Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pasta with Roasted Sausage and Broccoli Recipe

Pasta with Roasted Sausage and Broccoli
From Real Simple Magazine, November 2010
Hands-on time: ~10 minutes
Cooking time: ~20-25 minutes
Serves 4

  • 8-12 oz pasta (Calls for rigatoni, I used shells.  We actually used 16oz and that was way too much!)
  • 1 "bunch" or 16 oz of broccoli
  • 1 small onion (I used yellow)
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Cooking spray, as needed
  • Salt and pepper, as much as you prefer
  • 1 lb Italian sausage links, (I used Lightlife brand=fake sausage) casings removed and meat broken into 1-inch pieces
  • Parmesan, shredded, as much as you prefer

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a rimmed baking sheet, spread out broccoli, onion, and sausage.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spray with cooking spray.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Flip/toss ingredients.  Bake for another 8-10 minutes.

During baking, cook pasta according to the package directions.  Drain pasta and return it to the pot.

Combine all ingredients.  Add olive oil to make the dish moist.  Sprinkle with Parmesan.  

Monday, January 3, 2011

Holidays Adventures 12/24/10-1/2/11

Ben and I had quite the adventure going to and from New Haven and Iowa for the holidays.  We tried to fly into Moline, Illinois on Christmas Eve, then drive to Harlan.  Our flight to Moline was cancelled (probably due to a large amount of snow in Moline), but we were able to fly to Omaha instead.  Then, since we had to change our car rental to a one-way (instead of the round-trip from and to Moline) Hertz tacked on another $500 to the bill!  Ben's mom, Sheri, picked us up instead and we went to Harlan and stayed there until Monday, 12/27.  Then we all went to Waukee to visit some of Ben's cousins.  After that, they gave us a ride to Altoona where my mom and Bob picked us up.  We were in IC that night through New Year's Day, and then we went to Moline to fly back home.  I was very happy to to be back with my Mom again, I've missed her a lot.

While we were in Iowa City, on 12/29, Ben and I went back to Shambough Auditorium where we met in september 2005.  We talked for a few minutes, and then he got down on one knee and proposed!!!  While I was volunteering at the Book End just an hour later, he drove out to the mall and bought a ring from Greenberg's.   It is white gold with a princess-cut diamond solitaire--exactly what I wanted.   We went to dinner at Red Avocado (our favorite IC restaurant) to celebrate.  By the way, my sister Megan got engaged at the beginning of December, and they plan on getting married in early-mid June 2012 in Iowa City somewhere outside.

My great-aunt Lois passed away on 12/31.  She was 92 years old, and had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.  I wish I could stayed in eastern Iowa for the funeral, but my plane tickets were non-refundable and Ben needed to get back to work today (Monday).

Our flight back home on Saturday was delayed by over three hours, so we changed our flight to Sunday.  We received hotel and food vouchers to spend, and we stayed the night at Jumer's Hotel and Casino.  I had never been to a casino until then.  We didn't gamble anything though.  It was interesting to watch.

Our first flight yesterday morning was delayed by 48 minutes, so of course we missed our connecting flight in Detroit.  We didn't have to wait too long for our back-up flight.  After we landed at JFK in New York, we had to walk down the plane's stairs (because the parked the plane far away from the airport), and take a shuttle bus to take us to the airport.  It was raining at the time.  Then we found out our checked bag had been put onto another flight, and we had the options of waiting more than two hours for it, or it could be shipped to us for free in 2-3 days.  We chose the latter option.  I really hope they don't lose the luggage!  What a day we had!

While we were in Iowa, New Haven had a blizzard, but the temperatures were so high afterwards, there is not much snow anymore.  I'm glad we didn't experience the blizzard because not only were the winds terrible, but I think the city received well over a foot of snow over the course of about two days.  I was so happy that we didn't have to dig my car out from the parking lot at Ben's office.

I really enjoyed being back in Iowa, and I wish we could have stayed longer, but I am happy to be back home since I have been living here full-time since mid-July 2010.

Please feel free to share any wedding suggestions. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easy and Fast Recipe: Penne w/ broccoli & chickpeas

Penne w/ broccoli and chickpeas (An altered recipe from All You, 10/22/10)--Serves ~5
1 lb of frozen or a head of fresh broccoli, cut into florets
~12 oz. whole wheat penne, or other smallish pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic (or substitute garlic powder)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup lemon juice
Parmesan as wanted (vegans could add nutritional yeast)

Boil pasta and cook until tender, following directions on box, for the last 4 minutes of cooking, add broccoli to the pot.  Meanwhile, warm oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper, saute for ~ 1 minute.  Add chickpeas and cook until heated through.  Drain pasta, add it to the skillet.  Add in lemon juice.  Add olive oil as needed to make it moist.  Sprinkle on parmesan/nutritional yeast as wanted individually.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My CVS visit, yesterday 8/15/10

BOGOF or B1G1F=Buy One Get One Free
ECB=Extra Care Bucks
FAR=Free After Rebate
OOP=Out of Pocket

Head & Shoulders $4.99
Head & Shoulders Free! Used a B1G1F (C)
Pampers $8.88 (Will be FAR)
Crest toothpaste $3.49
M&M Pretzel $0.50 (Because of raincheck)
M&M Pretzel $0.50 (Because of raincheck)
M&M Pretzel Free! (Because of this week's sale of B2G1F)

$5.00 ECB
$7.99 ECB

Subtotal $5.37
6% tax $0.17
Total $5.54 OOP

$1 ECB for Green bag used (I have used it 36 times so far, making me a profit of $8!
$2.00 ECB for Head & Shoulders
$2.50 ECB for Crest toothpaste
$1.00 ECB for M&M Pretzel (making all 3 packages free!)
Raincheck for Zegerid OTC 14 ct ($9.99-7ECB-hopefully another $3 coupon will come out soon)

So, essentially I bought two Head & Shoulders for $3, free Pampers, $1 Crest toothpaste, and free M&M pretzels!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tag sales and farmers markets

I love tag sales and farmers markets!  Today I bought:

Eclipse (paperback) for $1
New Moon (paperback) for $1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (hardcover) for $1
Sweet Home Alabama DVD for $1
Pictionary collector's edition for $2
And Ben bought 2 DVDs for $1 each

Bunch of lettuce $1.25
Cucumbers 3/$1
Zucchini $0.50
Tomatoes $1.99/lb

Last weekend I bought two necklaces for $15 at a tag sale (not an excellent deal, but comparable to Laila Rowe sale prices), along with a cup of lemonade for $1 from a kid's lemonade stand.

I should blog about all of my tag sale deals....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Renting Textbooks

I keep reading about how renting textbooks is such a "good deal."  In my honest opinion, I think that renting is almost as big a rip off as is buying textbooks new (or even used, in most cases) from your college bookstore.  Buying used (or sometimes new is even cheaper) on,,,, or is easier (you aren't limited to the amount of time you keep the books), cheaper, and you can write and highlight in the books as much as you want.  And then you can sell them back at most of the same websites, if you choose to do so.  I love shopping at those websites, and I have found incredible deals on so many textbooks, regular books, and even CDs and DVDs.  Professors do not mind if you buy the required textbooks new or used, and they often don't mind if it is not the edition they told you to get--as long as it is similar enough and you can figure out the correct pages to read (page numbers often change between editions).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday's CVS Trip

Went to a CVS that I have never been before in New Haven. It was very different than the Iowa City stores....different=bad. I had a lot of trouble finding almost everything on my list. Ben came with me since we had been running errands by car, and he was able to help me a bit. I am not planning on going to CVS this week or the next because of the very few items that I would get, it's not worth driving up to the bad part of New Haven to shop for so few things. In Iowa City, I would just plan the CVS trip around my walking trips to downtown.
Here is my paltry shopping trip from Saturday, July 24:

BOGOF=Buy One Get One Free
ECB=Extra Care Bucks
OOP=Out of Pocket

Brita pitcher filters (3 pack) $14.99
Celsius green tea (4 pack) $7.99

$0.99 ECB
$0.99 ECB
$1.00 ECB
$2.00 ECB
$2.99 ECB
$5.00 ECB (earned by taking an online survey)

Subtotal $10.01
Tax (6%) %0.39
Total $10.40 OOP

$7.99 ECB for Celsius green tea (made them free!)
$5.00 ECB for Brita filters

So essentially I made $2.59 on this trip.