Archive | January, 2012

What 20-Somethings Want

29 Jan

I saw this article from The Thought Catalog and it made me chuckle and choke up a bit at the same time. I follow them on twitter and they usually have some pretty insightful ramblings. It has some interesting observations so I thought I would share  (though some of them are a little crude lol, but honest I guess!) A couple things really hit home with me. I feel myself wanting to go out and explore the world, to move on to bigger cities and bigger things, but the pull of home is always there, tugging at my heartstrings and saying “Don’t move too far away!” After all, what’s more important than family? Knowing I am surrounded by people who love me unconditionally and who will always be there for me is better than anything a big city has to offer. One of my favorite quotes kind of says it all…”Follow your dreams but always remember the road that leads you home.” We can still conquer the world and accomplish all those things we want to in life, but to me, home and family is the most important priority. And having that sense of my place in the world is the best accomplishment I could ask for. Anyways, I’m not usually one to bare my soul on my blog, but I thought it was an interesting read 🙂

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My Take on a ‘Noodles & Company’ Favorite

24 Jan

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last post. I have been a busy lady, traveling every weekend since Christmas and eating out quite a bit. This weekend t I was craving a healthy dinner that was chock-full of veggies. I immediately thought of Noodles & Company, one of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Raleigh, NC. They have delicious pasta, as you could probably guess by the name, and it’s a pretty quick restaurant so I went there for dinner once a week at least. Unfortunately, there are no Noodles & Company locations here in Lexington, KY, so I decided to make my own version of their Pasta Fresca. I was pretty happy with the end result! It’s a light and healthy recipe with a lot of flavor. I added shrimp but you could also use chicken or tofu, and any combination of vegetables. The sauce is just olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and white wine. Stay tuned for my version of the Noodles & Company Penne Rosa, coming soon! Can you tell I like pasta? 😉

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat penne pasta
  • Shrimp
  • Spinach, stems trimmed
  • Mushrooms
  • Red onion
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • Garlic clove
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • White wine

Clean and chop up all the veggies while you bring your pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to directions and set aside. Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a saute pan. (You will need a pretty large saute pan/skillet because everything is going in together!) Once the pan is heated to medium-high heat, start by sautéing the chopped garlic clove for about 30 seconds. Then add the spinach, mushrooms, and onions and saute for about 5-7 minutes, until spinach is nice and wilted. Add the shrimp and chopped tomatoes and saute for a few minutes until shrimp turns pink. (If you are using chicken or tofu, it will need to cook longer and should be added before the veggies.) Add in the pasta. Now it’s time for the sauce. I didn’t really measure anything –  just added a splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and white wine until everything was well-coated. You are looking for a nice balance of the three flavors. The sauce shouldn’t be too oily or have an overwhelming balsamic flavor. Let everything simmer for a couple minutes, then serve with a healthy topping feta cheese!

Spending My New Years in Gatlinburg, TN

4 Jan

Happy New Year everyone! I love starting a new year; it’s an opportunity to start fresh and make big plans for the future. I had a great weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains of Gatlinburg, TN with some friends. We spent New Years Day hiking in the park. My boyfriend’s family did a lot of hiking there when he was younger, so we found one of their favorite trails that led down to a river and hopped around on the rocks for a bit. It was gorgeous! A great way to start the year. Here are a few pictures from the day… can you tell we are Kentucky Wildcat fans? Everyone is representing in their wildcat blue 🙂

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