Week 9 – Quick and Delicious Dinners

Another week…Work is continuing to pick up but this new role (I was promoted at the end of June) makes the timing of my work hit a little later, since I’m now reviewing things.  I’ve definitely been working a lot, but less than I’m use to for this time of year.  The list of things to do is the same so I’m just bracing myself for a busy next 6 1/2 weeks.  But maybe it will be okay because we’ve definitely gotten more done this summer than normal.  Who knows, I can never tell what busy season will throw at me until it’s too late.  Either way, work is taking up more of my time that I’d like, but it could be so much worse so I’m a happy camper.

Highlights of the week (in chronological order, not order of highlight-ness)…

1. We finally got bath towels!!  Don’t worry, we weren’t drip-drying before now.  But I’m pretty sure my towels were a high school graduation gift (from Matt’s parents, actually) and they were all bleach stained from whatever acne face wash with benzoyl peroxide I was using at the time.  Matt’s were just old and not nice feeling.  So a Macy’s labor day sale combined with some wedding gift cards led us to Macy’s after work on Friday.  I was irrationally excited about this non-event.  But now we have pretty, soft, colorful towels and I’m a happy camper.  And we didn’t have to spend any of our money on them thanks to gift cards.  The best.

2. Syracuse Football started up with a win (barely) on Friday!  For those of you who’ve know me for longer than since late March, you know I’m a HUGE Syracuse basketball fan.  Like plan my weekends and evenings around game time, huge.  But I’ve never quite gotten into the football team.  probably because they’ve never been too great, or the last 3 years, probably because the season starts during busy season and I don’t have time to pay attention, and then by mid-October when I do have time to pay attention, their season has basically lost hope so I figure ‘why bother?’  But this year I have a husband who (kinda) cares so I’m starting the season strong!  Friday night Matt made his signature buffalo chicken pizza (I hit the jackpot with this man’s abilities in the kitchen) and we settled in to watch the game.  I even left my phone plugged in in the other room for a while so I was fully focused on this game.  And then I fell asleep shortly after half time and when I woke up it was still the 3rd quarter and I gave up and went to bed.  Syracuse Football Fan Fail.  There’s always next week?photo 2 (5)

3. Not working on Saturday.  Am I going to regret this decision?  Probably, but since I didn’t have a gigantic to-do list I decided to spend some QT with Matt and just relax and take it easy.  I went to Pure Barre at 8:30 to get me out of bed, and then we cleaned, grocery shopped, and wrote SO many thank you notes.  But that was fun too because it was a reminder of the great people in our lives and our wedding day and then the gifts we were writing thank yous for and it was just fun, and not really work.  Just 15ish more to go (we think)!

4. Union Market.  We went here after church with some friends from our small group, and I just love that place.  Not sure why we don’t go more often, we should.  So many different foods and shops and during the summer the have a farmer’s market outside on Sundays, so we scored some corn on the cob.  Cannot WAIT to eat that.

Our recipes…So this week we didn’t really try out any actual recipes that were new.  But we did create a new dinner.  And by “we” I mean mostly Matt, I was there for the ingredient buying and he put it all together.  Dinner was waiting for me after pure barre one night and it was just another reminder that this guy is the greatest.  Anyway, I offered him the chance to “guest blog” about the meal, but he declined.  We also unfortunately don’t have a picture of the finished meal so all you get is a picture of the ingredients.  This meal doesn’t really have a name, but we’re going to include it with two other similar meals that we make when we don’t have a ton of time to care about dinner, but still want to eat some good food.  I love all of these because of who quick they are, and because you can buy every single ingredient from Trader Joe’s.  I love that place, but it rarely gives me everything I need (which is why Matt working 2 minutes from a Wegman’s is extra great).  All of the “recipes” make enough for at least one dinner for two with enough leftovers for lunch for two, and probably more if you’re not as hungry as we were.

Other cool coking things we tried this week that weren’t technically recipes but made life delicious:

  1. Mango Margaritas:  This was inspired by the peach margarita recipe from week 5, and the fact that we had the majority of a mango left and wanted to put it to good use before it went bad.  No simple syrup needed because the mango was already so sweet itself!  Matt was the master behind this one too, he’s pretty great.photo 3 (4)
  2. Steak Fajitas:  We finally got our blue apron cookbook!  All of the recipes look amazing, we can’t wait to have the time to try a few.  But one recipe in there was steak fajitas.  This is one thing that we do not need any assistance in, as we have some solid fajita ‘rita nights already.  But it did give us a new idea for steak seasoning – 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground fennel, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder.  We tried this out and it was pretty delicious.  I made double so there is plenty left over that we’ll for sure use next time.

photo 1 (5)

photo 4 (3)

 

Pasta, Feta, Chicken Sausage Dinner:

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Pasta (I like TJ’s Vegetable Radiatore because it’s colorful)
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage, sliced into 1/2 thick or larger slices
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced (this week we have baby heirlooms so we’ll use a bunch)
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 3+ cloves garlic (depends on how much garlic you like)
  • Baby spinach (we used half to 3/4 of a bag)
  • Fresh herbs, chopped (we used Basil and Parsley from our herb barrel)

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside
  2. While the pasta cooks, add some olive oil and chicken sausage pieces to a skillet and cook until sausage begins to lightly brown.
  3. Add onion and garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes
  4. Add spinach, cook for another 1-2 minutes, until spinach is wilted
  5. Add cooked pasta to the skillet and mix all ingredients together
  6. Sprinkle feta and herbs on top, and eat up!

  photo 1 (4)

 photo 1 (6)

Chicken Sausage, Veggie, Tomato, and Pasta Dinner:

Ingredients:

  • Pasta (Again, I like TJ’s Vegetable Radiatore because it’s colorful)
  • Spinach, Fontina, & Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3+ cloves of garlic (if you’re me, the more the better!)
  • 1-2 green or yellow zucchini, sliced into about 1/2 inch thick rounds, and cut in half (sometimes we use spinach instead)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (feel free to pick a flavor if you’d like)
  • Spices – basil, oregano, red pepper flakes

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. While the pasta cooks, add some olive oil and chicken sausage pieces to a skillet and cook until sausage begins to lightly brown.
  3. Add onion, garlic, and zucchini, cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add both cans of diced tomatoes to the pan, add basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Let simmer for 5 or so minutes.
  5. Mix with cooked pasta, sprinkle with parmesan, and enjoy!

photo 2 (4)

Trader Joe’s Tortellini

This isn’t so much a recipe as much as a shout out to hoe delicious and easy this is.  We tried some of Trader Joe’s tortellini this week and just mixed it with their tomato basil pasta sauce and we were good to go!  They have several flavors so we’ll gradually try them all.  The Pesto one is a keeper, though.

 

photo 3

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