 3 tablespoons garden vegetable cream cheese. Stir together and allow the heat from the pasta to melt the cream cheese. Once pasta is coated, add onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese & 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese. Mix together and place in a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with another 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 350, until cheese is golden brown. Let cool about 5 minutes, then serve!

*I typically buy the kind that come in a jar(pictured above) and are packed in oil. They come whole or julienne, so if you use the whole ones, just be sure to chop them up before adding to the dish.

Be sure to find me on Pinterest! http://pinterest.com/ashleigh_rich/boards/

Hello!

Hello, all!

Thanks for stopping by! Just wanted to share a little bit about me, as my first post.

I am 23 years old and live about 20 minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. I can remember from a young age, always being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother any time they were cooking. They’d sit me on the counter and I’d watch them cook. My favorite thing was when they’d bake, because that meant I got to lick the spoon. As I got older, I got more involved in the processes until some nights, I was putting together entire meals for my family!

I love discovering new flavors and foods, things that I probably wouldn’t normally try. I love throwing different things together, or making up recipes and seeing how it turns out.

On this blog, I want to try lots of new recipes and share them with you! I hope to inspire you to try new things, and welcome this opportunity to share one of my biggest passions with everyone who sees this blog!

Thanks again for stopping by!