Thursday, June 27, 2013

One Pot Pasta From Martha Stewart

I visited our local farmer's market for the first time this summer in search of fresh tomatoes, and as is often the case, I came home with more than tomatoes. In fact, I picked up some fresh ingredients for this one pot pasta dish. I first saw the recipe in Martha Stewart Living Magazine while in the doctor's office waiting room. I later looked it up online and decided I had to try it. It is soooo delicious and easy. Really, all it takes is one pan. How easy!

One Pot Pasta


12 ounces linguine (I used spaghetti)
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes (the original recipe calls for a 1/2 tsp, but I thought that was too spicy)
2 sprigs basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 cups water
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and water in a large straight-sided skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with basil. Serve with oil and Parmesan.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy 4th of July

This tablescape is so festive for the fourth. It uses both vintage and post-86 Fiesta. The colors are scarlet, cobalt, lapis, ivory with red stripe, white, and sapphire. The napkin rings were constructed from items from Hobby Lobby. The blue gingham tablecloth was a thrift store purchase, and the silver chargers were from an estate sale. The red stripe glasses came from an antique store in Oklahoma. You might remember that I used them on the Cinco de Mayo tablescape, but it was a totally different mood. Enjoy and have a safe 4th of July!

I am linking up to Between Naps on the Porch and Cuisine Kathleen. Check out all the incredible tablescapes for the 4th.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Most Amazing Pork Chops and Gravy Ever!

I recently joined a Soup/Crock Pot Facebook page, and a version of this recipe appeared numerous times. I tweaked it just a bit, and it was delicious. Every one who tried it said it was amazing.

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy

4-6 whole thick cut pork chops, (I used center cut)
1 envelope onion soup mix (1 oz.)
1 10.5 oz can of cream of chicken soup
2 cans of chicken broth
1 envelope dry pork gravy mix
8 oz. sliced mushrooms

Place pork chops in the slow cooker. Mix all other ingredients in a bowl and pour on to chops. Cook on low 8 hours until they are VERY fork tender...if they still aren't fall apart cook 30 minutes more and then check again. (I cooked for two hours on low, and then I turned up the crock pot to high for the remaining 4 hours because I was short on time.) Serve with mashed potatoes. I thickened the gravy on the stove top by adding a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch into some cold water and then pouring it into the boiling gravy. Stir continuously until thick.

Where Do I Store It All?

The question should really be, "Where don't I store it? I store Fiesta and other dishes in every nook and cranny in my home. I store it in the basement, in the guest room, in the bathroom under the sink, in closets--basically everywhere.  I think one of the nicest things about Fiesta is that it can be stored in plain view and look amazing, which is why I prefer cabinets with glass on three sides. I can arrange it and change it depending on my mood, and I always get to see it.