Weekend Play Time

How was everyone’s weekend? We experienced some drastic climate changes this weekend. Saturday Chris and I decided to drive up to Cleveland to see my parents. It was the first time I had been back home since Christmas! Crazy since we only live two hours apart, but between the weather and the busyness of our lives, it’s been hard to get up there. If you live in Ohio, you know that the weather tends to be a little bipolar this time of year. This morning Cooper and I were outside playing in six inches of snow and this afternoon we were walking and playing in the park where we experienced dry grounds, 57F, and sunshine. Make up your mind already! My closet doesn’t know if it should highlight springtime dresses, or sweaters and boots. Hmph!

Visiting the cold north was definitely worth it to see my family for a night. It’s always fun to catch up, but this trip offered a more nostalgic tone. My parents have decided to sell the house that I grew up in and are moving in a couple of weeks. So, my brother and I decided to gather at the house one last time to reminisce about times past. So much fun and so many memories. I also had a few boxes left at my parents’ house that contained memorabilia from my childhood. Those were so much fun to go through and Cooper enjoyed the fact that he profited from the packing process. He now has a new friend that he hasn’t parted with.

Cooper with his new friend Simba! Isn't he the cutest dog ever?? πŸ™‚

Ok, so enough about my weekend. I may show you some of the funny letters and things that were found, but that will have to wait for another blog post πŸ˜‰ For now, I want to share another recipe with you. I promised to share the dish I paired with the scarlet barley, so here it is!

Mushroom and Cannellini Paprikas

Ok, honestly, the picture makes it look totally disgusting, but it was actually quite good. I also want to say that this was the recommended pairing for the scarlet barley (from Appetite for Reduction), however, I wouldn’t pair them together again. They just didn’t mesh well. This dish would be great paired with your favorite potatoes because the mushrooms and cannellini beans together create almost a meaty flavor. So, if you are trying to cut out meat but still want that essence, I would definitely recommend trying this out.

Mushroom and Cannellini Paprikas
Ingredients:
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
1 (16 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chooped fresh dill

Directions:
1. Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, pepper, and salt and cook until lots of moisture has been released, stirring occasionally, for about 5 -7 minutes.
2. Add the wine, broth, smoked paprika, and thyme. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Boil for about 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the beans. Cook to heat through, about 5-7 more minutes. Use a fork to lightly mash some of the beans to thicken the sauce. Just mash a few against the side of the pot and then mix them back in. Taste for salt and serve.

Before I part for the day, I also want to take the time to thank everyone who nominated me for the Women’s Health Magazine blogroll contest. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It really does mean a lot. You can continue to vote through March so here’s the link if you need it πŸ™‚

See you all tomorrow!

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