Cooking and cold weather!

I am slightly disappointed in my cooking for this week, but not too disappointed.  I made this tomato green bean soup again.  I was planning to use basil, like the recipe calls for, instead of cilantro which I inadvertently used last time to make the recipe different from last time and give me something a little different.  However, the basil had apparently gone bad in the fridge since the weekend, and my leftover cilantro from last week was still good.  So.  I wound up with the cilantro-modified version that I had last time.  🙂  Oh well… it was good, and why mess with a good thing?

I have been trying to slowly use up food in the freezer since our freezer is pretty packed with the combination of Mike’s stuff and my stuff.  (the problems with combining apartments is that you don’t get your own freezer all to yourself anymore!)  To that end, I decided to use up a 25oz bag of cheese ravioli that had been sitting in there forever and was taking up a lot of space.  I also decided to go solo with no recipe whatsoever.  Very brave on my part, very brave.  Although, honestly, preparing frozen ravioli is well within my comfort zone.  Because of a Whole Foods sale over the weekend, I had a pound of ground beef.  I was hoping to sautee up some green peppers and onions with the ground beef, but I realized I didn’t have any green peppers.  So I cooked up the ground beef, the onions, and hand-minced garlic (since I’m still waiting for my new garlic press to be shipped!).  Once the beef was browned, the garlic was toasty, and the onions were translucent, I drained the ground beef mixture and then added it back to the pan with a 20oz jar of garlic and basil spaghetti sauce.  I brought the mixture to a simmer and then sniffed it looking for signs of what to add as far as seasonings.  I finally decided on some Italian classics: basil and thyme.  I could have also added oregano but my bottle of oregano hadn’t been opened yet and I was too lazy to open it.  As much as I love buying the Whole Foods brand spices, the bottles have a little plastic swivel lid that you have to poke a hole in when you first use it, and it is SO HARD to poke that hole.  Once you poke it, it’s fine, and you can shake the spice out and then move the swivel lid back over the hole.  But that initial poke is really different.  I usually manage it using a combination of a paring knife and a fork.  Probably not safe.  And definitely not fun.  So I passed on the oregano.  I also added freshly ground black pepper.  By that time, the ravioli had finished cooking and I’d drained it, so I threw that in the pan as well and stirred everything up together.  I forgot to ask Mike what he thought of it but honestly all the work was already done in the pre-prepared ravioli so there’s not much I could have done to screw things up.  🙂  I served it topped with some grated Parmesan cheese.

So there wasn’t too much exciting happening on the cooking front this week, but I did make a few easy meals.  🙂  I’m sure I’ll get a LOT more creative once I get a wok.  I’m excited to start Asian stir-fries!  Mike loves them, and I love the idea of cooking with a giant wok!  😉  Now that I have the hang of how long it takes to make rice the hard part is done.  🙂

Apart from the cooking front, Mike and I have gotten the apartment clean.  Mike’s having two friends over on Saturday so they can all go street shooting, so that was our deadline for getting everything unpacked.  My original plan was to cook dinner for them afterwards (that seems like a nice thing for a wife to do, right?), but they said they’d rather that I go with them and we all go out to eat afterwards.  So, all right.  No cooking for me tomorrow!

The weather here has been very sunny but very cold lately.  Mike and Piper both like the sun.  🙂

Mike & Piper enjoying the sunshine

Mike & Piper enjoying the sunshine

The weather is supposed to get warmer after today, and I’m glad!  It’s been below freezing every night this past week and has barely been getting up to 40 degrees during the day.  It’s nice that it’s been so sunny, but it is way colder than usual.

We really will be getting the wedding pictures up soon, but Mike has to scale them before he can upload them, so that might take some time.

We’re getting very excited about our honeymoon!  We’re starting to make some plans around what we want to see in Italy and it’s so exciting!  I haven’t been to Europe at all before and Mike’s only been to Germany once for work, so this will be a very new, cool experience for both of us!  Mike hasn’t starting packing any clothes yet, but he’s already getting his camera bag complete with camera body, lenses, neck straps, etc all ready.  It’s all about priorities!  🙂  Piper’s usual cat sitter is coming in to take care of her while Mike and I are gone, so I am at least glad that she’s in good hands.

In other news, Mike has discovered the wonderful world of ebay.  He sold a camera on there, got a good price for it, and is now scouting out the apartment for other things we don’t want that might be moneymakers on ebay.  🙂

Mike and I are definitely glad it’s Friday!  We will do a little light cleaning of the apartment tonight since his friends are coming over tomorrow, and then we may watch an episode of Downton Abbey.  We just watched the first episode of Season 3, so we’re almost completely caught up now.  Just a few more episodes!  I would like to also go to an Indian restaurant tonight that I have a coupon for, but we’ll see if we feel like going out to dinner tonight or if it will still feel too cold.  I still have some leftovers in the fridge, so we don’t really need to go out.

I hope everyone has a warm and happy evening!


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