Monday, March 29, 2010

Meatless Monday - Tortellini w/ Carmelized Onion & Tomato

Sometimes convenience and tastiness meet happily in the middle. Those little refrigerated packages of fresh pasta are a perfect example for me The fillings range in flavor from fancy lobster and truffle to plain three cheese. The fancy ones are delicious on their own, but the plainer flavors make a great base for a quick topping.

This recipe was made up on-the-fly. I had a different plan for the cheese tortellini that involved broccoli and lemon, but someone (pointed look in the husband's direction) ate all the broccoli. Oh well, at least he likes vegetables.

These portions serve 2 heartily, but could be stretched to 4 servings.

1 package refrigerated cheese tortellini, I like Buitoni brand or Trader Joe's
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, halved and finely sliced
salt to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese to top

Cook tortellini according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion and salt. Saute until onion softens and browns, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic to onion mixture and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute longer.

Lower heat to medium. Add tomatoes and cook until they soften and begin to burst, about 7-10 minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar and cook 1-2 minutes until the vinegar as become syrupy.

Serve immediately over the tortellini and top with fresh Parmesan cheese.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fri-DIY - Gifts to Make (Happy Birthday to me!)

I realized today that I never posted a Meatless Monday this week. However, today I turn the big 3-0, so I am going to cut myself some slack.

In honor of myself (hey, it's my blog, I can do that!) here are some great tutorials I would like to make and give to myself as birthday presents.

Pretty pretty leaf cuff from maya*made
. My leather scraps and vintage buttons are demanding to be made in to several of these!

A lovely set of spring-time napkins from Purl Bee. This tutorial has a fantastic explanation for how to do ric-rac trim. I've never tried trim before because I was afraid a lot of cursing would ensue. However, now I think I should be able to master it!

A twirly patch-work skirt courtesy of Moda Bake Shop
. Yes, this is for a child, but I could adapt for a grown up. I love love the colors used for the tutorial!

Happy crafting!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fri-DIY Vintage Flower Stamens

I love love love this tutorial from scissor variations. I am a bad crafter and usually just throw out my teeny tiny fabric scraps. No more, though!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guinness Shadow

Guinness Shadow, originally uploaded by Steffe.

Awesome photo and Happy St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meatless Monday - Hot Onion Dip

Book Club Party, originally uploaded by s_ripperton.

This week's recipe isn't a main dish or even a side dish (though I have been known to eat leftovers of it for dinner). It's a very tasty, thoroughly meat-free dip that is perfect for bringing to a party. It's also stupidly easy to make. So if you have any March Madness parties to attend, consider whipping this up instead of chicken wings or meatballs. No one will miss them, I promise.

The following will make 3 cups of dip.

1 cup finely chopped sweet onion (Vidalia or the like)
1 cup mayo
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, fresh is best, but the kind from the can is good, too
Paprika for garnish

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, except paprika. Spoon into a ceramic or glass pie plate and smooth to level the surface.

Put in oven and bake 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbling. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with crackers, tortilla chips or crudites.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fri-DIY - Phrenology Pin Cushion

How fantastic is this tutorial from The Graphics Fairy? Just the right blend of macabre cuteness and functionality.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Meatless Monday - Roasted Cauliflower with Capers and Onion

Mmm, cauliflower. I don't believe there is a winter vegetable I enjoy quite as much. As winter draws to a close here in the south (finally!) I have found myself trying to cram as much cauliflower goodness in before my attention turns to spring greens and white cucumbers.

Roasting cauliflower is my go-to technique for everday cauliflower consumption. It's relatively quick and extremely easy. Cauliflower also takes well to lots of flavors, which makes it versatile, too. Feel free to experiment at will.

1 head cauliflower will serve 4 people as a side dish.

1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into 1 inch florets
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon drained capers

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except capers. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange cauliflower in a single layer on the sheet.

Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until cauliflower is nicely browned. Top with capers and serve warm.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Fri-DIY Pleated Flower Wall from RUCHE

We already know I love Ruche, so how awesome is it that they post some stunning DIY projects on their blog? The wall of flowers is incredibly awesome, relatively cheap, slightly labor intensive, but not in an off-putting way. More in a 'cannot wait to host another bridal shower and make these en masse' way.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Meatless Monday - Gazpacho

Gazpacho and Cheese Quesadillas

Mmm, gazpacho. Eating it always reminds me of summer. However, a tasty version can be made even in the dead of winter thanks to high-quality canned plum tomatoes. Considering our southern winter seems never-ending (calling for snow tomorrow, in MARCH) we needed a dish like this to remind us that summer isn't too far away.

1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1" lengths
1 green pepper, seeded and cut into 1" pieces
3 scallions, cut into 1" lengths
1 - 28 ounce can of high quality Italian style plum tomatoes
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor and and process until the soup is mostly smooth but with a few chunky bits left. Pour soup into a bowl and chill for at least an hour. Garnish with a little more red wine vinegar and cilantro. To round out the this meatless meal, serve with cheese quesadillas.