Meatball Subs: Quick & Easy Recipe

14 Mar

I have a confession: I’m addicted to Pinterest recipes. Pat and I are not huge fans of consuming red meat (or even pork-related meat for that matter), so we chicken a lot. And I mean a lot. Pre-Pinterest, we had a handful of reliable chicken recipes, but didn’t deviate too far from them. Now with Pinterest, I have what seems like unlimited new recipe options to try making with chicken. (I realize there are these things call “cookbooks” but 97% of the books I own are strictly for pasta dishes – and I’m too cheap to buy any more; however, I will gladly accept donations).

Despite our devotion to consuming chicken, there are some nights when we need a break from the endless dinners of chicken. Or at least I do – Pat could eat chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it wouldn’t matter to him – I, on the other hand, need variety. I found this amazingly simple recipe for meatball subs and had to try it, especially since my better half is a strong advocate for Subway’s meatball subs.

Ingredient list:

  • 1 package of hot dog buns
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Red pasta sauce
  • Frozen meatballs (or homemade, depending on how ambitious you are or if you have leftovers from a delicious spaghetti dinner – stay tuned for a homemade meatball recipe!)
Meatball subs ingredients

Yes, we’re cheap and buy Target brand meatballs.

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat up some meatballs and red sauce in a pan on the stove (roughly 5-10 minutes while the oven preheats). Pro tip: four frozen meatballs fit ‘comfortably’ in one hot dog bun; the amount of sauce is up to the cooker’s discretion – it all depends on how ‘saucy’ you like your subs.
  • Place 4-5 meatballs per hot dog bun and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top of each sub.
  • Put the meatball-filled hot dog buns on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven; cook for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Enjoy!
Meatball subs

Pat couldn’t wait to take a bite because they’re THAT good.

This is seriously the simplest recipe ever – and soooo delicious. Prior to finding this recipe, Pat didn’t get Pinterest or understand why I was always lurking for new recipes. However, he now approves of Pinterest solely because of this meatball sub recipe. “This is Pat Knight, and I approve this sub.”

Source: Home Cooking Recipes

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Growing Up

10 Mar

This past weekend – with the weather’s cooperation – I had the opportunity to be reunited with some of my dearest friends from college. One of these good friends, Brad, and his fiance Kira were married on the beautiful shorelines of west Maui’s Kaanapali Beach at the Royal Lahaina Resort on Monday, February 25, 2013. While Pat and I tried everything we could to make it Maui (who wouldn’t WANT to go to Hawaii?!), it wasn’t in the cards. Thankfully, Brad and Kira decided to have a ‘welcome home,’ traditional wedding reception once they returned to the mainland for friends and family who weren’t able to jet across the pacific for their beautiful Maui vows.

Their wedding reception was a perfect mix of Hawaii-meets-Wisconsin. The ballroom was lined with turquoise-blue lights, creating a tropical underwater ambiance; there was fresh fruit adorning the outskirts of the ballroom, with a heavy focus on pineapples; the welcome table donned a beautiful surfboard, while the table centerpieces were beautiful pear-shaped glass jars filled with seashells with a starfish resting on the outside. Meanwhile, cheese and beer were a-plenty, keeping true to their Wisconsin-flair.

The thing I love most about this group of friends is we can pick up right where we left off; there’s no awkward silence or conversation about “what’s new” with each other’s lives. We say a couple quick things about what’s going on with work, the latest with our families and go on as if we just saw each other last weekend. This is true friendship. The smiles grow and there is never a shortage of laughter.

Three musketeers

The three musketeers are now all married. I’m the one wearing the dress.

Madison friends

Madison family – reunited.

I can’t urge this to new graduates enough: keep in touch with your core group of friends from college, even if its one big get together for one weekend per year. Just do it. College is where your closest friendships and professional relationships began to blossom; don’t lose track of people you lived in some of the crappiest conditions with. These people were your family in your home away from home. The memories of the crappy houses get funnier as each year passes, and even though you may not live with or next door to each other anymore, the strong friendships (or for us, our ‘Madison family’ ties) still remain. Even though its been six years since (most of us) we graduated, we still make time for each other’s life events – and the random annual get together. And I wouldn’t miss any of them for the world.

follow friday

8 Mar

This weekend is devoted to celebrating nuptials of two of my dear Madison friends, who were married in Maui last week.

Maui wedding

However, words cannot express how excitedly happy I am to watch Justin Timberlake host AND as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live.

I saw Kelly Clarkson perform “Catch My Breath” for the first time on The Voice with Cassadee Pope. I am in love with this song and I can’t wait to blast it when the weather is nice enough for me to have my sunroof open, while sing along like nobody’s watching.

From the blog Practical Tips for Productive Living, here’s 20 good habits to start in your 20’s

Someday, when I have a big, beautiful yard, I am building a fire pit 

Happy Friday!

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp

27 Feb

Raise your hand if you feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to get everything accomplished! Between the crazy, nearly opposite schedules of the hubs and myself, sitting down to dinner together is a daily moment I cherish. I don’t want to spend the entire night creating some fancy meal where we feel rushed to finish it because its near ‘bedtime.’ So as I lurk on Pinterest on Sunday nights while the hubs is away playing on the radio airwaves (cheap plug: check out Jelli – now!), I search for healthy, yet quick-cooking recipes to try.

My latest find is one I was super stoked to try: angel hair pasta with shrimp. What’s not to love?! It is extremely simple (and relatively inexpensive) to make.

Shrimp Pasta Ingredients

The ingredient list:

15 stalks thin fresh asparagus (since asparagus isn’t in season, I substituted fresh spinach, 1-2 cups depending on how much you like spinach)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 medium plum (Roma) tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces peeled & cooked shrimp
1 Tablespoon butter
9 ounces refrigerated fresh angel hair pasta, cooked & drained
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, for topping (I didn’t have Parmesan cheese on hand, so I used shredded mozzarella)

Directions:

  • Heat the olive oil, adding in the garlic cloves and pepper; cook for a few minutes to release the garlic’s aroma. In the meantime, cook the angel hair pasta as directed on the box (usually 6 minutes).
  • Add in the tomatoes and cook for another few minutes.
  • Add the wine, salt and spinach to the pan, stirring the mixture for a few minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and cook the mixture for an additional 5(ish) minutes.
  • Add the butter, pasta and basil, stirring until everything has mixed together evenly.
  • Divvy up serving portions to the individual’s preference and add mozzarella cheese on top, which will melt from the warm pasta.

Angel Hair Pasta w/ Shrimp

Bonus: since  you only use 1/2 cup of wine, the rest of the bottle can be served with dinner! Add some candlelight and you have yourself a romantic Tuesday night dinner. Or just do what we do: sit in sweats and enjoy each other’s company in non-dark, non-creepy light (and watch Wild games).

Source: Recipe Girl

The Beautiful People Seats

31 Jan

In November 2011, I was a victim of a layoff. Well, technically it was a “company closing” so they had no choice but to let all of their staff go, so it was a forced-layoff. I had been married to my (wonderfully supportive) husband for just over two months – and it was one of the most difficult phone calls  I’ve had to make to him. I was more upset of the position I was putting him in than I was about my actual layoff. Fortunately, as I blubbered to him on the phone, he put me at ease encouraging me that we would be ok; we’re fighters and we would get through it – together.

I was unemployed for three months before I got the opportunity of a lifetime. In the midst of my hundreds of resumes I sent out, I took a chance applying for a position that I knew I wasn’t qualified for. Jen, Ted, Josh, Chris and John took a chance hiring me with little to no experience in online marketing – and I couldn’t be more thankful. I’ve learned more in the last year than I did in the two years prior and I finally feel like I found a career with a future. I continue to learn every day and I love the people I work with.

Working at my current place of employment has some awesome perks, including random drawings of tickets for Timberwolves games. While I am not the biggest basketball fan, I do enjoy going to sporting events to people watch if anything (though nothing beats people watching at the State Fair). I was recently selected as one  of the lucky recipients of a pair of tickets to a Timberwolves game…. in ROW TWO.

Ricky Rubio Timberwolves tickets

Not only did we have seats in row two, they were directly behind the visiting team’s bench – and we sat right behind Tim Duncan! He wasn’t playing due to some injury, but he was still there. It was a nationally televised game on ESPN, so I made sure Pat wore some classier clothes than the sweatpants he is used to sporting around.

Who usually sits in these seats? Beautiful people, that’s who. We felt like celebrities or superstars sitting in row two seats. We’re used to sitting in the rafters, squinting to see where the ball is or trying to differentiate between paint on the floor and the team’s new jerseys. We were able to classify ourselves as part of the “beautiful people” crowd, even if it was just for one night.

Beautiful people seats

Though the Timberwolves lost, we had a blast people watching (the older couple in front us, in particular) and taking in what the beautiful people get to see on a regular basis. Thank you for the awesome tickets, John!

follow friday, wedding dress edition

25 Jan

Today I was thrilled to be joining my beautiful cousin Jenna as she embarked on the ever exciting, yet dreaded, wedding dress shopping. While in Florida for her and her fiance Andy’s annual January trip, she went dressing shopping with a friend and surprising even herself, found THE dress. So while she thinks she already found THE one, she wanted to try on some dresses in Minnesota to further ensure to herself she did find THE dress.

Miss Jenna Sue started her wedding dress shopping escapade at Bella Bridal Boutique in Woodbury; I unfortunately was not able to attend because of work, but had my sister take and send pictures of each dress Jenna tried on. She looked stunning in all of the pictures my sister sent me.

Second stop on the bridal dress train was The Wedding Shoppe on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. I was fortunately able to join for this stop, while my sister had to jet off to work; we traded places and I, in turn, sent her pictures of dresses Jenna tried on here. I (personally) loved everything about The Wedding Shoppe; the attendant was helpful, the experience, the dress selection, the cute little old house the shop was in – everything. And, even though Jenna pretty much had her mind made up on the dress, the attendant encouraged her to get the dress she wanted, without trying to hard sell the dresses she was bringing to try on.

When I went wedding dress shopping, I started my trek online by looking at hundreds of dresses before stepping foot in a store; ironically, I had picked out one dress (which ended up being THE dress) on two different websites. But I regretfully purchased THE dress at David’s Bridal. I would highly recommend anyone looking to purchase a wedding dress to avoid David’s Bridal at ALL costs. I had a horrible experience from the start, but feared that if I looked elsewhere I wouldn’t be able to find that dress again. I foolishly fell victim to their ‘scare’ tactics, purchasing my dress then and there on my first dress shopping experience, losing out on visiting The Wedding Shoppe – or other bridal boutique gems around the Cities. I still love the dress I wore on my wedding day, but would have preferred avoiding the headache of dealing with David’s Bridal.

Pat and I already have four weddings to attend this year – and we can’t wait to celebrate with our friends and family about to start the rest of their lives with the ones they love. Andy and Jenna are having a destination wedding, in beautiful Aspen, Colorado where they got engaged. I am pumped we are invited to attend and can’t wait to see the beautiful fall colors gracing the mountain sides. From their post-engagement pictures, it looks GORGEOUS – and they will have some killer wedding photos. Congrats again Jenna Sue! You’re going to make a beautiful bride.

follow friday

18 Jan

So much for my ‘blog at least twice each week resolution.’ Next year I resolving to be better at resolutions. For the record, I AM working on my posture with some back strengthening exercises. It is a work in progress, but I am striving to strengthening my back more and more each week.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted some links to ideas that I love, things that inspire me or my latest recipe find on Pinterest. Oops. I’d try to make an excuse, but the best one I can come up with is “I was too busy.” How cliche is that?

This master bedroom makeover is BEAUTIFUL – simple taste, yet classy, modern and cozy all in one. Some day we’ll be able to have a master bedroom that works for us; right now we’re definitely limited in our townhouse master “suite.”

Quick, healthy, lunch-on-the-go lettuce wraps – I haven’t tried these yet, but plan to REAL soon.

Super easy canvas art that we’re hoping to try out one of these weekends to add to one of the bedrooms. Maybe (if I’m feeling generous and ambitious enough) I’ll document our own trials and tribulations as a DIY-feature piece for this blog. Don’t hold your breath. I haven’t done anything DIY in a loooong time. I sense more frustration and tears than masterpieces coming from this project.

I am in love with the Band Perry’s song “Better Dig Two” right now; it’s different, edgy and kind of a crazy girl anthem, but it is such a departure from what they’re used to doing, I really dig it.

Seeing a live concert at The Gorge in Washington is on my bucket list. I’ve decided seeing Dierks Bentley or OAR there would be ideal, but I’m open to other options.

This little lady has some seriously awesome taste in work clothes. Hello fashion inspiration! Now if only I didn’t have to wear 37 sweaters to stay warm at work…