You know those days when you can barely muster up the energy to cook dinner? I am having one of those days. It is freezing cold outside and I want to hibernate. To top things off, there is a serious lack of groceries in my house. What’s a girl to make for dinner? Pantry Staple Pasta Sauce of course! I like to keep this recipe in my back pocket for days like today.
I love this recipe because it is quick and I can make it without measuring any ingredients or looking at a cookbook. It’s also versatile since you can easily spice it up by adding whatever you have on-hand. It goes great with fresh spinach, italian sausage or shrimp and a squeeze of lemon.
You will notice I am drinking a glass of milk with this meal. I can tell you right now, if I were not pregnant, It would be a big glass of wine. For now, milk will do.
Pantry Staple Pasta Sauce
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup of cooking wine (optional)
- 1 500 ml can of diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp dry basil
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- 4 cups pasta, cooked
- 1 tbsp butter
- Add the olive oil and onions to a frying pan and sauté over medium high heat. Sprinkle with salt and cook until the onions are translucent.
- Add the garlic and jalapeño pepper to the pan and continue to sauté the vegetables until they are fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan with cooking wine. I use whatever we have on hand. Red or white works fine. Today, I used leftover white wine. Let the alcohol cook off.
- Add the canned tomatoes and dry spices to the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Once the tomatoes comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.
- Add a tbsp of butter to the hot pasta and allow it to melt. Add the tomato sauce to the pasta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Big Box Detox http://www.bigboxdetox.com/
This weekend we emptied the office to make room for the baby! Right now the room is a blank canvas. Out with the desks and in with the crib! Here is a reminder of what the room looked like before. As you can see, this room has always been left more or less unfinished.
We decided to transform our office into the baby’s bedroom for a couple of reasons. It is the smallest and brightest of the three bedrooms upstairs. We chose the smallest of the three rooms because babies don’t need a lot of space. Another factor is that the second room now has to serve dual purpose as an office and a guest room. There is no way we could fit a bed and a desk in the tiny room that was our office.
As per usual, Eric and I are looking to save money and DIY whatever we can in the nursery. We are going to keep things simple in this space with a dresser, crib and rocking chair. We inherited the crib from friends who are all done with the baby phase. It’s s a sturdy white crib in fantastic condition. It’s where two of my favourite little kids in the whole world slept and it will make a fantastic resting spot for our wee one.
The dresser we are planning to use is IKEA’s popular Hemnes dresser. In its current state, the dresser is calling out for a makeover. This Hemnes dresser was my first DIY project. I painted and wallpapered it several years ago while Eric was out of town at a conference. It will not stay brown and blue for much longer (2004 called and they want their colour palette back!).
There is so much beautiful furniture out there for baby rooms and at times, I find myself wanting brand new designer stuff. I just keep reminding myself that babies grow quickly and that they don’t need an expensive and high end nursery. Furthermore, repurposing what we already have means saving money for my maternity leave and the additional expenses that come along with having a kid.
Eric and I have big plans for this room and I am looking forward to sharing them over the next few months! In the meantime, I am going to continue using the baby’s room as my own private yoga studio. Eventually, I will have to find a new space but for now, it seems just right.
Now that Remembrance Day has come and gone, I’m OK with Christmas related posts. Today I am sharing my first Christmas post of the season and I am kicking things off with some of my favourite holiday cards available through Etsy. All these cards are fun, modern and of course, made by independent artists!
- Ruby Press
- Echo Letter Press
- Nicole Marie Paperie
- Happy Dappy Bits
- Buddy and Bean
- Spring Olive
- Freya Art
- One Canoe Two
- Hen Pen Designs
Do you like going out for brunch? I do. Eric hates it. He hates the lines, the long wait and the expensive price tag that comes along with it. This morning we made 100% whole wheat pancakes. I was worried that they would turn out dense and flat. I was pleasantly surprised by their light and fluffy texture. while they are made with whole grains, I wouldn’t call them healthy. They contain 1/4 cup of butter. This makes them a weekend treat in my books.
Making pancakes from scratch is dead easy. It is not worth buying a pre-made mix. The ingredients are cheap pantry staples that are always lying around my kitchen. On Saturday morning, we set the table, washed some fresh fruit, made lattes and tea and enjoyed a leisurely brunch. A nice way to kick off the weekend without the hassle of expense of the local brunch scene.
One an unrelated note, when I first started my blog, I used to post recipes on a regular basis. Somewhere along the line, I fell out of love with cooking and baking. During this phase, I stopped posting anything food related. Being pregnant and eating like crap for three months has been a reset for me and my attitude towards cooking. After eating an embarrassing amount of packaged foods, I am back to cooking from scratch! It feels great to be cooking and playing with food again. I look forward to once again sharing my adventures in the kitchen on the blog.
Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Whisk lemon juice and milk in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the medium bowl.
- Whisk egg, melted butter and vanilla into milk until combined.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Pour in milk mixture and fold mixture until just combined.
- Cook pancakes over medium low heat, flipping once the edges are cooked and bubbles are appearing in the centre of the pancake.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Big Box Detox http://www.bigboxdetox.com/
I am happy to announce that Eric and I are having a baby! The baby is due mid May and we are both really excited!
Before I realized, I was pregnant, I noticed the major fatigue. After returning from Hawaii, I couldn’t shake the jet lag and I was tired all the time. A few weeks after returning from Hawaii, I started a new job and the extreme exhaustion continued. At the time, I thought it was simply the stress of starting a new a job.
I found out I was pregnant on a Saturday morning. Most Saturday mornings, I wake up before Eric and walk down the street to pick up croissants from our local bakery along with a latte (for him) an earl grey tea (for me). We had plans to go out for drinks with friends that night, and while walking to the bakery, it crossed my mind that I was late. With this in mind, I made an extra stop at the local pharmacy to pick up a pregnancy test. After a leisurely breakfast, I slipped into the bathroom for a shower and I took the pregnancy test. I thought it was going to be negative. I was wrong. It was positive! Eric and I were surprised! Is it weird/gross that the positive test is sitting in my night stand? For some reason, I don’t want to throw it away!
The thing that surprised me most about the first three months of pregnancy was how awful and sick I felt. I’m not sure why this was a surprise. Several of my close friends have kids and over the past few years, I have watched them endure morning sickness, fatigue and everything that comes along with a new pregnancy. Despite all the warnings from these fabulous women, I was shocked at how hard the first 12 weeks felt.
I had the 12 week ultrasounds and everything looks great! I’ve included the ultrasound photo. Like all 12 week ultrasound photos, our baby just sort of looks like a blob! Both the baby and I are healthy so far. I am finally starting to feel like myself again, and I am looking forward to getting back into my normal routine. I think Eric is looking forward to getting out of the house. We’ve spent a lot of time cooped up at home. Bring on the second trimester!