7.26.2009

Marsala Pasta


I absolutely love pasta. This is a great dish, but to be quite honest, don't actually drink the Marsala wine. It looks like worchestershire sauce. And this isn't really vegetarian because of the ham, but I bet you could leave out the ham or substitute in some veggies. Like summer squash or even zucchini or tomatoes or... Well, any veggie. Chick peas???
My mom bought dry marsala.
And I used leftover ham instead of pancetta.
Crushed red pepper and thyme.
Saute ham in about 2 tablespoons of butter. I generally use olive oil and butter together but I was too lazy the other day. No worries.
Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup marsala to the ham after it's sauteed for maybe 5 minutes. And also add in the red pepper and thyme. No salt though, the ham is salty and so is the parmesan!
Let simmer for a few minutes while the pasta cooks to al dente.
And then add about 3/4 cup to 1 cup cream. Notice that I'm slacking here. I kinda look at a recipe but didn't really follow it. I just liked the ingredients so I threw stuff together (um, FYI - it's inspired by Loni Anderson's Marsala Pasta. I will type it up one day but my mother is currently READING the cookbook. I can't take that away now, can I?).
And then add 3/4 cup of parmesan to the pan with the marsala sauce, drop in the unrinsed pasta with about 1/2 cup of pasta water (I don't like my fettucine too sticky). and this is what you have. Marsala pasta.

Now, I must say that cooking in someone else's kitchen is way too weird. I mean, I'm a REALLY messy cook and I feel like I can't really cook because I can't be too messy. Plus there's not much counterspace and I'm used to more.

But alas, I'm making excuses and I shouldn't do that.

Trust me, after we make a trip to the Farmer's Market next weekend, I'll have many more vegetarian recipes to share! And I might even post Loni's original recipe for Marsala Pasta. That's on my to-do list.

Quick House Hunt Update

We finally accepted a counter offer and the home inspection is on Thursday! This is going WAY faster than I thought it would - which is great but kind of daunting too.

And for a random fact: Yes, Earnest Money is cashed, so buyer beware.

7.23.2009

Buying a Home. Kind of. Advice.

So in the upcoming event of Bimmer Man and me owning a house, I've decided that I need to look for some decorating inspiration.

Mostly because I've been uninspired by so many houses that we've looked at (like 50 if not more) and I've come to the conclusion that I need some real inspiration to decorate. I need some ideas. I need a... Well, I'm not really sure. Bimmer LOVES one house and I LOVE another but we'd both be happy in either.

Some advice:

1. Look past the decorating and see YOUR STUFF in the house. We don't have "stuff" like many other people do. (We moved from a 1 bedroom house and got rid of most of our furniture so we wouldn't have to move it back to MN). So in that case...

2. Imagine yourself cooking in the kitchen. And then pretend to cook in the kitchen. Does it work? If not, well, move on if you don't want to renovate.

3. Look at ALL the comparables. Seriously, if the asking price is overpriced, the comps will really help you to see the value of the house.

4. Below ground square footage doesn't count as much as above ground square footage.

5. Unusable space. What the heck will YOU use it for???

6. How far away is the bathroom compared to the bedrooms? In a 1 1/2 story, if there's a bedroom upstairs, do you really want to crawl hungover down a flight of stairs on a Sunday morning? I don't think so...

7. Check to see if the basement is wet. Look at all the plumbing. Galvanized steel vs. copper. Where is the drain? Where's the furnace? Where's the water heater? Water softener? Yep, there's lots more to a basement than you might think...

8. If you want to change something, like say, flooring... go to a home improvement store with the dimensions or do it online and get an estimate. That may change your mind about improvements. Seriously. Those dang costs add up.

9. How do you sleep best? If your new bedroom is on the East side of a house but you like it pitch black, how are you going to change the room so you can actually sleep in? Skylights??? Do you like them?

10. Check the windows, siding and roofing. How old is the roof? How old is the siding? Do you have to paint the siding? Might you have to change any windows?

11. And the list could go on and on and on.

So today I'll leave you with my favorite chair of the day:

West Elm wingback lounge chair on sale - $499

7.20.2009

Don't Shop! Adopt!

On Saturday I helped photograph doggies that are up for adoption from two different rescues - Pet Project Rescue and Underdog Rescue in Minneapolis. They were all so dang cute!
Here's a Golden or Lab Poodle mix. What a sweetie. Absolutely loved people and other dogs.
This is Barney. He's adorable! He gets stressed easily and barks a lot but with a great stable home, I'm sure he'll do just fine!
And here's this little one. What a cute. She's absolutely adorable and just wanted to be held all the time. I was surprised that not many people were looking at her though. How can you say no to that face???
Here's another small little peanut. So cute!
And I think this one is Sailor. He's so calm and centered (can a dog really be centered??).
And this sweetheart. Doesn't this picture just break your heart?
And this one! What a character! I think this one is Danny - he's a fabulous dog! Interested in everything, wanted to say hi to everyone.

So if you're interested in adopting, check out the rescue links at the top of this post!

Ahem...

We're putting an offer in on a house TODAY.

Hopefully I'll be in my own kitchen by the end of AUGUST.

The bad part is that with the house that we like we had to make a few compromises. One of those being the kitchen (DANG!). Which means that it has to be completely renovated (I know... I know).

I'll keep y'all updated on the process!

7.16.2009

ACK! I've been MIA!!!

Actually, I feel like I've been MIA for at least a month now... but remember, I don't have my own kitchen and my mom likes to cook. A lot. So that's good but unfortunately not for my lovely blog readers.

I thought I'd update everyone (especially my fabulous Indiana friends) on what I've been up to.

1. Job hunting
2. House hunting (oh, we're putting in an offer this week! Yea!)
3. Walking the dog
4. Crocheting because I can't find all of my pots and pans
5. I even made my own soap one day (yea, I was that bored)
6. Starting up my photography business in the Twin Cities, go White Tree Photography & Designs, LLC (um, and figuring out what to do for a professional website, go figure)
7. Walking the dog
8. Throwing a softball for the dog
9. Making sure not to bother Bimmer Man whilst he studies
10. Hangin' out with my mom

Ok, so there you go, that's what I've been up to lately.

Oh yes, and I accidentally lost my camera battery charger so I have to look for that today.

I swear, I'll be back to cooking & baking soon but I just need some fabulous ideas and to find my pots and pans that are still packed away.

And my KitchenAid mixer. My lovely BEAST, oh where could it be??? I have no idea...

So moral of the story - if you want something and someone else is packing your crap, watch what box it goes in so you're not like me!

Ok, I'll post more about my life later this week, especially if the sellers accepted the offer on the house!

7.06.2009

Summer Eggplant Pasta Sauce, Sort Of

Eggplant. Oh, eggplant how I love thee. I'm seriously considering going all vegetarian. Dishes like this make me want to anyway. This is super easy. Eggplant Pasta sauce - put over your favorite pasta (or in my case, gnocchi, I keep going back to gnocchi).

Cut the summer squash and eggplant into 1 inch pieces.
And mince 2 cloves of garlic.
Yum. Yum. Yum. Do you keep the skin on your eggplant? I was too lazy to peel it. Plus I'm not really sure if I should keep the skin on or not. For summer squash I just peel half of it off so it doesn't get too squishy.
And basil.
A very good handful of basil.
Unfortunately all of my rubber spatulas are packed away so here's something that I would never normally use. A metal one. Oops.

Then just saute the eggplant and squash until it's a little soft with olive oil, add in the garlic, salt & pepper. Then add in a can of tomato sauce. Add the basil in at the very end so it doesn't wilt. Eh, voila! Eggplant pasta sauce! Perfect for a night when you don't feel like eating meat.

7.02.2009

Lingonberry Preserves

Since buying Lingonberry preserves at Ikea I've only had it on toast.
And dang, it's really good.
I mean, I've had it for breakfast now 5 days straight. That doesn't happen very often (ok, so I like Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal and I could eat that for 5 days straight too).
But I can't have it on just toast.

So I need to come up with some good ideas for Lingonberry Preserves. Maybe a tart? Maybe some sort of pastry? Hmmm...