Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dinner at Our House: Rosemary Chicken Pasta

So tonight I cooked again. It went muuuuuuch better than last night. I made Rosemary Chicken Pasta and it is soooo easy to make and actually pretty good for you. I enlisted some help from Tim and the whole dish took less than 30 minutes to pull off (including prep time). It was also nice to get some verbal feedback from my dad when he said "You know, you could do this every night."

This is my plate. It was soooo yum.
If you're interested in the recipe I'll post it below. It came from a great website called
 8 ounces uncooked penne, ziti or other pasta
 1 clove garlic, minced
 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
 16 - 18 asparagus spears, sliced thin (fresh or frozen)
 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
 2 tablespoons reduced fat Parmesan cheese
 salt and pepper to taste

  1. Prepare pasta according to package direction; drain.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup broth in a deep non stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and cook 15 seconds. Add chicken and cook, tossing well, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add asparagus*, remaining chicken broth, parsley and pasta to skillet. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid has reduced enough to lightly cover pasta.
  4. Sprinkle with reduced fat Parmesan, salt and pepper and toss. Serve immediately.
  5. *If using frozen asparagus, make sure to thaw and drain before slicing. If using fresh, make sure to snap bottom portion that is rough off before rinsing and slicing.
Per Serving: 494 Calories
4g Fat (7% calories from fat)
66g Protein
45g Carbohydrate
4g Dietary Fiber
139mg Cholesterol
295mg Sodium

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dinner at Our House: Mongolian Beef

On Sunday, Tim and I went grocery shopping. I decided we needed to 'give back' because my mom and dad have been feeding us quite a bit. I bought enough food to make three of our 'signature' meals (by which I mean meals we made in Athens because I only know a handful of recipes). I've been waiting all week to cook (I couldn't Monday or Tuesday night because of work stuff) but I finally had my chance. Tonight, I made Mongolian Beef with onions, green peppers and 'steamed rice.'

Let me explain...back in Athens, Tim and I would cook rice in a rice steamer. It was great. Measure the right amount of water + rice and you are good to go. However, we tried to use a microwavable rice steamer tonight that belongs to my parents and the result was not acceptable. Timing is everything when making this dish. I don't like veggies to overcook so I usually have the rice going while I'm making everything else so both end up ready at the same time. Because of our rice disaster we had to wait on a second batch of rice and it was pretty bleh. That is also why I didn't photograph it tonight.

I have in the past though. Here is what it looked like when I made it in the past (sans veggies and with fried rice):

I got the recipe from but I'll post it here too. My secret ingredient that I add to this is a dash of red pepper flakes to give it a tiny kick.


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 pound beef flank steak, sliced 1/4 inch thick on the diagonal
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 bunches green onions, cut in 2-inch lengths


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir the garlic and ginger until they release their fragrance, about 30 seconds. Pour in the soy sauce, water, and brown sugar. Raise the heat to medium-high, and stir 4 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce boils and slightly thickens. Remove sauce from the heat, and set aside.
  2. Place the sliced beef into a bowl, and stir the cornstarch into the beef, coating it thoroughly. Allow the beef and cornstarch to sit until most of the juices from the meat have been absorbed by the cornstarch, about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-sided skillet or wok to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Shake excess cornstarch from the beef slices, and drop them into the hot oil, a few at a time. Stir briefly, and fry until the edges become crisp and start to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove the beef from the oil with a large slotted spoon, and allow to drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  5. Pour the oil out of the skillet or wok, and return the pan to medium heat. Return the beef slices to the pan, stir briefly, and pour in the reserved sauce. Stir once or twice to combine, and add the green onions. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook until the onions have softened and turned bright green, about 2 minutes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Game Day: A Mostly Photo Blog

Yesterday was a good day. We attended the Auburn v. South Carolina game at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL. It was Tim's first time attending a college football game, even though he attended UGA for three years of law school. Also in attendance were my dad and cousin Trent (a pretty hardcore UGA fan). Let's unload my camera and see what went down:

Tim and I at the tailgate near the university chapel.

This is me and my dad

This is Samford Hall. Fun fact: The Websterians and the Wirts (the first two literary societies at Auburn University) were housed here.

Because I got my MA here, I always take a photo at Hargis Hall.

Tim and I are Toomer's Corner.

Me at Toomer's Corner


Tree at Toomer's. Looks like someone got a little excited and preemptively rolled...IMHO this is not the best of luck...

Toomer's Tree before it is rolled.

We ran into our dear friends Mel + Chris. Mel got a new toy...a stick for her camera.

Me and Mel trying out the stick-camera.

Tim and Chris

Chris looking like a Justin Beaver? What's that?

This is what I call home. Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Right above the empty band section, near the corner by the walkway, is where I used to sit in the student section.


Respect the band.

Us inside Jordan-Hare.

Dad and I inside the stadium.


Final Score...AUBURN WINS!

Look who we literally ran into again!

Tim, Me, Dad & Cousin Trent

War Eagle Chris!

Me at Toomer's!

Tim after his first game. (Glad it was a W)

Adorable child I took a photo of while he threw TP on a bush.

Elliot, sporting the #34 jersey that I bought her while in Auburn.

Jackson got one too.

Jackson is proud to be named for Auburn's Bo Jackson. #34.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Date Night Movie Review: Easy A

Today around lunch I (Kelly) got a text from Tim that said "date night?" Of course! So after I got done at work we decided to do dinner and a movie. What's more fun than date night? Double date night with another married couple (other than my parents- because let's face it, almost every night seems like a double date night with the parents...). We made plans to meet for a showing of the new flick Easy A with newlyweds Mel + Chris. I have to say that the movie exceeded all of our expectations.

I went into it thinking, oh it's another Superbad or Knocked Up type movie. I'll laugh at some good old fashioned overplayed adolescent jokes. But, it actually surprised me. I enjoyed the appropriate amount of John Hughes references, the literary references, and even the line about running out of things to talk about and sticking heads in the over (Plath anyone?). I really enjoyed the minor characters as much as the main ones. The parents were the best. The principal even better - "My job is to keep the girls off the poles and the boys off the pipes." I laughed the entire movie. I think at some points though Tim, Mel, Chris and I were the only ones laughing. We certainly were the only four left to watch the ends credits, mostly to see what music was featured in the movie (because there were some nice tracks to bob your head to).

Overall, it the movie was good. The company was good. Married life is good.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dinner at Our House: Baked Ziti

A few nights ago I (Kelly) came home from work and cooked dinner. My mom had already gone to church for a meeting, and dad was still at work. We were going to have baked ziti. I enlisted the help of Tim to make the salad while I cooked.

Now, I have to share some of the events that happened. When you make baked ziti (a la Kelly style), it makes a LOT of food. This is about the 4th or 5th time I've made it at my parents' home. I curse my mother's Pyrex dish because it is actually not big enough to hold all the pasta.  Basically, we ended up having to use this:

Fan used to blow out smoke...
The pasta ended up bubbling some of the sauce over the sides of the Pyrex dish. Needless to say that sauce burned badly at the bottom of the stove and caused the entire house to fill with smoke. And with perfect timing my dad came home right as Tim and I were trying to eradicate all the smoke. He thought we had burned dinner, but alas...
Dinner turned out well!

everything was OK! It was quiet yum as usual. If you want to know how to make Baked ziti I'll post the recipe I use below.


  • 1 pound dry ziti pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
  • 6 ounces provolone cheese, sliced
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, ricotta, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheeses are melted.

Meet the a Taco

So one thing we (mostly Kelly) like to do is dress up (read torture) our cats. They have various outfits and items that range in cute to bizarre. This newest addition to the cat's wardrobe was a thank you gift from our dear friends Mel and Chris. We cat-sat for their cat Grissom. Without further ado I give you:

Jackson as a Taco
Elliot as a Taco
Scooby (aka Nibbler) as a Taco

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Never in a million years...

...did I think I would be 26, married, living at home with my parents (plus three cats) and enjoying life in my hometown. But that describes exactly where I am.

Quick history:
Tim (husband) and I met over a decade ago in high school (note: our high schools were 90 miles apart). We competed against one another in debate and knew at the ages of 15 and 16 we were destined to argue forever.

We set off for college at the University of West Georgia (well I went one year before Tim did). We thought we'd debate together for a change, but ended up becoming members to a whole slew of other activities. Tim majored in Political Science, and I majored in Mass Communication with a minor in Psychology.

We both had ambitions beyond college, so Tim attended law school at the University of Georgia, and I obtained my M.A. from Auburn University. Yes we are a house divided (though I am way more involved in college football than he is). And yes, we were married at the time of attending both of those schools so we lived apart for the first 7 months of our marriage.

Fast forward to my graduation. I moved in with Tim and his sister Sarah in Athens and we lived there while Tim finished up his last year of law school. Athens is a nice town (not near as nice as Auburn...) but unfortunately we had to make a decision. I was teaching at the local technical college and the pay was not enough to keep us in Athens. Tim hadn't received any job offers (I think maybe 10 out of 200 in his law school class had job offers in Georgia- maybe the US) and we decided to do what it appears many other college graduates are doing: move home with mom and dad.

Multigenerational homes are certainly more common in this economy. We are blessed to both have sets of parents that would let us come home. The plan was to switch out every other month or so with each set. Something amazing happened while packing up our Athens apartment- I got a job interview! The interview turned into a second interview and eventually a job. Not just any job. A job in my hometown.

So that's the story of how we came to live with my parents. It may be as short as a few months, it may be for a full year- we're just trying to keep our head above water. All the while we're trying to keep our two cats from killing my brother's cat who my parents inherited recently.

So here is to four adults, three cats, two bathrooms and one hilarious blog to chronicle it all.
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