Monday, March 31, 2014

Seed starters.

I can't wait any longer for Spring. Starting seeds indoors is my way of getting through the #worstwinterever.

Mom and I put them in today and already I feel just a little better about snow in the forecast four of the next seven days. (Ugh.)

We started with a potting mix with worm casings added. Peper towel and toilet paper rolls make great planters that can be transplanted right into the ground! Then of course, the seeds. We planted:

-Tomatoes, Roma and Beefsteak
-Peppers, Sweet bell and Hot mix
-Kholrabi (my favorite!)
-Sweet basil

They sit under a grow light and the magic happens!

There's more to come, but it was wine drinking time so we will leave some for tomorrow!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Photo Shoot Day.

Today's photo shoot was several hours of prep, and about 5 minutes actually getting our photo taken.

First off, there was a couple hours of figuring out what to wear. It can't be seasonal, and it really can't be a print. It has to be formal, rather than casual. My choice: Classic black.

Next, 30 minutes of hair and makeup with the ah-mazing Bonnie.fake eyelashes, lipstick, eye liner... the whole gamut.

And then to the studio for the actual photo-taking. A couple rounds of serious face. (Which I have yet to master.)

And then some smiley takes. For me it was one round with the 11am team and another with the weather crew.

And speaking of the weather crew... In case you didn't notice, we have a bit of a height difference in the group.  Jerrid is 6'5" or something like that.  And Sven and I are significantly less than that, to say the least.

The remedy is to have Sven and I stand on a crate to even out the difference. (This happens during news casts too.)

Hope you enjoy the behind the scenes looks! Let me know what else you're interested in seeing and I'll try to hook it up...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quick Lunch with Some to Spare.

It was about noon on Saturday when the hubby and I started to wonder, what's for lunch?  I'm a huge fan of going out to eat, but cooking at home is typically my vote to keep the budget in line. So we agreed on some tomato soup with, of course, grilled cheese.

The thing is... I don't do canned soup. So here's the quick and super simple bowl of tomato love that I whipped up.

In the pot goes onion, garlic, carrot and celery. If you don't have all that, put in what you do have! Throw in some fresh or dried herbs, and blend will do. I used Italian seasoning and added some crushed red pepper as well. As you will see now and in the future, I'm not big on measuring. To help the veggies soften up instead of brown I added a splash of chicken broth to the pot.

Once the veggies were soft instead of crunchy, I added two cans of diced tomatoes. The ones I had in the pantry were fire-roasted tomatoes. Okay, fine! Regular old diced tomatoes will work too. Stewed? Yes. Garlic and onion? Even better.

Simmer for a bit and whir it all together with an immersion blender. Top it with some parmesan cheese and set it aside a grilled cheese sammich. Lunch is done in less than 10 minutes.

Of course I always make a bit extra for leftovers so I don't have to buy lunch. It was a risky decision to eat it today at my desk with a white shirt on but all came out okay in the end, no spillage. Half an avocado made it into the mix for a nice addition as well. Nothing fancy, but super tasty and healthy!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fresh start.

As winter morphs into spring, there's a change here at KARE11 too!

Bryan Piatt and I will be joining Diana Pierce for KARE11 at 11am weekdays. Both Bryan and I are super excited to start this new role. We hope you tune in!

The new KARE11 at 11 team!

And by the way, Pat Evans isn't going anywhere, so don't worry. He will still be anchoring the 4pm news with Di, although he is on vacation this week. In addition, Pat will begin reporting on entertainment news here in the Twin Cities in a segment called "In the Know" so watch for that beginning next week.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dinner for One, Pumpkin Pasta

It's guys night. The golf simulator was calling. So it's dinner for one tonight. And when I'm not obligated to put meat in the meal I generally skip it. So tonight, pumpkin pasta with blue cheese sounded fab!

First off, I inherited some pie pumpkins last fall. To save time my mom and I cooked and pureed them all at once. We then separated them into plastic baggies and threw them in the freezer of they are ready to use on a night like tonight! You can totally use canned pumpkin puree. Or butternut squash puree! In fact, my original plan was to use squash, but my freezer only offered pumpkin. In general, I use the two interchangeably.

Sauce time. Heat a small drizzle of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan. Add half an onion, diced, and two cloves of garlic, minced, and cook until softened. Sprinkle in some fresh or dried herbs and a bit of crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper. If your onion starts to brown add a splash or two of chicken broth or water. Stir in the pumpkin puree and let it bubble over low heat for a few minutes. Season to taste. Done!

And this one didn't do anything to help...

Meanwhile... cook some pasta. I chose some whole wheat bowties this time around. Drain them and return to the pot. Add the sauce and stir it all up!

Dish it up, add some crumbled blue cheese, sliced almonds (or chopped walnuts) and some fresh cracked pepper. Ready to eat!

Recipe: Pumpkin Pasta
Ingredients -
1Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Butter
1/2 Medium yellow onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 Tsp Dried herbs
1/2 Tsp Crushed red pepper
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp Chicken broth, if needed
2 Cups Pumpkin puree (or butternut squash puree)

1/2 Pound Pasta, cooked according to package instructions

Crumbled Blue Cheese
Slivered almonds (or chopped walnuts)
Fresh cracked pepper

Heat oil and butter in sauce pan. Add onion, garlic, herbs, red pepper, salt and pepper and cook until onions are soft, adding broth if necessary. Add pumpkin and simmer 5 minutes over low heat. Serve over pasta. Top with cheese, nuts and pepper.

 I always make extra for leftovers!