Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pasta Fagoli soup sans pasta

So this recipe originated at Gina's Weight Watchers website. I didn't have any onions, so I substituted chives, I also didn't have oregano or parsley, but I had fresh basil.

Start with your ingredients -

Heat some olive oil in a deep pot ans saute you onion (or equivalent!) and garlic for a few minutes.

Next, blend one can of Cannelini beans with some water until smooth. Then add that mixture to the garlic and onions.


Then add the celery, carrot, tomatoes, herbs and chicken broth. A little s & p to taste and let that simmer for about 30 minutes.

We randomly have 4 hot peppers sitting on the counter. They are not going to make it much longer, so I figured I would throw one in whole. I let it simmer with all the veggies. I think I can taste a very small bite of heat...

At this point, you would add 1 & 1/2 cups of pasta. I'm trying to go light with the carbs, so I just left it out. The soup is definitely not as thick or creamy, but it's still tasty! Try it tonight! It didn't take more than an hour to put the whole thing together. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Parmesan Pea Risotto

Risotto is not hard, it's just time consuming, but well worth the time. Creamy and cheesy, it's perfect for a fall evening.

Start with Aborio rice - 1 cup. Don't mind the vinegar in the background - don't put that in your risotto!

Chop an onion, I used a whole one, you could get by with half, but I like onion. Saute the onion in about 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of butter. Just when you start to smell the onions, add the rice and stir and stir and stir for about 8 minutes.

In the meantime, with your 3rd arm.... heat up 4-5 cups of chicken stock, keep this close and at a simmer. You need to add hot broth to the rice or your risotto will not be cooked through.

When your rice has sauteed for 8 minutes, add 1/2 cup of white wine (red would be fine, too, the result will be red risotto!) and cook out. Then add one ladle of broth to your pan and stir in a figure 8 pattern. Stir and stir and stir. Stir until you can see the bottom of your pan...see below.

At this time, add another ladle of broth and repeat until the rice is cooked through and creamy. It will take at least 4 cups of broth, probably closer to 5. And it will take you at least 30 minutes, don't get anxious and add more broth! Just relax and drink some more wine.
When your rice is cooked, add as many frozen peas as you like. I really like peas....

Stir until the peas are hot. I also added some chopped basil and parsley because I had them on hand. Just before service add a couple of handfuls of Parmesan cheese, not the fake stuff, people, get the real thing. I promise you will not be disappointed. Weight Watchers calls for 4 Tablespoons of cheese, which is probably what I put in, not counting the extra I added to my dish before I ate it :)
I served roasted butternut squash along with my risotto (toss cubes of squash in olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in a 425 degree oven until browned) and a glass of homemade Pinot Grigio.
You could use vegetable stock and make this a vegetarian meal...
Weight Watchers Points - 7 for 1 & 1/2 cups


After that last post, I figured you might want to see some pictures from our honeymoon!! Here is an (almost) wordless tour of Maui and Oahu.....Enjoy!

We drank a lot of champagne....

View from our balcony in Maui.

Beautiful sunset in Oahu.

They were filming Hawaii 5-0 at our hotel in Ohau!

Tan skin, red wine and I had a steak on my plate in front of me.... perfection!


Shrimp truck!

Im back!! I think....

Hi! Remember me? I ran off and got married and went on a 2 week honeymoon and now I'm finally getting my life back together. After over a month now of being married, I'm loving life and trying to drop the couple of lbs I gained on my Hawaiian honeymoon!!

I successfully lost about 14 pounds before my wedding thanks to documenting my eats and exercise here everyday. I felt beautiful and had a wonderful time at my wedding!

But it's back to reality for me now and I'm trying to take off what I gained in Hawaii - who knew the food there would be so rich and delicious??? I guess starting off everyday with frozen tropical drinks will add some pounds pretty quickly :)
Anywho, I did work out while we were in Hawaii, there were gyms in both of the hotels we stayed in, so despite my indulgences, I did end up working out about 8 of the 14 days we were gone. Not too bad! However, I still gained about 9 pounds! A couple of those were fake pounds. (ie - they came off quickly after I got back to my normal routine)
So, now what to do? My blog is called The Fluffy Bride..... after some thought, I don't think I will resume documenting every recipe that make or every meal, but I will be making some fun new dishes that I will run through with pictures and descriptions. Hopefully you will enjoy it!
Should I change my blog name from the Fluffy Bride to the Fluffy Wife??? Hmmm, I'll have to think about that one.....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Crazy days

Oh Lawd, I am one busy woman! Wedding is 24 days from today and things are crazy!!! Sorry for the sporadic posts as of late. Every minute there is something to do. It will all be worth it, though!

On to my eats from the past couple of days -

Breakfast of crappy office coffee and half of a grapefruit sprinkled with some Splenda.

Lunch is the (almost) last bit of my cauliflower and pasta and some ripe cherries, I love summer fruit! I will be really sad to see it go when big ugly winter butts in...

I ran around like a nut last night, so luckily I remembered that I had a free coupon for a sandwich at Chick-fil-A! My favorite!! I ran in, grabbed a Coke Zero and this sammie and I was on my way to get my nails done! (My bachelorette party is this weekend!!)

I ran and ran and ran and then relaxed while my sister-in-law did my toes and nails! So pretty now!
Breakfast (and lunch for that matter) are exactly like yesterday. Sorry! I didn't plan that one!
Grapefruit and Splenda.

A few almonds. I got caught at work sneaking this pic - Hi Marc!! He he he...

Cauliflower and pasta - can you believe I still have some of this in my fridge???

Snacked on some cherries in the afternoon. I have a hair appointment at 5pm, then I am cleaning my house and doing laundry. Sounds exciting, right?? Well, my besties are coming in town tomorrow and our house is a disaster!

Work tomorrow and then I'm off until Monday!! My bachelorettes are kidnapping me away to the beach for the weekend and I CANNOT WAIT!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Busy as a Bride

Please forgive my absence! Things have been crazy busy in my neck of the woods! The wedding is 26 days from today and we're running around like crazy trying to get ready. SO, please forgive the lack of posts over the next few weeks. I will try to keep up as much as I can!

Oh and my bachelorette party is this weekend! YAY! I'm super super excited!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cauliflower & tomatoes

I had a half of a head of cauliflower leftover from my giardiniera, so I needed to use it up, I also had some tomatoes that needed a home.... My fiancee's mom makes a dish with boiled cauliflower, tomatoes and pasta. Ok, sounds good to me.

I attempted to recreate.....

Saute some onions in olive oil. I threw in a hot cherry pepper from my garden, too.

Chop some (I used 2 medium and one small) tomatoes, basil, parsley and oregano. All from my garden!! After the onions are soft, add the tomatoes and herbs. Let the maters cook down for about 15 minutes over low heat.

See - beautiful!!

While the onions cooked, I boiled some water and added the cauliflower. I boiled it until it was tender then I added the onion and tomato mixture. Let that boil for a while, season with salt and pepper then add 1/2 pound of pasta. And turn the heat off immediately. If you don't, your pasta will be way too soft. Pour some in a bowl and enjoy!

It was good, not my future mom-in-laws, but ok. Maybe half water, half chicken stock next time? Maybe a sprinkle of parm cheese???
Either way it was good enough to bring for lunch today. It's better after it sat overnight. I also brought that salad I didn't eat yesterday for lunch, but I didn't eat it again! Still not feeling it. Oh well. I have a grapefruit that I might snack on in a little bit, but I don't want to ruin my appetite for dinner. Finally the fiancee is making me dinner! I feel like it's been forever! It's really been like 3 days, but that's a long time for him not to cook. We've been busy.
Speaking of busy - we are getting married in exactly 1 month from today! Wow, time really flies. I feel like yesterday we had 8 months to go, now we have a month! Wow....

Forever a changed woman

Sunday was a very lazy day in the Georgia household. We ordered Chinese take out, we caught up on DVR, we watched movies. It was glorious. I ordered chicken and broccoli because you can practically eat the entire container and still be under your Weight Watcher points!

Monday morning came with the arrival of a little something that will forever change my life. You heard me ranting about how I had a mini French Press on my wedding registry, right? Well, it was one of the first gifts that was sent my way. Great. However, it was in a million pieces when I received it. So, I sent it back to Macy's and waited patiently.

Behold..... My mini 3 cup French Press!!

3 cups is a bold lie, it's a 1 cupper, but it does the trick! We have a big 12 cup coffee machine, but I'm the only one in the house that makes coffee during the week, the fiancee gets his at his job. So, it was becoming a hassle to clean and make one cup of coffee everyday in that big machine. So, I registered for the mini press! And let me tell you, it has changed my life. By far the best cup of coffee I've ever had.

Then I came to work and had to drink this crap. The grapefruit was good, though!

A little leftover Chinese for lunch....

And dinner was as Southern as you can get! I've had more tomatoes in the past week out of my garden than I had all year last year! So, I cut some up, toasted some Wonder Smart bread and a little schmear of light mayo, s&p and you have yourself a bone fide Southern tomato sandwich. It doesn't get better than this! I added some sweet potato rounds as a side with some ketchup for dunkin'.

I brought some cherries for breakfast on Tuesday, but I wasn't hungry until lunchtime. So I waited. I ate the ham sandwich, the cherries and left the salad. Just wasn't feeling it.

Poor salad, it looks pretty.
Time for dinner!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coffee on the floor, not pants on the ground

I was sound asleep by 10pm on Friday evening. I'm quite the party animal....

Anywho, I had big plans for Saturday. There was coffee on the counter....

And then coffee all over the floor. Can you see my toes?

Oh darn.

I finally cleaned up all the coffee grinds and made my way to the gym. 45 minutes on the elliptical. Glorious.

Pineapple yogurt was waiting for my return. This is seriously the best flavor. Thick, creamy and pineapply. That is a word.

Lunch was pretty boring. Ham and cheese with carrots and cucumber dunked in....

My last bit of hummus.

Last week I was messing around in the garden and I accidentally knocked off some green tomatoes from my plant. I thought about frying them, as a true Southern lady would, but I figured my hips like to be less Southern. So, I tackled homemade giardiniera. According to Wikipedia.
My father-in-law makes it and it's so good on toast or sandwiches. So, I started chopping -

green tomatoes (from my garden)
cherry peppers (left whole & straight from my garden)
cubanel peppers (also from the garden)
long hot peppers
sliced eggplant

Put a layer of veggies in a container and sprinkle with Kosher or sea salt. Add another layer of veggies and another sprinkle of salt. Repeat until all the veggies are gone.
I opted for Tupperware. I figured it would be the easiest to track the progress of the veggies.

Then cover with plastic wrap or foil. And find something heavy.

Because you need some serious weight to allow the veggies and salt to do their thing. I found that some big cans of tomatoes and ceramic mugs did the trick.

Let the veggies sit for 2 weeks on your counter. You will notice water form at the bottom of your container and that's a good thing! That means everything is brining and preserving. After 2 weeks, rinse with a mixture of vinegar and water then store the veggies in an airtight container (think Mason jar) and cover with oil. Always keep the veggies covered with oil and they will last forever. Literally, I think. A long time, at least. Enjoy!
Saturday night we headed to Atlantic City for some food and fun. Wine and sushi make for a happy Georgia.

And edemame, I'm addicted.

Spicy tuna roll.

And chicken and rice with asparagus.

Got home late and crashed until late Sunday morning....ahhhhh.