Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Yum......Tortellini with Sausage and Veggies

So, now that I have been married for three weeks it is time to bring out the traditional wife duties of cooking things other than fish sticks and macaroni and cheese. Which I quickly learned was not going to suffice for our (*HIS) dietary needs...

But in all seriousness, cooking all of the meals we eat has been a huge challenge. I used to cook every day when I was in school, but after moving back home with my parents for a year I honestly think my brain was zapped of any recipes, creative food ideas or desire to cook.

I decided to try one new recipe a week which I will post here, and of course double it so that we can eat it This works out great when you like it, but it really hurts your pride and your stomach when you are forced to eat something every day that you hate. For instance,  my first attempt at this flavorless ground turkey/rice junk that smacked me in the face every day I opened my tupperware for lunch and took a whiff. I could hear it whispering to me "oooooooooh my delicious flavor of cardboard and old paper awaits you!!!! Some wife you are...."

Anyway, after that failure that Andrew insists he "really liked" I decided I needed to search very hard for some recipes. So off to Pinterest I went.

I found a recipe on a blog somewhere, but of course I did not print it out so I arrived at the grocery store ready to pick out my mystery ingredients. Here is what we bought:

2 packages of frozen tortellini (we bought the safeway selects 5 cheese brand and it was REALLY good)
1 bottle of zesty italian dressing
2 red peppers
1 package of smoked sausage
1 frozen bag of edamame

It really is as simple as cooking all of the above and combining it. The edamame was a chore because I was supposed to buy a bag of shelled edamame but of course I did not do that. I bought the cook-in-bag edamame in the shell. So I microwaved the bag, burned my fingers peeling all of the beans out (reminds me of my glue gun days...) but was delighted to see my barely 3/4 cup full of beans for $3.99. Anyway, buy a bag of frozen shelled edamame if you can.

So after cooking everything above, I put it all together and put in about half of the bottle of Italian dressing.  The edamame don't have much flavor but they add a lot to the pasta with the color, texture and then knowing how healthy they are.(Also please note that some of Andrew's Alaska themed dinner ware HAS made its way into our apartment. I REPEAT, HAS made its way into our apartment.....sigh)

We loved this a lot and will definitely make it again.  It keeps really well for lunches and dinners later on in the week. Just throw a little extra dressing in whatever container you use to bring it to lunch and when you heat it up it wont dry out at all.

DIY Wallpaper Bookcase

So for this project I didn't necessarily see a Pin on Pinterest, although I'm sure about 9,999 of them exist about this idea. I believe the idea all started when talking to my co-worker about some of her ideas for her new apartment. We both moved into new apartments in the same month and have recently been sharing DIY ideas almost every day. She started a blog with her ideas also, which you should check out: Decore Dilettante. Anyway, I think she mentioned her idea of putting colorful wallpaper in her book case and I thought it was a great idea.

We bought a bookcase from Ikea in their "brown-black" color.  Our kitchen table and TV stand are both brown, so this brown-black was really dark. Of course we didn't consider shopping at places other than IKEA, because, well - why would we? We are 23, newly married with a new small apartment, IKEA's target audience.  Here is the one we chose.

So, then the next step. We all know what this is going to be...I called Barb. (For those of you who don't know her, she's my mom and a design diva.) I explained my vision to my mom and she informed me that wallpaper is actually pretty hard to come by and that she has always purchased it at Plymouth Wallpaper Outlet in Catonsville, Maryland. So, low and behold - my mom found the perfect wallpaper for me without me even being there. I had wanted the plain white textured wallpaper that can be painted in a geometric pattern. This is what she found:

This project was just as simple as putting the bookcase together, but before nailing on the back you wallpaper it first. 

First we cut the wallpaper into two pieces so it would fit on the bookcase back.  We decided to put the seam in the middle because it was a geometric pattern and would easily line up. Here is super mom cutting the wallpaper:

In order to activate the glue on the back of the wallpaper, you need to get the entire back wet but then fold it on top of itself so that the glue side touches itself and then it will activate. Here is a picture: 

We laid out the long sheet of wallpaper and then lightly folded the ends in towards the middle so that all of the glue was covered. Don't press on the creases. After about 2-3 minutes we unfolded the wallpaper, turned it over and placed it on the back of the bookshelf. 

You should technically wait for the wallpaper to dry before hammering the back onto the bookshelf at 10:00pm on a weeknight while I'm sure everyone else in our apartment complex was sleeping....but.....anyway.  We let it dry for about a half an hour while I convinced my mom that watching "Call of the Wildman - LIVE ACTION" was a really great idea. She agreed....not really.

Anyway, after one episode of some turtle wrangling we put it all together. Actually - Andrew put it all together I need to stop taking credit for things I clearly didn't hammer the back of this bookcase.


So that's it! Very easy project and it definitely lightens up what would have been a very dark bookcase in a small room.