Pasta, Chicken, Minced Garlic-Oh My!

I was looking for a “budget friendly” recipe the other day and came across this quick and easy favorite, Roasted Garlic Pasta Salad. It requires minimal ingredients and is pretty simple to make. The only thing I managed to mess up was mincing the garlic myself. Next time I will be sure to buy pre-minced garlic!

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Here’s what you will need:

1 head garlic or pre-minced garlic if you suck at mincing!

½ Tbsp olive oil

1 lb. pasta shells

15 oz. ricotta cheese

¼ cup grated parmesan

salt & pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half

3 cups baby spinach

You can check out the recipe here on Budget Bytes. This website is great for those of us on tight budgets! I rate this recipe a 9/10. I will definitely be making this one again!

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Cooking My Way Through Pinterest

Every girl spends countless hours on Pinterest. Whether it be planning her wedding or decoration ideas for her future house, Pinterest can be addicting! I decided to take my addiction of Pinterest and turn it into a new hobby, cooking. I say “new” hobby because before my discovery of Pinterest and the  food boards, I could only really cook the basics: scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, basic pasta with boring sauce. Yes, I am guilty of not knowing how to cook much. I decided to take it into my own hands to learn since a.) I am almost 25 and should know how to properly feed myself a good meal and b.) I am getting married to a foodie in a year and it would be nice if he didn’t have to cook all the time!

I started my new hobby last Sunday when I cooked a Spinach Artichoke Pasta:

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(Excuse the terrible picture quality, it came from my phone.) I modified the following recipe by leaving out the Cayenne pepper and red pepper since I am not one for spices.

This recipe is pretty delicious but a little time-consuming in the prep work. I managed to use 2% milk instead of whole milk for the sauce which results in soupy sauce.

My rating of this recipe would be a 6/10. Next time I will be sure to use whole milk!

Wednesday: Avocado, Mozzarella and Tomato Grilled Cheese.

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This is by far the best grilled cheese I have ever made! It combines a few of my favorite ingredients: avocados and mozzarella.  Not to mention it took 20 minutes to make with prep time. Not only will I be making this again, I may even add some more ingredients such as basil or pesto spread.

My rating of this recipe would be a 9/10! I urge my readers to try this!

Sunday I made Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers

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This recipe really worked out well for us considering we had some left over corn and black beans from the night before. We substituted the turkey for beef and left out the chicken broth. Loved the way these came together!

My rating of this recipe would be an 8/10.

Saturday at the Farmer’s Market

A couple of weeks ago, Judd and I decided to get up early and go to the local farmers market. If you have never been to a farmers market, it’s an outdoor produce stand full of fruits, vegetables, grains even eggs that are sold by local farmers. Not only do you support these local farmers by buying their produce, you also save money! It is much cheaper to buy from a farmers market then a regular grocery store.

Here are some of the colorful sights I captured that day:

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We bought a few items and put them all to good use!

Our items:

Green Tomatoes-I made fried green tomatoes for dinner what night and they were so fresh!

Rainier Cherries-expensive at the grocery store, only $3 for a lb!

Peaches-Judd’s favorite purchase!

Roasted Peanuts-my guilty pleasure.

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Low Country Vacation

When it came time to plan our vacation for the year Judd and I had a serious debate on where we should travel to. We love the southern lifestyle and knew we wanted to go somewhere bursting with history. I suggested Charleston, SC of course. I went to Charleston on a family vacation in 2008 and knew I would still remember a lot of what we did then to incorporate it into our trip this year.

We packed up the Ranger and drove 4 hours to beautiful low country. We arrived late Friday afternoon and decided to head downtown to walk around and do dinner with my best friend Chelsea and her family. We opted for the best seafood restaurant in Charleston, Hyman’s Seafood. They are known for their southern style grits and hush puppies. The service we had at the restaurant exceeded my expectations and the food was incredible! We ordered various appetizers made of crab dip and fried green tomatoes-a Charleston favorite. I opted for the shrimp and broccoli stuffed potatoes entrée. It was fantastic! There is nothing better than catching up with life long friends and enjoying a few laughs.

Saturday was our busiest day.Chelsea took us on a guided tour of downtown Charleston. We started by the market which had the coolest local vendors. We walked the majority of downtown and of course stopped for numerous photos along the way. We went Toast for lunch after the tour. A few highlights from lunch included homemade chicken salad wraps, fried green tomato and crab cake BLT’s and endless mimosas which neither of us participated in! For desert, we went to Cupcakes which is known for their red velvet cupcakes and ever-changing menu. Talk about delicious variety!

Sunday was Veteran’s Day and what better way to commemorate it then to spend it touring the naval aircraft carrier the USS Yorktown CV-10. We arrived mid morning and immediately grabbed a map with the layout of the ship. We started in the hangars which were full of airplanes and artifacts. One of my favorite things about the Yorktown was that it was the recovery ship for both John Glenn’s Friendship 7 capsule and the Apollo 8 mission-which was the first mission to successfully orbit around the moon. We walked through narrow hallways and down steep stairs to see where the sailor’s slept. We went down to the boiler room and even made it to the bridge which is were the captain piloted this vessel. If you sit in the captain’s chair and look out over the bow of the vessel you can see the Ravenel bridge. We stepped out onto the flight deck which was a showcase of a bunch of old Navy planes. My recent fascination for aviation had me in my element surrounded by all those old war birds. That evening we headed in Summerville to have dinner with Chelsea and her parents at their house.

Monday was our final day which meant checking out of our hotel and packing up the truck for our journey home. We made a few stops along the way home including an apple cider stand on the side of US-17 and a Cracker Barrel in Hilton head. Overall our trip was a great success!