Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mediterranean Salad with Shrimp, Artichokes and Garbanzos--big thank you to Newman's Own

So, it was an early Christmas in the house of Tavolini! Last night, I came home to a giant package from the Foodbuzz Tastermaker's Program and Newman's Own, containing 3 types of salad dressing, two pasta sauces, a pizza coupon....AND a Flip Cam!!! (WOW!) Behold the loot:

Even came with "name brand" batteries--swanky!

The letter said to post by October 20th, but as it was already October 25th, I decided I would just throw something up quickly today, and really ponder a good recipe to make this weekend. This was (going to admit it...) what was left in my fridge / cupboard. Garbanzos, cilantro, artichokes, a red pepper, a jalapeno and some frozen shrimp. Considering how good the dressing is...even these ingredients were top notch ;)

1 can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 handful cilantro, minced
1/2 red pepper, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 small jar artichokes (or half a can) drained and chopped
1/4 cup Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian salad dressing

Throw all in tupperware and place in fridge for an hour or so

About ten minutes before serving, boil 1/2 pound of frozen raw shrimp and peel.
Feel free to make a jack o' lantern out of the remaining portion of red pepper :)

Drain and rinse shrimp, peel...
Either mix shrimp in to get the vinaigrette, or divvy evenly among salad bowls. I prefer my shrimp warm, so I add them in at the end. Leftovers get mixed in to be eaten at a later time.

A nice, easy salad with good leftovers for tomorrow (or work later on tonight!)

Thank you Newman's Own and Foodbuzz!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Landscaping in the sun

So, first things first, I have been on a *slight* margarita kick. As it was in the 80's all weekend, may as well partake, eh? Nothing fancy, this was the combo pack that was on sale. Went down quite nicely, though.

I painted the kitchen aqua--playing up that kitsch.
Gustavo worked on the fence--as you can tell, our backyard is tiny and quite hilly--this was definitely a creative effort.
He also built retaining walls for our hilly front yard--looking good, babe!

What these pictures don't show is the ENORMOUS amount of kudzu that he had to cut back and get rid of. Tons of it! Also, we found dozens of those kudzu bugs that were actually featured on the front of the AJC today. (Click here for article)

Finding guns in your backyard is cool...
...pretty sure its a toy. Additionally, we have found the vast majority of a car (two tires, car seat, etc) under the house as well. Interesting, isn't it?
Mondo grass and hostas (planted in an old enamel pot, also unearthed in backyard)
Gustavo brought me flowers on the front porch :)
Hope all of you had a great weekend as well.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Amazed by my husband--check out the new deck!

After days and days of rain, we had a dry day. Someone took advantage of this by running up to the lumberyard. Do you like his new truck?

The back yard of our house (post trash pick up!)

Look at this!
And now we have a deck :)

While he works hard....I eat popcorn ;) Can you believe this is my first time making it on the stove? I admit it, I've always just done the microwave stuff. This is much better!

(maybe a bit too much butter....)


Now, I think I'm going to go sit on the new deck and eat. Have a great evening!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Check out the kitchen!!! (and some red beans and rice)

Gustavo has been on a roll this week--putting down subfloor, insulating pipes, tiling--just today, he decided to finish the kitchen. As our house has a very, very shallow crawl space, he decided to put in a trap door in case we need to access our pipes in the future. Pretty creative, eh?

Trap door opposite view:

We also decided to go with the kitschy checkered linoleum. I loooooove it!

Here's the hard worker himself <3

A close up of what he was eating--red beans and rice. This is a nice, simple recipe (and if you used canned beans, its ready to eat in 30 minutes!)

(I don't measure my seasonings....so everything is a "pinch" even if its a teaspoon or more--sorry)

1 cup rice
pinch turmeric
pinch Adobo seasoning (omit if using broth)
2 cups water (or broth)
cook according to directions on bag

While rice is cooking, sautee:
1 onion
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
2-3 cloves garlic

After 8 minutes or so, add:

2 large sausage links (6-8 inches long)
1 can of kidney beans, rinsed
1-2 bay leaves
pinch sage
pinch thyme
pinch cajun seasoning (just google ingredients if you don't have it)
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup water or half of a beer or broth

Adjust seasonings to taste and simmer until rice is done, approx. 20-30 minutes

Easy. Tastes better the next day!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Quesadillas with the leftovers and check out this bathroom!

With all those leftover vegetables, I decided to make some quesadillas...and now I am addicted! I have been using goat cheese and cheddar on whole wheat tortillas. This is so simple that you don't need a recipe--and the veggies were gone in a day.

Excuse the blurry pics, but Gustavo has been quickly putting down subfloor and now has moved onto the concrete backer board for our tile--doesn't it look nice?

Amazing, right? The kid has talent :)