Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pasta with Shellfish & Tuscan Beans and Macaroni {recipes 30 &31}

Hi All! 

I promise I have still been cooking, but I have had a lot of other things to post about recently :)

So here are some recipes/food pictures :)

Pasta with Shellfish

 serves 6
{recipe a gift from Pam and Sara Hotchkiss}


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup white wine
1/2 tsp sugar {we didn't use this}
1 medium onion
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cups shellfish {shrimp, lobster, scallops or crab} 
1 1/2 lbs pasta {fettuccine or linguine} 
6 lg garlic cloves
1 tsp. crushed rosemary
1 pinch oregano

1) Heat butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat until butter is melted and mixture bubbles.
2) Add the wine, garlic, rosemary, oregano and onion. Cook until golden but not brown. 
3) Reduce heat to low and add tomatoes and shellfish, sugar and salt to taste. Stir until seafood is just heated through.
4) Serve over hot pasta. 


We loved this recipe! Kyle liked it best of all the shrimp recipes we have tried so far! :) The wine is a really nice addition to the otherwise normal tomato-y sauce. Its got a really great flavor! Thank you Pam and Sara for the wonderful recipe! :)

Tuscan Beans and Macaroni

Really simple dish. Served with a big fresh salad :)

Want the recipe? Just let me know!

Let me know if there are certain types of recipes that you would like me to test and blog about! 

All for now,


Friday, April 27, 2012

Snapshots of San Antonio // Spring Break // March 2012

Day 4 of Texas Road Trip

First we went to the Riverwalk. We walked (heh) and then grabbed some lunch. We actually ran into some friends from Lawrence, which was a crazy coincidence! We should have grabbed a picture, but they will back us up on it :)

It was so beautiful and clean! It was FULL of water because of the recent storms.

We ate lunch at a pizza place. It wasn't anything too special.. but look what they had on the door! :) Rock chalk!

Then we walked literally right across the street to the Alamo! It was so cool!

Inside of the garden walls there was the loveliest old tree!
Don't you just want to climb it and read a book in it like Alice? I did!

The garden also had a lovely fountain area.

There was also a library and research area inside of the walls. I just love the architecture! Its a shame its so hard to get pictures without tourists, but oh well :) {we probably made it in a few ourselves...}

A funny picture of us outside of the Alamo. Fuzzy, funny angle... ha oh well that's us :) I should also note that the Alamo has a great gift shop :) I got some horseshoe shaped earrings that are awesome and various other fun Texas-y things.

We stayed at a really nice bed and breakfast called 1908 Ayres Inn. It was lovely and the food was wonderful! We actually ended up running into a couple who grew up in Kansas AND went to KU! It was so fun to talk with them and hear about his love of KU basketball when "Coach Allen" was coach! Can you believe that? I wish we had taken a photo of them, but they were so very sweet.

There was a really nice porch area as well that would be great for a nice day or evening's relaxation!

We shopped around and boutiques and I found a lululemon store, so I bought my first pair of lululemon pants! :) It was a splurge, but so worth it so far! :){sorry the lighting was bad for this picture.. it looks yellow-y but its really a nice seafoam color :)} They are reversible and black on the other side.

Then we headed back out to the Riverwalk where we had a lovely Italian dinner (which we split) and 2 wonderful desserts!

I should also mention that I got pretty into the cowboy / cowgirl culture. At least the vintagey part. So here is a picture of one of my favorite souvenirs. :)

Isn't it cute!?!

Because we didn't take any pictures in Austin, this is my last blog post about our Texas Road Trip!

All though I should mention that we ate at 2 wonderful places there! Torchy's Tacos and Trudy's. Check them out if you are in the area. Thanks for the Trudy's recommendation SUZE! The fried avocado was delicious! :) We also had fried avocado tacos at Torchy's. Apparently the people of Austin like their avocados fried.

Hope you enjoyed the ride with us :)

Suggestions for our next trip??

All for now,


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Apartment Herb Garden!

Hi everyone! Taking a break from the Texas posts for the time being.

The weather is getting warm so why not start a mini {or full sized} garden? 

I love to use fresh herbs when I cook, it makes meals so much more flavorful and colorful!

But buying fresh herbs for every recipe is EXPENSIVE and they often go to waste before you can use them all. 


We decided to plant an herb garden! {which fulfills my plant 2012 resolution!}

Here are some tips, steps and advice!

We started with: 

a long wooden planter {$40}, organic complete potting mix {$10}, various herbs {~$3-5 each, which is how much fresh herbs for cooking cost at the store!!} and some transplanting mix {$7}. We also got a watering can, gloves and some smaller pots for the extra plants.

1) Choose your herbs based on what you typically use in your cooking. Here is what I bought: Basil, Cilantro, Rosemary, Thyme, Dill, Chives, Oregano and Lavender. 

If you aren't sure where to start, I would suggest Basil, Rosemary, Thyme and Cilantro. Rosemary is really resilient, Basil is great for everything. Cilantro is necessary for guacamole {enough said!}. Lastly, thyme is just a lovely herb. 

{I will give some recipe suggestions later!}

2) Next, gather up your soil, plants and pots of various sizes based on needs. If you want to start small {ex. the 4 suggested above} then you would be fine just buying 4 smaller simple pots. If you want to go all out, buying a larger container like we did will also work. We bought several smaller pots as well to plant the extras and to replant my ivy.

3) Then add soil to the base of the planter or pots. Try out different placements for the herbs that will be planted together. {check to see what type of sun/shade they prefer on the tags} Plant similar plants together {i.e. full sun plants in the same planter}. 

4) When you have chosen your planting order, gently coax the plants out of their plastic pots and give them a good squeeze once they are out. Set them on top of the soil layer and surround them with soil. 

5) Once they are all planted give them a good water with the transplant liquid {dilute according to directions!}. Set outside where they will get some sun and water as needed! 

The plants are still doing great! We planted them about a month ago and they are really loving this heat! The cilantro has gone crazy!

Ironically the first two herbs we have needed for cooking have been sage and mint.. so I guess I will be buying a few more pots eventually. oh well!

I also replanted my Ivy, which I got last semester and it has been growing so beautifully. It was a baby when I got it and now look at it! It was getting so big that it kept tipping its plastic pot over, so I gave it a new home! :)

Happy Gardening!

Feel free to write in questions or tips of your own in the comments section below! 

All for now,


Monday, April 23, 2012

Snapshots of Corpus Christi // Spring Break // March 2012

Day 3 of Texas road trip

The third day of our trip we traveled to Corpus Christi to meet my grandma and her boyfriend as well as see the gulf!

For those of you who didn't know I wanted to be a marine biologist until I was about 14 and realized that getting to a coast for college wasn't very likely. Somehow I had this love of the ocean without ever having seen it.

So when we decided to go to Texas, I decided that I needed to see the gulf, and though its not the ocean it is salt water. So that's something.

Crazy waves due to the stormy weather!

It was a nice day on the beach!

Fun entrance to a store on the island!

Big Shark in a Big Shark :)

Grandma and Bob at Joe's Crab Shack. {Our first Joe's Crab Shack Experience}

Kyle's Shark Attack.

A really incredible mermaid statue on the island!

Overall we had a nice time.

Corpus Christi as a city is like a continuous 23rd Street in Lawrence. Full of chain restaurants, stores and nasty polluting factories on the way into the city.

The beaches were fun to see, and we enjoyed catching up with grandma and bob, but I don't know that I would necessarily want to go back to Corpus Christi anytime soon.

I saw the gulf, I saw salt water. Now one of my next goals for the year is to see the ocean itself.

All for now,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Snapshots of Kyle, TX // Spring Break // March 2012

Day 2 of Texas road trip

The second day of our trip we traveled to a small town called Kyle, TX {about 30 minutes south of Austin}.

We had to go there:

1) How can you pass up a town with the same name as your husband?

2)The main attraction the Inn Above Onion Creek. Its a Select Registry approved Inn. And it was GORGEOUS! So worth it in everyway.

Kyle Water Tower

The Writer Katherine Anne Porter's House.
That's my mom's name so we had to visit!

We ate lunch at what sounded like a fun little place called the Motley Menagerie. It turned out being kind of sketchy. We were the only ones there, the food was straight from the package and the same James Blunt Song {Goodbye My Lover} played OVER and OVER and OVER again. The decor was a mix of frightening porcelain dolls, animal prints and modern paintings of women. It was pretty rough, we survived.. but I definitely would not recommend it. Possibly the reviews online had been tampered with? Or maybe we caught it on a bad day..? Who knows.

But then we got to the lovely Inn!

It had "hiking trails" around the property that were lovely. Having hiked in New Mexico quite a bit on that trip these felt more like walking trails to me, but were nice all the same. The grounds are BEAUTIFUL!

Lovely wildflowers made their home all over the trails.

Having fun!

Fantastic Tree!

Somebody Lost a Shoe! Poor little guy!

Bootsie the Cat.

Simon the Cat. It was about to storm.. he wasn't pleased.

Then we headed out to the Texas Pie Company! We bought pies but they went bad before we could eat them since we were in the car so much! :( But we are sure they were delicious! You can buy many sizes and various non-pie treats as well!

Cute Sign!

Fun wall art!

Kyle in Kyle! :)

This Inn served both dinner and breakfast included in your rate! It was so delicious very gourmet!

Roasted chicken, Garlic Herb Spaetzelle {german noodle}, a roll and Brussel Sprouts in Butter with Pecans. YUM!

For dessert we had almond cake that was sugared on top. It was so good that we ate most of it before we remembered to take a picture!

Very cute decor in the dining room!

The gardens!

The breakfast was also wonderful! We had strawberry topped waffles and scambled eggs! We also forgot to take a picture of this! .. probably because it was also delicious!

I hope that we are able to visit the Inn again sometime in the future. It was so relaxing and beautiful!

They also have a spa and a pool. It was too cold to swim but I was able to book a treatment at the spa at the last minute. I got a salt scrub and a mud wrap. It was really nice!

Have you ever been to Texas Hill Country?

All for now,


Monday, April 16, 2012

Snapshots of Fort Worth // Spring Break // March 2012

Day 1 of Texas Roadtrip

While planning our Texas road trip Ft. Worth was really just a place to stop. I honestly didn't think that it would be very cool. But it ended up being one of my favorites!

On the way there:

We went to the Ft. Worth Water Gardens, hands down one of the coolest places I have EVER been! Thank you to Kathryn for the recommendation! :)

The active water pool from above.

Halfway Down.

View from the bottom looking up!

It was SO cool!


Aerated Pool

Quiet Pool

The sign as you leave

We went to the Yucatan Taco Stand for dinner as recommended by fellow blogger Suze. It was FANTASTIC!

Chips, Salsa and Guacamole!

Kyle got some type of tilapia that came with chipotle mashed potatoes and asparagus! YUM! He definitely ordered better than I did :)

My HUGE burrito :)

One really wonderful margarita!

On the way home we stopped at the Stock Yards for lunch and some shopping :)

I bought this and I am SUPER PSYCHED!

If you do not know who Pioneer Woman is.. RUN don't walk to her website link here. She is a cooking/recipe goddess! :)

All for now,


P.S. Stay tuned for other Texas Cities!