Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tomato Tortellini Soup

Photo courtesy of Taste of Home

I realized that I had pinned this same recipe twice from two different sources on pinterest, so I must have thought it sounded good. And it was so delicious. This is definitely a soup I will make again. I made a few changes to get rid of some of the fat, and make it a little more hearty by adding some chicken. Recipe source Taste of Home.

Tomato Tortellini Soup 
1 pkg. (9 oz.) cheese tortellini
2 cans (10.75 oz. each) condensed tomato soup
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups skim milk
2 cups fat-free half and half
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups Rotisserie chicken

1. Cook the tortellini according to package directions
2. In a Dutch Oven combine the soup, broth, milk, half and half, tomatoes and seasonings. Heat through but do not let it come to a full boil. 
3. Drain the tortellini and add to the soup. Stir in cheese and serve!


Asian Pasta Salad

Photo courtesy of Week of Menus

I pinned this recipe forever ago on Pinterest, and was excited to finally try it! I got the recipe from Week of Menus. I made a few changes, but love how it turned out. I made it for dinner and we ate it hot, then the next two days we ate it cold for lunch. It was so sweet and savory. 

Asian Pasta Salad
1 lb. bowtie pasta

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 red pepper, julienned
1 yellow pepper, julienned
2-3 cups rotisserie chicken
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
3 cups coarsely chopped spinach
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1. Boil and cook pasta according to package directions. 
2. In a saucepan, combine the oil, soy sauce, honey and rice wine vinegar and heat on low until the honey is completely dissolved. 
3. Put a teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet and cook the peppers for about 2-3 minutes, don't let them get flimsy and soggy, they still need a bit of a crunch. 
4. In a large bowl combine the pasta, sauce, chicken, peppers, cilantro and red pepper flakes. Toss in the spinach once the other ingredients are completely combined. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Light Cajun Chicken Pasta

I had the most tasty dinner tonight. Thanks to Skinny Taste, I made this Light Cajun Chicken Pasta. I love this site, she has so many delicious low fat recipes. I have a no, quick and easy go-to recipe.

Photo from

I made a few changes so my little munchkin would eat it. It was a hit. It was creamy, light, and oh so tasty. 

Light Cajun Chicken Pasta
8 oz. whole wheat linguine
1 large chicken breast
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 red pepper
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. cream cheese
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the linguine according to package directions. 
2. Cut chicken breast into stripes. Also chop the peppers in stripes. 
3. In a non-stick skillet, add the olive oil. On medium heat, place the chicken in the skillet. Also add the Cajun seasoning. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the skillet. 
4. Place the peppers in the same skillet (there should still be some of the oil and seasoning). Saute for about 3-4 minutes until soft but still crisp. 
5. Blend the milk, flour and cream cheese until smooth. Add to the skillet. 
6. Add the chicken back into the skillet. Cook until the sauce begins to boil. Then add the chicken broth. 
7. Let it simmer for a few minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. Add the noodles. 
8. Have it sit for a few minutes to cool and thicken. 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Boots

I've had several requests for some lightweight baby boots for the Spring and Summer. So I decided to just go for it and see how it goes. I'm pretty excited about these mint striped boots. I think they're pretty stinkin' cute. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

DIY Valences

I've been trying to find some way to decorate this awkward wall. I love all of the extra natural light from the windows, but with our TV smack-dab in the middle there's not much room to do .... anything. The windows are so narrow, a curtain didn't really make sense, so I decided to do some sort of valence. The more I looked into what exactly I needed, I discovered this is technically called a "cornice". I was able to make two of these for about $20!  I am so happy with how they turned out. Here's how you can make them too:

Supplies for 2 valences:
Foam board - Hobby Lobby on sale for $4
Batting - twin size, used a coupon and got it for $6, but only used about half of it. 
Fabric - heavy cotton, on sale for $6 a yard, I used 1 1/2 yards (46 inches x 45 inches to be exact), but my windows are more narrow than standard windows, so get 2 yards at 45" wide. 
Exacto Knife
Staple Gun
Hot Glue Gun
4 "L Brackets" - Lowe's, $1.76 for four including the screws.
Measuring Tape

I took my large foam board, and traced the measurements I needed before cutting, to make sure it'll all work. I used my Exacto Knife to make a nice straight cut. 
2 - 13" x 33"
2 - 2" x 33"
4 - 2" x 13"

I then used my hot glue gun to take the two 2 x 13 pieces and glued perpendicular on each short end. Then took the 2 x 33 piece and glued all along the top to make it hold in place. Here is my foundation:

I cut a piece of batting (doubled) with the measurements of 23" x 45", giving me extra space on all side to fold it over and staple it tight. I lad the batting down, then the foam board foundation on it's back on top of the batting.

 I cut each end as pictured below, so I could fold over the bottom portion:

Then I folded over the bottom, and stapled in place about every 1.5" or so. 

Then I did the same thing with each side. Cut the batting so you are able to fold over the side. I trimmed off a lot of the excess batting in the corner. Then pull tightly over the side and staple about every inch. Continue with the other sides until the batting is completely stapled on and tight. Cut off any excess. 

I have been looking for a cute print for months, which is why I kept putting this project. But I just couldn't find anything I liked, so I just went with a solid gray cotton. Since my windows are only 29" wide with an extra inch on each side, plus wrapped the fabric around the side piece, 45" wide fabric was perfect for the length. Then for the width I did 23", even though it was only 13" tall, plus wrapping around the top piece, plus a little extra I went with 23". So the fabric (and the batting were 45" x 23"). Make sure to iron your fabric before you staple it on. Do the exact same steps are you did with the batting. 

When doing the corners, I pull in one side, and staple. Then fold over the perpendicular side to make a clean looking corner (this may take some practice before you actually staple down). 

My valences were done, and ready to hang up! So I measured out where my L brackets were going to go. I did 1.5" out of each side from the, and 4.5" above the window. Then, since the valence was so light I was able to just rest it on top of the brackets. 


I might add some sort of stripe, or white border. But for now I'm loving having a little something to make the wall not seem to bare! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fried Rice

This is a family favorite go-to recipe. It's so good with some stir-fry, or grilled teriyaki chicken. My daughter absolutely loves it, she eats bowls full of it. 

Fried Rice
3 cups of cooked brown rice
1 egg
1 garlic glove, minced
1 shredded carrot
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1. Cook the rice. While the rice is cooking spray with non-stick cooking spray a large skillet. 
2. Put the egg in the skillet at a medium-high heat. When the egg is almost fully cooked, add the minced garlic, and cook for another minute.
3. Add the peas and carrots.Stir and cook until the peas are warmed through and tender. 
4. Add the rice and the soy sauce. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Homemade Guacamole

The last few times my whole family has gotten together everyone requests my sister-in-laws fabulous homemade guacamole. My husband, for one, is obsessed. So I had to get my hands on this tasty tasty recipe. 

Homemade Guacamole
3-4 avocados
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
The juice of 2 limes
1 glove of garlic, minced
1/2 of a jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl, using a masher, mix and mash until the avocados have small chunks not completely smooth. Refrigerate until served. 

We like to eat it with the Tostito's 'Hint of Lime' chips. I was lucky to get a picture, it was almost gone before I remembered. It's also great served with these honey-lime chicken enchiladas.