365 Day Photo Challenge- Day 23

cooking, food, photography

So I love to cook.  I’m also a sucker for a one-pot meal, especially if it’s really really good.  And this one is, so I’ve included the recipe (at the bottom) I use and step-by-step instructions for your eating enjoyment!  A big thank you to my hubby who actually found the original recipe on a Disney site to make for family dinner one night when he was in charge.  Shortly after he made it the first time, the site was revamped and the recipe disappeared, so I’ve created a version that’s almost identical.  We make it at least once every 2 weeks.  Apologies to any hard core Italian folks out there who don’t like the idea of cooking pasta in the sauce!  But this is so simple and good, and the dishes are minimal so it really is perfect for a quick weeknight meal.

Nikon D5100, 50mm f1.8 lens, f 2.5, ISO 2000

The finished product, about to be eaten by me!

The finished product, about to be eaten by me!

Step by step:

The Ingredients:

These are my favorites, but any brands will work.  The taste of the finished product will depend on the quality of your ingredients.

These are my favorites, but any brands will work. The taste of the finished product will depend on the quality of your ingredients.

Into the Pot:

Brown your meat.  We use spicy Italian sausage because we like a little kick, but it's equally good with beef.

Brown your meat. We use spicy Italian sausage because we like a little kick, but it’s equally good with beef.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Add the rest of the ingredients.

Almost done- it looks a little soupy, but it thickens upon standing.  Test the pasta as you get close on time, if it's still firm and the liquid is almost gone, don't be afraid to add more water.

Almost done- it looks a little soupy, but it thickens upon standing. Test the pasta as you get close on time, if it’s still firm and the liquid is almost gone, don’t be afraid to add more water.

Ready to Eat!

Top with the fresh parm.  Grate your own, it really is better!

Top with the fresh parm. Grate your own, it really is better!

This is all my family of 4 (2 grown ups and 2 littles) usually has over.

Perfect for tomorrow's lunch!

Perfect for tomorrow’s lunch!

Super Easy One Pot Spaghetti

Serves 4 (or two grown ups and 2 kids with leftovers)

Ingredients:

1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef or Italian Sausage
1 25.5 oz  Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
2.5 Cups Water
2 Cups Chopped Fresh Spinach
1 tsp White Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 lb Thin Spaghetti or Angel Hair

Freshly Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

In a 6 quart or larger pot, brown your meat over medium high heat.  When it’s thoroughly cooked, add the sauce, water, spinach, sugar, and salt. Give it a stir just to combine.  Break your pasta into thirds and add to the pot.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent sticking to the bottom.  Once it’s boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook stirring occasionally until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.  Serve garnished with the freshly grated parm.

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365 Day Photo Challenge- Day 15

cooking, food, photography

This was dinner- Roasted Beet Salad with Chicken and Feta.  Yum.  I make this a lot during the winter, it’s also really good with some apples thrown in, and goat cheese in place of the feta.  But the beets are the best part, it doesn’t really matter what you put with it!

Nikon D5100, 50mm f1.8 lens, f 2.5, ISO 1600

Greens are tossed with a simple vinaigrette, then topped with beets, chicken and feta.

Greens are tossed with a simple vinaigrette, then topped with beets, chicken and feta.

Nikon D5100, 50mm f1.8, f 1.8, ISO 1600

The beets are the thing!

The beets are the thing!

365 Day Photo Challenge- Day 12

food, outdoors, photography

Beautiful day today, and I actually took the camera outside to take a couple shots while the sun was shining this afternoon.  Amazing what a difference a little sunshine makes- mainly in my attitude!  Also, I made some delicious homemade Pho for dinner tonight with supplies from our local H-mart (which is super fun if you enjoy Asian or Latin foods, you should totally check it out) so there’s one really pretty picture of that too.  Enjoy!

Nikon D5100, 50mm f1.8 lens, f 2.5, ISO 400

Spring among the winter

Signs of spring….a bit early but no one told my strawberries! I hope they don’t freeze!

Nikon D5100, 50mm f1.8 lens, f 2.5, ISO 400

Garden Stones

In my little backyard garden are a couple stepping stones made for me as gifts. Before the girl came along, these are my first baby’s hands and feet.

Nikon D5100, 50mm f1.8 lens, f 2.5, ISO 1600

Yummy in the tummy!

Homemade Pho in a homemade bowl.