Pasta with Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

April 23, 2010 § 1 Comment

This is my current go-to pasta dish because it is so fresh and delicious and yet takes less than 20 minutes to make. It is also really healthy- I can’t tell you how many calories because I live life according to Weight Watchers points but I can tell you it is five points and packed with fiber, yay! Wait- add two points for the honkin’ glass of red wine.

I started by roasting the red pepper and starting a pot of salted water to boil.

Roasting peppers is way easy- just preheat your broiler and set the oven rack close to the top, place a pepper half on a baking sheet, skin side up and spray with olive oil, then broil until it looks like this- black and bubbly. As soon as it’s ready, transfer to a bowl, cover and let it sit there for 5-10 minutes to cook some more.

After it is done (your water should be boiling so put in the pasta and set to 7-10 minutes or until it is to your preferred al dente) you should be able to pull off the blackened skin with your fingers. Do that, then cut the pepper into tiny chunks and mash with a potato masher or a fork to extract the juices.

Next, combine the peppers and pasta with the sour cream, cayenne, salt and pepper and presto!

Funny side note- I’m new to the whole food photography and being a perfectionist it took me forever to get the pictures right. I ended up having to pop the pasta in the microwave because it got too cold! I just finished eating said pasta and it was sooo good!

Ingredients:

Serves one

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper
  • spray olive oil
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. preheat the broiler to 550 degrees and move the rack closest to the top. Bring a pot of salted water to boiling
  2. on a baking sheet, set pepper skin side up and spray with olive oil
  3. broil the red pepper until skins turn black and bubble- about 10 minutes
  4. when water reaches boiling, add pasta and cook 7-10 minutes or until al dente
  5. after red peppers are done cooking, remove and immediately transfer to a bowl and cover for 10 minutes
  6. remove pepper skins with your hands, shop into small bits, then mash with a fork
  7. combine pepper, pasta, sour cream, cayenne, salt and pepper and enjoy!
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Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

April 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Trust me these taste way better than they look- my friend had already arrived before I had a chance to frost them and I didn’t want to make her watch while I loaded the frosting gun.

Yes I am THAT girl who makes a fresh batch of cupcakes for a Monday movie night. Here’s the recipe- I cut it in half and there was just enough for generous helpings on a dozen mini-cupcakes. And like I’ve mentioned before- it has to be made with an electric mixer or else after 15 minutes of whisking all you’ll have to show for it is lumpy goop and a very tired arm.

Ingredients

Makes about 4 cups

  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons

Directions

  1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.
  2. Transfer to the clean bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.
  3. Raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low; add butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.

Recipe from Martha

If only I’d had some pineapple on hand I could have made Pineapple Upside-Down cupcakes like my favorite place Trophy Cupcakes makes.

Cinco de Mayo- two invites for Evite

April 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

I was thinking about some ideas for Cinco de Mayo parties and I was torn between my memories from college swinging at a Pinata filled with tiny liquor bottles (lesson learned: the host thought it would be a good idea to suspend the Pinata over a tiled floor- only half the bottles survived the fall) and the thoughts of the summer barbecues I love so much so I just had to create two different invites with two different attitudes- one classy, one sassy.

Just looking at this one makes me envision a deck after sunset with sundresses and flip flops, guacamole, and good friends. Click here to download the Evite/web friendly image.

Another party I’m itching to throw would be very different- tequila galore, bright colors, pinata centerpieces, and best of all a Mexican wrestling theme (perhaps involving a Twister tournament complete with brackets and wrestling mask decorating?) Click here to download this bad boy.

Birthday party with a twist of citrus

April 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

Ok I have definitely been reading Amy Atlas’s blog too much- it’s official. Regardless, the display I created for my friend Vivian’s birthday party turned out awesome. I learned a couple of tricks too which I’ll share.

This was for a cocktail party so I centered the color theme around the lemon and lime centerpiece- it truly felt like a Spring party. Here are the details and how to:

  • The cute flag banner was made from some damask scrapbook paper from Michael’s (trust me it so hard to find chic paper at Michael’s among all the cutesy baseball and stick figure children prints {gag} but I was persistent) and thin yellow satin ribbon I picked up for $0.50 a spool. Just cut the paper into triangles, and using an exacto knife and a cutting board, I cut 1/4 inch long slices near the top corners to thread the ribbon through.
  • The lemon lime centerpiece was made by taping a thick satin ribbon along the edge of a glass cake stand.

Now you want to know how I made these glitter letters look so good- no I don’t own a special printer that prints everything in glitter but that would be awesome. I found the right font in Word and printed out all the letters and then placed a clean sheet of printer paper over it and traced the letters with my glue pen, followed by glitter. I used a cup and my ribbon spool to trace the circles.

I used Photoshop to create Vivian’s birthday tea recipe. I simply found a pattern I liked online, then selected and used the paint bucket tool to change all of the colors to match the theme. Then I made a transparent green box to set the stage for the text. I bought the frame a few months back on sale from Urban Outfitters for only $5!! Still kicking myself for just buying one. It makes a great display for party menus, recipes, etc.

I found all the mismatched bottles for drinks, the mason jars for the flowers and the yellow scarf on the tableĀ  at the Goodwill. To make sure all the color shades were exact I cut off small pieces of the flag paper, yellow paper, and green ribbon, and taped them all together to create a swatch which a I held up against my choices. The Goodwill is my favorite place to look for party props and supplies because it’s cheap, it’s recycling, the money goes to a fantastic cause and…….

…who knows you might find that one thing you’ve been looking for ever since you moved into your apartment! I couldn’t believe my luck.

What’s on the Itinerary

April 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Lately I’ve just had so much to do I don’t even know where to start! I have all of these projects lined up which means a ton of planning but not so much posting šŸ˜¦ BUT I will give you some hints on what’s on the to-do list:

I totally fell in in love with this Lanvin Pompom Necklace from Barney’s but first of all let me start by saying it is $1,195.00 and second of all growing up my mother refused to buy me anything expensive she could make herself (and did! Thanks mom.) So I’m going to figure out how to make this and with the extra money maybe pay my rent.

While looking around for vintage liquor decanters for my latest home project (turning my desk area into a mini-bar- hey it was just collecting papers!) I encountered this object. I love that pretty much every year the fashion mags announce nautical themesĀ are in as if we should be surprised- so naturally this will be a good investment of $1.99. Immediately my thoughts turned to my latest obsession:

Ā The anchor necklace by Betsey Johnson seen inĀ Confessions of a Shopaholic. Sigh. But to my dismay the rope was just too big to make into a necklace. However it is the perfect size for a bag handle! I’m thinking navy striped fabric with two giant ruffles at the top with a tattoo-style anchor and rose applique- also hoping to find a cute nautical print to line the bag with. Pirate ships maybe?

This last one’s a doozy- with all the crafting and creating I’ve been doing lately I have accumulated so much crafting supplies it looked like Michael’s threw up all over my apartment. SO I thought what a fun challenge it would be to make over a nasty old filing cabinet from Value Village ($14.99 yeah!). This is it before I gave it a giant bath in cleaner. The plan is to paint the outside and line the inside, cover the outside with linen fabric, and replace the handles with cute vintage drawer pulls.

Looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Where Am I?

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