Thursday, April 19, 2018

Potato Bread, Penne a la Vodka & The Regular Ramble

We went to our friends house for dinner recently, and they made penne a la vodka (to DIE for) and homemade potato bread.  I went home that evening thinking I would give the bread a try.  We will definitely be making the pasta, but more on that later.

The next day I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to start baking.  Until I realized that we didn't have any yeast.  No big deal right?  Ya, ok. I decided to try making the bread anyways, and I googled what I could use as a substitute for yeast.  I found a website that said I could mix equal parts baking soda & lemon juice to make the amount of yeast required.  Awesome.  The other thing I didn't do was use our Kitchenaid mixer.  It's heavy and intimidates me, so I avoid it at all costs.

Here's the recipe I used for the bread 
It truly would have been amazing had I used yeast, and the mixer, like our friends did.  Instead I got a very dense, yellowish loaf, and some rolls.


I have never been one to waste food, so I've been eating my heavy yellow bread all week, and I must say it's pretty good.  And it makes a mean breakfast sandwich



Next time I'll make it properly...or not :)

As for the penne a la vodka, it's definitely being added to our dinner rotation.  It was so easy, and there was no recipe for it.  Our friend fried up some bacon pieces, then removed them from the pan.  In the bacon grease she cooked up some chopped onions and garlic, some vodka, then added in tomato paste & stirred to combine.  After a few minutes she added in heavy cream, and the cooked bacon.  She then tossed the sauce with cooked penne and voila!  A super simple recipe using quality ingredients.  It came out so rich and decadent, and can easily be served to a crowd.


And on to the resolutions...

1. Read a minimum of 20 mins per day - 69 out of 108 days, getting better

2. Read a minimum of 1 book per month -
March - Lost Echoes
April - The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
Loving What Is by Byron Katie (I highly recommend this book, I'm reading it again to make sure it all sinks in)

3. Drink 80oz of water per day - 29 out of 108 days, an embarrassment

4. Get in a minimum of 10,000 steps daily - 72 out of 108 days, also getting better

5. Post on this blog weekly - so far so good, 13 out of 16 weeks

6. Lose the baby weight and get into the best shape of my life - working on it!

7. Get rid of 52 things -
1-6. Books given to my daughter's friend, they were duplicates that I didn't need to hang on to
7. Threw out some cleaning products and knick knacks that were under the kitchen sink
8. Got rid of some baby clothes that we had been given by a friend - they were all boys clothes
(since we thought we were having a boy) - I kept some neutral items and brought the rest to Once
Upon A Child for some cash
9. Got rid of all the old tupperware (and bought a new set - does that count? I'm going to say yes
because in the past I would have kept the old & the new)
10. Dumped all of the expired vitamins and medicine that we had (some dating as far back as 2010!!) - more on that below
11.  Possibly TMI but I got rid of a ton of old underwear - now I have to replace them, which is always fun.
12. I sold Brie's bassinet this week, $60 in my pocket and one less thing to hang on to

8. Organize/clean 52 areas (that I wouldn't normally clean during my daily/weekly routines)
1. Organized my book shelves by giving away duplicate books, grouping the self-help novels together, grouping authors together that I have huge collections of, and alphabetizing the remaining books
2. Cleaned the area underneath the kitchen sink - it was a disaster. Now everything is organized
and accounted for
3. I cleaned the top of the hallway closet and threw out winter gear that had no matches along with
other little things that had no business being there (or anywhere). A small project, but a needed
one! (see pictures below)
4. I cleaned our "medicine cabinet" - we have a section of shelving in our kitchen where we keep vitamins and medicine. Most of the bottles were expired, and it was a mess up there. See before and after pics above. And yes, I am still taking prenatal vitamins. We plan on having one more baby so might as well stay healthy for that. To be honest I think I'll continue taking them indefinitely - they are great.
5. I finally cleaned my linen closet and got rid of a ton of things we didn't need.  Check out the before and after pics below- we now have a whole empty shelf to fill up!  I think we will use it for toilet paper and paper towel which is currently stuffed in the spare bedroom's closet.  That will be my next task to tackle.
6. Check out the before and after pics below of my linen closet.  So glad I got to this one!
7. I also cleaned up my coffee table shelves, pics below

11. Email or call my Grandma weekly - My Grandma just moved from Florida to New Jersey, and she chose not to bring her laptop with her (and really, at 90 years old, can you blame her?) so I will be texting pics to my uncle to share with her, and I will invest this week in a long distance phone plan so that I can call her weekly

12.  Do things to get me out of my comfort zone
1. I attended a mom/baby fitness class, and loved it so much that I'll be going weekly (with a friend     of mine pictured above)
2. Joined another mommy/baby fitness class (salsa) that I haven't started yet - it begins on Thursday and it's an hour away.  I joined with the same friend who comes to my neck of the woods once a week for the other classes we are doing.  This is out of my comfort zone for two reasons - the obvious one is attending and trying a new class, but also the fact that it is so far away.  I usually don't venture too far out of my bubble.  I'll be able to walk around after each class and explore a new city, so that'll be fun, and an added bonus.
3. I started going to a chiropractor for my achy back.  This is big for me - I don't like to be touched by strangers.  So yea, this is huge
4.  I went to the dentist.  After 9 years.  Yes you read that right. No cavities, just tartar build up so I have to go back to have them freeze me and do a cleaning that will take an hour.  I'm going back May 1st.  I'm afraid of the dentist (hence the 9 year hiatus) so this qualifies as being outside of my comfort zone.

13. Do back exercises daily - 5 out of 11 days, not too bad

14. Workout for a minimum of 20 minutes daily - 7 out of 11 days, not terrible

15. Go on the treadmill for a minimum of 20 minutes daily - 5 out of 11 days, not too bad

And some pics to end the post...

We celebrated 10 years this week!

What a handsome guy

Our beauties







That's it, that's all!  Enjoy your week!