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Pesce en Pappillote

Being on a budget has been forcing me to get creative with meals, so I started watching cooking

shows, going online to find ideas and looking up budget dinners. One thing that caught my eye was

this meal that consists of basically fish and vegetables. Since the ingredients only showed me

how to make the main meal I decided to create an appetizer made from things I found around

the kitchen and also adding rice and Brussel sprouts as additives to make the meal a little more filling.

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First things first, gathering all my ingredients. For the appetizer I decided to take some english

muffins and make my own type of bruschetta.

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I wanted to make something that had as much flavoring as the original bruschetta has, but since I

 didn’t have basil to top it off with, I replaced it with jalapeno. Now, I am not the biggest

fan of the heat that the jalapeno bring to a dish, so I added some cheese on top.

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Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the edges of the english muffins have just barely browned

and the cheese has melted.

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Look at how pretty! Whenever I try to create a dish or a meal in general, my favorite rule is to use

lots of color! I love all the different colors you can find in vegetables and fruits.

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Now for the main course. The first step was to get a small bowl of Julienne carrots and Zucchini.

The first picture at the top shows that I had a cheese grater at my side. Since I don’t have

the best knives a cook could ask for, I used the grater to make the tiny pieces of vegetable,

which was so much easier! Add a little salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice and

I’ve finished the toppings.

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Pesce en Papillote is Italian for fish in paper, basically I’m just trying to sound smart

by putting the title in Italian rather than just saying it in english, plus it just sounds better!

Now the only thing that I should have done differently was to cut the fish into smaller filets

than I did with this one so it doesn’t take so long to cook. All I did was put the fish on a big square

sheet of parchment paper, add the special toppings, place some lemon slices, red wine vinegar

and a couple of sprigs of thyme on the cod

(you can really use any kind of white fish if you want).

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Start fold the parchment paper around the fish, kind of like a turnover, tightly so that

nothing can escape too easily. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes

and let it sit for a few minutes before digging in!

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Finished product! I know the picture isn’t too pleasing but I forgot to take a

picture before I started to eat it.

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and for dessert… a lovely greek yogurt parfait. YUM!

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After dinner, the dogs were so good about not begging that Maria gave them some treats

and taught them a few new tricks. I love that girl!

I know that I am not the most professional cook or the most knowledgable

but I do know that I love to cook and I am still learning a lot about food that I

didn’t know before, which is my favorite part!

Thanks to Melissa d’Arabian for my inspiration for this dinner!

Hurray for budget meals and creativity.

Thanks for reading!

CASSanova

Never stop Improving!

Happy Birthday Dad!

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This past weekend was my dad’s 47th birthday! Hip-Hop Hurray! My step mom Lacey put some wonderful flower arrangements spread all around the house, from rainbow roses to gladiolus arrangements.

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Lacey decided to make a wonderful breakfast full of her home made pancakes, waffles and her family secret healthy pancakes. Exact recipe is to be kept a secret ;-). Pictured above is a pitcure of the pancake mix before it’s ready, and is basically made of quick oatmeal, fresh fruit, vanilla, whole wheat flower, and cinnamon.

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This is the plate I made of the yummy goodness. I put one healthy pancake and half of a waffle with honey, nutella, fresh fruit and nutella. YUM!

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And the above view :-)

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Maria and I went on a wonderful dinner date this week at an awesome Indian restaurant called Copper. We started off with some Naan and three different dips. A sweet dip, yogurt dip, and a slightly spicy dip.

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Aaand….. We ate some appetizers. I had a green salad with goat cheese, bell peppers, onions, and carrots. Maria had the scallops appetizer that had some browned sesame seeds on top.

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I took the mild approach and got the chicken masala, which had a heat index of a 4 or 5, while Maria had the lamb masala that had a heat index of a 7 or 8! Crazy girl! All together the meal was delicious and I would deffinately go there again.

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Here is my unhealthy breakfast I had this morning haha. This english muffin is deffinately topped with way too much stuff, including honey, sunflower nut butter, and nutella. Yes, I am obsessed with nutella recently. I have always loved it but now I have a whole can to myself, and the people of the house of course.

This week I have ridden on my bike for over 80 miles so far and hope to get to my goal of 100 by Sunday. With all those miles ridden, I burned about 1,300 calories so far! My attempt to be healthier is on a slow but steady path, but I hope I can finally maintain the amount of fat and protein I intake.

Until next time…. Thanks for reading!

CASSanova

5 weeks, 5 goals

If you all don’t know, I am obsessed with completing “To-Do” lists and I love having goals to smash into the ground with my stubbornness. So, with that said, I am deciding that over the next 5 weeks I will complete the following goals.

Mind::

I love to read and I am trying to collect mystery novels, starting with James Patterson, John Grisham, and Sue Grafton. So far I have 26 out of 82 Patterson, 5 out of 25 Grisham, and 4 out of 20 Grafton novels. Right now I am working on reading the Patterson books and am currently reading the Alex cross series of Patterson (currently half way through Kiss the Girls). I plan to read a book a week, if not more, but deffinately a minimum of 5 books over the next five weeks. I also hope to be enrolled in at least one class this fall at the local community college, in an attempt to finally get my associates degree by the end of next summer semester.

Body::

I have been working really hard to get to the weight I am now but, of course, no one should ever stop improving. With that in mind, I hope to lose five more pounds in the next five weeks. A pound a week should be a reasonable amount to keep a steady rate and so that I can try to keep the weight off. Now that I don’t have a license for a while, I’ve been walking, riding my bike, and taking the bus for transportation so exercise won’t be hard. I’ll be getting back to the old hard working, exercising fool that I was and not be so lazy, sitting around in my spare time, except of course to read or study.

Stomach::

For the next five weeks, I hope to eat as healthy as possible. My idea of eating healthy is tons of fruit and vegetables, low carb, not a lot of meat and no added salts or sugars (meaning no sweets eekk!) Because of this I’m going to try to create five recipes for dinner to have once every week.

Heart::

Time to get creative with date nights! I am attempting to save money, even though I am having more bills now that I am in the middle of paying for the end results of my DWI, school, getting a scooter, and all the other stuff that comes with being on my own. I hope to plan 5 awesome dates with my beautiful girlfriend, and best friend, that wouldn’t totally destroy our wallets haha!

Home::

I try to think of myself as a saver, doer, and an organized/clean individual. Most of the time that isn’t the case but I still try to uphold that for myself, I mean come on I’m only human :-). But, in the spirit of bettering myself I’m hoping to keep my space clean and my bank full. So, I hope that I can save a $100 dollars a week, which will be tough for me for some reason or another. Cleaning the house, well that will not be a scheduled weekly thing but I just hope that I can do a reasonable job of doing my chores.

Other than the next five weeks, I hope that over the next year I can not only get some of the things that I’ve been going through behind me (DWI) but also to be a better person and build a better future that I hope to have.

This will be some story! So here’s to challenges and keeping your head up!

Thanks for reading!

CASSanova <3

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