Friday, March 29, 2013

Pasta on the go

Finally a day without obligations. I decided to take it easy, watch a movie, but then I had too much energy and I started cooking. I love the idea of packaged lunches in a mason jar; first of all, mason jar are beautiful, second, the food is stored in glass and not plastic, and third it can be reheated in the microwave, beautifully portable for lunches and picnics, even for the little ones. I made one of my favorite pastas, placed a handful of baby spinach in the mason jar and the hot pasta on top. The hot pasta will wilt the spinach slightly but it keeps fresh until the pasta is reheated and mixed in.

penne_in_a_mason_jar

Pasta in a Mason Jar

4 oz penne, cooked according to instructions

Sauce:

  • 3 TB ff cottage cheese
  • 2 TB part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 TB shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can  low-sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ts sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 TB grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 package baby spinach, fresh
  • 3 Mason jars

Cook the pasta according to instructions. Drain. Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta, and mozzarella in a bowl and stir with a fork and set aside.

Heat the oil in a larger saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, chili flakes, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Return cheese mix and pasta to saute pan, and mix gently. Place baby spinach in mason jar, and 1/3 of the pasta on top. Close with lid. Refigerator at most for 1-2 days.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Redecorating


I am in business to redecorate my dining room. It is a Cape Cod style room with a trim around the four walls. Originally, it was painted a light friendly pastel green on the lower part of the wall but at some point I decided I am not a green person so I painted one entire wall a plum color as contrast wall, and the rest uniformly in eggshell. This did not last long and the entire room became eggshell. Over the years I realized I no longer threw dinner parties, and I pondered if the 'bland' dining room might have anything to do with it. Since then I am throwing the idea around of reintroducing color to the room. A pastel gray? Too cold? Back to a warm pastel green? Warm and inviting? A more nougat color? Warm, and neutral. Terracotta red? Warm but too stimulating?

Accordingly, as any home designer, I've been collecting ideas on pinterest and today I came across a designer who could be my designer soulmate. So many fabulous ideas! The yellowcapecod is a private home styling business run by Sarah Macklem, with a beautiful blog which is a true treasure chest of styling ideas, in the small and large, and on a budget. This spring table decor with white tulips and pussy willow comes with a tutorial.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring blossom fever

In January I bought a small Meyer Lemon tree with a single blossom. After a privileged position at the most sunny spot in the house, the bush turned into a fragrant, beautiful blossom fever. The flower smell wonderful. It might be a home-grown lemon summer.

ML_1

ML_2

ML_3

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Teddymouse

Found my little girl sleeping this morning in her heated cat bed, all snuggled up with her teddy mouse, which technically really is a teddy rat from IKEA.

val