Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review and Giveaway in the works!

Wow it's been a long time since I've had the time to post! The new school year started about a month ago and I feel like I've had no time for blogging. However, I would like to thank you for your patience and let you in on a little secret...
My first review and giveaway is in the works! I have been in contact with Earth Created Designs. Earth Created Designs is a small family business that specializes in Eco-friendly jewelry. They have a large (and beautiful!) selection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Be sure to check out their website, I will be offering extra bonus entries for the giveaway if you make a purchase between now and the end of the giveaway!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Make Your Blog Carbon Neutral

Want to help reduce your carbon footprint? Plant a tree! Trees play a major part in helping to neutralize carbon dioxide. Click here to see how you can join and make your blog carbon neutral too.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meatless Monday Week 3

Hubs and I love pasta. We're carb people. You can make many great meatless meals with pasta as a base. This week, I tried my hand at stuffed shells for the first time. I found the original recipe at Allrecipes but I tweaked it to suit our taste.

Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

  • 1 (12 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (32 ounce) container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar pasta sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  3. In a large bowl, mix eggs, ricotta, half the mozzarella, half the Parmesan, parsley, basil, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, salt and pepper until well combined. Stuff cooked shells with ricotta mixture and place in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together pasta sauce and reserved mozzarella and Parmesan. Pour over stuffed shells.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 45 to 60 minutes, until edges are bubbly and shells are slightly set.
1.When boiling pasta, I add drizzle extra virgin olive oil into the water after I salt it when it comes to a boil. I add my pasta and give it a good stir. When it comes back to a boil I cover my pot and turn off the burner. The pasta is ready to drain after 10 min.
2. I used a sandwich bag to 'pipe' the cheese mixture into the shells. I cut a dime size hole in the bottom corner. 
3. Since I'm only cooking for two people, I baked half of the shells tonight and froze the second half.

Daily Greens:
It only takes a few seconds to rinse out a yogurt container to recycle it rather than throwing it in the trash!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

It's been too long since I've seen a Fenway sunset.

Daily Greens:
Oreo cookie trays are made of #1 plastic. Please take them out of the wrapper and recycle them!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mushroom Marsala Recipe [and feature!!]

Mushroom Marsala
Serves 4

1 lb. assorted mushrooms (baby bella, button, shiitake, etc)
¼ C. all-purpose flour
¼ C. olive oil, divided
¼ C. shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ C. dry Marsala
1 C. chicken or vegetable stock
¼ C. fresh parsley, minced
1 T. fresh thyme, minced
1 T. unsalted butter
½ lb. dry penne
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil penne in salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Heat ½ of the olive oil (2 T.) in a large sauté pan over med.-high heat.  Toss mushrooms with flour in a paper bag to coat. Shake off excess flour. Sauté ½ the mushrooms until golden, about 3-4 minutes, and remove from the pan. Heat the remaining 2 T. of olive oil and sauté the remaining mushrooms until golden and return the first batch of mushrooms to the pan. Stir in the shallots and garlic and sauté for 4 min.
Deglaze the pan with the Marsala and simmer until it is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
Add the cooked pasta to the mushroom mixture and stir until heated through and combined.
Turn off the heat and stir in the thyme, butter and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

If you would like to join the Meatless Monday link-up, visit the Midnight Maniac blog. While you are there, check out my very first feature (!!) and lots of other delicious meatless meals! I'm looking forward to sharing more of my meals/food and recipes with you in the near future. Bon appetite!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blog Evolution

As a new blogger, I am still learning all about Blogland. I'm learning all the lingo, networking and the art of entering giveaway's. To be honest, it's slightly overwhelming. When I started my blog, I decided to go with a green 'theme'. However, I'm not a one-dimensional kind of girl. I'm a walking contradiction. I'm a material girl who also loves eco-friendly products. I love mommy blogs but I'm not a mom (yet). I love to plant my herbs and flowers but I hate to do yard work. I love all things pink, pretty and ruffled but I'm also a huge sports fan and super competitive.
Because I want my blog to be a reflection of who I am, I've decided that I will be making some changes. I have already begun blogging outside of the green box. I'm going to continue blogging about eco-friendly products and activities and lifestyles but I'm also going to blog more about my interests, loves and life. I'm going to blog about food and post my recipes. I can still go green without losing who I am and forgetting about things I love. Yay  :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fantasy Football, Here I Come

I have been a member of the Yahoo Pro Pick'em fantasy league for several years. Usually, I do alright but last year was my first year getting a trophy, hi ho silver! I was super proud of myself because I beat a bunch of boys. I came in second place to my husband (he always one-ups me in everything, it's so annoying). For all you sports lovers out there, Pro Pick'em is pretty easy. The teams are listed head to head for each week's games and you pick the winner and then you assign confidence points to them. The more points, the higher your confidence. It's fun, but it's not super challenging. You can get lucky and win big or be strategic and fall way short of the leader. I like to think that I did well last year because I'm skilled (haha).
This year, in addition to Pro Pick'em, I'm going to be joining my first real fantasy league. I'm actually getting ready for my draft as I write this, and by getting ready I mean hubs is doing all the work for me. I'm not expecting to do very well but I am expecting to gloat and brag if I do. I also might think twice about giving any credit to hubs and since he's such a nice guy, he won't complain.
I also saved the best for last. My team name is Glitz and Glitter Ball Crushers. It almost makes me want to wear a helmet and jockstrap. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 5, 2011

My First Meatless Monday

I'm using the term "First" rather loosely. This probably isn't really the very first Monday in 20-something years that I haven't eaten meat. I'm sure there have been plenty. However, this is the very first Monday where I am making it a point habit to not eat meat. By cutting back on meat for just one day, hubs and I will make a difference in reducing our carbon footprints. Our health will also benefit from going meatless one day a week. If you would like to read more about the Meatless Monday Campaign, you can visit their website. In the meantime, feast your eyes out on my meatless Monday meal:

Mushroom Marsala with Penne

Daily Greens:
According to eHow, "Parsley is an excellent source of vitamins C, A and K as well as iron and folate. The oils that exist in parsley come together to offer the body certain amazing health benefits. These "volatile" oils have been shown in studies to inhibit the growth of tumors in the lungs and brain. The components of parsley also help to cleanse the body of toxins. The flavonoids present in parsley function as antioxidants to the blood."

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