Book Review: Modern Romance

This has been on my reading list since it came out! Thanks Shay for the review, it’s just what I needed to finally start this.

ars shatomica

An excellent, smart, and well-written book on modern-day dating and finding love was written by… Tom Haverford?

This Tom Haverford??

Fortunately, Aziz Ansari is much smarter but still just as funny as his role on Parks and Rec. When I first heard about Modern Romance, I was under the mistaken impression that it’d be a silly memoir of dating foibles and mishaps. But that was actually not the case at all…

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Snow Day Spicy Soup!

We have had quite a few snow days here in Oklahoma lately. Simon had a great time running his afternoon laps in the snow, although he hasn’t moved from in front of the fireplace since!

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When it’s this cold outside, I immediately start to crave a piping hot bowl of soup! This is one of those soups best made by breaking out the Dutch oven and putting Ree Drummond on the TV, because can you even use a Dutch oven without The Pioneer Woman on in the background? Today I whipped up a batch of my favorite spicy, creamy, one pot meal soups!

Most of this recipe comes from this blog, but because I’m never satisfied with anything as-is, I made a few updates.

Spicy Tortellini Soup

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. hot sausage
  • 20 oz. frozen three-cheese tortellini- Buitoni, which is found in the refrigerated cheese case area of the grocery store, works best here. Put it in the freezer when you get home from shopping so it doesn’t turn to mush while cooking.
  • 32 oz. of broth- I use whatever I have in the freezer and finish it off with water if it’s not quite enough liquid.
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. container of cream cheese
  • parmesan cheese for topping
  • season to taste, for me this means a few dashes of granulated garlic, granulated salt, season salt and dried Italian spice mix.

Directions:

First you should get out your cream cheese to start warming on the counter. Brown your hot sausage in the bottom of the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the meat is cooked, add the broth, diced tomatoes and seasonings. Next add in the tortellini and cream cheese stir to combine and then cover the pot!

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Over 20 minutes, I stir occasionally and recover the pot each time. Taste a tortellini and soup is ready when the tortellini is cooked through! This soup reheats extremely well and can even be frozen and stored for later use.

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I like to top it with some shaved parmesan cheese before serving. YUM!IMG_7520_2

Lent.

My first post on the blog is coming at a great time! It’s the first Friday of Lent, which means I can share with you what I’ve decided to give up this year. I always try to give up something that is causing a distraction in my life and that I’d like to give up for good, but I just need that little nudge of Lent to help me get there.

A few years ago I gave up the peanut butter M&M’s that I was eating from the vending machine almost every day during lunch. This was both good for me and my wallet! Last year I gave up eye liner. This one may sound silly, but I refused to leave the house without it and I was wearing wayyy more than I needed to be. Forty days without it and suddenly it wasn’t such a big deal to me. I have yet to go back to either habit and I promise giving them up was quite a sacrifice at the time.

This year I have decided to give up eating like crap for my meatless Friday’s as I so often have during past Lenten seasons. When I take meat out of my usual meal equation I’m left with cheese and carbs. I don’t know how many others are guilty of taking the easy way out and sustaining on mac & cheese, grilled cheese, cheese quesadillas and peanut butter sandwiches, but that’s what I usually do. I may throw in a protein bar here or there because I’m always starving during this season! The other option is to go out to eat. Almost everywhere has introduced some kind of seafood to their menu, but it’s usually fried and pretty bad for you, not to mention this gets expensive. I try to save my eating out for times I can eat something I really want. The worse habit I’ve ever had is going to bed without eating dinner and setting an alarm for midnight Saturday morning to get up and finally eat something with meat in it! Is my stubbornness showing yet? This year I’m giving all of that up and focusing on making healthy and filling meals. Lent is no excuse to not take care of yourself!

So to start things off, tonight I’m making a dish that I adapted from this recipe. Also, check out my new Pinterest board dedicated to recipe idea’s for Friday’s during Lent!

Baked Tilapia with Roasted Veggies On a Bed of Quinoa & Wild Rice

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen tilapia fillets
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Weber Boston Bay seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • 1 bag of frozen veggies (I like broccoli)
  • 1 bag of quinoa and wild rice (multiple brand’s make this, I got mine in a big pack from Sam’s) any rice will work though!

Directions:

Throw your frozen tilapia fillets in cold water to defrost (they will be ready by the time the oven is pre-heated.)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F

Pour olive oil into baking dish of your choice, I use an 8X8 glass pan. Once they are defrosted, take your tilapia out of the water and packaging, pat dry with a paper towel. Place fish in the olive oil and turn to coat both sides. Sprinkle fish seasoning on both sides to taste, I like a lot of seasoning, but when cooking for others I use a light dusting.

Pour the bag of frozen veggies on top and arrange around fish, they will cover some of it and that’s fine! Season veggies with fish seasoning and a little garlic powder. Place a small pat of butter on each piece of fish and pop it in the over for 25-30 min.

Once it’s finished and out of the oven, pop your bag of rice into the microwave as directed, mine say 90 seconds. Don’t forget to tear a ventilation hole in the bag. I’ve forgotten before and it makes a very scary, loud noise and sometimes explodes rice all over the microwave, not cool.

To serve I place half the rice on each plate then a fillet and half of the veggies on top. This meal is so simple, filling and flavorful!

Picture’s coming soon!