Thursday, February 11, 2010

me vs the kitchen

So I've never really been a big fan of cooking. When Jamie and I were first married I made some pretty atrocious meals and was definitely not a great cook (mostly because I never stuck to the recipe and tried to make my own "creations"). But he was sweet and ate my cooking anyways! Over the years I've actually gotten better and while I'm no Food Network Star... I'd say I'm a decent cook. But I still never enjoyed it. But this year one of my New Year's resolutions was to be better about planning our menu for the week and having all the ingredients ready to prepare tasty meals. And so far I've been doing good at finding new recipes and spending more time in the kitchen... and actually enjoying it. Well, I look a little tired and pregnant in this picture because... I'm tired and pregnant. :) Last week the cold weather prompted me to do some more baking and I made a cinnamon raisin swirl bread that turned out amazing. It not only tasted good, but it was pretty, too! (Although the picture I took here seems to focus more on the murderous bread knife...) My favorite place to find new recipes is on the Cooking Light website ( So far my favorite has been this Spanish Olive Spaghetti that turned out so tasty! I used ground turkey instead of beef and left out the crushed saffron threads because what the heck are those?? Here is the recipe if you are looking for a way to change up your spaghetti dinner...

Spanish Spaghetti with Olives Recipe
8 ounces thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads (optional)
8 ounces extra-lean ground beef
1 2/3 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in oregano, celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, and saffron, if desired. Crumble beef into pan; cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in marinara sauce, olives, capers, and 3 tablespoons parsley. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Add spaghetti to sauce mixture. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley."

And I also wanted to share a great recipe from my friend Kara's blog. She posted a recipe for a type of Hawaiian Chicken that she makes and I tried it a few weeks ago and loved it! It was SUPER easy, too.

Anyways, that's what happening in my kitchen! Let me know if you have any great (easy) recipes I should try. :)