Lately

It has gone from cold to ridiculously snowy. I am anxiously awaiting the end of winter….and it’s only mid-January. I can’t wait to trade shoveling for running.

My sister Moriah knew I had kind of a bum start to the year, so I was thrilled to get this in the mail from her on Monday.

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A handwritten letter with a picture of Aurelia and my grandma’s new puppy Burt, as well as a $5 bill.017

005Completely made my day. And reinforced my belief that I have the best family ever.

Since Dave said he would be content to eat one-pan pasta once a week for dinner, I granted his wish. Monday’s dinner:

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I used a pot instead of a pan this time, so it was really one “pot” pasta, but I burned the crap out of the bottom of the pot, and I had to let it soak for an entire day before I could clean it. Oops.

This version was made with leftover pizza sauce from the night before, chicken sausage, shrimp, spinach, and kalamata olives.

I’m glad Dave likes this dish so much, because I have missed pasta. We ate it so much when we moved in together our senior year of college that he got kind of burned out on it.

Tuesday I had an off-site class for work, which was punctuated by numerous weather checks for school closings and closed roads as the snow continued to dump down. Our teacher shortened our lunch break so we could head out early, because the roads were just awful with horrible visibility due to the wind.

There was so much snow in front of our driveway that I got stuck trying to pull in, so I had to leap out of my car, grab the shovel, and try to shovel myself out as quickly as possible with a line of cars behind me. Fortunately, some incredibly nice guy pulled over, grabbed a shovel out of his trunk, and took turns directing traffic and helping me shovel until I could pull in. After thanking him profusely and insisting that I could take it from there, I spent the next hour shoveling the 9 inches of snow piled up in the driveway.

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Good fences make good neighbors?

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I wanted something hot and spicy to warm me up afterwards, so I decided on Heidi Swanson’s Weeknight Curry from Super Natural Every Day.

I don’t own the cookbook, so I snagged the recipe from Em and Dan when I was there on Sunday. Then I discovered it’s online, so you guys can make it too!

I actually ended up splitting the recipe down the middle and making two different versions: one for me with cauliflower, zucchini, and tomatoes, and one for Dave with chickpeas, peas, and tomatoes.

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It’s nice to know that you can use pretty much any veggie for this recipe. Other changes I made were adding about an extra tablespoon of curry paste as well as a couple teaspoons of dry curry powder. Maybe I have deadened taste buds, but I like using a lot of herbs and spices, and the two tablespoons of curry paste spread over all those veggies wasn’t nearly enough. I also added some nonfat Greek yogurt, because while coconut milk has nice flavor, it doesn’t have nearly the same wonderful texture that yogurt lends.

After I mixed the yogurt in, the texture was so much creamier. If only I had some naan to dip in it.

010Perfect dinner. And can we talk about how pretty my new bowls are?

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Dave and I got a nice, boring Ikea set four or five years ago, and while they have served us well, I am very tired of them. So we keep picking up new and funky pieces at thrift stores when we can find them. I’ll probably just settle on a cool mismatched set before we ever buy a nice matching set.

I used my bowl again Wednesday night when I made creamy gnocchi for dinner.

You’ll never guess what I used to make the cream sauce…and didn’t tell Dave about.

I don’t know why I feel like I need to trick people into liking things, but I certainly seem to do it a lot. I had 3/4 of a cauliflower left over from Tuesday night’s dinner, and I’ve been wanting to try this creamy cauliflower sauce recipe for awhile that I pinned on Pinterest.

I’ve made faux mashed potatoes before, so I kind of knew what to expect. Creamy, garlicky, buttery sauce that doesn’t clog your arteries? Count me in.

I thought about turning it into fettucine alfredo, but even though Dave is back on board with pasta, two nights in a week is a bit of a stretch. I looked in the cupboard and found some whole wheat sweet potato gnocchi….perfect!

First I sauteed some spinach with sliced sundried tomatoes.

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Then added the cooked gnocchi and some chopped chicken sausage to brown them up a bit.

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I added about 2 cups of the cauliflower sauce and added some leftover peas in the fridge as well.

013Okay, we all know I topped it with Parmesan cheese, too.

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Washed down with some newly found delicious pinot noir.

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