Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Little Spring Fare

I made five pies for a fundraiser this weekend (including a chocolate chess pie), but I won't be showing you that. Let's face it, winter is mostly over and while all the snow has melted away, the fat on your ass probably hasn't. Everyone told me after the age of twenty-five your metabolism slows down, I just figured like most laws, it didn't apply to me. Twenty-five breezed by in late night burgers and ice cream and I stayed skinny as a whippet, partially because of the manic period, but mostly because of good genetics. Now that I'm twenty-six, I'm a little bit wiser and a little bit wider. As a former fat-kid this is all cause for worry. My mom warns me about the hereditary "spread" that happens to people on her side of the family; a non scientific condition in which the hips and ass spread wider than the shoulders. As many of you know, I have an ass that won't quit, but after taking a good look around at the holidays, I'm realizing my fate if I keep eating with reckless abandon. I'd rather hate my reflection for all those hateful things it said to that bus driver than its flabby butt. That's why I'm starting with me. 

My plus-one recently embarked on a #cleaneatingchallenge which was just as annoying as it sounds. I did learn something though, and that is life's too short to count calories and read labels. Eat what you want. You can trust big food companies. That's why I choose Kraft Easy Mac for my family...

Fettuccine-Stuffed Peppers 

Two things about this recipe, one - I found something very similar in this month's Living, two - I was really just looking for any justification for buying these adorable pasta nests. You can follow the instructions for the tomato sauce, but if you're really lazy the jarred shit works just as well. Stuffed peppers are a great go-to when you have to cook vegetarian. You can literally fill them with anything and it looks like you're a world class chef. The trick to professional culinary technique is filling vegetables with other vegetables. Trust me. While this dish does call for pasta, the pepper contains it to a minimum, so it's basically low-cal. You'll find you'll get more full and frustrated while trying to dissect this vessel. Half the fun is watching people struggle, but then again, that rule applies generally in life. 

you will need the following: 

for the sauce
4 tomatoes on the vine
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp Italian herb blend
2 tbsp dry vermouth
1 tsp red pepper flakes 
1 tbsp oil
salt & pepper

for the pepper
3-4 bell peppers
1 red pepper
3 button mushrooms
fettuccine noodles (nests if you've got 'em)
parmesan cheese 
salt & pepper

Step 1: This is completely optional, but well worth it. Start sauce by coring and quartering 4 tomatoes. Strain tomato innards/juice away from seeds, save the juice. In a skillet, cook sliced shallots, garlic, and herbs in oil. Add tomato pieces and juice. Cook until tender. Blend all in a food processor. Simmer 1 hour on the stove top. 

Step 2: While pasta nests boil, heat mushrooms, peppers and herbs in a bit of oil until tender. Cut the tops off your green peppers and remove innards. 

Step 3: Line a baking dish with a thin layer of oil. Start each pepper with a little sauce. Then a pasta nest, then cooked veggies, cheese and more sauce. Layer in that order until peppers are full. Bake at 350 uncovered for 20 minutes.

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