Lemon Orzo Salad

Just a quickie post to recommend a dish I made last night. Thank you Pinterest!

 

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes

I would say it was quite delicious, however could have used a bit more of a kick. Even just a teaspoon more pepper probably would have zested it up enough!

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(picture from original site where recipe can be found: http://www.abigmouthful.com/lemon-orzo-salad-with-asparagus-and-tomatoes/ )

 

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes

12 oz. orzo
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, minced
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano*

Bring 2 large pots of water to boil.  Add a big pinch of salt in each.

To one pot, add asparagus and blanch, about 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of your asparagus.  Place blanched asparagus in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and keep them green.

To the second pot, add the orzo.  Cook per package instructions.  When tender, drain and place in a large bowl.  Add blanched asparagus and tomato halves.

Mix olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Stir into orzo and vegetables.  Stir in parsley and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

This can be served warm, room temperature or cold.

*Note:  If you want to keep this salad vegan, leave out the Parmigiano Reggiano.

Obsession of the Week | Contigo Travel Mug

Hi all!

Apologies for being so slow on getting my posts up.  I’ve spent the last few weeks/weekends packing, moving, unpacking and of course, working.  Fortunately, during that time I’ve been keeping track of stuff to blog about, so have no fear posts are coming soon!

Currently, my obsession of the week year is my new Contigo brand travel mug.

 

This bottle is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I have been using it for both coffee and water throughout my day and it is fantastic.  The description on the website doesn’t lie — it really does keep hot stuff hot for 6 hours and keeps cold stuff cold for 20 hours.  This morning I woke up (at 8:20am) to ice-cold water that still contained actual ice cubes.  Keep in mind that I put ice cubes in it at 7pm last night — that’s insane! The best part: ABSOLUTELY NO CONDENSATION — one of my biggest pet peeves about most water bottles.

Anyway, I know it’s only a travel mug (for coffee, water, whatever), but it is totally worth every cent of the $25.  There is only one downside and that is the fact that only the lid is dishwasher safe (the bottle itself must be hand-washed), but if you are only using it for water, you can get away with not washing it everyday.

I would highly suggest this bottle or pretty much any other Contigo item because they make really high-quality items that will be a vital part of your everyday life!

Obsession of the Week | Greek Yogurt Trail Mix

Hello all, hope your Sunday morning is going well!

I just wanted to write a brief Obsession of the Week post about a fun new snack I came across at Costco last week.

The snack is WildRoots brand greek yogurt trail mix.  You can see what the bag looks like below.

Now I’m not necessarily a huge trail mix fan — they usually just make me thirsty — but this mix is absolutely delicious.  The greek yogurt chips give it a little sweetness. the two types of almonds give it a great crunch, and the dried fruit isn’t too overpowering like many trail mix dried fruit can be (in my opinion).

Anywho, if you are a trail mix fan or maybe just need a fresh idea for a snack to take to school or work, I suggest checking this out!

 

The Sicilian Kitchen | Burrito Night

Some of you may recall that a few weeks back I made lasagna and decided that it was time for a new category of blog posts: recipes.  Well since then, I haven’t posted a new recipe (shame on me!) in “The Sicilian Kitchen” category, so I decided that tonight would be the night!

To all my fellow college students out there (or for those of you who are simply in need of a quick and simple dinner), you will appreciate how easy this recipe is, I promise.  Honestly, what is easier than making a burrito?

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The Sicilian Kitchen | Mom’s Lasagna

Well kids, it was a success….I made my mom’s lasagna and I didn’t destroy the recipe’s perfection!

For years I’ve assumed that to make lasagna one must spend an entire weekend  slaving away in the kitchen. As it turns out, it wasn’t that hard after all. Once you have sauce prepared, the lasagna part is really quite simple.

This is a pretty long post, so I will be including a “continue” button, so the first page of my blog isn’t 100 miles long. Since I have not done this before I wanted to give people fair warning. Simply click the title of the post (above) to go to the full post, or just click the “continue reading” button and the post should expand. Nobody freak out, I know change is scary!

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The Sicilian Kitchen | Coming Soon…

I promised big things to come here on meganeilers.wordpress, and let me tell you the wait is almost over. To my repertoire of categories (like Obsession of the Week and Fun Finds) I will be adding posts about one of my passions in life: cooking!

For those of you who took the time to check out my “about me” page you know that I am of Sicilian heritage.  Obviously, this means I am a fantastic cook, simply based on my DNA, right?! Not exactly…

The first 18 years of my life I spent a lot of time hovering around both my mom and dad (who are great chefs) while they were in the kitchen. Thankfully some of their good mojo rubbed off on me, and I proudly admit to being a decent cook–especially when one considers it is based on a college budget (filet mignons aren’t exactly in my grocery cart when I leave the store).

Anywhoo, this new category will be called The Sicilian Kitchen.  I will be posting recipes, pictures, and simple how-to instructions to help aid any of you readers who either need help learning some basic cooking skills or just need a fresh idea for dinner.  In honor of this new add-on, I will be starting with my mom’s lasagna–it seemed appropriate to start with something traditionally Italian.  A friend of mine asked me to teach her how to make it and I decided this would be the perfect start to The Sicilian Kitchen!

So come on back Monday to see how my Italian feast went Sunday night…I would post it on Sunday night, but the premier of Amazing Race will be on, so you know I won’t be blogging (I’m literally squealing with excitement)!

Buon Appetito!!

caprese sandwich....my favorite version of grilled cheese (mozzarella, basil, tomato)

No excuses, but…

Hi everyone,

I know that I had made it a goal to be really on top of my blog again this year, but of course with the start of school my plate has been very full.  I have big plans to blog a bunch this week/weekend in between studying and sleeping, but some things you can look forward to include:

-10 random things to do during a county-wide power outage (clearly something learned from personal experience)

-a movie review for “Contagion” (I was lucky enough to se it before it hit theaters!)

-some fun new recipes that I’ve stumbled upon recently

I hope those intriguing, yet extremely vague descriptions bring you all back this coming week to see what I have in store! Get excited people!!

I leave you with this image as a sign of good luck for my fave baseball team, who is currently beating the San Diego Padres :)

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