Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Recipe: Italian Macaroni and Cheese

A couple of weeks ago, I got together with my bestie Ally to hang out, talk wedding, and cook the most delicious macaroni and cheese ever. I've had a couple of requests to share the recipe, so I took pictures during the process and would like to share them here with y'all!


-12 ounces wide egg noodles
-3 cups whipping cream
-1 1/2 cups whole milk
-1 tablespoon all purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-2 cups (packed) grated fontina or cheddar
-3/4 cups (packed) grated mozzarella
-3/4 cups (packed) finely grated parmesan
-4 ounces ham, diced
-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 13x9 inch glass baking dish, set aside.

Pan sear diced ham, set aside.
Cook noodles in salted water until tender, but firm.
Drain, but do not rinse.
In large bowl, whisk cream, milk, flour, salt, pepper. Stir
in 1 cup fontina, 1/2 cup parmesan, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ham, and parsley.
Add noodles, and toss to coat.
Transfer noodle mixture into baking dish. Top with remaining
cheese, and bake until sauce bubbles and cheese melts and begins
to brown, approximately 20 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

We also put together a simple salad,

And a fresh sliced French bread, paired with
a homemade garlic butter.

Voila, dinner is served!


Holy hiatus, Batman.

Alright, so I'll admit that sometimes... Okay, most times, I have difficulty keeping up with things I've started (i.e. this blog). In my defense, life tends to catch up with me and makes having enough down-time to pretend I have something valuable to share with the world via blog post nearly impossible.

That probably didn't make any sense. Oh well.

I can't promise it won't happen again, but for now I'm back. Still with no real rhyme or reason, but still honest and filled with little insights into my mind and life.

Speaking of my life, a lot has changed in the several months since I last wrote. For those of you who are interested, here's a quick game of catch-up, in no particular order:

-I quit my crappy job in favor of a new, slightly less crappy job.
-Said slightly less crappy job caused some issues, and hence I quit said job. I am now jobless, but looking forward to figuring out what comes next.
-I met the love of my life, a wonderful man named Justin who (God only knows how) puts up with me and claims to be as enamored with me as I am with him. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one.
-I moved out of the apartment I was living in with my siblings, and am now living with said wonderful man. We're currently in a debate as to whether or not it's plausible to rearrange the living room furniture, but other than that it's going well. Neither has threatened the other with weapons... Yet...

I'm sure there's more, but it's nearly 3am and my brain's automatic shut-off went into effect about 3 hours ago. Y'all should be impressed I'm still functioning well enough to almost make sense.

Ta ta for now, folks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Drive-by update.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written, mainly because I haven’t really had much to say. School and work are both going, nothing exciting at all. Only a week and a half left in this class, so I’m pretty happy about that. Not that I don’t like it, but it’s particularly boring.

I am rather looking forward to this weekend, though. On Friday, I’m meeting up with the Blonde and I’m going to learn everything I need to know about being a debate judge- because on Saturday, I will be judging my first debate tournament! I’m really looking forward to it, actually. It’s also a friend’s birthday, so Saturday night a group of us are going to dinner and then back to their house for some drinks and games. It’s bound to be a blast!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Group projects, soup, and banana bread.

This week, the group project for my Computer Science and Internet class began. We were assigned to groups yesterday, and our first task was to take a poll on what concept and theme we wanted to use for our podcast. We also had to supply our group members with our contact information and give them our availability for the next week and a half. These are not at all difficult to accomplish. There are five other people in my group, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little worried. I don’t even know who all of the members in my group are, because some of them have elected to create user id’s that don’t include their full name, or are made of parts of their names that I can’t quite put together.

It seems like the bulk of our group efforts will be done next week. If our group doesn’t decide on a group leader within the next few days our instructor is suppose to assign one, and it’s that person’s job to take all of the pieces everyone else creates and turn them into one cohesive podcast with an introduction and citations. Though I haven’t volunteered to be our group’s leader, I don’t think it would be terrible if I wound up with the job.

So that’s what’s going on in my life right now. Exciting, yeah? I am going to a hockey game on Saturday, so there’s that. Also, lunch with my bestie today was fantastic, as usual. I ended up spending the afternoon up at her house, and we made banana bread and drank coffee mixed with hot chocolate, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It was delicious.

Not pictured: delicious breadsticks.

Homemade banana bread.

Somehow, I ended up surrounded by animals. Not that I'm complaining.

Oh! I colored my hair black a couple of days ago, so there's also that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What do you do when you can't sleep?

I know a lot of people have the same issue that I do, so it’s nothing special, but some nights (alright, most nights) I find it difficult to fall asleep. Even if I am completely exhausted, I will end up lying in bed unable to find sleep. What do I do, you ask? Good question. I’ll tell you what I do.
Play several rounds of angry birds.
Peruse Pinterest. Get way too interested in Pinterest. Momentarily forget I'm supposed to be trying to sleep.
Listen to the random song floating through my head. Some nights multiple times. (Last night? "No Diggity" by Blackstreet and Dr. Dre. Times played? 3.)

Fight with my blanket. Lose. Get irritated with said blanket.

Flop around from side to side, reminiscent of a fish rudely removed from its watery home.
More angry birds.
Use now forgiven blanket to turn myself into a burrito.
Imagine a watermelon.
No joke, when I am desperate to fall asleep and my mind won't shut up, I imagine every possible detail about a watermelon until it takes my complete focus. It actually works.

I am hopeful that tonight, my attempts to sleep are met with… well… sleep! I have lunch plans with one of my besties, who happens to be getting married this summer. So we are going to indulge in soup, salad, and breadsticks at Olive Garden (I may be addicted) and talk wedding!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A day in pictures.

A quick post from me tonight... Yesterday, I had the joy of spending the day with the Blonde, my sister, and the lovely E.G. We had a quick breakfast followed by a day at the Bridal Festival. The Blonde is engaged, and I am lucky enough to call myself one of her bridesmaids. Adore that girl, seriously.

So here's a glimpse of how our day went...

Some delicious coffee and a bagel to serve as fuel...

As we approached the Spokane Convention Center, it was a crisp 20 degrees outside. I cannot count how many times I almost fell walking the streets of downtown.

The lovely ladies.

Sister time <3

Also, slight photobombs going on over our shoulders.

Impatiently waiting for the fashion show to start, I snapped a picture of the backs of peoples' heads.

Trying out the trolley that the passengers pedal. We are seriously considering renting it for the Blonde's bachelorette party. Plus side? The guy in charge was hilarious and not at all put off by our unique senses of humor. He took the suggestion of adding a go-go dancer cage to the top of the trolley very graciously!

Isn't she lovely?

After the convention, we sauntered over to Olive Garden and had a lovely late lunch. Early dinner? I'm really not sure. All I know is it was delicious and we had a great time. Unfortunately, my phone was dying and I wasn't able to capture the mealtime festivities.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pinterest find: Newspaper nail art

So those of you who know me know that I really love doing my nails, even though sometimes I’m not the best at it. Hey, I try! Recently I pinned a tutorial for newspaper nail art. I’ve seen it floating around Pinterest for a couple of months now, and decided to give it a try. My sister and I bought some new nail polish from Avon (Though admittedly we really do not need any more. Thankfully, she’s as obsessed with nail polish as I am.). Anyways, the tutorial calls for a light color of polish, and the new pastel pink we bought fit the bill.

As I did in my last nail art post, I’m going to give you a rundown of the directions and then pictures of the process I followed, with a couple of tips to hopefully help anyone who chooses to attempt this. You’ll need a small glass, rubbing alcohol, and strips of newspaper. I used bits of the classifieds, as the print is smaller.

-Apply a base coat of your choice, keep in mind that this works best with light polishes.
-Allow your nails to dry completely – this step is highly important.
-Pour a little bit of alcohol in the glass.
-Dip your nail in the alcohol. Make sure to get the full nail wet.
-Place a strip of newspaper over the nail, hold firmly for about 30 seconds. Make sure the strip doesn’t move, or you risk smearing the ink while it transfers.
-Gently remove the newspaper.
-Carefully apply top coat to protect the newspaper and make your nails shine!

I started with clean nails, and a base coat of Sally Hansen “hard as nails”.

Avon’s “pastel pink” is a fantastic color.

See? I’m even getting better at keeping the polish actually on my nails.

Tip one: Cut extra strips of newspaper. I ended up with pieces that didn’t transfer right, and had to quickly cut more strips with partially done nails.

Tip two: Make sure not to press down too hard. While the alcohol won’t remove the nail polish, it will act as a bonding agent between polish and paper if you press too hard. This fact is proven by my right ring finger.

The finished product:

Overall, I think there is definite room for improvement, but that’s more user error than the actual project. I still really like how they turned out, they’re fun and interesting and unique. I will definitely do it again.