Best Baked Spaghetti

This week I made my husband some baked spaghetti that was labeled as the best. That should have been my sign.

Best Baked Spaghetti

Ease: 4.5/5

Husbands rating: 4/5. He said the sauce was really dry which there really wasn’t a sauce, just some cheese and tomatoes but it didn’t help with the dryness.

Changes: I didn’t add basil or parsley.  I also didn’t add garlic, but I don’t know why I didn’t.  I think I even have some. Probably just too lazy to cut it up.

Recipe: You can find it here.

Picture: 846

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Fettuccine Alfredo

Earlier this week I posted a fettuccine alfredo recipe that was not my husbands favorite.  I made it because it was easier than the recipe I already had but I guess I will stick to this one until I find something better. So here it is:

Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 3/4c veggie or chicken broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 oz. whole-wheat fettuccine
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
  • ground pepper
  • 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, divided

Optional

  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 small zucchini cut into match sticks

Recipe

  1. In a small pan, add garlic and broth to boil. Cover and reduce to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. In a large pan, add water to boil. Add fettuccine noodles. After about 8 minutes, add zucchini if you are adding it.
  3. Take the garlic mixture to a blender. Return it to the pan as med-high heat. Add in cornstarch mixture and whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and add in sour cream, pepper and nutmeg(if adding). Return to low heat.
  4. Drain pasta. Mix pasta and sauce together with 1/2c. of the parmesan cheese. Coat well. Sprinkle to serve with the remaining parmesan and parsley (if adding).

That’s it!

Easy Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

My husband has been working from home since Labor Day because his work is still closed from the hurricane. I have still been making him lunches though so that he can still work from his desk and it is just makes it easier. Last week I decided to make homemade fettuccine alfredo. I have another recipe for this that I have used in the past and I will stick to the one from the past, even though it has more steps. My husband was only able to get one lunch out of what I made(he was going to add bacon but he was swapped last week so he didn’t have time).

Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo

Ease: 4/5, if your sauce didn’t come out right at first.

Husbands rating: 3.5/5. He said when he reheated it, the sauce kind of separated and the bottom of his bowl was just oil.

Changes: Didn’t use parsley.

Recipe: You can find it here.

No picture today. I will post the recipe I like better though for fettuccine alfredo later this week.

Foodstirs August 2017 Review

I have loved Sarah Michelle Geller since I was a teen girl watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have followed her career and seen her movies and watched her other TV shows. When she went into the subscription box service, I thought it was cool but that was all. Now that I am including my son into cooking and baking, I decided to give the box a try since I am busy and I don’t go grocery shopping (my husband does, grocery stores put me in a foul mood).

So how it works, you can sign up for a subscription and a box comes every other month.  They follow a theme so like August was Smore Cupcakes for summertime. The box has the dry ingredients and information cards that tell you how to make it, tips, what wet ingredients you need and what stuff you need like measuring cups. Plus it has anything “decorative.”

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Food dye, marshmallows, cupcake tins, icing bag, cupcake mix, graham crackers for the crust and icing mix

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Yes, we are stirring on the floor.  None got on the floor and they were only for our family.

The recipe was pretty easy to follow. I decided to do their pro tip and put a marshmallow into the batter. The recipe made 8 cupcakes. My son loved stirring and putting the cupcake tins into our cupcake pan.  He also loved licking the icing off the spoon.

Now onto our bad-looking cupcakes.  I love to bake but icing is not my thing.

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So my “fire” looks like someone bled all over my cupcakes but the taste was fine. We had trouble keeping the marshmallows perfectly on the cupcakes during the second cooking. The cupcakes tasted fine.  I really like the graham cracker crust on the bottom.

We enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what we get in October. It was a nice activity to do with my son that I would like to continue.

Interested in trying it out? Go here.

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

It got cold here last week and by cold, I mean it got into the 60s at nighttime so I thought making chili would be perfect. I hope you all know I am joking about the cold part.

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili

Ease: 5/5. Cook turkey and then dump everything into the slow-cooker for 4 hours. It was easy and made enough to last my husband all week.

Husbands Rating: 5/5

Changes: Left out garlic but did garlic powder instead. I also did not use oregano nor did we use green onions.

Recipe: You can find it here.

Picture: 649

August Updates

I am slowly getting back into my old routine. My school reopened, my running is back and I finally know the date. So here is my August recap.

Workout:

I kept up with yoga and Crossfit and hit some new record weights for me. When in Maine, I even went and did a workout at Crossfit Misfit which was good to get different perspectives on form techniques. Form is something everyone needs to look at even if you have done the move a thousand times and sometimes a new set of eyes has a suggestion and recommendation for you.

Races: 

I ran two races in August. The first was a nighttime trail race called Chupacabra Nighttime Trail Race 10k. I love this race and I hardly ever get to run trails. I always have friends who run this race and they have a nice after party. My husband and son walk this race every year, since my son was 6 weeks old. The race starts at 8:30 PM so it is a long night.  I think we left the park about 11:30.

I ran it in 1:11:06 which equals 11:07 mile pace. You always run trails a little slower.

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The next race I did was in Auburn, Maine. It was called the L-A Bridge Run 5K.  I signed up pretty late so I didn’t get a shirt.  Luckily, they let me buy one (I am not a shirt collector but wanted one since the race is in Maine, I am trying to do a race in every state). The weather was perfect, it was in the low 50s, I thought I had a chance to maybe PR or get close to my PR. I was worried though because I went to bed late and drank more than usual the night before at the wedding. As I was walking to the start I asked a local if there are hills. She said no except for a little one on Main St. at about mile 1.5.  I love hills, I do but I was not expecting this many in a 5K. Once I saw all the hills, I knew I couldn’t PR but I knew I could enjoy the race. When I say it was hilly, it is for a Houston standard but not a St. Louis one. Still, my PR is from a race in the 50s and completely flat.

I ran it in 27:47 which is a 8:54 mile pace.

 

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I passed all those boys at the end

Books: 

I read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan pretty quickly. It is pretty ridiculous but also just a fun quick mindless read.

Life: 

I went back to work in August and it has been really hard since I have a completely different team and my Partner in Crime left too. It just feels weird. My Saturdays have also been super busy because I have marathon training early morning, my son then has gym class and like one hour later he has swim lessons. By the time noon comes around, I am already exhausted.

The last thing is that I wore that Adidas top I reviewed from the Avenue A box. It was fine for a 3 mile run but I think anything more, it would have driven me nuts.

Maine and Boston Trip

About a week and a half ago, my family flew up to Boston to get to a wedding in Maine.  It was our first time in that part of the country.

Friday

Our flight became sketchy because it was delayed and a hurricane came into town. They also did not know if the crew had worked too many hours. They said if we could fly, we would just board right away without cleaning the plane. It was some kind of miracle because we could fly and we hardly felt the wind. We flew JetBlue which was my first time with that carrier.  We loved it.  The seats were big and there was plenty of leg space. Plus free Wifi through Amazon and 3 free movies you could choose from your own TV.  We wish they flew more out of our airport to more cities.

Saturday

We stayed at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bedford Glen on Saturday morning. Our flight did not get in to after 1 am.  We basically slept and left. We then drove up to Maine.  The wedding was in Harrison Maine at an all girls camp. It was beautiful.  The weather was in the high 40s/low 70s and just perfect.  Sunny day too. We were staying at the camp for the wedding and found our cabin. We ate lunch in the mess hall and ran into some friends to go to the Norway Brewing Co which was about 10 minutes away. Afterwards it was time for the wedding.  The couple found a babysitter for the little ones so my son had a blast.  I know they went to the camps gymnastic studio and played in a foam pit and they ate Mac n Cheese. He was sound asleep when I made it back to the cabin.

Sunday

I ran in a local 5K race so I could get Maine off my bucket list.  The people were so nice. There was even a soda company there named Capt Eli, and they gave my son a shirt since his name is Eli. After the race, we went back to the camp and ate breakfast with everyone. As people left, we decided to head to our hotel room in Portland, Maine. We stayed at the Fireside Inn. They let us check-in early so we had some time to rest before our family photos.

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Fort Williams Park

We ate lunch at Sea Dog Brewery which has a restaurant.  The food and beer were really good and my son loved all the dog decorations. We then met our photographer at Fort Williams Park for our family photos. We do not have the photos yet, but we loved her.  We went with Strawberry Patch photography and she was awesome. The park itself was beautiful. Jagged coastlines and a lighthouse. Plus we even played for a bit in the ocean. It is one of those places where you wish you could have a summer-house up there.  I definitely want to go back.

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Fort Williams Park

Afterwards we grabbed a bite to eat at Foulmouthed Brewery before heading back to the hotel room to rest and sleep.

Monday

We started the drive back to Boston to catch our flight the next day. We stopped in the cutest fisherman town of Portsmouth New Hampshire to eat lunch at Portsmouth Brewery. Another place with good food and good beer. We also went to a little toy shop in town to get our son a new toy for our flight.

We stayed at the Hilton in Dedham that night. We also learned that all the airports in our city were closed so our flight was cancelled.  I called JetBlue and they put us on the first flight out which was Thursday. Since that meant two more nights, we needed to find a hotel but Boston is so expensive.

Tuesday

My husband returned our rent-a-car which was a Mini Van (and not our style) for a smaller car. He also talked to our hotel about our situation. Hilton extended our stay with the cheapest rates in all of Boston (cheaper than even the motels in not great areas) and gave us free breakfast. Hilton Hotels will now always be my top choice to stay. They were so accommodating and nice to us.

With having a place to stay, we decided to tour Boston. Since we both love history, we walked the Freedom Trail to look at places involved in the start of the American Revolution. We stopped for a bit to eat lunch at Cheers because we have to be tourists. The trail was really nice especially because it stayed about 70 the whole time. We also had friends who were also stuck in Boston so we met them at Harpoon Brewery for a few beers and then went out for oysters.

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Where everybody knows your name

Wednesday

We took another historical walking tour but this time in Salem, MA.  We were deciding between Salem or Falls River (Lizzie Borden) and my husband decided on Salem. The weather was again perfect. Afterwards, we had dinner at Shake Shack and called it a night…until we learned our flight was cancelled again.  This time I got a flight for Dallas.

Thursday

Caught my flight to Dallas and we had a rent-a-car to drive back to Houston. We had a Mini Van because the compact cars were going for $600 more. Our friends also got on our flight so we drove them in the van. My dog this whole trip was at the kennel. I called them to let them know I would be 15 minutes late so they stayed open so I could go pick him up. One last thing about Jetblue, well two, they never gave us a hard time about changing flights and they have the best snacks.

 

It was a great trip but I had such guilt that my town was going through something horrible (still is) and I was having a fun little vacation. I also felt bad that my dog was stuck at a kennel during a hurricane.  He was fine the whole time, as I called everyday.

Hurricane Harvey

Today’s post will be a little different because it will be serious.  Normally, I do not post serious topics because I am not a serious person. I want to talk about Hurricane Harvey because it has devastated the city I live in.

I am not a native Texan.  I moved here 11 years ago without a job, hardly any money and knowing only 1 person who was my boyfriend.  I hated Houston at first because I didn’t know anyone and had nothing to do.  My boyfriend was from Houston but hadn’t lived there since high school so he didn’t know of cool/fun places for 20-somethings.  Yet, I was also broke because I had just graduated and he was still in school.

As time went on and we both found jobs, I started having more fun.  I started running and met people through the running community. I joined my sororities alumnae group and met people through that. I became friends with people from work.  I started to enjoy Houston.

Do I still love my hometown?  Yes. Would I want to live there again? Yes. However, I also adore Houston and cannot imagine my life without my friends who are basically my family. This is also my sons hometown and this is where all his friends live.

When the hurricane hit, I really didn’t think it was going to be “that bad.”  I have been here through Ike. The problem, the hurricane changed to a Category 4 really fast and then just hung out. It became very slow-moving. My problem, I was in a different state for a wedding (a post for another day). Why didn’t Houston evacuate? There is 6.5 million people, where do you want them to go? Austin and San Antonio were supposed to be hit hard too. Last hurricane where people evacuated, people were stuck on the roads, roads that flooded for Harvey. Our city government made the right call.

I finally made it home yesterday after having to fly into Dallas (my airline did not know what day it would be able to get into Houston) and driving down here.  I had called my kennel everyday to check on my dog.  My house, car, dog were all fine. However, a lot of people lost everything including some of my friends.

I do like how the country is seeing the people of Houston coming together and helping no matter what. I went to donate blood today and was turned down because too many donations came in today. I plan on volunteering all day Sunday and Monday.

If you want to help, please consider donating money.  There are many great charities out there.  Personally I like:

Citizens for Animal Protection Friends 4 Life Texas Diaper Bank Houston Food Bank