Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cowgirl Cuisine - Greek Pasta

As I gaze out of my kitchen window, I’m not sure we’ll be breaking out our grills anytime soon, or ever!  But until then, we have a few more opportunities to eat some warm and comforting dishes like Greek Pasta. 

I love that this dinner is loaded with fresh spinach, and you can control the amount of feta that you use, making it healthier than lasagna or other cheesy pasta dishes. 

Greek Pasta
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
½ c. dry red wine (not optional - lol!)
8 oz. penne pasta
A few handfuls of fresh spinach
Crumbled feta
2 tbls. Parmesan cheese


Brown ground beef and onion.  Drain well.   Add spices, tomato sauce and wine to beef mixture and simmer over low heat. 

Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.  Stir pasta and fresh spinach into beef mixture.  Simmer until spinach wilts.  Add crumbled feta to taste.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Serve with crusty bread and Opa!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Keeping it Cozy

Today’s forecast…frigid!  And, spring seems a million years from now.  But don’t lose heart.  Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your home has to be on the inside.  Here are some tricks to cozy up your abode and bridge that gap between holiday and spring decorating.

Add some green.  A few new houseplants, moss-covered wreaths, and boxwood topiaries - preserved or faux - will fill the void left after the Christmas tree and garlands have been packed away. 

A twiggy moss wreath livens up a hallway mirror.

Light some candles.  The soft glow of candlelight warms up any room. 
If you’re leery about using real candles, the flameless, battery-operated versions work wonderfully.  They’re widely available, and many even come with timers and remotes.

Candles and fresh flowers perk up a coffee table.
Change your accent pillows, or just buy covers to freshen your current pillows. Try a vibrant new color or pattern.    

Fill a large basket with throw blankets, and keep it near your couch.  They’ll be handy for movie nights or just relaxing by the fire.

Boxwood topiaries in galvanized buckets rest on a burlap runner.

Treat yourself - and your home - to fresh flowers.  Fill a vase (or two) and watch your space bloom.    

Clean up the clutter.  Recycle magazines and junk mail.  Donate any clothes you haven’t worn in a while, Tidy up junk drawers, and pitch any expired foods.

It may still be frozen out there, but a few simple tweaks in your home will lift your spirits and send old man winter packing.
Have a great week!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Cosmopolitan

Its name alone denotes worldliness, sophistication and knowledge.  With all of those attributes going for it, there’s no wonder why it was Carrie Bradshaw’s libation of choice. 

The allure of the drink's rosy shade makes the Cosmopolitan the perfect cocktail to serve on Valentine’s Day while toasting your sweetheart.  

Here is how I make them.

1 ½ ounces citrus flavored vodka
½ ounce Cointreau
½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
3 ounces cranberry juice

In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and a few ice cubes.  Shake well and pour into a chilled martini glass.  Garnish with a slice of lime.  Sip and enjoy.

Happy Valentine’s Day!