What Cookbooks Are In Your Kitchen?

These three are staples in my kitchen. I've gone red meatless, but not completely vegetarian yet so I need a little inspiration from any vegetarian books that I can find. Giada is another staple, this is her latest book, but really I'll make just about anything from any of her books. Same with Ina Garten, who wouldn't like her macaroni and cheese or any type of chicken?

Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites
Baking: From My Home to Yours

Then there's Dorie... I can't live without this book. It just so happens that for every work dessert, I've chosen something out of this book. What's your go - to dessert book? I have pumpkin cream cheese muffins memorized, but I can't exactly make those in the summer. This gives great options for all year long.
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food
And vegetarian... Great ideas for sides and main courses for when you have a vegetarian in the house. Or just for yourself!

What other books are staples in your kitchen? (Actually, I have a lot of magazines too...)

The Tudors Season 2

I love The Tudors. I honestly can't get enough of that show. But to be quite honest - when I find a series that I like it's hard to pry my eyes off the tv. And since I love reading historical fiction, why wouldn't I love watching it? OMG. Love it.

The Tudors - The Complete First Season
The Tudors - The Complete Second Season

It's pretty good - though I do have to say, don't have that high of expectations for the acting. And it doesn't follow historical facts, so don't be surprised if events are left out or if it seems like time periods of wives should be longer. At least there's a few hotties to keep your minds off of the lack of historical facts!

Who Wants To Be Clean?

Caldrea products smell so fabulous, I can't even begin to write. Unfortunately I left a whole entire bottle of liquid hand soap at our old house in Minneapolis when we moved. We had cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and then what happened... I forgot the dang handsoap as we left the house in the ginormous moving truck.

Caldrea Liquid Hand Soap- Green Tea Patchouli

My favorite scent - but I also happen to love lavendar. Trust me, if you're kind of sick of seeing Seventh Generation and Method products, don't be fooled, branch out into the world of green products by trying Caldrea. I've also found Caldrea products at Tuesday Morning.

Try something new - definitely try a Caldrea product, you'll be pleasantly surprised!


Kraft Food & Family Online Magazine

Oh yes, yes I am posting this link. Sometimes I forget that I don't have to cook "gourmet" all the time and I can just hang out in the kitchen with chicken and vegetables.

Kraft has super easy recipes that can be prepared in minutes, which is why I like receiving their emails. It gives me ideas for later, even if I don't follow the recipes to perfection. I think that when you add your own little twist, it gives you a sense of accomplishment to know that you just made something better. On your own. (Bimmer Man now uses other spices instead of just hot sauce and soy sauce in his taco meat. Makes me proud...)

So enjoy the online magazine and get inspired - not every meal has to take an hour to prepare.


Entryway Storage

With a snow day today, it's amazing. I can actually look at furniture. Kind of. I'd rather be making marscapone cupcakes with frosting of some sort, but my car is stuck which means that I'm stuck. I tried to walk with the MONSTER to the corner store for Diet Mountain Dew, but no luck. Green tea it is for caffeine.

I found a whole new website (ok, new to me) that has some great deals on furniture. Amazing in this day and age, right?

The Hawthorne Hall Tree Storage Bench above is $278, which is an awesome price for entryway storage.
I personally have too many shoes to shove into a boxed tree so I'm more likely to pick a bench that's more like the above Chesterfield Bench with shoe storage. Though it may not hold my four inch heels OR my winter boots, most of my work shoes and Bimmer Man's shoes will fit comfortably in the bench. The 3 drawer bench is $195 and the four drawer bench is $245.


PETA's Banned SuperBowl Ad

Go figure.

Green Your Lunch

I used to hate bringing my lunch to school when I was little. It'd get squished in my backpack. The
Try the Wrap'N'Mat. It's cheap and easy, plus it's less than paper bags and you'll never add to the landfill again with your lunch.

And here's the Sigg water bottle - better than plastic and way more stylish!

But instead of those brown paper bags, check these out! They are on the pricey side at $23.95, but I'm sure you can google your way to a coupon code at checkout with no problem. They'll last for a long time (and probably through at least 5 of Bimmer Man's Formula 1 race seasons in Indy) plus they're cute!


Crate & Barrel Lovin'

Have you got your Crate & Barrel e-mail yet? OMG. I want these bowls. They're $44.95 (but never fear, by June they'll be on sale) and way cute. Plus I love the colorful cutting boards that match too.
I miss Spring but I'm definitely looking forward to all the colorful kitchen stuff that comes out!

If I Have Time...

January has been going by incredibly quickly for me, it's kind of been a bit of a blur - mostly because I haven't been cooking as much as I've wanted to. Bimmer Man has been home, then not been home, MONSTER has obedience school and I, well, I've been too engrossed in reading and crocheting. But I still want to make cupcakes. I still want to makes lots of things.

Here's what's on my list:

Broiled Cumin Lamb Chops with Curried Couscous
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 lamb chops and about 1 cup couscous mixture)


2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
8 (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed
Cooking spray

1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat broiler.

To prepare lamb, combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Brush honey evenly over both sides of lamb; sprinkle evenly with spice mixture. Arrange lamb in a single layer on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

To prepare couscous, heat a nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cranberries and next 4 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); bring to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Add cilantro; fluff with a fork.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 510 (33% from fat)
Fat: 18.7g (sat 9g,mono 7g,poly 1g)
Protein: 26.9g
Carbohydrate: 56.8g
Fiber: 4.1g
Cholesterol: 95mg
Iron: 3mg
Sodium: 493mg
Calcium: 54mg
David Bonom, Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2007

Gnocchi with Asparagus and Pancetta

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups gnocchi mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)


1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
2 ounces pancetta, cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmesan cheese


1. Cook gnocchi according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Keep warm.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.

3. Add shallots and asparagus to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add gnocchi, pancetta, reserved cooking liquid, juice, salt, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute. Serve with cheese.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 277 (21% from fat)
Fat: 6.5g (sat 3.1g,mono 2.5g,poly 0.1g)
Protein: 11.2g
Carbohydrate: 43.7g
Fiber: 2.6g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Iron: 2.6mg
Sodium: 932mg
Calcium: 110mg
Jackie Mills, MS, RD, Cooking Light, APRIL 2008

More Peanut Butter Recalls

Please follow the link to see the new recalled items. There are products on the list from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.


Eco Friendly Art Stuff For Kids

Eco friendly is great when it comes to cleaning products, organic is fabulous for food but sometimes art supplies get overlooked. Remember sniffing a Sharpie when you were little? (Ok, so I sniffed Sharpies when I was little) Well, no more worries about that!

With Stubby Pencil Studio, there's so many art supplies to chose from. They can color their own cards, have personal stationary and also get eco friendly crayons and drawing supplies. There's watercolor paints, soy crayons, eco highlighters and environmentally friendly #2 pencils (a teacher's dream).

So there's another way to be eco friendly in your life...


How Much Is Your Face Worth?

When I went on the cruise for Thanksgiving with Bimmer Man, I quickly realized that my allergies had flared up. So much in fact that my face was poufier than a blow fish and redder than a tomato. So I went to the spa. And got a massage and moisturizer. I'm in love with this moisturizer because it actually works in the dry air of South Central Indiana. And so it should work next year in Minnesota. It was $42 at the spa on Carnival, but trust me - totally worth it!
So, since this year a goal of mine is to curb spending and realize EXACTLY how much I'm spending, I'm going to list out what my face is worth. Scary, eh? (Totally Minnesotan).
Moisturizer: $42
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara from drugstore.com: $4.49
Proactive Repairing Lotion (Ugh, have you seen my forehead lately?): $22.00
Total: $122.74
Plus 6.5% tax: $130.72
That number makes me cringe. At least listing it out makes you realize how much you're spending and where you're spending it.
This time I just can't end with enjoy! Instead, how much is your face worth?

Need Groceries? Amazon's Are 40% Off!

Here! So the list is long, but whatever - there's a ton of groceries to chose from and let me tell you, this is the best way to stock up on pasta, olive oil and anything that goes in your pantry. I purchase a lot of items in bulk from here and Sam's Club.

Just try it! You'll save money!

Enter code at checkout: DISCNT40




Ugh. My Blog Is Annoying The Crap Out Of Me...

So I actually have had a blogger account since blogger started. But it's with my maiden name e-mail address and not my married name gmail address which has been annoying the crap out of my for some time now.

So here's my plan:

1. Export this blog.

2. Import the blog into my gmail address blogger account.

3. Delete THIS blog (meaning the Organized McTatty in my maiden name).

4. Quickly snatch up the domain "The Organized McTatty" again under my married name.

Do you think this can be done????

I sure hope so because it's so confusing to have TWO blogger log ins!!!!

Man... If anything happens, here's what I'm going to change the blogger stuff to:


So um, yeah, how easy is that?

I'll, uh, let you know what happens!

Did You Know That It's National Pie Day?

And I want to learn how to make cupcakes that don't look like poo.

In any case, today is National Pie Day and I think it's time to bake tonight. One question - what kind should I make?

Ummm.... Hmmm... (Picture McTatty throwing her arms up in the air, squishing her face into an I-don't-know expression and wondering what's for sale at the grocery store)

The L.A. Times has a very short article - but I'll see what they have in store in the fresh produce. And then possible bake a pie.

Or two. If I can find a good pie crust recipe, which hopefully will fit in my 3 cup food processor.


Some Link Lovin'

Kowalski's Market in Minneapolis. Oh, man. Do I miss it like crazy! They make the best deli salads I think I've ever had from a grocery store. What I've linked to is their recipe list, mostly because everything on the list is something that I would eat. And I mean everything.

Bimmer Man's favorite Twin Cities grocery store is Byerly's - his favorite soup is shown above. A little nasty to photography, but it tastes like no other. It freezes well (store in individual containers, I use Gladware...). The link goes straight to the recipe, though you'll find that they have so much more to offer than traditional wild rice soup!

Being of finnish descent, I can't quite help NOT shopping at FinnStyle, simply because of Marimekko - cute napkins, placemats, towels, etc... will dot your walls with something fun in the dark depths of Winter.

In Indiana - one can't help but shop at BloomingFoods. It's a co-op. And it's local and it's fabulous. It's deli is amazing - so if you're in Bloomington, Indiana, make a stop at the downtown BloomingFoods for lunch. You'll be pleasantly amazed!

Enjoy all the recipe links!


Frozen Grand Central? Ever Seen This???

Peanut Butter Recall

Here's the link where you can search for the recalled products. Don't forget about pet products too!


I Started a MONSTER Blog

We'll see how long it lasts. Mostly because I'm a Gemini and I'm fabulous at starting stuff but not at finishing.

MONSTER has his own blog, ok, so really it's me telling the story of Rusty and pet stuff and dog stuff and treats and whatnot. It's boring if you're not a pet person.


But in any case, we rescued MONSTER from the White River Humane Society in Bedford, IN. This picture was taken for his adoption picture for Petfinder. Poor dog was 15 pounds under weight. I'm slowly telling the story of MONSTER so far and what has worked for us, training wise, etc...

So um, here's the link: Rescuing MONSTER

At first I was going to do a photography blog and then, well, no that was too boring for me. Go figure. Enjoy, all of my two freakin' posts...

No Pants Subway Ride 2009


Finally. Thanksgiving Vacation Picture.

Ha! Not pictureS!!! In any case, I took this with my cell phone during our Thanksgiving cruise (when the MONSTER got hookworm, remember?) in Key West.

Dang, do I want to go back!

And Who Thinks Commuters Don't Have Entertainment?


Chicken. Chicken. Chicken.

No more red meat, it's done. The occasional hamburger or roast beef from Arby's but no more red meat.

But that means that I have to be more adventurous with chicken and turkey. I think eventually I'll probably go vegetarian but right now I love chicken and bacon WAY TOO MUCH.

So today I got an e-mail from Real Simple. I'm going to make just about every chicken recipe on this list. Why? Because I'm not as creative right now with food as I was three weeks ago. And I feel like making a list and checking items off of it. Like cleaning out the closets. Check. Making chicken for dinner. Check.

And so tonight the checklist begins...


Twitter Me This...

Well, technically speaking I signed up for Twitter for work. My work is very social technology oriented. What other work place encourages facebook? Yeah, I know... Facebook.

And then my blogging spoke to me... About Twitter. Ok, so blogs don't really speak but whatever. I'm on Twitter so if you want to see what I'm up to - feel free. I'll probably put up blog updates and stuff and interesting links. And life.

Twitter Me This!!!

Easy Lasagna

UPDATE: So, I got a lovely comment about freezing lasagna, and why yes, it does freeze well! Instead of baking, I'd freeze it, wrapping it in 2 layers of tinfoil - it should keep for up to a month. Then, thaw in the refrigerator and bake as usual!

See? Super easy. No chopping required. Unless you want to...
Instead of store bought sauce, I used my marinara sauce from earlier this month.
Ground beef? No, ground turkey. Yes.
Brown it with salt and pepper OR McCormick's Steak Seasoning like I do.
Mmm... ground turkey.
Dump your marinara into the pan to warm up after the meat has been browned.
Mix all the cheeses together along with the egg.
It's supposed to be parsley but I used basil instead. It works, just any dried/green herb you have. Whatever, it's easy lasagna, right?
Combine everything together until just mixed - no worries, the shredded mozarella will blend in nicely.
I added one cup of chicken brother instead of one cup water. I like flaver, thank you very much. I bet you could add wine instead... if you're daring...
Start off with a 9x13 pan. Eh, don't worry about buttering it. This is easy.
Add one cup meat sauce.
Meat sauce, but don't let your arm give your lasagna a shadow like I did. That's not very pretty.
Meat sauce with no shadow.
The rest of the cheese.
The rest of the meat sauce.
Shred more mozzarella while your pan bakes at 350 for 45 minutes. I didn't cover it so I put more sauce on it than normal so it wouldn't dry out.
Mmm... Cheese...
Oh - it's finally done...
Why yes, yes it is ready to eat...
1 lb. ground beef
2-1/2 cups KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1 container (15 oz.) POLLY-O Natural Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 cup water
12 lasagna noodles, uncooked
Make It

HEAT oven to 350°F. Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high heat. Meanwhile, mix 1-1/4 cups mozzarella, ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan, parsley and egg until well blended; set aside.
DRAIN meat; return to skillet. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Add water to empty sauce jar; cover with lid and shake well. Add to meat mixture; stir until well blended. Spread 1 cup sauce onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; top with layers of 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining noodles, sauce and cheeses. Cover with greased foil.
BAKE 1 hour or until heated through, removing foil after 45 min. Let stand 15 min. before cutting to serve.


Free Suave - Today Only!

Suavenomics - Free Suave.

You know, being thrifty is kinda fun! I should post more free stuff more often. Here's a few links that I like to look at every once in awhile:

Walmart Free Samples (Yes, seriously)

Etc... Etc... You can pretty much just google "free sample of..." and lots will pop up. Right now you can get a free sample of Rachael Ray's dog food and then of course Dove always has samples... The list can go on and on!

Green Your Cooking

I'm pretty eco-friendly. We put out 3 - 4 huge bins of recycling every other week. I buy Tom's of Maine toothpaste. And cloth napkins... But greening your cooking is something else that I'm not really very sure how to do. We have an electric stove. And I HATE to use the rolling dishwasher. So we hand wash the dishes, which does NOT save on water consumption at all.

But at least you can green your cutting board. Try this acacia wood chopping block. Acacia is naturally sustainable, even more so than teak (who knew?). It's $34.98 at Lowe's right now.

Or an even more awesome alternative is THIS cork cutting board from Crate & Barrel. It's on SALE for $19.99. Crate & Barrel also has a green living section of their website. I'm glad commercialism is heading eco-friendly.

Enjoy being green in your kitchen!