Friday, September 25, 2009

Emily is a big huge dork

I've started a wine journal, in Excel no less. It focuses on Texas wines, since that's what I am currently obsessed with, and includes tasting notes, purchase history and a "Want it/Don't buy it" category. Hey, I've got to keep track somehow!

I haven't been cooking very much since school started in June, but that should hopefully change after next week. I switched to full-time at school, and will only be working about 2-3 nights a week at Starbucks, so I'll have plenty of time to cook in the evenings! Definitely looking forward to eating my Lean Cuisine frozen meals for lunch instead of dinner. Also looking forward to de-zombifying myself for a few months. Being permenantly tired sucks.

Lentil salad is on the books for dinner tomorrow, I love cheap n easy protein! We have a coconut in the fridge, too, not sure what that will turn into. Maybe cocktails, maybe muffins. I never really know until Ryan hacks it up for me and I make up my mind. I also need to make red sauce and chicken stock.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pumpkin Muffins

1 box spice cake mix
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup water

Mix in bowl with mixer. Fill paper cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes. Makes 24 muffins. Muffins will be very moist. Can top with cool whip or other toppings if desired.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Special Dinner Out

On Friday night, Ryan and I had dinner at Lightcatcher Winery. It was one of the best meals I have had in a long time!

Pasta Salad with Summer Vegetables

This is perfect to bring to a cookout or picnic in the summertime. It's fairly easy to make, it tastes light and summery, and it can sit out for hours without getting funky like dairy-based salads can.

The vegetables that I listed below are only suggestions, because that's what I had available. I can imagine that this would taste great with any fresh garden vegetable, so please experiment!

-1 pound small-sized pasta (bowties, wagon wheels, whatever), cooked al dente
-6-8 slices center-cut bacon
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 c balsamic vinegar
-3-4 tbsp olive oil
-2 tbsp dijon mustard
-1 tbsp honey
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tbsp dry or fresh basil (fresh is best)
-1 large cucumber, chopped
-1 green pepper, chopped
-1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Cook the bacon in a pan or skillet over medium heat. Remove the bacon, set aside to cool and chop into small pieces. Leave drippings in pan.

Add the minced garlic and 1 tsp salt to the pan. Sautee the garlic in the bacon drippings until it is well cooked. Pour the contents of the pan through a strainer to remove any solids, into a mixing bowl.

Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, salt, pepper and basil to the bowl with the bacon drippings. Whisk well until combined. Toss with the still-warm pasta and set aside to cool.

Toss the veggies and bacon bits with the pasta just before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.