Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sunday Night Cooking Challenge (on Wednesday)

One-Pot Rataouille, from Sunset Magazine

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) diced tomatoes
8 ounces eggplant, rinsed and diced
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound bell peppers, diced
8 ounces zucchini, diced

I added:
Couscous, Quinoa, or pasta
Goat Cheese

The recipe also called for these ingredients but I didn’t use them and it turned out great:
8 ounces yellow summer squash, diced
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1. In your biggest frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and simmer for about a minute.
2. Add tomatoes (with juice), eggplant, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is soft when pierced, about 10 minutes.
3. Prepare couscous or grain of your choice according to package directions.
3. Stir in bell peppers, zucchini, and yellow squash. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook until squash is tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes longer.
4. (I skipped this step) Stir in basil and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve on top of the couscous and sprinkled with goat cheese. The goat cheese is key as it brings it to a new level of delish that will make you happy to eat it for lunch the next few days!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Recessiontainment: Free TV

If you haven't discovered check it out. Catch up on some of those t.v. shows you've missed for free. That's right, no need to spend money on Netflix or buying dvds on Amazon that you'll only watch once. And, if you do it now you can catch up on all 7 episodes of Lipstick Jungle before the season 2 premier on Wednesday, September 24th at 10:00p.m. on NBC.

Loose Change

Thanks to Franke for this. And, have fun seeing how much change you can find in a day.

Recessionista: Revisiting Old Habits

Wow. Are we screwed economically or what? I don't know about you, but I am freaking out. I'm not going to pretend like I understand why or how Lehman Brothers collapsed, AIG is in the toilet, and Merrill Lynch is downgrading to "bank" status. What I do know is my already fragile financial life is doing it's own circle down the drain. But, it's fall and it's time to make wardrobe improvements. What's a budget-conscience freaked out girl to do when she feels like she can't shop, yet the air is cooling down and she wants to look cute? Go to Old Navy! Maybe you're like me and needed a break from this discount Gap because 1. you don't want to look like everyone else, 2. you feel you've outgrown it, and 3. now that you're older and making more money you should shop at grown up places. Well, I spent a little time at ON recently after a long hiatus, and was pleasantly surprised by the selection, the diversity of styles, and the accessories. ON sells shoes now! And, they're, like, totally cute! And, the jewelry is fun, bright, and adorable! I dived into the many dresses and skirts they have for fall and found many things I liked that were also flattering. The best part came when I reluctantly picked up a pair of jeans and added them to my dressing room stash. My expectations were low; I have trouble finding jeans that fit in more expensive stores, so I was sure ON could not possibly have jeans I could wear. Imagine my utter joy when I tried on what they call their "Sweetheart Fit" and they wrapped around my curves to perfection. The best part -- they cost $29.50. $29.50 for jeans! That fit! And look good! And don't look cheap! I'll be going back to get them in every wash.
So, ladies, the lesson here is revisit those places you've written off as they might surprise you. The second lesson -- that perfect thing you're looking for (jeans, for example) might be where you least expect them.