Monthly Archives: April 2014

Pasta Bolognese

Like I mentioned in my last post, Chip and I had an awesome pasta bolognese for dinner this past Friday. We got our recipe from Giada’s Everyday Italian and will definitely be making it again! I’ve only done a few recipes from this cookbook, but all of them have turned out great. It probably helps that I have a serious love for Italian food. If only carbs were as good for us as veggies… #ieatcarbslikeachamp

Here’s the recipe! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and minced
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (we could only find regular parsley and it worked just fine)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Got our pasta, cheese, and tomatoes at Fratellos.. check them out!

Got our pasta, cheese, and tomatoes at Fratellos.. check them out!

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and saute until the onion is very tender, about 8 minutes (ps – sauteeing garlic and onion is one of my favorite smells in the world).
  • Add the celery and carrot and saute for 5 minutes.
We really need to use our food processor more often

We really need to use our food processor more often

  • Increase the heat to high, add the ground beef, and saute until the meat is no longer pink, breaking up any large lumps, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes (ours cooked a lot faster, the sauce was thick by about 20 minutes so keep an eye on it!).
Almost ready!

Almost ready!

  • Stir in the cheese, then season with more salt and pepper to taste.
I'm all for freshly grated cheese. And any cheese in general.

I’m all for freshly grated cheese. And any cheese in general.

  • Serve with pasta and enjoy!
So excited for dinner that I didn't realize the pasta almost slid off the plate

So excited for dinner that I didn’t realize the pasta almost slid off the plate

Bon appetit

Bon appetit

Note: Makes about 1 quart of sauce (serves 4 over a pound of pasta as a main course); the sauce can be made one day head. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.

Three Year Housiversary

Yes, I just made that word up. But it totally works, right?

Three years ago, Chip and I bought our very first house right before getting married. I joke that we didn’t have enough on our plates between both of us working full time, planning a wedding, and Chip studying for the CFA, so why not add buying a house to the mix. The real story is that as we were looking for rentals, a realtor asked us to consider buying. We really didn’t have very much savings between the two of us so we had never even thought that was an option for us, but after this realtor walked us through the requirements for an FHA loan, we started looking at homes within the range we could have a mortgage loan approved at. I don’t remember the whole process very well, but it felt like we had soon found our house and after a looong bout of paperwork, we were homeowners.

I can’t believe we’ve already been in this house for three years. Apart from the house I grew up in, it’s the longest I’ve ever lived somewhere after moving into new dorms every year for college and then an apartment and town home following graduation. Sometimes it feels like we just moved in, other times it’s like we’ve been here for forever. We’ve enjoyed having friends over and making this house our home and still have lots of projects we would love to do that will keep us busy in the coming years (I’m looking at you, laundry room).

To celebrate our three year housiversary, we decided to have a nice home cooked meal this past Friday. Chip had the day off for Battle of the Flowers, so we were able to go on a nice long walk with the pup in the morning, pick up a few more plants at Millberger’s, and grab lunch at Habanero’s before coming home and doing a little bit of yardwork. Once we had finished raking, planting, and watering everything, we went grocery shopping and then came home to cook dinner together. Let me tell you, I love having date nights at home. Sure, it’s fun to go out to a favorite restaurant and not have to worry about washing the dishes, but it is so fun for us to be in the kitchen together and take our time eating outside with some wine. This time, we decided to make pasta bolognese from Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook (will try to post that recipe soon!). Our dinner was so good and we’ve been enjoying the leftovers for lunch these past couple of days.

Love my sous-chef

Love my sous-chef

One of my favorite wineries from our trip to Napa

One of my favorite wineries from our trip to Napa

While having dinner, we had fun remembering some of our favorite house projects (planting our garden for the first time is up at the top, followed by re-doing our bathroom) as well as some not so favorite moments (like the time our living room flooded…). Overall, we love this home and are so thankful to be living here. Here’s to many more years ahead!

Eating outside is my favorite

Eating outside is my favorite

Spring Love

Fall has just about always been my favorite season. I love the changing leaves (even though that happens pretty late here in San Antonio), wearing cute layers, cozy evenings with hot chocolate, forcing Wrigley into his Christmas sweater. But over the last couple of years, Spring has really been giving Fall a run for its money as my favorite season. Warmer evenings, longer days, dinners outside, fresh flowers from our garden, pastel colored shorts, bluebonnets blooming along the side of the highway, Fiesta season, I just can’t get enough of it!

This Spring is extra special because it marks the first time since we graduated from Trinity that Chip is not studying for the CFA, so it’s been a lot of fun getting to share this season for the first time in four years. We’ve already planted some new vegetables and flowers in our garden and so far, they’re all growing pretty well. Chip’s dedicated himself to our grass and it’s slowly getting more and more green and plush, so Wrigley has loved getting some Vitamin D outside and games of frisbee. We recently got some patio furniture from Ikea and I’ve forced kindly asked Chip to eat outside with me as much as possible. It’s wonderful. Spring, please feel free to stick around as long as possible.

New roses

New roses

New blooms from the rose bush we planted last spring

New blooms from the rose bush we planted last spring

Glad our gerbera daisies survived the winter

Glad our gerbera daisies survived the winter

First signs of a baby squash

First signs of a baby squash

Tomatoes and basil - can you say pizza night?

Tomatoes and basil – can you say pizza night?

Flower side of the garden

Flower side of the garden

Still need to plant more vegetables and herbs

Still need to plant more vegetables and herbs

Need a low maintenance plant? Get geraniums.

Need a low maintenance plant? Get geraniums.

Little bit of greenery for our table

Little bit of greenery for our table

Wrigley loves Spring, too

Wrigley loves Spring, too

What a goof

What a goof

Enjoying the bluebonnets with the pup last week

Enjoying the bluebonnets with the pup last week

Hope you’re all getting wonderful weather, too. If you are, you better be taking advantage of it before summer kicks in and we all run back inside!