Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pasta and Cupcakes

It rained on and off from last night through most of the day today. Kind of gloomy...but we desperately need some rain in Southern Cal. I was not feeling well yesterday and still had lingering symptoms from my migraine, so I stayed in. With all the stress I've having due to the job hunt, the economy and all, I thought maybe spending some quiet time at home would keep my anxiety attacks from ocurring so often. I moped around in the afternoon, took care of my kitties then... decided to play house and cook some pasta for dinner. I had to use up my Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta since it's either already expired or about to... anyway, I think dry foods are okay to eat if they past the expiration date a bit.

Everything I cook in my kitchen is "semi-homemade". I didn't learn from the Food Channel's Sandra Lee, but I wish I could have before I canceled cable. Well, I'm just not a big cook is, I rarely do anything completely from scratch. This Pasta dish is real simple. Most people who experienced my cooking never had any complaints, instead they all enjoyed my food. But still, I'm no Martha Stewart.

So, I threw together the Pasta dinner fairly quickly because I wanted to bake some cupcakes later in the evening.

-Some Garlic
-Some yellow/green peppers (whatever I had on hand)
-Some roma tomatos (diced)
-Some frozen sweet peas
-and left over cooked pork tenderloin pieces
-Some Jar tomato sauce (I like the sun-dried tomato flavor one)

-Fresh Ground Pepper
-Parmesan Cheese
-Red Chili flakes
-Olive Oil
-Basil (throw in at the end, I didn't have any on hand)

Cook the pasta to al dente in a big pot of water with salt. While Pasta is cooking, stir fry all the ingredients together and add some olive oil for taste last. Once Pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and add to the stir fry pan with the ingredients. Add tomato sauce, mixed it up, season the pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and voila... dinner is served. Garlic bread is good with the dish.

I always make too much of everything. I think I'll be eating pasta for a quite a few days if I'm home. I'm trying not to waste food! Times are hard right now.

Don't know what came over me. I have just been wanting to make some cupcakes lately. After my pasta dinner, I made some. Made them right out of the box. Duncan Hine's Carrot Cake mix... yup, don't mess with a good thing if don't have to. To tweak the instructions into my "semi-homemade" ways, I used 8oz of sour cream instead of vegetable oil (the cake will be moist and less oily) and used 2% fat milk instead of water as the box instructed.

I used the tin foil jumbo cups because I didn't want to fuss with the pans and all. This was the first time I used these and I wasn't sure how much to fill the batter, that's why some of them came out bigger than others. Next time I'll remember to fill them all about 2/3 of the way for uniformity. The cupcakes did turn out amazingly moist! A success. The creme cheese frosting was another story.... IT IS SUPER SWEET! I didn't make my own creme cheese frosting since the supermarket canned one was on sale a few days ago, so I bought it. The Pilsbury one specifically. I would not use this brand again... it tasted too sugary and lacked the creme cheese flavor. Nonetheless, the cupcakes do taste pretty good all together. I just have to drink my black coffee with it is all. I think people with a sweet tooth may like them more than I. Anyhow, I spent couple hours NOT having an anxiety attack. I could now understand why some say cooking IS relaxing. It's also nice to have people to cook for and share your foodw with. After all, the food you cook tastes better when it is the food you share.

Unfortunately, I have not gotten the frosting technique down yet. They really look "homemade" eh? Haha. I hope it's not too pitiful-looking to share some with my next door neighbor.

This is the one I ate. Tasted good with black coffee. Yum.

Again, made too many....

I'll take some to Mom's tomorrow!

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