Paige Approved: Portobello Bolognese Sauce

With fall quickly approaching, Kyle (my boyfriend) and I have decided to bust out our fancy new CROCK-POT slow cooker cook book and start trying out some tasty new recipes! Since Kyle and I are kind of pasta junkies, we thought we would try the Portobello Bolognese Sauce to start.

This recipe is very simple and can be easily altered to suit your taste buds, it’s also completely vegetarian—so if you decide you just can’t live without a little meat in your life, add some chicken or beef to the mix!

Portobello-bolognese-sauce

PREP: 25 min | TOTAL: low 5-6 hours | high 2.5-3

Recipe yields four servings.

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (3 or 4 large) portobello mushrooms
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar (24 to 26 ounces) spicy pasta sauce
    *If you don’t have spicy pasta sauce, use plain pasta sauce and add crushed red chillies for some heat!
  • 1 cup thinly sliced (medallion style) carrots
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 ounces thin spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
  • salt and pepper taste

Coat the inside of your slow cooker with a light layer of butter or cooking spray.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook until mushrooms have released their liquid and their liquid has thickened slightly (about 6 minutes).

Combine mushroom mixture, pasta sauce, carrots, basil (reserve a small amount as a topper at the end) and tomato paste in slow cooker; mix well.

Cover; cook on either low (5-6 hours) or high (2.5-3 hours) setting or until sauce has thickened and carrots are tender.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and top with your freshly prepared Portobello Bolognese sauce, cheese and basil.

Enjoy!

Recipe from CROCK-POT The Original Slow Cooker, Print Edition 2013.

Paige Approved: Honey Sesame Chicken, Crock Pot Edition

Asian-inspired cuisine is at the top of my awesome food list and I intend on learning how to cook a lot more of it. This recipe is one of my favourites. It’s a simple dish that can be prepared in advance, which is handy for those days that you just know you won’t be up for cooking when you get home from work, the gym or wherever!

I’ve made some slight alterations to the original recipe and am at a point where I feel as though I’ve perfected it. I use a little bit more garlic in my cooking than most people as I just can’t get enough of the stuff, however, if you’re not as big as a fan as me, two cloves should do the trick.

honey-sesame-chicken-crock pot

PREP: 20 min | TOTAL: 2-4 hours
Recipe yields four servings.

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive or sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • sesame seeds
  • 3 scallions, chopped

Place chicken in crock pot and lightly season both sides with salt and pepper.

Combine onion, garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oil and red pepper flakes. Blend together and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.

Remove chicken to cutting board and shred into bite sized pieces using two forks; set aside.

Scoop out one cup of sauce and blend with cornstarch until fully dissolved, pour back into crock pot and stir. Add chicken back to crockpot and stir to coat, return lid and cook on high for 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened.

Serve over cooked rice. Sprinkle with chopped scallions and sesame seeds to finish.

Bon appetite my friends!

Paige Approved: Garlicky Chicken Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula

garlicy-chicken-pastaPREP: 10 min | TOTAL: 25 min
Recipe yields four servings.

  • 450-g pkg linguini or orecchiette
  • 1/3 c. garlic butter (I made mine using unsalted butter, 5 cloves of garlic, minced, 1/4 tsp fresh basil, finely chopped, and 1/4 tsp dried thyme)
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatos, halved
  • 2 c. packed arugula
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, following package directions, until al dante, 7 to 8 min. Drain and return to pot.

Melt 1 tbsp garlic butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, 2 to 3 min. Add remaining garlic butter and tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until tomatoes soften, 3 to 4 min. Transfer chicken, tomatoes and liquid into pasta pot. Stir in arugula, salt and pepper.

Recipe from Chatelaine Magazine, Print Edition, April 2013.

A Positive Approach

Dear readers, I must confess—I have been slacking lately in the blogging world and for that I apologize.

You see, the past couple of weeks have been extremely fulfilling, opening my eyes to some new and exciting opportunities ahead of me. I have been busy putting together a collection of my writing, editing, photography, videography and more— a sort of showcase to potential employers. It has kept me busy and also gave me the drive to revamp my resume and even my hard copy portfolio—almost everything ended up getting a makeover.

Anyways, I have been thinking about the different aspects of life and have come to the conclusion that I have gotten way too far ahead of myself, thus making my accomplishments feel less important than they actually are.

But since I am generally a positive person, I need to hop back on that bandwagon and spread the positivity around. The idea is, if I write these things down I will be much more likely to hold myself accountable for them.

Giving myself credit when credit is due

This is something I have spent the past year plus battling. I figured I would graduate from college and land a job after a month—even though subconsciously I knew this was not the case, I let myself believe it was. Since then, I have spent the past little while kicking myself in the butt for not landing my dream job two weeks after graduation. This is unacceptable. Not only did I choose a particularly difficult career, it is one that is built on past experience. Instead of getting down about my lack of experience, I am teaching myself to appreciate the experience of building a portfolio. I should be proud; I should be excited with myself for achieving such excellent experience in such little time.

Kindness toward others
I know I am not the only culprit of lack of credit when credit is due. I have always tried to be nice to each and every person I encounter. My reason for this is simple—I expect the same treatment from others. Even though my acts of kindness aren’t always reciprocated—they’re appreciated, I know they are. Always try to be pleasant with the people that surround you, that kind of positivity brings good luck to all and when you forget that you only end up hurting the ones you love.

Paying it forward

I feel like I don’t do enough favours for others. Giving money to the homeless only gets you so far in this department. It’s not that I don’t try to do the right thing—I find myself using the excuse that I don’t have the time. Now I have the time—all the time in the world. Being involved in charity is an excellent feeling and that’s how I’m paying it forward this holiday season.

Appreciate everything
Seriously—every little thing. It is so important, incredibly important! This is the most important thing you can ever do. You never know how long something or someone will be around—always appreciate things while they lasts because once something is gone, it’s too late to appreciate.

This list is never ending; I plan on updating it whenever I think of something to add.

Horoscopes – Monday, October 22, 2012

Zodiac Sign: Capricorn | © Yuhon

Capricorn: December 22 – January 19
Today is the day for travel. Whether it’s a trip to the mall or planning your next tropical destination, exploration is in your blood.

Aquarius: January 20 – February 18
Guard your finances. Today is not the day to splurge on unnecessary objects. Save that extra fifty dollars for a rainy day, you won’t regret it.

Pisces: February 19 – March 20
You have some tough decisions ahead of you. Take some time to think about your goals and ambitions before making any rash decisions; your energy is perfect for doing the right thing.

Aries: March 21 – April 19
Your powerful emotions tend to take charge when it comes to making tough decisions. Try not to over-think every tiny detail–it will only hold you back.

Taurus: April 20 – May 20
The weight of the world may seem like it’s on your shoulders today. Hold off on any hasty decision-making, today is not the day for rash changes.

Gemini: May 21 – June 20
Charge at any excellent opportunities that may arise. Now is the perfect time to take a leap of faith­–your energy levels are high and your mental alertness is ideal for quick thinking.

Cancer: June 21 – July 22
You are in charge of your own life and don’t you forget it! Take heed of any obstacles that may stand in the way of a particularity hefty decision–it may be a good indication of the end result.

Leo: July 23 – August 22
Magic is in the air. Something is telling you to make some changes and that’s exactly what you’re going to do. Today is your day.

Virgo: August 23– September 22
Judgment is upon you. Try to avoid putting yourself in any sticky situations today, your sharp tongue and harsh words have great potential to get you in to trouble.

Libra: September 23 – October 22
Today could be an excellent opportunity to make some extra cash. Your positive energy and wise decision-making abilities could lead you to the ideal solution to solving your financial woes.

Scorpio: October 23 – November 21
Loved ones may get on your nerves today. Avoid saying anything that could cause hurt feelings–often times we say the most unnecessary things when our energies are out of whack.

Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21
Be patient. Good things come to those who wait. Things may seem particularly challenging right now but with a little effort, everything will fall in to place.

Addicted to pinning!

Pintrest is an incredible thing.

Honestly, I have only had it for a couple of months now and I have simply fallen in love, I can’t get enough of it! I am constantly pinning things now and it makes me want to congratulate the person who came up with such a brilliant idea.

Whether you’re just searching for things at random or you’re looking for something specific, you will find hundreds of fantastic ideas that will lead you to wonderful blogs and sits all over the web. Seriously, I am in love with Pinterest.

For my halloween party this year, ever decoration and dessert will be made from scratch due to my new found inspiration for DIY crafts!

Happy Pinning!!

Source: scrambledhenfruit.blogspot.com via Paige on Pinterest

Next time, it’s your butt.

Flicking a cigarette in someone’s face is a serious insult, anyone who may have had this happen, I’m sorry that person was a disgusting jerk.

Since starting an internship in Toronto I have done a fair amount of commuting and walking to and from the train station. This has allowed me to witness a great deal of situations that I find totally annoying and often times I’ve wondered why some people even bother to leave the house.

Today however, I encountered the most repulsive situation to date. I left work and began my usual jaunt back to the train station, ear buds in, grooving to some Death from Above 1979.

As I was walking I noticed a grubby looking man walking towards me with an intense scowl on his face, glaring in my direction. I continued to walk and as I did, he removed the cigarette he was smoking from his mouth and flicked it straight in my face.

Immediately I turned and asked what his problem was, he continued to walk away and as he did so he yelled “you deserve it you f****** b****.”

I was quite offended. This man was a complete stranger and I was minding my own business when this all went down. What is wrong with people?

There was no point in stopping to cause a scene and I knew it would escalate into something much worse if I carried things on any further.

Truthfully, I’m surprised I controlled myself so well. Next time I think I would pick up the butt, run over, tap the person on the shoulder, flick it in their face and say “Hey a******, I think you dropped something!”

Needless to say I am quite disgusted. I have encountered many – errrr – lets say, ‘interesting’ folks whom are in need of some serious help.

Do you have an interesting story about an awful person you’ve encountered? I’d love to hear it!!!