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Drea0208

Drea0208

In a small nutshell: Loving wife and mommy, training in Kenpo Karate, food enthusiast, an original Boondock Bettie, designer shoe and handbag addict, proud member of the Republican National Committee, bookworm, NY Yankees fan, and soon-to-be-Southern-resident

Home page: http://www.facebook.com/andrea.dotterer#!/andrea.dotterer

AIM: belle2999

Posts by Drea0208

SuperMegaFest Shirts

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As most of you already know, we are going to have Boondock Bettie tank tops/t-shirts made for us to wear to SuperMegaFest that is being held November 19-20th in Framingham, Mass (Boston area).

I have created a sample of what it is going to look like and so far everyone seems on board with the design logo (courtesy of Melissa) and lettering.  I have been trying to figure out an easy way to order these for everyone and I just think if I order all of them myself, it may get a bit crazy with trying to get people to send me the money, etc.  I was going to set up a “Bettie Account” for everyone to use but then realized that would not be a good idea with everyone’s credit cards stored in the same spot.  Therefore, I came to the conclusion we can do this one of two ways:

Option 1: Create an account on www.customizedgirl.com and design it yourself.  Most of it is self-explanatory but you will need to have a picture of the logo and know what font/color to use for the lettering.  I will put instructions below.  The only thing I ask if you are going to wear this to MegaFest I’d like the shirt itself be black so we will all have the same color and be able to stand out as a group.

Option 2:  Create an account on www.customizedgirl.com and send me your login information so I can design the shirt of your choice.  Then after I am done of course, you can change your password and order it yourself.

If you aren’t going to MegaFest, you are still more than welcome to buy a shirt, and obviously those who are going are not obligated to buy one.  I just thought it would be something fun for us to do.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR OPTION 1: (all lettering is in SILVER)
1. Choose the type of shirt you would like (tee, tank, etc) then the color black
2. Front of shirt:  Line one: Boondock;  Line two: Betties;   Font=”Beyond Sky”; Font size=30
3. Click “upload image” to upload the logo from your computer to the shirt. (Logo is the Boondock Betties’ Facebook avatar)
4. Back of shirt: Line one: WE BACK UP (font size 16); Line two: OUR (font size 19); Line three: SAINTS! (font size 23);   Font style for all lettering on back= “Storybook”
If you need to, please save a copy of the sample I put up on the Betties’ Facebook page to use as a guide to make sure you get the correct spacing for the letters and where the logo will go.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me on Facebook or Twitter (Drea0208) or you can email me at drea0124@gmail.com

Thank you!!!!! xoxoxoxo
Love, Andrea

Fettuccine Rigate con Turchia e Pomodori

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Fettuccine Rigate con Turchia e Pomodori
(fettuccine rigate with turkey and tomatoes)

Ingredients

1 lb fettuccine rigate (fettuccine w/lines)
1lb ground turkey breast
4 large Roma (a.k.a. plum) tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
Extra virgin olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese
4 leaves fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Handful fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
Few dashes of salt/pepper
Crushed hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Method

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.  Cook fettuccine as directed on package.  In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until somewhat translucent, about 3 minutes.  Next add the ground turkey and salt/pepper, break up turkey as small as you can and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Then add the tomatoes and garlic and combine.  After about 2 minutes, add the chicken stock.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and let simmer for about 5 minutes or until tomatoes and stock are cooked down.  Once fettuccine is finished, drain and add to the mixture.  Toss with basil, parsley, grated cheese, and crushed hot red pepper.  Serve.

Quick and Easy Pasta Sauces

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Easy Marinara Sauce

 1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 28 oz can of ground peeled tomatoes (Pastene brand is the best)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup red wine
Olive oil

 In a large sauce pan, sauté onions in a few tablespoons of olive oil, until translucent.  Add tomatoes, garlic, wine, salt and pepper.  Simmer for about 15-20 minutes on medium low heat. 

 Tips: you may add fresh or dried basil. Dried herbs are stronger than fresh so if you prefer to use dried, use less.  For example, if you use 3 fresh basil leaves, use about 1 teaspoon of dried.

 You can also double or even triple this batch (two or three cans of tomatoes, another couple of garlic cloves, etc) and pour into some freezer-safe containers for later use. 

 Basic White Cream Sauce

 1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
2 cups of milk
Cheese (see below for details)

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Once butter is completely melted, add in the flour.  Whisk together for about 2 minutes until combined.  Then add the milk and drop heat down to medium low.  Continue to whisk until sauce begins to thicken.  This will happen when sauce comes to a small boil.  At this point, you can add your cheese.  If making a cheese sauce for baked macaroni and cheese, you would use any kind of shredded cheese you like.  For an “Alfredo” sauce, you would use a cup of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.  You could even use pepper jack or a Mexican blend for chili mac or any food of that type.

 Tip: Butter and flour cooked together this way create a roux which acts as a thickening agent for the milk.

 Garlic and Olive Oil

Once pasta is done cooking, add a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 4 or 5 cloves of minced garlic, freshly ground black pepper, and some grated cheese.  Toss and serve.  You can also add some crushed red pepper if you like heat.  I also like to finish this off with some chopped fresh parsley.

 Tip: if you prefer more of a subtle garlic flavor, sauté the garlic in the olive oil first, on low heat for about 5 minutes, then toss with the pasta.   Please see my Misc Tips section of the Kitchen Tips post for the proper way to cook garlic!

Presto Basil Pesto

If you don’t want to spend the extra time using a food processor (or if you don’t own one) to make traditional pesto sauce then this pesto recipe is the way to go.

1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 cup pine nuts
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt/fresh ground black pepper

In a skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over low heat.  Add garlic and sauté for about 2 min then remove from heat.  In a small sauté pan, toast the pine nuts over medium low heat until golden, about 3 minutes.  Do not leave unattended as the oils in the nuts will cause them to burn.  Add the garlic/olive oil and pine nuts to your cooked pasta.  Then toss in the fresh basil, parm cheese, salt/black pepper.  Serve.

Kitchen Tips

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As promised!   And I will have more in the future!

You walk into your kitchen in the hopes of cooking something to satisfy your raging appetite only to find you are not in possession of the proper equipment.  It’s at this point where you slam the cabinet doors shut and whip out those take-out menus with reckless abandon.  Yet again, you are forced to choose between the fatty, sodium-laden Chinese and the greasy pizza. An hour later you hate yourself.  Sound familiar?  While in moderation, these foods aren’t so bad, but when you make them a regular part of your diet, well, you know the rest….Preparing home cooked meals should be a healthy, positive experience. You have total control over your portion sizes and the quality of ingredients going into each meal plus you will save a lot of money by cutting back on that take-out.  It brings families closer together, gives you a chance to be creative, and it’s a way for you single guys and gals to impress your dates.  Ever hear the saying “the way to a man’s (or woman’s) heart is through their stomach”?  There is actually truth to that!  Now here are some tips to get you started….

 

 I Build Your Pantry:

Always try to keep the basics on hand.  Stock up on your big shopping day so you won’t be running to the store every night after work for them. These items have a pretty good shelf life (in cabinet or fridge) and allow you create some quick “go-to” meals when you are tired, sick, or just thinking last-minute. 

Examples of basic items

Canned beans, fish, tomatoes
Canned veggies such as olives, artichokes, roasted red peppers
Pastas
Olive oil (regular and extra virgin)
Vinegar (red wine/balsamic/cider)
REAL grated parm and/or pecorino romano cheeses (the one in the green can is a NO-NO!)
Brown rice
Whole wheat couscous
Boxes of all natural stocks (chicken/beef/veggie, etc)


Spices (in addition to salt and pepper)

Red pepper flakes
Cumin
Chili powder
An all-purpose grill seasoning
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Goya Adobo (great on meats and in soups)

Again, these are just examples.  You can stock your pantry with items that you like.  And this way when a recipe you want to make requires fresh ingredients, you only have to stop at the store to pick up those few items- the rest will be waiting for you at home!

 

II Meats Aplenty:

When the grocery store offers specials on your favorite meats, plan on buying a few packages.  When you get home, divide them up in smaller portions and freeze.  I tend to do this with the big packages of the boneless chicken thighs.  Like all less expensive cuts of meat, they always seem to be on sale so I buy two, divide them up into 4 counts, and freeze.  I’ve also done this with pork chops and sausage.  If the more expensive meats (think sirloin tips, pork loin, beef tenderloin, and boneless chicken breasts) are available this way, take advantage of them as well!

 

III Own the Proper Tools

None of the above would be possible without the proper tools.  Here is a list of basic equipment everyone should have in their kitchens.


Cookware

9 or 10-inch skillet or sauté pan
4 or 5-quart pot
Baking or roasting pan

You can also add an extra sauté pan, a 1 or 2-quart saucepan and even a larger 8 or 10-quart stockpot.

Choose stainless steel or thick aluminum as they conduct heat more evenly.  Teflon/non-stick cookware is usually necessary only for sautéing.


Knives
 
At least one good high-quality sharp knife.  My favorite brand is J.A. Henckels. 

Cutting Boards

One good wooden or bamboo board (never put these in dishwasher and always dry thoroughly to avoid warping)
Plastic/acrylic boards in assorted colors. Use each color for a specific food type so as to reduce the threat of cross contamination. (For example: Green-fruits/veggies, Red-meats)
Utensils

Spatula
Tongs
Vegetable peeler
Slotted spoon
Soup ladle
Assorted wooden spoons
Can opener 

Measuring

One 2-cup glass Pyrex measuring cup
A set of measuring spoons

 

Misc Tips:

 * Never burn your garlic.  If you do, it will become bitter, ruin your meal, and you’ll have to start over.  When cooking garlic alone, keep on low heat.  When combined with other ingredients, add it toward the end of the cooking process (if possible).

 * To extend the shelf life of nuts/seeds like pine nuts, almonds, walnuts, and sesame seeds, store in the freezer.  The natural oils in these products will turn rancid over time if kept in room-temperature storage.

 * Because brown rice can be a bit bland, try toasting it in a little butter for a few minutes on low heat, then add your liquid.

 * Boneless, skinless chicken tenders are cheaper than the breasts and are also much easier and quicker to chop into bit-sized pieces.  If you prefer darker meat, use the boneless thighs as mentioned above.  Can’t decide?  Use both!

 *Try to use fresh herbs whenever possible- especially basil, rosemary, thyme, flat leaf (Italian)parsley, sage, and mint.  It makes such a difference in flavor.   Storing them is easy.  When you get home from the store, wash and dry thoroughly then wrap in damp paper towels and place in ziploc bags.  They will stay fresh for several days.  You can also freeze herbs, whole or chopped without blanching. 

Stay Tuned!

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In a bit I am going to be posting some tips/tricks/suggestions to make your lives a little easier in the kitchen.  From quick sauces to common pantry items to simple tools… with these little helpers, I am hoping all of you out there who feel they are “culinary challenged” will feel somewhat confident about getting in that kitchen and cooking!

Shrimp Scampi Florentine

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Shrimp Scampi Florentine

 

Ingredients

1 lb fettucini
1 lb medium shrimp
1 bag of fresh spinach (regular or baby)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
 Extra virgin olive oil
Salt/pepper
Pecorino romano cheese (optional)
Crushed red pepper (optional)

 

Method

In a large pot, bring 6 cups of water to a boil.  Cook fettucini as directed on box.  In the meantime, add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium low.  Add garlic and saute for about 2-3 minutes- DO NOT BURN.  Turn heat up to medium and add the wine and lemon juice.  Once the liquid is reduced a little bit (about 3 minutes), then add the shrimp, salt and pepper.  The shrimp cook fast, about 2-3 minutes or until pink.  Reduce heat to medium low then add the spinach.  Mix until spinach starts to cook down.  Add fettucini to the skillet and toss.  Top with grated pecorino romano cheese and crushed red pepper.

Chicken, Broccoli and Feta Pasta

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Chicken, Broccoli and Feta Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb spaghetti
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 head of broccoli, coursely chopped and steamed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup feta cheese
½ cup white wine
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt/pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Method

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot.  Cook spaghetti as directed on box.  In the meantime, heat about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, then add chicken.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and garlic.  Reduce heat to medium low, add the white wine and let cook for another 5 minutes.   Drain spaghetti thoroughly and toss with the broccoli/chicken mixture.  Add feta cheese and crushed red pepper and serve.

Balsamic Glazed Pine Nuts Chicken

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Balsamic Glazed Pine Nuts Chicken

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup pine nuts
4 fresh basil leaves, coursely chopped
½ cup balsamic Cream (or 1 cup of balsamic vinegar, reduced to half**)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt/pepper

 This is the balsamic cream I used- it can be found in the Italian section of your ethnic food aisle.  If you can’t find it, use the balsamic vinegar as directed below:

 ** Pour the cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan.  Simmer on medium low (stirring frequently) until slightly thickened and reduced to about half.

 

Method

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Salt and pepper each chicken breast then add to pan.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side. 

Add pine nuts and let toast for about 2 minutes.  Add garlic, then top each breast with the balsamic cream.  Let cook another 5 minutes on medium low, until chicken is cooked through (all pink is gone and juices run clear).  Top with the fresh basil and serve.

I served this with a simple tomato salad (tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper) and my mom’s orzo pasta salad (orzo pasta, feta, grilled veggies, fresh mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper)

Yummy Coconut Cupcakes

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Coconut Cupcakes

Coconut Cupcakes

 1/2 cup softened butter
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. coconut extract
1 cup shredded coconut
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Yield: 12 cupcakes.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla and coconut extracts.

In a separate bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture; stir in milk.  Fold in coconut.

Pour about two tablespoons of the batter in a lined cupcake baking pan.  Bake 18-24 minutes.  Allow to completely cool before frosting.

 Coconut Buttercream Frosting

1 box confectioners sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp coconut extract
1 ½ cups shredded coconut (1 cup for frosting, ½ cup to toast)
2 tablespoons milk

Combine butter and sugar.  Then add coconut extract and milk.  Mix until creamy.  Fold in coconut flakes.  Toast the remaining ½ cup of coconut flakes over low heat until slightly browned.  Frost cupcakes then top each one with a few sprinkles of the toasted coconut flakes.

“Churkey” Pesto Sausage with Butternut Sundried Tomato Couscous and Garlic Haricot Verts

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Churkey” Pesto Sausage w/Butternut Sundried Tomato Couscous and Garlic Haricot Verts

Haricot Verts are french green beans- because, well, they’re cultivated in France.  Trader Joe’s sells them frozen but if you cannot find them just use regular green beans. 
Now, I can’t take credit for the sausage as it’s already prepared by the wonderful Trader Joe’s grocery store.  However, I thought I’d personalize the dish with a catchy little name.  Catchy, goofy, dorky, whatever you feel appropriate, just know that this is a dish you’ll be quite fond of!

“Churkey” Pesto Sausage:

 1 package of the (Trader Joe’s) Sweet Basil Pesto Smoked Chicken & Turkey Sausage

 Butterfly each one and pan fry (or grill) for about 3-4 min per side.  These are fully cooked so they just need to be warmed through and browned.  Set aside.

 Butternut Sundried Tomato Couscous:

 ½ cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
Whole wheat couscous (for 2-3 ppl I use 1 cup water and 1 cup couscous)
Sundried tomatoes in olive oil, sliced in thin strips (I get mine at Trader Joe’s- they’re already julienned)
Salt/pepper

 In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil, butter, salt/pepper over medium low.  Once butter is melted and combined with the olive oil, add the pine nuts and let toast until light brown.  Don’t leave unattended as these nuts will brown pretty quickly and you don’t want to burn them.  Once they are browned, add the water and bring to a boil.  Then add the couscous, turn off the heat and cover.  Just before you are ready to serve dinner, fluff it with a fork then top each serving with about a tablespoon of the sundried tomatoes.

 
Garlic Haricot Verts:

 1 package of Haricot Verts (or regular green beans), frozen or fresh.  Keep in mind fresh will take a bit longer to cook. 
3 cloves of garlic, minced (use less if you don’t like it too strong)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt/pepper

 In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil (if you pan fried the sausage, you can use that same pan, just add only a teaspoon more olive oil).  Add beans and sauté for about 5-7 minutes.  Then add the garlic, salt/pepper and sauté for another 2 minutes.  Depending on how you like your beans- continue cooking for another few minutes if you prefer them softer.

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