Quick and easy pasta topper

So last night I got to hang with some new San Diego friends including the lovely Mary Grace  Hooray! We had dinner together and I am low on rations so I decided to raid my freezer and see what I could provide that would be delicious and also mostly healthy.  I found:

Frozen Spinach

A jar of pesto

Frozen ravioli

Goat Cheese

About 3/4 c of white wine that really needed to be used up

Nutella, but I decided that didn’t really go with the other things I found so I put it back. 😦

And I asked myself, ‘Self, what can I make from these ingredients that is delicious’.  And I responded, ‘I don’t know self, but I bet we can come up with something’.  While the water for the pasta was coming to a boil, I put about 2 C of frozen spinach in a saucepan and added about 1/2 C of water.  I covered it and heated it until the water was boiling and all the spinach was thawed.  I added the wine, chunked up the goat cheese and tossed that in, stirred in about 3 spoonfuls of pesto, and stirred till well combined.  After the pasta was done cooking,  I spooned the sauce over top and added some fresh grated parmesan cheese.   It was delicious.  And mostly healthy since there was a lot of spinach involved. (The ravioli was spinach and ricotta flavored).  And there you have it.  I’m sure it would also be delicious on top of spaghetti or linguini noodles, or you could make it into a cream sauce, or saute some onions first to go over it.  Let me know what you decide to do with it!

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Stink attack and IRS woes

You guys, my dog got sprayed by a skunk last night.  At 11:45. During our right before bed potty trip outside.  It was disasterous.  I went on to the trusty interwebs first thing of course, because I had no idea what to do for skunks.  The first thing that everyone said was ‘DO NOT BRING YOUR DOG INTO THE HOUSE!!!’.  Well, I had to.  I live in an apartment.  I don’t have a hose outside or any place to clean my dog other than my bathtub.  Which is all the way in the back with no windows and I have to track my smelly dog through my bedroom to get there.  The interwebs also said to make a concoction of Hydrogen Peroxide (which I was out of, of course) or white vinegar (I had cider?), baking soda and dish soap.  So I did that and I scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed my poor puppy.  Her eyes hurt and she was trembling in the tub and so miserable and I had to be mean to her to get her in the tub and I felt absolutely awful.  AND it was cold in my house after that because I had to open windows and let my house air out but then I realized that the attack had happened just outside and I was probably getting more stank in my house by having the windows open than not. She doesn’t smell very bad any more, and the smell is almost out of my house, but every now and then I catch a wiff.  And it’s gross.

So that happened last night and I didn’t get hardly any sleep and I really wanted to veg but I thought that I would be responsible and do our taxes.  And then I got excited because we are getting a tidy little sum of money back.  We can do a lot with what we are getting back and I can go shopping.  Which is super exciting.  So I e-filed using Turbo Tax and then later this evening I got an e-mail saying that our return had been rejected because the birth date that I’d put in for my husband didn’t match the one the IRS had on file for him.  WTF? It worked last year.  How does his info change?  I’m so confused.  So now I have to wait till he gets home so he can sign it and then mail the forms in and he will probably have to go someplace and wait in line and get that changed which is annoying.  Instead of having our taxes done and being able to surprise him with the money when he gets home, I get to greet him with a mess.  Tax stuff stinks. But at least my dog doesn’t anymore.

The best, quickest, yummiest soup ever

I was in the mood for soup. It is a cold, rainy day here in San Diego (sunny my ass) and I wanted rainy day food. So, I made yummy soup tonight. I steamed half a small head of broccoli in the microwave. I heated half a box of chicken stock in a saucepan. After the stock was hot I added leftover mashed potatoes. And the broccoli. And some shredded cheddar cheese. And then I blended it with my immersion blender. Then I decided it wasn’t thick enough so I put a potato in the microwave, cooked it, scooped out the insides, added them to the pot, blended some more, added salt and pepper to taste and then I ate it. I added some more cheese on the top and a little bit of sour cream and I ate it with a leftover biscuit, but it would have been good with crescent rolls.

Some Serious Soul Searching

I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  In Lancaster, I have a great church, wonderful friends, awesome community, and the most amazing support system that a girl could wish for.  I love the dear, dear friends that I have there.  I love the breakfast dates where we challenge each other in our lives, our relationships, our faith.  I love that I can call someone when I need to talk, or when I need someone to really ask me how I am doing, or to keep me accountable.  I miss being that intimately connected with other people’s lives.  When I joined the Navy, the first place that I was stationed was Charleston, SC.  I loved living in Charleston, and I had a great church and small group, and there was some good community there.  Not as much as in Lancaster, but that level takes time to build.  Then I moved to Norfolk, VA.

God handed me exactly what I needed in Norfolk.  I had a church in Norfolk where every single Sunday, the pastor preached about exactly what I needed to hear.  It’s like he had my brain wired and every single sermon was exactly what God was trying to beat into my head throughout the week or on an issue about which I had been struggling.  In Norfolk, I found the older Christian mentor about whom I’ve been praying for so many years. Older, wise, kids out of the house, limited work hours, available for lunch on the spur of the moment.  Terri was wonderful, and I miss her dearly.  In Norfolk, I lived with two fantastic Christian girls, one of whom has been a dear friend for many years.  Together, we challenged each other, knew what was going on in each others lives, asked the hard questions, were there to comfort through hard times, and were available to laugh, cry, have ice cream, or watch cheesy indian movies whenever that was necessary.  And in Norfolk, I had an amazing counselor.  She wouldn’t let me hid from the issues I was dealing with.  She wouldn’t let me shove things into a box.  She forced me to look at what God was trying to teach me, to sit in my proverbial meadow and listen, to grow closer to Jesus.  She was amazing.

Now I live in San Diego.  In San Diego, I have a few good friends, a couple of friendly acquaintances which may develop into friendships, no Christian friends who really know me, no church yet, no small group, no community.  I have been realizing that I really miss this community, and my life is missing something important without it.  But I’ve been getting glimmers of it, here and there.  Mostly related to my dog.  The same group of people are at the dog park every morning, and I’m starting to see that community.  I just started running with a running buddy and am starting to see that community.  There are tons of them, and I don’t know how to find them.  I feel like God is trying to tell me something, or show me something, and I’m not sure what yet.

How do you find community where you live?  When you move?  What community is most important to you?

Tuesday

My husband left yesterday for a several month underway.  Yesterday was spent doing the ‘required’ (apparently) moping/retail therapy/eating crap food.  Almost.  I dropped Husband off at work at 6:30 and headed over to the dog park with Ginger for her morning run.  While we were there, I started talking to this lady who was there with her two dogs.  I asked her if she was a runner, because I’m trying to start running but I have zero motivation, so I was going to maybe ask about running clubs in the area or whatnot.  Well, as it turns out, she is recovering from an injury and hasn’t been running in a little while but was really excited that I asked her about running because she needs motivation to start running again and is having trouble getting it.  We exchanged numbers and left with our dogs.  I went home, moped about the (gloomy) weather and my (gloomy) mood for a while, and contemplated a day of sweats, naps, cheesy movies, and pizza.  I ended up going down to the exchange at 32nd St with a friend, eating lunch and doing some retail therapy.  Then I got my hair cut, complete with some uber-cute new bangs, and just after I walked in the door, my new friend called and asked if I wanted to go running.  So I did.

The run was not very full of consistent running, but it was a pretty good workout and I pushed myself pretty hard.  I thought that I was going to be super sore today, but I was feeling pretty good.  After Ginger and I got back from the park this morning, I went to the gym and biked for 20 minutes both in preparation for the bike that I’d like to buy shortly and also to keep myself loose for my run tomorrow.  I don’t know what happened between yesterday and today, but I got so much crap done today.  I’m never this motivated.  I dropped Ginger off at the groomers (sand/dirt/grass dog park + several days of rain + rain while at the dog park + dog who spends most of her time playing with other dogs being rolled and tumbled around = very dirty dog), and then I cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom, vacuumed and steam cleaned my living room carpet, threw away tons of trash, went grocery shopping, went to Target for a new coffee maker (complete with timer!) and rain boots, put away groceries, set up my brand new bright red Kitchen-Aid, ran the dishwasher, and did three loads of laundry, including the slipcover for our couch. AND I cooked and ate a healthy dinner for myself tonight.  The only conclusion that I can come to is that maybe Husband needs to go away more often, and that is not acceptable.  Hopefully I can keep this up, and it wasn’t just a fluke.  We shall see……

My favorite day…

It’s Saturday, and I’m planning on spending the day cooking and then having some new friends over for dinner.  On the menu is:

Toasted Baguette with Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce

Acorn Squash Soup

Homemade Mushroom Ravioli with mushrooms and carmalized onions in a cream sauce

Strawberry layer cake

A day spent cooking.  I love it.