Tuesday, January 17, 2012

orzo salad with roasted veggies & feta

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a nice weekend and MLK day. We had a very nice weekend of nothing at all. Just cleaning and relaxing. Oh and I finished the first book in the Hunger Games series. I LOVED it and can't wait to start the second book tonight!

I saw this recipe on a blog I was reading a while back (can't remember which one) and decided to look up the recipe and try it. This is an Ina Garten recipe and I just altered a few things. A lot of her recipes are a bit complex but this one was quite simple and delicious! Also, I doubled the recipe so I would have enough to take for a few lunches this week. You can find the original recipe here.

1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound orzo pasta

For the dressing:
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Feta Cheese, 1/2-inch diced (as much or as little as you want)
fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

*I kept these toppings chopped and in containers in the fridge to add to the pasta each time we ate some so they would not get soggy from the dressing.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables (I reserved a little dressing to add later to freshen it up). Let cool to room temperature, then add the feta and basil. Serve at room temperature or serve cold the next day.

I forgot to take a picture of the pasta after it was finished so I found one online...



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

{ 19.99 }

you're welcome


I have been putting off writing a resolutions post because I know how I am with resolutions. I don’t really stick to them. At least not all of them. I was reading Liz's (she is great, if you don'f follow her, you should!) blog this morning and got inspired by her monthly “goals” for 2012 and thought this was a great alternative to traditional resolutions. So here’s my plan:

January: might as well get this one out of the way. Work out 3-4 days a week. I have been doing this anyway for approx. the last 6 months, give or take a few weeks. I just want to maintain and also be realistic. There are just some weeks where we have other stuff going on. Life happens. Exercise is not just about having a great body. It’s good for the mind. In fact, that’s really the main reason I do it. It helps me to stay sane. The other benefits are just an added bonus!

February: Start a real savings plan. Because of student loans and not so smart financial decisions while in my early 20’s I have not been able to do much saving but now I am in a place where I can and I plan on 2012 being the year I got my finances in order! One thing I want to save for is my first DSLR (see November).

March: This one is about being healthy and saving money. Cook a fresh and healthy dinner at least 5 nights a week (enough for us both to take leftovers for lunch the next day). I have been good about cooking dinner at home vs. eating out since I moved to Raleigh last year but I want to be better about what I cook.

April: Step away from my phone/computer and get outside. It starts to warm up towards the end of March in North Carolina and it’s the perfect time to get outside. Sayer bought me a bike last year for my birthday and I am ashamed to say I have only ridden it a handful of times. In March I want to change that!

May: Drink more water. Simple.

June: Volunteer for a non-profit organization. This one is going to take some research but it’s something I have wanted to do for a while. Any suggestions?

July: Get organized! In every area of my life possible.

August: Plan a trip. Sayer pretty much plans most of our travels but I would like to plan something for us and fund it completely on my own.

September: Celebrate our first year of marriage.

October: Plan and host a fall themed get together with friends. Pumpkins, beer, good friends and food. Sounds fun, right?

November: Purchase my first “real” camera. I have been doing lots of research on cameras for the last few months and I have it narrowed down to a few but I am open for any suggestions on what a good starter DSLR is. This is something I have wanted for quite some time now and I think it’s time I reward myself. Plus a camera is a gift that keeps on giving.

December: Start a new holiday tradition (stole this one from Liz because it’s a great idea!)

Happy New Year!! (just a few weeks late)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

a few randoms

  • I have had my radio tuned to the classical station for three weeks now. After Christmas music went off I just could not go back to regular music. Is that weird? whatever.
  • I plan to start a regular "wedding Wednesday's" post soon so I can share some of our beautiful wedding images from Whitney Photography. I cant believe it has almost been 4 months since our wedding. Time flies!
  • Sayer and I bought a new couch for our future home this weekend from Crate and Barrel. It is hanging out by the front door of our apartment right now, wrapped in shrink wrap and packing foam. I like to stare at it a lot, even though I can't see anything but plastic.
  • speaking of our new couch. I am on the hunt for some pretty new pillows for it. Here a few of my favs. Not all together, of course.

1. 2. 3. 4.(unknown) 5. 6.

We have some exciting things going on at the Nixon household right now that I can't share just yet but stay tuned. Lots of exciting changes coming!

Hope everyone is having a great week so far. Looking forward to a three day weekend coming up!