Category Archives: Pasta

Meatless Monday

We had friends come over last weekend and I made vegetarian lasagna. It was so delicious, I made it again this past weekend for just the two of us! It was relatively easy to make and oh, so delicious. The first time I used no boil noodles, and the second time I used regular lasagna noodles. I have to say the no boil noodles were better for the lasagna as it was less watery. Also, I forgot to put in the egg second time – also made it watery. I also don’t think there is a problem substituting frozen spinach for fresh. Whatever you have on hand works!

As per usual, I forgot something – the much needed egg – so my friend brought one over and we had dinner an hour after we had planned. While waiting for the lasagna to cook we played some Apples to Apples and drank wine. It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday evening.

Vegetarian Lasagna *Inspired from here

Ingredients:

  • 1 package no boil lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can (28 oz) Trader Joe’s marinara sauce
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Boil spinach in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Take out, chop and dry on paper towels.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and cook mushrooms,  onion and garlic until onions are tender.

Vegetarian Lasagna

Mushroom, onion, garlic mix

Vegetarian Lasagna

Mmmmm… Sauteed veggies

In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, Romano cheese, spinach, salt, oregano, basil, pepper, and egg in a bowl. Add cooled mushroom mixture. Mix together with a spatula.

Vegetarian Lasagna

Cheese mix

Vegetarian Lasagna

Mmmm sauteed veggies and cheese

Lay lasagna noodles in bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread one third of the cheese/spinach mixture over noodles. Sprinkle 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese on top. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce over cheese. Repeat layering 2 times.

Vegetarian Lasagna

Layering

Vegetarian Lasagna

Tomato sauce layer

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven for 1 hour. Cool 15 minutes before serving.

Vegetarian lasagna

Mmmmm lasagna

Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf french bread
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut open french loaf. Drizzle on olive oil. Cut garlic cloves in halves and rub on the bread. Chop the garlic cloves and spread on the bread. Put each half of the loaf in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and enjoy!

Garlic Bread

Garlic Bread

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Filed under Meatless Monday, Pasta, Recipes, Weekend

Slow Cooker Caramalized Onion Pasta

Hello! Apologies for the long delay between posts, I’ve just started a new job and I’ve been running all around Portland, Seattle, Atlanta and back. Thing are back to normal (for the most part) so I’m hoping to be more pro-active with my posting! It’s my favorite time of year, and I can’t wait to finally settle in and decorate with the leaves I made last year, hang out around the fireplace, and eat delicious fall foods. We’ve vowed to use the Crock Pot more this year and have been looking for recipes left and right. Dan found this recipe on the Seattle Times. I braved the wind, got on Lola the Bike and went to Trader Joe’s to get ingredients for dinner. Just a little word of advice – If you haven’t biked in quite awhile, it’s not the best idea to start again on a windy day with a 50lb backpack full of food. Whoever created the analogy “it’s like riding a bike,” didn’t do it in those conditions.

If any of my readers are out on the East Coast – stay safe and warm! Our thoughts are with you!

Caramelized Onion Pasta

Caramelized Onion Pasta *recipe from here

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours

Ingredients:

  • 3 onions sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta (or whatever kind you like)
  • 8oz sour cream
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
  • Dollop of garlic chili sauce (only if you want a little kick!)
  • Parmesan

Onions after 6 hours in a Crock Pot

Directions:

Throw the onions and olive oil in the Crock Pot, turn on high and leave for 6 hours. After the onions have caramelized, heat a pot of salted water, and put the pasta in after it has boiled. When the pasta is ready, drain it, then put it back in the pot adding sour cream, onions, arugula, and sun-dried tomatoes. Salt and pepper to your liking and mix until the arugula starts to wilt. We topped ours with parmesan and I added some chili sauce to give it a little heat. Enjoy!

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Filed under Cheese, Lola the Bike, Pasta, Slow Cooker, Traveling

Coming back from summer hibernation

Hello! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I apologize for my absence, I have no real excuse except for that I’ve been lazy with my picture taking, blogging, but mostly, creative cooking. I’m hoping to change that though! Summer is ending (though here in Seattle, we’ve practically had no summer, unlike the rest of the US) and I want do a few more summer recipes in hopes to bring the sun and warmth back out.

Seattle sunshine

A rare sunset in the Northwest

My friends and I are meeting for dinner tonight and we’re doing a picnic theme. My friend is making pigs in a blanket and I’m making my favorite pasta salad in the world. During Husky tailgate season, a friend of mine makes this once or twice and I can always be found next to the bowl with a fork, or sometimes, sitting down with the bowl in my lap while my friends are standing up around me. (I’d post the photo, but it is not a flattering one of me)

This recipe is originally from my friend Ann, who passed it to Taylor (Tailgate Queen), and now it’s mine. I will be making this a few times a month. The girls will be lucky tonight if there is any left for them. (PS – Obviously I’ve ended my vegan quest since I was last on here, I gave it a good 6 weeks, but I was so thankful when Easter came)

Everything (minus the red wine vinegar) to make the most amazing pasta salad

Ingredients:

  • One box of rotini pasta
  • ¼ jar of cut peperoncinis (or more if you want more spice)
  • 4 oz.  of monterey cheese, cubed
  • 4 oz.  of cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 6 oz. turkey pepperoni (mini if you can, otherwise quarter regular size ones)
  • 4 oz. of sliced olives
  • 1.3 bottle Kraft Italian dressing
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Pepper to taste
Boil water and add pasta. While pasta is boiling, cube up cheese, quarter pepperoni if need be, slice olives and peperoncinis.

Also makes a delish snack on its own.

After the pasta is done cooking, wash the noodles in cold water, or let it cool to room temperature, then add in all the ingredients minus the Italian dressing and red wine vinegar. After you toss all the ingredients together, add in Italian dressing (I used about 1/3 of a bottle) and quite a few dashes of the red wine vinegar (I did about 10-15), and pepper. I like my food really zesty, so add the liquids to your discretion. Put in the fridge overnight (or at least a few hours if you’re in a hurry). Try it before you serve it to see if you need any last minute dashes of dressing or red wine vinegar.

The most amazing pasta salad.

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Filed under Cooking, Pasta, Salad

Ice dancing and veggies

I should definitely be sleeping right now. Well, at least, attempting to sleep since I don’t usually fall asleep till about midnight. But now, I’m so addicted to the Olympics I’m watching Ice Dancing which, not going to lie, is a bit ridiculous. But I’m eager to find out who wins! Canada or US? Even though I love the US, I can’t help but want home country Canada to win. They need some more gold medals while they host the Olympics! But anyways… On to food…

My roommate and enjoyed a beautiful, sunny Seattle Saturday and wandered around Ballard this weekend. We were in dire need of coffee, and walked around for about 30 minutes to try and find a cafe that wasn’t Starbucks or Tully’s. Apparently Ballard is not like Fremont that seems to have a small cafe on every block, or maybe I just don’t know Ballard well enough. We ended up going to a cafe on, I believe it was Leary Way. I forget the name of it, but it was owned by a Japanese woman and served Stumptown coffee. Kelly and I had never had Stumptown coffee, but she had heard it was delicious, and it definitely did not disappoint!

Fat Kid Confidential

So pretty!

I’d definitely go back to that cafe, they had some pretty tasty looking pastries and goodies! They had a croissant sandwich that looked like it was from a shop in Paris. Definitely on my “to visit” list after Lent is over!

Tonight for dinner I made my usual grill/stir fry of chicken and veggies. Instead of using the frozen stir fry for Costco though, I chopped up my own fresh vegetables. It turned into “Gina has leftover veggies going to go bad, use them ASAP!” The ingredients were as follows: broccoli, a can of stewed tomatoes, grape tomatoes, fresh jalapeno, red pepper, red onion, cilantro and chicken breast.

Fat Kid Confidential

Mmm, delicious and fresh

I threw it over whole wheat pasta shells (originally was going to be whole wheat linguine, but I realized I didn’t have enough linguine so I used the shells) and this was the outcome:

Fat Kid Confidential

Yum!

Congrats to the Canadians! They just won. And now it’s time for me to head to bed. Question of the day – Your favorite Winter Olympic event?

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Filed under Cooking, Pasta, Restaurants

Study night and fruit salad

Kelly and I had roommate night tonight! Roommate night = dinner + studying/movie. Kelly made home made tomato sauce tonight with veggies. We put it on top of wheat pasta and had some salad.

Tomato sauce.. Gotta love a roommate that cooks for you!

Gotta get your filling of veggies in!

Finished product!

And for dessert, instead of chocolate, ice cream or cookies (thank you detox) we made a fruit salad.

Mmmm fruity goodness

I went to Safeway during lunch today to get my weeks worth of groceries and they were having a sale on almost anything! Blueberries for $2, mangoes for $0.99, peppers for $0.99, but the winner? BEN & JERRY’S FOR $2!!!! I grabbed a pint of Stephen Colbert’s ‘Americone Dream’ to have a little treat after my detox. How could you say no to that?!? My friend asked why I didn’t buy more…

MSN posted this article today: Zowie! Teens guzzle hot sauce, end up in ER

I’m intrigued to know what this “sauce” was. And really, why do boys think this is a good idea? I’ll be honest though, I want to try it. I’m a sucker for hotness. Though I’m not sure if my stomach is ready for another “spicy hangover” as I deemed my Friday after 777 Challenge.

Question of the day – your favorite ice cream flavor?

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Filed under Articles, Cooking, Pasta

Chicken and a guest

Good evening! I attempted something new tonight – I cooked chicken breast in a mixture of olive oil and parsley goop, splashed some lemon juice on it, added a chopped garlic, and sauteed tomatoes,green onions and mushrooms in it as well. The outcome was this:

(I didn't time cooking the chicken, so the veggies finished cooking before the chicken and I had to scoot them out of the oil)

I topped it over the wheat linguine and added a salad made by my friend, Jessica. She was brave enough to let me try out my experimental cooking on her! This is what our dinner looked like:

I’m not exactly sure what this is called, but it turned out pretty good! I’ve never cooked chicken in olive oil before, I liked the slight crisp the chicken had. Jessica said it was good! So I’ll take that as a positive sign. Dinner was also followed by a Trophy cupcake…

Mmm... Chocolate chip mint

I found this article in the New York Times today: “United Tastes – A City’s Specialty, Japanese in name only.”

I thought it was interesting how Mr. Edge compared teriyaki to a Chicago dog. I noticed a lot of teriyaki restaurants on the Ave in the University District when I arrived in Seattle for college, but it was also surrounded by Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. I feel that Seattle is an equal opportunity place for Asian restaurants. I also never recall seeing corn dog teriyaki at Tokyo Garden? But maybe that’s because I’m so focused on whether I want man-du (or, gyoza as most people call it) or not. I always order the same thing at a teriyaki restaurant: spicy chicken teriyaki, teriyaki sauce on the side. Odd, I know, but I don’t really like teriyaki sauce. Too sweet and sticky for me. My favorite teriyaki restaurant has got to be Tokyo Garden on the Ave, they have great chicken and know how to make it spicy! Question of the day – What’s your favorite teriyaki restaurant?

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Filed under Chicken, Cooking, Cupcake, Pasta

Leftovers and goals

I had class tonight from 6-9 so was unable to cook anything. Instead, I enjoyed my leftover scampi while watching the end of ‘Australia’ with my roommate. There were requests for pictures from my dinner last night, so here they are!

Whole wheat pasta

The scampi (sorry for the dark picture!)

Tada! My first shrimp scampi

I got a new camera for Christmas and am still playing with/figuring out how to use it and the flashes. The scampi was really good as a leftover, but I still think it could’ve used a bit more seasoning. I think my tongue might be a bit immune to anything that’s not SUPER spicy. I think next time I’ll try adding some white wine to it.

This blog is not only dedicated to showcasing my cooking and baking skills, but will also describe my adventures in eating! The inspiration for this blog was from watching ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ non-stop and wanting to check out all the spots Guy went to and writing about and describing my experience. My goal for the next few months is going to all the places Guy mentions in his show. The Triple Ds are:

  • Southern Kitchen in Tacoma
  • Slim’s Last Chance on 1st Ave S
  • Voula’s Offshore Cafe in Seattle (I live less than 2 miles from it.. I can’t believe I haven’t gone yet)
  • Bizarro’s Italian Cafe (Also 2 miles from this one, but have plans on visiting it this month!)
  • Big Star Diner  on Bainbridge Island
  • Mike’s Chili Cafe in Ballard
  • Georgia’s Greek in Seattle
  • Pam’s Trinidadian Caribbean Kitchen on the Ave
  • Bobby’s Hawaiian Style Restaurant in West Everett

It’ll probably take me awhile to get to the ones outside of Seattle, but I’m up for the challenge! I also want to hit the restaurants mentioned on other food shows such as ‘Man vs Food’ and definitely Serious Pie which Tyler Florence talked about their Mushroom pizza on ‘The Best Thing I Ever Ate.’ Should be some good eats!

While I finish up watching Colbert and start heading to bed, I have the question of the day: After chopping fresh garlic last night, I noticed my fingers smelled like garlic all day. Anyone have a cure on how to make them not smell? I think I heard lemon juice works, but I didn’t think about that till today, after I realized I smelled like an Italian metro.

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Filed under "Diners, Drives-ins and Dives", "The Best Thing I Ever Ate", Cooking, Pasta