Monday, September 24, 2012

Football Weekends

Now that it is football season we mark the time in our house by games. When is that party? It is before the Texas A&M game and after LSU. Now, in our house, this means the first full week of November. Make sense to you?? If not, it's ok. You will catch on soon enough!! :)
This weekend was extra fun because we hung out with our Young Marrieds group on Friday night. We went to the Wills Creek Winery again for a private tasting with owners Janie and Jahn. We did this last year and LOVED it so I made sure to schedule it again. The weather was perfect, as was the view, and we enjoyed chatting, munching on fruit and cheese, and tasting SEVERAL wines in the beautiful fall outdoors!My favorite was the peach wine-arita and Forrest liked a very dry red. We purchased both before we left and I can't wait to have a reason to use them soon!
Jahn, Jesse minus Jenna, the Monks, the Fords, and the Baileys

Afterwards our group went to Tre Ragazzis, a brand new Italian restaurant in town. We all enjoyed the food and fellowship!
The next day Forrest went off mountain biking with some friends and my cousin Sara and I headed to Tuscaloosa for the Florida Atlantic game. We made a stop into the AOII house for Backyard Bash, one of their largest philanthropy events. The house was PACKED!!! Way to go girls on a successful event!

Jennifer, Sara, and Me hanging out at the sorority house
Afterwards we met my parents to eat in the stadium club before going into the game. It was SO hot but it is hard to complain when your team wins 40-7. I was disappointed that we didn't get the shut out, but we looked pretty good so I suppose I will keep my mouth shut! We hung out at my sister's house before heading back home, listening to football all the way!

On Sunday Forrest and I were both exhausted after our fun Saturdays, so after Mass and errands, I took a LONG nap and Forrest chilled and even got some yard work done. Since the weather was so nice we were able to squeeze in a walk before heading to mom and dads for a yummy dinner. This week should be busy and fun too, so stay tuned!!!

 I am including some recipes below that I have tried recently. Hope you enjoy!!

Sausage Ratatouille


Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 links (about 3/4 pound) Italian sausage (I used Turkey sausage to make it healthier)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-size eggplant, peeled and cut into a 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 small zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, halved, seeded, and sliced
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tomato paste (I used lots more than this because I liked it a little more saucy)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Kalamata Olives would be DELISH in this!!
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium-size pot of water to a boil. Puncture the sausage links in several places, then cook them at a low boil until they're no longer pink in the center, about 14 minutes. Transfer the links to a plate to cool, then slice them into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
  2. Over medium-high heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add the eggplant and zucchini and sauté them, stirring often, until they are lightly browned but not soft, about 7 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate.
  3. In the same skillet over medium heat, warm the remaining olive oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and sauté them for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sliced sausage and sauté, stirring often, for 3 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini.
  4. Partially cover the skillet and gently simmer the ratatouille for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, along with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in the parsley and half of the basil. Serve hot, sprinkled with the remaining basil. Serves 6.
    I served over brown rice!! YUM!!


Worst pic ever, but SUCH a tasty and healthy meal!!


Mediterranean Shrimp Skillet


Ingredients:
8oz dry angel hair pasta
1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2lbs raw medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (could use Italian seasoning)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
(This also would have been great with some Kalamata Olives thrown in)
Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. At the same time, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then stir together 1/2 cup chicken broth and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. Drop the pasta into the water and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, add shrimp to the hot oil, season with salt & pepper, then cook through flipping once. Add garlic and stir continuously for 30 more seconds. Remove shrimp and garlic to a plate and set aside.
3. To the same skillet add 1 cup chicken broth, lemon juice, and dried basil. Pour in cornstarch and chicken broth mixture then bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add spinach, cherry tomatoes, and  cooked shrimp and garlic,then stir until spinach is wilted. Turn off heat, add in cooked pasta, and toss to combine.
4. Divide amongst plates then serve topped with feta cheese, fresh basil, and freshly cracked pepper, if desired.

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