Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recipe Hoarding. It's a disease.

I'm a recipe hoarder.  Raise your hand if your a member of that club.  You constantly clip, save, copy, and now pin, recipes.  You're going to try them.  Really.  Someday.  When you have more time.  Well, I'm finally going to do it!  My goal for this summer is to make one new recipe each week.  I realize this won't even make a dent in the folder stuffed with recipes torn from magazines, and the dozens of pins, but it's a start.  If the family gives it their highest approval, then it will take it's honored place in my recipe binder.  If the recipe is crap, it goes in the trash never to be mentioned again.  Speaking of recipe binder...I'm also organizing all of these recipes as I go.  If you don't know me very well, I'm pretty OCD when it comes to organization, especially paper stuff.  All of these unorganized recipes makes my skin crawl just thinking about them!  But that's another post for another day (or maybe something I need to take up with a therapist).  I know it's not summer yet, but I'm slowly working my way up to my weekly recipe adventure.  So, without further ado, I give you the inaugural post of the "Summer of Using My Family as Guinea Pigs."  :)

Ham and Pasta Skillet

I pinned this a few weeks back and actually made it a couple of weeks ago. If you don't know what I mean when I say "pinned,"  check out Pinterest and jump on the bandwagon!  The original recipe was pinned from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  I had cooked a large ham and had quite a lot left over and thought this would be a great way to use the extra.  I changed some things from the original recipe so what I have here is not exactly the same as the other website.


12 oz. box of Mafalda pasta (looks like miniature lasagna noodles, but you could use any pasta)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
3 Cups fully cooked ham, diced (I used probably 4 + cups.  We like more meat in our recipes.)
1 Large sweet red pepper, diced (I used 2 red peppers.  1 didn't seem like enough.)
1/2 Medium onion, chopped (I use frozen, chopped onion - it's way faster!)
1/4 Cup minced fresh parsley
2 Garlic cloves, minced (I used 4 because we LOVE garlic!)
1/2 Teaspoon dried basil
1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 Cups chicken broth (1 - 14.5 ounce can =  1 3/4 Cup)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese (I used 2 handfuls because we LOVE cheese!)


Cook pasta according to package directions – only cooking until al dente since pasta will continue to cook and soak up liquid when added to the skillet. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter is melted. Add pepper, onion, and garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, about 4-6 minutes. (Add pepper first and cook a couple of minutes before onion and garlic - peppers take longer to cook).

Add ham, basil and oregano and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half (at first it looks like it will be way to “brothy” but never fear, if you are patient, it will reduce!).

Stir drained pasta into ham and vegetable mixture. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and toss. Sprinkle parsley and remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the pasta. Serve immediately.

 TADAAAAA!  My first recipe!  Sorry, I'm no good at my food presentation.  Around here it's dig, root, and growl or you might get left out!   My family really liked it. Although, I just asked my husband how many stars he'd give it on a 5 point scale and he said 3!  Go figure.  I would give it 4 stars so let's split the difference and say 3.5 stars! :)
Anyway, it's going into the recipe binder. I have a lot of creamy types of skillet recipes so this is a nice change for us.  You could use different vegetables if you don't like peppers, like maybe mushrooms or broccoli.  It's really easy to make even if the recipe looks daunting.  We ate it with a side salad but garlic bread might have been good, too. Maybe next time.



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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Welcome To My New Blog!

I love reading blogs!  I have about 20 that I follow regularly.  Some are about crafty things, others are about day to day things.  So after months of following these blogs, I began to get the urge to create my own.  It looks like fun and I've used blogs before.  I use one all the time in the technology class I teach.  I created a vacation blog so my family could follow our Yellowstone adventure a few years ago.  Well, true to my nature, I decided to dive right in and create one. After I had picked the perfect background, added pictures and some gadgets, I started to panic.  Well, not really panic, because I don't panic. :)  Worry? Fret? Second guess myself?  Whatever you call it, I began to ask myself a few questions:  Could I create something people will want to read?  What would I talk about? Would I type post after post only to have 3 followers - all of who (whom?) are probably related to me?  What if I made stupid grammar mistakes and people laughed at me?  Oh, the pressure.  Then I decided that none of that matters.  I'm creating the blog for me.  I want a new creative outlet and this is it.  Hopefully, I'll gather a few followers along the way (big thanks to my friend, Kim, for following me before I even finished the blog!).  But you know what, even if my mom is the only one who reads this - because she has to, she's my mom - that's just fine.  I'm still going to enjoy the process.  My plans, goals, and hopes for my blog are this:
  • Have fun with it!
  • Give others something to do after they've caught up on the day's Facebook and Pinterest updates but aren't quite ready to go to bed.
  • Create a record of all the new recipes, crafts, and home projects that I keep pinning and KNOW I'm going to complete.  Really, I am! 
  • Inspire me to create and do more since now I know that people will be anxiously awaiting my next post.  I won't want to disappoint my public. 
  • Post once a week.  Maybe every other week.  Or monthly.  Monthly might be good.  What???? I don't want to create unrealistic expectations and set myself up for failure!
Well, however this turns out - good, bad, or ugly - I hope you'll enjoy what you read. For now though, thanks for hanging out with me for a few minutes.  I have to go pin now.


Dawn Pin It
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