One-Pan Pasta

Hi friends!

Last week I hosted dinner club (note: I’ll share more about what this is in the future!) and made a new dish for my girlfriends to try. The best part about this recipe is that you only need one big pan to cook with. This is a major plus for me since my kitchen is … “cozy.”

Another thing I love about this recipe is that it encompasses all the main food groups – carbs, protein and vegetables – into one dish, making for a well-rounded, easy dinner option. You don’t really need a side dish or anything else if you make this. I came up with my one-pan pasta concoction with a mix of inspiration from similar pasta recipes and a little experimentation.

Ingredients:

  • salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 16 oz. chicken sausage
  • 8 oz. orecchiette pasta
  • 3 oz. baby arugula (can be substituted for baby spinach)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. Heat pan with olive oil and throw in chopped up onion, adding salt to taste. Let onions cook for a few minutes.
  2. Mash up chicken sausage and add it into the pan, mixing it with onions and olive oil.
  3. Once ingredients in the pan are incorporated and have cooked for a few minutes, add in the chicken broth.
  4. Once the broth has begun to boil mix in the pasta and let it cook for 15 minutes.
  5. As the pasta finishes cooking, lower the heat and mix in the baby arugula until it wilts.
  6. Serve and top your dish with parmesan cheese to taste.

Serves: 4            Prep Time: 10 minutes            Cook time: 25 minutes

This meal can be easily adjusted to your liking by substituting different types of pasta or greens. You can even add in chopped cherry tomatoes or pine nuts, if you’d like an extra something in there. My proportions are also heavier on the meat than the pasta, so you may want to adjust that if you’d like more pasta than meat.

In general, this recipe is pretty forgiving. Over the weekend I had some leftover ingredients and was able to easily eyeball a similar dish using baby spinach and a different type of pasta. Hopefully, if you are looking for an easy dish during the cold, wintery months ahead, you’ll find that this is an easy option to throw together a hearty meal.

Do you have similar recipes that are simple and easy to make? I’d love to hear about them if so.

Here’s to a lovely holiday week–cheers!

SC

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Florals & Flannel for Thanksgiving

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week? Where has 2016 gone?! Well if you are still contemplating what to wear for turkey day, the style you opt for may be dependent on how casual or fancy mealtime will be with your loved ones.

I am loving all things floral and flannel this fall, so I’ve picked out a few affordable pieces to give you some inspiration for your Thanksgiving look (or for what’s left of fall too!). For fancy fanfare, I’d suggest Target’s A-line dress or the plaid skirt below. More casual Thanksgiving feasts are great for scarves, or you can opt for a floral or flannel shirt with your favorite pair of boots or booties.

UO’s floral lace-up back dress, $69   Target’s watercolor fit & flare dress, $50

Madewell’s abstract floral border scarf, $45   UO’s floral burnout velvet shirt, $69

Old Navy’s classic flannel shirt, $15    Modcloth’s midi skirt, $60

 Etsy’s plaid blanket scarf, $22   Target’s plaid favorite shirt, $23

I’ll be having a more fancy Thanksgiving than usual this year so I’ll wear a floral dress with booties. For me, the best part of Thanksgiving is just being with some of my favorite people on this planet. I don’t know where I’d be with out all the support I get from my loved ones.

What do you plan to wear and what you are most looking forward to this Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear all about it.

Cheers!

SC

 

 

Finding Motivation

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? I had an action-packed three-day weekend, which included a lovely brunch, wine tasting to celebrate a good friend’s engagement, running a 10K, prepping Will’s concrete patio for paint and helping my brother move.

That said, I was struggling at the beginning of last week after daylight savings time kicked in. It was hard to find motivation to get things done once I got home after work. The whole “going home in the pitch black dark” routine was taking the wind out of my sails.


Last week, much to my surprise, there was a noticeable decline of . I realized daylight savings might be affecting other people too (or maybe it was the election aftermath!?). At any rate, I reflected on how I find motivation when it feels like it is escaping me. Here are a few things that work for me:

  1. Keep good company. If you have positive friends who are motivated to get things done, this will help you find motivation in return. It’s like the theory that you are a combination of the five people you are with the most. For me, motivation seems to be contagious. And of course, it is equally as important to be a motivator to your friends as it is to look to them for motivation.
  2. Schedule it! Calendars are my best friend when I want to get something done. Writing down an event or action item on my calendar makes me feel much more commited to it than if I just say it to myself. The best part about this method are the reminders I get, which keep my tasks front of mind so I cannot forget them and know how to build out the rest of my day.
  3. Make realistic priorities. Life can often feel like a never-ending to-do list, and I think it’s unrealistic to believe all, or even the majority of things on your list will get accomplished in a timely manner. Every couple weeks, I like to reflect on what I want to accomplish and what’s most important to me for the next month or so. Then, I put the appropriate action items and events on my calendar.

While these are the ways I have found motivation, I am sure they don’t work for everyone. If you are struggling to stay motivated or you feel like you are on a roller coaster, I’d try a few different things for a month and see what works. It’s also important to remember that it is 100% normal to feel unmotivated here and there. We are human afterall. 🙂

Over time I have found that for me, I do better with long-term goals than with short-term goals. For example, when I knew I wanted to start running more, making a goal of running X times per week didnt work. Instead, I made a goal of XX miles per month and slowly increased that number until I was satisfied with how much I was running. This was good for me because it forced me to think ahead about when I could get my running in and also meant that a busy few days or crazy week would throw me off track.

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
– Michael Jordan

I hope this sparked some ideas for you to find motivation. If you have had any similar experiences or have found totally different ways to find motivation, I’d love to hear about them.

Here’s to all of us staying motivated through the winter!

-SC