Well, Hubster and I had a lovely New Year. I made some tasty spinach and artichoke dip and a delicious dinner, we had a lovely bottle of wine, and we watched the Big Bang Theory-a-thon until we fell asleep on the couch at 10:30. It was wonderful :). If you haven’t seen the Big Bang, please do yourself a favor and watch it. Sheldon is my favorite and I do use the phrase “Bazinga!” in real life thanks to that show.
I’m jumping on the “post your 2012 resolutions/goals to your blog” train but before I dive into all the awesome things I want to acheive this year I’m going to share the two recipes I made on New Years Eve night, because they came out pretty well. And because I wasted 2 hours of my life in the grocery store (actually 2 stores) because I made the poor decision of waiting until NYE to go and I’d like to make it worth it.
For an appetizer I made spinach and artichoke dip, mostly because I’ve always wanted to make my own spin n art dip. I think it’s the best dip, by far, of all those in the dip family and it really annoys me when I order it at a restaurant and it doesn’t come out tasting like I want it to. So I bought ingredients I thought I’d need at the store: cream cheese, frozen spinach, artichoke hearts, shallots, parmigiana reggiano – I would not have bought that last one if I’d taken the time to look at the price tag…EIGHT DOLLARS FOR SHREDDED CHEESE?!?! – and the piece de resistance, a pumpernickel loaf in case I got gutsy enough to carve it out and make a bread bowl. I didn’t do that, but only because I didn’t want to waste any bread that hubster and I didn’t eat. We have big appetites but I doubt we could take down an entire pumpernickel loaf in one sitting. Anway, I started perusing recipes when I got home and finally landed on this one from hungry girl.
Funny story: I didn’t read the directions closely enough, and totally skipped the “saute the shallots and garlic” part. I just went straight to mixing everything together – raw shallots and garlic and all. Fortunately the cooking gods were on my side, and it still turned out pretty delicious! Here is the recipe the way I made it:
Spinach And Artichoke Dip
- 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I used marinated but I don’t think you’re supposed to?)
- 16 oz bag of frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
- 1 block cream cheese
- 1/4 c. yogurt (because I didn’t have sour cream)
- 1/4 c. mayonaise
- 1/4 c. parmigiana reggiano shredded
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 3 Tablespoons chopped shallots
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. bread crumbs if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine cream cheese, yogurt, and mayonaise in a bowl, stir until creamy. Add remaining ingredients except bread crumbs. Pour into a 9×9 square pan, top with bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Transfer to bread bowl if desired. Serve with Pita, Pumpernickel bread, or corn chips.
The new age black eyed peas and collard greens
For New Years Eve dinner growing up we always used to have the same meal – pork, black eyed peas, cornbread and collard greens. Now it sounds delicious, back then I hated it. It’s a southern thing, and I think eating those things symbolize wealth (greens), health (peas), goals (cornbread) and progress (pork) for the upcoming year, but I could be totally wrong about that. Hubster would never go for this meal even if it increased our chances of becoming millionaires (ok maybe then he would) so we had a modified good luck New Years Eve dinner – Marinated salmon, rice pilaf, and asparagus. The salmon was absolutely delectable, here’s the recipe I used:
- 1 lb Fresh Salmon, cut into 2 steaks
- 1/3 c. soy sauce
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1/3 c. water
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- salt, pepper, ginger, garlic powder
Season filets with salt, pepper, ginger, and garlic powder as desired. Whisk together in a bowl soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until brown sugar dissolves. Place steaks in a tupperware or bag and pour marinade to cover. Marinate for 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I grilled my steaks in a grill pan for 3 minutes or so on each side on medium heat to provide some color and then baked at 350 for 6 minutes.
And Now, Without Further Ado – My Goals for 2012
1. Join a CSA. I’ve been wanting to do this since we lived in Philadelphia, and I found a couple here in Cleveland that seem like they would be good. CSA’s are cool to me for a couple of reasons. First of all, and most important, they provide you with good, family-farm grown fresh organic vegetables without having to decide what to buy at the store. I’m not a very good decision maker sometimes. It’s not that I make bad decisions, it’s that I have trouble making a decision. I feel like when I pick up my bag of goodies every week it will be like “here, Abbey, this is what you have to work with, make something tasty”. It takes out a whole step in the “what to make for dinner” process. Eureka!
2. Complete the 1st Annual or Semi-Annual EGLGFG Vegetarian challenge Jan 3-17. OK, so I made this up and I’m the only one participating. You see, I have never ever eaten completely vegetarian for two days in a row, much less two weeks. But Hubster is going out of town for work for two whole weeks and I needed something to occupy my time, so I’m going to try to go meatless for the whole time he’s gone! I’m not going to do the “faux meat” thing either – strictly legumes, grains/rice, veggies, fruits, dairy/eggs. I might even try to go vegan the last week, we’ll see how crazy I’m feeling. I’ll let you know how it goes, and how I feel while I’m doing it, and how much I crave a big fat juicy burger :).
3. Create an Etsy account and try my hand at selling my knitting projects. I love to knit, and I’d like to see if other people would be interested in buying it. Yarn is fun :).
4. Run another marathon…PR. I thought long and hard about this goal…Lately I’ve been feeling a little blah about my running situation, I’m not sure why, but I need to start to get my act together if I’m going to run Cleveland in May. Hopefully making it a “resolution” will help me somehow. Right people? I hope?
5. Downgrade my phone. Bye-Bye Blackberry… That’s right, I’ve decided I want to downgrade my phone to what Verizon calls a “basic” phone. i.e. talk and text only. Yeah, I’m going to miss checking those Twitter updates, and also having to delete all the junk emails off my phone (NOT) but if Hubster and I both downgrade (he has a blackberry and ipad for work anyway) we will save $500 a year. I think I can manage not having Twitter on my phone for $500.
6. Buy a car. I know, pretty pathetic, I’m 27 and still driving my parents’ car. School loans are expensive, yo! But seriously, now that I’m married I think it’s time to graduate myself and get a car of my own. Pronto. Preferably one with AWD (OK subaru!) for this lame-o Cleveland winter weather.
What the heck!? I just previewed my post and it erased the whole last paragraph! Angry Face! Such a Blog Rookie. Ironically, the last paragraph stated my final goal #8. Improve my Blog Skillz. I guess now it is apparent that I do indeed need that goal. Now I have a year to decide how I will quantitatively measure improvement of said skillz.