Thursday, February 25, 2016

Snow Comes and Goes

It has been a busy week at work and with the weather I have been kinda blah about doing anything particular once I get home. Meals have had to be quick.

I made this dish quite awhile ago and I remembered liking it, but as my husband says I make something we like then we never see it again because I am constantly looking to try something new. Guilty as charged. So, this week when I needed something super quick and simple I brought back Spicy Sausage Pasta from Kevin & Amanda.  Kevin & Amanda was one of the first blogs I started following - there are zillions of beautiful photos of food, travel and their adorable Boston Terriers. I now have so many other blogs that I read regularly I often forget to get back to this one.

Back to dinner. First, I sauteed the turkey smoked sausage and onions in a large pan.
Then added Rotel tomatoes, cream, chicken broth and dry pasta.
Mix everything together and and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on medium low for 15 minutes.
Then stir in half the cheese, sprinkle remaining cheese on top with sliced green onions. Place under the broiler for a couple minutes to melt the cheese. Easy peasy - who doesn't love a one pot dinner.
This big pan makes 4 servings. The calories are on the high side of my 300-600 meal goal coming in at 586 calories. I did shave off a few calories by not using all the oil called for to sautee onions and sausage. I also used half and half instead of heavy cream - not for calorie cutting, but due to price. I could buy a much less expensive, smaller carton of half and half than I could of the heavy cream.

Tuesday/night Wednesday morning we got a nice bit of snow.
 Millie loves the snow and did not want to come in.
 I did not want to go to work.
 But thankfully school was closed so my husband could drive me to work.
I love this street. It is the one near work with all the nice houses that you have seen from many of my lunch walk photos.
It was a very heavy packing snow, perfect for snow scultures. I saw this guy on my way home. I think it is some sort of sea monster.
The snow was super packy because the temps were barely freezing. I actually took these pictures this morning...24 hours later...welcome to February.

Even with my slight "blah-ness" this week, I did get a little experimenting in. I am auditioning herbs for this year's garden.

Tarragon is prominently featured in my first issue of Cooking Light. I confess I have had a fear of tarragon because of the licorice flavor...I hate licorice. But there are several recipes that sound delicious, so I found a packet to try. Mary at Runs to Get Waisted told me about her signature chicken salad - chicken, mayo, garlic, tarragon and lemon zest. Since I was making chicken salad anyway I decided to give it a whirl.
Seriously, it was so delicious. I couldn't stop thinking about it all evening. I made some of my own chicken salad too - red grapes, celery and red onion. However, I added lemon zest and tarragon. I will absolutely use the lemon zest from now on and the tarragon when I have it.
I ran out of mayo while I was making the chicken salad. I went to the convenience store a couple blocks from the house and they wanted $4.50 for a small jar of mayo - that's ridiculous. So I got back in the car and went to my go-to store Aldi. I got twice as much mayo for $1.69. While I was there I noticed their new checkout display. One thing I have always appreciate (or occasionally been annoyed by) is Aldi doesn't have much of a checkout goodie selection - usually some nuts and a very limited candy selection - Snickers (not my favorite) and some gross fruit chews. It appears they are revamping the options and I am eager to see what they come up with.

On the way out, I picked up this little booklet. Aldi has always catered to people on a budget including those on state assistance programs. There has been wide critcism about healthy foods not being affordable. I think Aldi is doing a great job addressing this issue.
  I hope people pick up the booklet and take a minute to read through it.

 I confess I bough "fruit rings" recently and their muted color were a little disturbing at first, but once you realize they taste the same you get over it.
 In my opinion Aldi has had the best produce prices. I am thrilled they recently started carrying cilantro and jalapenos - two items I buy frequently and always had to go to another store to find.  They also no sell my husband's beloved Provel cheese (a St. Louis thing). A local pizza chain (Imo's) uses it and people either love it or hate husband is in the love camp. I always buy it for our homemade pizza. I like it mixed with mozzarella.
 This is the first page of the current flyer - see what I mean about the produce prices.

 I am going to have to check out their website for some more recipes.
The one criticism I would have Aldi is also something I like. They are constantly bringing in new products. One month they will feature Asian inspired products and German the next. The problem is if you try something you like it maybe be months before it is available again.

I had to go to a different store to get tarragon and while I was there I noticed NY strip steak marked down. Since I didn't have anything planned for dinner yet I got a couple.
My husband was very happy to see this on his plate.
Although I know this was over my calorie goal, I made a special effort to make the green beans (sauteed with garlic and tarragon) and loaded them on my plate first so I would have less room for potato temptation. I did NOT go back for seconds :)

I have done some shopping for new recipes, so hopefully I will be inspired this weekend. Our weekend getaway has been postponed due to residual affects of the flooding in December. We were supposed to visit a cave with an underground lake. What are your plans?


  1. I need to start going to Aldi. We go to Trader Joe's for all the stuff the boys like and then Kroger for everything else but my mom also swears by Aldi.

    1. I do the majority of my shopping at Aldi, but there are always things I can't get and usually I just get it while at Walmart (ugh)

  2. We got snow in the morning and when I left work at 3 pm is was basically gone. Sadness. I love snow. I also don't like that when I buy something at Aldi that I like I may not see it again. We just experienced this. It makes me hesitant to shop there.

    1. My husband loves their General Tso's sauce so I always make sure to stock up when it is in. I mostly buy the basics and the other stuff is just bonus.

  3. Wow those snow pics are beautiful! We don't have an Aldi down here. :(

    1. I love snow if I don't have to drive :)

  4. Those snow pics are gorgeous and that sausage dish looks delicious!

  5. I love Aldi!!!!

    The only good thing about the snow?? It's almost March and that means that spring is on the way....soon, right????

  6. I've never been to Aldi because there are other grocery stores closer, but the produce prices look like they'd make it worth the drive! I confess, I'm the same about licorice but you and Mary have me inspired to add tarragon to my herb garden this spring.